Senate Committee Clears Bill, Funds for Libraries

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Posted by jim under ALTAFF,Advocacy

The following comes from the American Library Association Washington Office. Please continue to contact your legislators to ensure funding for school libraries in this unsure economy.

capitol-hill.jpgThe Senate Appropriations Committee passed its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill yesterday with at least $15 million designated for school libraries. The bill also level-funds the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $189 million.

The Senate bill sets aside $30 million for national non-profit organizations and school libraries in high-need areas and directs that at least 50 percent of this funding be used for school libraries.

“Last year, funding for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program was wiped from this bill, which left school libraries without any specific federal funding, and the President’s budget request also zeroed out the program,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office, said.

“It seems the Senate Appropriations Committee has recognized what a mistake this was, and we thank them for including new funding in the bill that will directly benefit students depending on their school libraries. Yet, we understand that there is a long road ahead and urge House appropriators to safeguard this funding for our nation’s students when they mark up their version of the bill.”

school-library.jpgSheketoff said protecting LSTA funding at its current level in this “slash and burn” Congress is one of the most important federal issues for public libraries.

“This is a very uncertain time for the future of many, many federal programs,” Sheketoff said.

“We knew there was a strong chance the Senate appropriators could choose to further reduce LSTA funding – or even cut it all together. While we take it as a positive sign that LSTA cleared the first hurdle, we know the race is not over yet. In these tough economic times, the public has been using their public libraries more than ever, depending on the library’s computers, Internet access and employment skills training.  LSTA allows libraries to continue offering these important services.”

Getting and Keeping Members

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Posted by jim under Member Activity

for Friends and Foundations

books.jpgAs an organization, MALF aims to provide useful information to Friends groups across the state. In our resources section you can find a number of useful PDFs (including this blog post) on anything from gaining 501c3 status to creative fundraising. I was browsing our resources today and thought this was a very helpful document regarding membership. I hope you find it helpful too, it comes from the great folks at ALTAFF. 

There are basically two types of Friends members – “contributing members” who faithfully write a check every year because they want to support the library; and “active members” who serve on the executive board and/or are willing to volunteer for committee assignments and other Friends’ projects. Both types of members are important – “contributors” because their money helps you help the library, and “active members” because they help with the work and leadership of the group.

  1. Define your mission and why people should join. Then be sure you make the case for support at every opportunity – during your membership drive, the Friends book sale, and all Friends events and programs.
  2. Set your dues so that membership is available in a number of classes, from a minimum (for seniors and students) to increasingly higher patron levels.
  3. Design an attractive brochure that gives members an idea of the group’s purpose, and offers ways for them to become involved. List the types of committees and volunteer opportunities you have and be sure to call if they indicate interest. These new “active members” can become future executive board members keeping your group dynamic and fresh.
  4. bookshelf.gifBe sure that all programs you sponsor include an opportunity for the audience to become members of the Friends. These programs should entertain, educate, and stimulate the audience. Provide hospitality at every function, so that members and non-members are made to feel welcome.
  5. Have membership brochures available at the check-out desks of libraries, book sales and every other Friends function. Keep the community aware by notifying the media about the Friends’ events.
  6. Be prompt in sending out renewal notices. Let members know how their dues help the library and what the Friends have accomplished during the year.
  7. Membership benefits can include special ticket prices for events sponsored by the Friends and a preview night “for members only” at the book sale. A newsletter for members should be published a minimum of twice a year; quarterly is better, and monthly is best.
  8. Solicit the business community to join. Have a special membership category for them and list their names so they receive recognition.

For additional ideas, see Even More Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends, available from ALTAFF.

Sally Gardner Reed
Executive Director
(800) 545-2433, ext. 2161
fax (215) 545-3821

109 S. 13th St., Suite 3N
Philadelphia, PA 19107 

eCourse: Raise Money and Build Relationships

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Posted by jim under ALTAFF

signorelli_commpartn_200x300.jpgCommunity Partnership: How to Raise Money and Build Relationships

eCourse Facilitated by Paul Signorelli
October 3rd - October 28th

Building partnerships with community businesses and organizations is an excellent way for libraries to address the increased demand for library services that is coinciding with current funding cuts. These partnerships offer the opportunity to engage with influential members of the community who can help raise funds for new services as well as showcase the library’s value.
In this interactive course, Paul Signorelli will help you identify and act on opportunities that match your library's mission and goals with those of businesses and other organizations in your community.

Paul Signorelli has more than 20 years of experience as a learning leader for libraries and other organizations and businesses.

10...Steps to Effective Library Advocacy

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Posted by jim under Conferences, Webinars and Workshops

Check out this video from ALA Washington's Webinar “10 Quick and Painless Steps to Effective Advocacy for Libraries." It is a little over an hour long but it has some really interesting and useful information for anyone interested in Library advocacy.

10 Quick and Painless Steps to Effective Advocacy for Libraries from ALA Washington on Vimeo.

Governor Signs HF844 Bill (May)

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Posted by jim under News from Minnesota


Front row, left to right:
Andru Peters, SELCO/SELS Board of Directors, Lake City City Council, and Lake City Library Board
Ann Hutton, SELCO executive director
Senator Carla Nelson, R-Rochester
Representative Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake
Susan Nemitz, Ramsey County library director
Back row, left to right:
Michael Scott, Southeastern Libraries Cooperating assistant director
Jon Nelson, son of Senator Carla Nelson
Carol Walsh, MALF board, Friends of the St. Paul Public Library advocacy committee
Kit Hadley, St. Paul Public Library director
Elaine Keefe, MLA lobbyist

On May 24, 2011 Governor Dayton signed 32 bills that received strong bi-partisan support.  Among them was HF 844, our bill providing for the appointment of a public library representative to serve as an adviser to the Governor's Workforce Development Council.  Please take a moment to send a note of thanks to our authors: