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The Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange (CMLE) is one of seven regional multitype library systems established to meet the needs of and share the resources of all types of libraries. We love libraries, and are here to support them!



Many of you are working on coding projects in your libraries; this is your chance to tell other people about the work you are doing! Sharing this kind of information with the larger library community helps you (you look cool!) and it helps others to get ideas and stay informed! You know that technology changes so quickly, it’s hard to keep up.  This kind of sharing is a great way to do that.

So we are sharing this call for papers with you. If you want CMLE Headquarters to help you bounce around ideas, or to look at your drafts with you, or whatever else you need – we are here to help!! Continue reading Code4Libraries

Strategies to Simplify: Moving forward

“Work simply. Live fully.”  This week CMLE focuses on the following work productivity tip from Work Simply, Carson Tate’s popular book.  At CMLE, we’ve boiled down Tate’s wealth of knowledge from Work Simply to a few key points; please see the book for more detail and resources. At the bottom, see links to earlier tips in the series! Let’s all be our best selves….

This week’s activity: Free yourself from the pull of constant “busyness” by focusing on achieving your best life. 

work simply coverIn the final chapter of Carson Tate’s book Work Simply, she describes an activity she uses with her clients. She has them imagine their lives with all aspects – personal and professional – just the way they want it to be. She has them think how this would look, how they would feel, who they would be with. This exercise creates feelings of “excitement, joy, fun, meaning, and purpose.”

Want to make that fantasy a reality?

Take all the tips and strategies you’ve learned from this series, and put them into action!

In case you need a quick review: Set your READY goals: Realistic, Exciting, Action-oriented, Directive, and Yours. Take a look at the tasks you complete each day and evaluate whether they will help you come closer to achieving your goals. Next, learn better ways of investing your most valuable resource, time. Finally, ask for help! Realize that you actually don’t need to do it all yourself, or all on your own.

Work Simply

Looking for more resources for streamlining your life and living with more meaning and purpose? Check out for more strategies and information.

If you missed it, discover your Productivity Style with a simple assessment. See our earlier posts in the series for personalized tips on working with your Productivity Style in order to transform your work and personal life.

Previous tips in this series


State Library Updates: 8/11/16

MDE logo retrieved online 12/17/13..TO: Minnesota Libraries
FROM: State Library Services
DATE: August 11, 2016
SUBJECT: Updates from State Library Services

LSTA Grant Awards Announcements – Coming Soon!
As a result of our most recent LSTA grant round, we are excited to award eleven grants for innovative projects with diverse beneficiaries. The grant-funded projects are wide-ranging and include the creation of programs and resources to strengthen families affected by incarceration, the expansion of a science fair initiative that connects third- and fourth-graders with area STEM professionals, and the development of creative in- and out-of-school-time digital learning opportunities. The grant awards will be posted on the refreshed MDE website next week. In the meantime, please contactJackie Blagsvedt (651-582-8805) for a complete list or for more information.

Get to Know Valuable Partners in Afterschool and Digital Literacy
In communities across Minnesota, organizations are working to build bridges between in-school learning and afterschool experiences for students of all ages. Key players in this effort are 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC), active partnerships between schools and community organizations that provide students with a broad array of academic supports, enrichment programs and engagement opportunities to help them achieve, connect and thrive. 21CCLCs are prime partners for a library’s afterschool and summer programs.

You’re invited to learn more about 21CCLCs at a special kick-off event at the St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN).Register today; space is limited. (The morning session is for 21CCLCs only.)

Tuesday, August 23, 1-3 p.m.
SPNN, 550 Vandalia Street Suite 170, Saint Paul, MN 55114

Connect with interesting colleagues and gain insights into the power of collaboration. Learn about the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival and how empowering kids to create their own films exercises their 21st century skills and creates community connections for your library. Tour the SPNN site and hear how they have worked for years with kids and the Saint Paul community to grow into something much more than a cable access studio. Discover how SPNN can guide you in more effective and efficient use of your library’s makerspace to support youth in their creation of digital media—and how they’re already doing that for the Saint Paul Public Library through their Createch studios. Please contact Jen Verbrugge (651-582-8356) for more information about the event.

NLS Authorized to Provide Braille E-readers
On July 20, 2016, President Obama signed a bill amending the Pratt-Smoot Act of 1931 that authorizes the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) to provide playback equipment in all formats to its users. This change will allow NLS to provide access to braille e-readers, which are devices capable of reading electronic braille. The Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault serves about 10,000 people across the state, in collaboration with NLS and the State Services for the Blind, which manages and distributes the federally provided equipment for the NLS program.

For more information about the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library, please contact Catherine Durivage (1-800-722-0550).

Prepare to Celebrate Lights On Afterschool
Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool (LoA) is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. It’s time to plan your Lights on Afterschool 2016 event for the week of Oct 17- 21! Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s statewide network dedicated to advancing high-quality afterschool and summer programs for all youth, is excited to announce the statewide theme: Hats Off to Afterschool!

Check out Minnesota’s online LoA Toolkit and attend the webinar on September 9, 10-11:30 a.m., to learn more about planning your LoA event. Once your plans are made, register your event with the Afterschool Alliance, the national coordinator of LoA. Ignite Afterschool has 500 free light-up hat activity kits available courtesy of the Bakken Museum. You can order up to 30 for your event, while supplies last. Email Matt at Ignite Afterschool to request your kits.

For more information about LoA 2016, check out the Afterschool Alliance’s LoA Event Planning Guide, or visit theAfterschool Alliance website.

Get Ready for the Celestial Event of the Century
In just over a year, on August 21, 2017, the shadow of the moon will sweep across the United States in a spectacle that hasn’t occurred in 99 years. So jump on the eclipse train! Register your library with the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute. Once you’re registered, you’ll have access to NCIL resources to help you plan and promote your eclipse event. Share your event’s press release, flyer or website link to receive 50 free eclipse viewing glasses for your patrons, available while supplies last. Visit the NCIL website for more information.

From the Director: My last official CMLE blog post!

In case you haven’t heard, August 31 is my last day with CMLE. If a new Executive Director is hired by August 15th, I will work with them for two weeks to help get them grounded in the culture of our region, and the current work of CMLE. I tend to always look forward, so the person following me need not worry that I am looking over their shoulder. The very cool thing about my job (and CMLE), is that any number of things can and should change, and services can be done differently, or benefit from a new perspective. After all, libraries are in a world of change!

IMG_0553As I review my working career, it is eclectic and  colorful, and I expect retirement will be no different.   In scanning my bucket list recently, I realized that I’ve always wanted to be a children’s librarian, but never was, so recently I created a Children’s Little Free Library at my Alex lake place. I now wear the proud title of the Cottage Grove Resort Children’s Librarian, which satisfies my bucket list!

My 14 years at CMLE is the longest I have ever stayed in a job!  Recently, I did a blog post about taking stock, which seemed like a good idea at this point.
What has been hardest? Funding is number one. The multitypes were created through MN Statute, and there are no provisions for multitype funding increases (even though expenses increase), so funding can stagnate for 15 years. And to get an increase, we need to troop down to the State Capitol and make the case, which is just plain hard and often uncomfortable. Part of the job though.
What has brought me joy? The programming has been the fun part. I am proud to say that I have stayed energized and active right up until the end, which has always been a goal of mine. I know our readers like brief, so here are the items that “hit a 10” on my Joy Meter while the CMLE Executive Director!
  • Favorite! In 2003, I secured 22,000 new, free books from Scholastic Library Publishing for CMLE member libraries, some who had a zero book budget!
  •  In 2008 the MN multitypes launched 23 Things on a Stick, a  self-paced, online learning program. Other iterations of the program followed, but coaching our members through the program was sheer fun and a great relationship builder as we learned together.
  • By investing time in collaborative work with NLLN and Region 1, in  2008, CMLE was able to invite schools to join the North Star Library Consortium.  This important development leveled the playing field for all school media centers in our region, a sweet moment!
  • In 2012, CMLE ended its 30+ year newsletter and began its online publishing and social media work. Needless to say, this decision was an instant success for readers and CMLE staff! The energy involved in reviewing hundreds of news items, then producing 10-15 pieces each week is very satisfying.
  • My work in recent years with hosting social events at the MLA and ITEM Conferences. The first year I took the somber ITEM dinner event and re-created it into a Mexican Cantina, with a festive, fast-paced night of taco bar, and crazy, fun trivia, was a golden moment indeed!
  • Each spring, I hear from people feeling inadequate or unsure of their leadership skills. In 2016, we offered the Supervisor Nuts & Bolts Workshop; a smashing success in helping attendees to be better leaders! Exciting to see the light-bulb moments and renewed energy…
  • And, finally, some CMLE events are focused on enjoyment and networking. Guest authors to our events starting in 2002 have included: Pete Hautman, Faith Sullivan, John Coy, Doug Ohman, Nathan Jorgenson, Will Weaver, Annette Atkins, Julie Kramer, Catherine Friend, Buffy Hamilton, Jonathan Friesen, Paddy O’Brien and Erin Hart, Jess Lourey (I know I have forgotten a few). Food, books, authors and prizes always produce joy in most librarians!

But enough of me….I want to personally thank you for your support and friendship over the years. It has been a privilege to serve you. Best wishes for an amazing future. Keep doing what you do best, know what brings you joy, and find ways to do more of that!

Thanks to social media, I will continue to see many of you online, and of course at library events too! I will always consider you friends. No goodbyes, just later!
This past blog post will get you all caught up with my retirement and the search for a new Executive Director too!

Your eBook wrap up for May 27

computersPaul Biba has a weekly news compilation on eBooks, eLibraries, and ePublishing. As these topics swirl and morph at a rapid pace, it is a lot to keep up on in a timely fashion and Paul’s diligence on these fronts is most welcome!

Paul is  the former Editor-in-Chief of TeleRead, the Internet’s first blog devoted to ebooks. He now runs a curated Twitter feed on these subjects. Check out his listing of those tweets for the week ending May 27, 2016.  Pick and choose what is of most interest to you same as you do with our Weekly Review, which is a recap of CMLE blog posts for the week.

If you are interested in following the feed in real time, follow Paul on Twitter: @paulkbiba

Image credit: (Caroline Methot), licensed under CC0 1.0