State Library Services Update

Updates from State Library Services

May 2019

Updates from State Library Services

2018 preliminary public library data

How did public libraries measure up in 2018?

2018 is history, but State Library Services collected data from public libraries to validate their contributions to communities throughout the state. The annual Minnesota Public Library Report survey closed in April. We greatly appreciate the time and expertise of all the annual report filers who submitted data. Preliminary results show that public libraries remain popular community assets.


Navigating the perils and rewards of personal finance

Fifty-one participants learned the basics of financial education at workshops for library staff at the St. Cloud Public Library and Hennepin County Southdale Library on April 23-24. The workshop was sponsored by State Library Services and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. More than a dozen national and local experts explained financial planning, credit and debt management, retirement planning, and fraud prevention as well as recommending resources for young adults and financially vulnerable populations.

Ninety-five percent of the attendees who completed the workshop evaluation (73 percent response rate) reported that they learned how libraries can promote financial literacy. All of them reported that they have a better understanding of personal finance concepts and resources and feel confident about what they learned. Ninety-seven percent intend to apply what they learned to improve financial literacy for library users including scheduling programs and sharing resources from the workshop.

“Thank you so much for the wonderful, informative training! Learned many new things for me and our community, and will try to deliver some programs at my library and order the posters and flyers to share with our community!”—Workshop participant

Make it real! Make it social! Make it fun!

Please join State Library Services in Moorhead for an upcoming training.

Monday, June 10, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This training for school and public library staff is adapted from YALSA’s national Transforming Teen Services Project. Join us for an exciting day of interactive learning about youth development and structuring learning for kids and teens around relationships, their interests and real-world application. Free! The last hour of the day is optional standards work, planning time.

Register online by May 24

Contact Leah Larson with any questions – or 651-582-8604.


Updates from MDE

People waiting at food truck

Feed the mind and body 

Public libraries across the state provide a safe place for children during the summer to engage in reading and learning. State Library Services and Community Nutrition Programs are working together to add snacks and meals to summer library programs. The At-Risk Snack and Meal Program provides nourishment to vulnerable kids across Minnesota.

During the summer, libraries are a natural choice to serve as a meal site to complement their summer programs for youth 18 and younger. Libraries can become a partner for the at-risk afterschool program and/or a summer food site. For information about eligibility, training, site responsibilities and meals that may be served, contact Leah Larson at State Library Services or Food and Nutrition Service at 651-582-8526 or 800-366-8922.

Libraries are also encouraged to provide information for families on where to find a free meal.

  • For bookmarks, contact Minnesota Department of Education, Food and Nutrition Service, at 651-582-8526 or 800-366-8922.
  • For tear-off pads, contact Second Harvest Heartland.
  • To locate a meal site, use these resources after June 1.
    • Download the Summer Eats Minnesota app to your phone or device.
    • Call the 2-1-1 Hotline or from cell phones – Twin Cities Metro Area: 651-291-0211, Greater Minnesota: 800-543-7709, TTY: 651-291-8440.
    • Call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-HAMBRE, available from Monday through Friday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Central Time.
    • Text "Summer Meals" to 97779. Spanish speakers, text "Verano" to 97779.

Updates from our Partners

Small and mighty

Dodge Center Public Library will participate in the “Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces” project led by OCLC in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. The SELCO member library located in southeast Minnesota is among 15 public libraries selected from 120 applications from 38 states serving communities ranging in size from 900 to 15,500 people. This project expands the 2016 National Leadership Grant project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Ideas Welcome

If you are a media mentor for families in your community or just thinking about how media mentorship and family engagement fit together, the Young Children, New Media, and Libraries Research Team invites you to be part of the conversation at ALA Annual in Washington DC. in June. The team will host two focus groups, one on June 21 from 1 p.m. -2:30 p.m. and one on June 23 from 1:30 p.m. -3 p.m. The focus groups will help researchers to learn more about how children’s library staff are supporting families and children, ages 0-14, in the ways they use, consume, and produce media in a variety of formats. If you’re interested in joining the discussion and sharing your expertise, email with your contact info.

Starnet logo - national center for interactive learning



Bring the stars to your library collection

Libraries can get tips and examples for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) kits for programming and check-out from STARnet. Visit the STARnet website for inventory lists, activities, materials, and tips on selecting, cataloging and loaning STEM materials. STARnet is from the Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the Afterschool Alliance. Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institutes of Health (SEPA).

Think Small Parent Powered Texts logo

Texting service for early literacy skills

Think Small’s texting initiative, ParentPowered Texts,

help parents improve literacy and pre-reading skills for children aged birth to eight years of age. Parents receive three customized text messages each week. The family-centered tips include messages that encourage parents to read to their children. Texts cover multiple areas of a child’s development—social-emotional, health, literacy and math skills. All messages are based on the child’s birth date, which guarantees timely, developmentally appropriate content and advice and are available in English, Spanish and Somali.

Think Small can supply your library with bookmarks and other materials to promote this useful service. Contact Diana Neidecker, Think Small Community Engagement Coordinator, for more information.

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.