Monthly Archives: April 2016

Graphic Design Resources for Library Posters

oil-painting-1128693_1280In March I attended a Minitex webinar called “Graphic Design for Maximum Engagement.” It was aimed at librarians and taught by Meggan Press, who is not a graphic designer. She covered tips on layout, color, images, and fonts. The archive (60 min.) is available if you’d like to watch it. It’s well worth it, but in case you don’t have time, I wanted to highlight a few of the resources Meggan shared that could help you improve the posters you create to publicize the programs at your library. Good news – you don’t need to purchase or learn to use any fancy or expensive software! Continue reading

Grants for Libraries

MC900433808[1]These grants were also featured in the April issue of the Flickertale newsletter.



Lois Lenski Covey Foundation

Deadline: May 13, 2016

Lois Lenski established a foundation to provide grants to agencies serving children in disadvantaged populations. The Foundation awards grants to libraries for purchasing books published for young people preschool through grade 8. School libraries, non-traditional libraries, and bookmobile programs are eligible. The Foundation provides grants to libraries or organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children, have limited book budgets, and demonstrate real need.

Roads to Reading Literacy Initiative

Deadline: June 30, 2016

The Roads to Reading Literacy Initiative will provide books for circulation and story time in school and public libraries, remedial reading programs in schools, afterschool programs and community centers.

Tom and Frances Leach Foundation

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Tom and Frances Leach were dedicated to sharing their prosperity by using private funds to promote the public welfare. The Board of Directors follows the grant making guidelines set forth by the late Mr. and Mrs. Tom Leach, which supports endeavors to include the arts and humanities, education, human services, medical sciences and health, and the social sciences. General policy of The Tom and Frances Leach Foundation, Inc. is to make financial contributions to organizations in Mid-Central USA which are qualified as charitable, religious, scientific, or educational.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative

Deadline: Ongoing

Basin Electric and its subsidiaries are community-focused. Each year our Charitable Giving Program donations are dispersed to charities in the Basin membership’s service territory. Basin Electric also donates surplus office equipment such as computers, desks and chairs for organizations in need.

Books for Kids

Deadline: Ongoing

Books for Kids creates and furnishes libraries within existing preschools and day care centers, which enables children who may not have access to a public library to discover the world of books. Each library is created with an age-appropriate collection, which includes the core group of standard titles recommended by the Department of Education and early childhood literacy experts. Books are carefully selected to reflect the backgrounds and life experiences of the children in that community. Libraries include child-friendly chairs and tables, colorful carpets, listening centers, puppets, print-rich murals, and more.

Alternative Book Clubs

booksBook clubs are popular library programs, and the North Dakota State Library offers a number of book club kits. However, if a typical book club hasn’t taken off in your library, or if you are looking to spice up or diversify your book club offerings, why not try a book club that’s a little different?

Here are some ideas that might work well at your library:

  • Cookbook Club – Book clubs often involve snacks anyway, so why not try making food the focus of your club? Emphasize your cookbook collection, learn new cooking skills, and have a selection of tasty treats at the end! Pick a theme or let members pursue their interests. A kitchen at the library is not required; everyone cooks at home and brings the end results to share. The Winnipeg Public Library has a successful cookbook club if you want to learn more about how they structure theirs.
  • Knitting Club – A knitting club gives patrons the opportunity to share patterns, progress, and projects. You may need to invest in some pattern books if your library doesn’t own any. With a knitting club, everyone chooses their own project and works at their own pace, so knitters of all abilities are welcome. The Winnipeg Public Library has helpful guidance for your getting a knitting club started at your library based on their experiences.

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Library Volunteers

volunteerAlmost every library depends on volunteer help at some time or another. Some libraries in North Dakota are run entirely by volunteers year-round! Summer, however, means summer reading programming. As one of the most time and labor intensive programs that most libraries offer, summer reading is one time nearly all libraries rely on volunteers for extra help. Finding and retaining reliable volunteers can be as challenging as planning a whole summer’s worth of programming, so here are some resources that may help.

The National Summer Learning Association has a tip sheet to help you recruit and select seasonal staff. It helps you identify potential sources for recruiting summer help, and it also provides tips for interviewing.

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