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Hey – come walk with me behind the scenes at work

June 5, 2020 |

Hey, it’s been a while.

Yeah… it’s been a while.

I hope you’re doing well. We’re doing okay here at MPL.

As you know, things have been weird and out of whack as of late and I miss the kids. Of course, we’re still working hard here to serve our community and it feels great knowing that. I’m sure you’ve heard about our Curbside Pickup, the drive-thru window, Grab ‘n’ Go Bags, Movie Binge Bags, Online Storytimes, and even our Drive-thru Notary.

You might know that I make a good chunk of the advertising images that we post on our website and social media. I’ve been utilizing these last few months to pick up a couple new tricks in the programs I use (mostly Inkscape) and reexamining how I feel about what I make. I’m proud of it (I should be, I know) and I know that there’s always room for improvement.

But anyways, I’m really making this post to give everyone a little behind the scenes look of what life at MPL has been like lately. Here’s a bunch of pictures:

The hat is important too. It keeps my hair out of my eyes.

This here is the desk I sit at when I’m making pictures and whatnot. Yeah, it’s a bit cluttered, I know… but I have everything I need nearby me. That bottle of syrup there is from the trees here in Madison thanks to ecology teacher Mr. Pira over at the high school! (That’s not something I need, but it’s going to be delicious when I pop it open.)

I usually have my art programs on the left screen and an internet browser open on the right – for emails, social media, or streaming some workin’ tunes. It’s my little home away from home. I share this space with Shawn, Emerging Services and Technologies Librarian. (I included this because I regularly quiz the kids on what Shawn’s title is with the promise of candy if they get it right.) He spends a lot of the time on the other side of the room grumbling at computer related things, building soda can towers, and a bunch of really important stuff to keep this place afloat.

Stepping outside, there are currently carts of books in need of barcodes and such. Sure, we’ve been closed, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been gathering materials for you guys. Also, Shawn has been working hard updating the new laptops. This space is normally called “The Create Space” where we can help you with projects using our equipment like the Laser Engraver, 3D Printer, various Laminators, Cricut Machines, Button Makers, and more. This is also the area the teens like to hang out in during the school year. They do art projects, read comics, play tabletop games, assemble puzzles, and taunt me with Domino’s pizza. Shawn and I like to come out and talk to them about whatever: see how they’ve been doing, ask them what’s groovy with the kids nowadays, and come up with library program ideas with them. We want them to feel like they are a part of the community. I hope they know that.

That was full of sap, but I’m not sorry about that. I’m listening to a playlist on Spotify called “Chill Lofi Study Beats” and it’s making me quite introspective about things right now.

Stepping around the graphic novels and into the “Red” or “Young Adult” area…

Here, Miss Kylie and the pages have been assembling little Storytime Supply kits for the lil’ ones to pick up and use during Miss Kylie’s Online Storytimes (Ages 0-Preschool, visit our website for more info). I’m really impressed with the amount of work put into these. Not pictures are the other two tables in the area covered in these kits. This table is just the most visually interesting. Speaking of Storytimes…

Boom! The Ruth Johnson and Small Conference Rooms have been converted into studios for us to perform our Online Storytimes (with Miss Kylie) and Kindergarten Time (with Miss Melanie, the Crabby Librarian). Shawn had a lot of fun setting up all the equipment and getting everything sorted out on the technological side of things here. I sometimes sat at my computer and connected to Zoom to ensure audio was hunky dory. We’re really excited to have all this AV equipment – keep an eye out for future programs that use them!

The frog king observes his rule over the “Blue” or “Children’s” area.







I took some pictures of the pretty blooming flowers in our Reading Garden after Carrie told us via email about it. Did you know we have a Reading Garden? Usually during the summer, we have mini concerts out here featuring some neato musicians. It’s such a chill area. I wish more people knew about it. During an egg hunt last year, I hid some eggs around this area. The young’uns found them really fast except for the one I placed on a wooden fence with nothing obscuring it. It was just sitting there! A parent stepped in and gave clues to their child about it… which still didn’t help. Oh, it was adorable.

Let’s head to the back inside and to the back to see what’s been going on there…

We’ve been prepping for opening and the return of you. Here’s a picture of some hand sani that we purchased to place all over the library because we love our patrons and we want to keep you safe and healthy.





See these? These are the bags that we assemble special for you dear patrons. If you hop on over to our website, you can find a link for “Library Valet” where you can request materials we have in our building. We’ll let you know when it’s done and then…


All you need to do is come on over to our Curbside Pickup and give us a call – we’ll bring it right out to you. You can even request some of our Grab ‘n’ Go bags, curated bags of themed materials such as Romance, Horror, Graphic Novels, etc.






Today for my lunch, I had girlfriend swung by to bring me “a sammich and cheps” for a little parking lot picnic. It was nice out – a bit on the warm side, but nice. I like spending time in our parking lot… I really don’t know why. Thinking about it is making me miss the tweens. Last two summers, we’ve been hosting a little “Kick Off the Summer with Kickball” game in the back parking lot. This year would have been the first “Middle School vs. High School” kickball game… I would have really enjoyed that. Maybe I can swing something for the fall season.


While I was outside, I figured I should take a snap of the flags from the perspective of the drive-up window. It felt right, y’know?







Soooo… yeah. That’s what we’ve been up to during this time. Hope everything has been cool with you! See you soon! (Apologies for any formatting errors. It really depends on your browsing device and how wide you screen is.)



OH. I forgot to mention that our soda machine went kaput at one point during these last few months. It was giving us super hot sodas instead of refreshing cold ones. It’s fixed now!

Too bad I’m trying not to drink as much soda these days. (I’m failing at that.)