Category Archives: Conference

Registration open for Minitex Technical Services Symposium

NASA Engineers Conduct Low Light Test on New Technology for NASA Webb Telescope (15119297052)

Date and Location

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Metropolitan State University
Library and Information Services
645 7th Street East
Saint Paul, MN  55106
Twitter hashtag: #techsymp17

Registration Details

Fee: $50.00 (Symposium only)
Fee: $85.00 (MarcEdit workshop only)
Fee: $125.00 (Symposium + workshop)



  • Keynote –  Breaking Out of the Walled Garden: Lessons Learned in Moving Library Linked Data from Research to Production (Jean Godby, OCLC Research)
  • Panel (Bobby Bothmann, Minnesota State University Mankato; Hannah Buckland, Leech Lake Tribal College; 3rd speaker TBA)
  • Lunch with colleagues


  • Workshop – MarcEdit 7 Advanced Tools (Terry Reese, creator of MarcEdit, Ohio State University Libraries)

Learn More

Access the full meeting agenda and registration form here. The Minitex Technical Services Symposium is an inaugural conference that will focus on what technical services practitioners face in the near and middle future. Topics will include Linked Data, BIBFRAME, and local practices happening right now in a library near you.

We look forward to seeing you there!

CMLE Scholarship: MLA 2017

This guest post was written by Violet Fox, Metadata Librarian at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.

The theme for the 2017 Minnesota Library Association’s Annual Conference was “Radical Librarianship,” and I couldn’t have been more excited! I was excited to hear from library workers not only about the great things that libraries do for our users, but also how we as a profession should strive to recognize and address our shortcomings.

I was delighted to be able to present alongside some of my favorite library folks: Hannah Buckland (Leech Lake Tribal College), Tina Gross (St. Cloud State University), and Jessica Schomberg (Minnesota State University, Mankato). In our session, we talked about how centralization in cataloging often prevents libraries from responding flexibly to the needs of their users, and encouraged all librarians to argue for the value of local control in our standards and vocabularies in order to provide respectful and responsive metadata.

A number of MLA 2017 presentations gave me ample material to reflect on. Standouts included Safiya Umoja Noble’s session on how increasing reliance on opaque algorithms results in upholding societal inequity and oppression, as well as an interesting session from librarians at Dakota County Library (Christie Schultz and Lori Veldhuis) on their valuable project to make their world language collection more accessible and attractive to patrons.

Alhough I don’t do usability testing or user surveying in my job, the most exciting session I attended was “UX is Social Change: the Feminist Impact of User Experience Work” by librarians at Metropolitan State University (Christine Larson, Jennifer DeJonghe) and Hennepin County Library (Amy Luedtke, Tony Hirt). The presenters talked about how they use feminist principles within their work, in part by centering patron experiences and recognizing that patrons have knowledge and experience that we don’t. They also discussed their efforts to recruit UX participants intentionally, and acknowledged that it can be uncomfortable to have one’s design ideas critiqued. I very much appreciated the presenters’ unapologetic embrace of “disciplined empathy” in their work, and their presentation encouraged me to find ways to do the same in my own day-to-day work.

I’m grateful for CMLE’s support to attend MLA 2017 and I’d like to encourage Minnesota library colleagues to attend and present at next year’s conference!

Do you want to attend a conference or take part in some other professional development? Apply for a scholarship from CMLE today!

ITEM 2017 Recap

On Friday, Oct. 6th I was so excited to attend my first ITEM conference in Brooklyn Park! I was looking forward to a day of learning, networking with school media and tech educators and hearing from some local authors. I was able to do that and more!

The conference began with a delicious breakfast and a presentation from the author and Macalester professor Duchess Harris. She talked about her personal connection to her book Hidden Human Computers which is about how “dozens of African American women worked for NASA as expert mathematicians from the 1940s to the 1960s and almost no one knows about it.” Her grandmother was Miriam Daniel Mann and “was one of the first black female computers employed by NASA’s predecessor,the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).” Harris discusses this in more detail on this episode of the Historically Black podcast.

Then it was time for some chatting before heading off to our first sessions! I was able to hear from Tea Rozman-Clark, Executive Director of the organization Green Card Voices, and the amazing work they do with young immigrants. We learned about their behind-the-scenes recording processes and got to watch how they conducted a day of interviewing students from a remote location that just happened to be St. Cloud State University!
It was great to see the books that have been created that feature the stories of the students interviewed. You can purchase Green Card Youth Voices St. Paul, Minneapolis, or Fargo editions here.

Then we had to rush quickly off to the next session, one that I was excited about: learning about Creating Future Ready Media Centers!

This presentation from media specialist Amy Carney was definitely inspiring (she’s renovated two media centers in the last three years!) and full of great information that we’re happy to pass along to our members, especially since we know some of you may be working on redesigning or updating your media center! You can download a PDF of her presentation here.

We had some free time before the next round of sessions to check out the vendors, browse the bookstore (so many good choices!), and chat with each other. Then it was time for more learning! I got to hear from Outfront MN as they presented LGBTQ 101. We learned definitions and terms regarding individuals in that community and also ways to make interactions with students or our patrons more inclusive and respectful.

Next, it was time for lunch, entering drawings for books, and watching CMLE Board Member Maria Burnham present awards!

And the fun didn’t stop there! After awards were presented, we got to hear from a bunch of awesome local authors and illlustrators! They all answered some unconventional questions and we got to hear about the books they’ve created.

One of the authors on the panel was Lisa Bullard, author of the book Turn Left at the Cow, which Mary recently reviewed in our series CMLE Reads Across Minnesota! I was pretty excited to see her in person!

The afternoon sessions were very interesting as well. I attended a presentation from Dawn Nelson called “When ALL Means ALL: Partnership and Programming for Students with Special Needs.” This can definitely be a challenge for our members and I hoped to get some good resources to share. Dawn talked about her experiences working with students with physical special needs, like making her media center more wheelchair friendly, and also shared her experiences working with students on the autism spectrum. Check out her presentation here for suggestions and useful links!

The final session I attended was a presentation from Maria Burnham, who told us about how she encourages and works to create a culture of reading with both staff and students at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. She had some great suggestions, like keeping your list of books that you are currently reading visible as an easy conversation starter, or to take part in a school-wide book challenge. Make sure to check out her presentation here!

I had a great time attending ITEM and can’t wait for next year! Hope to see you there! 🙂

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!

Linking Our Libraries: Episode 209: Conferences!

Want to listen to an episode?
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Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

This week we are talking about professional conferences: attending them and presenting at them. This is your chance to meet other people who do what you do, who like the same things you like, and who are experiencing some of the same challenges you are facing! In our system, made up of all types and sizes of libraries, we have many people who are solo library workers, or who work with a very small group of people. That kind of isolation can be tough, so conferences are a great way to be sure you connect with other people in your area of the library world! And, as you are part of a big profession, this is also a chance for you to be giving back to everyone else with your ideas, your experiences, and your material.

We all work better when we are working together, and sharing information is a responsibility of being part of a community. (plus, it’s really fun to present at conferences! You get to feel like you are contributing, and you get the chance to really talk about issues and ideas that are important to you!)

So take a listen to our episode,  or find more information on our podcast page here. We hope to see you at some conferences this week! 🙂