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Community engagement



Minitex is an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries that benefits libraries and residents across the state.

In FY23:

  • Minnesotans found 12.3 million full text items by searching eLibrary Minnesota (ELM), an 8.8% increase from FY22.
  • Minnesotans searched ELM 56.4 million times, an increase of 2.3%.
  • Minnesota libraries saved over $4.1 million through the Minitex Cooperative Purchasing program.
  • Minitex delivered 734,561 items to libraries across Minnesota, a 5.5% increase.

History Day and Gopherbaloo

Over 1,000 students from 11 schools visited Wilson Library this year for National History Day, a co-curricular program for students in grades 6-12. This year’s highlight was the in-person return of Gopherbaloo, a special one-day collaboration between the Minnesota Historical Society and the U of M Libraries. In addition to enjoying a mascot and prize opportunities, students researched topics of their choosing with mentorship from U of M undergraduates.

Student posing with thumbs up

A U of M undergraduate and former National History Day finalist serves as a mentor at Gopherbaloo. (Photo/Allison Campbell-Jensen)

Events highlights

Every year the Libraries brings authors, artists, performers, and scholars to share their perspectives with our campus and community. Past events can be viewed online. Check out some of this year’s highlights!

Andrea Davis Pinkney — who has authored more than 50 books for children and young people, and has donated her drafts, research notes, and finished books to the U of M’s Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature — was honored with the 2022 Kerlan Award. Pinkney spoke about the transformative role of books in the lives of young people during her award acceptance presentation on Oct. 11, 2022.

The 14th Annual Pankake Poetry reading, named for librarian Marcia Pankake, took place on April 4, 2023. Poet and cultural worker Sun Yung Shin read from her latest book of poetry, “The Wet Hex,” which she describes as a book “about what our ancestors are asking of us.”

The visiting exhibit “Sherlock Holmes in 221 Objects,” which was open from Feb. 13 through May 5, 2023 at Elmer L. Andersen Library, drew upon the preeminent collection assembled by Glen S. Miranker, rich in bibliographic rarities, manuscripts, books, correspondence, and artwork. A series of events took place to celebrate the exhibit, including gallery tours by Glen and Cathy Miranker, focusing on pirated editions and iconic Sherlockian artists. The University of Minnesota is home to the world’s largest collection of materials related to Sherlock Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Lisa German, Adger Cowans, and Deborah Ultan at the exhibit opening reception for “The Eyes See What the Heart Feels.” (Photo/Kristine Heykants)

Lisa German, Adger Cowans, and Deborah Ultan at the exhibit opening reception for “The Eyes See What the Heart Feels.” (Photo/Kristine Heykants)

In celebration of adding “ADGER” — a new art book in the “21st Editions: The Art of the Book” series — to the Gorman Rare Art Books & Media Collection, the Libraries held an exhibition “The Eyes See What the Heart Feels: From the Archives of Photographer & Painter Adger Cowans” at Elmer L. Andersen Library, Sept. 12, 2022 through Jan. 31, 2023.

Adger Cowans attended the exhibit opening celebration, highlighting his life and work. He earned his degree in photography from Ohio University, one of few institutions of higher education that offered this art degree to Black students in 1958. After graduating, he apprenticed with photographer Gordon Parks. Materials from his archives displayed key thematic moments from the late 1950s to the present including water studies, jazz portraits, Hollywood portraits, and street scenes. Also featured were a selection of his paintings.

The Friends Forum: A Series for Curious Minds is an exciting series of events to spark your curiosity and challenge your thinking, brought to you by the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Guitarist Briand Morrison per formed “Musical Impressions: The Art of George Morrison” at the Friends Appreciation event on March 19, 2023. Morrison is the son of nationally renowned Ojibwe artist George Morrison and artist Hazel Belvo. The 35 minute jazz performance was accompanied by a slideshow of George Morrison’s work.

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