St. Cloud Library Reopening

The headquarters of the Great River Regional Library (GRRL)  – the St. Cloud Public Library will offer limited services beginning Monday, October 24 as cleaning and restoration work in the St. Cloud Public Library continues. The closing and cleanup work was a result of an arson incident which took place on August 17. The fire caused structural damage and spread smoke and soot particles throughout the building.

1-minute photo montage of library restoration work

grrl-cleanup-2016Library staff, city officials and seven different cleaning and restoration contractors have worked diligently to make sure the St. Cloud Public Library is back to pre-fire condition and a safe environment for patrons and staff. The damages totaled nearly $1 million dollars. Most of the cleaning has been completed. Final structural repairs will begin this week on a window, window frame, and granite cladding on a structural pillar.

“It has been a huge undertaking! The library building is 115,000 square feet with more than 250,000 items. We know it’s taking a long time but we want to make certain we are being thorough and complete to ensure the building is safe for our entire community.” said Karen Pundsack, GRRL Executive Director.

Services available next week will be holds pick-up, fine payment and pick up of Summer Reading Program prizes during regular hours. Existing meeting room reservations will be honored. However, no new reservations will be taken at this time. Access to the collection and computers will be available at a later date. For more information about library programs, contact the St. Cloud Public Library at 320-650-2500.

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GRRL & PCLS Support Formula Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe regional library boards governing Great River Regional Library (GRRL) and Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) approved supporting resolutions to seek a statutory formula change tied with an increase in the  annual Regional Library Basic System Support appropriation.  The formula change will reduce the Equalization factor of the formula from 25% to 15% and increase the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 15%.  This will will minimize volatility and stabilize the flow of state financial support.

Proposal to amend the current RLBSS formula tied to a funding increase

With the GRRL endorsement on October 18 and PCLS action on October 19, the tally of regional resolutions increases to four following action by ECRL and ALS.  Additional regional meetings are scheduled within the next few weeks.

GRRL Board Members have committed to working actively at the Capitol during the upcoming 2017 legislative session and the county commissioners on the PCLS Board will be working through the Association of Minnesota Counties for complimentary support.

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Tax Season Outreach Materials

Tax Season Is Slowly Approaching

Order Outreach Materials and Mark Your Calendars

Your library probably receives at least a few questions about taxes during the tax season. State Library Services is working again with Prepare + Prosper’s statewide outreach campaign, Claim it!, and the Minnesota Department of Revenue to provide your library with free resources and a webinar in December.

Order outreach materials from Prepare + Prosper for your library to help individuals find out if they qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and to help them locate a free tax preparation site. Place your order before Monday, October 31 and you’ll receive the free materials in December.

Prepare + Prosper and the Department of Revenue will host a webinar for libraries with resources and information to help you during the 2017 tax season. The webinar will take place on:   Wednesday, December 14 at 11 a.m.

Register for the webinar today and library staff from around the state in December. Please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508) with questions or to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event. Note: MDE requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice in order to cancel a requested accommodation.

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ALS Endorses RLBSS Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Arrowhead Library System (ALS) Board unanimously approved a legislative initiative to amend Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula on October 13. The initiative seeks an annual funding increase of $3 million, a change to the statutory funding formula that will shift funds from the equalization factor to the base, and modifies the year from which state data will be used.

Proposal to amend current statutory language tied to a funding increase

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Contact MN Senators

ala-take-action-for-librariesEmail or call your Senators Franken and Klobuchar and ask our Minnesota Senators to co-sponsor S. 3391, the Museum and Library Services Act.

Every year, nearly $200 million in federal library funding is awarded to every state by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  In Minnesota, a large portion of approximately $2.8 million underwrites critical library services covering operational costs at the Braille and Talking Book Library.  In addition, these federal funds are used for our state’s competitive LSTA grants.

IMLS can do the work of distributing funds because Congress passed and periodically” reauthorizes” the Museum and Library Services Act. It’s time for Congress to renew this important landmark legislation and library champions in the Senate have just introduced a bill, S. 3391.  With just a few weeks remaining after the November elections to get it passed, however, those Senators need to help from their colleagues.  The American Library Association wants every Senator to hear from his or her constituents asking them to “co-sponsor” S. 3391.

Send an email

Talking Points:

  • S. 3391 is a bi-partisan bill with broad support from the library and museum communities, and in Congress;
  • S. 3391 highlights the role of libraries as community hubs, equipped to meet ever evolving community needs, including: literacy, education, lifelong learning, workforce development, economic and business development, digital literacy skills critical thinking, financial literacy skills and new and emerging technology;
  • S. 3391 requires the use of data driven tools, including research, analysis and modeling, evaluation, and dissemination to assess and assure the impact and effectiveness of funded programs; and
  • S. 3391 will enhance IMLS’ collaborative efforts by expanding the number of federal agencies able to fully leverage the role of libraries and museums in supporting and meeting the needs of Americans.
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ECRL Endorses RLBSS Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe East Central Regional Library (ECRL) unanimously endorsed a legislative initiative that will seek a formula change and a funding increase in Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS).

The proposal requests a $3 million per year increase in the annual RLBSS appropriation, well as a change to the current formula.  The formula change will reduce the Equalization factor from 25% to 15% and increase the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 15%. The formula changes reflect increased costs of basic operation and use of public library service and lessens the volatility of the formula associated with Adjust Net Tax Capacity (ANTC). In addition, the proposal requests that the formula be based on the population and tax capacity figures as reported by the Minnesota State Departments of Demography and Revenue respectively by January 1 of the year in which the grants are awarded.  This will enable regional libraries to prepare budgets based on accurate calculations rather than estimates.

CRPLSA members present at an October 4, 2016 meeting voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation.

Proposal to amend current statutory language tied to a funding increase

ECRL is the first regional library governing board to authorize this 2017 legislative initiative.  In addition, the ECRL Board will seek advocacy support from the Association of Minnesota Counties.

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Hullabaloos: History Day Research Days

MHS History Day logo History Day Hullabaloos are research open houses held at a variety of metro librariess as well as libraries in Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud.  Check the the 2016-2017 Hullabaloo schedule for a complete listing of locations, dates, and times

During the Hullabaloo students will:

  • Conduct primary and secondary research with the guidance of library staff
  • Get one-on-one help from History Day staff and mentor
  • Attend a mini-lesson on a range of topics.

Each year,  a broad theme is selected that will help students direct their research to show a connection between the theme and their topics. The 2017 theme, Taking a Stand in History, will allow students to research topics on all levels from local history to ancient history.

Find National History Day MN on Facebook and 0n Instagram

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ELM Expo

PrintJoin fellow librarians from across southern Minnesota to learn more about ELM – the Electronic Library for Minnesota.

This day-long training event will provide the chance to explore in-depth all that ELM has to offer.  Minitex librarians will  provide training on the specialized databases and participants will discover which database is best for what. Learn with the experts about how to best search, save, and share the  results as well as how to teach accessing the database resources to users back home. Various database vendors will also be on hand to talk about new resources, interfaces, and features.  All levels of experience welcome!

Saturday, November 5, 2016 | 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Minnesota State University Library – Mankato
601 Maywood Avenue, Mankato, MN
$25 per person registration fee – Participation limited to first 100

Sponsored by Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative, SAMMIE, SELCO/SELS, Minitex, and Minnesota State University-Mankato.

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MNLINK Discovery Layer

All new this week — the MNLINK discovery interface.

This easy to navigate new search tool provides library users access to library collections around the state, as well as the Electronic Library for Minnesota, Ebooks Minnesota, Minnesota Reflections and much more.  In celebration of this new service, Minitex created a fun and informative video introducing MNLINK to library users.

Libraries may add a link or embed the video on local websites so patrons can learn more about the new MNLINK.  Enjoy!

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ECRL Starwatch Party

ecrl-startwatch-2016Get to know the constellations like The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, Pegasus the Winged Horse, Aquila the Eagle and many more at a Minnesota Starwatch Party with meteorologist Mike Lynch sponsored by East Central Regional Library (ECRL). The program will start with an indoor orientation followed by quality time outside under the heavens. Mike will bring a fleet of telescopes, including two of the biggest mobile telescopes in Minnesota for close up views of planets, star clusters, nebulae, and other wonders in late summer and early autumn skies. He’ll also bring a video-telescope system for ultra-deep view of galaxies and more! This program lasts about two hours and is recommended for ages 6 and up.

The ECRL Starwatch schedule includes:

North Branch Area Library – Tuesday, September 20, 7:30 pm

Rush City Public Library – Wednesday, October 5, 7:00 pm

Mora Public Library – Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 pm

Milaca Community Library – Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm

Aitkin Public Library – Monday, October 24, 6:30 pm

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TdS Executive Position Open

TDS-logo-2013The Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) is looking for an Executive Director.  This dynamic and challenging position will manage a cooperative that serves libraries in a nine county area around Mankato, Minnesota.  Mankato is a vibrant, fast-growing city, home to Minnesota State University, Mankato and a thriving business community.  The Executive Director reports to a fourteen member Board of Directors.   Members include twenty public libraries (representing nearly forty branches), school media centers and academic libraries.

Services provided to member libraries include a Sierra (III) online catalog and circulation system, cataloging, delivery, inter-library loan, continuing education, programming and much more through a staff of twelve.   Minimum requirements include a Master’s in Library Science from a program accredited by ALA and at least two years of public library administrative experience.

For further information check out or call 507-386-3022.   Letters of application, resumes and references to:  Salary from $88,000 per year and up, depending on experience, and generous benefits.  Applications received by October 15 will receive top priority.

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Fire at St. Cloud Public Library

GRRL fire damage 2016The St. Cloud Public Library experienced a fire set by an arsonist on the second floor of the building on August 17th. Currently, regional operations continue including daily delivery to the other 31 Great River Regional Library (GRRL) libraries and interlibrary loan. Open hours are extended temporarily at the Waite Park and Clearwater locations until the St. Cloud Public Library can be reopened. Due to structural damage and the scope of the clean-up and restoration required, GRRL has coordinated with the City of St. Cloud for bids. GRRL staff anticipate clean-up will begin in late September with reopening planned for early October. WJON covered the news story.

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Northfield Public Library wins viewers’ choice award

Northfield Public Library was recognized as WCCO’s Viewers’ Choice for Best Library in Minnesota. The story highlights the history of the building and shows the beautiful new space which opened in May.  Click here to see the interview by WCCO reporter, Natalie Nyhus, with Library Director, Teresa Jensen.

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Good response to ARSL in ND!

ARSL-logoAt the close of Early Bird registration,  448 people are registered for this year’s ARSL conference and 129 are from Minnesota!  There are 42 states represented, Washington, D.C., and Saskatchewan, Canada.  There are many new and returning vendors.  All signs promise a successful conference.

Things are really starting to heat up as it gets closer to the conference.  The Holiday Inn is full, The Holiday Inn Express behind the hotel is full and the Holiday Inn Express on 45th has maybe 2 or 3 rooms for Wednesday and Thursday only.  Conference planners are working to find another backup hotel!

Even though Early Bird registration ended on Friday, September 2, interested individuals  can continue to register.  See you in Fargo!

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LSTA 2016 Results

IMLS logoThe results of the most recent Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant round have been released and three public libraries are among the recipients.  These include MELSA member: Hennepin County Library and SELCO members:  Albert Lea Public Library and Austin Public Library.

Albert Lea Public Library – $72,505 for Check Out the Internet @ ALPL
Albert Lea Public Library (ALPL) will bridge Freeborn County’s digital access gap with a mobile technology lending program. Grant funds will capitalize on a popular pilot project by adding 60 Wi-Fi hotspots and 25 iPad Airs to its circulating collection. In partnership with Albert Lea Community Education, ALPL will present classes and hands-on demonstrations of the mobile technology to Adult Basic Education students.

Austin Public Library – $43,064 for Austin Area Science Fair Mentoring Project Expansion
Austin Public Library (APL) will take a pivotal role in expanding the Austin Area Science Fair Mentoring Project, a successful community initiative that pairs local STEM professionals with third and fourth grade science fair participants. In doing so, APL aims to increase science literacy and students’ interest in STEM careers. The project will double the number of mentor-student pairs, increase science fair participation and success rates, and connect science fair participants with the library’s mobile technology and high-quality STEM resources.

Hennepin County Library – $53,544 for Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration
Five percent of Minnesota children have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their childhood. Hennepin County Library (HCL) will create programs and resources to strengthen families affected by incarceration. Additionally, HCL will educate librarians and other social service professionals about the unique needs of families impacted by incarceration.

Five successful school districts will receive the balance of the $544,843 awarded in the 2016 LSTA competitive grant round.  Click here for a list of all eight grant recipients and the project abstracts.

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Friends Day 2016

An invitation from Judy Schotzko, MALF President, and Kim Edson, MALF Programming Chair:

MLA 125 logoAs you know, the annual Minnesota Library Association conference is nearly upon us. We hope to see you and your staff in Duluth at the end of September.

Did you know that MLA is not just for practitioners? Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) is proud to be a Premier Sponsor of the annual conference. On Thursday, September 29, we are pleased to offer a full day of programming devoted specifically to Friends of the Library. Highlights include an energizing Idea Sharing session, Friends advocacy panel, and MALF’s own annual meeting.

Cost to register is just $65.00 for Friends (Thursday only) before August 29, and $85.00 after that date.

Click here for a full rundown. We encourage you to share word with Friends in your region, through whatever channels seem best to you. Attached, for easy reference, is a flyer promoting “Library Friends Day” offerings.

Judy Schotzko
MALF President

Kim Edson
MALF Programming Chair

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ARSL Registration


August is here and it is time to register for the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) annual conference October 27-29th in Fargo, ND. Early bird registration and fees are due no later than September 2nd  Visit to get started.

Why should you come to ARSL2016?

♦  Well first and foremost, it is a national conference organized by small and rural librarians for professionals who work in small and rural libraries. A list of break-out sessions can be found here .

♦  Secondly, this conference is incredibly affordable. Full conference rates begin at $243.85, which includes 3 breakfast meals, 2 lunches, the welcome reception, and all author events. This year the keynote speakers line-up can be found here and includes best selling author William Kent Kruger and Betty Gronneberg, founder of uCodeGirl. Also, the conference hotel (Holiday Inn Fargo) is offering a low conference rate of $99/night!

♦  Finally, this conference is the best opportunity to meet and visit with other library professionals who truly understand what it is like to work with limited staff and an even more limited budget. By participating in after hour opportunities like dine-arounds and game night, you will be able to grow your professional network from outside of your immediate area to a national network of friends and colleagues. Many who come to this conference stay connected during the year and search each other out at future conferences.

We hope you are able to join us and look forward to seeing you at ARSL2016 in Fargo, ND this October 27-29th (unless you come in early for a pre-conference or tour on the 26th!

From the ARSL2016 Planners

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Border to Border Broadband

MN Broadband Vision 2016 blueBorder to Border Broadband
Advancing the Vision

September 13-14, 2016
Greysolon Ballroom – Duluth, MN

“Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.”

The vision created at last year’s Border to Border Broadband conference has been endorsed by nearly 100 organizations and units of government around the state. This work is the inspiration for this year’s conference theme, Advancing the Vision.

Plan to gather on September 13-14, at the iconic Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth to connect with others, and to hear first-hand about the great work being done across the state to advance the vision.

The conference will kick-off with a reception, dinner and program on Tuesday, September 13. On Wednesday, individuals involved in a number of the state-funded broadband infrastructure projects will give updates. Paul Bunyan Communication’s CEO Gary Johnson will close the conference with his reflections on what gigabyte means for communities, including rural communities.

Border to Border Broadband: Advancing the Vision is sponsored by Blandin Foundation with support from DEED’s Office of Broadband Development. It is an opportunity to connect and reconnect with others working for a future in which everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.

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Save the Dates! 10th Annual Library Technology Conference

LTC 2017 logo


2017 marks the 10th year of the Library Technology Conference!

Mark your calendar:  March 15-16, 2017,  Macalester College in St. Paul.

#LTC2017 will provide an opportunity to discuss changing technologies as they affect library services; to share tech innovations and experiments with colleagues; and to gain skills and knowledge to adapt and apply in libraries of all kinds. The conference features challenging, thought-provoking keynote speakers; insightful presentations and panels; and practical, interactive hands-on workshops.

Registration:  Conference registration is expected to open in early December. Watch the conference website, Facebook, or Twitter feeds for additional info.

Call for Proposals:  The call for session proposals will open in mid-late August. Conference registration fills fast (in just a little over two hours in 2016!) and being a session presenter is a great way to guarantee yourself a spot!

See you in March at #LTC2017!

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Stand Up for Standout Friends 2016


MALF is pleased to introduce a new initiative, Stand Up For Standout Friends. Each and every member organization is invited to put forward the name of one individual for this special annual honor, in thanks for standout efforts in furtherance of Friends of the Library work.

Each MALF member organization may submit one name per year for the Standout Friends honor. Any Friend is eligible, provided he or she is part of a Friends of the Library group current in its MALF membership and is willing to have his or her name shared on award materials distributed across the state. In order to prevent duplicated efforts, MALF asks, but does not require, the nomination be submitted by the current president of each member Friends group.

Fill out the Standout Friend Nomination Form and return to MALF by email. If necessary, you may also mail a paper copy to the MALF office (MALF, 1080 Montreal Ave., Ste. 2, St. Paul, MN, 55116). Applications must be received by Wednesday, August 31.

More information

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Coming Soon – New MNLINK Interface

MNLINK Logo - 2016MNLINK is getting a face-lift this  fall!

Sporting a new logo, the greatly improved user interface will feature responsive functionality, allowing users access on the go and from any device.  While a bigger launch announcement will come at a later date when the interface goes live, some pre-launch items have been created for library staff.

The MNLINK Marketing Committee has prepared information for distribution to patrons and staff which you can download, print, and cut as needed.  The announcement to patrons conveys the message about the change to the user interface that is coming soon.  The committee has also created a FAQs document to assist your staff in responding to user queries.  We expect to update the FAQs as we hear more from you about the information users are seeking.

Please access the links below for these materials:

MNLINK quarter sheet 


Share the FAQs with staff so they’re prepared and share the quarter sheets with the public so they know what’s coming.  The MNLINK Marketing Committee is currently working on new brochures and bookmarks that will be made available prior to the implementation of the new system.  Training webinars will be provided to alert staff of the functionality that the new interface brings.

MNLINK Marketing Committee Members

  • Nick Banitt (Minitex)
  • Carrie Braaten (Anoka County Library – MELSA)
  • Marjorie DeJong (PLS)
  • Sarah Hawkins (ECRL)
  • Zach Miller (Minitex)
  • Becky Ringwelski (Minitex)
  • Reagen Thalacker (SELCO)
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GRRL Visitor

GRRL Directors 2016-07

Mona Carmack and Karen Pundsack

Great River Regional Library recently had an important visit by former GRRL Director, Mona Carmack.  Mona served central Minnesota from 1981-1988.

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Read & Ride Day – Celebrate Summer Reading

Read and Ride no dateLibrary Ambassadors Needed – join the fun!

Read and Ride Day is the Minnesota State Fair discount day for library users. 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 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with free family activities. We want everyone to make their next stop the library after the Fair, we can’t accomplish that goal without our wonderful Library Ambassadors.

Check for updated details throughout the summer at

Ambassador Activities: A variety of activities are planned for the day and your ambassador duties may include:

  • Run games
  • Card fairgoers
  • Assist crafters
  • ROCK OUT on the Rock ‘n’ Read Bus
  • Enjoy the Fair some more!!

Ambassador Benefits: You’ll have to supply your own mini-donuts, but the other “ben-ies” are pretty awesome, though inedible:

  • A State Fair gate pass
  • A cool t-shirt: Read to Live, Live to Read
  • A great day at the Fair
  • A Blue Ribbon Bargain Book

Click to register online to be a Library Ambassador at the Fair

Questions: Email Kathleen James

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Ramsey County Library

MELSA logo 2016Ramsey County Library was awarded a $806,500 Library Construction Grant to build a regional library for the Ramsey County Library in Shoreview. The new building will join Maplewood and Roseville as the third regional library in the county system.

Ramsey County Library’s grant is from an allocation made by the 2014 Minnesota Legislature. The Library Construction Grant is a competitive dollar-for-dollar matching grant program funded by state bonds. The program provides public libraries with funding for renovation, construction, and improvement projects that result in more accessible library facilities.

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New GRRL Core Values & Strategic Plan

GRRL web logoDuring 2015, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) went through a process to review its core values and strategic plan. The process included public feedback obtained through surveys and community meetings, as well as input from regional stakeholders and the GRRL Board of Trustees. The goal was to make sure the everyone knows where they are going, and that everyone is headed in the same direction!

2016-2020 GRRL Strategic Plan

Here are the highlights —

Strategic Plan for 2016-2020

  • The library mission is: Explore, Learn, Connect.
  • The library’s vision is: The neighborhood gateway: Inspiring Central Minnesota to shape the future through exploration, knowledge and connection.
  • The library is a patron centered organization, and this commitment
    is expressed through three core values: Exceptional Service, Forward Thinking, and Community Focus.

The library’s service priorities are:
Literacy: All users will have the resources they need to develop and improve their literacy skills in order to succeed in school, meet their personal goals and fulfill their responsibilities as students, parents, citizens and workers.
Access: All users will have access to reliable sources of information in welcoming virtual or physical spaces that support community connection and engagement.
Lifelong Learning: All users will have the resources they need to explore topics of personal interest, continue to learn and complement their quality of life.

The library’s organizational priorities are:
Exceptional Service: We will be an empowered, engaged, well-trained staff ready to provide exceptional service.
Operational Excellence: We will use resources effectively in order to be adaptable to future needs.
Community Focus: We will enhance our service to current and future patrons by embracing the diversity of our communities

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MNBA Season Opens Soon

MNBAIt’s almost here – the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards season begins on August 1. Book submissions, special award nominations, and judge applications will open.

Visit the MNBA website for all the details.

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Time for the MLA Silent Auction

Call for nerdy paraphernalia, etc. 

Did you love the Ryan Gosling care package, the sexy librarian apron, the Lego Batman Pinata, or any of the amazing gift cards at last year’s MLA silent auction? These awesome items and many more were all donated by local businesses, organizations, and librarians like you!

If you haveMLA 125 logo handmade items, themed gift baskets, gift certificates or nerdy paraphernalia just randomly sitting around  and you keep asking yourself, “Self, what should I do with this?” consider donating to the MLA silent auction! We would love to see what you can come up with!

We ask that all donations be sent in by September 15, 2016.  Donations can be dropped off or mailed to either of these locations:

St. Paul Drop off:
CLIC Office
Silent Auction
1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 204
St. Paul, MN 55104
Duluth Drop Off:
Kathryn A. Martin Library
416 Library Drive
Office L274
Duluth, MN 55812

Please include the MLA 2016 Silent Auction Donation Form when you drop off your wonderful items!

Questions? Contact Erica Ross

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New duties for State Librarian

An announcement from Kevin McHenry, Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Assistant Commissioner, regarding operational changes to State Library Services and the Charter Center —

I’d like to share some important news about some operational changes at MDE. Effective today, State Library Services and the Charter Center will now operate under the divisional leadership of Jennifer Nelson. This change was made in order to better meet the business needs of our customers and MDE.

The Charter Center has undertaken several new initiatives in the last couple of years, implementing a first of its kind authorizer evaluation system, a redesigned and transparent complaint process, as well as continued implementation of our federal charter school grant which helps to recognize high-quality charter schools. With all of these changes, now is a perfect time to take a step back and evaluate how we continue to support the work moving forward.

Based on her exemplary work in State Library Services, which led to the division receiving a Governor’s Continuous Improvement Award, I am confident Jennifer will provide excellent leadership and guidance in her expanded role. Our ongoing continuous improvement efforts will allow us to further streamline and align our support to stakeholders and schools and develop new strategies to ensure service delivery in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.

As always, we thank you for the work you do in support of our students, educators and stakeholders.

Kevin McHenry, Assistant CommissionerMDE Logo 2013

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GRRL Read Down Fines

GRRL web logoThe Great River Regional Library (GRRL) Read Down Your Fines took place   Monday, June 20 through Saturday, June 25.   This event is for children and teens who hold ‘minor’ cards and are unable to borrow library materials because of outstanding fines. It gives them the opportunity to regain library privileges just by reading at the library.

Individuals taking part in the program receive a coupon from the library desk on which
they the record time spent reading in the library. They are allowed to read materials
of their choice, but it must be physical print materials such as a book or magazine. For each 15-minutes spent reading, they eliminate $1 in fines.

Read Down can only be applied to fines for late return of materials. It can’t be applied to
fines or processing fees for lost and damaged items.

Public donations totally funds Read Down Your Fines. Since 2013, more than 800 teens and children have taken advantage of this program and begun using the library again. The average Read Down fine payment is $5.

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SELCO’s Camp Read-a-Lot in a month

Plans are underway for SELCO to host its 8th Annual Camp Read-a-Lot!
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Camp is a professional development opportunity for library staff, teachers, and interested adults who work with children’s literature, focusing on specifically on grades 2-5.Camp Read-A-Lot Logo COLOR  Campers have the chance to read from a set list of books prior to Camp and then spend the day discussing the titles.  Campers will have a chance to hear from Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collection at UMN Libraries and Minnesota children’s book author Trisha Speed Shaskan.

More details on the SELCO Camp Read-a-Lot website

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Library advocacy theme unveiled!

PrintLibrary advocates from across Minnesota began planning for the 2017 Minnesota Legislative session during the annual Library Legislative Forum on July 12, held at the St. Cloud Public Library (GRRL).

Minnesota Loves Libraries will be unifying theme for 2017 library advocacy efforts.  A  smart-looking new logo was unveiled. The original art for the logo is the work of Bernadette Stephenson, GRRL.

Details about the new campaign are still in development  by a CRPLSA Advocacy sub-committee.  Regional staff include:

  • Jon Tatting – ECRL
  • Bernadette Stephenson – GRRL
  • Hillary Stevens – LARL
  • Ken Behringer – MELSA
  • Jennifer Harveland – SELCO

ECRL Director Barbara Misselt is the 2016 Legislative Chair of the Minnesota Library Association.  She is working closely with the sub-committee.

As proof that Minnesotans do indeed love libraries. State Librarian Jen Nelson reported to the Forum that there were 24,340,258 visits to Minnesota’s 355 public libraries in 2015. She also said that 3,860,346 library card holders checked out 52,512,434 physical and electronic library items.

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Appreciation for MNBA Support

MNBAThe Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book, expressed their appreciation to CRPLSA for financial support of the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards.

2016 MNBA Appreciation Packet for Outreach Partners

The Minnesota Book Awards year begins with nominations opening in August, promotion of the finalists in February and March, and culminates with the Awards Ceremony in April. This is followed by statewide outreach celebrating the winners throughout the spring and summer. And, during each phase, CRPLSA support and involvement expands MNBA horizons to the entire state.

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“Ready Go” Brings Interactive Art to Pioneerland

Pioneerland Library System (PLS) is proud to offer Ready Go to PLS  libraries this summer.  Working with Springboard for the Arts, Ready Go offers an exciting art events that connect people to artist-designed, mobile “tools” that pique curiosity.  Peter Haakon Thompson, Community Development Coordinator at Springboard for the Arts, states, “Ready Go tools bring art and artists out into the world and use an expanded idea of how art can help facilitate conversation and participation.”

PLS ready go 2016The Ready Go projects will include:

  • One Another – a mobile drawing station
  • Streetcorner Letterpress – printing personal postcards from a variety of papers, images, and colors
  • Mobile Sign Shop – carve and paint cabin-like directional signs
  • SPARKit – interactive family crafts activities

Ready Go informational brochure

PLS locations participating in the Ready Go art tour in the coming months include: Appleton, Benson, Bird Island, Canby, Dassel, Dawson, Fairfax, Glencoe, Granite Falls, Hector, Hutchinson, Kerkhoven, Lake Lillian, Litchfield, Montevideo, New London, Ortonville, Spicer, and Willmar.

PLS Executive Director, Laurie Ortega, says, “Ready Go is coming to Pioneerland as part of a regional Legacy program that provides access to art for those living in outstate Minnesota. We’re pleased to bring these creative projects to our libraries as a means to strengthen relationships in our communities, find new ways of interacting, and have fun experiencing art together. We hope you will participate in one of these dynamic art events in your local community.”

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Lunch at the Library

Public libraries are helping make sure kids have access to nutritious food when school is not in session by hosting summer food programs.

  • Once again this summer, Northwest Regional Library (NWRL) staff are reading at meal sites that provide free meals for children and their caregivers in Thief River Falls. The Library Ladies read stories to children as they eat their lunches. NWRL also uses the Once Upon a Reader story strolls to promote early literacy.
  • The Winona Public Library in SELCO is collaborating with the Winona Area Public Schools to provide a FREE lunch program at the library for children ages 18 and under, June 13 – August 26, from 11:30 am-1:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. Children can “grab and go from the lunch bus” or may eat in the bus or on the library’s old front steps.
SELCO Winona Public Library Lunch Bus 2016-06

The Lunch Bus at the Winona Public Library

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RFI for Lobbying and Advocacy Services

MLA logo 2014 croppedThe Minnesota Library Association has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit information from interested parties with respect to Lobbying and Advocacy Services for the Minnesota Library Association and affiliates. MLA will use the information generated by this RFI, in conjunction with other information available to MLA, to determine the solution that is in the best interests of the MLA to fulfill its advocacy needs.

Responses to the RFI are due July 20, 2016.

Request for Information: Lobbying and Advocacy Services

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Ten Pigs Wrap Up in SELCO

Today was the final day of Once Upon a Reader trunk shows in SELCO. Author/illustrator Derek Anderson traveled the region, reading, singing and playing with children in an energetic show based around his book, Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure.

Library staff throughout the region did a great job promoting the shows and, after six days and 12 trunk shows in 11 communities, Derek said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in southeastern Minnesota.

Hundreds of children, caregivers and parents who participated in the high-energy trunk shows agreed. Aimed at pre-K children and their families, this statewide one-book program promotes Minnesota children’s literature and encourages families to Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play together – five practices critical to early literacy skills development.

Additional resources for libraries and parents are free and downloadable at .

A CRPLSA sponsored Library Legacy activity with funds from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
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