News item from Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education …
State Library Services has received the 2014 Governor’s Award for Continuous Improvement. Under the leadership of Jen Nelson, the State and Federal Programs Team (Jackie Blagsvedt, Emily Kissane and Jennifer Verbrugge) was recognized for their work in streamlining state and federal grant and aid program administration over the last year. Their combined efforts to align program applications, reporting and administration with state statutes, work collaboratively with colleagues in School and Agency Finance and incorporate plain language have led to improved processes and an increased amount of funds available for competitive grants. Specifically, State Library Services increased federal Library Services and Technology Act competitive grant awards by 58 percent in one year, resulting in more options for funding local projects.
Perhaps the most far-reaching impact of streamlining federal and state program administration has been to allow 1.25 FTE to focus on key priorities for State Library Services and the Minnesota Department of Education – achieving the goals articulated in the Governor’s Seven Point Plan for Better Schools. State Library Services staff now work with libraries across the state to improve their capacity to deliver quality early childhood learning experiences and to connect schools and libraries to foster academic success and close the achievement gap.
I hope you will join me in congratulating their recent successes and their commitment to fostering strong libraries in Minnesota.
Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education