Recent action at mid-month board meetings on October 20 moved forward the possibility of a 2017 legislative initiative to change the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula. The most recent approvals were from:
Pioneerland Library System (PLS) is proud to offer Ready Go to PLS libraries this summer. Working with Springboard for the Arts, Ready Go offers an exciting art events that connect people to artist-designed, mobile “tools” that pique curiosity. Peter Haakon Thompson, Community Development Coordinator at Springboard for the Arts, states, “Ready Go tools bring art and artists out into the world and use an expanded idea of how art can help facilitate conversation and participation.”
The Ready Go projects will include:
One Another – a mobile drawing station
Streetcorner Letterpress – printing personal postcards from a variety of papers, images, and colors
Mobile Sign Shop – carve and paint cabin-like directional signs
PLS locations participating in the Ready Go art tour in the coming months include: Appleton, Benson, Bird Island, Canby, Dassel, Dawson, Fairfax, Glencoe, Granite Falls, Hector, Hutchinson, Kerkhoven, Lake Lillian, Litchfield, Montevideo, New London, Ortonville, Spicer, and Willmar.
PLS Executive Director, Laurie Ortega, says, “Ready Go is coming to Pioneerland as part of a regional Legacy program that provides access to art for those living in outstate Minnesota. We’re pleased to bring these creative projects to our libraries as a means to strengthen relationships in our communities, find new ways of interacting, and have fun experiencing art together. We hope you will participate in one of these dynamic art events in your local community.”
The Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) Board of Directors joins the ALS, ECRL, NWRL, and PLS regional library boards in support of the Minnesota Broadband Vision. The SELCO resolution stresses the broad array of vital library services which depend on broadband or high speed Internet. The resolution urges Governor Dayton and the members of the Minnesota Legislature to provide leadership, resources and the necessary legal framework to make this vision a reality.
Libraries around the state are encouraged to seek support from local governing authorities, community groups, and individuals who believe that Internet access is an equity issue for all Minnesotans.
Pioneerland Library System (PLS) is rolling out iPads to libraries for patron check out and in library use. Each PLS library will receive at least one iPad. As a starting point
approximately 20 apps were installed on each device, including children’s games and apps for adults. Patrons who check out and use an iPad will be asked to
complete a brief form asking for feedback on the process and soliciting suggestions
for additional apps.
This is the second phase of a two year technology upgrade – laptops for in library use were rolled out earlier this year. The technology upgrade will continue in 2016 with the planned replacement of all staff/patron computers.
The Pioneerland Library System (PLS) Board of Trustees has appointed Laurie Ortega as the Executive Director of the 31-library system.
Ortega has been serving as Interim Director since February 2015. She joined PLS as manager of the Willmar Public Library in 2004. She began working at PLS headquarters in 2008 as the Assistant Director and as the Director of Library Operations since 2012.
Prior to coming to PLS, Ortega was employed as the librarian for the USGS EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, SD.
Ortega has a BA in English & Journalism from the University of North Dakota, and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of North Texas.
Ortega stated, “I am pleased and grateful for this opportunity to continue my work in PLS as
their Executive Director.”
Cow took a day off from her summer vacation to visit two libraries in the Pioneerland Library System (PLS) yesterday. Mike and I went along to act as her assistants.
In Glencoe, she presented to a group of 100 kids and adults in the beautifully renovated old high school. She was beside herself with joy when she was made an honorary Dairy Princess, but then again, she also felt is was only a matter of time before her regal nature was recognized. Thanks to Slade for making the trek out to Glencoe to film the show for posterity.
On the western edge of Minnesota in Dawson, Cow gave an evening presentation to a small, but receptive group of 30 in the high school performing arts auditorium. It was wonderful that every family was able to go home with their own free copy of the book.
Cow is already back in vacation mode, at the beach in the new swim attire designed by Kim Faurot. If the paparazzi can get close enough to her, you might be subjected to some lakeside photos of Cow later next month. In the meantime, here are a few photos from yesterday.
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.
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).
MLA 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
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)
Minitex has formed an RFP group for the MnLINK Gateway. This committee will prepare, solicit and review RFPs to replace the current Fretwell-Downing VDX interlibrary loan software, as well as investigate a discovery layer for the MnLINK Gateway. The individuals on this working group represent different types of libraries, varying areas of expertise and metro/outstate locations.
MnLINK RFP Committee Members
Nick Banitt – Minitex
Ken Behringer – Dakota County Library
Ruth Dukelow – CLIC
Sonja Eilertson – PALS
Raquel Franklin – Minitex
Cheryl Hill – SELCO
Ann Hutton – SELCO
Karen Kilbride – Hennepin County Library
Beth Lunn – Pioneerland Library System (PLS)
Nicole Murphy – Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL)
Dixie Ohlander – Augsburg College
Becky Ringwelski – Minitex
Greg Sauve – Rochester Public Library
Jill Smith – Anoka County Library
Darla Sorenson – Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative (TdSLC)
Paul Swanson – Minitex
Becky Ringwelski, Minitex Associate Director, will chair the committee and Valerie Horton, Minitex Executive Director will participate as an ex officio member. The recommendation of the committee will go to Valerie Horton who will make the final decision on the system to replace the current ZPortal/VDX software. A member of the University of Minnesota Purchasing Department will work closely with the committee during this process.
The SELCO/SELS Board of Directors (SELCO) and Pionnerland Library System (PLS) Board voted unanimously to support a change to the Regional Library Basic System (RLBSS) formula during the 2015 legislative session. These two regional governing boards join the Arrowhead Library System (ALS) in endorsing this legislative initiative. During the coming months, each of the other regional library boards will be asked to support the proposal to amend current statutory language.
Minnesota supports regional library service around the state through an appropriation of RLBSS aid administered by the Department of Education. Members of the library community reviewed the current formula and support different percentages while retaining the same calculating factors: base, population, area, and equalization.
The adjusted formula will reduce funding volatility and make budgeting more stable. Should the 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 reduced from 25% to 15%. In each case, whether equalization is at 17.5% or 15%, the funds previous assigned to that category will shift to the base to cover basic operational expenses.
If approved the new formula would become effective in 2016.
Pioneerland Library System (PLS) will work with an independent consultant, Robert Bjorklund, and conduct a compensation and classification study for PLS staff positions. The purpose of the classification and compensation study will be to address changes in operations and staffing over the last several years, which may have affected the type, scope and level of work being performed.
Specific objectives of the 4-6 month study are:
to have a credible classification and compensation plan that recognizes these changes
ensure positions performing similar work with essentially the same level of complexity, responsibility, and knowledge, skills and abilities are classified together
provide salaries commensurate with assigned duties
The Pioneerland Library System (PLS) Board approved a new 2014-2016 strategic plan on January 23. This plan was developed by a committee made up of Board and staff members. They were guided by the PLS mission and vision statements and used an extensive patron survey and a review of best practices and current research on trends in public libraries to create a plan with 10 goals and multiple activities to pursue in the next three years.
PLS will work with the head librarians, all library staff, and local stakeholders to determine the goals and activities to be pursued locally at each library. In the weeks ahead, more will be forthcoming on the plan, including ways to document outcomes and activities towards achieving the goals. PLS will also create public information plan to help share the library’s goals with the public.