Visitors brighten the day

I wanted to share a day brightener that we just had:

A small family group just came in to see the library. They are in from all over the U.S. to visit their aunt. The only thing the aunt insisted they do is to come to see the new library! Aren’t we just the cat’s pajamas!

(They were SO impressed – and they all bought tote bags!)

Sharon Strack, Milaca Library Branch Manager

Progress – the Web Catalog

I’ve been here just over a month (Wednesday was my one-month anniversary). Wow, so much has happened. I told Marilyn that I wish we had kept a daily log. We’ve not celebrated each step in the implementation of our new ILS (integrated library system), but there have been plenty.

Today is a huge milestone — the unveiling of the online patron access catalog. In library terminology, that’s an OPAC. Let’s not call it that. It’s just simply the Catalog. It seems pretty straightforward to use. The biggest thing that I think the public may need to remember is that they should select their library on the initial search screen — it comes up searching “All”.

As staff has tried the catalog out in its implementation phase, they’ve found several things they’ve like, several more not so much. Carla told me that she’s been here through Classic Dynix, Horizon 8.0, and now Unicorn. She says that there are certain things that she likes in each one and she wishes she could combine all her favorite tools. I suspect that will be the case with a lot of us (this will be the sixth automation system I’ve worked on).

Give it a try. And then post in the comments section what you like – or not. (be specific, please)

ECRL Catalog
ECRL new online catalog
Barbara Misselt, Director

Minnesota gourmands

Last week I received an invitation from Christy Koch and the Pine City Library Board, Foundation, and staff to a Hot Dish Buffet. So, I stopped in Pine City (north) on my way to Rochester (south) Friday evening to check it out. OK, so I’m a little directionally challenged, but I had to see a hotdish buffet.

Hotdishes are fundamental to Minnesota cuisine. They are made up of 2 or more main ingredients, combining meats, vegetables, starches, and some kind of sauce (like soup or cheese) into a one-dish meal with a combined taste that is different from any of its individual elements. Imagine what a feast you have for sight, smell and taste, when you have a large assortment of hotdishes made up of multiples of ingredients. Throw in all the side salads, desserts, and even pickles and it’s a feast.

The buffet is an annual event to raise money for a new library in Pine City. It’s turned into quite the event and even the mayor showed up to sell tickets. Christy says that last Friday they raised $1,200. Way to go, Pine City!

Even more . . . I saw many tangential benefits besides the raising of cold hard cash. I saw people gathering together on a chilly fall evening to eat. Sure, Minnesota churches have such suppers all the time, but this was a true community gathering of people from all walks. The library, at the heart of the community was the catalyst to bring the community residents together. When they came to the city building that houses the library, many came in the library and were reminded of its importance as part of the community. The good feelings that will remain as memories of a pleasant evening will carry forward as good feelings for the library as Pine City continues to raise funds for a new library home.
Pine City LibraryClick for more photos from Pine City Library

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director

The first post

This marks a new venture for East Central Regional Library – the launch of our Blog, East Central Libraries, which will be a collaborative of staff members. Through the Blog, we will share news of what’s going on in our libraries, and hope to engage the library community in discussion about libraries.