Tag Archives: member visit

A visit to St. Cloud Christian School library

I took a recent visit to the St. Cloud Christian School library – and it was so nice!

This is a small school, and there was a strong sense of community here, and you could see that not only in the library but also across the entire school.


This room is the current Board room, but used to be the library! All the material had to be transported up to the new library location, where they have much more space available. Thinking about expanding library needs is always valuable, and so good to see in a parent organization.


The tech lab is nicely outfitted with laptops for students. Having this room connected to the library, and a significant part of it, means students are connected to information in paper and  digital formats – both important for their skill development.

Also in the tech lab are the YA novels.  Like all school libraries working with a broad range of student ages and experience levels, thinking about ways to share books in an age-appropriate, or useful, way is part of the process of designing the book placement.


And I just loved this! As is true in most libraries, space and access are at a premium. These bookshelves hold books for the younger patrons, and used to be turned on their sides. But you can just imagine the chaos when excited young patrons start pushing books out of the way to get to their very favorite one! So they flipped the shelf over, and now all the kids can reach the books, and they stay (reasonably) organized! Libraries are great places for being innovative, and figuring out how to serve our community members in great ways.

Older patrons have books and materials on more standard book shelves, including the photo on the right filled with DVDs!


The librarian in me loves schedules; so I was possibly overly excited to see the nicely organized schedule!



You can get a good perspective on the entire library here, and it was a little tough to get a shot without the enthusiastic patrons using the library!


I love Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys, books – so this was very fun to see!! (I may have gushed with happiness here just a bit.) I grew up reading these yellow and blue covered versions of the books – and of course I watched every episode of the TV show!

(For you unfortunate souls not old enough to remember the 1970s, watching The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries show was so exciting! Check out the opening theme song, and feel the scary chills! There was not enough attention on Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin); but Shaun Cassidy (playing Joe Hardy) was hitting as a major hottie and music star – on the cover of many Dynamite magazine covers! So. Much. Feathered. Hair!)

It’s always good to see community involvement in any library – and student/patron created art is such a great sign of library interest! This technology art hanging on the library wall is both eye-catching, and shows off the future directions of the library and the patrons in it!



And they even have the basic library features of a reference desk, and a new book display!! This library may be small, but is mighty in providing service to its community!

Visiting the Stearns History Museum!

We always enjoy visits to our CMLE members, and this visit was extra interesting! One of our members that is not a typical library is the Stearns History Museum. The Museum has an extensive archive and we were lucky enough to be shown around by archivist Jessie Storlien.

As you can see from these photos, she showed us a ton of cool information, and as a Stearns County native myself, I really appreciated seeing all the history available about this area. And it’s all available to the public, although if you have any questions or need to see the archives, the experts like Jessie are available to assist you. Other archivists at the Museum include Steve Penick, John Decker, and Heidi Heller.

As you can see from the photos above, there are all sorts of different resources available to the public. You can find your family history (if you are from this area you will see some familiar names!), scroll through microfilm, or check out an exhibition about the first people to ever live in Stearns County. Do you live on a family farm? Check out your eligibility for the Century Farms program! And one of St. Cloud’s early newspapers, Der Nordstern, is in German so you may want to keep your Google Translate handy!

It was exciting to see the archives where additional resources are kept, including photographs, oral histories, the Myron Hall collection, and even more maps! It was easy to see that there was a lot of work being done to make sure historical documents are preserved in a way that will allow them to be accessed in the future. We got to learn about some of the challenges that face archivists, like rapidly changing technology and processing donated materials.

On our way out, we stopped to visit the room for kids, which had some historical photos of children from Stearns County! We got to admire some beautiful quilts made by artists from the area, and of course enjoyed the grounds outside the museum.

If you have any interest in local or family history, I’d definitely recommend taking advantage of the Stearns History Museum! Keep in mind that the museum is open Monday –  Friday 10 AM – 5 PM,  and Saturdays too, from 10AM – 4 PM!

A huge thank you to Jessie for a fantastic tour and for sharing all of her knowledge!

A Trip to the Zimmerman High School and Middle School Library

Visiting our member libraries is always one of the most fun things we do at CMLE Headquarters! We love to see what you guys are doing, and to ooohhh and aaaahhh over all your materials, services, and the general look and feel of your libraries. We plan to visit each of our 300+ members, so if we have not been to your library yet, help us out by suggesting a day or two that will be good for your schedule! These are the articles most read by our community, and we are all looking forward to learning more about your library.

This visit was to the Zimmerman High School media center; and you can just tell from the beginning of the library that this will be a nice place! It’s so welcoming, and I love the clear identification – it’s the librarian in me, but that kind of detail (user friendly!) helps libraries connect to their communities.

Many of our member libraries have maker-spaces, with all sorts of different projects and tools. I love the look of this one, with the bright and cheerful colors leading your eye right to the good stuff! The quotes on the wall also help to establish this as a place that is going to be fun, and where users are going to feel welcome – always great for libraries!

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A Trip to the Elk River High School Library!

This was another fun school library to visit! It’s always great to visit our members: most of the services and materials are similar across all our libraries, but every library has a few interesting individual features!

Right at the front door was one of the individual features of this library: a Little Free Library, with books available to everyone! I’m such a fan of the Little Free Libraries, and it was so fun to see it here!

You can see how nice the desk area is, with displays, handouts, and all sorts of things to look at as patrons are processed.

Thinking about those patrons is always a good idea, and this is (hopefully!) a fantastic idea for summer reading! The library books can be checked out for the entire summer now – giving students a great opportunity to get some fun (or even educational!) reading done over the summer!! This is the first year they are trying this idea; so everyone cross your fingers that it is a big success!


Continue reading A Trip to the Elk River High School Library!