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.
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- 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 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.
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
State Library Services uses Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to expand access to learning services, information tools and educational resources in all types of libraries. The State Library helps libraries provide educational and civic engagement opportunities, lifelong learning, workforce development and digital literacy skill-building activities. To achieve this goal, LSTA grants are competitively awarded to fund projects that help Minnesotans in new and innovative ways. The State Library is pleased to announce the nine successful 2015 LSTA competitive grant-awarded projects.
- Bloomington Public Schools, “Middle School Makerspaces: A Community of Creators” – $80,084
- Farmington Public Schools, “Bridging Literacy through Targeted Instruction” – $43,233
- Friends of Hennepin County Library (MELSA), “Cedar Riverside Library Outreach Project” – $96,912
- Hmong Cultural Center, “Hmong Resource Center Library Expansion Project” – $12,020
- Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), “Identifying Access Needs for E-Government Services” – $100,000
- Robbinsdale Area Schools, “Creating a Culture of Literacy among AVID High School Students”- $64,228
- Saint Paul Public Schools, “Building Research-Ready Students in SPPS” – $99,866
- Waconia Public Schools, “Waconia Digital Navigators: Students at the Helm” – $49,473
- Waseca-Le Sueur Regional Library System (TdSLC), “Romp and Rhyme” – $20,466
MELSA was awarded a $100,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. The project seeks to understand the extent to which library users and non-users access e-govenrment and e-learning services. A Request for Information and Qualifications with a response deadline of August 21, 2015, is posted on the MELSA web site. Minnesota marketing research firms were contacted and directed to the web site.
Information will also be collected on the types of devices people are using to access e-government/library and other internet sites of interest. Using this information it will be used to determine how local governments, libraries, and educational institutions can improve access to e-government and e-learning making it available to all and how libraries and other governing bodies (cities/counties) and
administrators can best deploy services, utilize technology and train staff to support e-government and e-learning.
Library Services and Technology Act Competitive Grant Opportunity
Federal Fiscal Year 2015
State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2015 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant opportunity. An estimated $650,000 is available to fund grant projects that help to achieve Minnesota’s LSTA Five-Year Plan (2013-2017).
The LSTA Five-Year Plan’s overarching goals are to expand services for learning and access to information and education resources, and to establish and provide a strong infrastructure that promotes equity of access to high-quality library services for all Minnesotans. State Library Services has identified Subgoal 1.2 as a Preferred Subgoal for this grant opportunity. At least $325,000 will be awarded to projects that provide educational opportunities for children and youth. The application and instructions are available at the Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Management Site.
For more information, please email Jackie Blagsvedt or call: 651-582-8791.
East Central Regional Library (ECRL) received a $7,430 Federal Library Services and Technology Act mini grant for a Playful Learning Space in the Wyoming Area Library. The grant will be administered by State Library Services within the Minnesota Department of Education.
The new Playful Learning Space, complete with a wide assortment of manipulative items, puzzles, puppets, a puppet theater and kid friendly furniture, will:
- Create a welcoming child-friendly area for children, families and caregivers with a visual impact that promotes play and learning
- Encourage more children, families and caregivers to visit the library
- Offer a safe and accessible place to fulfill a child’s basic need to move, play and learn, thus supporting their growth and development
- Increase parents and caregivers awareness of activities that promote early literacy through play
- Encourage children to engage in many of the early literacy skills (including talking, singing, reading, writing and playing).
State Library Services is pleased to announce the successful recipients of the second round of Expanded Learning Through Libraries mini-grants. Each applicant was eligible for up to $10,000 and the final awards ranged from $3,437 to the maximum, $10,000. These mini-grants support activity-based partnerships between schools and libraries to help connect students with meaningful out-of-school time opportunities that improve community engagement and academic achievement.
Successful recipients include:
- Bird Island & Olivia Public Libraries and BOLD School District, $4,000 (PLS)
- Cloquet Public Library, $3,437 (ALS)
- City of Fergus Falls & Fergus Falls Public Library, $6,850 (VLS)
- St. Paul Public Library, $10,000 (MELSA)
- Thorson Memorial Library, $10,000 (VLS)
- Two Harbors Public Library, $4,876 (ALS)
2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant Award Recipients
The Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant-awarded projects. We received 26 applications from public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, and school libraries that requested a total of $1.8 million. Of those applications, State Library Services is able to fund eight projects for a total of $630,000. Funding goes to four school library projects, two public library projects, one academic library project, and one collaborative project that benefits a school library and public library system. Funded grant projects were selected by a review panel of Minnesota library professionals.
- Cass Lake-Bena Public Schools – $142,105, “Project 2M”
- Lake Superior College Erickson Library – $54,713,“Tech Connects: Digital Literacy & Collaborative Learning”
- Moorhead Public Schools – $51,327,“Access for Engagement”
- Rochester Public Library – $32,661,“Rochester Reading Champions”
- Saint Paul Public Schools – $143,850, “Building Media Resources in Saint Paul Public Schools”
- Sauk Rapids-Rice School District – $134,244,“Accessible Digital Literacy for All Middle School Learners”
- Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) – $51,981,“Data-Driven Collection Development”
- Southeast Library System (SELS) – $19,118,“Community School Media Centers as Online Partners, 2014”
Prep work will soon begin in earnest by SELCO staff on two new Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) projects. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) approved slightly reduced funding for the projects and SELCO will adjust activities to meet the funds available. The projects are:
Data Driven Collection Development — Approved amount: $51,981
Data Driven Collection Development will improve library collections by leveraging the power of data mining and other business intelligence technologies. Libraries will use new tools to make better-informed decisions, prioritize purchasing, respond to the needs of their communities, gain insights into the collection development strategies of comparable libraries, and streamline their collections to serve more people with fewer resources. Participating libraries will attend training and workshops and will receive individualized collection development recommendations based on the data gleaned. Initial request: $57,757
Community School Media Centers as Online Partners — Approved amount: $19,118
Community School Media Centers as Online Partners – 2014 will enable the school library media center at the Red Wing High School to become a SELCO Online Library. Participating in the SELCO Integrated Library System (ILS) via the regional library system and MnLINK network will multiply the materials available and greatly expand the media center’s capacity to serve its students, faculty, and staff, as well as help Red Wing Public Schools meet its vision “for all students to fulfill their highest potential and to become respectful, responsible, productive citizens.” Initial request: $23,707
The official start date for both projects will be July 1 or after the signing all of the Official Grant Award Notification (OGAN) paperwork.
State Librarian Jennifer Nelson provided the Minnesota advocates participating in National Library Legislative Day 2014 with a succinct summary of recent Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) activities. The handout offered an overall statement of purpose, samples of statewide projects, as well as activities with regional or local impact.
Regional grant highlights included:
- ECRL – Bolstering tech skills
- MELSA – Reducing barriers to summer reading program participation
- VLS – Providing a mobile laptop lab to offer tech classes in remote locations
State Library Services is pleased to announce the recipients of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Mini-Grants for Expanded Learning through Libraries and Play and Learn Space.
The Hoyt Lakes Public Library (ALS), Ogilvie Independent School District (ECRL), and St. Paul Public Library (MELSA) are eligible for a maximum award of $5,000 in the Expanded Learning through Libraries category. These mini grant projects will support activity-based partnerships between schools and libraries to help connect students with meaningful out of school time opportunities that improve literacy and academic achievement.
The Play and Learn Space mini-grants will establish or enhance engaging and welcoming spaces for children ages 0-8 and their caregivers in public libraries. Each Play and Learn Space offers a variety of play activities that support early learners’ growth and exploration across the six domains of Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress. Successful applicants include:
- Anoka County Library (MELSA)
- Carver County Library System (MELSA)
- Dakota County Library (MELSA)
- East Central Regional Library (ECRL)
- Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL)
- North Mankato Taylor Library (TdSLC)
- South St. Paul Public Library (MELSA)
- Stillwater Public Library (MELSA)
- Waseca-LeSueur Regional Library System (TdSLC)
- Washington County Library (MELSA)
Here is an example of the type of activities being undertaken for Play and Learn Space projects by CRPLSA members, ECRL and LARL:
ECRL – A new play and learn space at the Cambridge Library, tying into the city’s motto, “Minnesota’s Opportunity Community” will be created.
LARL – Comfortable furniture for caregivers and children, child-sized furniture, and interactive toys will create a play and family friendly space for the children’s area at the new Bagley Public Library.
Details of each project
The Nobles County Library, a member of the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS), has been selected to participate in the Northstar Digital Literacy Project. Northstar defines basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online. The ability of adults to perform these tasks can be assessed through online, self-guided modules. This LSTA funded project will share what has been learned during the initial implementation in the metro area to greater Minnesota and is spearheaded by Kit Hadley, Director of the St. Paul Public.
A recent State Library Services announcement and LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant opportunity:
State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant opportunity. We welcome applications from any legally established public library, academic library, special library, school library, library cooperative or consortium in Minnesota or any Minnesota organization with tax exempt, non-profit status willing to serve as fiscal agent for a project that benefits a library.
An estimated $600,000 is available to fund grant projects that address the priorities identified in Minnesota’s Five Year LSTA Plan (2013-2017). We welcome proposals that expand programs and services that support Minnesotan’s needs for education, lifelong learning, continuing education, workforce development, 21st century and digital literacy skills; and/or establish a strong infrastructure and build capacity for improved coordination among eligible libraries to improve the quality of and access to library and information services.
Application forms and instructions are available at the Department of Education’s Grants Management Site. Scroll to Library Services and Technology grant opportunity. Please visit the State Library Services LSTA page for the 2014 competitive LSTA anticipated timeline, descriptions of Minnesota’s most recently funded LSTA grants, and Minnesota’s Five Year LSTA Plan (2013-2017).
Please email Jackie Blagsvedt, State Library Services, with any questions or call for more information: 651-582-8805.
Just released by Jennifer Nelson, State Librarian, from the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services . . .
Library Services and Technology Act Competitive Grant Round
Now’s the time to start thinking about how grant funds can help your library. State Library Services will open a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant round by Tuesday March 4, 2014. We anticipate that applications will be due April 22, 2014, for projects taking place between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.
An informational webinar will be held on Friday, March 7, 1–2 p.m.; advance registration is not required. Click here to access the webinar site
Please email Jackie Blagsvedt or call 651-582-8805 for more information or to request a reasonable accommodation. Note: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice to cancel a requested accommodation.