Tag Archives: SCSU

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 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