The "Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library" (FFNPL) is a non-profit, community-based organization since 1983 that supports the Northfield Public Library. In cooperation with the Northfield Public Library, FFNPL supports early literacy programs, recruits volunteers, provides support for equipment in the Library such as computers and eBook readers, and organizes special events including fundraising trivia bees, concerts, speakers and book readings.

Friends' Update

Puzzling Competition Held

On the cool, gray morning of Saturday, March 27, 2021, twelve teams prepared for the challenge ahead—the Friends of the Northfield Public Library’s Puzzle Playoff 2021—Pandemic Edition. The day before dedicated “puzzle pixies” delivered the competition puzzle in sealed wrappers to each competitor’s competition location. In many ways, they had been training for this event all year, as they made puzzle after puzzle as they sat tight, stayed safe, and worked to get through the pandemic. Their eyes were keen, capable of spotting the slightest hint of color or distinctive shape; their fingers swift and dexterous, moving piece after piece to its proper place; their minds equipped with a new flexibility of perception.

The year before, the Puzzle Playoff had been cancelled with the onset of Covid-19; the Friends’ Trivia Bee also had to be cancelled for reasons of public health. The Friends’ vowed that this year the Puzzle Playoff would succeed …and safely. They brainstormed and experimented, eventually realizing that, with the help of Zoom technology, teams could “play safe” by playing at home in their pods. Equipped with this solution, the Friends’ announced the puzzle playoff and waited.

Quickly, teams came forward, accepting the Friends’ challenge: Los Rompecabaceras, KK Puzzler, the Carleton Spilsburians, Dean of Puzzles, Reese’s Pieces, the Puzzle Ninjas, Piece It Together, Team Hoekstra, Malarkey J. Kerfluffle, Shape Shifters, Saint Carlofton College and Team TAB (Teen Advisory Board). With anywhere from 2-6 members of all ages, these teams—primed and ready for competition—appeared on the competition Zoom screen like runners lining up at an Olympic starting line.

And then, just after 10 am, they were off—wrapping off, box open, piece dumped on competition surfaces and then carefully arrayed. The competition puzzle—an adaptation of the medieval unicorn tapestry with the animals reading books—offered many potential angles of approach. Borders were assembled, colorful figures pieced together and then transposed into the larger picture, piece by piece identified and carefully paced. Communication among team members was impressive—guidance, encouragement, calls for snacks, and lots of laughing filled the Zoom competition hall only to be followed by quiet murmurs as teams found focal points and shifted into high gear.

At minute 57: 54, Los Rompecabaceros declared that they were finished, a completed puzzle clearly visible in their camera’s field of view. Thirteen minutes later KK Puzzler roared across the puzzling finish line at 1hr 10 minutes with the Carleton Spilsburians close on their jigsaw heels at 1hr 12 minutes. The rest of the teams either paused to get lunch or crossed the finish line over the next hour and twenty minutes.  All competitors—in their collegiality, their good humor, their flexibility, and their sheer love of puzzle making--demonstrated that Saturday morning the meaning of good sportspersonship.

First, second, and third prize winners received gift bags with puzzles, gift certificates to area eateries and businesses, and a Friends and Foundation of the NPL canvas tote bag.  The Friends would like to thank all the teams who participated, Nat Wilson, inventor of the Friends’ Puzzle Playoff, and Content Books who worked with the Friends’ to choose and deliver our competition jigsaws at a time of global puzzle shortages.

We look forward to the next Puzzle Playoff and may it be a Post-Pandemic Edition.

 (And thanks to Bill North for his work and his entertaining play-by-play of the               Playoff.)

Friends' Annual Meeting Resources
The meeting was held on 27 September, 1-2:30 pm (Via Zoom)

With Keynote Speaker, Nancy Braker

Thanks to all who were able to attend the Annual Meeting on Sunday.  We are pleased to make available a recording of our annual meeting and Nancy Braker's keynote lecture on Pollinators.  

Nancy Braker also has provided a list of further resources for those interested in deepening their knowledge of this important topic.

Hispanic Heritage Celebration 2020
September 15-October 31

The Northfield Public Library is hosting virtual National Hispanic Heritage Celebration events beginning on September 15th - join the Northfield Public Library and the Arts and Culture Commission as we kickoff the 2020 Spanish Sidewalk Poetry Contest with a Bilingual (Spanish & English) Poetry Reading with Danny Solis, Rochester-based slam poet and COMPAS Teaching Artist.


In depth, programming on Latino history and culture during the months of September and October will give the community the opportunity to understand Latino history, culture, and more.


A complete list of events available on mynpl.org and on the colorful calendar below.

View events on Facebook/northfieldpubliclibrary.


Sponsored by:  Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, the City of Northfield, and Northfield Public Library.

The Bookmarks are still available!

Our warmest thanks to all the young people who shared their artistry, imagination, and love of the Library by entering this year's Annual Bookmark Contest. It was dedicated to the theme "What I love about the Library!" and the contributions were so inspiring. We were delighted to receive 19 submissions and selected eight to be printed.  All 19 entries are displayed here.  So the next time you’re at the library, ask for one of the new bookmarks (they are free!!)!

Book bags for sale
at the library. 
Besides being perfect for carrying library books and other media, they are great for shopping, travel and, in a pinch, laundry. AND, they tell the world about our beautiful library! If you forget this bag when you go to the library, look for the Boomerang Bags, reusable, returnable cloth book bags. 


We welcome your donations and membership in FFNPL and your support of the work we do for the benefit of our library.

Subpages (1): Pollinator Resources