SELCOtv Features MNBA 2016 Booktalks

SelcoTV Cover PageJust in time for the 2016 Minnesota Book Awards, SELCO staff will “booktalk” each of this year’s 32 finalists for SELCOtv.  A special YouTube playlist aggregates the videos as they are posted.  During the days leading up to the awards ceremony on April 16, 1-2 booktalks from the eight award categories will be posted each day.

Here is a selection of those shared thus far in the individual MNBA genre categories:

SELCO Supports Broadband Vision

MN Broadband Vision 2016The 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.

Book Bike wins Innovation Award

BookBike logoRochester Public Library’s BookBike is being recognized as one of Minnesota’s most innovative local government projects.

Each year, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs recognizes cities, counties and schools for redesigning how they do business through new initiatives and projects. The BookBike was the overall winner in the City Category, earning the library a $5,000 grant.

The BookBike, a little library on wheels, was pulled by library staff on bicycles to locations within a one-mile radius of the downtown library April through September. The BookBike offered library books for check-out, library cards, program information, assistance with digital materials, bike trail maps and fun incentives to visitors. “The BookBike program saw great success this summer,” says Head of Youth Services and BookBike Project Director, Heather Acerro. “We reached over 5,500 community members and visited over 100 sites.”

According to Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the Humphrey School’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, “These awards are helping to raise the bar for delivering excellent government services, and that’s very exciting.” The awards are organized in partnership with the Bush Foundation and co-sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, MN Association of Townships, and the Minnesota School Board Association. “Every year, we see more and more creative ways that governments are figuring out how to save money but still deliver the same high quality of services,” says Kiedrowski.

Rochester Public Library’s BookBike is the first bicycle-powered library in Minnesota. The BookBike project was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through a Community Collaboration grant from Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) in late 2014.

MALF Best: Austin Public Library Friends

Austin Friends and Evy Nordley Award 2015
Sue Grove, President of the Austin Public Library Friends, and Mary Ann Bernat, MALF President

The Friends of the Austin Public Library were recognized for outstanding library support at the recent MLA annual conference.  The Austin Friends received the 2015 Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library, the most distinguished award from the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF).

The project grew out of a local need for new reading materials after the closing of a local bookstore.  The Friends negotiated a partnership with the Rochester Barnes & Noble and offered buying opportunities for community members which coincided with special holidays.

Of the award, Friends President Sue Grove stated, “Winning the Evy Nordley Award is an affirmation that what our Friends group is doing is providing real services and benefits to our community.  The $1,000 grant attached to the Evy Nordley will serve as ‘seed money’ as we explore other innovative projects.”

Click here to read more about their award-winning project and how the Friends of the Austin Public Library created a new and replicable holiday book sale model.

Cow’s continuing MOO-velous Adventures

Ann Hutton with Cow in Winona
It’s hard to tell who was more excited to meet the other, Ann Hutton or Cow. Definitely a Mutual Adoration Society.

Hello Once Upon a Reader Fans!

This past week saw Mike and me and Cow edging closer to the end of our incredible tour.

On Tuesday morning, Sept 22, we presented to 120 attendees at the gorgeous Winona Public Library. Cow was thrilled to meet one of her biggest fans, Ann Hutton. And Ann certainly knew how to treat a diva like Cow; ever since, Cow has been asking why WE don’t treat her with such adoration. That afternoon we traveled to the small town of Houston and presented to 120 preschoolers to second graders at the elementary school. It was our last SELCO show, were taken care of at every SELCO venue where we performed. Thank you so much, ladies.

On Thursday we headed north to present to 90 preschoolers who filled our room at the Grand Rapids library. Another gorgeous site, right on the Mississippi River, and Darla and Tracy could not have been more enthusiastic and helpful. We then wound our way to one of the most secluded sites of our tour, South Ridge School outside of Culver. Cow wanted to take part in the volleyball game that was going on next to us, but we convinced her to perform for the 50 attendees that the Head Start folks had brought in that evening. There were lots of crafts to do and every family got to bring home a book, which is always great to see.

Cow in Grand Rapiids 2015-09
In the wonderful play area at the Grand Rapids Rapids Public Library, Cow spells out one of her favorite words.

And now we are packing our bags for the FINAL leg of our tour. What an amazing adventure we’ve had this past year!

Here are a few photos from this past week.

You’ll hear from us one more time after we return from our final six shows!

David, Mike, but mostly Cow

SELCO’s Hot Reads for 2016

Hot Reads for Cold Nights poster 2016SELCO’s 2016 Hot Reads for Cold Nights theme takes its cue from a cool evening’s walk in new-fallen snow.  As dusk turns to night, the sky takes on a gorgeous ombré effect fading from winter white through numerous shades of purple to a midnight blue.  Even though the air is chilly, you enjoy the beauty of it all knowing you have one of our mugs filled with piping hot cocoa just waiting for you to return.

Reading program products available for purchase

Cow Tours SELCO

A travelogue from Minnesota Author, David LaRochelle as he travels the state with Minnesota Illustrator, Mike Wohnoutka and the Once Upon a Reader star performer – Cow and their adventures in SELCO.

Hello Once Upon a Reader folks!Cow profile pix-crop

June is National Dairy Month so Cow was in high demand for guest appearances, but she took time from her busy schedule to join Mike and me as we visited six more SELCO libraries Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Once again the wonderful folks at SELCO (Amy, Amy, Reagan, Cindy and all the great librarians we met) did a fabulous job of welcoming us at each stop.

Monday’s rain didn’t keep the 125 attendees away from joining us at the Rochester Public Library. Despite some bad driving from David (I wish I could blame it on Cow), we made it to our second stop just in the nick of time, which was one of our most unusual venues to date: the weight room at the Rochester Family YMCA. 80 day camp kids and their counselors, spanning a very wide age-range, joined us in this unique location. Cow being the star that she is took it all in stride.

Tuesday was a beautiful day for a drive to the small town of Dodge Center where 50 kids packed the cozy meeting room in the library. It was then on to Spring Valley where Jenny Simon and her crew had the entire library decked out for our visit, with cow balloons, milk cans, window paintings, the Moo! Story Walk, dozens of cow books, and after our show, milk and cookies and a LIVE COW. 200 kids and their caregivers joined us under the storybook tree in the children’s area for our show.

Wednesday morning we had an audience of 150 at the Austin Public Library. We bypassed the Spam Museum (we were afraid it might hit a little too close to home for Cow), and headed to Albert Lea for a performance to 100 in the afternoon. Both libraries had beautiful lake views and the librarians in both stops were well prepared for our visit.

Thanks to all the librarians and the wonderful women at SELCO who made these visits so successful. We are glad that we get to work with you again in September.

Cow is out touring on her own at the moment, but I thought I’d pass along some of the photos from her appearances this past week.

Your bovine buddies,

David, Mike, and Cow

More photos of Cow’s travels throughout Minnesota

More of Cow’s Adventures

Cow and David with library fans 2015-05Hello Team MOO!

Cow (and Mike and David) have had a very successful month of May, mooing from the top to bottom of Minnesota. 

On May 8 Cow traveled far north, to visit 140 K, 1st, and 2nd graders at the Warren elementary school in the morning, and then performed for 70 folks at the Thief River Falls Public Library in the afternoon. A few days later she made a southern tour of the state, visiting over 200 kids at the Owatonna Public Library in the morning of May 11, and over 200 kids at the stunning Buckham Memorial Library in Faribault in the afternoon. The next day she was eager to visit with 120 day care kids at the Plainview Public Library and then had one of her largest crowds to date, over 250 kindergarteners at the Red Wing Public Library in the afternoon. Her final show of the month was on “da range,” visiting 170 attendees in Mountain Iron.

Once again librarians were incredible, providing lots of activities and handouts for kids to enjoy, and making our job very easy.

All this traveling can be exhausting, even for a seasoned veteran like Cow. She’s now on hiatus for over a month, at a location she’d rather not disclosed for fear of being mobbed by her adoring fans, but she’ll be ready to resume her road tour at the end of June (which she is quick to point out is National Dairy Month).

Here’s her latest photo gallery and pictures from her earlier travels

From Cow’s crew,
David and Mike

SELCOtv features MNBA booktalks

MNBA logo purpleThe 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards  Gala is just days away.  In anticipation of this unique literary event, SELCOtv features booktalks by the SELCO staff reviewing the four finalists in each of the eight categories.

Library Outreach shifts gears with new BookBike

Rochester bookbike 2015-04Rochester Public Library announces the launch of the BookBike outreach program. RPL’s BookBike, a little library on wheels, will visit locations within a one-mile radius of the downtown library this spring, summer and fall. Pulled by library staff on bicycles along nearby bike paths and lanes, RPL’s BookBike will offer library books, library cards, program information, assistance with digital materials, bike trail maps and fun incentives for kids.

Families and kids of all ages can “Meet the BookBike” in the Rochester Public Library auditorium on Thursday, April 2nd Saturday, May 2nd at 10:30am. Programming partners, We Bike Rochester and Olmsted County Public Health, will deliver special bicycle safety programs and fun bike activities on both days.

BookBike logo

Visit the BookBike at many area locations to get a library card, check out some “wheelie” good books or just to say, “Hey, nice bike!”.

Check online for the BookBike schedule

The BookBike was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through a Community Collaboration grant from SELCO for Library Legacy activities.

SELCO’s Poetic Strokes & Word Flow Released

SELCO Poetic Strokes -  Wordflow 2015SELCO is proud to release  Poetic Strokes & Word Flow, its ninth regional poetry anthology. Featuring the works of citizen poets from Southeastern Minnesota, a total of 55 poems were selected to be included from the initial competition. The anthology has two parts in it’s single volume. The first, Poetic Strokes, features the works from the adult competition, ages 19+, while the second part, Word Flow, features teen poets, ages 14-18. Copies of the anthology will be distributed in celebration of  National Poetry Month.

As a capstone piece to this year’s volume, the SELCO Library Foundation will  host a Poetry Bash on Tuesday, April 28th at the Rochester Civic Theater for those who participated in the competition.

For more information on Poetic Strokes & Word Flow, please view the project’s primary website: poetry.selco.info.

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

MnLINK Gateway Product Demos

PrintThree vendors have been invited to demonstrate their solutions in response to the MnLINK Gateway RFP that was issued in October 2014. Each vendor will be spending one day with the MnLINK Gateway RFP Committee. Minitex has set aside two hours each day for a public demonstration of the products being considered. The sessions will all be held online via webinar from 8:30-10:30 AM.

The schedule of companies and dates for the public demos are:

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 – Relais International
  • Thursday, February 26, 2015 – OCLC
  • Friday, February 27, 2015 – Innovative

The product demonstrations will also be available for later viewing for those of you who aren’t able to attend the live session(s). Information on accessing the demonstrations will be provided in the coming weeks.

LARL, SELCO and TdSLC currently have staff members serving on the RFP Committee.  For more information contact the Mintex office.

SELCO’s MN Loves Libraries Campaign

SELCO MN Loves Libraries logo 2015The Minnesota Loves Libraries Campaign is a grassroots advocacy drive set to run in SELCO libraries during the first few weeks of February. Capitalizing on I Love to Read month and serving as a precursor to the 2015 Minnesota Library Legislative Day, this simple “mail-in” postcard campaign will help local libraries collect those great “Why I Love My Library” stories and pass them along to state legislators on the March 3rd (Library Legislative Day). Click HERE to read the FAQs and to find all relevant materials.

CRPLSA at AMC

Each December for over 100 years, the Association of Minnesota Counties’ (AMC) Annual Conference gathers more than 600 county elected officials, department heads, and staff, come together to learn and discuss the important topics and trends affecting county government. CRPLSA has joined the group for over a decade using this time to keep libraries in the minds of county officials and to offer appreciation for previous support.

With a 2014 conference theme – commit. communicate. collaborate. connect. – CRPLSA is a successful contributor.  For additional photos from the two-day conference, check CRPLSA’s Flickr album.

New SELCO Legacy Project Coordinator

Amy NelsonAmy Nelson will manage a variety of SELCO Library Legacy activities in the role of Legacy Project Coordinator.  She will provide assistance to library staff submitting Community Collaboration applications, as well as guide the identification of age appropriate vetted performers for library programming for FY2016-FY2017.

Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of North Dakota with years of  practical class room knowledge, as well as having served as a team leader.  She has a variety of experiences with educational support organizations and recently coordinated a summer bookmobile program with the Rochester Public Library which provided children with easy library access over the summer months.

MNBA press materials

MNBA logoWith Minnesota Book Award finalists and winning authors traveling the SELCO region (and other parts of the state as well) SELCO created a press kits to assist local libraries in getting out the good news about these speakers. The press materials always include a general press release, a sample Facebook post, and a tweet for the library’s Twitter account.  Several have expanded information and may include biographical information or even an author’s book jacket photo.  These press kits closely resemble those created and shared by ALS promoting the Minnesota History Players.  Feel free to use to promote an author visiting your community!

Rae Katherine EighmeySoda Shop Salvation

Jack El-HaiThe Nazi and the Psychiatrist

Brian FreemanThe Cold Nowhere

Cary GriffithWolves

Rachel HanelWe’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down

Erin HartThe Book of Killowen

Melanie HoffertPrairie Silence

Thomas MaltmanLittle Wolves

Carrie MesrobianSex & Violence: A Novel

Kent NerburnThe Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo

Elizabeth VerdickPeep Leap

SELCO Poetic Strokes & Word Flow

SELCO 2015 Poetic Strokes & Word Flow BannerSELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) is proud to offer Poetic Strokes & Word Flow, an annual poetry competition for both adults and teens.  This literary opportunity for Southeastern Minnesota poets creates a venue to showcase their talents in unique publication.  Each Fall, poets residing in the 11 southeastern counties are encouraged to submit original unpublished works to be considered for inclusion in a single, juried anthology which is distributed throughout the region and the state as part of SELCO’s celebration of National Poetry Month.

The year’s competition will run from November 1 – December 16, 2014.  For more information visit the Poetic Strokes & Word Flow website.

Poetic Strokes and Word Flow are made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Winona Hosts Floating Librarian

Floating Library in WinonaLunch with Librarians:  The Floating Library’s Sarah Peters

When:  Friday, September 12th @ 12:00 Noon
Where:  Winona Public Library’s Bell Art Room,
RSVP:  Samantha or 507-452-4860

Note:  Lunch provided. Space is limited

Sarah Peters wrote a Legacy Project Grant known as the Floating Library.  For the past few weekends in August, Peters and the Floating Library have been on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis allowing many to check out books, chapbooks, and even a book you can feed to the fish.  On Saturday, September 13th, the Floating Library will be on Lake Winona in Winona, Minnesota.

At the Lunch with Librarians, Peters will chat about the concept behind the Floating Library, how it works, and answer any questions.

For more information about Peters and the Floating Library

Star Tribune article about the Floating Library

Hot Reads for Cold Nights

hot_reads_15_banner_1450x430_2SELCO is now accepting orders for products for the 2015 Hot Reads for Cold Nights winter reading program. This year’s theme takes its cue from the vibrant colors of the Northern Lights which glide across our skies during the depths of winter. After an evening outside viewing one of Mother Nature’s greatest light shows, folks should be plenty happy to curl up with some cocoa in one of our mugs or tug on one of our long-sleeved hoodies for some extra warmth. Check out these products and more in our order forms below!

The deadline for ordering products is October 9, 2014.

For any and all questions regarding your order, please call the SELCO office at 1.800.992.5061.

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.

2014 LSTA Recipients

2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant Award Recipients

The Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant-awarded projects. We received 26 applications from public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, and school libraries that requested a total of $1.8 million. Of those applications, State Library Services is able to fund eight projects for a total of $630,000. Funding goes to four school library projects, two public library projects, one academic library project, and one collaborative project that benefits a school library and public library system. Funded grant projects were selected by a review panel of Minnesota library professionals.

  1. Cass Lake-Bena Public Schools – $142,105, “Project 2M”
  2. Lake Superior College Erickson Library – $54,713,“Tech Connects: Digital Literacy & Collaborative Learning”
  3. Moorhead Public Schools – $51,327,“Access for Engagement”
  4. Rochester Public Library – $32,661,“Rochester Reading Champions”
  5. Saint Paul Public Schools – $143,850, “Building Media Resources in Saint Paul Public Schools”
  6. Sauk Rapids-Rice School District – $134,244,“Accessible Digital Literacy for All Middle School Learners”
  7. Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) – $51,981,“Data-Driven Collection Development”
  8. Southeast Library System (SELS) – $19,118,“Community School Media Centers as Online Partners, 2014”

IMLS logo

MnLINK RFP Committee Created

MnLink LogoMinitex 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.

SELCO Awarded LSTA Projects

Prep work will soon begin in earnest by SELCO staff on two new Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) projects. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) approved slightly reduced funding for the projects and SELCO will adjust activities to meet the funds available. The projects are:

Data Driven Collection Development — Approved amount: $51,981

Data Driven Collection Development will improve library collections by leveraging the power of data mining and other business intelligence technologies. Libraries will use new tools to make better-informed decisions, prioritize purchasing, respond to the needs of their communities, gain insights into the collection development strategies of comparable libraries, and streamline their collections to serve more people with fewer resources. Participating libraries will attend training and workshops and will receive individualized collection development recommendations based on the data gleaned. Initial request: $57,757

Community School Media Centers as Online Partners — Approved amount: $19,118

Community School Media Centers as Online Partners – 2014 will enable the school library media center at the Red Wing High School to become a SELCO Online Library. Participating in the SELCO Integrated Library System (ILS) via the regional library system and MnLINK network will multiply the materials available and greatly expand the media center’s capacity to serve its students, faculty, and staff, as well as help Red Wing Public Schools meet its vision “for all students to fulfill their highest potential and to become respectful, responsible, productive citizens.” Initial request: $23,707

The official start date for both projects will be July 1 or after the signing all of the Official Grant Award Notification (OGAN) paperwork.

IMLS logo

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.

SELCO Teen Poets Featured in blogged[ED]MN

SELCO Poetic Strokes Wordflow 2014 Two teen poems from SELCO’s new Wordflow anthology are featured in the April 23, 2014  blogg[ED]MN news posting.

Through the benefit of Arts and Cultural Heritage Funding for Library Legacy activities, SELCO has an ongoing commitment to area writers.  Each year the regional library system hosts a poetry writing competition.  The poems selected by a panel of qualified judges are printed in a regional anthology.  Initially dubbed, Poetic Strokes, for adult writers, SELCO expanded the contest in 2013 to include teen literary works which are published as Wordflow.

PLS and SELCO Endorse RLBSS Legislative Initiative

Hand writing formula on blackboardThe 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.

Background information on the proposed RLBSS change.

New Strategic and Technolgy Plan to guide SELCO

SELCO logo small 2014Using Rapid Results Planning ™ facilitated by Library Strategies, SELCO and SELS undertook a member-driven strategic and technology planning process that generated a new four-year plan. SELCO staff, the Board appointed Extended Strategic Planning Committee, and Library Strategies began work in September 2013. Using information gathered from an online membership assessment survey and an all day Planning Retreat, Library Strategies crafted a draft which was fine tuned by the Planning Committee and approved by the SELCO/SELS Board in February 2014. Three new goals and 10 strategies will guide organizational activities beginning July 2014 through June 2018.

SELCO/SELS Strategic and Technology Plan – FY2015-FY2018

SELCO/SELS Mission and new goals:  We Connect Libraries

  • Expand the capacity of SELCO/SELS libraries
  • Foster innovation and collaboration within SELCO/SELS
  • Increase support for SELCO/SELS libraries

SELCO Poetry Anthology Released

SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) 2014 PS&WF Publication Coveris proud to present the 2014 Poetic Strokes & Word Flow regional anthology. Copies of this annual tome have been sent to the poets who shared their works, key stakeholders, and libraries – just in time for National Poetry Month.

In the Fall of 2013, a call was put out to poets in the area to submit original works to be included in one of two poetry competitions: Poetic Strokes, the adult (19+) contest, or Word Flow, the teen (14-18) contest. SELCO received 307 poems from 223 poets in 36 communities across all 11 SELCO counties.After the deadline, the poems were sent to two separate judging panels for evaluation. The panels selected a total of 51 works to be included in this year’s anthology. Those selected represent a variety of styles, experiences, ages, and themes.

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

SELCO & VLS Launch New Library Catalogs

SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) and Viking Library System (VLS) are pleased to announce the launch of Enterprise as the new discovery layer of their online public catalogs. Search capabilities have been beefed up and now allow patrons to get very specific in what they might be seeking.

SELCO logo small 2014After conducting usability tests with library staff and the public & applying two months worth of staff feedback, SELCO believes that the new catalog will offer patrons greater features both functional and fun.  Patrons will have the option to view their account right within the same web page where they still are able to see what items they have requested and checked out, but now can also pay any outstanding fines right online! Enhanced features such as book cover art similar to the previous catalog get an extra boost with imbedded reviews from trusted sources and a new Home Room feature on the main page has already been set up with different Rooms to help patrons find favorites in a particular area. SELCO will launch Enterprise at all 90 locations on April 1.

VLS logo imageThe official launch of the VLS Enterprise discovery layer will be during the week of March 31 – April 4. The VLS site will go live with a fairly low-key series of announcements while several of the member libraries will make splashier debuts!  VLS staff provided rooms content design and management training on March 11 – 12 and local library staff have been developing their pages since that time. There will be additional staggered launches as more libraries declare their sites completed.

2014 Legislative Day a Successful Blur

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallDespite cold temperatures and a yet another snowfall, more than 100 library advocates ventured to St. Paul for discussions with legislators.  The MLA Legislative Committee hosted briefings on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, March 5, which offered the latest details on bill numbers, hearings, and lobbying strategy.

Library advocates promoted the inclusion of public library accessibility and construction grants in the proposed bonding bill, supported increased funding to cover educational telecommunications costs, and encouraged the creation of a task force to explore possible remedies for unfair eBook pricing.  CRPLSA’s Advocacy page has links to the 2014 legislative platform and issue specific talking points.

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.