State Programs > State Profiles

State Librarian

Ms. Jennifer R. Nelson
Director of State Library Services
Minnesota State Library Agency
Division of State Library Services
MN Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113-4266
Phone: 651/582-8791
Fax: 651/582-8752

State library website:

photo of Minnesota State Librarian“With the ability to leverage LSTA funds, Minnesota’s libraries are supported in developing innovative responses to emerging community needs. Programs engage underserved populations – new immigrants, people living in poverty or with disabilities – and reach residents of all ages in rural and urban areas. A gamut of creative and resourceful activities contribute to academic achievement and workforce success, enriching the lives of individuals and strengthening entire communities.”

--Jennifer R. Nelson, Director of State Library Services, Minnesota State Library Agency


The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.


Recent Allotments

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
$2,791,145 $2,717,086 $2,612,740 $2,709,174 $2,701,369

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

Anoka County Library On the Go
Through Anoka County Library On the Go, the library and its partners expanded access to traditional and electronic library services to underserved residents. Anoka County Library established kiosk services throughout the county at partner locations including the City Center in Ramsey, the Andover Community Center and YMCA, Anoka-Hennepin School District’s University School, and the library’s Mississippi Branch. Leveraging local and LSTA grant funds, the library purchased discovery stations for e-books, e-book readers for students, tablet dispensers, locker systems to pick-up reserved library materials, and book vending machines. Within the first six months, the project reached 12,570 residents including 89 students who responded to school assessments and 150 students at the Andover YMCA’s afterschool program. Over 80 percent of participants said the service allowed them to obtain library materials more frequently and 100 percent said they recommended it to friends.
IMLS Funds: $117,389

iRead at the eLibrary
Cooper High School, where over 40 percent of the student population qualifies for free and reduced lunch, used grant funds to improve student reading and information literacy skills for targeted reading classes. The school library media specialist and classroom teachers collaborated to provide e-book resources for self-selected reading and creative media production. Students were given structured opportunities to engage with the devices on their own terms, selecting high interest books and using a range of software applications. The project aligned with the Minnesota state content standards in language arts – encouraging free reading and creating multimedia projects. It also aligned with the District Technology Plan, allowing staff to analyze e-book systems that were targeted for introduction the following school year.
IMLS Funds: $44,084

Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.


Five-Year Plan

Each state creates a 5-year plan for its programs to strengthen the efficiency, reach, and effectiveness of library services. Click here to read Minnesota's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 5,051KB). View all states' plans.


Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning

General Services and Initiatives

  • Promote lifelong learning and continuing education to cultivate an educated, informed citizenry.


  • Support literacy efforts, including helping Minnesotans learn 21st century and digital literacy skills.
  • Provide educational opportunities for children and teens, especially targeting children from birth through age 17 from families living in poverty or facing barriers, including problems of language, education, or access to technological resources. Include the families and caregivers in literacy efforts for young children.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Promote sharing collections virtually among libraries in schools, communities, and at special and academic libraries to increase the efficient availability of information sources for the public throughout the state.

Interlibrary Loans

  • Ensure the timely delivery of materials requested by patrons to local libraries.


  • Honor the preservation of library collections in all formats throughout the state and make them available to the public.

Economic and Employment Development

Job Seekers

  • Promote lifelong learning and continuing education, including the enhancement and expansion of services and resources related to jobs, to cultivate an educated, informed citizenry.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Promote training and professional development, including continuing education opportunities, to improve service to the public.


  • Create and enhance collaborative programs among libraries to share best practices and promote leadership development.
  • Work with partners to enhance 21st century and digital literacy program development.


  • Support infrastructure initiatives and services that build the technological capacity of our libraries.
  • Investigate, test, develop, and implement plans for funding emerging technologies that will support innovative library programs and services.

Civic Engagement


  • Implement strategies to help all library patrons learn about cultural needs, expectations, and customs of minority and immigrant populations to increase awareness and contribute to a sense of shared community.
  • Promote lifelong learning and continuing education, including the enhancement and expansion of services and resources related to community development, to cultivate an educated, informed citizenry.

Access to Government Information

  • Promote lifelong learning and continuing education, including the enhancement and expansion of services and resources related to access to justice, to cultivate an educated, informed citizenry.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Create and enhance model educational programs in partnership with other community organizations and agencies that work with seniors, individuals with limited English proficiency, and individuals with disabilities.
  • Continue to improve the Minnesota Braille and Talking Books Library to provide even better service to the visually handicapped and physically disabled.

Health and Social Services Information

  • Promote lifelong learning and continuing education, including the enhancement and expansion of services and resources related to health, to cultivate an educated, informed citizenry.


Five-Year Evaluation

At the end of a 5-year period, each state reports their results in achieving goals and objectives projected in their 5-Year Plan. Click here to read Minnesota's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 1,084KB). View all states' evaluations.


IMLS Data Collection

State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Click here for Minnesota's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 336KB).