Friday, July 10, 2015

July Quilt Installed at Library

The collaborative quilt project between Virginia Public Library and the Going to Pieces Quilt Guild continues in July with a quilt aptly filled with sparkle.  With a surprising color combination of red, purple and silver, “Ladies Choice” was designed and quilted by Karen Lamppa, a long-standing member of 4 regional quilt guilds.

Mrs. Lamppa was raised in a family that valued the art of handwork in the form of knitting, embroidery, sewing, weaving and also quilting.  She believes this is why she was destined to embrace the fiber arts which led to a major in Home Economics.   She became a local celebrity in 2007 when one of her quilts was accepted by the Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky to be displayed in a series called “Stitches from the Upper Midwest”.  This work was one of only 30 selected from entries from 4 States.
Ladies Choice

“Ladies Choice” is the result of a 6 month block of the month challenge for the All Range Quilters project for which the primary requirement was to include an umbrella and a flower.  Karen’s personal challenge was to use fabrics from her stash for her blocks.  It was only after she finished the blocks that she found the perfect fabric for her outer border which highlighted her unusual color choice. 

Nancy Maxwell, Director of Virginia Public Library has been “amazed by the quality of works displayed by our local artists and their dedication to their craft.   This project has been an inspiration for many of our patrons.”

The motto of the Going to Pieces Quilt Guild is “Inspire, Instruct & Improve.”  Area sewers are welcome to attend the monthly meetings of the Guild.  These are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the basement of the First Covenant Church at 232 5th St South.  Quilting retreats are sponsored by the guild every Spring and Fall.  For more information, contact Darcy at 750-7035 or Betty at 741-4348.  New members are always welcome!

Be sure to visit the library to tour the lobby throughout the next 4 months to see each new installation.  For more information on this project, or other services the library provides, please call 748-7525 or check the event calendar at

Friday, March 6, 2015

One Book, One Community -- The Dance Boots

The Dance Boots
One Book, One Community
Join us in reading The Dance Boots by Linda LeGarde Grover, this year's One Book, One Community selection.  This collection of short stories portrays an Ojibwe community struggling to follow traditional ways of life in the face of a relentlessly changing world.  A cycle of boarding schools, alcoholism, and violence haunts the stories even as the characters find beauty and solace in their large extended families.  

Linda LeGarde Grover
For the first time, in addition to the Virginia, Duluth, and Cloquet public libraries, the Superior and Two Harbors public libraries are participating, as well.  As a result, there are many more programs than in the past.

The featured One Book, One Community event will be held at the Fitger's Brewery Complex on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:00.  The evening will feature the Oshkii Giizhik singers and a talk by Linda Grover.

There will be three events in Virginia.  The first is on Monday, March 23.  The Oprah Book Club will meet at Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 4:30 to discuss the book.  Non-members are welcome to attend.  

The second event in Virginia will be at the library.  Linda Grover will be here on Thursday, April 16, at noon.  She will talk about her book, sharing the background for the stories, characters, and settings.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase and autographing.

Murder of Joe White
The final event in Virginia features Erik Redix, who will be at the library the following week, on April 23, at noon, as part of the overall One Book, One Community series of events.  His book, The Murder of Joe White:  Ojibwe Leadership and Colonialism in Wisconsin, examines the events surrounding the attempted arrest and subsequent murder of Ojibwe chief Joe White by Wisconsin game wardens in 1894.  

For more information, as well as a complete schedule of events at all of the participating venues, click here.  Event brochures are also available at the library.  For more information, contact us at 748-7525.

This program is supported in part by the Friends of the Virginia Public Library.  
A complete list of supporters can be found on the One Book, One Community brochure.

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