End of an era …

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo

From Maren Levad, Museum Access Specialist at the Minnesota Historical Society and long-time Library Legacy planning partner …

Dear Library Partners,

As we close out our sixth year of partnership together, I wanted to express my deepest thanks for all of the work you have done for the people of Minnesota. When we first met with library leadership in 2009, this partnership was a germ of an idea about providing high-quality, educational programming to library audiences around the state. That idea and this partnership have since taken on many forms, from library kits and musical concerts to audience-centered programs scalable to all library buildings and staff sizes. We’ve enjoyed getting to know each of the regions involved in the partnership, building relationships with librarians and legacy coordinators around the state, and engaging with lifelong learners in your communities.

Since we launched our first programming catalog in 2010, this partnership has generated some very impressive statistics:

  • Developed more than 50 exclusive programs for libraries

  • Delivered 640 individual programs

  • Served more than 22,000 Minnesotans

This partnership has provided traditional lectures for adults as well as hands-on craft programs, involved libraries with teen oral history camps and traveling exhibits. It has sent Minnesota all-stars like Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard on the road and been the testing ground for live, interactive virtual programs. The topics covered through this partnership have been diverse, including Steampunk Mysteries, the fur trade, and the history of beer in Minnesota. It has been a dizzying whirlwind for us all, and we are so thankful for your support and partnership.

After six years of Legacy funding, both the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minnesota Regional Library Systems find themselves in very different places from where we started. The library regions have built up the experience, structures, and staffing to select and book programs throughout the state. However, program managers now work with smaller budgets causing regional support for this partnership to dwindle. The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is focusing on the final years of its current strategic plan and its staff have learned much about the resources required to run effective statewide outreach. Many outreach programs that existed six years ago have been set aside in favor of more sustainable initiatives.

Due to all of these factors, MNHS will not continue to fund this partnership in the next fiscal year. However, we know that the relationships that we’ve built over this time will continue. MNHS is committed to serving a diverse, lifelong learning audience, and making its resources more inclusive and accessible than ever. Over the next few years, MNHS will push the boundaries of interactive, live virtual programming for senior audiences and develop online and mobile experiences to engage more diverse urban and rural communities around the state. Above all, our organization will continue to provide unique, audience-centered programs at our sites and with partner communities around the state.

Even though this period of program partnership is ending, we know we will be working with many of you in new and exciting capacities in the future. Thank you for six productive and instructive years.



History Day 2015 a success

MHS History Day logoNearly 5,500 students participated in a History Day filed trip, Hullabaloo or Help Session which took place at 20 libraries across the state during this year’s MN History Day activities. This is nearly 1,000 more students than the previous year.  Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) staff coordinated the events at each library, working with individual librarians to schedule research open houses and provide supplemental training materials.  Evaluations from students indicate 72% of students feel more confident doing research in a library as a result of the History Day library experience. And, 88% believe their library visit improved their ability to do research for this project and future academic studies.

2015 Report for the Minnesota History Day Library Partnership

NEW MHS Program Offerings

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo
The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) has been working hard to create engaging, exciting programs that meet the needs of the library adult audience. They are proud to release the newest Adult Programming Catalog. The programs in this brochure are available to take place in libraries anytime between September 2015 and March 2016.

Last year, MHS tested offering the historic craft offerings as a series. This was very popular and therefore that option is back. Libraries can book just one, or if they are interested in hosting a series – all three. Participants of the workshop this year will learn the art of letter writing, everything from hand lettering to DIY monograms to beautiful pop-up cards.

The lecture offerings highlight favorite topics and speakers: the History of Baseball in Minnesota, WWI and its impact on Minnesota, and back by popular demand – Arn Kind! He’ll be using his highly interactive presentation style to the topic of Minnesota’s Firsts.

Finally, MHS will share a third and final offering that will make a huge impact on local communities — a Dementia Friends Training and Workshop. This training will educate participants in the basics of dementia, tools to be a better “friend” to those caring for or living with dementia, and techniques for creating conversation and connection through historical objects and photographs. MHS hopes you will decide to share this training and spark an important conversation about preparing Dementia Friendly communities in Minnesota.

Minnesota Historical Society Library Programming Catalog Fall: September 2015 – March 2016

Successful History Day Partnership

MHS History Day logoThrough a unique partnership, CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), enhanced the learning opportunities for 5,429 students participating in 2014 History Day library activities.  This year’s project saw dramatic increases in the number of schools and students served:

  • Total participation (5,429) increased by nearly 1,000 students over FY2014 — that’s a 22% increase in a single year
  • 60 field trips were supported — up 25%
  • Not only were there more field trips, these trips included more students. 3,768 students were supported by field trip funding this year — that’s a 56% increase over FY2014.

Click here for a statewide History Day summary report

Dementia Friends Training for Libraries

Join Maren Levad for an hour-long webinar on Tuesday, January 20 at 10:00. During this information session, librarians will learn about dementia and turn their understanding into practical action that could help someone living with dementia in their community or visiting their library.

88,000 Minnesotans live with Alzheimer’s disease and the number is growing. 70% of those people live at home and need support from their family and community. Whether you have been personally affected, know of people in your community that live with dementia, or just want to learn more, this session will help you determine how your library can help.

To register for the webinar, please contact Maren.

Trib to be added to Hub

mhs digital newspaper hub banner

State Library Services has announced an agreement with Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) that will integrate the Minneapolis Tribune (1867-1922) into its Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub.  The Newspaper Hub is a searchable website that makes hundreds of thousands of pages of Minnesota newspapers available online. The Hub contains geographically and culturally diverse newspapers.

The Minnesota Historical Society will review the data and establish a work plan for the integration of the paper into the Hub. Jane Wong, MHS Central Collections Services Manager, is leading these efforts.  For specific information about this agreement, contact Jennifer Nelson, Director, State Library Services or Jennifer Jones, Director, Library and Collections at the Minnesota Historical society.

MHS Craft Series for CRPLSA Libraries

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is now offering a series of three workshops on making crepe paper flowers.   Within the programming trio, participants who have already participated in fall sessions made a fall bouquet. The winter session will feature a holiday wreath and, during the third workshop, participants will make wearable accessories (as pictured below). MHS will offer the three sessions individually or booked as a series.

Memorial Day actually used to be called “Decoration Day” and would be prepared for all spring by making hundreds of paper flowers for the family’s deceased loved ones. Crepe paper flowers have been popular historically because of their beauty, the way they can shows off the maker’s delicate expertise, and because they are much more durable and readily available than fresh flowers. Not only will participants learn about this craft’s interesting history, but they will try their hand at making beautiful flowers to take home for themselves.

Contact your regional library Legacy coordinator or email MHS for more information.

MHS Decoration Day historical image MHS Crepe Paper workshop

Summer fun from MHS

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo
This past summer, through a unique partnership between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society, MHS staff featured several unique programs for teens and adults across libraries in five regions. Programs ranged in subject from Atomic Adventure and Old School Selfies to Steampunk Mystery Mayhem (pictured below). The programs met a variety of interests with attendance of over 400 individuals.

Librarian feedback:

Our presenter was very accommodating to our younger group and special needs participants.

From participants:

[We liked] making something kiddos can do without a plug!

I liked the fun, she made it not boring!

I felt like [the mystery] was real!

MHS Steampunk Mystery 2014

New Interactive Minnesota Writers Map

Wrters-map-smallThe Minnesota Book Awards is very pleased to announce a new, online version of the popular Minnesota Writers Map which was first launched in the spring of 2013. Now featuring interactive information on each of the 112 authors listed, the online project is intended to be an ever-expanding effort. In the coming months, additional authors will be added, with more audio and video resources continually being incorporated to make it a truly living and breathing representation of the state’s literary legacy.

History Day 2014 a success

MHS History Day logoThe Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) acclaims National History Day Minnesota 2014 a success.  CRPLSA has bragging rights in this achievement as a result of an ongoing  partnership with MHS that is entering its sixth year.  This partnership brings together the wealth of resources at MHS and library programming support that includes:

  • Providing library and research support for History Day participants
  • Strengthening a statewide network between regional library staff, History Day staff, and History Day teachers
  • Evaluating and documenting the success of History Day library field trips and research open houses.

Increased exposure to History Day library programming and research support resulted in improved student outcomes.  MHS History Day staff have prepared a detailed report describing 2014 activities and successes, as well as a brief summary.

2014 Report for the Minnesota History Day Library Partnership

2014 Report Summary (2 pages)

National History Day Minnesota is an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12.  Sponsored in part by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota,  History Day aims to teach students how to conduct in-depth research, use primary and secondary sources, read a variety of texts, analyze and synthesize information, and write and present historical content.  All skills that will serve them well as they advance in their education.

2014 State History Day Success!

MHS History Day logoFrom SELCO Assistant Director Michael Scott and his thoughts on this year’s Minnesota History Day activities.

I had the privilege of being a judge at this year’s State History Day, held on May 3, 2014, at the University of Minnesota.  I was judge for websites, specifically junior (Grade 6-8) group websites.

Websites are relatively new to History Day and this year’s judging for websites included a new element where students were interviewed at the regional history day competitions and at the state competition. Feedback was offered via forms and the interview was focused on getting at some of the background as to why they chose a topic, where their interest in the topic came from, or why they chose to do a website.  I really enjoyed the interviews and hopefully put students at ease because so many were really nervous.

A few facts from the 2014 State History Day (thanks to the Minnesota Historical Society for this information):

  • 854 projects from 1301 students
  • 135 schools represented
  • 254 judges for the first and final rounds of competition for a combined 1270 hours!

This project is made possible through a partnership between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society to promote History Day in Minnesota libraries with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

History Players in Libraries & Schools

MHS LogoUsing props and artifacts, costumed History Players from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) engage library patrons of all ages in their memorable life stories.  Each lively 45-minute presentation is a fun and stimulating way to learn about the people, places, and events that shaped Minnesota.

The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) created promotional press kits to assist library promotional efforts when hosting a History Player.  Click the links below for information about these important Minnesotans.

Through a partnership between CRPLSA and MHS, the History Players are available for Library Legacy programs.  For more information, contact your regional library Legacy Coordinator.

New MHS Fall-Winter Programs

MHS Library Legacy Partnership Logo

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) has been working hard to create engaging, exciting programs that meet the needs of the adult library audience. After reviewing the evaluations from last season’s offerings, MHS is proud to share the newest Fall-Winter Adult Programming Catalog. The programs in this brochure are available to take place in libraries anytime between September 2014 and March 2015.

New this coming programming season — The Historical Craft Workshop will be available as a series. Libraries can book just one, or if they are interested in hosting a series – all three! Participants of the workshop this year will learn the art of paper flower making, and go home with seasonal treasures for their home or to give as gifts.

MHS is a also excited that although author Larry Millet isn’t able to travel statewide, he is working with MHS staff to create a presentation based on his upcoming book, Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes. This book highlights beautifully preserved homes around the state, and the presentation given by one of MHS’s expert educators is sure to be a wonderful addition to any programming calendar.

For questions or more copies of the Fall-Winter Adult Programming Catalog, contact your regional library Legacy Coordinator.

CRPLSA – MHS History Day Video

MHS History Day logoHistory Day successes abound! 

The continued partnership between CRPLSA and the Minnesota Historical Society brings libraries into the mix of History Day resources, and received rave reviews from MHS staff, parents, teachers, and the successful students.

This MHS video highlights how libraries support advance history students with print and electronic resources and, in the words of the Coordinator of the statewide program, Tim Hoogland — dubbed Mr. History Day — demonstrates how the library partnership is the single best resource for students.

MHS Offer Newspaper Hub

mhs digital newspaper hub banner

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is pleased to introduce the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub, a new searchable website that makes hundreds of thousands of pages of Minnesota newspapers available online in one central resource.

The Hub offers geographically and culturally diverse newspapers from dozens of communities around the state.  Users will also find a unique selection of African American, American Indian, agricultural, business, and labor papers.

MHS created the Hub in collaboration with the Minnesota Newspaper Association.  MHS began digitizing its historic newspapers in 2007 through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program.

As an active partner, SELCO has used Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds for Library Legacy activities to digitize almost 180,000 pages from newspapers published in the southeastern Minnesota counties.  SELCO continues to focus on adding regional resources.  MHS is committed to adding thousands of newspaper pages each year.