PLD Day 2016

PLD logoPLD Day is an annual event for those who work in or are invested in public libraries. This annual event is hosted by the Minnesota Library Association’s Public Libraries Division and is sponsored in part by CRPLSA and Minitex.

Register now!

When:  Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, 9:00am-3:30pm

Water Street Inn
101 Water St South
Stillwater, MN 55082
Free parking is available at the venue

What to expect:
PLD Day will feature three information sessions from four amazing speakers, one from within the library world, and three offering an outside perspective.

  • Valerie Horton, Director of Minitex – will share her thoughts on Skating on the Bleeding Edge: Risk and Experimentation in Libraries. Let’s get out of our comfort zone and think about how we can be more responsive to changing situations and communities.
  • Minerva Munoz, director of TRiO Upward Bound at the University of Minnesota, and Kirsten Collins, Associate Academic Adviser of TRiO, will be presenting a workshop titled Class and Classism. This topic has high relevancy for people who work in libraries of all types and sizes.
  • Gwen Westberg, lead visual merchandiser for Patina stores will  reveal how Patina views their merchandising and display efforts, get ideas for applying these techniques to libraries, and envision the results of effective merchandising on your collections and resources.

In addition, there will be networking time, lightning talks from around the state, and fun themed activities.

$40 MLA member
$60 Non-member
Lunch is included with registration and will include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.

Register now!

Mark Your Calendar: MLA at 125

MLA 125 logoCome to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center September 29 – 30, 2016 to enjoy, learn, and celebrate the 125 year history of the Minnesota Library Association. The MLA Conference will feature fabulous keynote speakers and top-notch presentations from other librarians across the state. Network with colleagues and move forward into the future of libraries.

Whether new to MLA or just a first time conference attendee, there will be many opportunities to meet colleagues, grow professionally and learn from the history and expertise of MLA. A newcomers’ orientation session will introduce the conference structure and help participants get the most out of conference experiences.

Visit the conference Facebook page or the MLA website to keep up on the latest conference news.  Online Registration will begin July 21.

Broadband Resolution

MN Broadband Vision 2016Members of the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Legislative Committee endorse the Minnesota Broadband Vision.  This library specific resolution will be recommended for adoption by the MLA Board later this month.  Libraries around the state are encouraged to seek support from local governing authorities.

Resolution by the MLA Legislative Committee

CRPLSA will post a list of library endorsements, as shared.  For more complete information on support for the broadband vision from around the state, follow the Broadband Vision Facebook page.

MLA Appreciation

From Margaret Stone, MLA President – Elect and 2015 Conference Sponsor Chair

MLA conference logo 2015Thank you for sponsoring the 2015 Minnesota Library Association Conference! Thanks to your support MLA had a hugely successful conference with 576 attendees. Through our 2015 sponsors we were able to bring in two very engaging and thought provoking keynote speakers.  In keeping with our theme of Search, Create, Inspire, we held Creation Station, which offered conference attendees the opportunity for some networking and to try out some of the fun technology being used in some libraries. In addition, this year according to the evaluations, we had a high number of top rated program sessions. Your support through financial sponsorship helped us produce a very well received conference.

In 2016 the association will celebrate its 125th anniversary.  The conference will be held in Duluth on September 29th and 30th at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. I hope you will consider sponsoring the 2016 conference. With your assistance, it is certain to be another excellent conference.

Thank you once again for sponsoring the 2015 conference.  We greatly appreciate your support of the Minnesota Library Association.

Call for MLA Silent Auction Items

MLA conference logo 2015The Silent Auction is a fun annual tradition at the MLA Conference that has been supporting the Minnesota Library Foundation and in turn, the local library community, for twenty years.

Help make this year another success!

While there are always some great donations from local businesses, authors, and even Etsy artists, the auction still needs generous individuals like you to help fill the tables.  As librarians, board members, and Friends are well-rounded and multi-talented people — Do you have a skill, creative hobby, or knack for shopping? Please consider donating an item or service! We also know everyone is human — Are your closets full of barely-touched impulse purchases or unwanted gifts? Bring them in and write them off on your taxes! (No one will tell your Great Aunt you never used that Bundt pan…promise.)

When you’re done searching your closets and tapping into your creative genius, please alert the auction planners, Allison Current and Erica Ross an, an email heads-up at as soon as possible.   Then mail or drop off your items with a donation form at the CLIC Office by September 24th: 

1619 Dayton Avenue Ste. 204
St. Paul, MN 55104 

The Minnesota Library Foundation helps fund the Minnesota Leadership Institute for emerging leaders, supports the Minnesota Book Awards and provides small grants to libraries across the state.

MLA 2015 – Save the Date!

MLA conference logo 2015Come to St. Paul on October 8 and 9, 2015 for the annual  Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference!

Online Registration opens August 3

In the world of libraries, we SEARCH for new ways to engage our patrons and to  enhance the user’s experience!

Let’s all work to CREATE a lasting experience and take that energy back and share it with our colleagues.

The Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference will INSPIRE you as you head back to your local library. You will be ready to experiment with new ideas and attack any problem from a new perspective!

Recharge your passion for libraries by attending a wide variety of engaging breakout sessions and the keynote presenters:

  • Miguel Figueroa, American Library Association, Libraries of the Future: Learning with ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries
  • Eli Neiburger, Deputy Director of the Ann Arbor District Library, with FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions
  • More details about the keynote speakers

CRPLSA is a proud sponsor of the 2015 Annual MLA Conference.

PLD Day 2015

MLA PLD logoTime is running out to register for for PLD Day 2015!

Registration deadline:  April 15th

Who? All public librarians!

When?   April 28th from 9:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Where?  The Grands at Mulligans in Sartell, MN

Why? Because we’re going to have an awesome day!

To register:  Cost for the day, including breakfast snacks and a sit down lunch are $30 for MLA members and $50 for non-members. Sign up today.

PLD Day 2015 is going to be a fun, educational day for ALL public librarians and we encourage you to join us!

In the morning, CRPLSA (Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators) will take us on a tour of Minnesota’s regional library systems – they will talk about funding formulas, organization, service areas, everything you ever wanted to know about the other regions in the state.

Our keynote is Andrew Stehr from Rochester Public Library.  Play It Safe:  Tips on library Security with a focus on handling issues when you’re on your own.  Dealing with security and behavior issues is one of the worst parts of working in a public library.  This session will help take some of the confrontation out of security and help you feel safer when dealing with incidents.

And in the afternoon? We’ve got technology demonstrations, including a 3D printer, Discover Kits from Carver County, and a vinyl cutter – all things that could be very useful for your library in ways you have probably not imagined!

And the last session of the day will be a panel on makerspaces, including some of the demonstrated technologies.  There are ways to create awesome makerspaces in both big and small libraries so don’t think because you have no space, this won’t be useful for you!

MLA opposes statutory changes to regional hiring

A Minnesota Library Association (MLA) has delivered a  letter to legislative leaders opposing an change to the statutes regarding the hiring of regional public library system directors as proposed by Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).

While the library community understands that this provision tries to address the issues  outlined in the recent  administrative, organizational, and fiscal review of Plum Creek Library System (PCLS),  CRPLSA does not believe this change will prevent future administrative weakness.   The State Auditor has traditionally been the agency to inform local governments of changes oversight while allowing for the greatest level of local authority.

MLA Annual Conference Call for Proposals

MLA conference logo 2015It’s time to start thinking about the MLA 2015 Annual Conference!

The Minnesota Library Association 2015 Annual Conference will be at the RiverCentre in St. Paul October 8-9.   Search, Create, Inspire, this year’s conference theme chosen by MLA President Maggie Snow, is an opportunity to showcase and share the work we do every day — searching for answers, creating learners, inspiring minds to grow and communities to take action.

The MLA Annual Conference equips library staff with new ideas and tools to stay up-to-date, innovate, and succeed in their careers. A presentation at the conference can have an immediate and lasting impact on local libraries. Please help shape the program at the 2015 conference.

Please complete the proposal submission form if you have a great idea for an MLA 2015 Annual Conference session.  Everything you need to know about submitting a session proposal can be found on the MLA website.

Deadline for session proposals is Friday May 1, 2015.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the MLA Conference Program Committee Chairs.

Michele McGraw and Barbara Svoboda

MILE Seeks Mentors

MLA logo 2014Interested in helping develop future library leaders?

MLA recently announced the 2015 class for the  Minnesota Library Association Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE).  MLA is seeking applications from experienced library professionals who would like to contribute to the success of Minnesota libraries. Applicants are sought from all types of libraries, and with a range of professional experiences. This is a great opportunity to make a professional contribution while getting to know an enthusiastic and engaged MILE mentee.

More information about the mentorship program and the mentor application

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

MLA at 125

MLA logo 2014The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) will reach a milestone in 2016– the 125th Anniversary of the professional organization. MLA was began in 1891 with William W. Folwell, serving as the first president. More than 100 other presidents and conferences have followed. The 125th Anniversary Celebration Committee, led by Co-Chairs Margaret Stone and Kathleen James, will plan opportunities to celebrate the work of the association and its members throughout 2016.

One undertaking will be the the first-ever MLA History Digital Project.  MLA will work with the Minnesota Historical Society as MHS holds a majority of the MLA archives  including founding documents, newsletters, conference programs back to 1896, and much more. MLA will also partner with the Minnesota Digital Library for digitization and access via Minnesota Reflections.  Sara Ring serves as MLA History Digital Project Chair.

MILE accepting apps

MILE 2015 logo

MILE — Minnesota’s Institute for Leadership Excellence is seeking both mentors and mentees for MILE 2015.

Apply today and …

  • Develop and refine skills necessary to be a leader in the libraries of tomorrow.
  • Develop and move forward on professional and personal goals.
  • Network and make connections with colleagues in the broader community.
  • Reflect on the variety of leadership opportunities available at the local, regional, and state levels.

The application deadline is December 1.

CRPLSA Members to Join MLA Board

Among the new board members recently elected by the membership of the Minnesota Library Association to serve in leadership positions are two CRPLSA directors — Barbara Misselt, East Central Regional Library (ECRL), and Dayle Zelenka, Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC).

ECRL logo new

Misselt will assume responsibilities for future advocacy efforts as Legislative Chair-Elect and will serve a three-year term in this key advocacy role.

MLA serves as the primary voice and advocate for libraries, librarians, library support staff, and the publics they serve in Minnesota.  Advocacy and government relations are among the association’s highest priorities.


Zelenka will chair the MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee. This committee helps educate library workers, trustees and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom.  This is a two-year assignment.  Zelenka will also serve as a primary point of contact should a library encounter censorship challenges or difficulties.

Other 2014 MLA election results include Margaret Stone, Anoka County Assistant Director to be the President-Elect and Laura Morlock, IM/MLIS Office Manager at St. Catherine University, who will serve as Secretary.

Elected in 2013 for a two-year position and continuing on the MLA Board of Directors will be Carla Lydon, ECRL Assistant Director.

Congratulations to all and CRPLSA’s appreciation for your willingness to serve.

ECRL Kids Design Glass at MLA

ECRL program at MLA 2014-10

The East Central Regional Library (ECRL) conference session entitled “Creating a Wow! Legacy Project” perfectly met the MLA “Better Together” conference theme.  ECRL staff and Library Legacy project sculptor, transported and installed the glass sculptures created through the “Kids Design Glass” project. Barbara Misselt and Vickie Sorn described the project process. Sculptor Anthony Michaud-Scorza talked about the creation of the art pieces – from children’s artwork to blown glass, assisted by Legacy staff Cortney Walbridge and Patty Thompson.

Note the glass sculptures on the display table in the background.

“Kids Design Glass” was made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

MLA Conference Registration – Open

Conference Registration is Open!MLA conference logo 2014

With over 60 sessions, the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) offers something for everyone. The two-day annual conference schedule will cross eight session times and offer nine professional tracks:

  • Administration & Leadership
  • Authors, Literature, and Programming
  • Children & Young Adults
  • Collection Management & Technical Services
  • Digital Information & Technologies
  • Diversity
  • Library Trustees & Friends
  • Professional Development
  • Public Services

In addition, conference goers will enjoy a silent auction fundraiser for the Minnesota Library Association Foundation, countless networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall with vendors showcasing library products and services.

Early-bird discounted rates end August 31.

MLA Strategic Plan

MLA logo 2014


The MLA Board continues to work on implementing the strategic plan shared at the  Membership Meeting at last Fall’s Annual Conference.

The areas of focus are:

  • Engaging our members
  • Strengthening our organization
  • Developing and equipping our leaders
  • Educating and activating a library support network

We are working on projects in all of these areas. We have started a review of our own MLA information (membership, budget, committees, etc.) to better understand our current environment, and are planning to survey other state library associations in the coming months to see how we compare to similar organizations and discover what we may learn from them. We will also be reaching out to you, MLA members, to get your feedback on a range of issues and to make sure that we are meeting your needs. Thanks in advance for your participation in this process!

Donations Encouraged: MLF Silent Auction

MLA Foundation logoWhether you’re out and about exploring new places or working on your favorite hobby this summer, now is the time to start thinking about your donation to this year’s Silent Auction! This year’s Minnesota Library Association (MLA) conference will be in Mankato from October 8-9 and is expected to be attended by hundreds of librarians, trustees, exhibitors, and Friends of Libraries from all across Minnesota.

The Silent Auction is one of the Minnesota Library Foundation’s (MLF) major fundraisers. The Foundation’s mission is “to benefit the community by raising and distributing funds to enhance the services and increase public awareness of Minnesota libraries.” We are only able to do this with your support!

All donations should include a contribution form and can be shipped to:

MLF Silent Auction
1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 314
St. Paul, MN 55104

Please clearly mark the package or envelope for “Silent Auction.”  Note that if your donation includes an expiration date, our event does not take place until October.

Thank you for your past support of the Minnesota Library Foundation through your generous donation to the Silent Auction. With your help we can make our eighteenth annual auction – a valuable and fun part of the MLA conference – a success!  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

 Judy Todd                                Lyndi Finifrock Fabbrini

Legislative Forum

MLA logo 2014MLA/MEMO 2014 Legislative Forum: Register Now

MLA and MEMO  members are invited to gather at Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud on July 8th  from 9:00 am until 3:00pm for the annual Library Legislative Forum.

Elaine Keefe, MLA lobbyist, will review the 2014 Legislative Session and special guests from the Minnesota Department of Education will speak.  The majority of the day will be spent developing and discussing possible legislative priorities, opportunities, and challenges for 2015.

Come be a part of this opportunity to shape the 2015 legislative agenda!
Registration is free for members and is now open.

Click here for more information about the Legislative Forum and to register

MLA Legislative Survey: Your Input Needed on the MLA Legislative Process

As part of our  2014 strategic planning, MLA is examining its legislative processes. MLA would like your thoughts on our current practices as well as input on future legislative priorities.  Please take a moment to give your feedback.  Click here to take the survey.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Celebrated at Lunch for Libraries

F Scott FitzgeraldMinnesota’s love for native son F. Scott Fitzgerald hasn’t abated in the decades since his death. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as the success of events like the recent Great Gatsby library gala in Roseville can attest. It is fitting, then, that this literary giant is the focus of MLA’s seventh annual summer Lunch for Libraries fundraiser.

Lunch for Libraries will feature scholar Dave Page, a teacher of English at Inver Hills Community College, who recently edited an early and overlooked Fitzgerald work piece.  Long before Fitzgerald’s rise to fame, while still growing up in the Crocus Hill neighborhood of St. Paul, this schoolboy kept an ordered diary of his life. He named it, appropriately enough, his “Thoughtbook.”

You can hear Page speak Wednesday, June 11 at Macalester College’s Kagin Commons, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul. The program will begin at 11:15 a.m. with book sales and signings. Page’s talk will run until 1:15 p.m.

Tickets are $40 each or $300 to sponsor a table for eight. For more information or to purchase tickets, email Judy Todd, or call MELSA, 651-645-5731.

The Minnesota Library Foundation raises and distributes funds to enhance services and increase public awareness of all Minnesota libraries. Lunch for Libraries has raised more than $10,000 – both for libraries throughout the state and for leadership training for emerging library leaders.

MLA’s new look & logo

MLA logo 2014The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) is pleased to share the new  logo! The logo was designed with versatility in mind so that it can used with ease on the MLA website, social media, and in print communications.

Over the years, there have been multiple “looks” associated with MLA through its logos (most recently there were three in simultaneous use for various communications). Members of the logo subcommittee of the MLA Communications Committee proposed a new logo that would represent a strong and unified visual representation of the association.

Members of this group conducted an RFP in early 2013 and reviewed 18 proposals. Using a detailed rubric that analyzed how well each company conformed to the RFP requirements, three firms were interviewed. St. Paul based design firm beganik strategy + design was selected.  The final version of the new design was approved by the MLA board in September and unveiled for the first time in October during the MLA Annual Conference.