Town Talk: Library offers books and more

Town Talk

Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to

Ask people what comes to mind when they think of New Ulm Public Library, and it’s likely they will say “books.” Makes sense. The library has nearly 80,000 books displayed on shelves throughout the building, and they continue to be the backbone of public library services in the community.

Beyond books, New Ulm Public Library offers a wide variety of items and services in our effort to develop a community gathering space. There are any number of unique ways to use the library, and what follows are just a few.

Wi-fi hotspots – Internet on the go is available through wi-fi hotspots. Hotspots, which provide free Internet to smartphones, tablets and laptops, are available to adults on a first-come, first-served basis, and they check out for one week. This service helps bridge the digital divide and expands opportunities for users to connect online.

Make-and-take crafts – The Children’s Room has a craft station available for kids to use their imagination and create something they can take home.

GED and college prep services – Through a partnership with Mankato Area Adult Basic Education (ABE), the library provides space for GED, college prep and adult diploma learners. Contact ABE at 507-779-5827 for more information.

Basic computer classes – In addition to GED services, a Mankato Area ABE staff member teaches a seven-week basic computer series at the library. Patrons are welcome to attend on an as-needed basis. The next session begins Wednesday, February 21 from 5-7 p.m. The final session in the series, on April 4, will be an introduction to Microsoft Excel. Laptop computers are provided.

Family history resources – The library has a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition database, as well as local newspapers on microfilm. Reference staff is available to help you obtain microfilm from other libraries and historical societies.

Free tax preparation – For the third year, the library will host United Way volunteers who provide free tax preparation. Details of this year’s program will be available in the coming weeks.

Ebooks – Access thousands of electronic books and audiobooks at no additional cost through Overdrive. Library staff is available to provide assistance; call 507-359-8335 for more information.

Storytimes – Join Youth Services Librarian Jan Keaveny for movement, music and book sharing every Monday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. beginning January 8. This is a great opportunity to introduce little ones to the library.

Special events – Check the library’s calendar of events at for up-to-date information about speakers, music programs, book groups, and other special events, including open needlework and fine arts groups.

There’s something for everyone at New Ulm Public Library. Stop in, say hello and take advantage of all the library has to offer.