November 2014
Volume 4, Issue 11
ECRL Newsletter Logo  


New Strategic Plan Approved

The mission of East Central Regional Library is to strengthen communities by connecting people with resources, spaces, and educational experiences that enrich and empower their lives.
This mission statement begins ECRL's 2015-2017 Strategic Plan, which was approved by the Board of Directors at its October meeting. In setting goals for the next 3 years, the planning committee collected information from ECRL residents through listening at focus groups held in all 14 branches and the 7 communities in which ECRL provides library service through the outreach van. 135 people attended the focus group sessions. Additionally 958 people completed surveys that were made available both in print and online.

ECRL set 6 goals in the new plan:
1. Goal 1: Collections - Provide, support, and maintain collections of variously formatted information sources to satisfy the needs of information seekers.
2. Goal 2: Place - Collaborate with cities and counties to provide welcoming, safe places to enhance community life and for community members to come, gather, and be.
3. Goal 3: Customer Service - Provide excellent customer service to community members through building, supporting, and equipping qualified staff teams
4. Goal 4: Programs - Provide programs that educate, entertain, and lift up the quality of life in communities.
5. Goal 5: Technology - Provide up-to-date technology for use by community members in support of their information seeking and for use by staff in efficient organizational management.
6. Goal 6: Outreach - Deliver library services and information about library service and happenings beyond library walls.

Planning Committee members who developed the plan are:
Board Members: Don Niemi (Aitkin Co); Jim Raisanen (Aitkin Co); Keith Carlson (Chisago Co); Richard Byrne (Chisago Co); Karen Lee (Isanti Co); Audrey Misiura (Isanti Co); Gene Anderson (Kanabec Co); Wayne Zaudtke, Chair (Kanabec Co); Genny Reynolds (Mille Lacs Co)

Staff: Barbara Misselt (Director); Carla Lydon (Assistant Director); Vickie Sorn (Youth and Community Services Librarian); Sarah Hawkins (Resources Librarian); Andy Nordin (Systems Administrator); Andrea Hermanson (Pine City); Kathy Morrow (Mille Lacs Lake)

ECRL joins AskMN!

AskMN is a statewide online service for information and research help, providing quality, real-time
ECRL Resource Librarian, Sarah Hawkins working her AskMN shift
assistance via a live, interactive chat service. It is available to all Minnesota residents and students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. East Central Regional Library is excited to announce a new partnership with AskMN! By participating in this cooperative, ECRL is able to provide library service to you around the clock, wherever you are. 

AskMN is staffed by experienced librarians across Minnesota and is part of the 24/7 Reference Cooperative, a group of hundreds of libraries across the country that collaborate to provide online reference service. As a contributing partner, ECRL provides staffing for AskMN each week.

AskMN librarians can save you time searching online to find what you need. Unlike search engines, they can ask you questions and share ideas that will lead you to the best sources, as well as assist you in using the sources.

You can access AskMN on ECRL's website, as well as in the catalog under 'Chat with a Librarian.' Just fill in the online chat form, and you will be quickly connected to a real librarian with the expertise to provide answers to questions, research guidance, and help navigate the internet. A normal AskMN session lasts between 5 and 20 minutes. Depending on your information needs, the librarian may share web links with you in the session. If you provide your email address, you will receive an email transcript of your chat session for your review. Additionally, complex questions may require extra time outside of chat, for the librarian to research and follow-up. 

We hope this new partnership will help us extend library service to our users in new and improved ways, increasing access to collections and resources. Since East Central Regional Library joined the partnership on November 7th, our users have already been helped online by AskMN librarians to:

* Renew their library card
* Update their email address on their library card account
* Search and place holds in ECRL's catalog
* Request a title via interlibrary loan
* Renew an item (to avoid venturing out during Monday's snowstorm!)
* Find primary sources for a History Day project
* Learn about ECRL's Digital Library eBooks
* Learn how to get an ECRL library card for the first time

And we're just getting started! So, the next time you need help with reliable answers, anytime, day or night, just a click away...remember AskMN:  The Librarian is IN!
               Upcoming Legacy Programming
  (events funded with money from Minnesota's              Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund)


Author Brian Freeman

Pine City Public Library 

Tuesday, November 18 - 6:30 pm

Join us for an author talk and book signing as Brian Freeman talks about his latest novel, The Cold Nowhere and his other popular titles.


A Charles Dickens' Christmas

Milaca Community Library

Saturday, December 6 - 2:00 pm


Presenter Dale Blanshan will give a presentation on one of the best-loved stories of Christmas complete with scenes from old prints and theatrical performances along with a short reading from this heart-warming classic story.  


18th Annual Aitkin Christmas Tea

Sunday, December 7 - 3:00 pm  


Join us as we celebrate our 18th annual Christmas tea featuring musicians Brian and Sheralynn Barnes.  Tea, hot cider, and sweet treats will be served after the performance.  Free and open to the public.  Register by December 2 by calling the library at 218-927-2339.

Selfish Elfish

Milaca Community Library 

Tuesday, December 9 - 4:00 pm

What happens when one of Santa's own helpers doesn't make the "nice" list??? It might take a miracle, or maybe just a little 

holiday magic.  Join us for this family friendly event presented by A Touch of Magic.



Holiday Soiree with Zachary Scot Johnson

Rush City Public Library 

Wednesday, December 10 - 6:30 pm

Known for his "Song a Day Project", Stillwater native, Zachary Scot Johnson, will perform holiday music at the library.  Join us for this festive evening and get into the holiday spirit.


Christmas with Tom Hegg

North Branch Area Library 

Saturday, December 13 - 11:00 am

Join us as the author of the best-selling book, "A Cup of Christmas Tea" visits the library to share this heartwarming story. 


Remembering Pearl Harbor with Dale Blanshan

Mora Public Library 

Sunday, December 14 - 3:00 pm

This is the first in a series of historical programming happening at the Mora Public Library.


Learn about the "Day that will live in infamy" through commentary and pictures of that fateful day.   More historical programming is scheduled for January and February.

Plus check out all the other activities going on throughout ECRL.  Simply check any of the following spots on our website:  NewsBits at, Google calendar, ECRL Facebook page or follow us on Twitter@ecrlib.
                    ECRL Staff Recommendations

Shadowlands by Kate Brian (Teen Fiction, print), book 1 of 3 

After escaping death from a serial killer, Rory Miller, along with her father and sister, are put in the witness protection program and sent to a mysterious island called Juniper Landing.

Above submitted by Chelsea Meyers (Cambridge Branch Aide)

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne (Adult non-fiction, eBook and print)

A very interesting story about a man who struggles with an extreme case of Tourette's and who has found ways to cope and even thrive.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden (Adult non-ficiton, eAudio and print)

An inside look at the life of a North Korean man born in a political prison and considered an outcast because of the political beliefs of his ancestors. He escapes to freedom but struggles to be free on the inside.

Above submitted by Nancy Dunbar (Cambridge Branch Librarian)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
(Teen, print and e-audio) 
As my friend wrote in her Goodreads review: This book was everything that was wonderful and painful and horrible and hopeful and frustrating about freshman year of college.

Queen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness #8) by Rhys Bowen (Adult fiction, available in print)

Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie (34th in line to the throne) and the gang find themselves bound for America and eventually Hollywood when a mysterious, and potentially deadly, jewel thief strikes.

El Deafo by CeCe Bell (Juvenile fiction, available in print)
Author and illustrator Cece Bell recounts her experiences growing up deaf in the 1970s in this poignant graphic novel memoir.

Above submitted by Elizabeth Shirek (Chisago Lakes Area Library Branch Librarian)

The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell (Teen non-fiction, print) 

I vividly remember the race riots on TV during the civil rights movement. This is the true story of the murders of three young men killed by the Ku Klux Klan for trying to get black Americans to register to vote. Two of those murdered were white. If all three men had been black, we probably would not have even heard about this tragedy. The courage of these brave young men was an impetus to the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the rest of the country. 

Above submitted by Vickie Sorn (Youth & Community Services Librarian)
All East Central Regional Libraries will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 27!

Overdrive Titles
 (Search for any these in the Overdrive catalog)
eBook Titles
*Deadline:  Virgil Flowers Series, Bk 8 by John Sandford
*Gold of Kings by Davis Bunn
*"M" is for Malice by Sue Grafton
*Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach
*Reunion by Hannah Pittard
*Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison
*Spellbinder by Iris Johansen
*Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate
*"W" is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
*Zombie Protection Guide by Max Brooks
eAudio Titles

*"B" is for Burglar by Sue Grafton
*Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
*Classic American Short Stories by O. Henry, Jack London, et. al.
*Deadline:  Virgil Flowers Series, Bk. 8 by John Sandford
*"G" is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton
"H" is for Homicide by Sue Grafton
*The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
*"S" is for Silence by Sue Grafton
*Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

eBook & eAudio Juvenile & Teen Titles

*Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
*The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
*Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
*Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going
*Godless by Pete Hautman
*Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
*Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
*Inkheart by Cornielia Funke
*Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen
*Rules by Cynthia Lord
Forthcoming Print Fiction in the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these items in the ECRL catalog:
*Echoes of Dollanganger by V. C. Andrews
*Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
*Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick
*Hot Pursuit by Stuart Woods
*Last One Home by Debbie Macomber
*Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark
*Memory Man by David Baldacci
*Miracle at Augusta by James Patterson
*Perfect Match by Fern Michaels
*Where Trust Lies by Janette Oke
Forthcoming Print Adult Non-Fiction Books in the ECRL Catalog
Search for any of these titles in the ECRL Catalog:

*The 20/20 Diet by Phillip C. McGraw
*41:  A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush
*American Titan:  Searching for John Wayne by Marc Eliot
*Before Amen:  The Power of Simple Prayer by Max Lucado
*Brunch at Bobby's by Bobby Flay
*Dreamers and Deceivers by Glenn Beck
*The Good Son:  JKF Jr and the Mother He Loved by Christopher Andersen
*One Vote:  Make Your Voice Heard by Ben Carson
*Rising Above a Toxic Workplace by Gary D. Chapman
*Zero Belly Diet by David Zinczenko
New Children's Christmas Books
 on the ECRL catalog
Search for any of these in the ECRL Catalog:
*And Then Comes Christmas by Tom Brenner
*Animals' Santa by Jan Brett
*Cookie for Santa by Stephanie Shaw
*Eight Jolly Reindeer by Illanit Oliver
*Frankenstein's Fright Before Christmas by Ludworst Bemonster
*Great Pirate Christmas Battle by Michael Lewis
*Holiday Helper by Jill Abramson
*Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian
*Sam's Christmas Wish by George Durant
*Twas the Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street by Lillian Jane

ECRL's Mission
Connecting and strengthening communities 
through the power of knowledge.


*East Central Regional Library is funded by the counties of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine. ECRL also receives state and federal funds.  


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