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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.”  “

Tomorrow: CMLE Office Hours!

Reminder: Tomorrow is Wednesday July 26th and from 11am to 1pm we will be holding CMLE Office Hours!

CMLE Headquarters
570 1st Street SE 
St. Cloud, MN 56307

In a recent poll, many people said they would appreciate having a time to just casually drop in to Headquarters to chat about library stuff. You can feel free to stop in, with no appointment necessary.  Feel free to come talk about library programs, policies and procedures, ask questions, talk about cool things you are doing, or any other library-type stuff! We are available to you.

Lady Grey will also be available to listen to any library issues or fun ideas you may have.

Next Office Hours: Wednesday, August 2nd from 11am – 1pm

Day Forty Five of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

We like podcasts! They are a good way to share information, to hear voices and ideas from outside your usual information bubble, and can just be fun. If you are not already subscribed to CMLE’s own Linking Our Libraries podcast, we can be found on iTunes or any other podcast you like. You can also stream any episode from our website!

And we like other podcasts, especially when they talk about books – a subject near to our hearts! Brainstuff is a podcast that provides quick, interesting daily stories. A recent episode was called “What’s The Most Expensive Book In The World?”

“Sometimes super-wealthy people like to spend millions on a single book. Which one cost the most? Hint: It’s about water and it’s written backwards.” Listen to find out!