Use the Library to Meet Your New Year’s Resolutions

by Beth Cronk, County Librarian

Have you been thinking about your New Year’s resolutions? According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, about a third of Americans typically set a resolution or goal for the coming year.  USA Today newspaper has shared statistics from Statista, a German data gathering company, showing that Americans’ top New Year’s resolutions for 2024 are saving money, exercising more, eating healthier, spending more time with family and friends, and losing weight.

The public library is a great resource if you want to reduce your spending, even while pursuing some of the other goals on that list.

Instead of buying all of the books you read, or having an Audible subscription, you can check out a vast range of them from the library. The same is true for movies. If we don’t have a print book or a movie on DVD in our local library, you can order those from libraries all over the state of Minnesota. Children’s books and children’s DVDs don’t have late fees anymore; as long as you return them, you won’t even have the expense of fines for those unless they’re damaged.

Want to save money by dropping your streaming service or cable TV? While many streaming TV shows aren’t available on DVD, some are. Take a look in the library catalog to find out if we have the show you want to watch.

If you need to save money on subscriptions, you can visit the library to read local and regional newspapers and check out magazines. Our library system also has a large collection of magazines available on the Libby e-book platform.

Library programs are always free to attend. You can find free entertainment and education by attending storytimes, teen programs, book clubs, LEGO programs, knitting clubs, craft programs, science programs, and author events at the library. Some library craft programs are offered through free take-home kits. Attending library programs with your loved ones can help you meet your goal of spending time with family and friends!

Our library system offers free access to Creativebug, an arts and crafts instructional website. If your resolutions include pursuing your hobbies or learning new skills, this can be a way to try something new without having to pay for a class.

Technology is expensive. If you want to save on your data usage on your cell phone or home internet, you can come to the library to use the free wi-fi. It even works from the parking lot. We also loan hotspots so that you can have free wi-fi at home for 4 weeks, although these days there is a long wait for those. The library has laptops available to check out for four weeks, plus desktop computers for use at the library – both good ways to have a computer to use without having to buy one. It’s also inexpensive to print at the Cosmos Library: just ten cents per page for black and white prints or copies and fifty cents per page for color. Compared to buying ink cartridges, it can be a good deal.

If your goals include exercise and fitness, you can find books about those topics at the library, as well as workout videos. An enormous selection of cookbooks is available to check out, including many featuring healthy recipes.

If you visit the I Love Libraries calculator website at ilovelibraries.org/what-libraries-do/calculator, you can enter the number of books and movies you have checked out this year, as well as other library services you have used, to get an estimate of how much you saved by using the public library this year. Take good care of your finances, your health, and your general wellbeing by making the library a part of your new year.

Top Checkouts of 2023

Here are the most checked-out titles in the Pioneerland Library System in 2023:

Adult Fiction

Storm watch / C.J. Box.

Dark angel / John Sandford.

Fox Creek / William Kent Krueger

Simply lies / David Baldacci.

Someone else’s shoes / Jojo Moyes.

3 days to live / James Patterson.

Heart bones / Colleen Hoover.

Identity / Nora Roberts.

The five-star weekend / Elin Hilderbrand.

I will find you / Harlan Coben.

 

Adult Nonfiction

Spare / Prince Harry.

Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI / David Grann.

Dear Jacob : a mother’s journey of hope / Patty Wetterling with Joy Baker.

Walk the blue line / James Patterson with Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney.

The light we carry : overcoming in uncertain times / Michelle Obama.

The Wager : a tale of shipwreck, mutiny and murder / David Grann.

Friends, lovers, and the big terrible thing : a memoir / Matthew Perry.

I’m glad my mom died / Jennette McCurdy.

Atomic habits : tiny changes, remarkable results : an easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones / James Clear.

Never give up : a prairie family’s story / by Tom Brokaw.

 

Easy Fiction

The pigeon has to go to school! / words and pictures by Mo Willems.

The pigeon will ride the roller coaster! / words and pictures by Mo Willems.

Creepy crayon! / Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Peter Brown.

Sour Grape / Jory John ; illustrated by Pete Oswald.

Little Blue Truck makes a friend / Alice Schertle ; illustrated in the style of Jill McElmurry by John Joseph.

The duckling gets a cookie!? / words and picture by Mo Willems.

The smart cookie / written by Jory John ; illustrated by Pete Oswald.

Creepy pair of underwear! / words, Aaron Reynolds ; pictures, Peter Brown.

Itty-bitty kitty-corn / Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham.

Should I share my ice cream? / by Mo Willems.

 

Juvenile Fiction

Dog Man. Vol. 11 : Twenty thousand fleas under the sea / written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.

Cat kid comic club. Vol. 4 : Collaborations / words, illustrations, and artwork by Dav Pilkey.

Dog man. Mothering heights / written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.

Dog man : grime and punishment / written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.

Dog man : Lord of the fleas / written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.

Dog Man : brawl of the wild / written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.

Diary of a wimpy kid : diper överlöde / by Jeff Kinney.

Cat Kid comic club. Vol. 2 : Perspectives / written, illustrated, and colored by Dav Pilkey.

Cat Kid comic club. Vol. 3 : On purpose / words, illustrations, and artwork by Dav Pilkey.

Dog Man unleashed / written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.

 

Young Adult Fiction

Bleach / story and art by Tite Kubo.

The ballad of songbirds and snakes / Suzanne Collins.

A court of thorns and roses / Sarah J. Maas.

One piece / story and art by Eiichiro Oda.

One of us is lying / Karen M. McManus.

A good girl’s guide to murder / Holly Jackson.

Attack on Titan / Hajime Isayama.

We’ll always have summer : a summer novel / Jenny Han.

The summer I turned pretty / Jenny Han.

Hunter x hunter / story & art by Yoshihiro Togashi.

 

Top Juvenile Nonfiction

Guts / Raina Telgemeier ; with color by Braden Lamb

Smile / Raina Telgemeier

Sisters / Raina Telgemeier ; with color by Braden Lamb

Lego awesome ideas / Daniel Lipkowitz

Minecraft. Guide to combat / written by Craig Jelley ; illustrations by Ryan Marsh

Minecraft : guide to survival / written by Thomas McBrien ; additional illustrations by Kate Bieriezjanczuk

Bomb : graphic novel : the race to build–and steal–the world’s most dangerous weapon / written by Steve Sheinkin

The big book of LEGO facts / written by Simon Hugo

Eyewitness shark / written by Miranda MacQuitty

National Geographic kids almanac 2023

 

Top DVD

A man called Otto

Top gun. Maverick

The Super Mario Bros. movie

Avatar: the way of water

80 for Brady

The whale

Paw patrol : the movie

Black Panther, Wakanda forever

Shazam! : fury of the gods

Where the crawdads sing

WASO Music Program for Children

Families, mark your calendars for a fun music event at the library! A small group from the Willmar Area Symphony Orchestra will be at the Cosmos Library to perform some music and show the kids an instrument petting zoo! This short program will take place in the community room on Saturday, February 24, at 10:00 a.m. It’s a great chance to show young kids how musical instruments work. Free to attend, and no need to sign up.
Interested in attending, but the time is wrong for you? You can attend the same program later that day; they’ll be at Dassel Library at 1:00 p.m. and at Litchfield Library at 3:30 p.m. You can also catch this program at Grove City Library on Thursday, February 29, at 6:30 p.m.

Winter Reads 2024

Adults, are you ready to challenge yourselves to read this winter? Sign up now to participate in the library’s self-paced Adult Winter Reading Program, which runs through Saturday, March 16.

It’s okay to sign up any time, even as late as early March, if you don’t get to the library until then. The books you read count toward the program beginning the day you sign up; the earlier you register, the more weeks you have to meet the goals.

When you sign up, you’ll get a free book bag (while supplies last) and a reading log to keep track of the books you read. You can read fiction or nonfiction, old or new, library books or your own, print, e-books, or audiobooks – it’s all your choice!

Once you have read and rated three books, bring your reading log back to the library so that you can choose a small prize. If you read three more by March 16, bring it back in to choose an additional prize. The program can’t be repeated this year once completed.

Prize choices this year are mugs, booklights, pizza cutters, extra-large candy bars, notepads, and can coolers. The range of options will be available while supplies last.

Cosmos Creation Club

Cosmos Creation Club will continue to build with Legos at the library every month. The program meets in the library from 2-3 p.m. on Mondays: January 22, February 26, March 19, April 16, and May 21.

Kids ages 5 through 18 are welcome to attend. Children ages 5-7 will need a parent or caregiver at least 12 years old to attend with them. No need to sign up or bring anything.

Cosmos Library News, January 2024

Adults, are you ready to challenge yourselves to read this winter? The Adult Winter Reading Program begins on Tuesday, January 2. That’s the first day that library users can sign up to participate in the library’s self-paced program, which runs through Saturday, March 16.

It’s okay to sign up any time, even as late as early March, if you don’t get to the library until then. The books you read count toward the program beginning the day you sign up; the earlier you register, the more weeks you have to meet the goals.

When you sign up, you’ll get a free book bag (while supplies last) and a reading log to keep track of the books you read. You can read fiction or nonfiction, old or new, library books or your own, print, e-books, or audiobooks – it’s all your choice!

Once you have read and rated three books, bring your reading log back to the library so that you can choose a small prize. If you read three more by March 16, bring it back in to choose an additional prize. The program can’t be repeated this year once completed.

Prize choices this year are mugs, booklights, pizza cutters, extra-large candy bars, notepads, and can coolers. The range of options will be available while supplies last.

For the kids, the Cosmos Creation Club will continue to build with Legos at the library every month. The week has changed: it will now take place on the 3rd Monday of every month from 2-3 p.m. Kids ages 5 through 18 are welcome to attend. Children ages 5-7 will need a parent or caregiver at least 12 years old to attend with them. No need to sign up or bring anything.

Cosmos Library will be closed on Monday, January 1, for New Year’s Day, and on Monday, January 15, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Cosmos Library hours are Mondays 10-5, Tuesdays 2-5, Thursdays 2-6, Fridays 2-5, and Saturdays 10-1.

Books to Watch

by Beth Cronk, Meeker County Librarian

The book was better! This is something people often say when they watch a movie or TV adaptation of a book. If you’d like to read the book before watching a movie or TV show that’s coming out this year – or after watching it – Cosmos Public Library has these books available:

The Other Black Girl is a thriller by Zakiya Dalila Harris that was published in 2021.  The TV show based on the novel is currently streaming on Hulu.

Lessons in Chemistry is a wildly-popular novel by Bonnie Garmus. The TV series is currently streaming on Apple TV+. The hype about this book hasn’t died down yet, even though it was published last year, so you may have to get on a waiting list to check it out.

All the Light We Cannot See won Anthony Doerr the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015. The Netflix miniseries based on this historical novel will come out in November.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016. The Netflix documentary film will be released in November.

The Eye of the World is the first book in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, a long-running fantasy series. The second season of The Wheel of Time TV series came out this fall to stream on Prime Video.

The Goosebumps horror series by R.L.  Stine has been a favorite of kids for decades. The Goosebumps TV series is currently available on Disney + and Hulu. Cosmos Library has several of these novels available to check out.

The Color Purple is a 1982 novel by Alice Walker that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was made into a movie in 1985. A stage musical based on the book and the movie opened on Broadway in 2005. Now a movie based on the musical will be coming to theaters on Christmas Day.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is the name of a six-book kids’ series by Rick Riordan. Disney + will be releasing a TV series by the same name in December. All five original books in this fun fantasy series from the early 2000s are available at the Cosmos Library.

Leave the World Behind is a thriller by Rumaan Alam. The movie based on the 2020 novel will get a limited release in theaters in November, then it will stream on Netflix in December.

Interlibrary loan service is available at no charge to borrow items from other libraries, so talk to library staff or check the catalog for books and DVDs you’d like to find but that aren’t available at the Cosmos Library.

The library will be closed on Saturday, November 11, for Veterans Day, and on Thursday, November 23, for Thanksgiving.

Cosmos Library’s regular hours are Mondays 10-5, Tuesdays 2-5, Thursdays 2-6, Fridays 2-5, and Saturdays 10-1. Visit the website at www.cosmos.lib.mn.us or the library’s Facebook page for library updates.

Creativebug Craft Instruction Available Through Library

Are you looking for some creative inspiration this fall? Pioneerland Library System offers access to Creativebug, a website with thousands of award-winning art and craft video classes. This service is provided by Prairielands Library Exchange, an organization that exists to help support public and school libraries in southwestern Minnesota. We are excited that our library users can use their library cards to access these online classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.

You can find the link to Creativebug on the left bar of the Pioneerland website or the Cosmos Library website: www.cosmos.lib.mn.us.

Once you have entered your library card number, the site will prompt you to create an account. Through your account, you can keep track of where you left off in a class and which videos you have watched, and you can be notified of new classes on topics you’re interested in. You can even upload photos of your own projects to share, if you’d like.

Class topics include art and design, sewing, quilting, paper, knitting, crochet, food and home, jewelry, holiday and party, and kids.

One interesting feature the website offers is daily practice. Intended to be a way to challenge yourself to a month of making, the website offers 30-day prompts for daily art practice. There are over 60 daily practice series to choose from, such as hand stitching, watercolor and colored pencil, bookmaking, and rubber stamp carving.

Beyond the video classes, the Creativebug website also offers downloadable knitting and crochet patterns.

New classes are being added to the website all the time. Recent classes are titled “Embroidered Pencil Case,” “Love Letter Quilt Top,” and “Crochet Edges for Garments.” Upcoming classes include “Accordion Book as Art Form” and “Professional Illustration 101.”

If video classes aren’t your thing but you enjoy art or crafting, you can choose from a wide variety of books in the library to learn more. The Cosmos Library collection has many books on arts and crafts, including a wide range from whittling to origami and from painting to quilting.

Crafting and art have many benefits: they can reduce stress, improve mood, and reduce cognitive decline, as the activity brings you into a focused, almost meditative state. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist or crafter, the library can be a resource for your creativity.

Curbside Service

Cosmos Library will offer curbside service indefinitely. Call the library at the number on the sign, 320-440-1012, if you’d like your materials brought outside. Have your library card number ready.

Library staff can hand your bag of library materials to you on the sidewalk or bring it to your vehicle parked in the parking lot behind the library. Let us know where you’d like us to bring it when you call.

Curbside service may be useful if you have mobility issues or a sleeping child in the car, or because of illness. Regardless of your reason, you are welcome to use the service!

FAQ

by Beth Cronk, Meeker County Librarian

Here are some useful facts about the library in a Frequently Asked Questions format. I hope you learn a little something you didn’t know before!

How much does it cost to get a library card?
A library card is free! It’s part of the public services available to you as a resident of Minnesota. Once you have a library card, it’s also free to check out anything in the library collection, both ebooks and physical items. If you had a library card and it’s lost, there is a $3 charge for a replacement card.

How many books are in the Cosmos Public Library?
The Cosmos Library has about 10,000 books. It also has about 1,500 DVDs and about 400 CDs.

What if I want to check out something that the Cosmos Library doesn’t have?
You can request things from other libraries in the Pioneerland Library System, which has a collection of about 620,000 physical items. If Pioneerland doesn’t have something, you can often request it from another library in Minnesota, using the MNLINK catalog. You can search both the Pioneerland and MNLINK catalogs online and request things yourself, or library staff can help you and place those requests.

Does it cost money to order things from other libraries?
No, the service is free to you as part of the interlibrary loan network in place in Minnesota. Our state is outstanding at providing access to library materials! Cosmos Library gets two deliveries of those interlibrary loan materials each week.

How long can I keep a book?
Most books are loaned for four weeks. Some bestsellers are limited to just two weeks while they’re new; you’ll recognize these by the sticker on the spine that says “14 day loan.”

How long can I keep a DVD I’ve checked out?
DVDs are now loaned for two weeks.

Can I check out magazines?

Yes, magazines can be checked out for two weeks.

A book I checked out had a due date coming up soon, but now I found out that it’s not really due for a few more weeks. What happened?

Automatic renewals! This is a brand-new service our library system is offering. If no one has a hold on an item that you have checked out, and you haven’t renewed it before, the library’s computer system will automatically renew it for you once, three days before its due date. If you are signed up for email updates about your account, you’ll be notified by email when those renewals happen and when you have items that will be due soon.

I’m late returning a library item. How much will I be charged?

There is a charge of ten cents per day for late items, although there is a three-day grace period before those start being charged. Materials for children and teens no longer have late fees. If your item is a month overdue, you’ll get a bill for the replacement of that item. If that happens, once you return the item the charge will drop to a $3 late fee (or to $0 for materials from the kids’ section). If an item is damaged or lost, talk to library staff about how you can resolve that charge.

Can I use my library card in other libraries?

Yes, you can. Your Pioneerland library card will work in all libraries in the system. Our system stretches from Graceville to Glencoe and from Canby to Dassel. If you want to use a different library system in Minnesota, you can do that, too. Bring your card to them, and they will help you register as a reciprocal borrower in their system.

If you have more questions, stop in or call the library, and we’ll be happy to answer them.

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