Friends Eligible For Flexible Children's Programming Grant

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Posted by jim under Grants

We know from speaking with MALF members that many Friends groups in Minnesota are deeply and passionately involved in their library’s children’s and young adult programming. In some of these cases, Friends involvement is limited only by lack of available funds. If this describes you, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation wants to help.

Ezra Jack Keats FoundationEstablished in the 1960s by the Caldecott Medal winning writer and children’s book illustrator, the Foundation continues strong today. Its primary focus remains to foster the ideals Keats valued most: creative expression, teamwork, and diversity/multiculturalism.

Minigrants, one of its flagship and most popular programs, offers awards of $500 to public school and library teams looking to create special, enriching activities for school-aged children outside of the standard curriculum. Popular examples include bookmaking workshops, community or multicultural ‘portrait projects,’ pen pal initiatives, and the creation and performance of plays or puppet shows. 

The Foundation will distribute approximately 60 grants to worthy applicants this year. Next year marks the Ezra Jack Keats centennial celebration and, according to the Foundation, your odds are particularly strong if your proposal incorporates elements from the work of Ezra Jack Keats.

Applications are due March 31, 2016. All winners will be notified by May 1. Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation’s website for more details.

Host A Museum-Quality Traveling Exhibit About Financial Literacy In Your Library

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Posted by jim under Programming, Opportunities

151030_thinking-money-ad_smart-investing-at-your-library-site2.pngFinancial literacy, and money management in particular, are important educational priorities in public libraries across the country. In recognition of this fact, the ALA Public Programs Office is gearing up to bring “Thinking Money,” a custom and museum-quality traveling exhibition, to fifty American libraries over the next three years.

“Our intent here is to teach tweens and teens, as well as their parents, caregivers and educators, about basic financial literacy topics. Those include saving, spending and avoiding fraud,” said an ALA spokesperson. “‘Thinking Money’ will do so in a way that is not only understandable, but fun.”

ALA partnered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation on the exhibit design and underlying curriculum. Highlights include an adventure-themed storyline, hands-on activities, and an interactive iPad component.

Libraries interested in the opportunity and able to accommodate this 1,000-square-foot showcase for a six-week loan period are encouraged to put their name forward for consideration. Do so by Friday, January 29 at the very latest. (Click here for application details.)

Selected institutions will receive “Thinking Money” for six weeks sometime between 2016 and 2018. Recipients will also receive a $1,000 programming allowance, and an expenses paid trip to Orlando for a preparatory workshop held in conjunction with the 2016 ALA Annual Conference.

On the fence, but interested in learning more about this one-of-a-kind programming opportunity? ALA’s Public Programs Office is hosting two informational conference calls on the subject: on Thursday, November 19 and Wednesday, December 9. Get your questions answered and concerns addressed in real time!

Hon. Isabel Gomez Joins MALF Board of Directors

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Posted by jim under Board of Directors

MALF strives to maintain a board of directors who hail from varied professional backgrounds and bring diverse skills sets to the table. This month, we are thrilled to announce the addition of the Honorable Isabel Gomez to our ranks.

welcome.jpgJudge Gomez’s distinguished legal career culminated in over two decades on the bench of Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin County). She stepped down from that post in 2005, and served another three equally productive years at the helm the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission before retiring in 2008.

She is a life-long supporter of public libraries, stemming from positive experiences dating all the way back to elementary school in her native Vermont.

“Montpelier is surrounded by granite hills and, until the mid-1950s, radio and television signals barely penetrated there,” she noted. Compensating somewhat, Gomez had ready access to print media as a child, courtesy of “the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, then as now the finest building on Main Street.” A special relationship with the local youth librarian instilled an abiding love of books, and primed her pursuits in higher education.

“I believe that the human stories and expression held first in memory, then in print, now in a host of evolving media, are essential nourishment for people,” Gomez explained. “As a high school English teacher, I saw utterly unlikely students light with excitement upon encountering Odysseus and Romeo and King Lear. As a juvenile court judge, I learned that no one was better than artists at raising hope and self-esteem in youngsters starved of everything we need in order to become reasonably functional.”

Going forward, Judge Gomez is sure to be an asset to MALF’s advocacy efforts and to Friends of the Library across the state. Welcome!