Library kicks off new programs in February

FAIRMONT – A new music service and a scrapbooking session will start in February at Martin County Library in Fairmont.

At 10 a.m. Feb. 2, scrapbookers will have a chance to preserve an old family recipe.

“It’s a program offered through the Minnesota Historical Society,” said Martin County Library director Jenny Trushenski. “Each year, they put out a collection of programs, and this one seemed to be something people are interested in. Scrapbooking is popular around here and I thought there’d be an audience that would enjoy it.”

The idea is to “save” a handed-down-through-the-generations recipe in a creative manner, instead of simply sticking an index card in a cookbook.

“Things get passed down, and it’s a cool way to remember a recipe and also a way to tie it together in memories,” Trushenski explained. “The idea is to make it look vintage. This could be a page you could frame.

“The Minnesota Historical Society is bringing in the supplies, historical photographs … A lot of materials are needed, so this is a chance instead of investing their own money, they can come and everything will be ready for you.”

The class is free and open to the public.

Also beginning in February, there will be a download music service open to anyone with a library card.

“Freegal” will be available through the Martin County Library Web site,

Library card holders will be able to download three free songs each week. But unlike with eBooks, the downloaded songs never expire.

“Everything is going digital, and we’re trying to get in,” Trushenski said. “All the artists are Sony music artists, and that includes all of Sony’s subsidiaries. So we don’t have access to everything, but they currently have a catalog of 3 million songs and counting.”

Users are allowed only three free songs per week, so downloading an entire album could become a tedious process. But in this digital age, more music fans have grown used to being able to pick and choose which songs they want.

“There is a listen preview option. Since some songs have a bunch of different remixes, you want to know if you’ve got the right one,” Trushenski said. “There are songs that have clean and explicit versions. There are also the Kidz Bopz songs that you know are clean for kids.”

The downloads also have a range of formats to work with most computers, tablets, phones and mp3 players.

“It’s wide-ranging,” Trushenski said. “They can be compatible with iTunes, Windows Media, and there are apps for iPads, iPhones and Droids.”

Trushenski said as long as there is a demand for the program, the free music downloads will continue to be offered.

“The library has a contract with the company, so the more downloaders that use it, we’ll get the most bang for our buck,” she said.