November 2011
Issue No. 10
ECRL Newsletter Logo 


Your Library:  Still Relevant 


The "Got the people, but not the skills" Star Tribune editorial (October 26) stated that "a highly educated, appropriately skilled workforce is key to reinvigorating job creation," and that although not in a "position to close the skills gap with a major surge in public spending," Minnesota can "do more to make the most of its existing resources."  One of those existing resources?  Your public library.

There are over 360 public library outlets in Minnesota, each part of a statewide network whereby any item on any shelf in any library (including academic) can be borrowed by any citizen.  That includes delivery to your local library for pick up.  Sound expensive?  All you need is your public library card.  

Many question the relevance of the public library in this electronic age.  Perhaps dulled by the incessant refrain of "Everything's on the internet," many wonder, "Who needs a library anymore?"  Answer: We all do-whether we use it or not.  According to a 2010 report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, per capita visits to public libraries increased 20% from 1999-2008, the period during which most of the gadgets we take for granted hit the market.  If these are supposed to replace the library, why do folks keep coming?  Because the library adopts and adapts the latest technologies toward one end: providing access to all.

Education: The editorial identifies secondary and postsecondary educational systems as essential to preparing a workforce for an economy that demands greater service-oriented skills and higher credentials, and online education is seen as an innovative delivery model.  Public libraries daily support such options by offering access to computers, scholarly databases, test proctoring, study rooms, eBooks and, yes, print materials.  The public library not only supports the various educational systems, it does something none of the others do: it provides unfettered access throughout one's life.  At any time, you can walk into your public library and use the resources freely.  No questions asked.  No tuition.  (True, the library is not "free": statewide per capita cost is $33 a year, or, about one-third the cost of a college textbook.)

Workforce: Public libraries have not sat on the sidelines while the economy gets pummeled week after week. No, they offer Minnesotans the resources and confidence to get back on the field, for themselves, for their families, for their communities.  Many have availed themselves of the opportunities and found resources on resume-building, interview techniques, and job searching.  Besides the everyday, point-of-need assistance from trained staff, many public libraries also offer classes for those who recognize they must educate-and re-educate-themselves for a new future.  Legislation initiated by the Minnesota Library Association was recently passed providing for the appointment of a public library advisor to the Governor's Workforce Development Council.  Your public libraries have never been very good at being mere spectators.

In fact, libraries have a clear understanding of their historic role in educating and workforce creation.  The editorial mentions the need for "creative entrepreneurs" to help get the economy going.  It is not a coincidence that one of America's most successful, Andrew Carnegie, had a lifelong commitment to the public library.  As a penniless immigrant from Scotland, Carnegie was forever grateful for what a library offered him.  And he in turn offered it to others: first to employees via a company library and then to all via matching grants for public libraries.  Minnesotans knew an opportunity when they saw it; 66 "Carnegie" libraries were built prior to his death in 1919.  Minnesotans today are no different.  They know the value of their libraries and are not afraid to demand a return on their investment.  

Your public library today is as relevant as it ever was.  If you don't believe it, go to your nearest branch and look around.  Watch how it's being used.  Are there kids and teens enjoying the safe learning spaces?  Are there parents and grandparents instilling a love of learning into the toddlers-or maybe just seeking a little quiet time of their own?  Are the computers being used?  Then, ask the librarian what resources might interest you.  Make the library relevant to you.  It's yours, after all.

Legacy Programming Underway!
Bluegrass Musicians
Douglas and Bryan Wood
Isle Rec Center
Wednesday, November 30 - 1:00 pm


Join us at the Isle Rec Center for some bluegrass fun with father and son, Douglas and Bryan Wood.


Teddy Bear Band Holiday ProgramTeddy Bear Band

Pine City Elementary School Auditorium

Saturday, December 3 - 12:30 pm


Bring your teddy bear along for this fun-filled holiday music program with the always fun, Teddy Bear Band.  The event is open to the public and no tickets are required.


Author & Illustrator

Carrie Hartman

Ogilvie Public Schools Auditorium

Thursday, December 8 - 6:30 pm


Author and illustrator, Carrie Hartman, will present a program at the Ogilvie schools earlier in the day and then present a program for Parent in Education Night. 

 Legacy logo


*These projects are funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.


New Digital Immigrant Class on Social Networking to Begin!


Join us a brief introduction and demonstration of Skype, Twitter and LinkedIn followed by a more in-depth look in Facebook in this 90-minute class.  Make sure to contact your local ECRL branch to register and for more information.  Classes scheduled for the remainder of 2011 are listed below.  More classes will be held in 2012. 


There are no fees for the class.  The classes are made possible with an LSTA grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services.


November Classes

November 21 at 1:00 pm - Aitkin Public Library

November 29 at 1:00 pm - Cambridge Public Library 

November 30 at 10:30 am - Milaca Community Library


December Classes

December 1 at 10:00 am - Hinckley Public Library

December 1 at 6:00 pm - Mora Public Library

December 4 at 1:00 pm - Wyoming Area Library

December 7 at 10:00 am - Rush City Public Library

December 7 at 5:00 pm - Pine City Public Library

December 8 at 2:00 pm - Chisago Lakes Area Library

December 13 at 11:00 am - McGregor Public Library

December 13 at 6:00 pm - Sandstone Public Library

December 14 at 3:00 pm - Princeton Area Library

December 15 at 10:00 am - Mille Lacs Lake Community Library


Featuring Teen Author:

Christopher Paolini 


Christopher Paolini's new novel, Inheritance, is the fourth and final novel in the Inheritance series (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr).  He wrote the first book, Ergaon, when he was 15 years old.  Christopher was homeschooled and grew up in Montana.  No one would buy his first book, so his parents self-published it.
If you liked the Inheritance series, try these:

Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
Dragonflight (The Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey
Hero and The Crown by Robin McKinley
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan


ECRL's Mission
Connecting and strengthening communities
through the power of knowledge.


*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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Author of the Month:
Charles Frazier


Cold Mountain, his first novel, was published to wide acclaim in 1997.   It won the National Book Award and was later adapted into a film starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman.  Thirteen Moons followed in 2006.  His latest novel, Nightwoods, has received superlative reviews and is on the bestseller lists.   


New Novels in the ECRL catalog:
Search for any of these items in the ECRL Online Catalog:

*11/22/63 by Stephen King
*The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol
*City of Whispers by Marcia Muller
*Comfort and Joy by India Knight
*Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard
*Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

New DVDs added or soon to appear in the ECRL catalog: 


*Blackthorn (2011) starring Sam Shepard
*The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) starring Werner Krauss
*Downtown Abbey, Season 2 (2011) starring Maggie Smith
*The Help (2011) starring Emma Stone
*A Kiss Before Dying (1955) starring Robert Wagner
*Midnight in Paris (2011) starring Owen Wilson

New Non-Fiction Titles Available
Search for any of these titles in the ECRL Catalog


*Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by Peter Englund
*Bombshell: Women and Terrorism by Mia Bloom
*Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
by Wade Davis
*I'd Listen to to My Parents If They'd Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens by Anthony Wolf
*Is that a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos

*Invisible Men: Men's Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence by Michael E. Addis
*The Language Wars: A History of Proper English
by Henry Hitchens
*Users, Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business
by Aaron Shapiro

 Focus on


Search for any of these items on the ECRL Online Catalog:



Picture Books


*Annie and Snowball and the Thankful Friends by Cynthia Rylant

*Katie Saves Thanksgiving by Fran Manushkin

*Run, Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr

*Trucksgiving by Jon Scieszka

*Turkey Trouble by Wendy Silvano


Juvenile Fiction &



* All New Crafts for Thanksgiving by Katharine Ross

*Balloons over Broadway: the True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet

*Don't Be Such a Turkey by Nancy Krulik

*Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble by Abby Klein

*William Bradford by Heather Wagner


Juvenile DVDs  


*Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

*Disney's Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving

*Garfield: Holiday Celebrations

*Peanuts 1970s collection: Volume 1