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. 



Summer Reading Program – Data Collection Results

Summer Reading Programs are a long-standing part of library service.  Each year SELCO staff puts out a survey to help collect data for the region concerning general statistics like how many programs did you offer, how many organizations came to visit the library, etc., along with a more recent collection of the programming data, e.g., type of program, who did you have, what went on, and how did it go.  The region had 26 of the 37 public libraries participate in the survey.  Here are some basic statistics:

  • 17,608 individuals were reached in Outreach efforts (heading out into the community)
  • 3,446 individuals were reached by Tours (bringing the community into the library)
  • 406 separate Storytimes were held for 11,036 attendees
  • 200 Active Programs were held for 27,134 attendees (where there’s a speaker or dedicated time devoted to a program)
  • 65 unique Passive Programs took place for 10,730+ participants, many of which took place over multiple weeks (where there’s an activity that’s out and available with no dedicated time)

The information for Summer 2017 as well as Summer 2016 can be found on the Summer Reading Program page of the SELCO website.

In addition, Minnesota’s State Library Services conducted their first ever Summer Learning Program survey and has recently provided the results.  You can find that document in the link above.

Thalacker Receives Honor From UW-Milwaukee SOIS

Regional Librarian Reagen Thalacker was honored last weekend at a gala celebrating 50 Distinguished Alumni of UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. The award “honors those who, through their lives and work, exemplify the breadth, diversity, culture, and spirit of the School of Information Studies and its research, academics, practice and community engagement.”

“I’ve been fortunate to work in a number of highly different library environments but I’m proudest of the fact that all have been in service to small and rural library communities,” Thalacker said. “Having been raised in a town of less than 300, I know from experience the impact that a small and rural library can have on a person and am pleased that I am now able to work with the current generation of library staff as they make their own mark on these communities.”

SELCO Executive Director Krista Ross said, “We are thrilled to see Reagen’s dedication to the SELCO/SELS member libraries recognized. Her professionalism and attention to detail make her a valuable member of our team.”

Another Minnesota librarian, Great River Regional Library Director Karen Pundsack, was also honored at the gala.

Scholarships Available for the PLA 2018 Conference

SELCO is pleased to offer two scholarships to attend the Public Library Association 2018 Conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA March 20 – 24, 2018. This is a reimbursable scholarship for up to $2,500. Eligible items for reimbursement may include:

  • registration
  • hotel stay
  • flight
  • meals at the U.S. General Services Administration per diem rates

The application deadline for those interested in being considered for a SELCO scholarship is 12 noon on Friday, September 29, 2017. Please complete the application found here.

In the event there are more than two scholarship applicants, name will be drawn randomly. Please contact Sara Berquam at the SELCO office for additional information.

Pull List and Delivery Important Dates

The school year is about to begin and as in previous years, the pull list will be turned on and delivery will resume Wednesday Sept 6 (the first Wednesday after Labor Day).
Click here for Pull List and Delivery, a document with other important dates for the school year. You will want to keep this handy for reference as MEA and the holidays approach.
Please contact the Help Desk if you have any questions.   
866.529.4469 (Toll-free)


Back to School Packet 2017-18

With a new school year beginning we have a brand new Back to School Packet for you.  Please see the link below which includes documents with updates and information on:

  • SELCO-SELS Quick Reference
  • Universal Services for Libraries
  • Services for Online Libraries
  • Continuing Education (Save the Date, Free Books Event, ELM Workshops, Practical Librarianship Brochure, Special Collections)
  • Delivery/ILL (Delivery Criteria, Routing Slip, Codes, Routes & Schedule, Pull Lists & Delivery – Important Dates, Handling of MNLINK Items, Delivery RFP)
  • Information Services (Cataloging Update, Citrix Install, Help Desk, Circulation Cheat Sheet, School eBook Program)
  • Legacy (Programs, MNBA Brochure and Bookmark)
Print what you need or save a copy of a document to their desktop for a quick reference or even bookmark the this link in your web browser to serve as a sort of one-stop shop for some of the basic SELCO/SELS information. 
Please share this widely with your staff and should you have any further questions, feel free to contact the office at 507.288.5513.

New ALA Report on Rural Libraries in the United States

A new report from ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy was recently released entitled “Rural Libraries in the United States: Recent Strides, Future Possibilities, and Meeting Community Needs”.  A blog post from ALA’s District Dispatch states that this 19 page report “…explores nuances of rurality, details challenges rural libraries face in maximizing their community impacts and describes how existing collaborative regional and statewide efforts help rural libraries and their communities.

Topics discussed within the report include rural libraries and technological capacity, barriers to digital readiness, and statewide and regional solutions that are taking place throughout the USA.  The full report can be found online for free HERE:


RFP for Strategic Planning Consulting Approved

In their July 25, 2017, meeting, the SELCO/SELS Board of Directors approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking consultant services to assist in developing the FY2019 – FY2021 SELCO/SELS Strategic Plan. According to the RPF, the consultant selected for the project will:

  • collect, analyze, and interpret input from the library community
  • facilitate three to five meetings of the Extended Strategic Planning Committee
  • will prepare a working draft of the strategic plan.

The RFP will be posted to numerous library professional websites and will be sent directly to firms known for success in strategic planning projects.  Proposals must be submitted to the SELCO Executive Director no later than 5:00 P.M. on Friday, August 25, 2017 in PDF format to Questions should be directed to Krista L. Ross, SELCO Executive Director at 507-288-5513 or

FY2019 -FY2021 Strategic Plan Development RFP