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

Dear Once Upon a Reader fans,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Cow’s continuing MOO-velous Adventures

Ann Hutton with Cow in Winona

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

Hello Once Upon a Reader Fans!

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

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

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

Cow in Grand Rapiids 2015-09

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

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

Here are a few photos from this past week.

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

David, Mike, but mostly Cow

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Go Back to School with Schoolhouse Rock!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Total Boox and New Ebook Pricing Models

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

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

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

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LibTech 2016

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

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

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EBooks, Patrons, Libraries, and Consortia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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LibTech 2016 Call for Proposals

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

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

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MALF Supported NLLD Scholarship

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

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

Informational flyer for MALF – NLLD 2016 Scholarship

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New Library Legacy Grant Guidelines

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

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

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Call for MLA Silent Auction Items

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

Help make this year another success!

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

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

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

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

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Call for Construction Grant Applications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Season

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

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

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Seeking MNBA Judges

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

MNBA Judge Application

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Supercharged Storytimes thru specialized learning

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

More information including basic criteria for participation

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

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Cow to the southwest – MN that is

Hello Once Upon a Reader fans,

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

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

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

Till September,

Your Bovine Buddies,
David, Mike, and Cow

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

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Library Legacy Summary RFP

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

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Cow is big in puppet news

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

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


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MLA Conference Registration Open

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

Register Now

Complete conference schedule

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History Day 2015 a success

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

2015 Report for the Minnesota History Day Library Partnership

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LSTA Grants Awarded

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cow in Pioneerland

Cow and McLeod County Dairy Princesses 2015-07

Cow & the McLeod County Dairy Princesses in Glencoe

Hello Once Upon a Reader fans,

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

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

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

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

David, Mike and of course, Cow

PS – More pictures of Cow

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Discover Five Practices Essential for Pre-Readers

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

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

Storytimes for Everyone

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

Training the Trainers

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

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

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GRRL Planning Process

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

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

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Fargo – Moorhead Host ARSL in 2016

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

Mark your calendars for October 26-29, 2016!

General information about ARSL and the 2015 conference in Little Rock

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VLS Celebrates 40 Years of Library Service

VLS 40 anniversary posterViking Library System (VLS) celebrated its 40th Anniversary with an Open House on July 17, 2015.  There were displays of historical equipment, materials, services and publicity pieces; service demonstrations by staff members; building and bookmobile tours; a science experiment  for children; Steamroller Printing, and refreshments for all. The VLS Board members served as roaming ambassadors and had a great time.

Guests received a souvenir history booklet, researched and written by Peg Werner – VLS Director. Adding historical perspective to the event, three of the original VLS  founders were able to attend and shared many stories.

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Metro e-Government Study through LSTA

Melsa web logoMELSA was awarded a $100,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant.  The project seeks to understand the extent to which library users and non-users access e-govenrment and e-learning services.  A Request for Information and Qualifications with a response deadline of August 21, 2015, is posted on the MELSA web site. Minnesota marketing research firms were contacted and directed to the web site.

Information will also be collected on the types of devices people are using to access e-government/library and other internet sites of interest. Using this information it will be used to determine how local governments, libraries, and educational institutions can improve access to e-government and e-learning making it available to all and how libraries and other governing bodies (cities/counties) and
administrators can best deploy services, utilize technology and train staff to support e-government and e-learning.

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Read & Ride Day – 2015

Read & Ride Day 2015
Be A Reading  Ambassador!!   A variety of activities are planned for the day. Your ambassador duties vary by shift. And, you can even choose your shift.

  • Shift 1  Set-up crew  – 7:30am-10am
  • Shift 2 – 9:00am-Noon
  • Shift 3 – Noon-3pm
  • Shift 4 Pack it up! –   2:30-5:30pm

Ambassador Benefits
You’ll have to supply your own mini-donuts, but the other bennies are just as plentiful and  rewarding:

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

More details —
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. Library Ambassadors are the key to making the event a success!

Click Here to register, as well as see shift times and duties.  Staff from all types of libraries are welcome to be Ambassadors.

There is even a new event website for details about entertainment & activities. It is updated throughout the summer at  READRIDEDAY.ORG

For more information or questions, contact Kathleen James

* Please Note: When serving as a Library Ambassador you are representing your library or library system. MELSA understands you are on work time and have obtained permission to participate from your supervisor. 

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Manion Joins State Library Staff

From State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson –

Welcome Joe!

State Library Services is delighted to welcome Joe Manion as its new State Data Coordinator. Joe has more than 20 years of experience in public libraries, most recently as Public Services Division Manager for Washington County Library. His work in Washington County included responsibility for library measurement and data collection and he represented the library on a county-wide performance measurement team. In addition to his work in libraries, Joe’s experience includes stints at the Office of the Revisor of Statutes and 10 years as director of marketing, public relations and medical media at Gillette Children’s Hospital. At State Library Services, Joe will lead the public library annual report process and our efforts to establish and measure outcomes for library programs. You can contact him at 651-582-8640 or

MDE Logo 2013

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MnLINK Gateway RFP Committee Chooses OCLC

Minitex grahicThe MnLINK Gateway RFP (Request for Procurement) Committee successfully concluded its process by signing a contract with OCLC for their discovery and interlibrary loan solutions on July 2, 2015. The patron interface, OCLC’s WorldCat Discovery, is being customized to meet the needs of libraries and users in the Minitex region. For the next few years, the interlibrary loan function will continue to use the VDX ILL software currently used on the MnLINK Gateway, and will be replaced by WorldShare Interlibrary Loan when OCLC completes the customizations required to meet Minitex needs.

OCLC’s discovery system will be a major improvement for users searching for books, digital images, electronic content, and ebooks using the MnLINK Gateway. Minitex hopes to implement this interface in January 2016. All libraries on the MnLINK Gateway must have their holdings catalogued on OCLC in order to be included in search results. Holdings for all locations need to be up to date in order for WorldCat Discovery to be an effective tool to search library collections. A one-time batch loading reclamation is included in the contract at no extra charge for libraries with either OCLC Cataloging or CatExpress subscriptions. The reclamation must be completed by June 2018, and Minitex encourages libraries to do this as soon as possible. The contract also includes a mechanism to enable the four non-OCLC cataloging libraries currently on the Gateway to be represented in the catalog.

Minitex thanks the committee members who dedicated their time, energy and expertise to this project. We also want to acknowledge the many institutions that generously supported their participation on this committee.

MnLINK RFP Committee Members

  • Nick Banitt – Minitex
  • Ken Behringer – Dakota County Library
  • Mary Lou Dresbach – Minnesota Office of Higher Education
  • Ruth Dukelow – CLIC
  • Sonja Eilertson – PALS
  • Raquel Franklin – Minitex
  • Cheryl Hill – SELCO
  • Ann Hutton – SELCO
  • Karen Kilbride – Hennepin County Library
  • Emily Kissane – Minnesota State Library Services
  • Nicole Murphy – Lake Agassiz Regional Library
  • Dixie Ohlander – Augsburg College
  • Becky Ringwelski – Minitex
  • Greg Sauve – Rochester Public Library
  • Jill Smith – Anoka County Library
  • Darla Sorenson – Traverse des Sioux Library System
  • Paul Swanson – Minitex

More information will be forthcoming. In the meantime, please email Becky Ringwelski or call 612-624-0375 if you have questions.

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MLA 2015 – Save the Date!

MLA conference logo 2015Come to St. Paul on October 8 and 9, 2015 for the annual  Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference!

Online Registration opens August 3

In the world of libraries, we SEARCH for new ways to engage our patrons and to  enhance the user’s experience!

Let’s all work to CREATE a lasting experience and take that energy back and share it with our colleagues.

The Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference will INSPIRE you as you head back to your local library. You will be ready to experiment with new ideas and attack any problem from a new perspective!

Recharge your passion for libraries by attending a wide variety of engaging breakout sessions and the keynote presenters:

  • Miguel Figueroa, American Library Association, Libraries of the Future: Learning with ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries
  • Eli Neiburger, Deputy Director of the Ann Arbor District Library, with FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions
  • More details about the keynote speakers

CRPLSA is a proud sponsor of the 2015 Annual MLA Conference.

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Minnesota Legislative Session Summary

MLA logo 2014 croppedThe following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Below is a summary of 2015 legislative action (and inaction) affecting libraries. Most of this information has appeared in previous reports.

State Budget Overview: Despite having a nearly $1.9 billion budget surplus, Governor Dayton and legislative leaders were unable to reach a comprehensive budget agreement during the regular legislative session. After the session ended on May 18, Governor Dayton vetoed three major budget bills — the E-12 Education bill, the Agriculture and Environment bill and the Jobs and Economic Development bill. Legislators ran out of time and failed to pass the Legacy bill, the bonding bill and the Revisor’s bill (a technical corrections bill). After intense negotiations conducted largely between Governor Dayton and Speaker Daudt, an agreement was reached to hold a one-day special session to pass new versions of the three budget bills that were vetoed, along with the other three major bills for which time ran out. The special session was held on June 12. A revolt among Senate DFLers who were opposed to controversial provisions in the Agriculture and Environment bill threatened to derail the special session, but in the end all six bills were passed and Governor Dayton immediately signed them into law.

Library Appropriations in the E-12 Budget: Current funding levels were maintained for Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS), Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA), Multi-types, the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) and Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA). The MLA/ITEM platform called for increases in RLBSS, RLTA, Multi-type funding and TEA. We had excellent hearings on each of these requests in both the House Education Finance Committee and the Senate E-12 Budget Division, but the low targets set for education in both bodies ($157 million in the House and $365 million in the Senate) made it extremely difficult to get funding increases. The Senate E-12 education bill did include an increase in RLBSS of $1.5 million per year along with a formula change that increased the base portion and reduced the ANTC portion. The Senate bill also included an increase in funding for TEA of $1.5 million per year for the 16-17 biennium only. Neither of these increases survived the conference committee. The general education formula and early learning were the top priorities for legislators and the governor, and almost all of the new funding ultimately went to those two areas.

School Technology: The Senate E-12 education bill included a provision requiring school districts to reserve future increases in revenue from the School Endowment Fund for technology and telecommunications infrastructure, programs and training. The provision did not survive the conference committee.

After School Funding: The MLA/ITEM platform endorsed funding for high quality after school programs. The Senate E-12 education bill provided $500,000 per year for after school programs in the 16-17 biennium only, but this funding did not survive the conference committee.

General Education Formula: The final E-12 education bill increases the general education formula by 2% in each of the next two years. The formula allowance is going from $5,831 per pupil to $5,948 in FY 2016 and to $6,067 in FY 2017. Just over 2/3 of the new spending in E-12 education went to pay for this increase.

RLTA Language: The final E-12 education bill included language proposed by MDE and supported by MLA that more closely aligns RLTA with the federal e-rate program.

School Technology Plans: The final E-12 education bill repealed a requirement that school districts have a technology plan on file with MDE in order to qualify for TEA. This was proposed by MDE.

1:1 Device Guidelines: The final E-12 education bill requires MDE to research existing 1:1 device programs in Minnesota and across the country to determine best practices and to issue guidelines no later than February 15, 2016 and submit a report to the Legislature.

Data Privacy: The final E-12 education bill also includes a provision conforming Minnesota’s law governing student records to conform to recent changes in federal law. The St. Paul Public Schools initiated this bill to allow them to share student addresses with the St. Paul Public Library so that every student can be issued a public library card at school. Without this legislation the school district would only be able to share student addresses with the public library if the school district classified the addresses as public information.

Legacy Funding for Regional Public Libraries: Regional public libraries will receive $2.2 million in legacy funding in each of the next two years. This is less than the $3 million per year that was allocated for the FY 14-15 biennium. Legislators in both bodies were adamant that no one had a base budget for Legacy funds, and therefore it was not appropriate to characterize it as a cut or even to complain about receiving less than in the previous biennium. The House bill provided $1.5 million for FY 16 and $2.5 million in FY 17, while the Senate bill provided $2.95 million each year. The initial version of the bill that was presented to the public as the conference committee agreement included the House level of funding for regional public libraries. However, an amendment was made at the last minute to add $400,000 over the biennium. Thank you to all of you who contacted the conferees. I do believe you made a difference.

Legacy Funding for the Minnesota Digital Library: The Minnesota Digital Library will receive $300,000 per year, which is the same level of funding provided over the last two years. As in the past, the funding is appropriated to the Minnesota Historical Society with a directive to cooperate with Minitex and jointly share the appropriation.

Higher Education: Funding for Minitex and MnLink will remain at the current level. MnSCU received an increase of $100 million for tuition relief and the University of Minnesota received an increase of $52 million, which includes $30 million for the medical school and $22 million for tuition relief. The Minnesota Electronic Health Library was not funded.

Border to Border Broadband Grants: The final Jobs and Economic Development bill included $10, 838,000 for broadband grants. This is in contrast to the $20 million provided in the 2014 session and the $30 million proposed by Governor Dayton in his budget.

Seed Library: Inspired by the seed library at the Duluth Public Library, the final agriculture policy bill included an exemption from seed regulations for “interpersonal sharing of seed for home, educational, charitable or personal non-commercial use.”

Data Practices Training for Local Government: The League of Minnesota Cities initiated a bill to provide funding so that the Department of Administration could provide training to local government officials on complying with the Minnesota Data Practices Act. The Senate included $100,000 for this in its State Government Finance bill, but the House provided no funding. Like so many other things that were funded in the Senate but not the House, this did not survive the conference committee.

Library Construction Grants: Governor Dayton proposed an unusually large bonding bill for an odd-numbered year, and it included $2 million for Library Construction Grants. This is the first time that a governor has included funding for this program in his capital budget. In the end, the governor and legislators agreed on a far more modest bonding bill consisting mainly of urgent items. In preparation for 2016, we had a bill introduced to provide $10 million for Library Construction Grants (SF 2179/ HF 2353). Our chief authors are Senator Kent Eken (DFL – Twin Valley) and Rep. Jeff Howe (R – Cold Spring).

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

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Saint Paul Public Library’s Bookmobile Debuts New Artwork

MELSA SPPL bookmobile 2015The Saint Paul Public Library’s iconic Bookmobile debuted a new wrap in the Grand Old Day Parade on Sunday, June 7. The full vehicle wrap features original artwork by Twin Cities illustrator Julie Boehmer. The design showcases the people and places of Saint Paul, reflecting a community that values lifelong learning, healthy living, and engagement with our vibrant city resources.

A new sponsorship by HealthPartners, facilitated by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, supports the Bookmobile’s new look and its services to the community. The design presents the sponsorship as an essential partnership between two important institutions working to strengthen and improve the future of the communities they serve.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library hopes to increase awareness of the new design and the sponsorship by HealthPartners with a special offer for everyone in the city to make a difference for their beloved library: For each picture taken of the new Bookmobile and posted to the social media channels Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #stpBookmobile, The Friends will donate $5 to the library, up to a total of $1,000. The campaign runs through Labor Day.

The public is encouraged to share pictures on social media to raise funds for the library  #StPBookmobile

Saint Paul Public Library’s Bookmobile travels throughout the city to deliver library services and collections to communities that may otherwise be unable to access the library. The Bookmobile provides loans of all types of materials, reference assistance, library card registration, and Internet access. The Bookmobile serves about 80 community partners, including housing communities for older and/or disabled adults, after-school partners, and organizations serving children and families. In 2014, the Bookmobile had over 142,000 visits and circulated more than 120,000 items.

News by Chase Maxwell and re-posted with permission


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Friends Workshops Focused On Fundraising

MALF_HORIZ_VECTORIn cities and towns across the country, the public library stands as the enduring, seemingly unchanging heart of the community. But a closer looks shows that, in point of fact, libraries are constantly adapting to meet the evolving needs of their patron base. In order to stay relevant in this environment, Friends of the Library organizations must be prepared to realign their priorities and programs to match the library’s – in other words, to expand beyond their traditional comfort zone.

MALF’s fall 2015 workshop series, Beyond Book Sales: The Future of Friends Fundraising, shines a light on the all-important fundraising aspect of Friends work. What can we do, in this current landscape, to raise real funds for our library? How do we take those first steps in a new direction? And, circling back to our roots, what does the future hold in store for the tried-and-true used book sale?

In September, library consultant and former Friends executive Stu Wilson will lead three half-day sessions covering these questions and more. Each will include an hour-long keynote, during which Wilson will brief attendees on: fundraising fundamentals; book sale trends; libraries’ increasing need for private support; changing community needs and volunteer demographics; and, effective social media tools. There will be ample opportunities for audience Q&A.

METRO:  Edina Public LibraryMALF 2015 workshop map
5280 Grandview Square, Edina
Friday, Sept. 11, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Register by September 4

CENTRAL:  Aitkin Public Library
110 1st Avenue NE, Aitkin
Saturday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Register by September 5

SOUTH:  Marshall – Lyon Co. Public Library
201 C Street, Marshall
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Register by September 8

Every session will also include an hour-long idea exchange session – a MALF workshop staple, and one of attendees’ best opportunities all year round to network and share with Friends from across Minnesota. In addition, our local co-hosts in Aitkin, Edina and Marshall will provide guided library tours at each site.

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, and all participants will receive free lunch or dinner (depending on session run time). However, you must PRE-REGISTER ONLINE at least one week prior to the date of your workshop.

About Stu. Workshop moderator and keynote presenter Stu Wilson is a lead consultant and project coordinator with the St. Paul-based Library Strategies Consulting Group. His specialty areas include strategic planning, board development, advocacy, and of course, fundraising. Wilson’s career experience includes productive terms as both Executive Director of the Friends of the Hennepin Co. Library and Vice-President of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. He is also the founder of Fitzgerald in Saint Paul, a nonprofit celebrating the legacy of author F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Cow Tours SELCO

A travelogue from Minnesota Author, David LaRochelle as he travels the state with Minnesota Illustrator, Mike Wohnoutka and the Once Upon a Reader star performer – Cow and their adventures in SELCO.

Hello Once Upon a Reader folks!Cow profile pix-crop

June is National Dairy Month so Cow was in high demand for guest appearances, but she took time from her busy schedule to join Mike and me as we visited six more SELCO libraries Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Once again the wonderful folks at SELCO (Amy, Amy, Reagan, Cindy and all the great librarians we met) did a fabulous job of welcoming us at each stop.

Monday’s rain didn’t keep the 125 attendees away from joining us at the Rochester Public Library. Despite some bad driving from David (I wish I could blame it on Cow), we made it to our second stop just in the nick of time, which was one of our most unusual venues to date: the weight room at the Rochester Family YMCA. 80 day camp kids and their counselors, spanning a very wide age-range, joined us in this unique location. Cow being the star that she is took it all in stride.

Tuesday was a beautiful day for a drive to the small town of Dodge Center where 50 kids packed the cozy meeting room in the library. It was then on to Spring Valley where Jenny Simon and her crew had the entire library decked out for our visit, with cow balloons, milk cans, window paintings, the Moo! Story Walk, dozens of cow books, and after our show, milk and cookies and a LIVE COW. 200 kids and their caregivers joined us under the storybook tree in the children’s area for our show.

Wednesday morning we had an audience of 150 at the Austin Public Library. We bypassed the Spam Museum (we were afraid it might hit a little too close to home for Cow), and headed to Albert Lea for a performance to 100 in the afternoon. Both libraries had beautiful lake views and the librarians in both stops were well prepared for our visit.

Thanks to all the librarians and the wonderful women at SELCO who made these visits so successful. We are glad that we get to work with you again in September.

Cow is out touring on her own at the moment, but I thought I’d pass along some of the photos from her appearances this past week.

Your bovine buddies,

David, Mike, and Cow

More photos of Cow’s travels throughout Minnesota

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MELSA Seeks Executive Director

Melsa web logoMELSA seeks a regional library system Executive Director.  Using the services of Water & Company – Executive Recruitment the major responsibilities include:

  • Implement the MELSA strategic plan and policies
  • Manage MELSA
  • Administer and oversee agency operations
  • Communicate effectively
  • Provide strategic leadership
  • Manage and oversee the finances of the agency
  • Represent MELSA interests

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.  The position will remain open until filled but interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than July 31, 2015. Following this date, applications will be screened against criteria
outlined in the recruiting brochure. On-site interviews will be offered to those candidates named as finalists, with reference checks, background records checks, including credit history, and academic and employment verifications conducted after receiving candidates’ permission. For more information please email Sharon Klump or  call 651.223.3053 (office) or 651.270.6856 (mobile).

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Wyoming Moo-ooo Walk

ECRL Moo storywalk 2015-06Special events abound for Once Upon a Reader
a statewide one-book program designed for Pre-K children to promote early literacy skills.  Even walking and reading at the same time in the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) !

Once Upon a Reader encourages young children and their parents or caregivers to read together.  The featured title for the inaugural two year event is MOO! by Minnesota author David LaRochelle and Minnesota illustrator, Mike Wohnoutka.  The program is being promoted in public libraries throughout the state.


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

CRPLSA Boese Houlihan and Scott 2015-06

Bob Boese, John Houlihan, and Tom Scott

An amazing number of years of Minnesota library experience recently gathered for lunch and shared a selfie.

If there were prizes for having worked in the most Minnesota regions, Bob Boese, currently Interim Director at Plum Creek Library System, would win hands down with this diverse employment history:

  • Western Plains Library System 1977-1983
  • Pioneerland Library System 1983-1986
  • East Central Regional Library 1986-2007
  • Northwest Regional Library 2012-2013
  • Plum Creek Library System 2014-2015

John Houlihan – Pioneerland Library System 1992 – 2011

Tom Scott – Plum Creek Library System 1983 – 1995

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Special Session Today

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

The Legislature is holding a special session today. Governor Dayton issued a proclamation at 11pm last night calling legislators into a special session beginning at 10am this morning. Governor Dayton and legislative leaders expressed hope that this would be a one-day special session.

As of this writing both the House and Senate have passed the E-12 Education bill, the Legacy bill and the Jobs and Economic Development bill, all by wide margins. All three of those bills include appropriations of interest to libraries, which I have described in previous reports.

The three bills remaining to be passed are the bonding bill, the Agriculture and Environment bill and the Revisor’s bill. The most controversial is the Agriculture and Environment bill, which is opposed by many environmentalists. Earlier this afternoon the bill failed on the Senate floor by one vote. The vote was 33 in favor and 32 opposed, but it takes 34 votes to pass a bill on the Senate floor. The most likely scenario is that one or more senators who voted no are persuaded to change their votes. If not, a second special session would be required.

When the special session is concluded and Governor Dayton has signed all of the bills, I will send out a comprehensive summary of the 2015 session.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

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ALS Sculpture installed in Grand Marais

ALS Grand Marais sculpture installation 2015-06

Installation in progress

The Grand Marais Public Library, an Arrowhead Library System (ALS) member, hosted a sculpture dedication on Friday, June 5 to celebrate the installation of a new work of public art.  The local artist and sculptor Tom Christiansen,was on hand at the dedication as were other local and regional dignitaries.

The sculpture is constructed of spun aluminum. Arranged around the top of the 17-foot tower are a number of large puzzle pieces in bright red, blue or yellow primary colors.  It is easily visible to residents and visitors  traveling along Minnesota’s north shore as the new art piece is located on the the lawn between the library and Highway 61.

Christiansen was selected from a group of fourteen submissions to the initial request for proposal from the library board. There were four finalists, the other three being Nancy Seaton and Sharon Frykman both of Grand Marais and Ann Klefstad of Duluth.

This new addition to the public art presence in Grand Marais was paid for by the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment through Library Legacy funds made available to the Arrowhead Library System.

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Legislative Update 2015-06-08

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Special Session: Governor Dayton and legislative leaders have reached agreement on all of the issues to be addressed in the special session with the exception of whether a provision curtailing the authority of the State Auditor should be repealed. Governor Dayton wants the provision repealed but Speaker Daudt says the Legislature will not do that.

Letter Speaker Daudt sent to Governor Dayton today, asking to meet tomorrow to set a date for the special session.

Education Bill: I reported last week at the MLA Legislative Committee meeting that Governor Dayton and Speaker Daudt had agreed to spend $525 million over the base budget for E-12 education, with an increase of 2% per year on the general education formula. At that time, the remaining details were being negotiated. On Friday the final bill and spreadsheet were released. As expected, there were no changes to any library appropriations and no change in the library language that had been agreed upon during the regular session. Early Learning Scholarships were increased by $48 million over the biennium, School Readiness was increased by $31 million and Head Start was increased by $10 million.

Link to the Education Bill

Link to the Education Bill spreadsheet

Other Bills: The remaining bills to be taken up during the special session are the Legacy bill (the same bill that was agreed to by the conference committee), the agriculture/environment bill, a small bonding bill and the jobs and economic development bill. The jobs and economic development bill includes funding for broadband grants of $10,838,000. Although Governor Dayton had initially objected to such a small amount for broadband, he agreed to it in the end. As part of the agreement, an earmark for the city of Annandale was removed. Annandale will have to compete for a broadband grant like everyone else. Finally, the bonding bill cancels $50,000 for the renovation of the Bagley Library that was in the 2014 bonding bill. Those costs cannot be bonded for, according to Senator Stumpf, chair of the Senate Capital Investment Committee.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

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License to Till

Duluth seed library logo ALS croppedLicense to Till: the Duluth Seed Library

A Minitex webinar featuring Carla Powers and Jocelyn Baker from the Duluth Public Library

Thursday, June 18, 11:0 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

For more information and registration

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PCLS New Executive Director

pcls silhouetteThe Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) Executive Committee is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Jim Trojanowski as the new PCLS Executive Director. Jim is currently the Director of the Northern Waters Library Service (NWLS) in Ashland, Wisconsin where he has served since July 2004. NWLS is a federated library system serving 28 libraries in eight northern Wisconsin counties. Prior to that, Trojanowski spent 11 years as Director of Vaughn Public Library in Ashland. He has also worked at the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha and at the Cedar Rapids (IA) Public Library.

A graduate of Bellevue West (NE) High School, Trojanowski has a BA in History and an MA in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Iowa. He has been an active member of the Wisconsin Library Association, served on numerous statewide library committees, and in 2004 he received a Special Humanities Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for his efforts to bring Prime Time Family Reading Time to Wisconsin.

His start date in Minnesota will be Monday, July 6. The Search Committee and Executive Committee both agree his background and experience make him well suited to meet the challenges and opportunities he will face at PCLS.

Trojanowski feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the library directors, staff, and trustees within the Plum Creek Library System and he looks forward to becoming an active member of the Minnesota library community.

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MDE Directives for Library Legacy Funds

MN Library Legacy Logo SmallThe Library Legacy appropriation provides grant funds  to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems with the intent “to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota.”

As distributed by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) these funds “may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries.”  To support these efforts, MDE outlines the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund priorities and outcomes for libraries.

As reference in Minnesota Session Law 137

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MN Legislative Update 2015-05-25

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Additional Vetoes: On Saturday Governor Dayton finished signing and vetoing bills passed in the regular legislative session. In addition to the omnibus education bill, he also vetoed the omnibus jobs bill and the agriculture and environment bill. Among the reasons the governor cited for vetoing the jobs bill was the meager level of funding for broadband grants. As expected, the governor signed the agriculture policy bill, which includes the exemption for seed libraries from agricultural regulations.

Special Session: This afternoon Governor Dayton is holding separate meetings with Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Bakk to begin special session negotiations. The bills that are expected to be part of the special session are the three budget bills that were vetoed – education, jobs and agriculture/environment – plus the Legacy bill and a small bonding bill. Governor Dayton has also mentioned the possibility of agreeing to a temporary income tax cut in exchange for more education funding. He also wants legislators to reverse a provision that was in the omnibus state government bill allowing Greater Minnesota counties to hire private sector auditors rather than having to be audited by the State Auditor. Given that the list of issues to be resolved has grown, many observers are skeptical that the special session can be completed in early June. Governor Dayton has said he wants the special session wrapped up by June 15.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

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GRRL Year in Reading

GRRL year in reading logo-webEach month of A Year In Reading the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) encourages library patrons to try something different and expand  personal reading horizons. The categories thus far this year:

  • January’s challenge was to read a book published in the year the patron was were born.
  • In February, patrons were asked to read somebody else’s favorite book.
  • The March challenge was to read a book that’s been adapted into a movie.
  • April to reread a favorite book from childhood.
  • Books from another country is the theme for May.
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Big Library Read: Eyes on You

Eyes on You cover artOverDrive just announced the winner for the next Big Library Read program: Eyes on You by Kate White. In this fast-paced suspense novel, Robin Trainer learns that being a media star comes with its costs; including potentially her own life. Can you guess her perpetrator before the big reveal?

Both the eBook and the eAudiobook formats of the title will be available with unlimited access between June 9 (midday) and June 23 (10:59 PM). Check with your regional library to see if your local library is participating in this nationwide reading event.

For more information on Big Library Read, check out their website.

For promotional material, check the OverDrive Partners site.

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More of Cow’s Adventures

Cow and David with library fans 2015-05Hello Team MOO!

Cow (and Mike and David) have had a very successful month of May, mooing from the top to bottom of Minnesota. 

On May 8 Cow traveled far north, to visit 140 K, 1st, and 2nd graders at the Warren elementary school in the morning, and then performed for 70 folks at the Thief River Falls Public Library in the afternoon. A few days later she made a southern tour of the state, visiting over 200 kids at the Owatonna Public Library in the morning of May 11, and over 200 kids at the stunning Buckham Memorial Library in Faribault in the afternoon. The next day she was eager to visit with 120 day care kids at the Plainview Public Library and then had one of her largest crowds to date, over 250 kindergarteners at the Red Wing Public Library in the afternoon. Her final show of the month was on “da range,” visiting 170 attendees in Mountain Iron.

Once again librarians were incredible, providing lots of activities and handouts for kids to enjoy, and making our job very easy.

All this traveling can be exhausting, even for a seasoned veteran like Cow. She’s now on hiatus for over a month, at a location she’d rather not disclosed for fear of being mobbed by her adoring fans, but she’ll be ready to resume her road tour at the end of June (which she is quick to point out is National Dairy Month).

Here’s her latest photo gallery and pictures from her earlier travels

From Cow’s crew,
David and Mike

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Cow in the News!

Cow profile pixCow – Once Upon a Reader’s star performer made front page news in Mountain Iron.

Check it out

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Legislative Update 2015-05-20

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Session Ends: Last night at midnight, the Legislature adjourned as required by the constitution. However, there will be a special session to pass an education bill, a legacy bill and possibly other bills as well.

Education Bill Veto: Attached is Governor Dayton’s veto message regarding the education bill. In a press conference this afternoon, the governor described the last-minute negotiations on the education bill yesterday. He offered to sign the bill if legislators would add $125 million — $55 million for School Readiness and the rest to increase the general education formula by 2% each year (the bill passed by the Legislature increased the formula by 1.5% in FY 16 and by 2% in FY 17). House Republicans would not agree to add more than $100 million, so negotiations collapsed.

Governor Dayton will call a special session, but not until there is an agreement signed by the leaders of all four caucuses specifying exactly what will be acted upon during the special session. Governor Dayton said he would prefer to wrap it up by June 1, because by law, that is the date that layoff notices must be sent to state employees whose agencies are not funded. The Capitol is not available for the special session due to the renovations taking place, so the special session will have to take place at another venue. It must be in St. Paul.

Legacy Bill: The legacy bill passed the House last night, but did not pass the Senate. This was not because of any controversy over the bill – they simply ran out of time before the midnight adjournment deadline. Governor Dayton indicated that he thinks it is very important that the legacy bill pass in the special session. There was one change made to legacy funding for the regional library systems at the last minute – rather than $1.7 million in FY 16 and $2.7 million in FY 17, the final bill provides $2.2 million in each year. The funding is the same overall. Funding for the Minnesota Digital Library remains at $300,000 per year.

Broadband: The omnibus jobs and economic development conference committee had great difficulty in reaching agreement. They ultimately settled on a bare-bones bill that passed just seconds before the session ended. It provides $10.838 million for broadband grants in FY 16 only. This is down from the $20 million provided last year and the $30 million proposed by Governor Dayton.

Seed Library Exemption: The omnibus agriculture policy bill, HF 1554, includes an exemption from seed regulations for “interpersonal sharing of seed for home, educational, charitable or personal non-commercial use.” The bill was presented to the governor on May 15, which means that he has until midnight on Tuesday to sign or veto it. I fully expect him to sign the bill. It passed the House 102-25 and passed the Senate 64-0.

Student Information: In my previous description of the omnibus education bill, I neglected to mention that the provision initiated by the St. Paul Public Schools to conform Minnesota’s data privacy law to federal law with respect to students records is included in the bill. This will allow school districts to share students addresses with their local public library for the purpose of obtaining library cards for all students without having to make the addresses public.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

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