Your Voice: Central Minnesota’s Year in Review

Welcome to Your Voice, a column that shares Quick Question Poll (QQP) results from libraries/school media centers in the twelve-county, CMLE region. Whether a statistical response or textual response to open ended questions, your voice matters. Invitations to engage in the polls arrive in your email; please participate! Most poll results will be shared in aggregate form unless stated otherwise in the poll or through additional approval arrangements.

Image by pictureorpictures. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Common's licensing.
Image by pictureorpictures. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Common’s licensing.

Last year, we did a number of very short online Quick Question Polls, to gather input from the region. The last one we did was titled Year in Review. In that QQP we asked you to  reflect on the academic year, and share the high points and/or struggles too. We were delighted that a dedicated group of people still possessed enough energy to engage in the poll! Eighty-two percent of respondents were from K-12 school media centers in Central Minnesota, which isn’t a huge surprise; it is the largest member group that CMLE serves. So, drum roll please……on to the positivity!

In answer to one of the questions: Which two or three things are going especially well for you in your library, school district or media center? Given the gift of time, I would categorize all responses. Lacking that at the moment, I thought it might be refreshing to hear a smattering of positivity from peers in the region. A few colleague responses were…

  1. I have two good media assistants that help me run two libraries. We are getting some Chromebooks for our students to use because our labs are tied up so often with testing.
  2. Adult book discussions are popular and going well as is story time for preschoolers.
  3. Rearranged collection to a more “store” model rather than using the traditional library arrangement. Also redecorated the media center to remove the 90’s look and to create a more inviting teen reading environment. Also worked with grade level teams in our Phase 1 of the DC Digital Learning Initiative.
  4. Connecting with students and helping them connect with books.
  5. Supportive Administration—A very busy Media Center!
  6. Every building has a full time media specialist in the district and our process for making tech decisions is fluid which means we’ve made a lot of progress regarding technology this year (keep in mind we don’t have a technology administrator OR a district tech integrationists). I’m pretty proud of my fiction collection in my library as well!
  7. The way we have classes scheduled to come into the library. We use shelf markers with their names on them and that helps when they are looking for a book because they put the shelf marker in the bookshelf where they take the book out. Then, if they look at it and decide it isn’t the book for them, they know where it should go back. It also helps for checking out materials as the barcode is on the shelf markers. All barcode numbers are the same as their lunch numbers.
  8. Technology is moving forward at a good pace. I’ve been able to reach most of my students with research skills, and am part of the Digital Citizenship class (grade 9).

I like to think of the contents of this post as a spoonful of positivity in Central Minnesota! At a time of the year when energy could have been low, I found creativity, value, and optimism in all responses. Everyone felt positive about some aspect of their work! Taking the time to review and reflect on accomplishments and lessons learned, can enrich our practice and improve satisfaction levels in our jobs too. Stay tuned for more results soon.

If you have suggestions for new polls, or have questions about existing polls, please feel free to contact me at or 320-308-4779.

Last year respondents to the QQP’s were entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift ! Who won? It was Kyle Breitkreutz, media specialist at Sartell Middle School. According to Kyle, he never wins anything, so we are glad we could break that trend for him! Watch your email for Quick Question Polls again this year! And remember, your voice matters!

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