All ECRL Branch Hours to Change Starting March 4, 2018

In an effort to better serve the public and their busy schedules, in December the East Central Regional Library Board approved new operating hours at all 14 library branches across the six county area. The new hours will begin on Sunday, March 4, 2018, and can be viewed by clicking on any of the listed libraries on the Location & Hours page.

According to Carla Lydon, ECRL Executive Director, these changes are a culmination of a multi-year process during which time ECRL sought public feedback in our communities and consulted staff, Board members, and local officials in an effort to better balance our resources across our six county region. Prior to this, open hours had remained the same for more than a decade, despite changes in facilities, communities and traffic patterns. It is our hope that these new schedules will better serve the public and provide appropriate staffing levels to continue to provide the excellent customer service that people rely on when visiting our libraries.

 

Warm up with Hot Reads for Cold Nights Reading Program

Celebrate Hot Reads Cold Nights at your local East Central Regional Library branch this winter. All 14 branches plus outreach locations of ECRL will be offering this winter adult reading program.

Read or listen to a book in print or on your computer, phone, or tablet and be eligible to win prizes. The program starts in January. Contact your local ECRL branch for more details regarding specific dates, prizes and participation guidelines or participate online.

The kids get all the fun during the summer, so now it’s time for the adults to have a turn. Warm up this winter by participating in ECRL’s Hot Reads Cold Nights program. The program is sponsored by ECRL, local Friends of the Library groups, and other local organizations.

Hot Reads for Cold Nights online entry form

Libraries Offer Tools to Create and Share eBooks

In conjunction with other Minnesota libraries, East Central Regional Library now offers a new suite of resources – collectively called MN Writes MN Reads – to help local authors connect with local readers, and potentially with readers across the country.

“East Central Regional Library is excited by the possibilities of MN Writes MN Reads in helping our local communities come together through the power of the written word,” says Resource Librarian Sarah Hawkins.

MN Writes MN Reads consists of three resources that allow authors and readers to create, share and read eBooks. These resources, Pressbooks, SELF-e, and Biblioboard, are free to members of the community via the MN Writes MN Reads website. Funding for these services comes from libraries from across the state.

CreatePressbooks enables writers to convert their manuscripts into a variety of eBook formats, including ePub, MOBI and PDF. Pressbooks helps writers format their books with professional design templates and includes tools to assist with book organization. After converting their book into eBook format, authors can distribute their book however they choose. One free option is SELF-e.

ShareSELF-e is a portal for sharing eBooks. Titles submitted to SELF-e undergo a basic screening process and then are added to the statewide MN Writes MN Reads collection. In addition, titles submitted are screened by staff from Library Journal. Library Journal selects a limited number of titles (at this time only fiction) to make available to readers across the country. Authors retain all rights to books submitted to SELF-e.

ReadBiblioBoard is the place where readers find this content. This easy-to-use platform features work from a wide variety of genres, including comics, history, art, graphic novels, young adult novels and romance. There are an unlimited number of checkouts, meaning that readers never have to wait for a book to be available. And there are no return periods (therefore never any late fees!).

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How are those New Year’s resolutions going?

Find the perfect ‘diet’ at the library

Need a jump-start on those New Year’s resolutions? Turn to the library. We’ll help you find better health and happiness without breaking the bank.

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds or gain a new skill – whether professionally or in your personal life – explore the plethora of online resources available for free with your library card. You’ll find just about anything, from car repair to health advice, from learning a new language to tackling that new tablet or device you got over the holidays.

Preschool and toddler storytimes are often a hit with parents, grandparents, daycare providers and, of course, the kids. Now you can inspire a child to read from the comfort of home with our new Storytime to Go kits – complete with picture books, a children’s music CD, a puppet, puzzle, or other teaching tools and more. Also available for checkout are Brain Fitness kits, Reminiscence kits and Book Club kits. Check out the variety at your library.

For those with long commutes to work or time spent exercising, gardening, sewing or sitting in waiting rooms, welcome some company with an eBook or eAudiobook, which can be downloaded for free right to your phone or tablet. Search for digital books and audiobooks on OverDrive and RBdigital. RBdigital also includes eMagazines!

Does your list of New Year’s resolutions include getting out more? The library can help with that, too. Events like live music, author visits, comedy, arts and crafts and even a Civil War re-enactment can be found on the schedule, so don’t miss a thing by checking out the online Events Calendar. You can always follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Got a question about what the library has to offer? “Ask a Librarian” via email, instant messaging, or phone.

New Look and Features for LearningExpress Library!

East Central Regional Library is pleased to introduce LearningExpress Library‘s improved look with new features and functions.

The new LearningExpress Library is noticeably sleeker and easier to navigate, with a more prominent search box that allows you to search on the type of resources you want: practice tests, tutorials, eBooks and articles within the resource page.

The clicks on a page needed to see the resources have been reduced by more than 50 percent making it easier and faster to get to the subject matter you need!

LearningExpress Library is your stop to prepare for:

  • Job searches and career exploration
  • Careers, including occupation and military exams
  • High school equivalency
  • College admissions tests
  • College placement exams and coursework
  • Graduate school admissions exams
  • Elementary through high school coursework
  • Improving computer and software skills

Check out the new and improved LearningExpress Library today!


Existing users: Your login information (ID/Password) remains the same. Your MyCenter information has been retained, including saved tests, tutorials, eBooks, flashcards and other materials such as resumes and letters in Job & Career Accelerator.