THE PRESIDENT’S CORNER
“The only way to have a friend is to be one,” a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, has appeared on MALF’s publications for more years than I can remember. It is a timeless tagline that reflects our organization’s mission, our eagerness to collaborate and cooperate, and our desire to support each other as we support the library.
The Association’s efforts have varied in the past. We have always had great people with strong feelings to help library support groups do great things. From administering the Minnesota Chautauqua in the organization’s early years to recognizing best projects by local groups more recently, MALF’s vision is to enhance local Friends groups by sharing ideas and incorporating new projects. Today, MALF is facing an exciting future. New staff… new communications tools (including a re-vamped website and social media connections)… a growing Board of Directors… plus a new strategic plan will provide MALF the ability to be a strong voice for Friends groups and libraries across Minnesota. And libraries need friends even more than ever in these times. All of us have reports about how library services are being reduced in our communities.
Local Friends must step forward to tell the transformational stories of the library to our stakeholders and funders. MALF is prepared to help each of you advocate.
From my observation, the most successful Friends groups are ones that communicate well. They bring together library directors, library Trustees and the local community to define what’s best for the library. They set goals and work together to achieve them. They act like best friends for their library.I encourage you to become a “Best Friend.” That may mean being a volunteer at your library, working a book sale, delivering books to a homebound community member… or just giving a financial contribution. In any way you can, help make your great library even better.
Chris Olson is the Association’s President, Executive Director for the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), and is an adjunct faculty member at St. Catherine University in the Masters of Library Science program.
Here are some of the ways your Association is working for you:
We are constantly looking for interesting information about citizens supporting their libraries - whether you are part of an organized Friends group, an individual supporter, or someone looking to start a friends group, you will find resources and links to current information on how to get started. www.mnlibraryfriends.org
Our newsletter will always be a work in progress, but we are working hard to improve - let us know what you would like to see in your Association’s newsletter. We encourage all of our members to receive the newsletter electronically - have you sent us your current email address?
New Member Benefit:
All members may list up to FOUR email addresses for newsletters. Contact the office to add email addresses to your member account.
MALF needs Friends too! Please look us up and "like" us (we hope you will!)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS!
2010 EVY NORDLEY BEST PROJECT BY FRIENDS
Applications are being accepted now and must be received not later than 5:00p.m. on July 1, 2011.
Each year, the Association rewards and encourages creative and effective projects by Friends of the Library groups in Minnesota. The Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends has proven to be an effective method for idea sharing, exchange of information, and the ongoing improvement of citizen-led projects in support of libraries. Minnesota’s libraries provide vital points of access to all its citizens. When your group enters its project for consideration, it has done much more than join a competition, it pollinates the Minnesota air with fresh ideas. It is by encouraging and assisting the free exchange of ideas that MALF’s best work gets done. Share your successful Friends of the Library project in 2010!
By applying, your group agrees to have its project and application materials shared and publicized by the Association. Only members of the Association are eligible to submit entries, which must be received by 5p.m. on July 1, 2011. (New member groups are welcome to join MALF and submit an application simultaneously).
Award criteria, application guidelines and entry forms are available for download at our website: www.mnlibraryfriends.org.
If you are unable to download an entry form for any reason, please contact our office (651) 366-6492. We will gladly deliver the materials via fax or US Mail.
Emailed requests should be addressed to: email@example.com.
NEWS FROM THE OFFICE
Improving that which is already good. The Challenge.
Since I began work for the Association in June, 2010, I have been amazed at how quickly it has yielded to rapid change and growth. Being the first staff member to work for the Association in its thirty-year history has challenged me in unexpected ways. My marching orders from the Association’s leaders are to improve upon an already impressive history of statewide library support. At first I was unsure about how I might contribute to MALF’s work, beyond a new website and an improved online presence - just the basics. I was, at first, a bit intimidated by the challenge. And without the inspiration I receive through contact with the Association’s members, I might still be gazing into the headlights. Instead, having seen the projects and hard work taking place in our state on behalf of libraries, I shook off the headlights and got to work.
Minnesota’s communities know that their libraries need citizen support at the grassroots level. I’ve been given the privilege of collecting and sharing the stories of the work being done by the people of our state and to lead the Association’s efforts in carrying out its mission. I’m a true believer in MALF’s mission and I am grateful to be able to have a part in executing that mission, side by side with the people of Minnesota.
James Kellison, Executive Director
Minnesota Association of Library Friends
325 Cedar Street, Suite 555
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1055