Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cook Public Library - Legacy Art Project

If you are in the Cook area stop in the library and get a close up view of the detail in the glass panels that were designed and created by Ron Benson and funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


Grand Rapids High School

What a great idea! A book tree was made by students at the Grand Rapids High School Library.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ely Open House

Congratulations to the Ely Public Library for completing their new building project! This beautiful quilt includes the names of many of those individuals and organizations that helped support the project as "authors" on the books on the shelves. People were encouraged to explore the library and discover all the wonderful local art on display through a Grand Opening Scavenger Hunt.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Aurora Public Library Final Centennial Event

The Aurora Public Library's final Centennial event and Holiday Open House will be held on Thursday, December 11th, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m..  Our Friends of the Library and Centennial Committee will be providing complimentary hot beverages and goodies and there will be about 12 local artists will be there doing book sales and signings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mindfulness in the Library Workshop

by Ann Ward
Grand Marais Public Library

One session I found particularly useful at the Mindfulness in the Library workshop, held at the Duluth Library on Nov. 7, 2014, was the guided meditation. It reinforced mindfulness practices I do on my own. Additionally, it was a strong experience to have a meditation in what felt like a formal work environment. I will hopefully be able to integrate that experience into my work day.
Another aspect of the workshop I found useful was the discussion on availability bias. Being aware of this cognitive bias will help me to recognize it in myself and others to have a more truthful interaction with reality.

My only wish would have been a longer workshop. I was looking forward to some of the techniques that were touched on but we did not have time to explore, such as the loving-kindness meditation and more discussion on the personal assessment activity.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Glass Artist Meet and Greet at the Cook Public Library

The Cook Public Library invites you to meet glass artist Ron Benson during Cook’s Country Christmas at 5:00 on Friday, December 5, 2014.  Benson recently completed the library’s public art project sponsored by the Arrowhead Library System with funds from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund.  Benson is an experienced glass artist whose work has been purchased by The Smithsonian Institute, The Washington Cathedral and The Minnesota History Center among others.  He will be on hand to discuss his work and his inspiration for the library’s glass project.  The artist will also have art available for purchase during the event.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Read grants available!

Get your community on the same page! 

The Big Read is accepting applications from non-profit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2015 and June 2016. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enrichment.

Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected.

To review the Guidelines and Application Instructions, visit

Fun with Phenology

Fun with what?? 

“Fun with Phenology” is held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Eveleth Public Library. Journey through the four seasons unlocking the secrets of the great Northwoods, as you study at the library with a guest naturalist, followed by a phenology hike through Fayal Pond. Sessions will continue to May and are free of charge.
Sponsored by the University of MN Master Naturalist Program and the Eveleth Public Library.

For more information, call 218-744-7499 or visit the city website for the schedule of guest naturalists and topics for the coming year, and click on Special Events Tab.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

STEAMy Programming for Teens Presentation Review

By Mark King
Cloquet Public Library
Report on a Minnesota Library Association Session, October 2014

Perhaps the most dynamic session I attended was "STEAMy Programming for Teens" presented by librarians from the Ramsey County Library system on Wednesday, October 8. "STEAM" is an acronym for the following subject areas of learning for teens: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. It was my observation that Art was not addressed in the presentation. Two participating libraries in the Ramsey system have formed a Tech Team of three librarians who bring technology workshops into high schools and also hold technology sessions at their libraries.

An example of a program that they do in the schools is demonstrating how to take apart a computer. An example of a science project they hold in the libraries is having students make an LED magnet using a coin, LED light bulb, and duct tape.

The Tech Team librarians talked about "makerspaces" and the 3-D printer they have and allow teens to use. Weekly workshops they held have included instruction in digital audio mixing, POD-casting, use of scanners, digital cameras, and digital voice recorders. The idea is to teach science through hands-on projects. Materials used in the workshops include such things as liquid nitrogen.

Funding for such projects requires grant money and staff working full-time in science/technology collaboration. The library is promoted as an innovative lab.

I think that many of us attending the session were awed by what the Tech Team has brought to the schools. Certainly they are on the forefront of how libraries may need to change to draw teens to the library.

An endeavor like this seems most possible in a large library with many resources, including staff that can dedicate a great deal of time and who are also well-versed in technology. It was not a surprise to learn that the librarians involved had science backgrounds.

It appeared that a large percentage of the teens attending the library technology workshops were at-risk youth and those from immigrant families who might otherwise be falling through the cracks in society at large. It also appeared that the number of teens participating was not large. The presenters mentioned a figure of 12 teens who followed through in a series of technology sessions. Given the amount of resources in staff and financing, such efforts, while inspiring and thought-provoking, may be a bit out of reach for smaller public libraries.