Coffee & Conversation Event: Taxes Q & A

Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program: Taxes Q & A with Bernadine StevensMonday, February 5**

On Monday, February 5 at 10:30am, Bernadine Stevens will offer a FREE informational session on taxes at the St. Charles Public Library.

For the past seven years, Stevens has assisted local residents with their income taxes as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.  Initially offered through the Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota, VITA is now part of Winona Volunteer Services.  The VITA program provides free income tax assistance for people that are income-eligible.

The Q & A session at the St. Charles Public Library is open to all, regardless of income.  More information on VITA will be available during the program.

Stevens’s visit to the St. Charles Public Library is part of the weekly Coffee & Conversation program.  Looking for something to do on a Monday morning?  The library is offering free coffee and hot chocolate every Monday, 10:30am – 11:30am.  Drop by the library for a hot beverage and a chat with your fellow community members.

Coffee & Conversation Event: Getting Started with Medicare

Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program: Getting Started with MedicareMonday, January 22**

On Monday, January 22 at 10:30AM, Jacob Thompson of Thrivent Financial will offer a free class on ‘Getting Started with Medicare’ at the St. Charles Public Library.

Enrolling in Medicare can feel like opening a puzzle that’s all sky.  It’s hard to know where to start.  But much like with puzzles, a little help goes a long way.  That is why Jacob Thompson will be hosting ‘Getting Started with Medicare,’ an informational event to help explain your options.  You’ll learn:

  • Your current Medicare coverage options.
  • The benefits and costs of each plan.
  • Key points to consider with each plan.

No products will be sold at this event.  Thrivent is not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.

Thompson’s visit to the St. Charles Public Library is part of the weekly Coffee & Conversation program.  Looking for something to do on a Monday morning?  The library is offering free coffee and hot chocolate every Monday, 10:30am – 11:30am.  Drop by the library for a hot beverage and a chat with your fellow community members.

Author Lorna Landvik to Visit the Library on January 11

Lorna Landvik Author Visit
Thursday, January 11, 6:30PM
St. Charles Public Library

Lorna Landvik is the best-selling author of thirteen novels, including Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, and her most recent, Last Circle of Love.  In a recent Star Tribune poll that asked, ‘Who’s Your Favorite Minnesota Writer,’ readers ranked her number three.

In addition to her literary accomplishments, Landvik has performed stand-up and improvisational comedy around the country.  Her engaging presentations draw on her experience as a playwright and actor.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the St. Charles Public Library.

A RavensFire Christmas at the Library

Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program: A RavensFire ChristmasMonday, December 18**

Visit the St. Charles Public Library on Monday, December 18 at 10:30am to hear the RavensFire Band perform a selection of holiday music.  Featured tunes will include new compositions and old classics to celebrate the season.

The RavensFire Band is well-known around the area for their energetic performances, beautiful vocal harmonies, and skilled instrumentals while playing and singing their unique collection of traditional world folk, bluegrass, vintage American favorites, and original music.  Creating music on the mandolin, guitar, penny whistle, and bodhran, the talented group of musicians love to perform.

RavensFire has played dozens of venues and festivals through the years, including the main stages at festivals in Milwaukee, St. Paul, Emmetsburg, La Crosse, and Rochester.  Their busy calendar includes performances at concerts, fairs and festivals, theater productions, churches, and public and private events.

Band members Larry and Melissa Schmidt live in St. Charles.  They have been professional musicians ever since they met in the early 1970s.  Their love of music has kept them happily singing and playing together, winning many music contests, and recording in Nashville, Las Vegas, and Dublin, Ireland.  They have toured three times in Ireland, sharing their music with delighted audiences all along the way.  They are joined by Judy Havelick of Rochester, who shines with a sturdy beat on the bodhran.

Come to the library and hear this talented group of musicians perform a delightful holiday concert.

Minnesota in the Civil War

Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program: Minnesota in the Civil War with Arn KindMonday, December 11**

On Monday, December 11 at 10:30am, Arn Kind will visit for “Coffee and Conversation” at the St. Charles Public Library for a presentation on “Minnesota in the Civil War.”

Kind, a teacher of 40 years, will slip into the role of a soldier in the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry to share the story of the part Minnesota played in the Civil War. Kind will make history come alive with music, drama, and role-playing for a realistic and colorful portrayal of the people that participated in past events. On display will be maps, posters, clothing, and other artifacts of the Civil War. Don’t miss this unique presentation on an interesting period in the history of our state and our nation.

This program is sponsored by the St. Charles Lions Club.

Learn about Minnesota’s Winged Women of WWII

Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program: Minnesota’s Winged Women of WWIIMonday, November 13**

Grab your flying jacket, helmet, and goggles for a flight with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II!

On Monday, November 13 at 10:30am, Frederick Beseler will visit for “Coffee and Conversation” at the St. Charles Public Library to share the high-flying story of Minnesota’s female “Top Guns” of World War II.

The WASP were America’s very first female military aviators.  They flew everything in the U.S. Army Air Force’s WWII inventory – from fabric-covered biplane trainers to four-engine bombers and transports, and 400 mile-per-hour fighters.  Some became instructor pilots and taught the male cadets how to fly.  Others showed the men how to tame so-called “widow-makers” like the B-26 and B-29 bombers!

Rosie the Riveter built the airplanes — the WASP delivered them to airfields all across the United States and to Alaska.  Here’s the soaring, inspiring, often humorous, and sometimes tragic story of the heroic women who flew into history in service to America!

Frederick Beseler retired after a 40-year career in the commercial air conditioning industry.  A 1976 graduate of Winona State University, Beseler has been a private pilot since 1978, and has flown some of the WWII aircraft that the WASP flew. He has given numerous presentations and written many aviation-related articles. Earlier this year, he spoke about the WASP at the Richard I. Bong WWII Museum in Superior, Wisconsin, and at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. He is a past president of Chapter 307 of the Experimental Aircraft Association in La Crosse, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.

Always busy, Beseler recently obtained his Minnesota substitute teaching license and can often be found in Southeast Minnesota elementary and secondary school classrooms.  Fred and Jane Beseler live in Houston, Minnesota.  Jane is retired as the Executive Director of the La Crosse County Historical Society.

Trick or Treat at the Library

Trick or Treat
Saturday, October 28, 10 AM – 1 PM
St. Charles Public Library

Celebrate Halloween with the St. Charles Public Library!  Drop by the library on Saturday, October 28 to pick up a piece of candy.

Book & Bake Sale at the Library

Friends of the St. Charles Public Library
Annual Bake & Book Sale
Thursday, October 19 – Tuesday, October 31

Looking for an opportunity to purchase used books and tasty treats, while supporting a good cause?  The Friends of the St. Charles Public Library will be holding their annual bake and book sale from Thursday, October 19 through Saturday, October 21.  The book sale will continue through Tuesday, October 31.

In addition to books and baked goods, the Friends’ sale will also include puzzles and games.  The final days of the event will have an “End of Sale Special.”  From Friday, October 27 to Tuesday, October 31, people will be able to buy a bag of items for the low, low cost of $1.

The annual sale is the primary fundraiser for the Friends of the St. Charles Public Library, generating close to $1,000 every year.  These funds allow the Friends to support library purchases and projects that would not have been otherwise possible.  In the past, Friends funds were used to purchase shelving, library card lanyards for the first graders, books for preschool screening, pizza for the St. Charles Elementary reading lock-in, a barcode scanner, a bike rack, DVDs for the library’s collection, a tablecloth for the library’s booth at WOW, and VOX Books, just to name a few.  In January 2024, the Friends will be sponsoring a visit of Minnesota author Lorna Landvik to the library.

The Friends welcome any new members that would like to join.  The time commitment for the Friends of the Library is low – Friends only need attend the fall annual meeting and assist in the book and bake sale.  If interested in becoming a Friend of the St. Charles Public Library, contact current Friends President Terra Lidbom at terralidbom@yahoo.com.

Please support the Friends of the Public Library and either shop at or donate to the annual bake and book sale.

VOX Books Now Available in English and Spanish at the Library

Parents and other caregivers are always looking for ways to make reading fun and engaging for kids. Thanks to a new offering from the St. Charles Public Library, they won’t need to look far!  Due to a grant through MiEnergy’s Operation Round Up program and support from the Friends of the St. Charles Public Library, the library was able to purchase a collection of VOX Books in both English and Spanish.

VOX Books include embedded audio, allowing readers to listen to the book while they follow along. VOX Books don’t require CDs, tapes, batteries, devices, or internet access; just press a button and you’re listening and reading! VOX Books can also be used with or without headphones, making them perfect for both solo and group enjoyment.

St. Charles area residents can borrow these engaging VOX Books for free. All they need is a library card!

VOX Books have won awards from parents’ groups, including the 2021 National Parenting Product Award in their Best Books for Kids and Families category, and a 2021 Mom’s Choice Award. A recent review in School Library Journal noted that “Narrators are lively and will keep readers engaged. Educators can use VOX Books to help early or struggling readers learn to pronounce words, hold a book, and turn pages, and practice tracking text from left to right. This is a valuable tool not only for libraries but also for teachers to use in the classroom and for parents to use at home.”

Author E. Andrew Wood to Present at Coffee & Conversation

Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program on Monday, October 9**
E. Andrew Wood – The Biological Challenges of Flight and the Mayo Connection

On Monday, October 9 at 10:30am, E. Andrew Wood, author of Life at High G-Force, will visit the St. Charles Public Library to speak on “The Biological Challenges of Flight and the Mayo Clinic Connection.”  Wood will discuss Mayo Clinic’s involvement in aviation science before and during World War II.  He will delve into the development of the G-Suit, in which his father, Dr. Earl Wood, played a key role.

Andrew Wood’s recently published book, Life at High G-Force: The Quest of Mayo Clinic Researcher Dr. Earl H. Wood, is the biography of the man whose innovations placed him in the forefront of aviation and medical science in the twentieth century.  Dr. Earl Wood was recruited by Mayo Clinic in 1942 to conduct research on gravitational physiology on their human centrifuge.  Using themselves as experimental subjects, he and fellow scientists investigated the effects of acceleration and the cause of gravitational loss of consciousness.  The result was a vastly improved G-suit, and self-protection straining technique which allowed Allied pilots to outmaneuver Japanese and German planes and win the air battles of World War II.

Following the war, Dr. Wood continued his research, pioneering cardiac catheterization for patients with heart disease.  The oximeter, which was initially developed to detect pulse, was enhanced to measure blood oxygen saturation levels; it is now used in every hospital and clinic in the world and is of critical importance in monitoring cardio-pulmonary status during the COVD-19 pandemic.  In the 1970s, Dr. Wood and his team developed computer-based X-ray techniques, paving the way for modern CAT and MRI scanners.

E. Andrew Wood is the youngest of Dr. Earl Wood’s four children.  He is a graduate of Hamline University and the Mayo Clinic School of Health-Related Sciences and has a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.  He spent over 25 years at General Mills as the Manager of Health Promotion and Ergonomics and two years as Director of Ergonomics and Corporate Solutions at Muve Inc., a joint venture with Mayo Clinic, where he was responsible for developing and implementing activity-based ergonomic and wellness programs for corporate clients.  Wood was a consultant for ergonomics at Ferguson Risk Management, where he provided ergonomic and wellness strategies for corporations, including Land O’Lakes, Bayer, Bosch, Dairy Farmers of America, CVS Health, and several government agencies until his retirement in 2021.

E. Andrew Wood has authored several articles and given multiple presentations on the development and assessment of ergonomic and health promotion programs in industry.  He is also fluent in spoken and written German.  In his spare time, Wood enjoys working on the family farm in southeast Minnesota, competitive cross-country skiing, hiking, fishing, and hunting, dog training, and restoring an antique Jeep.  As a person with severe dyslexia, Andy is a graduate of the Rochester Reading Center and is a spokesperson for the Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota.

Wood’s visit to the St. Charles Public Library is part of the weekly Coffee & Conversation program.  Looking for something to do on a Monday morning?  The library is offering free coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider every Monday, 10:30am – 11:30am.  Drop by the library for a hot beverage and a chat with your fellow community members.