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Update on March Events at the Library

As you are likely aware, Minnesota has a number of diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness currently being spread from person to person in many countries, including the United States.

Current guidance from public health officials stresses the importance of “flattening the curve,” i.e., slowing the rate of transmission of the disease to avoid overloading the health care system, as has happened in Italy. Important to flattening the curve is “social distancing,” measures that are taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus, such as working from home or canceling gatherings.

In the interest of protecting our staff and patrons – in particular the high-risk populations we serve and the high-risk populations who work and volunteer for us – the library is canceling all programs and events during the month of March. At this time, the library will continue to operate with standard hours.

Our interest is to continue serving your library needs while maintaining the safety and health of our staff and public.

We also continue to follow best hygiene practices for workplaces – including regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment in our building, making hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available to staff and patrons, and encouraging frequent hand-washing.

We have removed from the children’s area toys, puzzles and other playthings that are difficult to clean and sanitize.

As some patrons have asked, the Library does not currently disinfect borrowed materials when they are checked in or as they are browsed or used in-house. Disinfecting these types of items and materials is currently not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We encourage any concerned patrons, especially those in high-risk populations, to stay home if they are feeling ill or are simply concerned about potential exposure.

We will continue to communicate any further impacts to the library as a result of coronavirus. In the meantime, as a reminder, the library has many digital services available to you for free, such as eBooks and eAudiobooks; streaming video; and digital access to newspapers and magazines.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this developing situation.

Resolution: Book Club!

Karen, our library recommendation expert and book club organizer extraordinaire, has all the book club info you need to start your literary year on the right page!

New year, new reading challenge!  For those of us that love to read, and love to read a lot, we look forward to the monthly and yearly reading challenges that the library offers, and yes, there are prizes!

But for others, just getting through a book a month, let alone five a month, well, THAT is a challenge.  Here at the library we have three monthly book clubs that are open to the public, The Friends of the Library (FOL) Book Club, the Overbooked Reading Group, and Pictures and Prose.  But in the town of Red Wing, there are a plethora of other book clubs, and many of them get their books at our library.  We are here to help with book suggestions and with requesting books for groups. We’ll keep you updated on what our book clubs and others in town are reading.  If you’d like to register your book club with the library, just stop by the service desk and we’d be glad to talk to you about it.

Wondering what we’re reading?  Here’s what’s on our list for January!

The FOL Book Club is reading First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler.

The Overbooked Book Club is reading Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.

Pictures & Prose will be taking a look at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards winning titles, to be announced on Monday, January 27.

Community book clubs are reading these great titles!

The Girl With Seven Names by Hveonseo Lee

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Grace of Silence by Michele Norris

Read one, read three, or read them all!

New at the library!


Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Red Wing Public Library, beginning on Monday, December 2 you will be able to check out from us, for free, a mobile hotspot. So what is a mobile hotspot? It’s the little (and I do mean little – about the size of a deck of cards) thing pictured to the left. It’s a device that connects to a cellular network (Sprint, in this case) and using that connection, creates a Wifi network for up to 10 devices. The download speed will vary depending on signal strength and network load but even when it’s at the slower end will allow users to do pretty much anything except really bandwidth intensive activities, like online gaming or Ultra HD video. Furthermore, there is no data cap, no automatic throttling and no charge to users! You can use them anywhere in the US that the Sprint 4G LTE network can provide signal.

Anybody who lives in Goodhue County and has a library card from us or someone who has purchased a library card from us can check one out.

Access to the Internet is so so important for simply getting by in today’s society. There are many of our fellow Goodhue County residents who don’t have that access. One public library is not going to be able to fix the problem of the digital divide between the haves and have nots. We already make a difference by providing free wired access but that is limited to a specific place (the library) and specific time (when we are open). With mobile hotspots we will be able to help people in places and ways we could not before. The library has always been a place where people could find information and entertainment through checking out the books and movies and stuff we have there. Now we are very excited about the prospect of being able to check out the Internet to our patrons!