Today marks the official launch of Minnesota Loves Libraries, a statewide, grassroots advocacy campaign set to run through January. We are looking for stories that exemplify service, community connections, and individual success. Have you had a positive interaction with a library staff member? Did you attend a program that taught you something? Maybe you were able to access information that helped you get a job or improve your work skills, or maybe a librarian guided you to the perfect book to share with your child at bedtime. Whatever it is, we’d like to hear about it!
Supported by CRPLSA, the campaign is launching statewide and will be administered by each library region individually. Library users are invited to stop by their local library to fill out a postcard or visit Minnesota Loves Libraries to use the online form. The purpose is to gather stories of how Minnesotans use the library and how it makes a difference in their lives.
Library supporters who attend Minnesota Library Legislative Day at the Capitol in March will hand deliver these messages from across the region. Legislators will receive comments from their constituents so that they get a glimpse of library services available in their district, and to provide an opportunity for them to respond directly.
Blustery weather and long winter nights provide the perfect excuse to snuggle down with a good book (or two, or three). The Arrowhead Library System and SELCO winter reading programs will enhance the reading enjoyment whether the reader chooses a paper copy, an audio version or an eBook.
Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) is happy to announce the launch of 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, a program designed to foster relationship-building and brain development while preparing youth for kindergarten. Thanks to the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, LARL is committed to offering this program to the residents of the seven counties served by LARL, including Becker, Clay, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk, and Wilkin Counties.
This free program encourages parents and caregivers to read to youth from birth to kindergarten and beyond. Each participant will receive a book bag with information about the program, information about the benefits of reading to young children, a library card application, and reading logs for tracking books read. LARL will provide incentives and celebrations for youth and families who complete the program each year.
In effort to best serve youth of this age, and bridge the opportunity gap, LARL will be looking for partnering agencies and organizations to help spread the word about this program. We hope to use this program as a tool to establish new relationships with outside agencies and organizations who currently serve birth-K, in addition to strengthening relationships already in place. Partnering agencies currently include various ECIs, County Health Agencies, and Headstart.
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.
State Budget Forecast Released
State officials released the November budget forecast for the state of Minnesota on Friday, December 2nd. The forecast estimates that the state will close its current fiscal biennium next June 30th with $678 million left on the bottom line. That figure takes into account $334 million that will be automatically transferred to the state’s budget reserve as required by law. This action will bring the state’s budget reserve to $1.9 billion, just shy of its $2 billion statutory goal.
The forecast shows a $736 million surplus for the next fiscal biennium (FY 18-19). When added to the $678 million current fiscal year projected surplus you get the “$1.4 billion surplus” figure you’re seeing in the headlines. There are two important factors here. The first is that a significant portion of the $1.4 billion surplus figure is one-time money carried forward from the current fiscal year. The second is that there’s no inflationary assumption built into the forecast. If the state applied an estimated CPI factor into the forecast, the FY 18-19 surplus shrinks to $87 million.
The ‘tails’ forecast for FY 20-21 is also important to note. Friday’s data show a $1.5 billion surplus for the tails, but again with no inflationary factor. If an inflationary factor is assumed for the tails that surplus figure disappears and could actually look like a deficit. The bottom line is that while the headline numbers look good, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the economy moving forward. The current forecast assumes GDP growth just above 2% for the foreseeable future instead of figures north of 3% that were hoped for a year ago.
The major players in St. Paul are all indicating that a special session is a definite possibility. They’re targeting December 20th as the date to come in and tackle some of the major unresolved issues from this year, including; the Tax bill, the Bonding bill and a new proposal to buy down insurance premiums for those buying health coverage through MNSure’s individual market. The Bonding bill is the most significant interest to libraries as it contains $2 million for library construction grants.
It’s almost here — Libraries throughout the state are nearly ready to launch the first-ever, statewide Minnesota Loves Libraries campaign! The time has come to begin gathering stories of how libraries make a difference in people’s lives so we can share those stories with our legislators during the 2017 session.
There will be two ways of collecting stories from library users — 2-sided postcards that libraries may print and cut for patrons to write on and leave at the library and an online form that can be filled out anywhere. Libraries may promote either or both methods, whatever works for a particular location.
A special Minnesota Loves Libraries website has been created for collecting comments. There is a tab on the site with resources for library staff — posters, postcards, and images for use in social media. Some of the posters contain a QR code that will enable patrons to immediately access the website on their mobile devices. Check out the website for FAQs.
A statewide press release will be issued early next week and more details will be shared then, so stay tuned.
CRPLSA thanks the hard working statewide team (Jon Tatting – ECRL, Bernadette Stevens – GRRL, Hillary Stevens – LARL, and Jennifer Harveland – SELCO) that developed the campaign. We hope it will be fun and rewarding for all who participate!
Competition is always steep for the limited seating at the annual Library Technology Conference. Registration has been known to fill up in hours. Get set now to register on Wednesday, December 7th at 12:00 Noon (CST).
CRPLSA has produced a visually compelling written summary of public programs and activities funded by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Celebrating Arts and Culture will provide a succinct report highlighting the wide variety of Legacy programming that has occurred in libraries throughout the state.
Celebrating Arts & Culture briefly describes public art projects, live performances, literary programs, art making, and historical and cultural exploration. The Library Legacy story is told through a montage of photographs and personal quotes. The summary graphical demonstrates the breadth of programming funded with Legacy dollars and the unique ability of libraries to provide meaningful cultural events to people in all corners of the state regardless of community size.
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.
Participate in The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE) 2017 — Leading for Life!
Are you currently in a leadership position?
Do you want to work towards entering a leadership position or role?
Do you find yourself providing leadership even though your official position might not be in leadership?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, MILE is for you! MILE is looking for applicants for the 2017 cohort and mentors. During the May 2-5, 2017 conference emerging library leaders from across the state learn about leadership.
More information, and applications for participants and mentors can be found on the MILE website.
Applications are due December 1, 2016. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity!
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.
Due to anticipated heavy snow and possible blizzard-like conditions, the GRRL staff will postpone the Summer Reading Resource Fair. The Fair was planned for this Friday, November 18.
The RESCHEDULED Summer Reading Program Resource Fair will be held on Friday, December 9 at the St. Cloud Public Library. Contact your regional library office for more information about this statewide event.
At the LSLS Unsymposium, you determine the conversation. Participants brainstorm a host of topics, which are then selected in a bottom-up, democratic manner. Rather than listening to a single speaker, you get to ask questions, interact, and offer your own expertise on a topic chosen by the whole group. So…everyone wants to talk about succession planning? Done. You’re the only one who wants to talk about bathroom lighting? Too bad! Together, we’ll discover our common challenges and develop solutions together. You’ll come away from the Unsymposium invigorated by lively discussions and ready to take that excitement back to your library.
The Unsymposium is free and open to everyone. Register today!(Note – Registration will be capped at 60 participants. Register early and be part of the special group.)
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.
Congratulations on the Emmy win for Winter Bees: And Other Poems of the Cold about the making of a Minnesota Book Award-winning children’s book. This BeyondtheBook television special was a production by TPT in partnership with The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and CRPLSA.
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.
Your library probably receives at least a few questions about taxes during the tax season. State Library Services is working again with Prepare + Prosper’s statewide outreach campaign, Claim it!, and the Minnesota Department of Revenue to provide your library with free resources and a webinar in December.
Order outreach materials from Prepare + Prosper for your library to help individuals find out if they qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and to help them locate a free tax preparation site. Place your order before Monday, October 31 and you’ll receive the free materials in December.
Prepare + Prosper and the Department of Revenue will host a webinar for libraries with resources and information to help you during the 2017 tax season. The webinar will take place on: Wednesday, December 14 at 11 a.m.
Register for the webinar today and library staff from around the state in December. Please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508) 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.
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.
Conduct primary and secondary research with the guidance of library staff
Get one-on-one help from History Day staff and mentor
Attend a mini-lesson on a range of topics.
Each year, a broad theme is selected that will help students direct their research to show a connection between the theme and their topics. The 2017 theme, Taking a Stand in History, will allow students to research topics on all levels from local history to ancient history.
This day-long training event will provide the chance to explore in-depth all that ELM has to offer. Minitex librarians will provide training on the specialized databases and participants will discover which database is best for what. Learn with the experts about how to best search, save, and share the results as well as how to teach accessing the database resources to users back home. Various database vendors will also be on hand to talk about new resources, interfaces, and features. All levels of experience welcome!
Saturday, November 5, 2016 | 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Minnesota State University Library – Mankato
601 Maywood Avenue, Mankato, MN
$25 per person registration fee – Participation limited to first 100
Sponsored by Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative, SAMMIE, SELCO/SELS, Minitex, and Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Get to know the constellations like The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, Pegasus the Winged Horse, Aquila the Eagle and many more at a Minnesota Starwatch Party with meteorologist Mike Lynch sponsored by East Central Regional Library (ECRL). The program will start with an indoor orientation followed by quality time outside under the heavens. Mike will bring a fleet of telescopes, including two of the biggest mobile telescopes in Minnesota for close up views of planets, star clusters, nebulae, and other wonders in late summer and early autumn skies. He’ll also bring a video-telescope system for ultra-deep view of galaxies and more! This program lasts about two hours and is recommended for ages 6 and up.
The ECRL Starwatch schedule includes:
North Branch Area Library – Tuesday, September 20, 7:30 pm
Rush City Public Library – Wednesday, October 5, 7:00 pm
Mora Public Library – Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 pm
Milaca Community Library – Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm
Aitkin Public Library – Monday, October 24, 6:30 pm
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.