Donated books

What Happens to Books Donated to the Library?
After being sorted by the Friends of the Library for use in the Library, the book store, or sales by the
Friends, books and non-print materials have been donated by the Friends of the Rochester Public Library
to these schools, nonprofit agencies, businesses, and families.
Some of these places are:

  •  Hobson City Public Library in Alabama: Note: Shirley Taylor, a former RPL librarian, is director of this library
  •  Pine Island Elementary School: 200 books for school library
  •  Longfellow Elementary School, Rochester: about 100 beginning reading books
  •  Pinewood Elementary School, Rochester: about 200 books for school library
  •  Friedell Middle School, Rochester: about 100 books for school library
  •  Ben Franklin Elementary School, Rochester: 50 books to Mr. Greseth’s fifth grade room
  •  Rochester Central Lutheran School, Rochester: about 600 books for school library.
  •  Aldrich Nursery School, Rochester: picture books and tapes
  •  PAIIR Rochester Public Schools: picture books and tape
  •  Hawthorne Education Center: books on adult literacy
  •  Read with me books program for every baby born in Olmsted County
  •  Imagination Library: In each Read with Me bag, the family receives an application to get a free book every month for five years from Dolly Parton’s program
  •  Language Sprouts, St. Paul, MN: about 600 foreign language books and VHS tapes
  •  Korean Charter School, St. Paul/Mpls: 50 Korean children’s picture books (opening 2012)
  •  Channel One Food Shelves, Rochester: approximately 250 books per week are given out
  •  Community Food Response, Rochester: approximately 350 books per month are given out
  •  Rochester Kiwanis Clubs 75 books for book drive and distribution
  •  Gift of Life Transplant House, Rochester: program just started
  •  Hope Lodge, Rochester: approximately 25 audiobooks
  •  Intajuice, Rochester: approximately 50 books
  •  Olmsted County Detention Center and Jail: books for inmates
  •  Dunn Brother’s Coffee, Rochester: about 300 books for customers to take
  •  Operation Paperback: over 3000 books have been distributed to soldiers across the world and their families
  •  The Retreat, Wayzata, MN: books on addition treatment for programs
  •  Wabasha Motel and RV: books for lobby bookshelf
  •  Red Lake Indian Reservation, Red Lake, MN: about 150 books for early childhood education program
  •  Wit, Wisdom and Wine Gala: library books for silent auction at fundraiser.

November Second Saturday Sale

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On Saturday, November 12, 2011, the Bookstore had $971.88 in sales.  Why the big day?  We had a 2nd Saturday Sale in the lobby, the focus being on unique, collectible and nostalgic books.  Special thanks go out to Pat Stephenson for organizing and running the sale. Thanks also go to Carol Smyrk, Dana Gilbertson, and Ruth Mangan who helped set-up and worked during the sale.  And the sales couldn’t run smoothly without excellent cashiers at the register, so thanks to Mary Anderson and Phyllis Hodgson.  The Bookstore is richer (pun intended) for the time you have spent volunteering!
Pictured above:
Dana Gilbertson, Carol Smyrk, and Pat Stephenson.

So Don’t Miss our NEXT Second Saturday Sale – December 10th

From the Library Director

As we highlight the READ posters and celebrate local
readers, I thought I would share some of my favorite
reads with you.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I learned a great deal from this book: history, politics, and leadership. I found the presidential nomination process of the day fascinating. Lincoln’s ability to work through incredibly
difficult political situations was inspiring. Even though I knew how the book would turn out, I began to understand why he is the great man so beloved by so many. I listened to this one on CD, and after I was done, I missed Abraham Lincoln on my commute to work.
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Colllins (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) This is the story of a futuristic North America where 12 districts are ruled by “The Capitol”. The Capitol rules with an iron fist and maintains its power with an annual death match that pit two teens drawn by lottery from each of the districts in a fight to the death. All of the novels have strong characters and a compelling story.
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (Also The Revenge of the Spellmans, Curse of the Spellmans, and The Spellmans Strike Again) This is a laugh out loud series about a dysfunctional, but loveable, family of private investigators who spend more time investigating each other than doing business.
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I read this series to my daughter, and now I am reading it to my son. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the books because it has been fun for all of us (even the second time around ). As I recently sat next to my daughter at the midnight premier of Deathly Hallows part 2, I was excited to share the experience with her. She reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the week before the premier. We have these wonderful conversations that compare the books to the movies. At 3:00 am we stood in the kitchen and reread the last the last chapter together and discussed it. Anything that gets kids that excited about reading is fantastic in my eyes.
Whether you read for information, for fun, to create experiences with your children, it doesn’t matter …
Audrey Betcher, Rochester Public Library Director

300,000 Imagination Library books

300,000 Imagination Library books
This month of November, somewhere in Olmsted County, a child will receive the 300,000th book delivered through the United Way of Olmsted County partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  The link is to an ABC news article that provides many of the details. Remember books make wonderful holiday gifts for your children! And the deals in our Bookstore and at the Holiday Sale are amazing. Create a reader today!

Wit, Wisdom and Wine

John Kruz and Heather Engh from Blue Moon Ballroom will be demonstrating the Salsa at the 11th annual Wit, Wisdom and Wine fundraising event on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

Salsa and Latin Dance

John and Heather, dance instructors at the Blue Moon Ballroom,  will introduce you to the exciting world of Salsa & Latin Dance.  They will give a hot demonstration, a fun lesson, and explain the background and health benefits of Salsa & Latin Dance. Did you know that the average person can burn 420 calories in one hour dancing Salsa? Anyone can learn to “Salsa”, so join John and Heather to find out how you can have fun and stay fit at the same time.

Tracy McCray will be presenting at the 11th annual Wit, Wisdom and Wine fundraising event on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

20 years with Tracy McCray

After twenty years on the airwaves at KROC FM and AM along with the last few years as the Talk of the Town columnist for the Rochester Post Bulletin, Tracy McCray has just about heard it all. She’ll discuss the best and worst guest stories, the most memorable on-air gaffes (there are more than she’d like to remember!) and the most asked questions. PLUS you get to ask your own questions too.

Lee Aase will be presenting at the 11th annual Wit, Wisdom and Wine fundraising event on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

Social Media

Lee Aase is director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, a first-of-its-kind social media center focused on health care, which builds on Mayo Clinic’s leadership among health care providers in adopting social media tools. Mayo Clinic has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube and active, popular outposts on Twitter and Facebook. With its News Blog, podcast blog and Sharing Mayo Clinic, a blog that enables patients and employees to tell their Mayo Clinic stories, Mayo has been a pioneer in hospital blogging.
By night, Lee is Chancellor of Social Media University, Global (SMUG), a free online higher education institution that provides practical, hands-on training in social media for lifelong learners.

WWW Save the Date

The 11th Annual Wit, Wisdom and Wine event  will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

We have an amazing line-up of speakers and are rounding up some excellent silent auction items. Stay tuned for more details!

Tim Penny will be presenting at the 11th annual Wit, Wisdom and Wine fundraising event on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

The Blame Game: The Economy and the Election

Incumbent presidents have historically faced tough re-election odds in tough economic times. Will this pattern play out again in 2012? In 2008, then candidate Obama surged past John McCain, his campaign fueled by voter desire for “change” in the midst of a recession and the aftermath of a financial industry melt-down. Looking back over the past four years and ahead to November, how will Obama’s economic record influence this year’s election?  More importantly, does either party have the formula for economic success? And, are voters prepared to support a candidate who tells some hard economic truths? As this year’s campaign unfolds, it is certain that both political parties will play the “blame game.” But come November, who will the voters blame?

Friends Book Store Sale and Bookstore Hours


The Friends Bookstore will be closed
Thursday the 24th and Friday the 25th to celebrate THANKSGIVING!
We will reopen normal hours on Saturday November 26th.

Monday: 10 am-7 pm
Tuesday: 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday: 10 am-7 pm
Thursday: 10 am-7 pm
Friday: 10 am-4 pm
Winter 10 am-4 pm
Winter 1:30 pm-4:30 pm

Silent Auction – Holiday Sale

A wonderful new addition to our REPURPOSING books! This unique table lamp will be available as a SILENT AUCTION Item at our Holiday Book and Bake Sale on December 3,4th (Saturday and Sunday) in the Library auditorium. Bidding will start at $50. It is a perfect bedside reading lamp! It would make a GREAT GIFT in this holiday season.  All proceeds benefit the library, and it is a donation for those end of the year taxes!

Book review -night strangers

Chris Bohjalian The Night Strangers (2011)

This was a new Vermont author for me- I was very excited to find him in the mystery section with an entire series to read. My first reaction was how had I missed him!?  The first chapter was riveting, well written, and quite intriguing, especially with the local detail of my home state. I do not normally read about airplane crashes, so there was some trepidation, but after having become a pilot myself, his information was pitch perfect and interesting.  I was sucked into this book, recognizing people, locations, seasons, traditions….until it hit me. He is Vermont’s answer to Stephen King….oh no! How was I going to finish this? I am often told that King’s books are “just fantasy Helen not real!” Ha. His books are peopled with characters I am very familiar with in my everyday living! Which makes it extremely scary to think my next door neighbor is an axe murderer, bodies are buried in the cellar or back yard….and I did have a car that was nearly Christine…. I like sleeping at night so often avoid King’s novels….(loved Shawshank, highly recommend his book on writing, enjoyed many of his short stories, but am NOT going to convert to horror anytime soon…).

So what was I doing in the middle of The Night Strangers??? I panicked- I went to the last three chapters, trying to avoid some of the nightmares.  I did figure it out fairly correctly, but still didn’t sleep well for two nights…. I do not know what distinguishes some of the horror genre from mystery…Many of John Connolly’s books are equally disturbing with similar violence and supernatural,  but I would recommend each and every one. He is an extraordinary Irish writer! His latest The Burning Soul continues the story of Charlie Parker (please read in order!!)

I loved reading Bohjalian’s bio online – recommend checking out a number of his sites. I had not made the connection to one of his first books : Midwives (1998) about a rural VT midwife Sibyl Danforth, which was selected as an Oprah Book and won the NE Book Award (2002). Bohjalian lives in a small Vermont town (pop 900) and found his writing voice here. He is known for thoughtful characters making the reader interested in their stories. Which is why I did finish the book The Night Strangers, as I needed to know what happened, not necessarily all that happened! I enjoyed reading that the Night Strangers was a ghost story inspired by a door in his own basement (definitely the kind of door that I don’t want to find, and one that he said he boarded up and hoped the walls of his house didn’t bleed). He has long been a fan of ghost stories; the only book he owns from his childhood is Edgar Alan Poe’s Great Tales.