Minnesota Association of Library Friends

Evy Nordley Award Finalists Announced

Posted by jim on August 23, 2011

The 2011 Award Finalists

hot-reads.JPGHot Reads for Cold Nights 2011 at Red Wing Public Library
The Friends of the Red Wing Library

This winter-time program offers interesting and relevant author programs, 'reader bags' for the first 60 people that sign up, monthly literary contests and lots of opportunities to win prizes! The program was offered free and open to the public.

building-it-1.JPGBuilding It Together
The Friends of St. Michael—Albertville—Hanover Library

The fundraising drive called “Building It Together” is a combined effort of the Friends of the St. Michael Library, the Friends of the Senior Center and involved citizens who, like you, live or work in this community and care about the future of our towns. The program has a site that shows each item purchased or built by the donations made by citizens.

bookit_postcard.jpgBook It: The Party!
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
The Friends launched a new series of social events which combine friendly competitions, world-class food, cocktails, art and music. Designed to bring young professionals into the Library, “Book It: The Party” provides guests an opportunity to meet new people, explore the library, and give something back to the Library and the City in which they live and work.

AWARD FINALISTS will present their Friends of the Library Project at the MLA Conference in Duluth on Library Friends Day October 13

The Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) will spotlight exceptional projects made possible by Friends of Libraries from January 2010 to July 2011 and will present The Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of Libraries. Learn ways to plan, implement and evaluate library Friends' activities. Take away useful, replicable ideas from presentations by three Friends of the Library groups. Honoring these Award Finalists, MALF will present a plaque and $1,000 to the award-winning Friends organization and $250 to two Friends groups receiving a Certificate of Recognition. A panel of judges decided award-winners in August and we celebrate the big reveal in October.

Library Friends Day • October 13

Posted by jim on August 22, 2011

MN Association of Library Friends invites you to register now!
Visit for complete details and registration.

LIBRARY FRIENDS DAY • Thursday, October 13, 2011

8:00am to 4:30pm, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

Workshops • Speakers • Networking • Awards

A day designed for Friends of Libraries during

The Minnesota Library Association 2011 Annual Conference

“Libraries: Superior Value for Life”

The 2011 Annual Conference of the Minnesota Library Association will be held October 12-14, 2011, in Duluth, Minnesota. This premier educational event attracts more than 400 library professionals plus Friends of the Library and library trustees from across Minnesota. The three-day conference features high-quality continuing education opportunities with more than 50 sessions across eight simultaneous tracks(including October 13 sessions for Library Trustees & Friends), a silent auction fundraiser, countless networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall with vendors you want to talk to showcasing library products and services. a Legacy Program Showcase of artists, online handouts.

New features this year, the MALF Annual Meeting will be combined with Idea Sharing and a blog highlights Duluth area attractions and events.

Fun and networking — Take advantage of great social and networking opportunities through refreshment breaks, sessions designed for Friends, the silent auction fundraiser and Legacy Program Showcase in the evening.

Meals and refreshments — Your registration fee of $60 includes breakfast, box lunch, dessert buffet, and two  refreshment breaks. You must pre-register to guarantee your meals on October 13, 2011.

Paperless Handouts — Most of the presentation handouts will be online prior to October 13 and for 90 days after the conference as provided by presenters. A few handouts will be provided at conference by MALF or presenters.

Easy registration — Complete details about sessions, speakers, and registration are at Register online or download a hardcopy form.

If you do not have Internet access and need registration information, contact the MLA office at 651-999-5343.

When registering, use the Session number in parentheses, below.

Library Friends and Trustees register for one-day only, (Thursday, October 13) $60.00.


Libraries: Superior Value for Life

Schedule for Friends of the Library Day at the MLA Conference


7:00-8:00 am    Continental Breakfast Session


Presenter - Virginia Heinrich, Information Studies, Metropolitan Community and Technical College

Presenter - Margie Schuster, Volunteer Services, Hennepin County Library • MALF Board of Directors

• Advocacy Committee member, Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations

(ALTAFF, a division of the American Library Association)

9:00 am to 3:30 pm Exhibits and Silent Auction will be open

9:00-10:00 am  Refreshment Break with Exhibitors Subunit meeting

10:00-11:00 am  IDEA SHARING BY FRIENDS!  (Brief annual meeting)

The Minnesota Association of Library Friends will present the Board of Directors 2012-2013, an annual report, and new ways to be involved in MALF. Then, join the fast and fun sharing of ideas among Friends of Libraries in Minnesota! Grab the mic and share tips for success. Tell everyone what your Friends’ group has done to add members and to increase financial and public support for your library. Ideas, tips and Friends’ news sent to MALF before Conference will be a take-away summary to get ideas flowing. Everyone is an expert and a learner in this useful, fun, not to be missed session!

Meeting - Chris Olson, Minnesota Association of Library Friends, President + MELSA, Executive Director

Idea Facilitator - Jan Siffing, Douglas County Library Friends and Foundation • MALF Board of Directors

Idea Facilitator - Joan Larson, Douglas County Library Friends and Foundation • MALF Board of Directors

11:00 a.m– Noon Box Lunch with Exhibitors


Engagement through Games: Reaching Library Users Through Playful Ways, with Scott Nicholson

1:30-2:30 p.m.  POSITIVELY FRIENDS (D8)

What happens when Friends, library and community work together in positive ways? Understanding library priorities and Friends of Libraries’ roles and relationships is essential to success. In Alexandria and Ely, presentations to community organizations have recruited new library Friends and brought new support for the library. Del Mari Runck, Douglas County Library Friends and Foundation in Alexandria, and Joe Owens, Friends of Ely Library, will share their presentations and describe their audience, goals and outcomes. Each presentation will serve as an example for presenters of Friends of the Library programming who want to get the word out in their community. Discover how, when, where and when to say something positive about your library and Friends of the Library. Results? Positively!

Presenter - Del Mari Runck, Neighborhood National Bank, President/CEO

Presenter - Joe Owens, Friends of Ely Library, President

2:30 – 3:30 pm   Refreshment Break  - Exhibits and silent auction close

3:30-4:30 pm    TEN MINUTES TO WIN IT— Award for Best Project by Friends of LIBRARIES (E1)

The Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) will spotlight exceptional projects made possible by Friends of Libraries from January 2010 to July 2011 and will present The Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of Libraries. Learn ways to plan, implement and evaluate library Friends' activities. Take away useful, replicable ideas from presentations by three Friends of the Library groups. Honoring these Award Finalists, MALF will present a plaque and $1,000 to the award-winning Friends organization and $250 to two Friends groups receiving a Certificate of Recognition. A panel of judges decided award-winners in August and we celebrate the big reveal in October.

AWARD FINALISTS will present their Friends of the Library Project

The Friends of the Red Wing Library • Hot Reads for Cold Nights 2011 at Red Wing Public Library

The Friends of St. Michael—Albertville—Hanover Library • Building It Together

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library • Book It: The Party!

8:00-10:00 pm   Legacy Program Showcase

The MLF Silent Auction Wants You!

Posted by jim on August 19, 2011

(Actually, we want your donations.)

Top Ten Reasons to Donate to the 
Minnesota Library Foundation Silent Auction


That garden gnome you got for a wedding gift could hang out in someone else’s yard.


It’s a good cause. What other reason do you need?


You can finally get that lava lamp from Aunt Melba out of the basement.


Bragging rights when your donated item brings in big bucks.


One librarian’s junk is another librarian’s treasure.


It’s your chance to get that big-bucks neighbor of yours who’s always telling you that he wants to help libraries to fork over something of value—like airline tickets or a gift card to a five-star restaurant.


You could probably get that really talented consultant you know to donate a few hours of his or her time and expertise—if you just waive his or her overdue fines.


It’s your chance to finally get rid of that cheesy photo of the “shushing” librarian.


It’s easy! Use the Silent Auction contribution form to donate. Completed forms may be faxed to 651-649-3169 and donations may be dropped off before October 1st at the Melsa office at 1619 Dayton Avenue, Ste 314, in St. Paul, MN.

...and the number one reason to donate to the Silent Auction:

You are supporting the Minnesota Library Foundation, which helps fund the Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE), supports the Minnesota Book Awards, and provides small grants to libraries across the state.
Thank you.

Angie Petrie & Margaret Stone
Silent Auction co-chairs
Minnesota Library Foundation

Join ALA for a webinar about easy ways to advocate for libraries

10 Quick and Painless Steps to Effective Advocacy for Libraries
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT (3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CST)

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

What does "advocacy" mean?

You’ve probably heard that big budget and policy changes are afoot in Washington, DC – and perhaps that constituent voices are more important than ever.  In fact, advocacy is the buzz word du jour – but does the word itself resonate with library supporters who are not already engaged in grassroots activities?   What does “advocacy” mean, and how does it translate into action? Library trustees, members of friends groups, librarian advocates, and library supporters of all kinds can do many things to make advocacy a meaningful word.

Ten easy actions

Join this webinar to learn about ten easy actions, including writing personalized letters, building coalitions in your community and even using social media outlets to help develop and deliver your message. If America’s libraries are going to survive these difficult times, we need your voice – and your action.

The MLA Conference needs you!

Posted by jim on August 15, 2011

The Minnesota Library Association is looking for volunteers for this year's conference. Volunteering at the conference is a fantastic way to network and meet new people, catch up with old friends as you see them, and get in touch with the workings of the conference.

We are in need of four types of volunteers:

  • Registration
  • Silent Auction
  • Room moderators
  • Photographers

We also need people to Tweet!

PLEASE consider volunteering this year, even if you’ve been to the conference dozens of times. It’s always fun to see the people who come by your location—and it always feels good to volunteer. Plus, if you’re an enrolled library student, volunteering can get you free registration for the conference!

Interested? Learn more and sign up to volunteer here!

Registration open for 2011 MLA conference

Posted by jim on August 15, 2011

2011 annual Minnesota Library Conference:

Superior Value for Life


Wednesday through Friday,
October 12-14

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Duluth.

Registration is now open for MLA's 2011 Annual Conference! This three-day conference will be held October 12-14, 2011, in Duluth, Minnesota, and will be of value to all library professionals and supporters.
Visit for complete details and registration. 

Celebrate Minnesota Libraries - Sneak Preview!

Posted by jim on April 14, 2011

View photos at the Star Tribune Lifestyle web report:


Cass Lake Library, Cass Lake, MN


12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country

American Libraries Magazine (link to original article)



By Leonard Kniffel

A gift from American Libraries magazine of one dozen ideals toward which libraries strive.


Americans love their libraries, and advances in technology have multiplied the ways in which libraries enrich the quality of life in their communities. Whether they are in an elementary school or a university, a museum or a corporation, public or private, our nation’s libraries offer a lifetime of learning. To library supporters everywhere—Friends, trustees, board members, patrons, and volunteers—American Libraries magazine offers this gift of 12 ideals toward which librarians strive as they provide comprehensive access to the record of human existence. It will take all of us, in a spirit of pride and freedom, to maintain libraries as a living reality in a free nation through the 21st century.

1. Libraries sustain democracy.

Libraries provide access to information and multiple points of view so that people can make knowledgeable decisions on public policy throughout their lives. With their collections, programs, and professional expertise, librarians help their patrons identify accurate and authoritative data and use information resources wisely to stay informed. The public library is the only institution in American society whose purpose is to guard against the tyrannies of ignorance and conformity.

2. Libraries break down boundaries.

Libraries of various kinds offer services and programs for people at all literacy levels, readers with little or no English skills, preschoolers, students, homebound senior citizens, prisoners, homeless or impoverished individuals, and persons with physical or learning disabilities. Libraries rid us of fences that obstruct our vision and our ability to communicate and to educate ourselves.

3. Libraries level the playing field.

By making access to information resources and technology available to all, regardless of income, class, or background, a public library levels the playing field and helps close the gap between the rich and the poor. Libraries unite people and make their resources available to everyone in the community, regardless of social status. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s restaurants in the United States.

4. Libraries value the individual.

Libraries offer choices between mainstream and alternative viewpoints, between traditional and visionary concepts, and between monocultural and multicultural perspectives. Library doors swing open for independent thinking without prejudgment. Library collections and services offer the historical global, cultural, and political perspective that is necessary to foster a spirit of exploration that challenges orthodoxy and conformity.

5. Libraries nourish creativity.

By providing an atmosphere that stimulates curiosity, libraries create opportunities for unstructured learning and serendipitous discovery. As repositories not only of books but of images and a wide variety of media, libraries offer access to the accumulated record of mankind with assistance from professional staff delivering these resources through the physical library, the web, and outreach services.

6. Libraries open young minds.

Children’s and young adult librarians offer story hours, book talks, summer reading activities, career planning, art projects, gaming competitions, and other programs to spark youthful imaginations. Bringing children into a library can transport them from the commonplace to the extraordinary. From story hours for preschoolers to career planning for high schoolers, children’s librarians make a difference because they care about the unique developmental needs of every individual who comes to them for help.

7. Libraries return high dividends.

Libraries offer big returns to the communities they serve—anywhere from $1.30 to $10 in services for every $1 invested in them. Strong public and school libraries make a city or town more desirable as a business location. Americans check out an average of more than seven books a year from public libraries, and it costs them roughly $34 in taxes—about the cost of a single hardcover book.

8. Libraries build communities.

People gather at the library to find and share information, experience and experiment with the arts and media, and engage in community discussions and games. No narrow definition will work for libraries. There is the community of scholars, the deaf community, the gay community, the gaming community, and countless others, each with its libraries and specialized collections. Libraries validate and unify; they save lives, literally and by preserving the record of those lives.

9. Libraries support families.

Libraries offer an alternate venue for parents and their children to enhance activities traditionally conducted at home by providing homework centers, parenting collections, after-school programs, outreach, one-on-one reading, and early literacy programs. Like the families they serve, libraries everywhere are adapting to meet the economic and social challenges of the 21st century. In libraries, families find professionals dedicated to keeping their services family-friendly by offering a diverse selection of materials to which people of many backgrounds can relate.

10. Libraries build technology skills.

Library services and programs foster critical-thinking skills and information literacy. Nearly 100% of American libraries offer internet access and assistance with problem-solving aptitude, scientific inquiry, cross-disciplinary thinking, media literacy, productivity and leadership skills, civic engagement, global awareness, and health and environmental awareness. Library patrons search for jobs online, polish résumés with word processing software, fill out applications, research new professions, sign up for career workshops, and look for financial assistance. Public libraries serve as technology hubs by offering a wide range of public access computing and internet access services at no charge to users.

11. Libraries offer sanctuary.

By providing an atmosphere conducive to reflection, libraries induce a feeling of serenity and transcendence that opens the mind to new ideas and interpretations. In the library we are answerable to no one. We can be alone with our private thoughts, fantasies, hopes, and dreams, and we are free to nourish what is most precious to us with the silent companionship of others who share our quest. Libraries are places where computers and databases provide superior access to information and they offer an atmosphere of light and textures that beautiful architecture and design foster.

12. Libraries preserve the past.

Libraries are repositories of community history, oral narratives, and audiovisual records of events and culture, and when these local resources are digitized and placed online as digital libraries, communities and cultures thousands of miles away can share in the experience. Libraries and information science and technology enable us to communicate through distance and time with the living and the dead. A library is a miracle kept available by the meticulous resource description and access that is the work of the librarian. Libraries preserve the record and help their patrons make sense of it in the Information Age.

Originally published as a cover story in American Libraries, December 1995. Adapted and updated by Leonard Kniffel, December 2010.

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