Pets not letting you read? You’re not alone.

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We love our pets, but sometimes they can be a pain – like the ones featured on The Dodo’s 22 Pets Who Have No Intention Of Letting You Read Your Book!  These cats and dogs either just want some attention, or think they know what’s best for us.  Do they seem at all familiar to you?


A day in the life of a school librarian

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8HIn their recent three part series on school libraries, wrote about the High, Middle and Elementary school libraries of Millburn Township. Although in New Jersey, the stories they share are nearly universal across school libraries today.

The first part discusses the work of Millburn High School Librarian LaDawna Harrington. Her work bridges print and digital, but moves beyond the information source. “More than ever we live in a complicated information-inundated world and so students really have to learn to think for themselves,” she said.

Thinking critically about information is important for any life-long learner. “I can’t possibly anticipate what the next technology is going to be,” she continues, “so for me the most important thing is helping students to realize that they need to think critically about the information they’re gathering and looking for, and to provide multiple access points to the collection.”

The second part highlights the work of Millburn Middle School’s Librarian Amy Ipp. Her work prepares them for high school but also continues the love for reading established in elementary school. “One of the things that I really love about the middle school is students are still really interested in the pleasure of reading,” she said, “matching the book with the reader is fun for me.”

Finally, the third part of the series features Glenwood School Librarian Shea Stansfield. Not simply a place to check out picture books, Stansfield works on students’ public speaking skills through research projects. “I have them pick a topic they are interested in and have them choose three things they want to tell the students about, say, skates, bicycles, or LEGOS,” she said, “so when they get into research projects in third, fourth and fifth grade they’re familiar with the process because they’ve done it with something they’re interested in.”

We at CMLE are sure you have your own school library stories to share. Whether they are from your youth or if you are a school librarian living them now, please share them with us in the comments below or email us!

Image credit:, licensed under CC0 1.0

MN Library Legislative Update

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Capital SunsetThe following legislative update was written by Elaine Keefe, library lobbyist for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information Technology Educators of MN (ITEM).


Received Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm

House Legacy Bill:  This afternoon the House Legacy bill was posted online.   I am very disappointed to report that funding for regional public libraries was reduced by one-third in comparison to the current biennium.   In the current biennium, regional public libraries received $3 million each year, for a total of $6 million.  The House bill proposes $1.5 million in the first year and $2.5 million in the second year, for a total of $4 million.  Many previous recipients of Arts and Cultural Heritage funds are also slated for reductions from current funding levels, including the Science Museum (down 45%), Civics Education  (down 40%), the Duluth Children’s Museum (down 38%), the Southern Minnesota Children’s Museum (down 38%), the Minnesota Zoo (down 36%), the Perpich Center (down 35%), Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (down 14%), Public Television (down 14%), and MPR (down 6%).

So, where did the money go?  The recipients who saw reductions were relatively small programs.  The largest recipients received substantial increases, namely the Minnesota Historical Society (up 16%) and the State Arts Board (up 7.5%).  Disappointingly, the Minnesota Digital Library, which is part of the Historical Society’s appropriation, received a slight cut – from $600,000 in the current biennium to $580,000.  There are also some new appropriations, including $1 million for restoration and preservation of fine art in the capitol complex and $250,000 for the Bell Museum.   According to committee staff, they received far more in requests than they could possibly fund, and the decisions were difficult.  We have been repeatedly warned that no recipient of Legacy funds has a base budget – we all start over each biennium.   This bill seems designed to drive that point home.

Please contact your own state representative and members of the House Legacy Committee between now and Monday to express your concern about the low level of funding provided for regional public libraries.  Members of the Legacy Committee can be found at   Please keep your messages respectful. 

The House Legacy bill will be heard on Monday at 12:45pm in the Basement Hearing Room.  The committee plans to meet for as long as necessary (up to midnight) to walk through the bill, take testimony and consider amendments before passing the bill.

Senate Legacy Hearing:   On Monday evening the Senate Legacy Subcommittee heard presentations from groups seeking funding from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Ann Hutton and Melinda Ludwiczak made the presentation and did a great job.  Special thanks to the gang from East Central Regional Library for bringing a large glass blown parrot made by a local artist from a local child’s drawing to display to the committee.  They seemed to enjoy it very much.  Valerie Horton also testified on behalf of the Minnesota Digital Library.

At the hearing Senator Cohen announced that $3.5 million would have to be allocated from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund  for restoration and preservation of art at the capitol.  He warned that this would make funding increases unlikely for most recipients of Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds.

House Omnibus Education Bill:  Today the House Education Finance Committee passed its omnibus bill out of committee.  Before passage the committee considered about a dozen amendments.  Rep. Kresha successfully offered an amendment with the RLTA language that had been proposed in the Governor’s supplemental budget bill.  We had negotiated a couple of changes to the language with MDE, and I had testified last night that we were supporting the amendment.  It went onto the bill today without a hitch.  Also notable is that the provision requiring a regional public library board to employ a chief administrative officer who is compensated by no more than one regional library was removed from the omnibus bill after I let Rep. Erickson know that MLA opposed the provision.  The omnibus education bill will be heard next week in the House Tax Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Senate Omnibus Education Bill:  Today the Senate E-12 Budget Division passed its omnibus bill out of committee.  The RLTA language was also amended onto this bill this morning.  Other provisions of interest in this bill are as follows:

  • RLBSS: Modifies the formula and increases funding by $2.85 million over the biennium
  • Telecommunications Equity Aid: Increases funding by $3 million ($1.5 million per year) for the 16-17 biennium only
  • School Technology: Requires school districts to reserve future growth in the proceeds from the school endowment fund for school technology and telecommunications infrastructure, programs and training
  • 1:1 Device Program: Requires MDE to research existing 1:1 device programs and develop guidelines for best practices for Minnesota schools implementing 1:1 device programs

Broadband Grants:  The Senate omnibus environment,  economic development and agriculture bill was released today.  It includes $17 million for broadband grants.  The House employment and economic development bill provides no funding for broadband.  The Governor’s budget includes $30 million.


Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 310
St. Paul, MN 55103
(cell) 612-590-1244

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

Infographics for You to Use: Books and eBooks

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Want to use infographics in your space, but don’t have the time to create your own from scratch?  Well, thanks to A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, we have infographics of all kinds – this week, five infographics on books!  Click on the links to see the full infographics.

SS1 40 Years of E-Books
 Books vs eBooks Books vs eBooks
 SS2 Bye-Bye Textbooks!
 The History of Science Fiction The History of Science Fiction
 Book challenges 2014 Book Challenges

More Infographics for You to Use: Libraries and Librarians & Reading and its Benefits

Library Legislative Update for MN

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Capital SunsetThe following 2 legislative updates were written by Elaine Keefe, library lobbyist for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information Technology Educators of MN (ITEM).

Received Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Today the House and Senate omnibus education and higher education bills were released.  Most library appropriations remained at current levels.  Here are the items where changes were proposed:

Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS):  The Senate education bill increases RLBSS to $14.92 million in FY 2016 (an increase of $1.35 million) and to $15.070 million in FY 2017 and future years (an increase of $1.5 million). The total increase for the biennium is $2.85 million.  The RLBSS formula is modified by increasing the base from 5% to 13% and by decreasing the equalization component from 25% to 17%.  The House makes no change in RLBSS, so this will be an item of difference in the conference committee.

Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA):  The Senate education bill increases funding for TEA to $5.25 million per year, an increase of $1.5 million per year.  The House provides no increase for TEA, so this will be an item of difference in the conference committee.

General Education Formula:  The House provides an increase of 0.6% in each year of the biennium, while the Senate provides an increase of 1% per year.  The general education formula is the primary source of funding for school library media programs.

MnSCU and the University of Minnesota:  There are no general operating increases proposed for either MnSCU or the U of M.  The Senate higher education bill includes funding for student tuition relief for both systems, while the House bill provides such funding only for MnSCU.

The committees will take testimony and consider amendments to their omnibus bills this week.  The bills will be passed out of their respective committees no later than Thursday evening.

Received Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Legislative Calendar:  On Tuesday legislators returned from their Passover/Easter break.  Next week many budget committees will be releasing their omnibus budget bills.  The Senate E-12 Education Budget Division will release its omnibus budget bill online next Tuesday.  They will take public testimony on Wednesday and then will consider amendments and pass the bill out of committee on Thursday.  The House Education Finance Committee has not yet announced when its omnibus bill will be released.  There is a great deal of work to be done before the May 18 adjournment deadline.

Budget Targets:   Before leaving for the Passover/Easter break, House and Senate leaders announced their budget targets.  The education community was shocked and deeply disappointed at the very low targets for education, particularly in the context of a state budget surplus of nearly $1.9 billion.  The House has allocated just $157 million in new funding for education over the next two years.  The Senate has allocated $350 million.  This is in contrast to Governor Dayton’s proposal to spend an additional $694 million on education.  The House and Senate targets will make it very difficult to obtain funding increases for libraries, despite the positive reception our bills received when they were heard in committee.

Senate Legacy Hearing:  On Monday, April 13 at 6pm the Senate Legacy Subcommittee will be taking testimony on the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Ann Hutton and Melinda Ludwiczak will present our request for regional public libraries.  The hearing will take place in Room 15 of the Capitol.

Governor’s Bonding Proposal:  This week Governor Dayton released his bonding proposal, which totals $842 million.  It includes $2 million for Library Construction Grants.  This is the first time funding for this program has been included in a governor’s proposal.  The likelihood of a bonding bill of that size is very slim.  Traditionally the Legislature passes a fairly small bonding bill in the odd-numbered year session and a much larger bill in the even-numbered year.  House Republicans have said they have no interest in passing any bonding bill this year.  However, they have left open the possibility that they could agree to a small bill as part of the end-of-session negotiations.

Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA):  The governor’s supplemental education budget bill was made public on Tuesday.  It includes some changes to the eligible uses of RLTA to more closely align it with the federal e-rate program.  The CRPLSA RLTA Committee reviewed the language and suggested two clarifying changes.  MDE has agreed to one of them and is considering the other.  Last night the House Education Finance Committee took testimony on the governor’s supplemental budget.  I testified about that we support the new language on RLTA but were working with MDE on a couple of tweaks to it.  I also expressed disappointment that there is no new money for libraries in the governor’s budget and urged the committee to consider including Rep. Nornes’ bill to increase funding for RLBSS and multi-type funding and Rep. Kresha’s bill to increase funding for TEA and RLTA as they put together their omnibus education funding bill.

State of the State:  Governor Dayton will deliver his state of the state address tonight at 7pm before a joint session of the Legislature.  The address will be live-streamed on many websites, including the House of Representatives website, the StarTribune, the Pioneer Press and MPR and affiliates.  The address will also be broadcast live on MPR.

Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 310
St. Paul, MN 55103
(cell) 612-590-1244


HMML highlighted around the world

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From InfoDocket to MPR, the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) has been getting a lot of attention recently. And from the amount of work they’ve been doing its well warranted. Mostly, it’s due to their efforts to preserve materials that are in danger of disappearing. From Iraq to Timbuktu (Mali), HMML is working to preserve a wealth of original items.

In Mali, it’s Islamic religious texts. “By digitally preserving the manuscripts, HMML can provide a quality surrogate of the originals, and for the first time in the world’s history, give international researchers and scholars direct access to these rich collections.”

Read more about their work.

Pew reports on Teens, Social Media, and Technology

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pew_teensA Pew Report from April 9th, 2015 details how teens are using social media and technology. Facebook still remains the most popular social network with Instagram and Snapchat second and third. 92% of teens report going online daily, with 24% of teens going online “almost constantly.” Like most Pew reports, there’s a lot of data and text to read and interpret. Pressed for time? Check out the summary.

Read the full report, click here.