Tuesday, February 25, 2014



Feel free to print and display the sign below,
to help us in our investigative quest.
Police Chief Shawn Langseth received a frantic telephone call on Monday, February 24, 2014.  “It’s GONE,” wailed the voice at the other end of the line, “GONE!”  The call was from Adrian Branch Librarian, Meredith Vaselaar.  She was referring to the library’s trusted long-time tape dispenser.  “Are you sure you simply didn’t misplace it?” Langseth asked, “Perhaps it is underneath something.”  (A valid question, as the librarian is known for being a bit untidy.)  “It is not lost,” insisted Vaselaar, “it is truly missing!”

Faster than you can say “Bob’s-Your-Uncle” (movie reference, thank you), Chief Langseth had arrived at the library.  What greeted his eyes was not only chaotic, but also disturbing: a distraught librarian, wringing her hands; a check-out desk, littered with shards of newspapers; glue and scissors in disarray.  However, there was one more thing that indicated that this was not an ordinary mishap. 

The library tape dispense had been kidnapped!

Oh, those clever criminals tried to hide their tracks!  This was not just any ransom note, filled with clues hidden in ink smudges and fingerprints.  Nay! The criminals had fashioned the ransom message out of words cut from library newspapers, adding charges of vandalism to those of kidnapping. 

The ominous note read as follows:  “If you want to see your tape dispenser again, bring candy!”

“What are we going to do!” wailed Vaselaar, “granted, our tape dispenser was just two weeks from retirement, but it had not had time to show our intern dispenser (Ralph) the ropes!”  The entire staff was fond of the old tape dispenser, which had proven indispensable over the years.  Although Ralph is fulfilling the duties of tape dispenser as best as can be expected, he is no replacement for the one that has been kidnapped.

Vaselaar is quick to point out that the inconvenience of training in Ralph pales in comparison to the loss of the old tape dispenser, who was much more of a friend and colleague, than a mere piece of equipment.  “Will the criminals treat our tape dispenser with respect? Is it in any discomfort? Is it still intact?” asked Vaselaar.

It is the affection the entire staff has for the old tape dispenser that has caused a bit of a disagreement between Chief Langseth and Librarian Vaselaar.  The Chief wants the library staff to wait and not give in to the demands of the criminals.  Vaselaar disagrees, wanting instead to fill the desk-top candy dish immediately, to ensure a swift and safe return of the old tape dispenser.  After an intense discussion, Vaselaar agreed to wait – for now.

In the meantime, signs have been posted around town, alerting the public to the disappearance of the tape dispenser.  The dispenser is described as follows:  color – beige; 3” tall, 7.5” long, and 2.75” wide; it weighs 1.25 lbs. 

As the staff awaits anxiously for word about their tape dispenser, Vaselaar has a message for the kidnappers:  “You had better be careful and return our tape dispenser unscathed,” warns Vaselaar, “We won’t take kindly to any harm that befalls our beloved tape dispenser.  In other words,” Vaselaar continues, in an ominous tone, “you have messed with the wrong librarians!”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

THIS TAKES THE CAKE! February 17, 2014


At first glance, all seemed well and Librarian Meredith Vaselaar was hoping that the Library had been spared from a visit by unknown person(s) over the long holiday weekend.  When the librarian walked in, the carpet was free of debris.  The castle slide appeared undisturbed.  “Ah,” thought the librarian with relief, “perhaps they have grown tired of their antics!” Unfortunately, this was not the case.

The library reading table was a mess!  Clearly, a party had taken place over the weekend, with crumbled cake littering the table top as well and smeared on books.  A broken, twisted cake candle was found amidst the mess, which also included four forks.  Chief of Police Shawn Langseth arrived quickly at the scene after receiving a frantic call from the Librarian.

Chief Langseth went straight to work, examining the crime scene with keen eyes.  It seemed that the perpetrator(s) had been sloppy this time.  A partial footprint was found at the library.  This time, however, the perpetrators left behind what could be bigger clues.  “The number of forks – four – could give us an idea as to how many criminals are involved in these incidents,” says Langseth, “and with the forks comes a potential break in the case.”  The Chief carefully placed each fork in a bag marked “DNA.”  It is hoped that enough saliva was left on the forks so that the BCA can create a genetic profile of the perpetrator(s).  The process can take a few weeks to be completed.

Unfortunately, the secret hidden cameras have not yet arrived, so the perpetrator(s) continue their crime spree unseen.  The long holiday weekend caused a further delay, but it is hoped to have everything in place by the end of this week.  In the meantime, members of the library staff are assisting Chief Langseth by asking library patrons to report anything suspicious they may have heard on the streets of their communities. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


For the third week in a row, mysterious visitors have wreaked havoc in the Adrian Branch Library.  The pattern of weekend rampages has the Librarian at a loss as to what to do next.  Chief of Police, Shawn Langseth, is also perplexed.  The latest incident is, well, odd, to say the least.

"I had extra Valentine decorations and materials set out for Monday," said Librarian Meredith Vaselaar, "yet when I came in on Monday morning, the materials were scattered and the decorations were laid out on the floor."  Although the decorations were on the floor, it did not appear to be a completely random act.  "It appears that the perpetrators had a definite plan in mind," explained Chief Langseth, "but it is unclear if the materials were placed in a deliberate pattern, or if the perpetrators were interrupted before they could complete their task."

"All I can say is that this is very frustrating," Vaselaar said, "and I am getting tired of having to clean up an extra mess at the library every Monday morning before we open!"  It is hoped that someone can come forward to shed some light on the incidents.  

In the meantime, local law enforcement, along with Library staff, are working to improve security in the building.  There has been some talk of adding secret hidden cameras inside, in hopes of catching the perpetrators in the act.  (So, if you know who the perpetrators are, please do not tell them about the secret hidden cameras.)

With security being tightened, it is hoped that the perpetrators will not be able to continue with their rampage for very much longer.  That would be just fine for Librarian Vaselaar, who indicated we should quote her as she says:  "I am NOT amused!"

Monday, February 10, 2014

BOOK BOGLES ARE BACK! February 3, 2014


The excitement of last week’s encyclopedia/cookie mystery had just died down, when Librarian Meredith Vaselaar discovered on Monday that another mystery incident had occurred at the Adrian Branch Library.

“I double checked the library on Saturday after closing, to make sure that everything was in its place,” says Vaselaar, “but when I walked into the library on Monday morning, I found a small pile of books at the bottom of the slide!”  Vaselaar immediately contacted Chief of Police Shawn Langseth.

Chief Langseth was quick to respond and, with a keen eye, surveyed the scene.  He secured the area, and then dusted the slide and books for fingerprints.  Just as with the incident from last week, no usable prints were found.  “The perpetrator(s), once again, used books for their materials of choice,” Langseth observed, “the crime differs (from the previous crime) in that no cookies were involved.” 

With no known identity, could the culprits be bogles?  A bogle is an unknown entity, real or imagined, prone to being annoying.  At the very least, whatever or whomever is making its way into the library and creating biblio-chaos, it/they are certainly being annoying!  The bogles (or whatever they are) seemed to have had a good time, using the slide for mischief!  Why, oh why, can’t they clean up after themselves?!

Clearly, last week’s crime was not an isolated event.  With another incident perpetrated this week, Chief Langseth is speculating that there could be more.  For the moment, the library staff is keeping their eyes open for anything suspicious.  The public is encouraged to come into the library if they have any ideas or leads.  Should these unexplained incidents continue, there will be a reward for the first person to correctly identify the perpetrator(s). 

It is winter in Minnesota, and this winter seems to be unending.  Everyone seems to be getting a bit restless.  What better way to spend the cold days than to speculate as to what kind of shenanigans are taking place at the library?  

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Monday, January 27, 2014, seemed like every other Monday at the Adrian Branch Library, until Librarian Meredith Vaselaar entered the building. It was then that Vaselaar discovered that someone - or something - had entered the Library over the weekend.  

Vaselaar called in Chief of Police Shawn Langseth to take a look at the scene of the crime.  Langseth observed that all twenty-one volumes of the Library's copy of the "New Book of Knowledge" encyclopedia were no longer on the shelf, but stacked in a peculiar fashion on the floor.  In addition, there was a trail of cookie crumbs - and uneaten cookie bits - scattered on and near the pile of books.

Strange, indeed.  The Librarian was at a loss as to what could have happened.  "We never stack books on the floor in that manner," insisted Vaselaar.  "And the cookies are kept shut up tight for our afternoon coffee break."  Chief Langseth looked closely at the evidence, trying to find fingerprints, but to no avail.  Had the culprit(s) worn gloves? With the exception of the books and the cookies, nothing else seemed amiss.

"Do you have any ideas as to the identity of the suspects," Vaselaar asked Langseth.  The Chief took care not to point too many fingers, but had one possible suspect.  "It looks like the type of crime that Cookie Monster would perpetrate," said Langseth, "although this crime does not follow Mr. Monster's usual practice . . . if it HAD been him, I doubt there would be any cookie crumbs left!"  A valid observation.

Other possibilities include, but are not limited to:  Elves? Fairies? Sprites? Leprechauns? Shape-Shifters? Hobbits?  

As soon as Langseth completed his investigation, Vaselaar cleaned the crime scene and was able to open the doors to the public at 11:00 a.m., right on schedule.  

Questions remain:  Who is responsible for moving the encyclopedias at the Library?  Who was so hungry that he/she/they took the time to have a snack? Why would he/she/they leave any cookie bits at all?  And didn't their mother ever tell them to clean up after themselves?