Celebrate National Library Week April 13 to 19

Submitted Article
People are being encouraged to make a connection with their local public library during National Library Week, April 13 to 19. The week’s theme, chosen by the American Library Association, is “Lives Change @ Your Library.”
“If you aren’t a regular library user, just stop by one day,” said Karen Pundsack, Great River Regional Library’s associate director for patron services. “Pick up a magazine, flip through the music CDs, ask what programs are being offered. Tell the staff what your hobbies are and challenge them to find a book you’d enjoy!”
Throughout April, Great River Regional Library is conducting an online Technology Impact Survey. The purpose is to find out how people are using library computers and technology across its 32 library locations in Central Minnesota. Finding out how technology is being used and how it affects people’s lives will help the library create a map for further development. The survey is available at griver.org/impact.
April is a big month for libraries. It began April 1, with the arrival of National Poetry Month. After being out of favor for a while, rap music and its spoken rhymes have given poetry a new cool evidenced by teen poetry slams popular across the country. During April, the St. Cloud Public Library has a large poetry board installed in the entrance area with magnetic words that can be arranged to create free-form poetry. The Little Falls and Pierz libraries are having poetry contests. 
And in the middle of the month, April 13 to 19, the library will celebrate National Library Week by offering minors an opportunity to read down their fines. Children and teens who are unable to check out books because they have fines on their account will be able to earn $1 in credit for every 15 minutes they read at the library. The method of earning the reward is consistent with the goal: the library wants to see kids reading.
The Pew Research Center recently released findings indicating that 95 percent of Americans ages 16 and older say that public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed, and 94 percent say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community. 
Great River Regional Library provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. 


MEMBERS OF THE BIG LAKE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMBER CHOIR performed for the school board at the beginning of their last meeting. The Chamber Choir members are selected for their skills from among their peers. They were directed by Mary Ebanks. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

DARLENE LANZ grew up just east of town and has lived in or around Big Lake all her life. She recalls what Christmas was like in Big Lake back then. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

SHERBURNE COUNTY ATTORNEY Kathleen Heaney, taking over as MCAA President. (Submitted photo.)

Cheryl Turck and Corey Mabis of the Sherburne County Probation Dept. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

SANTA AND HIS HELPERS prepared to give out toys to 111 families at the Food Shelf Monday. The toys were all donated by one local merchant. (Photo by Ken Francis.)