Library board open to new home for ECRL headquarters

The East Central Regional Library is seeking information about potential, available facilities for the headquarters operations of the regional library system.

ECRL is a Joint Powers Agreement of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties that provides library service through 14 branch libraries throughout the region. The headquarters office, currently based in Cambridge, is a central services management facility where all common tasks for the regional library system are performed.

About 20 staff positions, including the Executive Director and central management team, work out of headquarters.

The ECRL Board of Directors has issued a Request for Information with an established list of criteria for a suitable headquarters facility. Find the RFI and details on how to respond at

The deadline for submissions is 4 p.m. Monday, May 1. Documents can be submitted to or via traditional mail to Executive Director, East Central Regional Library, 244 S. Birch St., Cambridge MN 55008. Address questions to Executive Director Carla Lydon.

ECRL welcomes the Irish sounds of Norah Rendell and the Lost Forty

Music enthusiasts are invited to check out the traditional Irish sounds of Norah Rendell and the Lost Forty coming soon to several branch libraries of the East Central Regional Library system.

The trio features Live Ireland’s “Best Irish Vocalist of 2011 and 2012,” Canadian singer and flutist Norah Rendell, with multi-instrumentalists Brian Miller and Randy Gosa. Inspired by Celtic traditions from Newfoundland to Minnesota, they perform songs that crossed the Atlantic and became part of the cultural heritage of the Great Lakes and Canada.

Here is the group’s performance schedule:

East Central Regional Library is proud to present Norah Rendell and the Lost Forty, thanks to funding from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Libraries to close in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

East Central Regional Library headquarters and all 14 branch locations will be closed on either Monday, January 16, or Tuesday, January 17, to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Closed Monday, Jan. 16: Aitkin Public Library, Cambridge Public Library, Chisago Lakes Area Library, Mora Public Library, North Branch Area Library, Princeton Area Library, and ECRL headquarters.

Closed Tuesday, Jan. 17: Hinckley Public Library, McGregor Public Library, Milaca Community Library, Mille Lacs Lake Community Library, Pine City Public Library, Rush City Public Library, Sandstone Public Library, and Wyoming Area Library.

Barbara Misselt announces retirement from ECRL

Barbara Misselt, who for nine years led the East Central Regional Library in providing library service to residents around the region, is retiring from her position as Library System Director effective April 1, 2017. The ECRL Board of Directors accepted her decision in November 2016.

“Thank you for the opportunity to lead this organization…,” Misselt wrote in her letter of retirement to the Board. “I appreciate the support and positive commitment of the Board as well as our partner counties and cities. I believe that ECRL is in a good position to continue positive growth with a competent leadership team and staff. I have enjoyed the relationships with staff and board team and have found this a fulfilling career.”

In the transition, the ECRL Board has appointed a five-member hiring committee for the new ECRL Executive Director. The post oversees a six-county consolidated public library system, operating 14 branches and outreach services, served by 80 staff (31 full-time), across east central Minnesota. The job posting can be found at

Review of applications begins January 18, 2017.

Misselt has offered her assistance in the transition, as she knows all about a leadership position that requires skills in financial, marketing and program development; staff and community relations; and technology development within a $3.1 million budget. She also knows that she will miss “all the people who have become partners and friends,” while she looks forward to retirement with “new adventures as well as increased family opportunities.”

Established in 1959, East Central Regional Library is the oldest multi-county library cooperative and one of 12 regional library systems in Minnesota. The ECRL mission is to strengthen communities by connecting people with resources, spaces, and educational experiences that enrich and empower their lives. ECRL includes libraries in Aitkin and McGregor (Aitkin County); Cambridge (Isanti County); Chisago Lakes, North Branch, Rush City and Wyoming (Chisago County); Hinckley, Pine City and Sandstone (Pine County); Milaca, Isle-Mille Lacs Lake and Princeton (Mille Lacs County); and Mora (Kanabec County).