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Advocacy for libraries at the Capitol

#MNLibrariesTransform because there are 10,000 opportunities for lakeside reading.

#MNLibrariesTransform was the theme on Tuesday, March 6, when East Central Regional Library staff spent the day at the State Capitol talking to the region’s legislators about issues important to libraries including library funding. This exciting day included appointments with nine members of the House and Senate, delivering the important message about how critical libraries are to the communities they serve. Pictured is Sen. Mark Koran with Executive Director Carla Lydon (left), Rachel Howell and Sarah Hawkins (right).

From left: Sarah Hawkins, Carla Lydon, Rep. Sondra Erickson, Rachel Howell and Kathryn Gaydos, MLIS Program, St. Catherine University.
From left: Sarah Hawkins, Carla Lydon, Rep. Sondra Erickson, Rachel Howell and Kathryn Gaydos, MLIS Program, St. Catherine University.

Executive Director Carla Lydon, Assistant Director Rachel Howell and Resource Librarian Sarah Hawkins met with Senators Mark Koran (32), Tony Lourey (11), Andrew Matthews (15), Carrie Ruud (10) and Representatives Sondra Erickson (15A), Brian Johnson (32A), Dale Lueck (10B), Ann Neu (32B) and Jason Rarick (11B). We also had a couple of St. Kate’s Library students join us for some of the appointments as they learned about the legislative process.

East Central Regional Library receives approximately 26 percent of its operating budget directly from the state of Minnesota through Regional Library System Basic Support. This funding is used to fund delivery services between libraries, the integrated library system that operates our catalog and to provide administrative and central support to our branches.

From left: Kathryn Gaydos (St. Catherine University), ECRL Assistant Director Rachel Howell, Sen. Andrew Mathews, ECRL Resource Librarian Sarah Hawkins and ECRL Executive Director Carla Lydon.
From left: Kathryn Gaydos (St. Catherine University), ECRL Assistant Director Rachel Howell, Sen. Andrew Mathews, ECRL Resource Librarian Sarah Hawkins and ECRL Executive Director Carla Lydon.

East Central Regional Library also advocated for inclusion of Library Construction Grants in a potential bonding bill. Currently in the region, the cities of Cambridge and Sandstone are in the process of considering a new library facility.

For more details on advocacy efforts for Minnesota Libraries and to see the full legislative platform, visit the Minnesota Advocacy site.

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