Recent updates from MN State Library Services

state_mnApply by September 11 for Supercharged Storytimes

OCLC selected Minnesota as one of only five states to participate in a new IMLS grant-funded initiative, Supercharged Storytimes, an empowering approach to storytime planning and delivery established in Washington state. This is a unique chance for Minnesota library staff to be on the leading edge of the early literacy in libraries movement.

If you offer weekly storytimes in a public library setting and are passionate about early literacy in public libraries, interested in enhancing your storytimes for children five and under, and eager to share your experience online with peers from other Minnesota libraries, we’d love for you to apply to join the Supercharged Storytimes community.

Review the Participant Overview and consider submitting a Statement of Interest for this opportunity by Friday, September 11, 2015 at 5 p.m. Please contact Jackie Blagsvedt at with questions.

Public Library Construction Grants –  Webinar Rescheduled

We learned that the Library Construction Grant webinar offered on September 9 malfunctioned for most participants. We are sorry for the inconvenience and frustration this caused. We have rescheduled the webinar for Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, from 10-11 a.m. Please call in via phone at 1-888-742-5095 (using conference code 492 064 9083 / meeting number 595 756 674) or participate via WebEx. Pre-registration is not required. Please email Emily Kissane at for a copy of the webinar slides. (Note: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires advance notice in order to provide a requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice to cancel a requested accommodation.)

The Library Construction Grant program provides public libraries with funding for renovation, construction, and improvement projects that result in more accessible library facilities. An estimated $848,000 in state funding is available to award approximately three public library construction grants in this second round of 2014 funding. Projects may:

  • Remove architectural barriers from a library building or site.
  • Remediate conditions hazardous to health or safety.
  • Renovate or expand an existing building for use as a library.
  • Construct a new library.

Application forms and instructions are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Management site. Scroll to Library Construction Grant opportunity. Completed applications are due November 10, 2015. Please contact Emily Kissane at or 651-582-8508 for more information.

Getting More Children Ready to Read

Thanks to all who attended the August Every Child Ready to Read 2 workshops. We have heard that workshop attendees have gained confidence in presenting early literacy-rich storytimes for their communities, and in connecting with parents and caregivers about the importance of practicing early literacy skills with their kids. It’s gratifying to know that through you more Minnesota children will be ready to read when they enter Kindergarten.

If you did not attend an August workshop, please consider a workshop in September. Click on a link below to register.

Storytimes for Everyone sessions include an overview of the five early literacy practices (sing, talk, read, write, play) and real-world techniques for designing literacy-rich storytimes that engage children and adults.

At the Training of Trainers session, learn how to incorporate the five early literacy practices and six early literacy skills into your outreach to childcare providers of children ages birth to six.

Please contact Jackie Blagsvedt at 651-582-8805 or for more information.

Condense a Newbery Award-Winning Book into a 90-Second Film

90-Second Newbery Film Festival founder and middle-grade author James Kennedy gives you a fast-paced crash course in how to produce a film for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, an annual video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that compress the stories of Newbery-winning books into 90 seconds or less. Extend your MLA Conference weekend and attend this interactive, hands-on workshop at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville on Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 9 a.m.-Noon. Register to attend by October 2, 2015. Bring along your tablet or laptop to fully participate.

Get Outside the Lines

Outside the Lines is a week-long celebration, September 13-19, 2015, that demonstrates the creativity and innovation happening in today’s libraries. Whether your library is large or small—school, academic, special or public—you can participate in this international celebration by hosting an event that:

  • Gets people thinking and talking about libraries in a different way.
  • Showcases your library in the community.
  • Represents your local community.
  • Highlights how your library is relevant to people’s lives.
  • Is active and gets people engaged.
  • Is fun!

Learn more about Outside the Lines and register as a participating location on the campaign’s website.

Celebrate Afterschool at Your Library

On October 22, share with your community the importance of the afterschool learning opportunities your library provides. Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool (LoA) is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their importance to children, families and communities. Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s afterschool network, provides supports to all libraries holding Lights On Afterschool celebrations. Subscribe to Ignite Afterschool’s email updates to get more information right in your inbox.

In the meantime, here are some ways to jumpstart your LoA event planning:

Be on the lookout for more Lights On Afterschool updates soon. Contact Jen Verbrugge at for more information.