Book Suggestions: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

I love retellings of fairy tales, so when I heard about this book being marketed as a “feminist fantasy reimagining of Snow White” of course I was interested!

So far I’m really enjoying the book (hurrying to finish so I avoid an overdue fine!) and the setting of a chilly castle trapped in the season of winter fits perfectly with our Minnesota weather. The two main characters are strong and determined to discover their own identities despite lots of obstacles, some of them magic-related. There’s definitely a sense of something ominous coming and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
“Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.”




Share the value of libraries at our Postcard Party!

The goal behind our Postcard Parties is to share the value of libraries with legislators and other library stakeholders who may not hear enough about the incredible work that takes place in libraries. It’s up to us to let them know how important libraries are!

We are looking forward to our advocacy Postcard Party coming up on Tuesday, December 19th from 3-5pm at the Local Blend coffee shop in St. Joseph! We’ll chat, have snacks, and write out postcards to library stakeholders!

We want to make this as pain-free for you as possible, so CMLE will supply the postcards, library facts, addresses for state and federal legislators (feel free to bring your own addresses for your library’s stakeholders), and sample text of what to write on your postcard. Plus, we’ll mail all the postcards at the end!

Hope to see you there! RSVP below:

Vacation Library Visit: Evanston Public Library

We all know that visiting libraries is one of the best parts of being on a vacation, right? (It definitely is!) When employees of CMLE HQ travel, of course we visit libraries along the way!

I recently visited the Evanston Public Library, in Evanston, IL. (It’s north of Chicago, and also the home of Northwestern University.) This is a really nice library, with a ton of great programming (we featured them in an early Linking Our Libraries podcast episode).


The Book Sale room is nice and prominent! I love to visit libraries – but it’s hard to find books I love, and cannot check out. So I do always enjoy library book sales. As it’s obviously out of the question for me to leave any library without books in my hands, this gives me a way to support the library, and also have fun vacation books!

When you take a left, after coming in the front door, you enter a fantastic Children’s area! You can see the thought and effort that has been put into making this a welcoming and fun place for kids and their adults to visit. I always love to see libraries making this effort to bring people to the library! One of our important functions is to serve as places for all members of the community to gather, to enjoy themselves, and to have fun connecting with others – and it’s clear this space makes that happen!! (Yes, there are also tons of fun books; and yes – it was hard to tear myself away from them too!!)

As you enter the Children’s section, there was a special display set up. Librarian Betsy Bird (you may know her from School Library Journal, or her book podcast, or the books she writes!) made her annual section of 101 Great Books for Kids – and the books were right there to be grabbed by kids!

You can see this tree in the above photos, but it’s worth a closer look. Doesn’t it make you want to curl up and read books?? (I maintained a little dignity, and did NOT crawl into the tree to check it out…but it was a close thing!)



Continue reading Vacation Library Visit: Evanston Public Library

Come visit the library at SCSU with CMLE!

Thank you to everyone that voted for a date/time for our CMLE member visit to the library at SCSU! We are looking forward to touring the library on Thursday, January 11th from 3-4pm. We always love seeing the fantastic work that happens in our member libraries, and meeting the library people that are making it happen! Mary recently toured this library and was so impressed that she thought our members should have a chance to visit too!

Since we are a multitype system, we are always working to connect our members with each other. Even if the type of library you work in may be different, many challenges you face may be similar. And something that works for another library might just work for yours too!

So join us! These visits are casual so if you need to arrive a bit late or leave early, no problem. RSVP below, we hope you can make it! 🙂

Season Two: Bonus Episode on Stress Management

The calm after the storm - Port Lincoln - South Australia (Explored)

Just in time for the holidays, we are here with a bonus episode to our Season Two series. It’s a topic we all need now: Stress Management. Whether you are struggling with finals, trying to wrap up paperwork before the end of the year, or just working to get that darn snow shoveled – we understand! (We’re in Minnesota; we really understand the snow!) So this podcast will help us all to just take a break, to have a moment to relax, and to gather some tools for you to work on your own stress management skills.

Check out our full information page for all the ideas!

We have talked about stress management in prior episodes. So check out our Season One episode 12 Stress in Libraries, and Season Two episode 206 on Conflict Management.

We are talking about this now, because stress happens all the time, from all kinds of reasons; but the combination of end of semester and all the holidays at this time of the year can really make stress worse. Even when you are enjoying your work – it can get stressful! (We love working at CMLE, but vividly remember last December, when we rebuilt our website despite having no website experience. There was a totally dejected trip to Starbucks for revitalizing beverages at one point, just to keep it all moving forward. Things got better after that!)

Stress happens in the workplace. It does not matter how great things are, work is stressful. But we do not have to be passive victims of the stress-fest that happens at the end of the year! Instead, today let’s think about some strategies you can use to reduce the bad effects stress can have on you. (Sorry – we can’t fix everything! Stress will still happen after this episode. But you will be better equipped to handle it.)

Stress is a common problem in many LIS workplaces. It seems disloyal to admit this, to confess that there are parts of our jobs that are less than shiny and happy, that we get stressed and unhappy and burned out. But I will tell you now: stress is part of work. Stress can be hard to discuss. Nobody wants to look weak or incompetent. And nobody wants point out problems that may make them or the organization look bad. It’s okay to acknowledge that you are stressed and unhappy. It’s okay to not want to go to work some days. It’s okay for you to wish you had a job where you could huddle in a backroom without any patrons asking for things, or managers who tell you to do dumb or contradictory things, or all the other things that make your job hard.

It’s okay.

Just acknowledge that you are stressed, that your co-workers are stressed, your staff – everyone.

Think about addressing stress on an individual level, and on an organizational level.

Want to listen to an episode?

  1. You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed:
  2. Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program?  We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

We support libraries!