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  Each Fall, poets residing in the 11 southeastern counties are encouraged to submit original unpublished works to be considered for inclusion in a single, juried anthology which is distributed throughout the region and the state as part of SELCO’s celebration of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”

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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.

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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.

SELCO launches easel

easel logo smallSELCO launches a new easel Experience Art in Southeastern Libraries exhibit!

The Cannon Falls Library is the first of 13 locations to host the exhibit that includes 28 unique pieces of art. Each selected artist captured his or her interpretation of the easel theme which depicts books, a letter or letters, authors, reading, or the library.

The exhibit will be in Cannon Falls from January 2 through February 12. For the complete 18-month calendar, check the 2014-2015 traveling schedule.

easel is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

New SELCO Website

SELCO logo small 2014SELCO’s newly designed website launched January 6!

The website was crafted to reflect two years of usability testing. It also builds on current technology capable of growing to meet future needs.  New features include:

  • Slide carousel graphically highlighting important news and service offerings
  • News blog featuring the eight most current news items
  • SELCOtv feed direct from Youtube, also featuring the eight most current productions

Check out this SELCOtv episode for a quick preview of the new website.