One of the things I learned in library school is that when people have an information need they’ll always ask people they know before they ask a librarian. The trick is making sure that librarians are some of the people they know. Jessamyn West
If any community ever got to know its librarian, it’s the Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood . The community gave witness to that fact last week in a moving and heartfelt tribute to librarian Lois Profiri who is moving on from her position as senior librarian at the Northeast Library. Hennepin County Library has reassigned her to a parallel position at a suburban outpost. Everyone knows Lois – and Lois knows everyone, it seems.
The tribute to our community librarian was sponsored by the neighborhood association , testimony to the role of this librarian in this community. The scene was Sen Yai Sen Yak, a popular neighborhood eatery which an attendee dubbed the Cheers of Northeast. Tears were shed, most by the library patrons grieving the loss of a beloved librarian and friend. Stories were told – everyone had one. Elected official showed up – and stayed the evening. Management from the local co-op were there – and stayed the evening. Avid library users and Friends of the Library showed up – and stayed the evening. There were kids everywhere – though the teen crowd was reduced because there was a Viking appearance a block away at Edison High School where they were celebrating their 90th anniversary. No matter, the teens would be back at the library the next day – they’re always there. There was a presentation of a beautiful ceramic plaque created by a Northeast neighborhood artist. There was abundant Thai food, animated conversation about the neighborhood, politics, the changing demographics of Northeast – and the role of the librarian woven throughout.
Just the way it ought to be. Sometime midst the muck of technology, the expansion of bureaucracy and the lust for what one guest called “WalMart think” we’ve lost sight of the basic fact that it is librarians, not bricks and mortar that make things happen.
Paula Poundstone put a human face on libraries when she wrote “libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy, and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers, and reached out to illiterate adults.” This gathering demonstrated as words alone cannot that our librarian, Lois Profiri, is a leader in this community – as she will continue to be for the community served by the Maple Grove library.
Thank you, Lois, and thank you to the neighbors of Northeast who know, love and honor a really fine librarian who has had a lasting impact on an evolving community.
Thomas Maltman and Peter Geye have more than a little in common. Both are Minnesota writers whose fiction, prose and essay works create and then explore the sense of place. Recent works by the two authors are set in an environment that is familiar to Minnesota readers and increasingly known to readers everywhere. Maltman and Geye will share their experience and their thoughts on the sense of place at a reading and book discussion on Thursday evening, November 8, at the Northeast Library, 2200 Central Avenue NE in Minneapolis.
Maltman’s most recent work, set to be published by Soho Press in January, is entitled Little Wolves. The story unfolds during a tragic drought that is driving families from their farms on the Minnesota prairie. The book delves into the lives of individuals and families while it explores the sense of place in small-town America. One reviewer writes that the author “weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery.”
Maltman’s first novel, The Night Birds, won a number of literary awards including selection by the American Library Association as an “Outstanding Book for the College Bound.” Maltman earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Those who cannot wait until the publication of Little Wolves may enjoy reading a lengthy excerpt online.
The Lighthouse Road is also a second novel for local author Peter Geye. His earlier work, Safe from the Sea, is a staple on library shelves.
Geye’s newer book, published by Unbridled Press, is set in the rugged landscape of northern Minnesota in the late 1900’s and the early years of the 20th Century. The novel explores the lives of Norwegian immigrants living in what is now known as the Arrowhead Region along the North Shore. Geye writes of real life in the lumberjack camp, in a small town, even a skiff riding the waves of Lake Superior. At the heart of his work is a penetrating description of how the mood and atmosphere of a setting shapes the lives of the denizens of the area.
A Twin Cities native Geye holds a PhD degree from Western Michigan University and a Masters degree from New Orleans University.
The joint appearance of these two local authors will be 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Northeast Library. The reading and discussion is sponsored by Friends of the Northeast Library.
The evening is free and open to the public. Off-street parking is available on the West side of the Library or hop the #10 bus that runs frequently on Central Avenue.
Posted in Books and Reading, Friends of the Library, Hennepin County Library, Libraries, Libraries and Librarians, Minnesota writers, NE Mpls, Northeast Minneapolis, Public Libraries
Tagged Friends of the Northeast Library, Peter Geye, Thomas Maltman
Friends of the Northeast Library has announced plans for their next book sale to be held December 2-3 at the Northeast Library, 2200 Central Avenue NE. Hours TBA.
The Friends will be collecting books for the sale beginning Friday, November 25. Other collections dates are Saturday, November 26, Tuesday, November 29, Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1. Drop off gently used books at the Library meeting room – Please no Reader’s Digest condensed books of textbooks.
In the week preceding the book sale Friends of Northeast Library volunteers will sort the books and organize for the sale December 2-3.
No plans for a blizzard this year – but then again we didn’t plan on a blizzard during the book sale last year either. And still, thanks to the resilience of shoppers and Friends, we made a handsome profit to enhance the “new” library.
Questions – contact the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org
No excuse for readers in Northeast Minneapolis to run short of books this winter! Friends of the Northeast Library are arranging truck routes, sort plans and volunteer work schedules for the celebratory book sale set for December 10th and 11th at the Eastside Food Co-op, 2551 Central Avenue Northeast. The book sale celebrates – and will help to fund — the Spring 2011 re-opening of the Northeast Library which is currently being renovated and generously expanded. Northeast Library is part of the Hennepin County Library System.
The book sale begins with a preview sale for members of the Friends, the Library Foundation or Eastside Co-op on Friday, December 10, 2:00-8:00 p.m. The general sale is Saturday, December 11, 10:00-5:00 p.m. On Saturday book buyers will have a chance to participate in another celebration, the 7th anniversary of the Eastside Food Co-op, replete with entertainment and taste treats.
Friends of the Northeast Library is one of several Friends groups that has received organizing assistance from the Library Foundation of Hennepin County which has much to celebrate itself. Recently the Otto Bremer Foundation has awarded the Library Foundation of Hennepin County Library a grant of $50,000 to support local Library Friends groups. The Professional Librarians Union of Minneapolis (PLUM) has also voted to give slightly over $83,000 to the Library Foundation of Hennepin County. A portion of that gift is specifically given to support formation of Friends groups for community libraries.
For more information about donating gently-used books or to volunteer to help with the sale contact email@example.com.