Niche Academy is Coming Soon

SELCO has a new patron-centered resource embedded in Enterprise. As announced at the Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 13, Niche Academy provides in-catalog tutorials for electronic databases for your patrons. You no longer need to be the expert in how to download books; simply direct your patron to the tutorial, which they can view at the library or at home.

Our version of Niche Academy Tutorials, called SELCO Academy, will launch on March 1, 2018. We will start with tutorials for electronic resources provided by SELCO and ELM.

No action is required on the part of libraries. Once it is launched, a teal tab labeled “Tutorials” will be visible on the right side of each library’s home page. Library staff or patrons will simply click on the tab to open a menu of video tutorials on various databases and social media platforms. Some databases require a library card to login from home.

We will continue to add tutorials as they are created, and staff training will eventually be available through Niche as well.

If you have an idea or suggestions for a tutorial, please feel free to contact Pam O’Hara

ALA Announces 2018 Youth Media Award Winners

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and Newbery awards—at its Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature was awarded to 
“Hello, Universe” written by Erin Entrada Kelly. The book is published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The most distinguished American picture book for children receives the Randolph Caldecott Medal. “Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell, is the 2018  winner. The book was published by Feiwel and Friends, an Imprint of Macmillan.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. “Piecing Me Together,” written by Renée Watson, is the King Author Award winner. The book is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

“Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Award winner. The book is written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth and published by Candlewick Press.

A full list of the award winners can be found on the ALA website

SELCO Welcomes New Office Coordinator

Office Assistant Cindy DunbarVisitors to the SELCO office will see a new face at the reception desk; Office Coordinator Cindy Dunbar has joined the staff.

Cindy previously worked at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and we are thrilled to have her on board. Please greet her and introduce yourself the next time you’re in the building.


Due to Winter Storm Jaxon all delivery routes are cancelled for Monday, January 22, 2018

A reminder that when delivery is cancelled due to weather conditions, all libraries who were set to receive delivery on the cancelled day are to receive delivery the following day.

Should you have any further questions, please contact the SELCO/SELS office.

DELIVERY DELAY 1.11.18: Routes 613 & 614

Due to winter weather conditions on the road a few of our routes are currently running behind today, Thursday, January 11, 2018.  Those are as follows:

  • Route 613 – behind by 1/2 hour
  • Route 614 – behind by 1 hour

Updates regarding this have been sent to the library contacts for these routes and should things change, information will be sent out via e-mail and will be updated here as well.  If you have any questions, please contact Reagen Thalacker at or call the SELCO office at 507.288.5513.

RESCHEDULED: Summer Reading Program Kickoff for Snow Date of 1.25.18!

Due to Winter Storm Hunter bringing lots of snow and ice to our are on Thursday, January 11th, making driving conditions difficult, SELCO has elected to reschedule the 2018 Summer Reading Program Kickoff to the pre-planned Snow Date of Thursday, January 25, 2018 at the same time of 9:30a to 2:30p.

If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Reagen Thalacker at

Strategic Planning Process Update

Rich Frazier, the consultant from IPM Advancement, held four Focus Groups in the region this week. SELCO Board members, staff, and Library Directors met at sessions in Hokah, Owatonna, Rochester and Red Wing to share their visions of what regional library service could be in the future, and to set priorities for the next several years.

The feedback received this week will be analyzed and presented to the Extended Strategic Planning Committee to set the goals for the FY19-21 plan.

SELCO/SELS Reclamation Project Detailed in Article

The Reclamation project undertaken by SELCO/SELS several years ago is detailed in the current issue of the online librarianship journal Collaborative Librarianship. The article, Library Inventory Methods: Using Flexibility and Creativity to Achieve a Common Goal Within a Federated Library System, shares the process used in this region in the hopes that it will offer guidance to other libraries and regional systems contemplating similar projects. 

New Book Repair Kit Available

SELCO/SELS is pleased to be able to provide a brand new kit for circulation among library members in the region.  The Cover One Machine is one of the easiest ways to repair books with broken spines and loose pages.  To try the Cover One Machine in your library, follow the instructions on the flyer below. The loan period is two weeks and it includes materials to repair up to 15 books.

Download (PDF, 6.64MB)

Strategic Planning Process Kicks Off

The Expanded Strategic Planning Committee met on Monday, October 23 in the Avila Room. Consultant Rich Frazier from IPM Advancement joined the group to set the stage for the strategic planning process. 

Rich divided the committee into three groups and led a process of developing questions to be used in a survey of the region.

After discussion of those questions, the group reviewed the proposed process. Rich will work with Krista to develop a survey or surveys to determine needs, priorities and visions for the next 3 years. The Expanded Strategic Planning Committee will approve the surveys electronically.

Once data is received, several focus groups will take place throughout the region to gather reactions to survey data. One of the focus groups may be scheduled the afternoon of the December 12 SELCO Advisory Committee for those who can stay. An additional focus group consisting of the Extended Strategic Planning Committee and the SELCO/SELS Executive Committee will meet to come up with final priorities. 

The goal is to have a new Strategic Plan ready for the April 24, 2018 Quarterly Board meeting so it can be submitted to the State by July 1.