Thursday, December 22, 2011

Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library

Here's a great place to find primary source documents on Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.
From the website:
Unlike modern presidents, Theodore Roosevelt does not have a presidential library. Instead, his personal and presidential papers are scattered in libraries and other sites across the United States. The mission of the Theodore Roosevelt Center is to gather together and digitize copies of all Roosevelt-related items, to make his legacy more readily accessible to scholars and schoolchildren, enthusiasts and interested citizens. Items in the digital library include correspondence to and from Roosevelt, diary entries, notes, political cartoons, scrapbooks, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Roosevelt, speeches, and photographs. Users can also view film clips and listen to audio recordings.
Barbara Misselt, Director

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ludwig van Beethoven

Today is recognized as the anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1740. His exact birthdate is unknown, but his baptism was recorded on December 17th. In the time and place he was born, it was customary to baptize babies the day after birth, so he was probably born on the 16th. Besides, Beethoven himself celebrated the anniversary of his birth on the 16th.
While he was born 241 years ago, he may have had a profound impact on the digital age, since some believe that when the compact disc was developed, it had to have enough capacity/length to hold Beethoven's 9th Symphony. (The 9th Symphony when recorded on LP records filled 3 sides.)

According to Wired online: When Sony and Philips were negotiating a single industry standard for the audio compact disc in 1979 and 1980, the story is that one of four people (or some combination of them) insisted that a single CD be able to hold all of the Ninth Symphony. The four were the wife of Sony chairman Akio Morita, speaking up for her favorite piece of music; Sony VP Norio Ohga (the company’s point man on the CD), recalling his studies at the Berlin Conservatory; Mrs. Ohga (her favorite piece, too); and conductor Herbert von Karajan, who recorded for Philips subsidiary Polygram and whose Berlin Philharmonic recording of the Ninth clocked in at 66 minutes.

You can check out books about Beethoven or CDs of Beethoven's music. Also, read more about Beethoven on the Minnesota Public Radio site.

Barbara Misselt, Director

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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 ½ 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!

Vickie Sorn, Youth & Community Services Librarian
(Press release)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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.

Vickie Sorn, Youth & Community Services Librarian