ECRC receives mini grant

ecrl learning grantEast Central Regional Library (ECRL) received a $7,430 Federal Library Services and Technology Act mini grant for a Playful Learning Space in the Wyoming Area Library.  The grant will be administered by State Library Services within the Minnesota Department of Education.

The new Playful Learning Space, complete with a wide assortment of manipulative items, puzzles, puppets, a puppet theater and kid friendly furniture, will:

  • Create a welcoming child-friendly area for children, families and caregivers with a visual impact that promotes play and learning
  • Encourage more children, families and caregivers to visit the library
  • Offer a safe and accessible place to fulfill a child’s basic need to move, play and learn, thus supporting their growth and development
  • Increase parents and caregivers awareness of activities that promote early literacy through play
  • Encourage children to engage in many of the early literacy skills (including talking, singing, reading, writing and playing).
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New mini grant recipients

IMLS logo

State Library Services is pleased to announce the successful recipients of the second round of Expanded Learning Through Libraries mini-grants.  Each applicant was eligible for up to $10,000 and the final awards ranged from $3,437 to the maximum, $10,000.  These mini-grants support activity-based partnerships between schools and libraries to help connect students with meaningful out-of-school time opportunities that improve community engagement and academic achievement.

Successful recipients include:

  • Bird Island & Olivia Public Libraries and BOLD School District, $4,000 (PLS)
  • Cloquet Public Library, $3,437 (ALS)
  • City of Fergus Falls & Fergus Falls Public Library, $6,850 (VLS)
  • St. Paul Public Library, $10,000 (MELSA)
  • Thorson Memorial Library, $10,000 (VLS)
  • Two Harbors Public Library, $4,876 (ALS)
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Duluth Seed Library Faces Challenges

Duluth seed library logo ALSThe Duluth Public Library offers a unique service to area residents by operating a seed library. This community based project benefits local gardeners who wish to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables adapted to local soils and climates. The seeds are shared – not purchased and growers readily understand that seeds from the library have been grown by amateurs with no guarantee of 100% germination or of absolute varietal purity.

While a unique undertaking in Minnesota, the Duluth Seed Library was conceived by Public Library and the Institute for a Sustainable Future, and includes organizational and volunteer support from the Duluth Community Garden Program, the St. Louis County Master Gardeners and other volunteer community members. The Seed Library received a grant for the 2014/2015 growing season from the University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnership.

Faced with legal barriers, the City of Duluth and its Library are seeking support from gardeners and library patrons from around the state. They are requesting a legislative change to the Minnesota Seed Law that will recognize the value of the seed library and enable the interpersonal sharing of seeds produced and shared in good faith by friends and neighbors interested in connecting with the earth and each other.

Sample Resolution – Copy of the Duluth City Council Resolution which may be adapted locally

Personal and/or Organizational Letter of Support

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Library Legislative Day on March 3

Minnesota Capitol in winterRegions around the state are organizing delegations of librarians, library staff,  trustees and library Friends to visit their legislators on March 3 for the annual Minnesota Library Legislative Day. This is a chance to tell legislators about the importance of libraries and explain the important issues libraries face.

Despite construction within the Capital, teams of academic, school, public, and special library representatives will talk about how libraries are important to all Minnesotans and how libraries work together to enhance access to information and resources for personal, professional, and lifelong learning purposes.

Review the MLA/ITEM Legislative Platform

Register for Minnesota Library Legislative Day

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Libraries Serving Youth Meetup

State Library Services invites library staff to attend a Libraries Serving Youth Meetup on Saturday, April 18 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The Meetup will be a chance for school librarians and public librarians to meet, network and share ideas, as well as learn about successful public library & school collaborations, get creative ideas, and even enjoy a free lunch.

Registration opens February 14 – Mark your calendar and stay tuned to the State Library Services website and listserv for more information.

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New GRRL PR video

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) has a new public awareness campaign.  The video  was created by St. Cloud State University students whose management class required a service project and this is the outcome.  The students responsible for the infomercial handled all of the production details.  They also worked with two cable companies for additional coverage on local stations beyond the web resource.

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Consultant Work Group Recommendations DRAFT

A draft of the recommendations from the Libraries and Service Delivery Consultant Work Group to the 2015 Minnesota Legislature will be the topic of the Work Group’s final meeting.  The meeting will be held:

Monday, January 12, 2015 from 1:00 -3:00 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Education, Conference Center B, Room 17

The Working Group includes representatives from the Department of Education, regional public library systems, multicounty multitype library systems, metro and greater Minnesota public libraries, Minitex, public school library media specialists, Office of Higher Education, Association of Minnesota Counties, and League of Minnesota Cities.  Members were selected based on knowledge of libraries and library service and dedication to collaboration between library governance systems.

The Libraries and Service Delivery Consultant Work Group has spent several months reviewing options for changing library procedures and governance systems to ensure equitable and cost-effective access to library services statewide. The group’s legislative charge also requested they consider ways to increase access to emerging electronic services. The Commissioner of Education must submit a final report to the Education Policy and Finance Committees of the Minnesota State Legislature by February 1, 2015.

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Dementia Friends Training for Libraries

Join Maren Levad for an hour-long webinar on Tuesday, January 20 at 10:00. During this information session, librarians will learn about dementia and turn their understanding into practical action that could help someone living with dementia in their community or visiting their library.

88,000 Minnesotans live with Alzheimer’s disease and the number is growing. 70% of those people live at home and need support from their family and community. Whether you have been personally affected, know of people in your community that live with dementia, or just want to learn more, this session will help you determine how your library can help.

To register for the webinar, please contact Maren.

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MELSA Honored

Melsa web logoMELSA was honored recently with the highest recognition bestowed by MacPhail Center for Music – The MacPhail Duet Award. The annual award honors an individual who or an organization that has advanced the mission of MacPhail “to music signs transform lives and communities through exceptional music learning.” The award recognizes the impact the partnership between MELSA & MacPhail that benefits the overall development of young children & professional development of library staff. MELSA is in good company. The award has been presented to Best Buy, CIGNA, Thrivent Financial, USBank, & General Mills.

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Holiday video greeting

The SELCO staff share their annual video holiday card with visions of sugar plums!

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Order Once Upon a Reader kits – NOW!

OUR Logo - ColorNews from Anna Haase Krueger, the Once Upon a Reader project coordinator, regarding the purchase of extra kits.  Time is of the essence so if you want kits for your individual library, now is the time to order!

Please share this information with your member libraries and Friends groups if they might be ordering from the wonderful selection of Once Upon a Reader items.

We have sold out of just about everything at this point!  But never fear, I will be doing a reorder in January.  But, because I have nothing in stock, it is crucial that libraries that want to order additional kits for spring events (March/April/May) place their orders by January 20 so I have enough time to order materials, create the kits, and get them shipped out.

We will set a final ordering deadline later in spring, likely March or April.

Order form

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Award for Continuous Improvement

News item from Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education …

State Library Services has received the 2014 Governor’s Award MN Continuous Improvement logofor Continuous Improvement. Under the leadership of Jen Nelson, the State and Federal Programs Team (Jackie Blagsvedt, Emily Kissane and Jennifer Verbrugge) was recognized for their work in streamlining state and federal grant and aid program administration over the last year. Their combined efforts to align program applications, reporting and administration with state statutes, work collaboratively with colleagues in School and Agency Finance and incorporate plain language have led to improved processes and an increased amount of funds available for competitive grants. Specifically, State Library Services increased federal Library Services and Technology Act competitive grant awards by 58 percent in one year, resulting in more options for funding local projects.

Perhaps the most far-reaching impact of streamlining federal and state program administration has been to allow 1.25 FTE to focus on key priorities for State Library Services and the Minnesota Department of Education – achieving the goals articulated in the Governor’s Seven Point Plan for Better Schools. State Library Services staff now work with libraries across the state to improve their capacity to deliver quality early childhood learning experiences and to connect schools and libraries to foster academic success and close the achievement gap.

I hope you will join me in congratulating their recent successes and their commitment to fostering strong libraries in Minnesota.

Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education

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ALS features Henna BodyArt

 ALS Henna program 2014-12Art ~ History ~ Hands-on-Workshop

The Arrowhead Library System (ALS)  is pleased to present the Art and History of Henna Body Art with Kristy Johnson. This free program will include the history and culture of henna through the ages as well as how to mix and apply pure, natural henna. Programs will be offered at 16 ALS locations between December 19, 2014 through January 6, 2015.  Check the ALS events calendar for dates and times.

In this workshop, Kristy will share the history, cultural traditions and science of henna, in a fun relaxed atmosphere packed with hands-on education and experience.  Participants will learn how to prepare the perfect batch of pure natural henna paste, application techniques, and the importance of choosing natural henna, as well as an opportunity to create and practice traditional designs on paper, themselves and other brave students in the workshop!

This ALS program, sponsored funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Successful Club Book Season

MELSA Club BookMELSA and everyone at Club Book would like to say a special thank you for making this another great season. Club Book wrapped up the Summer/Fall 2014 lineup with a stimulating talk by Nikki Giovanni on November 13th. Listen to her podcast here.

The 2015 season kicks off on Thursday, February 12, with adventure writer Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars and The Painter. The entirety of next season’s lineup will be announced in early January.

While you are doing your holiday traveling, check out the 18 free Club Book podcasts available for streaming and download on iTunes and They are perfect for those long trips over the river and through the woods.

See you all next season!

Club Book is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

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Minnesota Electronic Health Library

Minitex outreach logo

Supporting a Healthy Minnesota: Introducing the Minnesota Electronic Health Library

Reliable, high-quality health information is costly, resulting in uneven access across our state. This system of unequal access contributes to significant health and health care disparities. To address this problem, the Health Sciences Libraries at the University of Minnesota have developed an initiative called the Minnesota Electronic Health Library, or MeHL for short.

Our vision for MeHL is to support a healthier Minnesota by providing 24/7, online access to evidence-based, clinical care information to people throughout the state: health care providers, particularly in rural areas; students in health-related programs; and citizens who need to make informed decisions about their own care. Join us to learn more:

Webinar:  Supporting a Healthy Minnesota: Introducing the Minnesota Electronic Health Library (MeHL)

Date and Time:  Monday, December 15, 2014, 2:00 PM–2:45 PM

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

This presentation will:

  • Explore the need for MeHL and the types of resources that it could include;
    discuss the critical role that public and academic libraries play in connecting people to health information;
  • outline a current legislative request to fund MeHL; and
  • offer ways in which you can actively support it.

Presenter:  Janice Jaguszewski, Associate University Librarian and Director, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Minnesota

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

Each December for over 100 years, the Association of Minnesota Counties’ (AMC) Annual Conference gathers more than 600 county elected officials, department heads, and staff, come together to learn and discuss the important topics and trends affecting county government. CRPLSA … Continue reading

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LTC registration opening soon!

LTC 2015 logo

Registration opening soon & fills up fast!
March 18-19, 2015 at Macalester College

Registration is limited to no more than 475 total participants. Once this level of participation is reached, registration will be CLOSED! Please register early in order to ensure your spot at the conference.

This year’s Library Technology Conference is again intended to provide an opportunity for library professionals and the technologists who support them to discuss the 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 specific skills or knowledge that they can take back and adapt for use within their own libraries. The number of conference participants will be limited to no more than 475 in order to help ensure a quality conference experience and to help facilitate the interactive and hands-on nature of many of the sessions.

The two-day conference features two keynote speakers, Bohyun Kim and Courtney Greene McDonald, and will also include more than 60 conference sessions – traditional lecture-style sessions, hands-on/workshop sessions, interactive technology dialogue sessions, and poster sessions. A wide range of library technology-related topics will be covered during Lib Tech 2015 sessions.

For more information, visit the conference website or email the conference planners.

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ARSL 2015 in Arkansas

Save the Date for ARSL 2015 in Little Rock September 30-October 3, 2015!

The ARSL conference planning committee is hard at work beginning the process to create  what is sure to be another fantastic conference. Mark your calendar and plan to attend. ARSL 2015 will kickoff with pre-conferences on September 30.

Anyone interested in helping with the 2015 conference should email Conference Chairperson Judy Calhoun.

While all the specifics for dates and locations are not available, the geographic destinations for the next several years have been released. ARSL is continuing its efforts to make this conference accessible to as many members as possible by rotating conference locations around the country.  Upcoming locations include:

2016 – Vermont/New Hampshire
2017 – St. George, Utah
2018 – Illinois
2019 – North Dakota/Minnesota

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New SELCO Legacy Project Coordinator

Amy NelsonAmy Nelson will manage a variety of SELCO Library Legacy activities in the role of Legacy Project Coordinator.  She will provide assistance to library staff submitting Community Collaboration applications, as well as guide the identification of age appropriate vetted performers for library programming for FY2016-FY2017.

Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of North Dakota with years of  practical class room knowledge, as well as having served as a team leader.  She has a variety of experiences with educational support organizations and recently coordinated a summer bookmobile program with the Rochester Public Library which provided children with easy library access over the summer months.

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Legislative Update

The following information was shared via email this morning by Elaine Keefe, the MLA Lobbyist, regarding Minnesota’s budget forecast.

A brief version of the state economic forecast was released online by Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) a few minutes ago.  A surplus of $1.037 billion is projected for the next biennium (FY 2016-17).  Click here for news brief PDF.

The current biennium is now forecasted to end on June 30, 2015 with a surplus of $556 million.  Under a new state law that I referenced at yesterday’s MLA Legislative committee meeting, one-third of any surplus remaining at the end of the biennium will be deposited in the state’s budget reserve.  The rest rolls forward into the next biennium, contributing to the total projected surplus of $1.037 billion.

A more detailed forecast will be released on the MMB website at 11am.

MMB officials, Governor Dayton and legislative leaders will each hold press conferences later today.  Early comments made to the media indicate that legislators have little appetite for new spending.  Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk pointed out that it will cost more the $1 billion to adjust existing spending to cover inflation, raising the possibility that some programs may face budget cuts.  I will send a followup report if anything notable is said in any of the scheduled press conferences today.

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Library Summer and At-Risk Food Programs for Kids

Summer Food for Kids

Fewer than 17 percent of Minnesota kids who benefit from the free or reduced-price school lunch program have access to summer and afterschool food programs. Limited access to free food programs, particularly during the summer, leaves many children hungry. Public libraries can help make sure kids have access to nutritious food when school is not in session.

Begin planning your summer 2015 participation today, there are many ways your library can get involved:

1. Learn about local free meal resources and direct patrons to them.
Find information about Minnesota meal sites on MDE’s At-Risk Afterschool Meals web page and Summer Food Service Program web page.

2. Provide information at your library for patrons to take home.
Make available take-home information for families in need. Contact Second Harvest Heartland for pads of tear-off sheets to passively promote summer food service.

3. Your library may be eligible to be an at-risk afterschool and/or summer food site or sponsor.
Sites store and distribute food, supervise meal service, provide activities, and keep a daily record of participation. To notify MDE of your desire to participate as a site, fill out an interest survey. Sponsors manage multiple sites, coordinate fund distribution and reporting. Read the Second Harvest Heartland toolkit for more information about how to be a sponsor.

Contact State Library Services, Jen Nelson at  or Jen Verbrugge  for more information about how your library can work with summer and out-of-school time food programs.

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ALS Legacy Art in Cook Public Library

ALS Cook Glass Fish

Arrowhead Library System (ALS) member, the Cook Public Library will host glass artist  Ron Benson during Cook’s Country Christmas on Friday, December 5, 2014.  The artist will discuss his work and his inspiration for the library’s glass project. He will  have art available for purchase during the event.

Benson recently completed the library’s public art project.  His work has been purchased by the Smithsonian Institute, the Washington National Cathedral and the  Minnesota History Center.

The library’s public art project sponsored by ALS with funds from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund for Library Legacy activities.

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Prevent summer slide!

iREAD prvent the slideThe benefits of summer reading are clear.  National research finds that students who participate in library summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those who do not participate.

The iREAD mission is to provide libraries with the tools to bridge this summer gap, while inspiring literacy and life-long learning.  Click here to view iREAD’s new Prevent Summer Slide bookmarks and posters, designed to create support from parents and community leaders.

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Trib to be added to Hub

mhs digital newspaper hub banner

State Library Services has announced an agreement with Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) that will integrate the Minneapolis Tribune (1867-1922) into its Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub.  The Newspaper Hub is a searchable website that makes hundreds of thousands of pages of Minnesota newspapers available online. The Hub contains geographically and culturally diverse newspapers.

The Minnesota Historical Society will review the data and establish a work plan for the integration of the paper into the Hub. Jane Wong, MHS Central Collections Services Manager, is leading these efforts.  For specific information about this agreement, contact Jennifer Nelson, Director, State Library Services or Jennifer Jones, Director, Library and Collections at the Minnesota Historical society.

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MHS Craft Series for CRPLSA Libraries

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is now offering a series of three workshops on making crepe paper flowers.   Within the programming trio, participants who have already participated in fall sessions made a fall bouquet. The winter session will feature a holiday wreath and, during the third workshop, participants will make wearable accessories (as pictured below). MHS will offer the three sessions individually or booked as a series.

Memorial Day actually used to be called “Decoration Day” and would be prepared for all spring by making hundreds of paper flowers for the family’s deceased loved ones. Crepe paper flowers have been popular historically because of their beauty, the way they can shows off the maker’s delicate expertise, and because they are much more durable and readily available than fresh flowers. Not only will participants learn about this craft’s interesting history, but they will try their hand at making beautiful flowers to take home for themselves.

Contact your regional library Legacy coordinator or email MHS for more information.

MHS Decoration Day historical image MHS Crepe Paper workshop

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MILE accepting apps

MILE 2015 logo

MILE — Minnesota’s Institute for Leadership Excellence is seeking both mentors and mentees for MILE 2015.

Apply today and …

  • Develop and refine skills necessary to be a leader in the libraries of tomorrow.
  • Develop and move forward on professional and personal goals.
  • Network and make connections with colleagues in the broader community.
  • Reflect on the variety of leadership opportunities available at the local, regional, and state levels.

The application deadline is December 1.

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ECRL New Strategic Plan Approved

ECRL logo new

The mission of East Central Regional Library is to strengthen communities by connecting people with resources, spaces, and educational experiences that enrich and empower their lives.
This mission statement begins East Central Regional Library’s (ECRL) 2015-2017 Strategic Plan, which was approved by the Board of Directors at its October 2014 meeting. In setting goals for the next three years, the planning committee collected information from ECRL residents through listening at focus groups held in all 14 branches and the 7 communities in which ECRL provides library service through the outreach van. 135 people attended the focus group sessions. Additionally, 958 people completed surveys that were made available both in print and online.

ECRL set six goals:

  • Goal 1: Collections – Provide, support, and maintain collections of variously formatted information sources to satisfy the needs of information seekers.
  • Goal 2: Place – Collaborate with cities and counties to provide welcoming, safe places to enhance community life and for community members to come, gather, and be.
  • Goal 3: Customer Service – Provide excellent customer service to community members through building, supporting, and equipping qualified staff teams.
  • Goal 4: Programs – Provide programs that educate, entertain, and lift up the quality of life in communities.
  • Goal 5: Technology – Provide up-to-date technology for use by community members in support of their information seeking and for use by staff in efficient organizational management.
  • Goal 6: Outreach – Deliver library services and information about library service and happenings beyond library walls.
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Heart of your community tours MELSA

PublicLibraries_PhotoExhibit_Banner_700x250A photographic exhibition showcasing vivid images of MELSA library buildings is on tour in the metro region.  Sixteen libraries will host the exhibition displaying the work of photographer Doug Ohman.  Launched in September 2014, the exhibit will travel  the region through June 2016.  Check the schedule to find a library to visit.

Ohman is the well known and award winning photographer of the Minnesota Byways series.  In a joint project between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society Press, Ohman turned his camera to public libraries.  The result was another in the popular byways series — Public Libraries of Minnesota.  In that volume, 120 Ohman photographs were paired with Minnesota’s best-known authors for children.

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Give today!

Give to the Max Logo 2014

Support libraries & library Friends around the state!

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MDE Consultant Group Continues

MDE Logo 2013The Libraries and Service Delivery Consultant Group prepares for its fourth meeting on November 17 when it will once again focus on structures and governance.  The group was created by the Commissioner of Education, Brenda Casselius at the direction of the Minnesota Legislature. A final report with recommendations must be submitted to the Legislature by February 1, 2015.

Meeting materials are available on the MDE website.  All meetings are open to the public.

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ALS Features Henry Boucha around the region

ALS Boucha cover 2014-11The Arrowhead Library System is pleased to present Henry Boucha, author of Henry Boucha, Ojibwa-Native American Olympian in a free program about his life growing up in Warroad, becoming an Olympic and NHL hockey player and how his Ojibwa roots have helped him persevere through challenges and tragedies to become a leader in raising
awareness about Native American athletes today.

The program, including a display of Olympic & NHL hockey memorabilia, will be offered at 16 locations around the ALS region.

This Library Legacy program, sponsored by ALS was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. To learn more about ALS
Legacy Events, see their calendar.

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Library Technology Conference 2015 Scholarships

LTC 2015 logo
A limited number of rural library or school media center scholarships are available for persons who wish to attend the 2015 Library Technology Conference. The goal of these scholarships is to promote library technology proficiency and awareness. Each scholarship will cover conference registration (either single day or full 2-day registration fees), as well as one night lodging at one of the conference hotels for those travelling to the conference from outside the 7-county Twin Cities metro area.


  • Any staff who currently works in a library or school media center in a city, town, or municipality with a population under 30,000 is welcome to apply.
  • Special consideration will be given to persons who will be attending the Library Technology Conference for the first time and those from outside the 7-county Twin Cities metro area.
  • Selection will largely be based on the brief (up to 300 words) statement of the expected benefits that the applicant will receive from conference attendance.


All scholarship applications must be received no later than Monday, December 1, 2014. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Apply for a Library Technology rural library or school media center scholarship

For more information, contact the Library Technology Conference

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MNBA press materials

MNBA logoWith Minnesota Book Award finalists and winning authors traveling the SELCO region (and other parts of the state as well) SELCO created a press kits to assist local libraries in getting out the good news about these speakers. The press materials always include a general press release, a sample Facebook post, and a tweet for the library’s Twitter account.  Several have expanded information and may include biographical information or even an author’s book jacket photo.  These press kits closely resemble those created and shared by ALS promoting the Minnesota History Players.  Feel free to use to promote an author visiting your community!

Rae Katherine EighmeySoda Shop Salvation

Jack El-HaiThe Nazi and the Psychiatrist

Brian FreemanThe Cold Nowhere

Cary GriffithWolves

Rachel HanelWe’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down

Erin HartThe Book of Killowen

Melanie HoffertPrairie Silence

Thomas MaltmanLittle Wolves

Carrie MesrobianSex & Violence: A Novel

Kent NerburnThe Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo

Elizabeth VerdickPeep Leap

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CRPLSA Members to Join MLA Board

Among the new board members recently elected by the membership of the Minnesota Library Association to serve in leadership positions are two CRPLSA directors — Barbara Misselt, East Central Regional Library (ECRL), and Dayle Zelenka, Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC).

ECRL logo new

Misselt will assume responsibilities for future advocacy efforts as Legislative Chair-Elect and will serve a three-year term in this key advocacy role.

MLA serves as the primary voice and advocate for libraries, librarians, library support staff, and the publics they serve in Minnesota.  Advocacy and government relations are among the association’s highest priorities.


Zelenka will chair the MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee. This committee helps educate library workers, trustees and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom.  This is a two-year assignment.  Zelenka will also serve as a primary point of contact should a library encounter censorship challenges or difficulties.

Other 2014 MLA election results include Margaret Stone, Anoka County Assistant Director to be the President-Elect and Laura Morlock, IM/MLIS Office Manager at St. Catherine University, who will serve as Secretary.

Elected in 2013 for a two-year position and continuing on the MLA Board of Directors will be Carla Lydon, ECRL Assistant Director.

Congratulations to all and CRPLSA’s appreciation for your willingness to serve.

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MNsure webinar for library staff

mnsure logo with tag lineMNsure and Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know

MNsure is hosting a webinar designed specifically for the library community.  Participants will get a preview of MNsure’s marketing, outreach, and operations for the upcoming open enrollment period that runs from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. Those participating will also have a chance to ask questions.

Thursday, November 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon

Preregistration is not required.

To view the webinar, please follow this link. Depending on browser settings, you may have to click “join as a participant.” Participants will be able to join the meeting about 10 minutes before it is scheduled to begin. To hear the webinar, dial 1-888-742-5095 and enter Conference Code 9879144187 when prompted.

For more information, email Emily Kissane or call 651-582-8508.

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MLA Honors Chris Olson – In Memoriam

Curlique 1 for websiteChris Olson honored by the Minnesota Library Association in recognition of his leadership and dedication to the organization

Chris Olson was recently awarded the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) President’s Award at the Association’s annual conference, held this year in Mankato. This award is presented in recognition of significant and major contributions of members to the work of the Minnesota Library Association.

Chris Olson was selected as the recipient of this award for his dedicated service to the association during 2014, and throughout his career. Chris passed away on September 28th, 2014 and this award recognizes his contributions as an active MLA member and advocate for Minnesota libraries. Chris was part of the Minnesota library community for
nearly 30 years, and was the 2013 Library Friend of the Year. Chris had served as MLA president, and was also on the MLA Board as Intellectual Freedom Chair and American Library Association Chapter Councilor. During this past year, Chris worked with colleagues at Minitex, the State Library Office, and many other library groups, to develop the Explore eBooks Minnesota Summit at St. Catherine University in August. Chris’ career exemplified the MLA conference theme, “Better Together,” and led to his recognition with this 2014 President’s Award.

Chris Olson was posthumously honored at the 2014 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference on October 8.  Michele McGraw, 2014 MLA President, also shared this information at the Celebration of Life Memorial Service in honor of Chris D. Olson on October 30, 2014.

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MELSA Seeks Director

Melsa web logoMELSA is currently pursuing a search for an Executive Director who will be responsible for the successful leadership and management of our organization according to the strategic direction set by our Board of Trustees and Advisory Board. The Executive Director of MELSA is responsible for implementation of policies, goals and objectives, as well as the financial management, program, and administrative management of the organization, operating within guidelines set by state statute. Specifically:

  • Implement, accomplish and enhance the MELSA Strategic Plan as developed by both MELSA Boards and approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Lead MELSA teams and staff in the development and implementation of the organization’s goals, policies and programmatic activities.
  • Manage MELSA staff including hiring, training, supervision, evaluation, discipline and termination.
  • Manage the financial health of the organization, including budget creation, expenditures and control along with grant seeking and management.
  • Provide information, advice, and counsel to the Presidents of the Boards, Board Committees, and the Advisory and Governing Boards in the creation of policies, programs, and strategic directions of the organization.
  • Scan the environment for trends and represent MELSA’s interests with the State Library Agency, Metronet, the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators (CRPLSA), and other appropriate metro, state and federal agencies.
  • Communicate effectively and develop relationships with state and federal legislators, working with member libraries and the Minnesota Library Association’s Legislative Committee on development and support of library laws and funding.

Candidates must possess a Master’s Degree in Library and Informational Science (MILS), from a library, education program accredited by the American Library Association and have five to ten years of public library administrative experience. Preferred qualifications are: experience in strategic planning for library services, working with regional public library systems and past experience working with Governing and Advisory Library boards.

Note:  This position is being posted by Dakota County as a service for MELSA. Any applications submitted for this position are an expressed interest of employment with MELSA and will in no way be considered an expressed interest of employment with Dakota County.

All applications are submitted online and registering for an account is easy. Click here to register for an account.

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The St. Paul Public Library hosts outrageous OUR shows

OUR at SPPL 2014-10

Moo! Storywalk on a sunny kickoff celebration for Once Upon a Reader at the St. Paul Public Library

The Saint Paul Public Library hosted three outrageous trunk shows with author David LaRochelle and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka, featuring their book MOO!, winner of the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature. These programs are the first events in the statewide Once Upon a Reader (OUR) program.

Once Upon a Reader is a one-book program designed for pre-K children to promote early literacy skills. The focus of the program is to encourage young children and their parents or caregivers to read together. The program will be featured in public libraries throughout the state of Minnesota, October 2014 through May 2015. Once Upon a Reader is sponsored by CRPLSA and funded from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

At the Saint Paul Public Library events, kids ages 0-6 and their families enjoyed snacks, crafts, and a petting zoo with cows and sheep from Walton’s Hollow following the shows.

Saturday, October 18 at the George Latimer Central Library
Featuring live music by Pop Wagner

Saturday, October 18 at the Hamline Midway Library
Featuring live music with jazz artist Tom Lieberman

Sunday, October 19 at the Arlington Hills Community Center
Featuring live music with jazz artist Tom Lieberman

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SELCO Poetic Strokes & Word Flow

SELCO 2015 Poetic Strokes & Word Flow BannerSELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) is proud to offer Poetic Strokes & Word Flow, an annual poetry competition for both adults and teens.  This literary opportunity for Southeastern Minnesota poets creates a venue to showcase their talents in unique publication.  Each Fall, poets residing in the 11 southeastern counties are encouraged to submit original unpublished works to be considered for inclusion in a single, juried anthology which is distributed throughout the region and the state as part of SELCO’s celebration of National Poetry Month.

The year’s competition will run from November 1 – December 16, 2014.  For more information visit the Poetic Strokes & Word Flow website.

Poetic Strokes and Word Flow are made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

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90-second Newbery coming to MN!

90 second newbery

Calling All Kid Filmmakers!

The 90-Second Newbery is now accepting video submissions from Minnesota’s young filmmakers. Selected Minnesota-made movies will be screened with submissions from other states at the first-ever Minnesota 90-Second Newbery Film Festival in February.

How You Can Help

A 90-Second Newbery film tells the story of a Newbery Award winner or honor book in 90 seconds or less. Minnesota librarians would love to see our state’s creative kids submit their movies. The 90-Second Newbery website features dozens of films to spark ideas, how-to guides and complete instructions  for uploading films. The submission deadline for consideration in February’s screening is December 20, 2014. Please help spread the word about this fun opportunity.

What’s Next

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival will be hosted by author (The Order of Odd-Fish) and 90-Second Newbery founder James Kennedy and renowned local author Kelly Barnhill (The Witch’s Boy).

Gather on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 3:00-4:30 pm at Hennepin County Library — Minneapolis Central’s Pohlad Hall. The festival is free and open to all.

For more information and additional resources, email Jennifer Verbrugge or call 651-582-8356.

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Summer fun from MHS

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo
This past summer, through a unique partnership between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society, MHS staff featured several unique programs for teens and adults across libraries in five regions. Programs ranged in subject from Atomic Adventure and Old School Selfies to Steampunk Mystery Mayhem (pictured below). The programs met a variety of interests with attendance of over 400 individuals.

Librarian feedback:

Our presenter was very accommodating to our younger group and special needs participants.

From participants:

[We liked] making something kiddos can do without a plug!

I liked the fun, she made it not boring!

I felt like [the mystery] was real!

MHS Steampunk Mystery 2014

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LARL successful bus tours

LARL logoLake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) has been experimenting with bus trips to a variety of locations. Two recent tours include a trip from the Detroit Lakes Public Library to the Charles A. Lindbergh House and Camp Ripley Military Museum in Little Falls and a bus trip from the Crookston Public Library to the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County: Stave Church and Viking Ship in Moorhead. Both trips were very well received. LARL will continue to plan trips exploring sites both within the region and around the state.

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Defined role for YSC

With a deep dedication directed to supporting quality library programming for youth from the smallest toddlers through tweens and teens, regional youth services providers gather regularly.  Recently CRPLSA more clearly defined a broad role for the Youth Services Committee (YSC) while allowing for self-direction within the assigned among these subject specialists. CRPLSA’s YSC will:

  1. Discuss possible opportunities for collaboration of regional summer reading program activities
  2. Coordinate early literacy with local providers
  3. Support the Once Upon a Reader program
  4. Recommend appropriate training for consideration by CRPLSA
  5. Undertake other tasks as assigned by CRPLSA

Click here for a complete list of YSC responsibilities.

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MELSA and a Moo! board game

OUR Logo - ColorAs part of Read & Ride Day festivities at the great Minnesota get-together — the State Fair — MELSA hosted its regional launch of Once Upon a Reader. Featured throughout the day were a live action MOO! board game and cow backpacks for all children.  MELSA partners for the event included:  Twin Cities Siteres in Crime, Minitex, the Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA), Minnesota Parent (magazine), the McPhail Center for Music and tpt - Twin Cities Public Television.

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MLCL to Re-Join PCLS

PCLS-logoFollowing the actions taken by the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) board earlier in October, the Marshall Lyon County Library (MLCL) board and the Marshall City Council agreed to re-join the regional library.  The terms of membership as set by PCLS include hours of operation and participation the PCLS integrated library system, as well as an agreement to participate in resource sharing through interlibrary loan.  In addition and unique to this agreement include a probationary period that runs until June 30, 2015 and having MLCL assume the costs of re-entering the the library’s bibliographic holdings and library user information into the PCLS online system.

The Marshall Independent offers more details

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NWRL hosts Les Kletke

NWRL LogoLocal Author Les Kletke will  speak about his latest book, On Golden Plain:  Reflections on Agriculture in the Northern Plains from those who helped shape the industry at a variety of Northwest Regional Library (NWRL) locations.

  • Monday, October 20th ~ Godel Memorial Library, Warren
  • Tuesday, October 21st ~ Hallock City Hall and Thief River Falls Library
  • Wednesday, October 22nd~ Red Lake Falls Library
  • Thursday, October 23rd ~ Greenbush Community Center
  • Friday, October 24th ~ Roseau City Center
  • Saturday, October 25th ~ Warroad Public Library

Check the NWRL Events Calendar for times and more details.

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MN High Tech Association supports increased bandwidth for libraries

Vote for Libraries buttonMargaret Anderson Kelliher, President and CEO of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force, has prepared a detailed letter for Commissioner Brenda Cassellius of the Minnesota Department of Education. In the letter, Ms. Anderson Kelliher addresses the importance of adequate broadband connectivity in Minnesota’s libraries and schools. Ms. Anderson Kelliher urges Commissioner Casselius to support increased State funding for the Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA) and Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA) programs. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is the President of the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

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PCLS and MLCL continue membership discussions

PCLS-logoThe Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) Board approved membership terms and conditions for the Marshall Lyon County Library (MLCL) to re-join the regional library system.  The MLCL Board will meet next week to discuss and possibly act on future membership.

The Marshall Independent offers a summary of recent actions and the general requirements.

PCLS membership terms for MLCL

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MALF Partnering with OUR to Offer Dollar-to-Dollar Match

MALF_HORIZ_VECTORMALF is pleased to support the new, first-ever,  statewide, early literacy one-book initiative, Once Upon a Reader (OUR).  To celebrate libraries, literacy and the important role of Library Friends, MALF will offer members a dollar-for-dollar match to offset the costs of purchasing OUR resources. For example:

  • Purchase two Take-Home Play Kits at a total cost of $200, and MALF will reimburse you $100.
  • Order a Vacation Scrapbook and a Milk and Cookie Storytime Kit at a total cost of $145, and MALF will reimburse you $72.50 – and so on. The combinations are endless!
  • Matches will be capped at three (3) items and/or $300 per Friends group.

Participating in this special MALF-OUR offer is simple. Place an order online through the OUR program website. Print a copy of your receipt or order confirmation form and mail it to MALF at the address listed below with a copy of the MALF matching funds form. MALF will remit reimbursement within 30-business days. Please remember that eligibility is contingent on current MALF membership. MALF’s total match fund is $3,000, so order today!

OUR Logo - ColorThe book chosen for OUR’s inaugural year is Moo!, written by Minnesota author David LaRochelle and illustrated by Minnesota artist Mike Wohnoutka.  While a statewide Library Legacy initiative, there is room for creativity and customization on the local level. CRPLSA is making available six program enhancements for purchase by local libraries and Friends groups. Four of the activity packages are eligible for this MALF match. There’s something for every budget.

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

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ECRL Kids Design Glass at MLA

ECRL program at MLA 2014-10

The East Central Regional Library (ECRL) conference session entitled “Creating a Wow! Legacy Project” perfectly met the MLA “Better Together” conference theme.  ECRL staff and Library Legacy project sculptor, transported and installed the glass sculptures created through the “Kids Design Glass” project. Barbara Misselt and Vickie Sorn described the project process. Sculptor Anthony Michaud-Scorza talked about the creation of the art pieces – from children’s artwork to blown glass, assisted by Legacy staff Cortney Walbridge and Patty Thompson.

Note the glass sculptures on the display table in the background.

“Kids Design Glass” was made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

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