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.



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ALA - National Library Legislative Day

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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

What's Next From MALF? Help Us Decide!

Posted by jim on April 01, 2014

As part of our overarching mission to strengthen Minnesota’s library community, MALF’s programming committee is committed to bringing relevant, high-quality programming to Friends of the Library each summer.

In 2012, library consultants Brenda Hough and Diana Weaver flew in from Kansas to give us a valuable crash course on everyday advocacy and on the nuances of formal lobbying. In 2013, Ann Walker Smalley, director of Metronet, orchestrated a workshop about growing and maintaining Friends membership and engagement.

This year… it’s up to you! Please take a moment to fill out this short (four question) survey on what programming topics you’d like to see for 2014. The poll will remain open through April 15.

MALF workshops are open to members and non-members alike, so feel free to forward on this email or share the survey link through social media. 

>>Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SYNTZRQ

bakerandtaylor.jpgLast month, we were thrilled to launch the 2014 season of our Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library. You can enter anytime between now and June 15. If you’re ahead of the game and already getting your statement and materials together, consider “doubling up” this spring by applying for United for Libraries’ coveted Baker & Taylor Award.

Like Evy Nordley, the Baker & Taylor Award program aims to recognize Friends groups and library Foundations “for outstanding efforts in support of their library.” The nationwide contest differs from others of its sort in that entries can be centered around one specific project, OR describe a number of activities hosted by a Friends group in calendar year 2013.

The number of winners varies from year to year. Each receives $1,000 and recognition at a high-profile United for Libraries event later this year.

Judging is based on the following criteria:

  • Planning: Friends/Foundation, library, and community involvement; use of resources; appropriateness of the activity; and, measurable goals and objectives.
  • Implementation: Use of resources; public relations; task monitoring; and broad membership involvement.
  • Evaluation: Assessment of activity or program; measurable results.
  • Innovation: New idea or implementation; creative involvement of people; fresh use of public relations
  • Community Relations: Broad support by the community in planning and implementation.

Submissions are due by the end of April. Winners will be notified by mid-May. Entrants must have current United for Libraries membership status through June 2014. For more information:

dia.jpgOn April 30, libraries and Friends all over the country will host youth programming as part of El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros – a celebration of culture commonly abbreviated simply as " Día."

It’s not too late to coordinate a tie-in event of your own! Contrary to what the name might suggest, participation in “Day of the Book” does not presuppose great familiarity with Spanish language or culture. In fact, the yearly observance is not even confined to one culture. It’s become a showcase for all traditions, languages, and books that are shaping the world’s next generation of readers and leaders.

Just last year, Friends events covered the gamut alphabetically from Arabic and French all the way to Turkish and Vietnamese!

What form your cultural programming takes is largely up to you. Coordinators with the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), part of ALA, have helpfully provided a variety of valuable free resources to get you started. These include activity materials ranging from coloring books to reading lists and logs. Posters, badges, and other publicity materials are available, too. You can also register your program with ALA’s National Día Day Registry for added publicity.

For more information, visit their website, or go straight to the organizers’ comprehensive "Resource Guide: Everything You Need to ‘Do Día.’”

maggie.jpgTeens – and particularly teenage boys – can be a tricky demographic to get reading. Happily, on the whole, they are also more receptive than most to library programs and initiatives aimed at instilling that valuable love of reading.

In this vein, the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust is offering generous grants of approximately $500-$2000 to public and school libraries who go above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of teen literacy. The Trust is named after a groundbreaking young adult librarian who transformed teen services nationally through tireless work as an ALA leader in the 1930s-60s.

In particular, the Trust wishes to recognize and reward projects aimed at promoting 1) reading for pleasure, or 2) the effective training of YA librarians.

Applications are being accepted and considered on a continual basis. Candidates will be graded on program design and management, on thoroughness and quality of evaluation measures, and on cost and cost effectiveness.

For more information, visit the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust online, or jump straight to the pdf application