Hot Reads 2014

Hot Reads 2014 poster croppedThe Hot Reads for Cold Nights products are ready for your order!  Our print and promotional materials feature the colorful Hot Reads logo and are sure to be a hit at your library!  Check them out — all products are available to all libraries.

Order deadline is Thursday, October 10, 2013. 

To view this year’s products, please click here.

Nelson to be Interim Director

News from Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner and Acting Chief Library Officer with the Minnesota Department of Education

Over the last month I have had an opportunity to work closely with State Library Services as Acting Chief Library Officer. I have developed an understanding of the needs and challenges that libraries in Minnesota are facing today and am eager to take the next steps in restructuring State Library Services so that the division is poised to support quality library services that address the needs of Minnesotans.

As we move forward with planning for a new Director/State Librarian while also supporting division staff on a day-to-day basis, I am pleased to announce that Jennifer R. Nelson has accepted the position of Interim Director. Jen has worked in and for libraries for well over 25 years. Her extensive background includes stints as a children’s librarian, reference librarian, interlibrary loan coordinator, archives assistant, e-resource and training coordinator and more. She is recognized across the United States for her work in developing innovative technology programs for youth and is the author of “Technology and literacy: 21st century library programming for children and teens” (ALA Editions, 2012). Jen also serves as an adjunct faculty member in St. Catherine University’s MLIS program, teaching a course in grant writing and proposal development. Her expertise in administration, project management and partnership development will ensure a consistent level of support for Minnesota’s libraries and build on the work that we have already accomplished. Jen can be reached directly at 651-582-8791 or

I will be working closely with Jen during her time as interim director and continue to welcome your thoughts, ideas and feedback on how State Library Services can best address the needs of libraries.

Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner

MDE Logo 2013

2012 Per Capita Support for Libraries

The amount of local tax support provided for library operations varies widely city to city and county to county. Using the State Demographer’s 2010 census population figures and the 2012 annual report data from each unit of local government levying a tax for library service, county support for libraries per person ranges from $10.91 to $32.12 and city contributions vary from $17.08 to $80.65 per city resident. The 2012 Per Capita Chart lists each of the 11 member counties and the 37 cities taxing for library service.

A total of $16.5 million was provided for the operation of local libraries during 2012 representing a regional per capita average of $33.38.

Welcome Back Schools

SELCO’s Online school libraries are back! Summer is officially over and all of our media centers are back in business. Schools are now able to accept and fill requests on their items, and today is the first day they get delivery and are doing pull lists for the school year. 

If you are in a school media center and have questions about pull lists and the like, please contact us at the Help Desk

Welcome Back!

Celebrate Summer Reading at the State Fair

Join the Minnesota State Fair and Minnesota Public Libraries for Read & Ride Wednesday at the Minnesota State Fair on September 2!  Enjoy discounted admission and all-day discounts on Midway & Kidway rides, games and concessions when you show a valid public library card.  One card is required for each discounted admission, and the discount only applies when purchasing tickets at the gate.  Be a part of the Great Minnesota Read-Together, located just west of the Grandstand Ramp in Carousel Park, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Activities and entertainment include ongoing storytime, create your own story-on-a-stick, free books for kids, temporary tattoos, a trivia prize wheel, and more! 

Rochester Public Library Recognized for Exemplary Workplace Practices

The Rochester Public Library has been honored with the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility for its use of flexibility and other aspects of workplace effectiveness as a workplace strategy to increase business and employee success.

This prestigious award, part of the national When Work Works project administered by Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), recognizes employers of all sizes and types in Minnesota and across the country.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our workplace practices,” said Audrey Betcher, Director of the Rochester Public Library.  “It is critical that we are doing everything we can to deliver the services that the community wants.  Being a great place to work means that we have the engaged employees to make that happen.”

Workplace flexibility — such as flextime, part-time work and compressed workweeks — has been demonstrated to help businesses remain competitive while also benefiting employees. Flexibility in combination with other aspects of an effective workplace, such as learning opportunities and supervisor support for job success, can have a powerful impact on employee engagement and motivation.

“Our research consistently finds that employees in effective and flexible workplaces have greater engagement on the job and greater desire to stay with their organization. In addition, they report lower stress levels and better overall health,” said Ellen Galinsky, FWI president.

The Sloan Awards are unique for their rigorous, two-step selection process, which involves an evaluation of employers’ flexibility programs and practices, and a confidential employee survey on the key ingredients of an effective and flexible workplace. All applicants are measured against national norms from the National Study of Employers.

“As a recipient of the 2013 Sloan Award, Rochester Public Library ranks among the top 20% of employers nationally in terms of its programs, policies and culture for creating an effective and flexible workplace,” Galinsky said. “In addition, what makes this honor so special is that their employees have corroborated this, affirming that it is indeed an effective and flexible workplace.”

When Work Works is a national project to educate the business community on the value of workplace flexibility by sharing research and promising practices, and conducting the annual Sloan Awards. It is an ongoing initiative of FWI and SHRM.

Click here for more information about the When Work Works initiative and the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.

Reduced Revenue for SELCO

Two months into this budget year and the final calculations for Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) are not what was expected.  SELCO will need to reduce the FY2014 budget by $115,514 to balance anticipated revenue and expenses. 

SELCO staff will revisit earlier financial discussions that led to the budget approved June 26 and identify areas of potential savings.  Anytime one needs to “find” a six figure amount in a budget already in place for two months, it is tough but the staff will take this opportunity to examine what are the essential tasks and those activities, while nice, if discontinued would not be harmful to local library service and still able to save funds.

Thalacker to Join SELCO Staff October 1

I am happy to announce that Reagen Thalacker will join the SELCO staff as the new Regional Librarian on Tuesday, October 1.

During the coming weeks, Reagen will move to the Rochester area from Marshall, Minnesota where she has been working as the SAMMIE Executive Director. In her role at SAMMIE, one of Minnesota’s seven multitype regions, she has worked cooperatively with library staff members in 18 counties, designed a variety of training opportunities, and created teen programming kits. Reagan has participated in the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and the Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) and taken part in advocating for libraries at the Minnesota Legislature.

Before heading up SAMMIE, she was employed by the Alfred Dickey Public Library in Jamestown, North Dakota. She managed a special library contracted to the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, also in Jamestown. During 2010, Reagan was a participant in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders program. Reagan has a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

In her role of Regional Librarian, Reagen Thalacker, will provide program support to SELCO/SELS members, coordinate communication, marketing, and advocacy activities, and help SELCO foster statewide library relationships, especially Interlibrary Loan and the Summer Reading Program.

Please help me welcome, Reagen to SELCO, and invite her to visit your community and library!

Ann B. Hutton, Executive Director

Ribbon Cutting in Faribault

You are invited to a Ribbon Cutting @ the Buckham Memorial Library!

Please gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of Buckham Memorial Library’s rearrangement of the library’s physical space and collections. The ribbon cutting will be held at the library’s main entrance on Friday, August 23 at 9:00 a.m. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of Buckham Memorial Library.

Beginning in April, staff moved approximately 80,000 items and 15 computer stations to create areas that are more defined and welcoming to adults, children and teens. As a part of this project, a new Silent Reading Room was opened for adults age 21 and older who wish to read and reflect free from distractions such as conversations and noise from electronic devices.

After the ribbon cutting, the public is invited to enjoy refreshments and pick up a map of the library’s new layout. Library staff will lead tours for those interested in learning more about the new arrangement.

SELCO MLA 2013 Scholarships Awarded

MLA conference logo 2013Five scholarship recipients will attend the annual conference for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) this fall. This two-day conference will be held October 10-11, 2013 at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, MN. Each winner has agreed to share their experiences of the conference. The 2013 scholarship winners are:

  •  Art Tiff, Kasson Public Library
  • Stephanie Silvers, Harmony Public Library
  • Tara Johnson, Lanesboro Public Library
  • Leslie Davila, Chatfield Public Library
  • Megan Markiewicz, Red Wing Public Library