Updates from State Library Services

MDELogoTO: Library Staff
FROM: State Library Services
DATE: January 6, 2014
SUBJECT: Transitions and Initiatives

State Library Services Update

As 2014 gets underway, I’m delighted to share with you some of the changes you can expect to see at State Library Services over the next couple of months. Our overarching interest is in making sure that State Library Services is able to provide responsive services that help libraries in Minnesota respond to community needs. These initial steps are in response to conversations we have had with the library and education community and a great new beginning for State Library Services.


A primary goal for State Library Services is to ensure that our staffing and activities are aligned with the goals and priorities of the Minnesota Department of Education. To that end, new staff roles and responsibilities have been assigned.

Jackie Blagsvedt, LSTA Coordinator, will be transitioning to become our Youth Literacy Program Specialist. While she will continue to have a primary role in administering our LSTA funds, she will also work to bolster the capacity of State Library Services to support initiatives related to early learning, academic achievement for K-12 learners and high quality youth services in public libraries and school library media centers.

Jennifer Verbrugge will be joining State Library Services on January 22 as our new Library Partnership and Program Coordinator, working with the Legacy appropriation and LSTA statewide initiatives. Jen will also focus on building internal and external partnerships focused on services to adults. Jen comes to State Library Services from Dakota County Library, where she has served as the Youth Programming Coordinator since 2010. She received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1999. Jen is well-placed to make a terrific contribution to libraries in Minnesota and I’m delighted that she’s chosen State Library Services as the place to make that happen.

Effective immediately and in anticipation of Bruce Pomerantz’s February 3 retirement, please contact Jennifer Nelson for questions related to Public Library Statistics or the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement Grant program. A review of Bruce’s position is underway.


Decisions related to e-books are at the top of many people’s to-do list this year. To help ensure that Minnesota’s libraries have access to the latest information and a breadth of knowledge, State Library Services has convened a small planning group to develop a series of educational events leading to an E-Book Summit for Minnesota libraries. The E-Book Summit and its educational events will engage all types of libraries – academic, school and public – in assessing where e-books and e-content fit in Minnesota. More to come on this exciting effort.

State Library Services is pleased to announce a new statewide initiative grant to the St. Paul Public Library. The grant is designed to help libraries become more engaged in workforce skill building by encouraging library partnerships with literacy organizations through the North Star Digital Literacy assessment project.

A partnership with the Minnesota Department of Commerce is providing regular opportunities for libraries to offer a range of programming related to financial literacy, energy conservation and more. The Department is also helping keep libraries aware of the impact of the Affordable Care Act in Minnesota with regular updates.

Looking ahead, we will be streamlining and updating the Public Library Accessibility and Improvement grant program in the coming months. We are starting now to update the program description, applications, instructions and more so that clear and concise information about the program is readily available.

For more information about State Library Services, to share your thoughts or to sign up for this listserv, please contact Jennifer Nelson at Jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us or 651-582-8791.