State Library Services, is pleased to announce the 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant-awarded projects. We received 26 applications from public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, and school libraries that requested a total of $1.8 million. Of those applications, State Library Services is able to fund eight projects for a total of $630,000. Funding goes to four school library projects, two public library projects, one academic library project, and one collaborative project that benefits a school library and public library system.
Media Minds (aka Project 2M) is a research-based, collaboratively designed project supporting Cass Lake-Bena School District’s efforts to increase reading skills, improve academic achievement and to prepare students for the 21st century -- 86.2% of its K-12 students live in high poverty. The project will increase access to library materials in school media centers and in the library of its project partner, Boys & Girls Club of Cass Lake. Project 2M will also create well-equipped, technologically advanced media centers through the purchase of Learn Pads and a Smart Board for each of the district’s school media centers. Cass Lake-Bena School District will expand project-based learning opportunities through the use of technology, offering training for teachers in developing personalized, class-created apps.
“Tech Connects: Digital Literacy & Collaborative Learning”
Tech Connects will ensure that students develop the 21st century digital literacy and workforce readiness skills necessary to achieve their educational goals and succeed in life. The grant supports the creation of technology-enabled collaborative learning spaces, cooperative digital literacy skill workshops and one-on-one training, all of which will address deficits in access to digital resources, computer proficiency and core communication skills.
“Access for Engagement”
Moorhead Public Schools will purchase 45 Kindle Fire devices for each school building in the district, providing all students in grades 3-6 with access to digital text for information and enjoyment. The devices will be available for checkout from the media centers for individual, small group and whole class use. Media specialists will guide the selection of high quality content in a range of formats including ebooks, podcasts, videos, articles, and more. With these digital resources, students will be able to build 21st century skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.
“Rochester Reading Champions”
This project combines efforts of four community partners—Rochester Public Library, The Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota, Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, and the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester—to design an inclusive, free and sustainable tutoring program offering one-on-one instruction. A dozen volunteers will be trained by The Reading Center to offer 45 minutes of twice a week tutoring for at-risk children and adult readers at three locations: Rochester Public Library, Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, and the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester. With a program that projects reaching 535 learners within five years, Rochester Reading Champions will be positioned as a model for library tutoring programs across the country.
“Building Media Resources in Saint Paul Public Schools”
Saint Paul Public Schools will develop and implement a professional development plan for Licensed Media Specialists and other media staff. Professional development activities will include media services workshops, increased access to digital resources through the creation of a district-wide ebook collection, work with Saint Paul Public Library to provide training on research databases, and training district media staff to collaborate and co-teach with classroom teachers. These efforts will increase the capacity of media staff to improve achievement for students throughout the district by broadening their awareness of the resources available to them and increasing their confidence and ability to collaborate with classroom teachers.
“Accessible Digital Literacy for All Middle School Learners”
Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School will increase student reading achievement by expanding access to high-quality digital literacy resources for students in grades 6-8. Due to an overwhelming number of barriers, students at Sauk-Rapids Middle School currently have very limited access to digital materials at appropriate reading levels. More than 200 iPad Airs will be purchased for student use both in school and at home. Literacy-focused apps and digital resource subscriptions will be acquired, and additional ebooks will be added to the school library collection. Resources provided by the grant will be utilized year-round--as an integral part of regular school year educational activities, an afterschool program for students in need of additional academic support, and a summer school program for struggling students.
“Data-Driven Collection Development”
This project seeks to improve collection development efficiency and responsiveness to community needs. SELCO will purchase Collection HQ software to analyze raw data from its integrated library system in order to make better informed decisions, prioritize purchasing, respond to community needs, and streamline collections to serve more people with fewer resources. Beginning with a small pilot group, this project will ultimately benefit 88 urban and rural libraries in southeastern Minnesota.
“Community School Media Centers as Online Partners, 2014”
Through this project the Red Wing High School library media center will become a SELCO online library. With this direct connection to SELCO libraries, Red Wing High School’s capacity to serve its students, faculty and staff will greatly expand and allow the utilization of a much wider array of resources necessary to support educational goals. Joining the SELCO integrated library system also removes a significant barrier to accessing interlibrary loan resources from more than twenty library systems through MnLINK.