Celebrating 25 Years of the MN Book Awards – From Main Street to Your Street

Now that fall is just around the corner, what a better time to settle down with a good book – and a good book written by a Minnesota author.  The Minnesota Book Awards was created in 1988 by The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and other libraries as part of the Festival of the Book.  The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library now retain full responsibility for the Book Awards.  The awards are given each year to books in eight categories by Minnesota writers or illustrators.  Nominations for the 2013 MN Book Awards began August 1.

Recently each of ECRL’s 14 branches put up displays about the MN Book Awards with books by Minnesota authors.  You may also stop and pick up a Minnesota Writer’s Map.  In partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Book Awards put together a map called Minnesota Writers on the Map.  It includes many Minnesota authors who have made a significant impact on the state.  You’ll find such notables as Sinclair Lewis, Robert Bly, Sigurd Olson, Frederick Manfred and Maud Hart Lovelace.  The placement of the authors on one side of the map represents their birthplace, the place with which the writer was associated, or the location where he or she spent a majority of his writing life in the state.   The backside of the map list authors by region and includes their name, birthdate and birthplace, date they died (if applicable), plus a list of some of their more notable works.  The map was a collaborative effort from the Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage fund, the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators, the Minnesota Historical Society and the St. Paul Friends of the Library.  Stop by and take peruse the display, books and pick up a Minnesota Authors map and/or MN Book Awards bookmark at any of ECRL branches.
Vickie Sorn, ECRL Youth & Community Services Librarian


November 4, 2008 is election day!
You may want to look at the following websites and familiarize yourself with your Federal and State governments. Become an informed citizen!
In this election year you may also need to locate your polling place or view election results.

Check out these sites:

This is the official website of the Federal Government. Peruse the A-Z index of government departments and agencies. Note the links to State, Local, and Tribal governments. Contact your elected officials, replace vital records, or find out how to apply for a passport. Its all here!

Minnesota North Star
This is the official website of the State of Minnesota. See the various links to state agencies, jobs, education, social services, and natural resources. Find a phone number in the Government Telephone Directory. Look at the “Kids Page” and the resources for “Minnesota Seniors”. Or contact the office of Governor Tim Pawlenty!
Polling Place Finder
Locate your polling place (where you go to vote) in Minnesota. Get maps and directions. Locate a specific district number. Just enter your zip code or county of residence to get started!

Election Center
From the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Access voter and candidate information, view election results and statistics. Includes historical facts and figures from past election years!
Above all, don’t forget to vote on November 4th!

Gray, Reference and Adult Services Librarian

Banner ends its journey

For the last year, Minnesota public libraries, in partnership with the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission,have provided residents the opportunity to touch Minnesota history, be part of the Sesquicentennial, and journal their memories about the State of Minnesota in observance of the 150th statehood anniversary. The partnership was announced on May 11, 2007 at the 10th annual Rural Minnesota Summit, sponsored by Minnesota Rural partners. Two banners were launched, and through the coordination of the Minnesota Regional Library Systems have made their way through public libraries throughout the state.

Here at ECRL we received our banner and began the roving party on March 13th. Each of the 14 branch libraries in the East Central Regional Library System hosted the banner, giving the celebration its own local flavor. We collected many of the photos and posted them on our Flickr site. You can see them all by clicking on any photo in this post.

Sunday, May 11th the banners and journals were returned – one came from the north, the other from the south. East Central Regional Library Assistant Director Nick Dimassis presented the banner and journal to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who in turn presented the items to Nina Archabal, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Historical Society for archiving. Nick was accompanied by his daughters Emma and Alice. The southern banner was presented to Governor Pawlenty by Southeastern Libraries Cooperating Executive Director Ann Hutton, who was accompanied by several SELCO staff members. SELCO’s Flickr photos of the day are online here.

It’s been fun to be part of Minesota history. Happy 150th birthday, Minnesota!

Launching the banner (May 11, 2007)
Banner journey began May 11, 2007

Governor Pawlenty accepts well-traveled banners from ECRL and SELCO (May 11, 2008)
Banner Day at the Capitol

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director

Telling Our Library Story

I just finished a presentation for the Cambridge Rotary Club. I’ve done similar presentations before, but I never get over the excitementment of being able to give away so much — and it doesn’t raise my library budget or cost me anything personally.

I started out today’s presentation by asking people to show their library cards . . . . and today’s program-sponsoring Rotarian passed out a prize to everyone who had a library card. While they were proudly holding up their library cards, I told them that was the most valuable card in their wallet. I talked about the services our 14 libraries offer, and about our online services that they can use 24/7. Wow! They were taking notes and asking questions.

As I said, I’ve done pretty much the same presentation in both Regions in which I’ve worked, and the response is the same — total amazement and appreciation for what they didn’t know they’ve had for quite some time now. I wonder how many others haven’t heard about us yet. And I’m reminded that we’ve got a lot of marketing and instruction to do.

I’m looking to go out and talk to as many people as I can and demo our fine products and services. Just call and invite me!

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director