Category Archives: Children’s services

Skype in the Classroom: Connect with Authors & Storytellers

Skype-for-BusinessYou may already be using Skype in the Classroom – and if not, please try it!! I’ve seen such fun programs using this tool, you will find some very cool things to try for your school.

You may not yet be using the tool allowing you to connect with authors!

“Invite an author in your classroom via Skype!

Literacy is the backbone of success and one of the most important educational initiatives. Every year, Skype in the Classroom celebrates literacy globally in honor of World Read Aloud Day (February 1st this year) and World Book Day (March 1st this year), working with hundreds of guest speakers, including authors, illustrators, and literacy partners. The goal is to inspire students to grow up as readers and become engaged citizens of the global world.

Watch how connecting your classroom with authors via Skype can help broaden students’ minds and imaginations and then browse the hundreds of authors available below.


If you want to give this a try, CMLE can give you a mini-grant up to $300 to try out exciting new projects like this one!

Episode 110: Children’s and YA books

Check out our full information page to get all the info on this episode.

Welcome, everyone, to Books and Beverages! This week we are discussing Children and YA books! This is definitely not a comprehensive look at all good books for these ages! We are sharing a few we like, and some resources you can use to find other good books.

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we support all types of libraries. This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we all sit in our comfy chairs and drink our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. So if you do not already have a nice beverage please go get one, so you can join the experience.

There are no “right” or “wrong” books to read and chat about for our book group – we are just here to explore all kinds of books. We love books, and want to talk about them – and we want you to share what you are reading. All of us will take away at least a title or two that we want to read at the end of our time together!

Who is joining our reading group this week? This week our guest hosts are experts in the genre, as they  are book readers and in the targeted age groups for these books. Welcome to Jordan and Grace!


We have guests, we have our genre. We just need our beverages. Fortunately, we all came prepared with something to sip while we talk about our books. Each week we like to connect the theme of our books with our beverages. Each beverage will have a recipe or a link on our episode page, so you can try them yourself!  Obviously, feel free to sip your coffee as you listen, or any other beverage you enjoy. Just join us in celebrating books, and discussing books!

Check out our full information page to get all the beverages we discuss!

This is, as we have discussed in other genres, a huge range of possibilities! We could easily spend an entire episode looking at each of the category breakdowns of this genre, but today will just be giving an overview and sharing a few favorites from each of us.

The importance of diversity in children’s books has been emphasized over and over again. So much research now is showing the lack of diversity of all sorts in books aimed at kids; it really means everyone needs to be deliberate in seeking out books about people who look different than you, live in different places, have different abilities, and all sorts of other things. Reading is a fantastic adventure, and you can really broaden your ideas and your experiences of the world!

Day Eighty Three of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

ICCE First Student Wallkill School Bus
Summer may be coming to an end here, but we are always interested in helping kids to work on their literacy skills! So we totally approve of, and give a CMLE Endorsement to, Richmond, VA for their work in this area!

RICHMOND, Va. — When students can’t come to the school library, teachers bring the library to the students.

Oak Grove-Bellmeade is one of 20 Richmond schools participating in Reading Riders; mobile libraries, or school buses, packed with books.

“We are proud teachers at Oak Grove and we love our community and we love our students,” said Kisha Christian, a fourth-grade teacher.

She said that reading can prevent what they call “the summer slide”; something a lot of parents don’t think about when they’re kids are off for the summer.

“It’s going to help them continue to be educated during the summer and not just sit there on their video games, fidget spinners,” Christian said. “It’s gonna help them continue to make sure that they’re building on skills they already have.”

Kids from kindergarten through fifth grade can check out two books, read and return them, and be registered for prizes. It’s an incentive that helps them retain what they learned during the school year, and Christian said it seems to be working.

“To come back year after year and see the smaller kids with their older brothers and sisters being able to come back and get books and being exposed to new and different things,” Takia Archer, a school bus driver said. “It’s exciting to me.”

(Read the rest of this article here!)

Day Seventy Four of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Cabin Camp 3 PRWI

Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of fun to be had online!

Have you seen Camp Wonderoplis?? It looks like a really fun way to work on some good STEM skills. It might be fun for your younger patrons to try! And yes, it also might be fun for you – don’t forget to do fun things during your summer adventures!

About Camp Wonderopolis™ 2017

The plans have been drawn up and construction’s underway on the latest edition of Camp Wonderopolis®! Get your hard hats ready because this year’s Camp explores Wonders about construction and city planning. You’ll create your own version of “Wonderocity” as you work your way through the Campgrounds.

Camp enables programs, families, and individuals to customize their experience to their needs while campers explore different tracks of STEM-based exploration. Along the way they will build their vocabulary, background knowledge, and literacy skills.

When you register as a Camper (kids of all ages) or a Counselor (parents, library staff, teachers), you will be able to:

  • Select your own avatar
  • Follow your own path through six tracks of scientific exploration
  • Engage in Wonder lessons and test your learning to earn all 42 new Wonder Cards®
  • See what other Campers are doing and share your own experiences on the Wonder Wall
  • Keep track of your Camp activities on your personal dashboard (Counselor dashboards will track individual and groups of Campers—perfect for parents, libraries, and summer learning programs)
  • Try out fun, hands-on Maker activities with everyday items”

Day Sixty Two of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Monoclonius dinosaur
It is always fun to see what other libraries are doing, and the different programs going on in libraries.  The public library in Liberty, NY has a fun program for kids: digging up dinosaur bones! Hands up: how many of us spent our childhoods being interested in dinosaurs? Me too!

Add together digging, some education, and dinosaurs, and you have all the makings of a fun program!

Dig for dinosaur bones at
Liberty Public Library

“LIBERTY — On Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m., the Liberty Public Library at 189 N Main Street in Liberty will be hosting a real, hands-on Dinosaur Dig inside the library. To get the children ready for the dig, the program will start off with a 30-minute interactive fossil talk presented by Field Paleontologist, Mike Straka. During the talk Mr. Straka will cover how and where we find fossils and will show some amazing fossil discoveries from the time of the dinosaurs to the time of the ice age.

He will then assist children in digging for real dinosaur bones, identifying the bones and placing them on top of a Triceratops cut out. Please note that while this program is free, the hands-on “dig” workshop is limited to 50 participants, ages 5-11. Weather permitting; the dig will be set up outside the library so children should come dressed in play clothes. After the dig, children will have an opportunity to spend time looking at the expanded fossil “museum” set up in the library.”