August 2014
Volume 4, Issue 8
ECRL Newsletter Logo  


Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

East Central Regional Library is excited to announce access to LearningExpress Library, a database new to the Electronic Library of Minnesota (ELM). Access to this new resource, along with all ELM resources, is funded by Minitex, State Library Services, and LSTA funds.

LearningExpress Library is an educational and career-focused resource, which includes skills improvement in reading, writing, math, and basic sciences, as well as test prep for academic and career testing. Great for students, members of the military, job seekers, and college bound, content is organized in the LearningExpress Library into Centers by subject area. Tailored for the individual learner, LearningExpress resources include practice tests and review exercises, interactive tutorials, eBooks, and study strategies and advice.

LearningExpress Library has information for all ages (adults on down to elementary age students). Its Centers include:

Job & Career Accelerator
* Manage your job search, build great resumes and cover letters, prepare for an interview, and discover careers that fit your interests and experience with Occupation Matcher.
* Prepare for entrance and career certification exams (i.e. ASVAB, corrections officer, nursing, postal workers).
* Improve workplace skills such as social networking.
Computer Skills Center
* Interactive video tutorials help you gain proficiency in computer and internet basics, popular software programs such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, Windows and Mac operating systems, social media and more.
* Includes learning materials for beginner to advanced.
Adult Learning Center
* Prepare for the citizenship exam
College Center
* Strengthen your academic skills
* Prepare for college placement exams (Accuplacer)
* Prepare for graduate school admission exams (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT)
College Prep Center
* Get into college with college admissions tests (ACT, SAT, TOEFL)
* Study for AP exams to earn college credit
* Learn how to write a college admissions essay
High School Equivalency Center
* Prepare for the GED.
* Especially helpful following the changes in official GED testing at the start of 2014 which requires computer skills, condenses five subject-matter exams into four and includes more difficult questions aligned with Common Core Curriculum Standards that promote critical thinking and problem-solving.
School Center
* Divided into areas for elementary, middle school, and high school students.
* Prepare for important tests, get extra help with assignments, and boost their skills in subjects such as math, language arts, social studies, and science.

Much of LearningExpress's information is also available for Spanish language speakers, in the Resource Center for Spanish.

LearningExpress users must register a personal account by confirming their institution (East Central Regional Library), providing their name and email address, and creating a password. By creating a personal account, LearningExpress is able to create "My Center," which tracks your individual learning progress, saves favorite tutorials, eBooks, and computer courses, and organizes your job search.

You can access LearningExpress Library from ECRL's homepage under Quick Links or under Magazines & Databases. LearningExpress is available in the library, at home, or anywhere with an internet connection.

Get started on LearningExpress Library today!
Summer Reading Program and Telephones

Andrea Hermanson, Pine City Branch Librarian
Adapted from column in the Pine City Pioneer

The libraries have been abuzz with Summer Reading Program activity this summer. Thank you to all of the participants, volunteers, and sponsors who made it a success!

In addition to summer reading excitement, we introduced a new phone system. If you've called any location in ECRL lately, you may have noticed a new greeting and possibly a new voice on the other end of the phone.

The new phone system carries calls over internet lines - Voice Over IP (VOIP), thus reducing long distance charges for calls among branches and headquarters. Multiple phone lines are shared by branches, thus expanding calling capacity from the former single line in each branch. Phone calls are answered whenever branches across the region are open. When you call into our local phone number, your call is routed to the next available staff person across our 14-branch library system.

A few benefits of the new system include expanded hours of service and access to multiple phone lines, supporting increased connectivity for simultaneous phone calls and fax transmissions. You can now access library phone services not only when your local branch is open, but when any branch is open. This includes Sundays and Mondays as well as until 8 p.m. most weekdays. The new system will add up to significant cost savings in long distance over time and provide call conferencing capabilities.

For you the caller, this will mean a few changes. When you call into the library, any staff person from one of our 14 branches can help you with circulation questions, such as renewing your materials, placing holds, or checking your account information. Don't be shy-all staff will be delighted to answer your questions!

If you have questions that are specific to a branch, you can ask for that particular branch. The staff person answering your call will connect you. Examples of branch-specific questions may include booking the community room for use or checking on the time of a library program. If your call is placed on hold, please be patient. We're probably helping another person.

Please bear with us as we make this transition and work out the "kinks." We believe this system will have many benefits in the end!
Upcoming Legacy Programming
(events funded with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund)


Tonic Sol Fa


Princeton High School 

Performing Arts Center    

Tuesday, September 2 - 7:00 pm


Join us for a concert by this popular a capella group.  It will be an exciting and entertaining evening.


Children's Stories from India

Enter a world of magic and imagination with Indian-born actor and storyteller Zaraawar Mistry from Dreamland Arts, in his retelling of classic myths, historical stories and animal fables from India. These popular and entertaining stories encourage children to learn about Indian culture, wildlife, food and history. Greg Herriges plays live music on guitar and bouzouki (Greek lute).  For ages 3+   They will be appearing at the following libraries on the following dates:

Thursday, September 18 
10:30 am - Milaca Community Library 

Saturday, September 20 
10:30 am - McGregor Public Library 

Wednesday, September 24 
10:30 am - Cambridge Public Library 
2:00 pm - Rush City Public Library 

Friday, September 26
11:00 am - Mora Public Library 

Saturday, September 27
10:30 am - Hinckley Public Library 

Plus check out all the other activities going on throughout ECRL.  Simply check any of the following spots on our website:  NewsBits at, Google calendar, ECRL Facebook page or follow us on Twitter@ecrlib.
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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Read & Ride Day: Celebrate Summer Reading at the MN State Fair!

Join Minnesota's public libraries and the Minnesota Book Awards on August 27 in presenting a day of free family fun in Carousel Park (in front of the Grand Stand) on Wed. Aug 27 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. There will be performers on stage all day, a scavenger hunt, dozens of children and adult authors, characters, crafts, trivia & games, photo ops and tons of fun. Show your public library card at the gate for discounted admission.
More Fun at the State Fair!

Overdrive Titles
 (Search for any these in the Overdrive catalog)
eBook Titles
*A. Lincoln:  A Biography by Ronald C. white, Jr.
*The Astral by Kate Christensen
*Casebook by Mona Simpson
*Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
*First True Lie by Marina Mander
*Lucky Me by Sachi Parker
*The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
*Round House by Louise Erdrich
*True North by Marle Force
*When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak

eAudio Titles
*Angels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke
*The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillipp Sendler
*Help for the Haunted by John Searles
*I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
*My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke
*Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
*The Sun and Other Stars by Brigid Pasulka
*The Target by David Baldacci
*Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
*Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

Forthcoming Print Fiction in the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these items in the ECRL catalog:
*All Things New by Lynn Austin
*Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith
*Cane and Abe by James Grippando
*Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner
*Fall of Grace by Julia London
*Glow by Ned Beauman
*Knocked by Carol Clark Higgins
*Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer
*Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
*Obsession in Death by J. D. Robb
Forthcoming Print Non-Fiction in the ECRL Catalog
Search for any of these titles in the ECRL Catalog:

*The DASH Diet Younger You by Maria Heller 
*Farm to Market Handbook by Janet Hurst
*Genealogy Online for Dummies by Matthew Helm
*My Body is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta
*My Paris Kitchen:  Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
*My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart
*Radical King by Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Resilience:  Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness by Jessie Close
*Zombie Book:  the Encyclopedia of the Living Dead by Nicholas Redrern

Forthcoming Children's Picture Books to the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these in the ECRL Catalog:
*Amelia Bedelia Chalks One Up by Herman Parish
*Backhoe Joe by Lori Alexander
*Fairytale Magic by Kristen Depken
*I'm Big by Kate McMullen
*Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma by Jacky Davis
*Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch 
*Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horacek
*Train by Jodi Abbot
*What to Do When You're Sent to Your Room by Ann Stott
*Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken by Helen Lester