Folk Dance Series Continues with Finn Hall

East Central Regional Library in partnership with the Pine County Historical  Society in Askov welcome people of all generations and dance levels to check out a series of folk dance instruction and live performance at the Pine County Historical Society in Askov.

On Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. join us for the second event in the series as an award-winning group from Minneapolis called Finn Hall entertains and educates us.  These musicians recreate the feel and sounds of the historic Finnish-American dance halls for local dancers offering waltz, polka, schottische, mazurka, tango, humppa and other dances.

The folk dance series will continue with the Norwegian sounds of De glada on Saturday, May 6 at 1 p.m., followed by an Octoberfest event later in the fall.

No registration is necessary for the event, which are free and open to the public. The dance workshops are geared for ages 14 and up, and singles and couples are welcome. This project was funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.



ECRL Executive Director to Retire

Isanti County Commissioner Mike Warring was right on the money when talking about Barbara Misselt during a special recognition of her retirement at this month’s East Central Regional Library Board of Directors meeting. “We always admired how Barb treats people, the staff and the board with respect,” he said.

That statement meant a lot to Barb because it reflects her philosophy — “We need to work together, even if we don’t always agree” – the same philosophy she put into action throughout the past nine years as director of Minnesota’s first regional library system. Overseeing a staff of 80-plus at 14 branch libraries and eight outreach sites, she strived to make sure people worked together across the east central region.

She also has full confidence in the new Executive Director, Carla Lydon, whose first day on the job is April 2, 2017.

“My career at ECRL has been fulfilling and enjoyable because of the professional staff team, at Headquarters and across the branches and the committed Board of Directors,” Barb said. “I am confident in the abilities of Assistant Director Carla Lydon who has been appointed to be the new ECRL Executive Director.”

For Barb, working with the counties and cities in the ECRL region, along with the state’s 11 other regional library systems, is important for the success of the library system. Such collaboration is done for the citizens of Minnesota, and so is advocacy, which recently brought Barb to the state Capitol to testify for Legacy funding. “One success helps others succeed,” she said.

Find a way to say “Yes” is not just a sign found at ECRL headquarters, it’s an expectation that Barb put on herself and staff in service to the public. The ECRL Board highlighted Barb’s adoption of this mindset, which she later explained. “You find a way to attain what goal people want to accomplish,” she said. “Instead of saying no, let’s get creative and find a way to accomplish what you need.”

While Barb’s last day as ECRL’s lead administrator is fast approaching, she is not viewing retirement in the traditional way. “It’s a passage to the next chapter, a transition to the next phase in service to the community,” she said. Barb and husband Ron are moving back home to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where family and a new home await.

Jon Tatting
ECRL Marketing Assistant

Alison Feigh, Program Manager for Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, to speak at the Mora Public Library

Parents, grandparents, youth leaders and teachers! How do you talk to children about personal safety without scaring them to death? Join Alison Feigh, Program Manager for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, as she presents Teachable Safety Skills: Replacing Myths with Facts at the Mora Public Library on Thursday, March 30 from 6:30-8:00 pm. Her presentation will provide current information about various safety concerns children and teens are facing today, both in-person and online, and how to educate youth on those concerns in a positive way.

Ms. Feigh has been working in the sexual abuse prevention field for more than 15 years. She firmly believes that personal and online safety messages can be positive, empowering and accessible.

Ms. Feigh came to Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC) initially in 2001 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She enjoys her work at JWRC as she collaborates with students, parents, law enforcement and the media with the ultimate goal of reducing abductions and abuse of children.

As a subject matter expert on child and teen safety, Alison is a speaker in high demand. She relates well with children and youth while also engaging adult audiences on topics around criminal justice and the media, child internet exploitation, and sex crimes and sex offenders. She has offered proactive prevention messages through extensive media interviews, including CNN, Fox News and local news stations.

As a classmate of Jacob Wetterling, Alison learned early on how important it is to protect children and youth from exploitation. She believes strongly in avoiding fear-based approaches to empower children and teens to walk around smart and not scared. The high-energy presentations that Alison is known for are fed by her passion for working with children and youth.

Ms. Feigh will also be presenting the same program at the North Branch Area Library on Tuesday, April 11 at 6:30 pm. This special presentation is funded by a grant from Resource Training & Solutions and presented by East Central Regional Library.

To listen to an interview with Alison Feigh and ECRL Youth & Community Services Librarian about the program on KBEK: