Ezra Jack Keats Foundation 'Mini Grants'

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Posted by jim under Grants, Awards

Friends groups in Minnesota are often deeply involved in their library’s children’s and young adult programming. In some cases, Friends involvement is limited only by lack of available funds. If this describes you, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation wants to help.

Established 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.

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/performance of plays. 

The Foundation will distribute approximately 60 grants to worthy applicants next year. Applications are due March 31, 2017. All winners will be notified in May. Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation’s website for more details. A little planning goes a long way, so don’t delay!

National Friends of Libraries Week Award Opportunity

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Posted by jim

Did your Friends of the Library coordinate a big fundraiser, plan a membership drive, or conduct visibility efforts last week in conjunction with National Friends of Libraries Week? If so, United for Libraries wants to hear about it!

Friends who pulled off particularly successful and/or innovative tie-in activities are invited to put forward a nomination for the annual (and aptly named) National Friends of the Library Week Award. Applying is simple. Write a one- to two-page summary of what you did, and submit online to the judging committee by December 2, 2016.

Thanks to a generous partnership with the Lana and Michael Porter Foundation, at least two of the nominees that United for Libraries deems worthy will receive $250.00 prize grants for their library. Click here to learn more. If you did not get an opportunity to coordinate events this year in conjunction with the week-long Friends holiday, mark next year’s on your calendar now: October 15-21, 2017!

Pipestone Friends of the Library Win Evy Nordley Award

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Posted by jim under Evy Nordley, MLA, Awards

Hearty congratulations to Pipestone Area Friends of the Library (Meinders Community Library), winners of the 2016 Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends.
Jody Wacker, director of Meinders Library, gave a presentation about Pipestone’s prize-winning project (“Night at the Museum”) and accepted a plaque on Thursday, September 29 during the Minnesota Library Association conference at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center.
Inspired loosely by the popular movie of the same name, Night at the Museum’s dovetailing goals were to give students an opportunity to showcase their artwork, bridge generation gaps, and get people into the library. “Students have few people with whom to share their art and academic success with, as school projects that take time and effort are then typically crammed into backpacks and are often seen only by teachers and parents,” Wacker explained.
Planning and promotion began in September. All told, 216 area students (3rd-12th grades) contributed a total of 91 exhibits to Night at the Museum. These varied widely, from canvas art and educational displays, to short feature films and podcasts – and even a cheesecake-making demonstration and a scone taste-testing!
A turnout of over 160 attendees beat expectations – despite the night coinciding with the year’s first big snowfall. After the main event, 50 students and adults stuck around to watch “Night at the Museum.”
Click here to learn more about Pipestone Area Friends of the Library and Night at the Museum. Click here to read up on our two excellent runners-up: Friends of the Elmore Public Library (“Book-nanza”) and Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library (“Celebration of Friends Book Bags”).