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Library News: The tools you need for a great summer

While summer has just officially begun, the days are speeding by for many people, and the Minot Public Library wants to help everyone make the best of what’s left.

“MPL has so much to help people enjoy the summer, but we especially hope people will use some of our unique collections,” said Adult Services Librarian Zhaina Moya.

Moya said that one of the most exciting new collections the Library offers is the Adventure Packs. These are backpacks full of various items people can use for different hobbies. Teen Librarian Pam Carswell helped create this collection and said the goal was to help encourage people to explore new hobbies. “We started small with just five of these Adventure Packs. So far, they have been really popular, and we hope we can add more,” Carswell said.

MPL has the following Adventure Packs available for library cardholders who have had their card for 90 days: Bird Watching, Hiking, Rock Collecting, Stargazing, and Whittling. Carswell said the packs include everything from binoculars and a telescope to hiking poles and a rock tumbler. “Patrons can also check out North Dakota State Park Passes which allow them to enter State Parks for free,” she said. “We hope our patrons will be able to use these Adventure Packs while exploring some of our amazing State Parks!”

While many North Dakotans spend summer weekends camping or relaxing at the lake, summer is also the time to get a lot of outdoor work done, and library cardholders can use the MPL Tool Library for these chores. “The goal of the Tool Library is to allow community members to make their own repairs or learn new skills without having to purchase expensive equipment,” Moya explained.

“During the spring and summer, our most popular tools continue to be things related to lawn care, such as our pole saw, weeder, edger, hedge trimmer, and tiller,” said Moya. In addition to these items, the Tool Library includes everything from hammers and drills to miter saws and an air compressor, as well as tools for gardening. Moya said that anyone wishing to check out tools must have had their library card for 90 days before checking them out, and she reminds borrowers that fines will accrue on tools returned late.

Along with the many non-book items people can physically check out from the Minot Public Library, Moya wants people to know about the variety of digital items available with a Minot Public Library card. “We know many people are reading or listening to books on their smartphones or tablets,” she says. “For those people, I want them to know that the Libby and Hoopla apps are available to them free of charge and will allow readers to download titles for free.” Moya explained that thousands of digital book and audio book titles are free through Libby and Hoopla with an MPL library card. “However, even these apps have more than books – people can stream music, movies, and TV shows on their device.”

Finally, the free programs offered at the Minot Public Library are an excellent escape for those who want to stay closer to home this summer. In addition to the many weekly programs for children, MPL offers some unique programs for teens and adults to complement their monthly recurring programs like crafts and gaming.

On Saturday, July 16, the Library will host its second “Dungeons & Dragons: The Infinite Library” program. Moya started this program to help introduce the popular tabletop role-playing game to new players and allow current players to meet new people. Adults and teens sixteen and up are invited to participate in a game of Dungeons & Dragons starting at 12 p.m. on the 16th. Moya said, “If a person is eager to join but doesn’t know how to play, that’s no problem. Everyone is welcome regardless of previous experience with the game.”

Later that week, on Wednesday the 20th at 6:30 p.m., Carswell is hosting a program called “Kimbap Adventures.” “Kimbap is similar to sushi, and participants will learn to prepare these delicious rice rolls and learn more about Korean cuisine,” she explained. As the Teen Librarian, Carswell planned this free program for teens (ages 12 and up) but also encouraged adults to attend. Participants must register for this program by calling the Library at 852-1045, as space and supplies are limited.

MPL wraps up its unique July programing with “Snakes at the Library” on Wednesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. The Library has hosted previous youth programs with snakes and they have always been popular, Moya said. However, she wanted to offer an opportunity for adults to meet some snakes and learn more about them and how to care for them. “Anyone 14 and older is welcome to come and meet our guest speaker who will be bringing his ball pythons,” she said. When asked if they were excited to attend this program, both Carswell and Moya said they’d be passing the opportunity onto other staff members as they acknowledged “snakes aren’t for everyone!”

While snakes may not be the thing to draw every person to the Minot Public Library, staff are sure there is bound to be something else MPL offers to help everyone get the most out of summer. Anyone needing a library card should bring a photo ID with their current address (or an ID and proof of address, if the ID is not current) to the Library at 516 2nd Ave. SW. Patrons can reserve tools and Adventure Packs (along with all other Library materials) online at www.minotlibrary.org or by phone at 852-1045. People should also follow the Minot Public Library on Facebook and Instagram for more information on events and services.

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