Category Archives: CMLE opportunity


CMLE Elementary School Libraries in a Title 1 school:

Here is some potentially interesting information from on eBook donations! Below is a press release they have issued. You may be receiving this directly from them; but to be sure no one is overlooked, we are copying it here for you. There is an application to fill out (linked below). If you have questions, you can contact Overdrive; if you need some assistance with the form, or want to talk about ideas contact us at CMLE Headquarters and we can help! (We are available to assist with any grant applications!)

See if this is right for you and your school. We will share other offers and grant opportunities periodically on this site; and we put all the grants we find on our Grants and Awards calendar. Check it every so often to see if there are opportunities for you to get money and/or awards! CMLE Headquarters is always available to help you with the applications, or to help you think through the process of applying.

Here are the FAQs for the program:

Who can apply for this program?

Any adult who works in a Title 1 (or Title 1 eligible) school can apply.  You must apply for each school individually.

What happens after I submit my application?

OverDrive will review your application and contact you if your school is selected to receive one year of free K5 Quickstart access.

What grade levels is this intended for?

The K5 Quickstart program is intended for schools serving students in Grades K through 8.

What will this cost my school?

Nothing! There are no purchase or future commitments required to receive your one year of free K5 Quickstart access. Continue reading opportunity

Visiting Apollo High School

The excitement in visiting this school started immediately, as I stopped at the space capsule outside to admire it. Yes: a real NASA training capsule, just like the astronauts rode to the moon! I knew this was going to be an exciting trip, and the library did not let me down. Media Specialist Susan Hoffman was there to show me around and to answer all my questions about her very nice library.


Everything is better with fish!

This fish tank is the first thing you see as you walk into the big, open library area. It gives visitors a good welcome and establishes the library as a place where possibly unexpected great things will appear – always a good idea for libraries!

Spoooky holidays on the calendar!

This calendar was so fun! As we were near Halloween, it was great to see all the appropriately spooky holidays mentioned here. I love to celebrate holidays, and at CMLE Headquarters we are enthusiastic decorators. (You need to stop in and visit us!) I had no idea that Haunted Refrigerator Night was a thing – but it is! I was simultaneously terrified, and seized with the urge to clean out my leftovers. There was no time for that, as there were so many other things to see in the library.

We will always have paper books!

Libraries, as we all know, do so much more than hand out paper books to deserving readers as we did back in the olden days of library work.  Now we have all kinds of tools to reach out to our patrons, to connect with their information needs, and to provide some fun. This display of New Books meets a few different goals in a library setting. Of course, new books are always fun, and any bibliophile will happily browse here (I did!).  But this shelf is special, because those multiple copies of books you see are books from the book club run in this library! (Susan will be contributing a Guest Blog on her book club; and the information should be good for everyone considering starting a group).

Looking at it all

You can get an idea of the huge size of the library space here (As is always important in a library and in a school, I am struggling here not to get any student patrons in the pictures; so angles can be a little odd. It is a truly outstanding “problem” that the library was filled with students!).  I love this sign with all the values being embraced in the library here in one place.  Students see this as they enter the large space, and it seems like it would give a good perspective on being part of the community of learners here. Diversity issues can be tough to work with each day; and it is good to see them being publicly embraced.

As you look toward the right in this picture, you can not quite see the two completely filled computer stations. Each has 32 terminals. There is also access to the iPad cart filled with tablets, laptops to lend out, and other technology tools available for students to use in their learning endeavors.


Apollo Eagle art!

It is always good to see art in a library – a visual reminder that information comes in all kinds of formats, and we should be ready to share them all. This was particularly interesting art, as it is a chain saw carving done by Minnesota artist Jerry Faber (Walker, MN). This kind of traditional art has information and meaning beyond the message of the Apollo Eagle; it also demonstrates the value of folk art done by talented artists working with tools available to them. Art is for everyone!

Reader’s Advisory tools

It is probably no surprise that I, along with almost all library people, am a big reader. So, when I saw these really good binders filled with book suggestions, it was a struggle to not just stand there and take notes about the recommendations! And no – I was not able to stop myself from picking them up and flipping thru the pages.  As another demonstration of reaching out to patrons with different kinds of tools – some people will be more comfortable with paper and binders, while others will flinch away and reach for a phone to look online. Both types of searching are fine; we need to be ready to respond to all patrons with information tools that work for them. So not only did I enjoy these, but other patrons had obviously been using them as well!

Be like Batman!

On the way out, I saw this at the Circ Desk! Working with students can add a level of complexity to any library job; and it is important to keep up your sense of humor! And again – this is a great way to reach out to the patrons who need to hear a message. They may not necessarily recognize the 14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden (follow her on Twitter @LibnOfCongress); but everyone knows Batman. While it may be difficult to calculate the ROI on the sign in terms of returned materials, just the moment of seeing it and having a quick laugh may plant the seed of returned books in the patrons!

As always, there were so many other great things to see here! Use these posts as opportunity to reach out to your colleagues. Library people across CMLE are doing all kinds of different and interesting things; let’s connect to talk about issues faced across the system! CMLE Headquarters is here to make everyone stronger!



Strategies to Simplify: Tip 9: Delegate Sucessfully

“Work simply. Live fully.”  This week CMLE focuses on the following work productivity tip from Work Simply, Carson Tate’s popular book.  At CMLE, we’ve boiled down Tate’s wealth of knowledge from Work Simply to a few key points; please see the book for more detail and resources. At the bottom, see links to earlier tips in the series! Let’s all be our best selves….

This week’s activity: 

Carson Tate states in her book Work Simply that “Delegating is a powerful skill that can boost productivity and build cohesive teams. Yet many of us resist it or do it poorly.” We need to fight the urge to “do it all” and look beyond past experiences of failed delegating where the work was incorrect or late. With clear communication and goals in mind, delegating can result in increased productivity and a more fulfilling work environment.

Continue reading Strategies to Simplify: Tip 9: Delegate Sucessfully

Working with politicians and funders (Advocacy Series #4)

Let’s talk to the Money People!

This is where people start to get nervous when doing advocacy work.

“I don’t know what to say!”

“I don’t want to talk about money!”

“What if I ask, and they turn me down??” (And what if they laugh at me? And chase me down the hallway? And steal my lunch money??)

Fortunately, most of these fears are pretty groundless. But it’s worth taking a couple of minutes here to talk about some strategies for working with funders and politicians.

Advocacy for libraries is pretty easy! Generally, people like libraries, and see the value in having a good library. Sometimes you need to whip out an elevator speech on “this is why Google will never replace a librarian” but that should be simple enough. Rattle off a quick list of a few things your library does each week, and doubters are stunned into silence.

Advocacy is talking to people, telling them about your library, your materials, your services, and all the things you do there. Dealing with funders is just the same: tell them what you are doing in your library, and how you are spending their money. Continue reading Working with politicians and funders (Advocacy Series #4)

CMLE is dropping Travel Bugs!

Caching: a game, an exploration, and adventure! And a way to talk about libraries!!

If you have not already read our blog on Geocaching in the Library, you may want to go back and do a quick review.

To encourage people to get outside and explore, and to hear about the value of libraries from all kinds of sources (it is Advocacy month here at CMLE, after all!), we created five Travel Bugs. We are starting to drop these in geocaches around the area, and have instructions for finders to take them to libraries and move them along.

When a cacher finds one of our travel bugs, they will be taken to the Travel Bug page on our website. Here you can get some quick info about CMLE, and get links to all five of our Travel Bugs (TBs). You can click on each one, and then click (top right hand corner) to follow the TB and get notifications when it moves. This can be fun if the TB gets to visit libraries, as requested; and you can see all the different places the TBs go! (In a previous travel bug project I did to highlight libraries along the Lewis and Clark Trail, TBs I dropped along the way ended up going all over the world!!)


Our first TB has been dropped! It is called Take Me To Your Library; and it could not be in a better cache: Hermione Granger’s book trading cache. This cache has books available to trade -just the thing to warm the heart of any library fan! I was very excited to find this in a really beautiful part outside Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The sun was just starting to go down, my phone’s battery was starting to die; and just as I was about to give up, a deer was standing on the path in front of me! I stopped where I was and looked over to the left – and there was the cache! It was a great find, and I was very excited to drop our first TB there.

Are you in the area? Go find this one!! You can move it along to another cache, and we want to hear all about it. Or just click on the link to follow its adventures!

Do you cache?? Does your library have a cache, or any Travel Bugs??? We want to hear from you! We will have more Travel Bug updates, as ours get dropped and head out for library-related adventures and fun!