Minnesota Association of Library Friends

Recognize Library Marketing Excellence in 2017

Posted by jim on January 05, 2017

estrat-gia-foco-e-assertividade-para-o-marketing--15.pngMarketing is every bit as important for public libraries as it is for-profit organizations. After all, our services are only valuable if patrons know about them. In recognition of this fact, Library Journal created its Marketer of the Year Award.

Sponsored by Library Ideas, a popular e-resource vendor, this annual honor comes with a cash prize of $2,000. Library Journal will also feature the 2017 honoree in its October 1 issue.

Criteria include a demonstrated ability to promote library services and happenings - successfully and in an innovative manner; marked improvements in library visibility in your community; and strong coalition building skills.

Nominators must include examples of their candidate’s print and digital work, an approximately 1,000-word narrative, and statistics to prove impact. Nominations from Friends of the Library are encouraged.

Click here to learn more. Submit questions, and completed submissions, to rmiller@mediasourceinc.com. Deadline is August 8, 2017.

Open Call For ALA 'Great Stories Club' Grant

Posted by jim on December 28, 2016

ALA's Public Programs Office invites public libraries and collaborating organizations to apply for the 2017 cycle of its NEH-funded Great Stories Club (GSC). Next year’s theme is “Nature vs. Nurture: Origins of Teen Violence.”

Unfamiliar with the program? Great Stories Club’s raison d'être is to give underserved youth facing significant challenges the opportunity to read, reflect, and share ideas on topics that resonate with them. The popular program has reached more than 700 libraries – and more than 30,000 young adults – to date

Grantees host reading and discussion events for curated book titles (usually for a core group of 6-12 young people) that fit with the GSC’s ongoing theme. Books, support materials, and support services will be provided free of charge

Competitive library applicants are located within or working in partnership with organizations that serve at-risk youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, teen parenting programs, residential treatment facilities and other nonprofit and community agencies.

Click here to learn more, and to apply. Deadline to put your library forward for consideration is December 30, 2016.

Do You Know A Standout 'Paralibrarian'?

Posted by jim on December 16, 2016

c01e15a04bf5446b245f99b7561f0664_f269.pngIn many libraries across the country, prominent Friends of the Library double as part-time support staff for that same facility. If one of your number fits that description, consider nominating that multitalented colleague for Paralibrarian of the Year.

Each year, Library Journal honors one support staffer with this special honor. Sponsored by DEMCO, it comes with a $1,500 cash prize, reception at the annual ALA conference, and a feature in the March 2017 issue of Library Journal.

Criteria for consideration include: a track record of encouraging reading in your community, a clear commitment to free access to information, and a demonstrated ability to break down barriers between librarians and other staff.

Nominations must include a short (500-word) write up on why your Friend is a contender. Click here to learn more. Postmark or email your entry materials by January 10, 2017.

Apply Today For ALA Conference Scholarship

Posted by jim on December 14, 2016

Next year’s American Library Association conference (the biggest annual convention of its kind) will be held close to home. ALA 2017 is slated for June 22-27 in Chicago.

If you have been curious to gain exposure to the broader library world, there’s no better opportunity. United for Libraries, MALF’s counterpart on the national stage, is offering a scholarship to a first-time attendee. Courtesy of UFL partner Thrift Books, the recipient will receive full conference admission plus $850 towards travel and other expenses.

Interested? Applicants must secure a letter of recommendation from either the library’s director or a Board member of their Friends group. You must also write a one-page summary describing your Friends involvement to date. 
Click here to learn more. Direct questions to united@ala.org or (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.

2017 Membership Renewal Reminder

Posted by jim on November 29, 2016

Reminder-clipart-free-clip-art-images-2-image-clipartcow.jpgAs the year draws to a close and we reflect on the highpoints of 2016, it is clear that MALF owes its every success to the spirited involvement of Friends like you. Thank you!

MALF operates on a membership year equal to the corresponding calendar year, and many have already renewed their membership for calendar/membership year 2017. If you were a member in 2016, you should have received a letter (and handy renewal form) from us within the past three weeks. If you do not receive the expected letter, or were not a member in 2016, email us at info@mnlibraryfriends.org and we will send you an invoice.

As in years past, Friends of the Library groups pay only $25, and Individuals pay just $10. MALF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your dues are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. We also welcome and appreciate donations, in any amount, which you can submit with your dues - or online through our secure website portal. 

2017-2018 NEA ‘Big Read’ Grants Available

Posted by jim on November 21, 2016

If your Friends of the Library group is looking to up its programming game in 2017, consider applying for a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sums ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 are available to Friends and like-minded organizations willing to host a community reads program consisting of at least a dozen separate events, including a kick-off party, keynote lecture, and around ten discussion sessions.

Communitywide reading programs proposed for any time between September 2017 and June 2018 are now eligible for consideration.  

Requested funding must be matched one-to-one with non-federal contributions, and the NEA stipulates that your Big Read revolve around one of these pre-selected book titles. This still leaves quite a bit of room for customizability, however. Funds can be applied toward book purchases, speaker fees and travel, staff salaries, advertising, and venue rentals.

Grant recipients are automatically eligible to use a variety of online training resources and professionally designed promotional and educational materials.

Click here to learn more. Apply by Thursday, January 26.

Public Library Association Award Noms Due December 5

Posted by jim on November 18, 2016

PLA.jpgFriends of the Library work closely with library staff, and often have a better understanding than most patrons of the unique skills and stellar work ethic that librarians bring to the table. Consequently, the Public Library Association (PLA) invites Friends to put forward the name of your favorite public servant for any of nine association honors. Highlights include:

Allie Beth Martin Award

This award honors a librarian who, in a public library setting, has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials and has distinguished ability to share that knowledge.

Charlie Robinson Award

This award honors a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library.

Gordon M. Conable Award

This award honors a public library staff member, a library trustee, or a public library, that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

John Illiff Award

This award recognizes the contributions of a library worker, librarian, or library that has used technology and innovative thinking as a tool to improve services to public library users.

Deadline for these and all other PLA awards is Monday, December 5. You can create an online user identity and apply online any time. Send all questions to PLA as directed on their website. 


See Our NEW 'Stand Up for Standout Friends' Gallery

Posted by jim on November 11, 2016

We know that most of you were unable to join us in Duluth for the live announcement of the inaugural class of Stand Up for Standout Friends. MALF is pleased to catch you up – and to honor these truly outstanding Friends in perpetuity – with this new Stand Up for Standout Friends website gallery. Click the link, or visit the new page, to read up on our sixteen recipients.

Know of someone in your community whose dedication and accomplishments stack up? Keep them in mind for next year’s awards cycle!