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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MLA-logo-2014.pngRegistration is now open for Minnesota Library Legislative Day, the linchpin event of our state’s library advocacy calendar. Library Friends from all across Minnesota are strongly encouraged to converge at the Capitol in St. Paul on March 2-3 to voice their support for libraries and their many public service offerings.

Although Tuesday is the highlight, activities begin on Monday evening. Library lobbyists Elaine Keefe and Sam Walseth will take that opportunity to get interested attendees up to speed with a special legislative briefing (details forthcoming). For those unable to attend, this session will be repeated early Tuesday morning. This is a perfect opportunity to get up to speed on legislative developments affecting public libraries in 2014-16.

Legislators will meet with constituents and hear their concerns about library funding throughout the day on March 3. A debriefing panel at 1:00 p.m. will round out the day’s official activities.

If you are unsure who represents you, click here. Navigate to "Who Represents Me?," or use the district finder. As time permits, please also check out this MLA fact sheet detailing 2015 priorities and action items.

Click here to register. MALF will be out in force this year, and we hope to see you there! Stay tuned for news of Friends networking opportunities centered around Minnesota Library Legislative Day.

march-7.jpgThe Friends of the Robert Trail Library in Rosemount cordially invite all Friends of the Library to join them on Saturday, March 7 for an informal ideas sharing session and meet-and-greet. Topics of discussion will include, but are not limited to: best practices for book sales, membership solicitation strategies, coordinating community-wide events, and innovative fundraising techniques.

The event will run 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and be held in the main meeting room of the Robert Trail Library, 14395 South Robert Trail. Bring your own lunch. The Friends of the Robert Trail Library will supply beverages and dessert.

Spread the word! In addition to Friends, library directors, staff and Board members are also invited to attend and participate.

To RSVP, or to suggest additional topics for discussion, please contact Jo Gilbertson, president of the Friends of the Robert Trail Library (651-344-2074 / gilby2048@frontier.net).

ASCLA invites Friends of the Library in Minnesota to nominate outstanding peers for one of two national life-time achievement awards.

Of special interest is the ASCLA Exceptional Service Award, which is regularly given to Friends and other committed volunteers. In particular, this citation is intended to recognize exceptional service to the homebound, hospital patients, group home residents, and/or inmate populations. Other strong candidates will be considered. Click here to learn more.

Alternatively, consider ASCLA’s Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. As the name suggests, this capstone prize honors exemplary leadership and achievement in library work. Involvement with state library development and statewide services or programs are important considerations. Click here to learn more.


Nominees must be current members in the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Services (ASCLA). Nominations for both award are being accepted for a limited time only, so don’t delay! 

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.