More regional broadband support

By adding their names to the Minnesota Broadband Vision, regional library boards are showing their support for a future in which residents of all generations and backgrounds will have access to affordable, high-quality broadband. Included on the growing list:

MN Broadband Vision 2016Great River Regional Library (GRRL) – March 15

Kitchigami Regional Library (KRLS) – March 17

Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) – March 17

Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) – March 17

Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC) – March 17

Viking Library System (VLS) – March 15

With its many community interests, The Blandin Foundation initiated the Minnesota Broadband Vision campaign.  This includes sharing news and information on broadband use, policy and trends.  There is even an “I Endorse the Minnesota Broadband Vision” Facebook page to “like” as well as post local support.

Teen Lit Con 2016

MELSA Teen Lit Con 2016 Teen Lit Con 2016 –  A day to celebrate teen literature, promote reading and writing, and to create a community of readers by connecting teens and authors.

May 7, 2016

Henry Sibley High School
1897 Delaware Ave, Mendota Heights

Free & Open to the Public – Doors open at 9:30am. First event at 10:00.

Posters featuring book covers or author pictures. Print and post at the library or school!

Use & follow the event hashtag #teenlitcon

This project made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Storytime for Grown Ups

How to Plan and Implement a Storytime for Grown UpsMelsa web logo

Join Joe Manion, Library Development Specialist at State Library Services and  Tim Claussen, Reader & Trainer, for an informative library programming workshop.  Participants will learn how to create and deliver a storytime program designed for individuals living in senior residences (apartments, assisted living, care facilities, etc.)

Marrch 3, 2016, 12:30 to 4:30pm,
Ramsey County Library: Roseville

Description and Registration

The workshop is free.  Participation is limited to 30. The workshop is sponsored by MELSA and State Library Services. For more information, email Joe Manion or call 651-582-8640.

LSTA Mini Grants Awarded

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

Teen Lit Con 2016 Authors Announced!

MELSA Teen Lit Con 2016Teen Lit Con author line-up for May 7, 2016!

Headliners

  • Neal Shusterman, author of 2015 NBA Young People’s Literature Award winner Challenger Deep
  • Jason Reynolds, author of Boy in the Black Suit. All American Boys, co-authored with Brendan Kiely, is on the PW Best YA Books 2015 list.
  • Faith Erin Hicks writes comics & graphic novels. The Adventures of Superhero Girl won an Eisner Award in 2014.
  • Sabaa Tahir is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult fantasy An Ember in the Ashes. It’s been optioned for a movie.

Featured Local Authors

  • Pete Hautman returns! His most recent book is Eden West. Pete won the Young People’s NBA in 2004 for Godless.
  • John Coy, author of Crackback & Box Out, has a new book Gap Year coming out in 2016.
  • Derek E. Sullivan’s first book is Biggie. He’s from Nebraska.
  • Monica Ropal When You Leave is included in the Publisher’s Lunch BUZZ Books 2015: Young Adult Spring.
  • Dawn Kiehr writes young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor & If You Wrong Us.
  • S.A. Bodeen published two new books in 2015 Lost & The Detour. She has 5 previous novels.

In addition to this great line-up of author presentations, there will be more breakout sessions, fun stuff in the Exhibit Hall, giveaways for teens, and additional literary excitement than ever!

Mark your calendar for May 7, 2016 at Henry Sibley High School.

To stay up-to-date on Teen Lit Con announcements, follow us on Twitter @TeenLitCon and sign up for email notices about transportation awards & other info.

Use & follow our hashtag #teenlitcon.

Club Book successful – again

MELSA Club BookAs MELSA wraps up the 2015 Club Book season, the regional wants to thank all the incredible authors who visited the Metro this fall, as well as the wonderful libraries who hosted events. The guests shared inspiring stories about their work, writing process, and journey to become bestselling and award-winning writers. MELSA hopes everyone enjoyed these Club Book events as much as they did, and encourage readers to take a listen to the more than thirty free podcasts created over the past four seasons.

Speakers include Louise Penny, Elizabeth Berg, Amy Thielen, Dave Zirin, Lev Grossman, J. Courtney Sullivan, Amanda Coplin, Sue Miller, Jon Ronson, Ron Rash, Sara Paretsky, Mitchel Zuckoff, and Nikki Giovanni to name just a few.

MELSA will announce the new season of authors in January, so stay tuned!

Behringer Named MELSA Executive Director

Melsa web logoMELSA has named Ken Behringer as its executive director. Behringer brings more than twenty-five years of experience working with library services in Minnesota in a variety of settings. Most recently he served as director of the Dakota County Library system.

Behringer has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & a master’s degree in Library Science. He was born in Wisconsin and lived in Minnesota from 1965-1983, and again since 1989, holding positions including executive director of the Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK) & executive director of the Great River Regional Library system in St. Cloud. He enjoys bicycling, playing guitar, & spending time with his family, especially his two granddaughters.

Behringer notes that “MELSA’s long history of supporting innovative and collaborative programs and services for the metro public libraries aligns well with the values that have been important to me throughout my career.” He looks forward to working with MELSA to build upon the many initiatives that have resulted in stronger local public libraries serving metro area residents. Behringer joins the MELSA team on Nov 23, 2015.

MELSA Highlights

Melsa web logoMELSA again sponsored the annual Twin Cities Book Festival and hosted the Children’s Pavilion. A variety of activities were featured throughout the day:  a tiny tot obstacle course, designing puzzles and, of course, special appearance by best loved Minnesota authors.  The Book Festival brings together people to celebrate the vibrant book culture in the metro area.

The Youth Service team from the MELSA libraries created an early literacy video.  While only 2-minutes and 7-seconds in length, it highlights each early literacy:  Talk-Sing-Read-Write-Play.

Power Up Libraries

Hennepin County library cardThe White House selected three MELSA libraries — Hennepin County Library, Ramsey County Library, and Saint Paul Public Library to participate in its new ConnectED Initiative.  The project builds partnerships between public libraries and their local school districts, with a goal of connecting 99% of America’s students to next generation broad-band within five year.

Hennepin County Library’ partnership officially kicked off with the 2015-2016 school year.  New library cards were issued by HCL staff to every student at North and West Junior Highs.  Watch this video to learn more about this new initiative in Minnesota, why Hennepin County Library chose to partner with Hopkins Public Schools and how this partnership will increase learning in the classrooms.

New Season

MELSA Club BookClub Book is proud to announce the new lineup for the Fall 2015 Season. Club Book brings best-selling and award-winning national and regional authors to libraries throughout the seven-county Twin Cities region. A program of Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) and coordinated by Library Strategies, Club Book is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. All events are free and open to the public!

Podcasts of this season’s discussions will be available a few days after each event at www.clubbook.org and on iTunes. Past seasons’ podcasts are available for streaming and download, so check them out!

LSTA Grants Awarded

MDE Logo 2013State 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

Discover Five Practices Essential for Pre-Readers

The Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is excited to bring renowned early literacy educator Saroj Ghoting back to Minnesota for a series of workshops that will give librarians and early childhood educators tools to provide high-quality storytimes and early literacy interactions with pre-readers. The workshops are rooted in the Every Child Ready to Read 2nd Edition (ECRR2) research-based curriculum released by the Public Library Association.

Please visit the Supporting Libraries Serving Youth webpage to learn more about the training options and register for a workshop near you.

Storytimes for Everyone

  • Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud,  Monday, August. 24, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Headwaters School of Music and the Arts – Bemidji, Thursday, August 27, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Blue Earth County Library – Mankato, Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • East Central Regional Library – North Branch Area Library, Friday, September 25, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Training the Trainers

  • Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud,  Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Ramsey County Library – White Bear Lake Library, Thursday, September 24, 2015, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

There is no fee to attend – lunch arrangements vary by location.  Please email Jackie Blagsvedt or call 651-582-8805 or  for more information.

Metro e-Government Study through LSTA

Melsa web logoMELSA 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.

Read & Ride Day – 2015

Read & Ride Day 2015
Be A Reading  Ambassador!!   A variety of activities are planned for the day. Your ambassador duties vary by shift. And, you can even choose your shift.

  • Shift 1  Set-up crew  – 7:30am-10am
  • Shift 2 – 9:00am-Noon
  • Shift 3 – Noon-3pm
  • Shift 4 Pack it up! –   2:30-5:30pm

Ambassador Benefits
You’ll have to supply your own mini-donuts, but the other bennies are just as plentiful and  rewarding:

  • A State Fair gate pass
  • A cool t-shirt: Read to Live, Live to Read
  • A Blue Ribbon Bargain Book
  • A great day at the Fair!

More details —
Read and Ride Day is the Minnesota State Fair discount day for library users. Anyone showing a library card at the ticket booth will receive a discount. As part of the celebration there will be a Read & Ride library event in Carousel Park (in front of the Grand Stand) from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with free family activities. Library Ambassadors are the key to making the event a success!

Click Here to register, as well as see shift times and duties.  Staff from all types of libraries are welcome to be Ambassadors.

There is even a new event website for details about entertainment & activities. It is updated throughout the summer at  READRIDEDAY.ORG

For more information or questions, contact Kathleen James

* Please Note: When serving as a Library Ambassador you are representing your library or library system. MELSA understands you are on work time and have obtained permission to participate from your supervisor. 

MELSA Seeks Executive Director

Melsa web logoMELSA seeks a regional library system Executive Director.  Using the services of Water & Company – Executive Recruitment the major responsibilities include:

  • Implement the MELSA strategic plan and policies
  • Manage MELSA
  • Administer and oversee agency operations
  • Communicate effectively
  • Provide strategic leadership
  • Manage and oversee the finances of the agency
  • Represent MELSA interests

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.  The position will remain open until filled but interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than July 31, 2015. Following this date, applications will be screened against criteria
outlined in the recruiting brochure. On-site interviews will be offered to those candidates named as finalists, with reference checks, background records checks, including credit history, and academic and employment verifications conducted after receiving candidates’ permission. For more information please email Sharon Klump or  call 651.223.3053 (office) or 651.270.6856 (mobile).

MELSA’s First Pages

MELSA firstpages logoMELSA libraries throughout the Twin Cities metro area will  host creative writing workshops, First Pages, for budding authors of all ages with teaching artists from The Loft Literary Center.

 

Made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

More Moo! Adventures with Mike, David & Cow

Hello everyone following Cow’s Adventures,

Cow (and Mike and David) have been on the road again, traveling from Moorhead to Inver Grove Heights. Cow has had lots of adventures already this month, and is eager to share her latest photos, so here they are. I’m sorry there are so many, but believe me, this is less than what Cow wanted to send.

We started out with two shows at the Probstfield Center for Education in Moorhead on April 2, with 200+ attendees at the first show and 150+ at the second show. At the Burnhaven Library in Burnsville on April 4 we had about 40 attendees, and in Inver Grove Heights we had about 30 in the audience. At the Maplewood Library where Monica Stratton had LOTS of handouts for the kids, there were 120 attendees. Then today at our two shows at the Northtown Library in Blaine, we filled the room with 125 kids and adults at each show, and had to turn away about 40 folks at each show (one of the librarians gave an impromptu storytime for those who couldn’t fit in our meeting room, and those kids at least got free copies of the book).

We continue to be amazed at some of the wonderful promotion and extension-activities libraries and librarians have been doing with MOO! We are very proud to be part of OUR.

David, Mike, but mostly COW

PS – For the pictures of Cow’s latest travels and earlier library visits

Once Upon a Reader, the Moo! Trunk Shows, and all of Cow’s Adventures are made possible with money from Minnesota’s Art and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con

MELSA Teen Lit Con 2015The Twin Cities Teen Lit Con brings teens together with their current and future favorite authors. Ten authors will participate in this second annual event on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

  • E. Lockhart
  • Gene Luen Yang
  • Gayle Forman
  • Matt de la Peña
  • Kirstin Cronn-Mills
  • Steve Brezenoff
  • Pat Schmatz
  • Patrick Jones
  • Rebecca Hahn
  • Jonathan Freisen

There will be author panels, featured speakers, writing workshops, breakout sessions and an exhibit hall with book sales, book signings, and other book related cool stuff to do.  Over 600 attendees enjoyed the fun at the 2014 Teen Lit Con and Con organizers are planning for an even larger crowd this year.

Check out 2015 Twin Cities Teen Lit Con details

Cow Visits the Metro

From David, Mike, and Cow

Mike, Cow, and David had two very successful shows on Saturday. We performed in the amphitheater of the beautiful tree-filled atrium of the R. H. Stafford Library in Woodbury for 150 folks, and we performed in the afternoon in Cottage Grove for 24 enthusiastic attendees. Free books were given out at both MELSA locations.

Cow is resting again, but she is already looking forward to all of her travels next month, including her first night in a hotel (heaven help the poor desk clerk).

For more pictures of Cow visiting the MELSA libraries, as well as other locations

Cow’s continuing adventures in ECRL & MELSA

From David, Mike, and of course, Cow

Cow is back from another whirlwind tour of libraries. Friday morning, March 13, she was at the Moo-ra Public library (ECRL) with 56 attendees and that afternoon she was at the Aitkin branch of ECRL performing for 83 folks. Saturday morning 54 kids and adults showed up to see her in North Branch and 109 people crowded into the basement of the Cambridge Public Library in the afternoon to meet this famous bovine (both Saturday locations were in ECRL). Finally on Sunday she entertained an audience of 47, including Once Upon a Reader’s very own Melissa Brechon, in the MELSA region at Forest Lake where all of the kids received their own autographed copy of MOO!

Mike Wohnoutka and David LaRochelle were especially impressed with how on the ball the librarians have been, with amazing publicity in ECRL plus Vicki Sorn, Cortney Wyant, and Patty Thompson showed up at each of these four shows to make sure everything was ready for the Once Upon a Reader – Moo trunk show.  There was an amazing display of activities with Suzanne at the Forest Lake Library as Washington County Library celebrates the Month of Moo!

David shared photos of  their adventures, mostly of Cow. She wanted to send more, but he had to put a limit.  Cow was very well received at all five shows.  Check out her Flickr pix. Cow is napping, getting her beauty sleep for her star performances in Woodbury next Saturday.

Once Upon a Reader – Moo! calendar  Find out when and where Cow will be visiting next

Once Upon a Reader information

“Once Upon a Reader – Moo Trunk Shows” were made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Library Construction Grants

An appropriation to the 2014 Library Construction Grant program provided $2,000,000 for library construction and renovation projects. One-to-one matching grants help build libraries that meet high standards of accessibility and energy efficiency. Three projects were earmarked to receive funds, with the remaining funds awarded through a competitive process. As of March 2, 2015, grant agreements have been executed for the following projects:

City of Jackson – This expansion and renovation project will add 1,500 square feet and install new windows, a new entrance, new information desk, expanded meeting space and an accessible parking, among other improvements. Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) member.  Grant funds appropriated: $570,000

City of Perham – An exterior wall reconstruction project will mitigate mold and restore a safe and healthy environment to the library. The work will also prevent future contamination and damage to the building. Viking Library System (VLS) member. Grant funds appropriated: $257,000

Ramsey County Library (White Bear Lake) – An expanded and remodeled library will offer enhanced areas for children and teens, more public computers, an improved community room and spaces for individual and group study. Renovations to the parking lot will result in more available parking and improved traffic flow. MELSA member.  Grant funds awarded: $200,000

City of Waseca – A redesign and renovation of the library’s layout will result in improvements to the entryway, restroom and meeting rooms to increase the accessibility, functionality and attractiveness of the building. A close working relationship with the Independent Counseling and Advocacy Network will ensure the needs of patrons with all types of disabilities are reflected in the renovation. Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative member.  Grant funds awarded: $75,000

MILE Class of 2015 Announced

MLA logo 2014MLA recently announced the 2015 class for the  Minnesota Library Association Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE)! The 25 selectees for this year’s class will meet their peers in a dynamic four-day retreat at beautiful Sugar Lake Lodge near Grand Rapids, MN from May 12-15, 2015. There they will learn about using improvisational humor and creative idea generation to foster approaches to problem solving and strategic planning, explore their personal strengths, and discover how they can be leaders no matter what their position in the library. Following the retreat, they will also benefit from having an 18-month mentorship with a current Minnesota library leader.

Congrats to the MILE 2015 class!

  • Carolyn Avair, East Central Regional Library System
  • Roxanne Backowski, St. Cloud State University
  • Trent Brager, Minnesota School of Business-Rochester
  • Adam Brisk, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Julia Carlis, Dakota County Library
  • Amelia Cohoes, Globe University
  • Allison Girres, Pioneerland Library System
  • Shelly Grace, SAMMIE
  • Sarah Hawkins, East Central Regional Library System
  • Stacey Hendren, Anoka County Library
  • Kristin Jones, Carver County Library/Pioneerland Library System
  • Richmond Kinney, Duluth Public Library
  • Kelly Kraemer, College of St. Benedict | St. John’s University
  • Stephanie Langer, Kitchigami Regional Library
  • Rachel Lockman, Minneapolis Community & Technical College
  • Sarah Lo Pinto, Washington County Library
  • Anne Lundquist, Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative
  • Chris Magnusson. Arrowhead Library System
  • Amy Mars, St. Catherine University
  • Lisa Motschke, Scott County Library
  • Jake Odland, Douglas County Library
  • Michael Schnieder, Minnesota School of Business-Elk River
  • Christie Schultz, Dakota County Library
  • Jill Wujcik, Sanford-Brown College
  • Jessica Zillhart, Anoka County Library

MELSA Interim Director

Melsa web logoThe MELSA Governing Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Brechon as the MELSA Interim Director effective February 4, 2015.

Ms. Brechon is the former Library Director for Carver County Library and brings over 25 years of library experience to MELSA. She will be in the office during the week and attending Governing and Advisory Board meetings as well meeting with CRPLSA.

As shared by MELSA’s Executive Committee: Commissioner Gayle Degler, President; Commissioner Liz Workman, Vice-President; and Commissioner Julie Braastad, Treasurer

New mini grant recipients

IMLS logo

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)

MELSA Honored

Melsa web logoMELSA was honored recently with the highest recognition bestowed by MacPhail Center for Music – The MacPhail Duet Award. The annual award honors an individual who or an organization that has advanced the mission of MacPhail “to music signs transform lives and communities through exceptional music learning.” The award recognizes the impact the partnership between MELSA & MacPhail that benefits the overall development of young children & professional development of library staff. MELSA is in good company. The award has been presented to Best Buy, CIGNA, Thrivent Financial, USBank, & General Mills.

Successful Club Book Season

MELSA Club BookMELSA and everyone at Club Book would like to say a special thank you for making this another great season. Club Book wrapped up the Summer/Fall 2014 lineup with a stimulating talk by Nikki Giovanni on November 13th. Listen to her podcast here.

The 2015 season kicks off on Thursday, February 12, with adventure writer Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars and The Painter. The entirety of next season’s lineup will be announced in early January.

While you are doing your holiday traveling, check out the 18 free Club Book podcasts available for streaming and download on iTunes and clubbook.org. They are perfect for those long trips over the river and through the woods.

See you all next season!

Club Book is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Heart of your community tours MELSA

PublicLibraries_PhotoExhibit_Banner_700x250A photographic exhibition showcasing vivid images of MELSA library buildings is on tour in the metro region.  Sixteen libraries will host the exhibition displaying the work of photographer Doug Ohman.  Launched in September 2014, the exhibit will travel  the region through June 2016.  Check the schedule to find a library to visit.

Ohman is the well known and award winning photographer of the Minnesota Byways series.  In a joint project between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society Press, Ohman turned his camera to public libraries.  The result was another in the popular byways series — Public Libraries of Minnesota.  In that volume, 120 Ohman photographs were paired with Minnesota’s best-known authors for children.

MLA Honors Chris Olson – In Memoriam

Curlique 1 for websiteChris Olson honored by the Minnesota Library Association in recognition of his leadership and dedication to the organization

Chris Olson was recently awarded the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) President’s Award at the Association’s annual conference, held this year in Mankato. This award is presented in recognition of significant and major contributions of members to the work of the Minnesota Library Association.

Chris Olson was selected as the recipient of this award for his dedicated service to the association during 2014, and throughout his career. Chris passed away on September 28th, 2014 and this award recognizes his contributions as an active MLA member and advocate for Minnesota libraries. Chris was part of the Minnesota library community for
nearly 30 years, and was the 2013 Library Friend of the Year. Chris had served as MLA president, and was also on the MLA Board as Intellectual Freedom Chair and American Library Association Chapter Councilor. During this past year, Chris worked with colleagues at Minitex, the State Library Office, and many other library groups, to develop the Explore eBooks Minnesota Summit at St. Catherine University in August. Chris’ career exemplified the MLA conference theme, “Better Together,” and led to his recognition with this 2014 President’s Award.

Chris Olson was posthumously honored at the 2014 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference on October 8.  Michele McGraw, 2014 MLA President, also shared this information at the Celebration of Life Memorial Service in honor of Chris D. Olson on October 30, 2014.

MELSA Seeks Director

Melsa web logoMELSA is currently pursuing a search for an Executive Director who will be responsible for the successful leadership and management of our organization according to the strategic direction set by our Board of Trustees and Advisory Board. The Executive Director of MELSA is responsible for implementation of policies, goals and objectives, as well as the financial management, program, and administrative management of the organization, operating within guidelines set by state statute. Specifically:

  • Implement, accomplish and enhance the MELSA Strategic Plan as developed by both MELSA Boards and approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Lead MELSA teams and staff in the development and implementation of the organization’s goals, policies and programmatic activities.
  • Manage MELSA staff including hiring, training, supervision, evaluation, discipline and termination.
  • Manage the financial health of the organization, including budget creation, expenditures and control along with grant seeking and management.
  • Provide information, advice, and counsel to the Presidents of the Boards, Board Committees, and the Advisory and Governing Boards in the creation of policies, programs, and strategic directions of the organization.
  • Scan the environment for trends and represent MELSA’s interests with the State Library Agency, Metronet, the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators (CRPLSA), and other appropriate metro, state and federal agencies.
  • Communicate effectively and develop relationships with state and federal legislators, working with member libraries and the Minnesota Library Association’s Legislative Committee on development and support of library laws and funding.

Candidates must possess a Master’s Degree in Library and Informational Science (MILS), from a library, education program accredited by the American Library Association and have five to ten years of public library administrative experience. Preferred qualifications are: experience in strategic planning for library services, working with regional public library systems and past experience working with Governing and Advisory Library boards.

Note:  This position is being posted by Dakota County as a service for MELSA. Any applications submitted for this position are an expressed interest of employment with MELSA and will in no way be considered an expressed interest of employment with Dakota County.

All applications are submitted online and registering for an account is easy. Click here to register for an account.

The St. Paul Public Library hosts outrageous OUR shows

OUR at SPPL 2014-10
Moo! Storywalk on a sunny kickoff celebration for Once Upon a Reader at the St. Paul Public Library

The Saint Paul Public Library hosted three outrageous trunk shows with author David LaRochelle and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka, featuring their book MOO!, winner of the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature. These programs are the first events in the statewide Once Upon a Reader (OUR) program.

Once Upon a Reader is a one-book program designed for pre-K children to promote early literacy skills. The focus of the program is to encourage young children and their parents or caregivers to read together. The program will be featured in public libraries throughout the state of Minnesota, October 2014 through May 2015. Once Upon a Reader is sponsored by CRPLSA and funded from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

At the Saint Paul Public Library events, kids ages 0-6 and their families enjoyed snacks, crafts, and a petting zoo with cows and sheep from Walton’s Hollow following the shows.

Saturday, October 18 at the George Latimer Central Library
Featuring live music by Pop Wagner

Saturday, October 18 at the Hamline Midway Library
Featuring live music with jazz artist Tom Lieberman

Sunday, October 19 at the Arlington Hills Community Center
Featuring live music with jazz artist Tom Lieberman

MELSA and a Moo! board game

OUR Logo - ColorAs part of Read & Ride Day festivities at the great Minnesota get-together — the State Fair — MELSA hosted its regional launch of Once Upon a Reader. Featured throughout the day were a live action MOO! board game and cow backpacks for all children.  MELSA partners for the event included:  Twin Cities Siteres in Crime, Minitex, the Minnesota Book Awards (MNBA), Minnesota Parent (magazine), the McPhail Center for Music and tpt – Twin Cities Public Television.

Chris Olson

Curlique 1 for website

With great sadness…The Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators shares the news that our friend and colleague, Chris Olson has died.

From Gayle Degler, MELSA Board President and Carver County Commissioner

It is with great sadness that I inform you Chris Olson passed away Sunday evening due to complications from diabetes.  Chris was dedicated to the library community his whole life.  At this time, we know funeral services will be held in Detroit Lakes.  When more details become available, we will pass them on to you.

Gayle Degler

It’s Complicated…

It’s Complicated: The Nuts & Bolts of Minnesota Libraries

Have you heard these acronyms—MELSA, MOE, MLA, ITEM, ARLD, SLS, ELM, MDE, IMLS, RPLS, LSTA? Do you know the difference between a federated and consolidated library system? What’s a multitype? Where does money for libraries in Minnesota come from? Have other questions about how libraries in Minnesota work and cooperate? This is the workshop for you!

Join other library staff from around the Twin Cities as you learn the structure of Minnesota libraries, how different types of libraries are organized and funded, how libraries work together, what other organizations are part of libraries’ infrastructure, issues facing libraries, and more. Bring your questions about Minnesota libraries and prepare to leave with useful insight on how we work.

All library staff are welcome to attend, regardless of how long you have worked in Minnesota libraries.

Wenesday November 5, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Ramsey County Library – Roseville

2180 North Hamline Avenue
Roseville, MN 55113

Presenters

  • Kathleen James, MELSA
  • Chris Olson, MELSA
  • Ann Walker Smalley, Metronet

Click here to register