Metropolitan Library Service Agency Legacy Grant SFY2014 - SFY2015

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,141,083
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,141,083
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Recipient
Metropolitan Library Service Agency
Recipient Type
Libraries
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2013
End Date
June 2017
Activity Type
Digitization/Online Information Access
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Fund Administration
Grants/Contracts
Preservation
Research
Counties Affected
Anoka
Carver
Dakota
Hennepin
Ramsey
Scott
Washington
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2013 Chapter 137, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 4
Appropriation Language

These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. These funds shall be allocated using the formula in Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, subdivisions 3, 4, and 5, with the remaining 25 percent to be distributed to all qualifying systems in an amount proportionate to the number of qualifying system entities in each system. For purposes of this subdivision, "qualifying system entity" means a public library, a regional library system, a regional library system headquarters, a county, or an outreach service program. 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. These funds shall be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2015, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2017.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,141,083
Other Funds Leveraged
$8,000
Direct expenses
$1,149,083
Administration costs
$22,636
Number of full time equivalents funded
1.6
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of projects: 420
Total number of activities, programs and/or events: 1,473
Total attendance: 244,822
Total number of partnerships: 100

Description of Funds
MELSA Legacy Activity Highlights:

Club Book, the acclaimed literary series, switched to a new coordinating partner, Library Strategies, the consulting division of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. A unique player on Minnesota's literary events scene, Club Book brings dozens of best-selling and award-winning authors each year to libraries throughout the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Since its inception in 2010, the program has coordinated over 90 events in 20 communities. Our eighth season (February-April 2014), anchored by New York Times bestsellers like Elizabeth Berg, Amanda Coplin, and J. Courtney Sullivan, was well received. Under the new leadership, the season also saw a brand overhaul, the launch of a new and dynamic website, and the extension of the program's reach and longevity with a new podcast series of the same name. The podcasts increased the reach of Club Book with over 800 downloads as of June 2014.

MELSA collaborated with the Loft Literary Center to coordinate activities for metro-area involvement associated with the National Poetry Out Loud program and expand participation. Poetry Out Loud is a national competition for high school students. Through MELSA's involvement, more public activities were held, including an online course open to anyone, a public celebration during National Poetry Month and enhancements of the regional and statewide competitions.

Teen Lit Con was a new region-wide event for MELSA libraries. This one-day event was hosted by the student library club at Henry Sibley High School. Transportation was provided to schools resulting in over 700 students and adults in attendance. The day was filled with presentations by major authors, workshops, book signings and fun activities.

Regional Library System Activity Highlights:

Anoka County Library hosted several hands-on art making activities engaging kids of all ages. Participants sampled solar printmaking, painting, costume design, weaving, photography, book arts, pottery, folk dance, mask making, song writing, puppet making, paleo art and music. The Page and Stage program with Lyric Arts Main Street Stage was successful for yet another season of pre- and post-show discussions for six plays.

Carver County Library serves a large community of writers in several creative writing programs. Nearly 150 people attended a fall writing series and a Writer's Fair was held in the spring featuring writing and editing workshops with five published authors. For the early childhood set, over 330 young children and their caregivers attended one of ten Sing, Play Learn with MacPhail programs designed to enhance reading readiness.

Dakota County Library offered hundreds of hands-on visual art and theater programs for kids and adults with Art Start, Northern Clay Center, the Textile Center, SteppingStone Theatre and independent teaching artists. Project Runway star Christopher Straub was featured at two events for teens - a teen style battle using recycled clothing and mother-daughter pairs learned how to construct high-fashion handbags. A how-to-do Elsy class was a big hit, as well as an Author Fair featuring keynote speaker Lorna Landvik, book signings with 60 regional authors and writing workshops with The Loft.

Hennepin County Library embraced genealogy in a big way. Over 400 people attended genealogy research sessions at 20 libraries where they learned about research tools and library resources. A special two-day event focused on African American genealogy featuring national speakers attracted 300 researchers. The library houses several special collections, many of which are quite fragile and in high demand. The Minneapolis City Directories from 1859-1929 were digitized, providing online access resulting in tenfold increase use of the collection and becoming the library's most used digital resource. A new collaboration with Coffee House Press, pairs writers in residence at all types of libraries. Author Andy Sturdevant was in residence at the Northeast Library where he explored the commercial history of the neighborhood and made a public presentation which attracted new visitors to the library. The ever-popular Work of Art series is presented by Springboard for the Arts providing independent artists business training in career planning, time management, professional presentation, marketing, legal issues, bookkeeping, business plans, pricing, funding and social media. The series is offered six times a year at various libraries and always fills.

Ramsey County Library patrons love history. The library fills every history program they offer including twice monthly programs presented by the White Bear Lake Historical Society, genealogy research, and a World War 11 series featuring book clubs and presentations on the home front, songs of WWII, Churchill, the Pacific battles, and generals. African American history was celebrated with a musical tribute to Martin Luther King and the March on Washington with T. Mychael Rambo, The Ballad of Emmett Till with Penumbra Theater, The Daughters of Africa with Mixed Blood Theater, and a presentation on the Pullman porters of St. Paul.

Saint Paul Public Library celebrated Asian American art and culture in May. Ten libraries hosted program featuring creative writing, Chinese calligraphy, Hmong needlework, theater, martial arts and much more where participants learned about the Asian American experience in the Twin Cities. Wacky Food Books was a huge hit for preschoolers and their caregivers. A book artist interpreted Dora's Book by Michelle Edwards into wacky breakfasts, lunches and dinners with materials from the kitchen such as cereal boxes and pipe cleaner spaghetti. Adults explored St. Paul's seedy history in the popular True Crime series featuring true tales of gangsters, murder and Prohibition.

Scott County Library excels at packaging their Legacy programs as a series. The highlight was Dished: Good Food and Food Writing from the Heartland featuring acclaimed TV personality and cookbook author Amy Thielen, Indian cooking rock star Raghaven Iyer, as well as story times with chickens, history of beer brewing with optional field trips for tastings (not funded by Legacy) and much more. Twenty-five programs for nearly 2,000 adults and children focused on local food writers, producers and farming in the region, historic traditions and contemporary innovations. The annual lnkslingers: Authors in the Library series features presentations and workshops on writing and publishing with 150 people attending 11 programs. Booked: Live Bands at Your Library featured contemporary live music and attracted folks of all ages, especially younger adults to venues close to home - without having to travel to Minneapolis to see high-quality performances including the Cactus Blossoms, Becky Schlegel, Peter Ostroushko and Crankshaft.

Washington County Library has taken story time to the next level in their Story Time for Grown Ups program. Taking the concept of story time for preschoolers and repackaging it to appeal to the needs of older adults has become one of the most popular programs in Washington County. Featuring works by Minnesota authors, the library books story readers in senior housing and care facilities throughout the county. Participants recognize stories and literature as the core mission of libraries in this innovative outreach program. Skateboard artist Mark Rivard engaged 75 teens in customizing their skateboard with their own original artwork in programs hosted by four libraries.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2013 Chapter 137, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 4
Appropriation Language

These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. These funds shall be allocated using the formula in Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, subdivisions 3, 4, and 5, with the remaining 25 percent to be distributed to all qualifying systems in an amount proportionate to the number of qualifying system entities in each system. For purposes of this subdivision, "qualifying system entity" means a public library, a regional library system, a regional library system headquarters, a county, or an outreach service program. 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. These funds shall be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2015, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2017.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,141,083
Other Funds Leveraged
$48,655
Direct expenses
$1,189,738
Administration costs
$26,805
Number of full time equivalents funded
.25
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total Number of activities, programs and/or events: 1,986
Total participation/attendance: 135,555
Total Number of partnerships: 196

Description of Funds
MELSA Legacy Activity Highlights:
Club Book brings best-selling and award-winning national and regional authors to libraries throughout the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan region. Since 2010, Club Book has presented 140 author events at libraries throughout the MELSA region. Thousands of book lovers have met authors at live appearances and listened through podcasts. Audiences are thrilled to get up close and personal with internationally recognized authors such as Tim O'Brien, Terry McMillan, Elizabeth Gilbert, Walter Mosley, Rita Mae Brown, Alexander McCall Smith, Larry Watson, Cheryl Strayed, Carl Hiaasen, Sara Paretsky, Nikki Giovanni, and Louise Penny. And our Minnesota literary luminaries are well represented by authors such as Marlon James, Kate DiCamillo, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kling, Will Weaver, Julie Schumacher, Alexs Pates, Jonathan Odell, Lorna Landvik, Amy Thielen, and John
Sandford. The programs are now being podcast, allowing their audiences to continue to grow over time. http://clubbook.org/

Teen Lit Con connects teens with their current and future favorite authors. The annual, day-long event features national and Minnesota young adult authors for an excited crowd of 900-1200 young people to enjoy. Teens get the chance to discover new teen lit, hear how favorite books were created, and even try to write something of their own. Along with authors and writing workshops, Teen Lit Con attendees have the opportunity to explore hands-on book arts, book signings, personalized poetry, and many more varieties of literary arts. http://www.teenlitcon.org/

Read and Ride Day at the State Fair takes the public library to the Minnesota State Fair. For one day the public libraries occupy Carousel Park to highlight the programming offered every day at Minnesota public libraries made possible with Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage grant funding. Read & Ride Day features live performances for eight hours on the Carousel Park Stage. In addition to the marathon of Minnesota talent on stage, Read & Ride Day has hosted authors, storywalks, hands-on art activities, and numerous innovative ways for fairgoers to connect with literature. Fairgoers who show their public library card receive a discount on their gate pass, so on this day, like every other day, your library card really pays off.


Anoka County Library:
Several MELSA libraries have hosted instructors from The Loft Literary Center to offer creative writing classes for children, teens, and adults. Community members have been vocal in expressing their appreciation for the high quality classes offered close to home. At Rum River Library in Anoka County, these classes have sparked a passion for writing which has led to a writer's group that now gathers monthly.

Partnering with the Anoka County Historical Society, Anoka County brings eight history programs to its community each year. The Bringing Local History to Life program highlights various topics in Anoka County's history. Programs draw large crowds, generate thoughtful community conversations, and invite residents to tell their part of the story.

Musician-in-residence, James Hersch, leads four-day Songwriting Workshops for kids in grades three to five at Anoka County Library locations and at the Banfill-Locke Arts Center in Fridley during the summer. Together they learn to write songs, tell stories, play with the rhythm of language, and work through the creative process. Songs are recorded and CDs are distributed to all participants at a final CD release party.

Carver County Library:
Hooked on Books and the Arts Too! is a community-wide celebration of literacy and the arts, co­-presented by Carver County Library and a local school district. Every February over 2,500 children and their adults meet authors and illustrators, sample hands-on art making in a variety of media, and enjoy live music performances.

In its Timeline series, Carver County Library hosted two programs with Minnesota's Climatologist, Dr. Mark Seeley. The first program commemorated the tornado of May 6, 1965 - one of the worst tornadoes that has ever struck the metro area. The Norwood Young America Historical Society partnered to share displays, photographs, and artifacts. Dr. Seeley's second program discussed the Armistice Day Blizzard which killed 49 people in Minnesota. Dr. Seeley showed how this tragedy brought about equipment and procedures that make weather forecasting more precise today.

Dakota County Library:
Dakota County Library's Local Author Fair features keynote speakers; classes on writing and publishing; and author tables featuring 40 local authors of adult, teen, and children's books. Keynote speakers have included David Housewright, Lorna Landvik, and Benjamin Percy.

The Silver Teas live music series is held each May in celebration of Older Americans Month. Featuring musicians of all types and at all Dakota County Library locations, these events are extremely popular and useful for developing a sense of community. Demand has exceeded capacity at most locations, and the library now hosts multiple event times to meet crowd demands.

Hennepin County Library:
In collaboration with Coffee House Press, local writers spent a month in residency exploring the collections and archives at Hennepin County Library and Saint Paul Public Library. The Writers in the Library programs culminated in engaging programs for the public.

Dia de los Ninos is a celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. Hennepin County Library celebrates children, literacy, and culture by partnering with community organizations to host programs in communities where census data have indicated a large and/or rising Latino population. Programs celebrating Latino cultures include art creation, music, dance, and traditional children's games.

The Library offered Pride-themed storytimes; presented two programs for adults: Telling Queer History and Queer Voices; and promoted Hennepin County Library literary programs and books at a booth at the Pride Festival Twin Cities.

Ramsey County Library:
As part of Ramsey County Library's annual Kindergarten Library Card Celebration, children's librarians visit kindergarten classrooms to promote the benefits of having a library card. The children and their families are invited to a celebration at the library where they receive their very first library card from an award-winning author. Featured authors give multiple presentations throughout the day, reading and interacting with the children.

Black Lives Matter: A Movement in Context was a three-part series. Ramsey County Library partnered with Osher Life Long Learning Institute of the University of Minnesota to help residents understand the historical background of this contemporary social issue that engages our community.

The Making It: Teen Art program features monthly programs where teens can learn new art techniques and create a masterpiece to take home. Local artists teach workshops highlighting Batik (hot wax and fabric), mosaics, marbled paper, and more.

Saint Paul Public Library:
Read Brave is Saint Paul Public Library's annual, city-wide program encouraging youth and adults to read and come together around a young adult novel. The program encourages intergenerational dialog about thought-provoking, contemporary.issues facing teens and culminates with a visit by the author. Each year, hundreds of copies of the Read Brave book are distributed to the community, primarily to teens in the Saint Paul Public School system. When teens own the book, they take ownership of the reading, get the thrill of a personalized autograph, and are able to share the book with friends and family.

The Artful Expression series featured six, hands-on art making sessions for seniors. The program provided instruction from professional artists as well as vital opportunities for seniors to engage socially. The series was full with a waiting list. Classes included watercolor, weaving, silk scarf dyeing, paper collage, calligrams, and print making.

Two Saint Paul Public Library locations hosted the exhibit I mmigrants Tell Their Stories in June, 2015, to coincide with World Refugee Day. The exhibit included portraits of first-generation immigrants, from different walks of life and different corners of the world, including several Minnesota residents. Visitors scanned QR codes on the displays to watch first-person videos about the individuals' immigration experiences.

Scott County Library:
The Prior Lake, Shakopee, and Elko New Market libraries hosted photography exhibits and events as part of the Photography in the Library series. A highlight was the exhibit Vietnam, a Window to War by James Thompson at the Prior Lake Library. The library reached out to the local VFW to invite them to a special opening reception, and many veterans and their families came and spent time talking to the photographer and each other about their experiences surrounding the Vietnam War.

As part of the lnkslingers: Authors in the Library series, each Scott County library hosted visits by local and regional authors representing a variety of genres and audiences, and writing classes for adults and teens. Participants in the writing classes in particular commented on receiving excellent information that was applicable and motivating, and two writing groups were formed that continue to meet.

Hands On: Art Exploration for Adults programs feature participatory art classes for older adults that help participants develop a new skill and develop a sense of community. The highlight for most students was the culminating art display and reception where they shared their art with family and friends.

Washington County Library:
Since 2010, Washington County has installed hanging art railing along the interior walls of five of its six libraries, converting unoccupied wall space into the largest gallery display space in Washington County. As part of the Washington County Library Local Arts Initiative, library staff made contact with over 130 local photographers, painters, and fiber artists to arrange for bimonthly exhibits of local artwork, establishing Washington County Library as the premier local arts exhibit space in our community.

The innovative Storvtime for Grownups program launched in 2013 and brings dramatic readings of topical and classical books featuring Minnesota authors and writers to senior residences throughout Washington County. Older adults enjoy an afternoon of literary readings designed to engage critical thought and discussion on a variety of topics in the arts, history, and culture.
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 Manager
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Behringer
Organization Name
Metropolitan Library Service Agency
Street Address
1619 Dayton Ave., Suite 314
City
St. Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55104-6206
Phone
(651) 645-5731
Email
ken@melsa.org