Take Action for Libraries!

Today is Take Action for Libraries Day! While the day is a national effort observed for the first time in 2017 as a response to proposed cuts to federal funds for libraries, there are many ways library advocates can speak up or take action to show how vital libraries are to our communities!

Action can include:

  1. Advocating for laws that advance libraries and protect library funding.
    1. Talk to your city and county officials about the importance of libraries. Approximately 60% of East Central Regional Library’s operating funds comes from our counties. Our cities are key partners in providing and maintaining facilities.
    2. East Central Regional Library receives approximately 27% of its operating funds directly from the state of Minnesota.  The state also provides funds for library legacy programs and grant opportunities for local entities to build new or remodel facilities.  Learn more on the Minnesota Library Advocacy website.
    3. While East Central Regional Library doesn’t receive operating funds directly from the federal government, Minnesota libraries benefit from federal funding that helps provide grant opportunities for public libraries and key services like statewide delivery.  (That’s how your MNLINK request gets to you!) Learn more about federal advocacy issues and information from the American Library Association.
  2. Staying in the loop about essential library programs, resources, and services.
    1. Subscribe to the e-Connect Newsletter.
    2. Like us on Facebook.
    3. Follow us on Twitter.
    4. Follow the East Central Regional Library blog. Click on follow in the lower left-hand corner of your screen, enter your email address, and sign up!
  3. Supporting East Central Regional Library by donating time or money.
  4. Simply taking the time today to tell someone why libraries are important to you!

However you support your library, East Central Regional Library thanks you.

National Bookmobile Day

Today is National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality outreach possible in their communities. Bookmobiles provide access to resources for life-long learning for those whom the the joy of visiting a public library may be out of reach.

While East Central Regional Library officially retired its last bookmobile in May 2009, Outreach Services continue by van! Outreach Librarian Tim Olson regularly makes stops in 8 communities (Braham, Onamia, Isanti, Giese, Duquette, Jacobson, Hill City, and McGrath), carrying library materials in bins for patrons to check out. Tim logs an average of 320 miles per week to provide library service through both mounds of snow and staggering heat.

Here’s celebrating the role bookmobile service has played in East Central Regional Library history with a look back at the old bookmobiles.

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National Bookmobile Day is an opportunity for outreach fans to make their support known. Share your stories and memories of the East Central Regional Library bookmobile and outreach services!

*These items were digitized by the Minnesota Digital Library as part of the Public Library Partnership Project with the Digital Public Library of America.  View these and other historical East Central Regional Library images in Minnesota Reflections or DPLA.

Happy National Library Workers Day!

Today is National Library Workers Day, a day to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.  Library workers are responsible for a wide variety of services; they are in charge of more than just checking books in and out of the library. Library workers catalog and shelve materials; handle requests and send them to other libraries; answer phone calls and emails; organize programs and events; administer computer networks; and much more.

“East Central Regional Library works because our staff does,” says Carla Lydon, Executive Director. “They’re the people opening the doors, unpacking boxes of books, and fixing the computers to serve this community to make sure our libraries runs smoothly and that your library experience is a positive one.”

Did you know? 

  • East Central Regional Library has 80 employees across 14 branch locations, outreach, and headquarters.
  • Number of staff members per location ranges from two employees at our smallest branches to 12 employees at our largest branch. In addition, we have several substitute staff that work at many locations.
  • Our longest serving employee has worked for East Central Regional Library for 31 years.
  • It takes, on average, 1,762 hours of staff time to operate East Central Regional Library every week.

Show some extra love for the amazing library workers in your life today. Give them a shout out in the comments below! Share a story about their impact, comment about a pleasant interaction, or a thank you for all their hard work.

Celebrate National Library Week: Libraries Lead

This week East Central Regional Library joins libraries nationwide in celebrating the many ways libraries lead their communities through the services, programs, and expertise they offer.

April 8-14 is National Library Week, an annual celebration of the life-changing work of libraries. Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books or study—they’re also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate and develop their skills and passions.

East Central Regional Library advocates for widespread access to crucial services and lifelong learning in our communities. Libraries level the playing field for patrons who seek information and access to technologies to improve their quality of life.

Today, the State of America’s Libraries Report 2018 was released, an annual summary of library trends that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries.

The report includes the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2017.  The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) reported 354 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2017; overall in 2017, 416 books were challenged.


National Bookmobile Day 2016

Today is National Bookmobile Day, which celebrates the role of bookmobiles and outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries and the dedicated library professionals who provide this valuable and essential service to their communities every day.

While East Central Regional Library retired its last bookmobile in May 2009, ECRL continues to provide outreach services to 8 sites by van. Our outreach communities are: Braham, Onamia, Isanti, Giese, Duquette, Jacobson, Hill City, and McGrath. ECRL Outreach Services provides individuals who are unable to get to one of our branches many of the same library services!

Here’s celebrating the role bookmobile service has played in ECRL history with a look back at some of our old bookmobiles.

Stanchfield School students in 1960 eagerly wait to board the East Central Regional Library Bookmobile.*
Bookmobile_East_Central_Regional_Library_Cambridge_Minnesota (1)
In 1986, the box from a previous East Central Regional Library bookmobile was mounted on a new truck frame. Because the lights and heat ran off the alternator, it did not run during the coldest months. Nevertheless, this bookmobile logged 298,000 miles during its service.*
East Central Regional Library bookmobile visiting Cloverton, in Pine County.*
East Central Regional Library’s last bookmobile. Purchased in 1996 for $103,000, it was the first new bookmobile in 20 years. It was built on a Bluebird bus chassis, held 3,500 items, had an onboard generator and a lift for accessibility, and it featured an “air ride.” *
Outreach Van
The current outreach van that delivers library materials to community centers, city and town halls, a depot, church, and pavilion in 8 ECRL communities.

ECRL recognizes the service of its many bookmobile librarians, drivers, and outreach librarians since 1959!

*These items were digitized by the Minnesota Digital Library as part of the Public Library Partnership Project with the Digital Public Library of America.  View these and other historical ECRL images in Minnesota Reflections or DPLA.