ELM Expo – Details and Registration

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ELM Expo

Hands-on & Up-Close with the ELM Databases

Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) is an outstanding suite of databases available to all Minnesotans. Join us to learn more about ELM, the specialized databases available, which database is best for what, and more. Learn with the experts how to search, save, and share your results. Take home tips on how to teach the databases to users.

This day-long training event will give you the chance to attend multiple sessions tailored to your interests and experience. Computers available, but feel free to bring your own laptop or tablet to personalize your learning.

All levels of experience welcome! Novice or advanced searcher, there will something for you.

What: ELM Expo
When: Friday, November 6, 2015 from 8:30am to 4pm
Where: Anoka-Hennepin Staff Development Center
2727 North Ferry Street
Anoka, MN 55303
Cost: $30 includes morning snack, lunch, and handouts
Who Should Attend: Public, academic, school, and special librarians. School librarians (K-12) are urged to come as a team with History Day Teachers, Guidance Counselors, English Teachers, STEM Teachers, and anyone who uses ELM or wants to use ELM in libraries or classrooms. CEUs available.

Please note: Enrollment is limited to the first 100 people. 

Click Here -> Register Now!

Brought to you by CMLE, Metronet, and Minitex.

CMLE has scholarships for this event for registration, mileage, and/or to subsidize the cost of your employer hiring a substitute worker. Recipients would be able to apply for other scholarships in the future; this wouldn’t ‘count’ against a future award. Contact other multitypes for scholarships in those regions.

Books for Reluctant Readers Ages 12 to 13

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At CMLE we’ve talked about reluctant readers before. We’ve even held a Reluctant Reader Event! Knowing that you can’t ever have too many books on your, here is a list from BookRiot for those reluctant readers ages 12 to 13. The list has 61 books so there’s something for everyone.

Check out the BookRiot list now!

Have your own reluctant reader book suggestions? Add them to CMLE’s ever growing list now!

CMLE Featured Service: North Star Library Consortium

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money and savingsAre you looking for discount pricing on Destiny software and its associated subscriptions? Budgets continue to be tight, and there is a need to find solutions to manage school library collections!

Destiny is a state-of-the-art software solution that supports K-12 students and staff in the classroom, media center, or from home. Its higher-end, school-specific functionality is typically priced outside of the reach of small districts, unless they have access to a consortial buy. The North Star Library Consortium is a statewide opportunity open to any school media centers.  Its “hosted solution pricing”  offers affordability and support to even the smallest school districts!

Why? Consider the following efficiencies…

  • It is not necessary, but we strongly encourage all schools in a district to join the Consortium at the same time. Do you have high schools students reading at a middle school level, or vice versa? Within the Consortium, media specialists within a district can see all parts of the district’s collections, work together to share materials or solve problems, or assist each other with software tweaks too.This elevates the role of the school media center and its staff.
  • Membership in the Consortium also provides access to over 200 other schools on a discussion list using the very same product, solving the same problems. For media specialists/paras who have been working in acute isolation, this can be energizing, and offers a huge layer of support in their daily work.
  • Lacking tech support? By having the software hosted and maintained at Region 1 in Moorhead, MN, media specialists no longer have to rely on assistance from over-burdened tech staff in their district. Region 1 staff backs up Consortium data every two hours and attends to software updates too.

The full Consortium is currently represented by 110 districts, with 240 individual sites.  Over 2.8 million library titles are managed through this system, with an estimated value of $58 million, serving 182,716 patrons. Seventeen CMLE school districts and 42 schools are part of the North Star Library Consortium and include: Sartell, Rocori, East Central, Melrose, Aitkin, Long Prairie/Grey Eagle, Cathedral-John XXIII, North Branch, Kimball, Monticello, Paynesville, Becker, Maple Lake, McGregor, Royalton, Eden Valley-Watkins, and Osakis.

Interest in getting a bid? Go to http://bit.ly/1GuHtyN to see all of the schools in the Consortium and to access the process for requesting a bid for joining. Note: Requesting a bid does not obligate you to join, but it can give you the information to do some possible tweaking on your budget!

This is one possible solution. Have you found other cost-effective solutions for managing your school library collections? Interested in other CMLE services? Additional information can be found on our website.

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/peod3sf, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Minnesota joins the Open Textbook Library movement

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alejandroescamilla-bookDid you hear that scream of joy from students across the state of Minnesota? Did the Vikings win? The Gophers? Maybe… Or maybe it was because of the recent announcement that Minnesota has joined the Open Text Book movement! This is part of the Open Textbook Library, a website that pulls together open access books in one place. “Those are not books we’re creating,” said David Ernst, chief information officer at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education. “Open textbooks have been published for years. We’re just putting them in one place.”

Ernst explained further: “The students can save thousands of dollars on the cost of their education, and professors and instructors can easily customize the books to their lesson plans without worrying about infringing on copyrighted material.” As the Open Textbook Library website explains, the “Open textbooks are real, complete textbooks licensed so teachers and students can freely use, adapt, and distribute the material.” CMLE has talked about Open Textbooks before. No longer a fad, open textbooks are a way to help students keep a little more money in their pockets without taking away from the quality of their education.

Read the whole article now or check out the Open Textbook Library.

Questions from the field: Accelerated Reader

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We need your help! Occasionally we get questions from our members and CMLE doesn’t always know the answer. That’s where you come in! Yes you! This week we have a question about Accelerated Reader and other options. Thanks in advance for your help!

An area media specialist/tech integrationist asked:  We have used Accelerated Reader for the past 16 years and are exploring other options/alternatives.What are other schools using to help create strong readers?

Another question came from the ITEM listserv:  Our school is into the AR (Accelerated Reader) program.  In the past, there has been a “store” twice a year for students to spend their points.  I want to come up with a different plan or a better plan. What do your schools do?

Solutions to this question: Help us fill in the answers! Share your thoughts below and we’ll update this blog post with the responses we receive!


What’s in a title? Alabama’s Mobile County moves from Media Specialists to Digital Literacy Leaders

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LeafWhat’s in a title? When it comes to school libraries, those working in them have seemed to have a few different ones over the past few years. In Mobile County, in the state of Alabama, their Media Specialists just got a new one: Digital Literacy Leaders. But what’s in a title?

Today’s school library media specialists need to be a leader at school, know the curriculum, co-teach, mentor teachers and students, keep up on tech, and much, much more. The Mobile County administration wanted their staff to go beyond the walls of the school library and truly embed themselves with teachers and students. This led them to launch “a project last fall to transform the school system’s library media specialists into digital leaders, coaches and collaborative partners who work with students, teachers and school leaders to ensure appropriate technology is woven throughout the curriculum. As these library media specialists were taking on a new role, the school district gave the transformed position a new title: Digital Literacy Leaders.”

Does the title matter? Maybe. Some of the Media Specialists we’ve talked to have changed titles and/or responsibilities in the past few years. Technology Integrationist is one of the most popular title changes. Usually, this change in title is part of an overall change in direction of the school district; from Books to Tech, from Reference Sources to Digital Literacy. In Mobile County this seems to be the case too. “In addition to assisting students and teachers in the media center, the media specialists now go into the classrooms to help teachers incorporate new tools and strategies into their instruction, often co-teaching lessons and modeling digital technology use.” Mobile County changed the job responsibilities of the Media Specialist and a change in job title happened to come with it too.

Read about the 1st of 3 years from two Mobile County staff who are experiencing the change now.

Got a second? Check out a video documenting the Mobile County Public Schools digital media literacy project:

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/oclw77j, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Chromecast your school’s announcements

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This quick tech tip comes from conversations had a EdCampMidMN. Need a simple easy way to stream announcements to a TV? Chromecast to the rescue! Just plug it in to the TV. Then from a laptop or even a mobile device you can stream a Microsoft PowerPoint slide or video.

Want to go even further? Use Chromecast in your class or take it on the go! Check out these Chromecast tips from Zapier.

Need other streaming options? Check out the Roku Streaming Stick or the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Check out the new Chromecast too!


A library of animal sounds

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photo-1428708161673-06f323c1df8fThe world’s largest natural sound archive is now fully digital and fully online. With a collection of nearly 150,000 digital audio recordings you are likely to find the animal sound you are looking for! Currently there are about 9,000 species with an emphasis on birds, but the collection also has whales, elephants, frogs, primates, and more. Hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Macaulay Library is the world’s largest and oldest scientific archive of biodiversity audio and video recordings.

Find your favorite bird now!

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/imwilliamwilliams (Bill Williams), licensed under CC0 1.0