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MALF Bids Farewell to Three Long-Serving Board Members

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Posted by jim under MALF Board,MALF Board

January is a time of new beginnings – and not just a new calendar year. For MALF, it marks the start of a new events cycle and the welcoming in of four new members to the Board of Directors. Some changes are more bittersweet, however. MALF must also bid a fond farewell to three long-serving and highly productive Board members: Margie Schuster, Jan Siffing, and Janet Urbanowicz.

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Governor Dayton’s Fiscal Year Budget Recommendations, and What It Means For You

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Posted by jim under Advocacy

The local library is among a community’s most accessible, visible and, above all, versatile public resources. A glance is all it takes to recognize that the institution means different things to different people: It’s a quiet place to study, an invaluable after-school children’s education resource, and a place to gather with friends to discuss the newest thriller or memoir.

This being the case, perhaps it isn’t surprising that your library relies on a support structure that also has many moving pieces. One, of course, is the financial assistance of its Friends of the Library support organization, but this is only a start. For the rest, the importance of public funding cannot be overstated.

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MALF Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

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Posted by jim under Board of Directors

MALF’s raison d'etre is to support the important work of Friends of the Library groups in Minnesota. This, of course, is something of a tall order, and our continued success is predicated on the spirited involvement of library enthusiasts throughout the state.

These supporters are not just career librarians – they hail from all walks of life and bring a wealth of different experiences to their local Friends group.

MALF’s own Board of Directors is no exception. To this end, we are thrilled to welcome four new members to the Board’s ranks: LeAnn Dean, Nancy Guerino, Les Kraus, and Joseph Owens.

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Applications Window for 2013 Overnight Website Challenge Now Open

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Posted by jim

It is hard to overstate the important role of the digital sphere in modern-day librarianship. For most American libraries systems, a central and well-maintained website functions almost like a second front door. Indeed, in many, there is a small but growing minority of patrons who interact with the library almost exclusively through the Internet.

This being the case, perhaps it’s not surprising that many enterprising Friends of the Library groups have followed suit, with either a full-fledged website of their own or a portal on the library’s site.

Have you and your Friends organization been interested in doing the same, but lacked the resources and expertise? 2013 might be your year. The Nerdery, a Minnesota-based tech agency specializing in website and interactive media projects, is now accepting candidate entries for its sixth-annual “Overnight Website Challenge.”

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The Importance of Social Media to Arts Organizations

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Posted by jim under Trends, Innovation,Innovations, Trends

What does your local library have in common with such seemingly disparate arts and cultural institutions as the Minnesota Opera, Walker Art Center, and state Historical Society? If you sat down with a pen and paper, you could probably draw up a fairly long list: funding challenges and donation solicitation strategies, attendance concerns, and an underlying mission to enhance Minnesota for Minnesotans in some meaningful way.

According to fresh data from the Pew Research Center's ongoing "Internet & American Life Project," organizations like these also share something that, at least at first blush, might be a little less obvious to employees and patrons unfamiliar with the marketing and community engagement side of their work. The vast majority rely heavily on the internet and social media to achieve their many and diverse goals. Without these channels, many goals could not be met.

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Spotlight: Friends of the (U of M) University Libraries

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Posted by jim under Profile,Profile

On the average day, some 11,000 students, faculty, and research professionals (many from out of state) visit the library campuses of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Each day, staff at those libraries answer upwards of 3,300 requests for information.

Last year, University Libraries lent 200,000 items to other library systems in the state of Minnesota.

These impressive figures would not be possible without the generous support of The Friends of the (U of M) University Libraries, one of the most robust academic Friends of the Library organizations in the Midwest. As the group notes on their website, “the difference between adequacy and excellence lies in resources that have been added by private donors.”

In addition to that much-needed funding support, The Friends also hosts exhibits and author series that contribute to the institution’s long tradition of scholarship.

Although the case of the University of Minnesota Libraries and Friends of the Library group may be in many ways unique, but we could all learn a thing or two from their example. For more information, visit their website and follow them on Facebook.

How Library Friends Can Get Involved in World Book Night 2013

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Posted by jim under Events,Events

Who says Christmas need come only once a year? Last April, nearly 80,000 booklovers – many of them Library Friends – passed out upwards of 2.5 million free paperbacks to unsuspecting light and non-readers in their local communities as part of the second annual World Book Night initiative.

World Book Night 2013 is slated for Tuesday April 23, and preparations are already underway to build on last year’s success. Interested in becoming part of this fledgling legacy? Read on.

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