End of an era …

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo

From Maren Levad, Museum Access Specialist at the Minnesota Historical Society and long-time Library Legacy planning partner …

Dear Library Partners,

As we close out our sixth year of partnership together, I wanted to express my deepest thanks for all of the work you have done for the people of Minnesota. When we first met with library leadership in 2009, this partnership was a germ of an idea about providing high-quality, educational programming to library audiences around the state. That idea and this partnership have since taken on many forms, from library kits and musical concerts to audience-centered programs scalable to all library buildings and staff sizes. We’ve enjoyed getting to know each of the regions involved in the partnership, building relationships with librarians and legacy coordinators around the state, and engaging with lifelong learners in your communities.

Since we launched our first programming catalog in 2010, this partnership has generated some very impressive statistics:

  • Developed more than 50 exclusive programs for libraries

  • Delivered 640 individual programs

  • Served more than 22,000 Minnesotans

This partnership has provided traditional lectures for adults as well as hands-on craft programs, involved libraries with teen oral history camps and traveling exhibits. It has sent Minnesota all-stars like Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard on the road and been the testing ground for live, interactive virtual programs. The topics covered through this partnership have been diverse, including Steampunk Mysteries, the fur trade, and the history of beer in Minnesota. It has been a dizzying whirlwind for us all, and we are so thankful for your support and partnership.

After six years of Legacy funding, both the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minnesota Regional Library Systems find themselves in very different places from where we started. The library regions have built up the experience, structures, and staffing to select and book programs throughout the state. However, program managers now work with smaller budgets causing regional support for this partnership to dwindle. The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is focusing on the final years of its current strategic plan and its staff have learned much about the resources required to run effective statewide outreach. Many outreach programs that existed six years ago have been set aside in favor of more sustainable initiatives.

Due to all of these factors, MNHS will not continue to fund this partnership in the next fiscal year. However, we know that the relationships that we’ve built over this time will continue. MNHS is committed to serving a diverse, lifelong learning audience, and making its resources more inclusive and accessible than ever. Over the next few years, MNHS will push the boundaries of interactive, live virtual programming for senior audiences and develop online and mobile experiences to engage more diverse urban and rural communities around the state. Above all, our organization will continue to provide unique, audience-centered programs at our sites and with partner communities around the state.

Even though this period of program partnership is ending, we know we will be working with many of you in new and exciting capacities in the future. Thank you for six productive and instructive years.



PLD Day 2016

PLD logoPLD Day is an annual event for those who work in or are invested in public libraries. This annual event is hosted by the Minnesota Library Association’s Public Libraries Division and is sponsored in part by CRPLSA and Minitex.

Register now!

When:  Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, 9:00am-3:30pm

Water Street Inn
101 Water St South
Stillwater, MN 55082
Free parking is available at the venue

What to expect:
PLD Day will feature three information sessions from four amazing speakers, one from within the library world, and three offering an outside perspective.

  • Valerie Horton, Director of Minitex – will share her thoughts on Skating on the Bleeding Edge: Risk and Experimentation in Libraries. Let’s get out of our comfort zone and think about how we can be more responsive to changing situations and communities.
  • Minerva Munoz, director of TRiO Upward Bound at the University of Minnesota, and Kirsten Collins, Associate Academic Adviser of TRiO, will be presenting a workshop titled Class and Classism. This topic has high relevancy for people who work in libraries of all types and sizes.
  • Gwen Westberg, lead visual merchandiser for Patina stores will  reveal how Patina views their merchandising and display efforts, get ideas for applying these techniques to libraries, and envision the results of effective merchandising on your collections and resources.

In addition, there will be networking time, lightning talks from around the state, and fun themed activities.

$40 MLA member
$60 Non-member
Lunch is included with registration and will include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.

Register now!

Strengthen Adult Learning Communities

The following information has been shared from State Library Services:

Attend Regional Meetings to Strengthen Adult Learning Communities

Mark your calendar and plan to join colleagues from adult education, libraries and workforce development for Better Together, a full-day learning opportunity. The workshops are designed to increase our collective capacity to work together to improve adult literacy and workforce outcomes for Minnesotans.

At each session, participants will hear promising practices for collaboration across organizations and learn about free resources that promote digital literacy and workforce skills. Attendees also will have a chance to work with local partners to develop a collaborative project.

April 29, 2016 – Roseville at Minnesota Department of Education
May 9, 2016 – Mankato at Country Inn and Suites
May 16, 2016 – Grand Rapids at Saw Mill Inn

Register today for the workshop of your choice. For more information, to request an accommodation, or to be included on a mailing list for future announcements, please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508).

Mark Your Calendar: MLA at 125

MLA 125 logoCome to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center September 29 – 30, 2016 to enjoy, learn, and celebrate the 125 year history of the Minnesota Library Association. The MLA Conference will feature fabulous keynote speakers and top-notch presentations from other librarians across the state. Network with colleagues and move forward into the future of libraries.

Whether new to MLA or just a first time conference attendee, there will be many opportunities to meet colleagues, grow professionally and learn from the history and expertise of MLA. A newcomers’ orientation session will introduce the conference structure and help participants get the most out of conference experiences.

Visit the conference Facebook page or the MLA website to keep up on the latest conference news.  Online Registration will begin July 21.

Beyond the Book — Winter Bees

Winter Bees introduces the viewer to Joyce Sidman, the author of a 2015 Minnesota Book Award winner, and a young reader. Together they explore the winter environment and the creation of poems and art that make Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold a joyful read. Through the beautifully illustrated poems and this new video story, we learn how animals stay alive in our cold north country.

Winter Bees is a Beyond the Book special production by TPT in partnership with The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and CRPLSA.

More regional broadband support

By adding their names to the Minnesota Broadband Vision, regional library boards are showing their support for a future in which residents of all generations and backgrounds will have access to affordable, high-quality broadband. Included on the growing list:

MN Broadband Vision 2016Great River Regional Library (GRRL) – March 15

Kitchigami Regional Library (KRLS) – March 17

Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) – March 17

Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) – March 17

Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) – March 17

Viking Library System (VLS) – March 15

With its many community interests, The Blandin Foundation initiated the Minnesota Broadband Vision campaign.  This includes sharing news and information on broadband use, policy and trends.  There is even an “I Endorse the Minnesota Broadband Vision” Facebook page to “like” as well as post local support.

Teen Lit Con 2016

MELSA Teen Lit Con 2016 Teen Lit Con 2016 –  A day to celebrate teen literature, promote reading and writing, and to create a community of readers by connecting teens and authors.

May 7, 2016

Henry Sibley High School
1897 Delaware Ave, Mendota Heights

Free & Open to the Public – Doors open at 9:30am. First event at 10:00.

Posters featuring book covers or author pictures. Print and post at the library or school!

Use & follow the event hashtag #teenlitcon

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

Legislative Update

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

Governor’s Budget:  Governor Dayton released his supplemental budget proposal today.  He is proposing to spend a total of $698 million (including $117 million for tax cuts).  Of that spending, $411 million is one-time spending and $287 million is ongoing spending.  The governor proposes to leave $200 million on the bottom line to guard against a future economic downturn.  This is consistent with his statement last week in his State of the State address that his highest priority was protecting the fiscal stability of the state.  Here are items of interest in the proposed budget:

$100 million for Border to Border Broadband grants.  Earlier in the year Governor Dayton had announced that he would propose $100 million for broadband, but after the February forecast projected a smaller surplus, there was speculation that this amount might go down.  Happily, this was not the case.  This is a one-time appropriation.

$21.5 million for a one-time increase in Local Government Aid to cities.

$25 million for a one-time increase in County Program Aid.

$25 million for a pre-kindergarten program offered through public schools.  The funding would be targeted to high-poverty areas and those with a lack of three and four star Parent Aware rated child care programs.  This funding would increase to $40 million in FY 18 and $60 million in FY 19.

A detailed description of each item in Governor Dayton’s proposal can be found here.

Bills of Interest:  Since the Legislature convened one week ago, legislators have introduced 546 bills in the Senate and 747 bills in the House.  Here are some bills of interest to MLA and ITEM:

HF 2381 (Baker) Provides $35 million for border to border broadband grants.  The bill will be heard in the House Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy Committee this Thursday.

HF 2385 (Lesch)/ SF 2703 (Dibble)  Prohibits employers from requiring applicants or employees to divulge their username or password to any personal social media account.

HF 2386 (Lesch)/ SF 2705 (Chamberlain)  Prohibits educational institutions from requiring students or prospective students to divulge their username or password to any personal social media account.

HF 2537 (Youakim)/ SF 2510 (Kent)  Establishes the right of student journalists to determine the content of school newspapers and student-led publications, unless the content is profane, harassing or intimidating.

HF 2597 (Green)  Repeals the requirement that 47% of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund must be allocated to the State Arts Board.

HF 2645 (B. Johnson)/ SF 2296 (Nienow) Provides $2,414,000 to the city of Cambridge to build a new public library and headquarters for the East Central Regional Library.

HF 2898 (Lucero)  Protecting student data privacy on 1:1 devices issued by an educational institution.

HF 2900 (Lucero)  Protecting student privacy on personal electronic devices.

HF 2939 (C. Johnson)/ SF 2560 (Sheran) Provides funding for the Travers des Sioux Library Cooperative to hire licensed school media specialists to provide services to schools that do not have licensed school media specialists.  This was initiated by a former employee of TDS, and is not supported by the TDS Board.  I do not expect this bill to advance.

HF 3069 (Peterson) / SF 2462 (Carlson)  Exempts information systems software from the requirement that schools use a competitive bidding process for purchases.

SF 2294 (Dahms) Provides $30 million in bond proceeds for border to border broadband grants.

SF 2447 (Schmit)  Provides $100 million from the general fund for border to border broadband grants.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

SELCOtv Features MNBA 2016 Booktalks

SelcoTV Cover PageJust in time for the 2016 Minnesota Book Awards, SELCO staff will “booktalk” each of this year’s 32 finalists for SELCOtv.  A special YouTube playlist aggregates the videos as they are posted.  During the days leading up to the awards ceremony on April 16, 1-2 booktalks from the eight award categories will be posted each day.

Here is a selection of those shared thus far in the individual MNBA genre categories:

ECRL Personal Broadband Story

Only in its third day, the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) broadband support campaign has solicited some persuasive stories.  Consider this comment from a Princeton resident:

MN Broadband Vision 2016I moved from one residence within ECRL region to another in the region within the last 3 years. I was able to get DSL at the former residence. I now live even closer to a major highway but internet service is not available at my “new” location except by paying for a hotspot through Verizon that is VERY expensive and the cost is based on usage so I have to very carefully choose what I can do online, limit my downloads, etc., so as not to go over my usage limit. When I moved, I was told Centurylink/Qwest has the “rights” to where I now live so I checked first with them about getting internet service since they are my landline telephone provider. I was told that, yes, they “own the rights” to my address but have no idea when or if they will provide internet service there. I am in a residential area, 3 miles from town and next to a major state road so I most certainly ought to be able to have inexpensive and unlimited internet access.

For more information on the ECRL broadband support efforts

ECRL Push for Broadband Support

MN Broadband Vision 2016East Central Regional Library (ECRL) is in the midst of a marketing campaign to generate support for the Minnesota Broadband Vision and solicit personal stories.  This follows the February 2016 ECRL board meeting, when the board endorsed a resolution supporting the Minnesota Broadband Vision stating that “everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable, world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.”

Components shared with each of the 14 ECRL locations include:

  1. Press release announcing the efforts
  2. Poster (11 x 17) of the broadband resolution signed by ECRL board president, Mike Warring
  3. A broadband table tent
  4. An online survey, as well as on location half-sheets to collect personal broadband or Internet stories
  5. Broadband petition to be shared with with area legislators

The ECRL broadband publicity efforts will continue through March 26.

10 Pigs Excitement in ECRL

ECRL 10 Pigs 2016-03
Bath time and bubbles were never so much fun!

Ten Pigs In Wyoming!

East Central Regional Library staff declare, “It was one epic, amazing, and fun event for everyone!” as Derek Anderson, author and illustrator,  presented the very first, statewide Once Upon a Reader Trunk Show based on his book, Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure!

The premier event held at the ECRL Branch Library in Wyoming captivated 62 kids this morning. The trunk show rolls on to Pine City this afternoon.

Check out more ECRL & Ten Pigs pix

Legislative Prep 2016

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

Happy precinct caucus day!

The Legislative session begins one week from today.  Here are some key things to know:

State Economic Forecast:  The February forecast was released last Friday.  The projected state budget surplus is now $900 million, down from the $1.2 billion that was projected in early December.  This will make it much tougher for anyone hoping for new spending or tax cuts.

Governor’s Budget:  Governor Dayton is set to release his supplemental budget recommendations on March 15.  He has said that, given the downturn in the surplus, he is likely to propose a limited amount of one-time spending.  Previously he had said he would propose $100 million in broadband grants to underserved communities.  This is the sort of spending that could be done on a one-time basis.  The Governor’s top priority remains universal pre-school for all 4 year olds, but legislators remain skeptical, especially in the House.

Library Construction Grants:  This Thursday, March 3, the House Capital Investment Committee will hold a day-long hearing where state agencies will present their bonding requests that made it into the Governor’s Capital Budget.  MDE has been allotted a 20 minute time period from 11:40am to noon to present Library Construction Grants and a proposal for improvements to the Red Lake School.  The hearing will be in Room 200 State Office Building.

Committee Deadlines:  Deadlines this session are quite early, ensuring that the session moves at a fast pace.  Here are the dates:

First deadline:  Friday, April 1.  By this date a bill must have passed through all of the policy committees it needs to be heard in and have either been sent to a finance committee or to the floor in order to remain alive.

Second Deadline:  Friday, April 8.  By this date a bill must have met the criteria for meeting the first deadline in BOTH the House and Senate to remain alive.

Third Deadline:  Thursday, April 21.  By this date the omnibus spending bills must be passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Legislative Calendar:  Traditionally the Legislature takes a week-long break for Passover and Easter.  This year because of the shortness of the session and because Passover and Easter are a month apart, legislators will instead take two short breaks.  The Legislature will be on a break for Easter beginning on Friday, March 25 and returning at noon on Tuesday, March 29.  The Legislature will take Friday, April 22 off because Passover begins that day at sundown.  The legislative session must adjourn no later than Monday, May 23 at midnight.

Legislative Retirements:  Amid the growing number of legislators who have announced that they will not seek re-election this year, the most notable for the library community is Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL – Plummer).  Senator Stumpf has been a long-time champion for libraries and we will miss him.  For a complete list of retiring legislators, follow this link:  http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/histleg/retire

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

Leap Day Launch Ebooks MN

ebooks MN logoEbooks Minnesota launches today!

Ebooks MN is a collection featuring content from Minnesota’s independent publishers. Today’s opening-day collection includes about 2,500 titles, and Minitex plans to add more soon.

Ebooks from ABDO, Lerner Publishing Group, and Cherry Lake Publishing make up a significant part of the school-age collection. Ebooks MN also includes scholarly and literary titles from the University of Minnesota Press, Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press, and Arcadia Publishing/The History Press. These independent presses publish ebooks on a wide variety of topics and genres from sharks to the black death and from graphic novels to literary fiction. Ebooks MN also includes titles about Minnesota, such as Twins Baseball and Legendary Locals of Crookston, that were published outside the state. There is no limit to the number of titles that can be checked out at any time and readers can keep titles as long as they wish.

Minitex will manage access to Ebooks MN using the familiar IP-range method used for the Electronic Library for Minnesota. No digital rights management (DRM) is required. Minnesota will have permanent access to these titles, there is no limit to the number that can be checked out at a time, and readers can keep them as long as they wish.  As with ELM, there is no additional cost for libraries to use the collection. Be sure to watch and share our introductory video, and download the app from iTunes, Google Play, or for your Kindle Fire.

Ebooks MN is a two-year pilot project of the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services and Minitex. The collection is made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and by Minitex. The initiative originated from the 2014 Explore eBooks MN Summit and from the contributions of librarians across the state.  

SELCO Supports Broadband Vision

MN Broadband Vision 2016The Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) Board of Directors joins the ALS, ECRL, NWRL, and PLS regional library boards in support of the Minnesota Broadband Vision.  The SELCO resolution stresses the broad array of vital library services which depend on broadband or high speed Internet.  The resolution urges Governor Dayton and the members of the Minnesota Legislature to provide leadership, resources and the necessary legal framework to make this vision a reality.

Libraries around the state are encouraged to seek support from local governing authorities, community groups, and individuals who believe that Internet access is an equity issue for all Minnesotans.

ARSL Call for Proposals


ARSL is accepting proposals for break-out sessions at the 2016 Conference to be held in Fargo, North Dakota on October 27-29, 2016.  The theme for ARSL 2016 is  North of Normal.   ARLS would like to hear about creative ideas that take libraries beyond normal.  Proposals for these 1-hour sessions may be submitted using the online form. The deadline to submit is March 21, 2016 in order for the Conference Programming Committee to review and make selections. Those who submit a proposal will be notified whether or not their proposal was accepted by April 15, 2016.

Presenters are reminded that workshops must be geared toward the small and rural library audience, and those that are practical, hands-on, and how-to are preferred.  This is not the proper venue for post-graduate dissertations or marketing products. Additional instructions are included on the form.

Workshop presenters will receive ONE complimentary conference registration per workshop title selected, i.e. a team of three presenters working on one workshop will receive one complimentary registration.

Watch the ARLS website, Facebook and Twitter streams for the latest conference news!

Johnson Group Selected

MN Library Legacy Logo Small

CRPLSA is pleased to announce Johnson Group has been selected to design a Library Legacy report.  The final product will be a visually compelling document that highlights the wide variety of programs and activities made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Johnson Group has a 25-year repertoire which includes full-service design, branding, and advertising.  The response to CRPLSA’s Request for Proposal identified an approach that will share CRPLSA’s Library Legacy story with key stakeholders and convey the scope and effectiveness of regional library efforts. After an initial discussion, a project timeline was established that will deliver a final product to CRPLSA by November 2016 – just in time for the 2017 legislative session.

ECRL Fundraising RFP


The Friends of the Cambridge Public Library is seeking a fundraising consultant to plan and manage a campaign to raise a minimum of $1 million to help fund the cost of building a new public library in Cambridge MN. Responses to the RFP must be received by noon on February 19, 2016 and should be directed to Friends of the Cambridge Public Library. A full copy of the RFP is available on the library website.  Questions can be addressed to Karen S. Lee, 763-552-9605, kslee@windstream.net.

Ebooks MN Training

Minitex Ebooks MN no txtEbooks Minnesota webinar with Q&A

Date:  February 17, 2016
Time:  11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Ebook MN Registration

This webinar will provide a detailed overview of Ebooks Minnesota on the BiblioBoard Library platform. Attendees will gain an understanding of the parameters and focus of the program from a Minitex team member, followed by a demonstration of the navigation and content on BiblioBoard, the PatronsFirst mobile library.

Celebrating 20 years of telecom

The American Library Association and
Libraries Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Telecom Act

When the 1996 Telecommunications Act was signed into law, only 28% of libraries provided public internet access.  Libraries have experienced a dizzying two decades of innovations enabled by the Act and the E-rate program it created.

ALA 20 year telecom anniversaryLibraries were named one of seven major application areas for the National Information Infrastructure in a 1994 task force report:

For education and for libraries, all teachers and students in K-12 schools and all public libraries—whether in urban suburban, or rural areas; whether in rich or in poor neighborhoods—need access to the educational and library services carried on the NII. All commercial establishments and all workers must have equal access to the opportunities for electronic commerce and telecommuting provided by the NII. Finally, all citizens must have equal access to government services provided over the NII.

In his 1997 State of the Union address, President Clinton called for all schools and libraries to be wired by 2000. The nation came close: 96% of libraries were connected by that time.

Then, as now, libraries report that their bandwidth and number of public computers available were unable to meet patron demand at least some of the time. Libraries, like the nation as a whole, also continue to see disparities among urban, suburban and rural library connectivity.

According to a 2013 Pew Internet Project report, the availability of computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as vital library services. Seventy-seven percent of Americans say free access to computers and the internet is a “very important” service of libraries, compared with 80 percent who say borrowing books and access to reference librarians are “very important” services.

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Telecom Act (hashtag #96×20) and share how #librariestransform with high-speed broadband all this week.

ECRL First Region to Endorse Broadband Vision

MN Broadband Vision 2016High speed internet service is essential to individuals, communities and the libraries that serve local residents.  The regional library systems are seeking library board support for the Minnesota Broadband Vision and the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) is leading library efforts.  ECRL is the first regional board to pass a supporting resolution.  In her role as the 2016 Legislative Chair, ECRL Director, Barbara Misselt, sought endorsement from both the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Legislative Committee and the MLA Board.

PCLS Winter Getaway

Plum Creek Library System’s (PCLS) annual winter reading program launched region-wide on January 2, and PCLS Winter Reading 2016will run through March 31, 2016.

The program, open to ages 18 and beyond, is held every year during the winter months, and rewards readers for doing what they love to do – read. Participation is simple: sign up at your local library, and pledge to read at least 12 books during the 3-month long program. Most readers will meet that goal and many will exceed that number. Most PCLS libraries offer patrons who complete the challenge an incentive prize. In addition, libraries will be given recognition for various distinctions including the most new participants enrolled in the program and most books read throughout the three-month period.

New ECRL Website

ECRL logo newEast Central Regional Library (ECRL) proudly announces a redesigned website.

Collaborating with a web designer but with close attention to expense, much of the work was performed in-house.  This built on-going staff skills that will enable future management of the site.

Consolidated in one location are all of the ECRL communications – the blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  Even more impressive has been the positive public response.

Check it out!

Broadband Resolution

MN Broadband Vision 2016Members of the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Legislative Committee endorse the Minnesota Broadband Vision.  This library specific resolution will be recommended for adoption by the MLA Board later this month.  Libraries around the state are encouraged to seek support from local governing authorities.

Resolution by the MLA Legislative Committee

CRPLSA will post a list of library endorsements, as shared.  For more complete information on support for the broadband vision from around the state, follow the Broadband Vision Facebook page.

MN Broadband Vision

MN Broadband Vision 2016Karen Pundsack, GRRL Executive Director, joined other conference participants as they collaboratively developed a broadband vision for Minnesota:

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

Cities, counties, community organizations, and regional libraries  are actively showing support by endorsing the vision.  During the coming months, CRPLSA members will seek approval from their regional library boards. The Bladin Foundation has crafted a draft resolution to aid in generating support.  Follow the Broadband Vision Facebook page to keep up with endorsements.

28th Annual MNBA Finalists Announced

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce the finalists in all eight categories for the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards. Chosen on Saturday, January 30, by 24 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community.

MNBAAward winners will be announced at the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 16, at St. Paul’s historic Union Depot, 214 Fourth Street East. The Preface reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and available by visiting www.thefriends.org or calling 651-222-3242. The official hashtag for social media is #MNBA16. All are encouraged to use it when posting comments, status updates or tweeting about any of the authors or their books.

Story Stroll Order Deadline

Ten Pigs round imageSunday, January 31 will be the last day to place orders for Once Upon a Reader storytime kits, story strolls, and play kits – for those libraries that want materials included in the first round of fulfillment and delivery. All orders received between January 6 and January 31 will be processed during the month of February (and in hand before the commencement of Derek Anderson’s first trunk shows). All orders received between Monday, February 1 and Thursday, March 31  will be fulfilled during the month of April. Regions and libraries may hold off and place orders after the January mark, if that works best for regional planning.

Each region participating in Once Upon a Reader will be receiving one free, complete set of Once Upon a Reader materials (a storytime kit, story stroll, and play kit). These will be delivered to regional library offices via Minitex along with kits ordered in round one.

For more information email David Katz, Once Upon A Reader Coordinator or contact your regional library.

Become a Summer Food Program Site

Learn How Your Library Can Be a Summer Food Program Site

Fewer than 15 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 programSummer 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 2016 participation by attending an informational webinar on February 24, 2016 at 11 a.m. Jenny Butcher, USDA Summer Food Service Program Coordinator at MDE, will share how you can get involved. There is no need to pre-register.

Please join the WebEx meeting online (meeting number 594 625 833) or call in at 1-888-742-5095 (conference code 874 403 3672). Email Jen Verbrugge with questions or to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event.

Note: MDE requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice in order to cancel a requested accommodation.