All posts by cmleguestblogger

Our guest bloggers bring a variety of great experience that is valuable to libraries! If you want to contribute a Guest Blog, just contact us!

Guest Blogger: Teen Lit Con 2017 Recap!

This is a guest post from Bethany Kauffman, Media Specialist at Rogers High School, about attending Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2017.

There is something special about finding “your people” in the world.  As book lovers, we seem to find our kindred spirits almost organically at work, church and in our neighborhoods.  Finding “your people” is such an important part of life that I relish any chance to help my students meet and connect with other teen book lovers like them.  CMLE made that happen for Rogers and Sauk Rapids – Rice high school students this past spring.

On Saturday, May 6 2017 at Henry Sibley High School, Minnesota’s metro public libraries brought one of the most popular and controversial authors of the moment to Twin Cities teens.  Sauk Rapids – Rice and Rogers High Schools were able to load up teenagers and get them to St. Paul for the big event through the support of CMLE.  What made the day so hype-worthy was that we saw, wait for it… Jay Asher!  Yes, that Jay Asher, whose books had suddenly become the topic of controversy and passion with the airing of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.

Adults had suddenly become aware of Jay Asher and his writing, his honest conversations about hard subjects and the power that words and ideas can have in a teenager’s life.  Those of us who work with teens, read YA and love the awkward eagerness of all things before age 25 already knew all about Jay Asher.  We spend our days talking to young adults about serious and not so serious topics.  Sometimes hair color and friend drama is as deep as it gets but that’s what makes this age so great.  They are thinking, growing, learning, observing, trying on different personas nearly every week and they aren’t shocked when a YA book tackles a tough topic like suicide.  Young adults welcome stories that push the edges and make them think deeply about life.

As a result, I wasn’t surprised when we were packed into the auditorium at Henry Sibley High and the atmosphere was what I can only describe as electric.  It was the first session of what was going to be a day filled with book-loving kindred spirits galore.  When Jay Asher, Jeff Zentner, Box Brown and Meg Medina walked onto the stage for the first author panel of the day the auditorium exploded with the kinds of screams and roars and clapping that is usually only heard at a rock concert.  I am not kidding.  The teenagers shook the roof!  Let that soak in.  Teenagers screaming their heads off, nearly fainting over authors not athletes, millionaires, movie stars or music icons.  They were with their people and they were screaming at the top of their lungs for what they loved – ideas, emotions and creativity in books.

The rest of the day went well.  It followed a typical conference schedule with a variety of sessions and activities.  The teens had opportunities to be a part of several writing workshops, meet Minnesota authors, buy books, get autographs, try out Book Speed Dating, discuss creative nonfiction, find out about the behind-the-scenes work of creating graphic novels and meet real book editors.  One of the most highly attended sessions dealt with mental health issues in YA lit.  You literally could not get in the door of that session it was so full.  There were also t-shirts and concessions and an exhibit hall and temporary tattoos.  All good events have temporary tattoos.

When the afternoon came to an end, my 11 students from Rogers High School and the 25 students from Sauk Rapids – Rice High School piled into the bus and started home.  I was so grateful that we joined the teens from another high school for the long ride.  There were plenty of awkward introductions and graphic novel discussions and shy exchanges of artwork and books between students who had never met before.  Book lovers find common ground quickly and everyone headed home happy.  CMLE was the impetus behind this amazing day.  They encouraged us to coordinate between our schools, facilitated our communication and awarded us a grant to cover the cost of the bus.  As a result, this day was free to our students and for several of them, I’m sure, that made attending Teen Lit Con possible.

The new school year is here and it’s once again time to bring teens and books together.  It’s time to start fostering relationships that drifted over the summer, get the book clubs up and running, unpack the first book order of the year AND it’s time to talk to our teens about Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2018.  Why not join us?  Rogers High School is going to make sure we are at the next convention.  We’d love to connect with your teens and share the love of all things authors, illustrators, writers and YA lit with you.  Start thinking now about giving your teens the opportunity to find “their people” at Twin Cities Teen Lit Con in the spring.

https://teenlitcon.com/

Bethany Kauffman
Media Specialist
Book Club Advisory
Rogers High School
Rogers, MN
bethany.kauffman@isd728.org

CMLE Scholarship: Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference

Reflection on 26th Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference
Mary Ramacher
Access Department – ILL
SCSU Library

As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?

Several of the things I took away from the Keynote speaker were:

  • That the library needs to not just be welcoming to employees but that it should look welcoming when you first enter the building
  • To say “yes, and” to show that you understand what someone is saying instead of “no, but” when we can’t do exactly what the patron is asking.
  • An analysis of personality styles.

Our library had a very ‘sterile’ atmosphere when you first enter the building and a few years ago we put in an electric fireplace and some comfortable seating in the front. It is one of the busiest areas of the library now, which proves the idea of being welcoming. I am looking forward to trying the more positive approach of using ‘yes and’ as opposed to ‘no but’ when helping my patrons. The personality types analysis will be very helpful too when dealing with difficult personalities.

The session on statistics by the Minitex Director was very interesting too. Our library web page will need some work so that its format adjusts to any type of device for ease of use.  She also talked about 18-24 year olds reporting ‘digital fatigue’ so our idea that students want everything electronically will need to be reevaluated.

We were also informed of some improvements to WorldShare that I will be using immediately upon returning to work in Interlibrary Loan.

Mary Ramacher

320-308-2085

Access Department – ILL

SCSU Library

Podcasting – Jumping in Head First

 

check out Maria’s actual setup – pretty cool!

(by Guest Blogger Maria Burnham, from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School; read about our visit to her library!)

I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time, and I love that podcasts are, once again, on the radar and a popular topic of conversation.  Several times over the last few months I’ve heard people say, “Have you listened to [insert podcast name]?  It’s so great!”  Podcasts sometimes feel like short little audio books; perfect snippets for those of us with limited spare time or those of us with commitment issues.  I listen to popular podcasts like Serial and Hidden Brain, literary podcasts like The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, music podcasts like Tiny Desk, and book podcasts like Book Riot.

Recently, I decided that it was time to take podcasting into my own hands.  I’m an avid reader, and because of my role as the school’s “librarian” (even though that’s not my official title), I’m often asked to help others find a book.  In conjunction, I’m also in a high school setting which can sometimes be a finicky place to get reading traffic in to the library.  High schools aren’t like elementary and middle schools where classes of kids come down once a week to check books in and out.  Instead, I often rely on the roaming traveler in the book stacks or the rare, “My friend said I just HAVE to read this book!” for foot traffic.  Podcasting seemed like the logical blending of these two situations.  I could push out my book recommendations and at the same time try to create a bit more excitement about reading and the new books we have available.

Continue reading Podcasting – Jumping in Head First

Bridging the Language Gap

 

This post was written by a CMLE Guest Blogger: Connie Laing is a Patron Services Librarian with Great River Regional Library.

A few weeks ago at the Long Prairie Public Library, I was part of a unique collaboration of teachers, students and librarians. We had a common goal of sharing information about using Great River Regional Library services with a class of English language learners, but we spoke three different languages. How did this work, you ask? Here are the highlights:

  • The environment was noisy and chaotic.
  • Many voices were talking at once.
  • My agenda did not go according to plan.
  • I did not cover all the material I brought.
  • It was about the most inspiring class I have been a part of!

Background: The Library Services Coordinator in Long Prairie, Nancy Potter, has developed a relationship with the local instructor of Adult Basic Education classes in her area, which includes this class of English Language Learners. Amy, the instructor, is determined to get her students out of the classroom and into the community, and the first place she thought of to visit was the local library! After she contacted Nancy Potter in Long Prairie, Nancy contacted me for reinforcement, since one of the duties of the three Patron Services Librarians at GRRL is to assist at any of our 32 branches with class visits and information presentations. I was charged with creating a presentation on GRRL services for the adult ELL students.

Continue reading Bridging the Language Gap

Creative Commons Part 2: Five Creative Commons Resources

Creative Commons

CMLE Guest Blogger: Carli Spina If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or contact me on Twitter where I’m @CarliSpina.

In my last post, I explained what Creative Commons licenses are. But how can you make use of these licenses and incorporate items that are licensed under them in your library? Perhaps not surprisingly, an array of resources have emerged to make it approachable to use Creative Commons licenses and to aggregate Creative Commons-licensed items. The resources suggested below are not the only ones available on this topic, but hopefully they will help to get you started with a variety of Creative Commons resources.

Continue reading Creative Commons Part 2: Five Creative Commons Resources