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Dear Library Patrons,

If you missed our June Conversation Café at the library, fear not, you have another chance in July!

What is Conversation Café?

Conversation Café is a way of connecting with your neighbors in the community by replacing "small talk" with "big talk" about ideas that are important to us as human beings.

Each Conversation Café is a 90-minute structured, hosted conversation that uses a simple format and ground rules to help people feel at ease and to give everyone a chance to speak. Each Conversation Café focuses on a topic, and questions are posed to invite connection, reflection, and response. When held in person, participants take turns speaking around a circle, but for this summer, the library will be hosting its Conversation Cafés on Zoom. No one needs to feel like an “expert” on the topic because participants are encouraged to speak from their own experience. Also, at any time, it is fine to simply listen. Format and discussion questions will be emailed to participants in advance, but no homework is expected!

What's This Month's Conversation Café?

On Monday, July 19, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM, the library will host a Conversation Café on the topic of Passing the Baton. This session will use the metaphor of a relay race to invite participants to reflect on the baton of experiences they have been passed by their families, communities, and society--and which of those “batons” are beneficial to pass on to those who come after us and which are best to leave behind.

The program is free, but registration is required. To register and to get the Zoom link to join, go to our Online Event Calendar.

What Does the Future Hold?

In August and September, we will transition to holding Conversation Cafés in person. Check your forthcoming August-September newsletter for dates and topics!

If you have questions about this or any other library program, please call us at the phone number listed below!

Looking forward to seeing you!

Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director

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Dear Library Patrons,

As Midlothian Public Library prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary this November, the building has been undergoing a complete exterior renovation to remediate water infiltration issues and make the building envelope watertight and energy-efficient for years to come. This October, following the conclusion of the renovation, Midlothian Public Library will host a Grand Reopening and 90th Anniversary Celebration. The exact date of this event is still to be determined based on the construction completion date.

In advance of this event, the Friends of Midlothian Public Library are selling commemorative t-shirts with the slogan, 90 Years and Still Renewing. The shirts were designed by community member Tony Pechota, also known for his design of the Keep Midlothian Beautiful logo.

 

The shirts are, 100% cotton, unisex cut, and available in adult sizes S through XXXL. Shirts pre-ordered by July 4 will cost $10; after July 4, shirts will cost $12, and specific sizes will only be available while supplies last. XXL and XXXL shirts will cost $2 and $3 extra, respectively.

 

To order, fill out the online form at bit.ly/90YrsLib, call the library at (708) 535-2027 and order by phone, or request a paper form at the Checkout Desk.

 

When orders are in, the library will contact purchasers to pick them up by curbside or walk-in service. Payment will be accepted at time of pickup in cash or by check payable to Friends of Midlothian Public Library. All proceeds will benefit the Friends, who have 501(c)(3) charitable organization status through the Fund for Illinois Libraries, and who use the funds they raise to support various library programs.

 

Help the Friends help the library, and enjoy a lovely t-shirt celebrating the library's anniversary and renovation in the process!

 

Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director

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Copy of Summer Reading Web Banner

Dear Library Patrons,

One of the most reliable ways to prevent the learning loss over summer break known as the “summer slide” is for children and teens to read and participate in other learning activities over the summer. To this end, Midlothian Public Library announces its Summer Library Challenge themed “Reading Colors Your World.”

The Kickoff Celebration will be held Saturday, June 5 at Kostner Park (a.k.a. Bellybutton Hill, 15030 Kostner Avenue) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. To keep groups small enough for social distancing, individuals and families are asked to register for a 30-minute time slot by calling the library at (708) 535-2027 or via our online events calendar. At the Kickoff Celebration, children and teens will receive a free t-shirt, book, and voucher for a free ice cream sandwich at Two Sisters Frozen Custard and be invited to tie-dye their shirt and play games. Those who would rather tie-dye at home can opt for a grab-and-go kit. For the safety of unvaccinated children, masks will be required. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for June 12. Midothian Public Library thanks Midlothian Park District for generously sharing this space!

Those who miss the Kickoff Celebration will not miss their chance to sign up for the Summer Learning Challenge, which runs through July 31. To register, visit or call the library or visit the library’s website any time after June 5. The Summer Library Challenge has three age categoriesChildren’s (birth through entering grade 5), Teen (entering grade 6 through just graduated from grade 12), and Adult (anyone over age 18). Each age group will be challenged to set and meet goals to earn prizes and drawing tickets.

In addition, throughout June and July, the library will offer a wide variety of online and take-and-make programs for all age groups, including storytimes, crafts, cooking, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for children; gaming, crafting, and cooking programs for teens; and crafting, learning, and discussion events for adults. See our online events calendar for details.

Wishing you safety and wellness,

Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director

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Dear Library Patrons,

If you have been following the news, you know that last week the CDC issued new guidance on mask wearing for vaccinated individuals, and on Monday, Governor Pritzker issued an executive order regarding the same. Both the CDC and the Governor's order made it clear that individual businesses and agencies of local government have the authority to set mask requirements for their own establishments. And, even outside of pandemic times, Illinois law authorizes library boards as units of local government to set behavior policy for their institutions.

After careful deliberation at its meeting last night, the Midlothian Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to continue to require masks of all individuals ages 2 and up who enter the library building for the time being, per the temporary amendments to the library's Patron Behavior Policy.

One reason for this decision is concern for the children of this community. A core component of the library's mission is promotion of children's continued learning during the summer through our summer reading program. As children ages 12-15 have only been eligible for vaccination for a few days, and children under 12 remain ineligible for vaccination, lifting the mask requirement at this time would make the library less safe for the youngest members of our community at exactly the time of year when we most wish to welcome them.

Another reason for this decision is concern for those adults in our community who desire the vaccine but have not yet received it. Library staff are expert searchers of the Internet and can help you find information about vaccination sites, their hours, their contact information, and whether or not they require appointments. If you are undecided about getting the vaccine, library staff can direct you to objective, fact-based websites that explain the vaccines' benefits and risks. If you are an unvaccinated adult looking for assistance in finding information about the vaccine or vaccination sites, we want you to use the library, and we want you to be as safe as possible when you do so.

The library board will re-evaluate the continued need for a mask requirement on a month-to-month basis going forward. The basis for this continued re-evaluation will be Midlothian's vaccination rate and daily new case counts, as well as the availability of the vaccine to children.

Patrons who inform staff that they have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask will be offered reasonable accommodations to receive equivalent services by curbside delivery (including options for computer use, printing, fax, scan, and copy service). Please call the library if you have questions about these services.

The library board meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM in-person at the library. Members of the public are welcome to attend and to express their opinions to the board per the library's Public Comment Policy.

I ask the community of Midlothian for their continued cooperation with this well-reasoned mandate of the library board as we all work together to navigate this new phase of the pandemic.

Wishing you safety and wellness,

Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director

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Dear Library Patrons,

If you've been by the library lately, you may have noticed that we've been making excellent progress on our exterior renovation. The roof is complete, and the installation of exterior cladding and side windows is nearing completion. We have recently moved into the most difficult phase of the project, the replacement of the skylights and windows along the upper spine of the building.

Earlier today, we became aware of a safety concern that will result in a temporary pause of the work on the spine. We will not progress with additional work on the spine until our general contractors have demonstrated that this safety concern has been resolved. The library will remain open, and work on the side windows and exterior cladding will proceed as planned. Please rest assured that we will continue to make the safety of our patrons using the library our number one priority throughout this project.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and continued use of the library throughout our renovation project.

Wishing you safety and wellness,

Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director