Day Seventy Nine of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Think about participating in this really interesting program from Web Junction: Outside The Lines

Outside the Lines: Libraries Reintroduced

Libraries and library staff are skilled in their ability to adapt to meet the changing needs of their communities. Step into today’s library, and you might find expanded collections that include everything from telescopes to fishing poles to sewing machines. Libraries have embraced ideas and services that help communities to be their best, whether that’s by providing access to the latest technology or facilitating life-long learning through programming for all ages. Yet, despite these innovations, many outdated perceptions of libraries linger. For the library industry as a whole, the challenge remains: How do we help our communities understand that libraries are more relevant than ever? Outside the Lines, now in its fourth year, is an international grassroots initiative aimed at doing just that.

A weeklong global celebration

Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration – September 10-16, 2017 – demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Libraries of all types–small, large, urban, rural, public, academic–are invited to participate in an effort to reintroduce themselves to their communities. To do this, organizations agree to host at least one event or campaign during Outside the Lines (OTL) that gets people thinking and talking about libraries in a new way.

As of the late July, more than 160 libraries from across the globe–from Alabama to California, Brazil to Croatia, Ghana to Australia–will take part in OTL 2017, tailoring their events to meet the needs of their specific communities. Outside the Lines is designed to be flexible so that all libraries, no matter their size or resources, can engage with their communities in a way that works for them. Creative outreach can benefit any community – OTL simply provides a framework and support to help make it happen. And you are invited to include your library and community to this weeklong celebration!

Brainstorming for a successful OTL

Figuring out how to participate in Outside the Lines might feel a little daunting at first – the possibilities are endless. So how do you figure out a creative way to celebrate the library while also representing your community? When working with libraries on developing ideas for a successful OTL, we’ve found the following brainstorming activity to be effective. With your planning team, ask the following questions:

  • What words describe your community?
  • If you were to take your library out into the community, where would you take it?
  • What would the community be surprised to learn about your library?
  • Thinking about your answers, what dream OTL event would you host? With this question, we encourage libraries to think big and take inspiration from those big ideas. Your big dream might be closer to a reality than you think, and you can always scale back as necessary.

From a battle of the bands to wine festivals and floating libraries, check out some of the ideas that formed from one such brainstorming session at the Public Library Association 2017 conference.


“Every day of OTL I met people who were delighted to find the library out and about. We learned together about our community, splendid parks, amazing nature, fascinating personal stories, and the power of play.”

Heather Ogilvie, Bay County Public Library, Florida


In 2016, Bay County Public Library participated in Outside the Lines by hosting adventure walks, potluck picnics and a “Read on the Beach” session where residents received free admission to a state park with their library card.

Last-minute ideas

For libraries interested in participating but worried about not having enough planning time, there are several ways to create an easy OTL experience. In fact, sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective. We’ve seen a number of libraries share great success in setting up shop at their local farmers’ market, on the bike trail, or at the bus stop. What about a pop-up story time at an unexpected place like the park or a local business? You don’t have to throw a parade to make an impact on your community.

Using OTL to reach your organizational goals

Is there a specific audience your library is trying to reach? Is there a community partnership you’d like to form? What about a strategic goal you hope to fulfill? Whatever your library’s current goals, Outside the Lines can help you reach them. For example, if your library is looking to promote a specific service, think about the target audience for that service. Where in the community might you reach them? Outside the Lines is a great way to experiment and try something new.


“We were surprised at the fact that we were able to accomplish so much in just a week. A lot of our campaigns and events were things we have been wanting to do for a long time, so it was nice to finally have a catalyst to do them and find out that it was all possible!”

Jenna Harte, Sterling Municipal Library, Texas, OTL 2016


Learn more about setting and achieving organizational goals using specific examples in this free webinar hosted in conjunction with the Public Library Association.

Join us next Monday at CMLE HQ for snacks and celebration!

We hope you have your calendars marked to celebrate with us next Monday, August 21st at CMLE HQ!

We are having a Back-To-School and Solar Eclipse Celebration! Stop by between 11am – 2pm for snacks, a raffle, viewing of the solar eclipse (unfortunately we will not have viewing glasses available, but we will have an alternative: pinhole projection!) and of course, fun library discussion! Come chat with us about your plans for the upcoming school year, and discuss any issues or great ideas that you may have.

Just to give you an idea of what to expect: we will have Sun Chips, Sun Maid raisins, Moon Pies, Starbursts, and cheese (because the moon is made of cheese, of course!) for our snacks, as well as some healthier options, and beverages.

We will be raffling off some neat library and book prizes, and will even have a solar system themed playlist going! (Suggestions are welcome!)

If you can’t make it between 11am – 2pm, feel free to stop by throughout the day. We will be happy to see you and we did purchase extra snacks!

Monday, August 21st
Between 11am – 2pm 
CMLE Headquarters
570 1st St. SE
St. Cloud, MN 56304

 

Linking Our Libraries Podcast: Episode 202 Instructional Design

Welcome to the second episode of Season Two of CMLE’s podcast: Linking Our Libraries!

This week our topic is Instructional Design.

A big part of the work you do in any library is to provide instruction in all kinds of things to our patrons. It shows us that no matter how broad and wonderfully diverse our profession is (we are! It’s what makes us special!), most of what we do is really similar.

No matter what kind of library, or archive, or museum, or history center you might work in – our fundamental mission is to serve our community. And one of the main ways we serve people is to instruct them in all kinds of stuff. The specifics of what the content of instruction will be in your library will depend on your materials and your community needs. But the basics of instruction are the same across all of us!

Listen to this week’s episode here, or check out our page where we have all of the resources we discuss during the episode.

Happy listening! 🙂

Book Suggestions: The Supernatural Enhancements

At CMLE Headquarters, we love books!

This is likely the most popular and most unifying statement you can possibly make when chatting with library people – but it’s true! On our weekly podcast, Linking Our Libraries, we always have a book segment so we can share some of the books we read. This is always popular with our listeners, so we are expanding that into other formats including a second podcast coming out this fall, and in some regular book suggestions here on our site.

(Books below have links to Amazon; if you follow them and buy stuff from Amazon, Jeff Bezos and his crew will donate a small percentage of your sale to CMLE! It can really help us out, so thank you! And if you want to use our Amazon link anytime you shop, it helps us out. Check it out here for all the info!)

I stayed up late last night to finish this book – I couldn’t put it down! Usually, I really like audio books; and this is available in that format. But in this case, I would recommend reading the paper copy. Much of the story is told in journals, descriptions of video recordings, codes, and other formats easier to read than to hear.

The Supernatural Enhancements, by Edgar Cantero “The mesmerizing English debut from the bestselling author of Meddling Kids—what begins as a gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt.

Months after the last of the Wells sons jumped out of his bedroom window in Axton House (incidentally forgetting to open it first), a strange couple of Europeans arrive in Virginia to take possession of the estate. A. is the 23-year-old unforeseen scion; Niamh is the mute punk teen girl he refers to as his associate or his bodyguard. Both are ready to settle into their new cushy lifestyle, and the rumors about the mansion being haunted add to their excitement. But ghosts are not in any way the deepest secret of the house.

Through journals, letters, security footage, audio recordings, and ciphers, we follow A. and Niamh as they delve into Wells’ dubious suicide, the secret society he founded and its mysterious Game —a “bourgeois pastime” of global proportions— in Edgar Cantero’s dazzling and original gothic adventure.”

 

You might also like his newer book: Meddling Kids. I listened to this one, and laughed out loud at  points while walking. For pop culture fans, like me, it was fun to read for all the nods to assorted icons.  I liked it overall; for me, it kind of trailed off  as it got closer to the end and less pop-fun. But I did still enjoy it, and if you like mysteries and stories that turn tropes on their heads – this maybe  the book for you!

Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero “With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.”

 

 

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Do you have other suggestions? We want to hear all about it in the comments section!

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.”

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