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By Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY – After six months without a librarian, the Glenwood City community is happy to have Rochel Karlson as their new librarian. Rochel officially started on June 28th but had been coming in some evenings after work prior to the 28th. Rochel and her husband own the Baldwin Greenhouse but she is now retired from that job and working full time at the library.
Rochel spent ten years as the chairperson for the Friends of the Baldwin Library and she was also on the library board for five years, which she just stepped down from this past month. She is currently in school to get her Library Science degree.
Rochel applied for the job here in Glenwood because she saw it as an opportunity and she felt it was time. “My husband’s always known that this is the direction I wanted to go so after twenty-seven years at the greenhouse, I decided it was time.” Remarked Rochel. When the opportunity came up to work in a smaller community she thought she would try it. She states that Baldwin has gotten so big and she likes the smaller feel of Glenwood.
Rochel has a lot of plans and ideas for programs at the library some of which are just starting or will be soon. Some of ideas include the following:
She would like to do a couple of crocheting classes and she plans to work with ‘Click for Babies’, an organization that works with Baby Shaken Syndrome. The crocheters crochet puple baby hats that are then shipped to where they are needed. She would love to see this grow into a group of people that would like to come in and crochet. Although Rochel claims to crochet just a little she credits her grandmother, who loved to crochet as the influence for this program idea. She has plans for people to come in and teach classes in the fall and winter.
Other programs she is lining up include talks by experts geared towards caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. What to expect as a caregiver, seeing signs in family members; basically getting the information out there.
Once they get into their new building she would like to get several programs up and running for kids with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) being fore most on her list. But before that she is hoping to bring back story time in August. She is also going to incorporate children with autism into their story time group. Along with that she would also like to get somebody to give a talk about kids with autism to talk about their needs and what people should do and not do around them.
Currently the summer reading program is going on for both children and adults. The children’s program will go through the end of July and then they are planning a huge picnic on Monday, August 2nd at the park from 4-7pm complete with hot dogs and hamburgers and then there will be a drawing for all those that have read at least ten hours for a big prize.
The adults also can fill out a reading log and then their names will be put into a drawing for a prize. The adults can also watch the Library’s Facebook page to guess the quote from a book and enter a drawing online or in person.
The adult summer reading program is summer reading Bingo. It’s a bingo sheet with different genres. Rochel is trying to get people to step out their norm and try a different type of book. Building on this there will be an “Anything Goes Book Club” which will be starting in August, where they will be reading from all different genres. “It gives people a little taste out of their normal.” Noted Rochel.
Another book club that she would like to get started, probably this winter is a Book to Movie club where they would read the book and then meet an extra time to watch the movie. She sees this club not just for adults but also teenagers.
Others ideas for speakers include history programs for adults. Some ideas are talks about the Civil War, local history and the Amish culture. She would love to see these talks continue to grow and welcomes ideas from the community.
Movie nights and crafts that have been popular in the past are also on Rochel’s radar. Besides the take home crafts that they did with summer reading, which will continue in July they are planning crafts for both adults and kids. Some ideas they are working on are a wreath program, how to decorate one for Christmas, make bird feeders, how to take your old Christmas wreath and make it into a bird feeder.
Another idea Rochel has is to have a mother and daughter tea at the library, perhaps in May. As she says she has all sorts of ideas floating in her head.
For all their special programs, Rochel encourages people to volunteer to help out.
Rochel also hopes to get more involved with the daycare at school. Right now any of the extra handouts from the summer reading program get sent over to them. Also since June’s summer reading program was virtual there are programs through the Page Turner Adventures on the library’s website that anyone can access.
Another online activity is called Bean Stack that Rochel hopes to get up and running again. This is an all year round program where kids (parents) can record their reading hours.
Starting July 5th the library is back to their normal full hours: Monday 12-7:30 p.m., Tuesday 10am- 6pm, Wednesday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday 10am-7:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m -1 p.m. Helping Rochel man these hours will be library assistant, Emily Dunn as well as Vickie Schmidt, a member of the library board. The library will also continue to be fine free but please try and bring your materials back in a timely manner so others can have use of them.
On July 13th the library welcomed Officer Jordan Smith and his K-9 from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office for a demonstration.
When the new library/community center is built, Rochel hopes to have five computers available for the public to use. Currently there are three at the library as well as two hot spots that can be checked out for two week periods.
They plan to keep working on the website and will be posting updates as the new building begins to take shape. Please check for updates on the building and all forms of programming either on the library’s Face book page: Glenwood City Public Library or on their website: www.glenwoodcitylibrary.org. Of course feel free to stop in the library and welcome Rochel to the neighborhood.
Even though she has just started Rochel stated that it was “Nice to see how busy the library has been.”