Did you know that World Health Day is this Tuesday, April 7? The First Health Assembly in 1948 is where the idea of a World Health Day came about, and every year since 1950 a health theme has been highlighted on that day.

This year just happens to be International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, so World Health Day adopted this theme to highlight in 2020.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has taken center stage in our world’s health focus. If you are interested in reading about past pandemics, visit your library. Don’t forget to thank nurses for being on the front lines.

"Pandemic 1918" is available through the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)
"Pandemic 1918" is available through the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)

“Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History,” by Catharine Arnold.

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In January 1918, as World War I raged on, a new and terrifying virus began to spread across the globe. In three successive waves, from 1918 to 1919, influenza killed more than 50 million people. German soldiers termed it Blitzkatarrh, British soldiers referred to it as Flanders Grippe, but world-wide, the pandemic gained the notorious title of “Spanish Flu."

Nowhere on earth escaped: the United States recorded 550,000 deaths (five times its total military fatalities in the war) while European deaths totaled over two million.

"Pandemic: Tracking Contagions" is available from the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)
"Pandemic: Tracking Contagions" is available from the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)

“Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond,” by Sonia Shah.

To reveal how a new pandemic might develop, she tracks each stage of cholera’s dramatic journey, from its emergence in the South Asian hinterlands as a harmless microbe to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world, all the way to its latest beachhead in Haiti.

Along the way she reports on the pathogens now following in cholera’s footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers coming out of China’s wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast.

Calling all aspiring authors!

Lake Agassiz Regional Library is pleased to announce a call for entries in this year’s statewide contest for independently-published Young Adult and Adult Fiction in Minnesota.

The winners will receive:

  • $1,000 each in adult and young adult categories. Prizes sponsored by the Minnesota Library Foundation and BiblioLabs.
  • Honors at an Indie Author Project celebration reception in 2021
  • Inclusion in a full-page print spread in Library Journal, one of America’s oldest and most renowned trade publications for library news

For indie-published authors, the contest is a great way to elevate their careers and business. Being recognized by libraries creates credibility and visibility in the growing marketplace of digital content and indie-published books.

Sarah Hanley, 2019 winner in the Adult Fiction category, describes how “the contest has connected me with readers from across the state and nation, and has opened up amazing opportunities.”

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the number of self-published books increased by 40% in 2018, totaling more than 1.4 million titles. The Minnesota Author Project (combined with the MN Writes MN Reads suite of resources for writers to use to self-publish their work) allows libraries to encourage new work from this growing group.

Submissions will be accepted from April 1 through May 31. Authors are invited to submit entries online at indieauthorproject.librariesshare.com/Minnesota and to check out the free self-publishing resources at mnwritesmnreads.org. Each book submitted to the contest must be an independently-published work of adult or young adult fiction, written by a Minnesota resident and available in either PDF or ePUB format. Multiple submissions are welcome.

The public encouraged to check out the indie Minnesota library. Download the Biblioboard Library app or go to library.biblioboard.com/module/indie-minnesota.

Detroit Lakes Public Library online

While the Detroit Lakes Public Library and all other Lake Agassiz Regional Library locations are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of what we offer is still available online! I encourage you to visit larl.org and explore the thousands of downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks, the many free research tools for students of all ages and free genealogy research tools, plus much more! Plus, if you don’t have a library card, I’m thrilled to share that Lake Agassiz Regional Library is now offering online library card applications!

To get started, visit larl.org/applyonline. Please keep any materials you currently have checked out at home until the library reopens. We are not charging any fees or fines during this time. We appreciate your concern and support during this time and hope you'll take advantage of the many virtual resources offered by the library.