Tag Archives: CMLE Scholarship

Report from TIES Conference: Jason Menth

This is a guest post from Jason Menth, STEM Integrationist and Culturally Responsive Teaching Coach at Talahi Community School. Need a scholarship to attend a conference or participate in Professional Development? Apply today! 

I can’t thank CMLE enough for the opportunity to attend and present at the TIES conference in Minneapolis. TIES is an educational technology conference where educators all around our nation come together to connect, develop, and share ideas to advance our students. The theme this year was “What’s Your Story?” With two powerful and impactful keynote speeches from Ken Shelton and Jennie Magiera, I got a new fire to share the story of our students. Over half of the students at Talahi are English language learners and have emigrated from other countries. With our amazing students we have such rich stories at our fingertips to share with our school and community. Educators also understand how a child’s upbringing impacts their experience at school both academically and socially. Being in the role as STEM Integrationist I have the resources to bring these stories to life while also teaching lessons on public speaking, video production, and the purpose of building community.

I also had the chance to present how we incorporate STEM activities in the classroom. My presentation took place in the “playground” area of the conference. This is a place where presenters bring their gadgets and resources they use at school for others to experience and hear how they are implemented. I was very busy with interested professionals and had a chance to create new connections, share our resources, and pick up a few new activities to try. I could go on and on but to say the least this is my favorite conference to attend because of the personality of the conference. The environment was conducive to learning, networking, and sharing knowledge. Most presenters are from our home state and understand the demographic of our schools. I know my students will feel the immediate impact of my new knowledge.

Report from TIES conference: Ryan Hiltner

This is a guest post from Ryan Hiltner, Instructional Technology Specialist at Sartell High School. Need a scholarship to attend a conference or participate in Professional Development? Apply today! 

Attending any conference should help a person to build on previous knowledge and to learn new strategies and techniques. The TIES conference did that and more for me, I was able to realize that some of the implementations we do here are valid as well as having a plethora of new and expansive knowledge available.

I attended sessions on a variety of topics including Google applications, substitute folders, and expanding professional development and many more. The theme of the conference was “What’s My Story” and the two keynote speakers hit on just that. They focused on their stories while tying in the growing media presence that is available to us. While that social media aspect of school can be a scary world for students it is also a powerful medium for them to share their visions and their work with the world.

The biggest take away that I had at the conference is that we should be doing more on demand and online professional development. There are school districts that are much larger than ours that are having their staff go through on demand professional development instead of a day off in the building professional development. This allows the teachers to differentiate more, a concept that we hope is happening for students as well, which in turn makes the time more meaningful and in line with the teachers needs. This is a topic that I plan to try to pursue more in the coming weeks and years so that we can build a system of professional development that is teacher centered.

I would like to thank you for supporting me and helping me to attend this two day conference. I enjoy all of the learning that took place and will implement many of the techniques I learned with the teachers and staff I work with.

Thank you,

Ryan Hiltner

CMLE Scholarship: MLA 2017

This guest post was written by Violet Fox, Metadata Librarian at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.

The theme for the 2017 Minnesota Library Association’s Annual Conference was “Radical Librarianship,” and I couldn’t have been more excited! I was excited to hear from library workers not only about the great things that libraries do for our users, but also how we as a profession should strive to recognize and address our shortcomings.

I was delighted to be able to present alongside some of my favorite library folks: Hannah Buckland (Leech Lake Tribal College), Tina Gross (St. Cloud State University), and Jessica Schomberg (Minnesota State University, Mankato). In our session, we talked about how centralization in cataloging often prevents libraries from responding flexibly to the needs of their users, and encouraged all librarians to argue for the value of local control in our standards and vocabularies in order to provide respectful and responsive metadata.

A number of MLA 2017 presentations gave me ample material to reflect on. Standouts included Safiya Umoja Noble’s session on how increasing reliance on opaque algorithms results in upholding societal inequity and oppression, as well as an interesting session from librarians at Dakota County Library (Christie Schultz and Lori Veldhuis) on their valuable project to make their world language collection more accessible and attractive to patrons.

Alhough I don’t do usability testing or user surveying in my job, the most exciting session I attended was “UX is Social Change: the Feminist Impact of User Experience Work” by librarians at Metropolitan State University (Christine Larson, Jennifer DeJonghe) and Hennepin County Library (Amy Luedtke, Tony Hirt). The presenters talked about how they use feminist principles within their work, in part by centering patron experiences and recognizing that patrons have knowledge and experience that we don’t. They also discussed their efforts to recruit UX participants intentionally, and acknowledged that it can be uncomfortable to have one’s design ideas critiqued. I very much appreciated the presenters’ unapologetic embrace of “disciplined empathy” in their work, and their presentation encouraged me to find ways to do the same in my own day-to-day work.

I’m grateful for CMLE’s support to attend MLA 2017 and I’d like to encourage Minnesota library colleagues to attend and present at next year’s conference!

Do you want to attend a conference or take part in some other professional development? Apply for a scholarship from CMLE today!

CMLE Scholarship: Digipalooza!


This is a guest post written by Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian at East Central Regional Library Cambridge. Do you need a scholarship to attend a conference? Check out our Scholarships page!

In early August, I attended the OverDrive Digipalooza Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was an exciting conference, because it managed to be both inspiring and future-focused and practical and applicable to current workflows, in equal measure. OverDrive staff and presenters were energetic, innovative, and happy to share their love of literacy, libraries, OverDrive, and Cleveland with all attendees.

A common theme throughout the conference was that building digital collections is not all about selection, but equally about what we do with what we select and the mantra: if you build it, they will come. The most immediate takeaway that I applied to my workflow immediately as a result was a hack shared by Mike Hawkins from Sno-Isle Libraries for turning OverDrive Resource Center lists into Curated Collections.  Curated collections help keep your OverDrive front page fresh, which in turn keeps your users coming back and happy.   Any trick to simplify this process and encourage librarians to create Curated Collections more frequently is a win!

The hack:  Curate from an OverDrive Recommended List

OverDrive provides a collection of lists curated by their Collection Development librarians in OverDrive Resource Center. Any of these lists can be converted to curation mode, but it requires a hack of the URL.

  1. Find and click on a list in OverDrive Resource Center that you would like to curate on your OverDrive site.
  2. Select the OneCopyOneUserAndMeteredAccess portion of the URL in the address bar.
  3. Replace OneCopyOneUserAndMeteredAccess with Curate in the address bar and hit Enter.
  4. From there the list can be curated as outlined in the How To Create a Curated Collection instructions.  

Other curation tips include: change the display settings to “Show all, but available first” so that the first items your users see are immediately available for checkout and developing collections around community events. Ultimately, the goal is to have patrons leave our websites having borrowed something.  Happy customers also leads to happy librarians!

The inspirational side of the coin included reflecting on Cuyahoga County Public Library’s mission: reading, lifelong learning, and community.  If only all of our mission statements were as succinct! Looking towards the future also included the OverDrive project roadmap with the new Libby app and forthcoming features (including getting a library card instantly in the app), magazines soon being available in OverDrive, the availability of the cost per circ model, and OverDrive’s new status as a Certified B Corp.  

Other great information included collection development, social media marketing, train the trainer, using data, outreach, and Reader’s Advisory. Plus, we were lucky enough to see a live recording of the Professional Book Nerds podcast with author Kelly Corrigan.  The video is on OverDrive’s Facebook page; I highly recommend you check it out.

At the end of the conference, I left feeling inspired to get back to work and do my part in Creating Reading Happiness!

Digipalooza fun fact: 57% of people said that the place they listen to audiobooks most is relaxing at home.

Graphic Recordings from the Sessions:

CMLE Resources: Take advantage of CMLE Scholarships!

Each week, we will draw your attention to one of the many resources available to you from CMLE Headquarters. Our mission is to help build connections between members, across all types of libraries. We exist to share information across libraries (and archives, and museums, and history centers) – and we are always looking for more ways to make that happen!

One of the ways in which we encourage creating connections is by offering scholarships for professional development opportunities. And there are so many options out there for library people! We want to make sure all of our members get a chance to participate, whether it’s taking a webinar or attending a conference. Since we know money is often tight in libraries, CMLE has scholarships available to help fund your continuing learning and professional programs! And starting this year, you can apply for up to $300 to help with your expenses!

Some quick guidelines:

  1. You can apply for up to $300 in each CMLE fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  2. We need the application before the event, to approve it.
  3. You must be an employee or Board member of a CMLE member library. Preference will be given to first-time scholarship requests.

Find the rest of the guidelines here, along with the FY18 CMLE Scholarship Application.

If you are looking for professional development opportunities, make sure to keep an eye on our Continuing Education calendar which we update frequently! Or check out sites like TIES, ALA’s webinarsLibrary Juice, AASL’s eAcademy, and ACRL’s online learning page.