Planning for your successor (Hiring series #4)

Who do we hire next??

Have you ever started a job and had no idea what you were supposed to do? Have you tried to hire someone, and realized you have no good direction on where to start finding a qualified replacement?

Where are the pens kept? How do you file a report? Who does the scheduling? When everything is new and different, even the most basic things are a challenge. And when an employee is trying to get through the basics, s/he is not focusing in on getting to the important parts of the job.

Every job should have some level of succession planning in place. Employees may move, get promoted, or abruptly depart from their jobs for all kinds of reasons, either permanently or temporarily. Having some basic procedures to help the next person will make the transition easier on everyone. For most jobs in the library this can be fairly minimal. It is a good idea to have everyone make some notes about their work and the things they do each day, each week, or annually. (Sometimes this request stirs up fears in employees that they are going to be replaced. Managers: be quick to reassure them this is not the case!)  These will be useful if an employee has to be out of work for a couple of weeks, or if they win the lottery and depart without notice. (Who could blame them??) Continue reading Planning for your successor (Hiring series #4)

Books in the Spotlight: October

LightbulbEach month CMLE will highlight three books that have some factor in common. We hope they will give you ideas for your collection, or influence an activity, lesson plan, or display. 

This month, we share three different books that focus on increasing simplicity and de-cluttering different areas of your life. These books can be used in your library to spread awareness about mental well-being or help people that may be struggling to put their life or possessions in order.


joy-of-lessThe Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay

This book is described on Goodreads as “a fun, lighthearted guide to minimalist living.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in our lives, whether physical or mental, and this book hopes to guide you through the journey of simplifying. Although, be warned that one reviewer did mention excessive use of exclamation marks in the book, so prepare yourself for some upbeat positivity!

  • The author also has a blog, and where she posted this article about Clearing Our Inner Clutter.
  • Watch this cute, quick video with five tips from The Joy of Less:

declutter-your-mindDeclutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport

Worrying and overthinking are common problems, but they can have a lasting negative affect on your mental well-being. This book provides tips and specific actions to help clear your mind. By taking the steps outlined in the book, “you’ll have the clarity to prioritize what’s most important in your life, what no longer serves your goals, and how you want to live on a daily basis.”

  • If visual reminders are helpful to you, check out this image to work your way to a clear mind.
  • Get moving and relieve anxiety with this article on walking meditation.

life-changing-magic-of-tidying-upThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

This book about organization and simplifying your home has been popular for awhile now, possibly because of it’s promise to get your house in order once, and never need to do it again! The author encourages people to work through their belongings on a category by category basis, and to become aware of each object’s energy, discarding what does not “spark joy.” The book has many fans as well as critics, and if you’ve read the book, tell us your thoughts in our CMLE Librarian Professionals Goodreads book group, where we are currently discussing the book!

  • Having trouble visualizing some of the suggestions from the book? This article that illustrates how to follow the folding directions will help you!
  • Here is a post from the True North Comfort blog that features just the highlights of the KonMari Method.


Look at this guy – he needs a name!

I couldn’t be cuter – and I need a name!

Meet our newest CMLE-HQ staffer! This nice guy arrived here from the MLA Annual Conference silent auction. (Thanks!!) He comes complete with a bag of books, and a librarian button on his vest. He has been designated the Official Office Bear.

He is currently making himself at home, checking in with the Team Plant members, and trying out different spots in the HQ to see where he may want to hang out. And he made his Instagram debut, to immediate acclaim.

But: he arrived without a name! We want you to contribute your ideas and your vote to give Official Office Bear a name.

Getting your voting skills sharpened and VOTE here for a name!

CMLE Service: Continuing Education and Grants calendars!

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Learn about opportunities!

Looking for a one-stop shop to plan out some professional development in the upcoming months, or begin work on some grant applications?

The CMLE website is here to help with that! We have our Continuing Education page, which features a Google calendar that is updated daily with new learning opportunities. Most of the events on the calendar are webinars or online courses, and yes, some are free! We also have links to organizations like Library Juice and the AASL’s eAcademy that offer their own training and development opportunities.

Our Grant page features both a Google calendar that is regularly updated and also a list of grants that breaks them down individually in more detail. We know that library budgets are tight, and it can be a challenge to run a library or media center on a small budget. Check out some of the grants or awards to see if they could be useful to you!

If you have questions about any of the Continuing Education or Grant items, or need some help applying for an award or grant, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here to support you!

Recruiting to hire good people (Hiring Series #3)

We need to get them to us before we can hire great employees!

Part of hiring great people is making sure that they are applying to your library! Without a pool of good candidates, you can’t make good people appear.

How do you get these good people? Like so many things: you need a plan. A solid recruiting plan will help you to bring in the good applicants, and give you the best kind of hard choice to make when hiring – picking among people who would all be good in your library.

It sounds hard. Where will you get the time? How will you know if it is working? What kinds of decisions should you be making?

CMLE is here to help you! We will walk through the basic steps of creating a plan here, so you can start working on your own plan for your library. Then, we are here to work with members to finalize their plans, to make decisions, and to help with the evaluation. Continue reading Recruiting to hire good people (Hiring Series #3)

Get in the game: Join an ALA committee!

It is always great to have a voice in the profession, to get to know other interesting library people, and to share your experience with others. You can do all of this by joining an ALA committee! I volunteered today, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you there too! The information from ALA is below, for each perusal.  The next annual meeting will be in Chicago, and we can get a CMLE van trip organized to transport people! Of course, also consider joining your local library groups, state groups, groups that focus on your specific professional interests – no matter what you do in the library world, there is a group for you!!


Kerri Price
Executive Board Secretariat
American Library Association
CHICAGO — The online committee volunteer form ( – select “ALA” in the drop-down menu) for ALA, Council and two joint committees closes on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Please complete the form if you wish to be considered for appointment (or reappointment).

Get them reading!

To be or not to be (Project 365: 24/365)
Read on!

Encouraging young reluctant readers is always a topic for thought and conversation, especially among librarians, or even just among parents that want to foster a love of reading in their children. As a new mom, I definitely fit into the second category! What can we do to help young people that can be hesitant to pickup books?

You can read this article or listen to the conversation from MPR News that tackles this challenge in a fun and informative way. See below for some of the tips included in the article, and keep in mind a common theme is persistence!

  • Show your kids you love reading, too!
    – Read in front of your kids, for your own enjoyment, and they will eventually take notice
  • Make sure books are always available
    – Books should always be visible and accessible, whether around the house or at frequent visits to the library or bookstore
  • Give audio books a try
    – They are great options for kids that have trouble concentrating or sitting in one place. They are also great additions to car rides and road trips!
  • Keep your judgement and expectations in check
    – Try to refrain from pushing books that may be too challenging, or critiquing a book choice that you may view as too easy. Allow kids to gain enjoyment from books, at their own pace.
  • And finally, my personal favorite, when in doubt, get out the Harry Potter!
    – Described as “a gateway drug,” in the article, the series “really allowed kids to fall into a world that was so cool. When you give it to a kid at the right time, it unlocks something for them.”


Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange

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