Tuesday, 28 January, 2020


City Hall: 218-326-7600


RB Digital


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Banner Year @ your Library

Will Richter, Director


It was a banner year at the busiest library in NE Minnesota outside Duluth!  Key accomplishments include putting on a record setting Summer Reading Program that served over 1,100 children (part of a total attendance for Library programs of over 10,000), creating a new dedicated Teen Space and expanding study/meeting space, and accepting 1,000 new passport applications (while saving many more residents time and money helping with the renewal process). 

Even the traditional stock and trade of checking out books is booming:

Check-out of physical items increased to 160,582 – up 3.35% from 2018.

Digging deeper, check-outs are a library statistic that show when and where use is coming from:

Over half of check-outs at Grand Rapids Area Library are from residents of greater Itasca County who come to the Library when they visit Grand Rapids.  Additionally, 75% of all check-outs at the six public libraries in Itasca County happen at Grand Rapids Area Library. This is a long term use pattern. 

Itasca County           51.03%

Grand Rapids           38.35%

Regional                    10.62%

Some of the growth in use (as measured by check-outs) is from cities and townships contiguous to Grand Rapids:

Arbo Township +25.19% to 2,987

Cohasset +7.7% to 12,609

Harris Township +8.87% to 15,337

LaPrairie +23.34% to 3,334


But a broad looks illustrates how Grand Rapids Area Library truly is Itasca County’s Library:

Balsam Township 1,249

Bigfork City& Township 536

Bovey 2,974*

Calumet 146*

Coleraine 4,223*

Deer River City & Township 4,282

Lawrence Township 1,552

Marcell City & Township 1,640

Marble 201*

Morse Township 850

Nashwauk / Keewatin 966*

Oteneagen Township 419

Pengilly 669

Trout Lake Township 2,448

Unorganized Townships 12,259

*check-outs at Grand Rapids Area Library from patrons who have access to a library in their hometown

Make GRAL a 2020 Resolution

Library staff are excited about providing high quality programs and services to the community – if you are not a Library user, check us out!

Upcoming Children’s Programs

Book Time!  Monday, January 13 at 9:30 and 10:30

Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books, songs, finger plays, flannel board stories, and all other sorts of fun! Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit.

Artastic!  Tuesday, January 14 at 3:30

Are you a kid who likes to create? Join us for our monthly art program, Artastic! Open to everyone, sign up at the Children’s Desk. (218) 327-8823

Saturday Story Time!  Saturday, January 18 at 10:15 and 11:15

Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books and songs, then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending this Story Time.

Lego Club!  Tuesday, January 21 at 3:30

Are you a kid who likes to build? Join us for our next Lego Club! Lego Club is open to everybody, and Lego creations are displayed in the Children’s Library between programs.  We supply the Lego; you supply the imagination!

Upcoming Adult Programs

Foundations of InvestingThursday, January 16 at 6:00

Building your investor IQ starts with understanding the basics. Whether you are new to investing or need a refresher, join Michelle Rodenberg and Rebecca Grover from Edward Jones for a seminar that will help you learn about the importance of developing a strategy, the impact of asset allocation, and the influence of inflation on your long-term goals.

Movie Night!Thursday, January 23 at 6:00

Awards season has begun and the buzz is big for our first “Movie Night” film of 2020. Join us for a fun evening where you can see a critically acclaimed movie in the company of friends—all for free! We’ll provide seats and popcorn. Attendees may bring additional snacks or other comforts. More details are available at the Library. This film is rated PG-13.

Reif on the River featuring vocalist Aby WolfWednesday, January 29 at 6:00

Vocalist and songwriter Aby Wolf has attained broad recognition as the Midwest region's premier vocal talent. She is the recipient of numerous industry awards, tours internationally, and regularly perform at some of the Twin Cities' finest venues. In conjunction with the Reif Arts Council, this intimate outreach engagement allows Library guests a unique opportunity to experience her artistry first-hand.

Radio: Beyond the Mic featuring Heidi & Kari from KAXEThursday, January 30 at 6:00

Did you know the first rural community radio station was started right here in Grand Rapids? Find out how community radio works, how KAXE connects with community organizations and people, and how they choose which music to play. Plus – learn about available opportunities to volunteer at the station.

Martin Luther King Jr. HolidayLibrary closed Monday, January 20

About GRAL

The Grand Rapids Area Library is funded by local tax dollars allocated by two elected bodies – the Grand Rapids City Council and Itasca County Board of Commissioners.  The Library does not receive direct support from State or Federal sources and contrary to popular belief does not receive ongoing support from the Blandin Foundation.  So, please thank your Commissioner and Council member (if applicable) for supporting Library services.

Thank you to the Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library and the Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation for support that enhances basic library services.

A special thank you to the 70+ volunteers who help make the Library go!