Next month (April 3-5), thousands of library staff and leaders will congregate in Columbus, Ohio for the biennial Public Library Association (PLA) conference. PLA is often hailed as the pre-eminent professional development opportunity for the field of public librarianship. While the conference is open to supporters like Friends, in-person participation is cost prohibitive for most volunteers. Fortunately for us, virtual tickets are also on offer!
April brings with it one of the best opportunities all year round to celebrate and promote our public libraries. National Library Week, coordinated by the American Library Association, runs April 7-13, 2024. Each year brings a distinct thematic focus. For this, the 66th iteration of National Library Week, that theme is "Ready, Set, Library." Highlights within National Library Week include National Library Workers Day (April 9) and Take Action for Libraries Day (April 11).
Last year, Friends of the Library elsewhere in the country coordinated programs running a wide gamut: from readathons and spelling bees, to cooking demos and fashion shows, and even charity 5ks and relay races! We know for a fact that Friends here in Minnesota have not been idle, either. Our annual Evy Nordley Award for Best Project is the perfect way to learn about and share your group highlights from 2023.
In our decades of work with Friends, MALF’s board has picked up on an interesting disconnect. Most volunteer-run groups are fortunate to boast at least a few “standout” members – movers and shakers whose dedication, creativity and boundless energy help the organization overcome obstacles and adapt to meet new needs. What is lacking, in contrast, are good opportunities to acknowledge these outstanding contributors.
Friends of the Library across the country have found great success coordinating author-centered fundraisers. Minnesota is a hotbed for such events. MALF’s first webinar of 2024 will showcase three standout author programs coordinated by Friends across our state. We hope you will join us over the lunch hour on Tuesday, January 23 to hear about...