All posts by Angie

Learning About Library Associations: Catholic Library Association

Library science is an enormous field, home to every interest you could imagine! This means that there are many organizations out there for you to join, in order to connect with other people who share your professional interests.

So even if you work alone in your library, there are other people out there doing work similar to yours! Each week we will highlight a different library association for you to learn more about, and depending on your work, potentially join! You can also check out our page dedicated to Library Associations.

This week we will learn about the Catholic Library Association (CLA). This association provides professional development, support, networking, and fellowship.

According to their website, the CLA:

  • Provides leadership for professional development
  • Coordinates the exchange of ideas
  • Offers spiritual support
  • Promotes Catholic and ecumenical literature
  • Fosters community among those who seek, serve, preserve, and share the word in all its forms

CLA has an annual convention which will be held virtually this year on April 18th. They also have regional chapters for members to join.

Definitely visit their website for more information, but check out a few more of the resources CLA has to offer:

You can check out current CLA news, browse Job Postings, apply for a scholarship or grant, or shop resources like The Handbook for Church Librarians.

Learn more about benefits of becoming a member of CLA and sign up on their membership page.

Good news for Sting, the formerly lonely reading dog!

It’s no secret that we love both animals and reading at CMLE! We think it’s great that so many libraries offer therapy dogs (or bunnies or chickens) as non-judgmental reading companions for students working to build their reading confidence, or for older students stressed out about finals.

We also have a special place in our hearts for greyhounds, due to our Office Dog Lady Grey.

So when this post about the therapy dog Sting not having any kids to read to him went viral, of course we were interested (and sad for poor Sting! Just look at his disappointed face!)

But thankfully the story didn’t end there! I was so pleased to stumble upon this article from Today sharing that due to the popularity of Sting’s sad viral post, the White Bear Lake Minnesota library where he visits has seen a surge in sign-ups for reading slots with both Sting and their other visiting therapy dog. Sting is now booked through April!

Check out the full article here, and read more about library therapy dogs in our previous blog post.

And of course you can visit Lady Grey in person on Tuesdays in February (Wednesdays in March) at CMLE HQ during Office Hours! Reading to her is optional, although she is always happy to listen to your library ideas and challenges. 🙂

Vacation Library Visit: Mission Library of Tucson, AZ

Welcome to the Mission Library in Tucson!

We all know that visiting libraries is one of the best parts of being on a vacation, right? (It definitely is!) When employees of CMLE HQ travel, of course we visit libraries along the way!

I was able to warm up a little last week, visiting family that winters in Arizona, and of course I wanted to make sure I stopped by the local library. I was so proud to learn that my family was familiar with the location of the nearest branch and had already visited multiple times! Libraries are great resources to have handy.

Pima County Public Library has several different branches. The one I was able to visit was the Mission Library. The library is “committed to being a center of opportunity for our community.”

This library was packed on a rare rainy day in Tucson, and was welcoming right from the start! We love the “Libraries are for Everyone” signs! Even better, they had the signs in both English and Spanish.




This gorgeous art was displayed prominently in the library’s entryway and proclaims their dedication to serving their community!






Across from the art was a very full whiteboard that detailed upcoming events. Some of them included Read to a Dog (a very cute fluffy one), Citizenship Classes, Teen Time, After School Fun & Games, English Classes, and Job Help! Libraries provide incredible programs for their community members.


When you enter the main library area, right away you can see all of the resources available. There’s a handy book display of New Releases and straight ahead is the computer area. (It was packed full!) The library has definitely adapted to accommodate their many patrons that may not be permanent residents. I needed to use a computer and printer and was assisted by a helpful librarian who gave me a guest login and showed me how to sign up for a spot. They even had designated computers for Job Help or those that would only require 15 minutes to complete their online work! Definitely convenient.

After using the computer, I was able to wander around the library and was so impressed with everything I saw. There was more great art, a ceiling made to let in natural light, meeting rooms, a Teen area marked with fun neon lighting, and more that I’m sure I missed.

It was fun to wander through the stacks and see the little details that the library has added to make browsing more convenient for their patrons. The Dewey Decimal system can be tricky, and this library has helpfully placed markers on the shelves to make locating materials easier.

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Next, it was on to the Children’s area, which was very bright and cheerful. There were toys (my son tested them and approved) as well as coloring activities, a Spanish language section, and appropriately sized tables and chairs for young readers.



On the way out I was distracted by this excellent display for Black History Month. The side pictured has books for younger readers and the other side features picks for teens and adults. Way to make sure all ages can appreciate the importance of this month’s holiday!

Thanks to the Mission Library for such a fun afternoon experience! If you are interested in checking out library news or exploring other Pima County Public Library locations, make sure to visit their website.

If you go on a trip and happen to visit a library, take some pictures and send them to us! We’d love to include you in our Vacation Library Visit series!



Book Suggestions: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

I’ve been making an effort to read more African American literature, and also to select books that fit our CMLE 2018 Reading Challenge! Americanah fulfills both these requirements, and I’m finding it incredibly interesting. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Nigerian culture and also more about the immigrant experience. The writing is really witty and observant, so I’m enjoying this one so far!

From Goodreads: “As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.”