Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

Day Eighty Six of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Are you a scifi reader? Are any of your community members scifi fans? That second question has to be yes, and maybe the first also!

You may therefore join me in celebrating our open access to issues of Galaxy Magazine! Thanks to the Internet Archive for making these magazines available!! Check out the issues here.

“Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by an Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break in to the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction (sf) magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.

Gold published many notable stories during his tenure, including Ray Bradbury’s “The Fireman”, later expanded as Fahrenheit 451; Robert A. Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters; and Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man. In 1952, the magazine was acquired by Robert Guinn, its printer. By the late 1950s, Frederik Pohl was helping Gold with most aspects of the magazine’s production. When Gold’s health worsened, Pohl took over as editor, starting officially at the end of 1961, though he had been doing the majority of the production work for some time.

Under Pohl Galaxy had continued success, regularly publishing fiction by major writers such as Cordwainer Smith, Jack Vance, Harlan Ellison, and Robert Silverberg. However, Pohl never won the annual Hugo Award for his stewardship of Galaxy, winning three Hugos instead for its sister magazine, If. In 1969 Guinn sold Galaxy to Universal Publishing and Distribution Corporation (UPD) and Pohl resigned, to be replaced by Ejler Jakobsson. Under Jakobsson the magazine declined in quality. It recovered under James Baen, who took over in mid-1974, but when he left at the end of 1977 the deterioration resumed, and there were financial problems—writers were not paid on time and the schedule became erratic. By the end of the 1970s the gaps between issues were lengthening, and the title was finally sold to Vincent McCaffrey, who brought out just one issue in 1980. A brief revival as a semi-professional magazine followed in 1994, edited by H. L. Gold’s son, E. J. Gold; this lasted for eight bimonthly issues.

At its peak, Galaxy greatly influenced in the science fiction field. It was regarded as one of the leading sf magazines almost from the start, and its influence did not wane until Pohl’s departure in 1969. Gold brought a “sophisticated intellectual subtlety” to magazine science fiction according to Pohl, who added that “after Galaxy it was impossible to go on being naive.”[1] SF historian David Kyle agrees, commenting that “of all the editors in and out of the post-war scene, the most influential beyond any doubt was H. L. Gold”.[2] Kyle suggests that the new direction Gold set “inevitably” led to the experimental New Wave, the defining science fiction literary movement of the 1960s.”

Day Eighty One of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

 

I always love to see libraries with innovative programming, and I love to see libraries connecting with their communities.

So it was great to see the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh East Liberty branch doing some really interesting programming with their community members!

At The Human Library, The Books Are People And The Stories Are All True

“The meeting space was standing-room-only at the Carnegie Library branch in East Liberty at Monday’s launch of Pittsburgh’s Human Library project.

A library is, essentially, a collection of information and stories that live inside books, on tape or via DVD. In a human library, the stories are told aloud by the people who lived them. The idea started in Denmark in 2000, as a way to break down stereotypes and has since made its way around the world….

 

 

Organizers said this week’s event was only a launch, and that they expect more Human Library events to pop up around the city exploring different topics in a variety of settings in the coming months.

Groups and individuals interested in hosting a Human Library event can get in touch with Kali Stull at the Consumer Health Coalition.”

Day Seventy Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Walden Pond (63)

Whether or not you are usually interested in video games, the new game Walden might be a relaxing, fun adventure for you!

About the Game

Walden, a game, is a first person simulation of the life of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. The game begins in the summer of 1845 when Thoreau moved to the Pond and built his cabin there.

Players follow in his footsteps, surviving in the woods by finding food and fuel and maintaining their shelter and clothing. At the same time, players are surrounded by the beauty of the woods and the Pond, which hold a promise of a sublime life beyond these basic needs. The game follows the loose narrative of Thoreau’s first year in the woods, with each season holding its own challenges for survival and possibilities for inspiration.

The audience for the game is broad: from experimental game players to lovers of Thoreau and Transcendental literature. As such, the game offers more opportunities for reflective play than strategic challenge. The piece has a subtle narrative arc, in homage to the original text, which is not an adventure of the body pitted against nature, but of the mind and soul living in nature over the course of a New England year.”

Day Seventy Six of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Fundy National Park of Canada 9

Books! What could  be better???

Well maybe: books in National Parks!!!

Two of my very favorite things, combined together!

What’s this library book doing in my National Park?

“In early June, I was walking a trail in Land’s End in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, when I came upon a children’s book called The Fox Wish, by Kimiko Aman. Each page was a mounted panel, installed just a few feet away from the next, like storytime breadcrumbs.

It was a delightful book about a fox who steals a little girl’s jump rope, but it got me wondering: What’s a children’s book doing in the National Park?

Well, did you ever hear that opposites attract?

To find out more, I talk to Michele Gee, Chief of Education and Interpretation at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a Bay Area National Park. She tells me that last year, when the National Parks Service celebrated it’s centennial, they decided to really focus on a problem they’d been working on for years.

The National Parks reach out

“We have a certain population that loves their National Parks, visits regularly, but that doesn’t reflect the diversity of our nation or the diversity of the Bay Area,” says Gee. “Lower income or people of color aren’t being drawn to the National Parks and don’t have the access. They both don’t know about it, don’t know it exists, but also don’t necessarily feel welcome to come.”

So the Parks looked for a partner to help, one which shared their mission for inclusivity, education, and adventure. If they had a dating profile, it might be: Outdoorsy conservationist seeks warm extrovert with shared values. Because successful partnerships are based on having something in common, right?

“Park rangers are very much into the history and story and they love sharing what they know about the world,” says Christy Estrovitz, Director of Youth Services at the San Francisco Public Library. “That’s something that librarians and the library staff love to do as well!”

Estrovitz runs the Library’s Summer Stride program, which brings free programs like tinkering workshops and drag queen story hour to your local branch. Last summer, she and Michele Gee worked together to bring library patrons to the National Parks and and a love of nature into the libraries. Some of the programs included park trailheads about the different National Parks inside the library branches, wooden Reading Ranger badges awarded to participants who read for twenty hours, Park Ranger storytime, and free shuttles from library branches to National Parks, funded by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Gee says the programs were designed to “bring the libraries to the park as much as the park was going to the libraries.”  “