NEW WEBSITE: http://mnlfi2025.org/

On the new MNLFI website, mnlfi2025.org, you can keep up to date the MNLFI events, find out more about our workshops and the MNLFI Toolkit, and fill out an MNLFI workshop request form.


Minnesota Library Futures Initiative Update: 3/12

After a break for the holidays, the Futurists have resumed work on a toolkit and event framework to assist Minnesota libraries in envisioning the library in 2025.  The following is a brief summary of our progress and plans for the near future.

MN Library Boot Camp  
Mark Ranum and Peg Werner provided a version of Minnesota Library Boot Camp to the Futurists.  This event provided historical and legislative background information that will be beneficial to our group as we visit libraries throughout the state in the coming months.  The objective is to lead facilitated conversations encouraging libraries and library groups to begin envisioning and planning for 2025.

Facilitation Training  
Ten Futurists - Beth Fransen, Dillon Young, Emily Hope-Hofher, Jake Odland, János McGhie, Jenn Straumann, Jenny Turner, Karen Qualey, Kate Peterson, Nina Shimmin - successfully completed the two-day Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitation methods training at the end of February. David Peterson will complete the training in April.  We anticipate these methods will go a long way towards providing structure for our facilitated events and significantly enhancing our abilities to lead future-focused discussions.

Action Plan   
We will practice our ToP facilitation methods at a meeting of the Futurists on March 19.  At this meeting, the Futurists will create a format for our "facilitated events" and develop an action plan.  After this Action Plan meeting, we will have: an overview of what a facilitated event will look like, a framework for marketing these events, an outline for what the toolkit and website will include, and a timeline for the next two months.  This plan will be shared with and vetted by our steering committee.   

Trial Run for Steering Committee  
The Futurists plan to present a trial run of our "facilitated event" to the Steering Committee  in April or early May.  Possible dates will be determined at our March 19 meeting.  The workshop will be presented as realistically as possible, both to solicit feedback on the event’s format and to collect Steering Committee contributions to the larger conversation surrounding libraries in 2025.

In addition...
In addition to the work described above, the Futurists have kept busy with the following:

  • Jake Odlund and János McGhie represented the group and themselves in Northfield at an event entitled The Future of Public Libraries, sponsored by the Friends of the Northfield Public Library.  This event drew a large crowd, including the mayor.  Jake and János were joined in presenting by Jack Polling of MS&R Architects and Northfield Public Library Director Lynne Young.  
  • Members of our group presented a mini-facilitated workshop about library technology in 2025 at the Library Technology Conference in St. Paul, MN.  This event was a great opportunity to capture the insights of innovative librarians engaged with technology.
  • Since the Futurists’ work has extended past the year we originally committed to, we’ve taken time to assess how many Futurists are planning to continue.  In addition to the eleven names above, LeAnn Suchy, Kate Bessey, Matt Lee, Megan Richardson, Jane Littlefield and Amanda Mills will be continuing their participation.

Our thanks goes out to our steering committee, employers, and the Minnesota Library Community for your extended support.  As in any situation where there are many pieces to fit together and busy schedules to coordinate, everything has taken longer than we'd originally envisioned.  We appreciate your patience as we strive to create an exciting and relevant event to share with the MN Library Community.

Please contact us with feedback or questions.

Minnesota Library Futures Initiative Update: 11/11

How quickly things change!  When we last posted an update to our site, we had anticipated having a finished, final product available to the library community by now.  However, we are still hard at work creating something we hope will be of more value to Minnesota’s libraries than a written report: a toolkit that will enable us to have interactive, facilitated, focused discussions about the future with libraries across the state.

Between now and next March, the Futurists will be working to create a toolkit containing, among other things, a guide to “Futurist thinking,” information about Minnesota in 2025, possible scenarios for libraries in 2025, and questions to guide group discussions.  Much of the information needed for the toolkit has already been uncovered through our work over the past year, but we have noticed some areas that could use additional attention.  In addition to creating the toolkit, members of the MNLFI will receive facilitator training, to assist us in developing the skills needed to encourage meaningful interactions with library groups.  

The Futurists are currently at work organizing the additional research, training, and general work that will need to be accomplished to roll these discussions out to libraries this Spring.  After organizing ourselves this month, we hope to take the month of December to enjoy the holidays and renew our energy, so that we can hit the ground running with additional research, scenario building, facilitation training, and session promotion and planning in January and February.  At this point, we are hoping to hold our first session(s) with libraries of all types beginning in March 2012. Ideally, we would like to hold these sessions in all regions of the state throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2012.

If you are already intrigued and have an idea of a place or audience we could work with, let us know by filling out our speaker request form!

Minnesota Library Futures Initiative Update: 9/13/11

Despite the long break from website updates, the Futurists spent the summer writing drafts of our final document.  We met as a large group on August 22 to review our progress and create a comprehensive editing plan.  As a result of this meeting, an Editing Team was formed.  This group will work to make the sections created by individual Focus Areas into one cohesive document.  Editors have been working on their own for the past few weeks and will meet together on September 14 for an in depth look at the flow and format.  The end-date for editing has been set as September 21, to allow time for design work and printing of the final product.

In addition to the final product, a small group of futurists is working on a video project to showcase the Futurists’ work process and collect the thoughts of librarians and the public.  Part of this project involved a trip to the State Fair to film the wide variety of Minnesotans that attends “The Great Minnesota Get Together.”  The video will be unveiled during our presentation at the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference on Friday, October 14 at 9:30 am.

Other key dates and events as we move towards the completion of our work include a meeting with the Steering Committee on Friday, September 30 and our final event on Thursday, November 3 (details to come).  We look forward to sharing our work with the library community!

Archived Updates