Here’s a round-up of Arrowhead Library System Mini Grants that have been completed at Coleraine Public Library, Keewatin Elementary, Cook Public Library, Duluth Public Library, and Floodwood School:

Project: Computer Replacement

Feedback from Liv Mostad-Jensen, Coleraine Public Library Director

We had several computers that were out of order and could not be repaired, so we decided it was time to replace them. We were able to purchase 5 computers from PCs for people for $650. This cost was completely covered by the $250 ALS Mini Grant and our summer Pie Social fundraiser.  Our computer usage has been increasing since receiving the new computers. In August 2018, our computer usage was up 6.3% over the previous year. In September, it was up 10%. In October, it jumped up 25% over last year’s numbers. In particular, the new computers are getting a lot of use after school. We are drawing in the kids that are a bit too independent and old for Boys and Girls Club, but want somewhere to go and something to do after school.

Project: Wolf Pup 101 Video-conferencing Program

Feedback from Julie Stolp, Nashwauk-Keewatin School Librarian

The International Wolf Center program was presented to our 3rd graders at our Keewatin Elementary school on 11/6/18.  It provided a wonderful look into the wolf program for our low income/rural area families.  It made it accessible to our young students by holding it at our Elementary School. I think this program was a wonderful hit with the children!! They asked many questions, which proved to me that they were very intrigued, and wanted to learn more about wolves at the center, and wolves in general. I measured the success of this by the way they interacted with the employee/staff on the live feed, they all wanted a turn at asking questions. They came up with many, very intelligent, and thought provoking questions. The children even offered their insight on their knowledge of wolves. They all got VERY excited when the wolves came out and walked around (live feed)!!! Wolves are a part of our area and I don’t think many of the children would have gotten to learn all that they did if we had not provided this program to them free of cost. 10 out of 10!

Project: 2018 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference Attendance

Feedback from Crystal Phillips, Cook Public Library Director

Here’s a program summary from two sessions at the 2018 Minnesota Library Association Conference — Programmed to Lead — in St. Cloud, MN:

  • The Web is Lovely, Dark, and Deep: This session described three levels of the web, surface, deep and dark. Surface Web is what people are most familiar with when they use Google, Facebook, and news websites. The Deep Web includes census data, academic subscription databases and online library catalogs. These things cannot be searched from a traditional search engine and some are password protected. The Dark Web can be accessed using a TOR browser, which scrambles and encrypts searches making the searcher anonymous. Why is this important for libraries? Librarians provide access to information without question, virtual private networks (VPN) are becoming more popular and patrons are becoming more tech savvy and more concerned with privacy.
  • Geek Squad by Default: Dealing with Patron Technology Questions as Front-Line Staff:  Librarians often deal with a variety of technology questions from patrons. Here are some tips on how to help. Library Staff Rules of Engagement 1. Take a look 2. Profess no expertise 3. MAKE NO PROMISES 4. Use the words “us” and “we”, you and the patron are part of the process 5. Keep talking, explain and train as you go 6. Know when to walk away Remember that everyone has different experiences and abilities with technology, including library staff. Also, don’t assume young people are experts regarding technology.
  • The information from the technology sessions will be implemented immediately as I can educate my staff on how to engage with patrons and help everyone understand the different levels of the web. Measurements will come from the feedback from technology help sessions. The information from the community read session will be used to help us plan our upcoming community read. Measurements will come from number of participants during the community read program and also feedback from those participants.

Project: 2018 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference Attendance

Feedback from Kristy Nerhaugen, Duluth Public Library

The mini grant helped to cover my registration fee for Minnesota Library Association annual conference. It was the first time I have attended the conference. I learned a lot and was able to network and connect with library staff from around Minnesota.  It is highly beneficial for our patrons that our library staff participate in continuing education opportunities like this conference. Here are some highlights of the biggest take-aways from the conference: As a result of attending the conference, I was inspired to work with other Duluth Public Library staff to plan more kids’ coding events for this winter and spring. We offer Ozobot events for kids but have yet to do a bigger coding club for kids. We are now working to plan a larger coding event, open to more kids, that will include online coding platforms (like Scratch) and Cubettos. I was excited to learn about the MN Department of Education’s American Indian Literature core book collection access guide for youth. After learning about this at a MLA session, I brought the list back to Duluth Public Library staff and we will be working to enure we have these titles in our collection and, if it isn’t possible for us to purchase the titles, patrons know they can access these titles through the inter library loan service.

Project: 2018 ITEM Annual Conference Attendance

Feedback from Geraldine Davidson, Floodwood School

I attended the Fall 2018 ITEM Conference in Alexandria, Mn for the first time. It was a fabulous experience because I connected with other people in my field. I am the only person working as a Media Specialist, which makes is very isolating. Meeting other colleagues helped me network and get better ideas for library usage, book collections, services, etc. It was wonderful having all those authors to meet and buy books to help bring new material to the library. I enjoyed the main speaker and my sessions about copyright, agates, and much more. It was hard to choose because of my interest in all of them.  This has been a huge benefit to my program and students because I already incorporated Flipgrid into my end of quarter assessment and have had one author that I met visit our school. I was able to bring in new books for our collections from MN authors and have a second author scheduled to visit the school in December. So far, the Floodwood School students and parents have benefited very much with the new books and the authors they have and will meet.