Category Archives: General

Expand your vocabulary with these interesting words

Library people tend to enjoy words, and this article is definitely a fun read. Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries shares seven of her favorite words. Some of the words she discusses are maybe a little over the top to include in daily conversation, but it’s always nice to have the option if you ever need to sound extra impressive!

Here are some of the words from her list (and don’t miss the funny history of “pumpernickel”):

  • Sesquipedalian: “It means “given to using long words,” and it has the added benefit of making its object sound very erudite while also gently poking fun at them.”
  • Salmagundi: “English has many words that mean “mixture,” but none is as fun to say as “salmagundi.”
  • Jawn: “It’s peculiar to Philadelphia where it serves as a colorful substitute for the word “thing.”


Books in the Spotlight: Bikes

Sometimes CMLE will highlight several books that have some factor in common. We hope they will give you ideas for your collection, or influence an activity, lesson plan, or display!

Since May is National Bike Month, we thought it would be fun to share several different book lists all featuring the subject of bikes, as well as some suggestions for bike-related activities! Do you have a favorite book about bikes, or someplace in particular you like to ride? Share with us in the comments!

Looking for children’s books about biking? Check out this list from! Some of the titles from the list include:

Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race by Erin Mirabella, illustrated by Lisa Horstman
“Gracie Goat doesn’t know how to ride a bike and is so scared she refuses to try. Fortunately her Grandma convinces her to face her fears. Children will relate to Gracie’s self-doubt as well as her persistence in this sensitive, upbeat story.”

Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
“Speed off on an eventful bicycle ride along the bold yellow road that cuts through town, by the sea, and through the country. Ride up and around, along and through, out and down.”

If those books inspired you to try some bike-related activities, check out this free hidden pictures coloring page of a bike trail. Or get extra creative and try some bike painting!

Animals riding bikes is always fun too, so watch this video of Duck on a Bike by David Shannon being read aloud:

For older readers, YALSA has compiled this list of YA books with bikes to enjoy! Some of the titles from the list:

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy
“Take a lively look at women’s history from aboard a bicycle, which granted females the freedom of mobility and helped empower women’s liberation. Through vintage photographs, advertisements, cartoons, and songs, Wheels of Change transports young readers to bygone eras to see how women used the bicycle to improve their lives.”

Racing California by Janet Nichols Lynch
Evan is shocked when the amazing Tour de France winner Dash Shipley asks him to join his team for the Amgen Tour of California. Against his parents’ and girlfriend’s wishes, Evan risks missing his high school graduation to participate in the grueling eight-day bicycling race.



Finally, don’t miss this list of books for adults to “inspire your riding” for National Bike Month! From books like Cycling Home from Siberia  to Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance you will enjoy your bike-themed reading journey!

Happy biking!

Some early success in the fight to fund IMLS!

We are passing along this letter from ALA President Julie Todaro. It looks like there is some growing support in the federal legislature for continuing to fund IMLS!

Remember that Minnesota directly receives nearly $3 million a year from IMLS. They fund the LSTA grants, they support training of all sorts across the profession, and they fund projects too large for one library do to alone. Check out our podcast on Digitization projects to hear about a few amazing things IMLS has helped to fund – including the Minnesota Digital Library, that many of us use every day!

Have you sent an email, or called, or stopped in to visit a federal or state legislator to tell them about the great things libraries do? Yes! Great!! Do it again!! Libraries need all of us to stand up NOW, and tell everyone how wonderful we are! (And we are – so go brag about the things you do every day!) Continue reading Some early success in the fight to fund IMLS!

Notable Date to Celebrate: April 10th is Encourage a Young Writer Day!

You probably already know that at CMLE, we offer a service called “Notable Dates for your Noggin” which feature special holidays and birthdays of authors, as well as publications of well-known books. In an effort to help you get more from this service, we’ve decided to select one “Notable Date” each month to feature. We will include a few fun programming and activity ideas too, all for you to use!

April 10th is Encourage a Young Writer Day.

There are lots of ways to encourage a young writer in your classroom, library, or life.  Check out these great gift ideas for young writers or find some neat journals from Amazon. If you’re feeling crafty, work together and make your own book to write in!

Looking for words of wisdom on the subject? This article is written from a homeschool perspective but has great suggestions for encouraging writing in kids of all ages. Check out what author Anne Lamott has to say to aspiring writers, or read this article specifically aimed at helping teen writers.

Of course, the best way to get kids writing is to make sure they read! Going to the library is probably the best encouragement of all! 🙂