Category Archives: Materials

It’s Open Access Week!

Welcome to the 10th Annual Open Access Week! What is Open Access (or OA) you may wonder? According to Open Access, the term means “the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need.” Open Access is important because it “has the power to accelerate scientific advancements and spur job growth in a wide range of fields, from healthcare to energy to agriculture.”

From Oct. 23rd to Oct. 29th, celebrate this year’s theme of “Open in Order to…” which is “meant to move the discussion beyond talking about openness itself and instead focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits. The theme also recognizes the diverse contexts and communities within which the shift to Open Access is occurring and encourages specific discussion that will be most effective locally.”

Check out this link to OA events held all around the world this week. Keep your eyes open this week for extra resources regarding OA, including CMLE’s podcast on the subject, featuring Guest Host Susan Schleper! Tune in to Linking Our Libraries on Thursday to hear the discussion.



Day Eighty Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

We have said before: digitization of resources is  a lot more work and time and effort than people may realize. So it is inspirational to see smaller libraries working to preserve their history using these neat tools! Sharing resources with their communities is always the mission of all libraries.

Derry Public Library efforts save history in digital form

“Many people have kept scrapbooks detailing life moments, special occasions and historical events.

Derry Public Library is now on the preservation bandwagon, taking on projects to preserve past memories, town and library history while keeping it safe on digital files for patrons to enjoy.

Library staff members recently discovered several scrapbooks compiled by past librarians and directors, filled with newspaper clippings, photos, letters, and special community programs that describe Derry’s history dating back decades.

Reference librarian Courtney Wason said it’s the library’s goal, as well as the goal of many libraries today, to preserve historical documents and artifacts in digital form and make them available online — making it easier to access the information.

The library’s New Hampshire Room, opened to the public in 1990 when an addition was built onto the original 1927 library building, is one space where much local and state history is already kept very secure in books, binders and on shelves. That includes town and state records, photos, yearbooks, news sources, books, and other periodicals that are often called upon when someone needs to do family research or other historical work.

“It’s a wide breadth of information,” Wason said.

Shelves are full of town and school reports, burial records, American Legion war records, Pinkerton Academy yearbooks, and histories of Derry and surrounding towns. There are also papers and documents on Alan B. Shepard Jr., and poet Robert Frost, and now digital issues of The Eagle-Tribune’s sister publication, the Derry News, dating back to 1891.

The scrapbooks, dating back to the 1920s, will also be put into digital format, according to Wason. Finding the added bits of library history in the classic scrapbooks was a great discovery, showing the effort past library staff took on to preserve history, Wason said.”

Day Eighty Five of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!


Even the word sounds fun and action-oriented. Maker. Making.

You just think cool things will happen!

The future of many school libraries is anchored to makerspaces

The Future Ready Librarians initiative lends a framework to the transformation

“Not long ago the New Milford High School library in New Jersey was pretty traditional. It had tall stacks of books and old wooden tables that didn’t move easily. It was underutilized. Students weren’t drawn to it and, to a large extent, neither were teachers.

Today, it’s a different story. Students stop by the library during their lunch period and come before and after school. Teachers send students down to work on projects during class time or bring their entire classes. With far more people in and out of the library throughout the day, circulation is way up.

What changed? The library itself got a makeover, but school culture did, too.

Laura Fleming became the New Milford High School librarian during a time of transformation. In her first year, she got rid of some bookshelves and created more dynamic seating arrangements. She also started allowing food and drink in the library so students could take advantage of the space during their lunch periods. And she created a makerspace.

Fleming, author of “Worlds of Learning: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School,” says the maker movement has changed the face of school libraries, and hers is no exception. Now in her fifth year at New Milford High School, Fleming has a beautiful, well-stocked makerspace, but early on she largely had to make do with baby steps.

The space, in a corner of the library that wasn’t previously being used for much, took shape over time — old bookshelves were converted into high-top workspaces, an old table got a LEGO plate glued on top of it, and little by little, students had room to create. And it didn’t matter that they didn’t have all the latest tech gadgets at their disposal.

“Makerspaces are about creating a maker culture,” Fleming said. “It’s a mindset. It’s a toolbox at your disposal for reaching kids. That can be done in any space and on any budget.”

Fleming finds some of her most consistent visitors to the makerspace are students who are most disengaged from the traditional curriculum. The library now offers them a place for constructive, creative work.

Many school districts around the country are reversing prior decisions to cut librarians, realizing the school library can be at the heart of a broader digital transformation.”

Read the rest of this article here.

What is in your makerspace? How did you get started? Do you have suggestions for others, or questions from yourself?

Day Seventy Three of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

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Digital resources are always in demand in our libraries – and spending time browsing around to find neat things in the collections can be fun! (Shhh! We won’t tell your supervisor. It’s work, after all! It is important to be in touch with a collection!)

One archive of digital materials you might want to explore is the PEN America Archive.

About the Archive

“The PEN America Digital Archive dates back to 1966, resonating with the voices of literary luminaries; Nobel Prize winners in literature, economics, science, and peace; social reformers; philosophers; and political and artistic revolutionaries whose work, ideas, and actions explored and helped frame the most pressing issues of our time. Comprised of more than 1500 hours of audio and video recordings, the collection provides a unique historical perspective on the way Americans and American culture engaged, and at times disengaged, with the outside world during pivotal moments in history: the Cold War, the Civil Rights era, the Vietnam War, the Iranian Cultural Revolution and hostage crisis, the AIDS epidemic, the post-Communist decade, and September 11.  Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Allen Ginsberg are just a few of the icons and iconoclasts captured in the PEN America Digital Archive.”

Day Sixty Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Digitization of old materials, fragile things that we could never touch or see in person, gives all of us access to so many wonderful things! And now Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, filled with his amazing thoughts and ideas, are available from the British Library!

Click here to get all the good stuff!

“Contents:Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci (‘The Codex Arundel’). A collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes. The core of the notebook is a collection of materials that Leonardo describes as ‘a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place according to the subjects of which they treat’ (f. 1r), a collection he began in the house of Piero di Braccio Martelli in Florence, in 1508. To this notebook has subsequently been added a number of other loose papers containing writing and diagrams produced by Leonardo throughout his career. Decoration: Numerous diagrams. “