- Site Map
February 20, 2013
“Libraries and literacy programs are gateways to opportunity, especially in rural communities,” notes Charlotte Johnson, Otto Bremer Foundation trustee. With support from the Foundation, six libraries and six literacy organizations in Greater Minnesota are participating in a program to strengthen their ability to serve their communities. The Foundation’s support is part of its commitment to help build healthy and vibrant communities in the places that are homes and neighbors to Bremer banks.
Midway through its initial program year, L3: The Bremer Rural Libraries and Literacy Leadership Institute has identified early lessons and successes:
The program’s coordinating partners—Library Strategies (the consulting arm of Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library) and the Minnesota Literacy Council—report that participants value the chance to learn from other members of the cohort and appreciate the relationships they have formed with mentors, who help to support change and connect participants to other resources. Organizations also participate in training via in-person sessions and webinars on such topics as leadership development, planning, fundraising, community partnerships, marketing, volunteer programs, and social media. Early successes include community collaboration and increased fundraising.
Comments from participants suggest the enthusiasm engendered by the program:
Evaluation of the program’s first year, to be conducted by the Improve Group, will inform decisions about the Foundation’s support for rural libraries and literacy organizations in the future.
Participating organizations include six libraries and six literacy organizations in Bremer communities throughout rural Minnesota:
Brainerd Public Library
Fergus Falls Public Library
Godel Memorial Library (Warren)
Marshall Lyon County Public Library
Milaca Public Library
Willmar Public Library
Alexandria Adult Basic Education Center
Central Minnesota Adult Basic Education Consortium (Cambridge)
Fergus Falls Adult Basic Education Center
Mankato Adult Basic Education Center
Marshall Adult Basic Education Center
Southwest Adult Basic Education Center (Worthington)