Monday, December 21, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015

It's hard to believe that 2015 is coming to a close. It has already been over a year since my family moved to Sleepy Eye, and found ourselves in a new life.

The library has become another place that we consider home, and additions to our family have blossomed from the staff. We are so thankful to have them in our lives!

This time last year we were in the planning stages of the 'switch-up' that we executed over New Year's Eve into the early hours of New Year's Day. Many people were surprised, to say the least, when they entered the library for the first time in 2015 and saw the changes.

You may have heard the saying, that "what you are doing as the New Year begins is what you will be doing for most of the year" rang true for us!

Storytime has been an amazing hit since the start in February, and we are not slowing down in the coming year! Every Friday at 10 am, I welcome children of all ages to come in for a few stories! Our total attendance for the year was 750!

Clubs have been a trial and error process trying to figure out just what our Sleepy Eye youth are into, but as we close the year out we have found that Art and Lego Clubs are what work the best! Both clubs are for children ages 5 and up and occur on the 1st Wednesday (Art) and 3rd Wednesday (Lego) of every month! Over the entire year, we have had an attendance total of 150 to our clubs!

Movie Night has been a fun addition to our monthly events this year! We have watched Monster University, Frozen, Paddington, Big Hero 6, Home, Wreck It Ralph, Star Wars, Inside Out, and quite a few others! The new year will hold more movies! Typically we hold movie night on the last friday of each month with the show starting at 6 pm! We serve popcorn and punch! As always, the entire event is free of charge and all ages are welcome! Our total 2015 Movie Night attendance was 165!

Summer Reading Program was themed Every Hero Has A Story, and we put on a weekly program that involved stories, charities, activities, playing, movies, and even crafts! Our total SRP attendance was over 300! Next years program is already in the works with the theme 'On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!'

During the summer program, we went with the Hero theme and did quite a few donation collections. Those included Children's Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota, Lions Club, Capes 4 Kids, Project Linus, Sleepy Eye Food Shelf, Brown County Humane Society, United Way Backpack Project, and Operation Paperback. We had an amazing response from the kids as well as the general public and plan on doing them again throughout 2016!

We had author James Rains, as well as local author Michael Wellner speak here at the library this year! We hope to increase our author visits, especially local authors, in the upcoming year!

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone for taking advantage of the various events that we put on this year! Some of the events that were very popular include the Easter Egg Hunt, the Sleepy Eye Police Program, our Story Walk in South Park, Music by Justin Roberts, and the Pockets-Full-of-Fun Puppet Show! We hope to have another successful year of events!

So here's to 2015! A year to remember!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


We have an official website! After a looooong hiatus without one, it is finally online! I spent the end of last week through the beginning of this one getting it updated and full of important information! Our new web address is! The website will be updated as often as needed, but for more live action be sure to like our Facebook page!

I am happy to report that our Give. Take. Help box is getting well used! New things are appearing just as quickly as they are disappearing! If you don't know what I mean by Give. Take. Help go back to the post I wrote about it by CLICKING HERE!

If you have been into the library, I'm sure you've noticed that we are looking a little bare since taking down all of our Halloween decorations! We don't have much in the way of Thanksgiving/Fall decor, so if you have some you are willing to donate we would be happy to accept it, as well the items on the following list! A HUGE 'THANK YOU!' to the patrons who have recently donated! Your generosity will indeed benefit the library and the community!

Another thing you may, or may not, have noticed is that the used bookstore is back downstairs in the room immediately to the left when you enter the libray. (Previously Mr. Kelton's office.) The upstairs area will be playing a large role in the 2016 Summer Reading Program - On your mark, Get set, READ! The SRP is already in the planning stages for next year, and I am looking forward seeing all the kids again when summer arrives!

Movie Night is only a couple days away! We will be showing Inside Out on Friday, November 20th at 6 pm! There is no cost to attend, as always, and we will be serving popcorn and punch! Everyone is welcome to join us!

Lego club is being permanently moved to the 3rd Wednesdays of each month. There will be a monthly reminder on Facebook.

We hope the weathers turning cold doesn't stop you from getting into the library! It's easy to stay warm when you have a good book.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Goodbye October!

Well, its time to put away the costumes, and take down the spooky decor. Our October was full of fun, and we hope yours was too! I am already thinking ahead to next year, and am excited to plan more Halloween antics!

November is going to be celebrated with NaNoWriMo, here at the library! If you didn't read about it in my previous post, you should really go back and do that! Follow this link ---> Want To Be A Writer

If you are interested in participating in NaNoWriMo, go here to get started --> NaNoWriMo Website.
When you are all signed up, come into the library during our Write In hours, which are Mondays 6-8 PM and Thursdays 1-3 PM! We will all be working on our novels together! Maybe you can't make it in during Write In times, that's ok! You are welcome to utilize the library space anytime we are open!

This November I have themed all my storytimes with Thanksgiving. My weekly themes are FAMILY, PILGRIMS, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (The Friday after Thanksgiving there will be no storytime!)

A few people have asked, and we have just gotten the go ahead from the director. We will be doing FOOD FOR FINES all November long! Bring in non-perishable food items, and we will take $1 off your fines per item! DO NOT bring expired items!

Don't forget to clean out your closets in search of unneeded winter clothes! If you find some bring them in and drop them in our GIVE. TAKE. HELP. box, which is located in our entry way! Be sure to take anything you can use out of the box, before you head back out into the cold!

There is a new donation list out, updated with items that we will be accepting over the holiday season! We also have a November events list printed up and ready to take so you don't miss out on anything! There is a reminder that we will be CLOSED on November 11th and 26th! Come pick up both lists at our front desk!

For our November Movie Night we are going to be showing Inside Out! With the holidays, our movie nights are a bit different. Movie Night is going to be on November 20th! Showtime is at 6 PM! We hope you can come enjoy some popcorn and punch! As always, our events are FREE!

So... Goodbye, October! I look forward to your return.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Dyckman Library is going to help our community STAY WARM THIS WINTER! We are hosting, if you will, a GIVE. TAKE. HELP. collection in our entry way! You may be thinking to yourself... what is she babbling about? Let me explain!

As I was going through our 'Hat Box' as I call it, I was sorting out tiny hats, and gloves that no longer fit my daughter. What am I going to do with these? I thought about donating them, but why make someone pay for something I want them to HAVE! An idea came to me, and I discussed it with my fellow librarians!

We are going to have a large box in the library entry way, and while you are digging out the winter necessities, which I am sure will be very soon, if you come across anything your family doesn't need anymore, bring it to the library and put it in the box! Give clean coats, gloves, hats, or scarfs! Just bring them in, and drop them off!

While you are dropping off the items you no longer need, you may arrive to see a few items already in the box that you could use! TAKE them! Don't have anything to give, but you could still use that hat and gloves? TAKE them! PLEASE! If they are needed, they are yours! Maybe you could REALLY use something, but you don't see it in the box. There will be a clipboard that you can write down any specific items that you really need. No names required. Write it down, and come check back to see if someone brought it. When/If you do get your requested item, cross it off the list!

Maybe you don't have anything to give, and you don't need to take anything to stay warm this winter! Do you still want to HELP make a difference? GREAT! Bring Fleece fabric to the circulation desk! I am going to be making hats to add to the box, and your help with the purchase of material would be very helpful!

GIVE what you don't need anymore! TAKE what you and your family need! HELP if you can!


It really is that simple.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Furniture!

We collected enough donations to get a set of love seats! One is located in the Young Adult Corner, as pictured, and the other is in the Non-Fiction Corner next to a 'Recommended Reading' shelf that we have put together! Thank you to everyone who donated! The Teen corner is now significantly more comfortable!

For anyone who didn't get a chance to donate, but would still like to do so, we are ALWAYS taking donations! For the rest of this month, we are in need of CANDY donations for the Halloween Movie Mania, as well as for trick-or-treaters! We also have a 'Needed Donations' list here at the library, that we keep as updated as possible!

Don't forget about storytime every friday at 10 am! This month, kids are welcome, and encouraged, to wear their costume to all storytimes! If they do, they get a prize!

Our Halloween Movie Mania is on Halloween Day! There will be a movie starting every other hour starting at Noon! You can stop in for one movie, or stay for the whole event! The event is FREE of charge! We will be serving popcorn and punch, and if you wear your costume, you'll get some candy as well! Trick-Or-Treaters are welcome to stop by!

If you haven't had a chance already, come check out our Halloween decorations! Take a second to peek upstairs as well! While your at it, keep an eye open for that troublesome pumpkin man, Jack O. Lantern! He is still on the loose!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


IT IS OCTOBER! And I am already getting into the Halloween Spirit! (As promised!)

We have had a few people bring in donations (Thank you to them!), but we are a ways off from having a Haunted Library! I have the 'Needed Donations' posted and pinned to the top of our Facebook page, but just to remind everyone, we are looking for Halloween Decorations, Party Supplies, Halloween toys/trinkets, and CANDY!!! If you have any questions about if we will accept something, don't be afraid to stop in, call, or comment on this post!

We have a pumpkin man on the loose in the library! If the kids find him, they can bring him to the librarian and will get to pick something from our prize bucket! If you want to see a mug shot, check our Facebook page, or the WANTED posters that are up around the library!

Our itty-bitty sticker dish has been switched out for a friendly Jack-O-Lantern! He is filled with stickers, and the kids are welcome to one at each visit to the library! Keep in mind for those that attend Storytime, I give out a special sticker to go with the stories theme!

Speaking of Storytime! *CAcKLe, caCklE* Storytime is every Friday at 10 am, and all ages are welcome! This months themes are Monsters, Witches & Wizards, Spookable, Costumes & Candy, and Happy Halloween! Kids that wear a costume to ANY of our Storytimes this month will get a small prize, as well as good use out of their costume!

All month long, we are going to be having a coloring contest! We have 4 levels, for Toddlers all the way up to adults! You can pick up a coloring page any time, as long as you have it turned in BEFORE Halloween! We will announce the winners during the Halloween Movie Mania!

Movie Night this month is on SATURDAY, October 31st, and is being dubbed our 'Halloween Movie Mania'! We will be showing 4 movies! As ALWAYS everything is FREE! Admission, Popcorn, and Punch! At Noon, we start with 'Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie' for the little tykes, as well as the Winnie the Pooh fans out there! 2 PM brings Hotel Transylvania, followed by ParaNorman at 4 PM! And ending the night, with a movie for Teens & Adults, Dark Shadows at 6 PM!

Trick-Or-Treaters are welcome all through the afternoon on Halloween!And we will also give out candy to those who attend the Halloween Movie Mania, in costume!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Haunted Library

My favorite holiday is coming up soon, and I'm sure you can tell by today's blog title what it is. Halloween!

This year, I am in a unique place to celebrate... the library. I have lots of plans already in the works, but I will need a little assistance from the community of Sleepy Eye! We are always accepting donations, but in particular we will be in need of the following to make the month of October extra spooky: Halloween Decorations, Party Supplies, and most of all CANDY! If you have any questions about if we will accept something, don't be afraid to stop in, call, or comment on this post!

First off, there will be tons of Halloween Stickers to go around!! We have a sticker bowl at the circulations desk, and children are welcome to take one every time they visit the library!

All of my storytime themes during October will be Halloween themed, and all children attending are welcome to dress in costume, relating to the theme or not! I have a scary prize for each child who does! *CAcKLe, caCklE* By the way, after each storytime activity, I give out a sticker! Storytime is every Friday at 10 am, and all ages are welcome!

Movie Night is USUALLY the last Friday of every month, BUT Halloween this year is on the last SATURDAY, and I am going to take FULL advantage. We will be hosting a 'HALLOWEEN MOVIE MANIA"! Buh, Buh, BUuUuUuh! 4 MOVIES! Starting every other hour at Noon! Movie #1 will be rated G. Movie #2+3 will be rated PG. Movie #4 will be rated PG-13. This way we have a movie for EVERYONE! No doubt about it! You will be seeing more about this event as it draws near, so be sure to watch our Facebook page!

So in the spirit of taking full advantage of Halloween, Saturday we plan on turning the old part of the library into a 'Haunted Library'! (That is were donations will be needed most!) We will have candy for trick-or-treating, and snacks and treats for our Movie Mania attendees!

We want to offer the community a safe, family friendly Halloween option that is also full of spooky fun!

See you on Halloween................. Mwahahahahah!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Want To Be A Writer

So I have to admit, my favorite class in school was always Math. My senior year of high school can attest to this! I took 3 Math classes, all of which were year long courses, and only 1 was an actual required credit, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable!

If I'm going to be completely honest, I always dreaded walking into English, the course that is required EVERY year of high school. Now don't get me wrong, I love to read, but out of all the books that we were required to read, I only finished ONE! (It was Whirligig by Paul Fleischman) But it wasn't just the uninteresting reading that got me down, we then had to WRITE about the uninteresting books as well.

I always thought my mom and sisters were crazy. They were always writing, filling notebook upon notebook with stories. Why in the world would they find that fun? Each of them have tote boxes (Yes, I mean that as the plural.) FILLED with notebooks. I don't know if they are all different stories, related stories, or what, but they are there. Evidence of each of their imaginations, and love for writing, fill those notebooks. My sisters have traded in the notebooks (most of the time), for laptops, and tote boxes for external hard drives, but when I see my mom write, she still has a handy-dandy notebook!

At the beginning of this year, I thought of a story. It wasn't the first story I have ever though of, but this time was different. I have a passion for this story. I started writing, each new idea popping up faster than I could type. When I needed encouragement to keep at it, I joined Camp NaNoWriMo. (A suggestion from my sister, who has actively been participating with the organization for many years.)

So now I have a book, which I am currently editing, and I plan to self publish. Its geared towards young adults, and the Lewis Carroll fan club. It wont be my last!

I will explain the blog title a little better, for those of you who do indeed, WANT TO BE A WRITER. But first, there are probably a few of you who read 'NaNoWriMo' and said, HUH? (This stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is November.) This is a "fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing." Starting November 1st, all participants start working on the goal of writing 50,000 words (A Novel) by November 30th. Visit there website to find out more about it -->

This year I have registered our library for the 'Come Write-In' program. This program connects libraries, bookstores, and other community spaces with local NaNoWriMo participants, helping build writing communities!

So... Do you? Want to be a writer, I mean. You can sign up at, and watch for postings about our Write-In events here, at the library, and on our facebook page!

If you have any questions, comment here on the blog or stop in and ask! I am looking forward to an eventful November!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Looking Forward!

It's almost autumn, but it seems like we were just spending our New Years Eve giving the Dyckman Library a makeover, and you should know that we aren't done yet!

We are adding an additional station to our public computers, very soon! Our average daily computer usage is 7+ hours per day, and many days we have all 4 computer stations filled, multiple times a day. We know adding another station will give those too shy to ask for a computer, when they see them all in use, a better chance at getting the resources they need!

A few (probably very few of you) may have noticed that our children's computer is no longer set up in the children's room. The Children's Explorer Computer had very little usage, and limited activities. It was also bulky, and took up as much room as a bookshelf! When we moved it, we replaced the empty space with a bookshelf to display the New Junior Books, as well as Junior's Graphic Novels, Audio Books, and Magazines!

We are in the process of setting up a children's iPad station instead, intended for ages 7 and under. It will be equipped with games that target learning and some that are just for fun! The iPad will not be to "check out", it will remain in the activity table at all times. Each child is welcome to play for 30 minutes, and then we ask that you allow another child(family) to have a turn. Our children's iPad will not be connected to the internet, but we ask that any use of the iPad be supervised by a parent, or responsible adult. Abuse of the activity table, or iPad will be cause for it's removal, so please respect the library, staff, and all it's property.

The Young Adult Corner is in need of a furniture makeover! When we gave the teens their own area, we threw together a few pieces and said "Good enough, for now!". NOW, we are raising funds for new furniture to really finish off the area, and make it welcoming and COMFORTABLE! Our goal (for a new double and single chair) is $1500, and you can help us out by going to! You will also see a widget to the right, with the direct link to our campaign.

We will keep striving to make Dyckman Free Library the best that it can be and thank everyone who supports us!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Starting A Blog/Reading Pete Hautman

Allysa here! (Librarian at Dyckman Free Library!) This is my first post on the Dyckman Library Young Adult Book Blog! I wanted a place where I can talk about what books I have been reading, and even what is going on here at the library, so I hope that I am not the only one who will ever read these!

I'm not sure how often I will post, but I'm sure they will be shared on our Facebook page whenever I do! So be sure to like our page by going here -->

For anyone who doesn't know the name Pete Hautman, which is unfortunate for you, he is a National Award winning author, as well as a Minnesota Book Award winner (a few times over!) If you want to know more about Pete Hautman, himself, go here. -->

The first time I read one of Hautman's books, I was in a Young Adult book club in Augusta, WI. We were given the book Godless, and I read its entirety that same night. The story was captivating, and when i was done reading, I wanted to read more of Hautmans work. So next I picked up the book Invisible. It was the same. Another story that hit me right in the feels.

So keep in mind, when I was in YA Book club I was probably 15ish years old.

A few weeks ago, I had the 2016 Summer Reading Program on my mind. Our theme next year is Health & Wellness. This is a hard theme to encourage through books in the YA genre. Mainly, I suppose, because no teenager is going to want to read a 300 page novel about So&So's first visit to the dentist, as we can easily find in picture books for children. So I began thinking outside of the box. A type of wellness that many people don't think about too often, is mental wellness. Then my mind went to Godless and Invisible, both of which dabble in mental health, or recovering mental health, and I said to myself, "Now there is an author that I haven't thought of in a long time!"

So I did what any librarian would have and requested a few books by Pete Hautman, that I have not yet read, as well as Godless and Invisible. When they came in a few days later, I scanned through them, and remembered the ups and downs of the story. It didn't take much scanning to remember the stories clearly! Then I sat down with a new (to me) novel.

Rash by Pete Hautman

I am now 25 years old, and reading the story was just as exciting now as i remember it being 10 years ago. Rash takes place in the far future. In the USSA (United Safer States of America), Bo, is a teenager who can't seem to stay out of trouble. He loses his head over a girl, and ends up "Running like there is a bear on his a**" (<--- that is a quote from the book, I couldn't make this stuff up!)

Who would like this book? Anyone! Especially if you like any of the following: Futuristic, Artificial Intelligence, Sports, Male Leads, Mental Health, and even Dysfunctional Families.

In summary, Pete Hautman is an amazing writer for Teens and Adults alike!