Category Archives: Communication

Season Two: Bonus Episode on Stress Management

The calm after the storm - Port Lincoln - South Australia (Explored)

Just in time for the holidays, we are here with a bonus episode to our Season Two series. It’s a topic we all need now: Stress Management. Whether you are struggling with finals, trying to wrap up paperwork before the end of the year, or just working to get that darn snow shoveled – we understand! (We’re in Minnesota; we really understand the snow!) So this podcast will help us all to just take a break, to have a moment to relax, and to gather some tools for you to work on your own stress management skills.

Check out our full information page for all the ideas!

We have talked about stress management in prior episodes. So check out our Season One episode 12 Stress in Libraries, and Season Two episode 206 on Conflict Management.

We are talking about this now, because stress happens all the time, from all kinds of reasons; but the combination of end of semester and all the holidays at this time of the year can really make stress worse. Even when you are enjoying your work – it can get stressful! (We love working at CMLE, but vividly remember last December, when we rebuilt our website despite having no website experience. There was a totally dejected trip to Starbucks for revitalizing beverages at one point, just to keep it all moving forward. Things got better after that!)

Stress happens in the workplace. It does not matter how great things are, work is stressful. But we do not have to be passive victims of the stress-fest that happens at the end of the year! Instead, today let’s think about some strategies you can use to reduce the bad effects stress can have on you. (Sorry – we can’t fix everything! Stress will still happen after this episode. But you will be better equipped to handle it.)

Stress is a common problem in many LIS workplaces. It seems disloyal to admit this, to confess that there are parts of our jobs that are less than shiny and happy, that we get stressed and unhappy and burned out. But I will tell you now: stress is part of work. Stress can be hard to discuss. Nobody wants to look weak or incompetent. And nobody wants point out problems that may make them or the organization look bad. It’s okay to acknowledge that you are stressed and unhappy. It’s okay to not want to go to work some days. It’s okay for you to wish you had a job where you could huddle in a backroom without any patrons asking for things, or managers who tell you to do dumb or contradictory things, or all the other things that make your job hard.

It’s okay.

Just acknowledge that you are stressed, that your co-workers are stressed, your staff – everyone.

Think about addressing stress on an individual level, and on an organizational level.

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!

Learning About Library Associations: Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA)

Library science is an enormous field, home to every interest you could imagine! This means that there are many organizations out there for you to join, in order to connect with other people who share your professional interests.

So even if you work alone in your library, there are other people out there doing work similar to yours! Each week we will highlight a different library association for you to learn more about, and depending on your work, potentially join! You can also check out our page dedicated to Library Associations.

This week we’re learning about the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA). CALA is affiliated with ALA and “is the only professional organization in North America that 1) promotes better communication among Chinese American librarians; 2) serves as a forum for the discussion of mutual problems and professional concerns among Chinese American librarians; and 3) promotes the development of Chinese and American librarianship with scholarships and grants.”

CALA has several programs and initiatives, such as the Academic Resources and Repostory System, and the Twenty-first Century Librarian Seminar Series. They also have several different publications including a newsletter and Recommended Reading List of Chinese Materials. CALA also offers several different awards, grants, and scholarships.

There are several committees you can volunteer to join if you become a member, such as the Best Book Award Committee and the Mentorship Program Committee. Committees meet at ALA Annual and the Midwinter Conference. Learn more about becoming a member of CALA on their membership page!

Advocate for Libraries at our Postcard Party!

We are so excited for our advocacy Postcard Party coming up on Tuesday, December 19th from 3-5pm at the Local Blend coffee shop in St. Joseph! Join us to write postcards to library stakeholders sharing how essential libraries are! Plus, you get to chat with other library people and have a snack, what could be better?

The goal behind our Postcard Parties is to share the value of libraries with legislators and other library stakeholders who may not hear enough about the incredible work that takes place in libraries.

At this advocacy event CMLE will provide the postcards, facts about the value of all types of libraries to their communities, addresses for state and federal legislators (feel free to bring your own addresses for your library’s stakeholders), and sample text of what to write on your postcard. We will even mail your postcards after the event so no need to worry about postage.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend! We are excited to see you there!

Office Hours this week!

Great news, CMLE members! We will be holding Office Hours this Wednesday, December 6th! Come visit Lady Grey, check out our holiday decorations, and chat with Mary and Angie about library topics! If you have any concerns or great ideas, definitely come talk with us.

Office hours are held from 11am – 1pm at our location:
570 1st St. SE St. Cloud MN 56304. Can’t make it in person? Send us an email at and we’ll set up a time to talk!

Upcoming Office Hours:
Wednesday, December 13th
Wednesday, December 20th

Linking to Library News


There is a whole world of news happening across the profession. Below are a few links to get you started with some of the exciting things happening in the world of Library Science!

  • Don’t forget to submit your RUSA John Sessions Memorial Award nomination! The RUSA John Sessions Memorial Award, established in 1981, recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community.
  • Happy holidays from CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries!
  • Register for National Library Legislative Day 2018 National Library Legislative Day is a two-day advocacy training event held in Washington, D.C. every year. Attendees spend one day learning effective advocacy techniques and learning about key library issues, like funding or net neutrality, and have the opportunity to attend a reception on Capitol Hill. Armed with talking points, attendees spend day two with their state delegations, meeting with elected officials and telling them about the importance of libraries in their communities.
  • Now that we are in the holiday season with Thanksgiving behind us and the New Year ahead, it’s time to begin thinking about resolutions. There is no better way to kick off 2018 than to come to Austin, TX for Re-think it: Libraries for a New Age! Re-think it is a national conference that brings together academic, public and K-12 librarians, administrators, technologists, architects, designers, furniture manufacturers, and educators. Together, we will re-think the important roles libraries play in the communities they serve.
  • I Love My Librarian Award winners Ten librarians were honored on November 30 with the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award for their outstanding public service contributions. Selected from more than 1,100 nominations submitted by library users nationwide, the winning librarians were recognized for their leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning.
  • Marijke Visser and Nicky Rigg write: “December 2–10 marks CS Education Week, when computer science (CS) activities will be happening in public and school libraries throughout the country. Kids may set aside routine activities to learn basic concepts by coding Lego ornaments, creating light-up LED cards with paper circuits, designing their own version of a Star Wars game, or learning a language like Python. CS Education Week is an annual program that brings together educators, tech companies, youth-serving organizations, and, of course, libraries to focus on inspiring young people to explore CS.”…
  • New York City libraries launch digital privacy initiative  “The New York, Brooklyn, and Queens public libraries are teaming up with the Metropolitan New York Library Council to bring digital privacy and data-security information to New York City’s 8.5 million residents. With support from the NYC Mayor’s Office, the project will train the city’s front-line librarians to be able to answer questions about internet privacy and data security, ensuring that NYC residents can rely on public libraries for trusted and current information.”
  • The internet is dying Farhad Manjoo writes: “The internet is dying. Sure, technically, the internet still works. Pull up Facebook on your phone and you will still see your second cousin’s baby pictures. But that isn’t really the internet. It’s not the open, anyone-can-build-it network of the 1990s and early 2000s. Nope, that freewheeling internet has been dying a slow death—and a vote in December by the Federal Communications Commission to undo net neutrality would be the final pillow in its face.”
  • Lawsuit challenges Escondido library outsourcing A lawsuit was filed November 28 challenging the Escondido, California, city council’s decision to outsource the public library’s staffing and services to Maryland-based Library Systems & Services LLC—a change that is scheduled to go into effect early next year. Filed on behalf of longtime city residents Roy and Mary Garrett, the lawsuit contends state law dictates that public libraries “shall be managed by a board of library trustees” and therefore the council’s decision should be rescinded….
  • Max, the cat who lost the library but won the internet Karin Brulliard writes: “The story of Max the cat has already been written—simply, succinctly, and perfectly. This story, printed and taped onto a door of the Macalester College library in Saint Paul, Minnesota, might have ended there. But it got tweeted. It also got Tumblr-ed. And Reddit-ed. Having been shooed away from the library, Max sprinted straight toward internet fame.
  • Public libraries encourage patrons to get moving Alyson Iuchs writes: “Libraries going through recent construction or renovation are focusing on design elements that encourage patron movement, such as workstations that alternate between sitting and standing positions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend almost 90% of their lives indoors, which is why it is critical to build healthy indoor environments. This can be as simple as adding more natural light and design spaces to connect us to the outdoors.”…