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Checking in with a Recent Goss/Nordley Grant Recipient

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Posted by admin under Grants

Big changes are on the horizon for the small town of Warren, Minnesota. This year, the Godel Memorial Public Library, a member branch of the Northwest Regional Library System, is undergoing a facelift and expansion that will nearly double the building’s usable space. And that’s not the only exciting development. In recent months, library lovers in the area also banded together to create their own local support group: the Friends of the Godel Memorial Library.

As any veteran Friends volunteer can tell you, building a start-up of this sort from the ground up is a time-intensive (not to mention costly) venture. At a bare minimum, it entails drafting and filing incorporation documents and soliciting members through some type of membership campaign.

One of the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF)’s prime objectives is to aid Friends of the Library groups through this formative period, including with these daunting initial hurdles. One especially noteworthy tool, tapped recently by the Friends of the Godel Memorial Library, is the Marie Goss and Evy Nordley Grant.


Created and named in honor of MALF’s co-founders, this fund helps to defray the financial expense of creating a new Friends group (or incorporating a pre-existing one). Grants of up to $1,000 are available, contingent on a given group’s anticipated number of members, annual revenue, and start-up expenses.

In the case of the Friends of the Godel Memorial Library, “the generous contribution will be used for filing fees and related costs, as well as the development and mailing of a membership brochure,” said board member Evonne Broten. This grant will go a long way toward assisting us with our goal of being up and running this spring.”

Are you part of a nascent Friends of the Library movement, or know of someone who is? Click here to print or download the Marie Goss and Evy Nordley Grant application form.

To learn about MALF’s other financial aids and awards, visit our “Grants & Awards” page.

Checking in With Evy Nordley Winner ‘Friends of Ramsey County Libraries,’ One Year Later

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Posted by jim under Evy Nordley Award

Are you and the Friends of the Library group you work with particularly proud of a membership drive, fundraising promotion, or communications campaign pulled together in the last year?

Enter it for consideration in MALF’s 2013 Evy Nordley Award for ‘Best Project by Friends of the Library’ cycle! Top prize is $1000 and a beautiful custom plaque. (Two runners-up will walk away with $250 and a Certificate of Recognition.) Entries are being accepted now through June 15, 2013.

“The process is not at all complicated,” said Nancy Guerino, President of Friends of Ramsey County Libraries, last year’s winner. “I’d definitely recommend that Friends consider entering their projects.”

Winners are announced and congratulated each year as part of the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) conference held in the fall. But, notes Guerino, winners will reap dividends for a long time thereafter. “The award money helped tremendously with our operating budget,” helping to ensure that program’s continuance, she said.

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Now’s the Time to Say ‘Thank You’ to Congressional Library Supporters

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Posted by jim

You booked your appointments, prepared your talking points, attended the MLA orientation session, and, finally, had the opportunity to speak to your legislators on behalf of libraries as part of MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day.

Now you’re done, right? Wrong. If you haven’t already, remember to follow up with a thank you note to the officials who took time out of their busy schedules to speak with you.

“Congressmen and their aides speak with many many people on any given day,” said veteran congressional lobbyist and ‘Advocacy Guru’ Stephanie Vance in her keynote speech at last fall’s MLA Annual Conference. “Following up your five-minute conversation with a prompt thank you letter or email reiterating your main talking points can cement you in their memory… And you really don’t want to run the risk of being forgotten.”

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The Continued Importance of Brick-and-Mortar Libraries

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Posted by jim under Trends

If the last 14 years’ worth of projects nominated for the Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library is any indication, Friends groups in Minnesota dedicate a tremendous amount of time, labor and money to enhancing the library as a physical space. Whether it’s installing new bookshelves, fundraising for new pipes or a new roof, or simply volunteering to help with routine custodial services, it is clear that Friends place a high value on the brick-and-mortar public libraries.

They are not alone – and such efforts are appreciated, according to a recent PEW study entitled “Library Services in the Digital Age.”

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Can't Attend Library Legislative Day? Do So Virtually!

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Posted by jim under Advocacy, Events

The big day is nearly upon us: tomorrow, March 6, is MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day. Library staff, trustees, and supporters of all stripes will come together on the Capitol grounds in St. Paul to advocate on behalf of Minnesota’s libraries and their budgets.

Unable to attend in person? You don’t need to miss Legislative Day – perhaps the best opportunity all year round to voice your support at the state government level. Simply set aside a few minutes of your Wednesday to call or write an email letter to your congressperson in both the Senate and House.  

It’s easy. Simply type your City or ZIP Code into this government representative contact info search database hosted by the state Legislative Coordination Commission.

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