Saturday, December 28, 2013

To a Healthier New Year!

It’s that time of year again: News Year’s Resolution time. Many among us will renew our commitment to making changes in our lives.  I already know mine will be cooking more and healthier food (fewer cans of soup and more homemade soup!)—and health is a common resolution theme, especially eating better and shedding a few pounds.  

This year, if you are among the nutrition and weight-loss resolution-ists, ECRL has a few resources that can help you on your way.  While there are countless methods and proposed solutions out there, I hope these resources will get your wheels turning about which one or ones might work for you.  

Here’s to rededicating ourselves to healthy living! 

BOOKS  (Print & Digital)

The 3-1-2-1 diet: eat and cheat your way to weight loss--up to 10 pounds in 21 days (Print) by Dolvett Quince (2013). Quince, a star trainer on NBC's “The Biggest Loser”, proposes a weight loss plan that balances diet and fitness: 3 days of "clean" eating, 1 day to cheat, 2 days of clean eating, and 1 day for reward--plus a fitness plan that incorporates brief but intense workouts. 

Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You (ebook) by Jessica Cassity (2011). Cassity’s 365 tips and tricks for better living incorporate research and wisdom garnered from conversations with wide-ranging health experts, including doctors, nutritionists, yogis, psychologists, trainers, and more.  

Eat to live cookbook: 200 delicious nutrient-rich recipes for fast and sustained weight loss, reversing disease, and lifelong health (Print) by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  (2013). Fuhrman promotes a nutrient-loaded diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal and processed foods (and calories) for optimum health and longevity. Recipes span breakfast, main meals, snacks, and desserts. Click here for the ebook version.
Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food (ebook) by Susan Albers (2012). A licensed clinical psychologist and diet and fitness coach, Albers approaches health by exploring the myriad of personal and social meanings around food and eating (and the habits we form) and offering strategies to manage those meanings and habits in your own life.  

The start here diet: three simple steps that helped me transition from fat to slim ... for life by Tosca Reno with Billie Fitzpatrick (2013).  Reno’s three-step weight loss "recipe" (dive inward, uncover your hidden foods, move a little) is packed with tips on shopping, meal planning, recipes, and effective exercises you can do at home. 


Natural Health Magazine. (Digital - ZinioMonthly magazine focusing on natural ingredients to better health, including articles on nutrition, recipes, and overall strategies for wellness.  

Weight Watchers.  (Digital - ZinioA monthly magazine offering recipes and tips for weight loss. 


“Choose My Plate,” Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). The CNPP is an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their website “Choose My” is dedicated to helping citizens developing health living habits, including tips to eat healthy on a budget, tools to estimate calories and physical activity, food plans and recipes. 

“Weight Loss for Life,” Weight-control Information Network (WIN). WIN is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health). WIN offers a range of current, research-based health information, including tips on nutrition, weight control and fitness.  

Andrea Hermanson, Branch Librarian, Pine City 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Want to unplug over the holidays?

In the technology-filled world that we live in, it is easy to get swept up in obsessing over the latest gadget or getting glued to the screen, especially during the holiday shopping season.  At the same time, the holidays are a time when families are together unwinding.  As such, they present a good opportunity for the whole family to disconnect from devices and go tech-free for a while!  

Here are some recommended picture books to read with your child that illustrate the joys of unplugging.

A child seeks a way to communicate with parents and a brother who are busy with their electronic devices.

Chloe Bunny lives with her big family of ten older brothers and sisters and ten younger brothers and sisters, but it is only Chloe who is able to compete with the new television set that Dad brings home one evening.

Upset that her family is so focused on the screens on their various electronic devices that they no longer talk, laugh, and play games together, Ella takes all of their chargers and small devices.

When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

Doug the robot discovers that cities are much more than downloaded facts when he unplugs from the computer feed and explores one first-hand.

A boy and a robot strike up a friendship despite their differences.

Do you have any children’s book recommendations regarding technology you’d like to share?  Post in the comments below!

*Thanks to Kathy Kleckner of Dakota County Libraries for the recommendations at the Minnesota Library Association Conference 2013- "Early Literacy and Screen Time."
Sarah Hawkins, Branch Librarian, Chisago Lakes Area Library

Monday, December 16, 2013

Forthcoming titles - December 2013

Forthcoming titles - click here to search for and place your hold on the ECRL catalog


Title Contributor
Child of Mine Lewis, Beverly
Cop Town: A Novel Slaughter, Karin
Deserves to Die Jackson, Lisa
Girl missing : a novel revised edition Gerritsen, Tess
Invisible Patterson, James
Last bride Lewis, Beverly
A Moment in Time Peterson, Tracie
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel King, Stephen
The Promise Carr, Robyn
Rainy Day Dreams Copeland, Lori
Shadow Spell Roberts, Nora
The Skin Collector Deaver, Jeffery
Terminal City Fairstein, Linda A.
Top Secret Twenty-One: a Stephanie Plum Novel Evanovich, Janet


Title Author
Child of Mine Lewis, Beverly
Do or Die: Reluctant Heroes Brockmann, Suzanne
Invisible Patterson, James
Last bride Lewis, Beverly
A Moment in Time Peterson, Tracie
Shadow Spell Roberts, Nora
The Skin Collector Deaver, Jeffery
Temptation Woods, Sherryl
Top Secret Twenty-One : a Stephanie Plum novel Evanovich, Janet


Title Contributor
The 1st Victim Hoag, Tami
8 Sandpiper Way Macomber, Debbie
The Beekeeper's Ball Wiggs, Susan
Carnal Curiosity Woods, Stuart
Delivering Death Kramer, Julie
FaceOff Baldacci, David
Invisible Patterson, James
Midnight Rainbow Howard, Linda
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel King, Stephen
No Ordinary Man Brockmann, Suzanne
Shadow Spell Roberts, Nora
The Skin Collector Deaver, Jeffery
Summer at Willow Lake Wiggs, Susan
Target Baldacci, David
Top Secret Twenty-One : a Stephanie Plum novel Evanovich, Janet

Marcia Ledin, Technical Services Coordinator

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 BOOK AWARDS - Booker, Nobel, Pulitzer !

The votes are in, and the winners have been announced!  Here are the authors and books that received major literary awards in 2013:



Cited as a “master of the contemporary short story”, Munro is the first Canadian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.  She is also a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction.  Her works include:

Dance of the Happy Shades (1968)             

The Progress of Love (1986)

The Love of a Good Woman (1998)

Dear Life (2012)



Johnson is a South Dakota native and Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Stanford University.  He received the Pulitzer for The Orphan Master’s Son.  His works include:

Emporium (2002)

Parasites Like Us (2003)

The Orphan Master’s Son (2012)



McBride is a writer and musician whose 1996 memoir, The Color of Water, was a huge bestseller.  He received the National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird.  His works include:

 The Color of Water (1996)

 Miracle at St. Anna (2002)

 Song Yet Sung (2008)

 The Good Lord Bird (2012)


 THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE – Eleanor Catton

A native of New Zealand, Catton attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2008.  She received the Booker Prize for The Luminaries and is the youngest recipient (at age 28) of that award.  Her works include:

 The Rehearsal (2008)

 The Luminaries (2013)


Many of these titles and various other award-winners are in the East Central Regional Library collection.  Check Evergreen (our online catalog) or contact your nearest ECRL branch library for assistance!

Bob Gray, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian



Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Delights

At the Mille Lacs Branch of East Central Regional Library, we slow down at this time of year so I have the time to write a blog posting.  The snowbirds have flown south to their condos and trailers.  The rest of us are left to face winter.  It could be a daunting five months of darkness and cold, but a trip to the nonfiction section of the library can give you some ideas on how to make it through a Minnesota winter.

Since the holidays are just around the corner, it might be nice to bake up some goodies for neighbors, friends or family.  You can warm up the house while doing a good deed.  Here are a few newer holiday baking books you can put a hold on:

Holiday crafting & baking with kids : gifts, sweets, and treats for the whole family by Jessica Strand

Sweet Christmas : homemade peppermints, sugar cake, chocolate-almond toffee, eggnog fudge, and other sweet treats and decoration by Sharon Bowers

Another way to while away those winter hours is to knit or crochet.  You can justify spending hours watching movies or television if you are making something at the same time.  Some easy items to knit that will also keep you or a loved one warm include mittens, hats, stockings, scarves and leg warmers.  You could also crochet a more complicated afghan or sweater.  You’ll find many books on yarn working in the 746 Dewey Decimal areas. ECRL has many hobby books from painting to quilting and woodworking that can give you free patterns and advice.  These books have some ideas for gifts you can make:

Handmade Gifts, 2013

Holiday boutique knitting:  inspired holiday d├ęcor and gifts to knit by Mary jean Daigneault

After the holidays are over, it’s time to put the house back in order.  The library has many books that tell you how to de-clutter, organize or clean your house in the 648 section of nonfiction.  ECRL also has books on Feng Shui which is the Chinese art of optimal home placement to bring you good fortune and happiness.  Here are a few newer books to give you some ideas on how to enhance your living space:

Soulspace:  transform your home, transform you life - creating a home that is free of clutter, full of beauty, and inspired by you by Xorin Balbes
Feng Shui that makes sense:  easy ways to create a home that feels s good as it looks by Cathleen McCandless

Winter can feel long when the cold forces us inside for days at a time.  Help the time pass pleasantly and productively by reading and pursuing hobbies that can bring warming happiness to you and others. Check out an East Central Regional Library book today.

Kathy Morrow
Mille Lacs Lake Community Branch Librarian

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Cultural Exhibit to Visit All ECRL Branches

This week the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe unveiled a new cultural exhibit that highlights the Band’s heritage and deep connection to East Central Minnesota. The exhibit, made up of five interconnected banners, details the history of the Mille Lacs Band from its arrival 250 years ago in what would become Minnesota up to the present day. The exhibit also explains the Band’s sovereign government structure and the economic benefits that the Band brings to East Central Minnesota.

“We are excited to have an additional option for sharing the Band’s history and culture with our neighbors,” said Jamie Edwards, the Mille Lacs Band Director of Government Affairs. “While the Band is an important regional employer and community partner, many of our neighbors still don’t know that much about us. This exhibit seeks to change that.”

The cultural exhibit, will open at the Hinckley Public Library, a branch of East Central Regional Library, on Tuesday, November 26 and will be on display until December 10. All 14 branches of East Central Regional Library will host all or part of the cultural exhibit in the coming months.  After leaving the Hinckley Public Library, it will travel to the Rush City Public Library.  See the schedule listed below for the dates the exhibit will be at an ECRL branch near you.   

Hosting the Mille Lacs Band traveling cultural exhibit is an honor.  It is crucial that East Central Regional Library is educating our entire community about American Indian culture and government, especially with the Mille Lacs Band right next door.

More information about the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe can be found at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Onamia or at

Exhibit Schedule:
Hinckley Public Library – November 26 to December 10
Rush City Public Library – December 10 to December 23
Mille Lacs Lake Community Library – December 23 to January 7
Aitkin Public Library – January 7 to January 22
Mora Public Library  - January 22 to February 4
Pine City Public – February 4 to February 19
Sandstone Public Library – February 19 to March 4
McGregor Public Library – March 4 to March 18
Milaca Community Library – March 18 to April 1
Princeton Area Library – April 1 to April 15
Cambridge Public Library – April 15 to April 29
Wyoming Area Library – April 29 to May 13
Chisago Lakes Area Library – May 13 to May 27
North Branch Area Library  - May 27 to June 10

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Forthcoming Titles - November 2013

Forthcoming titles - click here to search for and place your hold on the ECRL catalog.


Title Author
After Dead Harris, Charlaine
The Beekeeper's Ball Wiggs, Susan
Carnal Curiosity Woods, Stuart
The Collector Roberts, Nora
Dating, Dining, and Desperation Carlson, Melody
Dead Giveaway Fluke, Joanne
Distortion Blackstock, Terri
Elm Creek Quilts Companion Chiaverini, Jennifer
Field of Prey Sandford, John
Ghost Ship Cussler, Clive
Lincoln Myth Berry, Steve
The Marriage Pact Miller, Linda Lael
Midnight Crossroad Harris, Charlaine
Unlucky 13 Patterson, James
Untitled Flynn, Vince
Water Walker Dekker, Ted


Title Author
All Things Hidden Peterson, Tracie
Bertie Plays the Blues McCall Smith, Alexander
Big Sky Secrets Miller, Linda Lael
Blindsided Michaels, Fern
Deception Cove Castle, Jayne
Distortion Blackstock, Terri
Fear Nothing Gardner, Lisa
Hazardous Duty Griffin, W. E. B.
Home to Seaview Key Woods, Sherryl
Inherit the Dead Child, Lee
The Last Kiss Goodbye Robards, Karen
Lincoln Myth Berry, Steve
Mrs. Lincoln's Rival Chiaverini, Jennifer
Rainy Day Dreams Copeland, Lori
River Road Krentz, Jayne Ann
Standup Guy Woods, Stuart
Unlucky 13 Patterson, James
Words of Silk Brown, Sandra


Title Author
6 Rainier Drive Macomber, Debbie
74 Seaside Avenue Macomber, Debbie
The Collector Roberts, Nora
Distortion Blackstock, Terri
The Dream Unfolds Delinsky, Barbara
A Family Affair Michaels, Fern
Forget Me Not Michaels, Fern
Games Creatures Play Harris, Charlaine
Ghost Ship Cussler, Clive
Jack Reacher Novellas Child, Lee
Lincoln Myth Berry, Steve
Live to See Tomorrow Johansen, Iris
Lone Star Baby Macomber, Debbie
Missing You Coben, Harlan
Moving Target Jance, Judith A.
Nell's Cowboy Macomber, Debbie
Strange Highways Koontz, Dean R.
Unlucky 13 Patterson, James
Untitled Flynn, Vince

Marcia Ledin, Technical Services Coordinator

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Macmillan eBooks

Macmillan Publishers have expanded their eBooks which they offer for library lending via Overdrive.  
Back in March, Macmillan launched a pilot program, offering their back-list romance and mystery titles for libraries, such as East Central Regional Library to license for our Digital Library.
Now, Macmillan is offering all of their back-list eBooks for library lending.  Essentially anything published 12 months ago or longer will be made available for libraries to license via Overdrive.  Macmillan will continue to add back-list books as they become eligible on a monthly basis.
Macmillan eBooks will follow the one-copy/one-user lending model, and libraries will be able to circulate each copy for 24 months or 52 checkouts, whichever comes first.  This does come with a cost increase.  All titles cost $40.00 for each copy East Central Regional licenses. (Previously, Macmillan titles cost $25.00 per license.)  After the 24 months or 52 checkouts, ECRL will have to purchase an additional license in order to retain the title in our eBook collection.
Sarah Hawkins, Branch Librarian, Chisago Lakes Area Library

Friday, October 18, 2013

NOW AVAILABLE: Renew your eBooks & eAudiobooks in Overdrive!

The much anticipated feature of renewing eBooks & eAudiobooks on ECRL's Digital Library is now available!

Here's how it works:

The option to renew a title becomes available three days before the title is set to expire, appearing next to the title on your Bookshelf under your library Account on the Digital Library website. (Note:  NOT THE APP)

There is a limit of 1 renewal per checkout.
  1. Log into your library's digital collection website and navigate to your Account.
  2. On your library Bookshelf, select the Renew icon next to the title you'd like to renew.
    Note: This option does not appear until three days before the title is supposed to expire.
    If there isn't a waiting list for a title, the Renew icon will be green.  In this case, you can then borrow the title again immediately once your first checkout expires.
    Screenshot of the renew icon for a title with no existing holds
    If there is a waiting list for a title, the Renew icon will be grayed out. In this case, you can still use the renew feature to put yourself back on the waiting list.
    Screenshot of the renew icon for a title with existing holds
  3. Enter and confirm your email address, then click the Renew button.
    Screenshot of the renewal form
Once a title has successfully been renewed, its Renew icon on your library Bookshelf will have a green checkmark next to it.
Screenshot of the renew icon once a title has already been renewed
You can also track which titles you've renewed from your Holds page.

Here's what's different.  Your expiration date won't change on your Bookshelf after you renew an item until your first checkout period expires. If the title is available for you to borrow again, you will receive an email notification. Click the link in that email or go to your Holds list to check out the title again.

YOU HAVE TO DOWNLOAD THE TITLE AGAIN.  Then your expiration date will change to reflect your renewal.

(Info taken from Overdrive's Help page: How to renew digital titles).

Sarah Hawkins, Branch Librarian, Chisago Lakes Area Library

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Forthcoming Titles - October 2013

Forthcoming titles - click here to search for and place your hold on the ECRL catalog.



BOOTLEGGER Cussler, Clive
CHANCE Carr, Robyn
CHASE: A NOVEL Evanovich, Janet
EGGS IN A CASKET Childs, Laura
A FAMILY AFFAIR Michaels, Fern
I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN Clark, Mary Higgins
KEEP QUIET Scottoline, Lisa
KISS AND TELL Michaels, Fern
MISSING YOU Coben, Harlan
SUMMER DAYS Jackson, Lisa
TARGET Baldacci, David
WOMAN OF COURAGE Brunstetter, Wanda E.


CHASE: A NOVEL Evanovich, Janet
FOREVER GIRL McCall Smith, Alexander
The Gift of Christmas Macomber, Debbie
Innocence Koontz, Dean R.
TARGET Baldacci, David
TWICE LOVED Brunstetter, Wanda E.


CHASE: A NOVEL Evanovich, Janet
I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN Clark, Mary Higgins
KEEP QUIET Scottoline, Lisa
POWER PLAY Steel, Danielle

Marcia Ledin, Technical Services Coordinator

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Penguin Group eBooks

If you remember, back in November of 2011, Penguin Publishing stopped licensing their eBooks to libraries via OverDrive. Well...

GOOD NEWS!  Penguin Publishing has rejoined the list of leading publishers allowing library lending of eBooks via OverDrive, our Digital Library vendor.  More than 17,000 Penguin eBooks are available for libraries such as East Central Regional Library to license for our Digital Library.
Penguin Group Publishing titles will follow the one copy/one user lending model, and libraries will be able to circulate each copy they license for 12 months (1 year).  Popular new releases will be priced at $18.99 per copy.  Backlist favorites will range from $5.99 -$9.99 per copy.   After 12 months, ECRL will have to purchase an additional license in order to retain the title in our eBook collection

eBooks published by Penguin Group include many favorite authors such as:
  • Nora Roberts
  • Tom Clancy
  • Patricia Cornwell
  • Charlaine Harris
  • Lee Child
  • Iris Johansen
  • Christine Feehan
  • Kathy Reichs
  • Clive Cussler
  • W. E. B. Griffin
  • Harlan Coben
Also, remember that you can always suggest titles you wish to see added to ECRL's Digital Library via the Recommend to Library feature.

Library lending of eBooks is an ever-changing world, and the tide is turning in our favor.  When ECRL launched eBooks in November 2011, 5 of the 7 biggest publishers did NOT allow library lending of eBooks.  Today, 5 of the 7 biggest publishers DO allow library lending of eBooks in some manner.  Keep track of which major publishers allow library lending of eBooks at the blog post “Why can’t I get this eBook from ECRL?” 

Sarah Hawkins, Branch Librarian, Chisago Lakes Area Library