My Sleeve Made A Noise.

Every Thursday afternoon, the library staff holds tea time in the break room.  The lovely Jennifer makes some variety of tea and sets out little snacks to enjoy along with it.  Sometimes others bring in cheese and crackers or home-baked goodies.  For some of us, it's the highlight of our workweek.  

During tea time, we can easily entertain ourselves with stories and YouTube videos, but we also like to play games.  One of our favorites is Crack the Case, a game where you have to solve a murder.  The narrator reads the clue which is very vague, usually a description of a crime scene.  And, through a series of yes or no questions, you have to figure out the killer, the motive, and how it all went down.  We worked our way through all of the Crack the Case cards a few months ago, and we're all still in withdrawal.

Some public libraries circulate tabletop games, and we thought we'd give it a try.  We decided to start with 5 to see how they do.  They aren't your regular board games like Clue or Monopoly.  We figure most people own those or are sick of playing them.  No, these games are Ultimate Werewolf, Photosynthesis, Sherlock Holmes, Carcassonne, and King of Tokyo.  I'll be honest, I've never heard of any of them, but I'm sure that they hold hours of group fun with their mysterious cards, tokens, maps, and....energy cubes??  Yes, energy cubes!

At last week's tea time, we gave one of these games a trial run.  We played Ultimate Werewolf where I was quickly outed as a werewolf and lost.  I lost because my sleeve made a noise.  You read that right.  I lost because my sleeve made a noise!  If you don't know what I mean, check out Ultimate Werewolf or any of the other 4 games to see what they are all about.  

Lynn Hobbs, Library Director

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A Thing of Beauty

I have "liked" a lot of libraries on Facebook.  I see photos of their programs, staff, and facilities.  Recently a library posted an "artistic" photo of their book shelves.  It was taken from one end of a long stack of books, from the bottom up, with sunlight illuminating the shelves.  But, all I could notice was the spine labels.  Because, you see...They weren't evenly placed.

Our two cataloging librarians work quietly behind the scenes processing thousands of titles in any given year.  In 2019, they prepared 6,315 items for our shelves.  They enter the catalog information into our database, which to the untrained eye, looks like absolute gibberish.  Then they meticulously cover, and label our materials.  There is always a Pendleton Community Public Library stamp on page 19.  And, the top of the spine label is always 2 ¼" from the bottom of the book.  

But, the aesthetic of consistent spine label placement fills me with glee whenever I admire our stacks.  I have told countless people that I would put our stacks up against any other library in the state.  Our circulation staff is always blocking, and reading our stacks.  You may not know exactly what that means.  But, it's library lingo for keeping things neat and in order.  

For "book people" the appearance of a shelf of books can be a thing of beauty.  And, here at the Pendleton Library we believe that, even if you don't read them, you can still appreciate them.

Lynn Hobbs, Library Director

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It's Hard Not Knowing.

I like to go to Yats, the Cajun restaurant around Indy.  They have a "half and half" where you can get half of one delicious thing and half of another delicious thing.  But, since COVID-19, they stopped offering that.  I'm bummed.  I find myself desperately calling them every two weeks or so to ask when they are bringing it back, and the answer is always that they don't know.  It's frustrating, but I can relate because we get calls every day from our dear patrons wanting to know when we are going to reopen.  And, our answer is also that we don't know.  

But, the time has come for me to take a stab at it!  Granted a lot can happen between now and then.  We are under construction, and then of course, there's the Coronavirus.  So there are lots of factors that could put a wrench in our plans, moving forward.  It's anybody's guess.  But, I'm willing to make a guess because sometimes you've just gotta try.

If all goes as planned with construction, and Indiana's phasing plan continues as scheduled, we will open early to mid-August.  There I said it!  It's right here in print.  But, it's still just my best guess.

If we do reopen in August, you might wonder what to expect.  At that point, we may be operating a "Grab and Go" model of service.  You can enter the library, and you can see all of the fantastic work we've done so far.  You can browse books and DVDs to check out.  You can interact with staff to ask questions.  But, we won't encourage anybody to linger.  We won't be hosting in-person programs right away.  And the meeting rooms will have limited attendance, if any at all.  We will all be socially distancing, wearing masks, utilizing acrylic shields, washing our hands, and taking all of the recommended precautions to keep you and our staff safe.

In the meantime, look for us around town as we try our hand at "PCL Pop-Ups," little surprise events where you'll see your friendly library staff leading different activities.

So, that's the plan.  I love a good plan, especially when it goes off without a hitch.  But, with the uncertain world swirling all around us, please don't hold me to it.

Lynn Hobbs, Library Director

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Holiday Spirit at the Library

Many of us are feeling that the holidays are less fulfilling this year, less celebratory. The staff at the library feels that way too, and we have a few ideas that you can use to lift your spirits, and the spirits of those around you, this coming holiday season.

We won’t be having our holiday open house, nor hosting the Friends of the Library’s annual gingerbread cottage contest, but there is still a gingerbread activity sponsored by the Friends! Stop in and grab one of our free gingerbread cottage kits, decorate it at home, then drop it off at the library for our Christmas gingerbread town which will be displayed at the library. Huge thanks to Liza and the Friends for their handiwork in putting these great little kits together!

Maybe you are more creative with a pen and paper. With Pages of Pendleton, you can check out a work in progress. Checkout a book with Netflix recommendations, poems, or parenting advice, all contributed by local residents. Start the of story of “Now that I have a flying car…” and let somebody else pick up where you left off. Come back and check out the same book to see if one of your neighbors put an unexpected twist on your tale or gave you a good recommendation for your next great binge watch.

Perhaps you are missing the exchange of gifts with friends and loved ones. How about grabbing a paper ornament from our Wall of Wishes? These ornaments list specific gift ideas for you to purchase for a local child or family in need. Anything from a warm pair of mittens to a new Amazon Kindle is bound to make somebody’s holiday special; and, you’ll feel good about it too!

Or maybe you just want to warm up with a cozy winter mystery, watch your favorite holiday movies on DVD, or check out a book filled entirely with cookie recipes. Whatever the holiday has in store for you, the library is here to make it as bright and festive as possible!

Lynn Hobbs, Library Director

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Pages of Pendleton

This is not an article about COVID-19. This IS an article about how we celebrate the creativity of the people around us. Our Adult Programming & Outreach Specialist, Ashley Grounds, had a great idea. She wanted to help local residents feel connected with each other, and their community, and so she created the Pages of Pendleton

When you check out a book that is a part of the Pages of Pendleton series, you will find these words inside:

The book you are holding is filled (or soon will be) with the thoughts and energy of our community. Get comfy and take your time reading through the completed pages. When you’re ready, begin your story on the first blank page. You can write, draw, or collage your entry.

 Each journal has a theme. We ask that you please stick to the theme. Some are serious, some light-hearted, and others are more informational. Once the book is filled, it will be added to our collection for others to view for years to come.

I happened to pick up one of these journals up the other day, and I was immediately taken. I learned about Wangari Maathai who somebody wrote about in the I’d Love to Meet…(this historical person) volume. In the When I grow up… volume, I read about the career goals of a young person who wanted to join the military, then the CIA, before retiring at the age of 40. I even got a few good recommendations for what to watch next on Netflix when I peeked inside the volume entitled What I Recommend on Netflix.

The entries are touching and heartfelt. They are funny. They are helpful. They are creative. And best of all, they belong to you. Share your thoughts, your stories, and your recommendations. Let’s stay connected.

Curious to learn more? Explore the Pages of Pendleton.

Lynn Hobbs, Library Director

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