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.

Pump Up the Power of Play
Kids learn a lot when they play, and your words and actions can make their play time even more powerful. During The Power of Play: Building 21st Century Skills workshop, the Minnesota Children's Museum's specialist in child development will help you discover the benefits of play and share practical tips for how to support playful learning in libraries. 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 and growth.

Wednesday, November 20, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Anoka County - Centennial Library
100 Civic Heights Circle
Circle Pines, MN 55014

Space is limited, so sign up today for The Power of Play: Building 21st Century Skills. Additional sessions will be scheduled in May, so watch this space for more opportunities to gain tools that support playful learning in the library and beyond. Contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) with questions.

Join the 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 (651-582-8604) to learn how to get started.
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.
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

  •  - 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