Metropolitan Library Service Agency Legacy Grant SFY 2012 - SFY 2013

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Metropolitan Library Service Agency
Recipient Type
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2015
Activity Type
Digitization/Online Information Access
Fund Administration
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 4
Appropriation Language

These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants allocated using existing formulas under Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems, to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. These funds may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2015.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
The amount of staff time necessary to present each program varies, but local library directors estimate between 5-12 staff hours are required for each program.
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of activities, programs, and/or events: 1,097
Total attendance: 85,519
Total number of partnerships: 95
Total Number FTE for Local Staffing: .35 FTE

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 4
Appropriation Language

These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants allocated using existing formulas under Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems, to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. These funds may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2015.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Administration expenses included funding .25 FTE for administrative assistance position, webpage expenses, plus supplies and office rental for Legacy coordination. The amount of staff time necessary to present each program varies, but local library directors estimate between 5-12 staff hours are required for each program.
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total Number of Programs Held: 1507 programsTotal Attendance: 208,577 peopleTotal Number of Partnerships: 395 partnerships

Description of Funds
MELSA $57,550, In-kind Administration
Additional Partner support $94,070, Personnel
Source of Additional Funds

Partner financial support & MELSA In Kind - MELSA provided leadership to the program by hiring a Legacy Project Manager to coordinate the metro-wide and local activities. (This position was funded with regional funds (non-legacy) through a mobility re-assignment with Hennepin County.)

Project Overview

Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems, which encompass 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, benefit from a portion of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Through State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, each regional public library system receives a formula-driven allocation from the annual $3 million Minnesota Regional Library Legacy Grant.

Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) is a federated regional public library system in the Twin Cities Metro Area in central Minnesota. MELSA has seven county member libraries; Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington and one city member library; St. Paul.  With Arts and Cultural Heritage funds, MELSA and its member libraries present an array of arts, cultural, literary, and Minnesota history programs in collaboration with arts and cultural organizations, independent artists, historical societies, and community organizations.  Programs contribute to the cultural vitality of the region and build a lasting legacy. 

Project Details

MELSA Region Program Highlights
Outreach Events: The Minnesota State Fairgrounds was the setting for MELSA's annual outreach events in 2012. Read And Ride Day attracted over 1,000 people to Carousel Park for a wide range of activities, art-making and live entertainment. MELSA was a featured partner in the Twin Cities Book Festival where MELSA created a children's pavilion of author events, hands-on arts and live performances for more than 400 young people and adults.

Club Book: This acclaimed literary series brought 17 best-selling and award-winning authors to library communities across the metropolitan area. From Stillwater to Chanhassen and Minnetonka to Apple Valley, Club Book establishes area libraries as vital, vibrant centers of cultural programming and exchange. Nearly 3,000 attendees flocked to many standing-room­ only events proving that libraries are the coolest book club in town. This year's featured authors include local luminaries Mark Rosen, Jonathan Odell, Brenda Child, Dr. David Walsh, Lorna Landvik and Brenda Langdon. Audiences filled the seats when Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis, Cheryl Strayed, John Sanford and Carl Hiaasen came to town to meet their readers.

Sing, Play, Learn with MacPhail: Over 3,000 youngsters and adults enjoyed 71 early childhood music programs presented by specialists from MacPhail Center for Music. Wee ones enjoyed songs and activities geared just for them while adults learned how to incorporate music activities at home to enhance reading readiness with their children. Teens Know Best: This new program brought eight teen authors to each library system in 2013. Although we aimed high in projected attendance, 625 youth were thrilled to make connections with their favorite authors. We already have ideas for improving the program for next year and will cultivate partnerships with Mackin, Addendum, Lerner Publishers and 71 educators to increase promotion and attendance.

Anoka County Library continued their most popular programs, including Page & Stage with the Lyric Arts Theater in Anoka and Bringing Local History to Life with the Anoka County Historical Society. A patron commented about the Page and Stage program, "The talk before the play can give a whole new outlook and it is great to listen to others thoughts in the plays. Thanks to the Legacy Grant we are able to get into those plays that are chosen and see them from the "eyes of the authors" in a different way." New for this year of Legacy programming, they launched Storywalks in partnership with Anoka County Parks and Anoka County Community Health and Environmental Services. Three Storywalks were hosted in the fall at different parks around Anoka County. The walks were an opportunity for families to read, spend time in nature, and be physically active. Anoka County Library hosted two series of programs for school age kids this spring: Kids Build ARTchitecture and In the Dark. The ARTchitecture series had kids designing bridge, skyscrapers, and inventions. Kids reported that learning to saw and cut wood, using glue guns was important to them. . They gave the programs very high marks. In the Dark programs included learning about rocks that glow, creating kaleidoscopes, making glow-in-the-dark art and a very popular Jedi Training Camp. As with the ARTchitecture programs, kids liked the hands-on aspects of the activities - the building and decorating.

Carver County Library's first Annual Writers Fair was a huge success. With an afternoon of classes, a panel discussion, and networking opportunities available it was a must-attend event for any aspiring writer. The event was so well received a follow up writers series will be offered late Fall and a second Writers Fair is in the planning for 2014. Since, we have experienced a great amount of success when offering any programming as a series, particularly with our annual Music in March series. A decision was made to try a new venue­ Arts in April. Every Sunday afternoon, in April a different art form or session was offered at our Chanhassen branch. We even had one Sunday afternoon with staff providing their work on display and brief introductions to their art of choice. Plans are to expand the offerings next April and provide more hands on classes and Make and Take classes.

Dakota County Library: Rosemount One Book was a collaborative community effort to promote and support reading, as well as to provide cultural and educational activities for all ages. The idea germinated in Rosemount during a Community Leaders meeting to bring people with similar youth-centered goals together to share and work toward creating a better Rosemount. Following the successful first year of One Book, One Rosemount, the committee agreed to continue the program and chose Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Dakota County Library celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month which honors the various histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. This is the first time the Dakota County Library officially celebrated Hispanic-Heritage Month. An estimated 200 people took part in StoryWalk at Lebanon Hills Regional Park during its weeklong tenure in October. Families eagerly traveled a mile-long path as they read Gossie by Olivier Dunrea together, page by page. Dakota County Library celebrated Black History Month with the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. The Choir consisted of an ensemble of 22 singers. It was absolutely fabulous - the energy, the spirit, the performance! Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford was the featured book for the annual OneBook, One Lakeville. Author Jamie Ford presented at the Lakeville Area Arts Center at an event which included the opening act Cumulus, a jazz band, with special guest vocalist Debbie O'Keefe. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and Ford was an engaging and informative speaker. The most meaningful feedback received was from people who stated that they knew little of the Japanese internment, and that our series of programs was very enlightening. Dakota County Library hosted its annual Silver Tea series consisting of programs especially for older adults during Older Americans Month. The Library hosted musical entertainment at all Dakota County Libraries, drawing 739 customers. Librarian feedback was uniformly positive about the quality of the performers and attendance levels. "Well received by audience. We filled the room beyond capacity and had to overflow into the atrium." Dakota County Library hosted its 4th annual Rhythm & Words Family Music & Book Festival at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Nearly 1,900 people attended the festival and The Okee Dokee Brothers' performance filled the main stage which seats over 1,000 people.

Hennepin County Library: Drama from the Inside was a writing and theater workshop held at Hennepin County's adult correctional facility. Staff from local theater companies led writing workshops for the residents. The pieces composed by residents were turned into a performance and performed live for residents and was also published. Selected comments from residents include, "It was nice seeing other women's stories and makes you think a lot on your current situation," and, "The power of the stories touched me deeply. I so appreciate the bravery and honesty of the women who shared their stories." While the Library has hosted programs celebrating Dia de los Ninos (Children's Book Day) in the past, this year staff focused on developing community partners to strengthen the program. Staff engaged youth in the creation of the program by involving local schools and art centers and increased the number of Spanish speaking families who attended events at the library. Selected comments from attendees who were asked what was the best part of the event include, "That entire families participated -- a time to share. Thanks," "The community and seeing the puppets up close after. What a great surprise to find at the library today!" and "The dances and the piftata, the information about the library." The Library partnered with Twin Cities Public Television to demonstrate how our Special Collections department has assisted local researchers by producing the "Treasures Collected, Treasures Shared," documentary and web videos. Accompanying the release of the documentary, the Library increased the number of Genealogy Research workshops by bringing in local genealogists. Attendance was excellent and increased the attendance at the staff-led workshops the Library offers year-round.

Ramsey County Library: Young Lenses - RCL and CTV North Suburbs partnered to offer an opportunity for girls ages 11 to 14 to examine the representations of women in mainstream media, to connect with other young women and to explore storytelling through video production. The girls watched the award winning documentary "Miss Representation" and made their own autobiographical TV show. "A Girls Eye View" opening was held in the library for the public to view the works created during the project. Kindergarten Library Card Sign Up Celebration - Children's librarians visited every kindergarten class in RCL's service area and encouraged kids to get their first library card. Kindergarteners and their families were invited to the library for a day filled with art activities, award-winning authors, musical performances and an award ceremony where the kids received their library card. We continue to offer the always popular music and art series during school breaks. History Series - A three month Civil War series, co-sponsored by National Endowment of the Humanities and American Library Association, was the highlight of our always popular history programs. Events ranged from book talks to re-enactments and were offered for all ages. We continue to partner with local historical societies offering monthly workshops that fill our rooms to capacity. White Bear History Challenge - RCL partnered with the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society on this geocaching challenge to make history fun. The challenge was kicked-off at the library with a workshop introducing geocaching and the Munzee game to newbies. This treasure hunt highlights 15 historic points in our community and includes collector cards featuring the site's photo and fun history facts. "We took a class and now our little ones found their first cache all by themselves!" "What a great tour! Thanks for the memories!" Senior Art Series - This year RCL added programming specifically for senior citizens. Art classes that combined art history with hands-on projects were offered in multiple locations. "Everything was wonderful. Although I am 83 I am still able to learn." "I enjoyed every minute of the class. I was surprised how creative I could be."

Saint Paul Public Library conducted eighteen program series. Thirteen of the series focused on programming for youth and five focused on programming for adults. SPPL worked with several local organizations and a roster of nearly all Minnesotan artists/presenters. Take the Mic was all about teens and music. The series included workshops on music songwriting, recording, and editing. The highlight was a concert in downtown Saint Paul's Rice Park featuring local teen bands, as well as musician Alicia Steele. We were thrilled to be able to offer local teens the chance to perform in a public venue, alongside a professional musician. Read Brave encouraged the community to read the book Everybody Sees the Ants, which addresses topics of bullying, war and family. The author, an engaging speaker, visited and led discussions related to her book. The library was also able to partner with Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation in conjunction with the series. Lady Gaga was in town with her Born Brave Bus, and teen participants in our series got the opportunity to visit her bus and enjoy a pre-show party hosted by Gaga. IART Families celebrated diversity in families. The series featured three events where kids and their families had the chance to make art and hear stories celebrating different families. Each event included a collaborative art project. The series culminated at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, where the collaborative art projects were on display. Gypsy Festival: Three live music performances and an exhibit drew over 700 people. The performances consisted of Gypsy Jazz, Spanish Flamenco, and the music of Django Reinhardt. Narration was provided by local artist Michael Dregni for two concerts and audiences reported on their appreciation of the excellent musicians and the melding of artistry and learning. Michael Dregni coordinated a display of Gypsy Jazz/Django Reinhardt memorabilia for the display cases at Central Library to accompany the performances. Dakota War Sesquicentennial: Over 150 people came to three different lectures/programs that presented stories, images, and sites from both sides of the conflict and showed how ripple effects continue to this day. Events were held with local authors John Koblas and Curt Dahlin and a bus tour with local historian Dave Riehle visited sites with significance to the Dakota. Audiences reported great interest in local history and appreciated the multiple perspectives presented in the series.

Scott County Library: Off-Site Summer Reading Program provided reading records, prizes, and sets of books to childcare, summer school, and free lunch programs in each branch library's community. With hiring a contractor to manage the program, we were able to expand to 1,690 participants at 15 sites; hosted 12 events with performers for participants and their families. First Thursdays Danceteria continues to be very popular and draws large crowds and rave reviews. The sense of community built in a social dance is like no other and many participants comment on the quality of the music and venue and on the opportunity to sample different musical traditions. lnkSlingers: Writers in the Libraries hosted 11 writing workshops. Belle Plaine and Prior Lake also each hosted youth writing workshops as part of this series. Comments from participants mentioned often that the information in the classes was very inspiring, and useful to them. They said that the instructors gave practical, hands-on information and mentioned a number of times how the instructor had inspired and motivated them. They also appreciated the variety of teachers and authors, and asked for more writing classes on a wider variety of topics. As a direct result of the writing classes, two writing groups formed and continue to meet. Booked! Live Bands at Your Library is a new program developed to include more contemporary music and to offer the opportunity for suburban and rural communities to enjoy top-quality musicians from the metro area in the up-close and personal venue of the library. The musical groups played to packed, sometimes standing­ room-only, crowds with a wider variety of ages than is usually seen at library programs. The Savage Library commissioned mural artist Greg Preslicka to do a mural called "Taking Flight" on two walls of the children's area. The artist spent a week in January working on the project and gave three presentations on the mural process, and many more watched and interacted
with the artist as he worked on the mural. The community really enjoyed the opportunity to watch the mural in process.

Washington County Library built on the success of its annual One County, One Book program with Still Standing: The Story of Ssg. John Kriesel. The author is a resident of Washington County and served in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The remarkable and inspiring story is of a young man who overcame extraordinary challenges after losing his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq. Storytime for Grown-Ups brings the art of reading aloud and the joy of listening and remembering to residents of senior housing throughout the county. The library hired a professional reader to present a 6-week series of hour-long programs at five senior resident facilities. He read selections of short stories by popular Minnesota authors. After the readings, audience members shared their reactions and memories of similar situations in their own lives. The library invited local independent authors and publishers to offer their e-books to the readers of Washington County. Library Local Content was a partnership with the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. Authors submitted their works online. The library uploaded the works into its OverDrive e-book lending platform. Readers were encouraged to read and rate the books. With the success of our other writing programs we decided to offer another writer's workshop featuring a young and talented author. This time it was Alice Ozma, author of March 2012 One County One Book selection, The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared. When Alice reached out to us saying she would be in the area and would love to come back and do another program with us we jumped at the chance! We decided to host an informal writer's workshop and open it up to both teens and adults. Other memorable youth programs included our dramatic storytelling programs by SteppingStone Theatre where the artists had young toddlers crawling around on the floor acting out The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Metropolitan Library Service Agency
Street Address
1619 Dayton Ave., Suite 314
St. Paul
Zip Code
(651) 649-3169