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MALF connects Friends of Library organizations, provides valuable resources to support their work, and is a strong voice for Friends of Library groups and libraries throughout Minnesota.

 

Inaugural Year!

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wishyouwell2-300x143.pngThere are a number of nonprofits and foundations out there providing Friends and likeminded organizations with funds to coordinate literacy and reading programs. Comparatively few, however, offer such grants on as broad a basis as The Wish You Well Foundation®.

The Wish You Well Foundation is currently providing grants ranging all the way from $200 to $10,000. As long as your proposed event or initiative “supports family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs,” they will consider partnering with you! (Note that, as with most national grants that MALF brings to your attention, all requests must come from 501c3 incorporated organizations.)

Be prepared to submit a single-page proposal including a write up on your organization’s history and mission, what you are proposing, and how much it will cost. Where applicable, the submission of supplemental materials is also strongly encouraged. Click here to learn more and to download the application cover sheet template. After you get started, address any and all questions to info@wishyouwellfoundation.org.

To date, while The Wish You Well Foundation has helped over 50 groups across the country, no Minnesota organization has been awarded this exciting literary grant. Will you be the first? 

Cambridge_Karen_Lee.jpgNominations are now being accepted for MALF’s flagship prize, the annual Evy Nordley Award for ‘Best Project by Friends of the Library.’ Each year, we recognize original ideas and innovative projects created by Friends with this first-of-its-kind honor.

Any Friends-supported project is eligible for consideration, provided project implementation began after January 1 of the preceding year (in this case, 2014). Examples include print publications, programming events, membership drives, fundraising campaigns, and website or digital initiatives.

Entry submission is free, but participation requires a current MALF membership. (Contestants unaffiliated with MALF are welcome to submit membership application and annual dues along with their Evy Nordley entry materials.) All entries for the 2015 cycle must be postmarked by June 15.

Each cycle, three finalists will be notified over the summer and invited to give a ten-minute presentation describing the design, development and impact of their Friends effort at the annual fall Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Conference. The winner will be announced at this time, and be awarded $1,000. Runners-up will receive $250 and a framable Certificates of Recognition.

ufldownload.jpgAs the playwright Sophocles sagely noted, “Kindnesses tend to birth further kindnesses.” In this spirit, United for Libraries is offering both members and non-members special ‘Major Benefactor Citations.’ This commendation is meant to acknowledge and honor outstanding library supporters, and to encourage others to follow their generous example.

The Major Benefactor Citation consists of a custom plaque for the benefactor, and another for the requesting Friends group. United for Libraries also provides recipients with a variety of informational sheets and promotions templates to build an event around the Citation and promote library giving.

In addition to local publicity, all Major Benefactor Citation recipients are featured on the United for Libraries website and in a press release issued by the American Library Association.

Monetary and in-kind contributions to library operations or programming are all eligible. Friends need only submit a short application detailing:

  • The nature of the library’s relationship with the benefactor
  • How the library has befitted from the honoree’s largesse
  • Why you consider the gift or gifts to be “Major,” and
  • Any publicity generated around the gift or gifts thus far

A fee of $300 for United for Libraries members or $400 for non-members covers materials and all shipping and administrative costs. Click here to learn more and apply. Address specific questions to united@ala.org

Friends groups are valuable not only for their ability to fundraise, but for their ability to marshal talented people from all walks of life on behalf of local libraries. In this same vein, MALF strives to ensure that its Board of Directors represents different regions of the state and as many professional skills sets as possible. In February, we are thrilled to welcome two new Board members to the ranks: Todd Kruse of St. Paul, and Sheila DeChantal of Brainerd.

Todd Kruse is a highly accomplished strategist and consultant. His fortes include market research, strategic planning, and economic development outreach. Several decades of this high-stakes work has given him experience with a wide variety of industries and public interests – ranging all the way from energy commodities and telecommunications to education workforce development and government IT services.

Kruse is also a respected public policy advocate. He has helped numerous Fortune 500 companies formulate their public policies, and served time as a field representative for an Iowa congressman early in his career. Kruse is thrilled to have this chance to mobilize his advocacy skills on behalf of public libraries.

Sheila DeChantal is already a familiar name to many Friends of the Library, particularly those in north central Minnesota. She is currently president of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library (as well as an active member of the City of Brainerd Library Board).

In her time with the Friends, the group has seen record-breaking book sale figures. DeChantal also helped launch Brainerd’s highly successful “Wine and Words” dinner fundraiser. This program’s inaugural year featured not one, not two, but five popular authors. After a veritable blitz of promotions, the event surpassed all expectations. DeChantal’s team sold 180 tickets and cleared over $8,500 for the library’s use.

Without a doubt, both Kruse and DeChantal are valuable assets for MALF and the broader community of Minnesota Friends. Welcome!

If you would like to put your name forward for consideration in 2016, or would just like more information on our Board roles and committees, send an mail to our Nominating Committee at info@mnlibraryfriends.org. 

MALF's Year in Review

Posted by jim on December 24, 2014

year_in_review__large.pngFor MALF, 2015 was something of a banner year. Highlights from our year in review are almost too numerous to mention, but include...

In short, it’s been a busy year! Clearly, we couldn’t do any of it without Friends like you. Your membership is a visible marker of the fact that Minnesotans care about the health of our libraries.