Updates from State Library Services

Here is some valuable information from the State Library Services!

If any of our CMLE members are interested in one of these LSTA grants – let us know! We are ready to help you plan, write it up, and to help you find partners to work with on your project. Grants may be a great way to bring new services and materials to your library patrons – and we are here to support you!

Now Open – Two 2017 LSTA Grant Opportunities

State Library Services is pleased to announce two 2017 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant opportunities.

2017 LSTA Competitive Grant

An estimated $520,000 is available to fund grant proposals ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 that help to achieve Minnesota’s LSTA Five-Year Plan (2013-2017). Grant awards will support projects that address LSTA Goal One and one of its four sub-goals. The overarching goal is to expand library services for learning and access to high-quality information resources for all Minnesotans.

2017 Early STEM Literacy in Libraries Mini Grant

An estimated $50,000 is available to fund grant proposals ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to help libraries offer programs and services that address Goal 1.2 in the Minnesota LSTA Five-Year Plan (2013-2017) and the World’s Best Workforce legislation by increasing early STEM literacy capacity and programming in libraries in order to build a stronger future workforce for Minnesota children ages 0-5 years old and their caregivers.

Both grants periods are estimated to start on November 1, 2017 and end September 30, 2018. Please note that this is slightly shorter than a year due to a delay in federal funds.

To learn more about our two current LSTA grant opportunities, please attend an upcoming grant guidance webinar on Tuesday, August 8, 1-2 p.m. There is no need to pre-register; just click on the link to attend. (Call-in toll-free number: 1-888-742-5095, Conference Code: 492 064 9083). Grant applications and instructions are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Management site. Visit the LSTA webpage or contact Leah Larson (651-582-8604) for more information.

We are looking for reviewers for both grant opportunities to read and score applications and participate in a half-day review discussion (which may not be needed for the Early STEM Literacy in Libraries Mini Grants). Please contact Leah Larson (651-582-8604) for more information if you are interested.

Library Construction Grant Applications Available

State Library Services is pleased to announce that applications for the 2017 Library Construction Grant program are now available. The program provides public libraries with funding for renovation, construction, and improvement projects that result in more accessible library facilities. 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

The 2017 Minnesota Legislature allocated a total of $2,000,000 to the program, and those funds are available for competitive grant awards.

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 Friday, September 29, 2017.

An informational webinar will be scheduled shortly and will be announced via the SLS listserv.

Please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508) for more information.

MBTBL Recording Program Releases Second Talking Book

The Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library (MBTBL) is pleased to announce that its second locally recorded digital talking book, The Rockwell Heist (DBC09975) by Bruce Rubenstein, is now available via download or cartridge to eligible MBTBL patrons statewide. Narrated by Donald Scheel at our recording studio in Faribault, the book examines the largest art heist in Minnesota history. The theft and the journey to recover the paintings spanned the world and two decades, and was investigated by Bruce Rubenstein, a freelance reporter covering crime/politics in the Twin Cities area since the 1980s.

For more information about the library or its recording program, please contact Catherine Durivage (507-384-6860) or if you or someone you know is interested in volunteer recording opportunities, contact Etta Thornburg (507-684-6865).

State Library Services and Partners to Present Upcoming ALA Webinar

Staff from State Library Services, Minitex, local school media centers, and more will team up to present about Ebooks Minnesota through a free ALA-sponsored webinar, Community Reading Platform: Transforming Libraries, Impacting the Classroom, on Wednesday, August 2 at 1 p.m. During the webinar we will showcase usage data, discuss trends, and hear stories about how the project is re-envisioning how simple public and school library collaboration can be in a model that works for everyone, including publishers. Register today to attend the ALA webinar.

Key Takeaways from Better Together: Adult Education, Libraries, and Workforce Development

State Library Services was pleased to be part of this year’s Better Together, a partner event with the national Net Inclusion 2017 conference. As with last year’s Better Together gathering, the session brought together colleagues from adult education, libraries, and workforce development to focus on how collaborative digital literacy efforts can increase communities’ capacity to improve adult literacy and workforce outcomes.

In addition to learning about resources that promote digital literacy and workforce skills, participants had the opportunity to provide input for the next level of the Northstar Digital Literacy Project. Small groups discussed incorporating the standards into career pathways, identifying skills needed to succeed in postsecondary studies, recognizing skills necessary to navigate employment, and defining the gap between the standards and entering IT career pathways. We found some common threads and important takeaways:

  • Some of the more commonly suggested new Northstar modules were cloud computing, digital etiquette, document sharing, and critical thinking about information sources.
  • Seeking employment and being employed each involve large sets of digital literacy skills, and only some of them overlap. In addition to preparing application materials and submitting applications online, people need to navigate payroll systems and manage digital paperwork. Often employer training is delivered online, so employees need to be able to learn in that environment.
  • We have a need for digital literacy efforts that prepare people for college, particularly adults who are returning to education. In addition to the modules suggested above, instruction in online research, discussion board participation, and learning management system basics are important for student success.

Handouts from the May 15 Better Together event are available. Please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508) with any questions.

Welcome, Leah!

In the last listserv, we welcomed to State Library Services our new LSTA Coordinator, Leah Larson. She now has a new phone number. You can reach her at 651-582-8604 or leah.larson@state.mn.us.

Good to Know: Urban and Rural Public Libraries Equally Popular

There’s a public library in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Libraries are embedded in local communities, and they are viewed as community assets.

Minnesota’s urban and rural public libraries had fairly equal numbers of users and visits in 2016. The difference between urban and rural was how business was spread out among a few vs. many locations. 1.15 million people made 6.77 million visits to 118 rural libraries while 1.2 million people made 5.89 million visits to 23 urban libraries.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designates any individual library “urban” if it’s located in an “Urbanized Cluster” with a population of 25,000 or more as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Any library not designated “urban” is “rural.”  Urban libraries in Minnesota include Albert Lea, Anoka County, Austin, Blue Earth County, Buffalo, Cambridge, Carver County, Dakota County, Douglas County, Duluth, Elk River, Faribault, Hennepin County, Moorhead, Northfield, Owatonna, Ramsey County, Rochester, Scott County, St. Cloud, St. Michael, St. Paul, Washington County, and Winona. Rural libraries include all the rest.

Urban vs. rural public library use in Minnesota

Source: Minnesota Public Library Report, 2016

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Updates from MDE

MDE to Present ESSA Plan to Education Policy Committees

Staff from the Minnesota Department of Education Executive Team will present Minnesota’s ESSA plan to the Joint House and Senate Education Policy Committees on Wednesday, July 19, 1-3 p.m., at 5 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Saint Paul. Opportunity for public testimony will be available if time allows. If you would like to testify on the state’s ESSA plan to the joint committee, please contact Andrew Hasek. Stakeholders will be limited to three minutes per organization on their testimony.

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Updates from Our Partners

Future Ready with the Library Now Accepting Participant Applications

YALSA, in partnership with the ARSL, is implementing an innovative project to build the capacity of small, rural and tribal libraries to provide college and career readiness services for and with middle schoolers. YALSA and ARSL will work with library staff to build needed skills while also developing, testing and refining turn-key resources, which other libraries can adapt for their own use. The project is aimed at staff in libraries with a service population of 15,000 or fewer, as well as libraries that are 25 miles or more from an urbanized area. If this sounds like your library, you can apply to be part of this pioneering project.

The application process for cohort 2 is now open, and closes on September 1, 2017. Reserve your seat for an informational webinar for interested potential applicants on July 13, 2017 at 6 p.m.  Those selected to participate in the second cohort of the Future Ready with the Library project will meet face-to-face for a two-day orientation just before the ALA Midwinter meeting in Denver, Colorado. Read through the FAQ for more information about the project.

Order Free Health-Related Training and Educational Materials from the National Library of Medicine

As a public education service, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides useful printed and digital consumer information and educational materials for free to libraries in Minnesota. Their “Good Health Information on the World Wide Web” brochure directs users to sites that offer free, reliable and up-to-date health information on a variety of topics. The “Household Products Database Capability Brochure” informs consumers of an online guide providing easy-to-understand information about the potential health effects of ingredients contained in more than 14,000 common household products. A basic online order form makes it easy for you to request these high-quality print resources from NLM to distribute to your library patrons. Contact the National Network of Libraries of Medicine for more information.