Projects for Pets, Wild Birds, and More!

As it gets a little colder outside, I’ve been answering a lot of reference questions about planning and constructing animal shelters. Some of these questions have been about building projects for pets, like doghouses and rabbit hutches, and other people have asked about building outdoor structures for wild animals, like birdhouses. Whether you’re catering to domesticated animals or wildlife, we’ve got books for you!

Searching the ECRL catalog by the subjects “Pets” and “Housing” will help you to find a couple of books on pet projects, including one called Making Pet Palaces: princely homes and furnishings to pamper your pets by Leslie Dirks, which has lots of fun ideas for amateur builders.


Photo by Flickr user libraryrachel; used under Creative Commons license

If you’re more interested in helping out your fine, feathered friends, we can help you with that, too. Try searching by subject for “Birdhouses” and “Design and Construction,” and you’ll find many books on building birdhouses. Here’s just a sample of what we have on that topic:

Photo by Flickr user virtualphotographystudio; used under Creative Commons license

If you’re interested in making shelters for wildlife other than birds, you might try the book titled
Beastly Abodes: homes for birds, bats, butterflies, & other backyard wildlife by Bobbe Needham. There’s also Woodworking for Wildlife: homes for birds and mammals by Carrol L. Henderson.  

 As always, we’re happy to help you find what you’re looking for at the library!

-Robin Duple, Branch Librarian, Pine City Public Library

Grand Marshals

Both outgoing and incoming Pine City Branch Librarians were honored on Saturday, August 6 as they served as Grand Marshals in the Pine City Parade.

Retiring Librarian
(on the left), Christy Koch and new librarian (on the right ), Sarah Biro, led the parade on this gorgeous Saturday.

Christy retired after 17 years of service as Pine City’s Branch Librarian.  Sarah Biro started as the new Pine City Branch Librarian in early July. 

(Photo courtesy of Pine City Pioneer)

Vickie Sorn
Youth & Community Services Librarian

New Pine City Branch Librarian Named

“I’m so lucky to be entering a community that is so invested in its library, which cares about its success and its librarian,” says the new Pine City Branch Librarian, Sarah Biro.  She is overwhelmed by the warm welcome she has received and of course, working in the beautiful new library is wonderful.  Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict and recently completed her Masters of Library and Information Science from Drexel University.

Before coming to Pine City, she worked at several surrounding library systems and university libraries including the Anoka County Library, St. John’s University-Alcuin Library, Great River Regional Library and St. Cloud State University.  Sarah was able to gain a wealth of experience by working in several different library departments including reference, circulation, interlibrary loan and technical services.  It has given her a broad spectrum of library experience that will no doubt serve her well in her new position as Pine City Branch Librarian.

Sarah, as an avid reader, “grew up in public libraries; attending storytime, checking out books, participating in summer reading programs, and maxing out her checkout limit.”  She happened upon a part-time library aide position in high school and never looked back.  Her job titles and responsibilities have changed over the years, but her “love for libraries has only grown.”  One of her favorite quotes is from the book, The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – “There is no problem a library card can’t solve.”  She feels lucky to have stumbled upon a career which she loves so early in life. 

Sarah is “excited to use the insight” she has gained from all her previous library experience and what she has learned as she finished her Master’s degree.  She hopes to “build on the library’s success, serving the needs of the Pine city library users and operating the library as efficiently as possible.”

Sarah will serve as Grand Marshal of the Pine County Parade on Saturday, August 6 along with retired Pine City branch librarian, Christy Koch.  Wave as she rides by or even better, stop by the Pine City Public Library and take a moment to welcome her.

Vickie Sorn
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


Are you interested in exploring the history of your family? Perhaps you’d like to look at old census or land records. Or maybe you were told that your great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War.

The Ancestry Library Edition database, an unmatched resource for genealogical research, can help you locate that “missing link”!

It can be accessed at seven branches within East Central Regional Library: Aitkin, Cambridge, Chisago Lakes, Milaca, Mora, Pine City, and Sandstone. Staff will be happy to introduce you to Ancestry if you visit any one of these seven branches.

I recently held “Introduction to Genealogy” classes here at Cambridge and the other branches that offer Ancestry. Very popular! Another class will be held in Aitkin on April 21, 2008 at 6 pm. We’ve been “snowed out” twice in Aitkin—hopefully, the third time is the charm!

Please contact the Reference Department here in Cambridge (763-689-7390 x.16) or your local branch library to enquire about Ancestry or to express your interest in future “Introduction to Genealogy” classes. We have various handouts that can be copied, including a list of recommended FREE genealogy sites, contact information for historical societies in our service area, and other literature.

We’re eager and willing to share all of this with you!

Bob Gray

Reference Coordinator, East Central Regional Library