This past summer, my 6-year-old daughter and I made a trek to a local cemetery in Carver County. We discovered we have ancestors buried within just a few short miles of our home dating back to the mid-1800s.

Not long after, I took some time to explore the online resource,, to dig a bit deeper into our family history.

Carver County Library offers free access to and due to the pandemic, it can even be accessed from the comforts of your home through the end of December. All you need is a library card and a bit of curiosity to discover your roots.

For those of you that have taken this research even a step further and had your DNA tested, be sure to join us for the upcoming program "I Got My DNA Results: Now What?" being held virtually on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. with certified Genealogist Elizabeth Williams Gomoll. More information and registration can be found at


When you need a break from researching your own family history, try one of these family-oriented titles:

“The Antiques” by Kris D’Agostino. On the night of a massive hurricane, three estranged siblings learn that their father is dying. For the first time in years, they convene at their childhood home in upstate New York, where the storm has downed power lines, flooded houses, and destroyed the family's antique store. Amid the storm, they come together to plan their father's memorial service, only to learn his dying wish — they must sell his priceless Magritte painting.

“Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld. Liz is a magazine writer who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati and discover that their family is in disarray.

“Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners” by Gretchen Anthony. Violet Baumgartner has opened her annual holiday letter the same way for the past three decades. And this year she's going to throw her husband, Ed, a truly perfect retirement party, one worthy of memorializing in her upcoming letter. But the event becomes a disaster when, in front of 200 guests, Violet learns her daughter Cerise has been keeping a shocking secret from her. And there will be no explaining away the consequences in this year's holiday letter.

“The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab.

“Seven Days of Us” by Francesca Hornak. It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even the elder daughter, who is usually off saving the world, will be joining her parents. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week ... and so too should her family. For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity — and even decent Wi-Fi — and forced into each other's orbits.


While all events in libraries are canceled, the Library is hosting virtual storytimes on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Find these events and more on our Facebook page. You can also find other great kids and adult programs such as:

Teentober Six Word Memoir Contest: For teens in grades 7-12. Details will be available on our website throughout October. Prizes will be awarded for each grade.

Teentober Tournament of Books: Vote online each week as favorite teen books go head to head, until the final book is named victorious. Brackets will update Thursday mornings through Oct. 22. Voting ends on the 31st.

Artistry Online - Found Object Wall Art for Youth: 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16. Turn trash into treasure in this fun and expressive sculpture workshop. An artist instructor will provide guidance on form, composition, texture, and balance. While each individual will have different supplies available to them, common themes and skills as well as class conversations will help everyone develop their work together. You must gather your own supplies. The list can be found on This is a virtual class which will be taught online. Registration required at

Cooking with Jodi and Morgan: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17. Chaska Library Branch Manager Jodi and avid library user Morgan are back with special dog guest Duke, to take advantage of the Library's cookbook collection and feature a delicious recipe. Make sure to be signed in to Facebook and like our page ( so you see the red "Live" indication when we start.

Jodi Edstrom is branch manager for the Chaska Library. For questions about services, contact staff at or reach out to Edstrom directly at 952-227-7603 or


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