Updates from State Library Services

Updates from State Library Services

November 2019

Updates from State Library Services


Now Hiring

State Library Services has an opening for a library development and services specialist with a background in early literacy. The posting is live on the State of Minnesota job search site until November 13.

For additional information about the position, please contact Jen Nelson at 651-582-8791 or jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us.


photo of Verena

Newly Hired: Verena Getahun

Verena Getahun is the new Library Data Coordinator with State Library Services. She will coordinate the annual public library report for Minnesota and looks forward to helping public libraries make meaning out of all the data available to them.

Verena most recently served as the data manager at Meda, a nonprofit focused on business owners of color. Prior to Meda, she completed an MLIS at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and worked in technical services at Bethel University Library. Verena can be reached at verena.getahun@state.mn.us or 651-582-8714.


logo of Minnesota Children's Museum

Pump Up the Power of Play

There's still room for you at the upcoming workshop The Power of Play: Building 21st Century Skills.

The half-day workshop is led by the Minnesota Children's Museum's specialist in child development. You’ll learn about the components of play and the power and benefits of play to early childhood and beyond. Together, we’ll consider the role of play in library programs, services, and facilities to support family engagement.

When: Wednesday, November 20, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Anoka County - Centennial Library
100 Civic Heights Circle
Circle Pines, MN 55014

Sign up today for The Power of Play: Building 21st Century Skills.

Can't make this date? Additional sessions will be scheduled in May, so watch this space for more opportunities to gain tools to support playful learning in the library and beyond. Please contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) if you have any questions.


logo for wash and learn initiative

Libraries in...Laundromats?

Join us for an upcoming webinar on Libraries in Laundromats – Bringing Learning Spaces to Ordinary Places.

When: Wednesday, December 4, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Presenters: Adam Echelman and Lily Ross from Libraries Without Borders

The Wash and Learn Initiative, coordinated by Libraries Without Borders in partnership with local public libraries, brings technology and library programming to people where they are – in laundromats!

During this webinar, you will learn about the mission of the Wash and Learn Initiative; what makes literacy programs in laundromats unique; and how librarians in Minnesota are engaging laundromat patrons through programming. Webinar attendees will walk away with a newfound understanding of how to bring learning spaces to ordinary places.

Register now for Libraries in Laundromats. Please contact Hannah Buckland (651-582-8792) if you have questions.


Scholastic logo

Volunteer as a Writing Award Juror

Minnesota is a partner for the national 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. As a partner, State Library Services is recruiting up to 20 volunteer jurors to read and rate writing submissions from creative teens in grades 7-12.

The opportunity to serve as a juror is open to all, regardless of library type, position, etc. Each juror will dedicate 10-15 hours to scoring a maximum of 100 submissions in the span of three weeks: December 20, 2019, to January 10, 2020.

Find more information about serving as a volunteer juror and sign up using the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Juror Volunteer Form. Contact Hannah Buckland (651-582-8792) if you have any questions.


photo of Fix-a-Leak exhibit

Host an Exhibit at Your Library

State Library Services has partnered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to create two traveling tabletop exhibits: Resilient Communities and Fix-a-Leak.

Resilient Communities identifies ways to address the challenges Minnesota communities confront in our changing climate, including increased temperatures, extreme weather, and food insecurity.

Fix-a-Leak raises awareness about water conservation in homes, using an interactive cross-section of a toilet to demonstrate water loss.

To have either of these free exhibits visit your library in 2020, please contact Hannah Buckland (651-582-8792).


logo of 90 second Newbery Film Festival

Calling Young Minnesota Filmmakers!

Get ready for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, the annual video contest in which young filmmakers create short movies that tell the stories of Newbery-winning books in about 90 seconds. The Minnesota deadline for submissions is February 21, 2020.

The contest is open to anyone grades K through 12 (adult help is OK), so please promote the opportunity to local kids and families. Budding filmmakers can find help at the 90-Second Newbery website, including videomaking resources and a gallery of some of the best 90-Second Newberys.

Save the date! The 5th Annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival takes place at the Minneapolis Central Library on April 25, 2020, co-hosted by authors James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and Newbery Medal winner Kelly Barnhill (The Girl Who Drank The Moon).


Updates from our Partners

RIPL photo

Ready for a Data Adventure?

Colorado State Library’s Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) will be offering a summer event (July 12-15, 2020) near Chicago, IL, and has two opportunities that may be of interest to you.

Please note the application deadline for each opportunity is November 22, 2019.

RIPL will be selecting up to 15 people to serve as facilitators at RIPL 2020. Both RIPL alumni and those who are new to the event are welcome to apply. Find out more about the RIPL facilitator opportunity. The application deadline is November 22, 2019.

RIPL will be offering 15 scholarships to staff working in rural and small public libraries that cover the registration fee, lodging, all meals during the event, and up to $500 in travel expenses. Find out more about the RIPL travel scholarships. The application deadline is November 22, 2019.


photo from Rondo Grow with Google event

Apply for a Digital Skills Microgrant

Following up on two successful Grow with Google events held at Minnesota libraries in mid-October, Google is funding microgrants for Minnesota public libraries that incorporate Google tools and resources into their digital skills offerings.

The microgrants are available through an ALA/PLA initiative called Libraries Lead with Digital Skills.

Applications for the $1000 microgrants are now open to public libraries in Minnesota. Check out Grow with Google resources, and if you are interested, apply for a microgrant. The priority deadline is November 27.


About State Library Services

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.