—by Kolleen Taylor

Calming the perils of winter. After struggling through several weeks of bitter cold, I worked hard to keep the pipes from freezing at 3 different houses during that stretch, and was stunned when I found out my well pump had frozen….nothing inside, but in a place over 10 feet deep in the ground.

As I talked with plumbers and well companies who had to address this problem, I learned a bit about how the dry summer had impacted us this winter. If you had noticed cracks in the ground, whether it was in a farm field, or in your own yard, if rain or snow or ice didn’t seal those up the frigid air we’ve been experiencing is going even deeper into the earth. Because of this, water lines and wells are freezing up, sometimes for the first time in their history.

And as I was rushing to get all this taken care of before and after work, I realized I needed to pay more attention, as this year we seem to be the one place in the country not buried in massive snowfalls, which keeps the earth insulated. So I went to our library shelves to see what we had that might shed some knowledge on my non-scientific brain. In the non-fiction, (Dewey category 551) we had a number of books that delve into some of the issues we are facing today. "Restless Earth", although nearly 20 years old, gives a great overview about the dramatic weather conditions that continually change. But there are also in-depth studies: "Air" by William Bryant Logan, and "Ice" by Mariana Gosnell, and "Six Degrees", all present information on the impact of our climate based on the changes in our outer world.

If you like to read non-fiction, and like to be well-prepared for the difference circumstances we face as the weather shifts and changes, this would be a wealth of information to ponder and consider as we move forward into 2014.

As the weather impacts school days and businesses, we want to remind everyone to be alert to the closing of schools, and aware that the library rarely closes, but if you are debating about getting out into the weather, be sure to call us to verify at 733-2685. And we encourage our library users to stock up on good books and movies for those inclement days.

Next week we will have the first early dismissal of 2014. On Wednesday January 22, the schools will dismiss early, and we will have special programs here at the library. The Tweens will be meeting first from 2 to 3 pm with a Bombastic Balloon powered LEGO® car event in the Kinne wing. The K-4th graders will meet next at 2:30 in the library meeting room, getting ready for the Olympics, and the Teens will meet in the Kinne wing at 3:30, with games of "Hands Down" and "Minute to Win it", then move on to Book Speed Dating to find the next great book to read.

So 2014 is well underway, and we are working hard to keep things interesting here at the library. Come join us as we adjust to weather, time and schedules throughout the year!