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

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