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"Sing Their Praises" - MCN Unsung Hero Award

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Posted by jim

Every day, volunteers of all kinds work tirelessly, but without fanfare, to better their communities. They rarely receive the recognition that these selfless contributions deserve.

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits knows this. For the past four years, the organization has offered its prestigious Unsung Hero Award, “in acknowledgment of the recipient’s role in creating a positive impact on Minnesota.”


Candidates must be Minnesota residents, and self-nominations will not be accepted. Otherwise, eligibility criteria are few!

While the award is a competitive one, top prize includes $10,000 and a special recognition at MCN’s annual conference in Rochester in October.
 Click here to up on application procedures – and about 2015-2018 recipients, to better gauge if the colleague you have in mind would be competitive. Submit by Monday, May 27. As always, good luck!

While you’re at it: Be sure to submit your high achiever for MALF’s own Stand Up for Standout Friends. This Friends-specific recognition opportunity is open to all MALF member organizations. Click here to review recipient honors and application steps. Stand Up for Standout Friends submissions are due Friday, August 2.

Can Minnesota Claim America's 'Best Small Library'?

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Posted by jim

Nestled in the heart of Appalachia, the three-branch Madison County Public Libraries system is one of the smallest in North Carolina. It is also, in many ways, the most impressive – this according to Library Journal, who named it the “Best Small Library in America” last year.

The reasons for Madison’s selection are many, but its programmatic achievements top the list. Last year, event and class attendance exceeded 16,000. That’s pretty astounding, for a library serving a population of only 21,000 (and which does so on a modest budget, to boot).

The annual ‘Best Small Library’ distinction is bestowed annually by Library Journal and Baker & Taylor. As the name suggests, its intent is to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of modestly-sized libraries. The winner receives $5,000, a
 feature story in Library Journal, and a number of other perks.

Do you feel that your Friends efforts contribute to making your local library the ‘Best’ of its kind? Consider nominating it for the 2019 award cycle, which runs from now to July 2.


Judging is based on a number of factors, including: creativity in developing and implementing replicable programming; volunteer support base; sustained cooperation with other community organizations; and evidence of the library’s long-standing value as a community center. Only public libraries with service populations under 25,000 are eligible for consideration.

For more information, including comprehensive judging criteria and step-by-step nomination instructions,
 visit Library Journal.