MALF Blog

Minnesota Association of Library Friends

Speaking of library love, the recent work in Ramsey County offers an excellent segue to our next piece of news: the 2023 I Love My Librarian Award. This annual, national honor is intended to honor “librarians who have made a difference in your life or gone above and beyond to serve your community.”

Each year, up to 10 librarians will be honored with a $5,000 cash prize and special ceremony held in their honor.

Unlike many industry awards, which are selective about applicant criteria, eligible candidates for the I Love My Librarian Award include employees of public, school, college, tribal or university libraries. Furthermore, anyone can put forward a nominee!

Since its inception in 2008 as a collaboration between the American Library Association and New York Public Library, the I Love My Librarian program has honored 140 exceptional public servants hailing from all across the country. However, not a single Minnesotan has entered into this hall of fame to date. Could this be the year that changes?  


Click here to learn more about the I Love My Librarian Award. Be sure to submit your candidate no later than Friday, September 30.

 

Mark Your Calendars For 'Saturday Splash'!

Posted by jim on August 9, 2022

We hope that you are savoring these last precious weeks of Minnesota summer. When we inevitably begin that slow slide towards darker and colder days, it’s nice to have a few fall highlights to look forward to. If you’re a Friend of the Library, MALF thinks we have exactly that in Saturday Splash 2022.

Saturday Splash is MALF’s annual mini-conference – a morning of content curated by, for and about Friends of the Library. Itinerary will include a splash of this, and a splash of that (thus the name); but as connective tissue, every program module will celebrate Friends work or offer learning opportunities to further that work.

We’ll convene on Zoom the morning of Saturday, September 24 – along with featured guest and event emcee Kate DiCamillo! Mark your calendars and click here to reserve your FREE spot.

Refer to our website or previous e-newsletter (here) for full details, including a glimpse at run of show and why two-time Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo is the perfect emcee for this particular conference.

Minnesota Book Awards - Call For Judges!

Posted by jim on August 3, 2022

If you are subscribed to this e-newsletter, we know you love libraries. It doesn’t seem too big a stretch to surmise that you are a fan of books and reading, as well!

The Minnesota Book Awards is currently seeking reader-judges for the program’s 35th year (2022-23). Each year, more than 50 judges are involved in this evaluation process. Panels are comprised of Minnesotans from many walks of life who share a love of literature and aptitude for critical appraisal. Judges commonly include authors, editors, educators – and yes, librarians and Friends.

Evaluation takes place across nine genre categories: Poetry, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, Genre Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade Literature, Children’s Literature, Novel & Short Story, General Nonfiction, and Minnesota Nonfiction.

For each category, adjudication takes place in two rounds: Preliminary and Final. Judges in both rounds will convene on Zoom – on Saturday, January 28 and Saturday, March 11, respectively.


If selected to judge, organizers will mail you books in batches: the perfect wintertime activity! The assignment also comes with a $375 stipend. Click here to learn more, or here to jump straight to the application form. Be sure to throw your hat in the ring by the deadline of Friday, September 9.

Reminder: Stand Up for Standout Friends 2022

Posted by jim on June 8, 2022

Since our last e-newsletter just two weeks ago, Friends of the Library have bankrolled a space camp scholarship fund, kickstarted a first-of-its-kind manga book club, and even coordinated puppetry workshops. Those are just a few especially colorful examples of the many initiatives Friends are responsible for, but enough to show that there is simply no pigeonholing what volunteers can do in support of their library.

In recognition and celebration of that fact, MALF proudly hosts our annual Stand Up for Standout Friends recognition program. Now in its seventh year, this initiative has proven one of our association’s most popular membership perks.

Each member group can submit one name per year. Whether you’ve nominated someone every cycle to date, or are new to the fold, we want to hear from you! 

Perks include: a matted certificate of recognition from MALF; signed and personalized book from a chart-topping Minnesota author (details TBA); commendation letter to the mayor and county commissioner in each recipient’s hometown; and inclusion in a special video tribute that will be shared with libraries and their supporters across the state.


Click here to access the nomination form, and visit our website for more details. Remember to submit the e-form and supporting materials to MALF by Friday, July 22.

MLA Conference Proposals Due June 11

Posted by jim on June 2, 2022

Oscar Wilde once quipped: “You know more than you think you know – just as you know less than you want to know.” That witticism offers not one but two compelling reasons to attend the annual Minnesota Library Association conference, scheduled this year for October 27-28 at the DECC in Duluth.

In that spirit of ‘you know more than you think you know,’ MLA encourages you to consider submitting a conference presentation proposal of your own. In their words, “the conference is a wonderful opportunity to share and discuss your new ideas and best practices, challenges faced and lessons learned, future directions and past successes, and more.”

Sessions are an approachable 50 minutes in length, and can be conducted solo or as part of a small group.
 Click here to learn more. Note that the application deadline is coming up fast: Saturday, June 11. All applicants will be notified of outcomes by Thursday, July 14.

(What about that ‘you know less than you want to know’ part of the Wilde quote? Attend the conference as an attendee, of course! Sign up for the MLA Roundup to learn when tickets go on sale.)

“According to not-for-profit watchdogs, public libraries grappled with “an unprecedented” 1,500+ book challenges in 2021. That’s on top of the nearly 2,900 school districts that banned at least one book from their collections between July 2021 and March 2022. The trend is receiving national attention, and the issue even received top billing in ALA’s recent State of America’s Libraries Report (2022).

What’s the difference between a challenged and a banned book – and more to the point, why are they dominating our headlines? Is there any precedent for it? Above all, what can Friends do to help their libraries navigate this climate?

Register-Now-Button-Large.pngMALF’s summer webinar, "Living in Challenging Times: Book Banning Then and Now" will tackle these timely questions. Join Sheila DeChantal (president, Friends of the Brainerd Public Library) and Laurel Hall (branch manager, Brainerd Public Library) over the lunch hour on Tuesday, June 21 [12:00-1:30 CDT] for this informative, nonpartisan stroll through the long history of banned books.

We’ll follow the trend right up to the present day. Sheila and Laurel will discuss proactive and reactive measures that Friends can take to support their library in the face of a book challenge.

There will also be ample time for audience Q&A. While you can always share questions during the webinar, we encourage you to pre-submit when registering.

Speaking of, while “Living in Challenging Times” is free to attend, we ask you to register [HERE] on or before Friday, June 17. Registrants will be automatically entered into a drawing to receive one of several great reads (think: banned books) courtesy of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library!

Webinar Recap: 'Marketing Tune-Up Clinic'

Posted by jim on April 25, 2022

Marketing is a multi-faceted and sometimes daunting prospect, but it’s an area of operations that no nonprofit can afford to neglect.

Kathy Dempsey, the nationally acclaimed Accidental Library Marketer, joined us earlier this month for a “low stress, high yield” marketing tune-up clinic. Topics of special note included branding, the design and strategic use of print collateral, and how best to partner with one’s library on overarching marketing efforts.

If you missed the webinar, don’t worry. The full 90-minute program is available for replay on our YouTube channel. Moreover, our speaker graciously left all attendees with a handout of suggested readings. If you would like a copy of this handout and the presentation slide deck, simply email our office a
t info@mnlibraryfriends.org.

Minnesota Book Awards Are NEXT TUESDAY!

Posted by jim on April 21, 2022

Authors and book-lovers from all across the state will congregate at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts next Tuesday, April 26 for the annual Minnesota Book Awards. Limited seats are still available at the bargain price of $22/per.

Don’t want to trek out to Saint Paul on a weekday? You can also be in communion with fellow bibliophiles from the comfort of your own home - courtesy of a FREE livestream option. Click here for registration details.

Last but not least, whet your appetite before Tuesday by watching nine “Meet the Finalists” panel recordings featuring more than 40 area authors writing in the Book Awards genres of: Children’s Literature; General Nonfiction; Genre Fiction; Memoir & Creative Nonfiction; Middle Grade Literature; Minnesota Nonfiction; Novel & Short Story; Poetry; and Young Adult Literature.

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