Friday, December 26, 2014

Hot Reads for Cold Nights!

Hot Reads for Cold Nights Logo

When the weather is cold, it’s time to find a hot read and join Virginia Public Library’s annual “Hot Reads for Cold Nights” reading program.  This is the 17th year that "Hot Reads for Cold Nights" is being sponsored by the Friends of Virginia Public Library.  Area residents over 18 are invited to register in the library or online to participate.  To register online, click on this link and select the Hot Reads program.

This program is designed to promote reading for adults since reading is equally important for all ages. Each book read during the program will earn one entry in a big giveaway on February 27th. Participants must visit the library to check out library books and submit their entries.

Hot Reads Tuesdays will continue on Tuesday mornings from 10:00-12:00. Each week, members of the Friends of the Library will provide coffee and bakery to area readers.  This is a great time to find out about new books and visit with your neighbors.

The Hot Reads celebration continues with the launch of the 2015 Winter Brown Bag Lunch Series beginning on January 15th at noon with “Travels and Tribulations” by Melody Swenson and Coach Bob McDonald. On January 29th, Paul Niemisto will present “Cornets and Pickaxes” a presentation on Iron Range brass bands.

This year’s Book Lover’s Tea on February 12th will feature celebrated author/artist Chris Monroe.  Please note:  Advanced registration for the tea is essential!  Reservations must be made by Feb. 6th.

For more information on these events and more, visit the event calendar at or call 748-7525.

--Dawn Heisel, Public Services Librarian

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winter 2015 Programs @ Your Library

We have had some wonderful programs this past year.  They ranged from Minnesota author Peter Geye in January and Master Gardener Carol Borich in March to musicians Briand Morrison in August and Sara Pajunen in September; from wonderful children's programs throughout the Summer Reading Program to Digital Photography 101 in October and our final 2014 program, a Henna workshop which will be at 10:30 on December 30th.

There is already a great line-up of programs slated for the Winter 2015 season.  Hot Reads for Cold Nights, the adult winter reading program, begins on Friday, January 2nd.  The Friends of the Library will be hosting Hot Reads Tuesdays during the program.  They are providing yummy goodies for everyone who visits the library on Tuesday mornings between 10:00 and noon.  Of course, this is first come, first served!
Travels & Tribulations

During the two months of the Hot Reads program, there will be a number of Brown Bag lunch and other programs for you to enjoy.  On January 15th at noon, local author Melody Swenson will be back with author--and Chisholm coaching legend--Bob McDonald.  They will be promoting their new book, Travels and Tribulations--A Coach's Journey
Cornets & Pickaxes

St. Olaf College professor Paul Niemisto will present a Brown Bag lunch at noon on January 29th.  His book, Cornets and Pickaxes -- Finnish Brass on the Iron Range, is about Finnish musicians who moved to the Arrowhead region.  It "measures the value and influence these Finnish bands had on cultural life of the early twentieth century Iron Range..."  Musicians and history buffs alike should enjoy this program!

Chris Monroe
Looking forward to Valentine's day?  Don't miss the Book Lover's Tea on Thursday, February 12th, at noon.  This year's speaker will be Chris Monroe, Duluth artist and author/illustrator of several children's books. This program has become so popular that we are forced to require reservations.  They can be made by calling 748-7525 before February 6th.  Space is limited to the first 50 participants. 

Moving on to March, we will have a program brought to us by the Arrowhead Library System with funding from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Legacy Fund.  Northern Gael, which is comprised of Laura MacKenzie and the Sutter Brothers, is sure to have everyone's toes tapping with their traditional Irish and Scottish tunes.  They  will be presenting their program in the library lobby on Wednesday, March 18th at 1:00. 

One Book, One Community
The month of April brings us the annual One Book, One Community program.  Working with the Duluth, Cloquet, and Superior public libraries, we will be hosting NE Minnesota author Linda Grover as we read The Dance Boots, her collection of short stories.  The program kick-off will be on Monday, April 13th, in Duluth.  The author will be here in Virginia at noon on Thursday, April 16th.  Stay tuned for information on other programs related to the 2015 One Book, One Community program.

Straw Bale Gardens
We will close the winter 2015 program season late, with a gardening program on Thursday, April 30, at noon.  Minnesota gardener and author Joel Karsten will tell us all about straw bale gardening.  This program is brought to us by the Arrowhead Library System with funding through the Legacy fund.

For more information on individual programs, check our website and online calendar.  You can also call us for more information at 748-7525.

--Susan Hoppe, Adult Services Librarian

Friday, December 12, 2014

'tis the Season for... Scrumptious Eating!

You have all of your gifts sorted out.  Now it's time to work on the holiday menu!
Holiday Candy & Confections

One of my favorite parts of any holiday is the selection of treats that are available.  From candy to pastry and from sweet to savory, the broad selection is my downfall.  If you have, or know someone who has, the same problem, we have a number of cookbooks for you to indulge yourself with.  One which focuses more on candy-type sweets is A baker's field guide to holiday candy & confections:  Sweet treats all year long, by Dede Wilson.  Local author Beatrice Ojakangas has a book for those who love to bake:  The great holiday baking book.  These titles and others in our collection include recipes both typical to US traditions and from traditions which may be less familiar.

A Year of Holidays
No matter how much I may wish it, I can not survive on treats alone.  Fortunately, we have many cookbooks that cover different holiday menu items.  Paula Deen celebrates!:  Best dishes and best wishes for the best times of your life has menu ideas for several different celebrations, including Christmas and New Year's.  Ree Drummond's The pioneer woman cooks:  A year of holidays also has menu ideas for many different holidays.

In the event we don't have a cookbook with the recipe you need, we can find it for you either from another library or using one of the many online resources we subscribe to. For example, did you know we have digital access to several food and cooking-related magazines on Zinio?  Using your library card, you can read any or all of nine magazines, from The beer connoisseur to Weightwatchers

Ebsco Host Databases
We have other online resources, as well, which you can use to find the perfect recipe.  For example, if you are looking for Hanukkah foods, you can search Ebsco Host's MegaFile.  The results will provide recipes from many different magazines and journals.
Gift in a Jar

If you are in the mood for food but still looking for gifts to give, why not consider giving a Gift in a Jar?  Delectable delicacies can be found in Bars and brownies:  Recipes to make your own gifts.  As indicated by the title, this book's focus is on treats.  The neat idea behind it, though, is that you put the ingredients in jars and give them, with instructions, to your family and friends so that they can enjoy fresh goodies without all the work of collecting ingredients.  We also have Soups:  Recipes to make your own gifts, for those who appreciate soup during the cold season.  

Let us know what should be cooking at your house, and we'll help you make it so!

--Susan Hoppe, Reference Services Librarian

Friday, December 5, 2014

More on the Season of Giving

It is nearly time for folks to panic.  Little Johnny only wants a pair of skates, so he isn't too difficult to buy for.  Susy wants a sled, but your budget allows for a Radio Flyer, not a Polaris.  Nellie wants a new story book, but you don't know which ones she hasn't read already.  What can you do?

Easy!  Pop on in to the library to find great ideas for everyone on your list.

The easiest thing to do for Nellie is to get her the gift that keeps on giving--a library card.  She can't get it herself, because she is too young, but you can bring her in, sign her up for a card, and watch her eyes light up as she enters the Children's room and sees all of the wonderful books.  There is sure to be at least one she hasn't read yet.

Taking care of Susy's sled is a little tougher.  If you can't convince her to accept a runner sled, you might convince her to get a job so that she can buy her own snowmobile.  Even better, if you have an old clunker in the shed that just needs a little work to run like new again, make sure she, too has a library card, and introduce her to our snowmobile repair books and the Small Engine Repair database.  She'll learn how to get that machine going in no time!

Have other people on your list that you need to find gifts for?  Look at our many craft books for ideas on beautiful gifts you can make yourself.  We have a variety books for crafts of all kinds.  Are you a knitter?  Take a look at Norwegian mittens and gloves:  Over 25 classic designs for warm fingers and stylish hands, by Annemor Sundbø.  Prefer crochet?  Try Crochet hatimals:  Creatures with features for all ages, by Rebecca Goldsmith.  Perhaps you'd like to try needle felting this year.  Jackie Huang's Woolbuddies:  20 irresistibly simple needle felting projects is the book to read. 

For those who are more interested in projects with more physical substance, we have books on wood and metal working, as well.  Stocking stuffer ideas can be found in Steve Tomashek's book, Tiny whittling:  More than 20 projects to make.  Larger projects can be found in Simply wood:  40 stylish and easy-to-make projects for the modern woodworker, by Roshaan Ganief. 

Metal workers can find ideas from jewelry-sized to yard ornament. Ready, set, weld!:  Beginner-friendly projects for the home & garden, by Kimberli Matin, has several project ideas, some of which are bound to please.  John Sartin's The complete photo guide to making metal jewelry has the information you need to make beautiful baubles for every family member.

Find these and many more books filled with gift ideas @ your library!

--Susan Hoppe, Reference Services Librarian

Friday, November 28, 2014

Season of Giving

Rohian Cover
We are entering a season of giving, beginning with Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for the bounty provided over the preceding year, and continuing through New Year's Day, when we give up something we think we no longer need or take on something we believe will be good for us. While the library can "give" to you in the form of self-improvement, recreational reading, music CDs and movies, have you thought of giving something back to the library? 

For example, do you have an old copy of the Rohian gathering dust at your house?  The library collects the Virginia high school annual for patrons to use within the library.  We have most years, but there are several years missing from our collection.  Check our list of missing years to see if your copy of the Rohian is one of those we could use. 

Funding Factory Logo
Another way the library can be helped is with items that are discarded regularly--used inkjet and toner cartridges, old cell phones, and even out of date laptops can be donated to the library, which in turn sends them to Funding Factory.  Funding Factory "pays" the library for the donated items by adding funds to an ongoing account.  From that account, we buy items such as printers and other equipment that the library needs to run smoothly.

Giving Tree
The Friends of the Virginia Public Library can also use support.  The Friends are very instrumental in raising funds for programming, among other things.  Without their support, we would not have many of the monthly programs we provide, nor would the annual Summer Reading Program be nearly as successful as it is.

However, this can not be sustained without donations from the public as well as without new members.  Donations can be made to the Friends at any time, but this year they are going to have a tree with donation envelopes at the library.  People can specify what they are donating money for, from the Summer Reading Program and other programs to book and media item purchases. 

If you have any items that the library can use, or if you would like to more actively support programming at your library, take the time to do so @ your library!

--Susan Hoppe, Adult Services Librarian