Category Archives: Friends of the Library

Tools to dig up family roots featured at Family History Fair!

It’s been a year now since I participated – almost by chance – in the Family History Fair sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library.   I had dropped in to check out the exhibits – and ended up staying for the day, immersed in the mountains of literature, the media productions, the lectures and, most of all, the people who were eager to share the resources and support organizations that had helped them search for their own roots.

This was also the day that I met members of the Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library. (https://www.supporthclib.org/minneapolis-central) Since that first encounter my awareness and appreciation of the unique resources of the Central Library have been enriched. The rich programming Friends of the Central Library offers this community open the doors of the Central Library – and the minds of library users.

At that same Family History Fair I learned more about the Minnesota Genealogical Society. (http://www.mngs.org ) Though I had visited the MGS office in South St. Paul several times, I discovered more about the organization’s services to ethnic groups, individual genealogists and historians.

So this year I’m eager to share the word that the Family History Fair 2016, sponsored by these two organizations, is set for Saturday, October 30, 9:00-3:00 at Minneapolis Central Library.

Plan to spend a day that’s jammed with tantalizing sessions. Tom Rice, Director of the Irish Genealogy Society International, will set the pace with his Keynote on “Getting started with your genealogy and moving forward the right way.” The day’s sessions run the gamut, from “Railroad records and railroad history” to “Finding your female ancestors” to “Cousins by the dozens: Using autosomal DNA.” You’ll be challenged to fit it all in.

Experience assures me that the exhibits will be great – staffed by the state’s most knowledgeable family historians!

Best of all, Family History Fair 2016 is free and open!

For a full program and bios of presenters, click here: http://www.hclib.org/about/news/2016/sept/family-history

Registration info is embedded in the program text but just in case, to register click here: https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/events/57a383dbca019ec71407fdcb

 

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Commemorating National Archives Month-An Armchair approach

From tragic tales and dramatic feuds to stunning and unknown artwork, opening a box in an archive can lead researchers to stories they never expected.   U of M Continuum 

As we commemorate National Archives Month a single mental image, long seared in my memory, surfaces. It is the memory of Howard University librarian Dorothy Porter salvaging protest banners during the 1968 riots that rocked the Howard campus and much of Washington, DC. In that fleeting moment I learned the role and strength of an archivist committed to preservation of the record.

The possibilities for commemorating National Archives Month 2016 are limitless – and irresistible. This is the time when archivists dust off the memorabilia, open the doors, and welcome the public to come explore – physically or digitally – the records of their community, their heritage, or the nation.

Though it is a challenge to describe the complex research and technical expertise of the archivist we honor the professionalism with which they give life to inert records.

In the relatively recent past archivists and researchers have experienced seismic change in the very definition of archives. Archives have gone digital – and yet the digital record does not exist without the ground level work of archivists who spot and capture that which is to be preserved — the letter, the recording, the photo, the document, the video, the painting or diary – or the political banner.

The Minnesota Digital Archives (a forever work in progress) is the mother lode of the digital record of the state’s history – and a starting point for an overview of the digital scene. http://legacy.mnhs.org/featured-projects/153 The “premier project” of MDL is Minnesota Reflections (http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/). This is an easily browsed collection of digitized images, text, audio, film and other records shared by the state’s academic, religious, arts and other cultural institutions.

The Northern Lights and Insights series featuring Minnesota writers and books is part of this collection (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/northern-lights-insights-conversations-come-alive-as-videotaped-conversations-go-digital/)

Readers may be also be in the Minnesota Books and Authors Collection section of the MPR digital archives: (http://archive.mprnews.org/collections/minnesota-books-and-authors-collection)

Though these and a host of other digitized collections offer incredible access to long-buried research materials, I worry at times that, because so much is clickable, we may lose sight of the fact that archives have roots…

More about the month’s archival programs and exhibits in the next post.

Autumn Leaves and Learning – A PotPourri

Autumn is a magnificent season – not just because of the brilliant colors and cooler days but because the energy of creative and generous people and organizations are at peak! Ideas abound. Here’s a smattering of options – just to give an idea of the breadth of programs that pop up everywhere during this robust learning season:

  • Reframe Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story – Do not miss the chance to visit this unique show at All My Relations Gallery. The exhibit welcomes visitors to engage in a serious discussion of the controversy surrounding the art that has been and what art should be at the State Capitol.   Not to be missed.   Free and open through September 16. http://www.allmyrelationsarts.com/portfolio_page/reframe-minnesota/ 
  • The War on Science – Shawn Otto. Thursday, September 8, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Another learning opportunity sponsored by Eat My Words bookstore (http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com), the Northeast Minneapolis idea incubator. Otto is a science advocate, writer, teacher and author of The War on Science in which he investigates the “historical, social, philosophical, political and emotional reasons for why and how evidence-based politics are in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise.” Happily, he also offers a vision, an argument and compelling solutions to “bring us to our collective senses before it’s too late.”
  • Inclusivity & Indie Authors: The Case for Community-based Publishing is another unique offering, this sponsored by the Master of Library & Information Science Program at St. Catherine University. Speakers are author and educator Dr. Zetta Elliott and MLIS faculty member Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen. The program is Tuesday, September 13, 7:00 p.m. at SCU. Dr. Elliot is a black feminist who advocates for a model of community-based publishing that uses print-on-demand technology to create a more diverse and inclusive literary world. This is the first in a series of programs featuring Dr. Elliott – additional programs posted on FB – all free and open. .https://www.facebook.com/events/1576818495957311/
  • The American Craft Council Library Salon Series is also unique; the series features a program of four free public presentations exploring craft, making, and art.   The series starts September 14 with a program on Pottery, Pollinators, and Public Engagement featuring Anna Metcalf and Kristy Lynn Allen in a conversation about community and environmental sustainability. The programs are timely and the ACC Library is one the unexplored treasures of Northeast Minneapolis. https://craftcouncil.org/event/pottery-pollinators-and-public-engagement-anna-metcalfe-and-kristy-lynn-allen
  • Also in Northeast, the Friends of the Northeast Minneapolis Library and the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association will again sponsor Salon Nordeast. Herself is a panel discussion about writing and publishing in a male-centric industry. Featured authors include Sarah Chandler, Stephanie Wilbur Ash, Heather Beatty and Wendy Webb in a panel presentation moderated by Sarah Stonich. It’s Saturday, September 18, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Solar Arts Building, 711 NE 15th $5 suggested donation to the Friends. https://www.facebook.com/events/1466612610314045/
  • More programming from St Paul’s East Side Freedom Library includes a special discussion of Sports and Resistance in the age of Black Lives Matter. Featured speakers are sports writer Dave Zirin and St. Paul native Royce White who left pro basketball to stand up for justice and advocate for mental wellness. It’s 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21 at ESFL. https://www.facebook.com/events/299387433754138/

You get the idea – Creative people and organizations are sharing their experience and resources on an irresistible range of topics and ideas!   The intent is to rouse your interest – you’ll find countless other topics, venues, and options in every community, sponsored by myriad organizations of every stripe.

Autumn really is the best season to get the learning juices flowing!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Readers, writers, books — and plans – coming together in Northeast

As gardeners and farmers reap the harvest, it seems that ideas that may have remained dormant during the growing season suddenly come full  bloom. Ideas flower. Plans come together.

Such is the case with the inclusive and expanding voices of the literary arts, a vital strand of the Northeast Minneapolis arts community. These are examples only, definitely not the whole, of the ways in which the voices of Northeast Minneapolis community of the book – broadly defined – are being shared.

  • The Friends of Northeast Library are sponsoring another in their series of Salon Nordeast set for Saturday, September 19, 4-7 p.m. at the Gallery Solar Arts Building, 711, NE 15th – All are invited to mingle, enjoy the art, meet with authors, buy a book and have it signed. Readings and discussion follow at 5:30. Author presenters include local resident John Jodzio, and others including writers Neal Karlen, Julie Schumacher, and Brad Zellar. The readings will be moderated by local Northeast author Sarah Stonich.   $5 donation is suggested to support the Friends of NE Library.
  • Voices of Northeast – a series of video interviews with Northeast writers, publishers, booksellers and others who give voice to people who are engaged with the northeast community of the book. Each week Peter Shea conducts extensive informal interviews these individual who represent the various aspects of the literary world. The interviews are cablecast on Metro Cable Network Channel 6, which is carried on every cable system in the metro area. Videos are then archived at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Studies – accessible for download, editing or other reuse. The series so far includes Chris Fischbach, celebrating his 20th year at  Coffee House Press, writer Sara Stonich (Vacation Land), storyteller Jerry Blue, Michelle ­­­Filkins of Spout Press and others. This season’s interviews include staff of the American Craft Council, Education Director Perry Price and Library Director Jessica Shaykett, as well as Scott VanKoughnett, proprietor of area bookstore Eat My Words, and local writer John Jodzio. Many more to come.

On the road with Minnesota’s writers and readers

Minnesota’s robust community of the book is thriving and sharing this summer.   It’s likely that there is a book-related event within reach – geographic and financial – of every Minnesotan.

One highlight, the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA), now in its 27th year, has become an honored tradition. The awards were announced a week ago, so though it’s too late to attend the gala event, it’s not too late to enjoy the great reads. http://www.d.umn.edu/lib/nemba/

Following is an incomplete smattering of what’s happening around the state in weeks to come – just enough to give the flavor…

On June 1 Chel Anderson and Adelheid Fischer, authors of North Shore, will offer a book talk, slide presentation and signing of their book. It’s at 7:00 at the Hartley Nature Center, 3001 Woodland Avenue, Duluth. North Shore is described as “a comprehensive environmental history of one of Minnesota’s most beloved places.”https://www.upress.umn.edu/press/events/chel-anderson-and-adelheid-fischer-authors-of-north-shore-at-hartley-nature-center-for-book-talk-slide-presentation-and-signing

The Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) and their community partners in Ely will dedicate the Sigurd Olson Literary Landmark on Friday, June 5. This, the sixth and newest Literary Landmark in the state, honors the renowned conservationist; the official site of the Literary Landmark will be housed at Vermillion Community College, Olson’s academic home. The program includes reflections and memories of Olson shared by his close personal friend Chuck Wick. Doug Wood, president of the Listening Point Foundation, Shawn Bina, Vermilion Community College provost and representatives of MALF will are share remarks. Organizers encourage attendees to “make a weekend of it.” The Ely-Winton Historical Society invites all to a free exhibit on the life and career of Sigurd Olson while local Friends will host a tour of the new Ely Public Library. On Saturday, June 6, guests are invited to attend Author!Author!, a local literary showcase sponsored by Ely Greenstone Public Art. http://mnlibraryfriends.org/index.php/event/sigurd-olson-literary-landmark-dedication/?eID=255

The week of June 8-13 features the Bemidji Library Book Festival sponsored by Kitchigami Regional Library system. It’s a star-studded week that features a multi-generational musical show with the Ross and Bart Sutter, a book presentation with Heid Erdrich, programs from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, an evening of poetry, writing workshops and more! Most programs are held at the Bemidji Public Library and all are free and open to the public. More information at http://bemidji,evanced.info/signup/EventCalendar.aspx or http://krls.org/branches/branch_bj.html

If you move fast you can make it to the Jon Hassler Festival, June 14-15 in Brainerd. There’s a slide tour of Hassler’s art, a panel discussion on “Teaching Jon Hassler,” opportunities to tour the Jon Hassler Library, and much more. There is a $100 registration fee for the full program. http://hasslerfest.weebly.com

Then it’s back to Brainerd for Wine and Words, August 13 at Grand View Lodge. The gala event is sponsored by Friends of The Brainerd Public Library. Emcee Lorna Landvik will host a program that includes several authors – Jenna Blum, Peter Geye, Kathleen McCleary, William Kent Krueger and Nadia Hashimi. Find author bios and more about their works at http://www.wineandwordsandfriends.com/#!untitled/mainPage

As the new school year starts and you plan your autumn reads, you’ll want to check out Marshall Festival ‘15, October 22-24 at Southwest Minnesota State University. The “celebration of rural writing and culture” features Susan Power, Gordon Henry, Philip Dacey, David Allan Evans and Bart and Ross Sutter. https://www.smsu.edu

These are just a few of the literary possibilities that invite Minnesotans and tourists alike to sample the rich resources that reflect Minnesota’s writing and reading community of the book. If you know of others, please share here in a comment. These literary events are not always listed on tourism calendars so take time to check out what’s happening along the roads you will be traveling. Stop by or call ahead to the local library to find out what’s happening in town – you will probably be amazed by the wealth of opportunities for bibliophiles and bibliophile wanabes. http://www.publiclibraries.com/minnesota.htm Don’t miss the chance to learn more about the town, the region, and the writers who call the community home!

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the Northeastern Minnesota Community of the Book

For nearly three decades the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) has recognized the area’s writers, bringing to the attention of the state’s and nation’s readers the wealth of literature created by established and emerging writers from the region. For purposes of the NEMBA the definition of a Northeastern Minnesota book is one that is “substantially representative of northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage lifestyle.   Northeastern Minnesota is defined to include Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis Counties.

Sponsors of NEMBA, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Kathryn A. Martin Library and the Friends of the Duluth Public Library, are now accepting nominations for the 2014 award.

Books, including e-books, may be nominated in one of six categories: General Nonfiction; Fiction; Art, Photography; Children’s literature; Poetry; Memoir and Creative Nonfiction.

Nominated books must have been originally released in 2014. A non-refundable $25 entry fee is required for each nominated title.

For details on how to nominate a book, visit the NEMBA website at www.d.umn.edu/lib/nemba. Questions? Call 218 726 6843 or email libnemba@dumn.edu.

Nominations must be postmarked or delivered to the Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth, by January 16, 2015.

An awards reception honoring all nominated authors will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2015, in the Kirby Ballroom on the UMD Campus. The reception is free and open to the public.

Hot Dish Revolution Rocks Northeast Minneapolis

Residents of Northeast Minneapolis, especially the Holland Neighborhood, shared a knowing nod last week when the mainstream media heralded the fact that Representative Tim Walz (1st Congressional District) took first place honors at the Minnesota Hotdish competition.   This is the fourth annual competition initiated by Senator Al Franken “as a way to give members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation a chance to mingle without the usual political sniping.”

With all due respect to their elected representatives, Northeasters know that, while Representative Walz’ Turkey Trot Tate Tot” hotdish may go down in history, the Inside The Beltway competition pales by comparison with a time-honored Northeast tradition.  Even as the solons rest on their laurels, Northeast residents are busily testing their culinary expertise for a local tradition that long pre-dates, and definitely sets a pace,  for the Congressional chefs.

Holland Neighborhood and all of Northeast will be turning out on Sunday, April 6, for what is, in fact, the tenth annual Hotdish Revolution, sponsored by the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association.

The legendary Hotdish Revolution features actually categories – Spice, Vegetarian, Tater Tot Excellence, I Made It? (kids), Darn Good (beef, pork, other) and Fins and Feathers.   And then there’s the jello competition that defies categorization.

Hotdish-toting neighbors will gather at 4:00 on Sunday afternoon at St Maron’s Cedars Hall, 602 University Ave Northeast, prepared to face a distinguished panel of celebrity judges.

Dining for all begins at 4:30.  ($5 for entrants, $10 for others, $5 for kids 5 and under)

To complement the feast there’s beer tasting sponsored by the esteemed brewers of the Northeast Brew District.  ($10/flight)  Indeed Brewing, and Barley John’s Brew Pub will be joined by the folks from Sociable Cider Werks  and others to provide choice libations.

Music and, yes, you guessed it – Haiku!  The Friends of Northeast Library are sponsoring a hotdish/jello themed haiku competition judged by MinnPost columnist –about-town, Andy Sturdevant.

Revolution hotdish style

Jello too and beer

Haiku adds a lyric touch.

Follow the Holland Hotdish Revolution on Facebook or contact the Holland Neighborhood Association:  612 781 2299 or Holland@HNIA.org.