Category Archives: CMLE

Book Suggestion Series: The Little Book of Hygge

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here!

This week I read a really fun book: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Hygge “The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness. Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right. Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. This year live more like a Dane, embrace hygge and become happier.”

I listened to this book with an audiobook from Overdrive, and that was really a great way to do it! This was one of my first exposures to this word, and hearing it in the author’s Danish accent definitely made me understand everything better.

In Minnesota, we have really cold winters and the idea of embracing hygge is very appealing. I love to go outside and do stuff in the snow – shoveling, hiking, making snow people. But I love coming back inside and drinking hot chocolate (with Fluff!), and snuggled into my couch surrounded by library books! So I was all ready to learn about hygge.

You might not want to listen to it as you are out shopping – as I did. I ended up coming home with a bunch of pillar candles (candles are very important in hygge) and a few other comforts. I bought an aromatherapy oil diffuser I’ve had my eye on for a while; and I really do love having the peppermint smell all through the house.  This book also pushed me to get more pictures put up on my walls, which is a good thing. And my bed is now so comfy and cozy, with extra pillows and soft blankets, that I’m struggling to get the motivation to leave it in the mornings. (I’m not counting that as a problem, you understand!)

If you want to explore this trend that is new to the US, but part of everyday life in the Scandinavian countries, I suggest you check out this book!

Oh – and you can increase the hygge of your office by bringing in cake! If any CMLE members out there want to bring cake by the Headquarters – know that we are open to this idea!! We can all have a slice, sip some tea/coffee, and chat about libraries.

Ahhhh….hygge. I feel cozier and happier already.





Episode 211: Technology Training for Library Staff

Contents of our information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • A Few Technology Training Resources
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Today we are talking about one of the biggies in the world of library work: Technology training. We all know it’s tough to keep up with the tech we need to use, and it can be even more complicated to help patrons to use their own tech! To help us with this, we have a Guest Host: Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist in St Cloud School District 742.

One of the “fun” things about technology training is that it is never done. You will never know enough, and the field will always keep changing. Don’t get discouraged! Just adjust your own framework to know that there will forever be something new and interesting and cool out there – and you will keep discovering these things and keep learning new skills! (Continuous learning is not only important for continued job success, but helps to keep your brain agile as you get older. So for those of us who are aging rapidly (all of us!), tech is a tool to keep us young!)

Remember: CMLE is here to help you with training! If we don’t have the material here for you, we will help you find it.

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program? We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

Next Monday! CMLE’s fall social event!

We know it’s getting to be that tough time of year when days get shorter, temps get chilly, and you are so busy you don’t know how you will do it all! Come relieve some stress with CMLE! We will be enjoying dinner and each other’s company next Monday, Oct. 23rd at Old Chicago in St. Cloud at 5:30pm.

Join us for library conversation and a chance to meet your colleagues from different types of libraries! We have had so much fun at our past social events and we can’t wait to see you there!

RSVP below:

Quick MLA Recap

At CMLE we are big fans of going to conferences! You get the chance to meet people, to learn new ideas, and to connect with others who do what you do in your library. So it was great to go to the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Annual conference in Rochester.

Have you listened to our podcast about attending and presenting at conferences? Check out #209 and get some info about planning your own conference experiences!

The checking in process was fast and smooth! It’s always fun to go to conferences where things are so nicely organized. You can focus on the fun things to do, the sessions to attend, and all the interesting people you are meeting. And there were so many good things to do here – we were jam packed from start to finish!

It’s always valuable to attend conferences for your own professional development. The library profession is a fast-moving one, and the skills we used five years ago – or even last year – are not a match for the needs of today and into the future. Continuing education of all types is a must for providing good service. Conferences not only do that, they make it fun to meet people who like the same interesting things you do! (And I promise you: there is ALWAYS something interesting under discussion at conferences!)

The photo above is a somewhat blurry look at the session “Radical All Along: A Historical Look at Minnesota Librarianship.” Yes, libraries have always been exciting places to learn new things. (And if the current Minnesota Public Library Commission would like to resume their past practice of performing interpretative dances – there was popular acclaim for it in the session!)

Other sessions included:

  • Minitex: Where Libraries are Strong, Staff are Good-Looking, and Patrons are above Average
  • Let’s Talk about Serving Patrons with Dementia
  • Would Trader Joe’s Hire You? Lessons from the Best Retailers
  • Wikipedia as Community Organizing
  • Libraries: Fighting Childhood Food Insecurity Year-Round for a Better Future!
  • Planting the Seeds of Learning: The Library as a Nature Based Learning System
  • RA Crutches
  • When home Won’t Let You Stay: Telling the Story of Refugees Living in Minnesota
  • Blinded Me With Science!: STEAM-based Programs for Toddlers and Preschoolers

And there were so many more great ones! The problem was picking just one session to attend at a time; but that is a pretty high-class problem to have at an event.

We were in Rochester’s civic center, so the public library was easily accessible. Several of us toured through the building – and it’s always fun to see how different libraries arrange things. This library brings in a lot of great visuals, along with an interesting collection of materials, to provide service to their local community members. And they were very patient with the flocks of visiting library people who stopped in to ask questions and admire their stuff!

Conferences are not all networking and educational sessions – there is always time for fun! A fun thing at this conference is the silent auction, with a huge array of things you can bid on – library related and just fun. Yes, I did bid on this Nancy Pearl action figure; no, I did not win it. Drat. But last year I did win the wonderful bear, Orville, who became our Official Office Bear! (You can find his image all over our website – he’s a natural-born star.)

And there are always plenty of fun things to do outside the conference itself.  The planning committee gave a lot of useful information on fun places to go, things to see, groups going to different restaurants, and other good suggestions.  This was my first trip to Rochester, and it was really fun to check out their skyway and subway systems, trudge their walking trails (even in some rain!), and to enjoy meeting library people at all kinds of different restaurants! Attending conferences is educational in so many ways; and getting to know a new place is just one of the valuable things you learn!

This was just a quick, obviously incomplete look at attending a conference. Did you go to MLA? Share your stories with us! Are you thinking about attending another conference? We have scholarships for CMLE members!

Go! Learn! Try new things! Meet interesting people! Libraries are great, and so are library conferences!

Coming up soon: CMLE’s Fall Social Event!


Join us for a delicious dinner and casual library talk, find out what is happening in other libraries that may be different from yours, and share any success stories or challenges of your own!

We are looking forward to our next social event, coming up on Monday, October 23rd at 5:30pm at Old Chicago in St. Cloud! 

RSVP below (and thank you to all of you that have already done so, we can’t wait to see you! 🙂 )