Spotlight Program: Innovative Book Displays!

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. (Check out our podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

This week we are thinking about  great book displays! You can sign into Pinterest and see all kinds of great pictures to give you some other fun ideas to try in your library or archive.

I just love this photo from the Lacey Timberland Library! As a librarian, of course I have very low tolerance for banning books – especially for completely ridiculous reasons. This sign brings into the light some of these calls, so people can see them and think about the importance of freely accessible books and information. If you browse around Pinterest for other photos from this library, you will find all kinds of great displays!

Want more inspiration? Angie collected a bunch of great resources for you! Book displays are fun, because there is no “bad” way to do it. You just want materials to get into the hands of someone who wants to enjoy it – try something today, and see what happens!

You know that putting together book displays takes time and creativity. Some days, you are just not feeling it! When that happens, it’s handy to have some guidelines to help stimulate good ideas. Here is an article you can use to make your displays fun, useful, and to get those materials flying off the shelves: Twenty Rules for Better Book Displays by Susan Brown.

You want to use displays to help you fulfill your basic mission: Connecting your materials to your community.

We would absolutely love to see your displays! If you have a really small one, if you have a massive one, if your display is somewhere in between those – take a picture and send it to us! We want to feature some of our members in an upcoming article, so help us out.

Book Suggestions: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

I love retellings of fairy tales, so when I heard about this book being marketed as a “feminist fantasy reimagining of Snow White” of course I was interested!

So far I’m really enjoying the book (hurrying to finish so I avoid an overdue fine!) and the setting of a chilly castle trapped in the season of winter fits perfectly with our Minnesota weather. The two main characters are strong and determined to discover their own identities despite lots of obstacles, some of them magic-related. There’s definitely a sense of something ominous coming and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
“Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.”




Share the value of libraries at our Postcard Party!

The goal behind our Postcard Parties is to share the value of libraries with legislators and other library stakeholders who may not hear enough about the incredible work that takes place in libraries. It’s up to us to let them know how important libraries are!

We are looking forward to our advocacy Postcard Party coming up on Tuesday, December 19th from 3-5pm at the Local Blend coffee shop in St. Joseph! We’ll chat, have snacks, and write out postcards to library stakeholders!

We want to make this as pain-free for you as possible, so CMLE will supply the postcards, library facts, addresses for state and federal legislators (feel free to bring your own addresses for your library’s stakeholders), and sample text of what to write on your postcard. Plus, we’ll mail all the postcards at the end!

Hope to see you there! RSVP below:

Vacation Library Visit: Evanston Public Library

We all know that visiting libraries is one of the best parts of being on a vacation, right? (It definitely is!) When employees of CMLE HQ travel, of course we visit libraries along the way!

I recently visited the Evanston Public Library, in Evanston, IL. (It’s north of Chicago, and also the home of Northwestern University.) This is a really nice library, with a ton of great programming (we featured them in an early Linking Our Libraries podcast episode).


The Book Sale room is nice and prominent! I love to visit libraries – but it’s hard to find books I love, and cannot check out. So I do always enjoy library book sales. As it’s obviously out of the question for me to leave any library without books in my hands, this gives me a way to support the library, and also have fun vacation books!

When you take a left, after coming in the front door, you enter a fantastic Children’s area! You can see the thought and effort that has been put into making this a welcoming and fun place for kids and their adults to visit. I always love to see libraries making this effort to bring people to the library! One of our important functions is to serve as places for all members of the community to gather, to enjoy themselves, and to have fun connecting with others – and it’s clear this space makes that happen!! (Yes, there are also tons of fun books; and yes – it was hard to tear myself away from them too!!)

As you enter the Children’s section, there was a special display set up. Librarian Betsy Bird (you may know her from School Library Journal, or her book podcast, or the books she writes!) made her annual section of 101 Great Books for Kids – and the books were right there to be grabbed by kids!

You can see this tree in the above photos, but it’s worth a closer look. Doesn’t it make you want to curl up and read books?? (I maintained a little dignity, and did NOT crawl into the tree to check it out…but it was a close thing!)



Continue reading Vacation Library Visit: Evanston Public Library

Come visit the library at SCSU with CMLE!

Thank you to everyone that voted for a date/time for our CMLE member visit to the library at SCSU! We are looking forward to touring the library on Thursday, January 11th from 3-4pm. We always love seeing the fantastic work that happens in our member libraries, and meeting the library people that are making it happen! Mary recently toured this library and was so impressed that she thought our members should have a chance to visit too!

Since we are a multitype system, we are always working to connect our members with each other. Even if the type of library you work in may be different, many challenges you face may be similar. And something that works for another library might just work for yours too!

So join us! These visits are casual so if you need to arrive a bit late or leave early, no problem. RSVP below, we hope you can make it! 🙂

We support libraries!