Despite our snow this week, we are getting Spring Fever here at CMLE HQ – and we want to go see flowers and talk libraries. So we are hosting a Postcard Party in the Park, and you are invited! (You, your family, friends, neighbors, polite strangers you met on the street – it’s a very inclusive invitation!)
CMLE HQ will provide postcards and addresses; you can write out quick notes to your stakeholders to tell them about libraries; and we will mail them. Quick and easy advocacy in action!
Thursday, May 18 from 11:00 to 1:00 we will be sitting at tables behind the Gift Shop at the Munsinger Clemens Gardens. Bring your lunch; we will provide snacks, postcards, pens, and addresses for your legislators. Beverages are available for purchase at the Gift Shop, and water fountains are nearby.
After our poll on the best day for this event, we have added a second time. We will also be there from 4:30 to 6:30 that afternoon. Stop by on your way home from work, or bring a sack dinner and enjoy the beautiful gardens, and the river! Snacks and postcards will again be available to everyone who attends. Bring your kids and sweeties, and let them run around the garden while we have library fun!
While we anticipate lovely weather, it’s good to have a backup plan. So our rain date on this event will be Friday, May 19 – same times and same plans!
We will provide suggestions for stakeholders who might appreciate some quick news for you, and give you some suggested wording to help you get started. This is your chance to enjoy yourselves in the company of other library people, chat about libraries, and do a little advocacy work to help us all!
I hope you have read the news about the threatened closure of our federal funding agency, the Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS).
- This is the source of money for all our LSTA grants – between $500,000 and $600,000 each year.
- They provide nearly $3 million each year to Minnesota for library services.
- Part of that money, nearly $12 million funds Minitex to provide statewide interlibrary loan delivery – reaching nearly every public library in the state, most colleges and universities, and some schools.
- Minitex also provides statewide instruction in ELM (Electronic Library for Minnesota) that I know many of you use daily.
- Nearly $550,000 of this money supports the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library, serving around 10,000 people every year, in addition to institutions across the state.
- It also funds data collection, software subscriptions, Early Literacy Training, bookmarks, posters, the Libraries Serving Youth Meetup, and more.
If IMLS is eliminated – all these programs will either also be eliminated, or will force the shifting of priorities and funding from other library services here in Minnesota.
It’s pretty terrifying, and this will impact all of us!
So, let’s go have fun in the park, chat about the great things we are doing, and take some time to share them with our stakeholders. They need to know all the services, programs, and materials we provide – and they won’t unless we tell them!
Join us for the first in a series of advocacy events, and let’s tell our stakeholders about libraries!