Skip to main content

Hopkins District Library


Metropolitan OperaAll “Nightly Met Opera Streams” will begin at 7:30pm EDT and will remain available via the homepage of for 20 hours. 

Harry Potter at Home Hub - A fun hub for Harry Potter related content - games, puzzles and activities

Making Connections During Social Distancing
It can be hard to spend so much time separated from others, especially if you are used to regularly visiting friends and family, or when you need a break from your own family! There are a few ways that we can still connect, like phone calls, video chats, and one of our favorites, letter writing! This time of quarantine is a great opportunity for you to revisit snail mail, and to introduce the young people in your life to the art of letter writing. 
You will need:
  • A stamp - you can order stamps to be delivered to your house by the US Postal Service
  • An envelope - you can print [this] template and trace it on any paper to create your own envelope
  • Any paper
  • Any writing utensils
How to do it:
1. Choose a recipient for your letter. Think about what you know about them. What things do you appreciate about them? What would they like to know about what you have been doing or thinking about lately? What details or stories do you want to tell them? 

2. Compose your letter on paper of your choice. It is usually good to start out with a greeting, like "Dear Friend," or "Hello, Grandma!". Then write down everything you want to say to your recipient. Maybe you can even draw them some pictures or diagrams. When you're done, sign your name so that they will know who sent the letter. 

3. Fold up your letter so that it will fit into the envelope. Put your own address in the upper left corner of the envelope, put the recipient's address in the middle of the envelope, and the stamp in the upper right corner. 

4. Send your letter off with love by placing it in your mailbox to be picked up by the mail carrier. 

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance continues to indicate there is no evidence the virus is spreading through the mail. According to WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of catching the virus from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low. After collecting mail from a post office or home mailbox, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Check out USPS FAQ or the CDC for more info on handling mail.
Did you know you can dye fabrics using scraps from your kitchen? Using only items that you already have, this kid-safe process will have you wearing "new" clothes in just a day or two!
1. Prep the fabric!
Choose a 100% natural fiber, like cotton. Make sure your garment is very clean. Choose a pot that will fit your garment, fill the pot with enough water to fully submerge the garment, then add salt at a ratio of 1 part salt : 16 parts water. Simmer this for about an hour, let cool to the touch, then gently squeeze to remove excess salt water. The salt will help the dye stick to the fabric, but you should expect that the color will fade over time.
2. Extract the dye!
Choose the kitchen scraps that correspond with the color you are aiming for. Roughly chop the food until you have about 1-2 cups of material. Add it to an 8 qt stock pot, fill with water, sprinkle in some salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for at least an hour. When you’re satisfied with the color, scoop out the now-pale food bits (compost them!) and save the liquid. 

3. Dye the fabric!
Place the salt-soaked fabric into the liquid dye, and simmer for about an hour. Then you can either remove the garment immediately, or let it cool in the dye bath overnight for deeper color. When you decide to remove the garment, rinse to remove any excess dye and hang to dry.

From now on, wash the garment in cold water to preserve its color.