Tag Archives: member visit

Successful group member visit to the library at SCSU!

Last Thursday CMLE took a group of our members to tour the library at St. Cloud State University, and to meet the new library Dean, Rhonda Huisman! Rhonda and her staff were so welcoming and it was so exciting to discover all the great things happening at this academic library!



Right away we knew that this library was a fun place, from the welcoming banners on each floor to the happy snowman in an office space.

After everyone had arrived and we made introductions, we were ready to explore! Even though I attended SCSU for a few years, I knew that there were parts of the library that I didn’t know about, and was excited to discover them!

Outside the Dean’s office area is the main computer area, with lots of spacious areas for students to spread out. We heard about students who would set themselves up to work at a computer and stay so long they went through multiple meals! Whatever it takes to get those assignments finished!


It was great to see a library providing access to vending machines and a microwave for students to use. It was a busy area and hard to take a picture without including students!

Also on this floor was a great book display all about career readiness for after college. Preparing for job hunting and the workforce is an important part of college, so it was great to see some recommended reading.

We were also able to tour some of the classrooms the library has available for both librarians and faculty to use. This room is the favorite because the design allows for more collaboration. It’s easier to have discussions sitting at a circular table, plus the many whiteboards and giant screen on the wall allows for ideas to be shared easily.

The design of this library is very open and airy, and these high ceilings definitely help that feeling. We admired the architecture while students busily worked together at the long tables.

Next, we were very excited to descend into the basement, especially since we heard the rumor that it may be haunted, which always adds to the excitement.

As you can tell from the sign below, the basement is an area for quiet study. We were in awe of all the materials available down here, from microfilm, to extra large books, to rows and rows of books in compact shelving. The library very helpfully has directions for how to use the compact shelving, but they also have the Husky Fetch service that will bring students the books they request if they are unable to locate them.

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After the basement, we went up to the third floor which is also an area for quiet work. The windows are lovely, and you can look down on a lot of the library from here. It’s pretty cool!




We turned the corner to discover the archives! They had a bunch of books on display that were written by faculty, and of course I recognized a favorite former professor, so I had to take a picture. There were also very cool artifacts on display from the William M. Lindgren East Asian Art Collection.


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We continued across the third floor into the children’s area. The Education building also has children’s materials. This area was cheerful with lots of stuffed animal friends adorning the shelves.

And believe it or not, the fun didn’t end there! Check out more fun pictures from the tour below:


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Thank you so much to Rhonda for a wonderful tour, and thank you to our members that were able to attend, we always appreciate a chance to see you in person! Don’t worry if you missed this group visit, we will be setting up another one soon!


Come visit the library at SCSU with CMLE!

Thank you to everyone that voted for a date/time for our CMLE member visit to the library at SCSU! We are looking forward to touring the library on Thursday, January 11th from 3-4pm. We always love seeing the fantastic work that happens in our member libraries, and meeting the library people that are making it happen! Mary recently toured this library and was so impressed that she thought our members should have a chance to visit too!

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! 🙂

Visiting the Benton County Historical Society!


We really enjoy visiting our member libraries and archives, and had such a great visit to the Benton County Historical Society. The outside of the building is deceptively small, and we had so much fun discovering all the treasures housed inside. The mission of the Benton County Historical Society is to “preserve the past and present history for future generations.” They have tons of resources available at their location for anyone wishing to research family or area history. Thanks to donations, original books and documents, microfilm, plat maps, audio history tapes and lots more, you can explore your family’s or your community’s history!

We were lucky enough to get a tour from museum volunteer Fred, who was full of interesting and surprising information about the Benton County area.

We were able to see the main area where research is done. There’s a computer that has a database where most of the resources are cataloged for easy access. They have microfilm, old newspaper clippings, binders of family history, as well as filing cabinets full of history of the community. Continue reading Visiting the Benton County Historical Society!

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!