Building gets a facelift

As I walked into the building this morning a guy facetiously said to me, “gee, I thought I was in the wrong place.” Well, the address hasn’t changed, so I assume that he meant that the Cambridge library looks really different these days since Isanti County crews have undertaken a cleanup and redo project on the building exterior. For the last couple weeks visitors to the library have been greeted by chainsaws, backhoes, and trucks hauling away the overgrowth. Lots of days pedestrians and cars have been directed away from the front of the library in the interest of safety. Even the interior of the library is affected since the shrubs that covered the large windows are gone and light streams in. No longer is there a hiding place for all sorts of who-knows-what potentially threatening public safety.

While standing on the sidewalk conferring with the crews, I’ve talked to lots of people who are thrilled with the work on their library home. I’ve had the opportunity to provide information (that’s what librarians do best, you know) about the system. In Cambridge, Isanti County owns the building, which is the home of Cambridge library (upstairs) and East Central Regional Library headquarters(basement). The city partners with the utility costs. In all of ECRL, the branch facilities are owned by the cities and/or counties. ECRL provides staff and materials to operate the branches. It’s a good system and cost-efficient by partnering multiple funding sources.

All the ECRL branches have unique looks that fit their communities. Marketing begins at home, and attractive, well-kept libraries project the pride of their communities. Expectation of quality is greatly influenced by visual perception and atmosphere. Our libraries are attractive and welcoming community centers to residents and readers for all sorts of educational and recreational retreats.

All cleaned up and ready for a paint-job
Building gets a facelift>

Barbara Misselt, Director

Hinckley Summer Reading Winds Down….

Time is winding down for this year’s summer reading program, but not the enthusiasm or participation!!

July 30 was the day for our “Happy Birthday to Everyone!” party and a party it was! Thanks to the excellent coordination by volunteers Jill Hopkins, Laura Eyre, and Florence Lyseth, nearly 40 children celebrated birthdays. After reading A Birthday Cake is No Ordinary Cake, the signature book for “What’s Cookin’ at your Library?”, kids were involved in a rotation of activities including making a birthday card, decorating their own cupcake, and playing “pin the candle on the cake”.

But the main event was the result of an amazing collaboration of seniors, parents, and kids. After hearing about the upcoming party, Jeannie Van Der Schaegen put in a request to the seniors at the dining center for birthday cake supplies for the food shelf. Those great folks responded with an overwhelming 28 sets of ingredients for a birthday cake. Tobies responded with a donation of donut boxes. Parents brought more supplies to the party. When it was all put together and the kids had decorated the boxes and some bags, a total of 47 birthday cake kits were assembled for the food shelf! They were complete with sprinkles and candles and delivered later in the day by the generous volunteers. What a wonderful inter-generational cooperative effort that everyone involved can be really proud of. Thank you to everyone who donated…it will mean so very much to those who use the food shelf.

“What’s Cookin’” will be winding down next week as the closing program takes place on Thursday, August 7 at 1:00pm in the community room. After yet another magic show (we just can’t get enough of that sleight of hand and tom-foolery) by Mr. Jon Adams, a program sponsored by the City of Hinckley, we will conduct the much anticipated ticket drawing, when each child who has completed their reading log will have a chance to choose yet another great prize from among a selection of book bags, t-shirts, books, play food, cooking sets, and much more.

The teen level reading program has now come to an end with a total of 133 books read by most of the 39 teens who signed up. Week 6 winners were Paige Hodena, Melanie Nelson, and Nikki Mans. Week 7 winners were Robert Bustamante, Chris Carlstrom, and Liz Sikkink. Week 8 winners were Breanna Grinsteinner, Lauren Rabe, and Janiqua Robinson. For the final cash prizes, !st place was earned by Nikki Mans who will receive $25, and 2nd place winners came in as a tie, so $12.50 will be received by both Trent Doyle and Liz Sikkink. Congratulations to all you wonderful teen readers…you will absolutely be leaders one day!

Ceci Cross-Maser
Hinckley Librarian

Rush City Summer Reading Program “Tasty” Success

The summer reading program at the Rush City Library was a tasty success with over 200 children participating. With the completion of 10 books the children received a large curly lollipop but the big prize was given when the children read 20 books. Al Stewert of “Big Al’s Cafe and Pizzeria”generously gave each successful reader a personal pizza. “The kids were so excited about finishing this year and we had a record number of them complete the program. We really appreciate Al’s support and help with this project.” states the library staff. Parents have reported that Al makes the children feel like “real winners” when they present their coupon.

The summer reading program is an important feature of the library. It helps the children keep their reading skills up, promotes family reading time and is a fun way to pass the summer. Visit your library and see why it’s called “the best bargain in town”.

Jeanette Monthye
Rush City Library

Look What’s Cookin’ Summer Reading Celebrations

Things have really been cookin’ at all of our East Central Regional Library branches this summer and we’re getting ready to celebrate. The 2008 Look What’s Cookin’ at Your Library summer reading program is coming to a close and it’s time for us to get together and celebrate everyone’s reading accomplishments.

Aitkin, McGregor, Mille Lacs Lake, Mora, Princeton & Wyoming Libraries

Puppeteer, Diane Gasch, will be visiting several ECRL branches with her gigantic 8 foot puppets to entertain summer reading program participants. Diane is a member of the Twin Cities Puppetry Guild and the Puppeteers of America and has performed at many Minnesota libraries. She will be performing on the following dates:

Wednesday, July 30

McGregor Public Library at 10:00 am
Aitkin High School Choir Room at 1:00 pm

Thursday, July 31

Mille Lacs Lake Community Library at 1:00 pm

Saturday, August 2

Wyoming Area Library at 2:00 pm

Wednesday, August 6

Mora Public Library at 10:00 am
Princeton Area Library at 1:00 pm


Our final celebration and reward will be held on Monday, August 4 from 1:00-2:00 pm. Summer reading participants are invited to visit the library for a special treat. Pick up your reading record, any earned unclaimed incentives, and completion certificate. You’ll also get a chance for a free polaroid picture with our giant “pig” chef and a coupon for a free ice cream treat from the Schwan’s truck. You can pick from 3 different kinds of treats! Help us beat the heat with some fun and treats as we celebrate a great summer filled with books and reading.

Chisago Lakes

Help us close out the summer reading program at our Beat the Heat Treats Celebration on Saturday, August 2 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Kids ages 4-12 are invited to make their very own ice cream sundae (toppings will be provided) in our community room.


Mr. Adams magic will have your kids laughing hysterically as he performs at the Hinckley Public Library on Thursday, August 7 at 1:00 pm. Watch as he makes rock soup, peanut butter mustard cake and hippopotamus toothpaste. The ticket drawing and drawings for other prizes will be held after the event.

Vickie Sorn, ECRL Community Services Coordinator

Another Round of Genealogy Classes

If you missed it the first time, now is your chance to learn all about East Central Regional Library’s genealogical database, Ancestry Library Edition. It provides instant access to a wide range of unique genealogical and historical resources. Classes were held this past spring and were so successful, several branch libraries are offering them again.

Reference staff from will be presenting classes for those interested in learning all about this new and exciting genealogical database. Classes will be offered at the Cambridge Public Library on Friday, August 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm; the Milaca Community Library on Wednesday, August 13 from 5:30-7:30 pm; the Pine City Public Library on Thursday, August 14 from 6:00-8:00 pm; and the Sandstone Public Library on Tuesday, August 19 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Registration is necessary for each of the classes. Call the Cambridge, Milaca or Sandstone library branch for more information about the class.

Vickie Sorn, Community Services Coordinator