Tag Archives: state library services

Info from the State Library Services

Early STEM Literacy in Libraries Mini Grant

Following last fall’s Early STEM Literacy training workshops presented around the state by the Science Museum of Minnesota, we set out to determine the best way to support early STEM literacy programs and activities in libraries. We identified a mini grant opportunity as the best way to do this. An estimated $50,000 is available to fund grant proposals ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to help libraries offer programs and services to increase early STEM literacy capacity and programming in libraries.

The grant period is 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 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.

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.

Improve Findability in Your Catalog: Add Ebooks Minnesota Records

Libraries now have an additional way to give their patrons access to Ebooks Minnesota: Minitex has MARC records available for the collection. Please let Minitex know how you’d like the content by completing this brief Ebooks Minnesota survey. They’ll provide you with information about accessing the records in a way that best suits your needs. For more information about the MARC records, please contact Minitex. For more information about Ebooks Minnesota, please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508).

Updates from Our Partners

Bridges to Citizenship Summer Institute

Join staff from the USCIS Office of Citizenship for an exciting learning opportunity August 16-17 at the Baker Center at Cherokee Heights Elementary in St. Paul. Bridges to Citizenship Summer Institute is a no-cost two-day event to provide librarians and adult ESL, EL/Civics, and citizenship teachers with information on the naturalization process, free materials for the library and adult education classroom, practical ideas to enhance library and adult education services to immigrants, and more. Register for Bridges to Citizenship Summer Institute by August 8, 2017. For more information, contact Jennifer Kuylen, Community Relations Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Updates from State Library Services

Updates from State Library Services

Welcome, Leah!

State Library Services is excited to welcome Leah Larson as our new LSTA Coordinator. Leah most recently worked for the Perpich Center at the Crosswinds Arts & Science School Library, providing resource support for faculty and students, as well as educators around the state through Perpich Outreach. She has an MLIS from the University of St. Catherine, and is a certified Minnesota K-12 media specialist. Leah taught ESL, Special Education, and Language Arts for grades 1-8 at public schools in Minnesota, Texas, and New York, and was a media specialist in Richfield prior to starting at Perpich. She has led numerous professional development workshops and cohorts for teachers and media specialists on equity in education, and literature as a lens for teaching and learning about culture. In addition to her work with LSTA, Leah will bring her school library expertise to a number of different projects. Leah can be contacted at leah.larson@state.mn.us or 651-582-8805.

Updates from Our Partners

Measures that Matter Webinar: Moving Toward More Meaningful Measures

Circulation, visits, program attendance, patron satisfaction…these are some of the many measures commonly collected by public librarians. But how well do we understand what measures tell the most meaningful stories of today’s libraries? During the first webinar in the three-part Measure that Matter series, the landscape of major public library surveys was scanned, and ways to consider how library data could be used more productively in the future were considered. The second webinar explored more deeply the concepts of sampling, data types, and data management. The third webinar will look toward the future, considering what data public librarians should collect to demonstrate their impact. Speakers both within and outside the library field will provide multiple perspectives on meaningful measures. Register today to attend the webinar.

Save the Date: Capturing Imaginations, Building Skills Conference

The Minnesota STEM Network and Ignite Afterschool are teaming up again to offer their second joint conference. The two-day event November 29-30, 2017, at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Conference Center, will bring people together to ensure every young person in Minnesota has access to high-quality STEM education and an opportunity to build 21st century skills. Join us as we investigate, connect, and advance formal and informal STEM education and workforce development. We will share registration information and the request for session proposals when they are available later this summer.

Updates from State Library Services

Better Together – Strengthening Adult Learning Communities
Please join us for Better Together, a gathering of colleagues from adult education, libraries, and workforce development that will focus on how collaborative digital literacy efforts can increase communities’ capacity to improve adult literacy and workforce outcomes for Minnesotans.

This year’s session will be Monday, May 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with time for informal networking and discussion afterwards. We will meet at St. Paul Neighborhood Network, 550 Vandalia St., Suite 170, St. Paul.

The day will have two parts: 1) a learning strand highlighting resources that promote digital literacy and workforce skills, and 2) a Northstar strand giving participants the opportunity to provide input for the next level of the Northstar Digital Literacy Project.

Please note that Better Together is the day before the national Net Inclusion 2017 conference, also held in St. Paul.

Register for Better Together today. For more information, please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508).

This is What We Heard
Earlier this month, 37 library stakeholders attended listening sessions in Roseville and St. Cloud to share their perspectives on Minnesota’s library needs and priorities in the next five years. This sort of stakeholder feedback will help guide us toward solid goals for our LSTA Five-Year Plan for 2018-2022. Listening session participants agreed that all types of libraries will continue to be a resource for education and information. Print will endure and digital formats will expand. Teaching people how to access and evaluate information will become even more important. As community gathering places, use of library spaces and technology will grow. Developing services for immigrants, seniors, the economically disadvantaged, and those living in remote rural areas will be essential. Critical needs include advocacy, financial support, professional development, and stronger connections within communities and between libraries.

The listening sessions were hosted by State Library Services and conducted by the Management Analysis Division of Minnesota Management and Budget.

Updates from MDE

Apply to Be a 21st Century Community Learning Centers
The Minnesota Department of Education is seeking applications from eligible applicants for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program. Funding is available to establish, sustain, and expand community learning centers in order to provide students—particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools—with high-quality programs that support the whole child, primarily during non-school hours (including before school, after school, evenings, school release days, and summer.)

City or county governments, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, local education agencies (LEA), non-profit agencies and for-profit corporations, tribal agencies, and other public or private entities are eligible to apply—including libraries. Individuals are not eligible to apply. Specific eligibility criteria are identified in the General Information Section of the grant opportunity instructions document. There is no maximum grant award amount, and the minimum grant award allowed is $50,000 annually.

Please visit the Grant Opportunity webpage and scroll down to this grant opportunity for the application documents. Applications should not be submitted into the SERVS system. The application (cover sheet, assurances, narrative, forms and budget documents) must be received (not postmarked) by Thursday, June 1, 2017, 4:30 p.m. Please contact Eric Billiet for further information.

Updates from Our Partners

Share Your Work – Connecting Children and Families to Nature through Libraries
The Minnesota Children & Nature Connection (MNCNC) would like your help in connecting children and families to nature. They know many Minnesota libraries/media centers are already engaged in such activities, but need your help to get a broader picture of the work being done, and how they might better support you. Please take a few minutes to answer their short Minnesota libraries survey. MNCNC thanks you in advance for your input.

Understanding Measures that Matter
As part of the national Measures that Matter initiative, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) will offer a three-part webinar series about the public library data landscape during May, June, and July. The first webinar, “Measures that Matter: A View into the Current Public Library Data Landscape,” will take place on Tuesday, May 23, 2-3 p.m. Learn more and register on the WebJunction website. Everyone is welcome to attend this webinar. Dates and descriptions for the second and third webinars will be announced soon.

Welcome to the Minnesota Library Publishing Project
The Minnesota Library Publishing Project (MLPP) is a pilot project that provides online publishing tools and training information to support independent authors and small publishers across the state. MLPP is coordinated by Minitex with support from Minnesota’s academic and public libraries.

MLPP’s book design tool is Pressbooks, an easy-to-use, online, cloud-based service that enables authors and publishers to create attractive content using a wide variety of templates and formatting options. Pressbooks assigns each uploaded manuscript a unique URL that authors can use to share their work, and enables authors to export their work in multiple formats. Authors also have a variety of options to create print versions of their book(s).

Learn more at an introductory Pressbooks webinar on Thursday, April 27, 10-10:45 a.m.
The MLPP website also offers training videos, best practices documents, and step-by-step instructions on how to get started with Pressbooks.

Minitex is working with MELSA and CRPLSA on the launch of Library Journal’s SELF-e system, which enables authors to share their work with readers across the state—and potentially across the country. This program will launch in the metro area this summer and will likely spread to the rest of the state shortly thereafter. Stay tuned or contact Andrea McKennan at MELSA for more information. MLPP is an experimental endeavor and your feedback is welcomed.

Other News of Note

A Poem a Day Keeps the Mind at Play
During National Poetry Month in April—and all year round—visit Bookology’s Poetry Mosaic, a website that features a poem read by favorite and new children’s poets each day throughout April. Poets include Joyce Sidman, Pat Mora, J. Patrick Lewis, Nikki Grimes, and more! In your classroom, your library, your homeschool, around the table during your family’s meal—everywhere, listen to poetry out loud.

For the Record

A Brief Look at Community Engagement in Minnesota Public Libraries
For the first time, public libraries reported baseline data on community engagement measures for the 2016 Minnesota Public Library Report. Community engagement depends upon partnerships with diverse stakeholders from public and private spheres. 73 percent of public libraries partnered with one or more organizations to address community needs last year.

When two or more organizations create a partnership they can engage with one another to varying degrees. Among libraries that have partnerships, 89 percent communicate information by attending meetings, distributing promotional materials, setting up displays, making presentations, etc. in order to raise awareness of community needs. 78 percent provide mutual assistance in working toward a common goal by sponsoring activities or recruiting volunteers to address community needs. 64 percent work together to jointly develop and deliver a program or service by sharing staff, resources, and costs for the benefit of participants.

Community partnerships in Minnesota libraries

Also for the first time, public libraries reported baseline data on volunteers for the 2016 Minnesota Public Library Report. Volunteers are individuals who perform a service willingly and without pay. Libraries that collect volunteer numbers (N) reported that 14,292 volunteers (N=264) worked 281,214 hours (N=292) in 2016. That’s the equivalent of 7,030 full-time workers. 2,133 teens (N=205) accounted for 31,418 volunteer hours (N=194).

Library volunteers can be any age but are usually 14 years of age or older. Volunteer tasks in the library include creating library displays, maintaining the condition of physical materials, assisting with annual book sales, making library customers’ visits welcoming and successful, assisting with library programs, assisting customers with computer applications, and returning materials to library shelves.

Volunteers in Minnesota libraries

Updates from State Library Services

Our LSTA Five-Year Evaluation and Planning
We recently submitted the evaluation of our 2013-17 LSTA Five-Year Plan to IMLS. Please take a few minutes to read about the good work we were able to do in support of libraries across the state. Read LSTA Five-Year Evaluation Report.

We are continuing to work with Management Analysis and Development (MAD) to develop a new 2018-2022 LSTA Five-Year Plan. We will use what we learned during our 2013-2017 LSTA plan evaluation process, and seek feedback from stakeholders to guide us toward solid goals for our next five years. Please contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) with questions about the Five-Year Plan evaluation or the Five-Year Plan development process.

Updated Library Trustee Handbook Now Available
State Library Services has updated the Minnesota Public Library Trustee Handbook. This revised edition includes updated content from the prior handbook as well as the Library Trustee Manual template published by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) in 2016. The handbook is meant to be a useful resource for library trustees. It informs trustees about Minnesota’s public library environment and governance structure, and helps them understand their roles and responsibilities as library stewards. Its purpose is to give trustees a broad view of their duties and responsibilities.

Special thanks to Karen Pundsack, Executive Director, Great River Regional Library, and Audrey Betcher, Director, Rochester Public Library, for their insightful editing and content contributions.

If you have questions or feedback about the handbook, please contact Joe Manion (651-582-8640). Continue reading Updates from State Library Services

State Library Services Update!

Updates from State Library Services

Libraries Serving Youth Meetup
The Libraries Serving Youth Meetup is an annual opportunity for school librarians and public librarians to meet, network and share ideas. This year, attendees will have a chance to connect and develop creative ideas with colleagues around the topic of makerspaces.

School and public librarians are invited to join us at SPNN in Saint Paul (550 Vandalia Street, Suite 170) for the Meetup on Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., followed by an optional stop-motion animation workshop, 2-4 p.m. Register today for the Libraries Serving Youth Meetup. Attendees should plan to bring a bag lunch. Please contact Jen Verbrugge (651-582-8356) if you have questions.

Learn How Your Library Can Fill Hungry Bellies
Begin planning your library’s participation as a summer food site by attending an informational webinar on March 7, 2017, at 11 a.m. Jenny Butcher, USDA Summer Food Service Program coordinator at MDE, will share how you can get involved. There is no need to pre-register. Please join the Summer and At-Risk Food Programs for Kids WebEx meeting online (meeting number 591 243 422) or call in at 1-888-742-5095 (conference code 874 403 3672). Please contact Jen Verbrugge (651-582-8356) if you have questions.  Continue reading State Library Services Update!