Wednesday, August 22, 2007


On Monday, September 17, Joyce Hakala will read selections from The Rowan Tree at the Cloquet Public Library at 6:30 p.m. She will discuss how (and why) she became interested in the life and work of Marjorie Edgar. Refreshments will be served following the program.
Minneapolis Girl Scout Founder Marjorie Edgar is the subject of a new book by Joyce Hakala, titled The Rowan Tree: The Lifework of Marjorie Edgar, Girl Scout Pioneer and Folklorist. The Rowan Tree describes Edgar’s collections of folklore and folk music, and how aspects of folk culture were part of the early Girl Scout programs. The book includes Edgar’s compilation of Finnish folk songs, Songs from Metsola, gathered from Finnish immigrants and their descendants in northern Minnesota. Hakala augmented this collection with transcriptions of recordings by vocalists in northern Minnesota, obtained for the Library of Congress in 1937. The Rowan Tree includes selections of materials Edgar wrote for the WPA collection of Finnish materials. In a major appendix to the book, Hakala presents brief biographies of the people who contributed to Edgar’s collections, including the Simi family of Cloquet.
This is Hakala’s second book about Finnish folk music. Memento of Finland: A Musical Legacy, published in 1997, describes the history of the Finnish national folk instrument (the kantele), from mythological beginnings to the immigrants who brought this musical tradition to the United States. Each chapter highlights a particular kantele playing style and the immigrant musicians who formed part of each legacy.
Hakala is no stranger to the kantele or Finnish folk music. Her first kantele was one inherited from her grandfather, and she presented many programs as a solo performer. Having learned to play the 5-string kantele in Kaustinen, Finland, Hakala then began teaching that instrument to Twin Cities Finnish Americans. The group became Koivun Kaiku (Echo of the Birch), which made four recordings and has performed coast-to-coast and in Finland.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Book Talk ... KIDS SPEAK OUT

Young people are always commenting on what they like or do not like about a book they have checked out. Now is your chance to make a few observations. For example, I spoke with a young girl who was a bit disappointed with the ending of the book Eldest by Christopher Paolini. In her words, "It's not that I was totally disappointed with the ending, it was what the author did to my favorite character, Murtagh. Murtagh has always been a cool character, as well as Eragon's best friend. But at the end of the book, the king forcefully turns him against Eragon. I can't wait until the third book in this series to reveal what happens."

Let's hear your comments on your favorite books ...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Praise for Library Volunteers

This year's "Go Bananas at Your Library" Summer Program for kids was a great success. Nearly 400 children registered for the Reading Challenge, and 62 of those kids read 100 or more books. Attendances at programs and story times were at a seven-year high. Credit can be shared by the many volunteer youth who showed up to help our activities run smoothly. These volunteers assisted in registering children for the reading challenge, planning and setting up special programs, co-hosting story times and helping out on Thursday afternoons with art projects. Special recognition is given to (pictured L-R) Angie, Julia and Shaye, who had a grand time setting up for the Harry Potter party. Other loyal volunteers included Marissa, Hailey, and Summer. Thanks again, for all your help. And congratulations to all the kids who joined us. Many children expressed interest in an afterschool arts & crafts session this fall. Look for details of this and other fun events in future blogs.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Downloadable audio books now available

We are pleased to announce that a new service is being provided through the Arrowhead Library System. Click on the icon above to check out an audio book and download it to your computer or MP-3 player.