Category Archives: Visits

Visiting the Stearns History Museum!

We always enjoy visits to our CMLE members, and this visit was extra interesting! One of our members that is not a typical library is the Stearns History Museum. The Museum has an extensive archive and we were lucky enough to be shown around by archivist Jessie Storlien.

As you can see from these photos, she showed us a ton of cool information, and as a Stearns County native myself, I really appreciated seeing all the history available about this area. And it’s all available to the public, although if you have any questions or need to see the archives, the experts like Jessie are available to assist you. Other archivists at the Museum include Steve Penick, John Decker, and Heidi Heller.

As you can see from the photos above, there are all sorts of different resources available to the public. You can find your family history (if you are from this area you will see some familiar names!), scroll through microfilm, or check out an exhibition about the first people to ever live in Stearns County. Do you live on a family farm? Check out your eligibility for the Century Farms program! And one of St. Cloud’s early newspapers, Der Nordstern, is in German so you may want to keep your Google Translate handy!

It was exciting to see the archives where additional resources are kept, including photographs, oral histories, the Myron Hall collection, and even more maps! It was easy to see that there was a lot of work being done to make sure historical documents are preserved in a way that will allow them to be accessed in the future. We got to learn about some of the challenges that face archivists, like rapidly changing technology and processing donated materials.

On our way out, we stopped to visit the room for kids, which had some historical photos of children from Stearns County! We got to admire some beautiful quilts made by artists from the area, and of course enjoyed the grounds outside the museum.

If you have any interest in local or family history, I’d definitely recommend taking advantage of the Stearns History Museum! Keep in mind that the museum is open Monday –  Friday 10 AM – 5 PM,  and Saturdays too, from 10AM – 4 PM!

A huge thank you to Jessie for a fantastic tour and for sharing all of her knowledge!

It’s Summer – Hang Out with CMLE Library People!

Summer FlowersAh, summer! We all live for the relaxing, slower pace of the hot weather. (Okay, fewer mosquitoes would be good; but that’s a small quibble!)

And eventually everyone gets tired of hanging out, and wishes for some good library discussion. We are here to help with that!

We really enjoyed having our social events in the winter and spring; and are looking forward to hearing from you guys about your summer work, any plans you are making for upcoming programs, and any other interesting library things you want to share! (And it’s ALL interesting when it comes to library stuff!!)

So let’s set up some times and places we can meet up to talk. Vote below for some general days and times that will work out for you. We anticipate setting up multiple events, at different times and places, so everyone who wants to do so can come visit, chat, and have some unstructured time to hang out with your library colleagues from across the system! (It’s possible that I’m just biased; but I think we have the most interesting discussions and people! Come check it out for yourself!)

We are putting together plans for a September “Welcome To Fall” event; so feel free to share any ideas you might have for that. More details will be available as we get closer to September.

Now go enjoy yourself, listen to some back episodes of our “Linking Our Libraries” podcast, and follow along with our Summer Fun Library Tour posts each day to get a quick, fun library story!

It’s Summer Time – Let’s Hang Out!

Summer FlowersAh, summer! We all live for the relaxing, slower pace of the hot weather. (Okay, fewer mosquitoes would be good; but that’s a small quibble!)

And eventually everyone gets tired of hanging out, and wishes for some good library discussion. We are here to help with that!

We really enjoyed having our social events in the winter and spring; and are looking forward to hearing from you guys about your summer work, any plans you are making for upcoming programs, and any other interesting library things you want to share! (And it’s ALL interesting when it comes to library stuff!!)

So let’s set up some times and places we can meet up to talk. Vote below for some general days and times that will work out for you. We anticipate setting up multiple events, at different times and places, so everyone who wants to do so can come visit, chat, and have some unstructured time to hang out with your library colleagues from across the system! (It’s possible that I’m just biased; but I think we have the most interesting discussions and people! Come check it out for yourself!)

We are putting together plans for a September “Welcome To Fall” event; so feel free to share any ideas you might have for that. More details will be available as we get closer to September.

Now go enjoy yourself, listen to some back episodes of our “Linking Our Libraries” podcast, and follow along with our Summer Fun Library Tour posts each day to get a quick, fun library story!

A visit to Rogers High School Library

Another visit to a very nice high school library! And again – it was so fun to see all the neat things here! (Is it just that CMLE libraries are cool? Probably.)

Bethany Kauffman is the library person here, and has been an enthusiastic CMLE member – so it was great to get to see her library!

I loved seeing this feature right away – libraries hosting book groups are not only clearly fulfilling their mission to promote books, but are also are doing the important work of connecting with their users! Making those connections, providing programming people want to enjoy in the library – those user-centered ideas are the foundation of any good library.

Check out this cool computer lab! Although more schools are moving toward a 1 to 1 Chromebook/laptop program, reducing the need for labs, there are still good teaching programs to be done in a lab, in addition to other important uses, and providing this in a library is a great resource! (Plus, look how nicely organized this is; maybe it’s the librarian in me, but this makes me happy to see.)

I love these long views over the library! You can see how far-ranging the resources are here, and how many neat things there are available for students in this library. It’s a good perspective to have! Here we are looking out over the fiction collection.

Continue reading A visit to Rogers High School Library

A Trip to the Zimmerman High School and Middle School Library

Visiting our member libraries is always one of the most fun things we do at CMLE Headquarters! We love to see what you guys are doing, and to ooohhh and aaaahhh over all your materials, services, and the general look and feel of your libraries. We plan to visit each of our 300+ members, so if we have not been to your library yet, help us out by suggesting a day or two that will be good for your schedule! These are the articles most read by our community, and we are all looking forward to learning more about your library.

This visit was to the Zimmerman High School media center; and you can just tell from the beginning of the library that this will be a nice place! It’s so welcoming, and I love the clear identification – it’s the librarian in me, but that kind of detail (user friendly!) helps libraries connect to their communities.

Many of our member libraries have maker-spaces, with all sorts of different projects and tools. I love the look of this one, with the bright and cheerful colors leading your eye right to the good stuff! The quotes on the wall also help to establish this as a place that is going to be fun, and where users are going to feel welcome – always great for libraries!

Continue reading A Trip to the Zimmerman High School and Middle School Library