Minnesota Library Futures Initiative Update and Announcement

The message below is from the Minnesota Library Futures Initiative…

What will your library look like in 2025?

Looking to the future, the challenges facing libraries may seem daunting, but libraries have always evolved to meet the needs of their communities.

The Minnesota Library Futures Initiative was developed to spark conversation about the future of libraries in Minnesota. The MNLFI Steering Committee selected 24 participants from all types of libraries through an open application process. MNLFI Futurists gathered to research and discuss factors likely to impact the future of libraries and possible ways libraries might respond to those opportunities and challenges. What we discovered is that being engaged in the conversation about the future is more empowering and energizing than reading about it and everyone has something to contribute.

The Minnesota Library Futurists would like to help your library or organization facilitate a conversation about the future of library services. We invite you to consider planning an MNLFI Workshop for your library or organization.

What is an MNLFI Workshop?

Gather your staff, organization or community for a workshop led by representatives from the Minnesota Library Futures Initiative. MNLFI members trained in Technology of Participation (ToP) methods will facilitate a conversation at your location based around your intended outcomes. We will help you to develop a workshop which will ensure your entire staff will be engaged in discussing the future and empowered to meet its possibilities and challenges.

Want to lead your own discussion?

The MNLFI Toolkit is a set of resources intended to support local conversations and personal exploration about the future of libraries without facilitation from the MNLFI group. The Toolkit includes demographic information, suggested readings on the future of libraries and MNLFI 2025 Scenarios which describe potential aspects of the library environment of 2025.

Visit our Website

On the new MNLFI website you’ll find more information on MNLFI, our workshops and the MNLFI Toolkit. You can keep up to date with our latest events or fill out a request form if you’d like to schedule an MNLFI workshop for your library or organization.

Join the Conversation

As we facilitate workshops throughout the state, we’ll post outcomes on the Shared Visions page where you can discover and discuss ideas developed by our workshop participants. We invite you to add your own vision of the library in 2025 to the conversation.

We Look Toward the Future

The MNLFI Futurists were given the charge to “envision the library of 2025”. We have been inspired and empowered through our own conversations about the future of libraries and we look forward to sharing that enthusiasm with your library as we envision the future of Minnesota libraries together.

We’ve Learned…

We’ve Learned… is designed to keep our readers informed about news concerning personnel in CMLE libraries/media centers. Please keep us informed of any “happenings” regarding staff members in your area so that we can include them in the next write-up! Happenings can include: changes in staffing, awards, honors… you get the idea!

  • Mic Golden, Collection Development Coordinator at Great River Regional Library is currently on phased retirement.
  • Jake Grussing has been hired as the new Collection Development Coordinator at Great River Regional Library.
  • Morgan Hewitt, former Media Specialist at North Elementary in Princeton is now working at two media centers in Anoka.
  • Terri Kerwin will be serving both the Princeton Middle School and the North Elementary media centers in the Princeton School District this year.
  • Jeanne Skaj, Medical Librarian from the St. Cloud VA Health Care System – Medical Library retired from her position this summer after 36 years of government service.
  • Dana Woods, former Media Specialist at Maple Lake High School is now working at the Middle School and High School media centers in Cass Lake-Bena.
  • Ruth Zietlow, former Interim Dean of Learning Resources Services and Associate Dean for Library Services at St. Cloud State University, is now working at Metropolitan State University as an Associate Professor and Librarian.
  • Keith Ewing is now the Interim Dean of Learning Resources Services at St. Cloud State University.

MLA Conference Registration

The 2012 Annual Conference of the Minnesota Library Association will be held October 3-5, 2012, in St. Paul, Minnesota. This premier educational event attracts more than 400 library professionals, Friends of the Library, and library trustees from across Minnesota.

The three-day conference features high-quality continuing education opportunities with more than 70 sessions across nine simultaneous tracks (Administration & Leadership; Authors, Literature, and Programming; Children & Young Adults; Collection Management & Technical Services; Digital Information & Technologies; Diversity; Library Trustees & Friends; Professional Development; Public Services), a silent auction fundraiser, countless networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall with vendors you want to talk to showcasing library products and services.

The conference will feature Killer Cocktails, Dinner with Colleagues, MLA division and subunit meetings, online handouts, and a lineup of informative and thought-provoking keynote presentations:

  • “Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask” by Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Dr. Anton Treuer
  • “10 Quick and Painless Steps to Effective Advocacy for Libraries” by advocacy guru Stephanie Vance
  • “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” by library consultant and futurist Joan Frye Williams

The conference will also include breakout sessions by featured speakers:

  • Saroj Ghoting – Sharon Lerner Early Literacy Lecture series (three sessions)
  • Stephanie Vance – secrets for effective communication with elected officials
  • Erin Walsh – what happens to the adolescent brain on the path from childhood into adulthood
  • Joan Frye Williams – the importance of middle management

New features this year include the one-day MonstrosiTEEN mini-conference focusing on teen services, an Appy Hour breakfast showcasing must-have apps for your handheld device, an eReader petting zoo, tweet-ups, and sessions and activities focused on first-time attendees.

Complete details about sessions, speakers, and registration are now available at www.mnlibraryassociation.org/mlaconference2012.

About MLA: The Minnesota Library Association is an association of library supporters, representing all types of libraries by helping them accomplish together what none can do alone. MLA provides opportunities to meet library peers and associates, and meets the interests of its more than 625 members by facilitating educational opportunities, supporting strong ethical standards, and fostering connections between the library community and various constituencies. In addition to the annual three-day conference, programs are planned and sponsored year-round by MLA divisions, sections, roundtables, and committees. Find out more at www.mnlibraryassociation.org.

New Minitex Director


I am pleased to share the exciting news about the successful search for a new director of Minitex.  Valerie Horton, Executive Director of the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), will assume the role in early December.

Ms. Horton brings an extraordinary portfolio to the Minitex leadership position.  As the founding director of CLiC, she has developed robust programs of resource sharing, as well as open source library systems and continuing education.  Earlier appointments as a library director (Mesa State College), systems and budget officer (New Mexico State University), ALA International Library Fellow,  and systems librarian (Brown University) round out her rich record. Her commitment to collaboration is evidenced in her lead roles in the open access journal Collaborative Librarianship and in conferences around the challenging topic of delivery and in her extensive contributions to our profession.

The search process has been expansive.  The search committee, with representatives across the various sectors of the Minitex community, did a stellar job, bringing us an exceptional pool of finalists.  The engagement of our communities was significant, with well over 150 individuals online watching the public presentations.  Feedback from participants was equally strong, with abundant commentary from individuals across the region. I want to thank the search committee, particularly the chair Linda DeBeau-Melting, for managing this inclusive process. And thank you to all who contributed to this important search.

Valerie hopes to visit Minnesota in the months before her official start, and looks forward to working with the fabulous Minitex staff and deeply committed library communities across Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Wendy Pradt Lougee, University Librarian, University of Minnesota

CMLE Scholarship Program – Apply Today!

Did you know?! CMLE offers scholarships of up to $200 per fiscal year per individual for staff affiliated with our member libraries to attend workshops, conferences, and other library-related activities to promote professional development. For all of the details and to apply for a scholarship, go to www.cmle.org/scholarships.asp.

Past recipients of the CMLE scholarship were able to attend national conferences such as ISTE. Locally, members received scholarships for attending the Children’s Literature Workshop in St. Cloud, the TIES conference, the Library Technology Conference at Macalaster College, and for annual MEMO and MLA conferences.

Funds are limited! Apply soon!

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