Students in grades 4-12 can participate in Letters About Literature!


Do you work with students who love reading? Help them enter the Letters About Literature Contest! Readers can write a letter to an author of any genre, living or dead, describing how their book changed their views of themselves or the world.

“Minnesota students in grades 4 through 12 are eligible to enter the annual essay contest. Sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the contest asks readers to write a letter to an author describing how his or her work touched their life in a personal way.”

There are three different levels of the competition, divided by grade level, as well as a cash prize for national winners! You can get more information on this PDF flyer, or find out rules and enter the contest by visiting the contest’s website.

Time for another advocacy Postcard Party!

We had a ton of fun last spring with our advocacy Postcard Party in the Park, and are excited to plan our next postcard event! 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.

At this advocacy event CMLE will provide the postcards, facts about the value of all types of libraries to their communities, 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. We will even mail your postcards after the event so no need to worry about postage.

Since our system is large and spread out, we want to offer a few location suggestions in order to try and include everyone. Please vote your location and date preferences below!

Learning About Library Associations: American Theological Library Association

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’ll take a look at the American Theological Library Association. The mission of ATLA is to “is to foster the study of theology and religion by enhancing the development of theological and religious studies libraries and librarianship. Established in 1946, ATLA is governed by an elected board of directors and has over 800 individual, institutional, and affiliate members.

ATLA has an annual conference, a newsletter, offers awards and scholarships, and an online journal. They recently announced the addition of new materials including journals and records to EBSCO’s EBSCOhost platform, which you can learn more about here.

Their website features On Demand Learning, which is a collection of free professional development webinars. They also have a page full of religion reference training resources, since those tools are rarely covered in traditional library training.

You can learn about the benefits of joining ATLA here, or visit their Member Center for more information.

AASL Recommended Apps: Content Creation: CoSpaces

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.

Level: All
Platform: iOS | Android
Cost: FREE

The app CoSpaces lets students create their own virtual reality worlds! Students can choose from a “collection of characters and objects which can be adapted and animated.” Once their world is created, they can view it with a mobile device and headset. Some quick tips include importing your own 360 photos to make custom stages for your VR world, or have more advanced users incorporate Blockly code to bring their world to life.

This review from EdShelf breaks down CoSpaces and includes some highlights of the app. Common Sense Education has this article about the app which features a Pro Con list as well as classroom activity ideas.

Watch this quick video for a glimpse into the world of CoSpaces:



No Office Hours this week: Wednesday Nov. 22nd

We know everyone’s schedules can get crazy around the holidays, so we decided to cancel CMLE Office Hours for this week, November 22nd.  (Of course, if you need to connect with us sooner rather than later, please email us at and we’ll work something out!)

In fact, as we look at CMLE’s calendar for the rest of 2017, we will be slightly adjusting the dates of upcoming Office Hours. Read on for the new dates!

CMLE will be holding office hours at our Headquarters location: 570 1st St. SE St. Cloud MN 56304 on the following dates between the hours of 11am – 1pm:

Wednesday, November 29th
Wednesday, December 13th
Wednesday, December 20th

We will be happy to see you on these dates to discuss any library topics or challenges, no appointment necessary! As always, Office Dog Lady Grey will likely be making an appearance in case you need a soothing animal presence during this stressful time of year!

We support libraries!