State Library Seeks Info

State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson, forwarded this request for input from regional library systems and recent Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant recipients —

State Library Services is gathering information to aid in updating and revising the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant application and guidelines. A short survey has been posted and an online meeting/conference call is scheduled to get feedback directly from the library community. The survey will be available through March 31, 2014. The online meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 3, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Call in to 1-888-742-5095Call: 1-888-742-5095 or participate via WebEx. Pre-registration is not required; please join the conversation.

For more information about the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant program, or to request a reasonable accommodation to attend the online meeting, please email Jennifer Nelson or call 651-582-8791.

MDE Logo 2013

Public Library Accessibility and Improvement Grants Awarded

Public Library Accessibility and Improvement Grants announcement from State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson for libraries in ALS and MELSA:

State Library Services is pleased to announce the Round Two 2013 Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant awardees. With $608,700 in funds available, five completed applications totaling more $1.1 million in requests were received by State Library Services. The two applications receiving top average scores by an independent review committee were approved for funding by Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

Anoka County will receive a grant of $150,000 toward the renovation of the Northtown branch in Blaine. The project will improve the accessibility of the building with an improved entrance, adapt the children’s area and other building spaces. Robert D. Thistle, Anoka County Library Board President noted that “the Library Board is pleased to receive this grant … the funds will allow us to make the service desk, restrooms and book returns accessible to all.”

The City of Ely will receive a grant of $458,699 toward building a new accessible library building. The current library, housed in Ely’s Community Center, has outgrown its space and is not accessible to people with mobility impairments. The new building will bring the library into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines. Rachel Heinrich, director of the Ely Public Library, noted that the grant will help “this ‘end of the road’ community to improve library service to the area residents without a significant tax increase by bridging the gap between cost savings gained by the new building and the payments on the building’s construction.”

The Public Library Accessibility and Improvement Grant program is a one-to-one matching construction grant program intended to support the renovation and construction of public libraries, with a special interest in ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities. The program is funded biennially by an appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature.

State Library Initiatives

A State Library Services update from State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson:

Initiatives

Decisions related to e-books are at the top of many people’s to-do list this year. To help ensure that Minnesota’s libraries have access to the latest information and a breadth of knowledge, State Library Services has convened a small planning group to develop a series of educational events leading to an E-Book Summit for Minnesota libraries. The E-Book Summit and its educational events will engage all types of libraries – academic, school and public – in assessing where e-books and e-content fit in Minnesota. More to come on this exciting effort.

State Library Services is pleased to announce a new statewide initiative grant to the St. Paul Public Library. The grant is designed to help libraries become more engaged in workforce skill building by encouraging library partnerships with literacy organizations through the North Star Digital Literacy assessment project.

 A partnership with the Minnesota Department of Commerce is providing regular opportunities for libraries to offer a range of programming related to financial literacy, energy conservation and more. The Department is also helping keep libraries aware of the impact of the Affordable Care Act in Minnesota with regular updates.

Looking ahead, we will be streamlining and updating the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant program in the coming months. We are starting now to update the program description, applications, instructions and more so that clear and concise information about the program is readily available.

Jennifer R. Nelson, Director / State Librarian
State Library Services
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 West
Roseville MN 55113
Voice: 651-582-8791
Jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us

MDE Logo 2013

State Library Staffing Transitions

A State Library Services update from State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson:

Transitions

A primary goal for State Library Services is to ensure that our staffing and activities are aligned with the goals and priorities of the Minnesota Department of Education. To that end, new staff roles and responsibilities have been assigned.

Jackie Blagsvedt, LSTA Coordinator, will be transitioning to become our Youth Literacy Program Specialist. While she will continue to have a primary role in administering our LSTA funds, she will also work to bolster the capacity of State Library Services to support initiatives related to early learning, academic achievement for K-12 learners and high quality youth services in public libraries and school library media centers.

Jennifer Verbrugge will be joining State Library Services on January 22 as our new Library Partnership and Program Coordinator, working with the Legacy appropriation and LSTA statewide initiatives. Jen will also focus on building internal and external partnerships focused on services to adults. Jen comes to State Library Services from Dakota County Library, where she has served as the Youth Programming Coordinator since 2010. She received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1999. Jen is well-placed to make a terrific contribution to libraries in Minnesota and I’m delighted that she’s chosen State Library Services as the place to make that happen.

Effective immediately and in anticipation of Bruce Pomerantz’s February 3 retirement, please contact Jennifer Nelson for questions related to Public Library Statistics or the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement Grant program. A review of Bruce’s position is underway.

Jennifer R. Nelson, Director / State Librarian
State Library Services
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 West
Roseville MN 55113
Voice: 651-582-8791
Jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us

MDE Logo 2013

Verbrugge to join State Library

State Library staffing news from State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson:

Jennifer Verbrugge will join State Library Services on January 22 as the new Library Partnership and Program Coordinator, working with the Legacy appropriation and LSTA statewide initiatives. She will also focus her efforts on building internal and external partnerships that support services to adults.

Jen comes to State Library Services from Dakota County Library, where she has served as the Youth Programming Coordinator since 2010. She has a depth of experience working with Legacy funded programs, program development, project budgeting and marketing library events and services. She graduated from the MLA Institute for Leadership Excellence in 2013 and has been active in MLA as Conference Exhibits Co-Chair. Jen is a published author who reviews multimedia for School Library Journal. She received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1999.

Jen is well-placed to make a terrific contribution to libraries in Minnesota and I’m delighted that she’s chosen State Library Services as the place to make that happen.

Jennifer R. Nelson, Director / State Librarian
State Library Services
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 West
Roseville MN 55113
Voice: 651-582-8791
Jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us

MDE Logo 2013