MDE Consultant Group: Meeting #2

MDE Logo 2013The Libraries and Service Delivery Consultant Group created by Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner, Brenda Casselius, held its second meeting on September 15.  The handouts from the meeting may be found on the MDE website.

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New published author in VLS

Read the Art cover artGail Nordstrom, Viking Library System, and Heidi Hammond, University of St. Catherine, have a new book: Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books: A Guide to the Illustrations.  This new reference book describes the distinguishing elements within Caldecott Award winning art and will prove a useful tool in understanding book illustrations.

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History Day 2014 a success

MHS History Day logoThe Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) acclaims National History Day Minnesota 2014 a success.  CRPLSA has bragging rights in this achievement as a result of an ongoing  partnership with MHS that is entering its sixth year.  This partnership brings together the wealth of resources at MHS and library programming support that includes:

  • Providing library and research support for History Day participants
  • Strengthening a statewide network between regional library staff, History Day staff, and History Day teachers
  • Evaluating and documenting the success of History Day library field trips and research open houses.

Increased exposure to History Day library programming and research support resulted in improved student outcomes.  MHS History Day staff have prepared a detailed report describing 2014 activities and successes, as well as a brief summary.

2014 Report for the Minnesota History Day Library Partnership

2014 Report Summary (2 pages)

National History Day Minnesota is an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12.  Sponsored in part by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota,  History Day aims to teach students how to conduct in-depth research, use primary and secondary sources, read a variety of texts, analyze and synthesize information, and write and present historical content.  All skills that will serve them well as they advance in their education.

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PCLS Celebrates!

PCLS 40 anniversaryJoin current and former Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) board members, library directors, system staff and others in celebrating 40 years of service to the libraries of southwestern Minnesota.

  • Date:  Thursday, September 25, 2014
  • Time:  6:00 p.m. Reception and 6:45 p.m. Program and book signing by renowned author and humorist, Kevin Kling
  • Location: Worthington Event Center, Worthington, MN
  • RSVP:  Via email or by calling the PCLS office – 507-376-5803
  • For more information: Program flyer
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Winona Hosts Floating Librarian

Floating Library in WinonaLunch with Librarians:  The Floating Library’s Sarah Peters

When:  Friday, September 12th @ 12:00 Noon
Where:  Winona Public Library’s Bell Art Room,
RSVP:  Samantha or 507-452-4860

Note:  Lunch provided. Space is limited

Sarah Peters wrote a Legacy Project Grant known as the Floating Library.  For the past few weekends in August, Peters and the Floating Library have been on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis allowing many to check out books, chapbooks, and even a book you can feed to the fish.  On Saturday, September 13th, the Floating Library will be on Lake Winona in Winona, Minnesota.

At the Lunch with Librarians, Peters will chat about the concept behind the Floating Library, how it works, and answer any questions.

For more information about Peters and the Floating Library

Star Tribune article about the Floating Library

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Hot Reads for Cold Nights

hot_reads_15_banner_1450x430_2SELCO is now accepting orders for products for the 2015 Hot Reads for Cold Nights winter reading program. This year’s theme takes its cue from the vibrant colors of the Northern Lights which glide across our skies during the depths of winter. After an evening outside viewing one of Mother Nature’s greatest light shows, folks should be plenty happy to curl up with some cocoa in one of our mugs or tug on one of our long-sleeved hoodies for some extra warmth. Check out these products and more in our order forms below!

The deadline for ordering products is October 9, 2014.

For any and all questions regarding your order, please call the SELCO office at 1.800.992.5061.

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MNBA at National Book Festival

MNBA logoThis past weekend, The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library had the honor of participating in the 14th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington D.C. where they represented Minnesota and the Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA) in the Pavilion of the States. As the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book, The Friends were very pleased to take part in this event.

In the near future, The Friends will share information about the annual Letters About Literature essay contest — sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress — which will kick off in September. Last year 1,113 Minnesota students submitted essays for the contest, with 119 becoming finalists. Visit their website to read the winning letters.

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MDE Consultant Group Meets

The Libraries and Service Delivery Consultant Group conducted its first meeting on August 18 at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).  The group includes individuals knowledgeable about libraries and the delivery of library services.  Based on their legislative charge they will review options for changing library procedures and governance systems to ensure equitable and cost-effective access to library services statewide, as well as consider ways to increase access to emerging electronic services.

The MDE website will serve as the collection point for the Libraries and Service Delivery Consultant Group roster and all meeting materials.  All meetings are open to the public.  The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 15 from 1:30-3:30 pm. at MDE.

MDE Logo 2013

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McHenry Statement Regarding State-Funded Services

MDE Logo 2013Following the withdrawal of the Marshall Lyon County Library from the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS), State Library Services received several questions related to the availability of state-funded library programs and services to Marshall patrons.

Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, has issued a statement that provides responses to those questions and offers clarification on the eligibility to access specific services.

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MALF Offers New Programming Grant

MALF_HORIZ_VECTORA library’s Friends organization is one of its most valuable resources – a wellspring for innovative event and fundraising ideas. But while creativity and initiative may not be in short supply, funds to kick-start such programs usually are. In our continuing efforts to bridge that gap, the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) is pleased to announce its new Event and Programming Grant.

This is the perfect opportunity to finally bring your pet project to life! Simply fill out this form and mail or email it to MALF as instructed in the header. Be prepared to provide a draft plan of action, tentative timeline (including goals and objectives), intended audience, anticipated publicity efforts, a list of expected expenses, and anticipated impact on the library and/or its patrons.

Friends of the Library groups of all sizes are encouraged to apply, provided they serve a Minnesota library and are current in their MALF membership. (If necessary, annual membership dues may be submitted along with application materials.)

Each entry will be carefully considered by MALF’s Board of Directors. Please note that the Board meets only once a quarter, so plan accordingly. Note also that applicants who can prove a second source of funding, particularly another grant, will receive first priority in consideration.

Direct questions via email to MALF. We look forward to receiving your application!

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State Library Services at the State Fair

Blue Ribbon Reader 2014Join State Library Services for a photo opportunity at the State Fair on August 22, 24, 27 or 31.

Librarians and MDE staff be at the fair with a new, life-size Blue Ribbon Reader cutout that lets readers highlight their favorite book(s) and take a picture. Special guest Governor Mark Dayton is tentatively scheduled to read to children at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 27. State Library Services will also have three new bookmarks available for fair goers. One promotes early literacy practices, a second gives parents tips for keeping reading fun, and the third reminds students that a library card is an important back-to-school supply. Check out the Minnesota Department of Education booth in the Education Building.

You can also order bookmarks for your library. Please email Jackie Blagsvedt or call at 651-582-8805 for more information or to place an order.

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eBook Summit Follow-up

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014A note of appreciation and an update from Jennifer Verbrugge, Library Program and Partnership Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education …

Thank you for participating in the Explore eBooks MN Summit!  Because of you, the Summit was an engaging day of idea-sharing and thoughtful exploration into Minnesota’s ebook future.

Here are the results of the facilitated discussion, also available on the Explore eBooks MN website, check the Summit tab. Audio recordings of the keynote speeches can also be found there, and we’ll soon add the presenters’ PowerPoint slides.

Please share your thoughts about the summit by taking a brief survey.

The results of the summit will be shared during sessions at both the upcoming ITEM and MLA conferences. We look forward to seeing you there!

Again, thank you!
–Jen Verbrugge

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MNBA Judge Applications

MNBA Call for JudgesApply today to serve as a Minnesota Book Awards judge! Qualified individuals—both experienced in judging and those new to the judging process—are encouraged to apply. Learn more here.

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MNBA celebrating Read + Ride Day at the Fair

Read and Ride no dateThe Minnesota Book Awards will join Minnesota’s public libraries on August 27 in presenting a day of free family fun in Carousel Park. There will be performers on stage all day, a scavenger hunt, dozens of authors (Kevin Kling, Chris Monroe, Erin Hart, Julie Kramer and more!), characters, crafts, trivia & games, plenty of photo ops and tons of fun.

Show your public library card at the gate for discounted admission.

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Minnesota’s Library Legacy Coordinators

MN Library Legacy Logo SmallWith cooler temps in the forecast and summer reading programs a fading memory in most communities, attention turns to school beginnings and new Legacy activities around the state.  Each region has staff coordinating events. The Legacy Coordinators often provide onsite assistance to local library staff, help write grant applications and reports, coordinate publicity efforts, offer training, and share information specific to the success of unique regional endeavors undertaken with Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds. Listed below are the individuals responsible for assisting with Library Legacy activities.

Region Legacy Coordinator
Arrowhead Library System Chris Magnusson
East Central Regional Library Cortney Walbridge
Great River Regional Library Beth Ringsmuth-Stolpman
Kitchigami Regional Library System Stephanie Langer
Lake Agassiz Regional Library Jenna Kahly
MELSA Melinda Ludwiczak
Northwest Regional Library Emily Savageau
Pioneerland Library System Laurie Ortega
Plum Creek Library System Chris Lang
SELCO Jeremy Kittleson
Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative Jessica Kreutter
Viking Library System Gail Nordstrom

In addition to these individuals designated as the regional Legacy Coordinators, the system director and other regional library staff may be very involved in Legacy activities. Check individual regional websites for more information about upcoming programs and other opportunities.

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Mini Grants for Learning

Mini Grant Opportunities for Playful Learning Spaces and Out-of-School Learning Collaborative Programs

State Library Services is pleased to announce a second round of two competitive grant opportunities — Playful Learning in Libraries Mini Grants and Expanded Learning through Libraries Mini Grants. With streamlined applications, mini grants are short term grant awards of up to $10,000 for projects taking place from approximately early-January through September 30, 2015.

Playful Learning in Libraries Mini Grants are offered to bolster the capacity of public libraries to provide welcoming and engaging play-friendly spaces and experiences that engage children ages 0-8 and their parents/caregivers in play and learning. These projects will also ensure that early learners experience a variety of playful activities that support their growth across the six domains of Minnesota’s early childhood indicators of progress. A Playful Learning in Libraries Mini Grant application guidance webinar will be held on August 19, 2014 from 1:30–2:30 p.m. For more information about this opportunity, please email Jackie Blagsvedt, LSTA Coordinator or call 651-582-8805.

Expanded Learning through Libraries Mini Grants are designed to support activity-based partnerships between schools and public libraries.  The overarching goal is to increase organizational capacity to connect students with meaningful out-of-school time opportunities that improve literacy, academic achievement, college readiness and more. An Expanded Learning Mini Grant application guidance webinar will be held on August 19, 2014 from 3:30- 4:30 p.m. For more information about this opportunity, please email Jennifer Verbrugge, Library Program and Partnership Coordinator or call 651-582-8356.

Grant opportunity documents, including timelines, are available on MDE’s grants management site.

To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Jackie Blagsvedt, LSTA Coordinator. Note: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires 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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MLA Conference Registration – Open

Conference Registration is Open!MLA conference logo 2014

With over 60 sessions, the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) offers something for everyone. The two-day annual conference schedule will cross eight session times and offer nine professional tracks:

  • Administration & Leadership
  • Authors, Literature, and Programming
  • Children & Young Adults
  • Collection Management & Technical Services
  • Digital Information & Technologies
  • Diversity
  • Library Trustees & Friends
  • Professional Development
  • Public Services

In addition, conference goers will enjoy a silent auction fundraiser for the Minnesota Library Association Foundation, countless networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall with vendors showcasing library products and services.

Early-bird discounted rates end August 31.

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Read and Ride Day at the Fair


Join fair-goers and library-lovers for Read and Ride Day  on Wednesday, August 27 for the Minnesota State Fair discount day. Anyone showing a library card at the ticket booth will receive a discount. As part of the celebration there will be a Read & Ride library event in Carousel Park (in front of the Grand Stand) from 9:00am – 5:00pm with free family activities.

Library Ambassadors are key to making the event a success so volunteer now! Find available shifts & sign-up here. All library staff are welcome (in accordance with your library’s policies). Ambassadors receive a gate pass to the Fair & a cool t-shirt! Plus a whole lot of fun!

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Creative Aging Training Opportunity

Lifetime Arts: Creative Aging Librarian Training Institute

September 16-17, 2014, 9 AM-4 PM
Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Doty Board Room

This two-day training institute will prepare Minnesota librarians to advance creative aging in their communities, expand librarians’ connections to other aging and arts professionals, and contribute to the development of libraries as key institutions for positive aging. Participating librarians will learn how to initiate, develop and implement professionally-conducted arts education programs for older adults in their local libraries. Curriculum topics include:

  • Creative Aging Best Practices (featuring library case studies
  • Adult Learning/Arts Instruction
  • Community Partnerships
  • Internal and External Needs and Assets Assessments
  • Planning and Implementation Strategies for Creative Aging Programs:
    • Determining Community Interests
    • Selecting and Working with a Teaching Artist
    • Recruiting Participants
    • Documentation and Evaluation Approaches
    • Promotion and Communications
    • Strategies for Sustainability.

Registration open to 50 librarians. Training presented by Lifetime Arts.

Fee: Free, continental breakfast and lunch included both days.
Training supported by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Meals funded by MELSA.

For more information, contact Melinda Ludwiczak, MELSA Project Manager,  651-645-5731

Click here to register

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MNBA Seeks Eligible Books

MNBA logoNominations for the Minnesota Book Awards Open

The shelves in the Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA) office are empty and the MNBA staff can’t wait to watch them fill up again with the fantastic Minnesota books being published in 2014.

Authors, publishers, and agents may nominate an eligible book by completing the online nomination form and submitting five nonreturnable copies of the book, plus a $45 nomination fee. The entry guidelines are available online.  Nominations accepted from Friday, August 1 through Friday, December 5, 2014.

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Club Book – Summer & Fall Schedule

MELSA Club BookClub Book is proud to announce the new lineup for the Summer/Fall 2014 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. Last season’s podcasts are available for streaming and download, so check them out!

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23 Mobile Things – Complete!

23MobileThings AvatarThe first offering of 23 Mobile Things is complete!

Sponsored by Minnesota’s multitype systems, 23 Mobile Things was a self-paced, online learning opportunity that helped participants learn about mobile apps, and gain an a better understanding of their Android and Apple mobile devices.  Initiated on January 15  and extended until July 15, 2014, over 100 library staff completed all “23 things” and became eligible for prizes.

For those who didn’t finish or didn’t start, watch for another round in October 2014.

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MLA Strategic Plan

MLA logo 2014


The MLA Board continues to work on implementing the strategic plan shared at the  Membership Meeting at last Fall’s Annual Conference.

The areas of focus are:

  • Engaging our members
  • Strengthening our organization
  • Developing and equipping our leaders
  • Educating and activating a library support network

We are working on projects in all of these areas. We have started a review of our own MLA information (membership, budget, committees, etc.) to better understand our current environment, and are planning to survey other state library associations in the coming months to see how we compare to similar organizations and discover what we may learn from them. We will also be reaching out to you, MLA members, to get your feedback on a range of issues and to make sure that we are meeting your needs. Thanks in advance for your participation in this process!

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Strengthen Libraries Together: MALF Workshop

MALF_HORIZ_VECTORThe Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) will partner with libraries and Friends of the Library groups to bring a free workshop, Strengthening Libraries Together, to five Minnesota communities this September. Attendees will learn ways to increase Friends of the Library membership and raise significant funds for their libraries. They will also have an opportunity to share ideas and network with others facing similar challenges.

Sessions include:

  • Duluth Public Library, Saturday, September 6, 9:30am-3:00pm, Register by August 30
  • Ramsey County Library – Roseville, Monday, September 15, 4:30pm-8:30pm, Register by September 8
  • Rochester Public Library, Thursday September 18, 1:00pm-7:00pm, Register by September 11
  • Lake Agassiz Regional Library – Moorhead, Saturday, September 20, 9:30am-3:00pm, Register by September 13
  • Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud, Saturday, September 27, 9:30am-3:00pm, Register by September 20

Presenter:  The workshops will be led by Melissa Brechon, a library consultant who brings 25 years of applicable experience as a librarian and administrator. Session highlights include a keynote titled “Ten Things I Know to Be True (About Friends of the Library Fundraising),” in which Brechon will explore current trends and best practices for Friends’ fundraising and membership solicitation. Workshops will also include a panel discussion featuring local Friends. Attendees will come away energized by new ideas for organizational growth and successful community initiatives.

Everyone is invited to sign up for a free workshop. It is not necessary to be a member of MALF or any Library Friends organization to attend. Note: To enjoy a complimentary lunch or dinner, you must register at least one full week before your workshop. Registration takes only a moment online. Visit the MALF website and click on the “Workshops” graphic on the home page. (Alternatively: Send an email at to reserve your spot.)

Strengthen Libraries Together press release

Strengthen Libraries Together workshop promotional flyer

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Call for Construction Grant Reviewers

State Library Services invites applications from individuals interested in participating on the Library Construction Grant review panel. Reviewers will read and score applications and assess applications for adherence to Library Construction Grant guidelines. The panel will meet in October. Please submit a resume and a brief letter detailing experience with library construction projects and services to library patrons with disabilities by 4:30 p.m. on Friday August 1, 2014 to Emily Kissane.

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Library Construction Grant Applications

MDE Logo 2013


State Library Services is pleased to announce that 2014 Library Construction Grant program applications are 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 $570,000 for the city of Jackson, $257,000 for the city of Perham, $50,000 for the city of Bagley, and remaining funds for competitive grant awards.

Application forms and instructions are available at the Department of Education’s Grants Management site. Scroll to Library Construction Grant opportunity. Completed applications are due October 2, 2014.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Friday, August 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call 1-888-742-5095or participate via WebEx. Pre-registration is not required.

Please contact Emily Kissane or 651-582-8508 for more information, the complete timeline, 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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LTC 2015 Planning Survey

LTC 2015 logoHelp the 2015 Library Technology Conference planners. Complete this brief survey.

The LTC planners aspire to offer a conference that covers a wide variety of topics related to libraries and technology, and that both appeal to and represent the interests of a broad range of library professionals. We’re trying to find out what kinds of support might be helpful for potential speakers or presenters.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey.

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eContent Creation in Libraries

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014eContent Creation in Libraries:  Explore eBooks MN Webinar, 5th and final in a series

Academic, public and K-12 libraries are increasingly involved in e-content creation. K-12 libraries, for example, foster efforts by schools and school districts to create and make accessible standards-driven open education resources. Academic libraries have opportunities to support the creation of eTextbooks and as self-publishing takes hold, public libraries have a potential role to play in the creation, publishing and distribution process. This session will highlight the ways in which libraries of all types are participating in eContent creation and Open Access Publishing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1–2 p.m.

Presenters: Joy Kirchner, University of Minnesota and Sybil Smith, CEO of Smith House Press Publishing Consultants

As associate university librarian for content and collections and interim Co-AUL for research and learning at the University of Minnesota, Joy Kirchner is a member of the senior leadership team where she oversees two of the Libraries divisions that manage collections acquisitions, development, preservation and publishing. A chief priority this year included the roll-out of a Content Services Initiative that involved conceptualizing, implementing and promoting sustainable services for content creation and publishing for scholarly and creative works for the campus community.

Sybil Smith has been publishing books since 1982 and is CEO of Smith House Press Publishing Consultants, which helps authors successfully self-publish their own books. She also owns two publishing companies, Smith House Press and FINS Publications, and regularly gives seminars including “Congratulations, You Have Written a Book…Now What?” and “How to Write, Publish and Sell Your eBook.”

Register now

More information

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Now Accepting MNBA Judge Applications

MNBA logoThe 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA) season officially kicks off on August 1.  Consider applying to review books written by Minnesota authors and published during 2014.  This is a first call for judge applicants with a September 12, 2014 deadline.

Qualified individuals—both experienced and those new to the judging process—are encouraged to apply. Learn more about this rewarding opportunity here.

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Explore eBooks Summit

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014Explore eBooks MN: A Summit on the Future of eBooks in Minnesota

Build your knowledge, share your opinion, and strengthen Minnesota’s libraries.  An opportunity to learn more about the experiences of other states in their pioneering eBook efforts and work collaboratively with fellow librarians in a facilitated session to carve a path toward propelling eBooks in Minnesota.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

St Catherine University

Rauenhorst Hall, Coeur de Catherine
2004 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul
Parking is available and free on campus

Presenters and Facilitators:

  • Deb Hoadley, Massachusetts E-Book Project
  • Kim Armstrong and Mark Sandler, Center for Library Initiatives Committee on Institutional Cooperation
  • Consensus workshops led by certified facilitators from Minnesota Technology of Participation

Registration fee is $30 and includes lunch.

Register by Wednesday, August 6

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 Book A Librarian: Successful Trial

GRRL logo and library cardGreat River Regional Library has been experimenting with a new service called “Book a Librarian” at several branch locations.  Librarians from the GRRL St. Cloud headquarters have been available at five pilot locations by appointment or on a drop-in basis to meet one-on-one with library patrons and answer lengthy service questions.

“We’ve had a really good response by appointment,” said Patron Services Librarian Connie Laing. In many locations, the library is staffed with only one person making it difficult to provide individualized service without making others wait.  A majority of the questions focused on technology.  This program provided patrons with individual assistance to learn about a personal device and download eContent from the GRRL virtual collection.

The “Book a Librarian” trial period ended in June.  It is under review and will be revised before being offered at additional locations.

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New ELM eRources

PrintMinitex recently finalized negotiations with LearningExpress, LLC for

  • Learning Express Library 3.0
  • Computer Skills Center
  • Job & Career Accelerator 4.0

These online resources are part of a larger suite of eReources made available through the joint efforts lead by Minitex with participation from the Minnesota Department of Education – State Library Services, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Online Dakota Information Network, the North Dakota State Library, South Dakota Library Network, and the South Dakota State Library.

Minitex announcement of the complete suite of eResources

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Shift of PLCS services

Effective July 1, the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) will no longer provide state or regionally funded library services to the Marshall Library or residents of the City of Marshall.  This follows a decision by the Marshall Lyon County Library to withdraw from PCLS and operate as an independent library. PCLS will continue to serve residents whose library tax dollars come from member library cities and rural Lyon county, including Cottonwood and Balaton.

Local media coverage of this decision

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GRRL in Transition

The Great River Regional Library (GRRL) Board of Trustees met in special session on July 1 and appointed Karen Pundsack Interim Executive Director.  The GRRL Board of Trustees along with leadership staff will work together to manage the transition effectively and conduct the search for a new Executive Director.   Karen Punsack fills the position formerly held by Kirsty Smith.

Due to personal reasons including a soon to be published e-book, Kirsty Smith resigned her GRRL position on Monday, June 23, 2014. Kirsty stated in her resignation notice “I have been honored in the trust placed in me in the past eight years. I have also been pleased to work with such wonderful people doing important work. I wish everyone well.”

The  management team offered their thanks to Kirsty for her service and dedication to GRRL and wished her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

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Donations Encouraged: MLF Silent Auction

MLA Foundation logoWhether you’re out and about exploring new places or working on your favorite hobby this summer, now is the time to start thinking about your donation to this year’s Silent Auction! This year’s Minnesota Library Association (MLA) conference will be in Mankato from October 8-9 and is expected to be attended by hundreds of librarians, trustees, exhibitors, and Friends of Libraries from all across Minnesota.

The Silent Auction is one of the Minnesota Library Foundation’s (MLF) major fundraisers. The Foundation’s mission is “to benefit the community by raising and distributing funds to enhance the services and increase public awareness of Minnesota libraries.” We are only able to do this with your support!

All donations should include a contribution form and can be shipped to:

MLF Silent Auction
1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 314
St. Paul, MN 55104

Please clearly mark the package or envelope for “Silent Auction.”  Note that if your donation includes an expiration date, our event does not take place until October.

Thank you for your past support of the Minnesota Library Foundation through your generous donation to the Silent Auction. With your help we can make our eighteenth annual auction – a valuable and fun part of the MLA conference – a success!  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

 Judy Todd                                Lyndi Finifrock Fabbrini

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Legislative Forum

MLA logo 2014MLA/MEMO 2014 Legislative Forum: Register Now

MLA and MEMO  members are invited to gather at Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud on July 8th  from 9:00 am until 3:00pm for the annual Library Legislative Forum.

Elaine Keefe, MLA lobbyist, will review the 2014 Legislative Session and special guests from the Minnesota Department of Education will speak.  The majority of the day will be spent developing and discussing possible legislative priorities, opportunities, and challenges for 2015.

Come be a part of this opportunity to shape the 2015 legislative agenda!
Registration is free for members and is now open.

Click here for more information about the Legislative Forum and to register

MLA Legislative Survey: Your Input Needed on the MLA Legislative Process

As part of our  2014 strategic planning, MLA is examining its legislative processes. MLA would like your thoughts on our current practices as well as input on future legislative priorities.  Please take a moment to give your feedback.  Click here to take the survey.

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MDE seeks stakeholders for study group

From Jennifer Nelson, State Librarian —

The 2014 Minnesota Legislature directed the commissioner of the Department of Education to consult with people knowledgeable about state libraries and service delivery on increasing service delivery and collaboration between library governance systems. The consultation will include a review of options for changing current library procedures and governance systems and ensuring equitable and cost-effective access to library services statewide. The charge includes consideration of how to increase access to emerging electronic services. A report is due to the legislature on February 1, 2015.

The group will meet monthly at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 18, 2014, from 1:30–3:30 p.m. Meetings are tentatively scheduled for:

  • September 15
  • October 20
  • November 17
  • December 15
  • January 12 (if needed)

Minnesota Session Laws, Chapter 272, Article 7, section 2, specifies broad representation from a number of different interest groups. On behalf of the commissioner, we are now accepting applications from individuals interested in representing the following stakeholders:

  • Metropolitan area public libraries, other than regional public library systems
  • Greater Minnesota public libraries, other than regional public library systems
  • Greater Minnesota public school library media specialists
  • Metropolitan area public school library media specialists
  • Metropolitan area cities
  • Metropolitan area counties

One individual representing each of these stakeholders will be selected from applications received. To apply, please send name, contact information, stakeholder group represented, brief resume and short statement of related experience (no more than one page) by email to:

Application Deadline: 5 p.m. on Friday July 18, 2014

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

MDE Logo 2013


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Storytimes for Everyone

Every child ready to read logoEasy as Sing, Read, Talk, Write and Play: Storytimes for Everyone

Adults as Partners in Developing Language and Literacy in Young Children

The Minnesota Department of Education, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is proud to bring renowned early literacy educator Saroj Ghoting to Minnesota for a series of workshops designed to give librarians and early childhood educators background in early literacy best practices. The workshops are rooted in the Every Child Ready to Read research-based curriculum released by the Public Library Association in 2011.

Attendees will learn to enhance storytimes and other reading interactions by incorporating information for parents and caregivers into them. Sessions include an overview of the five practices (sing, talk, read, write, play) and real-world techniques for planning storytimes that include valuable content for children and adults.

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Thu., Sept. 4, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Prior Lake Library
16210 Eagle Creek Avenue SE, Prior Lake

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Fri., Sept. 5, 2014, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Owatonna Public Library
105 N. Elm Avenue, Owatonna

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Mon., Sept. 8, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Redwood Falls Public Library
509 S. Lincoln Street, Redwood Falls

~Train the Trainer Workshop~
Tue., Sept. 9, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Thu., Sept. 11, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
MN State & Community Tech College
900 Highway 34 East, Detroit Lakes

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Fri., Sept. 12, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Grand Rapids Area Library
420 N. Pokegama Avenue, Grand Rapids

Visit to register. There is no fee to attend, but optional lunch fees may apply, depending on location. Registration is limited.

For more information, email Jackie Blagsvedt or call 651-582-8805.

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eBook Growth

Fun tidbit from State Library Services —

Preliminary data show that the number of ebooks licensed regionally grew 25,163% (from 294 to 74,273) between 2009 and 2013, and 114% between 2012 and 2013 (34,786 to 74,273).

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PCLS offers MLCL membership option

PCLS-logoPlum Creek Library System (PCLS) offers membership option to Marshall-Lyon County Library

The PCLS Governing Board offered the Marshall-Lyon County Library (MLCL) Board an opportunity to remain members of PCLS at the regional board meeting on June 18, 2014, in Slayton. By agreeing to abide by the joint powers agreement and PCLS policies, MLCL can insure that full regional and state library services will be continued to the residents of Marshall after July 1.  As proposed, MLCL will need to adopt the following resolution by June 30, 201

MLCL Board agrees to abide by the current PCLS joint powers agency agreement, the policies and procedures set forth by the PCLS Board and Advisory Council, and any future policies set by the PCLS Board under the authority granted to that Board by the joint powers agency agreement, PCLS Bylaws, or state law. MLCL Board agrees to pay all invoices sent to MLCL by PCLS for automation and delivery services in a timely manner.

Full press release and details

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Austin featured in the news

The Austin Public Library’s special food and nutrition project supported by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation was recently featured in the news!  Check the news posting and video clip for more information.

SELCO logo small 2014The Austin Public Library is a SELCO member library.


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eBooks in Libraries

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014eBooks in Libraries: A Business Models Overview

The eBook market rapidly evolves, and all types of libraries must continuously adapt to the changes. This session will provide an understanding of the differences among business models used by academic, public and K-12 libraries. Participants will leave the webinar with a greater understanding of library eBook stakeholders, restrictions on eBook use and access for libraries, and new eBook models that potentially address library concerns.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 2–3:15 p.m.

Presenter: Sue Polanka, Wright State University Libraries

Sue Polanka created the award-winning blog, No Shelf Required®, a blog about the issues surrounding e-books for librarians and publishers. The blog transformed into a book series with ALA Publishing. Sue is the Head of Reference and Instruction at the Wright State University Libraries in Dayton, Ohio, Past-President of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, and was elected to ALA Council in 2012. She was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2011 and named Alumnus of the Year by Kent State University School of Library and Information Science in 2013. She is co-editor of the new ALA journal, eContent Quarterly. Sue speaks internationally on the topic of eBooks.

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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2014 LSTA Recipients

2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant Award Recipients

The Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant-awarded projects. We received 26 applications from public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, and school libraries that requested a total of $1.8 million. Of those applications, State Library Services is able to fund eight projects for a total of $630,000. Funding goes to four school library projects, two public library projects, one academic library project, and one collaborative project that benefits a school library and public library system. Funded grant projects were selected by a review panel of Minnesota library professionals.

  1. Cass Lake-Bena Public Schools – $142,105, “Project 2M”
  2. Lake Superior College Erickson Library – $54,713,“Tech Connects: Digital Literacy & Collaborative Learning”
  3. Moorhead Public Schools – $51,327,“Access for Engagement”
  4. Rochester Public Library – $32,661,“Rochester Reading Champions”
  5. Saint Paul Public Schools – $143,850, “Building Media Resources in Saint Paul Public Schools”
  6. Sauk Rapids-Rice School District – $134,244,“Accessible Digital Literacy for All Middle School Learners”
  7. Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) – $51,981,“Data-Driven Collection Development”
  8. Southeast Library System (SELS) – $19,118,“Community School Media Centers as Online Partners, 2014”

IMLS logo

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MnLINK RFP Committee Created

MnLink LogoMinitex has formed an RFP group for the MnLINK Gateway.  This committee will prepare, solicit and review RFPs to replace the current Fretwell-Downing VDX interlibrary loan software, as well as investigate a discovery layer for the MnLINK Gateway.  The individuals on this working group represent different types of libraries, varying areas of expertise and metro/outstate locations.

MnLINK RFP Committee Members

Nick Banitt – Minitex
Ken Behringer – Dakota County Library
Ruth Dukelow – CLIC
Sonja Eilertson – PALS
Raquel Franklin – Minitex
Cheryl Hill – SELCO
Ann Hutton – SELCO
Karen Kilbride – Hennepin County Library
Beth Lunn – Pioneerland Library System (PLS)
Nicole Murphy – Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL)
Dixie Ohlander – Augsburg College
Becky Ringwelski – Minitex
Greg Sauve – Rochester Public Library
Jill Smith – Anoka County Library
Darla Sorenson – Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC)
Paul Swanson – Minitex

Becky Ringwelski, Minitex Associate Director, will chair the committee and Valerie Horton, Minitex Executive Director will participate as an ex officio member. The recommendation of the committee will go to Valerie Horton who will make the final decision on the system to replace the current ZPortal/VDX software. A member of the University of Minnesota Purchasing Department will work closely with the committee during this process.

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Library – Historical Society partnering in VLS

VLS logo imageFergus Falls Public Library in the Viking Library System (VLS) teamed up with the Otter Tail County Historical Society to bring the exhibit Transfer of Memory to the area. The touring exhibition includes portraits and stories of Minnesota Holocaust survivors. Private and public funds were raised to bring the exhibition to the museum, while Legacy funds sponsored a standing-room-only opening night presentation by creators of the exhibit and a second generation Holocaust survivor; a Coffee Klatch gathering at the museum with the latter speaker; a book discussion of Jack and Rochelle: A Holocaust Story of Love and Resistance at the library; and a Holocaust survivor documentary film screening at the library. (Note: The exhibit is available from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.)

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The Latehomecommer featured in VLS

Kalia Yang bw photoDouglas County Library sponsored a Hmong cooking demonstration as part of Alexandria’s Community Read endeavor which featured the book The Latehomecomer,
by Kao Kalia Yang. The program took place at a local restaurant – and included samples.

This was Viking Library System’s (VLS) first Library Legacy program that delved into Minnesota’s culinary arts.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Celebrated at Lunch for Libraries

F Scott FitzgeraldMinnesota’s love for native son F. Scott Fitzgerald hasn’t abated in the decades since his death. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as the success of events like the recent Great Gatsby library gala in Roseville can attest. It is fitting, then, that this literary giant is the focus of MLA’s seventh annual summer Lunch for Libraries fundraiser.

Lunch for Libraries will feature scholar Dave Page, a teacher of English at Inver Hills Community College, who recently edited an early and overlooked Fitzgerald work piece.  Long before Fitzgerald’s rise to fame, while still growing up in the Crocus Hill neighborhood of St. Paul, this schoolboy kept an ordered diary of his life. He named it, appropriately enough, his “Thoughtbook.”

You can hear Page speak Wednesday, June 11 at Macalester College’s Kagin Commons, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul. The program will begin at 11:15 a.m. with book sales and signings. Page’s talk will run until 1:15 p.m.

Tickets are $40 each or $300 to sponsor a table for eight. For more information or to purchase tickets, email Judy Todd, or call MELSA, 651-645-5731.

The Minnesota Library Foundation raises and distributes funds to enhance services and increase public awareness of all Minnesota libraries. Lunch for Libraries has raised more than $10,000 – both for libraries throughout the state and for leadership training for emerging library leaders.

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Jen Nelson blogg[Ed]MN

Jen Nelson

Our State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson, is featured in a recent Minnesota Department of Education blogg[ED]MN post.

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SELCO Awarded LSTA Projects

Prep work will soon begin in earnest by SELCO staff on two new Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) projects. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) approved slightly reduced funding for the projects and SELCO will adjust activities to meet the funds available. The projects are:

Data Driven Collection Development — Approved amount: $51,981

Data Driven Collection Development will improve library collections by leveraging the power of data mining and other business intelligence technologies. Libraries will use new tools to make better-informed decisions, prioritize purchasing, respond to the needs of their communities, gain insights into the collection development strategies of comparable libraries, and streamline their collections to serve more people with fewer resources. Participating libraries will attend training and workshops and will receive individualized collection development recommendations based on the data gleaned. Initial request: $57,757

Community School Media Centers as Online Partners — Approved amount: $19,118

Community School Media Centers as Online Partners – 2014 will enable the school library media center at the Red Wing High School to become a SELCO Online Library. Participating in the SELCO Integrated Library System (ILS) via the regional library system and MnLINK network will multiply the materials available and greatly expand the media center’s capacity to serve its students, faculty, and staff, as well as help Red Wing Public Schools meet its vision “for all students to fulfill their highest potential and to become respectful, responsible, productive citizens.” Initial request: $23,707

The official start date for both projects will be July 1 or after the signing all of the Official Grant Award Notification (OGAN) paperwork.

IMLS logo

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2014 State History Day Success!

MHS History Day logoFrom SELCO Assistant Director Michael Scott and his thoughts on this year’s Minnesota History Day activities.

I had the privilege of being a judge at this year’s State History Day, held on May 3, 2014, at the University of Minnesota.  I was judge for websites, specifically junior (Grade 6-8) group websites.

Websites are relatively new to History Day and this year’s judging for websites included a new element where students were interviewed at the regional history day competitions and at the state competition. Feedback was offered via forms and the interview was focused on getting at some of the background as to why they chose a topic, where their interest in the topic came from, or why they chose to do a website.  I really enjoyed the interviews and hopefully put students at ease because so many were really nervous.

A few facts from the 2014 State History Day (thanks to the Minnesota Historical Society for this information):

  • 854 projects from 1301 students
  • 135 schools represented
  • 254 judges for the first and final rounds of competition for a combined 1270 hours!

This project is made possible through a partnership between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society to promote History Day in Minnesota libraries with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

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