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.

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) with questions.

Dive Into an Anytime, Anywhere Facilitation Workshop
Get ideas to use in running programs and activities with any age group, share your tips and tricks, and practice some new techniques at this training. The training is part of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)/Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant-funded project, "Transforming Teen Services: Train the Trainer Approach." Register today for this hands-on facilitation workshop.

Friday, November 8, 9:30-11:45 a.m.
SELCO - Southeastern Libraries Cooperating
2600 - 19th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901

Contact Leah Larson (651-582-8604) with questions.

Bring Learning Spaces to Ordinary Places
Join us for a webinar on Libraries in Laundromats: Bringing Learning Spaces to Ordinary Places on Wednesday, December 4, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 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, presented by Adam Echelman and Lily Ross from Libraries Without Borders, 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 today for the Libraries in Laundromats webinar. Please contact Hannah Buckland (651-582-8792) if you have questions.

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).
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-12 (adult help is okay!), 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). Contact Leah Larson (651-582-8604) for more information about the 90-Second Newbery.

Read Through State Library Services' 2018-22 Goal Plan
We are pleased to make available our approved LSTA 2018-2022 Five-Year Plan. An overarching focus of the plan is to connect Minnesotans with information and resources through libraries, and we’re working with libraries and other partners to achieve our goals. The plan identifies areas for competitive grant-making and statewide initiatives. Contact Jen Nelson if you’d like more information about the plan.

Revised Library Trustee Handbook Available
State Library Services has updated the Minnesota Public Library Trustee Handbook. This edition includes updated content from the prior handbook, as well as the Library Trustee Manual template published by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) in 2016. The handbook is meant to be a useful resource for library trustees; it informs trustees about Minnesota’s public library environment and governance structures, and helps trustees understand their roles and responsibilities as library stewards. Its purpose is to give trustees a broad view of their duties and responsibilities.

If you have questions or feedback about the handbook, please contact Jen Nelson.

Order Literacy Bookmarks and Posters
The Minnesota Department of Education, through a partnership between State Library Services and the Office of Early Learning, has created bookmarks and posters you can use to help promote family engagement practices that support early literacy and reading well by third grade. The bookmarks and posters are available in six languages: English, Hmong, Karen, Ojibwe, Somali and Spanish.

We also partnered with MDE’s Office of Early Learning to create early Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning bookmarks. In consultation with the Office of Early Learning and the Science Museum of Minnesota, we identified five basic early STEM learning practices: Read, Count, Observe, Predict and Build. These practices are featured on the front of the bookmark. On the back of the bookmark, we included some benchmarks (informed by Minnesota's Early Childhood Indicators of Progress) that parents and caregivers can look for to demonstrate the progress their kids are making because they are taking the time to intentionally engage in STEM activities with their kids. The early STEM learning bookmarks are currently available only in English, but we intend to translate them into Hmong, Karen, Ojibwe, Somali and Spanish. We also hope to have a poster version ready soon. We’ll keep you updated through our newsletter. Please contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) if you have questions or concerns.

Minnesota public libraries, school libraries and early learning organizations may request bookmarks and posters online. Allow 2-3 weeks for processing. Email Jen Nelson to request bookmark quantities greater than 1,000 and/or poster quantities greater than 200. Quantities may be limited.

Get Updates
State Library Services sends out grant and program updates through its e-newsletter. Sign up for email updates, and check out past newsletters below.
November 4, 2019
October 11, 2019
September 19, 2019
August 26, 2019
August 16, 2019
July 1, 2019
June 5, 2019
May 1, 2019
April 12, 2019
March 8, 2019
February 19, 2019
February 11, 2019
February 5, 2019

  • Early Childhood Screening: A Webinar for Minnesota Librarians  - 1/7/20
    MDE Early Childhood Screening Coordinator, Margo Chresand, shares ways that public libraries can help increase Early Childhood Screening participation in Minnesota.
  •  - 6/21/18
  • Minnesota LSTA Five-Year Plan, 2018-2022 - 3/21/18
  • Minnesota Book Awards Special Book Club Offer 2018 - 3/6/18
    Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library offering opportunity for book clubs, 2018
  • Minnesota Public Library Trustee Handbook, rev. 2017 - 4/3/17
    This revised edition includes updated content from the prior handbook as well as the Library Trustee Manual template published by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) in 2016.
  •  - 1/15/16