Book Suggestion Series: The Little Book of Hygge

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here!

This week I read a really fun book: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Hygge “The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness. Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right. Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. This year live more like a Dane, embrace hygge and become happier.”

I listened to this book with an audiobook from Overdrive, and that was really a great way to do it! This was one of my first exposures to this word, and hearing it in the author’s Danish accent definitely made me understand everything better.

In Minnesota, we have really cold winters and the idea of embracing hygge is very appealing. I love to go outside and do stuff in the snow – shoveling, hiking, making snow people. But I love coming back inside and drinking hot chocolate (with Fluff!), and snuggled into my couch surrounded by library books! So I was all ready to learn about hygge.

You might not want to listen to it as you are out shopping – as I did. I ended up coming home with a bunch of pillar candles (candles are very important in hygge) and a few other comforts. I bought an aromatherapy oil diffuser I’ve had my eye on for a while; and I really do love having the peppermint smell all through the house.  This book also pushed me to get more pictures put up on my walls, which is a good thing. And my bed is now so comfy and cozy, with extra pillows and soft blankets, that I’m struggling to get the motivation to leave it in the mornings. (I’m not counting that as a problem, you understand!)

If you want to explore this trend that is new to the US, but part of everyday life in the Scandinavian countries, I suggest you check out this book!

Oh – and you can increase the hygge of your office by bringing in cake! If any CMLE members out there want to bring cake by the Headquarters – know that we are open to this idea!! We can all have a slice, sip some tea/coffee, and chat about libraries.

Ahhhh….hygge. I feel cozier and happier already.





Learning About Library Associations: Art Libraries Society of North America

Library science is an enormous field, home to every interest you could imagine! This means that there are many organizations out there for you to join, in order to connect with other people who share your professional interests.

So even if you work alone in your library, there are other people out there doing work similar to yours! Each week we will highlight a different library association for you to learn more about, and depending on your work, potentially join! You can also check out our page dedicated to Library Associations.

This week we are exploring the Art Libraries Society of North America! This organization is “a dynamic organization of over 1,000 individuals devoted to fostering excellence in art and design librarianship and image management.” Their annual conference called “Out of Bounds” is coming up in February and will be in New York City!

Society members are “architecture and art librarians, visual resources professionals, artists, curators, educators, publishers, students, and others throughout North America interested in visual arts information.” Find out how to join the Society and read about membership benefits (like awards, publications, and career resources) on their page here.

Their website features a variety of multimedia and technology reviews, like this one of the exhibition Bruegel: Unseen Masterpieces. Their site also has a Learning Portal which includes webinar archives and virtual conference sessions. The content is Open Access and accessible through online registration. Finally, you can check out any upcoming events on their Event Calendar!


ITEM 2017 Recap

On Friday, Oct. 6th I was so excited to attend my first ITEM conference in Brooklyn Park! I was looking forward to a day of learning, networking with school media and tech educators and hearing from some local authors. I was able to do that and more!

The conference began with a delicious breakfast and a presentation from the author and Macalester professor Duchess Harris. She talked about her personal connection to her book Hidden Human Computers which is about how “dozens of African American women worked for NASA as expert mathematicians from the 1940s to the 1960s and almost no one knows about it.” Her grandmother was Miriam Daniel Mann and “was one of the first black female computers employed by NASA’s predecessor,the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).” Harris discusses this in more detail on this episode of the Historically Black podcast.

Then it was time for some chatting before heading off to our first sessions! I was able to hear from Tea Rozman-Clark, Executive Director of the organization Green Card Voices, and the amazing work they do with young immigrants. We learned about their behind-the-scenes recording processes and got to watch how they conducted a day of interviewing students from a remote location that just happened to be St. Cloud State University!
It was great to see the books that have been created that feature the stories of the students interviewed. You can purchase Green Card Youth Voices St. Paul, Minneapolis, or Fargo editions here.

Then we had to rush quickly off to the next session, one that I was excited about: learning about Creating Future Ready Media Centers!

This presentation from media specialist Amy Carney was definitely inspiring (she’s renovated two media centers in the last three years!) and full of great information that we’re happy to pass along to our members, especially since we know some of you may be working on redesigning or updating your media center! You can download a PDF of her presentation here.

We had some free time before the next round of sessions to check out the vendors, browse the bookstore (so many good choices!), and chat with each other. Then it was time for more learning! I got to hear from Outfront MN as they presented LGBTQ 101. We learned definitions and terms regarding individuals in that community and also ways to make interactions with students or our patrons more inclusive and respectful.

Next, it was time for lunch, entering drawings for books, and watching CMLE Board Member Maria Burnham present awards!

And the fun didn’t stop there! After awards were presented, we got to hear from a bunch of awesome local authors and illlustrators! They all answered some unconventional questions and we got to hear about the books they’ve created.

One of the authors on the panel was Lisa Bullard, author of the book Turn Left at the Cow, which Mary recently reviewed in our series CMLE Reads Across Minnesota! I was pretty excited to see her in person!

The afternoon sessions were very interesting as well. I attended a presentation from Dawn Nelson called “When ALL Means ALL: Partnership and Programming for Students with Special Needs.” This can definitely be a challenge for our members and I hoped to get some good resources to share. Dawn talked about her experiences working with students with physical special needs, like making her media center more wheelchair friendly, and also shared her experiences working with students on the autism spectrum. Check out her presentation here for suggestions and useful links!

The final session I attended was a presentation from Maria Burnham, who told us about how she encourages and works to create a culture of reading with both staff and students at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. She had some great suggestions, like keeping your list of books that you are currently reading visible as an easy conversation starter, or to take part in a school-wide book challenge. Make sure to check out her presentation here!

I had a great time attending ITEM and can’t wait for next year! Hope to see you there! 🙂

Updates from State Library Services

State Library Services 2018-2022 Goal Plan Approved

We are pleased to make available our recently approved LSTA 2018-2022 Five-Year Plan. An overarching focus of the plan is to connect Minnesotans with information and resources through libraries, and we’re looking forward to working with libraries and other partners to achieve our goals. The plan identifies areas for competitive grant-making as well as statewide initiatives. Please don’t hesitate to contact Jen Nelson (651-582-8791) if you’d like more information about the new plan.

Bring a Part of the State Fair to Your Library

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency created a tabletop version of “Your Resilient Community,” a part of their popular Eco Experience State Fair exhibit, and they are partnering with State Library Services to lend the exhibit to libraries.

The interactive exhibit comes with a portable table, eco-themed booklist, and button maker with templates for a fun, hands-on activity. We’re working with Minitex to deliver the exhibit, so all you need to do is set it up – instructions are provided.

Libraries may have the exhibit for four to six weeks, and we’ll try to work around your schedule. Please contact Emily Kissane (651-582-8508) if you are interested in hosting Your Resilient Community.

Summer Learning Programs Widespread at Minnesota Public Libraries

Summer learning programs help ensure that youth retain critical academic skills they acquired during the school year through reading and learning activities over the school break. State Library Services sent on online survey intended to collect information about how Minnesota’s public libraries implement and measure summer learning programs for youth to all Minnesota public libraries in September. More than half (55 percent) completed the voluntary survey. Thank you!

All but a few of the responding libraries (96 percent) offered summer learning programs for youth in 2017 and incorporated learning activities other than reading into their summer programs. Most offered programs for youth of all ages—preschoolers (91 percent), elementary school students (99 percent) and teens (81 percent). The most popular program components included incentives, collateral materials such as reading records, and public performances and events.

A significant majority of libraries (82 percent) partner with other community organizations for their summer learning programs. The most common partners include schools, childcare organizations, businesses, local government, and nonprofit organizations. Half (50 percent) of libraries developed programs and activities that addressed the needs of youth most in need of learning opportunities during the summer school break. Youth living in lower-income households and ethnic or minority youth were the most frequently targeted groups.

If you would like a copy of the survey results, please contact Joe Manion (651-582-8640).

Grants to States Program Reports Available Online

IMLS Labs, a new tool from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), allows you to search funded Grants to States projects across all states (from FY2014 and FY2015), refine your results by faceted options from within the State Program Reports, and export them in CSV or text-based formats. Visit the site to learn more about what we did here in Minnesota, and see what other states are accomplishing with their federal funding. Information and ideas abound!

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Updates from Our Partners

Webinar: Using Project Outcome Data to Improve & Support Library Programming

The Public Library Association (PLA) is partnering with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office to present a webinar on the benefits of using outcome data to improve and support library programming. On Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 1-2 p.m., learn how to use Project Outcome data for programming decisions and improvements, funding requests, measuring against strategic priorities, and advocating for the impact your programs and services have on the community. Participants will hear real library examples and have the opportunity to ask questions. Register for the free Project Outcome Data webinar today; space is limited.

Lights on Afterschool

Keep the Lights On Afterschool for Minnesota’s Youth

October 26 is the 18th annual Lights On Afterschool (LoA), a day for afterschool programs across the country and Minnesota to celebrate the role afterschool programs play in the lives of youth, families, and communities. Library partnerships between afterschool programs and libraries is a major theme for LoA this year.

Ignite Afterschool is partnering with the Weisman Art Museum for a special event in the Twin Cities on Thursday, October 26, 3:30-6 p.m. Register today for the Lights On Afterschool Weisman Art Museum event—or better yet, volunteer at the event. Ignite Afterschool is seeking volunteers for two shifts: 1) Shift A: 3-4:30 p.m. 2) Shift B: 4:30-6 p.m. Contact Matt Ramirez at Ignite Afterschool for more information or to volunteer.

If your community is planning an LoA event, register your event today to receive 10 free posters. Visit the LoA website to get more information and learn how to get involved.

YALSA 2018 Summer Learning Grants Available

YALSA is awarding twenty $1,000 grants to support libraries’ efforts to reach underserved teens over the summer months, as well as another twenty $1,000 grants to support hiring teen interns over the summer. Visit YALSA’s summer learning webpage to learn more and apply.

Becoming American Grant Opportunity

Your library can apply to participate in Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience, a six-week public program featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.

The project will provide participating organizations (libraries, museums, historical societies, and cultural centers) with DVDs of carefully selected, compelling documentary films; discussion guidelines; original essays by eminent immigration scholars; extensive resource guides; and web support including training in how to organize, promote and run the series successfully.

In addition, each of the 32 nonprofit organizations selected to implement Becoming American will receive a cash award of $1,300 for project expenses. Participating institutions are expected to offer this six-week program sometime during the period June 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019. Guidelines and applications are available on the Becoming American website. The application deadline is December 1, 2017.

Questions about the selection guidelines, process, or requirements should be directed to City Lore (212-529-1955 x13).

Kerlan Collection Digital Archives

New Digital Exhibit from the Kerlan Collection

Children’s Book Art: Techniques and Media is the newest digital asset in the Kerlan Children’s Literature Research Collections’ digital exhibits project. The exhibit showcases art from the Kerlan Collection, and provides an invaluable resource for anyone interested in exploring the world of illustration through the artistic techniques employed by the country’s most popular illustrators.

The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota Archives and Special Collections is one of the leading repositories of rare books, process art, and manuscripts of children’s literature. The collection includes rare volumes of Mother Goose from the 1800s as well as works by contemporary creators like Jane Yolen, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Melissa Sweet. The University of Minnesota Libraries’ mission is to share these riches with teachers of children, youth services librarians, teachers of teachers, students of creative writing and art, and anyone who is interested in the craft of making children’s books. Check out all of the Kerlan’s digital exhibits on the University of Minnesota website.

Episode 211: Technology Training for Library Staff

Contents of our information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • A Few Technology Training Resources
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Today we are talking about one of the biggies in the world of library work: Technology training. We all know it’s tough to keep up with the tech we need to use, and it can be even more complicated to help patrons to use their own tech! To help us with this, we have a Guest Host: Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist in St Cloud School District 742.

One of the “fun” things about technology training is that it is never done. You will never know enough, and the field will always keep changing. Don’t get discouraged! Just adjust your own framework to know that there will forever be something new and interesting and cool out there – and you will keep discovering these things and keep learning new skills! (Continuous learning is not only important for continued job success, but helps to keep your brain agile as you get older. So for those of us who are aging rapidly (all of us!), tech is a tool to keep us young!)

Remember: CMLE is here to help you with training! If we don’t have the material here for you, we will help you find it.

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program? We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

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