CMLE Resources: Gamification

CMLE is here for you with all kinds of resources and information. Each week we will share a look at another piece of that information, to help draw some attention to resources that may help you as you serve your community.Gamification techniques 5

Gamification Resources

Libraries can be leaders in gamification. You can use these tools to help your staff and patrons to build skills, to learn about your resources, to explore information literacy, or whatever else you want to accomplish!

Gamification is not “just” playing games; it’s a strategy to learn things, try things, and to practice things without so much pressure to avoid failure. Want to encourage people to try something new or hard? Gamify it!

Thinking that learning needs to be dull, or done in a specific way just because it has been done that way, is limited. Expand your possibilities by gamifying your library!

We provide several resources for you to read on this page, and are happy to chat with you about gamifying work in your own library!

Books and Beverages Podcast Episode 101: Romance

Angie, Ariel, and Annie on location at St Cloud Public Library

Welcome everyone, to
Books and Beverages Podcast from CMLE!

This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we sit in our comfy chairs and sip our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. You might want to find a comfy place to sit, to sip your beverage along with us, and just enjoy being part of our discussion.

Attention: you could win a FREE  romance audiobook!!  Leave a comment on our website! As a special thank you to our listeners, we have two free digital audiobook downloads for randomly selected commenters! We have copies of Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn from HarperAudio (we discuss this series!), and The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1) by Laurie Forest from Harlequin Audio.  Tell us about a favorite romance book, give us some ideas on new romance book suggestions, or other romance-reading ideas and you will be eligible to win!

This is a very inclusive book group. There are no “right” or “wrong” books to read and chat about for our book group. We want to talk about books – and we want you to share your books. At the end of our time together, everyone should have at least a couple of new things for your To Be Read (TBR) pile!

We love books, so it seems entirely appropriate to start off our book group with Romance books! Romance is an extremely popular genre – and probably much broader than you would generally imagine. There can be romance elements to books in almost any type of book. In this episode we have fun chatting about a a broad range of books we have enjoyed. Thanks to Ariel and Annie for joining Mary and Angie this week! Books are always more fun when you can chat about them with friends.

For more information about Romance books, and lots of suggestions for books you might enjoy or books you might recommend to others, see our full webpage for this episode. All drinks referenced will also be provided on this page, with links to them, photos, and recipes for you to try them for yourselves.

Young Romance Issue 1
romance stories occur across all genres and formats!


Spotlight Program: Blankets in the Library

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)
Blankets 5

Library blankets for the win

by Ned Potter

I’ve had a number of emails recently asking after our blankets in the library at the University of York, so I thought I’d blog about them.

Getting blankets for the library is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in libraryland, honestly.  It took almost no effort and very little money. The students LOVE them. Everyone’s a winner.

The quote in the title is from our feedback board where we asked students for tips for their peers…

We bought 30 blankets for each of our sites. We get them from a local laundry who also launder them for us – but you can also buy perfectly serviceable and cheap examples from for example IKEA if you have your own laundry service to hand. They’re laundered termly unless there’s a reason to bring that schedule forward…

They sit in a bucket near the entrance of each library, and people can help themselves to them as they come and go….

You’ll notice the blankets are a fairly drab grey – this is deliberate, to make them less tempting to abscond with…


Like all academic libraries, our number 1 complaint for users is about the temperature – and it’s equally split between too hot and too cold most of the time. We don’t actually control the temperature anyhow, so we adopted the UX mentality of ‘if you can’t fix the problem at least make the user experience better in any way you can’ and tried to improve things in what small ways we could…

The students involved were really pleased but the great thing is EVERYONE was really pleased.

So as we head into the colder months, see if you can do this for your library. Or even better, get your students SLANKETS so their arms are still free for reading. 🙂 ”

(Read the entire article here!)

Booked for the Evening event

Are you a school, children’s or teen librarian looking to connect with others in your field and get some great book suggestions at the same time? Definitely check out Booked for the Evening, an event at St. Kate’s in St. Paul. Attendees will be able to “hear from expert panelists as they review the best new literature for kids and teens.”

The event is only $20 and takes place Monday, November 13, 6:00–8:45 p.m. in the Rauenhorst Ballroom.

The event features a “panel of expert librarians, who are graduates of the St. Kate’s master in library and information science (MLIS) program, will highlight books for primary, intermediate, and young adult readers. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the best in recent literature for youth.”

Read the schedule, meet the experts, and register for this fun event here!

AASL Recommended Apps: Humanities and Arts: Google Arts and Culture

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app Google Arts and Culture “offers a smorgasbord of art related topics for the “culturally curious”. From art stories to art exhibits, users can explore the world of art by reading the latest feature stories, or by going on a 3D tour of a museum.” You are able to zoom up close for a detailed look at artwork, browse the art by time period or color, or filter your search by artist or medium. To generate classroom discussion, use the “Experiments” feature.

Level: High School +
Platform iOS and Android
Cost: Free

School Library Journal has this review of the app that describes it as a “versatile tool that can be integrated into many classroom activities.” And Business Insider has a detailed description and how-to for the app that you can read here.

Watch a trailer of the app below:

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