Tag Archives: SCSU

Visiting St. Cloud State’s Library!

You already know this, but visiting our members is our favorite part of the job! It is always great to see the things different libraries have, or things they try. Every library truly does have something special to see.

St Cloud State University’s library has all kinds of great things to see! I would like to set up a member group visit here, to admire the library and also to meet the new University Library Dean, Rhonda Huisman. We will have an upcoming poll on a good day and time, so start flipping through your calendars now!

For those who have been reading all about our visits to member libraries, you know that I’m such a fan of customer service – so this made me extremely happy to see! It is not always possible for a Dean, or a Director, to be accessible to the community all the time – but making it easy to at least find SOMEONE who can answer questions or help with problems can go a long way toward making patrons feel positive about the library.

Being beautiful is not a requirement for a successful library – but of course a nice setting with an open and airy feeling makes everyone feel good. This library has deliberately added art throughout the library, for sharing information in a visual way, and providing patrons with art to admire.  I love this large textile sculpture, called Sunshine Rain created in 1976 by Merle H. Sykora.

You can see a different angle on the artwork in this shot – as well as the up and down staircases you can traverse on that end of the library. (Of course, it’s good for everyone to get up and walk around more often; providing some extra steps for people moving from one end of the second floor to the other also gives patrons the chance to take some time to admire this lovely space!)


See those cardboard squares on the shelves? Those, for the kids today, are called records. It’s exciting to have all these records available for fans of vinyl or for people who need the experience of this format. As I said earlier, it’s always exciting to see what you will uncover in a library – and there is always something unique in every library!

I will always be won over with good seating – and check out these tables! People sitting down to work need more space than just a computer – they need to have space for books and other materials right there. These tables provide patrons with not only computer access, but good space to work and even a little privacy from neighbors. Great!

Continue reading Visiting St. Cloud State’s Library!

CMLE Scholarship: Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference

Reflection on 26th Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference
Mary Ramacher
Access Department – ILL
SCSU Library

As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?

Several of the things I took away from the Keynote speaker were:

  • That the library needs to not just be welcoming to employees but that it should look welcoming when you first enter the building
  • To say “yes, and” to show that you understand what someone is saying instead of “no, but” when we can’t do exactly what the patron is asking.
  • An analysis of personality styles.

Our library had a very ‘sterile’ atmosphere when you first enter the building and a few years ago we put in an electric fireplace and some comfortable seating in the front. It is one of the busiest areas of the library now, which proves the idea of being welcoming. I am looking forward to trying the more positive approach of using ‘yes and’ as opposed to ‘no but’ when helping my patrons. The personality types analysis will be very helpful too when dealing with difficult personalities.

The session on statistics by the Minitex Director was very interesting too. Our library web page will need some work so that its format adjusts to any type of device for ease of use.  She also talked about 18-24 year olds reporting ‘digital fatigue’ so our idea that students want everything electronically will need to be reevaluated.

We were also informed of some improvements to WorldShare that I will be using immediately upon returning to work in Interlibrary Loan.

Mary Ramacher


Access Department – ILL

SCSU Library

South Jr. High students learn teamwork, respect from video game creation

teamwork 5How often do you hear about video games having a positive affect on young people?

Well, it definitely had a favorable impact on a group of sixth – eighth graders at South Jr. High School, when they became creators of their own video game. The project was a collaboration involving students and teachers from South Jr. High working with an SCSU professor.

The game is titled “Save My Dragon,” and the students drew all the characters, backgrounds, and items in the game. They took inspiration from trees, clothing, nature in their backyards and the buildings in the Twin Cities. The students even created the soundtrack for the game, using recording sticks and instruments.

The article explores how the students faced challenges when it came to agreeing on artwork, and how the experience taught them to respect the ideas of others and take constructive criticism. The end result was a feeling of school pride, and the feeling that they had accomplished this game creation as a team.

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/mg6qkck, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


St. Cloud Coder Dojo

logoCreate the coders of tomorrow with help from the Coder Dojo of St. Cloud! They are hosting an event where mentors will promote and help kids code. Ages 8-17 are welcome and may work on all types of coding ranging from Scratch to Python. Currently, it’s open house style so no registration is necessary! The Dojo has recently moved to the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center on the St. Cloud State University (SCSU) campus. The first chance to get kids coding will be on October 24th at 1:00 pm.

Check out the Coder Dojo – St. Cloud website for more details.


  • Miller Center, Room 218
  • Saturdays, October 24, November 7 and 21, and December 5.
  • Time: 1- 4 pm., come whenever for as long as you like
  • Ages 8-17
  • Kids under 13 need to be with an adult

Questions about location: Cindy Gruwell

Questions about Coder Dojo: Wayne Pfeffer

Sign-up for Coder Dojo email updates!

Read more from CMLE

Final call for EdCampMidMN!

7407206_origJoin the learning fun at EdCampMidMN on June 10, 2015. The EdCampMidMN event will be at the ISELF building on the St. Cloud State University Campus (St. Cloud, Minnesota). EdCamp follows the unconference process and is:

  • Completely free. Yes, you read that right. There is NO cost to attend.
  • You design the schedule. We give you the framework, you pick the topics.
  • Have conversations that matter to you. This event is about having rich conversations, not being lectured by experts.

June 10th is fast approaching so Register Now!