CMLE Resource: Libraries After Dark

After your day at working at a library (whether it is a school library, academic, public, history center, museum, or other) it’s nice to leave the world of libraries behind to spend some time pursuing your hobbies. Whether that means meeting up with your band for practice, heading to a state park to go hiking, or settling in at home with your quilting project, we would like to hear about it! We are starting a new page called Libraries After Dark, to highlight our library people and their interesting talents and hobbies.

It’s clear to us at CMLE that libraries are places where people with diverse interests, hobbies, and talents tend to work. And after the library is closed (or after your shift ends, either one) the people that work there leave their libraries to go engage in interesting activities!

So we thought it would be fun to collect stories of our library people’s “hidden talents” in order to share them with each other! It’s so fun to get a glimpse into what our members are passionate about (besides libraries, of course!) and the goal of our page is to share those hobbies and skills. Some of our members are musicians, artists, master gardeners, bakers, or love hiking. Does this sound like I’m describing you? Please let us know! We’d love to feature you on our Libraries After Dark page and in this series on our blog! And no, you don’t need to be an “expert” in your area of interest – just the fact that you are trying something new is exciting! Let us know if you have a hobby, talent, or area of expertise that you’d like to write about for our blog. We’re happy to share videos, post pictures, or link to content that you’ve created (as long as it is appropriate). We can’t wait to hear about it!

Book Suggestion Series: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

We love talking about books with our members, and on our weekly library podcast Linking Our Libraries. So we began this series as just another way to share what books we are reading or want to recommend!

Daring Greatly by  Brené Brown is a book  I listened to from Overdrive a little while ago, and I remember being surprised how much I liked it. I don’t read a ton of nonfiction and this one seemed like it could potentially have a preachy or self-help feel. However, this was not the case! I liked the experience of listening to this book because it allowed me to think about the concepts instead of just flying past them like I might do while reading.

Dr. Brown has done a ton of research in the areas of shame and vulnerability and how we can work to change the way we relate to these things in order to be a more productive, creative, and happier person. She makes the point in the book that it’s actually brave to be vulnerable enough to take a chance or try something new, even though we could fail miserably.

From Goodreads:
“Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.”

Check out Brené Brown’s other books:

The Gifts of Imperfection
Rising Strong
Braving the Wilderness

Watch her Ted Talk about the Power of Vulnerability:




CMLE’s Fall Social Event will be Monday, Oct. 23rd!

Thank you to everyone that helped select Monday, October 23rd as the date for our next social event! We will gather at Old Chicago in St. Cloud at 5:30pm for food and library socializing.

We would love for you to attend! These social events are casual, with no agenda, and everyone pays their own way. At CMLE, we appreciate the opportunity to meet our members face to face, and we have heard from our members they like to be able to chat with other people in the library world. Even though our members are from different types of libraries, many challenges and opportunities for growth are very similar!

So join us!
Monday, October 23
5:30 pm
Old Chicago
4040 2nd St S, St Cloud, MN 56301

Please RSVP below so we have an idea of how many people to expect:

CMLE Reads Across MN: Rez Life

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but it also has many interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota!


Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life, by David Treuer



This week I’ve been reading the nonfiction book Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life, by David Treuer. I’m about half-way through it, and feel like I’m learning a lot about life on reservations. Growing up as a white person, in the cornfields of Central Illinois, I knew essentially nothing about modern Indian life. As I’ve traveled more, especially out West, and spent more time visiting both modern and historic sites, reading and talking with people, I’m learning more about the different history and cultures of tribes. (I cried when visiting Big Hole National Battlefield and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument – but it would be hard not to. And you see how much more there is to learn in these visits.)

So I am always interested in learning more,  and more about Minnesota cultures. I found this book in the shop at the Grand Portage National Monument. (Yes: I’ve never passed a single state or national park/forest/monument that I didn’t want to visit!) I’m not finished with it yet; but am enjoying it enough to recommend. Treuer explains some of the challenges faced by his tribe, the Ojibwe; and also the larger picture of life on reservations, with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

As with other cultures I don’t share, it’s daunting to realize how much I don’t know, and that I will never understand it all. But more understanding, more learning, and more ideas about the ways other people approach life is always good!

As a member of the library profession, I definitely like to learn more – and to have another interesting book to recommend!

From Amazon:

“Celebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. In Rez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist’s storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.

With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges, he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life.

A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture, Rez Life is a strikingly original work of history and reportage, a must read for anyone interested in the Native American story.”

Episode 207 Strategic Planning

Wikimedia Strategic planning 09

This week we are talking about Strategic Planning.

Did everyone panic a little bit there? No need!

Strategic Planning is one of those things that sounds scary and hard and like it will take you a huge amount of time. But really, it’s just thinking about the future and what you want to do in your library. Generally strategic plans will be about three to five years. After that point, it becomes tougher to know what is going to be happening in your library and in the world around you. The idea is that it is a long term plan. Shorter time periods are tactical plans, or project plans.

(We are working on a new Strategic Plan here at CMLE; so if you are in our geographic region expect that we will be asking you for your ideas as we create and modify plans to help serve our community!)

Today we are going to do a quick overview of the steps involved in Strategic Planning. Your planning process may be more complex, or may be more compressed – you should work on it the way that makes sense for your library and for your community. There are a lot of different ways to create a good plan; but these steps will get you there!

Contents on our full information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Guest Host Kathy Parker
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion
  • Sample Plans
  • 30 Sample Vision Statements
  • 50 Sample Mission Statements


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