Journey Into the Past with HeritageQuest and

family historyWe’re excited to share two databases that are free for you to use, and that will help you learn more about your family history!

Ancestry Library Editions (

Discover your past with! is a genealogical database that has approximately 4,000 databases and records including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records that covers the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and more. To use this resource for free, you must access it while at a LARL library branch or LINK site. covers a wide range of subjects, including birth, marriage and death records, census records, immigration and travel documents, military, schools, directories, church histories, tax, criminal, land and wills, photos and maps. This content can be searched through the quick links, a home search, or an advanced search. Just remember to enter in as much information as possible such as first and middle name(s), last name, place lived, and birth year.

The site also offers a variety of helpful charts and forms that are downloadable and printable, including ancestral charts, a research calendar, a research extract, a correspondence record, a family group sheet and a source summary sheet.

HeritageQuest Online

HeritageQuest Online is a genealogical database offering a growing collection of research materials for tracing family history and American culture that can be use both at any LARL library branch or LINK Site and at home with a LARL library card.

HeritageQuest Online is made up of five subject fields.

  • Books (Genealogy and local history collection of 28,000 books that can be downloaded or copied)
  • Census information (Containing page images for the entire U.S. Federal census from 1790-1930, including name indexes for many years, with the ability to search by name, place of birth, age, ethnicity, and more)
  • PERSI Archive (Subject index that covers 6,600 genealogy and local history periodicals totally 2.3 million articles written from 1800-2009, which allows the user to find out about people and places by search surnames, locations and methodologies or by browsing the journals by title and keyword searches)
  • Freedman’s Bank (Records of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company, which was the primary bank for freed slaves from 1865-1874)
  • S. Serial Set (Documents and reports of memorials, petitions, and private relief actions of the U.S. Congress from 1789-1969)

HeritageQuest offers a variety of useful features. Each record contains a detailed citation and is downloadable in PDF format. Users can browse or search publications and census data and then keep track, edit and combine searches using the Search History Function. Finally, the Notebook function provides the ability to save selected results and take notes on findings.

Enjoy your journey into history!

“Twins Platoon” Author to Visit Detroit Lakes Public Library

twins platoonThe Detroit Lakes Public Library is pleased to welcome author Christy Sauro, Jr. to the library for a presentation. In June of 1967, 150 young men and women were inducted into the Marines during a Minnesota Twins game, many of whom went on to serve during the Vietnam War. In his book, Twins Platoon, Sauro, Jr., tells their stories.  During his visit to the library, he will share his experiences, as well as the stories of those who were with him.

The event will be held Monday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. Admission to this program is free, and it is open to the public. For more information about this event, contact the library at (218)-847-2168. This author event is being co-sponsored by the Becker County Friends of the Library and the Detroit Lakes VFW Post 1676.

Detroit Lakes Public Library Welcomes Acclaimed Sculptor Hans Gilsdorf

StatuefromNorthEastThe community is invited to the Detroit Lakes Public Library for a presentation from acclaimed sculptor Hans Gilsdorf. Gilsdorf, who recently finished work on a sculpture located outside the library, will serve as guest presenter at the Library Club Meeting, which will take place Tuesday, October 27 at 2:00 p.m. The library is located at 1000 Washington Ave.  To learn more about these events, please call 218-847-2168.

Changes Ahead! We’re Updating Our Online Catalog

Update: LARL’s new catalog is now live! Access it here!

We are making changes to our online catalog to ensure that library customers have a more enjoyable experience while searching for books, placing holds and updating their accounts.

Here is how you may be affected by our transition to a new catalog:
  • You will not be able to access the card catalog, or your account, beginning Friday, October 23 through the evening of Sunday, October 25.
  • Your password will be reset and you will have to select a new password. Until you change your password, you can access your account using the last four digits of your phone number. For more information about changing your password, click here.
  • If you use Lists and Preferred Searches in the current catalog, you will need to save or print them before the migration takes place on Friday, October 23. To learn how to print or save your information, visit your local library or click here for directions. Your Reading History will still be available in the new catalog.
  • During the transition period (October 23-25), self checkout machines will not be accessible, and customers will be required to have their library cards in hand to check out. During this time, library staff members will not be able to look up customers accounts using other information.
  • To ensure a successful transition, the following LARL locations will be closed.
    • Rothsay and Twin Valley LINK Sites – Friday, October 23
    • Crookston Public Library – Sunday, October 25

 Access Frequently Asked Questions about our catalog here!

If you have any questions, please contact LARL at 218-233-3757.

Haunted: The Scariest Locations in Minnesota


The Moorhead Public Library invites the community on a ghostly journey to some of the most haunted places in Minnesota.

Paranormal researcher Chad Lewis is returning to the library Monday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m., with a presentation complete with photos, case history, eyewitness accounts, ghost lore and directions to haunted locations.

Chad Lewis is a paranormal researcher and author for Unexplained Research. From tracking vampires in Transylvania to chasing the Chupacabras in Puerto Rico, he brings more than 18 years of research experience to the Moorhead Public Library.

October Database of the Month – Academic Search Premier and MasterFILE Premier

Academic Search Premier

Academic Search Premier is a scholarly, multi-discipline full text database that provides access to journals, magazines, and other resources. Some of the subject areas include: biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, psychology, religion & philosophy, science & technology, veterinary science, and more. This is a helpful database for those conducting research and can be accessed at any LARL branches or LINK Sites as well as from at home by going to the LARL website and entering your LARL library card number.

MasterFILE Premier

MasterFILE Premier is a full text database that provides access to periodicals, reference books, primary source documents, and an image collection of photos, maps, and flags. The subject areas covered in this database include: business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues, and more. This is a great database for those conducting research and for those wanting access to certain publications such as Consumer Reports, Ladies Home Journal, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Variety. It can be accessed at any LARL branch or LINK Site and at home by going to the LARL website and entering your LARL library card number.

Searching the databases

There are three ways to search these databases. A basic search lets the user create a search with limiters, expanders, and Boolean operators. After entering the search terms into the search box, the user can select any of the search options for limiters or expanders (publication, publication type, publication date, image type, etc.). The advance search has the guided style that assists the user in creating a more targeted search. The user enters the search terms in the search boxes, chooses the search fields from the optional ‘Select a Field’ dropdown list (ex. Author, Title, Subject Terms), and then selects the correct Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT) to combine the find field entries. The user can then select any limiters in the search options. Finally, a publication search allows users to browse the list of publications or search within a specific publication. After clicking the ‘Publications’ link at the top of the screen, users can either browse through the publications by clicking a certain letter or type the publication name in the search box to search for a specific title. After finding the correct publication, click on the title to search for specific issues. Another option is to click the ‘Search Within This Publication’ link on the top left side of the screen to search within a publication letting the user to type additional search terms.

Drumroll, please! We’re introducing our new mascot!

Waving_TransparentThis summer, LARL customers participated in a collaborative project to determine the library’s new mascot! Through a process of submitting artwork and voting, we are thrilled to announce that LARL’s mascot will be an owl!

Stay tuned – we will announe our mascot’s new name soon!

Lake Agassiz Regional Library Closed Monday, October 12 for Staff Training

All Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) branches and LINK sites will be closed on Monday, October 12 for staff training. Regular hours of operation will resume Tuesday, October 13.

 LARL’s branch libraries are located in Ada, Bagley, Barnesville, Breckenridge, Climax, Crookston, Detroit Lakes, Fertile, Fosston, Hawley, Mahnomen, McIntosh and Moorhead. LARL’s LINK sites are found in Cormorant, Frazee, Gonvick, Halstad, Hendrum, Lake Park, Rothsay, Twin Valley and Ulen.

 Lake Agassiz Regional Library is a consolidated public library system comprised of 13 branch libraries and nine LINK sites serving the residents of seven counties in northwest Minnesota. More information is available at

Fall Into a Good Book This Autumn


Today, September 23, is the first day of Autumn. To celebrate the arrival of crisp leaves and cooler temperatures, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite reads for this season. Check them out at a LARL location near you!

by Maggie Stiefvater
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf-her wolf-is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: in winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl; and in summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human-or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

The Wreath Recipe Book: Year-Round Wreaths, Swags and Other Decorations to Make with Seasonal Branches
by Alethea Harampolis
From the authors of the widely popular Flower Recipe Book,and in the same successful format, The Wreath Recipe Book provides 100 “recipes” to make with flowering and leafy branches. These aren’t just evergreens for Christmas—the book is organized seasonally, with dozens of projects to make throughout the year.In the spring, a cherry blossom bough gets a touch of whimsy with a colorful ribbon, and a tabletop is adorned with lilacs and olive branches. In the summer, a garland features sage with pomegranates and citrus-colored strawflowers. In the fall, wreaths are created with magnolias, rosemary, and plums, and gourds are used to create an unexpected garland. Winter highlights cedar, pine, and juniper, yielding unexpected table settings and new wreath shapes. There are detailed ingredient lists and hundreds of step-by-step photos as well as chapters covering basic techniques, sourcing, and care information.

October Fest
by Jess Lourey
At Octoberfest, Battle Lake’s premier fall festival, celebrations are kicked off by  a public debate between the two congressional candidates: straight-laced Arnold Swydecker, and slippery incumbent, Sarah Glokkmann. As a reporter for the Battle Lake Recall, Mira James is roped into writing up the word war. But the festive mood sours when a well-known Glokkmann-bashing blogger is found dead . . . and the congresswoman herself meets a gruesome fate. To keep the heat off her best friend’s fiancé—an ex-con reporter—Mira wades through the candidates’ dirty laundry, their unsavory secrets and some murderous mudslinging to expose the killer.

Secret History
by Donna Tartt
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

Surprised by Oxford
by Carolyn Weber
In this memoir, Carolyn Weber explores the intricacies of coming to faith with an aching honesty and insight echoing that of the poets and writers she studied. Rich with illustration and literary references, Surprised by Oxford is at once gritty and lyrical; both humorous and spiritually perceptive. This account follows the calendar year and events of the school year as it entertains, informs, and promises to engage even the most skeptical and unlikely reader.




Crookston Public Library Welcomes Author Eric Bergeson

treasury of old soulsThe Crookston Public Library is pleased to announce the return of celebrated author Eric Bergeson.

Audiences have enjoyed Bergeson’s range of discussion topics, including rural Minnesota history, aging, life on the farm and stories of the ‘good old days’. During this event, which will be held Monday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m., audiences will discover Bergeson’s latest work, A Treasury of Old Souls: Tending, Befriending and Defending the Elderly. The public is welcome to attend this high-energy and entertaining discussion at the Crookston Public Library (110 N. Ash St.) For more information, contact the library at (218)-281-4522.