Organic Puppet Theater at the Cambridge Library

Maryauna, Aaron, Brandon, and Carson learned how to lead happy and healthy lives at the Cambridge Public Library on Saturday, May 9 when Linda Sorenson and her Organic Puppet Theater were here. The children made lung puppets and then presented a puppet show donning healthy organ props and costumes.
Nancy Dunbar, Cambridge Branch Librarian

First Cambridge Branch Librarian Named

Press Release

Cambridge Librarian, Nancy Dunbar

History was made at the Cambridge Public Library on Monday, February 2nd when local resident, Nancy Dunbar, started her position as the very first Cambridge Public Library Branch Librarian. The Cambridge Public Library is one of 14 branches that make up East Central Regional Library system, which provides library service in Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties in east central Minnesota. Thirteen of those branch libraries already have a Branch Librarian. Up until this month, the ECRL Director has also served as the Cambridge Librarian, as has been the practice since the regional library system began 50 years ago. Public service, reference service and programming duties were all divided amongst ECRL headquarters staff.

Nancy has lived in the Cambridge area for 25 years and worked for ECRL in circulation and reference services for 18 of those years. Nancy loves “learning new things everyday and helping others learn about what interests them.” Variety is one of the reasons she loves her job. It enables Nancy to work with all ages, genres and subjects. Plus one of the best things about working at the Cambridge Public Library and for ECRL, she says, is the “satisfaction I feel when I know a patron’s needs have been met and he/she leaves (the library) happy.”

When asked “Why do you believe libraries are an important part of a community?” Nancy replied that “libraries provide materials, activities and services that fulfill the lifelong learning needs of its patrons.” Considering that only 43% of Isanti County residents have a library card, Nancy believes it is important to “publicize library services, so patrons become aware of the diverse ways that libraries can benefit them.” With regard to public service, Nancy says, “It’s also important to provide good and helpful service. Satisfied users are great advocates for the public library.”

Library advocates are very important because providing services and funding libraries during these difficult economic times can be challenging. The biggest challenge Nancy sees at present is “providing for the needs of patrons and staff within” the “limited space of the Cambridge Public Library.” Thus, the biggest challenge for the future “will be funding and building a new library with adequate and functional space for patrons and staff.”

Nancy is spending the first few weeks as Cambridge Branch Librarian becoming familiar with her new duties, plus visiting several neighboring library systems for inspiration and ideas. ECRL Assistant Director, Nick Dimassis, will introduce Nancy to the Isanti County Board of Commissioners at their County Board meeting on March 17th.

The Cambridge Friends of the Library invite the public, including local city officials and business leaders, to an open house for Dunbar on Tuesday, March 10, from 5-7 p.m. at the library to celebrate this history making event for the Cambridge Public Library.

Internship at Cambridge Branch

Jennifer, Metro State Student

Cambridge library users were fortunate to receive enhanced services for 8 weeks this fall, thanks to Jennifer Larson, who did an internship as part of her degree requirements for Metropolitan State University. Jennifer worked 3 days a week in the computer lab, and twice a week she gave after-school research help to children and young adults in the youth section of the library. Jennifer also put together pathfinders (research or study guides) on Minnesota History and Health and Nutrition.

Thank you, Jennifer!

Barbara Misselt, Director

After school pilot project

Long about mid-afternoon in most libraries, the activity pace picks up and the noise level becomes a little more noticeable as the kids get out of school and descend on the library. Many of them sign up for computers, and others head for the tables to work on their homework.

This semester, the Cambridge library has a pilot project for those kids needing help finding the sources they need to do projects or write papers. Jennifer Larson, on an internship with Metro State University, has implemented an after-school program to help kids find what they need to do school projects, work on a hobby, or enjoy recreational reading. Flyers were sent to middle school students, inviting them to come and ask Jennifer to assist them in the library.

After school help is available at Cambridge on Monday and Tuesday afternoons from 3:15 to 6:15. The program runs from October 27th through December 16th.

Afterschool Program

Barbara Misselt, Director