Become a Summer Food Program Site

Learn How Your Library Can Be a Summer Food Program Site

Fewer than 15 percent of Minnesota kids who benefit from the free or reduced-price school lunch program have access to summer and afterschool food programs. Limited access to free food programSummer Food Programs, particularly during the summer, leaves many children hungry. Public libraries can help make sure kids have access to nutritious food when school is not in session.

Begin planning your summer 2016 participation by attending an informational webinar on February 24, 2016 at 11 a.m. Jenny Butcher, USDA Summer Food Service Program Coordinator at MDE, will share how you can get involved. There is no need to pre-register.

Please join the WebEx meeting online (meeting number 594 625 833) or call in at 1-888-742-5095 (conference code 874 403 3672). Email Jen Verbrugge with questions or to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event.

Note: MDE requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice in order to cancel a requested accommodation.

Governor’s Education Policy and Supplemental Budget Items

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will host a conference call with Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry and State Librarian Jennifer Nelson on Monday, April 13. Here are the specifics as shared by MDE

The Governor’s education policy and supplemental budget bills include two proposals recommended by State Library Services. There has been much conversation about the two proposals and we want to ensure that our intent in recommending these changes is clear. In addition to the information provided here, Jennifer Nelson and Kevin McHenry are hosting a conference call on Monday, April 13 from 2:30 to 3 p.m. (1-888-742-5095, Conference Code: 3300487022) that will give you more information about the proposals and an opportunity to ask questions.

A provision in the education policy bill would change Minnesota Statutes, section 134.20, Subdivision 2 to require that the governing board of a regional public library system employ a full-time chief administrative officer. The proposal was modified by the House (HF 1591) after conversations with MDE, to require that the governing board of a regional public library system employ a chief administrative officer who is compensated by no more than one regional public library system.

This proposal was made following State Library Services’ experience in administering state and federal funds managed by two regional systems that contracted with the same individual to serve as chief administrative officer. In addition to concerns about accountability and the appropriate use of state and federal funds, the potential for conflict of interest is high, particularly with an individual who is on contract for two organizations with different business models.

The House proposal addresses these concerns and will ensure the challenges that one regional system may experience with a director do not directly impact the operations of another regional system, nor lead to a perceived or actual conflict of interest in the use of state and federal funds.

The supplemental budget bill includes a provision that modifies Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355 Subdivisions 8-10 to allow regional library telecommunications aid to be used for a wider array of expenses related to providing internet access. The bill clarifies that a regional public library system applicant and the libraries included in its application must file for e-rate, and uses e-rate funding commitment decision letters as a basis for distributing the appropriation. Further, it aligns eligible expenditures with non-voice e-rate category 1 services. It also stipulates that aid may be used for category 2 services if sufficient funds remain once category 1 needs are met in each funding year.

This proposal updates statutory language and will give aid applicants more flexibility in using regional library telecommunications aid to cover the wide range of costs associated with providing internet access in libraries. It also increases accountability for the use of regional library telecommunications aid.

We hope you’ll be able to join the conference call, but please don’t hesitate to contact State Library Services with any other questions. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation to attend the conference call, email Jennifer Nelson or call 651-582-8791. 

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Dementia Friends Training for Libraries

Join Maren Levad for an hour-long webinar on Tuesday, January 20 at 10:00. During this information session, librarians will learn about dementia and turn their understanding into practical action that could help someone living with dementia in their community or visiting their library.

88,000 Minnesotans live with Alzheimer’s disease and the number is growing. 70% of those people live at home and need support from their family and community. Whether you have been personally affected, know of people in your community that live with dementia, or just want to learn more, this session will help you determine how your library can help.

To register for the webinar, please contact Maren.