January 2015
Volume 5, Issue 1
ECRL Newsletter Logo  


ECRL January Retirements

Hinckley Branch Librarian to Retire


In November 1996, Ceci Cross-Maser, applied for the job as Hinckley Branch librarian.  Now over 18 years later she has decided it is time to retire from her position.  The Hinckley branch of East Central Regional Library has changed dramatically in those 18 years.  


Ceci says, "the biggest change has occurred in the use of the public internet computers.  Initially, there was heavy use by kids and there was an 'after school rush' of breathless students who ran to the library to be first in line to log on.  Now, there are very few kids on the computers since most have access on their smartphones or have been issued a tablet through the school.  Now I see mostly adults using the computers.  And of course, there has been a noticeable shift to e-books among some (but not all) groups of patrons."


Customer service has been an earmark of Ceci's tenure as the Hinckley Branch Librarian.  She has worked very hard at keeping her readers happy and current over the years, keeping them apprised of new releases, introducing them to new authors and more. I "loved having them leave the library feeling satisfied, served, respected and hopefully enlightened."  One of her biggest accomplishments is the enlarged large print collection the library has that offers readers lots to browse and enjoy along with the "innovative and colorful summer reading programs" that were available for the youngsters with the cooperation of ECRL and the City of Hinckley.


But what Ceci will miss the most "are the library patrons and the interactions with them regarding their reading habits and interests."  After retirement at the end of the month, Ceci plans to do "whatever I want without having a tight schedule to follow" and probably catch up on some projects around home and of course, read more and spend time in her garden.


A public reception will be held for Ceci on Friday, January 30 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Hinckley Public Library.  Everyone is invited to attend and extend their well wishes to Ceci!



Technical Services Aide to Retire 


Behind the books and the online catalog that indexes them is the face of the cataloger. For over 28 years that face has been Kathy Gardner, who will retire at the end of January. The life of a cataloger may seem tedious to some, but to Kathy it has been interesting as it evolved from the card catalog to the present online form.


Kathy began her tenure at ECRL as a processor putting plastic protective covers on books. Two years later, she assumed primary responsibility for cataloging the books. There were no computers and not a lot of training available, so she had to find her own sources to learn the job. When ECRL automated library operations, Kathy once again eagerly learned a new way to do things and was responsible for turning all those paper catalog records into electronic data records. Along the way, ECRL also added records for first VHS then DVD movies and CDs for the public to check out. The majority of the records that you find in the online library catalog are the work of Kathy Gardner.

While Kathy has spent her library career days behind carts of books and a computer screen, she is passionate about physical fitness and says she'll take even more walks. She says she won't miss spending her days in the ECRL Headquarters basement office with no windows, but she will miss the friendships she's made with people through the library. She says she'll miss handling all the new books, especially children's. She's eager to travel more and spend time with grandchildren with her husband Rich, who expressed that he's tired of having only the cats at home to talk to all day.

Happy Retirement, Kathy! ECRL will miss you.


ECRL Awarded Playful Learning in Libraries Mini Grant


East Central Regional Library applied for and received a $7430 Federal Library Services and Technology Act mini grant for a Playful Learning space in the Wyoming Area Library.  The grant will be administered by State Library Services within the MN Department of Education.  

Our hope is that the new Playful Learning space:
*will create a welcoming child-friendly area for children, families and caregivers with a visual impact that promotes play and learning
*encourage more children, families and caregivers to visit the library
*offer a safe and accessible place to fulfill a child's basic need to move, play and learn, thus supporting their growth and development
*increase parents and caregivers awareness of activities that promote early literacy through play
*will encourage children to engage in many of the early literacy skills (including talking, singing, reading, writing and playing)

The new Playful Learning space will include manipulative items, puzzles, puppets, a puppet theater and some kid friendly furniture.  An open house for the new area will be held once everything is in place so everyone can come and help us celebrate this wonderful new space!
               Upcoming Legacy Programming
  (events funded with money from Minnesota's              Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund)
Author Brian Freeman
Tuesday, January 27 @ 7:00 pm
Wyoming Area Library

Join us for an author talk and book signing as Brian Freeman talks about his latest novel, The Cold Nowhere, along with his other popular titles.  The first in a series of mystery author programs at the Wyoming Area Library. 

Author Renee Wendinger
Sunday, February 15 - 3:00 pm
Mora Public Library 

Join us for the last in our history speaker series.  Ms. Wendinger will be at the library to talk about her two books,  Last Train Home and Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York.  Ren´┐Że is an expert speaker on the subject of orphan trains and the immigration experience.

Straw Bale Gardening with Joel Karsten
Saturday, February 21
10:30 am - Hinckley Public Library  
2:00 pm - Wyoming Area Library                 

Tuesday, March 7
10:30 am - Aitkin Public Library
2:00 pm - Mille Lacs Lake Community Library

Come learn about straw bale gardening from author Joe Karsten. Straw Bale Gardening is simply a different type of container gardening. The main difference is that the container is actually the straw bale itself, held together with two or three strings, the outside crust of the bale serves as the container. Once the straw inside the bale begins to decompose, the straw becomes "conditioned" and ready to plant.

Minnesota Author Julie Kramer
Wyoming Area Library
Tuesday, March 3 - 7:00 pm

Former investigative television journalist, Julie Kramer writes a series of thrillers: STALKING SUSAN, MISSING MARK, SILENCING SAM, KILLING KATE, SHUNNING SARAH and DELIVERING DEATH-set in the desperate world of TV news. Julie won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Best First Mystery as well as the Minnesota Book Award. 

Plus check out all the other activities going on throughout ECRL. 
Simply check any of the following spots on our website:  NewsBits at www.ecrlib.org, Google calendar, ECRL Facebook page or follow us on Twitter@ecrlib.

IRS Limits 2014 Tax Documents to Public Libraries


It's tax season.  Tax forms usually start to arrive at the libraries in January.  Minnesota Income and Property tax booklets and forms have begun to arrive.


East Central Regional Library has received notice that, due to budget cuts in the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill recently passed by Congress, the IRS will significantly reduce the number of tax products they are sending to libraries for distribution.  


The IRS will not be sending out any 1040, 1040 A or 1040 EZ instruction booklets, as well as several other forms and publications that libraries used to receive.   Libraries will still receive Forms 1040, 1040 A, and 1040 EZ.  Individuals and employers may order forms from the IRS webpage or by calling 1-800-829-3676 Monday through Friday from 7 am-7 pm, and the IRS will deliver them by mail to you.  Many forms and instructions are also available to view and download online.


Library staff can assist with locating and printing online tax forms but are not able to give advice regarding the forms that you might need.   Printing and copying is $.15/single-sided black & white page, $.25/double-sided black & white page, and $.50/single-sided color page.


You may wish to call your local library to see if the form(s) you need are in.  The IRS has not started shipping the 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ forms.

Association of Minnesota Counties Meets  

ECRL staff members were at the December 2014 annual meeting of the Association of Minnesota Counties in St Cloud, along with leaders of other Minnesota regional public library systems. Pictured is Assistant Director Carla Lydon visiting with Pine County Commissioner Steve Hallan. Director Barbara Misselt and Resource Librarian Sarah Hawkins also talked with county commissioners and staff from around the state at the 2 day event.

In 2015, 60% of the ECRL's operating income will come from its supporting counties - Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine. State funds make up 29% of operating income. Library facilities are provided by local government (cities or counties).  
Overdrive Titles
 (Search for any these in the Overdrive catalog)
eBook Titles
*Bone Harvest by Mary Logue
*Escape by David Baldacci
*Foul Play by Janet Evanovich
*Frozen Stiff by Mary Logue
*Help for the Haunted by John Searles
*Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
*Stay Close by Harlen Coben
*Until Proven Guilty by J. A. Jance
*Vegan Vitality by Katrina Inkster
*When Jesus Wept by Bodie & Brock Thoene

eAudio Titles

*41:  A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush
*Dark Screams by Kelley Armstrong
*Full Force & Effect by Mark Greaney
*Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
*Gray Mountain by John Grisham
*Prince LeStat by Anne Rice
*Rule by Jay Crownover
*Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

eBook Juvenile & Teen Titles

*Blazing Star by Erin Hunter
*Captive by Aimee Carter
*City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
*City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
*Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
*Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
*If I Stay by Gayle Forman
*Joust of Knights by Morgan Rice
*Paper Towns by John Green
*School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
Forthcoming Print Fiction in the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these items in the ECRL catalog:
*Alex by Pierre Lemaitre
*Asylum City by Liad Shoham
*Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho by Anjanette Dlegado
*Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon
*Dead Wrong by Patricia Stoltey
*Heaven's Wager by Ted Dekker
*Memory of Flames
 by Armand Cabasson
*Offcomer by Jo Baker
*Penguin's Song by Hassan Daoud
*Silent Confessions by Julie Kenner
Forthcoming Adult DVDs in the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these items in the  ECRL catalog:

*American Sniper
*Big Eyes
*Days and Nights
*Hunger Games : Mockingjay, Part 1
*The Imitation Games
*Inherent Vice
*Miss Meadows
*A Most Violent Year
*St. Vincent

New TV Series

*American Horror Story:  Season 4: Freak Show
*The Blacklist: Season 2
*Grimm: Season 4
*Homeland: Season 4
*House of Lies : Seasons 1-  3
*The Knick: Season 1
*Newsroom: Season 3
*Nurse Jackie : Season 6
*Sleepy Hollow: Season 2
*Veep : Season 3
Forthcoming Print Adult Non-Fiction Books in the ECRL Catalog
Search for any of these titles in the ECRL Catalog:

*American General:  The Life and Times of Tecumseh Sherman by John S. D. Eisenhower
*Behind the Scenes by Judi Dench
*The Cooperstown Chronicles by Frank Russo
*Crazy Time:  Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life by Abigail Trafford
*Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms by Gerard Russell
*Making of the Atomic Bomb (25th Anniversary ed) by Richard Rhodes
*Napoleon:  a Life by Andrew Roberts
*Our Daily Poison: From Pesiticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and are Making Us Sick by Marie-Monique Robin
*Patton at the Battle of the Bulge by Leo Barron
*Top 100 Meals in Minutes:  Quick and Easy Meals for Babies and Toddlers by Annabel Karmel
New Teen Fiction Books
 in the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these in the ECRL Catalog:

*Feral Pride by Cynthia Smith
*Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
*Geek Girl by Holly Smale
*Half Wild by Sally Green
*Naruto, vol. 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
*Queen's Daughter by Susan Coventry
*Sorceress by Claudia Gray
*Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban
*Tunnel Visiion by Susan Adrian
*When We Wake by Karen Healey
The following East Central Regional Library branches will be closed in honor of Martin Luther King Day: 
Monday, January 19
 Aitkin, Cambridge,  Chisago Lakes, Mora, North Branch, Princeton, HQ and the Braham outreach stop.
Tuesday, January 20
 Hinckley, McGregor, Milaca, Mille Lacs, Pine City, Rush City, Sandstone and Wyoming.
ECRL's Mission
To strengthen communities by connecting people with resources, spaces, and educational experiences that enrich and empower their lives.


*East Central Regional Library is funded by the counties of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine. ECRL also receives state and federal funds.  


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