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“Libraries provide much more than books, which we can pull in from libraries all over the state,” said Heidi Anderson-Ferdinand, Pine City’s current branch librarian. “We provide computer access, storytimes, programs for all ages and a space to gather in the heart of the community.”
Karen Zemek used the Pine City library with her own children and those who attended the daycare she operated. Twenty-four years ago, with her children grown and the daycare closed, she applied for an assistant library position. Over the years she has seen many changes along with an increase in patrons.
“Now we have so many different programs for so many different ages,” Zemek said.
Anderson-Ferdinand added that each library in the six counties has a local feel that reflects the towns where they are located. When she came to Pine City four years ago, the library had recently expanded and undergone renovations. She remembers being impressed with the community effort involved in making that happen and commends the end results. “It is such a warm and welcoming space – a true reflection of the city itself.”
This has been made evident time and again as the library hosts community events and programs that bring people together and provide opportunities to learn, share and grow. Library patrons reflected on this and reminisced recently at the Pine City branch’s open house in celebration of ECRL’s momentous milestone. As part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, the different branches were given a list of performers to select from. Anderson-Ferdinand chose the Becky Schlegel Trio, who delighted the audience with folk and country songs and interesting tales.
This fall also marks the third annual ECRL Reads, which invites members across the six counties in the library system to read the same book selection and then gather for discussion. This year’s book is “Virgil Wander,” written by popular Minnesota author, Leif Enger. Materials are currently available at the libraries, and the Pine City discussion session is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. Alternate sessions are scheduled at each of the other branches as well.
Additional upcoming events at the Pine City library include a visit on Oct. 7 from Lucie Amundsen of Wrenshall, who will talk about her book “Locally Laid,” a funny and informative tale of starting a home-grown, environmentally-friendly egg farm. The library will also hold a Harry Potter-themed escape room on Friday, Oct. 18. Ongoing programming at the Pine City branch includes Preschool Storytime every Wednesday and the weekly Teen Movie Night on Saturdays.
For more information, visit the ECRL website or stop in at the library.