Southeastern Libraries Cooperating Legacy Grant SFY 2016-SFY 2017

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$209,642
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$202,731
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Recipient
Southeastern Libraries Cooperating
Recipient Type
Libraries
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2015
End Date
June 2019
Activity Type
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Counties Affected
Dodge
Fillmore
Freeborn
Goodhue
Houston
Mower
Olmsted
Rice
Steele
Wabasha
Winona
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2015 Chapter 2--S.F. No. 1, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 5
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 must be allocated using the formulas 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 must be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2017, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2019.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$209,642
Other Funds Leveraged
$73,302
Direct expenses
$282,944
Administration costs
$5,271
Number of full time equivalents funded
0.275
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of activities, programs, and/or events: 45 projects with 296 events/programs Total participation/attendance: 21,383Total number of partnerships: 263

Source of Additional Funds

SELCO Staff 200 hours in-kind

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2015 Chapter 2--S.F. No. 1, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 5
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 must be allocated using the formulas 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 must be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2017, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2019.

2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$202,731
Other Funds Leveraged
$29,260
Direct expenses
$231,991
Administration costs
$5,084
Number of full time equivalents funded
Total FTE (funded by ACHF): 0.16
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of activities, programs, and/or events: 173 

Total participation/attendance: 15,751

Total number of partnerships: 260 

Description of Funds
Community Collaboration Grant – Our Stories, Our Community
In the fall of 2016, a planning team gathered to build the Rochester Public Library’s (RPL) oral history program in partnership with the History Center of Olmsted County. Each team member was charged with cultivating relationships with members of the communities whose stories we sought as part of this project. The team collaborated to develop instructional materials for conducting oral histories, instructional materials for using the workstation equipment, consent forms for sharing oral histories, a process for curating oral histories, and training programs to empower the public to create and share their own histories.

Oral history allows us to learn about perspectives of individuals who may not otherwise appear in the typical written historical records. This project built the infrastructure and processes for a long-term sustainable, inclusive oral history collection. We have also created a platform for people to record their own histories in addition to the ones that we curate.

This grant allowed us to purchase the equipment to help us build the capacity to capture oral histories. We purchased a sound booth for the Rochester Public Library to provide a bookable quiet space for oral histories to be recorded. This piece of infrastructure has facilitated the oral history project and had demonstrated usefulness beyond the grant in that community members can reserve the space to conduct recordings of all types. The quality of the recordings when using the sound booth is much better than those recorded elsewhere and recordings from the sound booth take much less staff time to clean up and process.

We also purchased equipment to create two (2) mobile recording kits which include a computer, microphone, headphones, and software to facilitate both the recording and transcribing of oral histories. These resources can be reserved at both the Rochester Public Library and the History Center of Olmsted County for ongoing recording and transcribing of oral histories. In addition, smaller recording devices were purchased for use by students who participated with this project.

We have collected the histories of 13 people who helped to shape this community in the 70s, 80s and 90s while Rochester was undergoing significant growth and transition. We are continuing to curate oral histories as an ongoing part of the library’s programming activities.

The process from interview to the addition of the files to the database is lengthy. It requires staff to work with the files and translate them into a usable form. This project did take us longer than we anticipated meeting our initial goals for the project. As we have refined the process we have gotten more efficient. As part of our efforts we also informed the public about how to create their own oral history and the opportunity to have it added to our databases. It will be an ongoing part of the RPL and HCOC efforts to continue to encourage the creation and addition of oral histories in addition to the ones we curate.

To celebrate and promote this new oral history collection, the library hosted an Oral History Fair as our capstone program. Leading up to this program, we had a “booth” in the library’s lobby where patrons could preview a video about the project with snippets of the various histories. At this program we celebrated the people who contributed their story, provided an overview of the project, showed people the sound booth, shared the oral history tool kit, and provided the opportunity for participants to share a story.

This event generated media attention to this project.
• 11/13/17 KTTC ; Rochester Public Library celebrates oral histories ; http://www.kttc.com/story/36826118/2017/11/12/rochester-public-library-celebrates-oral-histories
• 11/13/17 KAAL; Project aims to tell Rochester History Through Eyes of Residents http://www.kaaltv.com/news/project-aims-to-tell-rochester-history-through-eyes-of-residents/4667384/
• 11/13/17 KIMT ; Our Community, Our Stories project revealed http://www.kimt.com/content/news/Our- Community-Our-Stories-project-revealed-457110453.html
• 11/13/17 Post Bulletin; How does your story fit into Rochester’s history: http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/how-does-your-story-fit-into-rochester-s- history/article_1c7eaf20-f64f-554a-931b-b3c20b134d86.html


Community Collaboration Grant - Houston County Little Free Libraries

The directors of Caledonia, Hokah, Houston, LaCrescent, and Spring Grove Public Libraries co-wrote a grant which allowed us to place 25 Little Free Library structures around Houston County, essentially five in each city hosting a public library. Grant dollars paid for the Little Free Libraries, the registration plaques, plaques containing the Legacy Logo information, Community Share Boxes, a bookmark questionnaire, and a tri-fold pamphlet on the project. Each library partnered with their city to determine locations for the LFLs. Each library also sought out local artists to decorate the structures. Launch parties were held to celebrate the installations in each community as well as to honor the artists involved. Library staff, Friends of the Library, and other volunteers have kept the LFLs filled using donated and withdrawn materials. This project tied in with our 2017 Summer Reading theme of "Build a Better World" or "Reading by Design."

Our first tasks were to order registration plaques and Community Share Boxes from the Little Free Library organization, order Legacy Logo plaques from Wild Exhibit, and order the actual LFLs and support posts from a local carpenter. As the LFLs became ready and available over the course of the winter, they were quickly picked up by the library directors, thereby maximizing the time we had to get them decorated. Many of the libraries then had their finished LFLs on display at the library until the dates of their launch parties, helping to promote awareness of the project as well over the winter months. Each library determined their own plan for decorating the LFLS as well as their future locations, working in conjunction with city councils, library boards, schools, local artists, etc.

Each library held one or several Launch Parties to celebrate the installation of the LFLs in each town, as well as to honor the artists involved. We also placed bookmark questionnaires on library services in books within each structure that people could fill out and return to any of our libraries.

Our goals were
1. to increase access to free reading materials for citizens of all ages across Houston County outside of the walls and structured schedules of schools and libraries.
2. to promote our individual libraries and our regional library system by including informational brochures and bookmarks featuring all five Houston County Public Libraries in each LFL.
3. to collaborate with each other, as well as with many other organizations in our communities that have similar goals as our own
4. to create fun, new, and vibrant places of interest in our small towns that not only promote reading and active living, but also connect people, are artistically interesting, and improve our general quality of life.

We all wholeheartedly agree that all four goals were accomplished with this project, though measuring the success is more difficult. While we created the bookmark survey to help us gauge use of the libraries, only 33 people actually turned them in, while 500 bookmarks were distributed during the three month period. The best measure of success is probably the frequency at which we were required to fill out 25 LFLs. All five of us agreed that we were surprised at how many books we went through this summer to keep the structures full and inviting.

The reaction from people across the county was so positive! From comments and likes on Facebook to conversations with patrons, everyone LOVED this project. Here are just a few specific comments from LFL patrons:
1. one little kid said to me that getting to open the door of a LFL and see what books were in there for free was a little bit like opening presents on Christmas Day!
2 an older woman in another community commented that she was using them as a way of making sure her beloved books find a good home since she is cleaning out her house to move to an assisted living facility. Every time she checks and sees one of her books has been adopted, it "fills her heart with joy." Based on interactions like these, the five of us library directors agree that this was one of the most fun and satisfying project we have every worked on!

I do not believe that numbers can clearly give a sense of how successful this project was. While we can count attendees at our launch parties (239) and people who turned in bookmark questionnaires (33 out of 500 distributed), this does not in any way paint a picture of actual LFL use or general satisfaction with the project. The biggest indication is really just how many books we went through this summer, which none of us can accurately measure!
Project Overview

Minnesota’s twelve regional library systems, which encompass more than 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, can 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 library system is eligible to receive a formula-driven allocation from the annual $2.2 million Minnesota Regional Library System Legacy Grant. Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) is a federated regional public library system with central services located in southeastern Minnesota. SELCO has thirty-five member public libraries located in eleven counties: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona. With Arts and Cultural Heritage funds, SELCO 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. Projects contribute to the cultural vitality of the region and build a lasting legacy.

Project Manager
First Name
Krista
Last Name
Ross
Organization Name
Southeastern Libraries Cooperating
Street Address
2600 19th St. NW
City
Rochester
State
MN
Zip Code
55901-0767
Phone
(507) 288-5513
Email
kross@selco.info