Be a MN Book Award Judge

September 24, 2008

Applications are now available to be a Minnesota Book Awards judge. This is a great opportunity. More information and the application form can be found at: .

Applications for preliminary and final round judges are being accepted for the eight book categories.  Volunteer judge applications and eligibility requirements are available online at http://www.thefriends.orgor by calling 651/336-6497.  Qualified individuals new to the book judging process as well as experienced judges are encouraged to apply.  The deadline for applications is Friday, October 10, 2008.


Minnesota Book Award Nominations open

September 24, 2008

From the St Paul Friends of the Library and the Minnesota Book Award Committee comes the following announcement. More information is available at their website.

Nominations for the 21st annual Minnesota Book Awards are open now through Friday, December 12, 2008.  The eight categories in which books may be entered are Children’s Literature, General Nonfiction, Genre Fiction, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, Minnesota, Novel & Short Story, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.  Anyone may nominate an eligible book by completing the nomination form and submitting five non-returnable copies of the book, plus the $40 nomination fee, to The Friends’ office.  Nomination forms and the eligibility and entry guidelines are available online at or by calling 651/366-6497.

“My Health Minnesota – Go Local” celebrates anniversary

September 22, 2008

 This notice from MINITEX — if you haven’t explored this resource or shared it with your users, give it a try now!  It’s pretty fabulous.

My Health Minnesota -> Go Local Celebrates Birthday!

My Health Minnesota -> Go Local (, a free database of health services throughout Minnesota, recently celebrated its first birthday! The project is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries, the Mayo Clinic Libraries, and the MINITEX Library Information Network, in collaboration with the National Library of Medicine.

 Minnesota citizens can use Go Local to find more than 5,000 hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, support groups, pharmacists, libraries,

rehabilitation programs, and other health services in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, plus reliable health information about a multitude of diseases and conditions from MedlinePlus ( The database is searchable by location, diseases/health issues, and providers/facilities/health services. My Health Minnesota -> Go Local continues to grow daily as we add resources throughout the state.

 In its first year, My Health Minnesota -> Go Local has been used by people all over Minnesota, plus across the United States and in other parts of the world.  You’re invited to check out this resource for yourself at:  Please direct questions and comments or suggest resources to be included by e-mailing

 Mary Parker, Associate Director
MINITEX Library Information Network

Presidential debates and libraries

September 17, 2008

Below is a message from James Rettig, President of ALA, regarding the upcoming Presidential debates and how to submit library-related questions for the candidates:

On Tuesday, October 7, one of the three 2008 Presidential debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. This debate will be a town hall format moderated by Tom Brokaw. The moderator will call on members of the audience as well as select questions submitted online.

During this election year, we are looking for librarians and library supporters from across the country to call attention to the value of today’s libraries in our communities, as well as the issues the library community is facing. We encourage all ALA members to submit questions. The Commission on Presidential Debates has partnered with MySpace to create a new Web site, This site will become available in the days leading up to the first Presidential debate on September 26.  The more questions submitted, the more likely a library question will be asked. This is an opportunity for the library voice to become an important part of the 2008 Presidential election.


James Rettig
ALA President

Update on the Broadband Task Force

September 16, 2008

The following is a brief update from Peg Werner, Viking Library System Director, on the work of the Ultra-High Speed Broadband Task Force.

Peg has been appointed by Gov. Pawlenty to represent Libraries on this Task Force and from her comments, you can see that she is doing an excellent job. Thanks, Peg, for your eloquence, for representing our users’ needs, and for keeping libraries visible to this important task force.

“FYI – The Ultra-High Speed Broadband Task Force has met only once.  The main difference between this group and other, similar ones that I have served on is that this time it is a mix of government-types and industry insiders.  So we not only have the users represented, but also the providers.  I think that will be very helpful in both our discussions and in any conclusions we may draw.  As a representative of public libraries, I am emphasizing the fact that providing broadband across MN at a relatively cheap rate does not a State of “haves” make.  It is essential for this task force to understand that there are thousands of Minnesotans who: 1) cannot afford even cheap broadband  2) do not have and cannot afford a computer  3) have  never used a computer and don’t know how to get help.  Public libraries are the number one source in the country to counteract all three of these issues. “

Best Small Library in America Award

September 9, 2008

Library Journal‘s annual award for the Best Small Library in America, cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was founded to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of these libraries. Now in its fifth year, the award honors the public library that most profoundly demonstrates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less (see below for eligibility).

The winning library will receive a $15,000 cash award, a feature story in the February 1, 2009, Library Journal, membership and conference costs for two library representatives to attend the Public Library Association Biannual Conference in 2010 in Portland, OR, and a gala reception at the conference.

More information and guidelines for submission are available from Library Journal at: .