Event Recap: Minnesota Library Legislative Day

On March 4-5, the polar vortex - and yet another snowfall - did little to deter library supporters representing all corners of the state from congregating at the Capitol in St. Paul for Minnesota Library Legislative Day.

MN-3-5-14-1.jpgCoordinated by MLA and the Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO), Library Legislative Day is the apex of the state’s library advocacy calendar. It is our easiest and best chance all year round to meet with elected representatives and to voice our communities’ support for library programs and funding.

As in years past, organizers prefaced that window of time for meetings with a very informative legislative briefing.

Official agenda items of special interest this year included increased funding for educational telecommunications costs, the creation of a task force to address problems associated with unfair eBook pricing, and the inclusion of public library accessibility grants in an upcoming bonding bill. You can read the official MLA/MEMO platform in its entirety here.

MLA-MEMO-MALF.jpgNaturally, the annual event also doubles as an excellent opportunity to meet likeminded Friends and to share ideas and experiences. In years past, some attendees have even reported that this is the most useful takeaway from their entire experience!

For the first time, MALF capitalized on this by adding a semiformal meet-and-greet to the regular itinerary. Library Friends, trustees, and staffers gathered at the Kelly Inn’s Sweetwater Grill to exchange stories and advocacy techniques. 

Photo 1: Past and present MALF Board members Mary Ann Bernat, Kim Edson, Carol Walsh, and Barbara Byers were among the 100+ that turned out for Minnesota Library Legislative Day 2014.

Photo 2: Nick Dimassis, Director of Carver Co. Library, and Mollie Stanford, regional librarian in the Arrowhead Library System, were also among those that turned out. (Here, they take a moment out of their busy days to learn a little about MALF programs and initiatives.)