Villisca Axe Murder Presentation

Join local author and historian Dr. Ed Epperly on June 2 from 6-7 p.m. at Decorah Public Library for an engaging presentation from his book “Fiend Incarnate: The Villisca Axe Murders of 1912.” Dr. Epperly will guide program attendees through the crime, the history of the investigation, and the various theories about the murderer’s identity.  

Epperly, a retired Luther professor, is considered the foremost expert on Iowa’s most famous unsolved murder. Over the past 60 years, he has conducted eyewitness interviews and done exhaustive research into the historical records connected to the crime.  

In addition to his book, Dr. Epperly has written dozens of true crime articles, scholarly papers and blog posts, and has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs, podcasts, symposiums and at film festivals. 

Attendees who would like to have a signed copy of the book should purchase one in advance at their local bookstore. 

For more information, please contact Zach Row-Heyveld at Decorah Public Library – [email protected] or by calling 563.382.3717. 

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Saving Us Book Discussion

Join facilitator Jim Martin-Schramm, chair of the Decorah Sustainability Commission, for a discussion of Katharine Hayhoe’s book “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World” at 6 p.m. on June 7 and 14 at Pulpit Rock Brewery. Books are currently available for checkout at Decorah Public Library, thanks to the generous support of the Luther College Center for Sustainable Communities.

“Saving Us” is focused less on doomsday facts and figures and more on how everyone can play a role in shaping attitudes towards climate change through our conversations with skeptical friends and family members. Hayhoe argues for collective action through shared values instead of relying solely on facts about our changing climate.

Author Katherine Hayhoe is an internationally renowned climate scientist and expert communicator on climate change who has been named a UN Champion of the Earth and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.

For more information, please contact Zach Row-Heyveld at Decorah Public Library – [email protected] or by calling 563.382.3717

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Job Opening: RSVP Volunteer Coordinator

The City of Decorah, IA (pop. 7,615) is accepting applications for the part-time (16 hr/week) position of Northeast Iowa Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Volunteer Coordinator. Ideal candidate will be someone with a collaborative mindset who is passionate about community involvement and volunteer service.

Minimum qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent. Preference will be given to candidates with previous experience working with nonprofit agencies, volunteers, and older adults. Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and data entry skills required. Social media experience and ability to maintain a simple website preferred (no coding necessary).

Position subject to post-offer physical examination including drug testing, background check and motor vehicle records check.

For more information and a complete job description see links below or call 563-382-3717.

Send application, resume, cover letter and a minimum of three professional, work-related references to:

Kristin Torresdal, Director, Decorah Public Library
202 Winnebago St.
Decorah IA 52101 

Or

[email protected].

RSVP Vol Coordinator Ad

RSVP Vol Coordinator Job Description 2022

Employment Application

*Important note regarding submitting a PDF version of your application – Download and save the Application PDF to your computer. Use Adobe or a similar PDF reader to fill out the downloaded application and save it to your computer. Attach the completed application to your email along with your resume and references. Using Chrome or other web browsers to fill out the PDF may result in a blank PDF being submitted.

 

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May Children’s Activities

3-Take-and-Make: Marshmallow and Toothpick Challenge*
4-Yoga in the Park
4-Biking Field Trip*
5-Crafternoon: Salt Dough and Seed Art*
6-Baby Dance Party
9-Storytime in the Park
10-Take-and-Make: Sidewalk Art*
10-Dog Tales
11-Yoga in the Park
11-Biking Field Trip*
12-Chalk our Walk
13-Stroller Walk
16-Storytime in the Park
18-Yoga in the Park
19-Chalk our Walk
20-Stroller Walk
24-Dog Tales
25-Yoga in the Park
* Registration Required

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May Book Discussions

Decorah Public Library staff are hosting nine book discussions in May. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s website or you can email [email protected] to be added to any of the six groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.  

For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group), Zach Row-Heyveld (Cookbook, Quick Bites Groups and Troubled Water) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.

Sea Oak and Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience

Our first Quick Bites discussion in May will focus on two short stories about down-on-their-luck characters in absurdist dystopias. “Sea Oakwritten by George Saunders, was originally published in the New Yorker in 1998 and was featured in his collection “Pastoralia.”  

Text – https://barcelonareview.com/20/e_gs.htm 

“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™” by Rebecca Roanhorse won the Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards for Best Short Story after it was published in Apex Magazine in 2017.  

Text –  https://apex-magazine.com/short-fiction/welcome-to-your-authentic-indian-experience/ 

 

Once Nothing, Twice Shattered

The May 24 Quick Bites features a short story and an essay all about demolition derbies. Tyler Barton tells us the story of a charismatic kingpin and cast of desperate characters who smash cars into oblivion in “Once Nothing, Twice Shatter”. 

Text –  https://electricliterature.com/once-nothing-twice-shatter-tyler-barton/ 

And from fiction to nonfiction, JC Hallman investigates the chaos and culture of demolition derbies, going so far as to enter one himself in rural Maine. 

Text – https://psmag.com/magazine/the-demolition-derby-and-small-town-politics 

The Last Blue

The Happy Hour Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Wed. May 11 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Isla Morley’sThe Last Blue.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. In 1937, two government-sponsored documentarians from Ohio are dispatched to Appalachia for President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. For photographer Clay Havens, the assignment is his last chance to reboot his flagging career. So when he and his journalist partner are warned away from the remote Spooklight Holler, they set off eagerly in search of a headline story. What they see will haunt Clay into his old age: Jubilee Buford, a woman whose skin is a shocking and unmistakable shade of blue.  

The Weekday Vegetarians

The Cookbook Group will meet on Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the lower-level meeting room of the library to discuss “The Weekday Vegetarians,” Jenny Rosenstrach’s award winning cookbook. Featuring more than 100 recipes of comforting, family-friendly foods like Pizza Salad with White Beans, Mushroom-Leek Galette, and Squash and Black Bean Tacos. Jenny also offers key flavor hits that will make any tray of roasted vegetables or bowl of garlicky beans irresistible—great things to make and throw on your next meal, such as spiced Crispy Chickpeas (who needs croutons?), Pizza Dough Croutons (you need croutons!), and a sweet chile sauce that makes everything look good and taste amazing. The Weekday Vegetarians is loaded with practical tips, techniques, and food for thought, and Jenny is your sage guide to getting more meat-free meals into your weekly rotation.   

 

 

Troubled Water: A Journey Around the Black Sea

On Tuesday, May 17, the library is hosting a discussion of Jens Mühling’s new book “Troubled Water: A Journey Around the Black Sea” from 6-7 p.m in the library’s mezzanine. Discussion of the book will be facilitated by Dr. Orçun Selçuk, Luther College Political Science professor. “Troubled Water” is a travelogue through all nine countries that border the Black Sea. Mühling weaves together the history of the Black Sea, from the ancient Greeks to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 with interviews, stories, and profiles of the diverse cast of characters who call the Black Sea home. Dr. Orçun Selçuk is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Luther College. He is originally from Turkey and will help facilitate the discussion about the book. He’ll help participants dive deeper into the background of Turkey’s role in the Black Sea, the rise of populism in the region, and help talk about current events around the Black Sea. 

The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine

The History Book Group will will hold a hybrid meeting Thurs. May 19 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Serhii Plokhy’s “The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom.  Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense battle with Russia to preserve its economic and political independence. But today’s conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine’s existence as a sovereign nation. Situated between Europe, Russia, and the Asian East, Ukraine was shaped by the empires that have used it as a strategic gateway between East and West—from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, all have engaged in global fights for supremacy on Ukrainian soil. Each invading army left a lasting mark on the landscape and on the population, making modern Ukraine an amalgam of competing cultures. Please note that this discussion will focus on historical context rather than current events. 

 

 

A Long Petal of the Sea

The Friday Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Fri. May 20 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Isabel Allende’s “A Long Petal of the Sea.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, they embark on a ship to Chile: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” 

The Postmortal

 The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wed. May 25 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Drew Magary’s “The Postmortal.” Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and—after much political and moral debate—made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems: evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. 

 

Prosper’s Demon

The Speculative Fiction Novella Group will meet via Zoom Wed. May 25 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss K.J. Parker’s “Prosper’s Demon.” Prosper of Schanz is a man of science, determined to raise the world’s first philosopher-king, reared according to the purest principles. Unfortunately, he’s demonically possessed. Fortunately, the unnamed and morally questionable narrator of “Prosper’s Demon” is an exorcist. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out—he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to the person.  

 

 

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Seasonal Part-time Library Aide

Decorah Public Library is accepting applications for seasonal (May-August 2022) part-time Library Aide positions.

Candidates must be at least 14 years old and available to work select daytime hours, 1-2 weekday evenings 5-7 p.m., and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays. 10-19 hours/week available at $10.50/hr, no benefits.

For more information and a complete job description see links below or call 563-277-5184.

Send completed application form to:

Decorah Public Library, Attn: Tricia Crary
202 Winnebago St.
Decorah IA 52101

Or [email protected]

Applications accepted until 5 p.m. May 13, 2022.
M/F disabled and Veteran EEO/AA Employer

Library Aide Job Description

Employment Application Library

*Important note regarding submitting a PDF version of your application – Download and save the Application PDF to your computer. Use Adobe or a similar PDF reader to fill out the downloaded application and save it to your computer. Attach the completed application to your email along with your resume and references. Using Chrome or other web browsers to fill out the PDF may result in a blank PDF being submitted.

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April Children’s Activities

4-Cozy Storytime
5-Take-and-Make Tuesday: Notebook Decorating*
6-Build it: Keva Planks
7-Crafternoon: Thumbprint Dandelions*
8-Baby Dance Party
11-Cozy Storytime
12-Take-and-Make Tuesday: Nature Color Wheel*
12-Weather Yoga*
12-Dog Tales
14-Crafternoon: Watercolor Wooden Eggs*
15-Library closing at Noon
19-Take-and-Make Tuesday: Earth Day Scavenger Hunt*
20-Biking Field Trip*
21-Crafternoon: Earth Day Seed Bomb*
22-Stroller Walk
22-Earth Day Sensory Walk at the Butterfly Garden*
25-Storytime in the Park
26-Take-and-Make Tuesday: DIY Hummingbird Feeder*
26-Dorothea Lange Birthday Party with ArtHaus*
26-Dog Tales
27-Biking Field Trip*
28-Crafternoon: Paperbag Kites*
29-Stroller Walk
* Registration Required

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Decorah Public Library Announces Quick Bites Discussion Group

Decorah Public Library is launching a new discussion group focused on short form media that will meet over the lunch hour. This group will discuss short stories, essays, poetry, and audio/visual materials from 12:15-1 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.  

“Quick Bites is designed to be as accessible as possible,” says Zach Row-Heyveld, Decorah Public Library Administrative Coordinator. “All of the materials are short, everything is available online, and there’s no commitment. Join whenever it works for you or whenever you’re interested in the stories or essays. We’ll read 2 or 3 things for each meeting, depending on length of materials and the theme of the meeting.” 

Quick Bites will be hosted in a hybrid format to allow participants to join from their desks at work, home, or the library’s public meeting room. Each month, links to the materials and Zoom meeting will be available on the library’s website and social media. 

For more information about Quick Bites, contact Zach Row-Heyveld at [email protected] or by calling the library at 563-382-3717. 

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April Book Discussions

Decorah Public Library staff are hosting seven book discussions in April. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s website or you can email [email protected] to be added to any of the seven groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.  

For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group), Zach Row-Heyveld (Cookbook and Quick Bites Groups) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.

Once There Were Wolves

The Happy Hour Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Wed. April 13 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Charlotte McConaghy’sOnce There Were Wolves.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska. As the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them.  

 

 

The Weekday Vegetarians

The Cookbook Group will meet on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in the lower-level meeting room of the library to discuss “The Weekday Vegetarians,” Jenny Rosenstrach’s award winning cookbook. Featuring more than 100 recipes of comforting, family-friendly foods like Pizza Salad with White Beans, Mushroom-Leek Galette, and Squash and Black Bean Tacos. Jenny also offers key flavor hits that will make any tray of roasted vegetables or bowl of garlicky beans irresistible—great things to make and throw on your next meal, such as spiced Crispy Chickpeas (who needs croutons?), Pizza Dough Croutons (you need croutons!), and a sweet chile sauce that makes everything look good and taste amazing. The Weekday Vegetarians is loaded with practical tips, techniques, and food for thought, and Jenny is your sage guide to getting more meat-free meals into your weekly rotation.

 

The Great Silence and Parakeets

Our first Quick Bites discussion in April will focus on two short stories that explore language, speaking, and what it means to be human. “Parakeets,” written by Kevin Brockmeier, is about a city where everyone sings except for a mute man who raises parakeets. It was the lead story in his 2008 collection The View From The Seventh Layer and was originally published in Granta magazine in 2007.  Brockmeier is the author of 8 books, including novels, short story collections, and two books for young readers. His most recent book is The Ghost Variations Text – https://granta.com/parakeets/ 

“The Great Silence,” written by Ted Chiang, was originally created as a subtitled script for a short film about the Arecibo Observatory and the Puerto Rican parrots whose habitats were destroyed to build the telescope. The 16-minute film, created by Puerto Rican visual artists Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, was a three-channel HD video installation that premiered at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico in 2014. Chiang’s full text was published in e-flux in 2015.  Film – https://vimeo.com/195588827 

Wasteland, Wasteland, Wasteland and Drunktown

We’re headed Southwest for the April 26 Quick Bites discussion with a short story by Claire Vaye Watkins and a poem or two by Jake Skeets. 

Claire Vaye Watkins has been credited with creating a new genre of fiction – Nevada Gothic. “Wasteland, Wasteland, Wasteland” is set in the shadow of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Depository and wrestles with how a community is supposed to deal with a threat that lasts for thousands of years. Claire Vaye Watkins’s award winning short story collection, Battleborn, was published in 2012 and was named one of the best books of the year by NPR and other publications. Since then she has published two novels, most recently I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. Text – https://kenyonreview.org/kr-online-issue/2013-spring/selections/claire-vaye-watkins-342846/ 

Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water’s Edge, a Diné poet from New Mexico whose award winning collection Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers was published in 2019. His beautiful, visceral, searing poetry is deeply rooted in the landscape of the Navajo Nation and explores the history of violence “done to it, done on it, done for it.” Skeeks holds an MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Text – http://www.spilledmilkmagazine.com/issue08 

 

 

At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories

The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wed. April 20 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Kij Johnson’s “At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories.” Featuring seventeen stories from more than two decades of work, Kij Johnson’s debut collection of short fiction ranges from historical Japan (Sturgeon award winner “Fox Magic”) to metafictional explorations of story structure (“Story Kit”) and includes Nebula award winners “Spar” and “Ponies.” These stories feature cats, bees, wolves, dogs, and even that most capricious of animals: humans 

Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times

The History Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Thurs. April 21 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Thomas R. Martin’sAncient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. Thomas R. Martin brings to life Greek civilization from its Stone Age roots to the fourth century B.C.E. Focusing on the development of the Greek city-state and the society, culture, and architecture of Athens in its Golden Age, Martin integrates political, military, social, and cultural history 

Queen Sugar

The Friday Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Fri. April 22 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Natalie Baszile’sQueen Sugar.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the summer unfolds, Charley must balance the challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.  

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March Children’s Activities

1-Take-and-Make Tuesday: Paper Doiley Snowflake Art
5-Absolute Science Bigger Bang Bubbles
7-Musical Storytime
8- Take-and-Make Tuesday: STEM Index Card Stacking
8-Winter Forest Yoga (rescheduled)
8-Dog Tales
9-Build It: Keva Planks
14-Cozy Storytime
15-Take-and-Make Tuesday: Spring Equinox Solar Print

16-Build it: Keva Planks
17-Crafternoon: Rainbow Mobile
21-Spring Storytime
22-Spring Equinox Yoga
22-Dog Tales
23-Preschool Party: Art Haus!
24-Crafternoon: Paper Flowers
25-Stroller Walk
29-Vincent Van Gogh Birthday Party with ArtHaus
31-Crafternoon: Wiggly Worm Marionette

See our Calendar of Events for details and registration.

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