GRRL’s Online Catalog Just Got Better!

Image retrieved online from GRRL. 11/18/13
Image retrieved online from GRRL 11/18/13.

A recent press release shared an exciting new development in our region. In addition to the expected bibliographic data we see in our GRRL search results, that information is now fortified with a service called NoveList Select!

According to the press release….” It makes book searches fun by providing recommendations readers will see as they browse online. For example, readers who look for Catching Fireby Suzanne Collins will not only see that the library owns multiple copies, but also that it is the second book in a series: the Hunger Games trilogy. They will also see covers of other series and other books recommended for readers of Catching Fire. Additional enhancements include listings for recommended authors, reader ratings and reviews, a link to the NoveList website, and extras from NoveList in the form of award winner listings and booktalk links.

NoveList Select turns a static catalog into a place for book discovery. The recommendations are created by a large team of experts at NoveList including numerous professional librarians. “Traditionally, readers would speak with their local librarian to get book recommendations,” said Jake Grussing, the library’s associate director for collection development. “That reader’s advisory still takes place, but large numbers of patrons now visit us online, and the addition of NoveList Select makes it possible for us to provide an equivalent kind of service to the online browser.”

Great River Regional Library’s website address is GRRL provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.

CMLE Featured Service: Scholarships


Are professional development funds tight in your work setting? Did you know that CMLE offers scholarships of up to $200 per fiscal year per individual for staff affiliated with  any type of  library in Aitkin, Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties in Central Minnesota? The scholarships can be used to attend workshops, conferences, library meetings or task forces, and other library-related activities to promote professional development. CMLE scholarships also come in handy in settings that require your employer to pay for a “sub” while you are off enhancing your library skill sets. Past recipients of the scholarship program were able to use CMLE scholarships towards attendance at national library conferences such as ISTE, AASL, and ALA. Locally, members received scholarships for attending the Children’s Literature Workshop in St. Cloud, the TIES conference in the Twin Cities, the Library Technology Conference at Macalaster College, and for annual MEMO and MLA conferences too. Keep watching the Upcoming Events portion of our Weekly Review message for upcoming opportunities.

We all owe it to ourselves to keep our skill sets sharp. Confidence and engagement often result when we  take time to invest in ourselves. CMLE would like to support you to that end. For all of the details and to apply for a scholarship, go to


Distance Learning: The Next Steps

Image by Nazzen. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.
Image by Nazzen. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

Distance learning is often marketed as a way to meet diverse educational needs by offering course flexibility, accessibility, and program diversity. In an infographic, Career Graphics illustrates the evolution of distance learning starting as early as 1728; emphasizing key factors which influenced its transformation to what we know it as today. Some of these elements include the first correspondence courses and the introduction of new technologies such as the radio, television and internet.

In an article by Edudemic, author Nina Hassing eludes to the number of times employees change career paths as an important variable in the growing need to apply broader, analytical thinking skills. She stated, “Memorizing facts will have a much lower value, while utilizing information for analysis and decision making will be a critical skill for educational and professional advancement.  This is used as the backdrop to discuss why the concept of distance learning needs to evolve. Hassing lists 9 ways in which this type of learning will continue to grow, why change is needed and her predictions for the future of distance education. Click here to read the full article, Why (And How) Distance Learning Needs to Change (August 2013.)

Registration: Reaching Reluctant Readers

Registration is now open!

CMLE is excited to offer our first reluctant reader event next month! In September, CMLE talked about reluctant readers in a popular post titled, Books & Boys. Then after attending this year’s MLA conference session with Patrick Jones in October, we knew our region would benefit from his message.

This Minneapolis based author, and former librarian, specializes in reaching reluctant readers and teens. As an American Library Association/Scholastic Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Jones will identify leading causes as to why young readers disengage. During this event, he will provide a framework to help us understand what reluctant readers look for including, tempting plot lines, enticing characters  and specific book design elements. Jones will leave participants with best practices to recapture a reluctant reader(s.) We hope you can join us!

Patrick Jones. Image Retrieved Online 11/7/13.
Patrick Jones.
Image Retrieved Online 11/7/13.

Event: Reaching Reluctant Readers
Date: December 6th, 2013
Time: 1:00-4:00 P.M.
Location: Stearns History Museum
Registration: Link (light refreshments will be made available)

Note: We are asking attendees to bring at least one, time honored and tested reluctant reader book to this event. When registering, you will be asked for the title (s) and author (s) of at least one book, but, the form will accommodate up to three of your favorite  picks. CMLE would like to compile a  list of these books to share as a takeaway from this event! Time will be allotted for Patrick to sign copies of his book. 

CSB/SJU Librarians Featured in New Campaign

Image by CSB/SJU featuring Librarian, David Malone.
Image by CSB/SJU featuring Librarian, David Malone.

Last October,  the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University (CSB/SJU) launched a campaign featuring librarians in Halloween-type costumes sporting the slogan, “Librarians aren’t scary – they’re scary good at research.” So this year, the Marketing Committee was challenged to develop another campaign to promote awareness of Library/Media/Archives to advance a greater recognition of the value of these services appealing to a broader audience.   Kathy Parker, Director of Libraries, Media, and Archives at CSB/SJU said, “This specific campaign was designed to help make the librarians more approachable in the eyes of our students –to show them we have a sense of humor and maybe aren’t as stuffy as librarian stereotypes can suggest.”

Eight images were printed as posters and placed throughout campus.  The digital versions of these posters have appeared in the CSB/SJU’s social media, including Facebook and Twitter (@csbsjulibraries).  In addition, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has also featured these funny, targeted posters  (link 1, link 2.)

What have/can you do to get people talking about your library?

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