2013 BOOK AWARDS – Booker, Nobel, Pulitzer !

The votes are in, and the winners have been announced!  Here are the authors and books that received major literary awards in 2013:





Cited as a “master of the contemporary short story”, Munro is the first Canadian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.  She is also a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’sAward for Fiction.  Her works include:

Dance of the Happy Shades (1968)             

The Progress of Love (1986)

The Love of a Good Woman (1998)

Dear Life(2012)




Johnson is a South Dakota native and Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Stanford University.  He received the Pulitzer for The Orphan Master’s Son.  His works include:


Parasites Like Us (2003)

The Orphan Master’s Son (2012)



McBride is a writer and musician whose 1996 memoir, The Color of Water, was a huge bestseller.  He received the National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird.  His works include:

 The Color of Water (1996)

 Miracle at St. Anna (2002)

 Song Yet Sung(2008)

 The Good Lord Bird (2012)


 THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE – Eleanor Catton


A native of New Zealand, Catton attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2008.  She received the Booker Prize for The Luminaries and is the youngest recipient (at age 28) of that award.  Her works include:

 The Rehearsal (2008)

 The Luminaries (2013)


Many of these titles and various other award-winners are in the East Central Regional Library collection.  Check Evergreen (our online catalog) or contact your nearest ECRL branch library for assistance!

Bob Gray, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian



Celebrating 25 Years of the MN Book Awards – From Main Street to Your Street

Now that fall is just around the corner, what a better time to settle down with a good book – and a good book written by a Minnesota author.  The Minnesota Book Awards was created in 1988 by The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and other libraries as part of the Festival of the Book.  The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library now retain full responsibility for the Book Awards.  The awards are given each year to books in eight categories by Minnesota writers or illustrators.  Nominations for the 2013 MN Book Awards began August 1.

Recently each of ECRL’s 14 branches put up displays about the MN Book Awards with books by Minnesota authors.  You may also stop and pick up a Minnesota Writer’s Map.  In partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Book Awards put together a map called Minnesota Writers on the Map.  It includes many Minnesota authors who have made a significant impact on the state.  You’ll find such notables as Sinclair Lewis, Robert Bly, Sigurd Olson, Frederick Manfred and Maud Hart Lovelace.  The placement of the authors on one side of the map represents their birthplace, the place with which the writer was associated, or the location where he or she spent a majority of his writing life in the state.   The backside of the map list authors by region and includes their name, birthdate and birthplace, date they died (if applicable), plus a list of some of their more notable works.  The map was a collaborative effort from the Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage fund, the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators, the Minnesota Historical Society and the St. Paul Friends of the Library.  Stop by and take peruse the display, books and pick up a Minnesota Authors map and/or MN Book Awards bookmark at any of ECRL branches.
Vickie Sorn, ECRL Youth & Community Services Librarian

Searching for a Grammy

When I was working the desk in a library in another state I both loved and hated certain times that elicited an increased amount of the calls we frustrated librarians called pursuit of trivia. Many of the calls came from Grammy Awards Night parties (or even Super Bowl parties). Tonight if you’re watching the Grammys (like I am) I’ll bet you’re wondering about past winners.

The Grammy site has a nifty search utility where you can search for all the past winners. It’s at:


For instance, if you want to know all the Grammys that Whitney Houston won, just type her name into the name search box. Or you can bring up a list of all the awards given in a particular year, all the way back to 1958 when the best individual jazz performance was Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book.

So, if you’re just burning with curiosity about all the best winners of best polka album, just select the category “Polka” from the Genre drop-down list.

Barbara Misselt, Director

Willow Skogen from Rural Isle Wins $1,000 from Minnesota College Savings Plan Sweepstakes

Mille Lacs Lake Community Library awarded $500

Thirteen year old Willow Skogen of rural Isle was selected as a winner in this summer’s “One World, Many Stories” @ Saving for College” sweepstakes, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services and the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Mark and Cameo Skogen, parents of Willow, have been awarded a $1,000 cash prize that can be invested in a Minnesota College Savings Plan account for the benefit of Willow.    (right to left:  Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director, Willow Skogen, Kathy Morrow, Mille Lacs Lake Community Branch Librarian)        

The sweepstakes, which received over 4,000 entries statewide this summer, was a component of this year’s Minnesota Library Summer Reading Program, held at public libraries throughout the state. The Mille Lacs Lake Community Library branch of East Central Regional Library where Willow participated in the Summer Reading Program, also won a $500 cash prize for future reading programs.

The Minnesota Library summer reading program is offered through local libraries to encourage children to read during the summer and has over 100,000 children participating every year. The Summer Reading Program is offered through Minnesota’s libraries to encourage children to continue to read through the summer. 

The Minnesota College Savings Plan (the “Plan”) is a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan to help parents and grandparents invest in a child’s future college education.  The Plan is implemented and administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.

Vickie Sorn, Youth & Community Services Librarian