All posts by Angie

Learning About Library Associations: Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA)

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’re learning about the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA). CALA is affiliated with ALA and “is the only professional organization in North America that 1) promotes better communication among Chinese American librarians; 2) serves as a forum for the discussion of mutual problems and professional concerns among Chinese American librarians; and 3) promotes the development of Chinese and American librarianship with scholarships and grants.”

CALA has several programs and initiatives, such as the Academic Resources and Repostory System, and the Twenty-first Century Librarian Seminar Series. They also have several different publications including a newsletter and Recommended Reading List of Chinese Materials. CALA also offers several different awards, grants, and scholarships.

There are several committees you can volunteer to join if you become a member, such as the Best Book Award Committee and the Mentorship Program Committee. Committees meet at ALA Annual and the Midwinter Conference. Learn more about becoming a member of CALA on their membership page!

AASL Recommended Apps: Organization and Management: Google Keep

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app Google Keep is a note-taking service with lots of capabilities. (Side note, I use this app and think it’s great!) Users can share notes with others, save and bookmark research, save photos, links, and notes. The app works across platforms and is part of G Suite. A quick tip: “Color code notes and use tags for the ultimate organization; set reminders for important lists.”

Level: All
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE

Common Sense Media has this detailed review of the app which includes input from parents and pictures that explain features of the app. This review from Computer World gives an overview of Google Keep and shares ways it can be used in everyday life.

Advocate for Libraries at our Postcard Party!

We are so excited for our advocacy Postcard Party coming up on Tuesday, December 19th from 3-5pm at the Local Blend coffee shop in St. Joseph! Join us to write postcards to library stakeholders sharing how essential libraries are! Plus, you get to chat with other library people and have a snack, what could be better?

The goal behind our Postcard Parties is to share the value of libraries with legislators and other library stakeholders who may not hear enough about the incredible work that takes place in libraries.

At this advocacy event CMLE will provide the postcards, facts about the value of all types of libraries to their communities, addresses for state and federal legislators (feel free to bring your own addresses for your library’s stakeholders), and sample text of what to write on your postcard. We will even mail your postcards after the event so no need to worry about postage.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend! We are excited to see you there!

Office Hours this week!

Great news, CMLE members! We will be holding Office Hours this Wednesday, December 6th! Come visit Lady Grey, check out our holiday decorations, and chat with Mary and Angie about library topics! If you have any concerns or great ideas, definitely come talk with us.

Office hours are held from 11am – 1pm at our location:
570 1st St. SE St. Cloud MN 56304. Can’t make it in person? Send us an email at and we’ll set up a time to talk!

Upcoming Office Hours:
Wednesday, December 13th
Wednesday, December 20th

CMLE Librarian Professionals and Librarians Enjoying Books: Read with us in December!

Even though life gets busy this time of year with holidays and end of semester or end of year tasks, it’s definitely OK to make time to pick up a new book. We hope our choices for December will encourage you to finish up 2017 feeling creative and cheerful!

For our group CMLE Librarian Professionals, we will be reading Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley.

“Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the “creative types.”  But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet show us that each and every  one of us is creative.”


For our group CMLE Librarians Enjoying Books, we are choosing a picture book for this month! We are excited to read Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raúl Colón.

“A young Texan finds refuge in his new Iowa town’s library, where the librarian offers him cool comfort from hot summer days and whirlwind adventures through reading.”