New York Times Bestselling Author at Mille Lacs Lake Community Library

Join as MN author, William Kent Krueger, stops by to talk about his writing and his enormously popular mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota.  Mr. Krueger will be at the Mille Lacs Lake Community Library in Isle on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 pm.

His newest title, Sulfur Springs, #16 in the Cork O’Connor series will be released in September 2017.  The event is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Scrapbooking Anyone?

Interested in learning about scrapbooking?  Then come to the Mille Lacs Lake Community Library on Thursday, May 11 from 6:30-8:30 pm.  In this 2-hour workshop, MN Historical Society educator Kerri Teske will lead a discussion on trends and techniques, tips for layouts, and project ideas.  She will also demonstrate one type of personal cutting machine.  Materials to create pages and work time will be provided, so participants are welcome to bring any photographs they want to work with.  All skill and interest levels are welcome.

Pre-registration is required.  Stop by the Mille Lacs Lake Community Library or call 320-676-3929 to do so.  This project is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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

Winter Delights

At the Mille Lacs Branch of East Central Regional Library, we slow down at this time of year so I have the time to write a blog posting.  The snowbirds have flown south to their condos and trailers.  The rest of us are left to face winter.  It could be a daunting five months of darkness and cold, but a trip to the nonfiction section of the library can give you some ideas on how to make it through a Minnesota winter.

Since the holidays are just around the corner, it might be nice to bake up some goodies for neighbors, friends or family.  You can warm up the house while doing a good deed.  Here are a few newer holiday baking books you can put a hold on:

Holiday crafting & baking with kids : gifts, sweets, and treats for the whole family by Jessica Strand

Sweet Christmas : homemade peppermints, sugar cake, chocolate-almond toffee, eggnog fudge, and other sweet treats and decoration by Sharon Bowers

Another way to while away those winter hours is to knit or crochet.  You can justify spending hours watching movies or television if you are making something at the same time.  Some easy items to knit that will also keep you or a loved one warm include mittens, hats, stockings, scarves and leg warmers.  You could also crochet a more complicated afghan or sweater.  You’ll find many books on yarn working in the 746 Dewey Decimal areas. ECRL has many hobby books from painting to quilting and woodworking that can give you free patterns and advice.  These books have some ideas for gifts you can make:

Handmade Gifts, 2013

Holiday boutique knitting:  inspired holiday décor and gifts to knit by Mary jean Daigneault

After the holidays are over, it’s time to put the house back in order.  The library has many books that tell you how to de-clutter, organize or clean your house in the 648 section of nonfiction.  ECRL also has books on Feng Shui which is the Chinese art of optimal home placement to bring you good fortune and happiness.  Here are a few newer books to give you some ideas on how to enhance your living space:

Soulspace:  transform your home, transform you life – creating a home that is free of clutter, full of beauty, and inspired by you by Xorin Balbes

Feng Shui that makes sense:  easy ways to create a home that feels s good as it looks by Cathleen McCandless

Winter can feel long when the cold forces us inside for days at a time.  Help the time pass pleasantly and productively by reading and pursuing hobbies that can bring warming happiness to you and others. Check out an East Central Regional Library book today.

Kathy Morrow
Mille Lacs Lake Community Branch Librarian