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National Library Legislative Day Registration Opens

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Posted by jim

You are cordially invited to the 44th annual National Library Legislative Day, officially slated for May 7-8, 2018. Registration will remain open through March, but with the busy holiday season about to ramp up, why delay?

Veteran advocates and new participants alike are encouraged to participate in this once-a-year advocacy opportunity. Attendees will be treated to a day-long training session before the main event: meeting with the congressmen and women who represent you and are charting the future course for public libraries in America.


Click here to learn more, and to reserve your space. (Note that a full and detailed Legislative Day itinerary will not be available until late April. A platform detailing national library priorities will also be available at that time.)

As in other recent years, events will be based around the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Interested in attending NLLD, and looking for ways to defray the trip costs? Consider applying for a special stipend offered to non-librarian participants through the White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST).
 Click here for full details. 

Public Libraries and Net Neutrality

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Posted by jim under FCC

Free, equitable access to information is a bedrock principle which all public libraries share. In the digital sphere, that equal access is safeguarded by “net neutrality.” In brief, net neutrality is a legal doctrine which forces internet service providers to treat all online data the same, regardless of user or site content.

Without existing net neutrality protections, cable and DSL companies can "stack the deck" by providing faster connections to favored websites and restricting access to in-demand web resources at will.

On Thursday, December 14, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to repeal those protections. Between now and this critical vote, the American Library Association strongly recommends that library advocates across the country contact the FCC and petition for the continuation of the existing net neutrality policy.  

“Now that the internet has become the primary mechanism for delivering information, services and applications to the general public, it is especially important that commercial internet service providers are not able to control or manipulate the content of these communications. Libraries, our patrons, and America’s communities will be at risk if the FCC repeals all protections contained in its 2015 Open Internet Order with no plans to replace with any enforceable rules.” (Click here to read the full statement.)

Making your voice heard only takes a minute. Please consider signing petitions at 
Change.org and Whitehouse.gov

MALF Bids A Fond Farewell

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Posted by jim under Board of Directors

download.jpgAs the year draws to a close, we big an official farewell to one of our longest serving board members, Howie Burke.

Howie’s involvement with MALF stretches back nearly a decade. As president of Friends of the St. Michael / Albertville / Hanover Library, he shepherded the organization through its first-ever capital campaign in 2009-2010. “Build It, Together” ultimately exceeded its target, funding multimedia, shelving, tables, and other furnishings for the area’s new library. It garnered St. Michael the 2011 Evy Nordley Award for Best Project.

Howie joined MALF as a board director several years later. A web developer and communications specialist by trade, he joined MALF’s communications committee - and served ably as its chair. He served simultaneously as chair of the membership committee.

His organizational skills and copyediting prowess will be greatly missed! Fortunately for MALF, Howie intends to remain an active citizen member, particularly in the realm of 2018 programming. 

No-Cost Literacy Educators Opportunity For Eligible Libraries

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Posted by jim under Grants

AmeriCorps_VISTA_Logo1_Halftone.jpgIs your library interested in getting a new school readiness program off the ground? Expanding its adult literacy and ESL instruction offerings? Creating a volunteer pipeline to provide students one-on-one tutoring assistance? Establishing a performing arts or creative writing program from the ground up?

Even if those examples don’t quite hit the mark, odds are good that your library aspires to expand its literacy offerings in some way or another. Unfortunately, they are hampered by limited resources – and in particular, limited personnel time.

Minnesota Literacy Council and AmeriCorps VISTA want to help! They are currently scheduling VISTA ambassadors for deployment in Minnesota communities in 2018.

VISTA ambassadors are trained volunteers who make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at an eligible nonprofit organization or public agency. (Most are pursuing or exploring a career in education or public/social services. They are compensated through school scholarships, professional development credits, and a modest living allowance.)

It’s a true win-win arrangement for many. If your library could make effective use of a full-time VISTA educator, click here to learn more. On the fence? Interested parties are invited to attend information sessions on December 14, January 9, and January 18.

Applications must be submitted by Thursday, January 25.