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May Musings

As April comes to a close and we enter the month of May, things are getting busy at the library.

We are eagerly promoting our Pennsylvania Maple Festival Memories collection which is now available online as part of PA Photos and Documents in the PA POWER Library. It debuted just in time for the 75th Pennsylvania Maple

Festival! Take a look at our prize-winning corner window in the former Murphy's building across from the library, with information about our new collection. We also had a small contingent marching in the Maple Festival Parade!


Work continues on two more collections for PA Photos and Documents: oral histories of the 1998 local tornado outbreak, and a collection documenting the history of our own library building. Our three new collections are funded by a HARC grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museums Commission. In addition to being in PA Photos and Documents, they will eventually be harvested into the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).


We've resumed our on-site Friday Story Hours, while still providing two Virtual Story Times online each month. I also made visits to Head Start classes in the Meyersdale, Salisbury, Rockwood Area, and Berlin Brothersvalley school districts. Each child received a book to keep. Information was provided for families about the library and the importance of early literacy.


We are offering a series of Community Conversation programs for Mental Health Awareness

Month. These programs and additions on the subject to our library collection are supported by a Libraries Transforming Communities* grant.

  • On Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m., we will show the documentary The Forgotten Battalion, followed by a discussion of veterans’ issues such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and transitioning back to civilian life. The documentary “follows the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment (2/7), one of the toughest and hardest hit during their tour in Afghanistan.” According to a 2015 article in Psychiatric Times, by 2014 the 2/7 Marines were killing themselves at 4 times the rate for young male vets-and at 14 times that of the general population. The documentary relates how a number of veterans from this battalion are meeting together to try to address the issues of readjustment and PTSD.

  • Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m., is our book discussion of Brene Brown’s bestselling Gifts of Imperfection: 10th Anniversary Edition. This bestselling book, recommended by business consultants and mental health practitioners alike, encourages mental well-being through authenticity -- which means being true to yourself and who you are. Copies are available at the library.

  • On Thursday, May 19, we are planning a discussion for high school youth, centered on the first chapter of the book (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health.

  • Looking ahead to June, on the afternoon of Thursday, June 16 at 2 p.m., we'll hold a session for older adults. The "golden years" aren't always golden. We all face fresh challenges as we age. Join us for a discussion of the mental health issues associated with aging, and how to best care for our mental and emotional well-being.

We are eagerly planning for summer. A three-day basic robotics and electronics STEM camp is planned for June 27, 28, 29 (with a lunch included). Our annual Summer Quest program for children age 2-11 will be held on Friday mornings between July 8 and August 5. This year's theme is Oceans of Possibilities. We will also hold our usual summer reading challenges for teens and adults.


*Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

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