All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

CMLE Summer Social Activities!

You know how much we like to hang out with our members (and other library friends!); and we miss you when things are slower in the summertime!

After our recent poll to see what things people might want to do to gather and chat libraries (and other fun stuff!) this summer, we are setting up a few events. Our top vote-getters in different categories were for dinner and tea time, and to have meals/chatting instead of discussions or postcard parties. Our top locations people want to go were St Cloud and Cambridge.  So we are starting with these, but can expand these if people want to have more opportunities to get together and chat about library stuff!

  • Thursday, July 20 at 5:30pm We will be at the White Horse Restaurant and Bar: 809 West Saint Germain, St Cloud, MN 56301. They do not take reservations, so we will plan to just be a few minutes early and to hold a table (or two!) as library people come in.
  • We are rescheduling our Cambridge event! If you have a place you would like to meet, just check in!

There were also a number of votes from people who just wanted an opportunity to drop into CMLE’s Headquarters (570 1st Street SE, St Cloud, MN 56304). So we are setting up HQ Office Hours! Of course, members are always welcome to drop in to chat about things or to come by and ask focused questions about projects, planning, and any other library topic at any time. (We love guests!) This will just provide a definite time where we will be in the office, and ready to chat with you!

Starting Wednesday, July 12, and every other Wednesday after that (we define this as: all Wednesdays with an even numbered date), we will be in the office from 11:00 to 1:00, and ready to chat about writing policies, working through materials selections, negotiating with vendors, planning your website or social media, going to conferences as a presenter or an attendee, zines/manga/pop culture coolness, or anything else you want to discuss! Would you like to just come say hi for a minute, and put a face to our names? Do it! You can test out the bike desks, see the plants and ever-changing seasonal decorations, and check in on Orville The Official Office Bear! No need to call ahead, just drop in and we will be happy to see you.

And of course, if you want to casually chat at other times, just check in and we will set up a time. We are not formal here – we just want to hang out and talk about libraries!

We are looking forward to seeing you this summer, and hearing all about your adventures!

Ideas for old audio-visual materials

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running, by Haruki Murakami




We are passing on request from a library person from a listserve, along with a few suggestions from other people. Do you have this issue? Do you have other ideas? Suggest them in the comments!

“Does anyone have suggestions on what to do with audio books on cd, music cds, dvds, etc. that are coming in for our book sale that we are not selling?  Our book sale staff hates to throw them out and would like to give them away if someone could use them.”

Continue reading Ideas for old audio-visual materials

Reading Between the Lines


I really liked this article about cover letter writing (you can read it below), and it brought up a few issues close to my heart (and professional experience):

  • First: I spent several years teaching the Internship class to MLIS students, and quickly realized I did not have time to waste being constantly appalled by the horrid cover letters my students were writing, because it really dragged out the amount of time I took grading to be appalled by Every Single One. (I had to sleep sometime!)
  • Second: cover letters are not an inborn skill, and most people are never specifically taught HOW to apply well for jobs. Consequently, as an educator I would regularly see my very talented students (they were ALL talented!) fail to get jobs, or land jobs that I thought were beneath their skill level. As someone who also has spent years hiring in libraries, and had to wade through stacks of horribly-done applications – it makes me crazy to know that people with good skills are routinely failing so completely in selling themselves to a potential employer.
  • And third: I adjusted all of my classes to require everyone to write cover letters and resumes in every class, to give them more experience.I think it was good for them, and I felt much better about sending our very talented students out into the professional world, knowing they had the skills to present themselves well to future employers.

Whether or not you are looking for a new job right now, you need to know how to present yourself to a potential employer. If you are a ten-hour a week shelver, or a ten year veteran of library management, or anywhere between that – you need to know these things. You can always contact us here at CMLE HQ, on a confidential basis, to talk about your resume, your cover letter, and your job hunting plans! We want everyone to be happily employed, in the best job for you; so let us know what we can do to help!

Continue reading Reading Between the Lines

Day Twenty Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

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I love newsletters, and I love reading through them in my email! One of my favorites is a pretty bare-bones setup, called Data is Plural.

(As a researcher, it always make me chuckle, because this is a standard way new grad students can set themselves apart from non-researchers by pretentiously saying “Actually, it’s ‘data are’ not ‘data is’ to show you know what you are doing. You need a few pretentious tools when you are a scared, brand-new researcher!)

This weekly newsletter is produced by Jeremy Singer-Vine. He gathers together all kinds of interesting databases, each filled with information that would be very useful to you – sometime, in some situation. There is always something fun to browse, and I enjoy just looking at things that I never knew were being collected!

This is a link to one week of the newsletter, with these topics and a link to sign up for it yourself:

  • Supreme Court transcripts. bills itself as, among other things, “a complete and authoritative source for all of the [Supreme] Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955.”
  • Federal corporate prosecutions. The revamped database includes “detailed information about every federal organizational prosecution since 2001,
  • Business owners. The Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons “provides the only comprehensive, regularly collected source of information on selected economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status.”
  • Antibiotic resistance. ResistoMap is an interactive visualization of antibiotic drug resistance, based on more than 1,500 bacteria genome samples from people’s intestinal tracts.
  • L.A. pot dispensaries. The Los Angeles City Controller has released a map of the city’s openly-operating medical marijuana businesses.

Coming Home, Building Community Aiding elders on a Native American reservation

In her position as tribal aide to elders, Judi Bridge helps the senior citizens of Winnebago, Nebraska, make the most of the library.
In her position as tribal aide to elders, Judi Bridge helps the senior citizens of Winnebago, Nebraska, make the most of the library.

(From American Libraries,

The Winnebago Reservation in northeastern Nebraska lies about 20 miles from the nearest drugstore. Long on farmland and short on commercial services, this rural area is a place where it’s easy for people who are elderly, homebound, or both to become isolated. Seven years ago, though, the local community college and public library created the position of tribal aide to elders. And the woman who fills it does her best to keep the community connected.

Judi Bridge’s hometown didn’t feel entirely like home anymore.

After several decades of life elsewhere, she had returned to the village of Winnebago, Nebraska (population 787) in 2009, searching for a quieter, more rural lifestyle. She’d even gotten a job at the local Little Priest Tribal College and Winnebago Public Library, working as an aide to senior citizens of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. (The village is located within the tribal reservation.) But after so much time away, she didn’t feel completely embraced by the community.

That is, until a library patron suggested that when you’re trying to find your place in any small, close-knit settlement, a useful strategy is to tell people who your parents and grandparents are. It worked like a charm. “They’ll [now] say, ‘Oh, okay, okay,’ and then they accept me,” Bridge says.

Continue reading Coming Home, Building Community Aiding elders on a Native American reservation