23 Mobile Things – Complete!

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

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

For those who didn’t finish or didn’t start, watch for another round in October 2015.

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MLA Strategic Plan

MLA logo 2014


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

The areas of focus are:

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

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

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Strengthen Libraries Together: MALF Workshop

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

Sessions include:

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

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

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

Strengthen Libraries Together press release

Strengthen Libraries Together workshop promotional flyer

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Call for Construction Grant Reviewers

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

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Library Construction Grant Applications

MDE Logo 2013


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

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

The 2014 Minnesota Legislature allocated a total of $2,000,000 to the program, with $570,000 for the city of Jackson, $257,000 for the city of Perham, $50,000 for the city of Bagley, and remaining funds for competitive grant awards.

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

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

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

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LTC 2015 Planning Survey

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

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

Thank you in advance for completing the survey.

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eContent Creation in Libraries

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

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1–2 p.m.

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

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

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

Register now

More information

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Now Accepting MNBA Judge Applications

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

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

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Explore eBooks Summit

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

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

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

St Catherine University

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

Presenters and Facilitators:

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

Registration fee is $30 and includes lunch.

Register by Wednesday, August 6

For more information

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

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GRRL Book A Librarian: Successful Trial

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

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

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

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New ELM eRources

PrintMinitex recently finalized negotiations with LearningExpress, LLC for

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

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

Minitex announcement of the complete suite of eResources

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Shift of PLCS services

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

Local media coverage of this decision

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GRRL in Transition

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

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

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

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Donations Encouraged: MLF Silent Auction

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Judy Todd                                Lyndi Finifrock Fabbrini

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Legislative Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MDE seeks stakeholders for study group

From Jennifer Nelson, State Librarian —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MDE Logo 2013


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Storytimes for Everyone

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

Adults as Partners in Developing Language and Literacy in Young Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit http://tinyurl.com/ploppce to register. There is no fee to attend, but optional lunch fees may apply, depending on location. Registration is limited.

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

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eBook Growth

Fun tidbit from State Library Services —

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

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PCLS offers MLCL membership option

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

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

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

Full press release and details

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Austin featured in the news

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

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


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eBooks in Libraries

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

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 2–3:15 p.m.

Presenter: Sue Polanka, Wright State University Libraries

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

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

For more information

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

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2014 LSTA Recipients

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

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

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

IMLS logo

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MnLINK RFP Committee Created

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

MnLINK RFP Committee Members

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

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

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Library – Historical Society partnering in VLS

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

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The Latehomecommer featured in VLS

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

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

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Celebrated at Lunch for Libraries

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

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

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

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

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

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Jen Nelson blogg[Ed]MN

Jen Nelson

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

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SELCO Awarded LSTA Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMLS logo

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2014 State History Day Success!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Unanimous Vote at VLS

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Viking Library System (VLS) board voted unanimously on May 20 to support changes to the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) aid formula.  The formula change will offer a degree of stability to a funding stream fraught with volatility as property values vacillate county-to-county.  The proposal would adjust the portion of funds assigned to Subdivision 6, Adjusted net tax capacity per capita distribution, and shift a small percentage to Base aid distribution as prescribed in Subdivision 5.

Minnesota Statutes 134.355

Proposal to amend current statutory language

VLS is the ninth regional library board to review the RLBSS formula and endorse future legislative action.

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History Players in Libraries & Schools

MHS LogoUsing props and artifacts, costumed History Players from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) engage library patrons of all ages in their memorable life stories.  Each lively 45-minute presentation is a fun and stimulating way to learn about the people, places, and events that shaped Minnesota.

The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) created promotional press kits to assist library promotional efforts when hosting a History Player.  Click the links below for information about these important Minnesotans.

Through a partnership between CRPLSA and MHS, the History Players are available for Library Legacy programs.  For more information, contact your regional library Legacy Coordinator.

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State Library Services Staff in Roseville

MDE Logo 2013State Librarian Jen Nelson shares a list of State Library Services staff located at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville including contact information (address, phone, email) and general areas of responsibility.

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Nifty eBook Poster – with one correction

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014

For those around the state who are helping promote the upcoming series of eBook webinars and the August eBook Summit, please swap this poster for any publicity you have already shared.  The time of the June 25 webinar will be one hour later.

Sorry for the inconvenience in swapping posters — Thank you for your help in spreading the news about this important professional discussion.

Revised eBook Minnesota poster

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2014 Legislative Changes Impacting Libraries

State Librarian Jen Nelson shares an update on the laws passed in the recently adjourned 2014 legislative session that impact libraries.

Omnibus Capital Investment – Library Construction Grants
A $2 million appropriation will support library construction grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 134.45. The law also clarifies that renovation projects may include remediation of conditions hazardous to health or safety. Of the total appropriation, specific funds were allocated for grants to three cities for library projects: $570,000 to the city of Jackson, $257,000 to the city of Perham and $50,000 to the city of Bagley. State Library Services is in the midst of streamlining and revising the Library Construction Grant application process, and anticipates announcing the timeline for a competitive grant ground in June.

Education Policy – Regional Library Telecommunications Aid
Article 7 Section 1 amends Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355 Subdivision 8 to allow for exceptions to the minimum open hours requirement for regional library telecommunications aid. Applicants may now request exceptions to the open 20 hour per week requirement for short-term closings for emergency maintenance and repairs following a natural disaster, in response to exceptional economic circumstances, building repairs or maintenance that requires public services areas to be closed or to adjust hours of public service to respond to documented seasonal use patterns. We anticipate that this change will streamline the application and reporting process and ensure that libraries have reliable access to necessary funds even when the unexpected happens. State Library Services will be adapting 2014 Regional Library Telecommunication Aid reporting documents to reflect the change, and work with aid recipients to ensure that the new provisions are well understood.

Education Policy – Libraries and Service Delivery
Article 7 Section 2 directs the commissioner of the Department of Education to consult with representatives from a number of library and governmental organizations on ‘options for changing current library procedures and library governance systems to increase collaboration between library systems, ensuring equitable and cost-effective access to library services statewide.’ In addition to access to physical services, the commissioner must consider how to increase access to emerging electronic services. This provision is effective  immediately and a report to the education policy and finance committees is due by February 1, 2015.

State Library Services will be reaching out over the next few weeks to identify people interested in serving on the task force. If you would like more information about the task force, or are interested in participating, please contact Jennifer Nelson, State Librarian, or Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner.

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Wood Turners on display in VLS

VLS wood tuners program 2014-05Viking Library System (VLS) member, the Thorson Memorial Library in Elbow Lake, hosts rotating art exhibits, with a gallery space for hanging pieces and shelving units for sculpture and pottery. Each exhibit includes a reception and talk by the artist, and often a separate children’s arts workshop.

This month, multimedia artist and printer Michael Weatherly led a workshop in which each child created a multimedia piece to be assembled into the shape of the Grant County Courthouse for display in the library. Later in May, the library will feature an exhibition of pieces by  seven area woodturners and woodworkers, Karl Beck, Robert Goldenstein, Christian Haugen, Richard Lee, Todd Pagel, Rud Wasson, and Jim Wilkus. The library reception will include a live woodturning demonstration.

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

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Yes for RLBSS in NWRL

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Northwest Regional Library (NWRL) endorsed the proposed changes to the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula.  This board action makes NWRL the eighth regional library to commit to working towards a legislative change in 2015.

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NLLD14 Recap

nlld14 logoSELCO Assistant Director Michael Scott was among the contingent of library advocates participating in National Library Legislative Day 2014 (NLLD).  He shares a summary of his visit with the Minnesota Congressional delegation, the issues briefings, and other highlights from his visit to our nation’s Capitol.

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LSTA Activities in MN

State Librarian Jennifer Nelson provided the Minnesota advocates participating in National Library Legislative Day 2014 with a succinct summary of recent Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) activities.  The handout offered an overall statement of purpose, samples of statewide projects, as well as activities with regional or local impact.

Regional grant highlights included:

  • ECRL – Bolstering tech skills
  • MELSA – Reducing barriers to summer reading program participation
  • VLS – Providing a mobile laptop lab to offer tech classes in remote locations

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LSTA Mini-Grants Announced

IMLS logoState Library Services is pleased to announce the recipients of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Mini-Grants for Expanded Learning through Libraries and Play and Learn Space.

The Hoyt Lakes Public Library (ALS), Ogilvie Independent School District (ECRL), and St. Paul Public Library (MELSA) are eligible for a maximum award of $5,000 in the Expanded Learning through Libraries category.  These mini grant projects will support activity-based partnerships between schools and libraries to help connect students with meaningful out of school time opportunities that improve literacy and academic achievement.

The Play and Learn Space mini-grants will establish or enhance engaging and welcoming spaces for children ages 0-8 and their caregivers in public libraries. Each Play and Learn Space offers a variety of play activities that support early learners’ growth and exploration across the six domains of Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress.  Successful applicants include:

  • Anoka County Library (MELSA)
  • Carver County Library System (MELSA)
  • Dakota County Library (MELSA)
  • East Central Regional Library (ECRL)
  • Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL)
  • North Mankato Taylor Library (TdSLC)
  • South St. Paul Public Library (MELSA)
  • Stillwater Public Library (MELSA)
  • Waseca-LeSueur Regional Library System (TdSLC)
  • Washington County Library (MELSA)

Here is an example of the type of activities being undertaken for Play and Learn Space projects by CRPLSA members, ECRL and LARL:

ECRL – A new play and learn space at the Cambridge Library, tying into the city’s motto, “Minnesota’s Opportunity Community” will be created.

LARL – Comfortable furniture for caregivers and children, child-sized furniture, and interactive toys will create a play and family friendly space for the children’s area at the new Bagley Public Library.

Details of each project

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TdSLC Supports RLBSS Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) board agrees with the proposed changes for calculating the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) appropriation.  TdSLC becomes the seventh region to discuss and approve this legislative initiative for the 2015 session.

Proposal to amend current statutory language

CRPLSA hopes for unanimous support from all 12 regions.  This will allow the Minnesota Library Association Legislative Committee to begin planning advocacy strategies at the upcoming Legislative Forum on July 8.

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One Month More for 23 Mobile Things MN

23MobileThings AvatarOne month remains! Over 700 library staff members, from all types of libraries, as well as trustees, Friends, and volunteers enrolled in 23 Mobile Things MN between January 15 – February 15.  Some participants zipped along trying different apps from social media to hobbies, from games to news. Others may need a gentle nudge and today is the the day to pick up your smart phone or tablet.  Start again and investigate 23 Mobile Things.

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Access to eBooks

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014Access to eBooks: Challenges Facing Libraries and Publishers

The barriers to providing access to eContent collections varies by type of library, and is driven, at least in part, by a tension between the practices of publishers designed to increase sales and the desire of libraries to provide access to content of high interest and/or need to patrons. Participants will emerge with a deeper understanding of the shared barriers to increasing cost-effective access to eContent and learn about the groundbreaking work of the ReadersFirst initiative.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Presenter: Jamie LaRue, LaRue and Associates Consulting

After leading the Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries for over 23 years, Jamie LaRue struck out on his own to be a full time thought leader. He writes, speaks, and consults about the future of public libraries. He is the author of “The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges,” and is well known for the Douglas County Libraries Model, a library platform for the management of eBooks.

Register Now!  There is no fee to participate in this webinar.

For more information

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

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MN’s New Women’s Economic Security Act

Womens Economic Security Act logo300pxAt a Mother’s Day signing, Governor Mark Dayton made the Women’s Economic Security Act law in Minnesota.  The new law identifies nine employment areas designed to improve working conditions.  The hallmark of the bill is a new requirement that allows a parent up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and parenting leave at the birth or adoption of a child.  Minnesota is one of only a handful of states allowing this longer time frame.  The bill received bipartisan support in both houses of the Minnesota Legislature.

Click here for a bill summary.

Click here for additional information.

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ALS Visit with 8th District Congressman Nolan

From the newsletter of Congressman Rick Nolan …


“Mayor of Biwabik Jim Weikum and his beautiful family met with me in my office to discuss how we can better invest in school libraries, as well as workforce training programs to help students transition into the workforce – especially important in reducing the high rate of unemployment for young Americans.”

Jim chairs the 2014 Minnesota Library Association Legislative Committee.  He is the Director of the Arrowhead Library System (ALS) and a CRPLSA member.

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ECRL Endorses RLBSS Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe East Central Regional Library (ECRL) approved going ahead to revise the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula on May 12.  The proposed change to the statutory funding formula will shift funds from the equalization factor to the base and serve to stabilize calculations that have swung radically in recent years.

Proposal to amend current statutory language

The ECRL board action brings the number of regions supporting this 2015 legislative initiative to 6 of 12.  The call for support will continue to be up for discussion in other regions in the coming months.

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New MHS Fall-Winter Programs

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) has been working hard to create engaging, exciting programs that meet the needs of the adult library audience. After reviewing the evaluations from last season’s offerings, MHS is proud to share the newest Fall-Winter Adult Programming Catalog. The programs in this brochure are available to take place in libraries anytime between September 2014 and March 2015.

New this coming programming season — The Historical Craft Workshop will be available as a series. Libraries can book just one, or if they are interested in hosting a series – all three! Participants of the workshop this year will learn the art of paper flower making, and go home with seasonal treasures for their home or to give as gifts.

MHS is a also excited that although author Larry Millet isn’t able to travel statewide, he is working with MHS staff to create a presentation based on his upcoming book, Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes. This book highlights beautifully preserved homes around the state, and the presentation given by one of MHS’s expert educators is sure to be a wonderful addition to any programming calendar.

For questions or more copies of the Fall-Winter Adult Programming Catalog, contact your regional library Legacy Coordinator.

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Regional News Tidbits

East Central Regional Library (ECRL)was part of a grant project with Health Access to Minnesota to provide assistance by MNsure navigators at branch libraries. Appointments started out slow, but then were booked solid for an altogether worthwhile venture.

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) hosted a GRRL All Staff Day in April. It is Organization Orientation Part 2, with specific focus placed on GRRL departmental roles and procedures. This in-depth view provided an increased understanding of how various GRRL departments work as a unit and their relationships with other GRRL elements.

Northwest Regional Library (NWRL) has the Storyland Exhibit at the Thief River Falls library. This interactive display allows children to participate in a hands-on activity in each of three areas. Many area schools and daycares have scheduled visits to the display and each child who participates receives a copy of one of the related books to keep. NWRL will host the display through May.

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LARL Endorses RLBSS Initiative

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) Board will support a 2015 legislative proposal to modify the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula as outlined in Minnesota Statutes 134.355. The proposal would adjust the portion of funds assigned to Subdivision 6, Adjusted net tax capacity per capita distribution, and shift a small percentage to Base aid distribution outline in Subdivision 5.

Minnesota Statutes 134.355

Proposal to amend current statutory language

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New TdS Library Legacy Coordinator

TdS Legacy Kreutter JJessica Kreutter joins Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) as the new Legacy Coordinator.

Jessica has a Bachelor of Science in Recreation with an emphasis in Program Planning from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Master of Science from St. Cloud State University in Mass Communications, focusing on Public Relations and Advertising. She has worked for several non-profit organizations planning programs for youth and adults, managing special events, and developing community partnerships for the success of programming in communities in South Central and Southwest Minnesota.

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Nifty PR for eBook training

Explore ebook-mn logo 2014Print and share the eBook promotional flyer with library staff around the state!

This one page flyer offers all the important details about the upcoming series of eBook webinars and the eBook Summit in August.  Whether looking for basic information or details on eContent creation, this series will enhance a participant’s understanding of how eBooks and digital content impact libraries. Here is more information.

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