Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Minnesota Histical Society Grant

The Minnesota Historical Society Awards the Elbow Lake Public Library a Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant.
Without a concerted effort, our state’s historic and cultural treasures are in danger of being lost to time. The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant tin the amount of$680.00 to the Elbow Lake Public Library. The Grant was approved by the Society’s awards committee on July 22 and will support library’s Minnesota Book Shelf project.
Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Created with passage of the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution on November 2008. The Grants are awarded to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history of history and historic preservation across the state.
The Library’s Minnesota Book Shelf project added 32 books about Minnesota’s history to the library’s collection. The books will be on display at the library and available for checkout. On December 21st you can enjoy a read aloud from a couple of the books as a part of our Solstice / Soultice read aloud at 7:00 p.m. The project is of enduring value because the books will remain as a permanent part of the library’s collection and available for checkout.
“It is wonderful to see so many communities and local organization benefitting from the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants,” said Britta Bloomberg, deputy state historic preservation officer. “Minnesotans should be proud of the unprecedented opportunities these grants provide for organization to preserve and share our history and cultural heritage. The impact of projects supported by Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants will be felt throughout the state for many years to come.”
The Society will award a total of $6.75 million in Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants to non-profit and educational organizations, government units and tribes during the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years for projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state. Grants are available in three tiers: Small, or “Fast Track” grants of $7,000 or less, Mid-Size grants between $7,000 and $50,000 and Large grants of more than $50,000. For more information, including application deadlines, visit
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. Its essence is to help illuminate the past as a way to shed light on the future. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.
This project has been made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Friday, September 17, 2010

1940's dance

Rember to join us Saturday, September 18 at the Barrett Pavilion for our 1940's Swing Dance featuring Christine Rosholt and her band.
This dance is free thanks to State Legacy funds.
Doors open at 7:00 music starts at 8:00~

More to your library then you ever imagined

There is often a great deal of discussion about the future of libraries and the book. I appreciate the dialog and concern some express, but find it more interesting that with all of our technological advances; libraries just continue to get busier and busier.
First off, I think some people are unclear of what their local library has to offer. Secondly I think that people are very misguided as to the amount of information found online and the amount of information found in books; for clarification, books have more. In addition libraries have never been just books (although if they were that would be enough).
I like to think of our local library as a community gathering place where people can engage in dialog and new experiences. When you visit the library you will be exposed to information, ideas, sounds, art, images, and people. You come in to use our computer for a job search and during the process you might take the time to explore our current art exhibit, or perhaps without deliberately making an effort to view the art you are still taking it all in.
How about music, our library has more than a thousand CDs ~ you might be thinking that CDs are a thing of the past. I beg to differ. Often before purchasing music for my ipod I might want a chance to listen to the artist, so by checking out the CD I get a chance to preview the music.
What about movies. I haven't rented or purchased a DVD in years, simply because they are free to check out at the library. What's more what I love most is the ability to browse the collection and run across a movie I always wanted to watch but never got around to it, or stumble across a documentary that is sure to enlighten me.
I'm not going to cover everything here, I am just going to scratch the surface on what's available and why you should care and why I think the future of libraries has never been better.
I own a Kindle, I've had it for more than a year and the truth is while I have downloaded a couple of books to it, I have never actually read a book on my Kindle. Over the past year I have read many books but not one of them from my Kindle. Maybe it's habit, I'm a page turner. What I really think it is is economics, books from the library are free and books on Kindle cost money.
That's true about everything in every format I have talked about; libraries are free there is not a better deal anywhere. There is expense in mp3 players, online movie accounts, and E-Readers ~ but libraries are free.
A couple of things that libraries offer that you might not think about: guest speakers and visiting authors, who probably are not going to show up in your living room. The caliber of speakers we have had and continue to have at the library is outstanding. Sometimes I want to shake people and say do you know who's at the library right now? You need to get to the library.
Entertainment, I could have never imagined how wonderfully our summer music series would have taken off and been received. Weekly live entertainment at the library was extremely popular.
This weekend the library is hosting a 1940's dance as a part of our series on "The Greatest Generation."
What defines a library? Well more than you could ever imagine, every word in the dictionary wouldn't begin to cover what defines a library. Don't believe me; get to the library and check it outfor yourself.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Minnesota Goes to War and Gone to Soldiers

This is Susan writing. I am just over 100 pages into 'Gone to Soldiers' by Marge Piercy. It is an historical fiction novel about World War II, recreating the lives of people who fought "on the home front" or behind enemy lines. I read it many years ago and am thorougly enjoying it again. It is the next title we will be discussing in our adult book series 'What's Love Got to Do with It?'. Piercy has such a gift for writing from the viewpoint of multiple characters (they each get their own chapters) using writing styles that vary between characters. The amount of research she did for this book is evident and impressive. The hardcover edition weighs in at 703 pages so I've got some reading to do before the 28th.

At the same time I am also reading 'Minnesota Goes to War: the Home Front during World War II' by Dave Kenney. Kenney will be speaking at the Elbow Lake Public Library on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. He is also the award-winning author of a Minnesota State history textbook and a former writer for CNN. His book is very well written and dovetails just perfectly with 'Gone to Soldiers'. My father was a medic in WWII and my mother was home in Minnesota with two small children so I have heard many family stories to relate to Kenney's research. We are so lucky to be able to have a writer of this caliber come to Elbow Lake! His visit is made possible by a Legacy Grant.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The truth is....

I was fortunate enough to get to see the musical "Wicked" which is based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire. I must say this was a most clever telling of the "real" story of the Wicked Witch of the West. A line would be delivered and I would think, "Oh how very clever." I haven't read the book,although it is next to my night stand but unfortunately, it falls behind the the very thick book "Gone to Soldiers" by Marge Piercy.
Anyway, here is what I have to say...Yes "Wicked" was well fabulously wicked. The music was outstanding, special effects marvelous, vocals topnotch, acting superb...but what I didn't know until I saw the play was that it was all about the dangers of rumours, lies, misinformation and greed. "Wicked" has an amazing message. Turns this musical really nails it, our words have tremendous power and when you say something about someone or repeat something about someone you better make darn well you have your information strait, because words my friends have power. Yes, that's right your little rumour or lie or the casual way you talk about other people can cause pain, suffering, hard feelings or actually ruin a persons life.
A couple of other wonderful books about spreading rumours and the damage it can cause include "The Ladies Auxiliary" by Tova Mirvis and "Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna.

Friday, August 20, 2010

'all about love: new visions' by bell hooks

Susan here...

Our adult book and film series, 'What's Love Got to Do with It?', is in its second month and we will be discussing this book next Tuesday, August 24th, at 7:00 here at the library.

Alan and I have been reading it aloud as we traveled to New York for a long weekend. It was kind of a strange title to be reading (aloud, no less) in trains, airplanes and airports!

This is the second time I've read the first few chapters. I really appreciate how Ms. hooks (she chooses to not capitalize) looks at our culture and our definitions of love and both lack of love and manifestations of love. For such an important topic, we surely don't think very deeply about it, discuss it much, or even analyze it as a force in the culture. Much of what she says seems simply statement of fact, while others of her ideas are entirely new to me. It feels like a REALLY important topic and this book a good way to begin the discussion...

More when I actually finish the book...

'Now Go Home: Wilderness, Belonging and the Crosscut Saw"

Susan here...

'Now Go Home: Wilderness, Belonging and the Crosscut Saw' is by Ana Maria Spagna. It was given to me several years ago by a friend who is a friend of the author. The book is a series of essays/chapters centered around working for the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service and living in a remote area in Washington state. Since I also worked for both agencies in the same area, it was a pleasing stimulator of memories and refreshed my interest in the issues federal employees in those agencies encounter. I even knew some of the people she talked about in the book so that was really fun for me. I chose to read it on a trip back to the area which was a great choice as I love to read about the areas I am traveling in...

The book is well-written and I appreciated Ms. Spagna's self-awareness and emotional honesty. I think people who haven't lived the life a seasonally employed park ranger would gain insight into the facts and the feel of such a lifestyle. She also writes at length about building a home from scratch and how much work it truly is, reflecting on community and place in thought provoking ways.