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

“Big Trends in Small and Rural Libraries” – Free Webinar

Sponsored by the Association of Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL)

Operating a library in a small and rural community comes with its own set of challenges. Join representatives from the Association for Rural & Small Libraries to learn the latest in trends and big ideas. Ask librarians familiar with the unique challenges of small and rural locations. What’s your biggest challenge?
Join ARSL for this free 45 minute discussion about the trends and challenges of small and rural libraries. Follow this link to submit your questions about your small or rural library’s greatest challenges.
Date: Wed, July 26, 1pm EDT 
Presented by representatives of ARSL as developed by Becky Heil, Gail Sheldon, Tena Hanson and Mary Soucie.

Delivery Moved 790,000+ Items in FY2017

Each fiscal year, the SELCO Delivery Team – Bob Olson, Sarah Bradway, and Jade Winsor – do three sample “Count Days” to help assess how many items are moving through the SELCO region delivery in a single fiscal year.  A “Count Day” consists of the team counting each item that comes through delivery and then tallying the items for the day.  Counts are done in August, November, and March.  

The single day samples for FY2017 were:

  • August 2016 – 2865 (tends to be lighter due to schools being out for the summer)
  • November 2017 – 3326
  • March 2017 – 3562

Utilizing a formula which takes into account how many days per month delivery is done, the summer months, and the academic year…791,820 items were circulated in FY2017!

That number is an increase from the previous year and is also impressive for the region when compared to the fact that Minitex circulates roughly 700,000 for the whole state in the same amount of time.


ITEM 2017 SELS Scholarships Awarded

SELS is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients to this year’s Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) conference to be held October 5 – 7, 2017 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, MN.

The recipients are:

  • Anne Marie Griffin – Gibbs Elementary School in Rochester
  • Stacie Alison – Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Rochester
  • Jill Nysse – Winona Middle School in Winona

Congratulations! We look forward to hearing about your experiences!