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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2017 Membership Renewal Reminder

Posted by jim on November 29, 2016

Reminder-clipart-free-clip-art-images-2-image-clipartcow.jpgAs the year draws to a close and we reflect on the highpoints of 2016, it is clear that MALF owes its every success to the spirited involvement of Friends like you. Thank you!

MALF operates on a membership year equal to the corresponding calendar year, and many have already renewed their membership for calendar/membership year 2017. If you were a member in 2016, you should have received a letter (and handy renewal form) from us within the past three weeks. If you do not receive the expected letter, or were not a member in 2016, email us at info@mnlibraryfriends.org and we will send you an invoice.

As in years past, Friends of the Library groups pay only $25, and Individuals pay just $10. MALF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your dues are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. We also welcome and appreciate donations, in any amount, which you can submit with your dues - or online through our secure website portal. 

2017-2018 NEA ‘Big Read’ Grants Available

Posted by jim on November 21, 2016

If your Friends of the Library group is looking to up its programming game in 2017, consider applying for a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sums ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 are available to Friends and like-minded organizations willing to host a community reads program consisting of at least a dozen separate events, including a kick-off party, keynote lecture, and around ten discussion sessions.

Communitywide reading programs proposed for any time between September 2017 and June 2018 are now eligible for consideration.  

Requested funding must be matched one-to-one with non-federal contributions, and the NEA stipulates that your Big Read revolve around one of these pre-selected book titles. This still leaves quite a bit of room for customizability, however. Funds can be applied toward book purchases, speaker fees and travel, staff salaries, advertising, and venue rentals.

Grant recipients are automatically eligible to use a variety of online training resources and professionally designed promotional and educational materials.

Click here to learn more. Apply by Thursday, January 26.

Public Library Association Award Noms Due December 5

Posted by jim on November 18, 2016

PLA.jpgFriends of the Library work closely with library staff, and often have a better understanding than most patrons of the unique skills and stellar work ethic that librarians bring to the table. Consequently, the Public Library Association (PLA) invites Friends to put forward the name of your favorite public servant for any of nine association honors. Highlights include:

Allie Beth Martin Award

This award honors a librarian who, in a public library setting, has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials and has distinguished ability to share that knowledge.

Charlie Robinson Award

This award honors a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library.

Gordon M. Conable Award

This award honors a public library staff member, a library trustee, or a public library, that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

John Illiff Award

This award recognizes the contributions of a library worker, librarian, or library that has used technology and innovative thinking as a tool to improve services to public library users.

Deadline for these and all other PLA awards is Monday, December 5. You can create an online user identity and apply online any time. Send all questions to PLA as directed on their website. 


See Our NEW 'Stand Up for Standout Friends' Gallery

Posted by jim on November 11, 2016

We know that most of you were unable to join us in Duluth for the live announcement of the inaugural class of Stand Up for Standout Friends. MALF is pleased to catch you up – and to honor these truly outstanding Friends in perpetuity – with this new Stand Up for Standout Friends website gallery. Click the link, or visit the new page, to read up on our sixteen recipients.

Know of someone in your community whose dedication and accomplishments stack up? Keep them in mind for next year’s awards cycle!

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation 'Mini Grants'

Posted by jim on October 31, 2016

Friends groups in Minnesota are often deeply involved in their library’s children’s and young adult programming. In some cases, Friends involvement is limited only by lack of available funds. If this describes you, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation wants to help.

Established in the 1960s by the Caldecott Medal winning writer and children’s book illustrator, the Foundation continues strong today. Its primary focus remains to foster the ideals Keats valued most: creative expression, teamwork, and diversity.

Minigrants, one of its flagship and most popular programs, offers awards of $500 to public school and library teams looking to create special, enriching activities for school-aged children outside of the standard curriculum. Popular examples include bookmaking workshops, community or multicultural ‘portrait projects,’ pen pal initiatives, and the creation/performance of plays. 

The Foundation will distribute approximately 60 grants to worthy applicants next year. Applications are due March 31, 2017. All winners will be notified in May. Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation’s website for more details. A little planning goes a long way, so don’t delay!