Summer Reading is Here! Let's "Build a Better World."

June 1st kicks off the beginning of our Summer Reading Program, and this year's theme is "Build a Better World."  We can surely get behind that!  In recent years, summer reading themes have become less about entertainment and more about making positive change.  Last year, we encouraged kids and adults to exercise their minds and bodies.  This year, we are asking everybody to help "Build a Better World."  That's easier said than done, but even the tiniest good deed can mean a lot.  

Not too long ago, I found a note on my desk that simply said, "Lynn Rocks."  Attached to that note was a Post-It that said, "found in the book drop."  I assumed that it was some kind of joke, but my staff assures me that it actually was found in the book drop.  I have that note pinned to the bulletin board behind my desk, and to this day, I still have no idea who left it.  It was a simple gesture that makes me smile every time I see it.

"Building a Better World" doesn't mean that you have to single-handedly solve the world's problems. Rather, I think it means to be nice to others and to our planet.  Pay a compliment.  Pick up litter.  Make someone laugh.  Plant a tree.  Each of these small gestures of kindness will collectively "build a better world."  I urge you to find and commit small acts of kindness every single day. Let's build a better world by building a better Pendleton, one good deed at a time. 

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We're Going Green!

It used to be that "green" was a bad thing.  If you were green, you were either nauseated or envious.  Of course, now "green" has evolved to mean that you are friendly to the environment...a good thing!  And, since the library likes to support good things, we are making some changes around here to "go green."

Would you believe that the library has nearly 1,000 light bulbs that burn for at least 65 hours each week?  We're making the switch to LED to save energy.  We're also making adjustments in our staff area, where we use motion-controlled lights.  It used to be that if the sensor didn't pick up on anything for an hour, the lights would turn off.  But I went around like a bandit a few weeks ago to turn them all to ten minutes.  Now it's become a frequent and comedic occurrence to walk by a staff office to see somebody doing "jazz hands" in order to get the lights to come back on.  But hey, it's good exercise, right? 

Finally, we are encouraging you, dear patron, to be kind to Mother Earth as well.  We are providing options for a better way to tote your library materials around.  For 25 cents you can purchase a plastic, reusable library-themed bag.  OR, you can purchase one of our $5 reusable bags which are made from recycled materials.  These blue bags have the library's logo and one of our favorite quotations about reading, uttered by Stan Lee, "Reading is very good.  And you can quote me!"  These bags are generously-sized with adjustable straps and a perfect side pocket for your library card.  Once you see one, I think you'll agree that $5 is a steal!

Lynn Hobbs, PCL Director

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MUZZY

I was brought up on Sesame Street.  Sesame Street helped me learn how to count, how to read, and how to treat others.  Sesame Street also taught me some basic Spanish.  It was so integral to the program, even back in the 70's, that I thought nothing of the fact that I knew how to count, how to say hello, and how to say open and closed in Spanish. 

My parents both speak fluent Italian.  Growing up, they would slip into Italian when discussing things that they didn't want us to understand, like where they hid our Christmas presents.  My sister and I were desperate to learn the language so that we could understand what they were talking about.  In response, my dad bought a Berlitz Italian textbook, and used it as a template for our formal language instruction.  But, I really struggled with it.  Despite the fact that I was retaining the Spanish I was learning on Sesame Street, I was not retaining the Italian taught by my dad.  Perhaps if my dad were a fuzzy puppet, who would occasionally break into song, I would have done better.

There's definitely something to be said for making learning fun.  And, that's why the library is introducing MUZZY to our young patrons.  MUZZY is a language-learning resource for children.  It uses sound, animation, interactive content, and fun characters to make learning a second language easy for kids.  MUZZY includes eight languages such as Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, and Italian.  MUZZY is available from home, via the Puffin Academy App. You can also access it through the library's webpage, under "Watch, Read, & Listen Online," which can be found on the Children's page. Login with "PendletonPL", and use "MuzzyPendleton" as the password.  HUGE thanks to the South Madison Community Foundation for funding this language-learning resource, made just for kids!

Lynn Hobbs, PCL Director

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Lemonade Stands

Did you ever have a lemonade stand as a kid? I know I did. It was always fun to team up with a friend, mix up the lemonade, and sell to our neighbors. Then we got to dream about what all those dimes and quarters would buy.
Well, the lemonade stand is still around. Now there is a national initiative to teach kids entrepreneurship using the lemonade stand. Lemonade Day was created to encourage kids to get out there and sell lemonade. It teaches them how to start the business, even encouraging them to look for funding or "seed money" to help them get started. Now Lemonade Day has come to Pendleton and your library is getting involved. We're offering a series of events to teach the kids how to host their own lemonade stands. We're putting another spin on it as well. If you want to participate with the library, you can host your stand here. The money raised at the library stands are going to directly benefit the children's department. Since the kids are doing the hard work, they get to decide how we spend it.

If you would like your child to participate in this event, please email Miss Sara at shauser@pendleton.lib.in.us for more information.
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New Nursing Nook

I'm not a mom.  But, I don't have to be a mom to understand that nursing a baby in the restroom is kinda gross.  I mean, I wouldn't eat a sandwich in the bathroom.  And, I wouldn't want my kid to eat a sandwich in the bathroom, even if he or she was too young to know any better.  Sometimes there isn't a better option, and you've gotta do what you've gotta do.  But, at the Pendleton Community Public Library, we want to provide nursing mothers with an option WAY better than the bathroom.

To that end, we are pleased to introduce the Nursing Nook.  This space is dedicated specifically for nursing mothers and is equipped with a comfy chair and reading materials for moms.  There is plenty of space in the Nook for Mom, baby, and another kiddo that might be in tow.  A chalkboard wall and fun activities help to keep everybody occupied during mealtime for the little one. 

The Nursing Nook is located in the lobby outside of the children's storytime room.  The room is locked at all times.  Simply request the key from the children's reference desk or the main circulation desk, where it should also be returned. 

Even though I'm not a mom, I DO think it's pretty cool for the public library to offer this space for nursing mothers.  It shows that we value you, dear patron.  We value your health and wellness and that of your children.  We value your beliefs and your passions.  And we will always respond to your needs whenever possible.

Lynn Hobbs, PCL Director

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Homeschool Mint-Mobiles!

Our Homeschool Science & Social Studies classes had a lot of fun today with a quick intro to engineering! After gathering lots of good information, they tried their hands at designing their own cars and then angling them down an incline to see how far they would go (and if they would hold together!)

Take a look and see how they turned out!

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in memory and appreciation

It’s hard to believe that more than a year has passed since we said goodbye to our beloved library patron, Maxine Stover.  We were all so saddened by the news, as she was one of our regulars, somebody who came in nearly every day to take advantage of all the things offered by the public library.  Maxine was a member of the Friends of the Library, and the Friends planted a tree in her memory.  We dedicated this tree in 2015, and during the dedication ceremony, I felt compelled to say a few words about Maxine.

Maxine’s interest in books and reading was evident in her involvement with the library.  It was this passion that would ultimately lead her to a career as a technical services librarian, working in Zionsville.  But, the thing that really impressed me about Maxine was that she was the type of library patron we want everybody to be.  Not only did she check out books, but she involved herself in so many other ways.  Maxine attended programs offered by the library, ranging widely in various topics.  She found library programs to be an opportunity to continue learning about things old and new.  Maxine embraced new technologies and started reading books on an ereader.  She signed up for the library’s one-on-one computer assistance where she learned how to get the most out of her new device.  She even attended computer classes to improve her internet skills and learn about digital photography.  And she was a longstanding member of the Friends of the Library where she volunteered her time to help with advocacy, programs, and fundraising. 

Maxine was “patron extraordinaire.”  She was a part of the library, and the library was a part of her.  Her dedication to public libraries was reinforced when Maxine kindly willed a portion of her estate to the Pendleton Community Public Library.  Those funds have been specifically earmarked for the purchase of ebooks, a format that Maxine fully embraced as a true lover of reading.

We remember you fondly, Maxine.  And, we thank you for being a great patron, librarian, and Friend.

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Real News vs. Fake News

Lately there's been a lot of real news about fake news.  Although fake news has been around for a long time, it has finally found its place in the public consciousness.  But you see, librarians have always been aware of fake news, and we've always found it to be a great opportunity for us to show the value of what it means to be an information professional.

Back when the Internet became a "thing," many people started questioning the need for libraries.  People thought you could find anything and everything online.  For many years, we fought to show our constituents that we were still relevant.  Back then, the argument was that you needed a librarian to help you navigate the complicated waters of the Internet.  You may be able to type a question into Lycos or Ask Jeeves, but your results would never really have the answer you were seeking.  Librarians relied on their expertise in creating cryptic Boolean searches, using "and" "or" and "not" to find the real answer, a proficiency that surely no layperson could ever glean.

Then Siri came along with the amazing ability to answer just about any question with the push of a button.

Ah, but now, librarians are back in the fold of newsworthiness as Ambassadors for Information Literacy.  Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to have the skill to locate, evaluate, and use needed information effectively.  With news coming towards us at every turn, many people don't bother to verify the truth before believing what they are told and passing it along to others.  But, rest assured...your librarians will always be here, wielding the torch for truth and accuracy in the news stories we all consume.  It is simply what we do.

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Hard Work Pays Off

On January 16th, the library will be closed for our staff development day.  We'll start the day with an all-staff breakfast, where we will enjoy Jenny's Famous Cinnamon Rolls. That's a great start to what I hope will be a great day.  Our first order of business is to gather for an all-staff meeting where we will take some time to reflect on 2016.  As I prepare my notes for this meeting, I see that we did a whole heck of a lot!

This past year, we have been responding to the needs of our patrons who have been requesting quiet work space.  The library now has a dedicated quiet area where you can use a computer, enjoy a cozy fireplace, and finally get some work done.  With the help of the newly-formed Tween Advisory Board, we have introduced a new tween space with fun furniture and programming designed for 9-12 year olds.  In January, we will start work on a nursing nook which will provide a private, comfortable space for new mothers visiting the library.

We've also made great strides in our technology offerings.  The library has fifteen wi-fi hotspots to check out and take home.  We are also in the process of upgrading the library's wi-fi network to guarantee the widest coverage and the fastest speeds. And, Chromebooks are available for in-house checkout, especially for students who may need quick access.

But, perhaps the biggest effort over the past twelve months has been the redesign of our new website.  We're librarians.  We're fussy.  We want things to be just right.  We've been working with Solutions4ebiz here in Pendleton on a much-improved website. Our plan is to launch our new site on January 3rd.  Visit www.pendleton.lib.in.us to see improvements such as a streamlined calendar that includes online registration for events and quick access to searching the library's catalog and digital content.  We also have a fun staff page where staff members answer the question, "What is your hidden talent?"  Find out on January 3rd!

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Days Off

I've had five, count 'em FIVE, glorious days off work for the holidays.  Today is the fifth day.  I had grand plans of sleeping in, watching a movie, and doing absolutely nothing.  But, here I am, working.  I'm sure there is a window to clean or a surface to dust in my house somewhere.  Yet, somehow I cannot stay away from the library.  It just so happens that I've got things to do.

We're getting ready to roll out a new website in less than a week, and there are links to check, photos to upload, and lots of text to proofread.  Over the past five days, it's been in the back of my mind.  As we prepared the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, the library's new website was in the back of my mind.  When we settled in to watch a movie on Christmas night, the library's new website was in the back of my mind. Even when we took Big Dan on a long walk around the Upper Fall Creek Loop, the library's new website was in the back of my mind.

I'm not sure how I feel about all of this.  In a way, I think it's great that I've found something that I'm passionate about.  I care.  I want things to be just right so that our patrons can delight in all that we have to offer.  And, yet there is another part of me that wants to let it go...just for a day, a holiday, or a special meal.

Then again, it's been five days, and I'm ready to get back to it.

 

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2016 was a fun year!

Wow!  I can't believe it is nearly a new year.  When I took on the role of Children's Programming Librarian in February, I had no idea what was in store for me.  This year we had so many amazing programs.  We had visits from outside groups like Silly Safaris and Professor Steve.  Just last week we had a visit from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their reindeer, Misfit.  As I look back with a full heart, I remember so many good times.  There were lots of laughs and smiles from the children.  I got to hold an armadillo!  I built a gingerbread house large enough for the kids to play in.  We had a visit from Piggie and Elephant from the Mo Willems' books.  We held a worm race here at the library.  The Mascot Stampede had us running and dancing with the Butler Bulldog, Charlie Cardinal, Rodney Raven, and the Pendleton Arabian!  So many days I came home covered in paint, glitter, or both.  Being able to provide programs for kids from ages birth-12 is an amazing privilege.  As I look back, it makes me excited to see what is in store for 2017!  Before we know it, Summer Reading will be starting and there will be a fresh batch of memories to be made.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our programs this year.  A huge thank you to the rest of the library staff, the VolunTEENs, the Friends of the Library, and the countless parent helpers who made my first year an amazing one!

~Miss Sara~

        

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Director's Note | August 2016

A few years ago, the library was asked to participate in Pendleton Heights High School's career day.  We were encouraged to include an activity as a part of our presentation table. How could we select just ONE aspect of this profession to illustrate all of the wonderful things that library workers do?  In the end, we created a little checklist for the students to complete.  We asked them to "check the boxes next to things you like to do."  The list included things like being crafty, planning programs and events, using technology and social media, organizing and collecting things, and interacting with children.  As it turns out, lots of students were interested in things like that, and we went on to explain that those were the types of things that they would do if they worked in a library...not, contrary to popular belief, read all day.
 
I think that we attracted a few students to library work that day.  And, we continue to attract more with our VolunTEEN program.  If you know of any high school students who are interested in putting in volunteer hours, learning new skills, and perhaps finding a future career, please let them know about the library's VolunTEEN program.  Working as a VolunTEEN is great way to beef up a resume or college application.  Students get to work in a fun environment and meet new friends with similar interests.  VolunTEENs are the first ones we tap when we are looking to fill our High School Page position.  And, everybody who signs up for the program gets a free, tie-dye shirt!  Our fall session will run from August 22 to December 16.  Applications are available at the front desk and are due by August 12. 

For more information, call 778-7527, and ask for Ashley.

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Director's Note | December 2015

The last time I got a new car, I read the owner's manual cover-to-cover.  I figure most people don't do this.  But, if I hadn't done this, I would never have known that my glove box doubles as a cooler.  It's true.  The glove box has a little vent in it, and when you open the vent and turn on the A/C, it's like a little ice box.  I used this feature once when I had some leftover Mexican food, and my glove box still smells like fajitas.
 
An owner's manual is a valuable tool.  But these days, when you purchase a new electronic device, it often doesn't even come with an owner's manual.  They are "plug-and-play" so to speak.  The devices are supposedly so intuitive that you should just know how to use them straight out of the box.  But, we're not all that technologically savvy.  And some of us can even be a bit embarrassed about that, myself included.
 
This holiday season, you might receive a new device, sans owner's manual.  Let the library help you!  Give us a call to set up an appointment for free one-on-one assistance.  Or drop in if you have a quick question.  We'll get you started and do our best to help you enjoy your new device.  We'll also show you how your new toy can be used to take advantage of all of the free digital services and content the library has to offer.  But, most importantly, we guarantee that you'll receive friendly assistance in a non-intimidating environment.  The staff at the library genuinely believes that there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to technology.  And, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

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Director's Note | November 2016

Thankfully, we don't receive a lot of complaints at the library.  So, when we do, we take them pretty seriously.  In the 10 plus years that I've been the Director here, the #1 complaint that we get is that it's too loud in the library.  No matter how libraries evolve, there will always be the expectation for quiet space, and I totally respect that.  And, you know what?  It IS too loud in our library.  For those using our public computers, you hear the phone ringing, the scanner beeping, the DVDs clacking against each other, kids squealing, and we laugh...a lot.


Allow me to introduce our new Quiet Zone...  We have re-purposed our Indiana Room into a quiet study zone for those who need to work without distractions.  Cozy up in front of the fireplace.  Use your laptop or tablet at a table or comfy chair.  Or log into one of our new PCs to get your work done in a comfortable, quiet environment.  Those who enter, should silence their phones, hush their voices, and tread carefully...for they have entered the Quiet Zone.
 
We hope that this new space will be a great feature for our patrons.  We've upgraded our WI-fi to guarantee the fastest speeds, and we provide basic office supplies and equipment like a scanner, printer, fax machine, hole punch, stapler, etc.  We want the library to be your home away from home and your office away from the office.
 
For those of you who regularly use our local history and genealogy collections, we've made some improvements there too.  The collection has been relocated to higher, more accessible shelves.  Additionally, the collection is now located closer to the reference desk, so that research assistance is at the ready.  We're excited to roll out these improvements, and we hope that everybody will love them!

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Director's Note | December 2016


Recently, my husband and I took a quick vacation.  The weather was warm, and we enjoyed a few afternoons at the pool. When we headed down to the pool on an overcast day, there must have been 200 people in lounge chairs, and not one person in the pool.  As we dipped our toes in the COLD water, we realized why.  But, we still found it odd that we were the only ones.  We actually questioned whether or not we were allowed to go in.  But, we've grown up swimming in Wisconsin lakes, so the cold didn't bother us.
 
As we were floating around, I started to look at the people on lawn chairs, and I was surprised once again...this time, by how many people were reading.  Not magazines, or newspapers, but actual books.  I saw people reading hard covers and paperbacks, 1,000+ page novels, non-fiction, Kindle Paperwhites, and even library books.  I saw people of all ages, spending their leisure time reading a book.  Many people think that reading is a thing of the past or that it's something boring, time-consuming, or too much like school.  With the onslaught of social media, streaming content, and just about anything on demand, who reads anymore?  Well apparently, a lot of people.  But, who actually swims at the pool anymore?  Just us, I guess.

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Director's Note | May 2016

I’ve never been a “girlie-girl.”  I didn’t play with dolls, and I wasn’t into unicorns.  I never played dress up and completely bypassed the princess phase.  But growing up, a “unicorn-girl” lived in my neighborhood.  Most days, we’d get together and play on her swing set.  But, when the day was rainy, we’d play in her room with dolls and horse figurines.  I dreaded those rainy days in her room. 

I remember one time that this friend and I hosted a tea party.  We invited all of her horse figurines.  But, I wasn’t too bothered by that because we were hosting a very sophisticated event.  We served chamomile tea, cucumber cream cheese finger sandwiches, chipped beef toasts, apple turnovers, and three kinds of cheese.  Hey, we grew up in Wisconsin.  We listened to classical music and talked in phony accents and made sure that our pinky fingers were pointing upwards whenever we lifted our cups.  We were so posh…or at least for that one afternoon we were.

I will always remember that tea time, but my very favorite tea time is the one our staff enjoys every Thursday at the library.  There’s always a hot pot of tea, some baked goodies, lots of laughter...  and no horse figurines!  Since we know how to throw a tea party here at the library, we will be hosting our annual spring tea on May 1st.  This year’s event is a “Fairy Grandmother Tea,” and I’m sure it will be a very posh affair.




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Director's Blog | October 2016

We grew peanuts in the Pendleton Community Garden.  A couple of days ago, we dug up a small handful of peanuts, and I cracked them out of the shell and ate them...raw.  They tasted like fresh peas, with a hint of horseradish.  I've never tasted anything quite like it, and I realized that I had never eaten a raw peanut.
 

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Director's Note | February 2016

With the Super Bowl around the corner, we are reminded of the saying, "Any Given Sunday." Here's a summary of "Any Given Day" at the Pendleton Community Public Library.
 
No matter the day, like clockwork, a patron arrives to copy the crossword puzzle.  He's kind enough to make a few extra copies for patrons that he doesn't even know. If it's a Tuesday or Wednesday, one particular patron of the Senior Café will pick one of those up on her way to enjoy camaraderie and a hot meal at noon in the community room.  Afterwards, she may stay for BINGO.  And, she'll return on Friday to enjoy a spirited Dominoes competition.
 
Once school is out on Wednesday, forty teens will compete in a video game tournament played on a 65" screen.  The following day some of those same teens will convene the Anime Society to explore classic and new anime from Japan.
 
If the name of the day ends in Y, there's a good chance something is going on in the children's department.  We have book clubs on Monday, music and movement on Tuesday, family story time on Wednesday, toddler times on Thursday, and science on Friday.  In February, there's even a "Minute to Win It" family program on Sunday!
 
On Monday evenings, local knitters "sit, stitch, and unwind" in a bi-monthly knitting circle. And, on the last Saturday of the month, you'll find yogis of all levels enjoying an early morning workout.
 
No matter the day, there is always something going on at the Pendleton Community Public Library, and it just may surprise you.  Stop in and see what we're up to today!

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Director's Note | January 2016

I'm sure that many of us have childhood crafts in our homes, either made by ourselves or our children.  My mom still has a paperweight that I made in 1980, which I proudly dated "1908" in my 1st grade handwriting.  Perhaps you hung a less-than-perfect Christmas ornament on your tree this past season.  And, perhaps that ornament was made at the library during one of Miss Peggy's storytimes.
 
I remember the first storytime that I attended as the Director of the Pendleton Community Public Library.  The children literally ran into the storytime room and hugged Miss Peggy who started with her trademark song, "If You're Happy and You Know It."  The kids joined in with perfectly-timed hand claps and foot stomps.  Then they settled in to hear the featured story.  Afterwards, everybody did a craft and enjoyed a snack before heading home.  This time-tested routine has been a successful formula for storytimes throughout the years.  And, Miss Peggy has planned hundreds of them, all with fresh ideas.
 
Miss Peggy is the reason many patrons enter our doors for the first time and continue to visit week after week.  Well into adulthood, children will fondly remember storytime at the Pendleton Library and how special Miss Peggy made it. Give Miss Peggy a popsicle stick, some construction paper, and a set of googly eyes, and she'll turn it into a valued holiday keepsake.  She's the MacGyver of crafts. Her talents are many.  Her admirers are plentiful.  And her positive influence reaches further than we will ever know.
 
Miss Peggy, we love you and wish you all the best in retirement!

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Director's Note | July 2015

As the sky darkens with clouds, and we look forward to another rainy day, I think to myself that it's the perfect kind of day to spend at the library. You could...

  • Check out an adult Kindle HDX and get caught up with True Detective on HBO.
  • Play chess with another human.
  • Drink coffee next to a wall of windows, and watch the rain.
  • Photocopy and complete crossword and Sudoku puzzles from the daily newspapers.
  • Use the library's wi-fi or public computers to write a Haiku.
  • Download the Hoopla app, and listen to the new EP by Fall out Boy.
  • Browse through hundreds of cookbooks and plan your next dinner party.
  • Play with the toy train set in the children's department.
  • Check out How to Draw Dogs and sketch the Chihuahua.
  • Research your grandparents using the library's genealogy collection and Ancestry.com.
  • Build a fort with toy blocks in the children's discovery room.
  • Learn to speak Pirate using Mango Languages.
  • Join the seed library.
  • Read a book!

 

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