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, 3/23, or 3/31/15 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 6th.

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


We’ve Learned: Job Openings

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Job Opening at the Libraries of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

The Metadata Librarian provides professional leadership and management to ensure accurate, timely, and effective application of metadata rules and principles in library systems. The position is responsible for providing original cataloging and metadata creation and, in consultation with staff, determining appropriate standards, database maintenance routines, bibliographic quality control and workload distribution. For the job listing including Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Benefits, go here and scroll down to Metadata Librarian in the list. Deadline for application is April 14, 2015

Job Opening at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library – Saint John’s University

The Metadata Librarian  will manage the content and consistency of OLIVER, HMML’s online manuscript catalog, and work with HMML staff to improve existing and newly created records through authority control and data standardization. The Metadata Librarian will participate in the further development of HMML’s online platforms and their links to digital humanities projects at other institutions. For the job listing including Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Benefits, go here and scroll down to Metadata Librarian, HMML in the list. Currently there is no deadline for application


Looking for other library job opportunities?

Did you know that Metronet, the Twin Cities multitype library system, hosts a library jobline on their website where there are library/school media jobs that might be outside of our region? Keep up to date with current job offerings at The Minnesota Libraries Jobline.

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


What is a librarian?

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I have a plan. (187/365)Warning: this post is more than two sentences long…

Librarians are at the most critical time in history to define themselves. Yet there appears to be an ongoing  struggle to find clarity/passion  around  core functions or even a desire to get real about “owning” the fantastic set of skills that librarians possess!

Library users just want help, on their terms. They are not necessarily interested in all of the cool ways that librarians manipulate the world of information, even though we very much want them to care! They just want great service for all of their needs; and one stop works best in their busy lives! But, how well does this work when librarians hold on to traditional models of what an academic, public, and school librarian do for the user? Is it possible that librarians are willing to serve the user as long as the user need fits nicely within the realm they reside in?

In our search for staying relevant and moving towards the library of the future, the library workplace  is becoming much more demanding, requiring broader skill sets. This change in expectations often causes discomfort and some even question whether an MLS is what is needed in the field!

I recently read a great blog post called What is a Librarian? on the LITA blog which examines this topic, and it is worth a read. My favorite quote from the piece is this…. “If you care about information and want to do good with it, that’s enough for me. Others are free to put more rigorous constraints on the profession if they want, but in order for libraries to survive I think we should be more focused on letting people in than on keeping people out.” Amen!  Oh wait, there is more…

In a related  post titled MLS Required, Barbara Fister writes….”… when undergraduates ask about library school I try to be realistic – jobs aren’t plentiful, the pay isn’t great, some organizations are pretty toxic. Getting a foot in the door is really hard. You will have relatives who will repeatedly use the phrase “buggy whips” and laugh. But if you do apply to library school, don’t do it because libraries feel like safe places. Get good advising, try things that you feel ill-prepared to do, challenge yourself. Because those challenges will keep coming and you might as well get the hang of it.”


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

State Library Updates

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MDE logo retrieved online 12/17/13..

TO: Minnesota Libraries
FROM: State Library Services
DATE: March 27, 2015
SUBJECT: Updates from State Library Services: Position opening, Meetup, webinar, LSTA grants

Libraries Serving Youth Meetup – Last Call to Register
Registration closes next week for State Library Services’ first ever Libraries Serving Youth Meetup. The event is a chance for school and public library staff to meet, network and share ideas. Learn about successful public library and school collaborations and get creative ideas. Scheduled presenters from across the state include Brianna Belanger, Mike Evavold, Chad Lubbers, Ellen Morehouse, Donna Ohlgren, Nina Shimmin, and Erin Smith.

The Meetup is on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville. A working lunch will be provided and there is no charge for the event. Registration for the Meetup closes Wednesday, April 1, so register today. A certificate of attendance for CEUs will be available. For more information, please contact Jennifer Verbrugge at or 651-582-8356.

Community Literacy Initiatives and Partnerships Webinar
Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps (MRC/MMC) are helping more than 30,000 students in over 700 Minnesota schools succeed in reading and math. Join Anne Demotts (MRC/MMC Outreach Coordinator), Barb McKenzie (Hennepin County Library Volunteer and Internship Coordinator), and a Minnesota Reading Corps Master Coach for a webinar on Thursday, April 2, 2015 from 1-2 pm to learn more about how connecting with MRC and MMC can benefit your library and your community. Pre-register here.

Please contact Jennifer Verbrugge at with questions or to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event. Note: MDE requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice in order to cancel a requested accommodation.

Join our award-winning team
State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, is now recruiting candidates for a Library Development Specialist – State Data Coordinator.
State Library Services aligns its mission with the department’s vision of educational equity for all and the Governor’s Seven Point Plan for Excellence in Education. We work collaboratively with the Minnesota library community to create and deliver resources that address the educational, social and cultural needs of Minnesotans to accomplish our mission. Based in Roseville, this is a unique professional employment opportunity for librarians interested in working in a leadership role in the state. Primary position responsibilities include coordinating the annual collection of public library data and providing expertise on program design, implementation and measurement to improve the ability of Minnesota’s libraries to articulate the impact of library services. We are looking for candidates with a background in library services, program design, statistical analysis and evaluation that also have excellent communication skills. Applications will be accepted online through April 15, 2015.
Questions? Please contact Jennifer Nelson at 651-582-8791 or

LSTA Grant Application Process
Join State Library Services on April 8, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Project Planning with Logic Models, a webinar that will introduce a logic model approach to project planning. Logic models offer a tested framework for developing grant proposals and ensure that your proposals describe the resources you need to achieve the outcomes you propose. The session will also review project activities and budgeting and connect you with resources that can help you create stronger grant proposals. Pre-registration is not necessary; simply click here to log into the webinar. Please contact Jen Nelson at with questions or to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event. Note: MDE requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice in order to cancel a requested accommodation.

Because we’re interested in making sure that as many eligible applicants as possible benefit from LSTA grants, applicants/benefitting public libraries that did not receive a competitive LSTA award with federal fiscal year 2013 or 2014 funds and since July 1, 2013 will receive an additional 10 priority points during the proposal review process. Contact Jackie Blagsvedt at 651-582-8805 or for more information.


April AASL Complimentary Webinars

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SLM Banner

Join Your Colleagues for Complimentary Webinars During School Library Month

In April, make room in your Wednesday nights for professional development! During School Library Month, AASL will offer a complimentary webinar each Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Central.

Register today to learn about emerging technologies and ways you can enhance your school library program!


Transform Teaching and Learning with Digital Tools
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Presenter: Melissa Jacobs

In this webinar, participants will explore selected mobile apps from the past two years of AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning and learn how to inspire and engage students with mobile technology.


The Best of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching & Learning
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Presenter: Heather Moorefield-Lang

During this webinar, participants will explore websites handpicked to be the best of the Best Websites for Teaching & Learning. Presenter Heather Moorefield-Lang will discuss sites, how they can be used, examples from the field as well as look for new ideas and suggestions.


Augmented Reality in the Classroom
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Presenter: Morgan Nickolai

Learn how to create fun an engaging lessons for your students with augmented reality! Learn how you can create interactive experiences for your students by unlocking or creating layers of digital information on top of the physical world that can be viewed through an Android or iOS device.


Turn on a Dime: Changing Your Library on a Limited Budget
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Presenter: Jennifer Holt

This three-part interactive workshop will equip librarians with inventive strategies for enhancing their library’s atmosphere at minimal to no cost. Participants will leave with extensive resources and an inspired outlook for turning their libraries into places where students feel welcome and excited to learn.


Attendance during live webinars is open to all. 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.

Are You Coming to the Edible Book Festival?

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ediblebooks_button (1)We hope so! This is the first year that CMLE is co-sponsoring and helping to offer this Edible Book event out beyond the St. Cloud State University (SCSU) campus, and we really hope that some staff and/or end users from area libraries and school media centers join us!

Have you always wondered about doing your own Edible Book event in your setting? Participate in ours to get the lay of the land! Looking for an activity to do in your makerspace? Do an edible book entry for April 14th and register as a group; win a group prize!

Prize categories are shown below.  Which category do you think you might have the best chance in winning?

  • Individuals entries will compete for: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place; based on the popular vote of attendees at the event. Individual prizes will be valued at $100, $80, and $65 respectively!
  • SCSU Student Groups ($50 cash; total value of $85) (2nd place, $75 value)
  • Other Group outside of SCSU Student Groups ($85 value)

You only need to register if you are entering an edible creation in the contest. Spectators are encouraged and welcome, bring your friends and family! Everyone will have two hours to vote for favorites on April 14th.

Activities! Wondering what to do during the judging period?  Come to the Miller Center coffee shop (library lobby) and enjoy music by the campus radio station, KVSC.  There will also be Creation Station table activities to keep those jitters at bay while we wait for the judging results. Just for fun, try your skills in the  Play Doh Playhouse, the Sit n Sketch station, or deduce book titles in a visual trivia round. But wait, there is more! View the professional entries from five local bakeries too and enjoy refreshments!

A little late to the game?  Get ideas and details here. Got questions? Contact CMLE or call us at 320-308-2950.

Registration must be submitted by 12:00 PM (noon) on April 13, 2015.  Register here

What I Learned at the Library Technology Conference

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time_alone2_hiresLots of people wanted to go to this year’s conference, but registration closed crazy fast when the 450 seats were full within 30 hours! Macalester College is the conference site, and as is typical, the crowd at this conference is a mix of library types; maybe a bit more of the academics. However, this year I saw an increase in the number of K-12 school media/tech integration people too, which was great!

I could bore you with reporting on sessions I attended, but rather, I include some themes and observations.


  • One common theme I saw, was that no matter what kind of librarian, maker spaces and 3D printing were far and away most prominent.  However, one thing remained clear in the breakout sessions. While it was acknowledged across library type how much library users enjoy maker spaces, presenters were admittedly a little short on data to support how maker spaces were tied to, or supportive of, curriculum. Everyone was in agreement that more work is needed on that issue. In the K-12 setting, leaps in self confidence were cited as good enough for now, with hopes of deeper integration with curriculum in the future.

Short on space? You don’t necessarily need dedicated space for makerspace activities. What you do need is space for tubs of materials to pull out when it is makerspace time! Seems obvious now!

New Maker Space resources I learned about include:

Theme Two: Social Media and Librarians

For the first time this year, there was no printed conference schedule, but rather the entire conference was on the mobile app, Sched. As attendees had their morning coffee, they created their schedule for the day and mixed it up with  Facebook and Twitter friends at the conference too.

Both in sessions, in hallway conversations, and even  at dinner, I am reminded of how social media has put a fresh new face on how librarians network and stay up to date.  A number of people I talked to said they had never used Twitter until they came to this conference and decided to give it a whirl. Now, they have no idea how they ever “kept up” professionally before Twitter. The people they follow online keep them up to date and sometimes, when they are excited about new discoveries, they share those discoveries too! This is called collaboration.

Breakout session materials are located here and are being added every day as presenters make them available. Videos of all keynote presentations will also be added to this repository site shortly. Please check back often to see what’s new on the site.


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What teens can learn from podcasts

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VictorVPhonographWith the huge success of the Serial Podcast, podcasts are seeing a bit of a resurgence. Not just for entertainment, schools are using this medium to push students in non-traditional ways.

In a California High School, an English teacher used the Serial Podcast to slow students down and improve their listening skills. “Students publicly debated… guilt or innocence in… classes, addressing a Common Core standard to improve speaking skills, and worked together with other students to… present mock closing arguments.” Beyond debating the content, students would also “navigate Google maps, finding the exact streets in Baltimore where important events were said to have occurred, and ‘driving’ them, virtually, to assess the evidence.”

The KQED article is a great read about the different ways teachers can think outside-the-box with their instruction.

Are you listening to the Serial Podcast? What do you think of the idea?