All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

Urgent! Contact your MN Senator about Library Funding

From the MLA Legislative Committee:

Please immediately contact your Senator about including SF 1033 in the Senate Omnibus Education Finance bill. Time is of the essence!  Regional public library systems & the multitype systems need your support for their requested funding increases. Hearing from constituents is important for this issue.


Don’t know what to say? Here are some talking points–feel free to customize/tailor as you wish:

  • No new dollars have been invested in MN library systems since FY2009. An increase in funding for Minnesota’s library systems will provide a stable funding source to allow systems to strengthen & maintain current services & move into the future stronger & better able to serve all Minnesotans.
  • Multitype systems support rural & urban school library media programs, special & academic libraries through training around ever-changing library products and services including information literacy, ELM, MnLink, eBooks, use of portable devices, & more.
  • Regional public library systems serve as a cornerstone for public library services throughout the state and provide the foundation for Minnesota residents to access cooperative statewide services including Minitex/MnLINK interlibrary loan, ELM databases, reciprocal borrowing privileges, staff training, and more.

If your Senator is not on the Committee, ask her/him to ask their colleagues to include SF 1033 in the omnibus education finance bill. Senate Information:

Don’t know your Senator? Find them here:


If your Senator is on the E-12 Finance Committee (roster below), ask her/him to please include SF 1033 in their omnibus education finance bill.


E-12 Finance Committee Leadership

Carla J. Nelson (26, R) 
Eric R. Pratt (55, R) 
Vice Chair

Charles W. Wiger (43, DFL)
Ranking Minority Member

Email form:

Committee Members
Paul T. Anderson (44, R)

Email form:

Justin D. Eichorn (05, R)

Email form:

Melissa H. Wiklund (50, DFL)

Roger C. Chamberlain (38, R)

David J. Tomassoni (06, DFL)

Email form:

Gary H. Dahms (16, R)

Patricia Torres Ray (63, DFL)

Email form:


Questions? Contact Jami Trenam, MLA Legislative Chair (

or Ann Walker Smalley, Incoming MLA Chair (


Thank you for contacting your Senator.

Primary Research Group has published the International Survey of Research University Faculty

Primary Research Group has published the International Survey of Research University Faculty: Use of Academic Library Special  Collections, ISBN 978-157440-439-5

The study presents data from a survey of 500+ faculty at more than 50 major research universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom & Ireland about their use and evaluation of academic library special collections in rare books & documents, film & video, music, photography, rare biological specimens, personal archives, posters and guidebooks and other commercial materials, oral history and many other areas.  The report presents data separately for use of special collections at one’s own university and for use of special collections at other institutions.  The study also gives data on the percentage of faculty that recommend special collections to students, other faculty or other parties. Survey participants name some of their favorite special collections and rate their general level of satisfaction with academic library special collections.

Data in the 196-page study is broken out by more than 10 criteria including but not limited to academic title, age, gender, national origin of university, public/private status, teaching load, tenure status, university ranking and other variables.

The report presents data and commentary on extent of use of various collections, and evaluation of various special collections practices and offerings such as hours of access, quality of digitization, general ease of use, online access, terms of use or borrowing and other factors.

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:

  • 21.47% of faculty in the Media and Visual and Performing Arts fields accessed photography special collections from outside their institution in the past three years, the most in the sample, followed by those in the Literature and Language fields, 10.00%.
  • Satisfaction with special collections did not vary widely with institution size or type, or with respondent age, gender, political views, or academic field. However, respondents from Canadian universities were relatively more satisfied than were those from other countries with their institution’s special collections,
  • More than a quarter of those age 60 and over found special collections just as easy or easier to find and use than standard library collections, compared to just 11.43% of respondents age 30 and under.
  • Respondents to the far left of the political spectrum reported the highest use special collections based on personal archives or estates, 7.61%, but otherwise political views had no clear impact on utilization of personal archives or estates.
  • 9.73% of respondents teaching more than two courses in the past semester were dissatisfied with levels of online access to collections of catalogs, posters, guides and other commercial materials, compared to less than 3.5% of those teaching two courses or less.For further information view our website at

Association for Middle Level Education offers a Grant

Collaboration Mini-Grant

“Collaboration is a key concept in the successful education of young adolescents, as identified in the following characteristic from AMLE’s foundational document This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents: Courageous, collaborative leaders make a difference by putting their knowledge and beliefs into action.

This broad concept includes collaboration between teams, collaboration between a team and exploratory, collaboration with parents, collaboration with community agencies, collaboration with another school, and collaboration within the student body.

The Association for Middle Level Education Foundation Fund Committee is awarding two $2,000 Collaboration Mini-Grants in 2017 to middle grades educators who have taken leadership roles in developing collaborative projects both within and outside of schools. Recipients of this grant will receive funds to enhance an existing collaborative program or to institute a proposed program, and they will be invited present about their collaborative project at a concurrent session at the AMLE Annual Conference. In addition, recipients will be recognized at the Annual Conference. Attendance at the conference will be at the expense of the school and may not be funded by monies from this grant.

Application Information

Any professional member or school that has been an AMLE school member for at least 12 months may apply.

Provide a narrative summary of the project or program in not more than three pages. Narrative should include:

  • Groups or individuals involved in the collaboration
  • A description of the collaborative process used to design the program, including how students were involved in its development
  • A timeline for implementation
  • Desired outcomes for students in both academic and social/emotional domains
  • How the project will be sustained in the future
  • How this project will benefit your school, your staff, and your students
  • For projects currently in existence, also include:
    • How long the project has been in place
    • How it changed since initiated
    • Observed student outcomes, both academic and social/emotional

Also include:

  • A budget summary detailing how the grant money will be used
  • A letter of support from the school’s principal
  • Pictures, articles, or artifacts that illustrate the project (not required)

Each year, applications must be submitted electronically to AMLE no later than April 15. Submissions should be sent to

Collaboration Mini-Grant Application

Continue reading Association for Middle Level Education offers a Grant

Want to try some beautification projects??

Yarn bombing
Libraries are always thinking of new and interesting programs to try.  Have you been thinking about something new to try? Consider a program in beautification or street art!

These can add some excitement to your area, and also help to showcase the library as an organization that does interesting work. (It’s always good for us to not just be the “boring people with dusty books” when people think about us!!)

Try out one of these project, and then tell us about it!

  • Chalk the Walk: “Chalk the Walks (a project of The Joy Team) is all about spreading joy, optimism and inspiration through the magical power of sidewalk chalk. Remember when you were a kid and you’d draw pictures and write happy thoughts with chalk in your driveway and down the sidewalks of your  street? And the adults always smiled when they read the big, pastel-colored messages? This is just like that. Only we’re bigger now. And we don’t have to go in the house when the street lights go out.  The idea is as simple as it was in childhood: write happy messages, have fun doing it, spread some joy while you’re at it.”
  • Moss Graffiti: “Contemporary artists have discovered that street art is not only beautiful to look at, but that it can also be soft and smooth to the touch. Moss graffiti is eco-friendly as it doesn’t use any aerosols; what the “painting” needs is just a dash of water to thrive. Here is a recipe for how to make your own moss graffiti. Just bear in mind that choosing the right space for street art is very important.”
  • Yarn Bombing: “While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal in some jurisdictions, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously. While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.”
  • Rainworks: Using hydrophobic spray, you can paint designs on concrete that are invisible – until rain shows the art! “Anybody can visit our official tutorial page to learn how to make their own rainworks. We’ve shared all of our tips & tricks from our years of experience so that you can avoid making the mistakes we made while we were learning.  The Official Rainworks Map now has over 100 rainworks, from dozens of contributors, spanning over 4 continents. Anybody who makes a rainwork can add its location to the map!”

Share your opinion on Infopeople classes!


Infopeople needs your help! We develop our annual continuing education/professional development (CE/PD) program in response to needs identified by the library community. We feel it is important for us to hear from as many library directors, managers, supervisors, and staff members as possible.

We have developed this online survey that asks some general questions and also seeks to assess interest in a wide variety of possible CE/PD options. Your responses will help us develop the 2017/2018 plan of service that best meets your needs. Thanks in advance for your assistance! Continue reading Share your opinion on Infopeople classes!