All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

Day Fifty Seven of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Shasta High School LibraryRemember your first day in your library job? Hopefully it was fun, you met nice people, started to settle in, and maybe it was a little bit scary. (I could be projecting – that was my first day here!)

But it’s pretty safe to assume your first day was nothing like Abby Noland’s first day!

(see the entire article here!)

Abby Noland’s years of experience working in libraries prepared her for anything. So when she found artillery shells in a closet on her first day of work at the Gleason Public Library in Massachusetts, she did not panic. She calmly called the police. She later told The Boston Globe, “I’ve been a director of libraries for a long time, and this kind of strange stuff just happens.”

The artillery shells were left in a bin at the bottom of her new closet. On the bin was a note that an expert had inspected the contents and decided they might be live.

Two hours after local police responded, the State Police Bomb Squad arrived. They agreed with the inspector—the shells were in fact live. To prevent a catastrophe, they brought them to a sand dune behind the Department of Public Works building, and detonated them.

Later, the Gleason Public Library concluded that the munitions dated to the Civil War and had been donated to the town of Carlisle, where the Gleason Public Library resides, in 1916. But they never received a permanent home, and their existence had been forgotten.

Through it all, Noland maintained her sense of humor. After the incident, she joked to her new coworkers: “If you want to get rid of me, there are more subtle ways.””

We want to start off Fall with a celebration!

Fall (6282684630)

Are you have a good summer?

We love summer time here at CMLE HQ – and are busily making all kinds of great plans to help us serve our members in the upcoming year!

It truly is an amazing experience to be able to work with all the different libraries, archives, history centers, and other organizations that make up a multitype system. And I always a big believer that everyone is stronger when we work together! (Feel free to insert any cheesy “yay team!” cliche of your choice here)
Team Sky Logo
One of our missions here at HQ is to help our members to connect with each other. Everyone is doing interesting work across the system (I’ve seen it!!!); and it  can really help when you know you have colleagues in other libraries to help support you and your work.

We have many fun plans ahead, but to get started we are going to have a Back-To-School/Fall-Is-Coming time to hang out and chat with each other!

This will be at HQ (570 1st Street SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304), and will be a casual event. We will have snacks and goodies available, raffles of prizes, tours of the office (plants! faux windows! bike desk!), and a chance for people to meet up and chat!

Let’s set a day and time that works for most people! Please vote in the poll below, and let’s get this on our calendars so we can get ready for two of the best things: snacks and library talk!

Day Fifty Six of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Hitane Elementary School library 2

Libraries are always looking for new and great ways to reach out to our communities. And this library has a great  program for reaching out to their patrons, mostly students with special needs.

New school library filled with multi-sensory stories

“Stories are being brought to life with the help of new resources that go beyond words and pictures.

Books are an important feature at Palatine Primary School but as the children have special educational needs, they also need multi-sensory stories, told through voice and emotion.

The school, in Palatine Road, Worthing, was granted £5,000 by the Foyle Foundation to fund books and head teacher Catriona Goldsmith officially opened the new library on Thursday.

Mandy Short, fundraising assistant at the school, said: “It has made a significant difference to our facility and being able to choose so many new books and resources was very exciting.

“As we are a special needs school, as well as reading books, we selected lots of books in multi-sensory form where the teacher can use props with visuals, sounds and touch to create storytelling based on voice and emotion rather than pictures and words.

“Our opening was the first opportunity for our pupils to experience their new library books and resources.”

With the help of Tracey Smith from the Schools Library Service in Worthing, a variety of books were chosen, including the touchy-feely series from Usborne and sound books.

There are also sturdy iPads, story bags full of characters and props to go with the books, and multi-sensory story boxes from the charity Bag Books.”

Day Fifty Five of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

PST Model Airplane Jet Trainer

I have never been to Red Hook, New York; but after reading this I really wish I had been at their so-cool program!!

Hands-on Flight Camp offered at Red Hook Public Library

“RED HOOK — Kids in grades 3-5 will be challenged to design a variety of aerial vehicles and conduct experiments in aeronautics during Flight Camp at Red Hook Public Library at 7444 S. Broadway in Red Hook.

A part of the library’s 2017 Summer Reading Program, this camp will take place from 10 a.m.- noon, July 17-21. Participants may find themselves channeling their inner Wright Brothers as they learn about aerodynamics and the history of human flight in particular.

Flight Camp is free and open to the public, and all materials will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required online or in person. Call 758-3241 for more information.

Red Hook Public Library has been serving the community of Red Hook and its need for lifelong learning since 1898. It has been designated a five-star library by Library Journal since 2013. The library was chosen as a finalist for the Best Small Library in America award, given by Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2015.

For more information, call the Red Hook Public Library at 758-3241or go to”

Day Fifty Four of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Line of Books
As library people, we – of course – do not want book thieves around. The library staffers in this article stepped up and did some good detective work to help catch one! James Richard Shinn was targeting rare and valuable books in academic libraries, stealing them and reselling them for a good profit.

Boooooo!!! We officially oppose this behavior!!

Are you ready to point out Shinn to the cops if  he comes to your library?

Check out this article for all the details!

“On the evening of December 7, 1981, Dianne Melnychuk, serials librarian at the Haas Library at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, noticed an unfamiliar gray-haired man of early middle age lingering around the card catalog near her desk. He had attempted to appear inconspicuous by way of nondescript, almost slovenly dress, but at almost six-and-a-half feet tall, with a 225-pound frame, he stood out.

Something about him rang a bell. Melnychuk discreetly followed him up to the sixth level of the stacks, and carefully observed him from the end of a row of shelving. In spite of the glasses he wore that evening, his face clicked in her memory.

A few months earlier, a photo of this man, who went by the name James Richard Shinn, had appeared in an article published in Library Journal. Patricia Sacks, director of the Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest College Libraries, had shared the article with her staff with an accompanying memo: “Take a good look at the face,” she wrote, “and, more importantly, keep your eye on strangers whose behavior may be a tipoff.”