Traveling Libraries in Minnesota: A Case Study on the Spirit and Potential of Library Friends Organizations

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Posted by jim under History, Innovations

One of this year’s stand-out nominees for the Evy Nordley Award for Best Project (and ultimately one of the two 2012 runner ups) was the Friends of the Houston Public Library. Houston, Minn., is located in the far southeastern tip of the state. At population 990, it is, in the words of library director Liz Gibson-Gasset “smaller than small.”

Recently, the Friends of the Library in Houston spearheaded a multifaceted community initiative to raise funds (plus in-kind donations) towards major renovations. You can read about it in this October article from the MALF blog. In short, the success in Houston shows what good a relatively small but dedicated cadre of library friends, staff and volunteers can do for a small and rural community.

Minnesota boasts a solid track record in this department. As a recent MinnPost article points out, one cogent example is the case of traveling libraries, which have been around since the 1890s. 

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Ramsey County Installs Electric Car-Charging Station at Roseville Library

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Posted by jim under Trends, Innovation

For many library patrons – and, indeed, even for some library systems – e-readers and loanable e-books are still cutting-edge technology. The perception is an understandable one, considering that it was less than a decade ago that Amazon introduced its first generation Kindle.

But “cutting edge” is a very relative term. Even as some systems are slow to adopt and expand their e-book catalogs, the forward-thinking, seven-branch Ramsey County library system is breaking new ground in an entirely different area.

Thursday, Oct. 25, Ramsey County opened its first library electric car-charging station at its Roseville branch, 2180 North Hamline Ave. 

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New Study Provides Insights on Millennials' Reading Habits, Library Usage

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Posted by jim under Studies

The Pew Research Center’s “Internet and American Life Project” this week announced findings from a two-year-long  study into the reading habits, interests and expectations of young people in America. The study focused on readers in the important 16-29 bracket, since interest in this demographic is currently very high in both the publishing and library fields.

The researchers employed a two-pronged methodology. They drew quantitative and qualitative data from a nationally-representative phone survey, administered in November and December 2011 (sample size: 2986), and then collected further qualitative insights during a series of online focus groups in 2012.

The study’s findings have important implications for America’s public libraries. Some of the results may surprise you.

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Minnesota Library Foundation Announces Silent Auction 'Mini-Grant' Winners

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Posted by jim under Conferences, Auctions

Here’s a brain teaser: What do reading club book bags, library teen zones, and the statewide commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War have in common?

Each is a 2012 beneficiary of the Minnesota Library Foundation’s annual Silent Auction.

Once again, the Minnesota Library Association hosted this popular and growing auction as part of its annual conference. This year’s event, held in the exhibit showroom at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, drew plenty of traffic.

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MALF Announces 2012 Evy Nordley Award Winner

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Posted by jim under Awards

For many Americans, the televised Emmy Awards ceremony is the highlight of their early fall. In Minnesota, however, Library Friends and staff can associate the changing of the seasons with a very different and more lasting kind of awards ceremony: MALF’s annual Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of Libraries.

The winner was announced 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, during the Minnesota Library Association (MLA)’s annual conference, held this year at the RiverCentre in Saint Paul. As in years past, top prize included a commemorative plaque and $1,000. The two other finalists received a Certificate of Recognition and $250. Click “Read Full Post” to learn the results!  

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MALF’s “Drafting the Blueprint” Workshop Series Wins MLA ‘Above and Beyond’ Award

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Posted by jim under Conferences, Drafting the Blueprint

In July and August, 117 library friends and staffers congregated in five areas around the state to participate in MALF’s tremendously successful “Drafting the Blueprint” workshop series. You can read an event overview (courtesy of MALF board members Joan Larson, Janet Urbanowicz and Ruth Solie) by clicking here.

Thursday, Oct. 4, the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) recognized MALF’s efforts at its annual conference in St. Paul with its distinguished ‘Above and Beyond’ Award. President Carol Walsh accepted the award in front of all in attendance prior to the day’s keynote by congressional strategist and veteran lobbyist Stephanie Vance.

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