Wood Carving Demo

April 5, 2024

Expert woodcarver Matthew Johnson of M.L. Johnson Woodworks will bring his hand tools and several types of wood to demonstrate how to hand carve spoons. All are welcome to come watch, but the demonstration will be of particular interest to those who would like to try this art in both the May 22 and 23 classes Johnson will lead at the library. See calendar entries for more details.

Blog: Sloyd, or the art of spoon carving

December 4, 2023

  By Bobby Fiedler, Library Director I started woodworking as a hobby in 2009. In my job as a librarian, I spend a lot of time at the computer screen using technology for a variety of tasks. I’ve always been interested in technology and the ways that it can be used to accomplish any number of things, let alone the ability to connect to people and access and share information from all corners of the globe. But I also immensely enjoy working with my hands to create utilitarian, real-world objects. Enter woodworking. When most people think of a woodshop, they...

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Blog: The essence of the library’s purpose shines through in tragic times

October 2, 2023

Betty Collins Children’s Librarian The story I want to relate for this month’s blog did not take place in Muscatine, but in a public library I worked at in the San Francisco Bay Area back in September of 2001. This story is from September 12, 2001, to be exact. Like that of many other Americans, my sleep had been troubled the previous night because of the tragedies in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. I had always pictured the map of the United States smiling–not unlike the illustrations in picture book author Holly Keller’s Scrambled States of America–but now it...

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What I’m excited about right now: Backyard bird feeding and the fall migration

September 1, 2023

Rod Peck Library Technician I’ve always enjoyed bird watching, and when my wife and I bought a house with a bigger back yard, I was setting up bird feeders even before we had the furniture all arranged. While this has definitely been a fun and rewarding venture for us both, I have learned some lessons that I feel compelled to share at this time.  While we have had many beauties like Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, five different species of woodpeckers and numerous others, we haven’t had quite the variety of birds I expected. What we have had droves of are...

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What I’m excited about right now: My ‘aha’ moment with Toxic Positivity

May 2, 2023

Kathy Kuhl Marketing & PR Coordinator Recently I found myself stunned into silence by a friend who declined to share her troubles with me, instead making veiled references to them. I couldn’t put my finger on why this bothered me. At the time, we just changed the subject. Long ago, I felt I “dumbly” listened to a friend as she cried to me upon being diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt uneasy about my lack of advice, but after her first two years of remission, I was one of the few people with whom she stayed friends. I had no words for...

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What I’m excited about right now: Celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare

March 29, 2023

April is an important month to the literary world. It is recognized as National Poetry Month and includes National Library Week  (April 24-28) which gives us a lot to celebrate. Additionally, fans of literature also recognize the birthday of one of the world’s most famous and influential writers. April 23 is known to be the date of William Shakespeare’s death, and it is also traditionally celebrated as his birthdate. In 2016, we celebrated 400 years since his passing, but this year marks 400 years since the publication of the First Folio in 1623.  Originally published as Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies,...

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What I’m excited about right now: Learn-to-draw instructional books

February 28, 2023

Kimi Mendoza Library Assistant   Art surrounds each of us and demands to be front and center every single day of our lives. One might not think so, but you may be surprised at the amount of art that you have purchased or consumed without realizing it. Artists designed furniture in your home, they created your clothing – and even the logo of the company for which you work. Your favorite movie poster had to begin somewhere in a conceptual stage. An artist or team of artists created the layout for the poster and chose what colors and fonts would...

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What I’m excited about right now: ‘Truth’ in movies is how they resonate, how we relate

January 31, 2023

    Truth in the movies, like truth in fiction, is not about facts portrayed, but about revelations of value, significance and meaning. Movies depict themes, roles, dilemmas and struggles that we recognize in very personal terms and can identify with. Though not real in fact, they are real in relating back to us experiences, present issues, and life themes in dramatic fashion.  They reflect back to us realities we ourselves have experienced—loss, grief, unrequited love, longing, regret, guilt, joy, the elation of falling in love, kindness, courage. They also portray hard choices that at times we must make, paths...

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What I’m excited about right now: How libraries are changing, yet still a comfort

January 4, 2023

When I was a young teen trying to find myself, I wandered into the Wilton Public Library. That library slowly became my home away from home, a place where I felt safe and secure, and most importantly, accepted. I embraced that feeling and wanted it to continue. So I became a library page, then continued to work at the library. I loved everything about it. I chose my college based on who had a library graduate program. While attending school, I worked at both the University of Iowa’s library and the Coralville Public Library. I couldn’t imagine more welcoming and encouraging people than librarians. The people in those libraries made...

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What I’m excited about right now: Helping young people, reading in volume, reading to improve my cooking

December 1, 2022

  After working as an educator for over 20 years, I started working at the Musser Public Library’s service desk in April of 2018. Prior to my library life, I taught pre kindergarten to ninth grade as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, third grade, and I substituted in all elementary capacities. Although I changed course with my career, I still feel a connection to young people. It excites me to make library cards for young readers. I also enjoy the small kids that come to the desk with parents. A few children have shown interest in...

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