December 2011
Issue No. 11
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Saying Goodbye After 38 Years 


One day in May 1973, a young gal by the name of Shari Wilcox stepped into the original East Central Regional Library building and applied for the job of catalog typist for Technical Services. Little did she know that it would be 38 years later when she would walk out the door and end her career at ECRL.
Shari was so excited in 1973 because she had a window by her desk and she could gaze out the east side of the library. Well, that view lasted a grand total of 2 days! The windows on the east side of the building were closed up so the present day garage could be built. For the next 37 years, 363 days, Shari would never see the light of day again through a window from her workstation.
Shari worked as a catalog typist in Technical Services for 6 � years and then moved into the accounting and bookkeeping position after the previous employee, Leona Medin, retired. During her tenure, Shari worked for 5 East Central Regional Library directors. The Regional library budget went from less than 1 million a year to 3 million a year and Shari's position went from Administrative Assistant to Administrative Services Manager. 
Remember card catalogs, records and audio cassettes? That's what you would have found in the library in 1973 when Shari started working at ECRL. At that time she could not envision all the technology that would be a part of the library today. One thing that has not changed in her time at ECRL, however, is the yearly struggle with the budget. Shari feels it will continue to be the biggest challenge facing ECRL in the future.
"I'll miss the people I work with the most," says Shari. "They have made my job easier, so it will be very hard to leave them." Over her 38 years she remembers working with lots of different people - she says Eunice Wickland, Mary Koepsell, Barb Nord and Sandy Novak and many more come to mind. Many became lifelong friends. 
The East Central Regional Library Board recognized Shari for her years of service at a brunch and presentation on Monday, December 12 and her friends and co-workers will be celebrating with her before she retires at the end of December. What's in store for Shari when she retires? She says, "relaxing, relaxing, relaxing and reading the long list of authors and titles I want to read." It's a good thing she's got great connections at the library!
ECRL Assistant Director Takes New Position


East Central Regional Library Assistant Director, Nick Dimassis, has accepted a new position as the Carver County Library Director effective January 3, 2012. Nick has worked as Assistant Director for ECRL for the past five years. The Assistant Director supervises all 14 of East Central Regional Library's branch librarians, who provide service to the end users. He also supervises the delivery staff responsible for transporting library materials to and from the 14 branch libraries throughout ECRL's 6 county region. Informing and educating the public on the importance and relevance of libraries is also a part of the Assistant Director's job. Nick is very passionate about the importance of libraries in today's society and is an impassioned advocate for them. His sense of humor and calm demeanor will be missed. We wish him well in his new endeavor.

ECRL to Increase Overdue Fees

Upon recommendation by the finance committee, the East Central Regional Library Board approved an increase in overdue fines at their November 11 board meeting.  Fines for all overdue items will increase from the current .10 per day to .20 per day per item beginning Monday, January 9, 2012.  The overdue rate has not been increased since East Central Regional Library automated back in 1996.  The new fine structure is similar to that of other Minnesota library systems.

Since we have a limited materials budget, it is important for individuals to return their items on time, so others may check the item out.  When items are kept past their due date, it prohibits others from being able to use that item.  We hope that individuals will return the items they have checked out on time and thus, avoid any fines.  Most items can be renewed online, by phone, or in person at any ECRL branch.  You cannot renew an item for which someone else has placed a hold request.   Fines will accrue to a maximum of $6.00 per item for juveniles, teens and adults.  Remember that fines will increase on any items checked out beginning Monday, January 9, 2012.

Social Networking Digital Immigrant Classes Continue


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 month of January are listed below.


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


January Classes

January 9 at 1:00 pm @ the Chisago Lakes Area Library

January 11 at 10:00 am @ the Aitkin Public Library

January 12 at 10:00 am @ the Cambridge Public Library

January 12 at 6:00 pm @ the Pine City Public Library

January 17 at 2:00 pm @ the Mora Public Library

January 18 at 1:00 pm @ the Wyoming Area Library

January 19 at 6:00 pm @ the Milaca Community Library

January 24 at 10:00 am @ the North Branch Area Library

January 24 at 6:00 pm @ the Princeton Area Library


Watch for class or eBooks and eReaders coming in February and March!


East Central Regional Library

Holiday Closings!


Happy Holidays!  All East Central Regional Libraries will be closed on Saturday, December 24, Sunday, December 25 and Monday, December 26, Sunday, January 1 and Monday, January 2. 

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:
Thomas Steinbeck


The son of Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck, Thomas has a background in filmmaking and serves on the Board of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, and the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.   He has three published works to his credit, all of which have received outstanding reviews:
*Down to a Soundless Sea (2002)
*In the Shadow of the Cypress (2010)
*The Silver Lotus (2011)


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

*The Night Swimmer by Matt Bondurant
*The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
*77 Shadow Street by Dean R. Koontz
*History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason
*The Healing by Jonathan Odell
*Cain at Gettysburg by Ralph Peters
*Silver Lotus by Thomas Steinbeck

New DVDs recently added to the ECRL catalog: 


*Bertie and Elizabeth (2002) starring James Wilby

*Design for Living (1933) starring Gary Cooper

*The Librarian:  Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006) starring Noah Wyle

*The Skeptic (2009) starring Tim Daly

*Straw Dogs (2011) starring James Marsden

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


*Christmas Spirit:  Memories of Family, Friends and Faith by Joel Osteen
*Creating the Happiest of Holidays, Book 2 by Susan Sullian White
*Pearl Harbor Christmas:  a World at War, December 1941 by Stanley Weintraub
Swedish Christmas *Traditions:  a Smorgasbord of Scandinavian Recipes, Crafts and Other Delights by Ernest Kirchsteiger
*Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book:  the Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On by Brian Miller

 Focus on


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


Picture Books


*Arthur Christmas: the Movie Storybook

*Christmas Cats by Nancy Wallace

*Christmas with Vera by Marjolein Bastin

*Duck & Company Christmas by Kathy Caple

*Little Bunny and the Magic Christmas Tree by David Martin

 *Twelve Days of Christmas by Jane Ray 


Juvenile Fiction



 *Amelia and the Other Side of Yuletide by Jimmy Gownley 

*Ho-ho-nooo! by Bill Myers

*Home for the Holidays by Heather Frederick

*Santa Buddies by Cathy Hapka

*Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer Holm 



Juvenile Non-Fiction 



*Christmas Coat:  Memories of my Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve 

*Christmas Tree Ship

 *O Christmas Tree:  It's History and Holiday Traditions

by Jacqueline Farmer

 *Super Simple Holiday Treats:  Easy No-Bake Recipes for Kids by Nancy Tuminelly

*Visual Dictionary of Christmas Long Ago by Bobbie Kalman