MALF Best: Austin Public Library Friends

Austin Friends and Evy Nordley Award 2015
Sue Grove, President of the Austin Public Library Friends, and Mary Ann Bernat, MALF President

The Friends of the Austin Public Library were recognized for outstanding library support at the recent MLA annual conference.  The Austin Friends received the 2015 Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library, the most distinguished award from the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF).

The project grew out of a local need for new reading materials after the closing of a local bookstore.  The Friends negotiated a partnership with the Rochester Barnes & Noble and offered buying opportunities for community members which coincided with special holidays.

Of the award, Friends President Sue Grove stated, “Winning the Evy Nordley Award is an affirmation that what our Friends group is doing is providing real services and benefits to our community.  The $1,000 grant attached to the Evy Nordley will serve as ‘seed money’ as we explore other innovative projects.”

Click here to read more about their award-winning project and how the Friends of the Austin Public Library created a new and replicable holiday book sale model.

LARL hosts mini Maud Hart Lovelace Award gala

Lovelace LARL voting 2015The Moorhead Public Library, a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL), will host a Voting Gala for area youth to vote on the 2014-2015 Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award nominees on Monday, March 23.

The Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award is a national children’s choice award established in 1980, named after the American author of the same name, best known for writing the “Betsy-Tacy” series. Each year, a group of nominated titles are chosen in two divisions: grades 3–5 and grades 6–8. Children who have read at least three books in the relevant category can cast a vote for their favorite.

The Moorhead Library will partner with Moorhead Public schools to host this Gala. Elementary-aged students from across the area are invited to the library for social time, voting, and refreshments. A lively book discussion lead by the school Media Specialists will allow students to debate the merits of their favorite titles with their peers. At the end of the night, the votes will be tallied and the top titles announced. Based on previous years experience, the media specialists and librarians expect several hundred children and their families to attend this event.

One parent attendee in the past remarked, “Our daughter never speaks up. I’ve never heard her talk in front of a group like this, or with such conviction.” Jenna Kahly, LARL Youth Services Librarian states,  “The students become very passionate about their favorites and the media specialists expertly guide the discussion eliciting thoughtful responses and opinions about the various nominees.”

The official Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award winner will be announced on Maud Hart Lovelace’s birthday, April 25.

New published author in VLS

Read the Art cover artGail Nordstrom, Viking Library System, and Heidi Hammond, University of St. Catherine, have a new book: Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books: A Guide to the Illustrations.  This new reference book describes the distinguishing elements within Caldecott Award winning art and will prove a useful tool in understanding book illustrations.

ALS Member Friends Group Honored

ALS logoUnited for Libraries recognized the Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library on January 27 at a Gala Author Tea during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The Minnesota Friends group received a National Friends of Libraries Week Award which is bestowed annually to two groups in acknowledgement of standout achievements during the preceding fall’s Friends of Libraries Week.

The Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library coordinated a kickoff event with the City of Grand Rapids. Mayor Dale Adams signed a special Proclamation designating Oct. 20-26“Friends of the Library Week.” Library staff unveiled a beautiful lobby display thanking the Friends for their many years of service.The Friends went all out in promoting membership and book sales. “During the week, we handed out coupons to library goers for a free book at the Friends bookstore. This brought in many new customers. Once there, a variety of brochures and bookmarks on Friends work and membership were available,” said president and co-chair Carol Steele. They also offered a variety of incentives for joining up (or renewing). These included a drawing for one of five themed gift baskets. By week’s end, “we had increased membership by almost 25 percent!,” Steele said.