MALF connects Friends of Library organizations, provides valuable resources to support their work, and is a strong voice for Friends of Library groups and libraries throughout Minnesota.




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Reminder: Members-Only COVID-19 Grant Program

Posted by jim on June 11, 2020

One week remains to put your Friends of the Library forward as a candidate for MALF’s special COVID-19 Grant Response Program. Up to ten grants, each of ≤ $500, are available. Qualified expenses include virtual programming, direct operational costs incurred by Friends, and direct support to the library.

Eligible applicants are support organizations that (1) serve a Minnesota-based public, school K-12, college/university, or special library, (2) are 501(c)3 nonprofits eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, and in good standing with the IRS and Minnesota Secretary of State, (3) are current in their annual MALF membership dues, and (4) are willing to report back on expenditures and impacts using a 1-page template provided by MALF. 

Additional details, plus application form, are available

June 10 Webinar - Last Call!

Posted by jim on June 9, 2020

Thanks to everyone who has registered for tomorrow’s (1-3 p.m.) webinar, Library Leadership Cultivation - During COVID-19, and Beyond. We’re expecting a good crowd!

Attendees can expect a primer on a board’s Five Major Responsibilities, pointers on sowing seeds for future success, and low-pressure breakout activities that will drive these messages home.

Missed the sign-up cutoff? Good news: MALF is accepting a limited number of late registrants. Send an email to before 11 a.m. on June 10, and a representative will share log-in details.

About Our Speaker: Since founding Trillium Leadership Development in 1992, Mary Jo Wimmer has coached dozens of not-for-profits, businesses and civic bodies across rural Minnesota toward actualizing their mission statements and achieving full organizational potential. Her core competencies include teamwork cultivation, leadership training, training on workplace conflict, and assisting organizations with intercultural competency development.

"Now, Today, This Very Minute..."

Posted by jim on June 2, 2020

Earlier this month, global library cooperative OCLC released a stirring call to action. It reads, in part:

“We sometimes refer to libraries and archives as memory institutions. That’s not a bad description. But it’s not complete. Because memory implies something that is in the past. Something that isn’t active. And so much of what happens in the work we do for our communities happens now, today, this very minute.

What is happening now requires a response. We must speak out against racism and injustice.”

In the two weeks since George Floyd’s tragic and shocking death in Minneapolis, libraries across the country have taken up OCLC’s call. Action plans differ – such is the nature of the diverse library landscape. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your library’s leadership about their equity initiatives (ongoing and in the works), and how the Friends might intersect with and amplify that work.

Looking for resources on how to spark a meaningful dialogue about racism and institutional inequities? Metronet has bundled curated lists of books, articles, documentaries (and more) in recent issues of MetroBriefs. They have thoughtfully archived recent issues of the publication here.

Speaking of standout leaders, take a moment and reflect. Does your Friends group have a strong pipeline of up-and-coming leaders? Is your recruitment process effectively stalled? Something in between?

Regardless of where exactly you fall on this spectrum, you’ll likely learn something of value in MALF’s upcoming webinar Library Leadership Cultivation: COVID-19, and Beyond.

Mary Jo Wimmer, business coach and founder of Trillium Leadership Development, will discuss recruitment, orientation, and board development more generally on Wednesday, June 10 (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.). As with our in-person workshops, the webinar is free to attend. However, advance registration is required.

In another nod to the surreal times we are collectively living through, MALF will cap the June 10 webinar with a free-form ideas sharing component. As with our in-person “popcorn style” sharing sessions (which we’ve enjoyed bringing to communities across the state since 2012), this is a no-agenda opportunity to air frustrations, share ideas, and learn a little about what your counterparts across Minnesota are up to.

Reminder: COVID-19 Grant Response Program

Posted by jim on May 26, 2020

MALF is still accepting applications for its COVID-19 Grant Response Program. Up to $500 is available per eligible Friends group to defray operational costs, jumpstart virtual programming, or provide direct support to your library in this time of pandemic.

What’s the catch? There isn’t one. Our newest grant program is intended to be broad and responsive in nature. After all, even in good times, library systems and the Friends groups supporting them are each a little different. As we inch towards recovery and a new normal, it stands to reason that each will do it a little differently.

Applications for this inaugural cycle of the COVID-19 Grant Response Program will be accepted, on a rolling basis, through Friday, June 19 and until certain cap limits are reached. Early submissions are encouraged, as the MALF Board of Directors will evaluate proposals and award funds on a monthly basis (and only until caps are hit). Click here for details.