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.

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.

Census Resources for Libraries
State Library Services has partnered with the Minnesota State Demographic Center to provide support to library staff in helping patrons complete their 2020 Census forms. Because the 2020 Census will be available online, people who lack internet connectivity, a device, and/or digital literacy skills may visit libraries for any of these three essentials.

In February 2020, nearly 250 individuals attended Census workshops held in partnership with State Demographic Center. The workshops prepared participants to respond to common questions about the Census, and make referrals when patrons need more support with Census completion than the library can provide. We are so proud of the engaged work Minnesota’s libraries are doing to support a complete count during the 2020 Census!

For more census resources for libraries, we recommend the American Library Association (ALA)’s Census website.  Among the myriad resources ALA offers, our top three picks are the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, the 2020 Census Fact Sheet for Libraries, and the recorded webinar Responding to the 2020 Census: What Libraries Need to Know.

Our partners at State Demographic Center also have a number of excellent resources available.  Their documents library includes information materials, toolkits, and Census completion guides in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali.

If you have any questions about library involvement in the 2020 Census, including questions about participating as a Questionnaire Assistance Center, please contact Hannah Buckland at 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 Fifth 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.

Library Trustee Handbook Available
State Library Services has published the Minnesota Public Library Trustee Handbook (revised 2017). 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.

Minnesota public libraries, school libraries and early learning organizations may request bookmarks and posters online. Allow two-three 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.
February 5, 2020
January 17, 2020
December 20, 2019
November 26, 2019
November 4, 2019
October 11, 2019
September 19, 2019
August 26, 2019
August 16, 2019
July 1, 2019
June 5, 2019

  •  - 6/25/20
  • 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.
  • Minnesota LSTA Five-Year Plan, 2018-2022 - 3/21/18
  • 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