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.

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.

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

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.

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.

ECRL Fundraising RFP

ECRL logo newFUNDRAISING SERVICES

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.

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.

Prepping for the 2016 Legislative Session

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

Governor’s Capital Budget:   Today Governor Dayton released his capital budget request for 2016.  It includes $2 million for Library Construction Grants.  It also includes one academic library project — $820,000 to relocate the library at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena and convert the space vacated by the library into a student services center.  The governor’s proposal does not include any funding for the East Central Regional Library headquarters and public library in Cambridge.

The governor is requesting $1.4 billion for general fund supported projects and $122 million in projects supported by other funds, for a grand total of $1.522 billion.  This is a very ambitious proposal.  Legislators typically authorize $1 billion in capital projects in a biennium.  House Republicans are saying they’d prefer to spend no more than $850 million in 2016.

Committee Deadlines:  House and Senate leaders have announced committee deadlines for the 2016 legislative session, which begins on Tuesday, March 8.  They are as follows:

  • First deadline – Friday April 1: Committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin.
  • Second Deadline – Friday, April 8:  Committees must act favorably on bills that met the first deadline in the other house.
  • Third Deadline –  Thursday, April 21:  The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee must act favorably on major appropriations and finance bills.
  • Session must adjourn no later than Monday, May 23.Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

NWRL’s New Big Red

Northwest Regional Library’s (NWRL) new delivery van arrived this fall and is out on the road. Delivery goes between all seven branch libraries and two LINK sites every Tuesday and Friday.  That’s 600 miles per week!NWRL van 2015

The new vehicle is a Ford transit van. The bed liner was sprayed to keep things from sliding quite so much and a partition was installed between the driver and the cargo area. A local company did the graphics. Here’s the Big Red Van just before the first delivery.

Books By Mail in ALS

ALS BBM imageThe Arrowhead Library System (ALS) proudly continues a 43-year tradition of serving rural readers throughout the vast northeast.  Rural residents in Carlton, Cook, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, and St. Louis counties who don’t live in a city with a public library may request books, DVDs or CD audio books from the ALS regional collection.  Once requests are received, ALS ships the items free of charge to their homes in a canvas zippered bag that includes a return postage label.  Homebound residents of cities with public libraries are also eligible to participate.

Read the Lake County News Chronicle for more info

MALF Scholarship to NLLD

nlld banner 2016The Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) is offering a one-time scholarship of $500 to a Friend of the Library interested in traveling to Washington, DC on May 2-3, 2016, to advocate for libraries as part of National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). This special MALF scholarship is for first-time participants who currently reside in Minnesota. Individual-level membership in MALF, or affiliation with a Friends of the Library group that is a member of MALF, is also required.

To apply, complete the form and send long a cover letter that addresses your background as a Friend of the Library, your aspirations as a library supporter, and your reasons for wishing to attend National Library Legislative Day to the MALF office.

Apply by Monday, December 21, 2015.

LSTA Mini Grants Awarded

State Library Services just announced the projects selected to receive a 2015 Libraries Supporting the World’s Best Workforce LSTA mini grant. The World’s Best Workforce recognizes that Minnesota must have students who are college and career ready and poised to lead the state’s workforce into the future. Minnesota’s libraries are a key resource to help communities across the state achieve these goals. These five projects will directly serve at-risk children and youth (ages 0-25) through improved or expanded library-based services and learning activities.

  • Carver County Library (MELSA) – $8,334 for “Aids to Digital Navigation”
  • Osseo Area Learning Center (MELSA) – $9,995 for “Making, Creating, and Partnering in the Library for College and Career Readiness”
  • South St. Paul Library (MELSA) – $2,809 for “300 Books Before Kindergarten for At-Risk Preschoolers”
  • Waseca LeSueur Regional Library System (TdSLC) – $10,000 for “Library Lab: Connecting Science and Technology to Teens”
  • Washington County Library (MELSA) – $4,904 for “Minecraft: Coding Camp”

For more details about each project, visit the Minnesota Department of Education website

CRPLSA at AMC 2015

amc 2015Each December for over 100 years, the Association of Minnesota Counties’ (AMC) Annual Conference is where 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 has been a regular participant and will once again join AMC’s Vendor Fair to share information about the libraries serving Minnesota’s 87 counties.

NLLD 2016 Registration is Open!

nlld banner 2016Registration for National Library Legislative Day 2016 has opened!  

The event will be held in Washington, D.C. on May 2-3, 2016 at the Liaison Hotel.

This two-day advocacy event brings hundreds of librarians, trustees, library supporters, and patrons to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress to rally support for libraries issues and policies. As with previous years, participants will receive advocacy tips and training, along with important issue briefings prior to their meetings.

NLLD participants will also be able to take advantage of a discounted room rate by booking at the Liaison (for the nights of May 1st and 2nd). To register for the event and find hotel registration information, please visit ala.org/nlld.

Want to see a little more? Check out the video from last year!

Firsthand library experience – from behind the reference desk or as a patron – is an invaluable part of helping legislators to understand the impact that libraries have in the day to day lives of their constituents. Join library supporters on Capital Hill!

For more information or assistance of any kind, please contact Lisa Lindle, ALA Washington’s Grassroots Communications Specialist.

Planning for 2016 Legislative Session

Preparations for the 2016 Legislative Session is a work in progress for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and CRPLSA .  The 2016 MLA Legislative Chair will be Barb Misselt, East Central Regional Library (ECRL) director. And, an action item on the agenda at the most recent MLA conference was the approval of the 2016 platform – in concept.  This approval is always given with an eye toward flexibility knowing that issues may change dramatically once the session gets underway.

Vote for Libraries buttonThe start of the regular session will be Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

Most current iteration of the 2016 Library Legislative platform.  Once finalized in early January, Arrowhead Library System (ALS) staff will re-format.

Migrations abound

ECRL logo newEast Central Regional Library (ECRL)  completed the migration of their Evergreen open source library automation system from PALS hosting to Equinox.  With the benefit a multiple migrations, Director Barb Misselt reported that “nothing went awry. In fact, we weren’t even sure that the switch-over was complete.”  The only item of consquence concerned the NCIP communication necessary for MnLINK – the referring URL (name vs IP address). Resolution took about 2 weeks, not because of complexity but because it had to get on OCLC’s schedule to upload a file. During that time, ECRL interlibrary loan staff reverted to manual processes which kept materials moving into the hands of patrons. A good reminder of how much labor NCIP saves library staff each day when processing ILLs.


The migration went well and LARL technology staff are thrilled with the progress thus far,  excited about future flexibility and the user-friendly interface. The public catalog is live and functioning, always a major public service factor.  LARL and NWRL staff report the usual small glitches that occur  with any migration one of  which have resulted in a slowdown of collection development due to acquisition issues which will be remedied shortly.

The migration went well and LARL technology staff are thrilled with the progress thus far,  excited about future flexibility and the user-friendly interface. The public catalog is live and functioning, always a major public service factor.  LARL and NWRL staff report the usual small glitches that occur  with any migration one of  which have resulted in a slowdown of collection development due to acquisition issues which will be remedied shortly.

Photo Op

CRPLSA 2015-10 in WarroadCRPLSA members gathered in Warroad for a two-day, statewide meeting hosted by the Northwest Regional Library (NWRL).

Back row: Jim Trojanowski – PCLS; Karen Pundsack – GRRL; Ann Hutton – SELCO; Kristi Hanson – NWRL and meeting host; Barb Misselt – ECRL; and Jim Weikum – ALS

Front row:  Liz Lynch – LARL; Peg Werner – VLS; and Laurie Ortega – PLS

Behringer Named MELSA Executive Director

Melsa web logoMELSA has named Ken Behringer as its executive director. Behringer brings more than twenty-five years of experience working with library services in Minnesota in a variety of settings. Most recently he served as director of the Dakota County Library system.

Behringer has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & a master’s degree in Library Science. He was born in Wisconsin and lived in Minnesota from 1965-1983, and again since 1989, holding positions including executive director of the Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK) & executive director of the Great River Regional Library system in St. Cloud. He enjoys bicycling, playing guitar, & spending time with his family, especially his two granddaughters.

Behringer notes that “MELSA’s long history of supporting innovative and collaborative programs and services for the metro public libraries aligns well with the values that have been important to me throughout my career.” He looks forward to working with MELSA to build upon the many initiatives that have resulted in stronger local public libraries serving metro area residents. Behringer joins the MELSA team on Nov 23, 2015.

PLS Launches New iPad Collection

PLS logoPioneerland Library System (PLS) is rolling out iPads to libraries for patron check out and in library use. Each PLS library will receive at least one iPad. As a starting point
approximately 20 apps were installed on each device, including children’s games and apps for adults. Patrons who check out and use an iPad will be asked to
complete a brief form asking for feedback on the process and soliciting suggestions
for additional apps.

This is the second phase of a two year technology upgrade – laptops for in library use were rolled out earlier this year. The technology upgrade will continue in 2016 with the planned replacement of all staff/patron computers.

GRRL Planning

GRRL logo and library cardAfter 12 community meetings, three staff meetings, a board survey, a user/non-user survey and a survey of non-library communities, the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) is drafting a new long range plan for the next five years. GRRL will fine-tune their mission and vision statements and add core values to the mix.

One of the findings was that the majority of our users come to the library to use books! The board has been actively engaged in developing the plan and met in October to discuss ideas for the draft with a goal to finalize the plan at the November board meeting.

MELSA Highlights

Melsa web logoMELSA again sponsored the annual Twin Cities Book Festival and hosted the Children’s Pavilion. A variety of activities were featured throughout the day:  a tiny tot obstacle course, designing puzzles and, of course, special appearance by best loved Minnesota authors.  The Book Festival brings together people to celebrate the vibrant book culture in the metro area.

The Youth Service team from the MELSA libraries created an early literacy video.  While only 2-minutes and 7-seconds in length, it highlights each early literacy:  Talk-Sing-Read-Write-Play.

Power Up Libraries

Hennepin County library cardThe White House selected three MELSA libraries — Hennepin County Library, Ramsey County Library, and Saint Paul Public Library to participate in its new ConnectED Initiative.  The project builds partnerships between public libraries and their local school districts, with a goal of connecting 99% of America’s students to next generation broad-band within five year.

Hennepin County Library’ partnership officially kicked off with the 2015-2016 school year.  New library cards were issued by HCL staff to every student at North and West Junior Highs.  Watch this video to learn more about this new initiative in Minnesota, why Hennepin County Library chose to partner with Hopkins Public Schools and how this partnership will increase learning in the classrooms.