The following information was shared via email with the library community by Sam Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates, in his role as the MLA-ITEM lobbyist.
House and Senate GOP leadership announced committee structures and chairs today. They worked to align the committees as closely as they could between the two bodies.
Senate GOP Chairs
This morning Senate GOP leaders announced a committee structure and chairs for the upcoming 2017-18 biennium. The newly elected Senate will serve a four year term, so this structure is likely to be in place through 2020.
The E-12 work has been divided up between a Finance and Policy committee. Sen. Carla Nelson (GOP Rochester) will chair E-12 Finance and Sen. Eric Pratt (GOP Prior Lake) will chair E-12 Policy. Merging and slitting the E-12 Finance and Policy committee work has gone back and forth under both DFL and GOP leadership in the Senate.
The Capital Investment Committee will be chaired by Sen. Dave Senjem (GOP Rochester). Senate Taxes will be chaired by Sen. Roger Chamberlain (GOP Lino Lakes).
Legacy Funding goes to Sen. Carrie Ruud (GOP Breezy Point) whose committee is titled “Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance”.
House GOP Chairs
The House committee structure remains largely the same, but due to a few retirements there is some reshuffling. Education will stay the same with Rep. Sondra Erickson (GOP Princeton) at Policy and Rep. Jennifer Loon (GOP Eden Prairie) at Finance.
The more notable House changes are with Rep. Dean Urdahl (GOP Grove City) going to Capital Investment and Rep. Paul Torkelson (GOP Hanska) going to Transportation. Tax committee stays with Rep. Greg Davids (GOP Preston) and the Property Tax committee stays with Rep. Steve Drazkowski (GOP Mazeppa).
Rep. Bob Gunther (GOP Fairmont) will chair the Legacy committee.
With board action by the Kitchigami Regional Library System (KRLS) and MELSA trustees, the library community has unanimous support by 12 regions for a 2017 legislative initiative to change the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula.
This new initiative will request a $3 million per year increase in the annual RLBSS appropriation, well as a change to the current formula. The formula change will reduce the Equalization factor from 25% to 15% and increase the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 15%. The formula changes reflect increased costs in basic operation and use of public library service and lessens the volatility of the formula associated with Adjust Net Tax Capacity (ANTC). In addition, the proposal requests that the formula be based on the population and tax capacity figures as reported by the Minnesota State Departments of Demography and Revenue respectively by January 1 of the year in which the grants are awarded. This will enable regional libraries to prepare budgets based on accurate calculations rather than estimates.
Children hardly needed a tutorial in how to interact with the new Play and Learn space during an open house November 2, 2016, at North Branch Area Library of East Central Regional Library (ECRL). Parents and their little ones learned as they played with the Duplo table and sets, a wall mounted submarine, a sky pilot and safety road activity and more. Funds for the space were made possible by an anonymous donor. Refreshments during the open house were served by the Friends of the North Branch Area Library.
On Thursday, November 17, the Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) Board of Directors formally endorsed the hiring of a new Executive Director. The new Executive Director will be Ms. Ann Hokanson, currently the Director of the Austin, Minnesota, Public Library. She has a B.A degree (History and International Relations) and a Master’s degree in Library Science, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ms. Hokanson brings with her a wide range of experience working with libraries. She has been the Director in Austin for the past thirteen years. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Prescott, Wisconsin, Public Library. She also has experience working as an archivist for the Wisconsin Historical Society and served with the Peace Corps. During her years in the Peace Corps, she worked as a volunteer and trainer for the Trnava District Library, Trnava, Slovakia.
The hiring of Ms. Hokanson completes a long and difficult process for the Board, which is extremely pleased that she has accepted its offer. She will start work in the Mankato office on the first of January. The Board is comprised of one appointee from each of the area’s nine counties, plus a representative from public, school, and academic library staff.
The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has created Libraries Respond as a space for us to help keep current events in conversation with libraries’ ongoing work in and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This page will be a resource for the library community to share information, find resources, and connect as they serve their communities. Join the Conversation!
On November 15, 2016, the Viking Library System Board approved a resolution supporting a change in the formula by which Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) is calculated and the state aid is distributed to the 12 regions. The resolution also included the Board’s support for a funding request. The last increase in RLBSS was approved by the Legislature in 2009.
After nine years at the helm of East Central Regional Library (ECRL), Barbara Misselt will retire April 1, 2017. In a letter accepted by the ECRL Board, she wrote:
Thank you for the opportunity to lead this organization in providing library service to the region for the past 9 years. I appreciate the support and positive commitment of the Board as well as our partner counties.
I believe that ECRL is in a good position to continue positive growth with a competent leadership team and staff. I have enjoyed the relationship with staff and board team and found this a fulfilling career.
CRPLSA will once again participate at the Association of Minnesota Counties annual conference, December 5-6, 2016. System Directors will staff a booth in the exhibit area and share information about libraries serving Minnesota’s 87 counties.
The SELCO Board of Directors unanimously supports the resolution to seek a formula change and an increase in the annual appropriation of Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS). The proposed formula change will reduce the Equalization factor of the formula from 25% to 15% and increase the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 15%. This will will minimize volatility and stabilize the flow of state financial support.
The headquarters of the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) – the St. Cloud Public Library will offer limited services beginning Monday, October 24 as cleaning and restoration work in the St. Cloud Public Library continues. The closing and cleanup work was a result of an arson incident which took place on August 17. The fire caused structural damage and spread smoke and soot particles throughout the building.
Library staff, city officials and seven different cleaning and restoration contractors have worked diligently to make sure the St. Cloud Public Library is back to pre-fire condition and a safe environment for patrons and staff. The damages totaled nearly $1 million dollars. Most of the cleaning has been completed. Final structural repairs will begin this week on a window, window frame, and granite cladding on a structural pillar.
“It has been a huge undertaking! The library building is 115,000 square feet with more than 250,000 items. We know it’s taking a long time but we want to make certain we are being thorough and complete to ensure the building is safe for our entire community.” said Karen Pundsack, GRRL Executive Director.
Services available next week will be holds pick-up, fine payment and pick up of Summer Reading Program prizes during regular hours. Existing meeting room reservations will be honored. However, no new reservations will be taken at this time. Access to the collection and computers will be available at a later date. For more information about library programs, contact the St. Cloud Public Library at 320-650-2500.
Recent action at mid-month board meetings on October 20 moved forward the possibility of a 2017 legislative initiative to change the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula. The most recent approvals were from:
The regional library boards governing Great River Regional Library (GRRL) and Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) approved supporting resolutions to seek a statutory formula change tied with an increase in the annual Regional Library Basic System Support appropriation. The formula change will reduce the Equalization factor of the formula from 25% to 15% and increase the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 15%. This will will minimize volatility and stabilize the flow of state financial support.
With the GRRL endorsement on October 18 and PCLS action on October 19, the tally of regional resolutions increases to four following action by ECRL and ALS. Additional regional meetings are scheduled within the next few weeks.
GRRL Board Members have committed to working actively at the Capitol during the upcoming 2017 legislative session and the county commissioners on the PCLS Board will be working through the Association of Minnesota Counties for complimentary support.
The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) Board unanimously approved a legislative initiative to amend Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula on October 13. The initiative seeks an annual funding increase of $3 million, a change to the statutory funding formula that will shift funds from the equalization factor to the base, and modifies the year from which state data will be used.
Email or call your Senators Franken and Klobuchar and ask our Minnesota Senators to co-sponsor S. 3391, the Museum and Library Services Act.
Every year, nearly $200 million in federal library funding is awarded to every state by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In Minnesota, a large portion of approximately $2.8 million underwrites critical library services covering operational costs at the Braille and Talking Book Library. In addition, these federal funds are used for our state’s competitive LSTA grants.
IMLS can do the work of distributing funds because Congress passed and periodically” reauthorizes” the Museum and Library Services Act. It’s time for Congress to renew this important landmark legislation and library champions in the Senate have just introduced a bill, S. 3391. With just a few weeks remaining after the November elections to get it passed, however, those Senators need to help from their colleagues. The American Library Association wants every Senator to hear from his or her constituents asking them to “co-sponsor” S. 3391.
S. 3391 is a bi-partisan bill with broad support from the library and museum communities, and in Congress;
S. 3391 highlights the role of libraries as community hubs, equipped to meet ever evolving community needs, including: literacy, education, lifelong learning, workforce development, economic and business development, digital literacy skills critical thinking, financial literacy skills and new and emerging technology;
S. 3391 requires the use of data driven tools, including research, analysis and modeling, evaluation, and dissemination to assess and assure the impact and effectiveness of funded programs; and
S. 3391 will enhance IMLS’ collaborative efforts by expanding the number of federal agencies able to fully leverage the role of libraries and museums in supporting and meeting the needs of Americans.
The East Central Regional Library (ECRL) unanimously endorsed a legislative initiative that will seek a formula change and a funding increase in Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS).
The proposal requests a $3 million per year increase in the annual RLBSS appropriation, well as a change to the current formula. The formula change will reduce the Equalization factor from 25% to 15% and increase the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 15%. The formula changes reflect increased costs of basic operation and use of public library service and lessens the volatility of the formula associated with Adjust Net Tax Capacity (ANTC). In addition, the proposal requests that the formula be based on the population and tax capacity figures as reported by the Minnesota State Departments of Demography and Revenue respectively by January 1 of the year in which the grants are awarded. This will enable regional libraries to prepare budgets based on accurate calculations rather than estimates.
CRPLSA members present at an October 4, 2016 meeting voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation.
The Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) is looking for an Executive Director. This dynamic and challenging position will manage a cooperative that serves libraries in a nine county area around Mankato, Minnesota. Mankato is a vibrant, fast-growing city, home to Minnesota State University, Mankato and a thriving business community. The Executive Director reports to a fourteen member Board of Directors. Members include twenty public libraries (representing nearly forty branches), school media centers and academic libraries.
Services provided to member libraries include a Sierra (III) online catalog and circulation system, cataloging, delivery, inter-library loan, continuing education, programming and much more through a staff of twelve. Minimum requirements include a Master’s in Library Science from a program accredited by ALA and at least two years of public library administrative experience.
For further information check out www.tdslib.org or call 507-386-3022. Letters of application, resumes and references to: firstname.lastname@example.org Salary from $88,000 per year and up, depending on experience, and generous benefits. Applications received by October 15 will receive top priority.
The St. Cloud Public Library experienced a fire set by an arsonist on the second floor of the building on August 17th. Currently, regional operations continue including daily delivery to the other 31 Great River Regional Library (GRRL) libraries and interlibrary loan. Open hours are extended temporarily at the Waite Park and Clearwater locations until the St. Cloud Public Library can be reopened. Due to structural damage and the scope of the clean-up and restoration required, GRRL has coordinated with the City of St. Cloud for bids. GRRL staff anticipate clean-up will begin in late September with reopening planned for early October. WJON covered the news story.
Northfield Public Library was recognized as WCCO’s Viewers’ Choice for Best Library in Minnesota. The story highlights the history of the building and shows the beautiful new space which opened in May. Click here to see the interview by WCCO reporter, Natalie Nyhus, with Library Director, Teresa Jensen.
At the close of Early Bird registration, 448 people are registered for this year’s ARSL conference and 129 are from Minnesota! There are 42 states represented, Washington, D.C., and Saskatchewan, Canada. There are many new and returning vendors. All signs promise a successful conference.
Things are really starting to heat up as it gets closer to the conference. The Holiday Inn is full, The Holiday Inn Express behind the hotel is full and the Holiday Inn Express on 45th has maybe 2 or 3 rooms for Wednesday and Thursday only. Conference planners are working to find another backup hotel!
Even though Early Bird registration ended on Friday, September 2, interested individuals can continue to register. See you in Fargo!
The results of the most recent Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant round have been released and three public libraries are among the recipients. These include MELSA member: Hennepin County Library and SELCO members: Albert Lea Public Library and Austin Public Library.
Albert Lea Public Library – $72,505 for Check Out the Internet @ ALPL
Albert Lea Public Library (ALPL) will bridge Freeborn County’s digital access gap with a mobile technology lending program. Grant funds will capitalize on a popular pilot project by adding 60 Wi-Fi hotspots and 25 iPad Airs to its circulating collection. In partnership with Albert Lea Community Education, ALPL will present classes and hands-on demonstrations of the mobile technology to Adult Basic Education students.
Austin Public Library – $43,064 for Austin Area Science Fair Mentoring Project Expansion
Austin Public Library (APL) will take a pivotal role in expanding the Austin Area Science Fair Mentoring Project, a successful community initiative that pairs local STEM professionals with third and fourth grade science fair participants. In doing so, APL aims to increase science literacy and students’ interest in STEM careers. The project will double the number of mentor-student pairs, increase science fair participation and success rates, and connect science fair participants with the library’s mobile technology and high-quality STEM resources.
Hennepin County Library– $53,544 for Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration
Five percent of Minnesota children have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their childhood. Hennepin County Library (HCL) will create programs and resources to strengthen families affected by incarceration. Additionally, HCL will educate librarians and other social service professionals about the unique needs of families impacted by incarceration.
Five successful school districts will receive the balance of the $544,843 awarded in the 2016 LSTA competitive grant round. Click here for a list of all eight grant recipients and the project abstracts.
MALF is pleased to introduce a new initiative, Stand Up For Standout Friends. Each and every member organization is invited to put forward the name of one individual for this special annual honor, in thanks for standout efforts in furtherance of Friends of the Library work.
Each MALF member organization may submit one name per year for the Standout Friends honor. Any Friend is eligible, provided he or she is part of a Friends of the Library group current in its MALF membership and is willing to have his or her name shared on award materials distributed across the state. In order to prevent duplicated efforts, MALF asks, but does not require, the nomination be submitted by the current president of each member Friends group.
Fill out the Standout Friend Nomination Form and return to MALF by email. If necessary, you may also mail a paper copy to the MALF office (MALF, 1080 Montreal Ave., Ste. 2, St. Paul, MN, 55116). Applications must be received by Wednesday, August 31.
Sporting a new logo, the greatly improved user interface will feature responsive functionality, allowing users access on the go and from any device. While a bigger launch announcement will come at a later date when the interface goes live, some pre-launch items have been created for library staff.
The MNLINK Marketing Committee has prepared information for distribution to patrons and staff which you can download, print, and cut as needed. The announcement to patrons conveys the message about the change to the user interface that is coming soon. The committee has also created a FAQs document to assist your staff in responding to user queries. We expect to update the FAQs as we hear more from you about the information users are seeking.
Please access the links below for these materials:
Share the FAQs with staff so they’re prepared and share the quarter sheets with the public so they know what’s coming. The MNLINK Marketing Committee is currently working on new brochures and bookmarks that will be made available prior to the implementation of the new system. Training webinars will be provided to alert staff of the functionality that the new interface brings.
Ramsey County Library was awarded a $806,500 Library Construction Grant to build a regional library for the Ramsey County Library in Shoreview. The new building will join Maplewood and Roseville as the third regional library in the county system.
Ramsey County Library’s grant is from an allocation made by the 2014 Minnesota Legislature. The Library Construction Grant is a competitive dollar-for-dollar matching grant program funded by state bonds. The program provides public libraries with funding for renovation, construction, and improvement projects that result in more accessible library facilities.
During 2015, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) went through a process to review its core values and strategic plan. The process included public feedback obtained through surveys and community meetings, as well as input from regional stakeholders and the GRRL Board of Trustees. The goal was to make sure the everyone knows where they are going, and that everyone is headed in the same direction!
The library’s vision is: The neighborhood gateway: Inspiring Central Minnesota to shape the future through exploration, knowledge and connection.
The library is a patron centered organization, and this commitment
is expressed through three core values: Exceptional Service, Forward Thinking, and Community Focus.
The library’s service priorities are: Literacy: All users will have the resources they need to develop and improve their literacy skills in order to succeed in school, meet their personal goals and fulfill their responsibilities as students, parents, citizens and workers. Access: All users will have access to reliable sources of information in welcoming virtual or physical spaces that support community connection and engagement. Lifelong Learning: All users will have the resources they need to explore topics of personal interest, continue to learn and complement their quality of life.
The library’s organizational priorities are: Exceptional Service: We will be an empowered, engaged, well-trained staff ready to provide exceptional service. Operational Excellence: We will use resources effectively in order to be adaptable to future needs. Community Focus: We will enhance our service to current and future patrons by embracing the diversity of our communities
Did you love the Ryan Gosling care package, the sexy librarian apron, the Lego Batman Pinata, or any of the amazing gift cards at last year’s MLA silent auction? These awesome items and many more were all donated by local businesses, organizations, and librarians like you!
If you have handmade items, themed gift baskets, gift certificates or nerdy paraphernalia just randomly sitting around and you keep asking yourself, “Self, what should I do with this?” consider donating to the MLA silent auction! We would love to see what you can come up with!
We ask that all donations be sent in by September 15, 2016. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to either of these locations:
St. Paul Drop off:
1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 204
St. Paul, MN 55104
Duluth Drop Off:
Kathryn A. Martin Library
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
An announcement from Kevin McHenry, Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Assistant Commissioner, regarding operational changes to State Library Services and the Charter Center —
I’d like to share some important news about some operational changes at MDE. Effective today, State Library Services and the Charter Center will now operate under the divisional leadership of Jennifer Nelson. This change was made in order to better meet the business needs of our customers and MDE.
The Charter Center has undertaken several new initiatives in the last couple of years, implementing a first of its kind authorizer evaluation system, a redesigned and transparent complaint process, as well as continued implementation of our federal charter school grant which helps to recognize high-quality charter schools. With all of these changes, now is a perfect time to take a step back and evaluate how we continue to support the work moving forward.
Based on her exemplary work in State Library Services, which led to the division receiving a Governor’s Continuous Improvement Award, I am confident Jennifer will provide excellent leadership and guidance in her expanded role. Our ongoing continuous improvement efforts will allow us to further streamline and align our support to stakeholders and schools and develop new strategies to ensure service delivery in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.
As always, we thank you for the work you do in support of our students, educators and stakeholders.
The Great River Regional Library (GRRL) Read Down Your Fines took place Monday, June 20 through Saturday, June 25. This event is for children and teens who hold ‘minor’ cards and are unable to borrow library materials because of outstanding fines. It gives them the opportunity to regain library privileges just by reading at the library.
Individuals taking part in the program receive a coupon from the library desk on which
they the record time spent reading in the library. They are allowed to read materials
of their choice, but it must be physical print materials such as a book or magazine. For each 15-minutes spent reading, they eliminate $1 in fines.
Read Down can only be applied to fines for late return of materials. It can’t be applied to
fines or processing fees for lost and damaged items.
Public donations totally funds Read Down Your Fines. Since 2013, more than 800 teens and children have taken advantage of this program and begun using the library again. The average Read Down fine payment is $5.
Plans are underway for SELCO to host its 8th Annual Camp Read-a-Lot! Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Camp is a professional development opportunity for library staff, teachers, and interested adults who work with children’s literature, focusing on specifically on grades 2-5. Campers have the chance to read from a set list of books prior to Camp and then spend the day discussing the titles. Campers will have a chance to hear from Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collection at UMN Libraries and Minnesota children’s book author Trisha Speed Shaskan.
Library advocates from across Minnesota began planning for the 2017 Minnesota Legislative session during the annual Library Legislative Forum on July 12, held at the St. Cloud Public Library (GRRL).
Minnesota Loves Librarieswill be unifying theme for 2017 library advocacy efforts. A smart-looking new logo was unveiled. The original art for the logo is the work of Bernadette Stephenson, GRRL.
Details about the new campaign are still in development by a CRPLSA Advocacy sub-committee. Regional staff include:
Jon Tatting – ECRL
Bernadette Stephenson – GRRL
Hillary Stevens – LARL
Ken Behringer – MELSA
Jennifer Harveland – SELCO
ECRL Director Barbara Misselt is the 2016 Legislative Chair of the Minnesota Library Association. She is working closely with the sub-committee.
As proof that Minnesotans do indeed love libraries. State Librarian Jen Nelson reported to the Forum that there were 24,340,258 visits to Minnesota’s 355 public libraries in 2015. She also said that 3,860,346 library card holders checked out 52,512,434 physical and electronic library items.
The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book, expressed their appreciation to CRPLSA for financial support of the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards.
The Minnesota Book Awards year begins with nominations opening in August, promotion of the finalists in February and March, and culminates with the Awards Ceremony in April. This is followed by statewide outreach celebrating the winners throughout the spring and summer. And, during each phase, CRPLSA support and involvement expands MNBA horizons to the entire state.
The Winona Public Library in SELCO is collaborating with the Winona Area Public Schools to provide a FREE lunch program at the library for children ages 18 and under, June 13 – August 26, from 11:30 am-1:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. Children can “grab and go from the lunch bus” or may eat in the bus or on the library’s old front steps.
The Minnesota Library Association has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit information from interested parties with respect to Lobbying and Advocacy Services for the Minnesota Library Association and affiliates. MLA will use the information generated by this RFI, in conjunction with other information available to MLA, to determine the solution that is in the best interests of the MLA to fulfill its advocacy needs.
Library advocates are invited to gather at the St. Cloud Public Library on Tuesday, July 12th from 9:00am – 3:00pm for the annual Library Legislative Forum. This is the work session to begin planning for the 2017 legislative session.
Reminder: Registration closes on July 5, 2016.
Elaine Keefe, MLA lobbyist, will review the 2016 Legislative Session. The majority of the day will be dedicated to group work – identifying legislative priorities for 2017, as well as ongoing opportunities, challenges, and issues for 2017 and beyond. Come be a part of this opportunity to shape the 2017 legislative agenda!
The Moorhead Public Library, LARL headquarters, received a grant from the Otto Bremer Trust to update the Library’s community meeting rooms. The grant for $20,000 with an additional $10,000 in matching funds was used for new carpet, paint, furniture and equipment for the heavily used meeting rooms.
NWRL received a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation in the amount of $17,670. to remodel the restrooms at the Godel Memorial Library in Warren. The project will convert existing facilities and make them more accessible.