LLCF Offers Grants Geared Toward Nontraditional Libraries + Friends

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Posted by jim under Grants, Opportunities

books.jpgNot all Friends groups support a traditional library, or one that enjoys public funding. If this describes you, the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation (LLCF) has a collection-building grant geared specially for you.

LLCF book grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 are awarded annually to worthy organizations who maintain a lending library, serve economically or socially at-risk children, and can demonstrate financial need. Charitable groups and other 501(c)3 organizations are especially encouraged to apply. Going forward, however, school libraries and public bookmobile programs are also invited to submit an application, provided they meet the three criteria above. 

All funds awarded must be allocated to expanding a lending library or replacing weeded materials. Acquisitions must be geared towards K-8, but grant recipients are at liberty to select their own titles.

Grant awardees will be asked to return a brief questionnaire and to provide basic documentation of grant spending.

Visit the Foundation’s website for further eligibility details, and to start your application. Completed applications must be postmarked by Monday, June 16. Grant recipients will be notified by Monday, December 15.

MLA Invites Your Conference Session Proposals

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Posted by jim under Conferences, Events

MLA_Conference_Logo.jpgMALF is proud to host a day of targeted Friends programming each year at the annual Minnesota Library Association (MLA) conference, and the 2014 event in October will be no exception. However, in honor of this year’s theme, “Better Together,” MALF and MLA want you to go one step further by designing a conference panel of your own!

“Better Together” shines the spotlight on creating partnerships and building communities. As in years past, it will also feature a special conference-within-a-conference. Titled “We’re All in This Together: Strengthening Libraries Through Professional Development,” the 2014 mini-conference will focus on interpersonal skills like project management, teamwork, and communications.

That’s all pretty broad – and intentionally so. Organizers know that conference attendees have impressive skills to share, and encourage you to do just that.

Proposals are now being accepted for 60-minute session slots. Format is variable, and commonly ranges from single speakers and panel discussions to case study overviews or project demonstrations. If your proposal is green lit, you will be invited to present in Mankato on October 8 or 9.

Click here to begin a proposal submission form. It’s easy! You only need:

  • Full contact information for the submitter
  • Panel title and description (approx. 250 words)
  • Target audience for your proposed session, and level of the subject matter (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Anticipated speakers
  • Most appropriate conference “track,” if known 

Please make your submission(s) by Friday, May 2. Direct questions to program committee chair Kristen Mastel at

Special Citation Acknowledges, Fosters Library Donations

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Posted by jim under Awards, Advocacy

ufldownload.jpgAs the playwright Sophocles sagely noted, “Kindnesses tend to birth further kindnesses.” In this spirit, United for Libraries is offering both members and non-members special ‘Major Benefactor Citations.’ This commendation is meant to acknowledge and honor outstanding library supporters, and to encourage others to follow their generous example.

The Major Benefactor Citation consists of a custom plaque for the benefactor, and another for the requesting Friends group. United for Libraries also provides recipients with a variety of informational sheets and promotions templates to build an event around the Citation and promote library giving.

In addition to local publicity, all Major Benefactor Citation recipients are featured on the United for Libraries website and in a press release issued by the American Library Association.

Monetary and in-kind contributions to library operations or programming are all eligible. Friends need only submit a short application detailing:

  • The nature of the library’s relationship with the benefactor
  • How the library has befitted from the honoree’s largesse
  • Why you consider the gift or gifts to be “Major,” and
  • Any publicity generated around the gift or gifts thus far

A fee of $300 for United for Libraries members or $400 for non-members covers materials and all shipping and administrative costs. Click here to learn more and apply. Address specific questions to

What's Next From MALF? Help Us Decide!

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Posted by jim

As part of our overarching mission to strengthen Minnesota’s library community, MALF’s programming committee is committed to bringing relevant, high-quality programming to Friends of the Library each summer.

In 2012, library consultants Brenda Hough and Diana Weaver flew in from Kansas to give us a valuable crash course on everyday advocacy and on the nuances of formal lobbying. In 2013, Ann Walker Smalley, director of Metronet, orchestrated a workshop about growing and maintaining Friends membership and engagement.

This year… it’s up to you! Please take a moment to fill out this short (four question) survey on what programming topics you’d like to see for 2014. The poll will remain open through April 15.

MALF workshops are open to members and non-members alike, so feel free to forward on this email or share the survey link through social media. 


United for Libraries Invites ‘Baker & Taylor Award’ Entries

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Posted by jim under Awards

bakerandtaylor.jpgLast month, we were thrilled to launch the 2014 season of our Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library. You can enter anytime between now and June 15. If you’re ahead of the game and already getting your statement and materials together, consider “doubling up” this spring by applying for United for Libraries’ coveted Baker & Taylor Award.

Like Evy Nordley, the Baker & Taylor Award program aims to recognize Friends groups and library Foundations “for outstanding efforts in support of their library.” The nationwide contest differs from others of its sort in that entries can be centered around one specific project, OR describe a number of activities hosted by a Friends group in calendar year 2013.

The number of winners varies from year to year. Each receives $1,000 and recognition at a high-profile United for Libraries event later this year.

Judging is based on the following criteria:

  • Planning: Friends/Foundation, library, and community involvement; use of resources; appropriateness of the activity; and, measurable goals and objectives.
  • Implementation: Use of resources; public relations; task monitoring; and broad membership involvement.
  • Evaluation: Assessment of activity or program; measurable results.
  • Innovation: New idea or implementation; creative involvement of people; fresh use of public relations
  • Community Relations: Broad support by the community in planning and implementation.

Submissions are due by the end of April. Winners will be notified by mid-May. Entrants must have current United for Libraries membership status through June 2014. For more information: