Recent News at The Friends
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce the finalists in all eight categories for the 25th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors. Chosen on Saturday, January 26, by 24 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community – the finalists for each category are:
JUMP TO CATEGORY:
- Children’s Literature
- General Nonfiction
- Genre Fiction
- Memoir & Creative Nonfiction
- Novel & Short Story
- Young People’s Literature
Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:
A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Violeta Dabija (Millbrook Press/Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard (Chronicle Books)
Tell Me About Your Day Today by Mem Fox, illustrated by Lauren Stringer (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
Waking Dragons by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Derek Anderson (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO:
Debating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life by David W. Noble (University of Minnesota Press)
Forward: The First American Unsupported Expedition to the North Pole by John Huston and Tyler Fish (Octane Press)
Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community by Brenda J. Child (Viking/Penguin Group)
Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer (Atlantic Monthly Press/Grove/Atlantic, Inc.)
Genre Fiction, sponsored by Marvin Windows & Doors:
Curse of the Jade Lily by David
Housewright (Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press)
The Devil and the Diva by David Housewright and Renee Valois (Down and Out Books)
Ruth3:5 by Michael Fridgen
The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Leonard, Street and Deinard:
Letters to a Young Madman by Paul Gruchow (Levins Publishing)
Life on Ice: 25 Years of Arctic Exploration by Lonnie Dupre (Keen Editions)
My Mother Is Now Earth by Mark Anthony Rolo (Borealis Books/Minnesota Historical Society Press)
Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works by Atina Diffley (University of Minnesota Press)
Minnesota, sponsored by Meyer, Sherer & Rockcastle (MS&R):
Every Man Did His Duty: Pictures & Stories of the Men of the First Minnesota by Wayne D. Jorgenson (Tasora Books)
Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood by Tony Dierckins and Maryanne C. Norton (Zenith City Press/X-Communication)
The Minnesota Book of Skills: Your Guide to Smoking Whitefish, Sauna Etiquette, Tick Extraction, and More by Chris Niskanen (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
Novel & Short Story (Sponsorship opportunity available):
The Healing by Jonathan Odell (Nan A. Talese/Random House, Inc.)
It Takes You Over by Nick Healy (New Rivers Press)
The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers)
Vladimir’s Mustache and Other Stories by Stephan Eirik Clark (Russian Life Books)
Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:
The First Day of Spring in Northern Minnesota by Jim Johnson (Red Dragonfly Press)
Odessa by Patricia Kirkpatrick (Milkweed Editions)
Pitch by Todd Boss (W. W. Norton & Company)
Salt Pier by Dore Kiesselbach (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Young People’s Literature, sponsored by Sit Investment Associates:
Goblin Secrets by William Alexander (Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach (Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks, Inc.)
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus (Amulet Books/Abrams)
Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin (Milkweed Editions)
Award winners will be announced at the 25th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 13, at the Hilton Hotel, in downtown Minneapolis. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by calling 651-222-3242 or click here for more information.
Two special awards for contributions to Minnesota’s literary and artistic community will be given on April 13, as well. Jana Pullman will receive the sixth annual Book Artist Award, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group and presented with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). Pullman’s primary artistic work in the book arts is in the area of design bindings. An exhibit and free reception featuring her work will be held on Friday, February 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the Cowles Literary Commons at Open Book.
The Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by Common Good Books, honors a lifetime contribution to the literary community, and the 2013 winner will be announced in late February. The Kay Sexton Award is presented annually to an individual or organization in recognition of long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading and literary activity in Minnesota. The award is named for Kay Sexton, a book buyer for many years at Dayton’s and B. Dalton Bookstores in the Twin Cities.
Count down to the Gala Awards Presentation and learn more about the finalists on our 32 Books in 32 Days blog, beginning March 12 for this year's finalists.
Take a trip back through the 25 years since the Minnesota Book Awards began on our 25 Years in 25 Weeks blog.
Meet the Finalists, Friday, March 15, 2013, 7 p.m. at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S, Minneapolis. The Minnesota Book Awards partners with the Loft Literary Center to present the 2013 finalists. Each participating author will conduct a brief presentation on their nominated title. Reception with refreshments to follow. Free and open to the public.
For additional information on the 25th Annual Minnesota Book Awards or the Gala, please call 651-366-6497. The Minnesota Book Awards is sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors and presented by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Generous support for the Book Awards has been provided by the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts; Huss Foundation; Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation; and The McKnight Foundation, as well as the City of St. Paul’s Cultural STAR program. Outreach partners and supporting organizations include: The Loft Literary Center; Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA); Minnesota Center for Book Arts; Minnesota Department of Education—State Library Services; Minnesota Educational Media Organization; Minnesota Library Foundation; and Saint Paul Almanac. Media sponsors include the Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com; MPR ; Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); and TPT–Minnesota Channel.
The Minnesota Book Awards is pleased to announce Jana Pullman as the winner of the 2013 Minnesota Book Artist Award sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. This annual award, presented by Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the Minnesota Book Awards, recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for demonstrated excellence and innovation of artistic work during the past three years (2010-2012), as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community. The award was previously presented to Cave Paper’s Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener (2012), Regula Russelle (2011), Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling (2010), Paulette Myers-Rich (2009), and Jody Williams (2008).
Pullman’s primary artistic work in the book arts is in the area of design bindings. She creates unique bindings for specific books using materials such as leather, wood, handmade paper, and eggshells. Her high expectation of craftsmanship pushes her to improve technique and explore new approaches. She is continually intrigued by the opportunity to use new materials and enjoys using historical elements in her work. For Pullman, the book is part of a unique artistic medium that will never die out or be fully replaced.
Pullman is a faculty member in Book Arts at the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul. She has taught a variety of workshops nationwide and, since 1997, has been conducting classes in papermaking and bookbinding at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Pullman has worked in printmaking, papermaking and as a book and paper conservator. She has been displaying her work in galleries for decades and has participated in exhibitions throughout the United States as well as in England and France. The recipient of several prestigious awards, Pullman was the winner of the 2012 Design Award of the Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Competition for American Bookbinding.
An exhibit celebrating Pullman’s work runs January 18 through February 24 in the second floor literary commons of the Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South in Minneapolis. A reception showcasing the exhibit and honoring Pullman takes place Friday, February 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at MCBA, with a brief program and presentation at 6:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public, and features live music, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. Exhibits of Pullman’s work will also be featured at other venues throughout the state this year, including Saint Paul’s Central Library this spring.
Pullman will receive special recognition and an award at the 25th annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the event’s new location—the Hilton Minneapolis. Awards will be presented that evening to winners in eight book categories (Children’s Literature, General Nonfiction, Genre Fiction, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, Minnesota, Novel & Short Story, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature) and the Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by Common Good Books. Gala tickets will go on sale in late January.
The Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Marvin Windows and Doors, is a statewide, year-round outreach program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library and City of Saint Paul. Please visit www.thefriends.org or call 651/366-6497 for more information about the Minnesota Book Awards. Visit www.mnbookarts.org or call 612-215-2527 for more information about Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
Romanian guests to visit Saint Paul as part of the Biblionet Romania program.
SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA – July 2012 – Five staff members from Romanian public libraries and five members of newly organized library Friends groups in Romania, along with two program specialists from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) will be the guests of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library for a week in mid-July (July 15-22). The visit is the culmination of a two-year training program presented by Library Strategies, a consulting group of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.
As part of this program, Library Strategies consultants Peter Pearson, Sue Hall and Toni Garvey first visited Romania in November 2010 and again in June 2011. The focus of the two visits was to provide training and tools to help Romanian libraries learn how to advocate for public support for their libraries and raise private funds and community support by creating Friends of the Library groups.
The purpose of the July visit is to expose the participating Romanian library personnel and seminal supporters to best practices in U.S. libraries. The visit will include a meeting with Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and members of the Saint Paul City Council. Board members from The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library will meet with the Romanian guests to share their own experiences supporting the Saint Paul Public Library.
Other highlights of the visit include tours of several Saint Paul libraries featuring a presentation at the Sun Ray Library by 3M to showcase new automation technology and the “3M cloud library.” An exciting component of the visit will be the pairing of Romanian libraries with a Minnesota library of comparable size. Members of five Minnesota library Friends groups will volunteer to provide ongoing support to their Romanian counterparts as the Romanians develop their own Friends activities.
In addition to these and other training activities, Romanian guests will experience local social activities including a dinner cruise on one of the Padelford Riverboats, a visit to Stillwater and the historic Carnegie Stillwater Library, and an evening at the Lake Harriet band shell. The week will culminate with a private dinner overlooking the final evening of the Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks.
About Library Strategies and The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library - Library Strategies is a nonprofit consulting group of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library that provides services to libraries and library organizations across the country and internationally. Library Strategies’ consultants are library leaders and other experts who offer services in the areas of organizational growth and strategic planning, fundraising, Friends and foundations, advocacy training and other focus areas critical to these organizations. Learn more at www.librarystrategiesconsulting.or
Currently celebrating its 67th year, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library supports the Saint Paul Public Library through private fundraising, advocacy, cultural programming and public awareness activities. Through this work, The Friends serves as a national model for its comprehensive support of the Saint Paul Public Library. Since 2006, The Friends has hosted the Minnesota Book Awards and, as of 2012, is the new Minnesota Center for the Book – the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit www.thefriends.org
About IREX and the Biblionet Romania Program - The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is fostering the development of a modern public library system in Romania through the Biblionet program. The Biblionet program will work together with national and local governments across Romania to help libraries better serve their communities through training and technology.
IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. Founded in 1968, IREX has an annual portfolio of over $70 million and a staff of over 400 professionals worldwide. IREX employs field-tested methods and innovative uses of technologies to develop practical and locally-driven solutions with our partners in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.irex.org
Less than a quarter of the charities evaluated receive this highest rating, indicating that The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library outperforms the majority of nonprofits in America with respect to financial health, accountability and transparency.
April 24, 2012, SAINT PAUL, MN - As the nonprofit sector continues to grow, savvy donors are demanding more accountability, transparency and quantifiable results from the charities they choose to support with their hard-earned dollars. In this competitive philanthropic marketplace, Charity Navigator, America's premier charity evaluator, highlights the work of efficient charities such as The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, and provides donors with essential information needed to give them greater confidence in the charitable choices they make.
Based on the most recent financial information available, Charity Navigator has calculated a 4-star rating for The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library for its ability to efficiently manage and grow its finances. Fewer than 25% of the charities evaluated receive this “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator, a classification that differentiates The Friends from its peers, and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that The Friends adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.
The New York Times, NPR and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, among others, have profiled and celebrated Charity Navigator’s unique method of applying data-driven analysis to the charitable sector. They evaluate ten times more charities than their nearest competitor, and attract more visitors to their website (www.charitynavigator.org) than all other charity rating groups combined, making them the leading charity evaluator in America, influencing billions of dollars of charitable gifts annually.
Since its founding on April 15, 2002, Charity Navigator’s professional analysts have examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents and have used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess the financial health of over 5,500 of America's best-known charities. Each charity is awarded an overall rating, ranging from zero to four stars. Charity Navigator accepts no funding from the charities they evaluate, ensuring that ratings remain objective.
The mission of Charity Navigator, a nonprofit itself, is to be a “guide to intelligent giving,” and its impact on American giving cannot be overstated. Millions of donors visit the site annually with the vast majority indicating that Charity Navigator is the sole or primary resource they use to make their charitable giving decisions.
Here is a look at how Charity Navigator has evolved over the years:
Number of charities rated
Number of donors to CN
Number of registered users
Number of annual visits to website
Number of dimensions to rating system
Amount of charitable giving influenced annually by ratings
$100 - $200 million
$5 – $10 billion
Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library:
Currently celebrating its 67th year, The Friends is a private, nonprofit membership organization which supports the Saint Paul Public Library through private fundraising, advocacy, cultural programming and public awareness activities. Since 2006, The Friends has led the Minnesota Book Awards and, as of January 1, 2012, is the Minnesota Center for the Book – the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242.
Nine new trustees join one of the hardest-working boards in the Twin Cities, bringing financial, legal, government, communication and organizational skills to help promote and support the Saint Paul Public Library.
ST. PAUL, January 4, 2012 — Nine trustees have joined the governing board of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library – a board known by many and envied by some for its bright, energetic and well-connected members. Forty-nine community activists and professionals currently serve as Friends’ trustees, with an additional four individuals recognized as trustees emeritus. Joining The Friends’ board for three-year terms are the following individuals:
Jim Bradshaw, Owner & CEO, Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services – A resident of Stillwater, Jim Bradshaw is active in local and regional foundations and professional organizations. Having recently completed service as a founding member of the Saint Croix Valley Foundation, Jim is also on the board of the Northern Star Council of Boy Scouts and Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital (where he was past Chair of the Foundation and Board). He is actively involved with The Saint Paul Foundation’s anti-racism initiative, “Facing Race: We’re All in This Together.”
Scott Burns, CEO and Co-founder, GovDelivery, Inc. – Burns’ professional life is focused on technology innovation and helping government improve communication with the public. He has a passion for helping people achieve great things. A longtime entrepreneur, he has a broad range of business skills in marketing, sales, and finance. Burns is member of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. He recently served on the Saint Paul Public Library’s Community Advisory Committee on Strategic Planning Process. He believes a public library’s key role is to help community members connect with one another and with resources to learn and build knowledge so they can improve their lives and the lives of others. He is particularly interested in helping the Library support parents, as well as in the Library’s role in workforce development.
Jay Cowles, President, Unity Avenue Associates – A 20-year Saint Paul resident with “a Saint Paul perspective,” Jay brings extensive board experience, as well as ties to literary and education circles. He currently serves on the boards of the Itasca Project, Minneapolis Downtown Council, St. Paul Public Schools Foundation, Mississippi River Fund, and Unity Avenue Foundation. Past experience includes chairing the boards of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, Open Book and Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Cowles also served on the boards of the Guthrie Theater, the Minneapolis Foundation, and Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. He views libraries as “an expression of the value of education and of an informed citizenry.”
Robyn Hansen, Senior Counsel, Leonard, Street and Deinard – Hansen is a veteran of a number of notable Saint Paul boards, including the Metropolitan State University Foundation, Minnesota Museum of American Art, The Saint Paul Foundation, and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the boards of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and Park Square Theatre.
Pat Harris, Vice President, RBC Global Asset Management – Harris just completed 12 years of service on the Saint Paul City Council, where he has been a stalwart supporter of the Library. With a wealth of board experience including the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, Catholic Charities, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, Harris brings deep community roots, extensive knowledge of City and Public Library Agency budgets and operations, strong local corporate experience, and financial expertise. Pat believes that, as the Library moves forward in challenging budget times, it is important to recognize its value in all economic environments and to act accordingly in library funding and operations policy.
Thomas C. Kayser, Attorney, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP – Kayser currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Lawrence University, as well as the board of Growth and Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, and the Saint Paul Conservancy. The ACLU of Minnesota honored him with the Earl Larson Award for his lifelong commitment to justice and civil liberties work. Kayser is a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, a former officer of the United States Air Force and is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Air Force Reserve.
Jennifer Ford Reedy, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategy, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners – Reedy calls libraries “an extraordinary asset for our community” and believes that the Library’s new strategic direction – focusing on its role as an education network hub – is a strong one. She sees the Library’s ability to sustain solid public funding in these challenging economic times as its greatest challenge. Jen currently serves on the Citizens League Board of Directors, Carlson Consulting Enterprise Advisory Board (University of Minnesota), Itasca Project, and the University of Kansas Honors College Advisory Board. She brings to The Friends Board a background in strategy consulting and philanthropy.
James A. Scannell, Senior Vice President, Administrative Services, Travelers – Scannell recognizes that the Library provides a vital service to all members of the community who wish to utilize it, including those with few alternative options. Besides serving as a mentor for the Center for School Change, he brings strong organizational skills to The Friends’ Board, including leadership experience on the boards of the Saint Paul Building Owners and Managers Association, Metropolitan Economic Development Association, and CoreNet Global.
Patrick Thiele, Executive Vice President, Retired, The Saint Paul Companies – Theile and his wife Jane share a passion for libraries and have been very instrumental in raising significant private support for the Stillwater Public Library. Patrick brings a wealth of experience to The Friends’ Board.
ST. PAUL, December 19, 2011 — Today the Otto Bremer Foundation announced that the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library were awarded a $468,000 grant on behalf of the Saint Paul Public Library.
The award was part of a $7 million package of year-end grants approved by the Trustees of the Foundation to address the impact of the persistently difficult economic conditions on the lives of vulnerable people, especially those living in poverty. Grants will also provide opportunities for people living in poverty to access the tools, skills, connections and other resources they need to begin to change their situation over the long term.
"Libraries are a crucial part of our Saint Paul community," said Mayor Chris Coleman. "From free access to computers, books and online resources for individuals and families, to job and small business assistance that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries impact every one of our residents. This grant is a testament to Otto Bremer's commitment to Saint Paul."
The grant will build the Library’s capacity to provide resources and assistance to unemployed people looking for work, especially those confronting barriers of culture and language. Specific projects to be supported include providing additional computer classes in multiple languages in the community, expanding a work/study program to enhance job search and digital literacy services, improving the capacity to handle materials expeditiously so staff can spend more time assisting patrons and supporting the Library’s collection budget.
“Libraries are becoming increasingly more important and sophisticated resources for people looking to improve their circumstances,” said Charlotte Johnson, a trustee of the Foundation. “The Saint Paul Public Library has been at the forefront of a number of innovative programs in these difficult economic times, and we are glad to support those efforts.”
These long-term investments in the Library strengthen its ability to serve a new generation of patrons who turn to the Library for reliable information and to learn new skills.
“We’re absolutely honored to be named a grant recipient of the Otto Bremer Foundation,” said Kit Hadley, Library Director. “This is a significant award for the Saint Paul Public Library and allows us to provide critical services in high need. We are very grateful.”
The Library’s grant was a year‐end award that is part of approximately $30 million in Otto Bremer Foundation grants made in 2011. Additional information is available on the Foundation’s website at www.ottobremer.org.
ABOUT THE OTTO BREMER FOUNDATION: Created in 1944, the Otto Bremer Foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities. This mission is based on the intent of founder Otto Bremer. His vision and longstanding commitment to communities during and after the Great Depression are carried forward today through the Foundation’s work in the places that are homes and neighbors to Bremer banks. The Foundation strives to help build healthy, vibrant communities—communities where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized and opportunities for economic, civic and social participation are within everyone's reach. The Otto Bremer Foundation owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank, and receives an equivalent share of the bank profits that are paid out as dividends. This means that a large portion of bank profit is invested back in local communities through grants and program‐related investments.
Final City budget recovered some of the proposed cuts enabling the Library to restore 12 hours per week and reduce FTEs by 5.3 instead of 12.1
ST. PAUL, December 15, 2011 – The Saint Paul City Council adopted the 2012 budget Wednesday with an additional $1.4 million from tax increment financing (TIF) revenue, bond refinancing and other sources, which allowed the City to reduce the levy on property taxes while restoring some cuts to libraries and investing in public safety.
Earlier this year, the Advocacy Committee of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library outlined its platform for the 2012 Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) budget which asked Saint Paul’s elected officials to address critical needs by making no cuts to the Library budget. Of special importance to The Friends was that all Library facilities remain open for the same hours as 2011 – not sliding back to 1990s levels as was proposed. With so many residents affected by a change in their employment status, the advocates felt this was the wrong time to be cutting hours.
The Mayor’s original budget proposal in August, responding to continued reductions in state aid, included significant cuts to the SPPL budget – the net effects of which reduced open hours per week from 691 to 645, reduced the collections budget by over $400,000 and cut staffing by 12.1 full time equivalents (FTEs). The Library immediately began planning strategic cuts to its hours to continue to provide services at all locations for the most users and ensure access to the collections and critical resources the Library provides during the busiest hours, seven days a week.
After rigorous advocacy on behalf of libraries by The Friends and AFSCME, and the recent reallocation of previously unidentified TIF revenue, Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Council restored $376,000 to the Library’s budget. The final 2012 budget provides for an FTE reduction at the Library of 5.3 instead of 12.1 — effectively a 3 percent reduction in staff instead of 7 percent. Those positions are currently vacant, so there will be no layoffs. Open hours will be reduced from 691 to 657 system-wide and the collections budget will be cut by just over $400,000.
Some may see this budget overall as a loss for SPPL and The Friends, but compared to library closures and devastating cuts of 30%, 40%, and more being seen in systems across the country, this budget and the advocacy activity leading up to it show just how much Saint Paul values its libraries.
“St. Paul’s libraries are critical resources for job seekers, students and learners of all ages, and are loved and used extensively,” said Friends president, Peter Pearson. “Our elected officials have a difficult job balancing the needs of St Paul’s residents with limited resources. In spite of that, the Mayor and the City Council have consistently shown strong support for the Saint Paul Public Library through the budgeting process. The reinstatement of some of the lost hours of service is indicative of that support.”
The Friends also applaud the City’s commitment to future library capital improvements by including $4 million in Library Bonds in the 2012 budget. In addition to City funds already allocated for the new Arlington Hills Branch at Payne and Maryland, these funds will support capital improvement projects that offer an opportunity to make small investments with big impact.
Nearly thirty-five community members from throughout Saint Paul currently volunteer on The Friends’ Advocacy Committee. For more information on Friends advocacy activities, please contact Friends President, Peter D. Pearson, at 651-222-3242 or email@example.com.
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, host of the year-round Awards program, announces a new, two-year partnership with the family-owned window and door manufacturer to be the lead sponsor of the prestigious literary recognition program.
SAINT PAUL, MN (Monday, November 7, 2011) – The Minnesota Book Awards, a project of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, in consortium with the Saint Paul Public Library and the City of Saint Paul, is pleased to announce a two-year, lead sponsorship agreement with Marvin Windows and Doors of Warroad, Minnesota.
Marvin Windows’ President, Susan Marvin had been a regular attendee of The Friends’ annual author fundraising event, Opus & Olives, which benefits the Saint Paul Public Library and local literacy projects of the Pioneer Press, so she was familiar with The Friends’ reputation for presenting high-quality special events. Earlier this year she expanded her support of the organization by committing the company’s sponsorship of an award category for the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards. Representatives from Marvin and their guests were so impressed by the Awards Gala that Marvin decided to pursue lead sponsorship.
“Marvin Windows and Doors is proud to support the Minnesota Book Awards,” said Susan Marvin, upon finalizing the sponsorship agreement with The Friends. “As a Minnesota company with roots dating back to 1904, we feel a deep appreciation for the people and places of our state.” She noted a longstanding tradition of literary activism in the Marvin family history. “We’re inspired by memories of our late family matriarch, Margaret Marvin, whose love of reading and books lives on in the many literary and educational programs she so strongly supported.”
The two-year commitment ensures that Marvin Windows and Doors will be the lead sponsor in 2013 when the Minnesota Book Awards celebrates its 25th anniversary. As the lead sponsor, their name and/or logo will be on all print and online promotions, advertisements and communications regarding the program throughout the year, and featured prominently at the reception and during the presentation of awards.
The annual awards program, which recognizes, honors, and celebrates the best in Minnesota literature, is currently accepting nominations for the 24th annual awards. Books created by writers, illustrators or book artists who are Minnesotans are eligible for Minnesota Book Awards. From the nominated works, finalists in eight categories are chosen by panels of preliminary round judges and announced in mid-winter. Award winners are then selected by different, final round judging panels.
Book Awards will be presented at the April 14, 2012 gala in eight categories, plus the Kay Sexton Award, which honors an individual for long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books and literary activity in Minnesota, and the Minnesota Book Artist Award, which recognizes excellence of artistic work in the book arts, as well as significant lifetime contributions to the book arts community.
For additional information on the Minnesota Book Awards, please contact Alayne Hopkins, Minnesota Book Awards Director, at The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library: 651-366-6488 or via email: Alayne (at) thefriends.org
Windows and Doors:
Marvin Windows and Doors brings its Built Around You® philosophy to life with every customer and every solution. A premier manufacturer of made-to-order wood and clad wood windows and doors, Marvin offers the industry’s most extensive selection of shapes, styles, sizes and options to fit the diverse needs of builders and match the personalities of homeowners. Marvin’s tradition of delivering the finest craftsmanship in windows and doors began in Warroad, Minn., a small town just six miles from the Canadian border, where the privately-held, family-owned and operated company is still headquartered today. Learn more at www.marvin.com.
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library:
Currently in its 67th year, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is a private, nonprofit organization which assists the Saint Paul Public Library through private fundraising, advocacy, cultural programming and public awareness activities. The Friends is guided in its work by innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to challenging issues; inclusivity and integrity in its activities; and responsible stewardship of its resources. Through this work, The Friends serves as a national model for its unique, comprehensive support of the Saint Paul Public Library. Due to The Friends’ substantial involvement with Minnesota’s literary community and ongoing administration of the Minnesota Book Awards, The Friends has been named the Minnesota Center for the Book – the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, effective January 1, 2012.
Saint Paul Public Library Wins $100,000 in National Grant Competition to Design Digital Learning Lab for Youth in Saint Paul
New labs will serve as national prototypes. The Friends and other local organizations to provide $65,000 in additional funding for local program.
SAINT PAUL, November 17, 2011 – Today, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced Saint Paul Public Library as one of only 12 U.S. organizations to receive funding to create a specialized, digital learning lab for middle and high school students. In partnership with the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department, the digital learning lab will be designed to improve digital literacy and to engage young people in hands-on learning. These labs will help youth gain the 21st Century skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, careers, and life today.
"In order to compete for the jobs of the future, Minnesota's children will need the best education money can buy," said Senator Al Franken. "This funding will allow Saint Paul's libraries and parks to create learning labs where our kids can get the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy."
Saint Paul Public Library received $100,000 in funding from IMLS and the MacArthur Foundation to plan and design the learning lab. The Library, the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, and Parks and Recreation Department will provide an additional $65,000 in in-kind support.
"Saint Paul Public Library's selection for this grant is a testament to our city's dedication to our youth development," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "Successful students are essential to a successful Saint Paul. With this grant, we'll be able to connect our youth to the technology they need to thrive in today's digital environment."
The Saint Paul Digital Learning Labs Project will enable Saint Paul Public Library and the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department to create a comprehensive plan integrating best practices for digital engagement for youth. The project will include a learning lab as part of the Payne Maryland project, a mobile lab, and an online student network.
"We’re thrilled to be included in this critical initiative because it will help us engage youth in our community in a way that inspires their creativity and piques their interest," said Kit Hadley, Director of the Saint Paul Public Library. "Through this new model of service in partnership with Parks, we’ll be able to provide access to digital technology not only for creative expression, but also to help youth develop necessary workforce skills."
Throughout the planning process, the Library will develop a network of partners and advisors from the community including Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota.
"This competition was announced in answer to President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a nationwide effort to bring American students to the forefront in science and math, to provide the workers of tomorrow with the skills they need today," said Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "Libraries and museums are part of re-envisioning learning in the 21st century; they are trusted community institutions where teens can follow their passions and imagine exciting futures."
Programs like the Saint Paul Digital Learning Lab Project address a critical need. According to the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment, American students significantly lag behind their developed country counterparts ranking 21 out of 30 in science literacy and 25th out of 30 in math literacy.
"Digital media are profoundly influencing young people’s lives, their behavior, their civic participation, and where and how they learn," said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. "These innovative new teen labs are designed to provide young people with engaging and diverse opportunities for learning and exploration beyond the classroom. The nation's libraries and museums play an important role in leveling the playing field by providing greater access to learning experiences that equip our young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st Century."
The Saint Paul Digital Learning Lab Project is inspired by an innovative teen learning space at the Chicago Public Library called YOUmedia based on the latest research about how young people learn informally from digital media today. The YOUmedia lab connects young people to mentors and peers, and encourages critical thinking, creativity, and skill-building through digital media projects. It encourages them to not only be consumers of digital media but creators of digital content that can enable them to discover new opportunities and follow their passions.
The Digital Learning Lab Project will be administered by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), which bring critical expertise and professional networks to the effort, and will help amplify each grantees’ experiences more broadly to libraries and museums nationwide.
Applications materials for a second round of the grant competition will be available in spring 2012 at www.imls.gov.
Moderator Jeff Kamin will bring his unique take on a public book club show to a new venue, Amsterdam Bar and Hall, every third Tuesday of the month. Kamin has taken the suburban book club tradition and put it in a public bar where people’s opinions flow freely with a little liquid courage. Even if you don’t like the book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.”
All are welcome to try this reinvention of the book club, which is co-sponsored by The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.
“We are very excited to be a part of Books and Bars coming across the river,” said Friends Programming Coordinator Alayne Hopkins. “Books and Bars is a great combination of serious discussion in a casual and entertaining format; It’s a perfect fit for The Friends.”Admission is free.
Every third Tuesday, Kamin will bring his critically acclaimed (City Pages Best Reading Series and Mpls St. Paul Best Place for Newcomers) and wildly popular book club show to Downtown St. Paul. Books & Bars was also recently shot as a TV pilot and is currently being pitched to networks.
Third Tuesday of the month @ Amsterdam Bar and Hall
6 W. 6th Street , Saint Paul, MN 55102
Phone (651) 222-3990
Tuesday, December 20 – Freedom by
6:00 social, 6:15 book discussion
Tuesday, January 19 – Just Kids by Patti Smith
6:00 social, 6:15 book discussion
Tuesday, February 21 – Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
6:00 social, 6:15 book discussion
Books and Bars continues every third Tuesday.
BooksandBars.com / Twitter: @booksandbars / firstname.lastname@example.org
Opinuendo loves a party - especially one that celebrates the printed word.
So, apparently, does St. Paul. Our town turns out on a Sunday night each fall to celebrate books, authors and its love of libraries, especially the St. Paul Public Library.
More than 800 book lovers packed the Crowne Plaza Hotel's Great River Ballroom Oct. 9 for the sold-out, eighth annual Opus & Olives benefit sponsored by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. The Pioneer Press has served as co-host since the first event in 2004.
"You can't deny the fact that St. Paul and whole Twin Cities are reading communities, places where people love to read," said Friends President Peter Pearson. Furthermore, we're "a city that treasures its libraries."
What hooks guests, though - and brings them back year after year - "is how much fun it is," Pearson says. The buzz in the room Sunday night - and feedback since then - was encouraging.
The Friends group, nationally recognized for its excellence, is a nonprofit that works to increase use of the library, advocate for strong public funding of the library and provide private funding to enhance library services.
A strong Friends group like ours "feels like the most valuable partner in having a library system be everything it can be," said St. Paul Library Director Kit Hadley. "Most don't have this level of support."
The Friends also have succeeded in rallying the region's business community to help assure Opus & Olives' success. Included are presenting sponsor RBC Wealth Management, as well as Travelers, Hubbard Broadcasting and Delta Air Lines, which sponsors a drawing for tickets anywhere the airline flies.
At the podium to conduct the drawing, Bill Lentsch, Delta's senior vice president for Minnesota operations, took the opportunity to restate Delta's commitment to the region and intention to return as a sponsor next year.
The event includes book sales and signing, followed by dinner and presentations from five nationally known authors. Featured this year were emcee Frank Delaney (The Matchmaker of Kenmare), Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts), Karin Slaughter (Fallen), Amy Waldman (The Submission) and Mitchell Zuckoff (Lost in Shangri-La).
We're ready to read.
(Copyright Pioneer Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Library Strategies, a consulting group of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, recently traveled to Romania to help the country’s national library association develop a plan for advocacy in the face of an economic crisis affecting libraries world-wide.
October 22, 2010, SAINT PAUL, MN -- The Romanian Association of Public Libraries and Librarians (ANBPR) today adopted the Romanian Advocacy and Budget Crisis Response Plan, which begins a national initiative to protect and support Romanian public libraries. Library Strategies, a consulting group of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, facilitated the planning process in partnership with ANBPR and the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), a US-based nonprofit organization committed to international education in academic research, professional training and technical assistance.
“This is a great day for Romanian libraries,” said Doina Popa, president of ANBPR. “We were very excited to learn from the experience of our American colleagues – especially since the economic crisis has hit both countries equally. We will use knowledge gained in the U.S. to protect our own libraries.”
Meaghan O’Connor, program officer from IREX in Washington, DC, reported, “All public employees of Romania were recently required to take a 25% pay cut, and it’s anticipated that the 2011 national budget will require even deeper cuts. IREX will support Romanian public libraries as they advocate to preserve services during this time of crisis and into the future.”
IREX has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to foster the development of a modern public library system in Romania through the Biblionet program. The Biblionet program will work together with national and local governments across Romania to help libraries better serve their communities through training and technology.
Library Strategies consultants, Peter Pearson (president of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library), Sue Hall (Library Strategies coordinator) and Toni Garvey (director of the Phoenix Public Library) worked with the Economic Task Force, a group representing Romanian public libraries, to create the plan that includes strategies for implementing advocacy, public awareness and budget crisis response activities at the national, county and local level.
“This is an exciting plan for Romanian libraries,” said Claudia Lugo, a representative of the National Library of Romania. “Our challenge is keep the plan alive and make sure we accomplish our goals.”
Pearson called the international consulting project “an amazing experience,” despite the language barrier which sometimes made the work difficult. “We’re all very pleased with how things have gone. We’ve made some very good friends here and are going to be sad to leave them.” The group from Library Strategies hopes to return to Romania next year to evaluate the implementation of the plan.
About The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library: Since 1945, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library – a private, nonprofit organization – has been assisting the Saint Paul Public Library through private fundraising, advocacy, cultural programming and public awareness activities. The Friends is guided in its work by innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to challenging issues; inclusivity and integrity in its activities; and responsible stewardship of its resources. Through this work, The Friends serves as a national model for its unique, comprehensive support of the Saint Paul Public Library. In 2006, responding to an increasing number of requests for advice and consultation, The Friends launched Library Strategies, a nonprofit library consulting group whose proceeds support the mission of the Friends.
OCTOBER 6, 2010 Saint Paul, MN - The Saint Paul Public Library has been named as one of America’s Star Libraries receiving a four-star rating by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, which distinguishes the Library as being within the top two percent of libraries across the United States.
“Saint Paul Public Libraries do more than provide a good book to read, they take an active role in educating our youth, as well as offer skill training and job search assistance. This ranking recognizes Saint Paul Public Library’s commitment toward providing quality service for all residents,” said Mayor Chris Coleman.
“The Library is a cornerstone of our community and we are devoted to offering all residents access to a premier library system that anticipates and responds to community needs ranging from technology classes and college preparation, to helping kids and adults learn new critical skills,” said Pat Harris, Saint Paul Public Library Board Chair.
“Last year the Library received a three-star rating and we’re honored to have another star added this year,” said Kit Hadley, Library Director. “The Library is dedicated to connecting residents in Saint Paul to the joy of learning and offering relevant and engaging events and classes ranging from computer classes, job search assistance, story time, and arts and culture events.”
The LJ Index, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat, offers an overall indication of how a library’s performance compares to peer libraries and provides guidance on how all public libraries can better assess and improve what they provide to their customers.
The Library Journal’s article “America’s Star Libraries” by authors Keith Curry Lance and Ray Lyons explains that the rankings were based on per capita statistics, including circulation, library visits, program attendance and public internet computer usage. Library Journal rated 7,407 public libraries, and Saint Paul Public Library was one of five Minnesota library systems recognized. A total of 258 U.S. public libraries were designated “America’s Star Libraries” receiving a three, four or five-star rating, and only 171 were rated as four or five star.
More about Library Journal’s ratings can be found at www.libraryjournal.com.
More about the Saint Paul Public Library: For 128 years, the Saint Paul Public Library has enriched the quality of life in the community by anticipating and responding to the community’s need for information and offering free access to technology, books, movies, music, events and classes for people of all ages. The Saint Paul Public Library offers service in 12 library branches, Central Library and the Bookmobile, which helps make Saint Paul the Most Livable City in America.
Community partners made it possible for library expansion
SAINT PAUL, MN (April 19, 2010) - The Saint Paul Public Library’s West 7th branch, 265 Oneida St., reopened today after a four-month renovation. The official grand reopening reception is scheduled for the community at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, at the West 7th branch.
The new space offers new shelving and reading areas, as well as 15 more computer work stations. The additional 520 square feet added to the library provided a separate computer lab with its own entrance, so it can be open when the library is closed. The computer lab will be available for free public Internet access, word processing and free computer classes.
With financial support from the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, West 7th Library staff are working with a local artist to help area students create public art for the new library space. The public art is expected to be on display starting in early May.
The library's renovation was possible through a partnership with the West 7th Community Center and the City of Saint Paul. While space is provided by the Community Center, the expansion was supported with a federally funded Community Block Development Grant that the City of St. Paul applied for and received. Additionally, the Library was awarded a Gates Foundation grant to purchase computer equipment that provided additional community access to computers and classes.
The West 7th branch hours will be Monday and Thursday, 12:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, 11:30 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The branch is closed on weekends.
First-Ever National Study: Millions of People Rely on Library Computers for Employment, Health and Education
77 million people used library computers and Internet access in past year
March 25, 2010 - PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older–roughly 77 million people–used a public library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the past year, according to a national report released today. In 2009, as the nation struggled through a recession, people relied on library technology to find work, apply for college, secure government benefits, learn about critical medical treatments, and connect with their communities.
The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, is based on the first, large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Low-income adults are more likely to rely on the public library as their sole access to computers and the Internet than any other income group. Overall, 44 percent of people living below the federal poverty line used computers and the Internet at their public libraries.
Americans across all age groups reported they used library computers and Internet access. Teenagers are the most active users. Half of the nation’s 14- to 18-year-olds reported that they used a library computer during the past year, typically to do school homework.
“People from all walks of life use library computers to perform routine and life-changing tasks, from emailing friends to finding jobs,” said Michael Crandall, senior lecturer and chair of the Master of Science in Information Management at the University of Washington Information School. “More than three-quarters of those who used the library Internet connections had access at home, work, or elsewhere. Oftentimes, they needed a faster connection, assistance from a librarian, or temporary access in an emergency.”
The use of library technology had significant impact in four critical areas: employment, education, health, and making community connections. In the last 12 months:
- 40 percent of library computer users (an estimated 30 million people) received help with career needs. Among these users, 75 percent reported they searched for a job online. Half of these users filled out an online application or submitted a resume.
- 37 percent focused on health issues. The vast majority of these users (82 percent) logged on to learn about a disease, illness, or medical condition. One-third of these users sought out doctors or health care providers. Of these, about half followed up by making appointments for care.
- 42 percent received help with educational needs. Among these users, 37 percent (an estimated 12 million students) used their local library computer to do homework for a class.
- Library computers linked patrons to their government, communities, and civic organizations. Sixty-percent of users – 43.3 million people – used a library’s computer resources to connect with others.
“There is no ambiguity in these numbers. Millions of people see libraries as an essential tool to connect them to information, knowledge, and opportunities,” said Marsha Semmel, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “Policy makers must fully recognize and support the role libraries are playing in workforce development, education, health and wellness, and the delivery of government services.”
The library’s role as a technology resource has exploded since 1996, when only 28 percent of libraries offered Internet access. Today, almost all public libraries offer visitors free access to computers and the Internet.
Unfortunately, up to a third of all libraries say they lack even minimally adequate Internet connections to meet demand. More report that they cannot provide the access their patrons truly need.
“Library technology services have created opportunity for millions of Americans, but public libraries struggle to replace aging computer workstations and increase the speed of their Internet connections,” said Allan Golston, president of the United States Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This study highlights what is at risk, particularly for low-income individuals who heavily rely on the public library for their technology, if future public and private investment in public libraries doesn’t keep pace with demand.”
The report’s findings are based on nearly 50,000 surveys – including 3,176 from a national telephone survey and 44,881 web survey responses – from patrons of more than 400 public libraries across the country. The full report is available at http://tascha.washington.edu/usimpact.
Project will allow the library to increase computer training and job search assistance, particularly for people who speak English as a second language.
December 21, 2009, SAINT PAUL, MN – The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and the Saint Paul Public Library will launch a Mobile Workplace project with a $300,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The project features two components. First, the library will launch a mobile service delivery van, complete with 10 laptop computers loaded with teaching and testing software. The Mobile Workplace will regularly visit at least nine community partner locations where library staff will offer job search assistance and computer training. The second component is the participation of multilingual cultural liaisons who will ensure that services are offered in high-priority languages, including Spanish, Hmong and Somali, with outreach to specific cultural communities.
“Libraries are the greatest providers of free Internet – offering residents access to the critical skills and information they need to find jobs in the 21st century workforce” said Polly Talen, program director for Knight Foundation. “Through this initiative, we hope to augment the library’s role as a vital community center while helping to create informed and well-prepared communities.”
“Through the past few years, Saint Paul’s libraries have developed into education and workforce development centers serving children and residents,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “In the new economy, lack of access to computer resources and broadband divides communities, neighborhoods, and schools. Our libraries are filling that void, and thanks to partners like the Knight Foundation, we can bring the resources to our residents to ensure they are not left behind in this fast changing world.”
The $300,000 grant is part of a $5.5 million Knight Foundation initiative benefiting library users in 20 communities across the United States. The effort reinforces the sweeping recommendations by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, a project of the Aspen Institute. In a report issued earlier this year, the Commission asserts that democracy in America is threatened by the lack of equal access to quality information. Funding public libraries, as centers of digital and media training, is one key to filling the gaps, the commission says. Its report is available at www.knightcomm.org.
With the Mobile Workplace Project, the Saint Paul Public Library hopes to significantly increase its technology training and job search classes, perhaps doubling the 420 technology programs offered in 2008. Unlike branch libraries, the Mobile Workplace will focus exclusively on training and classes.
In the past year, the Library conducted four surveys of staff assistance to people requesting help with job- and business-related matters. It found that, on average, staff has 700 one-on-one interactions per week relating to jobs, careers and small business. These requests have increased by 34 percent over the prior year. The Mobile Workplace Project will increase the Library’s ability to respond to these requests and reach people who may not be aware of all the resources the Library has to offer due to common language barriers facing new Americans.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
July 3, 2009 Saint Paul, Minn. -- Mayor Chris Coleman today named Katherine “Kit” Hadley as director of Saint Paul Public Library.
Hadley, who will be replacing Melanie Huggins, is the former director of the Minneapolis Public Library and most recently has been the executive director of Heading Home Minnesota, a statewide initiative to end homelessness and an umbrella organization for 12 state, regional, and county/city initiatives.
“Kit brings a wealth of experience in library management, capital fundraising, and community leadership to this important position,” Mayor Coleman said. “As a Saint Paul resident, she understands the needs and vision for our families and communities and the significant roles our libraries play in the city – from education to workforce development. She is no stranger to the economic climate and state cuts that are challenging our libraries. Kit’s talents and experience will help us overcome those challenges.”
Hadley directed the Minneapolis Public Library from 2003 to 2007, taking over a system when the state enacted cuts to local government aid (LGA) that significantly impacted the library system. In response to the cuts, she worked with the Library Board to create a strategic plan to guide budget discussions, helped strengthen a capital campaign, and worked with a business advisory group to evaluate options for continued construction of the new Central Library.
“The Saint Paul Public Library is so fortunate to have Kit Hadley for its next leader,” said Peter Pearson, president of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. “As the director of the Minneapolis Public Library, Kit stepped into a very difficult fiscal situation. Not only did she craft a brilliant plan for the Minneapolis Public Library, but she had the universal respect of everyone with whom she worked in making some very painful decisions. Her fiscal skills, her interpersonal skills and her visionary leadership are exactly what the Saint Paul Public Library needs at this time. The Friends looks forward to developing a strong and effective partnership with Kit.”
Before directing the Minneapolis Public Library, Hadley was commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, a position to which she was appointed by two different governors. At MHFA, she also served as deputy commissioner and director of government affairs. She began her career as a staff attorney, first with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and then with the Legal Services Advocacy Project. She earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and has a bachelor of arts in urban studies from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.
“Kit will be a great asset for the library,” said Councilmember Pat Harris, chair of the board of directors for the library agency. “She has the tools Saint Paul needs to provide a top quality library system for our community.”
“The Saint Paul Public Library plays such a vital role in the lives of our children and families. I am excited to join the staff in the library and return to an institution whose mission and purpose I believe in so strongly,” Hadley said. “Our libraries face significant challenges, but Mayor Coleman’s strong commitment and vision for the Saint Paul Public Library will allow us to overcome those challenges and continue creating a strong system befitting of the most livable city in America.”
Hadley will start her duties August 3.
MINNESOTA LIBRARIES GAIN $4.25 MILLION FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL PROGRAMS Legislative allocation should triple the amount of programming at libraries
by Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 5/21/2009
- "Incredible win for libraries," says St. Paul Friends head
- Sum is about ten percent of new arts funding
- Regional library systems will distribute funds
Thanks to some savvy lobbying and enlightened legislators, public libraries in Minnesota will get $4.25 million for arts and cultural programs in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, as well as the fiscal year after that. The sum, which an advocate said should at least triple such programming, represents nearly ten percent of the $44.5 million allocated in the first year by the legislature; nearly half of the total will go to the State Arts Board.
“It’s an incredible win for libraries,” Peter Pearson, president of The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, told LJ, pointing out that, “in these difficult economic times, there’s no way funding for arts and culture [at libraries] will increase through local dollars.”
State arts boost
Last November, state voters approved a constitutional amendment in which an increase in the sales tax would be dedicated to the environment and the arts, for a total this year of some $230 million. While Pearson’s group typically lobbies on local issues, this year it also launched an advocacy committee for state and federal issues, involving several local community members.
“Here was an opportunity to have libraries become part of the definition of arts,” he said, noting that advocates stressed to legislators that libraries would be a vehicle to ensure that arts funding is spread out over the state, and that libraries are the only places that offer arts and culture programming for free.
The advocates approached Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL- Duluth), a longtime library supporter, proposing that libraries be allocated $3 million statewide. Murphy upped the number to $5 million in her bill. The Senate, however, offered zero to libraries, maintaining a strict limit on who could provide arts and cultural programming.
On the morning of Monday, May 18, the day the legislature had to finish the budget, the Senate had budged to $750,000, while the House had the sum of $5 million. “Murphy stuck to her guns, and got the Senate to come up to $4.25 million,” Pearson said. (Here's the final version of the bill.)
The money will be distributed using existing formulas to the 12 Minnesota Regional Library Systems. No more than 2.5 percent of funds may be used for administration. According to the bill, the funds “may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries, or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries.”
The Minnesota Library Association (MLA), which typically develops a lobbying platform before the legislative session, did not include this idea in its platform, but once the St. Paul Friends group developed its recommendation, the MLA supported it, Pearson said.
The Friends and the Minnesota Book Awards recently received a $5,000 grant from the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission to create an online Minnesota Writers Hall of Fame. The “virtual” Hall of Fame will initially have ten inductees, selected by the Minnesota Book Awards with input from librarians, booksellers, writers and scholars. Subsequent years may see up to 5 writers inducted.
Because of the legacy of great literature produced in Minnesota, we expect in the first few years to see many posthumous inductions into the Hall. Some names which have been suggested for consideration include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maud Hart Lovelace, Sinclair Lewis, Gordon Parks, Charles M. Schultz, Wanda Gag, Jon Hassler, Carol Bly, and others. With all the exceptional Minnesota writers who have been part of our literary history, both living and deceased, there will be no problem finding worthy nominees who have had a huge impact locally, nationally, and even internationally. Watch The Friends’ website for news and updates as the project progresses. To join in the conversation, check out this post at Secrets of the City.
UPDATE: Minnesota Writers Hall of Fame website now live! Click here to explore and participate.
Literary reading on the rise for first time in history of Arts Endowment survey
January 12, 2009, Washington, D.C. — For the first time in more than 25 years, American adults are reading more literature, according to a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts. Released January 12, the report, Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy, found that for the first time since 1982 the percentage of adults 18 and older who said they had read at least one novel, short story, poem, or play in the previous 12 months has risen. Reading on the Rise documents a definitive increase in rates and numbers of American adults who read literature, with the biggest increases among young adults, ages 18-24. This new growth reverses two decades of downward trends cited previously in NEA reports such as Reading at Risk and To Read or Not To Read. The report is based on early results from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts.
Jim Rettig, president of the American Library Association and university librarian at the University of Richmond, said that the 2008 data would not reflect a recent uptick in circulation at libraries. As the economy has soured, Mr. Rettig said, “people are discovering that you don’t have to spend anything to read a book if you have a library card.”