2022 Arrowhead Library System Mini Grant Round-Up Part 2

Here’s a round-up of Arrowhead Library System Mini Grants that were completed in 2022 at Cook Public Library, Hoyt Lakes Public Library, Calumet Public Library, Baudette Public Library, Carlton Area Public Library, Silver Bay Public Library, Duluth Public School Libraries, Northeast Range School Library, Cloquet Public Library, Proctor/Hermantown Early Learning, and Hibbing Public Library:

Project: North Woods 3rd Grade Trip to the Library
Feedback from Crystal Whitney, Cook Public Library
This mini grant paid for the North Woods 3rd grade class (34 students and 3 teachers) to visit both the Cook Public Library and Cook Fire Hall. At the library, students had a quick snack then headed into the library for a tour. The group gathered in the children’s area to talk about non-fiction books and then they helped each other complete a library scavenger hunt. We set up STEAM kits from ALS so kids could paint rocks, play with magnets and build structures. Each student received a bag of reading incentives that included a scented bookmark, reading chart with stickers, Dog Man pencil and Cook Public Library button.  About half of the students had never been in a public library before. There were many questions like: Who pays for the library? Who can use the library? What can you do at the library? (The kids were excited to hear about the teenagers who have spent the night in the library.) They learned about the Winter Reading program and other ways to get books if they live outside of town through Mail-A-Book and on the Bookmobile.  Two students brought a caregiver with them to the library the same afternoon as the field trip. A week after the field trip I visited the North Woods School during their Family Fun Night. Many of the students remembered me from the field trip and stopped by to say hi.  This was a successful partnership between library, school and fire department. In 2023, we already have two after school Community Education trips planned and a day for ECFE families to meet at the library.

Project: Summer Program Finale
Feedback from Sue Sowers, Hoyt Lakes Public Library
Our Summer Reading Program Finale included the Lake Superior Zoomobile and a S’mores station. The Zoomobile brought along Hissing cockroaches, Rosie the red-haired tarantula, Oscar the corn snake, and Helmet the box turtle. Augusta, the Zookeeper, was very friendly and easy to talk to. She was super knowledgeable about all of her exhibits. And anyone who wanted to was allowed to touch the snake!  We also set up a S’mores station, to coincide with the theme this year. We had a menu with several different kinds of s’mores, such as the Nutty Buddy, Strawberry Shortcake, Grasshopper, Salted Caramel, and of course, the Classic.  The final program is always a great incentive and reward for our kids who participate. They learned a lot about the Zoo animals and were adventurous enough to try different types of s’mores, that most would never have thought about. The final program also gives us a chance to interact with the families in our community and let them know how much we appreciate their support. 

Project: Kids & Cars in the Park
Feedback from Melanie Lefebvre, Calumet Public Library
With the grant dollars, we were able to bring in DonB, a comedian and juggler for an in-person performance.  It was our first major post-covid event and helped to bring members of the community together — we had 41 kids and 31 adults attend totaling 72 people!!

Project: Moms & Pre-K Gather at the Library!
Feedback from Kelli Pelland, Baudette Public Library
Moms with children not in school gathered at the library and bonded with each other. They discussed many topics & walked away with parenting tips shared. The families left with books to read at home to enrich their love for reading. They would return to the library where they felt welcomed and enjoyed their time together with the other moms and children.  We average about a dozen every Friday morning. The children are excited to do a craft, play, read books, and spend time together at the library. They will continue to meet at the library until weather warms up in the spring and they can go to the park. Then Story Times will start in June and run through August.

Project: Leveled Reading Book Cart
Feedback from Bethany Leseman, Carlton Area Public Library
The Carlton Library loved the opportunity to use grant money for the purchase of a mobile reading book cart! The cart is being used to keep early reading books sorted into holidays and current themes, such as season, current holiday and reading program theme. This has also allowed for more book storage and easier browsing of the other book bins because the bins aren’t as tightly packed.  The outcomes that we have seen from having these grant dollars are that we’re able to sort early reading books into holidays and current themes, such as season, current holiday and reading program theme. This also allowed for more book storage and easier browsing of the other book bins because they are no longer packed as tight. We love the cart we selected because it is on wheels so we can move it around to make it more noticeable, or move it out of the way if we have something special going on.  Our staff loves this because it opens up the other areas for easier visibility. Our patrons love this because they can easily search for specific themes and it’s fun to see what might featured in the bins that change.

Project: Ukuleles
Feedback from Shannon Walz, Silver Bay Public Library
The Silver Bay Public Library has been excited to provide ukulele kits for check-out that were purchased with ALS mini-grant funds. We also bought two beginning ukulele books to help patrons who are new to ukuleles when they check out the kits. The ukuleles have been quite popular at the library. Initially the patrons were excited and surprised that they could get ukuleles at the library. Patrons have gotten them to share with their grandkids and try out the ukulele to see if they wanted to buy it.  Since we made these kits available to patrons in July we have had 7 checkouts. One patron shared that she tried it with her grandson and he loved it so much she is going to get him one for his birthday. Another patron shared they are looking forward to trying one out this winter during the long dark evenings.

Project: Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference Registration
Feedback from Cindy Miller, Duluth Public School Libraries
At the MLA Conference I learned about book challenge policies, research resources for elementary schools, and inquiry based learning. I’m reporting back to the other media specialists in our district, for greater impact. Policies will be developed and adopted. Our school media center websites will be updated with new tools for student research.  

Project: Girls Who Code
Feedback from Tami Barich, Northeast Range School Library
We are an all girls club that meets weekly and we learn about coding. My students were able to practice their coding skills by programing a robot we purchased with the mini grant.  Mainly, five students benefitted from this program — we use the kit each week as student practice programming the bot and other groups have shared this robot in their meetings too. Our local Lego league also uses it at some of their weekly meetings. Program attendees consists mainly of 5 girls between 3rd and 5th grade. This has been so much fun for the girls to apply the skills they read about and try on their iPad and the bot makes to problem solving realistic for them.  

Project: Emily Ford Presentation: The Longest Way
Feedback from Keiko Satomi, Cloquet Public Library
Emily Ford is an aspiring winter adventurer and thru-hiker based in Duluth, Minnesota. Emily was at the Library on Saturday, November 12 at 10:30 am to talk about what she learned on her 1,200-mile hike along the Ice Age Trail: how she prepared for it, what it was like living on the trail in the winter for a couple of months, and what it was like returning home.  In addition, with an understanding and drive to show that anyone can adventure and everyone deserves to discover the outdoors, regardless of race, gender identity, or upbringing, she was here to represent the underrepresented in outdoor spaces.  The attendance number was 30 and the program brought in wide age group of people from school-age children to seniors. Her presentation was relatable and approachable. Many had a number of questions at the end, and Emily extended her planned time to answer those questions and speak with the attendees. Overall, I have received lots of positive feedback.

Project: Nature Books
Feedback from Sarah Klyve, Proctor/Hermantown Early Learning
We purchased nature based books for our classrooms. We were able to purchase many developmentally appropriate books for our four year old learners to listen to and read throughout their daily classroom experience. The books support a love for reading and an interaction with nature and the world around them. We purchased 26 books for our new collection.  Our students were able to engage authentically to books as they experienced the nature around them. They were in awe of the quality illustrations and the connection to their learning. Not only will students benefit greatly this year, but many years to come!!! 

Project: Craft and Program Supplies
Feedback from April Fountain, Hibbing Public Library
The mini grant dollars that were available to us was a huge blessing to our Hibbing community. This grant helped us to purchase supplies for our take and make kits, tie dye day program, popcorn for snacks, and paint for our painting programs. This grant helped us to provide better service to all of our patrons from 0-101.  Many people enjoy our Take and make Kits even if it’s just a simple coloring kit!  Programming for the library is another tool that we use to make a stronger and greater impact in our community, it helps bring people here to discover what the library has to offer. Then we can help introduce a love of reading, learning, and bring enjoyment into their lives.  The library is the heart of the community for all!
Thank you to the Arrowhead Library System and Arrowhead Library System Governing Board for awarding the Hibbing Public Library with this mini grant to help enhance our programming!

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