Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald Revealed

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul on September 24, 1896. He spent his formative years and early adult life in Minnesota. Although he considered himself a failure, Fitzgerald became one of the most popular writers of the 1920s and is probably best known for his novel, The Great Gatsby, published in 1925. The novel deals with issues of decadence and excess and is widely interpreted as a cautionary tale. Much of his notoriety was his relationship with his “muse”, his wife, Zelda. Fitzgerald and Zelda became well-known figures in St. Paul society in the early 1920s for the parties held at their White Bear Lake cottage with friends, newspaper reporters and fans.

Join us at the Chisago Lakes Area Library on Tuesday, October 24 for “The Life and Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald” presented by staff from the Minnesota Historical Society. Come dressed in period attire (or not) and enter the world of the speakeasy as the Friends of the Chisago Lakes Area Library create the atmosphere of the Roaring 20s and serve refreshments starting at 6:00 pm.

Then at 6:30 pm join us as Minnesota Historical Society staff inform us about Fitzgerald’s early years, his relationship with his wife, Zelda and the impact of St. Paul on his stories and novels and his connections to the James J. Hill family and other prominent people of the time.There is still time to join the ECRL Reads program which runs till Thursday, November 16.

We must not forget the contributions to literature during the 1920s including great authors such as Ernest Hemmingway, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes and of course, Minnesota’s own, F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The first ever ECRL Reads is taking place in East Central Regional Library’s six counties and are encouraging everyone to read the same book, Ice-Out by Minnesota author Mary Casanova. Ice-Out takes place in 1920s Minnesota during F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early years and the “great experiment” known as Prohibition.

The program is sponsored by East Central Regional Library and the Chisago Lake Area Library in partnership with the Friends of the Chisago Lakes Area Library. All programs are funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


ECRL staff gather to recharge and learn at All Staff Development Day 2017

On Tuesday, October 10, ECRL staff from all branches and headquarters gathered at the Braham Event Center for our 2nd annual staff day.  Executive Director, Carla Lydon, kicked off the day by reflecting on the previous year’s accomplishments.  Did you know ECRL libraries saw 484,474 people walk through our doors in 2016?  Or that ECRL staff answered 104,069 questions from members of the public?  Or that our staff put on 1,021 programs that were attended by 20,074 people?  It was a busy year!

Throughout the day, staff heard talks from various speakers including a session on Data Privacy for Public Libraries from Joe Manion, Library Development and Services Specialist at State Library Services; a session on Play and Creativity in the workplace from Barry Kudrowitz, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Design; a session about Microagressions & Microactivism given by Ray Lockman, Community Engagement Librarian at Hennepin County Library and a session on Building Ongoing Relationships with your Boss from Valerie Horton, Director at Minitex.

During the day, ECRL recognized employees celebrating milestone anniversaries.  Freda Nelson (Hinckley), Timothy Olson (Outreach), Lisa Wagner (Milaca) and Valerie Warner (McGregor) celebrated 5 years of employment with ECRL in 2017.  Cambridge Branch Librarian Nancy Dunbar was recognized for 20 years of service and McGregor Branch Librarian Penny Olson was recognized for 30 years of service to the organization.  Congratulations to these employees on their service to ECRL and the communities that they serve!

Five year of service award recipients: Timothy Olson (Outreach), Freda Nelson (Hinckley), Lisa Wagner (Milaca); Valerie Warner (McGregor)
Service award recipients: Cambridge Branch Librarian Nancy Dunbar celebrating 20 years of service and McGregor Branch Librarian Penny Olson celebrating 30 years.