Tag Archives: CMLE Resources series

CMLE Resources: CMLE Mini Grants

CMLE is here for you with all kinds of resources and information. Each week we will share a look at another piece of that information, to help draw some attention to resources that may help you as you serve your community.


1963 MkI MiniDo you have a cool project you want to try out?
We want to help you with a Mini Grant!

CMLE will offer you up to $300 to try out a cool thing!

What does “cool” mean here?

  • It means an interesting program you want to bring to your library.
  • It means some new material you want to add to your collection.
  • It means supplies for a makerspace, or for a program, or for something else you want to try in the library.
  • Or, it may mean something else that will benefit your community, if you just had access to up to $300 more to get it done!

We want to help encourage our CMLE members to try some new things for your community members. The requirements of the Mini Grant are pretty flexible – we just want to see you try something you might not otherwise have a chance to do.

For the first half of the CMLE fiscal year (July – December), we encourage Mini Grant applications that focus on technology topics (programs, materials, supplies). We take a broad view of the definition of “technology” so feel free to be broad in your understanding of it as it relates to your library.

In the second half of the CMLE year (January – June), we encourage grants that focus on non-technology projects, materials, and programs. This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule; so again, be broad in your conception of what is possible in your library!

Preference will go to new CMLE grant applicants, and to applicants submitting only one application in a fiscal year. If you submit more than one, we may try to fund a second one at the end of the fiscal year, if any money is still available. (Please do not count on that happening though!)

To reimburse you, we need you send us your original receipts, and a discussion of the program/material/supplies that we can put up on our blog. For our purposes, we do not care whether the grant worked or was a flaming disaster – either will provide valuable for our other members as they work on their own grants!

Ready to try this out? Fill out the application below. We will fund on a rolling, competitive basis, in the above described six month chunks, until our money runs out.

FY18 CMLE Mini Grant Application

CMLE Resources: Architectural and Floorplan Design

CMLE is here for you with all kinds of resources and information. Each week we will share a look at another piece of that information, to help draw some attention to resources that may help you as you serve your community.

Architectural and Floorplan Design

This resource is still a work in progress, but we are assembling a series of materials you can use to help you design a library or to do some refurnishing.

We have some samples of library designs you can admire, because it’s always fun to see some possibilities out there! Even when your budget is much more limited, you can get some inspiration from seeing how other library choose to design their spaces.

We have a list of vendors you might check into for new furniture for your library.  One vendor ready to provide good quality library furniture is MINNCOR. “As the Minnesota Department of Corrections industry program, MINNCOR Industries maintains a delicate balance of providing works skills training to offenders and premium products to customers while maintaining financial self-sufficiency.  Receiving no state subsidies, taxpayer dollars or grants, MINNCOR runs a contemporary, cohesive, self-sufficient business operation, featuring 18 diverse product lines.” Some of our CMLE members have this furniture, and it is pretty impressive!

There are also some links to some design resources you might use for your library. We also give information from the Society of American Archivists to provide some useful information on safeguarding your collections.

Figuring out the best ways to design your library, and to provide great spaces for your community members, is an important part of any library’s work. If you have the opportunity to do some redesign; or if your community decides to redo your library, or even (shudder) to disassemble it – you can always call us to come help. We can go to meetings, we can provide expert opinions. We are always here to help our members! Being part of a multitype system is a great way to provide the best service to all our community members.


CMLE Resources: Get Started Podcasting

We hope that you have been enjoying CMLE’s library podcast Linking Our Libraries! We have so much fun sharing library training information with you and have learned a ton about the process of putting together a podcast.

So we thought we should share some of that knowledge with you! There are several great library podcasts out there in addition to ours; check out this post that lists a few of them. But what if you want to start your own? We’ve compiled a list with photos and affiliate links to Amazon (if you make any purchases through these, a small portion is donated to CMLE!) to help show you the supplies we use for our podcast. When we were first starting, we wished for a list like this to help take some of the guess work out of it!

(Note: there are definitely alternative ways to podcast, and your taste or need for equipment may be different than ours. We are not experts but felt the need to share what we have learned!)

  • Download your software. We use Audacity (it’s free!) for recording and editing and winLAME for converting the audio files into mP3 format.
  • You will need a host for your audio files, and we use Blubrry which also works with PowerPress sites for managed WordPress hosting.

Decide on your mic, and make sure you purchase any accessories needed! We use a Samson C01 Condenser Microphone and are pleased with how it works. You will also need to order an XLR cable to connect your mic to the phantom power source. Our mixer contains phantom power. Also pictured is our Samson SP01 Condenser Microphone Shockmount.


This is the way we situate our mics. They are connected to the round table in our office that allows multiple people to sit around it and be recorded. The mic stands we use are Neewer Professional Recording Stands. Another component of this picture is the pop filter. We use DragonPad Pop Filters.


Next up is the mixer that we use. You may not need one with this many capabilities, but since we want to be able to record from four mics at once, we needed a mixer with space to plug in four mics. Keep in mind that you’ll need a USB cord to connect the mixer to your computer! The mixer we use is the Behringer Xenyx 1204 USB and it contains phantom power which we need to power the mics. We definitely do not know even half of this mixer’s full capabilities but hope to continue learning more!

Then finally, this is our full setup. Please let us know if you have any questions about this process and we will answer them to the best of our ability! We are not podcasting experts but enjoy continuing to learn all the neat capabilities that our equipment can do for us!

And of course, don’t miss our weekly podcast Linking Our Libraries! We love sharing library information with you, and thank you to all our members who have been Guest Hosts on the show! 🙂

CMLE Resources: Library Visits

As part of our continuing series, walking you around our website to point out information and resources you might use, our library visits are very fun!

Yes, the visits themselves are fun. We love going to see our members, and to admire the work everyone is doing.  There are so many interesting things happening across the CMLE system, that it is always a treat to see them all!

And our mission is to share information and to help build connections across all our members in the system. We know many of you are working solo, or with only one or two other people (this describes most of our members!); and that feeling of being alone, and being the only one who does what you do, or who cares about what you care about, can be hard.

We not only really enjoy visiting our members; sharing the workings of all kinds of libraries can help everyone to feel connected. You can see things going on in other places, and you can find people who do what you do! You might get some new ideas, you might think about different types of displays, or different materials. Or, you might “just” enjoy seeing what other library people are dong!

We are steadily adding to our list of libraries visited – but we want to come see YOU! We will be visiting all our members (300+ of you!), so you could really help us out by offering up a day and time before we have to track you down. (Because, you know we WILL track you down eventually!)

And in the meantime, just enjoy looking at some very nice libraries. We are a multitype system, so our members are from all over the profession; these kinds of articles let you see that we all have much more in  common than any professional differences.

Libraries are  excellent! Let’s all visit more often!!