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The New Richland library recently relocated to the historic Odd Fellows building. It took a great effort to preserve the building and find a new use for it.

The New Richland library recently relocated to the historic Odd Fellows building. It took a great effort to preserve the building and find a new use for it.

One of the best aspects of my continuing book tour is witnessing the immense support small communities give to their libraries and to reading in general.

Case in point: New Richland, Minnesota. New Richland (pop. 1,200) recently moved its library into a historic building on the town’s main street. Read more about the effort here to save the former Odd Fellows building from demolition. Not only do they love books in New Richland, they love history!

I gave a reading there on November 18 as part of the library’s grand opening celebration. Between 50-60 people showed up: the library was packed! A Monday night, on a chilly November evening, in a small town and dozens of people show up? Fantastic!

The fantastic library staff and volunteers! Mary (on the right) was my excellent guide throughout the day.

The fantastic library staff and volunteers! Mary (on the right) was my excellent guide throughout the day.

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Praxl! I remember her Brit Lit class so well. Ah, Chaucer!

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Praxl! I remember her Brit Lit class so well. Ah, Chaucer!

Think of all the work our librarians do for their patrons and local authors. I heard from one gentlemen who said he stopped in the New Richland library one day and the librarian handed him my book because she thought he’d like it. Authors depend on librarians for word-of-mouth–what would we do without them?

I spent the entire day in New Richland as I spoke to several classes at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva school (yes, this is the area of Minnesota where several small towns have had to consolidate their schools). The entire day was well-organized and effortless. I heartily thank all of those involved, especially Mary, who chaperoned me the entire day!

My cousin, SueAnn, was there.

My cousin, SueAnn, was there.

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