Updates from State Library Services: Racial Equity Training, See You at the MLA Conference

Updates from State Library Services

October 10, 2018

Updates from State Library Services

Save the Date: Learn About Increasing Racial Equity in Libraries

Minnesota’s cities and towns are rapidly diversifying. Libraries, like other government institutions, are expected to respond to diverse community needs. By assessing and adapting library services with an equity lens, libraries can provide responsive, quality library services to all Minnesotans.

State Library Services is hosting All Are Welcome: The Role of Libraries in Advancing Racial Equity for library managers, board members, and front-line staff. This free workshop provides an introduction to the role, responsibilities and opportunities for libraries to advance racial equity. Participants will learn about the historical and present-day causes of racial inequities and participate in facilitated discussions and interactive exercises focused on normalizing racial equity as a core value.

Attendees will learn key terminology; how to operationalize racial equity; and how to organize internally and in partnership with community organizations. They will become familiar with a framework for institutional change and library practices used by libraries in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity’s Library Interest Group. This workshop also introduces a racial equity tool that can be used in decisions relating to policies, practices, programs, budget, and communication strategies. Participants gain skill at identifying and addressing institutional and structural racism, and building capacity to advance racial equity in their workplace.

Workshop objectives

  • Gain understanding of the government’s role in contributing to racial inequity and our responsibility to advance racial equity;
  • Develop a shared racial equity analysis, including definitions of key terminology and concepts (racial equity/inequity, implicit/explicit bias, individual/institutional/structural racism); and,
  • Gain an introductory understanding of operationalizing and organizing for racial equity.

Workshop dates and locations

This free workshop will be repeated in three locations.

  • Grand Rapids Area Library, Grand Rapids, on Monday, November 5, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Blue Earth County Library, Mankato, on Friday, November 16, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Hennepin County Brookdale Library, Brooklyn Center, on Monday, December 3, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Workshops are limited to 50 participants each. Registration will open soon.

Workshop leaders

Gordon Goodwin, Midwest Regional Project Manager for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), leads the workshop. Gordon has worked for 30 years with and for foundations, community development organizations and public/private sector consortia in metropolitan and rural settings to promote racial justice. 

Jane Eastwood, Consultant, Independent Racial Equity and Libraries, is a co-presenter. Eastwood is the former Library Director for the Saint Paul Public Library and Education Director for the City of Saint Paul.

For questions about the workshop, contact Joe Manion, Library Development and Services Specialist at State Library Services, 651-582-8640.

This project is made possible, in part, by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Government Alliance on Race & Equity

See You at the MLA Conference!

We’ll be at the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Conference right alongside you—presenting sessions, attending section meetings and conference sessions, and looking forward to chatting with you. Please check out the following sessions our talented staff is presenting. We hope to see you at the conference!

Thursday, October 11, 8-8:50 a.m.

Dream (Projects) Come True with LSTA Grants

Thursday, October 11, 9:10-10 a.m.

Everybody Supercharge: Supercharged Storytimes for All Training

Friday, October 12, 9:15-10:05 a.m.

Library Cards for Every Student: Customizing a Program for Your Community

Friday, October 12, 9:15-10:05 a.m.

Getting to Measures that Matter

Friday, October 12, 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Libraries in Laundromats: Making Information and Services Accessible for Low-Income Families

Friday, October 12, 10:30-11:20 a.m.

What’s New in State Library Services?

Friday, October 12, 10:30-11:20 a.m.

MN American Indian Children's Literature: Evaluating Resources and Building Networks

Friday, October 12, 3:35-4:25 p.m.

Providing Customized Reading Services - Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library

Friday, October 12, 3:35-4:25 p.m.

An Inside Look at the Library Construction Grant

MLA Conference 2018

Updates from our Partners

Submissions Open November 1 for Letters About Literature National Writing Contest

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book, along with local sponsor Red Balloon Bookshop, invites all Minnesota students in grades 4-12 to participate in the national Letters About Literature competition. 

The program asks students to read a book, poem, or speech and reflect on how the work affected them personally. Students then write to the author to express what the work meant to them. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Works can be in any genre or time period and the authors can come from any country.

Online submissions open November 1, 2018, and the submission deadline is January 11, 2019. For official guidelines, entry forms, and teacher guides, please visit the Friends website.

Letters About Literature

Break Down Barriers: Supporting Nature Play

Join the Minnesota Children and Nature Connection and  the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association on Friday, Nov. 2, 9-11 a.m. in discussing the importance of nature-based play, and learning to get beyond the risks so you can provide opportunities for children to experience nature. The event will be held at Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Avenue N in Brooklyn Park, and the registration fee is $25. Register for this unique opportunity to discuss issues with recreation professionals, park planners, risk managers, and educators--and learn more about providing nature play experiences for kids and families at your site. 

MN Children and Nature Connection

About State Library Services

State Library Services staff cropped

State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), partners with libraries to achieve equity and excellence in our collective work for Minnesotans. Division staff are consultants who help libraries plan, develop and implement high-quality services that address community needs. State Library Services administers federal grant, state aid, and state grant programs that benefit all types of libraries.