LSTA 2013 Competitive Grant Awards Announced

Image by Tax Credits Money. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.
Image by Tax Credits Money. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

FROM: State Library Services
DATE: December 4, 2013
SUBJECT: 12 Libraries Awarded LSTA Competitive Grants in 2013

2013 LSTA Competitive Grants Awarded

State Library Services is pleased to announce the 2013 LSTA Competitive Grant projects. A total of 15 grant proposals were submitted; 12 received complete or partial funding The projects demonstrate the wonderful variety of ways in which public and school libraries across the state are working to ensure that access to state-of-the-art resources and technology, responsive services that address community needs, and opportunities for lifelong learning are available to Minnesotans.

2013 Grantees and Projects

Austin Public Library – $9,600
“Creative Aging in the Mower County Libraries”
Creative Aging in the Mower County Libraries will provide increased local access to lifelong-learning experiential resources for older adults. The Austin Public Library, in partnership with the Austin Area Commission for the Arts, will offer free professionally-taught creative aging classes to active older adults using techniques developed and taught by the National Center for Creative Aging and ArtSage Minnesota. Participants will engage in a powerful creative and healing process of self-expression as a means to pursuing lifelong learning goals, feeling mentally better, increasing community engagement, and remaining more independent and living more meaningful lives.

Brooklyn Center Schools – $54,786.95
“Brooklyn Center Reading for the 21st Century”
Brooklyn Center Reading for the 21st Century will support Brooklyn Center Secondary in procuring its first library of digital texts (up-to-date fiction, non-fiction, audio-books, and textbooks) and an integrated digital library management system to allow students to check out digital texts from the media center. Staff will implement a school-wide “close reading” strategy to promote critical reading in all subject areas that will make use of the digital texts. The digital collection will consist of high-interest and curriculum-relevant materials designed to increase readership in Brooklyn Center Secondary’s urban learners and improve the ability for staff to differentiate instruction.  Access to digital materials will also improve the reading experience for students with disabilities, as the digital format is innately more accessible. This project will help Brooklyn Center Secondary students to graduate with the strengths to read critically and adapt in a global, digital community.

The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library – $11,000
“Minnesota Book Awards Support to Librarians Statewide”
Minnesota Book Awards Support to Librarians Statewide will build capacity of the  librarians in the state and awareness of Minnesota’s rich writing environs in their respective communities. This project will provide opportunities for librarians to serve as judges and facilitators for the competitive category judging sessions, book artist programming and exhibits, as well as funds for libraries around the state to hold programming with Minnesota Book Awards finalists and winners.

Hennepin County Library – $12,000
“iPads and Pre-Readers, a Together Project”
IPads and Pre-Readers, a Together Project will offer families and caregivers access to literacy-rich opportunities to interact with their young children using technology. Through this project, patrons will build increased awareness of early literacy skills and the ways in which carefully-selected apps, explored together, can help build those skills. With increased access to tablet technology, patrons will identify the library as a resource for selecting developmentally-appropriate mobile applications. Hennepin County Library (HCL) staff will become more comfortable and confident when working with patrons using tablet technology, when talking about use of technology with children and be more capable when relating the use of technology to early literacy skill building.

Oak View Elementary School, District 279 – $76,313
“Digital Learning at Oak View”
Digital Learning for Oak View’s  goal is to provide increased access to digital literacy resources at school for all students and at home for low-income families to increase students’ reading proficiency and understanding of 21st century digital literacy skills. We seek to do this by providing access to quality digital resources that provide for reinforcement, practice and increased engagement with the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Adding mobile devices will give Oak View approximately a 1 to 5 student to device ratio and dramatically increase student’s access to digital literacy resources.

Perpich Center for the Arts – $17,900
“Literacy Equity: Engaging Resourceful Community Knowledge”
Literacy Equity: Engaging Resourceful Community Knowledge will build and reinforce partnerships between school media centers and local community libraries so that both are better able to engage partnerships and resources in response to the emerging needs of their communities and provide targeted outreach to under-served populations. In this professional development project, participants will develop literacies related to improving water quality and building a cross-cultural school community around a particular community need. Participants will learn strategies for identifying and partnering with organizations, individuals and families to build collective literacy about the changing quality of our shared watersheds, and to better understand and share the cultural assets of the school and local communities.

Plum Creek Library System – $86,768
“Murray County School Libraries Addition to the PCLS Catalog”
This project will enable the Murray County Schools in Slayton and Fulda to join the regional library catalog operated by Plum Creek Library System (PCLS).  Joining the PCLS catalog will allow  four school library collections in the two school districts to be shared within the schools,  by the general community with the local public libraries on the same catalog, throughout the region with 25 public and 8 school libraries, and through the MN MnLINK network. The PCLS catalog connection and delivery service will also open up the world of local, regional, and statewide resources to the library users at the school buildings.

Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) – $49,200
“Collective Learning Online Training Hub (CLOTH)”
The Collective Learning Online Training Hub (CLOTH) project will allow SELCO to consolidate a variety of training methods, documents, and tools in an online environment.  An online learning environment will ensure that quality training sessions on the various products and services offered by SELCO to its member libraries are readily accessible.  This is expected to increase the quality of services provided by librarians to patrons, particularly those in small, rural libraries or school media centers.

Southeast Library System (SELS) – $49,850
“eBooks for Southeastern Minnesota Schools”
eBooks in Southeastern Minnesota Schools will bring together a group of school librarians, administrators, curriculum specialists, and SELCO staff to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the need for eBooks in schools from the 11 counties that make up SELCO and SELS.  The data from this study will be used as the basis for developing a shared eBook offering for the region.

St. Paul Public Library – $26,237
“Advancing At Risk Youth Toward Working Professionals”
Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL), working with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation (Parks), will create a system of badges to certify work readiness for Youth Job Corps (YJC) Workers hired by the two city departments. The “gamification” of skills acquisition will enhance the experience for the young people while providing them with credentials they will need in the broader work environment.  Parks and SPPL will pilot badging with YJC workers in their two departments with the intention of providing replicable curriculum for other YJC employers throughout the state.  Badges granted will include but not be limited to:  writing a resume; job applications and interviews; showing up ready to work; time management; financial management; and digital literacy. Together, they will culminate in a Work Readiness Mastery Badge which will be recognized by SPPL and Parks as a strong recommendation for jobs and advanced training in the two departments.

St. Paul Public Library – $12,500
“Community Connectors: Services for Underserved English Speaking Urban Populations”
The project will improve digital literacy for adults experiencing barriers of homelessness, poverty, unemployment and/or underemployment and basic literacy for children who experience racism and racial barriers as Black Americans. The Mobile WorkPlace in the Saint Paul Public Library will partner with organizations to offer computer classes that will teach basic computer skills in order to transition adults in becoming productive member of society. World Language Storytimes, which ensure limited English proficiency children to develop literacy skills, will expand to include Black American story times.  Activities will include engaging an individual of Black American heritage to present story times who will help to develop early literacy skills in the targeted culture.

Yinghua Academy – $48,925
“Skills for Success: Digital and Information Literacy for Middle School Learners”
Skills for Success will improve information and literacy skills for middle school (5th-8th grade) students by enhancing the Yinghua Academy school library collection and expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources. Students will interact with information and communication technology, developing information and digital literacy skills while also improving 21st century skills in learning and working. Improvements to the school media center, in conjunction with program activities and collaboration with subject area teachers and middle school curricula, will develop student facility with digital literacy skills and encourage ongoing information literacy well beyond middle school.

For more information, contact Jackie Blagsvedt at 651-582-8850 or