Tag Archives: state library services

Updates from State Library Services

Here is our state library services newsletter from January 9! Stay tuned for all kinds of good info.

Get Ready for the 2017 Minnesota Public Library Annual Report

Library directors and annual report filers are invited to participate in a webinar on Wednesday, January 10, 1:30-2:30 p.m., to learn about proposed indicators and modifications to current indicators and definitions and how to enter data into the online survey tool. This webinar will be useful for both experienced and new report filers. When it’s time, join the 2017 Minnesota Public Library Annual Report meeting via WebEx. Registration is not required.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Joe Manion (651-582-8640).

Order Your Library’s 2018 Tax Season Outreach Materials

Tax time is important in the lives of low- and moderate-income individuals and families. That’s why every year, Prepare + Prosper works with libraries across Minnesota to distribute outreach materials about free tax preparation and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Order your free materials soon in order to receive them for tax time.

Libraries in the 9-county metro area: order your materials through the online Prepare + Prosper order form.

Libraries in Greater Minnesota: order your materials through the Prepare + Prosper online order form.

For more information, please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508).

webex meeting

Connect Your Community with Affordable PCs and Internet Access

You can connect members of your community with affordable personal computers, computer repair, and internet access. Learn how your library can partner with PCs for People, an organization that works with businesses, government agencies, and residents to recycle and refurbish computers. Those computers are provided to low-income people, along with support for getting online.

Madeline Tate, PCs for People’s director of Partnerships and Programming, will give an overview of the organization, then describe how you can partner with them to benefit residents of your community. She also will tell us about an exciting pilot program with several rural libraries in Oklahoma. We’ll have plenty of time for your questions, too.

The webinar will be on Tuesday, January 30, from 11 a.m. to noon. You may join the webinar without registering, however if you do register, we can provide follow-up information and continue the conversation.

For further information, please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508).

90-Second Newbery Film Festival Screening in February

You’re invited to the fourth annual Minnesota screening of the year’s best student-made 90-Second Newbery Film Festival entries on Saturday, February 10, 2018, 3-4:30 p.m., at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central. The event is co-hosted by 90-Second Newbery founder James Kennedy and Minnesota author Pete Hautman. Help us promote the event by downloading and sharing the screening poster.

Don’t forget—the deadline to submit films for the screening is January 12, 2018. Learn more about how to submit on the 90-Second Newbery website. For more information, please contact Jen Verbrugge (651-582-8356).


Updates from our Partners

Letters About Literature Essay Contest Readers Needed

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, seeks qualified first round readers for Letters About Literature, a national Library of Congress reading-writing promotion program for school-aged youth, grades 4-12. Students are asked to write a letter to an author, living or dead, about how the author’s work changed the reader’s view of the world or self. Letters are accepted for three levels: Level 1 is grades 4-6, Level 2 is grades 7-8, and Level 3 is grades 9-12. Readers are asked to review up to 50 letters (most are one to two pages) with a rubric for guidelines and submit a form indicating whether each letter is recommended for the next round or not. All letters and forms would be included in a Dropbox file. The reading period is from January 26 to February 16.

If you are interested in helping to support this program by volunteering your time, please email Alayne Hopkins before January 19 with your contact information, including mailing address, occupation, and Level preference. Last year, nearly 50,000 students participated nationally and Minnesota is proud to partner on this valuable student program.

ALA Teen Tech Week

Start Planning for Teen Tech Week

Find resources on the American Library Association website to plan great Teen Tech Week activities for March 4-10. Celebrate the many ways teens can leverage technology to effect positive change in their lives and communities with the “Libraries are for Creating” theme. Please share with State Library Services what you plan to do or what you did. We love to collect and share your stories! Send your anecdotes (and photos if you have them) to Leah Larson.


News to Know

America's Star Libraries (Library Journal)

Minnesota’s Star Libraries

Congratulations to the state’s top-rated public libraries. Five Minnesota libraries are among the 259 Star Libraries on the Library Journal Index of Public Library Services. Ramsey County, Grand Marais, and Edgerton public libraries are repeat Star Libraries for 2017. Baudette and Ely public libraries are new to the index this year. Grand Marais received the highest rating of five stars. The other libraries earned three stars each.

The index compares U.S. public libraries with their spending peers based on per capita loans, visits, program attendance, and public computer use. The scores are based on data reported annually by public libraries to their state library agencies. The 2017 ratings are based on 2015 data compiled nationally by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. To be eligible for Star status, be sure to complete the Minnesota Public Library Survey which opens in February.


About Us

State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), partners with libraries to achieve equity and excellence in our collective work for Minnesotans. Division staff are consultants who help libraries plan, develop and implement high-quality services that address community needs. State Library Services administers federal grant, state aid, and state grant programs that benefit all types of libraries.

State Library Services wishes you and yours a happy and fulfilling 2018!

Updates from State Library Services


LSTA Grants Awarded

The 2017 LSTA grant cycle awards have been issued! The larger, competitive awards are going to eight recipients for a total of $517,000, funding projects ranging from $32,000 to $98,000. The Early STEM Literacy in Libraries Mini Grants are being awarded to seven recipients for a total of $50,000, funding projects ranging from $2,000 to $9,000. Find more information on the State Library Services’ LSTA page, or contact Leah Larson (651-582-8604).


Taxes 101 for Minnesota Libraries

The 2018 tax season is right around the corner! What questions do you have about the upcoming tax season? What resources or information would be helpful for your library?

Join a tax conversation on December 13 at 11 a.m. with the Minnesota Department of Revenue and Prepare + Prosper to get your questions answered and to learn about important updates.

Join the Taxes 101 webinar on December 13. The call-in toll-free number is 1-888-742-5095, and the conference code is 492 064 9083.

Although registration isn’t required, if you do register for Taxes 101, you’ll be able to submit a question in advance so the presenters can address it during the webinar.

For further information, please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508). Continue reading Updates from State Library Services

Updates from State Library Services

State Library Services 2018-2022 Goal Plan Approved

We are pleased to make available our recently approved LSTA 2018-2022 Five-Year Plan. An overarching focus of the plan is to connect Minnesotans with information and resources through libraries, and we’re looking forward to working with libraries and other partners to achieve our goals. The plan identifies areas for competitive grant-making as well as statewide initiatives. Please don’t hesitate to contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) if you’d like more information about the new plan.

Bring a Part of the State Fair to Your Library

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency created a tabletop version of “Your Resilient Community,” a part of their popular Eco Experience State Fair exhibit, and they are partnering with State Library Services to lend the exhibit to libraries.

The interactive exhibit comes with a portable table, eco-themed booklist, and button maker with templates for a fun, hands-on activity. We’re working with Minitex to deliver the exhibit, so all you need to do is set it up – instructions are provided.

Libraries may have the exhibit for four to six weeks, and we’ll try to work around your schedule. Please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508) if you are interested in hosting Your Resilient Community.

Summer Learning Programs Widespread at Minnesota Public Libraries

Summer learning programs help ensure that youth retain critical academic skills they acquired during the school year through reading and learning activities over the school break. State Library Services sent on online survey intended to collect information about how Minnesota’s public libraries implement and measure summer learning programs for youth to all Minnesota public libraries in September. More than half (55 percent) completed the voluntary survey. Thank you!

All but a few of the responding libraries (96 percent) offered summer learning programs for youth in 2017 and incorporated learning activities other than reading into their summer programs. Most offered programs for youth of all ages—preschoolers (91 percent), elementary school students (99 percent) and teens (81 percent). The most popular program components included incentives, collateral materials such as reading records, and public performances and events.

A significant majority of libraries (82 percent) partner with other community organizations for their summer learning programs. The most common partners include schools, childcare organizations, businesses, local government, and nonprofit organizations. Half (50 percent) of libraries developed programs and activities that addressed the needs of youth most in need of learning opportunities during the summer school break. Youth living in lower-income households and ethnic or minority youth were the most frequently targeted groups.

If you would like a copy of the survey results, please contact Joe Manion (651-582-8640).

Grants to States Program Reports Available Online

IMLS Labs, a new tool from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), allows you to search funded Grants to States projects across all states (from FY2014 and FY2015), refine your results by faceted options from within the State Program Reports, and export them in CSV or text-based formats. Visit the site to learn more about what we did here in Minnesota, and see what other states are accomplishing with their federal funding. Information and ideas abound!

Back to top


Updates from Our Partners


Webinar: Using Project Outcome Data to Improve & Support Library Programming

The Public Library Association (PLA) is partnering with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office to present a webinar on the benefits of using outcome data to improve and support library programming. On Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 1-2 p.m., learn how to use Project Outcome data for programming decisions and improvements, funding requests, measuring against strategic priorities, and advocating for the impact your programs and services have on the community. Participants will hear real library examples and have the opportunity to ask questions. Register for the free Project Outcome Data webinar today; space is limited.

Lights on Afterschool

Keep the Lights On Afterschool for Minnesota’s Youth

October 26 is the 18th annual Lights On Afterschool (LoA), a day for afterschool programs across the country and Minnesota to celebrate the role afterschool programs play in the lives of youth, families, and communities. Library partnerships between afterschool programs and libraries is a major theme for LoA this year.

Ignite Afterschool is partnering with the Weisman Art Museum for a special event in the Twin Cities on Thursday, October 26, 3:30-6 p.m. Register today for the Lights On Afterschool Weisman Art Museum event—or better yet, volunteer at the event. Ignite Afterschool is seeking volunteers for two shifts: 1) Shift A: 3-4:30 p.m. 2) Shift B: 4:30-6 p.m. Contact Matt Ramirez at Ignite Afterschool for more information or to volunteer.

If your community is planning an LoA event, register your event today to receive 10 free posters. Visit the LoA website to get more information and learn how to get involved.

YALSA 2018 Summer Learning Grants Available

YALSA is awarding twenty $1,000 grants to support libraries’ efforts to reach underserved teens over the summer months, as well as another twenty $1,000 grants to support hiring teen interns over the summer. Visit YALSA’s summer learning webpage to learn more and apply.

Becoming American Grant Opportunity

Your library can apply to participate in Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience, a six-week public program featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.

The project will provide participating organizations (libraries, museums, historical societies, and cultural centers) with DVDs of carefully selected, compelling documentary films; discussion guidelines; original essays by eminent immigration scholars; extensive resource guides; and web support including training in how to organize, promote and run the series successfully.

In addition, each of the 32 nonprofit organizations selected to implement Becoming American will receive a cash award of $1,300 for project expenses. Participating institutions are expected to offer this six-week program sometime during the period June 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019. Guidelines and applications are available on the Becoming American website. The application deadline is December 1, 2017.

Questions about the selection guidelines, process, or requirements should be directed to City Lore (212-529-1955 x13).

Kerlan Collection Digital Archives

New Digital Exhibit from the Kerlan Collection

Children’s Book Art: Techniques and Media is the newest digital asset in the Kerlan Children’s Literature Research Collections’ digital exhibits project. The exhibit showcases art from the Kerlan Collection, and provides an invaluable resource for anyone interested in exploring the world of illustration through the artistic techniques employed by the country’s most popular illustrators.

The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota Archives and Special Collections is one of the leading repositories of rare books, process art, and manuscripts of children’s literature. The collection includes rare volumes of Mother Goose from the 1800s as well as works by contemporary creators like Jane Yolen, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Melissa Sweet. The University of Minnesota Libraries’ mission is to share these riches with teachers of children, youth services librarians, teachers of teachers, students of creative writing and art, and anyone who is interested in the craft of making children’s books. Check out all of the Kerlan’s digital exhibits on the University of Minnesota website.

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.