Tag Archives: Resources

Free coloring books for you and your patrons!

Manatee page from coloring book

Free coloring books! What could be more fun??

You already know that many libraries are offering coloring programs, and sales of coloring books are skyrocketing. This can be a great way to relieve stress and to just enjoy some creative time working with colors and coloring. For those of us who lack artistic skill in drawing, it can be fun to color in some of the really interesting forms available! (Yes: I’m a coloring fan!!)

If you have priced out the coloring books, you know they can be pretty expensive. And if you want to have an educational or artistic experience for patrons, that would be even more expensive! Fortunately we have a huge list of all kinds of free coloring books, from all types of educational and artistic organizations!

You will find things to start a variety of different programs in your library. And if you find a few to color yourself on your lunch break – we support you in that!!

Free online training for your patrons!


Would you like to give your patrons free access to Photoshop? Would helping them learn about video and animation at no cost to you or to them be good? How about your patrons who need to learn to use Microsoft Office – would you like some free training??

I’m sure the answer to all of that is yes!

The American Graphics Institute has established a Library Partner Program, that gives you access to self-paced online classes and digital books your patrons can use in your library. Read on, for all the details! Continue reading Free online training for your patrons!

Wrapping up January Monthly Topic: Grants

This month we have talked about a few different strategies for grant writing, and shared some ideas on places to go for grants. All of this will be collected on our website, under Monthly Topics. We will also have material available in our Grants and Fundraising section.

And what are a few things we can take away from this month of grant learning? Continue reading Wrapping up January Monthly Topic: Grants

Read 1,000 books before kindergarten!

Early literacy and love of reading is so important, and has lifelong benefits for young readers. In order to encourage this, libraries and parents can participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program! Reading 1,000 books sounds impressive, and it definitely is! But as their website explains, it’s completely achievable:

“Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, and/or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books (yes you can repeat books) before your precious one starts kindergarten. Does it sound hard? Not really if you think about it. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think (so get started).”

Continue reading Read 1,000 books before kindergarten!

ELL students learn literacy with help from photography

Use photos to help students learning English

At CMLE, we know for our member libraries (and for most libraries) assisting those who are learning English can be an important part of their job! Check out our previous post about the great work taking place at the Long Prairie branch.

This article from Edutopia discusses how photography can help students with their literacy. It includes reference to Wendy Ewald who has done extensive work on the subject. By learning to verbally reflect on and analyze photos, students get used to organizing their thoughts, a skill which translates well to writing.

There are five strategies that use photography to help develop literacy skills:

  • Focus – students notice details and describe what they are seeing
  • Portraits – the article shares several different exercises that utilize portraits, like learning about camera angle and the intention of the photographer in taking the portrait
  • Building Vocabulary and Using Evidence – using a photograph from a past time period, have students list the things they notice, and use this evidence to draw conclusions about when the photo was taken, who the people were, how they were feeling
  • Perspective Taking – students photograph an object from several different angles and notice the effect that the angle has on the tone of the photograph.
  • Telling a Story – students each take a picture they feel tells a story, then trade photos with a partner, who then interpret for themselves the story being told. Students can discuss their interpretations, and eventually, write them out.