SELCO Teen Poets Featured in blogged[ED]MN

SELCO Poetic Strokes Wordflow 2014 Two teen poems from SELCO’s new Wordflow anthology are featured in the April 23, 2014  blogg[ED]MN news posting.

Through the benefit of Arts and Cultural Heritage Funding for Library Legacy activities, SELCO has an ongoing commitment to area writers.  Each year the regional library system hosts a poetry writing competition.  The poems selected by a panel of qualified judges are printed in a regional anthology.  Initially dubbed, Poetic Strokes, for adult writers, SELCO expanded the contest in 2013 to include teen literary works which are published as Wordflow.

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PLS and SELCO Endorse RLBSS Legislative Initiative

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe SELCO/SELS Board of Directors (SELCO) and Pionnerland Library System (PLS) Board voted unanimously to support a change to the Regional Library Basic System (RLBSS) formula during the 2015 legislative session.   These two regional governing boards join the Arrowhead Library System (ALS)  in endorsing this legislative initiative. During the coming months, each of the other regional library boards will be asked to support the proposal to amend current statutory language.

Minnesota supports regional library service around the state through an appropriation of RLBSS aid administered by the Department of Education. Members of the library community reviewed the current formula and support different percentages while retaining the same calculating factors: base, population, area, and equalization.

The adjusted formula will reduce funding volatility and make budgeting more stable. Should the RLBSS appropriation increase by $1.2 million per year above the current $13.5 million amount, the equalization portion of the formula would be reduced from 25% to 17.5%. If the proposed funding increase is $2 million or greater, then the equalization factors will be reduced from 25% to 15%. In each case, whether equalization is at 17.5% or 15%, the funds previous assigned to that category will shift to the base to cover basic operational expenses.

If approved the new formula would become effective in 2016.

Background information on the proposed RLBSS change.

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eBook Basics

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014

eBooks are a fact of life for libraries of all types. This webinar will define common terms, describe how eBooks work, and give insight into how libraries are integrating eBooks into their collections and services. The session will give participants a solid understanding of how eBooks are impacting libraries.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Open to all public, academic, K-12, and special librarians, and others interested in learning more about eBooks and libraries.

Register Now!  There is no fee to attend this webinar.

For more information

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Grants to States program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services with financial support from CRPLSA.

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GRRL Mosaics

GRRL Buffalo mosaic 2014As part of Library Legacy activities, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) commissioned Minneapolis artist, Lisa Arnold, to offer community mosaic workshops and create local art.   During the 1-2 hours workshop, attendees learn the basics of making a mosaic and  contribute to a community mosaic. Lisa designs the basic format of the mosaic in advance, attendees select glass, tile, and pottery fragments to place within the design.  The artist then completes the work after the program by grouting it. The new art piece is displayed in the library.

Each GRRL mosaic was a map of Minnesota with a unique bauble to mark the location of the library.  Book titles and subjects are added along the bottom to customize to that location. The Buffalo mosaic features a bison on the Minnesota map where the City of Buffalo is located and offers an example of how the regional project is tailored to each community.   This region-wide project will conclude this summer and GRRL will have 32 mosaics – one for each GRRL library.

Regions interested in hosting a similar project are encourage to contact Lisa Arnold directly for more information.

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Kids Design Glass Highlighted

Each of the 14 fantastical glass sculptures created as part of the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) Kids Design Glass project are featured in the new issue of  blogg[ED]MN.

The Minnesota Department of Education introduced blogg[ED]MN, as a new communication tool in January 2014.  From updates on new efforts, investments and policies to interviews with education leaders and profiles of innovative schools, blogg[ED]MN offers a place where readers can stay up to date on what’s going on in Minnesota education.

MDE bloggedmn logo 2014

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LeSueur Public Library recognized as WCCO’s Best

2014 NLW AvatarJust in time for National Library Week, WCCO viewers recognize the LeSueur Public Library as Minnesota’s best public library.    Watch the WCCO news clip with Matt Brickman’s trip to this south central Minnesota community in the Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) and an interview with Dianne Pinney, Library Director.

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2014 National Library Week Banner

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ALS Endorses Proposed RLBSS Formula Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Board of Arrowhead Library System (ALS) voted unanimously to support a change to the Regional Library Basic System (RLBSS) formula during the 2015 legislative session.  It is the first regional board to do so.  During the coming months, each of the other 11 regional library boards will be asked to support the proposal to amend current statutory language.

Minnesota supports regional library service around the state through an appropriation of RLBSS aid administered by the Department of Education.  Members of the library community reviewed the current formula and support different percentages while retaining the same calculating factors: base, population, area, and equalization.  The adjusted formula is intended to reduce funding volatility.  If approved the new formula would become effective in 2016.

Background information on the proposed RLBSS change.

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MLA Call for Proposals

MLA conference logo 2014

The Minnesota Library Association seeks your program ideas for the 2104 annual conference.  The conference will be at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato October 8-9. This year’s conference theme, selected by MLA President Michele McGraw, Better Together, will focus on creating partnerships and building communities.

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Lives Change @ LARL

LARL logoLake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) launched an initiative to gather stories from library supporters leading up to Minnesota Library Legislative Day on March 5. Visit the LARL website and click on the Lives Change @ LARL slider to read letters from library advocates. LARL will continue to gather stories through National Library Week, April 13-19.

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Explore eBooks MN

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014

Looking for information on the upcoming live webinars and the statewide Explore eBooks MN Summit?  Look no further than Explore eBooks MN.

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Minnesota Book Awards for 2014

MNBA logo

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 26th annual Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA). And the MNBA winners are —

  • Children’s Literature: David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka – Moo!– published by Walker Books for Young Readers/Bloomsbury Children’s Books
  • General Nonfiction: Jack El-Hai – The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII – published by PublicAffairs Books/Perseus Books Group
  • Genre Fiction: William Kent Krueger – Tamarack County – published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
  • Memoir & Creative Nonfiction: Melanie Hoffert – Prairie Silence – published by Beacon Press
  • Minnesota: Kristin Makholm – Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison – published by University of Oklahoma Press
  • Novel & Short Story: Ethan Rutherford – The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories – published by Ecco/HarperCollins Publisher
  •  Poetry: Matt Rasmussen – Black Aperture – published by Louisiana State University Press
  • Young People’s Literature: Carrie Mesrobian – Sex & Violence – published by Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing Group

The Hognander Minnesota History Award recognizes the author of the most outstanding scholarly work related to Minnesota history published during the preceding two years.  As part of the 2014 MNBA festivities Gwen Westerman and Bruce White received this prestigious award for Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota – published by Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Books written by a Minnesotan and first published in 2013 were eligible for the 26th annual Minnesota Book Awards. 242 books were nominated for awards this year, and 32 books were selected as finalists. The winners were chosen by panels of judges from the list of finalists. Nominations for next year’s Awards will open in August, 2014. More details about the winners, the finalists, and the  26th annual gala attended by a record breaking 960 people can be found on The Friends of the St Paul Public Library website.

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New Strategic and Technolgy Plan to guide SELCO

SELCO logo small 2014Using Rapid Results Planning ™ facilitated by Library Strategies, SELCO and SELS undertook a member-driven strategic and technology planning process that generated a new four-year plan. SELCO staff, the Board appointed Extended Strategic Planning Committee, and Library Strategies began work in September 2013. Using information gathered from an online membership assessment survey and an all day Planning Retreat, Library Strategies crafted a draft which was fine tuned by the Planning Committee and approved by the SELCO/SELS Board in February 2014. Three new goals and 10 strategies will guide organizational activities beginning July 2014 through June 2018.

SELCO/SELS Strategic and Technology Plan – FY2015-FY2018

SELCO/SELS Mission and new goals:  We Connect Libraries

  • Expand the capacity of SELCO/SELS libraries
  • Foster innovation and collaboration within SELCO/SELS
  • Increase support for SELCO/SELS libraries
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MELSA Sponsors teen lit con

MELSA teen lit con 2014

The Twin Cities Teen Lit Con is where authors, books, teens and fun collide. There will be 10 amazing authors, breakout sessions and an action packed Exhibit Hall complete with photo booth, book arts, book signings and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with their favorite authors, explore other aspects of being a part of a reading community and attend workshops for writers.

Teen Lit Co 2014 is an event for readers of YA literature–teens & others. The event is free & open to the public. Click here for more details.

May 17 – 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Henry Sibley High School
1897 Delaware Avenue
Mendota Heights, MN 55118

Teen Lit Con 2014 is sponsored by MELSA with co-sponsors Metronet, Mackin, Addendum Books, ISD 197, & Dakota County Library. While the primary audience for the event is teens, all readers of YA lit are welcome to attend.

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Another Successful Year for History

MHS History Day 2014 logoLibraries play a critical role in helping Minnesota’s students successfully research History Day topics.  Through a unique partnership between the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and CRPLSA, over 8,000 students participated in library History Day events and 93% of those surveyed believed their library experience improved their ability to do research.  This MHS video offers more details and fun interviews.

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MALF Seeks Your Input

MALF_HORIZ_VECTORA request from the Minnesota Association of Library Friends — It will only take a minute…

Dear Friend of the Library:

As part of our overarching mission to strengthen Minnesota’s library community, MALF’s programming committee is committed to bringing relevant, high-quality programming to Friends of the Library each summer.

In 2012, library consultants Brenda Hough and Diana Weaver flew in from Kansas to give us a valuable crash course on everyday advocacy and on the nuances of formal lobbying. In 2013, Ann Walker Smalley, director of Metronet, orchestrated a workshop about growing and maintaining Friends membership and engagement.

This year… it’s up to you! Please take a moment to fill out this short (four question) survey on what programming topics you’d like to see for 2014. The poll will remain open through April 15.

MALF workshops are open to members and non-members alike, so feel free to forward on this email or share the survey link through social media:

Minnesota Association of Library Friends
325 Cedar Street, Suite 555
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1055

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SELCO Poetry Anthology Released

SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) 2014 PS&WF Publication Coveris proud to present the 2014 Poetic Strokes & Word Flow regional anthology. Copies of this annual tome have been sent to the poets who shared their works, key stakeholders, and libraries – just in time for National Poetry Month.

In the Fall of 2013, a call was put out to poets in the area to submit original works to be included in one of two poetry competitions: Poetic Strokes, the adult (19+) contest, or Word Flow, the teen (14-18) contest. SELCO received 307 poems from 223 poets in 36 communities across all 11 SELCO counties.After the deadline, the poems were sent to two separate judging panels for evaluation. The panels selected a total of 51 works to be included in this year’s anthology. Those selected represent a variety of styles, experiences, ages, and themes.

This project was made possible with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

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New Staff at State Library Services

From State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson:

I’m delighted to announce that Emily Kissane has accepted the position of State Library Program Specialist at State Library Services beginning April 16, 2014. Emily has a wealth of experience that will make a decided contribution to State Library Services. After a six-year stint as a reference and information technology librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, she moved into the area of educational policy.

In addition to other roles, she served as a policy analyst at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education from 1999-2009, administering statewide technology and library programs, including Minitex, MnLINK and the Learning Network of Minnesota. She developed a depth of knowledge about the needs of greater Minnesota through an assignment as the interim executive director of Minnesota Rural Partners and as a policy analyst for rural school districts.

More recently, her work has focused on higher education policy with an emphasis on research, writing and communications. In addition to an MLS from the University of Iowa, Emily earned an MA in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute where her thesis dealt with market structure and state funding of K-12 education in Minnesota.

In her role at State Library Services, Emily will administer regional public and multicounty multitype library aid programs, the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement Grant program and will serve as e-rate coordinator for public libraries.

MDE Logo 2013

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SELCO & VLS Launch New Library Catalogs

SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) and Viking Library System (VLS) are pleased to announce the launch of Enterprise as the new discovery layer of their online public catalogs. Search capabilities have been beefed up and now allow patrons to get very specific in what they might be seeking.

SELCO logo small 2014After conducting usability tests with library staff and the public & applying two months worth of staff feedback, SELCO believes that the new catalog will offer patrons greater features both functional and fun.  Patrons will have the option to view their account right within the same web page where they still are able to see what items they have requested and checked out, but now can also pay any outstanding fines right online! Enhanced features such as book cover art similar to the previous catalog get an extra boost with imbedded reviews from trusted sources and a new Home Room feature on the main page has already been set up with different Rooms to help patrons find favorites in a particular area. SELCO will launch Enterprise at all 90 locations on April 1.

VLS logo imageThe official launch of the VLS Enterprise discovery layer will be during the week of March 31 – April 4. The VLS site will go live with a fairly low-key series of announcements while several of the member libraries will make splashier debuts!  VLS staff provided rooms content design and management training on March 11 – 12 and local library staff have been developing their pages since that time. There will be additional staggered launches as more libraries declare their sites completed.

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Nobles County Library & Northstar Digital Literacy

TNorthstar logohe Nobles County Library, a member of the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS), has been selected to participate in the Northstar Digital Literacy Project.  Northstar defines basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online. The ability of adults to perform these tasks can be assessed through online, self-guided modules. This LSTA funded project will share what has been learned during the initial implementation in the metro area to greater Minnesota and is spearheaded by Kit Hadley, Director of the St. Paul Public.

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Rich Legacy Calendar in LARL

LARL Beat Goes On logoThe Winter/Spring 2014 Legacy Series: The Beat Goes On is currently in session throughout Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL). The series includes the following performers and performing groups:

  • Irish Music & History in the Red River Valley with Jim and Bonnie Haney
  • Irish Music with Poitin
  • Lake Agassiz Drawn to History with Steve Stark
  • Clara Dillon Darrow: Pioneering Women with Dawn Duncan
  • Musical Reading Celebration with the Zinghoppers
  • Original Folk Songs with Lehto and Wright
  • CommunityDrum Workshop with Spirit
  • The Magic of Dr. Seuss with Robert and Lynn Halbrook

In addition, the Detroit Lakes Public Library staff have arranged for a bus trip in May from Detroit Lakes to the Minnesota History Center. Three other LARL branches will be leading bus trips this summer.

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Explore E-Books MN – Coming Soon!

Save the Date(s) for Explore E-Books MN (Jointly sponsored by CRPLSA)

Join fellow public, academic, school and special librarians in a statewide effort to explore the  integration of e-books into libraries, grow an understanding of how e-books and e-content impact  libraries, and engage in conversation around the future of e-books in Minnesota. The Explore E-Books MN series of events will combine the internal expertise of Minnesotans with perspectives from national e-book innovators to further our professional understanding and build consensus. Improve your library’s capacity to embrace a digital future by participating in each event.

Live Webinars

  1. E-Book Basics, Wed, April 30, 2014, 1–2 p.m.
  2. Access to E-Books: Challenges Facing Libraries & Publishers, Wed, May 21, 2014, 1–2 p.m.
  3. E-Books in Libraries: A Business Models Overview, Wed, June 18, 2014, 1–2 p.m.
  4. E-Content Creation in Libraries, Wed, July 23, 2014, 1–2 p.m.

 Explore E-Books MN Summit

Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 9:30 a.m.–3:15 p.m., St. Catherine University, St. Paul

More details and registration information to follow.  Mark your calendars now!

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Mini Grant Opportunity

A recent announcement from State Library Services regarding the availability of Mini Grant Opportunities for Early Learning Spaces and School Age Programs —

State Library Services is pleased to announce two new competitive grant opportunities — Play and Learn Space Mini Grants and Expanded Learning Mini Grants. With streamlined applications, mini grants are short term grant awards of up to $5000 for projects taking place from approximately mid-May 2014 through September 30, 2014.

Play and Learn Space Mini Grants are offered to bolster the capacity of public libraries to create or enhance spaces that engage children ages 0-8 and their parents/caregivers in play and learning. A Play and Learn Space Mini Grant Application Guidance webinar will be held on March 25, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Expanded Learning Mini Grants are designed to support activity-based partnerships between schools and public libraries. The overarching goal is to connect students with meaningful out of school and summertime opportunities that improve literacy, academic achievement, college readiness and more. An Expanded Learning Mini Grant Application Guidance webinar will be held on March 25, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Grant opportunity documents, including timelines, are available at Minnesota Department of Education’s grants management site.

For more information about these opportunities, please email Jackie Blagsvedt, LSTA Coordinator or call: 651-582-8805.

To request a reasonable accommodation for the webinars, call 651-582-8805. 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.

MDE Logo 2013

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MoE Unchanged for Now

The following information was sent via e-mail on March 18, 2014,  from Elaine Keefe from Capitol Hill Associates and MLA/MEMO Lobbyist. 
I just came from a meeting with Daron Korte from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Rep. Kathy Brynaert.  MDE has agreed to withdraw their proposed language on library maintenance of effort in exchange for a pledge that we will work with them on the issue for next year’s legislative session. Rep. Brynaert will offer an amendment to delete those sections from the bill. Daron is going to let Senator Torres Ray know that MDE has agreed to drop that language.
Thank you to all of you who have spent the morning contacting committee members.  You can go back to your regular jobs now!
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MoE Action Needed

From the MLA/MEMO Lobbyist, Elaine Keefe of Capitol Hill Associates

The House Education Policy Committee and its counterpart, the Senate Education Committee, posted their draft omnibus education policy bills on March 17. Both omnibus bills include the provision proposed by MDE that would repeal all of 134.34, subdivision 4, and replace it with a cross-reference to the provision passed in the 2011 tax bill. That provision reduced both the minimum level of support and library maintenance of effort to 90% of what was required in 2011 and froze it at the level permanently.

If the MDE provision passes, it will be nearly impossible to ever get the freeze lifted and return to the previous minimum level of support and maintenance of effort requirements.

Please call or e-mail Senator Torres Ray and Rep. Mariani and the members of their committees to ask them to remove these provisions from their omnibus education policy bills.

Sample message to Senator Torres Ray and members of the Senate Education Committee:

Please delete Article 6, sections 1 and 2 from the omnibus education policy bill. This will damage public libraries by making permanent the harm inflicted over the past three years as a result of the cut and freeze in library maintenance of effort and the minimum level of support. Libraries have suffered significant service reductions as a result of this, and we cannot survive if it goes on forever.

Send this message to Senator Torres Ray  or call her at 651-296-4274 (or do both!)   Click here for a link to contact info for other members of the committee.

Sample message to Representative Mariani and members of the House Education Policy Committee:

Please delete Article 7, sections 1 and 2 from the omnibus education policy bill. This will damage public libraries by making permanent the harm inflicted over the past three years as a result of the cut and freeze in library maintenance of effort and the minimum level of support. Libraries have suffered significant service reductions as a result of this, and we cannot survive if it goes on forever.

Send this message to Representative Mariani or call him at 651-296-9714 (or do both!)  Click here for a link to contact info for other members of the committee.

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ECRL Legislative Day Contingent

ECRL Leg Day group 2014ECRL Staff, Board Members, and Library Friends
Library Legislative Day, March 5, 2014

Back row: Karen Lee, Nancy Dunbar, Andrea Hermanson, Carolyn Avaire, Barbara Misselt-ECRL Director, Carol Goddard-ECRL Board Member, Patty Thompson, Vickie Sorn, Audrey Misiura-ECRL Board Member.

Middle row: Carla Lydon, Sarah Hawkins, Jeanne Coffey

Front: Dan Misiura Lee

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Enhancing Quality Staff Symposium

graphic 5sSave the date – May 20!

For the 22nd annual Enhancing Quality Staff Symposium at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education & Conference Center, St. Paul


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NLLD May 5 & 6 in DC

Take Action for Libraries Banner

Register now for the 2014 National Library Legislative Day (NLLD)! 

For 40 years (!), there has been an annual National Library Legislative Day in the nation’s capital. Each year, over 400 library supporters travel to DC where they receive training and briefings to prepare for meetings with their members of Congress. Many continue their advocacy activities when they return back home by building on the relationships they established at NLLD.

Each state has a coordinator who arranges the meetings with legislators, communicates with the ALA Washington Office and serves as the contact person for the state delegation. Contact Mark Ranum, PCLS & PLS, for Minnesota specific information. Or, If you have general questions, please email Ted Wegner in the ALA Washington Office or call 800.941.8478

The NLLD registration page, also offers information about making a hotel reservation at the official NLLD hotel. This year’s event will be held at the Liaison Hotel in Washington DC on May 5 and 6. You can also find preliminary information about this year’s schedule.

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Proposed Changes to RLBSS Under Consideration

A representative group of CRPLSA and MELSA directors investigated alternative factors for the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula that would reduce funding volatility. Mark Ranum, 2013 CRPLSA Chair and Nick Dimassis, 2013 MELSA Chair appointed this Ad Hoc Funding Committee. Gathering in November and continuing to work during the early months of 2014, the Ad Hoc Funding Committee proposed changes to the RLBSS formula that could be introduced in the 2015 Legislative Session. The Committee included:

  • Jim Weikum, Arrowhead Library System
  • Liz Lynch, Lake Agassiz Regional Library
  • Peg Werner, Viking Library System
  • Ken Behringer, Dakota County Library
  • Marlene Moulton Janssen, Anoka County Library
  • Lois Langer Thompson, Hennepin County Library

The proposal requests an additional $1.2 million per year in RLBSS funds; reduces the Equalization Factor from 25% to 17.5% and increases the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 12.5%. These changes are intended to lessen radical funding shifts and add dollars to the Basic System Services. On January 30, 2014, CRPLSA voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation.

At that time, CRPLSA also proposed an alternate formula if the 2015 Legislature should prove amenable to a larger funding request. If the additional RLBSS funding exceeds $2 million per year, both the Equalization and the Basic System Services factors would be calculated equally at 15%.

Using the 2014 State Demographer’s population estimates and adjusted net tax capacity (ANTC), as supplied by State Library Services, members of the Ad Hoc Committee created charts demonstrating these numerical shifts. During the spring and summer of 2014, each of the 12 regional library boards will review this data with a goal of statewide endorsement. These same charts will also be presented at the Library Legislative Forum in July in preparation for the 2015 session.

Since the population and equalization factors change annually, the financial charts will be re-calculated in August 2014 to advocate with the 2015 Legislature. If the RLBSS formula change and funding increase legislative initiative is successful, the State Library will re-calculate the formula in August 2015 for the FY2016 RLBSS funding year. Note – Great care will be taken to hold all 12 systems harmless with a new formula however, the final distribution will be calculated after the bill is passed and cannot be completely guaranteed.

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MDE Legislative Update

The following message from Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry was shared with the Minnesota Library Association through its Legislative Chair, Jim Weikum at ALS. It describes MDE  technical and policy initiatives for the 2014 legislative session.

We submitted a technical proposal to amend Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355 Subd. 8, Regional Library Telecommunications Aid, to allow exceptions to the 20-hour per week eligibility requirement. Permitting exceptions for one-time, limited duration situations such as a building closure as a result of natural disaster, or to allow for adjustments to open hours in response to seasonal usage patterns fits with the intent of the legislation while allowing maximum eligibility.

A second technical proposal was submitted to clarify the formula for establishing the state-certified level of library support (maintenance of effort) for counties and cities that provide operating dollars for library services. Currently Minnesota Statutes, section 134.34 does not contain a cross reference to the statutory change made in 2011 through Minnesota Statutes, section 275.761. This creates a significant amount of confusion when communicating with stakeholders about the statutory requirements. Currently, someone reading the statutes has no way of knowing that the provisions of 134.34 have been superseded. While I understand that the library community is interested in pursuing a return to the prior formula, there is a need to ensure that statutes accurately reflect the current requirements.

Finally, we submitted a policy proposal to establish a task force on libraries and service delivery. MDE has had some great success in advancing and promoting issues using task forces. I want to make sure that we are highlighting the work of libraries, particularly in light of recent news articles questioning relevancy. With emerging issues that need to be addressed, such as e-books, a task force can be a catalyst for promoting ideas to work with multiple levels of governance and a positive step forward. There is great energy and enthusiasm within libraries and I would like to see that communicated to a wide audience.

I encourage you to contact me directly if you’d like to discuss any of these proposals. I appreciate any feedback you have to offer. Email Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, or call 651-582-8250.

MDE Logo 2013

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2014 Legislative Day a Successful Blur

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallDespite cold temperatures and a yet another snowfall, more than 100 library advocates ventured to St. Paul for discussions with legislators.  The MLA Legislative Committee hosted briefings on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, March 5, which offered the latest details on bill numbers, hearings, and lobbying strategy.

Library advocates promoted the inclusion of public library accessibility and construction grants in the proposed bonding bill, supported increased funding to cover educational telecommunications costs, and encouraged the creation of a task force to explore possible remedies for unfair eBook pricing.  CRPLSA’s Advocacy page has links to the 2014 legislative platform and issue specific talking points.

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LSTA Grant Opportunity

A recent State Library Services announcement and LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant opportunity:

State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant  opportunity. We welcome applications from any legally established public library, academic library, special library, school library, library cooperative or consortium in Minnesota or any Minnesota organization with tax exempt, non-profit status willing to serve as fiscal agent for a project that benefits a library.

An estimated $600,000 is available to fund grant projects that address the priorities identified in Minnesota’s Five Year LSTA Plan (2013-2017). We welcome proposals that expand programs and services that support Minnesotan’s needs for education, lifelong learning, continuing education, workforce development, 21st century and digital literacy skills; and/or establish a strong infrastructure and build capacity for improved coordination among eligible libraries to improve the quality of and access to library and information services.

Application forms and instructions are available at the Department of Education’s Grants Management Site. Scroll to Library Services and Technology grant opportunity. Please visit the State Library Services LSTA page for the 2014 competitive LSTA anticipated timeline, descriptions of Minnesota’s most recently funded LSTA grants, and Minnesota’s Five Year LSTA Plan (2013-2017).

Please email Jackie Blagsvedt, State Library Services, with any questions or call for more information:  651-582-8805.

MDE Logo 2013

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eBook Talking Points

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallThe library legislative platform supports an investigation in the wide variance of pricing for libraries compared to individual purchases, and the exploration of possible remedies to this uneven and discriminatory sales model.

Contract language, numerous pricing models, and variations by type of library abound.  To help library advocates wade through this information maze, the MLA Legislative Committee shared four documents that provide background information and may be used as legislative talking points.

  1. eBooks and Libraries (an FAQ)
  2. eBooks and School Libraries
  3. eBooks and Academic Libraries
  4. Pricing comparison prepared by Douglas County Library (Colorado, 2013)
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Library Construction Talking Points

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallToday’s libraries are a marvelous blend of brick and mortar, collection, and technology. The Minnesota Library Association and the Minnesota Educational Media Organization support the appropriation of $3 million dollars for the 2014-2016 biennium for the construction of public library buildings through the State’s currently authorized matching program.  A series of Talking Points have been prepared to assist library advocates.

Encourage your local legislators to support HF1501 / SF1473 as discussions about the 2014 bonding bill unfold.

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Telecom Talking Points

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallCRPLSA director, Peg Werner, VLS, was instrumental in preparing the Broadband and Telecommunications Access for Schools and Libraries legislative talking points. The focus of this legislative initiative supports an increase of $6 million for the school Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA) program, as well as ongoing funding of the current $2.3 million appropriation for  Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA) to ensure equitable access to broadband and Internet services. The talking points outline 10 specific services affected by the availability and the level of bandwidth, ranging from technology support for displaced workers to Internet-based audio and videoconferencing technology is used to connect educators, librarians, and peers across the globe.

More information about CRPLSA legislative initiatives may be found on the Advocacy page.

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MHS Offer Newspaper Hub

mhs digital newspaper hub banner

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is pleased to introduce the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub, a new searchable website that makes hundreds of thousands of pages of Minnesota newspapers available online in one central resource.

The Hub offers geographically and culturally diverse newspapers from dozens of communities around the state.  Users will also find a unique selection of African American, American Indian, agricultural, business, and labor papers.

MHS created the Hub in collaboration with the Minnesota Newspaper Association.  MHS began digitizing its historic newspapers in 2007 through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program.

As an active partner, SELCO has used Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds for Library Legacy activities to digitize almost 180,000 pages from newspapers published in the southeastern Minnesota counties.  SELCO continues to focus on adding regional resources.  MHS is committed to adding thousands of newspaper pages each year.

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ECRL Presents Kids Design Glass

ECRL glassblowing 2014East Central Regional Library (ECRL) held a drawing contest at each of the 14 library branches.  The winning child’s drawing from each community was created into a glass sculpture.

ECRL will unveil these 14 exquisite, fun and unique sculptures through a traveling exhibit that will visit each branch library between March 3 – 29, 2014.  Glassblower, Anthony Michaud-Scorza, will present information on the glassblowing process and share details of this creative project, as well as participate in a question and answer period. Check the ECRL calendar for specific dates, times, and locations.

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First 5 Things Badge in SELCO

23MobileThings AvatarAlice Henderson at the Plainview Public Library, a SELCO member library, was the first person in the State to earn a 5 Things badge in this year’s 23 Mobile Things MN! Congrats and keep up the good work.

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Legislative Day on March 5!

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Register for the 2014 MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day!

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State Library Seeks Info

State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson, forwarded this request for input from regional library systems and recent Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant recipients —

State Library Services is gathering information to aid in updating and revising the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant application and guidelines. A short survey has been posted and an online meeting/conference call is scheduled to get feedback directly from the library community. The survey will be available through March 31, 2014. The online meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 3, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Call in to 1-888-742-5095Call: 1-888-742-5095 or participate via WebEx. Pre-registration is not required; please join the conversation.

For more information about the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant program, or to request a reasonable accommodation to attend the online meeting, please email Jennifer Nelson or call 651-582-8791.

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NWRL Host Jazz Performances

NWRL LogoJazz guitarist, Briand Morrison, recently visited all of the Northwest Regional Library (NWRL) branches and amazed audiences with his talent.

Briand Morrison is from Grand Portage, Minnesota with 37 years of jazz guitar performance and teaching experience, as well as time spent lecturing jazz theory, history, and guitar technique. He is familiar with all styles of guitar and believes music is culturally enriching.

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Minitex Delivery

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For a quick behind-the-scenes view of how Minitex Delivery coordinates moving interlibrary loan requested items from the shelves into patron’s hands, check out this latest Minitex Minutes.


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Take Action for Libraries

The Day We Fight Back image 2014-02-11

Today, the American Library Association (ALA) joins organizations and companies across the country by participating in The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance. At the 2014 Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the ALA council passed a resolution supporting the USA FREEDOM Act (S.1599/H.R.3361) in Congress. The FREEDOM Act is a bicameral, bipartisan bill that seeks to end the bulk collection of telephone and internet metadata.

You can take part in this day of action by calling and/or emailing your legislators in support of the USA FREEDOM Act. If you visit ALA’s District Dispatch, you’ll be prompted with a banner that allows you to email and/or call your elected officials along with talking points. You can also use ALA’s Legislative Action Center for talking points.

For more information on this day of action and ways to participate, visit The Day We Fight Back homepage.

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23 Mobile Things deadline fast approaching

23MobileThings AvatarJust a few days left to register for 23 Mobile Things!

23 Mobile Things is a self paced learning opportunity for academic, public, special librarians, school media specialists. library trustees and Friends who wish to increase their knowledge of mobile devices and apps. Register your blog by the end of the week, February 15.  Complete all 23 Mobile Things (blogging about each one) by June 15, 2014 for prizes and accolades.

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Minitex seeks public libraries for digital project

PrintMinitex is looking for public libraries with collections of historic images or 1- or 2-page documents (maps, etc.) that would be of sufficient quality and interest to digitize for inclusion in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA ).

Minitex has been awarded a DPLA grant from the Gates Foundation. The grant will  provide training and support for public libraries to participate in DPLA through Minnesota Digital Library (MDL).

Following the parameters of the grant, Minitex will host three training sessions in upcoming months to prepare and enable public libraries to contribute content to the DPLA through the MDL. In these workshops, public library staff will learn how to work with MDL to select content for digitization and/or identify existing digital content and have MDL digitize and provide metadata and contextualization for that content, and determine potential themes for DPLA Exhibitions. The training will be free and costs for scanning and much of the metadata creation will be covered by the grant.

In Minnesota, most local historic and archival collections are held by local historical societies. Minitex needs information about local library resources. Specifically — Does a library have:

  1. Historic or archival material that would be appropriate for this sort of project?
  2. A close relationship with the local historical society such that someone from the library might be able to facilitate a collaborative project with the historical society and their materials?

For more information or to suggest a library with historic items to contribute email Carla Urban, at Minitex/MDL or contact her via phone, 612-624-4002 or 800-462-5348.

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State Library Recruiting Program Specialist

An update from State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson, on recruiting efforts for a new State Library Program Specialist:

State Library Services is accepting applications to fill a State Library Program Specialist position. Based in Roseville, this is a great professional employment opportunity for librarians interested in working in a leadership role in the state. Primary position responsibilities include administering state aid programs for regional public and multi-county multi-type library systems, coordinating the state-certified level of library support process, and managing the Library Accessibility and Improvement grant program. This position also serves as Minnesota’s e-rate coordinator.

Minimum qualifications include three years of professional library experience, a background in program and grants management/administration and experience in planning, budgeting and financial reporting. Candidates with a background in data analysis and reporting are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted on the State Jobs website through February 18, 2014.

For more information, please email  Jennifer Nelson at 651-582-8791

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A busy ALS February

February will be a busy month in the Arrowhead Library System (ALS)!

The Creativity Tank, a group of teaching artists, will visit 16 libraries with hands on art projects for children and families. Program participants will create, connect, learn, share, and grow through a variety of visual arts projects and processes. Each library chose from a variety of programs ranging from creating a book ornament, a storybook theater project, fiber art, or poetry writing.

Workshops to develop and express creativity through meaningful hands-on art experiences.

Author, singer and storyteller Doug Wood will visit five libraries or schools and present his EarthSongs, Earth Stories program for children and young at heart audiences.  Winding up the month, ALS will sponsor Sean Emery circus artist, juggler and all around funny man performing at 23 locations.

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2014 Legislative Platform Available

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallWith the start of the 2014 Minnesota legislative session just weeks away, the 2014 MLA – MEMO Library Legislative Platform is available for review and distribution.  The library community will focus on three primary areas: public library construction, telecommunications, and eBooks. As bills are introduced, CRPLSA and MLA Legislative Chair Jim Weikum (ALS Director) will monitor the progress on these issues as well as other topics that may affect library operations and service.

Plans are underway for this year’s Library Day at the Capitol.  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 5 and join library supporters from around the state in St. Paul.  More information will be available soon.

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Club Book: the book club rewritten

MELSA launches another Club Book season bringing best-selling and award-winning national and regional authors to library communities throughout the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan region. The 2014 Winter-Spring line up features literary stars successful in a variety of genres with Amy Thielen, classically trained chef and host of Food Network’s “Heartland Table” kicking things off on February 3 at the Prior Lake Library hosted by Carver County Library.

Club Book is coorClub Book Stack Logo_RGBdinated by Library Strategies, the nonprofit consulting group of The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. A new podcast service will be an exciting enhancement. The podcasts will be uploaded shortly after an author program and available free via the Club Book website and iTunes. Check out Club Book’s pilot episode that outlines how the podcasts will work and promotes this season’s authors.

Club Book is made possible through Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, a portion of the state’s 2008 Legacy Amendment aimed at preserving and enlivening Minnesota’s rich cultural traditions.

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Coming Soon: LSTA Competitive Grant Round

Just released by Jennifer Nelson, State Librarian, from the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services . . .

Library Services and Technology Act Competitive Grant Round

Now’s the time to start thinking about how grant funds can help your library. State Library Services will open a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant round by Tuesday March 4, 2014. We anticipate that applications will be due April 22, 2014, for projects taking place between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.

An informational webinar will be held on Friday, March 7, 1–2 p.m.; advance registration is not required. Click here to access the webinar site

Please email Jackie Blagsvedt or call 651-582-8805 for more information or to request a reasonable accommodation. 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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