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Last call for MNLFI Workshops!
Book your workshop with the Minnesota Library Futures Initiative (MNLFI) today! If your organization is interested in an MNLFI workshop, please fill out the workshop request form on our website mnlfi2025.org by June 1. Requests must be received by June 1 to be considered, though the workshops themselves may be held throughout the summer of 2013.
Over the past year, members of MNLFI have visited libraries of all types throughout the state of Minnesota facilitating workshops exploring the future of libraries. Workshops can be very broad in scope or can be customized to help your organization with a specific need. Visit our Workshops page for more information.
Feedback from workshops has been positive, pointing to the increased engagement and enthusiasm for the future of libraries among participants.
Examples of previous workshops:
- Managers from Dakota County Library considered how future directions will change hiring and training practices.
- MLIS students at St. Catherine University developed ideas about the future of the “participatory library” as part of a Library 2.0 class.
- Staff from Carver County Library explored a variety of the Scenarios developed by MNLFI in preparation for a strategic planning discussion.
- Staff from the MnDOT Library considered how they can foster partnerships to meet the reference needs of the future.
- See more on the Shared Visions page.
The Minnesota Library Futures Initiative was developed to spark conversation about the future of libraries in Minnesota. The MNLFI Steering Committee selected 24 participants from all types of libraries through an open application process. The MNLFI Futurists gathered to research and discuss factors likely to impact the future of libraries and possible ways libraries might respond to those opportunities and challenges. What we discovered is that being engaged in the conversation about the future is more empowering and energizing than reading about it and everyone has something to contribute.
MnDOT Library, Jan 24, 2013
MNLFI facilitated a consensus workshop for the nine library staff of the Minnesota Department of Transportation Library, MnDOT and the U of M Center for Transportation Studies. The workshop focused on ways that libraries are becoming more and more interconnected with partnerships between libraries and non-library organizations as well as how reference services are becoming more sophisticated. MNLFI facilitators led staff in a conversation based on the question, “How can MnDOT foster partnerships/relationships to take full advantage of the changing needs of reference services as well as physical and digital resources?” The MnDOT Library recently won the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2012 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award for its “moving knowledge” campaign to promote its redesigned space, updated resources, and increased outreach efforts. The facilitated workshop encouraged staff to keep up the momentum of improvement and forward-thinking.
Positive feedback from participants:
“Thank you again for facilitating the workshop at MnDOT Library on Friday. We really appreciate your time and preparation. It’s good that the MN Library Futurists are helping staffs to have conversations and think ahead.”
“Thank you and Dillon so much for coming to MnDOT and working with us. Your presentation was very informative, engaging and helpful. I was so engaged that the three hours went by faster than I realized.”
The Minnesota Library Futures Initiative held a consensus workshop on March 20, 2013 during the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College. The session began with an overview of MNLFI and took a look at future MN demographics. Attendees participated in a focused discussion and consensus workshop on the future impact of technology and libraries.
MNLFI facilitated a consensus workshop for the 40 members of the Dakota County Library Managers/Supervisors group. A presentation focused on ways that library services are changing – both in terms of public expectations and the ways technology opens access and support possibilities. MNLFI facilitators led staff in a conversation based on the question, “How do we build a broader DCL environment that ensures that the people we hire and supervise are prepared for these changes?” Enthusiasm built as staff gathered insight on how to prepare staff for changing library services and expectations.
Positive feedback from participants:
“Thanks so much for facilitating the MN Futures presentation yesterday. You did a great job with all aspects of the program. I heard several positive comments from the group (and they are a tough audience). Your professionalism and skills were very evident.”
“I was scared when we first started, but in the end it was one of the best meetings I’ve been to in a long time”
What will your library look like in 2025?
Looking to the future, the challenges facing libraries may seem daunting, but libraries have always evolved to meet the needs of their communities.
The Minnesota Library Futures Initiative was developed to spark conversation about the future of libraries in Minnesota. The MNLFI Steering Committee selected 24 participants from all types of libraries through an open application process. MNLFI Futurists gathered to research and discuss factors likely to impact the future of libraries and possible ways libraries might respond to those opportunities and challenges. What we discovered is that being engaged in the conversation about the future is more empowering and energizing than reading about it and everyone has something to contribute.
The Minnesota Library Futurists would like to help your library or organization facilitate a conversation about the future of library services. We invite you to consider planning an MNLFI Workshop for your library or organization.
What is an MNLFI Workshop?
Gather your staff, organization or community for a workshop led by representatives from the Minnesota Library Futures Initiative. MNLFI members trained in Technology of Participation (ToP) methods will facilitate a conversation at your location based around your intended outcomes. We will help you to develop a workshop which will ensure your entire staff will be engaged in discussing the future and empowered to meet its possibilities and challenges.
Want to lead your own discussion?
The MNLFI Toolkit is a set of resources intended to support local conversations and personal exploration about the future of libraries without facilitation from the MNLFI group. The Toolkit includes demographic information, suggested readings on the future of libraries and MNLFI 2025 Scenarios which describe potential aspects of the library environment of 2025.
Visit our Website
On the new MNLFI website you’ll find more information on MNLFI, our workshops and the MNLFI Toolkit. You can keep up to date with our latest events or fill out a request form if you’d like to schedule an MNLFI workshop for your library or organization.
Join the Conversation
As we facilitate workshops throughout the state, we’ll post outcomes on the Shared Visions page where you can discover and discuss ideas developed by our workshop participants. We invite you to add your own vision of the library in 2025 to the conversation.
We Look Toward the Future
The MNLFI Futurists were given the charge to “envision the library of 2025”. We have been inspired and empowered through our own conversations about the future of libraries and we look forward to sharing that enthusiasm with your library as we envision the future of Minnesota libraries together.
Four Futurists presented at two separate community events in Fergus Falls on June 21st. Currently, the Fergus Falls Public Library is undergoing a “Library Renewal Project” and the Futurists were invited by the Fergus Falls Public Library Director (and former MNLFI-participant), Erin Smith, and her Task Force members to present and lead two focused conversations with the Fergus Falls community regarding the future of libraries.
The two (identical) sessions were well attended by community members and it was great to see so many people interested and engaged in conversations about the future of their community library. Conversation flowed smoothly and Erin Smith and her Task Force members indicated they were happy with how the sessions turned out.
Here is an article from the Fergus Falls Daily Journal that ran about the sessions.
MNLFI facilitated a two-hour workshop for the 100-strong Anoka County Library staff at their annual Staff Day training event. Part of a day which included a presentation about communication between generations and an outline of the library’s goals for the coming year, MNLFI facilitators led staff in a conversation based on the question, “What might the library user of 2025 experience when they “visit” the library?” Enthusiasm built as staff imagined possible futures together and considered how seemingly different ideas converged into meaningful themes.
Positive feedback from participants:
“We are all concerned about the future of libraries and it was particularly gratifying to see that the library world is endeavoring to see themselves as part of our future society, rather than let the world changes dictate to them.”
“It was fun and really stretched our thinking. I loved it when ideas were proposed that seemed like total opposites, but, through discussion, both ideas ended up coexisting harmoniously in our vision of the future library.”
“I thought 2 hours was too much time. It turns out that we could have discussed this for twice that long.”