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

Building gets a facelift

As I walked into the building this morning a guy facetiously said to me, “gee, I thought I was in the wrong place.” Well, the address hasn’t changed, so I assume that he meant that the Cambridge library looks really different these days since Isanti County crews have undertaken a cleanup and redo project on the building exterior. For the last couple weeks visitors to the library have been greeted by chainsaws, backhoes, and trucks hauling away the overgrowth. Lots of days pedestrians and cars have been directed away from the front of the library in the interest of safety. Even the interior of the library is affected since the shrubs that covered the large windows are gone and light streams in. No longer is there a hiding place for all sorts of who-knows-what potentially threatening public safety.

While standing on the sidewalk conferring with the crews, I’ve talked to lots of people who are thrilled with the work on their library home. I’ve had the opportunity to provide information (that’s what librarians do best, you know) about the system. In Cambridge, Isanti County owns the building, which is the home of Cambridge library (upstairs) and East Central Regional Library headquarters(basement). The city partners with the utility costs. In all of ECRL, the branch facilities are owned by the cities and/or counties. ECRL provides staff and materials to operate the branches. It’s a good system and cost-efficient by partnering multiple funding sources.

All the ECRL branches have unique looks that fit their communities. Marketing begins at home, and attractive, well-kept libraries project the pride of their communities. Expectation of quality is greatly influenced by visual perception and atmosphere. Our libraries are attractive and welcoming community centers to residents and readers for all sorts of educational and recreational retreats.

All cleaned up and ready for a paint-job
Building gets a facelift>

Barbara Misselt, Director

What Book Would You Save?

The One Book, Cambridge Community Wide Reading program committee would like to know what book is important to you. In the book chosen for the 2008 One Book Cambridge Community Wide Program, The Book Thief, books are very important to the main character, Liesel. She takes many chances with her life to find books during a time when book burnings were a regular occurrence in Germany. She even takes one right from a smoldering pile! Would you take such a chance?

As we celebrate School Library Media Month in April and National Library Week, April 13-19, stop and think about what the freedom to read means to you. Stop in and take a look at the display in the window of the Cambridge Public Library depicting the book burnings of WWII and the propaganda used by the U.S. to protest the book burnings. Did you know that books by Helen Keller, H. G. Wells and Jack London were burned in Germany? Take a peek at this informative display.

How important are books to you? If you had a fire in your home and you could safely save only ONE book, what book would you save? Stop by the Cambridge Public Library and fill out a form with your answer. Students in the local middle schools and high school are also participating in this thought provoking activity. We will collect all the entries and hope to have some of them published in the newspaper. Your name is optional. Help us discover what makes a book important to you!

Plus, there’s still time to join the One Book, Cambridge Community Wide Reading Program. Check out The Book Thief at the Cambridge Public Library or purchase your own copy at Scout & Morgan Books. Visit our website at for more information on the program.

Vickie Sorn, Community Services Coordinator

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens

In my family, everyone looks forward to two gifts under the Christmas tree — pajamas and a new book. (For a peak at my family opening their books, check out my blog post from 2 years ago.)

The Cambridge Library has teamed up with Isanti County Family Services and generous library folks to give kids and teens new Christmas books through the Gift of Reading tree.
Give the Gift of Reading Tree

A bookmark is available in the library with suggestions for teen reads. If you want to give the teens in your life a new book, check out these book list suggestions — thanks to Chisago Lakes Branch Manager Angela Smith and Community Services Coordinator Vickie Sorn.

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas for Teens
Ages 14 & up!

Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer
Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by S. Limb
13 Little Blue Envelopes by M. Johnson
Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series by Anne Brashares
Princess Diary Series by Meg Cabot
Jingle Boy by Scott Kiernan
Any Gossip Girl OR It Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Cut by Patricia McCormick
Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock
Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody Carlson
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Stormbreaker by Alex Horowitz (or any Alex Rider books)
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Godless (or Invisible) by Pete Hautman
Nailed by Patrick Jones
Holes by Louis Sachar
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Feed by M. T. Anderson
Crackback by John Coy
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Hoops by Walter Dean Myers
Nonfiction bks (sports, rockstars, cars)
Graphic Novels (Bone Series, any DC or Marvel superheros)

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director