Library program aims to mimic popular antiques show

Published 9:00 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

Fans of the popular PBS program “Antiques Roadshow” won’t want to miss What’s It Worth: Appraisals with Michael Ivankovich, a program coming to the Albert Lea council chambers July 16.

Matthew Tessmer, public services librarian for Albert Lea Public Library, which is hosting the event, said Ivankovich is an appraiser, and he will join the audience through Zoom to appraise household items that people register to bring in.

In doing this, Tessmer thought the program, similar to the PBS show, would be interesting for the entire community after having informal conversations with community members.

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While wrapping up summer programming in the late winter/early spring, Tessmer and other library staff started pondering the idea and said they thought it would be of interest and that people would appreciate the opportunity to bring in items.

“There’s definitely that curiosity aspect to it, to nurture that,” he said, noting it would allow participants to drive a conversation.

The program is also for adults and something different than what they might typically offer such as crafts and speakers.

“People will come up to the podium, where we’ll have the webcam set up so they can show Mike, kind of get it up real close to the camera so that he can take a look,” Tessmer said. “Then he will kind of talk about his experience and knowledge of appraising [that] type of item.

“It’s not just him just going, ‘I think that this is worth such and such.’ He kind of talks through and gives details.”

The idea came after reading about another library doing something similar, so Tessmer reached out to him.

Ivankovich has been involved in some phase of the antique and collectible business for over 40 years, has authored more than 20 books and eBooks and has written articles and columns for major national trade papers. He is also the host of “What’s It Worth? Ask Mike the Appraiser” radio show on WBCB in Philadelphia.

Anyone interested is allowed to register one or two items. Register at They can also call the library at 507-377-4350.

Participants are not permitted to bring in anything that violates city hall policy, meaning weaponry, even a relic, won’t be allowed. Even if appraisal spots fill up,

Tessmer encourages everyone to come.

“Even if it fills up, people are welcome to attend just to hear him talk and see everything that goes on,” he said.

The event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m.