COVID-19 Grant Recipient Spotlights | Cycle 3, #2

Earlier this summer, MALF named the ten recipients of the third and final round of the organization's COVID-19 Grant Response Program. It’s now our great privilege to briefly profile each of these worthy Friends and projects. Next up:

Friends of the Anoka County Library
Despite the surprises and setbacks brought on by COVID-19, the Friends of the Anoka County Library had an admirably busy year in 2020. The Friends kept constituents apprised of those happenings through their first-ever print newsletter. In addition to their member base, who each received color copies, the group printed 1,000 grayscale copies to be shared with patrons as part of holds pickup at Anoka's eight branch libraries. It proved a popular experiment, even prompting a number of donations. With most fundraising efforts temporarily curtailed, The Friends sought and received a MALF grant to defray print and mailing costs for a second issue of this newsletter.

Friends of the Austin County Library
Before the pandemic, the Austin Public Library hosted – and easily filled – a wide variety of painting classes and craft programs. Now that normal activities can resume, the pent-up demand is evident! The Friends of the Library wish to give programming staff added flexibility through the purchase of movable art easels. They will use this small grant from MALF to purchase 18 affordable but sturdy easels on aluminum tripods. Their chosen model is suitable for both standing and tabletop use, meaning that classes can be held outdoors or inside as weather dictates.

Friends of the Rock County Library
Alongside more traditional materials, the Rock County Community Library in Luverne loans patrons telescopes and metal detectors. Both purchases came courtesy of the local Friends of the Library. When pandemic conditions nudged patrons to spend more time outside, the Friends decided to double down on their investments in this outdoors-oriented “Library of Things.” The Friends applied for a COVID-19 Grant from MALF to acquire croquet and bocce ball sets, jumbo-sized yard Yahtzee and Connect Four games, and even Bushnell binoculars for birdwatching. Friends and staff are confident that these popular items will remain in-demand even as pandemic conditions abate