Category Archives: CMLE

Let’s Vote! CMLE is getting a new name!

Vote with check for v

We are working on some identity changes! CMLE has been growing and changing over the last few years, and we are ready for a new name.

Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions and votes in our poll to ponder words and concepts that are important to us all in a multitype library system! We have taken some of those top-rated ideas and grouped them into names, and we have added in a few other potentially good words and ideas.

Now we ask you to browse through these ideas for names, and vote for the one(s) you like! Multiple votes are okay.

We don’t promise to use one of these, if other great ideas come up. So if you have suggestions that add to the joy of being in a multitype system, go ahead and share them!!

Episode 303: Hiring and Staffing

Now Hiring

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Check out our full information page here.

(Note: Lady Grey was in-house while we recorded this episode; so the parts that sound particularly great may have been influenced by her calming presence!)

Welcome to another episode of Linking Our Libraries! This week our Guest Host is Carla Lydon, director of the East Central Library System here in Minnesota.

If you like libraries, archives, or history centers; or if you work in a nonprofit; or if you just want to learn more about management and leadership, you are in the right place!

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and our job is to help libraries! We are a multitype library system, with member libraries of all sorts: public, schools, academics, special libraries, archives, and history centers. Yes – we are pretty lucky!

This season we are looking at a variety of topics related to management and leadership. Our focus is on libraries, but our topics are relevant to all types of nonprofits working to improve their leadership skills.

Do you want to talk with us about a topic? Want us to set up some training for you? Check out our website under “Can We Help You?” and let’s talk!

First we are going to look at a somewhat idealized hiring process. Every library varies in how they are able to hire: some have no input and a new person is just plopped into the library, some have complete freedom to structure their hiring as they want. Hopefully, the steps we look at today will happen, at some level!

One of the most important things a manager can do for an organization is to hire well. You need good staff to have a well-functioning organization, and a bad hire – one that brings in an unskilled, unmotivated person, or person who spends time complaining, giving bad customer service, or just doing poor work – can throw the whole place into chaos. The cost of a bad hire can be very high, and this problem can be very difficult to fix. A good hire will do good work, and add to the positive organizational environment you want to build!

Hiring and staffing are extremely important challenges any library needs to face; and making good decisions, bringing in good people, and getting them deployed to best serve the mission of the library are crucial! It is tough to do, but if you have questions you can always check in with us here at!

Tune in next Thursday for our next episode of Linking Our Libraries, where we keep going with our discussion of management and leadership topics.

Do you need more books in your life? Sure you do! Subscribe to our Books and Beverages book group podcast. Each week we look at a different genre, chat with our guests about their book suggestions, and sip our beverages. It is always good to find a new book!


African American Read-In at CMLE

From February 1st – 28th, participate in the African American Read In.  The goal is to “document readers making the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.” The celebration encourages places like schools, churches, libraries, professional organizations and citizens to get involved in making literacy “a significant part of Black History Month by hosting and coordinating community Read-Ins.”

To help you plan your own event, check out these resources from Read Write that include links to classroom activities, a Library of Congress exhibit, and a host report card for you to record what happened at your own event.

Also visit NCTE’s site, which has this toolkit to help you prepare for your read in event. The toolkit has links to multiple booklists to help you with reading material selection.

To help our members – and any library people! – celebrate, CMLE will host our own African-American Read In! Tuesday, Feb. 20, at our headquarters location we will be available to talk books all day! From 11:00 to 1:00 we invite people to drop by with their lunch (Val’s is across the street, if you need something!), and have a discussion about African-American books you read, the ones you want to read, and look at the books we have in our office. Definitely feel free to bring in books/titles/authors you want us all to admire!

Join us, and Official Office Dog Lady Grey, in celebrating African-American literature!!

Office Hours this week!

ICON Office Green

We continue our schedule of Office Hours tomorrow from 11:00 through 1:00 here at the CMLE Headquarters!

We hold Office Hours at CMLE because we want to be easily available to our members, especially if you’d like to have a face-to-face conversation about any important (or fun!) library topics. We encourage you to stop by, no appointment necessary, to chat with us about any library issues you may be working on!

CMLE Office Hours will be held February: the 20th, and 27th. 

Note: Lady Grey will NOT be available for library consultation on Feb. 13th.  Yes, it is disappointing; but she needs a vacation from the fast-paced world of library work!

Office Hours are held from 11am to 1pm at our headquarters location in the cmERDC building at 570 1st St. SE in St. Cloud, MN 56304.

Of course, if you need to set up a time to chat (or if you’d like us to visit you) definitely email us at and we’ll work something out!

Episode 302: Ethics

Business ethics

Want to listen to an episode?

  1. You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed:
  2. Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

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!


Welcome back to Season Three of Linking Our Libraries! We are Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we are here to share information with all types of libraries, archives, and other nonprofits working to build their skills. This season we are working through the tools you can use to be a better manager and leader.

This week we discuss Ethics.


The Basics

It is surprising how many people do not think about ethical issues being a problem in LIS. This may go back to the mistaken ideas some people have about what librarians do all day – that is, that we sit around all day waiting for people to come ask us lovely and fun questions that we can answer with smiles on our faces. Of course this does happen, and most of us enjoy it when things go so well. But other things happen too, and can pose challenges to our ethics, our practices, and even the laws governing our library and society. When you add in the idea of being a manager, responsible for the actions and behaviors of not only yourself but also yours staff, and things can get much more complicated when trying to behave ethically.

In the library field, we are a profession, and as such we are governed by an ethical code. To be more accurate: we are a multi-faceted profession with a lot of different people in different professional areas doing all kinds of different things. So we actually have several different ethical codes relevant to the work we do.

  • There are the biggies that cover us in the United States: the American Library Association (ALA) and the Society for American Archivists (SAA) both have ethics codes governing most of us across the profession.
  • Subsections of these groups may also have specific ethical codes to follow that are relevant to their work.
  • Other ethics codes may also be relevant to you if you are an LIS person working in some of the less traditional jobs for our profession. So you may be governed by codes for computer science, or engineering, or museums, or performers, or wherever else you find yourself working.

No matter what you do in libraries, you are covered by ethical codes. Be proactive about looking for codes that will govern your work, to be sure you do not get caught without your ethics firmly in place!

Too often, ethics are things that get mentioned quickly in orientation, everyone looks solemn, and we all reassure ourselves that we, of course, would always be nice people who will do nice things. Yay for us. But that is just the barest beginning of ethics and ethics training. We can all start from the stand that we are nice people (most librarians are, after all); but we need to have a specific, written-down, set of ethical principles that we all know, we all understand, and we all agree to follow. And then problems will happen and disasters will come to your door. Ethical codes give you either a nice ladder to climb up out of the problems, or can be used as a handy weapon with which to clobber if you ignore the rules and cause problems that make it into the news.


As a leader, it is particularly import for you to know and to display ethical behavior. Managers who lie, cheat, and steal show staff members that teamwork and ethical behavior are pointless; no one will get ahead in this kind of organization by following the rules and doing the right thing.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true. Managers who create an ethics-friendly organization, and who demonstrate ethical behavior even when it is the harder choice, are showing their staff how things should be done. All of this will add up to an ethics-friendly organization. And you will have yet another powerful skill for your own Manager Skill Set!

Thanks for joining us this week! And check back in with us next week to discuss Hiring and Staffing.