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Anna G. Larson, Published October 05 2013

Moorhead library's ‘Not So Silent’ auction a success

MOORHEAD – There was no shushing Saturday night at the Moorhead Public Library.

Instead, community members mingled while drinking wine, bidding on art and historic books, and listening to live music by Minneapolis folk-indie rock band Rogue Valley.

The inaugural “Not So Silent” auction raised $2,732 for the Lake Agassiz Regional Library. A painting by George Pfeifer sold for $400, making it the highest-grossing item.

Jenny Rodger, the public services supervisor for the LARL, said she had no expectations for the event and simply wanted community members to visit the library.

“We’re here to promote our services and introduce ourselves to the community,” Rodger says. “It’s a good way to get people in who might not think they need to come to the library.”

Besides books, the library’s DVD rentals and children’s Storyland from the Minnesota Children’s Museum are reason enough to come to the library, she says.

Stephanie Hall, of West Fargo, brought her two young daughters to the event, and both immediately wanted to play in the Peter Rabbit-themed Storyland.

Lydia, 2, and Carolyn, 6, were soon dressed in costumes from Beatrix Potter’s famous rabbit tale and eventually plopped down so Stephanie could read to them.

“A lot of people have the idea that libraries are just the books, and they kind of get burnt out when they’re in school and forced to use the library,” Hall says. “Libraries are great resources. They’ve got high-speed Internet, computers, and where else in town can you wander in and see this?”

In the lower level of the library, people bid on works by local artists and antique books, some people staying within earshot of the item they hoped to walk away with at the end of the night.

Jerry Campbell, of Dilworth, eyed the “Weed Stern” piece by Minnesota artist Charles Beck that was accruing bids quickly. He eventually bid on a book signed by Solomon Comstock, a U.S. representative from Minnesota, saying that he enjoys historical memorabilia and supporting public libraries.

Campbell regularly used the Internet and rented DVDs from the library when he first moved to the area.

“You look at the amount of money a library is given and then the amount of good it does … it seems like they only get pennies,” he says. “I feel like you have to support that. There’s nothing better than a tactile book you can get your hands on.”

Campbell volunteers at the Fargo Public Library but says his “heart is on this side of the river.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525