Tag Archives: Minnesota

Share your ideas on ESSA in Minnesota!

Save the date! Public Conversation on Well-Rounded Education Please join us Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. at Brooklyn Center High School for a public conversation on well-rounded education with Commissioner Cassellius.

Ensuring all students have access to a well-rounded education is a core principle of the Every Student Succeeds Act. While the law gives us a starting point, we look forward to continuing to engage with parents, educators and students as we shape a vision for what a well-rounded education means in Minnesota. In order to understand what Minnesotans want to see in our schools, we need to hear from you.

Join Commissioner Cassellius for a conversation around these three questions:

1. Thinking about a well-rounded education, what do I want to see change about the student experience of school?

2. Based on that answer, what do I want to see change about the actions of adults closest to the student?

3. Based on both previous answers, what do I want to see change about system actions and policies that affect student experiences and adult actions?

Please register and find more information on the ESSA page of the MDE website: education.state.mn.us/MDE/ESSA

Continue reading Share your ideas on ESSA in Minnesota!

Minnesotan winner of Newbery Award!

This week it was announced that Minnesota author Kelly Barnhill won the Newbery Medal for her book The Girl Who Drank The Moon.

This article from the St. Cloud Times describes the plot of the book, in which a village fears a witch that lives in the nearby woods and to keep her happy (so they think) they bring a newborn baby to her forest each year. But the witch is actually good, and brings the babies to be with families on the other side of the woods.

In the article, Barnhill shares how the book can easily translate to real life situations for her young readers: “This notion of rumor spreading and of getting the wrong idea about a person,” she said, “that’s like real stuff for these kids, that’s what their life is like right now.” Barnhill is a teacher in Minneapolis for a nonprofit arts organization, and really enjoys interacting with the kids that read her books, and hearing how they interpret the story.

Fox Animation has acquired the rights to The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Barnhill looks forward to the interpretation into film.

You can read about another of Barnhill’s books, The Witch’s Boy, in this article from MPR, and keep an eye out for her next novel, The Sugar House, which should be released next year.





Books in the Spotlight: January

Each month CMLE will highlight three books that have some factor in common. We hope they will give you ideas for your collection, or influence an activity, lesson plan, or display. 

This month, we are thinking about camping – and that includes camping in the winter (we’re not scared of a little cold in Minnesota)! It’s always fun to take outdoor adventures, and why not pack a good book or two along with your gear? Read on for some reading suggestions both about camping and also to take along on your adventures:

Continue reading Books in the Spotlight: January

Library therapy dogs help kids with reading

office dogs
Good listeners!

The stereotypical animal that is often associated with libraries (and librarians!) is the cat. And here at CMLE, we definitely love cats. But dogs can be even more helpful when it comes to libraries, and reading in general, especially when it comes to teaching literacy to kids.

This adorable Tweet sparked our curiosity. Just how much do dogs help kids with their reading skills? We also wondered where else in our area might dogs be interacting with kids, students, books, and libraries?

First, we discovered just how helpful dogs can be when it comes to assisting kids with their reading skills. This article from Public Libraries Online shares research done that states, “Children who read to dogs improved their own reading skills in comparison to children who did not read to dogs, based on the results of the Oral Text Reading for Comprehension Test” and even “reported a greater enjoyment of reading than children who did not read to dogs.” When kids are able to practice their reading skills out loud to a patient, non-judgmental listener (like a dog!) their reading improves, and just as importantly, their love of reading grows!

The organization Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) Minnesota works with “registered therapy animals who volunteer with their handler as a team, going to schools, libraries, and many other settings as reading companions for children” in order to help kids with their literacy and communication skills. Their site explains ways you can help the organization, and even how to become a READ team with your dog!

For real-life inspiration, we found a few instances of dogs and kids enjoying reading together. This article from MN Women’s Press tells the story of Lesa Hobright-Turner and her READ dog, Murphy, and their impact on a little girl with ADHD. The Hibbing Daily Tribune featured this article about kids reading with dogs at Keewatin Elementary school. The Rochester Public Library has the program “Sit, Stay, Read” that takes place the fourth Monday of the month from September – November. Finally, the Two Harbor’s Public Library has a program “Read to a Dog” that takes place on Fridays, featuring Lucy the dog: lucy-reading-dog

We’re sure there are more programs out there, and would love to hear about them! Do you know of, or participate in, any activity that features animals helping kids with their reading? Let us know!






Minnesota State Library Services updates

MDE logo retrieved online 12/17/13..

One of the great things about being part of a profession is knowing you are never alone! Even if you are a solo librarian, you are part of a regional system (hello to all our CMLE members!); you are part of the services offered by our state, and you are part of a larger national network of libraries. All of these networks exist to help libraries to provide services and information – so take advantage of their offerings whenever possible. (Maybe a new slogan could be: Make Your Library Life Easier – Rely On Your Network!)

If you have not browsed through the offerings from the State Library Services lately, this is a great opportunity to check on the things they do, programs offered, and services that may be helpful to you and your library work!

Below are the updates, from their newsletter. You can subscribe yourself; or just stay tuned to our CMLE site, and we will continue to bring you this information.

LSTA Grant Awards Announced
As a result of our most recent LSTA grant round, we awarded twelve grants for innovative projects with diverse beneficiaries. The grant-funded projects are wide-ranging and include the creation of programs and resources to strengthen families affected by incarceration, the expansion of a science fair initiative that connects third- and fourth-graders with area STEM professionals, and the development of creative in- and out-of-school-time digital learning opportunities. The grant abstracts are located on the LSTA web page. Please contact Jackie Blagsvedt (651-582-8805) for more information.

Provide a Shortcut to Social Security Services – Webinar
State Library Services and the Social Security Administration’s St. Paul office are presenting a webinar introducing libraries to SSA Express. This program gives people easy access to their most requested services, such as replacement SSN cards and estimating retirement benefits. The webinar will cover how to install a secure shortcut on public computers and also how to provide access via your library’s website. We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, October 4 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Register today, and then attend the webinar on October 4. For more information, please contactEmily Kissane (651-582-8508).

Announcing Playdates for Educators (Of All Sorts)
The Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas is hosting monthly, free playdates for educators, artists, and makers who want to discuss, share, and try out new ways of bringing joy and playful learning to students. Fall playdates will be held on Wednesday, September 21, October 26, November 30 and December 14 from 7-9 p.m. in the makerspace on the first floor of the University of St. Thomas Anderson Student Center at 2115 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. Each session will include a hands-on project led by Playful Learning Lab students, as well as ample time for discussion and networking. Please email Annmarie Thomas to RSVP.

Is Your Library Retro Chic?
We thought library due-date stamps like catalog cards and book pockets were a thing of the past. But if your library is retro by design or necessity, the Humboldt County Library in Winnemucca, Nevada, is interested in learning if you are stamping materials with the due date at check out. If you would like to add your historical or progressive practices to their data collection, please submit this very short, four-question survey.

Connect with State Library Services at the MLA Conference
We’ll be at the MLA Conference right alongside you—presenting sessions, attending section meetings and conference sessions, and looking forward to chatting with you. Please check out the following sessions our talented staff is presenting. We hope to see you at the conference!

Partnerships to Improve Digital Equity in Tribal Communities
Thursday, September 29, 10:55-11:55 a.m.
Co-presented by Jen Nelson and Hannah Buckland
Whether offering iPad workshops to local middle schoolers, planning a community-wide workforce development project, or coordinating opportunities for adult learners, libraries are active in improving digital equity across Minnesota. Tribal libraries in particular provide broadband connections and technology services to communities deeply impacted by Minnesota’s digital divide. Tribal libraries are well poised to bring about positive change even though limited budgets, staffing constraints, and geographic isolation often hinder the services these libraries can provide. To help bridge this resource gap, partnerships between tribal libraries and like-minded organizations like State Library Services, Adult Basic Education, and local governments are necessary. Join us to learn more about partnering to reduce access disparities and help us move digital equity in tribal communities forward.

Tax Resources for Minnesota Libraries
Thursday, September 29, 10:55-11:55 a.m.
Co-presented by Emily Kissane, Sarah Bjorklund and Chris Anning
The 2017 tax season will be upon us before we know it! This session will give libraries the latest department updates and important tax information so they can point patrons to the best information and resources available. The session will be facilitated by State Library Services and will feature presenters from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The session will cover:
– Minnesota Department of Revenue updates
– Common Minnesota credits
– Important tax dates
– Free tax preparation sites
– Helpful resources
– Tax Research Library
…and plenty of time for questions and answers.

Believe It. Build It. This Book Can Help You Offer Amazing Programs for Youth at Your Library
Thursday, September 29, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Co-presented by Jen Verbrugge and Eric Billiet
Out-of-school time programming is growing in libraries by leaps and bounds! At last, Minnesota has a blueprint to help you offer more effective afterschool and summer programs for youth. Believe It. Build It. is a guidebook that brings together librarians, youth workers and afterschool care providers around a common language and research-based practices. Learn about building quality into your programs from the out-of-school time experts who are part of Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s afterschool network.

State Library Services On-Demand!
Friday, September 30, 8:50-9:50 a.m.
Co-presented by all available State Library Services staff
Are you interested in getting one-on-one answers about LSTA and Construction grants, running customized reports using public library annual survey data, services offered from the Braille and Talking Book Library, or statewide youth services initiatives from the State Library staff? If so, come to this walk-in “reference” desk and consult with the librarians from State Library Services. We will answer your questions on the spot or get back to you–whatever it takes to answer your queries.

Begin Your Love Affair with Data: Evaluating Programs = Finding Success
Friday, September 30, 8:50-9:50 a.m.
Co-presented by Jen Verbrugge and Eric Billiet
Are you offering awesome programs for tweens and teens, but ending up with empty meeting rooms? Believe it or not, looking at the types of data you collect and why you collect it can help you meaningfully connect with more kids through your library programs. This session will help you begin an evolution from simply doing evaluation to being evaluative–and reaping the benefits through improved relationships with young people and increased youth program attendance.

State Library Services: Moving Ahead to 2022
Friday, September 30, 10:55-11:55 a.m.
Presented by Jen Nelson
In 2017, State Library Services is looking ahead to a new Library Services and Technology Act Five Year plan. The plan will support the ongoing efforts of Minnesota’s libraries to positively impact their communities from 2018 through 2022. Please join us and share your thoughts on trends and directions for library services in the coming years. Come prepared for a wide-ranging conversation about programs that expand services through partnerships for learning and access to information and educational resources for individuals of all ages, circumstances and abilities. Together we will share ideas for statewide initiatives to build networks to support research, education and innovation, improve staff skills, and build the capacity of libraries to serve their patrons.

LSTA Grantee Panel: Meeting Emerging Community Needs through LSTA
Friday, September 30, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Co-presented by Jackie Blagsvedt, Kelly Stade, Mary Lukkarila and Paul Ericsson
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants are available through State Library Services to assist many types of libraries from across Minnesota in addressing emerging community needs. In this session, recent LSTA recipients will share how they recognized a need in their community and developed a project to respond to the need. Panelists will also share their experiences with administering their grant projects and highlight project milestones from conception through completion. Learn best practices for identifying and demonstrating a need in your community, and crafting a plan that meets both the organizational and primary audience needs. The session will also include an overview of Minnesota’s LSTA plan and World’s Best Workforce legislation, which shape the types of projects we are able to support.

ConnectED Library Challenge in Minnesota
Friday, September 30, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Co-presented by Jen Nelson, Katherine Debertin, Marcus Lowry and Marika Staloch
Putting library cards in the hands of kids pays dividends to public libraries, schools and students. Over the last year, three of Minnesota’s public libraries accepted the White House ConnectEd Library Challenge to give every student a library card. ConnectEd supports student learning by providing with wide access to library programs and resources, including rich, digital content, through school partnerships with libraries. At the same time, a 2015 change in Minnesota statutes created a new opportunity for libraries and schools to share information to ease the process. Join colleagues from Ramsey County, Hennepin County and Saint Paul public libraries and learn about their successful projects as part of the challenge. State Library Services staff will also be on hand to provide information about working with schools around student data. Together, we can help to close the academic achievement gap by providing ready access to library resources to all students.