PCLS Winter Getaway

Plum Creek Library System’s (PCLS) annual winter reading program launched region-wide on January 2, and PCLS Winter Reading 2016will run through March 31, 2016.

The program, open to ages 18 and beyond, is held every year during the winter months, and rewards readers for doing what they love to do – read. Participation is simple: sign up at your local library, and pledge to read at least 12 books during the 3-month long program. Most readers will meet that goal and many will exceed that number. Most PCLS libraries offer patrons who complete the challenge an incentive prize. In addition, libraries will be given recognition for various distinctions including the most new participants enrolled in the program and most books read throughout the three-month period.

Cow to the southwest – MN that is

Hello Once Upon a Reader fans,

Mike and I and Cow just returned from two successful days in the Plum Creek region of southwestern Minnesota, visiting Marshall and Windom. Cow attracted an audience of about 80 admirers at each stop. She particularly enjoyed taking advantage of the hotel amenities Cow enjoying the pool 2015-08 which gave her a chance to show off the latest wardrobe fashions created for her by Kim Faurot.

Once again the librarians at each stop made us feel udderly welcome. It’s hard to believe that it has been less than a year ago when Cow made her first appearance. What a full year we have all had!

We hope that you are enjoying these dog days of summer, whether you are traveling on vacation or staying cool at home.

Till September,

Your Bovine Buddies,
David, Mike, and Cow

P.S. Here are a few photos from our recent travels —

Regional library heritage

CRPLSA Boese Houlihan and Scott 2015-06
Bob Boese, John Houlihan, and Tom Scott

An amazing number of years of Minnesota library experience recently gathered for lunch and shared a selfie.

If there were prizes for having worked in the most Minnesota regions, Bob Boese, currently Interim Director at Plum Creek Library System, would win hands down with this diverse employment history:

  • Western Plains Library System 1977-1983
  • Pioneerland Library System 1983-1986
  • East Central Regional Library 1986-2007
  • Northwest Regional Library 2012-2013
  • Plum Creek Library System 2014-2015

John Houlihan – Pioneerland Library System 1992 – 2011

Tom Scott – Plum Creek Library System 1983 – 1995

PCLS New Executive Director

pcls silhouetteThe Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) Executive Committee is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Jim Trojanowski as the new PCLS Executive Director. Jim is currently the Director of the Northern Waters Library Service (NWLS) in Ashland, Wisconsin where he has served since July 2004. NWLS is a federated library system serving 28 libraries in eight northern Wisconsin counties. Prior to that, Trojanowski spent 11 years as Director of Vaughn Public Library in Ashland. He has also worked at the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha and at the Cedar Rapids (IA) Public Library.

A graduate of Bellevue West (NE) High School, Trojanowski has a BA in History and an MA in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Iowa. He has been an active member of the Wisconsin Library Association, served on numerous statewide library committees, and in 2004 he received a Special Humanities Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for his efforts to bring Prime Time Family Reading Time to Wisconsin.

His start date in Minnesota will be Monday, July 6. The Search Committee and Executive Committee both agree his background and experience make him well suited to meet the challenges and opportunities he will face at PCLS.

Trojanowski feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the library directors, staff, and trustees within the Plum Creek Library System and he looks forward to becoming an active member of the Minnesota library community.

McHenry Response to CRPLSA

The CRPLSA directors and each of the 12 regional library board chairs have received a response from Kevin McHenry, Minnesota Department of Education Assistant Commissioner.  McHenry’s letter addresses  CRPLSA’s concerns  regarding earlier  management decisions at PCLS and PLS.   McHenry’s letter summarizes recent MDE investigations:

  1. State Library Services and the Department’s finance staff have completed a review of PCLS.
  2. MDE has asked PLS to provide documentation related to recent telecommunication costs and services.

Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry response to CRPLSA concerns

CRPLSA Letter to Assistant Commissioner McHenry

CRPLSA recently communicated two major concerns to Minnnesota Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry pertaining to the management and oversight of regional public library systems.

  1. CRPLSA supports the ongoing investigation by the Department and State Library Services (SLS) into recent anomalies in Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA) as created by the FY2015 application from the Pioneerland Library System (PLS).
  2. CRPLSA appreciates the speed with which MDE and SLS conducted the administrative, organizational and fiscal review of Plum Creek Library System (PCLS).  The letter further emphasized that the other regional library staff and governing boards quickly reviewed their individual credit card policies, as well as grant expenditure and reporting policies to verify good management procedures.

Letter to MDE Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry

MDE Review of PCLS

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) conducted an administrative, organizational, and fiscal review of Plum Creek Library System (PCLS).  The purpose of the review was to examine known weaknesses in these areas and to identify any other potential areas of weakness.  The Review Results provides a summary of the identified weaknesses and recommendations for corrective action.

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

New PCLS Legacy Coordinator

Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) is pleased to announce the hiring of a new Library Legacy Coordinator, Rebecca Hudson.  Rebecca has 23-years of library experience as the Assistant Librarian for the Slayton Public Library and thus brings practical, front line experience to regional programming challenges.  In addition to serving as the PCLS Legacy Coordinator, Rebecca will fill the role of Office Administrator vacated with the retirement of long-time PCLS employee, Chris Lang.  Welcome, Rebecca.

MLCL to Re-Join PCLS

PCLS-logoFollowing the actions taken by the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) board earlier in October, the Marshall Lyon County Library (MLCL) board and the Marshall City Council agreed to re-join the regional library.  The terms of membership as set by PCLS include hours of operation and participation the PCLS integrated library system, as well as an agreement to participate in resource sharing through interlibrary loan.  In addition and unique to this agreement include a probationary period that runs until June 30, 2015 and having MLCL assume the costs of re-entering the the library’s bibliographic holdings and library user information into the PCLS online system.

The Marshall Independent offers more details

PCLS Celebrates!

PCLS 40 anniversaryJoin current and former Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) board members, library directors, system staff and others in celebrating 40 years of service to the libraries of southwestern Minnesota.

  • Date:  Thursday, September 25, 2014
  • Time:  6:00 p.m. Reception and 6:45 p.m. Program and book signing by renowned author and humorist, Kevin Kling
  • Location: Worthington Event Center, Worthington, MN
  • RSVP:  Via email or by calling the PCLS office – 507-376-5803
  • For more information: Program flyer

McHenry Statement Regarding State-Funded Services

MDE Logo 2013Following the withdrawal of the Marshall Lyon County Library from the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS), State Library Services received several questions related to the availability of state-funded library programs and services to Marshall patrons.

Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, has issued a statement that provides responses to those questions and offers clarification on the eligibility to access specific services.

Shift of PLCS services

Effective July 1, the Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) will no longer provide state or regionally funded library services to the Marshall Library or residents of the City of Marshall.  This follows a decision by the Marshall Lyon County Library to withdraw from PCLS and operate as an independent library. PCLS will continue to serve residents whose library tax dollars come from member library cities and rural Lyon county, including Cottonwood and Balaton.

Local media coverage of this decision

Storytimes for Everyone

Every child ready to read logoEasy as Sing, Read, Talk, Write and Play: Storytimes for Everyone

Adults as Partners in Developing Language and Literacy in Young Children

The Minnesota Department of Education, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is proud to bring renowned early literacy educator Saroj Ghoting to Minnesota for a series of workshops designed to give librarians and early childhood educators background in early literacy best practices. The workshops are rooted in the Every Child Ready to Read research-based curriculum released by the Public Library Association in 2011.

Attendees will learn to enhance storytimes and other reading interactions by incorporating information for parents and caregivers into them. Sessions include an overview of the five practices (sing, talk, read, write, play) and real-world techniques for planning storytimes that include valuable content for children and adults.

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Thu., Sept. 4, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Prior Lake Library
16210 Eagle Creek Avenue SE, Prior Lake

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Fri., Sept. 5, 2014, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Owatonna Public Library
105 N. Elm Avenue, Owatonna

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Mon., Sept. 8, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Redwood Falls Public Library
509 S. Lincoln Street, Redwood Falls

~Train the Trainer Workshop~
Tue., Sept. 9, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Thu., Sept. 11, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
MN State & Community Tech College
900 Highway 34 East, Detroit Lakes

~Storytimes for Everyone~
Fri., Sept. 12, 2014, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Grand Rapids Area Library
420 N. Pokegama Avenue, Grand Rapids

Visit http://tinyurl.com/ploppce to register. There is no fee to attend, but optional lunch fees may apply, depending on location. Registration is limited.

For more information, email Jackie Blagsvedt or call 651-582-8805.

PCLS offers MLCL membership option

PCLS-logoPlum Creek Library System (PCLS) offers membership option to Marshall-Lyon County Library

The PCLS Governing Board offered the Marshall-Lyon County Library (MLCL) Board an opportunity to remain members of PCLS at the regional board meeting on June 18, 2014, in Slayton. By agreeing to abide by the joint powers agreement and PCLS policies, MLCL can insure that full regional and state library services will be continued to the residents of Marshall after July 1.  As proposed, MLCL will need to adopt the following resolution by June 30, 201

MLCL Board agrees to abide by the current PCLS joint powers agency agreement, the policies and procedures set forth by the PCLS Board and Advisory Council, and any future policies set by the PCLS Board under the authority granted to that Board by the joint powers agency agreement, PCLS Bylaws, or state law. MLCL Board agrees to pay all invoices sent to MLCL by PCLS for automation and delivery services in a timely manner.

Full press release and details

PCLS Endorses RLBSS Change

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe Plum Creek Library System (PCLS) Board has approved the concepts identified in the proposal to amend current RLBSS statutory language and will support a 2015 legislative initiative.

The adjusted formula will reduce funding volatility and make budgeting more stable. Should the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) appropriation increase by $1.2 million per year above the current $13.5 million amount, the equalization portion of the formula would be reduced from 25% to 17.5%. If the proposed funding increase is $2 million or greater, then the equalization factors will be adjusted from 25% to 15%. In each case, whether equalization is at 17.5% or 15%, the funds previous assigned to the equalization category will shift to the base to cover basic operational expenses.

Nobles County Library & Northstar Digital Literacy

TNorthstar logohe 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.