Category Archives: Guest Blogger

CMLE Scholarship: Digipalooza!


This is a guest post written by Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian at East Central Regional Library Cambridge. Do you need a scholarship to attend a conference? Check out our Scholarships page!

In early August, I attended the OverDrive Digipalooza Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was an exciting conference, because it managed to be both inspiring and future-focused and practical and applicable to current workflows, in equal measure. OverDrive staff and presenters were energetic, innovative, and happy to share their love of literacy, libraries, OverDrive, and Cleveland with all attendees.

A common theme throughout the conference was that building digital collections is not all about selection, but equally about what we do with what we select and the mantra: if you build it, they will come. The most immediate takeaway that I applied to my workflow immediately as a result was a hack shared by Mike Hawkins from Sno-Isle Libraries for turning OverDrive Resource Center lists into Curated Collections.  Curated collections help keep your OverDrive front page fresh, which in turn keeps your users coming back and happy.   Any trick to simplify this process and encourage librarians to create Curated Collections more frequently is a win!

The hack:  Curate from an OverDrive Recommended List

OverDrive provides a collection of lists curated by their Collection Development librarians in OverDrive Resource Center. Any of these lists can be converted to curation mode, but it requires a hack of the URL.

  1. Find and click on a list in OverDrive Resource Center that you would like to curate on your OverDrive site.
  2. Select the OneCopyOneUserAndMeteredAccess portion of the URL in the address bar.
  3. Replace OneCopyOneUserAndMeteredAccess with Curate in the address bar and hit Enter.
  4. From there the list can be curated as outlined in the How To Create a Curated Collection instructions.  

Other curation tips include: change the display settings to “Show all, but available first” so that the first items your users see are immediately available for checkout and developing collections around community events. Ultimately, the goal is to have patrons leave our websites having borrowed something.  Happy customers also leads to happy librarians!

The inspirational side of the coin included reflecting on Cuyahoga County Public Library’s mission: reading, lifelong learning, and community.  If only all of our mission statements were as succinct! Looking towards the future also included the OverDrive project roadmap with the new Libby app and forthcoming features (including getting a library card instantly in the app), magazines soon being available in OverDrive, the availability of the cost per circ model, and OverDrive’s new status as a Certified B Corp.  

Other great information included collection development, social media marketing, train the trainer, using data, outreach, and Reader’s Advisory. Plus, we were lucky enough to see a live recording of the Professional Book Nerds podcast with author Kelly Corrigan.  The video is on OverDrive’s Facebook page; I highly recommend you check it out.

At the end of the conference, I left feeling inspired to get back to work and do my part in Creating Reading Happiness!

Digipalooza fun fact: 57% of people said that the place they listen to audiobooks most is relaxing at home.

Graphic Recordings from the Sessions:

Guest Blogger: Teen Lit Con 2017 Recap!

This is a guest post from Bethany Kauffman, Media Specialist at Rogers High School, about attending Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2017.

There is something special about finding “your people” in the world.  As book lovers, we seem to find our kindred spirits almost organically at work, church and in our neighborhoods.  Finding “your people” is such an important part of life that I relish any chance to help my students meet and connect with other teen book lovers like them.  CMLE made that happen for Rogers and Sauk Rapids – Rice high school students this past spring.

On Saturday, May 6 2017 at Henry Sibley High School, Minnesota’s metro public libraries brought one of the most popular and controversial authors of the moment to Twin Cities teens.  Sauk Rapids – Rice and Rogers High Schools were able to load up teenagers and get them to St. Paul for the big event through the support of CMLE.  What made the day so hype-worthy was that we saw, wait for it… Jay Asher!  Yes, that Jay Asher, whose books had suddenly become the topic of controversy and passion with the airing of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.

Adults had suddenly become aware of Jay Asher and his writing, his honest conversations about hard subjects and the power that words and ideas can have in a teenager’s life.  Those of us who work with teens, read YA and love the awkward eagerness of all things before age 25 already knew all about Jay Asher.  We spend our days talking to young adults about serious and not so serious topics.  Sometimes hair color and friend drama is as deep as it gets but that’s what makes this age so great.  They are thinking, growing, learning, observing, trying on different personas nearly every week and they aren’t shocked when a YA book tackles a tough topic like suicide.  Young adults welcome stories that push the edges and make them think deeply about life.

As a result, I wasn’t surprised when we were packed into the auditorium at Henry Sibley High and the atmosphere was what I can only describe as electric.  It was the first session of what was going to be a day filled with book-loving kindred spirits galore.  When Jay Asher, Jeff Zentner, Box Brown and Meg Medina walked onto the stage for the first author panel of the day the auditorium exploded with the kinds of screams and roars and clapping that is usually only heard at a rock concert.  I am not kidding.  The teenagers shook the roof!  Let that soak in.  Teenagers screaming their heads off, nearly fainting over authors not athletes, millionaires, movie stars or music icons.  They were with their people and they were screaming at the top of their lungs for what they loved – ideas, emotions and creativity in books.

The rest of the day went well.  It followed a typical conference schedule with a variety of sessions and activities.  The teens had opportunities to be a part of several writing workshops, meet Minnesota authors, buy books, get autographs, try out Book Speed Dating, discuss creative nonfiction, find out about the behind-the-scenes work of creating graphic novels and meet real book editors.  One of the most highly attended sessions dealt with mental health issues in YA lit.  You literally could not get in the door of that session it was so full.  There were also t-shirts and concessions and an exhibit hall and temporary tattoos.  All good events have temporary tattoos.

When the afternoon came to an end, my 11 students from Rogers High School and the 25 students from Sauk Rapids – Rice High School piled into the bus and started home.  I was so grateful that we joined the teens from another high school for the long ride.  There were plenty of awkward introductions and graphic novel discussions and shy exchanges of artwork and books between students who had never met before.  Book lovers find common ground quickly and everyone headed home happy.  CMLE was the impetus behind this amazing day.  They encouraged us to coordinate between our schools, facilitated our communication and awarded us a grant to cover the cost of the bus.  As a result, this day was free to our students and for several of them, I’m sure, that made attending Teen Lit Con possible.

The new school year is here and it’s once again time to bring teens and books together.  It’s time to start fostering relationships that drifted over the summer, get the book clubs up and running, unpack the first book order of the year AND it’s time to talk to our teens about Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2018.  Why not join us?  Rogers High School is going to make sure we are at the next convention.  We’d love to connect with your teens and share the love of all things authors, illustrators, writers and YA lit with you.  Start thinking now about giving your teens the opportunity to find “their people” at Twin Cities Teen Lit Con in the spring.

https://teenlitcon.com/

Bethany Kauffman
Media Specialist
Book Club Advisory
Rogers High School
Rogers, MN
bethany.kauffman@isd728.org

CMLE Scholarship Recipients from FY17!

We are happy to celebrate the recipients of CMLE Scholarships from Fiscal Year 2017! We are so glad they took advantage of our scholarship program in order to attend several different conferences, which you can read about from the links below.

If you are planning on doing some professional development next year by attending conferences or taking part in continuing education, we invite you to apply for a CMLE Scholarship! More information can be found here. If you are looking for some Continuing Education opportunities, make sure to check out our Google Calendar.

Read about our CMLE Scholarship recipients from Fiscal Year 2017 below:

As we near the end of this fiscal year, we encourage you to think ahead to Continuing Education opportunities for next year, and to keep CMLE scholarships in mind to help with the financial aspect of your professional growth!

CMLE Scholarship: Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference

Reflection on 26th Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference
Mary Ramacher
Access Department – ILL
SCSU Library

As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?

Several of the things I took away from the Keynote speaker were:

  • That the library needs to not just be welcoming to employees but that it should look welcoming when you first enter the building
  • To say “yes, and” to show that you understand what someone is saying instead of “no, but” when we can’t do exactly what the patron is asking.
  • An analysis of personality styles.

Our library had a very ‘sterile’ atmosphere when you first enter the building and a few years ago we put in an electric fireplace and some comfortable seating in the front. It is one of the busiest areas of the library now, which proves the idea of being welcoming. I am looking forward to trying the more positive approach of using ‘yes and’ as opposed to ‘no but’ when helping my patrons. The personality types analysis will be very helpful too when dealing with difficult personalities.

The session on statistics by the Minitex Director was very interesting too. Our library web page will need some work so that its format adjusts to any type of device for ease of use.  She also talked about 18-24 year olds reporting ‘digital fatigue’ so our idea that students want everything electronically will need to be reevaluated.

We were also informed of some improvements to WorldShare that I will be using immediately upon returning to work in Interlibrary Loan.

Mary Ramacher

320-308-2085

Access Department – ILL

SCSU Library

Podcasting – Jumping in Head First

 

check out Maria’s actual setup – pretty cool!

(by Guest Blogger Maria Burnham, from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School; read about our visit to her library!)

I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time, and I love that podcasts are, once again, on the radar and a popular topic of conversation.  Several times over the last few months I’ve heard people say, “Have you listened to [insert podcast name]?  It’s so great!”  Podcasts sometimes feel like short little audio books; perfect snippets for those of us with limited spare time or those of us with commitment issues.  I listen to popular podcasts like Serial and Hidden Brain, literary podcasts like The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, music podcasts like Tiny Desk, and book podcasts like Book Riot.

Recently, I decided that it was time to take podcasting into my own hands.  I’m an avid reader, and because of my role as the school’s “librarian” (even though that’s not my official title), I’m often asked to help others find a book.  In conjunction, I’m also in a high school setting which can sometimes be a finicky place to get reading traffic in to the library.  High schools aren’t like elementary and middle schools where classes of kids come down once a week to check books in and out.  Instead, I often rely on the roaming traveler in the book stacks or the rare, “My friend said I just HAVE to read this book!” for foot traffic.  Podcasting seemed like the logical blending of these two situations.  I could push out my book recommendations and at the same time try to create a bit more excitement about reading and the new books we have available.

Continue reading Podcasting – Jumping in Head First