New Mora Librarian!

East Central Regional Library is pleased to welcome Katherine Jordan as the new Branch Librarian in Mora.  Katherine succeeds Wendy Prokosch, who retired last fall after nearly 40 years as the Mora Branch Librarian.

A California native, Katherine recently received her Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She graduated from Vanguard University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Music.

Prior to joining East Central Regional Library, Katherine worked for the Hales Corners Public Library and Haggerty Library at Mount Mary University, both in the greater Milwaukee area.

Katherine started with East Central Regional Library on May 3rd, and she and her husband Samuel, a classical guitarist, recently moved to Mora.  She is excited to take on the role of Branch Librarian for the Mora community, and has already gotten off to a great start, giving lots of library tours and generating new enthusiasm for the Friends of the Mora Library.

If you haven’t yet, please stop by the library to say hello and welcome Katherine to Mora.

Mora librarian Wendy Prokosch calls it a career

Wendy Prokosch may never forget the middle school-age boy who was often naughty but had a certain sweetness to him. He liked going to the library, and she let him stay, even with his behavior.

Some years later, “He came back and told me that this was his place to come because he wasn’t welcome at home a lot of the time,” Wendy recalled. “And he appreciated the fact that I let him stay here, even though he was being naughty. This was a safe place for him, and I’ve had several kids and some adults tell me that.”

Wendy recently reminisced about her library career following her announcement to retire after nearly 40 years of service as the Branch Librarian for the Mora Public Library, a branch of the East Central Regional Library. The community is invited to wish Wendy well on her next endeavors during an open house from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at the library.

Wendy has been a beloved fixture in the Mora community since she started working at the library in April of 1978, a time of excitement for her and husband Tom, who is originally from Mora. They had just moved to Mora following Wendy’s time at graduate school at the University of Minnesota to live on a new farm with a newborn baby in tow.

Her first impression of Mora? “Very welcoming. Everybody was extremely nice, friendly,” she said.

As for starting her library career, “it was what I always wanted to do,” Wendy said. “It comes from a love of reading from my parents, my mom. We lived in a real small town (Fulda, MN), but my mom used to let us ride our bikes to the library. I think I read every book in that library. It was a big part of my childhood.”

The public is invited to wish Wendy Prokosch a happy retirement from 1:30-5:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Mora Public Library.
The public is invited to wish Wendy Prokosch a happy retirement during an open house from 1:30-5:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Mora Public Library.

As one can imagine, Wendy has seen many changes in how the library operates over the years … from circulation to public use of computers. When she started, she was still stamping books and filing cards, a process that took a lot of work and time outside of doing book returns and other regular librarian tasks. The days of relying on the card catalog and then microfiche were ultimately numbered with computers taking over by the mid 1990s.

In retirement, Wendy is going to miss watching the kids grow up as she has with those who are now bringing their own kids to the library. She’ll have more time to work on house projects and read her favorite historical fiction authors, such as Sharon Kay Penman and Philippa Gregory. But what she’s most looking forward to is watching her two grandsons and granddaughter play hockey right here in Mora.

“For the first time ever Mora is going to have a girls hockey team of their own,” Wendy said. “My granddaughter is going to be a part of the first team.”

While ECRL conducts its search for a new librarian, Adam Kehn has been named the interim branch librarian in Mora.

Mark Moran Event Update

Due to some last minute cancellations we now have spots OPEN for the last Mark Moran appraisal program at the North Branch Area Library on Thursday, November 2 from 5:00-8:00 pm

To register for the North Branch event call 763-392-0657.  Please leave only ONE message and do not call your local ECRL branch.  They cannot register you for the event.  Someone will get back to you during HQ office hours with details about the event.

What’s it Worth with Mark Moran

Have you ever wondered the worth of that prized possession you keep in your display case or jewelry box? Or how about a coveted piece of fine art, old toy or sports memorabilia?

Now you can find out.

The East Central Regional Library presents author and appraiser Mark Moran and his traveling antique appraisal program at select branch locations this month. Moran, who has appeared on the PBS program, Antiques Roadshow, will evaluate your item and help you learn more about its history.

Here is the schedule:

  • Monday, Oct. 23, 5-8 p.m., Cambridge Public Library
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 5-8 p.m., Mora Public Library
  • Saturday, Oct. 28, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Princeton Area Library
  • Thursday, Nov. 2, 5-8 p.m., North Branch Area Library

One item per household may be appraised. Acceptable items include fine art, furniture, ceramics, glassware, vintage photographs, advertising, folk art, assorted toys, metalware, clocks, costume jewelry, musical instruments, books and sports memorabilia.

Excluded items include all weapons, including swords and knives (folding knives with advertising accepted); traps, like leg-hold; Nazi memorabilia; coins and paper money; fine jewelry, including precious gems; and Beanie Babies.

Registration for appraisals is required. You can only register by calling 763-392-0657.  Please leave only ONE message and do not call your local ECRL branch.  They cannot register you for the program.  Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.  Additional guests who would just like to listen and observe are welcome.

Opinions of value are informal and may not be used for insurance or charitable donation, which requires a certified appraisal. This is not a certified appraisal.

This project is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


Prohibition in Minnesota: an ECRL Reads program

The 1920s is probably best known for Prohibition, a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933.

Minnesotans, along with the rest of the country, were plunged into what many called “The Great Experiment.” PROHIBITION. A primary theme of the ECRL Reads book, Ice-Out, is prohibition in Minnesota, the struggle for many to survive and how it changed the lives of ordinary people. As gangsters grabbed the headlines, everyday Minnesotans quietly set up their own stills and speakeasies, producing what many considered, the best corn liquor in the nation.

Learn all about Minnesota’s wild and woolly prohibition days as ever popular historical re-enactor, Arn Kind presents Prohibition in Minnesota. He will be visiting six branches within the ECRL system.

Thursday, September 21 – Mora Public Library – 6:00-8:00 pm

Saturday, September 23 – Hinckley Pubic Library – 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Monday, September 25 – Cambridge Public Library – 6:00-8:00 pm

Tuesday, September 26 – Chisago Lakes Area Library – 6:00-8:00 pm

*Thursday, September 28 –Event Center at McQuiod’s Inn, 1325 Hwy 47 North, Isle, MN. –  6:00-8:00 pm – in partnership with McQuiod’s Inn and the Mille Lacs Lake Community Library

Saturday, September 30 – McGregor School Auditorium – 10:30 am – 12:30 pm – in partnership with McGregor Community Ed and presented by the McGregor Public Library

Join us for this in-depth and interactive look at how this constitutional ban played a part in Minnesota’s history. All programs are funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.