Labels: tvbygirls, mhsmgg, legacy, film, tds, library_legacy, achf
On Tuesday evening, May 24, 2011, more than 75 people gathered at the Gaylord Public Library in the Traverse des Sioux Library System for the premiere screening of the TVbyGirls Gaylord film. The Sibley East Junior High students collaborated with elders from the community to document the town's icons. This included the main street, the library, the county courthouse, the lake, the roller rink and the beloved swimming pool. It was a great night to showcase the student's projects and all their learned skills. It also showed the past, present and future of these community places. Congratulations to all the students and mentors!
MELSA offers a a touring exhibit, They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Black Baseball.
MELSA met with staff from the Ramsey County Historical Society (RCHS) last summer to explore collaboration using Legacy funds. There have been a few interpretive programs at Ramsey County Library, and our larger collaboration is for MELSA libraries to host a traveling exhibit that is based on an exhibition at the Landmark Center in 2010.
MELSA used Legacy funds to have RCHS fabricate text and image panels that are easy to transport to any MELSA library that wants to host the exhibit. The exhibit curator Frank White and RCHS staffer Mollie Spillman consult with the host library regarding the best ways to display the panels. And Frank uses his extensive baseball contacts to curate and present public programs. MELSA also provides collection support for the host library to purchase recommended titles on the topic to be added to the host library collection for the public to read more about black baseball in Minnesota. We’ve been in conversation with the Minnesota Twins to link to the exhibit on their website. The public has responded enthusiastically to the exhibit.
Get ready for some artistic fun as Steamroller Art returns to all seven of Northwest Regional Libraries. Bring out the whole family for this outdoor event featuring a small steamroller that makes prints for both kids and adults. ArtOrg is a traveling art team whose events are popular state-wide. Most artists, from children to senior citizens, are photographed with their finished lithographs. The smiles on their faces prove the effectiveness of this program.
The ArtOrg Thousand Print Summer 2011 is coming to a library near you soon. When guests arrive, they check in, get their supplies, and sit down under the tent to cut up materials to make a personal printing block. The ArtOrg team takes the finished block and rolls it up with ink. Each inky block gets put on the runway with a piece of paper on top. At this point, they start up the steamroller and roll over it. Once it is thoroughly inked, the artist peels back the paper to reveal a wonderful art print, their very own piece of original Steamroller Art.
For a downloadable poster to print, click here.
Wednesday, June 15
3-7 pm – Greenbush Public Library
Thursday, June 16
2-6 pm – Warren Public Library
Friday, June 17
11-3 pm – Red Lake Falls Public Library
Saturday, June 18
10-2 pm – Thief River Falls Floyd B. Olson Park, Gazebo Parking Lot
Monday, June 20
10-2 pm – Roseau Public Library
Tuesday, June 21
11-3 pm – Hallock Gazebo park
Wednesday, June 22
11-3 pm – Warroad Public Library, City Office Parking Lot
Labels: selco, library_legacy, advocacy, lobbying, 2011legislativesession, achf, legislation, legislature
Like many others around the state, SELCO staff members, are contacting Legacy Conference Committee Members and requesting a continued appropriation of Arts and Cultural Heritage (ACHF) funding be dedicated to libraries. Here is a sample letter from the southeast.
Please retain House approach for Library Legacy appropriation.
As a member of the Legacy Conference Committee, I urge you to approve the House language regarding the distribution of Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy funding for libraries. During the past two years, libraries worked closely with community organizations to host a wide variety of programs. Many of these events were accomplished with just a few hundred dollars and lots of local enthusiasm.
SELCO (the regional public library system) allocated 48% of its Legacy appropriation to a competitive grant program. This approach allowed local creativity to shine. Grant awards ranged from $145 to license public performance rights for a community gardening movie night at the Houston Nature Center collaborating with the Houston Public Library to $47,966 awarded to the Great River Shakespeare Festival that cooperated with 15 public libraries. SELCO’s grant process is in place and will be easy to continue into the future.
Public discussions in each of the 11 counties framed the region-wide endeavors and SELCO responded. As a result, the regional library worked with the Minnesota Historical Society to digitize newspapers in four counties, published two poetry anthologies, partnered with SEMVA and installed a traveling art exhibit in 17 communities, and hosted Minnesota authors in libraries, schools, and coffee shops.
Because SELCO works so closely with libraries throughout the region, the regional library moved quickly to roll out both the competitive grant program and the regional projects. I urge you to continue the distribution of Legacy dollars to the regional library systems.
Thank you for your consideration.
Ann Hutton, SELCO/SELS Executive Director
Labels: library_legacy, achf, advocacy, lobbying, legacy, 2011legislativesession, legislation, ecrl
A heartfelt story from East Central telling a Library Legacy story that will bring tears to your eyes and demonstrates the importance of continuing an Arts and Cultural Heritage appropriation to the regional library systems.
I am asking you to leave the formula for Legacy funding for public libraries as it is. Let me tell you a story about a Legacy funded program that our small rural library presented in April.
Through Legacy funding, we were able to present, "Happy Days are Here Again: A Musical Review of the Greatest Generation" in conjunction with the MN Historical Society. 42 people attended this Saturday afternoon program. Among them was a couple that is in their 90's, Doug and Betty. Doug has the beginnings of dementia. I kept an eye on them out of the corner of my eye, and several times during the program, Doug leaned over to Betty and sang the words to her. After the program, Doug came up to the performers and to me, and said, "This is too wonderful for words! I knew the words to every one of the songs you performed". There were tears in his eyes.
This type of programming means so much to rural library users. We simply could not afford to do it on our own, nor could we afford to hire grant writers that would be necessary to compete with larger libraries for the funding.
Mary Beth Woodrow, Aitkin Branch Librarian
Aitkin Public Library
110 1st Ave NE
Aitkin, MN 56431
Labels: library_legacy, achf, advocacy, lobbying, 2011legislativesession, legislation, melsa
The following letter written by Ken Behringer, the Dakota County Library Director was sent to members of the County's legislative delegation. The text is shared here with permission.
Please hold to original House position on Legacy Funds for regional public library systems
I need your help addressing the Senate version of a bill announced this week that would significantly limit public libraries’ access to Legacy funds. I’m asking you to retain in conference committee the House proposal to directly dedicate Legacy funds to regional public library systems.
The two most noteworthy problems with the Senate changes are 1) that regional public library systems would be required to compete in a competitive grant process for future Legacy funds, and 2) would be required to do so under a program administered by the State Arts Board.
Our library staffing levels are down by more than 20 positions. In fact Dakota County government has returned to 2001 staffing levels, even though our population has grown by 50,000. We know we’re not alone. Filling out extensive forms for a competitive grant process is going to take time we’d rather dedicate to serving our residents. Some of the smaller libraries in the state will simply find it impossible to do. One of the values of using regional public library systems as conduits for Legacy funds is that it opens up program opportunities the 360 public libraries in every corner of the state.
I also can’t help but believe that setting up the guidelines, application forms/procedures, evaluation processes, contract documents and other aspects of a State Arts Board-run program will just mean delays into getting programs to Minnesota residents.
As we have discussed in the past, the library community understands your position on limiting costs for single, high-visibility programs and in the MELSA area we have built safeguards into the system to see that this expectation is met.
In order for the Library participation in the Legacy program to move forward efficiently and with the least bureaucracy, I urge you to retain in conference committee the House proposal to dedicate Legacy funds directly to regional public library systems.
Please let me know if you have questions or concerns. Thanks for your time and interest.
Ken Behringer, Director
Dakota County Library
Labels: selco, rochester, library_legacy, achf, legislation, legacy, 2011legislativesession, advocacy, lobbying, mnlibleg
The following letter was sent to the members of the Legacy Conference Committee. Diane Moench speaks from her heart and from a position of experience. She serves as a Member of the Rochester Public Library Board and the SELCO/SELS Board of Directors. During the current biennium, she has been an active participant on the SELCO Library Legacy Review Committee which is responsible for reviewing and approving SELCO competitive Library Legacy grant awards.
I am writing to share with you my unique perspective on an issue on which you will be acting because I believe that my perspective will be useful to you. I have lived and worked in Rochester, MN for 38 years. For most of those years, I was an Executive Project Manager at IBM. I am now retired and in addition to being an adjunct professor in Business and Workforce Education at RCTC, I serve on several boards. The experience that I believe will be useful to you relates to my work on the Southeastern Minnesota Library Cooperative (SELCO) Legacy committee. This committee consists of volunteer representatives from each county in southeastern Minnesota and within the membership includes members of SEMAC and a Historical Society.
In the past two years, the members of the SELCO staff and the Legacy committee have worked to distribute the library portion of the Library Legacy funds. Distributing money is a very gratifying job but, as you well know, distributing money is work. The committee has spent many hours working together over the last biennium. We worked to improve our grant process. Our goal was to have the information we needed to make an informed decision which best utilized the money while ensuring that the process was not overly onerous for the grant writers. We did not want the process to preclude any library or organization in partnership with a library from requesting funds. Many libraries especially smaller libraries do not have professional grant writers on staff and with community and county funding stressed by the economy many do not have the funds to hire them. Looking at the data from our last quarter grant reviews, 19% of the grants we reviewed were for amounts under $500 and another 24% were for amounts between $500 and $1000. So, we are often able to make a difference with a small amount of funding. We have been able to make the process manageable for even small grant requests. With all grant applicants, we stressed the program results documentation by linking their final payment to the final report. We consolidated the final reports and made the resulting documents available to both houses of the legislature as an accounting of our activities. The positive feedback on the programs has been very rewarding and the committee is proud of what we accomplished in southeastern Minnesota with the Library Legacy funds in this biennium. Because we know libraries and in particular the libraries in southeastern Minnesota, because we have ties and relationships with the libraries and librarians of southeastern Minnesota, and because we have experience and a process that is working, we believe that SELCO and the SELCO Legacy Committee is in a better position than the State Arts Board to distribute the southeastern Minnesota Library Legacy funds in the next biennium. We can hit the ground running while they will have to build an infrastructure and process. (As an aside, a significant amount of pro bono work was done not only by the volunteers on the committee but also by the SELCO staff in support of Library Legacy work. It would be a shame to lose these free resources, their unique knowledge, and their energy in the next biennium.
I have struggled as I have written this letter with how to address the elephant in the room --the Neil Gaiman experience. The minute I heard this story, I knew this would hurt everyone connected with Library legacy funding and it has. It was the wrong but humans make mistakes especially when they are doing something for the first time. The really important thing is to learn from our mistakes. Project Managers spend large amounts of time understanding lessons learned and how to use them to improve future projects and processes. Let us not make another mistake by using this lesson learned as justification to walk away from processes that are basically sound instead of making process improvements to include checks and balances on large grant awards. I truly believe that the audit that I am told is occurring will exonerate the distribution of Library Legacy funds with this one exception.
Please promote the House position on Library Legacy funding.
Labels: library_legacy, legacy, achf, advocacy, lobbying, elainekeefe
The following points were prepared by Elaine Keefe, the lobbyist for MLA and MEMO. She has used them in her discussions with House and Senate leadership regarding the proposed change in Senate language shifting the Library Legacy funds to the State Arts Board.
- Libraries across the state are struggling to meet heavy demand for library services while coping with reduced budgets and smaller staffs. They can't afford to divert staff time to writing competitive grant applications.
- A competitive grant program will put small rural libraries at a significant disadvantage. The current distribution method ensures that libraries in all parts of the state get a share of the funds.
- Even some of our larger library systems cannot devote staff time to writing grant applications. Both the Anoka County and Dakota County library systems told me that if this becomes a competitive grant program they will not apply because they cannot afford the staff time. The director of the Kitchigami Regional Library System (serving Beltrami, Hubbard, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard Counties) wrote," KRLS does not have the staff to write unsuccessful grant applications for the wide range of relatively small cost individual region wide and local library programs that we held in the last biennium. I would have no choice but to recommend to the board that we bow out of this."
- In the past two years the regional libraries provided many micro grants to many of their libraries. For example, the regional library system in the metro area estimates that "50% of our contracts per individual program are $250 or less, 30% are $300-500, 15% are $500-1,000 and 5% over $1,000." It would not be cost-effective for them to apply to the State Arts Board for such small amounts.
- A competitive grant program will raise administrative costs both for the state and for libraries.
- There will be no legacy funded programs in libraries for several months, perhaps even a year, while the Arts Board develops criteria for the grants, establishes an application process, evaluates the applications and awards the grants.
Labels: library_legacy, achf, lobbying, advocacy, friends, melsa
At nearly the 11th hour in this legislative session, the Senate author of the Library Legacy bill radically shifted his approach for continued funding. Rather than have funds allocated to the 12 regions (the practice of this biennium with each region identifying programs that meet local needs), the Senate bill proposes the State Arts Board receive the library appropriation. The Arts Board would then manage a statewide competitive program. While the Senate author is trying to correct a perceived problem, the well-written Op Ed piece by George Lattimer and Peter Pearson, from The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, points out there was one small problem and a host of huge successes. Click here for their comments printed in today's, May 16, 2011, Star Tribune “Short Takes”.
Labels: library_legacy, advocacy, lobbying, achf, legacy, malf
The following is a MALF e-alert.
Most of you know that two years ago Minnesota citizens voted in favor of increasing the state sales tax to support the environment and the arts. This sales tax is referred to as the Legacy Amendment and is in place for the next 25 years. A number of people from the library community worked to get libraries included in the legislation so that $3 million annually of the Legacy sales tax revenue would be dedicated for library arts and culture programming.
Right now, the dollars allotted to library cultural events and programming are distributed through the regional library system. This system guarantees that every library has access to the funds. Many of you have probably had a program presented in your local library as the result of this system. But a change in the way those funds are distributed is being considered: the change would require libraries to write competitive grant proposals and to receive their funding through the State Arts Board.
For large, urban libraries that already employ grantwriters, this may not be a significant problem. But for small, rural libraries that are already understaffed and struggling to provide services to their communities, the change could be disastrous. Grantwriting requires experienced writers, and no small library has additional money to spend on writers.
MALF urges all of its members to contact the legislators listed below and to ask that they NOT change the current fund distribution system. Rural libraries will suffer.
Contact information for these two individuals is:
Labels: selco, rochester, library_legacy, legacy, advocacy, lobbying, achf, legislation, 2011legislativesession
The following letter was written by Audrey Betcher, Rochester Public Library Director, supporting an Arts and Cultural Heritage appropriation to the regional public library systems.
I am writing to request that the administration of the legacy funding for libraries remain at the regional library systems. Our regional system, SELCO, has done a great deal of work to create a system that works for all the public libraries in the region. The system uses local input, allows innovation, encourages partnerships, yet is accessible to every library no matter its size or staffing levels.
The goal of the legacy funds is to bring the arts to all areas of the state, and no one does that better than public libraries. The current administration of the legacy funds for libraries is working efficiently and it guarantees that all citizens benefit. The proposed changes will increase the administration costs and will make the program less accessible to many public libraries.
Thank you for your work on this important bill.
Audrey Betcher, Director
Rochester Public Library
||The Viking Library System (VLS) in partnership with the Lake Region Writers Network is encouraging the creation of local writers’ groups throughout the region. In April and May, VLS provided facilitators for four programs in Elbow Lake, Fergus Falls, and New York Mills. The Write Your Story sessions are designed for beginning and intermediate writers and participants will be encouraged to continue meeting independently at the conclusion of the series. Print and share the event poster.|
With geocaching growing in popularity, Northwest Regional Library (NWRL) collaborated with area state parks to offer a geocaching library program to children. Four mystery stories were developed and children simply “solve” the mystery through a geocaching outing. They simply check out a GPS and copy of the story from NWRL Branch Libraries before they head out. Staff is currently visiting classrooms and Boy Scout/Girl Scouts clubs to market the program. Click here for a copy of the brochure designed for kids and adults.