All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

Going to ITEM Conference? Talk to Mary!

Let’s chat!

CMLE members – are you attending the ITEM conference? So am I!

Let’s get together!

Send me an email and we can set up a general time to chat, have coffee, show pictures of our cats – all the things library people do at conferences. I want to hear all about your library, and I’ll buy the coffee (or beverage of your choice)!

State Library Update


As we get updates from the State Library Services people, we share them here so everyone can get the news! Looking outside your own individual library is always good, because as a state we are doing all sorts of new and interesting things. Learning about other library activities, or ideas for programs you could offer or skills you could develop will be useful as you keep up with the demands of your community!

Jumpstart Your Library Programming with Early STEM Literacy
Play and learn with instructors from the Science Museum of Minnesota at a hands-on workshop. Discover how early literacy and early science learning are intertwined and deepen your understanding of early childhood scientific thinking, problem solving and inquiry. Come ready to explore curriculum and activities designed by the Science Museum to help Minnesota libraries offer high-quality early STEM experiences. Leave prepared to facilitate children and caregivers in playful STEM learning experiences that capture their imaginations and prepare them for kindergarten. Continue reading State Library Update

A Quick MLA Annual Conference recap!

The landmark Duluth aerial lift bridge

It is always great to meet library colleagues – you have so much to talk about right away! Going to conferences is a very good strategy for meeting up with colleagues; and attending a state association conference lets you put faces to the names of people you may be emailing with, talking with on listserves- or maybe did not even know yet!

This year the Minnesota Library Association’s Annual Conference was in Duluth, September 29-30. From everything I saw, did, and enjoyed there, I can say that a good time was had by all! And it was definitely a learning experience, with so many great sessions and presentations, and many opportunities to connect with people from across the state.

Do you want more information about it, or to see some of the events? MLA has you covered!

It all looks fun, doesn’t it?? Sign up for next year’s conference, which will be held in Rochester! Apply to CMLE for some money to offset your registration. If there is enough interest, we can rent a van and drive a group over one day! (Trust me: it’s ALWAYS fun to travel with library people!)

There were so many different sessions, looking at so many different types of libraries and library issues, it was impossible to see it all. No matter what you like to talk about and learn about in libraries: it was here! There were exhibitors, from assorted library vendors; all ready to chat with everyone about products and strategies to make libraries better. There was a poster session, with a variety of ARLD (Academic and Research Division of MLA) people presenting current research, professional activities, and things interesting to the members.

Our own Karen Pundsack, Executive Director of the Great River Regional Library, was part of a panel early on Thursday: MILE 2017: Leading for Life. This panel talked about the MLE’s Institute for Leadership Excellence, their experiences, and what new members might expect. Four librarians from the Hennenpin County Library talked about “Sustainable Social Media for Libraries.” Four librarians presented “50 in 60 Book Blast – Fiction.” Doesn’t this sound exciting? “Buckle up and enjoy the ride as we talk about 50 books in a variety of genres including: Scary Fiction, African Authors, Pretty Books, Books with a Twist, and Austenesque. It’s fast and furious, but always fun, entertaining, and educational!” Two people from the Washington County Library talked about “Coding Camp: Teaching Middle School Students how to Code Python with Minecraft.” A couple of libraries from the University of Minnesota presented “ReThink: Connecting Libraries to Metacognition, Student Learning, and Student Success“This is another one of those skills that extends beyond any specific library type, so it’s valuable for us all.

CMLE was represented in a great session on advocacy. “Library Legislative Process 101” was presented by Barbara Misselt, Director, East Central Regional Library and Jami Trenam, Associate Director of Collection Development, Great River Regional Library. “Library advocacy is for everyone, not just library directors and administrators. Join both seasoned and not-so-experienced library advocates at this roundtable to explore and share how we can advocate for library services for Minnesota citizens at the legislature.” This is such an important topic for all library people to explore, it was great to see it at MLA!

A diverse panel of people from around the library world presented “It’s All About Relationships: Build Your Best Diversity Outreach. Outreach to racially and ethnically diverse communities has always been part of librarianship, but in recent times has been moving from the periphery to the very core of what we do. “As more librarians learn the basics of social justice and community engagement, we need to push for ever-deeper, collaborative relationships with our patrons.” Jason Roy, Director, Digital Library Services, University of Minnesota Libraries presented on A New Look for Minnesota Reflections: Enhancing the User Experience. This presentation discussed the work done to create these customizations, including the use of the CONTENTdm API, the Blacklight discovery platform, and several open source image and document viewers. Remember our recent blog entry on libraries accepting passports? Marcia Anderson, Director, Grand Rapids Library, and a Representative, Customer Service Office of the Regional Passport Agency in Minnesota gave a presentation on the pros and cons of accepting passports in the library.

That evening, there was a social and networking event at the Glensheen Mansion! “The Minnesota Multicounty Multitype Library Systems and the Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth invite you to the Glensheen Mansion for fun, food, and networking. There will be guided tours of the mansion and grounds – including a rare peek into the family library at Glensheen led by Director Dan Hartman – chili buffet and a cash bar.” This was a very fun event, with a lot of opportunities to talk about history and libraries, to chat with people from all over the state, and enjoy learning the history of the house, the inhabitants, and all the household items.

Crabby Ol’ Bills: it’s a landmark, not JUST a good place to have doughnuts! (Though, it’s also that!)

What else happened? So many things! For more information look over the schedule and get some ideas about things you might want to learn about, or people who you might connect with from around the state. You can see all kinds of topics and learn about people who are doing things that you are interested in trying. Don’t hesitate to send an email to people who are involved in things you would like to know more about (politely, of course!). Conferences, and the after-conference discussions,  are a great way to learn about different ideas to try out for yourself!






Visiting CMLE Libraries! College of St. Benedict

Clemens Library

This week I visited the College of St. Benedict’s Clemens Library. Thanks to Director Kathleen Parker for inviting me over and touring me around the library so I could see all their wonderful things, and meet some of the library staff!

It’s Sarah! And a book!

Everyone take a moment to wave at Sarah Gewirtz, as she shows us the latest book group reading for the library: “What if I Say the Wrong Thing? 26 Habits for Culturally Effective People” by Vernā Myers. I had not seen this book before this visit; but I think it will be added to the CMLE Librarian Professionals reading group in an upcoming month, as everyone works to reach out to community members. Sarah has also facilitated some Information Literacy work across CMLE academic and high school libraries; and we definitely want to repeat that program! We all have more things in common than might be immediately apparent; and Info Literacy is a core need for all libraries in serving their communities. Continue reading Visiting CMLE Libraries! College of St. Benedict

Introducing October's Monthly Topic: Hiring!

You Must Be Daddy's Little Pumpkin I Can Tell by the Way You Roll
Learn with CMLE!

At CMLE, we want to provide material for continuing education for our members. We have a variety of strategies for this, including the material we and our Guest Bloggers provide here.

To add to this, we are beginning a Monthly Topic. Each month we will provide a broad topic that will be relevant to our members. Within that topic will be several different topics, and we will provide information in a variety of formats.

This will include monthly training programs offered in a variety of formats to make it accessible for members. Our plans are to offer monthly in-person sessions for members to have a chance to get together and talk about the topic, and the issues it raises in their libraries. We also plan to have this session (or a similar one) offered as a live webinar for members who want to attend but cannot leave their libraries, and to record that session so members can watch it later on their own schedules. Continue reading Introducing October's Monthly Topic: Hiring!