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.

Supercharge Even More Storytimes
Supercharged Storytimes for All is a free, online, research-based training for anyone who provides storytime in a library. It is a six-week, online course, offering knowledge to deepen and enhance anyone’s storytime practice, whether new to storytimes or a seasoned provider. Because the OCLC has recently expanded the content—with input from early literacy expert Saroj Ghoting (among others)—you will still learn a lot from this iteration, even if you participated in Supercharged Storytimes in 2015. This training opportunity begins October 2. Register today for Supercharged Storytimes for All or find out more about the training.

Library Construction Grant Applications Available
The Library Construction Grant program is accepting applications for competitive grants. The program provides public libraries with funding for renovation, construction, and improvement projects that result in more accessible library facilities. Projects may:

  • Remove architectural barriers from a library building or site.
  • Correct conditions hazardous to health or safety.
  • Renovate or expand an existing building for use as a library.
  • Construct a new library.

The 2018 Minnesota Legislature allocated a total of $1 million to the program. In addition, approximately $400,000 of the allocation from the 2017 bonding bill is available to award as grants, for an estimated total of $1.4 million.

Application forms and instructions are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Management site. Scroll to Library Construction Grant opportunity. Completed applications are due via email by Friday, October 26, 2018, at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Emily Kissane at 651-582-8508.

Work Confidently with Homeless Patrons
The Minnesota Department of Education is committed to supporting the state’s Heading Home Together plan, and library staff training is one of our goals. All library administrators, staff, board members, and volunteers now have free, yearlong access to “Practical Tips for Homeless Patrons,” an online, self-paced tutorial presented by Ryan Dowd, the author of The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness. Through the course, participants will gain insights into the mind of a person experiencing homelessness—how they communicate, likely experiences that color their worldview, and possible triggers to behavior escalation. Through an empathy lens, library staff and volunteers will also gain tips and tricks for welcoming, serving, and supporting homeless patrons.

To take the training, follow the enrollment steps on the Niche Academy website. Contact Jen Verbrugge at 651-582-8356 if you have access issues or questions.

Join Girls Who Code Partnership and Launch a Free Club
State Library Services is partnering with Girls Who Code to bring free computer science opportunities to elementary, middle and high school girls and boys across Minnesota. We would love for your school or library to host a club!

Girls Who Code Clubs are no-cost, afterschool programs for girls and boys in grades 3-5 or 6-12 to join a fellowship of supportive peers and use computer science to change the world. Clubs are led by facilitators who can be teachers, librarians, parents or volunteers from any background or field. No prior knowledge is required; many facilitators have no technical experience and learn to code alongside their club members. Read through an overview of the curriculum for both age groups, then attend a Girls Who Code offers webinar to help you learn more. You can also contact Leah Larson at 651-582-8604 to learn how to get started.

Minnesota Students Made Nearly 100 Films for 90-Second Newbery Film Festival
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest that encourages kid filmmakers to make movies that creatively tell the entire stories of Newbery Award/Honor-winning books in 90 seconds or less. Making the film is a fun, creative and multi-faceted educational exercise that ties directly into reading, writing and media literacy standards. Kids cooperatively adapt, write, storyboard, produce, direct, costume, act, film and edit their own movies.

This year, more than 230 Minnesota kid filmmakers submitted nearly 100 films to the competition. To watch the entries from Minnesota and read the judges' remarks, visit the 90-Second Newbery website.

We held the fourth annual Minnesota screening of the year’s best entries on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central. This year's ceremony was co-hosted by authors James Kennedy and Pete Hautman. For more details, please contact Jen Verbrugge.
State Library Services 2018-22 Goal Plan Approved
We are pleased to make available our recently 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 looking forward to 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 new plan.

Revised Library Trustee Handbook Now 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. It also 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 Joe Manion.

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 Verbrugge (651-582-8356) 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 Verbrugge 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.
September 10, 2018
August 21, 2018
August 7, 2018
July 17, 2018
June 21, 2018
May 23, 2018
May 17, 2018
April 25, 2018
April 5, 2018

  •  - 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.
  • Early Childhood Screening: A Webinar for Minnesota Librarians - 1/18/17
    MDE Early Childhood Screening Coordinator, Margo Chresand, shares ways that public libraries can help increase Early Childhood Screening participation in Minnesota.
  •  - 1/15/16