Planning for 2016 Legislative Session

Preparations for the 2016 Legislative Session is a work in progress for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and CRPLSA .  The 2016 MLA Legislative Chair will be Barb Misselt, East Central Regional Library (ECRL) director. And, an action item on the agenda at the most recent MLA conference was the approval of the 2016 platform – in concept.  This approval is always given with an eye toward flexibility knowing that issues may change dramatically once the session gets underway.

Vote for Libraries buttonThe start of the regular session will be Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

Most current iteration of the 2016 Library Legislative platform.  Once finalized in early January, Arrowhead Library System (ALS) staff will re-format.

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LARL hosts popular author tour

LARL Beat Goes On logoMinnesota Book Award author Jack El-Hai toured three of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) branches to talk about his book The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goering, Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of the Minds at the end of WWII. These events had the highest attendance of LARL’s Fall Series and attendees raved about it.

Local author, Eric Bergeson was at the event in Fertile, MN and shared this amazing story of a Minnesota man and this infamous Nazi .  A 90 year old audience member, Art Olson, had been a guard at the prison where Goering had been held.

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ECRL images in MDL Minnesota Reflections

East Central Regional Library (ECRL) is excited to announce that its first digital collection is live in Minnesota Digital Library’s Minnesota Reflections, courtesy of the Digital Public Library of America’s Public Library Partnerships Project. DPLA has collaborated with MDL in the Public Library Partnerships Project (PLPP), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

About Minnesota Digital Library…
MDL logo
Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) provides access to unique digital collections shared by cultural heritage organizations from across the state of Minnesota.

Minnesota Reflections is the first online project of MDL. It is a collection of more than 215,000 photographs, postcards, maps, documents, letters, and oral histories depicting the history of Minnesota and includes digital content from more than 157 participating organizations including historical societies, special archives, universities and colleges, and public libraries from across the state who have shared their original materials with the MDL.

MDL MN Reflections logo

ECRL’s contribution to Minnesota Reflections provides insight into the oldest existing regional public library system in Minnesota. The collection includes images used in ECRL’s history book, East Central Regional Library: Fifty Years of Connections, 1959-2009 by Marilyn McGriff, of ECRL. These photographs include library buildings (past and present), retired library services such as the bookmobile, and ECRL staff members over the years.

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Coming Soon – LARL Mascot

Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) is excited to announce its design for a new mascot!

LARL mascot 2015During spring and summer 2015, library staff and community members were engaged in this endeavor.  In April,  LARL’s 95 employees voted on a list of five possible mascot characters/animals: Owl, Squirrel, Raccoon, Fox, and Eagle.  From May through July, LARL presented the Drawing Together: A regional community art and storytelling experience in every LARL branch.   Drawing Together featured drawing classes for youth, a chance to vote on which character should represent LARL, as well as suggesting the mascot’s favorite book and telling stories about the mascot.  A Drawing Together form was available on the website and in all 22 LARL locations. Over 200 entries were received from LARL customers of all ages. An owl was ultimately chosen and LARL is still in the process of voting on a name.

LARL worked with Minnesota artist, Janette Louden, to create images of the new mascot for promotional purposes. Minnesota based company, Vee Corporation, was chosen to
create the costume, which should be ready by the end of 2015.

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Migrations abound

ECRL logo newEast Central Regional Library (ECRL)  completed the migration of their Evergreen open source library automation system from PALS hosting to Equinox.  With the benefit a multiple migrations, Director Barb Misselt reported that “nothing went awry. In fact, we weren’t even sure that the switch-over was complete.”  The only item of consquence concerned the NCIP communication necessary for MnLINK – the referring URL (name vs IP address). Resolution took about 2 weeks, not because of complexity but because it had to get on OCLC’s schedule to upload a file. During that time, ECRL interlibrary loan staff reverted to manual processes which kept materials moving into the hands of patrons. A good reminder of how much labor NCIP saves library staff each day when processing ILLs.

The migration went well and LARL technology staff are thrilled with the progress thus far,  excited about future flexibility and the user-friendly interface. The public catalog is live and functioning, always a major public service factor.  LARL and NWRL staff report the usual small glitches that occur  with any migration one of  which have resulted in a slowdown of collection development due to acquisition issues which will be remedied shortly.

The migration went well and LARL technology staff are thrilled with the progress thus far,  excited about future flexibility and the user-friendly interface. The public catalog is live and functioning, always a major public service factor.  LARL and NWRL staff report the usual small glitches that occur  with any migration one of  which have resulted in a slowdown of collection development due to acquisition issues which will be remedied shortly.

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Photo Op

CRPLSA 2015-10 in WarroadCRPLSA members gathered in Warroad for a two-day, statewide meeting hosted by the Northwest Regional Library (NWRL).

Back row: Jim Trojanowski – PCLS; Karen Pundsack – GRRL; Ann Hutton – SELCO; Kristi Hanson – NWRL and meeting host; Barb Misselt – ECRL; and Jim Weikum – ALS

Front row:  Liz Lynch – LARL; Peg Werner – VLS; and Laurie Ortega – PLS

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Behringer Named MELSA Executive Director

Melsa web logoMELSA has named Ken Behringer as its executive director. Behringer brings more than twenty-five years of experience working with library services in Minnesota in a variety of settings. Most recently he served as director of the Dakota County Library system.

Behringer has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & a master’s degree in Library Science. He was born in Wisconsin and lived in Minnesota from 1965-1983, and again since 1989, holding positions including executive director of the Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK) & executive director of the Great River Regional Library system in St. Cloud. He enjoys bicycling, playing guitar, & spending time with his family, especially his two granddaughters.

Behringer notes that “MELSA’s long history of supporting innovative and collaborative programs and services for the metro public libraries aligns well with the values that have been important to me throughout my career.” He looks forward to working with MELSA to build upon the many initiatives that have resulted in stronger local public libraries serving metro area residents. Behringer joins the MELSA team on Nov 23, 2015.

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PLS Launches New iPad Collection

PLS logoPioneerland Library System (PLS) is rolling out iPads to libraries for patron check out and in library use. Each PLS library will receive at least one iPad. As a starting point
approximately 20 apps were installed on each device, including children’s games and apps for adults. Patrons who check out and use an iPad will be asked to
complete a brief form asking for feedback on the process and soliciting suggestions
for additional apps.

This is the second phase of a two year technology upgrade – laptops for in library use were rolled out earlier this year. The technology upgrade will continue in 2016 with the planned replacement of all staff/patron computers.

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The Art and Life of George Morrison DVDs on their way

George Morrison imageThe final task in CRPLSA’s partnership with The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and tpt will be the distribution of 84 DVDs to be shared among Minnesota’s public library collections.

The Art and Life of George Morrison: A Beyond the Book cultural documentary was based on the Minnesota Book Award-winning book, Modern Spirit and features the unique story of a great American artist.  From his early life near Grand Portage, training in Minneapolis and Paris in the 1940s and 1950s to his success as an abstract artist, Morrions’ life revolved around his artistic vision, intellectual drive, and creative energy.  As a Native American artist with strong connections to his Ojibwe roots, Morrison brought together his passion for modern art with a deep respect for the natural world – the spirit of the water, land, sky, horizon.  Making he documentary so dramatic is the inclusion of interviews with the artist and footage from his studio filmed in 1991, as well as original music by his son, Briand Morrison.

Check out Art and Life of George Morrison at a library near you.

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GRRL Planning

GRRL logo and library cardAfter 12 community meetings, three staff meetings, a board survey, a user/non-user survey and a survey of non-library communities, the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) is drafting a new long range plan for the next five years. GRRL will fine-tune their mission and vision statements and add core values to the mix.

One of the findings was that the majority of our users come to the library to use books! The board has been actively engaged in developing the plan and met in October to discuss ideas for the draft with a goal to finalize the plan at the November board meeting.

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MELSA Highlights

Melsa web logoMELSA again sponsored the annual Twin Cities Book Festival and hosted the Children’s Pavilion. A variety of activities were featured throughout the day:  a tiny tot obstacle course, designing puzzles and, of course, special appearance by best loved Minnesota authors.  The Book Festival brings together people to celebrate the vibrant book culture in the metro area.

The Youth Service team from the MELSA libraries created an early literacy video.  While only 2-minutes and 7-seconds in length, it highlights each early literacy:  Talk-Sing-Read-Write-Play.

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Taxes 101 for Libraries

The 2016 tax season is right around the corner! To help libraries serve their communities during the tax season, State Library Services and Prepare + Prosper’s Claim it! campaign invite library staff to participate in:

Taxes 101 for Minnesota Libraries
Thursday, November 19, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

The webinar will cover topics such as who needs to file taxes, basics about tax credits for individuals and families with low to moderate income, free tax preparation sites, frequently asked questions, and community resources. The goal of the online session is to give libraries the resources needed to make tax time a little less overwhelming. Register today and then join the WebEx meeting online or call in at 1-888-742-5095 (toll-free) or 1-619-377-3319 using conference code 874 403 3672 / meeting number 593 489 753. Contact Emily Kissane with questions.

MDE Logo 2013

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MLA Appreciation

From Margaret Stone, MLA President – Elect and 2015 Conference Sponsor Chair

MLA conference logo 2015Thank you for sponsoring the 2015 Minnesota Library Association Conference! Thanks to your support MLA had a hugely successful conference with 576 attendees. Through our 2015 sponsors we were able to bring in two very engaging and thought provoking keynote speakers.  In keeping with our theme of Search, Create, Inspire, we held Creation Station, which offered conference attendees the opportunity for some networking and to try out some of the fun technology being used in some libraries. In addition, this year according to the evaluations, we had a high number of top rated program sessions. Your support through financial sponsorship helped us produce a very well received conference.

In 2016 the association will celebrate its 125th anniversary.  The conference will be held in Duluth on September 29th and 30th at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. I hope you will consider sponsoring the 2016 conference. With your assistance, it is certain to be another excellent conference.

Thank you once again for sponsoring the 2015 conference.  We greatly appreciate your support of the Minnesota Library Association.

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New LARL Sculpture

LARL sculpture in DL 2015The Detroit Lakes Public Library’s Once Upon A Time sculpture by Becker County resident, Hans Gilsdorf was unveiled on September 10th. Over  100 community members were in attendance for the community art celebration. Gilsdorf will serve as a guest presenter at the Library Club kickoff meeting on October 27, 2015.

The Library has received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the sculpture, which was funded in part by the Detroit Lakes Library Fund  and LARL’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Funding for Library Legacy activities. The sculpture is comprised of re-bar and over 24 Tons of concrete with a a special sculpting epoxy that gives it a bronze-like finish. The sculpture depicts a child lying on the ground, reading a book.

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Power Up Libraries

Hennepin County library cardThe White House selected three MELSA libraries — Hennepin County Library, Ramsey County Library, and Saint Paul Public Library to participate in its new ConnectED Initiative.  The project builds partnerships between public libraries and their local school districts, with a goal of connecting 99% of America’s students to next generation broad-band within five year.

Hennepin County Library’ partnership officially kicked off with the 2015-2016 school year.  New library cards were issued by HCL staff to every student at North and West Junior Highs.  Watch this video to learn more about this new initiative in Minnesota, why Hennepin County Library chose to partner with Hopkins Public Schools and how this partnership will increase learning in the classrooms.

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OCLC Reclamation Webinar

Staff from libMnLink Logoraries  interested in the reclamation offer for the MnLINK Gateway transition to OCLC WorldCat Discovery are strongly encouraged to attend a 60-minute OCLC webinar to learn more about the project. The webinar will take place on Thursday, October 29 at 1:00 PM and will be recorded for later viewing. This webinar will cover the same material as the OCLC Reclamation webinar that took place on October 6. All locations currently represented on the MnLINK Gateway are eligible for the reclamation. For more information about the project, please review articles previously published on Minitex News or contact Becky Ringwelski.

No registration is required.

MnLINK OCLC Reclamation Webinar
1:00 PM CDT, Thursday, October 29, 2015
Follow this link to join the meeting
Join by phone: 1-877-668-4490 (toll free) or 1-408-792-6300
Phone access code: 716 748 480

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Know When to Hold Em, Know When to Throw (Recycle) Em

MDE Logo 2013Records are vitally important to the operation of any organization; they serve as the organization’s memory and are evidence of past events and the basis for future actions. Join the Government Records Specialist for State Archives at the Minnesota Historical Society for the webinar —

Records Retention for Public Libraries
Wednesday, November 18
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Charles Rodgers of the State Archives Department of the Minnesota Historical Society will present a brief webinar review of the state records laws, the definition of government records, basic records management issues, and the role of the State Archives.  Participants will learn to identify records, assess their value and determine how long to keep them. No registration is necessary, just join the WebEx meeting online or call 1-888-742-5095 (toll-free) or 1-619-377-3319 using conference code 874 403 3672 / meeting number 253 118 533.  Email Jen Verbrugge  with questions.

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Fall Fun Day

iRead 2016 graphicCRPLSA and the Youth Services Committee invite library staff to the inaugural Fall Fun Day for the 2016 iREAD Summer Reading Program (SRP)!  Join youth services staff from across the state to begin planning for SRP – 2016.   Fun Day participants will be able to identify at least one new programming idea to augment the summer programming at their library.

Date & Time: Friday, November 20, 2015  |  9:00a-12:00p
Location:  St. Cloud Public Library – Mississippi Room
Theme:  Read – For the Win! (Games, sports and the Olympics!)

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MALF Best: Austin Public Library Friends

Austin Friends and Evy Nordley Award 2015

Sue Grove, President of the Austin Public Library Friends, and Mary Ann Bernat, MALF President

The Friends of the Austin Public Library were recognized for outstanding library support at the recent MLA annual conference.  The Austin Friends received the 2015 Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library, the most distinguished award from the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF).

The project grew out of a local need for new reading materials after the closing of a local bookstore.  The Friends negotiated a partnership with the Rochester Barnes & Noble and offered buying opportunities for community members which coincided with special holidays.

Of the award, Friends President Sue Grove stated, “Winning the Evy Nordley Award is an affirmation that what our Friends group is doing is providing real services and benefits to our community.  The $1,000 grant attached to the Evy Nordley will serve as ‘seed money’ as we explore other innovative projects.”

Click here to read more about their award-winning project and how the Friends of the Austin Public Library created a new and replicable holiday book sale model.

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Annual Report Webinar

Public library directors, survey reporters, and others interested in library data collection MDE Logo 2013are invited to a 2015 Public Library Annual Report webinar hosted by Joe Manion, the State Data Coordinator. Joe will share changes to the 2015 survey approved by the Institute of Museum and Library Services  (IMLS). Learn about modifications to federal data elements & definitions, and suggest changes or additions to the state-level data that is collected. Participants will be able to share any concerns about the annual report process.

Wednesday, October 28
1:30-2:30 pm.

Registration is not required. Join the WebEx meeting online or call in at 1-888-742-5095 (toll-free) or 1-619-377-3319 using conference code 289 945 0924 / meeting number 253 591 132. Email Joe Manion to request a copy of the webinar slides after October 28.

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Celebrate Lights on Afterschool

While not every library offers organized afterschool programs, many provide  “stealth” learning opportunities just by being open when kids are not in school. On October 22, celebrate the importance of afterschool learning with Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide event recognizing the value of out-of-school-time programs to children, families, & communities.

Ignite logoIgnite Afterschool, Minnesota’s afterschool network, will provide support to libraries hosting Lights On Afterschool celebrations. The activity and planning toolkits, as well as  the social media campaign will  allow libraries to host events that reflect unique community needs, while also connecting celebrations across the state.   Email Jen Verbrugge at State Library Services for more information.

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eBooks Minnesota

Minitex and the Minnesota Department of Education State Library Services will launch a two-year pilot project that will create a statewide collection of ebooks. The opening day collection will bring statewide access to school-aged content from Minnesota independent presses. Over time, the goal is to create an ebook collection that is of interest to all age groups and all types of libraries.  Currently, Minitex and State Library Services are seeking input to how best to accomplish long-term collection development and achieve project stability

ebooks MN logoeBooks Minnesota Goals

  • Support Minnesota’s authors
  • Support Minnesota’s independent publishers
  • Bring authors, publishers and librarians together
  • Connect children and youth to ebooks that support school and public library collections
  • Supplement adult ebook collections
  • Preserve Minnesota’s literary heritage
  • Provide ebooks for public, school and academic libraries
  • Purchase from publishers throughout Minnesota

This continuing statewide partnership builds on the 2014 work for Explore eBooks MN.  After a series of webinars and an all-day participatory retreat, the library community identified these outcomes as essential for any future statewide endeavors.

  • Permanent Ownership of Titles
  • Unlimited Access
  • Unlimited Circulation Period
  • DRM-Free
  • Easy to Use
  • Shared, For All Types Libraries
  • Stable Funding   (Two year pilot)
  • Training & Support
  • Infrastructure including for ILL  (In development)
  • Advocacy  (In development)
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Derek Anderson featured OUR author

OUR Logo - ColorCRPLSA is pleased to announce the second season of Once Upon a Reader, a statewide one-book program. The program, which focuses on children aged 0-6, will highlight the importance of reading and sharing books with children. The program is funded through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage for Library Legacy activities.

The book selected for the 2016-2017 Once Upon a Reader program is Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure. The book is written and illustrated by Minnesota resident, Derek Anderson. The program will feature original music by local singer/songwriter, Tom Lieberman.

Once Upon a Reader press release

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Beyond the Book Special receives Emmy Nomination

George Morrison imageCRPLSA’s partnership with The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and tpt generated a September Emmy nomination.  In the category of Documentary – Cultural the first ever Beyond the Book production, The Art and Life of George Morrison: A Beyond the Book Special was one of four 2015 production that was considered.

The other nominees within the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences were:

  • On Eagle’s Wings: Minnesota’s Sacred Music – KSMQ-TV
  • Richard Bresnahan: The Taste of the Clay – Prairie Public Television
  • Tears to Water – WKBT-TV

The one-hour TV special, Tears to Water, produced by WKBT in LaCrosse highlighting water well construction in Uganda was the 2015 Midwest Documentary – Cultural recipient.

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Cow’s Finale: A year of MOO! comes to a close

Dear Once Upon a Reader fans,

All good things must come to an end, and that includes Cow’s MOO! Trunk Show in Minnesota. This past week Mike and I and Cow gave our last OUR shows in some beautiful north central towns. What a grand time of the year to be up north.

On Monday, September 28, we headed to the tiny library in Pine River where we presented to 13 attendees and the library cat, Browser. We then headed to Brainerd for an evening show where 100 folks turned up to see Cow (and to try their hands at the mechanical milkingcow on the library’s front lawn). Among the attendees were another Dairy Princess and two boys from dairy farms who came dressed in cow costumes.

On Tuesday morning we performed in one of our most unique venues, a church in Wadena. 25 attendees showed up for our show (and free books and milk). We had to restrain Cow from giving a sermon on the importance of pasteurization. In the evening we gave a presentation for 11 attendees at the Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids.

Mike, Cow & David with Paul & Babe the Blue Ox in Brainerd

Mike, Cow & David with Paul & Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji

Cow was beginning to worry that she was losing her popularity, but we ended our tour on Wednesday with two full houses. Wednesday morning we performed for 170 attendees atthe Bemidji Library. Colleen the librarian had done an amazing job preparing for our visit, with “Cow Chow” snacks for the kids and bottles of “Thirsty Cow” water, not to mention clothespin cows to take home. It was a wonderful way to start our last day. Cow’s swan song was in the small library in Walker, but we filled the venue with 60 attendees. Carrie had lots of prizes to give away, and all the families enjoyed pizza after.

Wow. What a year this has been! We can’t thank you enough for giving us this opportunity. Over the past year we have met some magnificent librarians, seen some fascinating libraries, met lots of friendly families, and created enough memories to fill a silo. To sum it all up, there’s only one thing we can say:


Ever your Bovine Buddies,
David LaRochelle, Author
Mike Wohnoutka, Illustrator
and of course, Cow, the star!

PS  – Click here for the 150 travelogue pictures from around Minnesota with Cow, Mike and David

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Cow’s continuing MOO-velous Adventures

Ann Hutton with Cow in Winona

It’s hard to tell who was more excited to meet the other, Ann Hutton or Cow. Definitely a Mutual Adoration Society.

Hello Once Upon a Reader Fans!

This past week saw Mike and me and Cow edging closer to the end of our incredible tour.

On Tuesday morning, Sept 22, we presented to 120 attendees at the gorgeous Winona Public Library. Cow was thrilled to meet one of her biggest fans, Ann Hutton. And Ann certainly knew how to treat a diva like Cow; ever since, Cow has been asking why WE don’t treat her with such adoration. That afternoon we traveled to the small town of Houston and presented to 120 preschoolers to second graders at the elementary school. It was our last SELCO show, were taken care of at every SELCO venue where we performed. Thank you so much, ladies.

On Thursday we headed north to present to 90 preschoolers who filled our room at the Grand Rapids library. Another gorgeous site, right on the Mississippi River, and Darla and Tracy could not have been more enthusiastic and helpful. We then wound our way to one of the most secluded sites of our tour, South Ridge School outside of Culver. Cow wanted to take part in the volleyball game that was going on next to us, but we convinced her to perform for the 50 attendees that the Head Start folks had brought in that evening. There were lots of crafts to do and every family got to bring home a book, which is always great to see.

Cow in Grand Rapiids 2015-09

In the wonderful play area at the Grand Rapids Rapids Public Library, Cow spells out one of her favorite words.

And now we are packing our bags for the FINAL leg of our tour. What an amazing adventure we’ve had this past year!

Here are a few photos from this past week.

You’ll hear from us one more time after we return from our final six shows!

David, Mike, but mostly Cow

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Go Back to School with Schoolhouse Rock!

MinitexJoin Minitex and the University of Minnesota Libraries Regional Depository Library in new webinar series, Go Back to School with Schoolhouse Rock!. This series will focus on the three branches of the U.S. federal government.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
2:00 PM–3:00 PM (Central Time)

This webinar will focus on the legislative process and locating legislative resources. Before the session, learners will watch Just a Bill from Schoolhouse Rock!. Riegelman and Beck will elaborate on the content in the video and use it to test your knowledge. By starting with this video intended for an elementary audience, we will layer on more advanced content about the legislative process as well as guidance on tools that are available. Meet us in this liminal space as we transition from novices to experts.

Attendees will be able to identify the steps that a bill takes to become a law (and the pitfalls in between!). An understanding of the legislative process as well as an awareness of the freely available and fee-based tools will help attendees tackle challenging patron inquiries about legislative information.

Amy Riegelman
University of Minnesota Librarian of Government Information, Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Child Development

Lynne Beck
University of Minnesota Library Associate, Access & Information Services

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Total Boox and New Ebook Pricing Models

MinitexTotal Boox and New Ebook Pricing Models
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
11:00 AM–12:00 PM (Central Time)

The shift to ebooks has wrought many changes in the library market. Most of them haven’t worked to our advantage. But there are some interesting new business models. In this webinar, presenter Jamie LaRue focuses on a company called Total Boox, which allows for unrestricted downloads, multiple use at the same time, no holds, no waiting, for all titles. How do they make money? The library pays only for what gets read (not what gets checked out). But this means that libraries (and publishers) get a rich new source of data: what percentage of books do people actually finish? Does it vary by genre? What might this mean for collection development?

Presenter:  James LaRue writes, speaks and consults about the future of libraries, with a focus on organizational and leadership development. As the former director of the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, he established a library managed ebook content delivery platform that garnered international attention. He is also author of “The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges” (Libraries Unlimited, 2007).

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LibTech 2016

LTC 2016 logoSave the date for  the  9th annual Library Technology Conference,   March 16-17, 2016, on the Macalester College campus in St. Paul.

The LibTech Conference provides an opportunity for library staff and information technologists to come together to discuss the changing technologies that are affecting library services; to see examples of what libraries are doing with these technologies; and to provide a venue where participants can learn skills or knowledge that they can take back and adapt for use within their own library.  In addition to thought-provoking keynote speakers, the two-day conference will include a mix of traditional lecture-style presentations, panel discussions, as well as interactive and hands-on workshops.  Sessions will be offered on a wide range of topics and at varying skill levels.  Anyone interested in the changing technologies that are affecting libraries should plan to attend.

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EBooks, Patrons, Libraries, and Consortia

Minitex grahicEbooks, Patrons, Libraries, and Consortia: Past, Present, and Plans for the Future

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 1:00 PM–2:00 PM (Central Time)

Greg Pronevitz, executive director of the Massachusetts Library System and stakeholder in a statewide ebook platform servicing over 400 libraries, will discuss consortial ebook platforms and their history, present, and plans for the future among library consortia. Our patrons who have patience have grown accustomed to state-of-the-art library platforms and can navigate the maze of links and authorizations required to check out ebooks. Those without patience buy their ebooks from commercial providers. Greg believes that libraries can succeed in serving current ebook patrons and many new ones as the years go by if they work together.

Presenter:  Greg Pronevitz is the founding executive director of the 1,600-member Massachusetts Library System (MLS). He has 17 years experience at the CEO level at MLS and one of its pre-merger components. He spent nine years managing the provision of services to libraries in a consortial environment at OHIONET.

Greg is an advocate for consortial services. He has written and spoken frequently on library delivery service. He was a key player in the formation of the Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts (one of the Digital Public Library of America’s founding hubs). At MLS, Greg has worked with main partner the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (the state library agency) and other stakeholders to pilot a statewide ebook platform that has been expanded in beta and has grown to more than 400 subscribing libraries called the Commonwealth eBook Collections with access to some 170,000 titles.

And Greg has a Minitex connection: He was co-author/editor with Minitex director, Valerie Horton of the 2015 ALA Editions book Library Consortia: Models for Collaboration and Sustainability.

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LibTech 2016 Call for Proposals

LTC 2016 logoThe LibTech 2016 Planning Committee seeks your conference proposals.

LibTech 2016 is looking for a balance of sessions that will appeal to a broad library audience and provide a combination of “right now” solutions and “see the future” technology presentations. Projects could already be implemented or still in process. Long-term experiments that stretch the boundaries of how we work, or will work, in libraries, as well as “out of the box” solutions and ideas for libraries struggling to ‘keep up’ with evolving technologies are all welcome topics. Library staff, library students, educators, technologists, vendors, publishers, and those in related fields are all encouraged to submit session proposals.,

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MALF Supported NLLD Scholarship

MALF is pleased to offer a one-time scholarship of $500 to a Friend of the Library interested in traveling to Washington, D.C. on May 2-3, 2016, to advocate for libraries as part of National Library Legislative Day (NLLD).  Coordinated by the American Library Association, this annual, two-day event is the highest profile library advocacy opportunity in the country. Minnesota attendees will receive an in-depth briefing on library legislation before getting the opportunity to meet in person with members of the Minnesota congressional delegation and congressional staff.

This special MALF scholarship is for first-time NLLD participants who currently reside in
Minnesota. Individual-level membership in MALF, or affiliation with a Friends of the Library group that is a member of MALF, is also required.

Informational flyer for MALF – NLLD 2016 Scholarship

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New Library Legacy Grant Guidelines

MN Library Legacy Logo SmallThe Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) created an unprecedented opportunity for libraries to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota.  The regional library systems receive a biennial ACHF appropriation for Library Legacy activities.

For the first time, all in one place, the regional libraries now have a single source of information ranging from the history of the library appropriation to reporting schedules and clear definitions.  The new ACHF Grant Guidelines for Regional Public Library Systems was prepared by  the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and issued with the FY2016 Official Grant Award Notifications.

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Call for MLA Silent Auction Items

MLA conference logo 2015The Silent Auction is a fun annual tradition at the MLA Conference that has been supporting the Minnesota Library Foundation and in turn, the local library community, for twenty years.

Help make this year another success!

While there are always some great donations from local businesses, authors, and even Etsy artists, the auction still needs generous individuals like you to help fill the tables.  As librarians, board members, and Friends are well-rounded and multi-talented people — Do you have a skill, creative hobby, or knack for shopping? Please consider donating an item or service! We also know everyone is human — Are your closets full of barely-touched impulse purchases or unwanted gifts? Bring them in and write them off on your taxes! (No one will tell your Great Aunt you never used that Bundt pan…promise.)

When you’re done searching your closets and tapping into your creative genius, please alert the auction planners, Allison Current and Erica Ross an, an email heads-up at as soon as possible.   Then mail or drop off your items with a donation form at the CLIC Office by September 24th: 

1619 Dayton Avenue Ste. 204
St. Paul, MN 55104 

The Minnesota Library Foundation helps fund the Minnesota Leadership Institute for emerging leaders, supports the Minnesota Book Awards and provides small grants to libraries across the state.

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Call for Construction Grant Applications

MDE Logo 2013State Library Services is pleased to announce that applications for round two of the 2014 Library Construction Grant program are now available. The program provides public libraries with funding for renovation, construction, and improvement projects that result in more accessible library facilities. Projects may:

• Remove architectural barriers from a library building or site.
• Remediate conditions hazardous to health or safety.
• Renovate or expand an existing building for use as a library.
• Construct a new library.

The 2014 Minnesota Legislature allocated a total of $2,000,000 to the program, with $857,000 of those funds earmarked for specific projects and the remaining funds for competitive grant awards. An estimated $848,000 in state funding is available to award approximately three grants in the second round.

Application forms and instructions are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Management site. Scroll to Library Construction Grant opportunity. Completed applications are due November 10, 2015.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9, 2015, from 3-4 p.m. Call-in via phone at 1-888-742-5095 (using conference code 492 064 9083 / meeting number 598 116 941) or participate via WebEx. Pre-registration is not required.

Please email Emily Kissane  or call 651-582-8508 for more information, or to request a reasonable accommodation to attend the online meeting. Note: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice to cancel a requested accommodation.

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New Season

MELSA Club BookClub Book is proud to announce the new lineup for the Fall 2015 Season. Club Book brings best-selling and award-winning national and regional authors to libraries throughout the seven-county Twin Cities region. A program of Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) and coordinated by Library Strategies, Club Book is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. All events are free and open to the public!

Podcasts of this season’s discussions will be available a few days after each event at and on iTunes. Past seasons’ podcasts are available for streaming and download, so check them out!

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Seeking MNBA Judges

MNBAApplications for judging the 28th Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA) are now open.  Judges will be selected from across the state, with a variety of professional experiences, as well as representing different ethnic and age groups.  Apply today!

MNBA Judge Application

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Supercharged Storytimes thru specialized learning

supercharged storytimes
Minnesota is one of just five states selected to participate in a new IMLS-supported OCLC initiative, Supercharged Storytimes. It is an empowering, research-backed approach to storytime planning and delivery established in Washington state. Up to 100 staff from Minnesota libraries will have the opportunity to participate in five free, one-hour online learning sessions scheduled this October and November.   Participants will be active in a specialized learning community designed to boost the impact of library storytimes and demonstrate how libraries provide high-quality early literacy experiences that gets kids ready for kindergarten.

More information including basic criteria for participation

Email Jackie Blagsvedt, Youth Literacy and Library Program Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services, with your questions.

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Cow to the southwest – MN that is

Hello Once Upon a Reader fans,

Mike and I and Cow just returned from two successful days in the Plum Creek region of southwestern Minnesota, visiting Marshall and Windom. Cow attracted an audience of about 80 admirers at each stop. She particularly enjoyed taking advantage of the hotel amenities Cow enjoying the pool 2015-08 which gave her a chance to show off the latest wardrobe fashions created for her by Kim Faurot.

Once again the librarians at each stop made us feel udderly welcome. It’s hard to believe that it has been less than a year ago when Cow made her first appearance. What a full year we have all had!

We hope that you are enjoying these dog days of summer, whether you are traveling on vacation or staying cool at home.

Till September,

Your Bovine Buddies,
David, Mike, and Cow

P.S. Here are a few photos from our recent travels —

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Library Legacy Summary RFP

MN Library Legacy Logo SmallCRPLSA is seeking proposals for a comprehensive report covering seven years of public programs and activities funded by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, created by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment of 2008 Programs include statewide projects such as Once Upon a Reader and the Minnesota Book Awards literary map, as well as projects that have taken place in each of the state’s 12 regional library systems. This Request for Proposal (RFP) provides the instructions for submitting proposals, the criteria by which a vendor may be selected, and the contractual terms by which CRPLSA intends to manage the relationship between CRPLSA and the selected firm.

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Cow is big in puppet news

Cow profile pix-cropIn the puppet world, The Puppetry Journal, is big news.  Moo!, Once Upon a Reader, and our very-own star- studded team of David LaRochelle, Mike Wohnoutka, and, of course, Cow are featured.

The Magic Word is MOO! from the Spring 2015 issue of The Puppetry Journal.


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MLA Conference Registration Open

MLA conference logo 2015Consider participating in the Minnesota Library Association’s annual conference.  This year’s location will be the St. Paul Rivercentre on October 8 and 9.

Register Now

Complete conference schedule

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History Day 2015 a success

MHS History Day logoNearly 5,500 students participated in a History Day filed trip, Hullabaloo or Help Session which took place at 20 libraries across the state during this year’s MN History Day activities. This is nearly 1,000 more students than the previous year.  Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) staff coordinated the events at each library, working with individual librarians to schedule research open houses and provide supplemental training materials.  Evaluations from students indicate 72% of students feel more confident doing research in a library as a result of the History Day library experience. And, 88% believe their library visit improved their ability to do research for this project and future academic studies.

2015 Report for the Minnesota History Day Library Partnership

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LSTA Grants Awarded

MDE Logo 2013State Library Services uses Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to expand access to learning services, information tools and educational resources in all types of libraries. The State Library helps libraries provide educational and civic engagement opportunities, lifelong learning, workforce development and digital literacy skill-building activities. To achieve this goal, LSTA grants are competitively awarded to fund projects that help Minnesotans in new and innovative ways. The State Library is  pleased to announce the nine successful 2015 LSTA competitive grant-awarded projects.

  • Bloomington Public Schools, “Middle School Makerspaces: A Community of Creators” – $80,084
  • Farmington Public Schools, “Bridging Literacy through Targeted Instruction” – $43,233
  • Friends of Hennepin County Library (MELSA), “Cedar Riverside Library Outreach Project” – $96,912
  • Hmong Cultural Center, “Hmong Resource Center Library Expansion Project” – $12,020
  • Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), “Identifying Access Needs for E-Government Services” – $100,000
  • Robbinsdale Area Schools, “Creating a Culture of Literacy among AVID High School Students”- $64,228
  • Saint Paul Public Schools, “Building Research-Ready Students in SPPS” – $99,866
  • Waconia Public Schools,  “Waconia Digital Navigators: Students at the Helm” – $49,473
  • Waseca-Le Sueur Regional Library System (TdSLC), “Romp and Rhyme” – $20,466
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Ortega Appointed as PLS Executive Director

PLS logoThe Pioneerland Library System (PLS) Board of Trustees has appointed Laurie Ortega as the Executive Director of the 31-library system.

Ortega has been serving as Interim Director since February 2015.  She joined PLS as manager of  the Willmar Public Library in 2004.  She began working at PLS headquarters in 2008 as the Assistant Director and as the Director of Library Operations since 2012.

Prior to coming to PLS, Ortega was employed as the librarian for the USGS EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, SD.

Ortega has a BA in English & Journalism from the University of North Dakota, and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of North Texas.

Ortega stated, “I am pleased and grateful for this opportunity to continue my work in PLS as
their Executive Director.”

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Cow in Pioneerland

Cow and McLeod County Dairy Princesses 2015-07

Cow & the McLeod County Dairy Princesses in Glencoe

Hello Once Upon a Reader fans,

Cow took a day off from her summer vacation to visit two libraries in the Pioneerland Library System (PLS) yesterday. Mike and I went along to act as her assistants.

In Glencoe, she presented to a group of 100 kids and adults in the beautifully renovated old high school. She was beside herself with joy when she was made an honorary Dairy Princess, but then again, she also felt is was only a matter of time before her regal nature was recognized. Thanks to Slade for making the trek out to Glencoe to film the show for posterity.

On the western edge of Minnesota in Dawson, Cow gave an evening presentation to a small, but receptive group of 30 in the high school performing arts auditorium. It was wonderful that every family was able to go home with their own free copy of the book.

Cow is already back in vacation mode, at the beach in the new swim attire designed by Kim Faurot. If the paparazzi can get close enough to her, you might be subjected to some lakeside photos of Cow later next month. In the meantime, here are a few photos from yesterday.

David, Mike and of course, Cow

PS – More pictures of Cow

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Discover Five Practices Essential for Pre-Readers

The Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is excited to bring renowned early literacy educator Saroj Ghoting back to Minnesota for a series of workshops that will give librarians and early childhood educators tools to provide high-quality storytimes and early literacy interactions with pre-readers. The workshops are rooted in the Every Child Ready to Read 2nd Edition (ECRR2) research-based curriculum released by the Public Library Association.

Please visit the Supporting Libraries Serving Youth webpage to learn more about the training options and register for a workshop near you.

Storytimes for Everyone

  • Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud,  Monday, August. 24, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Headwaters School of Music and the Arts – Bemidji, Thursday, August 27, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Blue Earth County Library – Mankato, Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • East Central Regional Library – North Branch Area Library, Friday, September 25, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Training the Trainers

  • Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud,  Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Ramsey County Library – White Bear Lake Library, Thursday, September 24, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

There is no fee to attend – lunch arrangements vary by location.  Please email Jackie Blagsvedt or call 651-582-8805 or  for more information.

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GRRL Planning Process

GRRL logo and library cardOver the months of June & July, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) has hosted community feedback sessions in 11 libraries to gather input for a new 2016-2021 strategic plan. They will conduct a user/non-user study in August based on work performed through a St. Cloud State University student service learning project.

Staff input sessions will be held in August as well. GRRL will incorporate technology planning into the overall strategic plan. The regional library target is to finalize the plan for approval at the November GRRL board meeting.

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Fargo – Moorhead Host ARSL in 2016

ARSL-logoThe Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) announced Friday, July 31 that Fargo-Moorhead will host the 2016 ARSL Convention.  This event will be a bi-state effort between North Dakota and Minnesota.  The ARSL Board succeeded in reaching its laudable goal of negotiating room rates for $99 – a hallmark of previous conventions and a great plus in making this an affordable learning opportunity for small libraries with small budgets.

Mark your calendars for October 26-29, 2016!

General information about ARSL and the 2015 conference in Little Rock

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ShoStoWriMo at GRRL

To celebrate Short Story Writing Month, the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) sought  short, short stories of 32 words or less inspired by this historical photograph from the Minnesota Digital Library.

Patrons were asked, “What’s the story here?” and then encouraged to download the submission form to write a short, short story.  Writers could submit their short story online or in person at any GRRL between November 15 to December 15, 2014.

Stories were posted on the library’s website or in local branch library locations during last year’s Winter Reading Program in January and February, 2015.

GRRL short story sample 2014-2015

Click below for two more samples as highlighted on the GRRL Facebook page.

Sample 1

Sample 2


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