Thank you so much for providing funding to attend the Minnesota Library Association Conference at the Mystic Lake Casino and Conference Center on September 19 and 20, 2019. Below are the sessions I attended that resonated with me and the work we are currently doing at the Marshall Lyon County Library.
The Library as a Nonpartisan Community Hub for Voter Outreach and Education
This session, along with the Friday lunch keynote by MN Secretary of State Steve Simon, brought home how critical the public library can be during major election years. The library can play a vital part in keeping MN’s voter turnout high. While the data shared was interesting, the ideas for programming was the most helpful, including workshops on how to vote, ballot walk-through opportunities and providing candidate and issue information.
Read Brave St. Paul
When a Melvin Carter was elected mayor of St. Paul last year, one of the first ideas he brought forward was a city-wide book club that would tackle critical issues facing the city. Using the structure of a teen book club that the library had been doing for the past three years, the St. Paul Library created a larger, interactive one-city, one-book program. Although they can certainly tackle big projects due to more money and staffing, there were a number of ideas that could be applied to smaller communities, including the possibility of doing a county-wide one book program as part of Lyon County’s 150th celebration next year.
Presented by an archivist and a U of M librarian, the session explained the steps to take when creating a curated digital story that is based in specific locations (the map part). The practical approach was welcome and helpful. As such, this program had a number of great possibilities and ideas for all libraries even though the basic software that it is built on is fairly expensive, and includes annual fees. For MLCL, this is potentially a great curated end-point for all the content we hope to create and gather next year during the 150th celebration as part of the library’s Memoir Project.