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.

Save the Date for an Upcoming Indigenous Youth Literature Workshop
Indigenous Representations: A Literature Workshop
Saturday, November 9, 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m.
Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine
St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

This workshop for educators (such as teachers and librarians) focuses on how to select, critically analyze, and incorporate Indigenous youth literature. With an emphasis on Indigenous-authored (#OwnVoices) texts, participants will explore books aligned with specific Minnesota English Language Arts Standards and develop strategies for incorporating titles in curricula, programming and other activities. Participants will also have opportunities to practice hands-on book evaluation and purchase titles included in the recommended lists. The day’s activities include lectures, readings and interactive workshops presented by Dr. Dawn Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe; author of Apple in the Middle) and Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambe Pueblo; founder of the American Indians in Children’s Literature blog and co-adaptor of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States Adapted for Young Readers).

Registration will open August 2019. Capacity is set at 60 participants, all of whom must work in Minnesota. To ensure representation from libraries and media centers across Minnesota, a brief application (to be released in August) will be a required component of the registration process. A limited number of travel grants will be available. Contact Leah Larson (651-582-8604) for more information.

Work Confidently with Patrons Experiencing Homelessness
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 through August 10, 2019, follow the enrollment steps on the Niche Academy website. Contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) 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 (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 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, 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 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 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.
July 1, 2019
June 5, 2019
May 1, 2019
April 12, 2019
March 8, 2019
February 19, 2019
February 11, 2019
February 5, 2019
January 16, 2019
January 8, 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