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Library News and Events

Quick View of February Happenings:

For details of each event, please scroll further down the page.
  • Winter Reading Program. For youths.
  • Children's Story Times. Each Tuesday at 10:30 AM. For young children, all ages welcome.
  • Wundrous Readers Society. For youths, all ages welcome. Each Thursday at 4:00 PM.
  • Friday Night Reels. For adults. Each Friday at 6 PM.
  • The Woman Behind the New Deal. A one-time book club. February 5 at 1 PM with Anne Brataas and Joan Drury.
  • Recycle, Repurpose, Restyle. With Mary Mulari. February 12 at 3:30.
  • Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare. February 12 at 5:30 PM. A film and discussion produced by Mick Couette. 
  • Fast Friends. Presented by the Library Friends of Cook County. February 15 at 11 AM.
  • President's Day--The library will be closed. Monday, February 17.
  • The Pink Unicorn. Presented by Illusion Theatre. February 18 at 1 PM.

Friday Night Reels for January 31th

The 2020 Friday Night Reels film series continues Friday, January 31st at 6 PM with the movie BLACKKKLANSMAN.

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.

The films selected for this series are intended to appeal to adult audiences and may not be suitable for young viewers. We thank the Library Friends of Cook County for their generous and continued support in providing this program.

One-Time Book Club Forming now

Discussion date: Februry 5, 2020 at 1 PM at the library

A One-Time Book Club group is forming now to read and discuss Kirsten Downey’s The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and The Minimum Wage. Anne Brataas and Joan Drury will lead the discussion at Grand Marais Public Library on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 1 PM. All are welcome to partake.

Frances Perkins was the first woman in the U.S. Cabinet. As Secretary of Labor during Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, she supported workers’ rights by introducing the 40-hour work week, 8-hour work days, minimum wage…. Things we can take for granted.

This book and discussion will enhance readers’ appreciation of Perkins’ legacy before February 12, when the library hosts independent filmmaker Mick Caouette and screens his 1-hour film Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare. The film has shown in major metropolitan areas and will air on PBS but has a rightful place in Cook County, where Caouette completed much of his screenwriting. The book, which comes highly recommended by Caouette, reads like a novel.

Grand Marais Public Library, Drury Lane Books, and Minnesota Children’s Press (MCP) are proud to partner together on these programs in honor of great literature and powerful ideas.

The book club title is now available through the library and Drury Lane Books.

Recycle, Repurpose, & Restyle

Featuring Mary Mulari
Wednesday, February 12 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Downsize your collections and "stuff” as you collect ideas from this talk for recycling household textiles and vintage linens, including Grandma’s doilies.

Turn tablecloths, T-shirts, and thrift shop treasures into contemporary heirlooms and useful accessories. Learn Mary’s laundering/whitening tips and how, with basic sewing skills or fabric glue, to create special gifts with priceless memories attached. 

This free hour-long program is for young to mature adults and anyone interested in reusing household textiles.

This program, sponsored by Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare

Featuring Filmaker Mick Couette
February 12 at 5:30 PM

In March of 2020, an election year energized by women candidates and the centennial celebration of Women’s Suffrage, public television will premiere the story of the first woman cabinet member Labor Secretary Frances Perkins. Before the national broadcast, the Cook County community can join Mick Caouette of South Hill Films for a screening and discussion of his film at the Grand Marais Public Library on Wednesday, February 12 at 5:30 PM.

Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare shows how in the depths of the Great Depression, Frances Perkins overcame overwhelming odds to become the first woman appointed to a Presidential Cabinet and the driving force behind Social Security, the 40-hour work week, the eight-hour day, minimum wage and unemployment compensation. Compelling interviews with David Brooks, Nancy Pelosi, Amy Klobuchar, Lawrence O’Donnell and others compliment the telling of Perkins’ heroic story, which explores the history of women in politics, Social Security, our attitudes toward immigration, poverty, Socialism, and the role of government. Without this context our current dialogue is ill-informed and diminished.

“I’m especially excited to show this film in Cook County,” said Caouette, who completed much of Summoned’s screenwriting in Lutsen. Caouette’s independent film production company, South Hill Films, aims to rediscover and recreate the lives of the American heroes of quiet courage who have shaped the America in which we now live.

This event is made possible through a partnership between Drury Lane Books, Grand Marais Public Library, and Minnesota Children’s Press (MCP), who are proud to promote great literature and powerful ideas. Thank you to Boreal Corp, MCP’s youths’ publishing group, for promoting this event throughout Cook County.

Please arrive early as seating is limited.

Illusion theater presents: The Pink unicorn

Tuesday, February 18 at 1 PM.

Illusion’s THE PINK UNICORN by Edie Elise Forier is an award-winning solo work performed by award-winning actress Kate Guentzel as a Christian widow (“Trisha”) who must choose sides in her small town after her teenage daughter announces she is “gender queer” and starts a chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance at the high school.

It’s the story of a mom standing up to become an advocate for her daughter against all odds. With sharp wit and humor, this compelling story explores what it means to be a parent and a community in these changing times.

Library Construction Project

Starting January 23, lasting approximately 3 weeks.

Photo Credit: BTR Architects

The library staff workspace will undergo a small construction project soon to create additional storage and office space. The building process will take 2 - 3 weeks during which the library will remain open. Construction is planned to occur around programming times. 

Thank you for your support and patience.



The Grand Marais Library’s Winter Reading Program is coming! From January 6 through February 28, 2020, kids of all ages can choose a way to track their reading and earn free prizes:
  • Sticker page: Designed for the littlest readers (ages zero to six). Earn a sticker for each day you read or listen to books (with your grown-up or on your own). You can also get a sticker from staff every time you visit the library. When the sticker page is full (12 stickers), turn it in for a free prize book!
  • Activity log: The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure of reading logs. Pick from a list of reading-related activities or set your own goals. Color in a circle for each completed activity. When the log is full or any time after March 1st, turn it in for a free prize book!
  • Timed reading challenge: Cross off a book for every 20 minutes of reading (or listening to books). After 700 minutes read or any time after March 1st, turn it in for a free prize book!
  • Book title log: The classic reading log. Write down titles of the books you’re reading. When the log is full or any time after March 1st, turn it in for a free prize book!
  • Tacos for Teens: Age ten and up. Teens/tweens can take a punch card with a variety of reading-related activities. Each time you complete one, tell a library staff member about it to get your card punched. Six punches earns you a coupon for a free taco from Hungry Hippie Tacos. Each card has 16 activities, so you can earn up to 2 tacos!
Family story times begin on Tuesday, January 7th at 10:30 a.m. and continue each Tuesday at 10:30 through February 25th. For school-aged kids, the Wundrous Readers Society meets every Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m. for hot cocoa, doodling, and reading aloud. We’re currently re-visiting Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series in anticipation of the release of the third book in March 2020.

Friday night reels film series

Fridays at 6 PM at the library

This winter, join neighbors after hours at the library to view thought-provoking films each Friday night January 3 through March 6 . Here's the schedule:
  • January 3: Blade Runner, Director's Cut
  • January 10: Ulysses & Mona
  • January 17: The Public
  • Januaury 24: Fighting with My Family
  • January 31: BlackKklansman
  • February 7: Amazing Grace
  • February 14: Juliet Naked
  • February 21: Kusama Infinity
  • February 28: The Professor
  • March 6: Stay Human
The films selected for this series are intended to appeal to adult audiences and may not be suitable for young viewers. We thank the Library Friends of Cook County for their generous and continued support in providing this program.

library unveils health portal

You may have noticed a new button in the jewel bar near the top of our homepage. The red cross symbol labeled “Health Topics” (scroll left or right if it doesn’t immediately appear) gives you access to reliable, research-based, #NOTFAKENEWS resources on a variety of health topics.
The resources presented on this new web page offer various ways to look at health information, from general overviews, to in-depth coverage of specific health concerns, to information about specific medications and ways to identify an unknown pill by its appearance. Also included are resources for lactating women, AIDS information, household products and their contents, and more. Issues of pain management, substance addiction, treatment and cure are also covered. There is even a section devoted to healthy recipes.

GMPL accepts grant from LFCC

Grand Marais Public Library thanks the Library Friends of Cook County for their generosity in funding our Film Movement Membership, Film Series Support, and funding for speakers, who provide free presentations open to all members of our community.

The Friends organization is a valuable resource for our county's schools and libraries. To learn more about the organization and the grants they recently awarded, read here.

Readers' comments welcome

Did you love your latest read? Tell the next reader! 

Grand Marais Public Library is helping readers share their reading experience with others. A slip of paper inside the cover of a book invites readers to leave a brief comment for the next person who may pick up that book. Notes should be anonymous, and may include things that give subsequent readers feedback about your reading experience.

If you find a Grand Marais book that does not contain a slip, request one at the front desk. This effort supports goals in our 2018 strategic plan to build a sense of community and belonging.


WUndrous Readers Society

Thursdays, 4PM - 5PM

Youths, join the Wundrous Readers Society! We meet on Thursdays from 4-5pm for hot cocoa (in official Wundrous Readers Society mugs), doodling, and reading aloud! The books are geared toward ages 9-12 and all ages are welcome. We review the plot at the start of every gathering, so you'll be ready to jump into the story each week even if you've missed a night.

Highway 61 construction project

Watch this video for a detailed explanation of the construction phasing, staging and traffic control to impact Grand Marais over the next couple of years.

Coming soon: "Project Status" link. 

mail-a-book program for county residents

Listen to this short WTIP audio clip

County folks, we know it can be difficult to return books to Grand Marais Public Library on time. Did you know you can borrow paperback books and other materials from the Arrowhead Library System via u.s. mail free of charge?

The items come to your mailbox; you return them through your mailbox. The same is true for city residents in assisted living. ALS Executive Director Jim Weikum joins Tracy Benson on WTIP to explain:


online tech help videos

Try these!

Over 40 Tech Support videos offer short, straight-forward instructions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Copy and paste
  • Make a phone call from your GMAIL account--for free.
  • Attach a file to your email
  • Crop your photos

Library gets a New strategic plan, mission, tagline

Winter 2017

With much help from the community, the Grand Marais Public Library completed a strategic planning process this year that will guide our actions for the next five years.

Our new mission is:
The Grand Marais Public Library increases knowledge, inspires creativity, removes barriers, and builds community across Cook County.

Our tagline is:

Our priority goals are:
  1. The community will increase understanding and appreciation of the full range of human diversity.
  2. The community will have increased knowledge and utilization of library resources and programs throughout the county.
  3. People will enjoy a comfortable environment that gives them a sense of community belonging.
  4. Young children will develop a love of reading and improve their literacy.
We invite you to review the Strategic Plan for more information.

The library gets 5 stars 11 years in a row

Grand Marais Public Library is pleased to announce it has once again achieved a 5 star ranking in the annual Library Journal Star Libraries standings. Last year, when Grand Marais was ranked a 5 star library for 10 years running, it was one of only 13 libraries in the nation to do so  Visit the Library Journal website to read more.