New Zinio for Libraries app Features

The  Zinio for Libraries mobile app was recently updated, and major enhancements were introduced. The biggest news is that you may now check out magazines from within the mobile app.  See the example above.

Other updates include setting preferences to auto-download magazines and queue multiple magazines for batch downloading, and improved offline reading experience for Kindle Fire.

Learn more about digital magazines and other digital reading here!

Growing Season Coming Soon

The growing season is coming soon to east central Minnesota.  A stop at your local ECRL library to check out some gardening books and magazines can inspire you to start planting.  These books from the ECRL collection offer some tips and advice for growing food and flowers throughout the summer.

  •   Plant marigolds near tomatoes or roses to reduce attacks by aphids.
  • Pests are less of a problem in weedy gardens but yield is lower.
  •  Frogs and toads should be encouraged in any garden because they feed on garden pests
  • Some weeds are useful.  Dandelion leaves make a great salad, nettle is an important food for butterflies and can be eaten as a spinach substitute and clover takes nitrogen from the air and brings it to the soil.

  •  Try growing your leaf lettuce around your broccoli plants to act as a living and harvestable mulch
  • Leave kale plants in the garden in the fall and they’ll product new growth next spring.
  • Newspapers make very good mulch.  Spread in sheets before adding compost on top.
  • One way to use herbs is to make sun vinegar.  Clean herbs such as chives, rosemary or tarragon and fill half of a jar with herbs and the rest with white distilled vinegar.  Cap and place in sun for one to two weeks.
  • Narrower walkways allow more space for beds.
  • Plants need space for roots and thrive best in 18 inches of loosened soil.
  • Rotate plants to avoid depleting the soil and get rid of diseases and pests.

Here are a few new ECRL books and some magazines from which to get up-to-date gardening ideas:
First, Jack.  Hot Beds: hot to grow early crops using an age old technique.  Totnes, 2013.
Hartung, Tammi.  The wildlife friendly vegetable gardener:  how to grow food in harmony with nature.  Storey, 2014.
Jabour, Niki. Groundbreaking food gardens: 73 plants that will change the way you grow your garden.  Storey, 2014.
Shelton, Neil.  The everything backyard farming book: a guide to self-sufficient living through growing, harvesting, raising and preserving your own food.  Avon, 2013.
Northern Gardener
Organic Gardening(available on Zinio)
Mother Earth News(available on Zinio)
Better Homes and Gardens
Kathy Morrow
Mille Lacs Lake Community Library
Branch Librarian

Magazines Aren’t Just Print Anymore

Libraries are usually known for their books, but magazines are an overlooked part of the collection.   ECRL has magazines in a variety of formats, depending on your needs.   
          The most basic is the old-fashioned paper magazine.  ECRL subscribes to many magazines throughout their 14 branches so if you are looking for a magazine that you don’t see, ask the librarian if it is available at another branch.  You can check out the back issues of any magazines through ECRL and keep it for three weeks.

          The next way to look at magazines is through the ELM database.  The state of Minnesota has subscribed to some costly databases so that everyone with a library card can have access to a huge variety of academic and popular journals and magazines.  Students are sometimes first introduced to this resource through their school library.  To gain access to these, go to the homepage of ECRL and look for the fourth box down.  Click on the ELM databases and then look for EBSCO or Megafile. 


If you would like to use your computer, tablet or smart phone to look at magazines, try the new Zinio feature.  Click on the link from the library home page.  You will be asked to make two accounts—one through ECRL and the other through Zinio.  Once you have this on your tablet or computer, you’ll love it.  You can look at many different magazines—ads and all–at your leisure.

Kathy Morrow

Mille Lacs Lake Community Library
Branch Librarian

To a Healthier New Year!

It’s that time of year again: News Year’s Resolution time. Many among us will renew our commitment to making changes in our lives.  I already know mine will be cooking more and healthier food (fewer cans of soup and more homemade soup!)—and health is a common resolution theme, especially eating better and shedding a few pounds.  

This year, if you are among the nutrition and weight-loss resolution-ists, ECRL has a few resources that can help you on your way.  While there are countless methods and proposed solutions out there, I hope these resources will get your wheels turning about which one or ones might work for you.  

Here’s to rededicating ourselves to healthy living! 

BOOKS  (Print & Digital)

The 3-1-2-1 diet: eat and cheat your way to weight loss–up to 10 pounds in 21 days (Print) by Dolvett Quince (2013). Quince, a star trainer on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, proposes a weight loss plan that balances diet and fitness: 3 days of “clean” eating, 1 day to cheat, 2 days of clean eating, and 1 day for reward–plus a fitness plan that incorporates brief but intense workouts. 

Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You (ebook) by Jessica Cassity (2011). Cassity’s 365 tips and tricks for better living incorporate research and wisdom garnered from conversations with wide-ranging health experts, including doctors, nutritionists, yogis, psychologists, trainers, and more.  

Eat to live cookbook: 200 delicious nutrient-rich recipes for fast and sustained weight loss, reversing disease, and lifelong health (Print) by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  (2013). Fuhrman promotes a nutrient-loaded diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal and processed foods (and calories) for optimum health and longevity. Recipes span breakfast, main meals, snacks, and desserts. Click here for the ebook version.

Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food (ebook) by Susan Albers (2012). A licensed clinical psychologist and diet and fitness coach, Albers approaches health by exploring the myriad of personal and social meanings around food and eating (and the habits we form) and offering strategies to manage those meanings and habits in your own life.  

The start here diet: three simple steps that helped me transition from fat to slim … for life by Tosca Reno with Billie Fitzpatrick (2013).  Reno’s three-step weight loss “recipe” (dive inward, uncover your hidden foods, move a little) is packed with tips on shopping, meal planning, recipes, and effective exercises you can do at home. 


Natural Health Magazine. (Digital – ZinioMonthly magazine focusing on natural ingredients to better health, including articles on nutrition, recipes, and overall strategies for wellness.  

Weight Watchers.  (Digital – ZinioA monthly magazine offering recipes and tips for weight loss. 


“Choose My Plate,” Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). The CNPP is an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their website “Choose My” is dedicated to helping citizens developing health living habits, including tips to eat healthy on a budget, tools to estimate calories and physical activity, food plans and recipes. 

“Weight Loss for Life,” Weight-control Information Network (WIN). WIN is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health). WIN offers a range of current, research-based health information, including tips on nutrition, weight control and fitness.  

Andrea Hermanson, Branch Librarian, Pine City