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Evy Nordley Nominee Profile: Dinosaurs, Donuts & Dads

Dinosaurs have not roamed Minnesota for millennia – with one recent, notable exception, courtesy of the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library. 

On March 19, the Friends hosted an exceedingly imaginative event dubbed “Dinosaurs, Donuts and Dads.” Geared towards Isanti County children aged 4-7 and their dads (or grandfather or uncle), the special event easily garnered attention and media coverage in the Cambridge community, population 8,300.

While it may seem oddball at first pass, the unique theme is very much in keeping with the Friends’ philosophy. Bolstering children’s programming is a key tenet in their long-standing mission statement.

Themed activities ran the gamut, from storytime and finger puppet plays, to dinosaur songs and dance, to crafts galore. Afterward, to burn off energy, the youngest participants were given dinosaur masks to wear, and told to follow dinosaur footprints around the Library in search of special surprises.

The Friends enjoyed able assistance from library staff in orchestrating these dinosaur-themed festivities.

Unlike previous Friends programs, including their 2013 Evy Nordley Award winning
 “Saving the Library Budget”campaign, “Dinosaurs, Donuts and Dads” was not targeted at augmenting the Library’s budget per se. The explicit goal was to drive families to the downtown library who do not otherwise make stops part of their regular routine. It is for this reason that organizers added donuts to the mix; an extra, sugary incentive never hurts!

They were certainly successful, driving more than the usual amount of traffic that Saturday. In light of this success, Friends of the Cambridge Library already have additional program ideas up their collective sleeves. These include an equally imaginative children’s program: “Moms and Muffins.”