MALF Announces COVID-19 Grant Recipients | Pt. 3

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, MALF was able to expand our members-only COVID-19 Response Grant program to five more Friends groups (on top of our original slate of ten recipients)! They are:  

willmar.png11. Friends of the Willmar Public Library
Last summer, the Friends of the Willmar Public Library coordinated their first author gala. Featuring beloved Minnesota authors like William Kent Krueger and Kao Kalia Yang, the inaugural Wisdom and Wine netted $5,000 from a sellout crowd of more than 175 bibliophiles. Before the pandemic put the breaks on the 2020 sequel, the Friends had looked forward to hosting Faith Sullivan and Leif Enger. While this stellar line-up may come to fruition at some later date, MALF’s grant will cover projected summer reading and community read expenses for the Willmar Public Library in the meantime.

12. Friends of the Virginia Public Library
Virginia.jpgThe small Virginia Public Library, located halfway between Duluth and the Canadian border, leans heavily on its Friends group to offset a wide range of expenses. Proceeds from biannual Friends book sales go towards the library's summer reading program for area children; "Hot Reads for Cold Nights" winter programming for adults; and the popular Queen City Reads community initiative. Given the trajectory of the pandemic, it is likely that at least two – and maybe more – book sales will be cancelled before some manner of normalcy returns. MALF’s grant will cover part of the budgetary shortfall.

13. Marine Library Association
marine.jpgMarine Community Library is an all-volunteer enterprise – one of only a few operating in the Midwest. Needless to say, it is funded in a fairly unconventional way. As such, it is particularly vulnerable to the trials and travails of the pandemic. MALF's grant will assist greatly with Phase II of the Library's reopening plan, which requires a variety of structural changes to the facility (one of the oldest public buildings in Minnesota still used for public purposes). Purchases will include plexiglass barriers for the volunteer desk, hand sanitizer and disposable gloves, and other sanitation supplies.

14. Friends of the Lakeville - Heritage Library
lakeville.jpgWhile the doors of the Lakeville Heritage Library (Dakota County Library) may be closed and its services limited, the Friends want to make sure that residents retain some connection to this valued public resource. As one means to that end, the Friends are kickstarting a virtual book club. This move brings with it implementation and publicity expenses, albeit modest ones. In addition, the Friends are considering a wide-ranging awareness campaign targeted at Lakeville residents of all ages. Among other inexpensive giveaways, they will distribute Friends- branded chalk to children.

15. Friends of the Saint Cloud Public Library
StCloud2.jpgIt's not unusual for the Friends of the Saint Cloud Library to raise more than $50,000/yr for Great River Regional Library. Much of this income comes from an on-site bookstore that is one of the best kept secrets in Stearns County. When the pandemic shuttered the Library, however, it also closed down this year-round source of revenue. In a normal year, much of the Friends’ proceeds go towards children’s programming and achievement prizes. Expecting a singularly strange school year, the Friends will use MALF’s grant to ensure at least a modicum of normalcy remains for Saint Cloud’s younger residents.