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2021 Evy Nordley Award Materials Now Available

Posted by jim on January 9, 2021

Last year brought monumental challenges for libraries and their Friends. As a silver lining, though, it afforded Friends of the Library an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their creativity and perseverance.

MALF cannot wait to showcase what you managed to learn and accomplish in 2020. Our long-running Evy Nordley Award for Best Project offers a perfect mechanism to do just that.

“Project” is an intentionally broad term. Any Friends-supported project is eligible, provided that (1) project implementation began after January 1, 2020; and (2) either the Friends or their library was the primary beneficiary. (In other words, efforts jointly developed with or sponsored by non-Friends organizations are qualified under many circumstances.)

Common project types are special events, successful fundraisers, membership drives, and advocacy campaigns – but the sky is the limit! In a year defined by COVID-19 and long library closures, MALF full expects and absolutely encourages unconventional entries.

Click here for more details, including early access to the application form. Submission deadline is end of day 
Friday, July 9.

transform.jpgWhile we’re in a “grants” frame of mind, spare a minute for the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant. The mission of this popular annual initiative is to recognize and support libraries’ ability to act as a community nexus and catalyst for change.

That is a broad mandate, to be sure. For this reason, each year’s program spotlights a specific theme. This year, that theme is is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – with a specific focus on anti-racism. Per ALA, competitive applicants will have “a demonstrated commitment to anti-racism work,” and a clear roadmap for using $2,000 to enhance the library's community engagement around this important and timely topic.

Visit the program’s web page for an extensive FAQ - as well as basic ideas on ‘in scope’ collaborations and programs to spark your thinking. The firm application cutoff is Friday, February 5.

New Programming Grant - Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

Posted by jim on January 5, 2021

peggy.jpgLooking for seed money to kickstart your next Evy Nordley Award contender? Take a look at the American Library Association’s newest assistance program.

Named after the ALA leader who masterminded such programs as National Library Week and the juggernaut Celebrity READ series, the new Peggy Barber Tribute Grant will award $2,500 to three eligible libraries to support their own programming efforts. For this inaugural cycle, ALA's Cultural Communities Fund is specifically inviting proposals centered around humanities programming – a personal passion of Barber’s.

Public, academic, K-12 and special libraries are all eligible for consideration, as are Friends partnerships. Applicants must hold membership in ALA or one of its divisions, either at the institutional or personal level.

Strong preference will be given to libraries that can demonstrate an acute need and general track record of under-funded programming. Additional guidelines are available here. Be prepared to submit your proposal (online only) by Friday, February 5. Click here to do so.

2020 Standout Friends Featurette #2: Ramsey County

Posted by jim on December 9, 2020

Seasonal used book sales are a Friends of the Library staple. However, only a comparative handful of Friends organizations have the wherewithal to maintain a permanent bookstore. Friends of Ramsey County Libraries boasts not just one year-round store, but three – in Maplewood, Roseville and Shoreview. Maintaining inventory and staffing these outlets takes time and commitment.

Fortunately for The Friends, bookstore manager Dianne Marti has proven more than up to that task over the past decade. Mostly recently, Dianne has headed the Maplewood operation. In a normal year, this location alone takes a rotation of 15+ volunteers to staff and raises $16,000-$20,000.

Dianne – who also served on Friends of Ramsey County Libraries’ board of directors from 2010-2019 – remains a visible leader in other areas, as well. In a year defined by COVID, the Friends’ brick-and-mortar stores are shuttered. Already by August, however, “Dianne had secured more than $1,800 through online sales,” explained Friends president Cyndi Cook. “She is also mentoring other bookstore managers to take up a similar role – a much needed boost given our revenue losses due to COVID-19 bookstore closures."

Thank you and congratulations, Dianne! Click here for a minute-long video featurette on this honoree. Click here to view a video montage celebrating MALF’s full 2020 class of Standout Friends. Visit our website for details on our equally impressive 2016-2019 classes of honorees.

Reminder: FREE MALF Webinar On Dec. 7

Posted by jim on December 1, 2020

Communications & Marketing is a broad topic – sometimes frustratingly so. After all, essentially everything your organization does has strategic communications implications. With that conundrum in mind, MALF is pleased to spotlight Communications & Marketing during our last webinar of 2020. Please join us 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT on Monday, December 7 for “’Friend-ly Tips’: Effective Friends Marketing.”

Kim Horton, Sr. Director of Communications at The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, will lead and keynote this session. Click here for full session details.

This webinar is FREE to attend, but you must pre-register.
 Click here to claim your seat. (Please do so by December 6.)