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'Linnea Benton'

Jan 12

A Reader’s Guide to Book Pairings: Fiction and Nonfiction by Linnea Benton

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on January 12, 2023 at 2:10 PM by Genesis Gaule

Hello again, and welcome to this edition of Campbell Unclassified! 

It’s a brand new year, full of new horizons to explore, new challenges to overcome, new books to read! Have you made a reading goal for yourself this year? Maybe you want to try revisiting all your old favorites. Or head off on wild adventures with some epic fantasy. You could try some new skills with some how to books and our Library of Things. Read every James Patterson novel? Check out our new travel guides and plan your dream vacation? Try one of those “100 books to read before you die” challenges? 

Whatever your fancy, one of the first decisions many people make is whether or not they are going to read fiction or nonfictionMe? I say, “why not both?!”

Both is Good meme (from the movie The Road to El Dorado)

With that in mind, I would like to share some great book pairings with you; books that go together like Doc and Marty, peanut butter and jelly, Kirk and Spock, like wine and cheese!

Fans of Bridgerton Unite!

Whether you first met Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family on Netflix or in the novels, you may be interested in The Time Traveler’s Guide to Regency Britain: a handbook for visitors to 1789-1830 (for other novels set in Regency Britain, try authors Mary Balogh or Georgette Heyer).

American Tragedy

I highly recommend The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Then check out The White House Boys by Roger Dean Kiser--on which it was based--and We Carry Their Bones: the search for justice at the Dozier School for Boys, a new book detailing the recent forensic work done on the ground of the old reformatory school.

Journey to the Red Planet

There is a lot of great science fiction out there about space travel. For adventures on our planetary neighbor, try The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury or The Martian by Andy Weir. Then pick up Packing for Mars (comes in a children’s edition, too!) or Dinner on Mars if you’d like to know about the science behind making a visit to Mars possible.

Digging Up Dinosaurs!

Who DOESN’T love dinosaurs?! We have so many books about dinosaurs, you’re sure to find something you like, but have you read about Mary Anning? Check out Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures for a tale of female friendship and fossils, and The Fossil Hunter: dinosaurs, evolution and the woman whose discoveries changed the world by Shelley Emling. Share her story with the kids with these children’s books: Mary Anning’s Curiosity, Dragon Bones, or Fossil Hunter!

Crime on the American Frontier

The infamous Bloody Benders are thought to be responsible for the gruesome murders of over a dozen men and one infant in Kansas between 1872 and 1873. The excellently researched Hell’s Half-Acre by Susan Jonusas is thoroughly engrossing. I can’t wait to check out the novel All the Blood We Share by Camilla Bruce!

You can check out more fiction/nonfiction pairings online!

Happy reading!

Oct 07

Getting to Know You by Linnea Benton

Posted to Campbell Unclassified 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!

Apr 14

Spring Cleaning in the Library and Beyond by Linnea Benton

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on April 14, 2022 at 4:23 PM by Genesis Gaule

Look, I know the weather this week has been more winter than spring, but did you know that libraries also like to freshen up in the spring?  We have SO MUCH to get ready for!

Summer Reading!

We're getting ready for the 2022 Summer Reading Program! Andrea is hard at work making sure we have plenty of interesting things to do and see throughout the summer.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page, Instagram, and website for more information. 

Meanwhile, I am happily working to bring in plenty of new materials for our community to enjoy!

2022 Spring Book Sale: April 22 & 23!

Did you know that the Friends of the Library conduct book sales twice a year? Many of the available books come from donations, and many others come from the library shelves through a process we often called “weeding.” Weeding is an essential process in any library to keep a collection relevant and interesting and make room for new material. The Campbell Library staff have been working hard this winter to review the books in our collection, using a variety of metrics to decide whether or not a book should be selected for weeding, including age, usage information, condition, duplication, etc. This helps us ensure we are providing the best possible selection for our community! Here at the Campbell Library, many of those weeded books are made available during the book sales, where the proceeds go back to supporting the library.

Seasons change, and so do our shelves!

Young Adult Fiction

We’re adding a Young Adult Fiction section to better serve our youth and teen patrons and bring the collection in line with current industry trends. You can find these materials on the last range of shelves between Junior and Mysteries.

NEW Arrivals Shelves

Our new adult materials are currently located in the middle of the library, as you enter. We’ve added some additional shelves on either end for extra display opportunities. Fiction genres are on the west side, facing away from the circulation desk. Non-Fiction is on the east side facing the circulation desk. DVDs and Nintendo Switch Videogames are on top!

New Easy materials are located on the shelves next to the Storytime Room door. Picture and board books are typically on the top shelf, while new Easy Non-Fiction will be on the bottom.

New Junior and Young Adult fiction books are on the freestanding shelves in the center of the Junior section. Junior titles are on the side facing the library entrance, Young Adult titles face the back of the library.


Have you checked out (lol!) our displays as you enter the library? Our staff each get the opportunity to create interesting and relevant displays featuring materials from our collection! We currently have a display of titles about Ukraine and the history leading up to the current crises, as well as educational titles for children. We also feature special selections that change every couple of weeks. 

And don’t forget to check out the display case at the Circulation desk! Our staff members work hard to create displays about their interests, passions, and/or upcoming events. Coming next week: selections from my time in Okinawa!

Please check back often to see what’s new! You can also find featured new titles on our website and in the catalog. We love seeing our books find readers!

P.S. If you need inspiration for your own spring cleaning, by golly, do we have the books for you!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing // With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire. Nonfiction // 648 KONDO

Messy Minimalism

by Silke Rode West & Joseph Sarosy

Realistic Strategies for the Rest of Us // With empathy, grace, and humor, Crawford—who curates the popular Abundant Life with Less site—shares doable ways to own less and live more fully. Laying out practical strategies for reducing waste, curbing consumption, decluttering, and finding lots more joy, Crawford offers no-nonsense solutions for the rest of us. // Nonfiction // 648 CRAWFORD

Other titles include (but are not limited to!):