FAMILY HISTORY…OR THE MISSING LINK!

Are you interested in exploring the history of your family? Perhaps you’d like to look at old census or land records. Or maybe you were told that your great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War.

The Ancestry Library Edition database, an unmatched resource for genealogical research, can help you locate that “missing link”!

It can be accessed at seven branches within East Central Regional Library: Aitkin, Cambridge, Chisago Lakes, Milaca, Mora, Pine City, and Sandstone. Staff will be happy to introduce you to Ancestry if you visit any one of these seven branches.

I recently held “Introduction to Genealogy” classes here at Cambridge and the other branches that offer Ancestry. Very popular! Another class will be held in Aitkin on April 21, 2008 at 6 pm. We’ve been “snowed out” twice in Aitkin—hopefully, the third time is the charm!

Please contact the Reference Department here in Cambridge (763-689-7390 x.16) or your local branch library to enquire about Ancestry or to express your interest in future “Introduction to Genealogy” classes. We have various handouts that can be copied, including a list of recommended FREE genealogy sites, contact information for historical societies in our service area, and other literature.

We’re eager and willing to share all of this with you!

Bob Gray

Reference Coordinator, East Central Regional Library

What Book Would You Save?

The One Book, Cambridge Community Wide Reading program committee would like to know what book is important to you. In the book chosen for the 2008 One Book Cambridge Community Wide Program, The Book Thief, books are very important to the main character, Liesel. She takes many chances with her life to find books during a time when book burnings were a regular occurrence in Germany. She even takes one right from a smoldering pile! Would you take such a chance?

As we celebrate School Library Media Month in April and National Library Week, April 13-19, stop and think about what the freedom to read means to you. Stop in and take a look at the display in the window of the Cambridge Public Library depicting the book burnings of WWII and the propaganda used by the U.S. to protest the book burnings. Did you know that books by Helen Keller, H. G. Wells and Jack London were burned in Germany? Take a peek at this informative display.

How important are books to you? If you had a fire in your home and you could safely save only ONE book, what book would you save? Stop by the Cambridge Public Library and fill out a form with your answer. Students in the local middle schools and high school are also participating in this thought provoking activity. We will collect all the entries and hope to have some of them published in the newspaper. Your name is optional. Help us discover what makes a book important to you!

Plus, there’s still time to join the One Book, Cambridge Community Wide Reading Program. Check out The Book Thief at the Cambridge Public Library or purchase your own copy at Scout & Morgan Books. Visit our website at http://www.ca-reads.com/ for more information on the program.

Vickie Sorn, Community Services Coordinator

Congratulations, Sue

North Branch Librarian Sue Monroe has completed a class in American Sign Language. Sue says it was a very intense 6 weeks where she learned “the very basics of American sign language.”

She very quickly found her new skills useful and told us about it in this e-mail:

Today I had a deaf woman come into the library for the first time. She brought her granddaughter with her and wanted to get her a library card and to check out Scooby-Doo materials. The granddaughter is not hearing impaired and it was so interesting watching the two of them interact with one another. I was able to communicate with the deaf woman with my very limited ASL vocabulary on such items as establishing that she was the grandmother and not the parent of the young girl, taking the registration form to a table to fill out, the need for two pieces of identification (I used finger spelling for this as I do not know the sign for ID), and a 3 week CKO period on materials. I was able to understand some of her signing, but certainly not all of it. She knows that I am just learning to sign, so she was patient with me. I felt that it was a positive experience for both of us.

About her training, Sue further stated, “A couple of items that I found interesting was that ASL is NOT a universal language, there is no universal sign language. In fact not only is it not universal, but some ASL signs are geographical as well. A sign that is used in Minnesota, may not be used in another part of the country. Also, deaf people do not view themselves as disabled or handicapped, but as whole & complete. . . Sign language is just like learning a foreign language. It takes practice, practice, practice.”

Keep practicing, Sue. ECRL Assistant Director Nick Dimassis said this in an e-mail to Sue: “Congratulations, Sue, on finishing the class, putting what you’ve learned into practice for your patrons/community and for providing yet another set of skills from which ECRL staff can draw.” And from me — thanks for your dedication to serving your community!

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director

Legislative Session Now On

This time of year the Legislature is in session and much of my energy and attention is spent on the Capitol in Saint Paul. There is a tension and excitement to the process. With the economy on the downturn, and the economic forecast predictions that state revenues will decline, legislators are displaying fiscal conservatism — especially in the House, where all the members are up for re-election in 2008. My task is to remind them that funding libraries is especially important during rough economic times, when library use has historically increased. Availability of the free services libraries provide is especially important when families and businesses cannot afford to pay for information and recreation access.

February 27th was Library Legislative Day. The Capitol was full of library workers, board members, and Friends, who were engaged in talking to their legislators. I enjoy Legislative Day, and always end up dead tired after walking the tunnels between the State Office Building, the Capitol, and the Judicial Center. Our first appointment this year was at 8:15 a.m., and the last was at 3:30 p.m.

This year is a bonding year, and our biggest issue is to encourage legislators to include money in the bonding bill to fund the Library Construction and Accessibility Program. Six communities in the East Central Region are in various phases of planning for new or expanded libraries. Funding for the bonding bill is critical to library growth.

While Legislative Day is important, we need to keep talking to our legislators through visits, phone calls, and mail (both e-mail and via the postal service.) A super tool to find your state or federal representatives is at: http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legdir.asp Click on “Who Represents Me?” And then start calling or writing — tell them how important the library is in your community! Thanks for helping us.

Barbara discusses library construction needs with Senator Betsey Wergin, District 16
Sen Betsey Wergin, District 16 11 March, 2008 (Photo 2/27/08)

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director

My Health Minnesota Go Local at Rotary

June 30, 2010 Note: The website referenced in this blog post has been decommissioned by the National Library of Medicine. More information about the decision to end its support is available at this technical bulletin.

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association sponsored the program for Cambridge Rotary this noon. The speaker they brought was librarian Karla Block from the UM Bio-Medical Library. Karla talked about the on-line resource My Health Minnesota Go Local, which is part of the National Library of Medicine partnership with libraries and library consortia to provide national coverage of health services. The Minnesota site is one of 24 Go Local projects with many more in development.

Go Local is a tool to bring accurate information about health services in local geographic areas, including hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, support groups, health screening providers and many others.

Go Local is linked on the ECRL site under the menu bar Reference Desk. Look at the Reference Desk section to find links and information guides from ECRL librarians.

Go Local at Rotary
Karla Block, Associate Librarian at the Bio-Medical Library

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director