Please Complete the CMLE Needs Assessment

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Q is for Question MarkIs your library or school a CMLE member? There is an easy way to find out….

  1. Are you a  staff member of a college, public, or  special library in one of the 12 counties in bullet 3 below?
  2. Or, are you school library media personnel including tech integrationists and media paraprofessionals?
  3. If you answered yes to 1 or 2, and you are employed in Aitkin, Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd or Wright counties, you are a CMLE member!

Check your email inbox.  You should have received an email from CMLE on 3/16 or 3/23/2015, which included a link to the Needs Assessment.  For all who participate, there will be four chances to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Didn’t receive an email? Contact us!

Deadline: Please complete the survey by Monday, April 5th.

Image credit:, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0




Featured Book: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

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this is the storyThis post is part of an original series created by librarians/media specialists across Central Minnesota featuring books. Could you review a book for CMLE? Send your book review to CMLE staff and we will be happy to share it!

Title: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Written by Maria Burnham, Media Specialist at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

True to form, Ann Patchett delivers yet another writing masterpiece–this time, a collection of essays.  I have been a long-time fan of Patchett’s writing.  Bel Canto is one of my top ten favorite books of all time.  Other pieces of her work that resonated with me include Truth and Beauty and her most recent novel State of Wonder.  

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage contains essays about writing, family, the LAPD, and marriage and love. I never knew that she wrote so much non-fiction in order to continue to write novels. Ann Patchett is a wonderful writer, both in fiction and in non-fiction.  It’s so easy to read her writing; settling in with one of her books is like meeting an old friend for coffee.

Reading this book inspires me to write more and to spend more time thinking about life.   I love, love, love that I own this book! I highly recommend it!



Student-Created STEM Apps

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Michael Sharnoff of eSchool News wants you to know just how creative and capable young students can be!  In October, he “had the privilege to meet with 20 student fellows, ages 15-25, selected for their video game and app prototypes that address social issues in their community.”  The students, who received a grant to continue to develop their apps, presented their projects to congressional leaders and the Obama administration in Washington, D.C.  Sharnoff put together a post seven of the apps that stood out to him – read it here!  And here’s a demo of one of the apps, Our World, an app designed to teach us about how humans effect the environment:

Book sculptures show a new kind of beauty in books

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Book sculptures are becoming one of the most popular – and impressive – ways to create art with books.  Bored Panda brings us The Most Beautiful Examples Of Book Sculptures. One even doubles as a nightlight:

book sculpture night light


Rakuten Buys Overdrive!

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ReadYou may have seen this news by now, but what is unclear is what does this really mean?

Lets consider the scale and reach of Rakuten Inc., one of the world’s largest Internet services companies. Rakuten has been on a buying spree in recent years to reduce reliance on its home market in Japan and push into the U.S. and other countries.

  • In October 2014 it bought U.S. discount store for about $1 billion.
  • Rakuten bought Kobo Inc, a Canadian eBook company in 2011 for $315 million, in “phase 1″ of its eBook business as it allows consumers to buy eBooks.
  • Chat and calling app Viber is another of Rakuten’s most prominent acquisitions; bought for $900 million in 2014.
  • And now, of most interest to Minnesota libraries, Rakuten is purchasing  OverDrive from Insight Venture Partners for $410 million and as part of “phase 2″ of its eBook business. The acquisition of OverDrive, which currently offers eBook rental services to U.S. libraries and schools, is expected to be completed in April.
  • Since 2012, Rakuten ( has been ranked among the world’s “Top 20 Most Innovative Companies” in Forbes magazine.
  • Going forward, Kobo and OverDrive will work together to enhance their abilities to deliver world-class digital content and reading technology services.
  •  Rakuten is also an investor in Pinterest and ride sharing service Lyft. There are many, many more companies Rakuten has acquired recently. Read the full post here.

It is unclear at this time what this acquisition will mean to Minnesota libraries and in some cases, schools too. Will current Overdrive contract terms stay the same? Stay tuned for the constantly evolving world of eBooks!

Image credit:, licensed under CC BY 2.0


Hats Off to School Libraries!

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SLM Banner

2015 is  the 30th Anniversary of School Library Month (SLM)

The theme?  “Where Learning Never Ends.”  SLM is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  AASL says that the annual celebration is an initiative where “school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning.”

 Julianne Moore: 2015 National Spokesperson

Julianne Moore Besides being known for her role in the final two ‘Hunger Games’ films, Moore is also a bestselling author.  She wrote “My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me,” which was inspired by her mother, a Scottish emigrant to the United States.  Moore’s children’s books, the Freckleface Strawberry series, “share the message that ‘the things that make you different also make you, YOU’.”  She has also created two apps based on the series.  Terri Grief, president of AASL, is excited that “everyone who sees these will recognize this fabulous celebrity and her wonderful commitment to literacy.”  In regards to why Moore is happy to be this year’s spokesperson, she said:

“School libraries make a difference.  I moved around a lot as a young child, and the first place I would visit in a new place was the school library.  The librarians guided me, encouraged me, and set the stage for my lifelong love of reading.  As educators, school librarians have a tremendous impact on our students’ personal and intellectual growth.  School libraries foster creativity, innovation, play, and experimentation and offer a nurturing, and safe place for children to learn.  I have a lot of love for librarians.”

  AASL will Present Free Weekly Webinars

Attendance at the live webinars below  is open to all. Only AASL members and AASL eCOLLAB subscribers will have access to the webinar archive. A seat in the live webinar is guaranteed to the first 100 attendees. As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow up correspondence from AASL.

CMLE would like to thank all school library personnel for the important support  they provide to administrators, teachers and students. The work is hard, and your efforts matter, so keep up the good work!

Happy School Library Month!

Notable Dates for your Noggin: April 2015

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Calendar Banner

Introducing our new monthly update – Notable Dates for your Noggin!  Each month we’ll bring you a compiled list of fun national holidays, birthdays of authors, and publication dates of favorite books.  You can use these for your own personal use or for some library inspiration!

April is Humor Month, Poetry Month, Lawn & Garden Month, and Stress Awareness Month!

Other things to celebrate in April. . .

Did we miss anything?  Let us know if we did!

For our calendar of library events, including conferences and library days, check out our Events/Initiatives page.

And for more Notable Dates for Your Noggin, check out our Notable Dates page.

MN Library Legislative Update

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Capital SunsetThe following legislative update was written by Elaine Keefe, library lobbyist for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information Technology Educators of MN (ITEM).

Received Monday, March 23, 2015 at 12:04 pm

House Legacy Hearing Today at 12:30pm:  Today Ann Hutton and Melinda Ludwiczak will present our request for Legacy funding for the regional public library systems to be increased to $4.25 million per year.  Please note that the time of the hearing is 12:30pm rather than the usual 12:45pm start time.  The hearing is in the Basement Hearing Room of the State Office Building.

Regional Public Library and Multi-type Funding Bill:  SF 832, our bill increasing Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) by $5 million per year and increasing funding for the Multi-types by $1.3 million per year was heard this morning in the Senate E-12 Budget Division.  The bill was added to this morning’s agenda on Friday afternoon, so we had to scramble to line up witnesses and provide handouts to the committee staff by the close of business on Friday.  Barb Misselt testified on the RLBSS increase and Ann Walker Smalley testified on the multitype increase.  Many thanks to both of them for agreeing to testify on such short notice. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus E-12 budget bill.

RLBSS Formula Change Bill:  SF 1675, the bill changing the RLBSS distribution formula and increasing RLBSS by $5 million per year, was also heard this morning in the Senate E-12 Budget Division.  Ann Hutton testified in support of the bill.  It was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus E-12 budget bill.

Omnibus Education Policy Bill (HF 1591/SF 1495): The House Education Innovation Policy Committee passed its version of the omnibus education policy bill on Thursday and referred it to the House Education Finance Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard tomorrow.  The Senate Education Committee passed its version of the omnibus education policy bill on Friday.  The bill includes the language from SF 337 conforming Minnesota law to federal law on the privacy of student educational records.  This was initiated by the St. Paul Schools to enable them to share student addresses with the St. Paul Public Library for the purpose of issuing public library cards to students.

Seed Library: The House omnibus agriculture policy bill, HF 1544, includes a provision exempting “interpersonal sharing of seed for home, educational, charitable or personal non-commercial use” from seed laws.  This will allow the Duluth Public Library to continue to operate its seed library.  The bill passed out of the House Agriculture Policy Committee last week. The Senate version of the bill will be taken up in committee this week.  It is expected to contain a similar provision.

Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 310
St. Paul, MN 55103
(cell) 612-590-1244

Image credit:, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0