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At this time of year I am deep into statistics, preparing an annual report of last year's activities (kind of like tax preparation, except there is no refund). The library was open 301 days in 2009 and we had a good year. Our meeting room gets heavy use from community organizations. We have hosted more than 135 meetings in addition to library activities last year alone. Children's Storytime and summer reading programs get high attendance and the adult reading program, Hot Reads for Cold Nights, gets good readership, too. Internet computer use is up (with the addition of two more computers). Books remain in high demand as do movies. We have a nice collection of large-print books and new to the library are children's book/audio kits. Demand is not letting up, despite a decrease in budget ($15,000) and loss of staff.

We bid a fond farewell to Pat Rathke, who has worked at the library almost 2 years now. She will be joining forces with the 2010 Census. Our loss is their gain.

If anyone with a love for books or libraries is interested in helping us out, we would welcome volunteers.

The library received an Author in Community grant from the Minnesota Humanities Center. Minnesota children's author/illustrator, Nancy Carlson has been asked to visit Morris March 4. She will be at the Morris Area Elementary School all morning and then you can find her at the PRCA Art Gallery after 3 p.m. or the Library from 6:30 - 8 p.m., where she will give a drawing demonstration. Copies of her books are available at John's Total Entertainment.

Eric Bergeson, who writes the "Down on the Farm" column that appears in the Morris Sun Tribune, will be at the library Wednesday, March 10 from 4 - 6 p.m. His most recent book is, "Back on the Farm." He has also written "Pirates on the Prairies," about a Minnesota basketball team. Be sure to stop by.

The Friends of the Morris Public Library help to make these author events special and support us in so many other ways. We love our Friends group!

Recent Large Print Books received:

Along Came Trouble, by Sherryl Woods

Betrayal, by Carla Neggers

Cat Pay the Devil, by Shirley R Murphey

Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult

Knit the Season, Kate Jacobs

Seeing Things, Patti Hill

Shortest Distance Between Two Women, by Kris Radish

Too Much Happiness, by Alice Monroe

When Love Awaits, by Johanna Lindsey

The World According to Bertie, by Alexander McCall Smith

Happy St Patrick's Day - May the luck o' the Irish be with you.