All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

Continuing Education from CMLE!

Learn new things!

At CMLE we take our commitment to providing our members with information and continuing professional training opportunities very seriously. We will continue to build on the courses and seminars we have offered, and hope to expand things for you. The library field is fast-moving and ever-changing; and we are here to help our members to keep their skills sharp, and to be able to better serve patrons’ needs.

We have set up a Continuing Education page on our site, with a Google calendar of all kinds of events that might be interesting to you. Most of these are offered as webinars, or online classes; and a few are in person seminars or conferences. Many are free, and some require payment. We will also include professional conferences, so you can keep up with the ideas being shared in your area of the library world. No individual person, or library, will be interested in all of these; but we will have a broad range of topics, to be sure you have all kinds of possibilities for building new skills and making yourself more valuable! And, seeing some of the things other libraries are discussing – even if you do not want to participate in the class – may give you some ideas about new things to try, or new people to contact to talk further about a topic.

We will also be offering regular continuing education programs through CMLE. We want to be sure our members have a chance to talk about topics of specific interest, or frustration; and to be able to gather and connect with their local colleagues. So, we will offer monthly training at the CMLE Headquarters, as well as streaming it through Go To Meeting for members to attend virtually.

To build on the training we will offer each month, we will offer additional material on our blog posts on the same topic. In October, our Topic Of The Month will be the broad subject of Hiring, including recruiting plans, succession plans, writing successful job ads, and motivating staff once they have been hired. In November, we will cover Advocacy. In that month, we will look at connecting with your funders, identifying stakeholders, writing an advocacy plan for your library, and provide templates for you to use to contact people to share your good library news. And in December, our monthly topic will be Stress Management. By the end of the year, and in such a busy season, we know everyone will need some tips on stress and relaxation, avoiding burnout at work, and ways to increase your professional satisfaction in your workplace.

Take a look around the calendar, and feel add it to your own Google calendar for easy viewing any time! (Just click the blue plus sign in the bottom right corner of the calendar.)

Do you have other suggestions for training? Email us! We always want to hear from our members!

Minnesota State Library Services updates

MDE logo retrieved online 12/17/13..

One of the great things about being part of a profession is knowing you are never alone! Even if you are a solo librarian, you are part of a regional system (hello to all our CMLE members!); you are part of the services offered by our state, and you are part of a larger national network of libraries. All of these networks exist to help libraries to provide services and information – so take advantage of their offerings whenever possible. (Maybe a new slogan could be: Make Your Library Life Easier – Rely On Your Network!)

If you have not browsed through the offerings from the State Library Services lately, this is a great opportunity to check on the things they do, programs offered, and services that may be helpful to you and your library work!

Below are the updates, from their newsletter. You can subscribe yourself; or just stay tuned to our CMLE site, and we will continue to bring you this information.

LSTA Grant Awards Announced
As a result of our most recent LSTA grant round, we awarded twelve 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 abstracts are located on the LSTA web page. Please contact Jackie Blagsvedt (651-582-8805) for more information.

Provide a Shortcut to Social Security Services – Webinar
State Library Services and the Social Security Administration’s St. Paul office are presenting a webinar introducing libraries to SSA Express. This program gives people easy access to their most requested services, such as replacement SSN cards and estimating retirement benefits. The webinar will cover how to install a secure shortcut on public computers and also how to provide access via your library’s website. We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, October 4 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Register today, and then attend the webinar on October 4. For more information, please contactEmily Kissane (651-582-8508).

Announcing Playdates for Educators (Of All Sorts)
The Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas is hosting monthly, free playdates for educators, artists, and makers who want to discuss, share, and try out new ways of bringing joy and playful learning to students. Fall playdates will be held on Wednesday, September 21, October 26, November 30 and December 14 from 7-9 p.m. in the makerspace on the first floor of the University of St. Thomas Anderson Student Center at 2115 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. Each session will include a hands-on project led by Playful Learning Lab students, as well as ample time for discussion and networking. Please email Annmarie Thomas to RSVP.

Is Your Library Retro Chic?
We thought library due-date stamps like catalog cards and book pockets were a thing of the past. But if your library is retro by design or necessity, the Humboldt County Library in Winnemucca, Nevada, is interested in learning if you are stamping materials with the due date at check out. If you would like to add your historical or progressive practices to their data collection, please submit this very short, four-question survey.

Connect with State Library Services at the MLA Conference
We’ll be at the MLA Conference right alongside you—presenting sessions, attending section meetings and conference sessions, and looking forward to chatting with you. Please check out the following sessions our talented staff is presenting. We hope to see you at the conference!

Partnerships to Improve Digital Equity in Tribal Communities
Thursday, September 29, 10:55-11:55 a.m.
Co-presented by Jen Nelson and Hannah Buckland
Whether offering iPad workshops to local middle schoolers, planning a community-wide workforce development project, or coordinating opportunities for adult learners, libraries are active in improving digital equity across Minnesota. Tribal libraries in particular provide broadband connections and technology services to communities deeply impacted by Minnesota’s digital divide. Tribal libraries are well poised to bring about positive change even though limited budgets, staffing constraints, and geographic isolation often hinder the services these libraries can provide. To help bridge this resource gap, partnerships between tribal libraries and like-minded organizations like State Library Services, Adult Basic Education, and local governments are necessary. Join us to learn more about partnering to reduce access disparities and help us move digital equity in tribal communities forward.

Tax Resources for Minnesota Libraries
Thursday, September 29, 10:55-11:55 a.m.
Co-presented by Emily Kissane, Sarah Bjorklund and Chris Anning
The 2017 tax season will be upon us before we know it! This session will give libraries the latest department updates and important tax information so they can point patrons to the best information and resources available. The session will be facilitated by State Library Services and will feature presenters from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The session will cover:
– Minnesota Department of Revenue updates
– Common Minnesota credits
– Important tax dates
– Free tax preparation sites
– Helpful resources
– Tax Research Library
…and plenty of time for questions and answers.

Believe It. Build It. This Book Can Help You Offer Amazing Programs for Youth at Your Library
Thursday, September 29, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Co-presented by Jen Verbrugge and Eric Billiet
Out-of-school time programming is growing in libraries by leaps and bounds! At last, Minnesota has a blueprint to help you offer more effective afterschool and summer programs for youth. Believe It. Build It. is a guidebook that brings together librarians, youth workers and afterschool care providers around a common language and research-based practices. Learn about building quality into your programs from the out-of-school time experts who are part of Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s afterschool network.

State Library Services On-Demand!
Friday, September 30, 8:50-9:50 a.m.
Co-presented by all available State Library Services staff
Are you interested in getting one-on-one answers about LSTA and Construction grants, running customized reports using public library annual survey data, services offered from the Braille and Talking Book Library, or statewide youth services initiatives from the State Library staff? If so, come to this walk-in “reference” desk and consult with the librarians from State Library Services. We will answer your questions on the spot or get back to you–whatever it takes to answer your queries.

Begin Your Love Affair with Data: Evaluating Programs = Finding Success
Friday, September 30, 8:50-9:50 a.m.
Co-presented by Jen Verbrugge and Eric Billiet
Are you offering awesome programs for tweens and teens, but ending up with empty meeting rooms? Believe it or not, looking at the types of data you collect and why you collect it can help you meaningfully connect with more kids through your library programs. This session will help you begin an evolution from simply doing evaluation to being evaluative–and reaping the benefits through improved relationships with young people and increased youth program attendance.

State Library Services: Moving Ahead to 2022
Friday, September 30, 10:55-11:55 a.m.
Presented by Jen Nelson
In 2017, State Library Services is looking ahead to a new Library Services and Technology Act Five Year plan. The plan will support the ongoing efforts of Minnesota’s libraries to positively impact their communities from 2018 through 2022. Please join us and share your thoughts on trends and directions for library services in the coming years. Come prepared for a wide-ranging conversation about programs that expand services through partnerships for learning and access to information and educational resources for individuals of all ages, circumstances and abilities. Together we will share ideas for statewide initiatives to build networks to support research, education and innovation, improve staff skills, and build the capacity of libraries to serve their patrons.

LSTA Grantee Panel: Meeting Emerging Community Needs through LSTA
Friday, September 30, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Co-presented by Jackie Blagsvedt, Kelly Stade, Mary Lukkarila and Paul Ericsson
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants are available through State Library Services to assist many types of libraries from across Minnesota in addressing emerging community needs. In this session, recent LSTA recipients will share how they recognized a need in their community and developed a project to respond to the need. Panelists will also share their experiences with administering their grant projects and highlight project milestones from conception through completion. Learn best practices for identifying and demonstrating a need in your community, and crafting a plan that meets both the organizational and primary audience needs. The session will also include an overview of Minnesota’s LSTA plan and World’s Best Workforce legislation, which shape the types of projects we are able to support.

ConnectED Library Challenge in Minnesota
Friday, September 30, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Co-presented by Jen Nelson, Katherine Debertin, Marcus Lowry and Marika Staloch
Putting library cards in the hands of kids pays dividends to public libraries, schools and students. Over the last year, three of Minnesota’s public libraries accepted the White House ConnectEd Library Challenge to give every student a library card. ConnectEd supports student learning by providing with wide access to library programs and resources, including rich, digital content, through school partnerships with libraries. At the same time, a 2015 change in Minnesota statutes created a new opportunity for libraries and schools to share information to ease the process. Join colleagues from Ramsey County, Hennepin County and Saint Paul public libraries and learn about their successful projects as part of the challenge. State Library Services staff will also be on hand to provide information about working with schools around student data. Together, we can help to close the academic achievement gap by providing ready access to library resources to all students.

Learn to build your own Android app

Look how cute he is! Let’s build an app!

There are many interesting apps available for library use, and we are looking at some of them this week. But what if you want something that is unique to the special needs of your library? What if you want to stretch yourself and your tech skills by trying something new? What if you just don’t want to pay for an app??

You might be the perfect audience for this (free!) Udacity class!

Android Development for Beginners How to Make an Android App gives you some training in Java and programming for Android. “This course is designed for students who are new to programming, and want to learn how to build Android apps. You don’t need any programming experience to take this course. If you’ve been using a smartphone to surf the web and chat with friends, then you’re our perfect target student!”

Your library may want to reach out to patrons in a way that works for them, and speaks to them with tools they are already using. “Android powers over 80 percent of the world’s smartphones, and represents an incredible opportunity for developers everywhere. The next billion people coming online will interact with the internet for the very first time on a mobile device. Building for Android gives you the best opportunity to reach these users and make an impact — both in your community, and on the world.”

You may not need to connect to everyone in the world – but you do want to connect with as many of your potential users as possible; and an app you create may be one tool to help make that happen!


Performing marshmallows: the keys to a great team

Together We Achieve More!

Teamwork! It is always a complicated topic in libraries, and yet so very important for us to function together.

Maybe part of the problem with this is that few people are ever taught HOW to be part of a team. Assuming that one person will lead it all, and everyone else can hang back and criticize, is terrible teamwork. (Project Runway is starting their newest season, and you can watch it for some great examples of people who have no idea how to work together – despite that their professional lives literally depend on it!) (And, there is sewing. It’s not all management lessons!)

Many people have studied teamwork, in an effort to figure out how we can be better at it, and get better results. In 1965 Bruce Tuckman developed a model of team development that has provided a good road map for teams to follow as they develop. He suggested a few defined stages:

  • Forming: the initial coming together, good behavior by everyone, not yet really together
  • Storming: conflicts arise as the group gets organized, with different ideas and strategies bumping against each other; this does not mean things are going badly – it is part of the growth!
  • Norming: moving past the conflicts and everyone is feeling like a team – ready to wear matching shirts or other signs of team harmony
  • Performing: getting down to the action, with everyone ready to move the team forward toward the goal
  • Adjourning: this stage was added in 1997, working with Mary Ann Jensen; this describes that when the team purpose has ended, there is a sadness everyone feels that needs to be acknowledged.

Even just knowing that there are stages and paths to better team action can be helpful to people who may feel doubtful about participating. I have spoken with many library managers and directors who are not happy with the way their staff works in teams; more experience in how a good team can work would be helpful to everyone!

So, what does this have to do with marshmallows? Tom Wujec is here to explain! Watch his TED Talk and see how he gets teams to collaborate, and how they can get started on big projects.

Have you done a marshmallow test? Try it out before you read all about it – you don’t want to spoil your experience! If you have a team project coming up, or want to help your staff teams start off with a fun experience (that’s one of those “cheery-fake” activities that annoys people), try a marshmallow problem to get everyone working together.

Think about the teams in your library. You may work with a team of people who do what you do (preservation, kid books, cataloging, and more), and you also work with a larger team of people who all are interested in the work of your library (Board members, teachers, students, and more). Getting everyone to work together and master the performing stage is a challenge; but working with some structures that help to guide people into more effective teamwork can help make it a better experience for everyone involved!




























  • Adjourning













Community Grants from Walmart


Does your library have an idea for a program or service you could set up to benefit your community? Walmart might be able to help!

Through their Community Grant Program, the Walmart Foundation provides funds to nonprofit and government organizations serving communities. “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have identified four core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Opportunity.”

The guidelines are here; so read through them to see if your idea might fit into their funding. The deadline for this round of grants is December  31, 2016; but if your idea is more suitable for setting up later, this is an annual program.

They have set up an FAQ section here, and reading through these might give you some ideas.

CMLE Libraries: Do you want to discuss some grant ideas? Want to get some help in writing your application, or a second set of eyes? Email or call us, and we will be happy to help out on your application material!