Thursday, July 17, 2008

Look What's Cookin' Summer Reading Celebrations

Things have really been cookin' at all of our East Central Regional Library branches this summer and we're getting ready to celebrate. The 2008 Look What's Cookin' at Your Library summer reading program is coming to a close and it's time for us to get together and celebrate everyone's reading accomplishments.

Aitkin, McGregor, Mille Lacs Lake, Mora, Princeton & Wyoming Libraries

Puppeteer, Diane Gasch, will be visiting several ECRL branches with her gigantic 8 foot puppets to entertain summer reading program participants. Diane is a member of the Twin Cities Puppetry Guild and the Puppeteers of America and has performed at many Minnesota libraries. She will be performing on the following dates:

Wednesday, July 30

McGregor Public Library at 10:00 am
Aitkin High School Choir Room at 1:00 pm

Thursday, July 31

Mille Lacs Lake Community Library at 1:00 pm

Saturday, August 2

Wyoming Area Library at 2:00 pm

Wednesday, August 6

Mora Public Library at 10:00 am
Princeton Area Library at 1:00 pm


Our final celebration and reward will be held on Monday, August 4 from 1:00-2:00 pm. Summer reading participants are invited to visit the library for a special treat. Pick up your reading record, any earned unclaimed incentives, and completion certificate. You'll also get a chance for a free polaroid picture with our giant "pig" chef and a coupon for a free ice cream treat from the Schwan's truck. You can pick from 3 different kinds of treats! Help us beat the heat with some fun and treats as we celebrate a great summer filled with books and reading.

Chisago Lakes

Help us close out the summer reading program at our Beat the Heat Treats Celebration on Saturday, August 2 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Kids ages 4-12 are invited to make their very own ice cream sundae (toppings will be provided) in our community room.


Mr. Adams magic will have your kids laughing hysterically as he performs at the Hinckley Public Library on Thursday, August 7 at 1:00 pm. Watch as he makes rock soup, peanut butter mustard cake and hippopotamus toothpaste. The ticket drawing and drawings for other prizes will be held after the event.

Vickie Sorn, ECRL Community Services Coordinator

Another Round of Genealogy Classes

If you missed it the first time, now is your chance to learn all about East Central Regional Library’s genealogical database, Ancestry Library Edition. It provides instant access to a wide range of unique genealogical and historical resources. Classes were held this past spring and were so successful, several branch libraries are offering them again.

Reference staff from will be presenting classes for those interested in learning all about this new and exciting genealogical database. Classes will be offered at the Cambridge Public Library on Friday, August 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm; the Milaca Community Library on Wednesday, August 13 from 5:30-7:30 pm; the Pine City Public Library on Thursday, August 14 from 6:00-8:00 pm; and the Sandstone Public Library on Tuesday, August 19 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Registration is necessary for each of the classes. Call the Cambridge, Milaca or Sandstone library branch for more information about the class.

Vickie Sorn, Community Services Coordinator

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Bookmobile Adventure

“My name is Jug, J-U-G.” I glanced apprehensively past the dashboard trinkets and girlie calendar to the burly tattooed driver.

“When they called, they asked if I could haul a Bluebird bus.” Jug was no novice. “It’s not a Bluebird—it’s The Bookmobile!”

I was struggling to find common ground for conversation as we faced a two-hour trip back to Cambridge, when Jug offered the magic segue: “The only thing that’s worse to haul than the Bookmobile is the vehicle for the State correctional facilities!”

So began my assortment of lessons on towing services, customers, double clutching, and the adventures of a hardworking business owner and former repo man. I had thought it would be just another hot summer day on the bookmobile, but I never expected to return to Cambridge in a super-sized wrecker hauling our 13-ton bus.

Just last spring, the bookmobile hobbled back to Cambridge sporting a cracked block. Thankfully, this time we’re looking at something as minor as a starter that won’t start. I hope that’s all it is, because we have a job to do. The bookmobile is our way to provide library services to folks in remote areas, early readers in children’s groups, elderly folks no longer able to get around, and more. There is nothing like its services, and there is nothing like its adventures!

Yes, I had left Cambridge full of hope, prepared for eight hours on the road. Eagerly I started my audiocassette tape, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, determined to understand men by the time I returned to Cambridge. (I like a challenge!) Well, I never reached eight hours on the road, I still don’t understand men, but I did finish my tape—and “it was a good thing.” Little did I know that I’d be riding back to Cambridge entertained by stories from a guy named Jug. Using my newfound knowledge, I enjoyed the ride and conversation (as well as the obligatory quiet times, of course).

So, next time I venture out on the bookmobile, I’ll be shopping the shelves for an audiocassette tape on either diesel mechanics or a sequel to the Martians and Venusians. We never know what to expect on the bookmobile—apart from groups of eager readers who are always thrilled to see us. Can it get any better than that!?

Jackie Shaefer, Bookmobile Driver

Monday, July 14, 2008

Got Fish?

During the summer, library patron, Roger Branville and his sons, Jason and Stephen, visited the Cambridge Public Library. Roger wanted the boys to read. They approached the reference desk while I was working. It seemed Jason loved to read, but Steven wasn't much into it. When I found out that Steven liked to fish, I took him to the fishing section in the library.

Over the summer, he has read several books about catching walleyes and northern pike. Since I love to fish, I was soon getting fishing reports from various family members when they came to get more materials. Out on the lake, Stephen was showing-up seasoned fisher people. "How'd you do that?" they asked. "I went to the library, checked out some books and read them, " Steven replied.

Do you have a skill you'd like to improve? Stop by the library and see what we can find!

Check out Steven's picture at the library's Flickr site

Rebecca Hostetler
Reference Assistant Cambridge Public Library

Summer Library Fun at Hinckley Public Library

Library kids had a great time last week celebrating the 150th birthday of
the state of Minnesota. Guest storyteller, Steven Keillor, entertained
with stories from our great state’s past. Following his delightful
anecdotes, volunteers Lori Klar and Mindy Johnson kept the kids busy with
a gummy worm fishing game, creating colorful pictures of Minnesota symbols
which were crafted into a “quilt” decorating the hallway, and snacking on
“firecrackers” made from combining twinkies, frosting, and red licorice.

This week’s library event features the excellent puppetry of Robert and
Lynn Halbrook who will be presenting “Chef Roberto’s Magical Cooking Show”
at 1:00pm on Wednesday filled with amazing illusions and a myriad of
kitchen mishaps, along with a generous dose of literature inspired

The next scheduled summer reading event for kids comes up on Wednesday,
July 30, at 1:30pm, when we will be having a birthday party for everyone!!
Jill Hopkins and Laura Eyre have agreed to coordinate this one, along
with Florence Lyseth who will be in charge of the cupcake decorating
station. One of the activities planned for this party involves putting
together “birthday cake kits” for the local food shelf. Here is an easy
opportunity for all library patrons to help out by donating a boxed cake
mix, a can of frosting, and a box of birthday candles. Kids will be
decorating cake boxes at the party which will then be filled with the
donated ingredients and delivered to the food shelf. Please consider
adding to the fun by bringing in to the library your donation of birthday
cake needs by Wed. the 30th. The library kids will put them to good cause
in a colorful way!!!

This week’s winners in the teen level reading program are: Trent Doyle,
Lauren Rabe, and Quamari Robinson. Congratulations, teens…keep on
reading, enter often…you could win the cash prize in August!

Ceci Cross-Maser
Branch Librarian
Hinckley Public Library

Monday, July 7, 2008

Library News from Hinckley

"Look What’s Cookin’ at your library" took on a whole new meaning as the delicious smell of stone soup filled the library this past Wednesday, July 2. Of course the soup had lots more than just a stone in it. 10 vegetables, plus beef, pasta, and seasonings were prepared under the watchful eyes of volunteers Michelle Letourneau and Alyssa Prater. After hearing the story "Stone Soup", kids surrounded a table of work stations and were all peeling, chopping, dicing, slicing, grating, or julienning (is that a word?) It was a sight to behold! And then while the soup was cooking, they kept busy with other stories, games, and activities until it was time to sample the yummy results of their labors. Much thanks to those two gals for all the time they enthusiastically put into prep and production.

This week’s event on Wednesday, July 9 will be the "Happy Birthday, Minnesota" party where Lori Klar and Mindy Johnson will help the kids celebrate our state’s sesquicentennial. A special part of this celebration will be stories told of early Minnesota by guest storyteller, Steven Keillor. 150 years deserves a party and details will be in next week’s column.

Winners in the Teen level program for week three were Colton Blesi, Robert Bustamante, and Janiqua Robinson, while week four’s winners were Chris Carlstrom, Erika Winter, and Liz Sikkink. Congratulation to all of you and keep on reading and entering!!!

A new feature this year is a drawing for prizes for parents, or other adults who have been helping their kids participate in the summer reading program. It’s one way to say thank you for all the efforts they have to put in to enhance their kid’s library experiences. Prizes are from the Daily Dollar store, who generously donated a portion of them. Make sure you register when you’re here with your kids!

Holy scavenger hunts!!! The activity around the library gets intense as kids scurry around searching for items or pictures for the various hunts…and this week a new one will begin. This one appropriately has to do with the great state in which we are all fortunate enough to live in.

Ceci Cross-Maser, Hinckley Branch Librarian