2017 MN Book Award Reviews

The Minnesota Book Awards are sponsored each year by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. Finalists were announced earlier this month. SELCO staff and library staff from around the region are contributing to our reviews of the 36 books in nine categories; Poetry, General Nonfiction, Children’s Literature, Genre Fiction, Young Adult Literature, Novel & Short Story, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, Minnesota, and Middle Grade Literature.

You can find links to the brief reviews on our website or go directly to our MNBA 2017 playlist on SELCOtv. We will be posting reviews throughout the month of March. Winners will be announced April 8, 2017 at a ceremony at the InterContinental Hotel St. Paul Riverfront. 

Digital Newspaper Hub Transitions


The Minnesota Historical Society just released a new Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub.   The new Hub implements exciting features and transitions the Hub to a new ProSeek platform (as seen in the Swedish American Newspapers and Historical Minneapolis Tribune sites). The new Hub will bring together the Minnesota digital newspapers, the Historical Minneapolis Tribune newspapers, and sets of digitized Minnesota newspaper titles including over 500,000 pages contributed by SELCO from early newspapers published in southeastern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Historical Society is excited to make this transition and enhance access to Minnesota’s newspapers. Likewise, SELCO is honored to partner with the Historical Society and proud of its role in developing and growing this valuable Minnesota digital newspaper collection documenting over 150 years of Minnesota history!

Announcing MNBA Finalists

On Saturday, January 28, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announced the finalists in nine categories for the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards.  Reviewed and chosen by 27 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community – the categories are:

Eligibility and process — Books created by writers, illustrators or book artists who are Minnesotans are eligible for Minnesota Book Awards. The Awards are given each year for books published in the previous year. For instance, the this selection of finalists were 2016 for consideration in 2017.

The Book Awards process begins with nominations, which are received from authors, publishers and others from throughout the state. From the nominated works, panels of preliminary round judges choose four finalists. Award winners are then selected by different, final round, judging panels.  Of note this year, 15 of the titles were published by Minnesota presses.

The 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards ceremony will be held at the InterContinental Hotel in St. Paul on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.  Seating is limited.  Make early reservations.

SELCO Art Collection Website Launches


With a move to the new building in 2000, the Board of Directors sought to add a touch of color to the long corridors and, from that practical goal, came the SELCO art collection.  SELCO staff and visitors to the office have long enjoyed this collection which features original pieces created by Midwest artists.  With the launch of the SELCO Art Collection website, you can enjoy visual images of the pieces anytime, from the comfort of your web browser.  

Celebrating Art & Culture — to be printed soon

MN Library Legacy Logo Small

Ready to go to press! 

Celebrating Arts & Culture: Minnesota Regional Public Library Systems Legacy Amendment Highlights

The Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators (CRPLSA) has produced a visually compelling written summary of  the public programs and activities funded by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Celebrating Arts and Culture will provide a succinct report for the 2017 Minnesota Legislature highlighting the wide variety of Legacy programming that has occurred in libraries throughout the state.  

Celebrating Arts & Culture briefly describes public art projects, live performances, literary programs, art making, and historical and cultural exploration. The Library Legacy story is told through a montage of photographs and personal quotes. The summary graphical demonstrates the breadth of programming funded with Legacy dollars and the unique ability of libraries to provide meaningful cultural events to people in all corners of the state regardless of community size.

Celebrating Arts & Culture: Minnesota Regional Public Library Systems Legacy Amendment Highlights

Libraries can expect a copy very soon.

A CRPLSA sponsored Library Legacy activity made possible with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota.

LSTA 2016 Results


The results of the most recent Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant round have been released and two SELCO libraries are among the recipients.  Congratulations to Albert Lea Public Library and Austin Public Library.

Albert Lea Public Library – $72,505 for Check Out the Internet @ ALPL
Albert Lea Public Library (ALPL) will bridge Freeborn County’s digital access gap with a mobile technology lending program. Grant funds will capitalize on a popular pilot project by adding 60 Wi-Fi hotspots and 25 iPad Airs to its circulating collection. In partnership with Albert Lea Community Education, ALPL will present classes and hands-on demonstrations of the mobile technology to Adult Basic Education students.

Austin Public Library – $43,064 for Austin Area Science Fair Mentoring Project Expansion
Austin Public Library (APL) will take a pivotal role in expanding the Austin Area Science Fair Mentoring Project, a successful community initiative that pairs local STEM professionals with third and fourth grade science fair participants. In doing so, APL aims to increase science literacy and students’ interest in STEM careers. The project will double the number of mentor-student pairs, increase science fair participation and success rates, and connect science fair participants with the library’s mobile technology and high-quality STEM resources.

Hennepin County Library (HCL) is the other public library with a successful application.  It was awarded $58,513 for its Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration project.  The balance of the $544,843 in 2016 LSTA funds was awarded to five school districts.  Click here for a list of all eight grant recipients and the project abstracts.

Be part of the 2017 Winter Author Tour!

Doug OhmanEach year SELCO works with local libraries to build regional author tours around Minnesota Book Award (MNBA) finalists and winners, either with a multiple or single author tour.  For Winter 2017, we will be featuring regional favorite Doug Ohman between February and April.  An avid speaker, storyteller, and photographer, Doug has deep roots in Minnesota and has been a part of the creation of eight books featuring his photography.  Prairie, Lake, Forest: Minnesota’s State Parks was a 2011 MNBA Finalist and Barns of Minnesota was a Finalist in 2006.  

Ohman has captured the varied essence of the state and has created several photographic series on such subjects as cabins, barns, and schoolhouses.  He also delves into Minnesota’s history by offering programs on The New Deal in Minnesota and the state’s role in the Civil War.  All in all, there are 17 different programs from which a library could choose.  We’re looking to plan the tour for dates between February 18 – April 28, 2017 (no availability on April 1).

Applications to be a part of the 2017 Winter Author tour will be accepted from August 1-31.  Click HERE to apply today!

This project is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Ten Pigs Trunk Shows Wrap!

Today was the final day of Once Upon a Reader trunk shows in SELCO. Author/illustrator Derek Anderson traveled the region, reading, singing and playing with children in an energetic show based around his book, Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure.

Library staff throughout the region did a great job promoting the shows, and after six days and 12 trunk shows in 11 communities, Derek said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in southeast Minnesota.  The hundreds of children, caregivers and parents who participated in the high-energy trunk show agreed. Aimed at pre-K children and their families, this statewide one-book program  promotes Minnesota children’s literature and encourages families to Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play together – five practices critical to early literacy skills development.

Additional resources for libraries and parents are free and downloadable at www.onceuponareader.org .

Ten Pigs Coming to SELCO!

10 Pigs 2016

Derek Anderson and his TEN PIGS are busy getting ready for the Once Upon a Reader Trunk Shows coming to SELCO libraries! They’re rehearsing their parts, gathering props, stocking up on bubble bath and loading the bathtub for 12 Trunk Shows.  Visit a library and join the fun!

Check the list for a library near you.


Date Time Location
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 10:30a Austin Public Library
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 2:00p Albert Lea Public Library
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 10:30a Red Wing Public Library
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:00p Lake City Public Library
Thursday, June 23, 2016 10:00a Winona Public Library
Thursday, June 23, 2016 3:00p Hokah Public Library
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 10:00a Owatonna Public Library
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 2:00p Buckham Memorial Library (Faribault, MN)
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:00a Dodge Center Public Library
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 2:00p Spring Valley Public Library
Thursday, June 30, 2016 10:00a Rochester Public Library
Thursday, June 30, 2016 1:00p Rochester Public Library