Tuesday, 12 December, 2017


What Do They Do Again?@ Your Library

Tracy Kampa, Children’s Library


We are the face of the library. We sit behind desks, we shelve books, we present to classes, we give tours, we order books, we weed books, we do passports, we find what you’re looking for, we check in materials, we check out materials, we try to help. All of these tasks put us front and center. You recognize us, you know us, we are the “library.”


There is so much more, though, than what you see when you walk through the doors. There is the delivery driver who carts things all over northeastern Minnesota; there are our amazing, wonderful, wouldn’t-want-to-do-it-without-them volunteers, (who spend hours every day making sure things are where they belong—whether that be on the shelves of the library, on the shelves of the bookstore, or in boxes ready for the annual book sale;) there is our program committee, who works tirelessly finding and booking great programming for all of us to enjoy; there is our Friends of the Library group, without whom we would not have a single prize book to give to children, not to mention the hundreds of other things they do for us, every day; there is the Library Board, who is tasked with the job of keeping this entire ship afloat. My point is, while I may be the face you see behind the desk, or the voice on the phone, dozens of people support me, every day. We, together, are the library.


Next week the Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation  would like to invite you to celebrate the Library’s 17th birthday with all of us. Hmmm…the Foundation…what do they do again? The Foundation is the group who handles our money. Not our budget, mind you, (that is in the very capable hands of the good people at City Hall.) The Foundation, rather, manages the money that is donated to the library. They manage an endowment, they keep large donations until they can be distributed, and they even keep our chairs upholstered. Our new “mid-kid” space of two years ago came directly from our Library Foundation. They pay thousands of dollars every year for Saturday Story Time. They fund raise, and distribute; they pound the pavement and create excitement; in many ways, they are our problem-solvers and dream makers.


The Foundation is currently raising funds for an exciting matching grant opportunity. Two brothers have challenged the Foundation to raise $4500 for library support…and they will match that amount, dollar for dollar! I don’t tell you this in hopes that you’ll donate (although, by all means, it’s a pretty cool opportunity) but, rather, as the perfect illustration of what the Foundation does for the library. We, as staff, could not handle such a challenge. The Foundation adds it to the many balls they are already juggling. We are incredibly grateful for the work that our Foundation does for the library. Frankly, they make us look good.


So please, join the Library Foundation on Thursday, November 16 from 5:30-7:00 in the library's front foyer for refreshments. Outstanding Minnesota author Lorna Landvik will be speaking in the community room at 6:00. Come to hear this funny and engaging author, stay for the refreshments, and enter to win one of her books. We look forward to seeing you!


This Week at Your Library:

Monday, November 13: At 9:30 and 10:30, it’s Book Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books, songs, finger plays, flannel board stories, and all other sorts of fun! Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit.

Tuesday, November 14: At 6:00, don’t miss Sparky Stensass’ presentation of Owls and Orchids: Magic and Mystery in the Sax-Zim Bog. The Sax-Zim Bog is THE place to find secretive boreal birds like the mythic Great Gray Owl. Explore the Black Spruce and Tamarack Bog without getting your feet wet or frozen! Through colorful images and video, meet the bird that grows snowshoes, the devious orchid that outsmarts bumblebees, and the death-defying frog; and of course, stars of the show, Great Gray Owls and Northern Hawk Owl families. 

Thursday, November 16: At 6:00 listen to award-winning author Lorna Landvik  as she discusses her life as a writer. Engaging and humorous as a public speaker, comic, playwright and actor, Landvik will, no doubt, share glimpses of her latest book, “Once in a Blue Moon,” through the telling of her own story.

Saturday, November 18: At 10:15 and 11:15 it’s time for Saturday Story Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books and songs, then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending this Story Time.

Saturday, November 18: Teens, at 2:00, don’t miss Anime Club! Watch Anime, eat snacks…what could be better than that?