Volunteers from St. Germain Community United Church of Christ Thrift Shop presented Emilie Braunel, director of Plum Lake Public Library in Sayner, with a check for $507 recently. 

The check represents funds raised from counter donations, with the thrift store providing a matching amount.

Braunel has served the Plum Lake library for four years and has brought innovative ideas to the public during the pandemic. Among Braunel’s programs are two virtual book clubs that meet via the BlueJeans virtual platform, and a new spice club.

One of the book clubs takes up works of fiction and the other nonfiction. Braunel said there are about eight individuals in each group.

Another enhancement to “spice things up” at the library is the new spice club, where participants pick up a packet of spices and potential recipes. After testing the spice recipes, participants share their responses and thoughts about the spice. Currently, the spice is Mahlab from the Turkish/Syrian area. 

Braunel and the spice club also meet in the BlueJeans platform. She anticipates continuing the program for another three months. Meetings are held the last Thursday of each month.

Although the Plum Lake Public Library is not open to the public in the traditional sense due to the pandemic, curbside service is practiced, with customers calling the library in advance. Customers may submit a book title, a topic or, for children, an appropriate age-related search. 

Braunel indicated that the system is working very well and has required that she and the assistant librarian have a deeper knowledge of library offerings.

For those interested in current and future programs of the library, contact and other important information can be found at plumlakelibrary.org, or call the library at (715) 542-2020.

The thrift shop, located in the strip mall adjacent to Sentry Foods in St. Germain, is open most days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but is closed Tuesdays and Sundays. Donations are only received until 2 p.m. 

The current recipient of the counter donations jar will be Special Olympics Wisconsin.