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Submissions are open for our Poetry Out Loud contest!

Are you in 9th-12th grade? Do you love poetry and performing? Submissions are now open for the Meridian Library’s Poetry Out Loud contest!

What is Poetry Out Loud?

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition that encourages 9th-12th grade students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. The Idaho Commission on the Arts joins other state arts agencies in partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to support Poetry Out Loud. This year, the Meridian Library District is hosting a contest!

How do I compete?

To enter, choose a poem from this list, make a video of your recitation, and submit it to us for judging. Memorize your poem and practice delivering it as a performance. A good poetry recitation is more than just saying the words in the right order. Your face and tone will contribute to the performance of the work. Check out some past performances here to get a feel for poetry performance. 

Make sure to review the requirements and tips below before submitting. Submit your video by 7 p.m. on Monday, February 1. 

Filming requirements:

  • Film with a horizontal orientation.
  • Face the camera so it captures your head to mid-torso (medium shot).
  • Each recitation should be filmed in one single shot from one static angle.
  • The sound and picture must be clear.
  • Videos cannot be edited. Do not add music, graphics, titles, virtual backgrounds, or computer animation.
  • Use of professional recording studios is prohibited.
  • For video submission contests, each recitation requires its own separate video.

Recitation Requirements:

  • Students must begin by stating the title of the poem and the poet’s name, and the translator, if applicable.
  • A student’s own editorial comments before or after the poem are not allowed.
  • Poems must be recited from memory.


  • Stand in front of a neutral background, if possible. Try to avoid wearing clothing in similar colors to the background.
  • Do not place light sources behind you to avoid being backlit.
  • Students may look directly into the camera, at a fixed spot, or at an imagined audience.
  • Make sure you are the only visible and audible person in the video.
  • Use a microphone, if possible. If the microphone is on the camera, position the camera close to you.
  • Start recording a few seconds before the recitation and stop recording a few seconds after the end.
  • For video submission contests, check with the contest organizer if there are file size limits to
  • videos and if there is a preferred naming convention to save your videos.
  • Examples of student filmed POL recitations can be found on the POL YouTube page.

What happens after I submit my video? 

Videos will be streamed for contestants, their friends and family, and the public during the Meridian Library’s Virtual Showcase on February 11 at 7 p.m., when we will announce the winner! 

The winner of the Meridian Library contest will move on to the Poetry Out Loud Idaho State Semifinal. Competitors at the state level will need to perform three poems. Recitation videos for the Idaho State Semifinal are due by February 24, 2021. Meridian Library staff will work with the winner to make sure they meet all the requirements to compete. 

I have another question!

Please email Jenny at


2020 in Review

We are very grateful for all the wonderful patrons who were so patient and understanding this year as we adapted library services in response to COVID-19. As 2020 comes to close, we wanted to share some highlights from this transformative time. 

Before the pandemic

  • Before March, we regularly hosted more than 50 programs a week at our three locations, in addition to outreach events out in the community. 

  • Our Extreme Book Nerd program – which challenges individuals to read 50 books in 50 categories within 50 weeks – had 625 participants and 121 finishers its inaugural year. The 2021 challenge launches Monday, January 4. 

  • Our Meridian Moves grant, funded by the Network of National Libraries of Medicine, allowed us to welcome 821 participants to fitness programs and introduce 20 new health and wellness kits to our collection.

  • The Memory Lane Story Trail came to fruition in March, when the first picture book title was displayed along a path at Kleiner Park. The featured title will change every few months, and all the selections will be books published before 1960. This project was funded by the Blue Cross of Idaho Employee Community Fund.

  • Thanks to a generous donation from St. Luke's Health System, we were able to provide hundreds of healthy snacks to teens and tweens visiting the library after school and on the weekends.

During the pandemic

  • We launched a virtual Chat With a Librarian service on our website to help patrons easily connect with us for account questions, reading recommendations, information about community resources, and anything else! The chat is staffed over 80 hours a week, and we answer more than 1,000 questions a month.

  • We adapted library programs to a virtual environment and launched a YouTube channel to post new content nearly every weekday, in addition to hosting a number of live Zoom events. The 243 virtual programs brought in more than 38,000 views.

  • Between March and September 2020, we spent $83,350 more on digital content than was initially allocated, shifting funds from the print, media, and database budgets to make this possible. Circulation of all digital materials – including ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, and magazines – increased an average of 38% during those months.

  • With PPE shortages impacting our community from the moment COVID-19 arrived in Idaho, we quickly pivoted our uses for unBound technology to help fill critical gaps. We coordinated with 20 area librarians and community members to create PPE for more than 40 local and state organizations, securing a grant from the Idaho STEM Action Center and a donation from TDS Fiber to fund this work. Our unBound team 3D printed more than 1,000 headbands and laser cut more than 500 visors for face shields. unBound also 3D printed more than 2,000 ear savers to keep face masks in place.

  • In May, we began offering free home delivery to Meridian residents. In our first five months offering the service, we delivered more than 7,000 items to nearly 1,600 patrons. And it continues to grow in popularity. 

  • Through the summer, we offered outdoor book displays at our Cherry Lane location and outside holds pickup at our Silverstone location for safe, easy access to library materials. This fall, we introduced curbside pickup at both locations. 

  • We quickly adapted our Bookmobile stops to be contactless so we could continue reaching our most underserved patrons.

  • We gave out nearly 4,000 books through an adapted summer reading program for kids.

  • We created "programs in a box" for our outreach partners since we couldn't visit in person.

Planning for the future

This was a significant year of planning for the first of four projects funded by a $14 million plant facility levy approved by Meridian voters in 2019: 

  • Construction on the building remodel for our new unBound location in downtown Meridian began this summer and will be complete in early 2021. We expect to open the location to the public in March 2021. To help plan initial services and programs for this technology and business branch, we held stakeholder focus groups to learn more about the current community needs unBound can help address.

  • We spent the year collaborating with architects from MSR Design on plans for our new North Meridian branch, which will be part of the Orchard Park development at Chinden Boulevard and Linder Road. Feedback we received through community surveys and focus groups helped guide that work. Accessibility is central to the design of this location, and it will include features for individuals with special abilities. We expect this branch to open to the public in late 2021.

In addition to the two projects highlighted below, the levy will allow for a major renovation of our main branch on Cherry Lane (2024) and a new library branch in South Meridian (2025). 

Watch a video recap! 


Stage 2 Service Updates and Winter Hours

With Idaho back in stage 2 of reopening, we have adjusted occupancy and time limits at our Cherry Lane and Silverstone locations, which remain open for browsing, holds pick-up, returns, and computer use. Below are current guidelines for in-building services. These measures are in place to protect our staff and patrons and to help keep our locations open:

  • All patrons over the age of 2 must wear a face covering over the mouth and nose at all times while in the building. 

  • Patrons must sanitize hands when entering the library or request plastic gloves as an alternative. 

  • Patrons must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.  

  • Occupancy is limited to 18 patrons at Cherry Lane, 1 family or patron in the library area and 2 computer users at Silverstone, and 1 family at the Tiny Library.

  • Eating and drinking are not permitted inside library locations.

Learn more about current protocols here.

We are also adjusting weekday hours at our Cherry Lane and Silverstone locations beginning Monday, November 23, through the end of March. Weekend hours will remain the same. The new hours will be:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Wednesday: 12 to 8 p.m. 
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.

Our Tiny Library will remain open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. 

In addition, you can reach us through the live Chat with a Librarian feature on our website the following times: 

Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.

We encourage Meridian residents to try out our free home delivery service! You can even browse our shelves from home if you're not sure what you want to read next.

Try these comics from Hoopla Digital

Escape into a new comic book series with these recommendations from Teen Specialist Jenny! These titles are part of Hoopla Digital's November Bonus Borrows collection, which means they won't count toward your monthly limit of borrows: 

Skyward Vol 1: My Low-G Life 

Faith Vol 1: Hollywood and Vine

Lumberjanes Vol 1

Courtney Crumrin Vol 1: The Night Things

Ms. Marvel: No Normal

Fence Vol 1

Silverstone Branch Closed November 16

Our Silverstone branch will be closed Monday, November 16, for a deep cleaning. This is a precautionary measure due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at the branch on Monday, November 9.

Our Cherry Lane and Tiny Library locations remain open for limited services, and Meridian residents can always request contactless home delivery of library materials at Digital materials including ebooks, audiobooks, music, magazines, and movies are available 24/7 at We post new virtual program videos every week at

The health of our patrons and staff remains our top priority, and we maintain stringent safety protocols at all of our locations to minimize the risk of transmission. We continue to limit occupancy, require face coverings, and enforce distancing in our buildings at all times, and we routinely sanitize surfaces. You can learn more about our safety precautions at

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Explore November Bonus Borrows through Hoopla Digital

Public Services Librarian EmilyThis is a great time to explore ebooks, audiobooks, television shows, movies, and more through Hoopla Digital! These November Bonus Borrows won't count toward your monthly limit of borrows, which means you can access even more titles with your Meridian Library card

Get started by exploring Hoopla’s home learning, family holiday, or thrills & chills collections, or try these recommendations from Public Services Librarian Emily (pictured here). 

American Classics

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving  

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

White Fang by Jack London  

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Awakening by Kate Chopin  


Classic Chills

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving 

Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley 

Dracula by Bram Stoker  

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevens


Slave Narratives 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

How We Kept Thanksgiving at Oldtown by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Up From Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington

The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglas


Classics for Young Readers 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett  

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne 

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis   


Fables and Fairytales

Aesop's Fables by Aesop 

Ashputtel; Or, Cinderella by The Brothers Grimm

Iron Hans by The Brothers Grimm 

Snowdrop; Or, Snow White by The Brothers Grimm  

The Butterfly by Hans Christian Andersen

The Daisy by Hans Christian Andersen

The Golden Bird by The Brothers Grimm

The Golden Goose by The Brothers Grimm


The Jane Austen Fan Pack 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen  

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The Watsons by Jane Austen

Sanditon by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen  

Love and Friendship by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Cherry Lane location closed October 21

We want to let our community know that a Meridian Library staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, October 20. The employee worked at our Cherry Lane location Tuesday, October 13, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Wednesday-Thursday, October 14-15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

As a precaution, our Cherry Lane location will be closed tomorrow, October 21, for a deep cleaning. We are also suspending home delivery services for one day. Our Silverstone and Tiny Library locations remain open. Digital materials including ebooks, audiobooks, music, magazines, and movies are available 24/7. We post new virtual program videos every week. 

The health of our patrons and staff has always been our top priority, and we have maintained stringent safety protocols at all of our locations to minimize the risk of transmission. We continue to limit occupancy, require face coverings, and enforce distancing in our buildings at all times, and we routinely sanitize surfaces. You can learn more about our safety precautions at

Thank you for your understanding.

Crosswalk coming to Cherry Lane

You've probably noticed construction outside our main branch in recent weeks. The Ada County Highway District is installing a HAWK system, which is essentially two crosswalks with traffic signals meeting in an enclosed center lane. Pedestrians will cross one side of the street at a time, waiting in the center for the traffic light to change. The project is expected to be complete later this month! 

We are very excited about this much-needed safety improvement. With many young pedestrians from Meridian Middle School crossing this busy street, we have seen far too many near-misses and even a hospitalization in recent years. 

The new crosswalk will slightly change traffic flow out of our parking lot. From 3-6 pm, drivers will only be able to exit with a right hand turn. We realize this will create an inconvenience for some drivers, but it is an important safety measure. With room for only one car to wait in the center lane, left turns will be a hazard during rush hour. 

In addition to the crosswalks, ACHD is installing an ADA-accessible ramp from the library's property to Cherry Lane!

Reserve a Study Room

Need reliable internet and a web camera for a virtual job interview or a business meeting? Reserve a study room at our main branch, 1326 W. Cherry Lane.

Each private room is equipped with a computer and video conferencing equipment. Call 208-888-4451 to reserve your space for free!

Study Room Hours

Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 7:30 pm
Friday: 10 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 10:30 am - 4:30 pm
Sunday: 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Explore more career development resources

Cherry Lane and Silverstone open for browsing

As of Monday, September 28, our main branch at 1326 W. Cherry Lane and Silverstone branch at 3531 E. Overland Road are now open for self-service browsing, in addition to holds pickup and computer lab use! All patrons over the age of 2 must wear a face covering to access services in the buildings. To ensure social distancing, we will limit occupancy to 23 patrons at Cherry Lane and 10 patrons at Silverstone at all times. 


Self-service browsing 

Make your own selections from our shelves! Then use the self-checkout stands or the cloudLibrary app on your own device to check out items. We are limiting browsing time to 20 minutes.

Holds pickup 

Select items in advance through the catalog. You will receive notifications when your items are ready for pickup at your preferred location! When you arrive, find your items on the holds shelf and then use the self-checkout stands or the cloudLibrary app to check them out. 

We are also offering outdoor holds pickup at our Silverstone location. Call 208-888-4451 to make arrangements. 

Computer lab access 

Computer lab sessions are limited to 1 hour per patron. Printing and scanning are available. Computer help is limited, since we are observing social distancing at all times.

Returns through book drops 

We are quarantining items for one week before checking them in. For that reason, items will still show up on your account for at least 7 days after you have returned them. This process won't impact your ability to check out more items in the meantime, and it also won't result in any late fees because we no longer charge them! 

Study Room Reservations (Cherry Lane location only) 

Study rooms are available by reservation 10 am - 7:30 pm Monday - Thursday; 10 am - 5:30 pm Friday; 10:30 am - 4:30 pm Saturday; and 1:30 - 4:30 pm Sunday. Call 208-888-4451 to reserve a room. Study rooms can accommodate up to 2 people. Each room is equipped with a computer that is set up for video conferencing. Face coverings are not required while in a study room with the door closed. 


Although bathrooms are open at the Cherry Lane location, there is no public bathroom access at Silverstone.

Digital materials are available 24/7. 

Most library events remain online only. We are introducing some limited outdoor events this fall. Check our event calendar for new opportunities. 

We are not accepting donated items at this time. 


Learn more about current services and safety precautions


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