Northern Lights Library Network:
A Cooperative Network of Libraries in North-central, North-west, and West-central Minnesota

Northern Lights Library Network (NLLN) is a cooperative system of two hundred eighty academic, public, school, and special libraries in twenty-three counties in North-central, North-west, and West-central Minnesota, working at the grassroots level to bring together all types of libraries and collections in the region to discover, enhance, and share resources through administrative, technological, and educational support. Northern Lights Library Network is funded by the Minnesota Legislature through the Department of Education.

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Northern Lights Library Network is one of seven multi-county, multi-type library systems in Minnesota mandated by Minnesota Statute 134.351 to develop and maintain services including, but not limited to, "referral of users, intra-system reciprocal borrowing, cooperative collection development, cooperative reference services, staff development, research and development, cooperative storage facilities, and publicity and community relations". There are twelve regional public library systems in Minnesota that serve public libraries, while the seven multi-type systems serve all types of libraries. The five goals outlined in Minnesota Statute 134.351 for multi-county, multi-type systems include:

The seven multi-county, multi-type systems perform the following functions: Develop library staff professionally; improve local library collections; sponsor and support funding for libraries; champion for libraries; create, develop, and maintain library programs that enrich the lives of Minnesotans; move the discipline of Library and Information Science forward; and lead and administer their own nonprofit agencies. The seven systems are governed by regional boards.

Northern Lights Library Network covers a geographic region of 26,950 square miles (the State of Minnesota covers a total of 86,939 miles) that includes the following twenty-three counties: Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Roseau, Stevens, Traverse, Wadena, and Wilkin.

The Northern Lights Library Network system consists of four regional public library systems; academic libraries on two campuses of the University of Minnesota at Crookston and Morris; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System institutions including Minnesota State University Moorhead, Bemidji State University, Northland Community College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College on four campuses (Moorhead, Thief River Falls, Wadena, and Fergus Falls); three tribal colleges, including Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth; numerous private colleges; one hundred eighty five school libraries (including public and charter schools, Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, and private schools) in seventy-nine school districts; and a rich variety of special libraries in museums, county law libraries, hospitals, and early childhood programs.

Purposes

The main purpose of Northern Lights Library Network is to make all libraries in the region stronger.

NLLN Vision Statement

Libraries are attractive, welcoming places that are friendly, open, inclusive, accessible, innovative, and a source of community pride where people can go to learn what they need to know in order to thrive and grow in their communities. When libraries work together, communities grow stronger, and the lives of all Minnesotans are enriched.

NLLN Mission Statement

Northern Lights Library Network (NLLN) is a cooperative network of members in academic, public, school, and special libraries in 23 counties of North-central, North-west and West-central Minnesota. We work at the grassroots level to bring together all types of libraries and collections in the region to discover, enhance, and share resources through administrative, technological, and educational support from Northern Lights Library Network.

NLLN Core Values

In principle and practice, libraries are at the core of a democratic society, defending the freedom of all citizens to:

We believe in inclusive library environments that are accessible to all persons.

We work together to ensure that all who use our libraries and collections feel welcome.

We create libraries and collections that are well organized and easy to use.

We support lifelong learning by determining our library user's interests and needs and then teaching them how to use the resources that assist them in learning what they want to know.

We build bridges between libraries and believe that libraries themselves are bridges between physical and electronic access to information; bridges between people and technology; and bridges between resources available and the community needing to use those resources.

We communicate the purpose and benefits of libraries to citizens of the region. We believe in the inherent value of books.

We advocate for ongoing, sustainable, and continuous library funding at the local, state, and national level.

NLLN By-Laws

NLLN Reports & Documents

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