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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.

 

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NATIONAL LIBRARY LEGISLATIVE DAY!

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logo.jpg“Radical Librarianship” is the energizing theme of this year’s Minnesota Library Association Conference. It’s an apt focus. Libraries are going through rapid and radical transformations: in the community profiles they serve, the services they offer, and the way they embrace new technologies.

Friends of the Library, too, are rapidly evolving. MALF, as a proud premier sponsor of the MLA Conference, invites you to join us in Rochester on Friday, October 6 for our annual “Library Friends Day.”

We hope to see you at the Mayo Civic Center (30 Civic Center Dr. SE). MALF members can register at a special Friends-only rate for Friday. “Early birds” pay only $68. If you register after September 5, the cost jumps to $89. You can also purchase a full-conference pass for $261. We are bringing three panels to Rochester:

Collaborations That Engage Communities In Transforming Libraries
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. [Room 110]

Our mission as Friends is to advance the mission of our library. One perennial roadblock to success is that few of us understand the financing and internal structuring of a public library. However, a little ‘insider’ knowledge can go a long way on the advocacy front. Our panelists will speak on governance and revenue sources in general, and then explore specificexamples of library improvements which came to fruition thanks to strong public-private partnerships and Friends advocacy. Panelists include Sue Grove, president of the Friends of the Austin Public Library; Rollin Hall, mayor of Wabasha; Joe Owens, past president of the Friends of the Ely Public Library; and Jim Weygand, president of MLA’s Trustee and Advocates division.

MALF Annual Meeting | Friends of the Library Idea Exchange
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. [Room 103]

Back by popular demand, MALF is bringing its “popcorn style” Idea Exchange to Rochester. Share ideas, and learn about: successful membership drives, creative fundraising, advocacy and more. (Remember, no idea is too small or too oddball. If it worked for you, it may work for other Friends!) MALF will devote the second half of the hour to the organization’s annual meeting. Stay and learn what MALF has been up to in 2017! Highlights include a fall workshop series on library advocacy featuring the outgoing president of the American Library Association; a host of grant and award news; and some exciting internal restructuring intended to help us better serve you!

Evy Nordley Best Projects by Friends | Stand Up for Standout Friends
2:15 p.m. – 3:05 p.m. [Room 110]

In tough economic times, libraries are perpetually short on discretionary funds, and both collection development and programming staff find themselves stretched thin. For this reason, MALF makes it a priority to recognize Friends who go above and beyond in their efforts to supplement what the library can do for its community. We will announce the winner of the 2017 Evy Nordley Award for Best Project after each of three finalists shares their project: Sue Grove, Friends of the Austin Public Library, “Blind Date with a Book”; Sheila DeChantal, Friends of the Brainerd Public Library, “Books, Burgers and Brews”; and Mary Burke, Marine Library Association, “Once Upon A River.” We will also acknowledge each of this year’s Standout Friends – hailing from Ely to Rochester, Moorhead to Cook, and all points in between!

Storytellers can change perspectives, and in so doing change the world.” This is a popular marketing maxim, and one that assuredly holds true for library advocacy. Legislators – and your community at large – are rarely moved by dry, impersonal statistics on library performance and community needs. Stories, by contrast, personalize the library’s mission and impact.

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Friends of the Library are well positioned to champion the continued relevance and the diverse offerings of the local public library. Many, however, are unsure how or when to make this case. MALF’s fall workshop series is targeted at just this sort of advocacy.

Please join us this September for “Empowering Friends to Tell the Library’s Stories.” Award-winning and nationally recognized library leader Julie Todaro, PhD, will lead us through half-day workshops in Rochester, Stillwater, and Cook (Saint Louis County).

Dr. Todaro is Dean of Library Services at Austin Community College in Texas, and her field credentials are as numerous as they are impressive. Advocacy is her passion. In recent years, she co-chaired ALA’s popular “Frontline Advocacy” initiative, and authored the ALA project “The Power of Persuasion.”

“Our libraries are full of people’s stories – but stories need someone to tell them,” she said. “[Friends] should be able to share transformative stories and translate those stories into support for libraries."

2017_workshops.jpgSELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating)
Thursday, September 14 (10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) 
2600 19th St. NW, Rochester, MN, 55901

Stillwater Public Library
Friday, September 15 (10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
224 3rd St N, Stillwater, MN, 55082

Cook Community Center
Saturday, September 16 (10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)  
510 Gopher Drive, Cook, MN, 55723

“In addition to the keynote, attendees will participate in small group roundtables, plus have a chance to share their thoughts and experiences during an hour-long idea exchange session – a MALF workshop staple, and one of participants’ best opportunities all year round to network and share with Friends from across Minnesota.

"Empowering Friends to Tell the Library’s Stories" is FREE to attend, and it is not necessary for you to be a member of MALF or any Library Friends organization to do so. A complimentary lunch will be provided at each location. Pre-registration is required, to ensure the appropriate number of lunches and informational packets. Registration for all three sessions opens Tuesday, August 1 and will close Monday, August 31. 

Join MLA’s New Legislative Working Committee!

Posted by jim on July 21, 2017

logo.jpgAre you a Friend interested in expanding your view and doing something to aid all Minnesota libraries? Do you want to learn more about legislative processes that affect public library funding? Can you squeeze another volunteer assignment into your fall and winter schedule?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all these questions, the Minnesota Library Association invites you to join its brand new Legislative Working Committee. MLA members from all walks of life are invited to contribute their skills set to this endeavor. Committee responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: drafting legislative committee documents (such as the annual MLA advocacy platform), organizing Minnesota Library Legislative Day, and planning the yearly Library Legislative Forum.

No prior legislative, lobbying, or event planning experience is required. Click here to learn more, and click here to fill out a short form expressing your interest. You may direct any specific questions to incoming MLA legislative chair Ann Walker Smalley (ann@metronet.lib.mn.us / 651-646-0475).

ALA Announces Newest Programming Opportunity

Posted by jim on July 16, 2017

partner-ala.pngALA’s Programs Office strives to make popular and meaningful traveling exhibits available to member libraries throughout the country. Their latest such endeavor, sure to be a hit, is a novel partnership with Ken Burns. The award-winning documentarian’s most recent film, “The Vietnam War,” is intended to spark a national conversation about America’s most divisive and misunderstood foreign war.

In advance of the documentary’s September 17 debut on PBS, ALA invites applications from public libraries interested in coordinating adult programming around the War in Vietnam. Fifty entrants, chosen by a panel of judges, will receive the entire 18-hour series, full performance rights, and a host of “program in a box” print and e- resources. Winners will also receive pre-made promotional materials and an opportunity to partner with their local PBS station on tie-ins.

Interested parties must agree to schedule at least one tie-in event at the library between August 30 and January 1, and to submit a brief impact report by February 1. Note that no financial stipend is provided. Click here to read the FAQs, and to apply. Do so by end of day August 1.

Evy Nordley Nominee Spotlight: Brainerd

Posted by jim on July 13, 2017

On March 20, 2017, literati in Brainerd dined on the “Mae Holland-aise Burger”: a truly unique entrée composed of bacon, cheddar, hollandaise drizzle, and a heaping side of literary inside jokes. Mae Holland is the plucky protagonist in The Circle by Dave Eggers.

It is only one of many one-of-kind dishes prepared in recent months for the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library and their guests as part of “Books, Burgers and Brews.” The Friends inaugurated this innovative program in October 2016, in hopes of spreading the group’s fundraising and messaging to an inviting locale outside the library.

Untitled.jpgBooks, Burgers and Brews is held at Prairie Bay, a popular farm-to-table eatery not far from downtown. Each month, the restaurant's book-loving head chefs crafts a menu themed to that month's Friends book club selection.

"Working together with the Library, we chose titles that we felt would be appealing to both men and women," explained organizer Sheila DeChantal. The first selection was sci fi favorite The Martian, by Andy Weir. That dinner drew about 35 attendees – and an encouraging high proportion of men.

“We were looking to have that elusive mix of men and women,” DeChantal said. “We were also targeting non-readers and 'dormant' readers.”

Attendance now tops 40 during any given month. Recent installments have included the non-fiction hit Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly), which centers around African American women at NASA in the 1960s and inspired the spicy pepper “Blast Off Burger,” and The Nest (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney), namesake of the fried onion Nest Egg Burger.

Each month's dinner is accompanied by a short program, including a slideshow presentation and live author Skype discussions when possible.

The Friends had initially planned to take a hiatus during the summer months, and pick back up in the fall. However, due to program growth and pending promotional opportunities, Books, Burgers and Brews is now held year-round. Moreover, the owners of Prairie Bay are actively exploring the possibility of bringing this novel book club idea to two other venues they own in the Brainerd area.

In addition to greater awareness about the Brainerd Public Library and its Friends, the series has yielded other dividends, as well. The Friends purchase 20 copies of each highlighted title for the Library’s collection, and have leveraged “BBB” as a way to stoke interest in Brainerd's book-club-in-a-bag offerings.