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When I retired from metropolitan daily journalism after 35 years-30 of them on the St. Paul Pioneer Press I had my priorities firmly in place. My oldest son and I were seeking a restaurant and checked out quite a few before arriving in Crosby and the then Sundown Café.
At first glimpse I commented that any city with a lake in the middle of it had to be a good place to live. The second day I laid eyes in daylight on the Jessie F. Hallett Memorial Library and the medical complex. This place had everything I had come to consider important!
At the time I had no medical problems I knew of, but was aware that situation wouldn’t last forever. Serpent Lake and the woods and countryside surrounding the city were something I couldn’t afford to buy. Nobody could… But it was the library that made up my mind. It was operated by people who shared my passion for the written word, whether created on a very old Royal typewriter or on a state-of-the-art computer.
The restaurant didn’t work out. But nearly 15 years later, I still have a house in walking distance of the library, the lake and the medical complex. And they are all still at the top of my lifestyle priority list.
Ever since I first came into the library, I was excited to be old enough to use the Curbside (teen area) laptops. It was even more exciting since we didn’t have internet at our own house. Now that I’m old enough, it’s nice to be able to use the internet on the Curbside laptops, the computers in back, or with the wifi on my own computer.
John J. Swanson, age 12
Your normal library is simply a small building, the classic rows of books, desks and people reminding others to be quiet. But Hallett is no ordinary library. The variety of media, teen accommodations, and very kind staff are just some of the things I love about my library.
Hannah Swanson, age 14
I am a homeschool mom. My kids and I use the library a lot. It is our resource center, classroom, place to meet with friends, and home away from home. When it’s cold outside, the library is a warm place, when it’s hot out, it’s a cool escape. What can I say? We LOVE the library.
Darla Swanson, Mom
I met almost all of my current, local friends through the weekly Story Hour. Our children are friends with each other and many of the Moms have been in a book club together for two years. Without the Library, we would be book-less and friend-less!
The Jessie Hallett Library has been a great resource for me this past year. I have utilized it in many positive ways as a newcomer to the community. I had help with my 2011 taxes by reliable and experienced providers who work in the library before and after tax season.
Having access to the Internet using my laptop and/or the library’s computers, I have been able to respond to job announcements and apply on-line. I have revised and updated my resume, attended a free WINWAY resume writing class, and made copies with the library copier as needed. I read whenever I come here the larger daily Minnesota newspapers, and the smaller community weekly editions that provide helpful, ongoing information regarding church services, activities and entertainment, not just in the local area but throughout Minnesota.
I have checked out numerous magazines, books and paperbacks throughout the year keeping me entertained and well read.
The Jessie Hallett Library staff is always willing and able to assist in helping search for a resource or specific request. The staff does not hesitate to assist in a search.
The JFHML is one of the most positive and useful resources this small community has to offer, and I observe that there are many more people like myself who are utilizing the resources. People of all ages are seen throughout the library; pre-school, grade and high school, college, the middle age and senior citizen population. All are obviously seeking some type of increased knowledge and/or services that will be helpful to them in some way.
The library has added a small but unique and impressive used book niche that also has crafts on sale. If sometime in the near future, a small coffee shop were to be added, it would provide what a larger metro library does, but to a smaller degree. How awesome.
We moved here from the cities in 1991. We were strangers to the area and had only passed through the town of Crosby on our way further north.
After settling in our new home on the lake we needed to get acquainted with the area. We decided the best way to learn about the area was to attend a local church. Of course we felt the library would be a great source to gather information. We discovered the beautiful jewel of the local library in Crosby. We were given a warm welcome by the lovely Mrs. Jeanette Smith and her sidekick, Mrs. Peggi Beseres.
Mrs. Smith made it her mission to help us get involved in the area and introduced us to what was then known as the Cuyuna Heritage Preservation Committee. With the help of the Heritage Committee and the library staff, we learned much about the Cuyuna Range. We learned about the mining industry and the eventual closing of the mines and the recovery of the area after the mines closed. In some cases we found we were learning more than some folks who were born and raised here.
We made many lifelong friends through our association with library and staff. The committee we served on in the beginning evolved into the Cuyuna Country Heritage Preservation Society, Inc. As of late it is known as The Heritage Network and the Soo Line Depot Museum was added.
None of this would have been possible without the initial support of the library and the very helpful staff. Crosby has a special treasure in their beautiful well run library. They definitely deserve the support of the community.
I have always enjoyed going to the Library because they have all the resources I need to learn new things. Whether it’s for school or just something I am interested in, I know that the library will have what I need.
The best part is they will even order new books for me sometimes! The staff is always friendly and willing to help if I need anything. I know that I will always enjoy going to the Library.
Ben Westin, Age 15, Ironton
The Library has changed my life by helping me and giving me the chance to read more. I love going to the Library because it is so quiet and has one of my favorite things, books. I love to read! I read all the time. When I want a book to read, I know where to go. The library always has the book or books I want.
Paige Westin, Age 10, Ironton