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Oct 07

Getting to Know You by Linnea Benton

Posted on October 7, 2022 at 3:47 PM by Genesis Gaule

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!

I can’t help it. I adore musicals. But I promise to not ACTUALLY serenade you. 

If you are new here, don’t worry. I’m still fairly new too. Approaching my one year anniversary with the East Grand Forks Campbell Library, in fact!  Has it really been that long?? So, as I look out at the coloring leaves, enjoying my pumpkin spice everything, my thoughts wander back over the past eleven months. 

Hands holding mug with marshmallows surrounded by small pumpkins, cinnamon, and fall leaves

We arrived at the tail end of October, 2021, from Okinawa, Japan, where I was the Technical Services Librarian for MCCS Okinawa, managing the collections of eleven Marine Corps libraries and reading rooms across Okinawa, mainland Japan, and in Korea. Every one of them unique, and serving different populations with varying interests and needs. Getting to know their collections and the populations they served was immensely interesting, and vital to successfully performing my duties. So, since becoming one of your librarians, I have made it a priority to get to know the library, the collection, and the community we serve.

For instance, did you know our library contains approximately 36,000 books, 4.3 per capita – far exceeding the national (2.2) and state (2.4) averages! 

storytime newsflashFamilies and children make up a significant portion of our service, with children’s materials consistently reaching 60% of our monthly circulation. We have already gone from one weekly story-time restarted last February, to two! If you have young children, please join our fabulous Ms. Andrea on Mondays and Thursdays at 10am! We are also working to make the virtual story-times she recorded during the pandemic available on our Niche Academy platform. All you need is your library card number!

Adults--clearly, many of you love your whodunits! Mysteries typically make up a whopping 28% of our adult fiction circulation!

And everyone love a NEW book, right? Approximately 25% of our NEW titles are checked out at any given time! To see what’s NEW in the library, you can check out our website's New Arrivals page, updated every two weeks.

We also have NON-book materials:

  • Check out any of over 100 pieces of artwork available to borrow.
  • Go exploring with one of our free Minnesota State Park Passes, a new program launched this past summer.
  • Try new recipe with our Library of Things! This collection will be growing to include other skill-building materials – check back regularly.
  • And for all our gamers out there, our nascent videogame collection has reached 24 titles, and already consistently accounts for over 20% of our audio-visual circulation. Watch for new titles, coming soon!

Meet Libby - your one tap reading app from your library Or check out our growing electronic collection via OverDrive and Libby! Download the Libby app to read or listen to books on your phone, tablet, or other electronic device. I regularly listen to books of Libby while driving or doing chores at home. We have over 2000 e-books and 450 e-audiobooks available, with new titles added every month.

Fuel Your Career: Petersons Test Career PrepI have also started identifying some needs in our collection. For example, when I first started we had very few current computer books. After six months of adding new titles, our circulation rate for this area has increased from 3% of monthly nonfiction circulation to 7%. We have also added online databases for areas with high annual turnover – car repair and maintenance with Chilton Library Online and school and career building with Peterson’s Test and Career Prep. Login with your library barcode to access these great resources.

What if we don’t have something? Just ask our staff to enter a request for you…we may be able to purchase it, or borrow it from another library (Inter-Library Loan, or ILL). We have completed over 200 requests so far this year!

I look forward to a new year with the East Grand Forks Campbell Library. There is so much here I haven’t even mentioned! I hope you’ll come in and get to know us, too!


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