Tag Archives: MLA

Advocacy: The 2017 MLA/ITEM Legislative Platform

Do you need some suggestions on important ideas to talk about with your legislators and other stakeholders? We have them right here! Remember: Legislative Day is Feb. 22. If you can’t attend in person, send an email to be sure your legislator knows about the important work you are doing in libraries!!

The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and the Information
and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) support state funding for the following programs that sustain library services in Minnesota:

Continue reading Advocacy: The 2017 MLA/ITEM Legislative Platform

Statement from MLA President Amy Boese

CMLE continues to serve as your sources for news around the profession. There are a lot of changes happening nationally that affect libraries, and library activities and missions. We are sharing information from our professional organizations with you to help you sort through ideas for yourself, and to have professional information to share with your stakeholders.

Sharing information freely, and understanding the value of valid and reliable resources as part of information literacy, are cornerstones of our professional work. These are issues we deal with every day in the library. Any changes to these core ideas are a problem for us, and we want to be able to address them.

People sometimes ask what kinds of things would be appropriate topics for library advocacy. Certainly anything you feel impacts your work in libraries, or libraries across the country, would be very appropriate to discuss!  You should feel empowered to talk with your legislators (local, state, and federal) to share your experiences and your views. (If you want to practice an elevator speech, or having another set of eyes look at an email draft – CMLE is here to help you!)

Read on for the MLA statement: Continue reading Statement from MLA President Amy Boese

MLA Educational Webinars

“At the MLA conference in Duluth we recorded two sessions which are now available free to members. These are the first of several webinars that will be made available to members over the course of the year. Some of these may be recording other MLA events such as the keynote at PLD or ARLD day and may expand to specific continuing education events that will be happening around our state. In most cases these continuing education events will be both in-person and online events. The brand new Continuing Education Committee is currently examining topics, locations and methods to bring these events to MLA members. This will be an additional opportunity for members to present outside of the conference. This new initiative for our members is very much in the planning stage so stay tuned!”

More with Less: Project Management for BeginnersListen Now!
Speakers: Kelly McBride, Director, Osceola Public Library and Anthony Molaro, Ph.D., Professor, St. Catherine’s University

BiblioTech – Bringing the Library to the PublicListen Now!
Laura Cole, Administrator, BiblioTech

A Quick MLA Annual Conference recap!

The landmark Duluth aerial lift bridge

It is always great to meet library colleagues – you have so much to talk about right away! Going to conferences is a very good strategy for meeting up with colleagues; and attending a state association conference lets you put faces to the names of people you may be emailing with, talking with on listserves- or maybe did not even know yet!

This year the Minnesota Library Association’s Annual Conference was in Duluth, September 29-30. From everything I saw, did, and enjoyed there, I can say that a good time was had by all! And it was definitely a learning experience, with so many great sessions and presentations, and many opportunities to connect with people from across the state.

Do you want more information about it, or to see some of the events? MLA has you covered!

It all looks fun, doesn’t it?? Sign up for next year’s conference, which will be held in Rochester! Apply to CMLE for some money to offset your registration. If there is enough interest, we can rent a van and drive a group over one day! (Trust me: it’s ALWAYS fun to travel with library people!)

There were so many different sessions, looking at so many different types of libraries and library issues, it was impossible to see it all. No matter what you like to talk about and learn about in libraries: it was here! There were exhibitors, from assorted library vendors; all ready to chat with everyone about products and strategies to make libraries better. There was a poster session, with a variety of ARLD (Academic and Research Division of MLA) people presenting current research, professional activities, and things interesting to the members.

Our own Karen Pundsack, Executive Director of the Great River Regional Library, was part of a panel early on Thursday: MILE 2017: Leading for Life. This panel talked about the MLE’s Institute for Leadership Excellence, their experiences, and what new members might expect. Four librarians from the Hennenpin County Library talked about “Sustainable Social Media for Libraries.” Four librarians presented “50 in 60 Book Blast – Fiction.” Doesn’t this sound exciting? “Buckle up and enjoy the ride as we talk about 50 books in a variety of genres including: Scary Fiction, African Authors, Pretty Books, Books with a Twist, and Austenesque. It’s fast and furious, but always fun, entertaining, and educational!” Two people from the Washington County Library talked about “Coding Camp: Teaching Middle School Students how to Code Python with Minecraft.” A couple of libraries from the University of Minnesota presented “ReThink: Connecting Libraries to Metacognition, Student Learning, and Student Success“This is another one of those skills that extends beyond any specific library type, so it’s valuable for us all.

CMLE was represented in a great session on advocacy. “Library Legislative Process 101” was presented by Barbara Misselt, Director, East Central Regional Library and Jami Trenam, Associate Director of Collection Development, Great River Regional Library. “Library advocacy is for everyone, not just library directors and administrators. Join both seasoned and not-so-experienced library advocates at this roundtable to explore and share how we can advocate for library services for Minnesota citizens at the legislature.” This is such an important topic for all library people to explore, it was great to see it at MLA!

A diverse panel of people from around the library world presented “It’s All About Relationships: Build Your Best Diversity Outreach. Outreach to racially and ethnically diverse communities has always been part of librarianship, but in recent times has been moving from the periphery to the very core of what we do. “As more librarians learn the basics of social justice and community engagement, we need to push for ever-deeper, collaborative relationships with our patrons.” Jason Roy, Director, Digital Library Services, University of Minnesota Libraries presented on A New Look for Minnesota Reflections: Enhancing the User Experience. This presentation discussed the work done to create these customizations, including the use of the CONTENTdm API, the Blacklight discovery platform, and several open source image and document viewers. Remember our recent blog entry on libraries accepting passports? Marcia Anderson, Director, Grand Rapids Library, and a Representative, Customer Service Office of the Regional Passport Agency in Minnesota gave a presentation on the pros and cons of accepting passports in the library.

That evening, there was a social and networking event at the Glensheen Mansion! “The Minnesota Multicounty Multitype Library Systems and the Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth invite you to the Glensheen Mansion for fun, food, and networking. There will be guided tours of the mansion and grounds – including a rare peek into the family library at Glensheen led by Director Dan Hartman – chili buffet and a cash bar.” This was a very fun event, with a lot of opportunities to talk about history and libraries, to chat with people from all over the state, and enjoy learning the history of the house, the inhabitants, and all the household items.

Crabby Ol’ Bills: it’s a landmark, not JUST a good place to have doughnuts! (Though, it’s also that!)

What else happened? So many things! For more information look over the schedule and get some ideas about things you might want to learn about, or people who you might connect with from around the state. You can see all kinds of topics and learn about people who are doing things that you are interested in trying. Don’t hesitate to send an email to people who are involved in things you would like to know more about (politely, of course!). Conferences, and the after-conference discussions,  are a great way to learn about different ideas to try out for yourself!






Why Go to a Library Conference?

Apple BasketThe Information and Technology Educators of MN (ITEM) conference is thundering down the calendar toward us beginning the first week in October. Then, during the second week in October, the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Conference crops up! Are you registered?

Ideally, you are able to attend  a library conference of some form at least once a year. If you have a job that counts on you staying up-to-date, a conference is a great way to sharpen your skill set. I understand that professional development dollars are tight, but think beyond the dollars for a moment. Faced with incredibly big jobs, high work expectations beyond what we thought possible, and a world of fast-paced change, why go to a MN library conference?

Here are  my Top 10 Reasons to Register for the ITEM or MLA Fall Conferences Now….

  1. You have an excuse to buy a cool outfit, a new pair of shoes, or gasp…a new bag (even though you have hundreds)
  2. Informal conversations: Whether it be at a lunch table, in the commons area between sessions, or over cocktails at happy hour, a conference is an excellent place to figure out what your peers are worried about, working on, and thinking about. Be brave, strike up a conversation! You can save yourself a ton of time and work by talking to others who will share.
  3. Bags: While in the exhibit area, you have the opportunity to collect yet more bags for your collection of hundreds; some that include cat portraits!
  4. Free books: many companies are handing out free advanced copies of books!
  5. Do you hate talking on the phone with sales people, but need some new products, pricing, or information? Bribe a colleague to go with you (for the free candy) to the exhibit areas, and plan ahead of time how you will exit any sales talk that has gone far enough. Tag teams rule!
  6. Authors: Library conferences always include author talks, and we do love anything an author has to say!
  7. Eyeglasses: Have I mentioned that librarians also love to show off their hip eyewear, and why is it that most of us are almost blind?
  8. Keynotes: Conference planners think long and hard to bring in big names and popular folk that have appeal, and it is rare to be thoroughly disappointed, very rare!
  9. Breakout sessions: There are usually so many to pick from, that you often have a hard time. Me, I intentionally look for the rooms bursting at the seams with people. I want to know what everyone is so geeked up about! If it is something I know very little about, I really should be there! Am hoping for a session on Cosplay.
  10. The evening social event: You will have a blast and get to know the playful side of people. The multitype library systems (CMLE is one of them) offer fun events like trivia or literary games. Prizes and bragging rights come with the territory too! Did I mention free food? Can it get better?

What have I missed? What do you love most about conferences? Add it in the comments! Ready to register now?

Go to our handy events table, and click on the appropriate event link to register! Easy…

No Money? A  CMLE scholarship  of up to $200 is yours to use for registration, hotel, mileage, meals, or to subsidize the cost of your employer hiring a substitute worker so you can be away. If you approach your boss to say you have found a way to contribute  $200, they will know you are invested and have taken initiative. The application process is easy, CMLE would love to exhaust its scholarship budget this year on these two conferences alone, so go for it!

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/o4jqtd7, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0