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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"Strengthening Libraries Together"
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During the month of September, MALF will partner with libraries and local Friends groups across the state to bring a new and free workshop, “Strengthening Libraries Together,” to five Minnesota communities. Attendees will learn ways to increase Friends of the Library membership and raise significant funds for their libraries. They will also have an opportunity to share ideas and network with others facing similar challenges.

Melissa-Brechon-Portrait-Web.jpgSession leader Melissa Brechon has been active in Minnesota’s library community for over 25 years, most recently in leadership roles at the Austin (MN) Public Library and the Carver County Library. She is currently a lead consultant with Library Strategies, where she works closely with public libraries across the country. Her areas of specialty include strategic planning, community needs assessment, facility and staffing studies, Board and leadership development, feasibility studies, and capital campaigns. Brechon is a member of five Friends of the Library groups in Minnesota, active in both ALA and MLA, and is presently serving as an adjunct faculty member at St. Catherine’s.

Sessions will be held in:

Duluth Public Library
2432 E. 5th St., Duluth, MN
Saturday, September 6, 9:30am-3:00pm
Register by August 30

Rasmey County Library - Roseville
2180 N. Hamline Ave., Roseville, MN
Monday, September 15, 4:30pm-8:30pm
Register by September 8 

Rochester Public Library
101 Second St. SE, Rochester, MN
Thursday, September 18, 1:00p-7:00pm
Register by September 11 

Lake Agassiz Regional Library - Moorhead
118 5th St. S., Moorhead, MN
Saturday, September 20, 9:30am-3:00pm
Register by September 13

Great River Regional Librayr - St. Cloud
1300 W. Germain St., St. Cloud, MN
Saturday, September 27, 9:30am-3:00pm
Register by September 20

Session highlights include a keynote titled "Ten Things I Know to be True (About Friends of the Library Fundraising)," in which Brechon will explore current trends and best practices for Friends' fundraising and membership solicitation. Workshops will also include a panel disccusion featuring local Friends. Attendees will come away energized by new ideas for organizational growth and successful community initiatives.

Everyone is invited to sign up for a free workshop. It is not necessary to be a member of MALF or any Library Friends organization to attend. Please be sure to register!

movers.jpgAs Ann Walker Smalley, director of Metronet, noted last year during MALF’s Drafting the Blueprint workshop series, Millennials are a hard group for many Friends groups to attract – but invaluable if brought into the fold. Indeed, young people are among the most visible ‘movers and shakers’ in the library world more generally.

As Ann Walker Smalley, director of Metronet, noted last year during MALF’s Drafting the Blueprint workshop series, Millennials are a hard group for many Friends groups to attract – but invaluable if brought into the fold. Indeed, young people are among the most visible ‘movers and shakers’ in the library world more generally.

Library Journal is looking to identify and recognize librarianship’s standout emerging leaders. Fifty young ‘Movers and Shakers’ will be recognized in the publication’s March 2015 issue. The editors want your help! Full-time staff, paraprofessionals, and Friends are all eligible for consideration, and submitting a nomination takes only a few minutes online. Be prepared to answer these open-ended questions:

1. “Why are your nominating this emerging leader?”

2. “Describe one event, project or situation that illustrates their value.”

3. “Describe on attribute or characteristic that illustrates this nominee's unique ability.”

Contact information for two additional references will also be requested. Nominations must be received by Library Journal by November 7, 2014 at the very latest. Click here for details.

MLA-logo-2014.pngDo you know someone who routinely goes “above and beyond” in their support of Minnesota’s libraries? If you’re reading this newsletter, odds are, you do! The Minnesota Library Association wants your help in identifying standout Friends (and other library supporters) for special recognition at this fall’s MLA Conference. Nominations are currently being accepted for:

  • ‘Above & Beyond’ Award: MLA’s highest prize honors “significant contributions to the Minnesota library community.” Friends, library staffers, trustees, and legislators are all eligible, as are a range of institutions (public or special libraries, schools, foundations, etc.). Up to three Above & Beyond Awards may be given each year.
  • William G. Asp Distinguished Career Award: Able leadership is key to any library’s success. The Distinguished Career Award is for a veteran with a track record of “positive development in libraries and the improvement of library services.”
  • President’s Award: Bestowed annually, this distinction acknowledges the outstanding contributions of an MLA member to the organization’s programs and initiatives.

MLA membership is necessary to put forward a nomination. Other requirements vary by award. Click here for more information (and to submit a nomination online).

Applications for all three honors must be received by MLA no later than August 25.

RGK Foundation Wants To Partner With YOU!

Posted by jim on June 24, 2014

rgk1.gifFriends of the Library have long had a friend of their own in the RGK Foundation, a national organization devoted to the advancement of youth literacy and other K-12 education initiatives.

If youth literacy is a special focus of your group’s 2014-2015 programming, the Foundation invites you to submit a Letter of Inquiry seeking a grant to offset project costs.

It’s as simple as that! A judging panel will review your request and, if interested, invite you to submit a formal project proposal. Letters are being accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis, and the panel is next set to meet on Friday, September 19.

Please note that, ordinarily, annual galas, capital campaigns, student projects, and scholarships are ineligible for consideration. Your Friends group must also be 501(c)3 incorporated to be eligible.

For further information, including letter-writing best practices, visit the RGK Foundation’s excellent FAQ pageClick here to write and submit an ‘e-letter.’ (Looking for inspiration? Click here to read about a variety of exciting literacy projects funded to date.)

loc.gifLibraries and partnering Friends groups often accept and “accession” book donations from private, local donors. Circulation collections everywhere are stronger for these added efforts. If you are enterprising and looking to expand those collections even further, consider looking into the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program.

The Surplus Books Program is, essentially, just what it sounds like. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., sets aside all books not needed for its own uses for distribution to qualifying organizations across the country. Eligible institutions include colleges, museums, school systems, state and federal agencies, and – of course – public libraries! (Under certain circumstances, Friends and other 501 nonprofits may participate without partnering with library staff.)

Books claimed through the program must be used to build collections, and cannot be immediately resold for fundraising.

The “catch,” so to speak, is that a representative of your organization must be on site at the Library of Congress to sift through and choose available titles. (You can, of course, deputize someone to take on those responsibilities on your behalf. This is quite common.) 

Requests are being accepted and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Applicants need only fill out a basic application and submit a brief letter, preferably on letterhead stationary, requesting approval to participate. Application materials and more information are available at loc.gov/acq/surplus.html.