Digital Public Library of America Launched Today!

After some two and a half years in the making, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched today!

DPLA will deliver millions of materials found in American archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions to students, teachers, scholars, and the public. Represented in this unprecedented national aggregation of digital content is the rich contribution of the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) through the organizations participating in Minnesota Reflections.

As a special part of the DPLA launch, the MDL, under the direction of curator Leah Bowe from the Minnesota Historical Society, has created a fascinating online exhibit on the topic of Native Americans, entitled History of Survivance: Upper Midwest 19th Century Native American Narratives. This exhibit tells a story of extraordinary culture disruption, change, and continuity and the effect that has had on the Native population of Minnesota.

Take a look and explore the new DPLA portal!

Sara Ring, Digitization and Metadata Training Coordinator
Minitex Digitization, Cataloging & Metadata Education

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

Searching for a Grammy

When I was working the desk in a library in another state I both loved and hated certain times that elicited an increased amount of the calls we frustrated librarians called pursuit of trivia. Many of the calls came from Grammy Awards Night parties (or even Super Bowl parties). Tonight if you’re watching the Grammys (like I am) I’ll bet you’re wondering about past winners.

The Grammy site has a nifty search utility where you can search for all the past winners. It’s at:

For instance, if you want to know all the Grammys that Whitney Houston won, just type her name into the name search box. Or you can bring up a list of all the awards given in a particular year, all the way back to 1958 when the best individual jazz performance was Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book.

So, if you’re just burning with curiosity about all the best winners of best polka album, just select the category “Polka” from the Genre drop-down list.

Barbara Misselt, Director