East Central Regional Library gets by with a little help from our Friends…

. . .  actually, we get by with a lot of help from our Friends! October 21-27, 2018 is the 13th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week and it’s the perfect opportunity for East Central Regional Library to give our Friends a big shout out for all they do to make a difference for us every single day.

East Central Regional Library has the support of 13 Friends groups across the 6-county region. Their members are champions for libraries. Friends provide support at the grass-roots level by assisting library staff with projects and programming, raising funds, and advocacy efforts.

“Friends of the Library groups allow us to enhance our services and multiply the impact we have in communities,” says ECRL Executive Director Carla Lydon. “They are strong library supporters and we are so grateful to the countless Friends volunteers who give of their time, talents, and financial support to make East Central Regional libraries a vital community resource.”

Friends groups are always looking for new members and volunteers. Speak with staff at your local East Central Regional Library location to find out information about Friends activities and find out how to become a member.

Friends, we thank you for all you do to make our libraries better!

National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united.

Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald Revealed

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul on September 24, 1896. He spent his formative years and early adult life in Minnesota. Although he considered himself a failure, Fitzgerald became one of the most popular writers of the 1920s and is probably best known for his novel, The Great Gatsby, published in 1925. The novel deals with issues of decadence and excess and is widely interpreted as a cautionary tale. Much of his notoriety was his relationship with his “muse”, his wife, Zelda. Fitzgerald and Zelda became well-known figures in St. Paul society in the early 1920s for the parties held at their White Bear Lake cottage with friends, newspaper reporters and fans.

Join us at the Chisago Lakes Area Library on Tuesday, October 24 for “The Life and Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald” presented by staff from the Minnesota Historical Society. Come dressed in period attire (or not) and enter the world of the speakeasy as the Friends of the Chisago Lakes Area Library create the atmosphere of the Roaring 20s and serve refreshments starting at 6:00 pm.

Then at 6:30 pm join us as Minnesota Historical Society staff inform us about Fitzgerald’s early years, his relationship with his wife, Zelda and the impact of St. Paul on his stories and novels and his connections to the James J. Hill family and other prominent people of the time.There is still time to join the ECRL Reads program which runs till Thursday, November 16.

We must not forget the contributions to literature during the 1920s including great authors such as Ernest Hemmingway, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes and of course, Minnesota’s own, F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The first ever ECRL Reads is taking place in East Central Regional Library’s six counties and are encouraging everyone to read the same book, Ice-Out by Minnesota author Mary Casanova. Ice-Out takes place in 1920s Minnesota during F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early years and the “great experiment” known as Prohibition.

The program is sponsored by East Central Regional Library and the Chisago Lake Area Library in partnership with the Friends of the Chisago Lakes Area Library. All programs are funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


Bestselling author coming to Cambridge May 16

The Cambridge Friends of the Library 2016 Cambridge Community Read Author Event

International bestselling author Fredrik Backman is coming to Cambridge to sign books andMan Called Ove read from A Man Called Ove, this year’s choice for the Cambridge Community Read.

The book has been a No. 1 bestseller in the author’s native Sweden, a local bestseller and quite popular with area book groups. A Man Called Ove is published in more than 25 languages around the world and is currently on the New York Times bestseller list for Trade Fiction Paperback.

Backman will arrive in Cambridge on Monday, May 16 for a 4 p.m. book signing at Scout & Morgan Books. This will be followed by a reading, presentation and book signing at the Cambridge Campus of the Anoka Ramsey Community College at 7 p.m.

In the novel, Ove is a grump and curmudgeon, yet lovable man, living in a small Swedish community. His world is turned upside down when a boisterous young family moves in next door. The novel reveals the story and sadness behind Ove’s crankiness and ultimately is a heartwarming tale of unexpected friendship and the profound impact one life can have on countless others.

A 2015 film adaptation of A Man Called Ove was a smash box office hit in Sweden. The movie with the same name will open in select theaters in the United States later this fall.

Backman is a Swedish blogger and columnist. In addition to A Man Called Ove, he is the author of a work of nonfiction, Things My Son Needs to Know About Life, as well as a second novel, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. His third novel, Britt-Marie Was Here, will be released in May of this year. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children.

Fredrik Backman

Cambridge Community Read

Now in its ninth year, the Cambridge Community Read is an annual literacy event hosted by the Cambridge Friends of the Library. The goal of the program is to encourage community members to come together through the reading and discussion of a common book and strengthen the community while supporting literacy.

The Community Read committee is grateful to the author’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, for agreeing to send the author to Cambridge for the program’s grand finale event. It is a testament to the many readers in the community who have supported the program over the past nine years that it is now recognized by a national publisher.

Books and additional information are available at the Cambridge Public Library, Scout & Morgan Books and www.facebook.com/cambridgecommunitywideread. All Cambridge Community Read events are free and open to everyone.

(Updated 5/12/16.  We previously mistakenly reported that Backman would have a 5 p.m. book signing at Scout & Morgan Books. In fact, he will have a 4 p.m. book signing at Scout & Morgan Books, followed by a reading, presentation and book signing at 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Campus of Anoka Ramsey Community College.)

Tweens & Teens Gaming Night at the Cambridge Library

Tweens and teens flooded into the Cambridge Library last Thursday evening, December 3rd to play video games, online games, board games, and card games. Guitar Hero tunes, Wii gaming tunes, and the din of engaged 11-16 year-olds was the backdrop for the evening. Pizza, pop, and prizes were enjoyed by over 60 participants.

The evening was sponsored by the Cambridge Friends of the Library.

Nancy Dunbar, Cambridge Branch Librarian

Cambridge Library Friends Awarded $1000

The Cambridge Friends of the Library received a $1000 cash award for the best Friends of the Library project in the State of Minnesota at the Minnesota Library Association convention in St. Cloud this past October. Lorie Fetzik, 2009 Cambridge Friends of the Library co-president, accepted the Evie Nordley Award on behalf of the Friends.

The Evy Nordley Award was presented by the Minnesota Association of Library Friends. The award recognizes the importance of Friends of the Library projects and the impact they have on their local libraries. Second and third place winners went to the Friends of the Lake City and Pelican Rapids Public Libraries.

The Cambridge Friends won the award for their 2009 Community Wide Read program which featured the Night Birds by Thomas Maltman, a book about the Sioux Uprising of 1876. The Community Wide Read Program included book discussion groups, a documentary and a hoop dance presentation by Dallas Chief Eagle. A companion children’s book about the Sioux Uprising, Battle Cry by Jan Neubert Schultz, was also part of the program. The award was judged on the impact of the project, the objectives, cost effectiveness, collaboration, planning, the target audience and funding sources.

Along with the $1000 cash award, the Friends were given a beautiful plaque representing their accomplishments. The award is on display at the Cambridge Public Library. Congratulations Cambridge Friends of the Library!

Vickie Sorn

Youth & Community Services Librarian