Tag Archives: CMLE Library visit

Visit to the Albany High School Library!

We were so excited to get a tour of the newly redone library and learning commons at the Albany High School! Construction is still taking place around other parts of the school, but the library was bright and inviting, with lots of exciting things happening there! Thank you to media specialist Aileen Swenson for a fantastic tour!

Before you enter the media center is a large space called the Learning Commons. There are several different layouts of tables, chairs, and space to study, collaborate, or just hang out for a few minutes with a good book! We saw lots of students taking advantage of this useful space.


In one of the rooms right off of the Learning Commons is a classroom that media specialist Aileen uses to teach important information literacy and digital citizenship skills.




To your right when you enter the media center are some cool benches strategically placed near the periodicals. Aileen shared that the art department students are working on some special installations that will soon decorate this part of the library! We love to see art, especially student art, in libraries, so we are excited to see what is created.

Also placed right in the middle of the action is this display of New Releases! They have a great selection, and I recognized several titles from my own TBR list! Aileen said they purposefully place this display in the busier part of the library so that if students are just passing through the library heading someplace else, maybe a book will catch their eye and they’ll check it out!

You may notice those enclosed work areas with glass windows. Students who are doing group work can use those spaces to really focus on their projects without disturbing other library users.

We loved finding the festive art installations scattered around the library. This guy is doing some holiday reading outside the group work areas!





In the front of the library is the always important reference desk! You can see there is lots going on here, and it was great to meet some of the other library workers.

We love seeing libraries with a sense of humor, so these book return bins made us happy. Plus, cats and libraries just go together!

The school recently made a switch to include the 6th grade in their facility, so the library is working to accommodate the new students and their reading interests.

One way the library is making an effort to be welcoming to their younger students is by placing their book options in an easy to find spot. This row of shelves (easy to rearrange, thanks to the wheels!) is targeted  towards the middle school readers. We love the holiday decorations too!

And of course books are wonderful to see, but it’s also really exciting to hear about the programs happening in school libraries! Albany High School has a Tech Club, led by another library worker, where kids learn to fix Chromebooks and do other technology – oriented activities. We also learned about the Come Alive book groups and got to admire shirts from past years. There is a middle school group and a high school group, and it’s great to hear about all the kids that gather to share their enjoyment of books!

A few more cool aspects of this library include this puzzle table, where students can come work on the puzzle in the morning before school, or during some free time. On the back wall of the room you’ll notice a screen that shows school news, like activity schedules and more! There’s also a room where students or teachers can communicate with other school locations, which is pretty cool.

As library fans, we were so pleased to see all the books available for students. This gentleman is browsing the nonfiction section.





We also were excited to see their growing selection of graphic novels! If you need some suggestions for great graphic novels, check out our podcast episode about the genre.

We had such a great time visiting the Albany High School Library! It’s really encouraging to hear about the students that enjoy using the library’s resources, or who come to high school already knowing about the importance of using proper citations. Have we been to visit your library yet? We want to come admire your space!

Let’s go!! Group visit to SCSU Library!

We know some of you have already been to this library, or maybe you even went to school here. But libraries grow and change – so it’s great to see what is going on, and to have a chance to admire the great work they are doing here!

I had my first visit to this library recently, and it was so neat I knew other people would want to see their resources, layout, and materials. So this is the next location in our group visit series!!

Thursday, January 11 from 3:00 to 4:00

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! 🙂

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

Let’s do a CMLE Group Visit to SCSU’s Library!

We always have fun during group visits to member libraries, and we think a visit to SCSU’s library would be both fun and valuable!

Being able to tour a member library can give you some inspiration and ideas for your own library, and introduce you to other members in the CMLE system. Plus, you will get a chance to meet the new library Dean!

Let’s narrow down some dates to see what will work best for people who want to attend. Right now we are thinking late December, after the semester ends, or early January before everything gets moving too fast. Give us some idea of your preferences, and we can set up a date for a visit.

Please vote! Looking forward to seeing you!

Visiting the Sauk Rapids – Rice Middle School Library!

It is always so fun to visit our members – and when they have cool libraries it’s even more fun! Visiting this school was fun, and there were all kinds of neat services and materials available for their community members. Thanks to Cindy Heideman, the Technology Integration Media specialist in this library for showing me around!

Of course, we are a profession dedicated to sharing information; and all of that means we use all kinds of formats to accomplish that. We are most known for our paper books – and that is a lovely format to use in any library! These books are not only nicely arranged, but also set off by the inspirational artwork above the shelves. Additionally, on the shelf closer to us in this photo, you can see puzzles and games – exactly the kind of material a library serving young people should be sharing!

Turning the other way, you see the rest of the library and all the great resources. I just love this locker system for assorted projects and materials! Making materials not only easily accessible, but displayed in an attractive way, really increases their use. The whole point to a library is to share material with our community members; and you can see the nice job they are doing with that here! Continue reading Visiting the Sauk Rapids – Rice Middle School Library!