A group of CMLE members visited the Great River Library System’s library in St Cloud. And as you can see by the pictures, we had a great time!
Thanks to Karen for organizing this for us, and to Chris and Neil for being our gracious tour guides!!
Visiting libraries to see what is happening in other places, and connecting with other CMLE members, have been some of the top requests from people across the system. We will be making monthly group visits to libraries of all types in CMLE. Let us know when we can come visit you!!
Immediately, you can see that the staff at Great River is good at not only library work, but they are also artistic! This display of art works of all media comes with the creator’s name and branch location carefully labeled. A few things have already been sold, so you might want to dash over to check it all out!
I could tell just walking into the building that this was going to be a fun library to visit.
Check out that bison!! He’s not in the library (outside the office); but he clearly sets the tone for fun things to happen – and that carries right through to the library.
I managed to be here as they were celebrating Kindness Week – and the library was an enthusiastic participant! Librarian Amy Sparks showed me all around the library, pointing out all the interesting things she and her staff have set up. Any had just finished submitting a grant proposal, and had included a video of the library with a student who raved about the service – fantastic!
For someone who is not regularly around small kids, it’s always a treat to visit an elementary school library – you see just how much thought goes into making everything size-appropriate for the patrons! That kind of usability is important in all libraries, but in a library like this it is clearly on display and fun to see.
This library is a fun open-concept design! No walls cut them off from the rest of the school, so everything feels very open and flexible. They are recessed below the hallways around them, so there is privacy and a sense of specific place; and I love this feeling of being connected to the daily activities around them.
Continuing the idea of design making the library connect with the kid patrons, this art on the wall was just lovely. Kids could see this and be really inspired to read books – but also to just dream about great things!
In response to member requests, CMLE is going to set up a regular monthly gathering. This will be an opportunity for members from all types of libraries and from across the system to get together casually, to chat, to have lunch or dinner, and to just get a chance to talk to each other in person. (And if you want to talk about non-library things, that’s fine too! This is your chance to just hang out with library colleagues; so discuss whatever you want!)
Click to tell us what time (lunch/dinner) and day (Monday – Friday) would work best for you. Right now Wednesday dinner time is leading the voting, so be sure to chime in if that is not a good day/time for you! We anticipate these will happen monthly, and will create a schedule for the first six months of 2017 to share with you.
While you can not know your schedule in detail for the next six months, we ask that you make some predictions about days and times that you think you would be most likely to be able to join colleagues for an hour or two. We will move the location around, so people from across the system can all have a chance at a shorter drive!
Pick your day and time. And if you have suggestions on some public places to meet – think coffee, food, possibly adult beverages, and space for us to spread out – leave them below, or email them to us at email@example.com!
At CMLE, we want to provide our members with information on all kinds of issues that they may encounter in their library workplaces. And we want to be sure we have a wide variety of voices here to pass on information, experiences (good and bad!), suggestions, tips, and just general information that others could find helpful. Everyone has a story to share, experience to pass on, and ideas to contribute to make us all stronger!
We are actively soliciting for members to share their stories with us! We want to get all our CMLE members to share with each other here on our blog.
What could you write about?
a program that was fantastic, everything went smoothly, and you think other libraries could adopt
a program that was a disaster from start to finish, and you have a cautionary tale to terrify other libraries (Halloween is coming up, after all)
a program that fell somewhere between these two extremes
a database your users really like
a new technology you tried
some collection development or cataloging strategies you have developed over the years, that could make things easier/faster/more efficient for other people
a problem you are facing, where you could really use some advice from other people who have also been there
your library’s garden
your library’s pet
your library’s pet rock
quick tips to make scheduling easier
the cutest thing that happened last week
the scariest think that happened last week
the marketing plan you just wrote
your special, patented, never-fail strategy for ensuring your printers never jam! (okay – if you have this one, we DEFINITELY want it!)
Are we worried about perfection in writing up these stories? Nope!
Are we looking only for people who are amazing, perfect writers? No way!
Are we available to brainstorm with you, help with writing, and do the formatting and such to get your work posted and shared with CMLE? You bet!!
You can contribute a paragraph, a page, or longer! Not all information to be shared needs the same amount of discussion, so things are flexible here for you.
In addition to being open to almost anything you guys want to share and discuss, we are putting out a call for some specific topics. CMLE will be offering Monthly Topic themes, with blog posts and training focused all in an area that should be helpful to our members. We really want to hear from you and to share your stories, ideas, suggestions, and whatever else you have to share on our monthly topics. You can get your material ready any time, and we will hold onto it until the topical month comes up.