Tag Archives: Summer Fun Library Tour

Day Eighty Four of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

As a serious library lover, and someone who knows how much impact libraries can have on their communities, hearing about libraries being forced to shut down is devastating. And, of course, it is so much more devastating for their communities!

Small-town libraries serve residents like never before, but budget cuts could close them

If you don’t work for a library or you haven’t been inside one in a number of years, forget what you believe libraries mean to small towns in Mississippi.

Yes, you can still check out books.

But 20 years ago, we would have never heard a librarian tell this story.

“I was at the grocery store one day and this man sees me,” says Loraine Joyce Walker, librarian at the Noxubee County Central Library in Macon (population 2,600). “He was with his mother and grandmother. His eyes got big, and he said, ‘Mama! Nanny! This is the lady who helped me get the job.’ All of a sudden, I was enveloped in a double hug.

“Using one of the library’s computers, I had helped him apply for 20 offshore jobs. He was now going to be able to send money back home to help cover some of the expenses of his sister at college. He was also going to send them money to cover food and rent.”

The man didn’t own a computer, didn’t know how to apply for a job online and had no access to the internet.

“We are a poor county,” Walker says, “and most people here can’t afford wifi.”

The local library changed that family’s life.

“It happens all the time at libraries all over the state,” Walker says.

Here is the bad news: Budget cuts threaten the future of libraries statewide, especially in rural areas, where they are needed the most.”

(Read the rest of  this article here; and prepare yourself to constantly advocate for the future of libraries everywhere!)


Day Eighty Two of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

this is the bike we have at HQ!

At CMLE Headquarters we love our bike desks! And we are not alone – more libraries are starting to use them for patrons.

Texas A&M libraries install bike desks to keep with changing times

“…The six stationary bike desks were installed and open for use Tuesday in three locations across the campus: Evans Library, the West Campus Library and the Medical Sciences Library. The adjustable units include an attached desk space, a water bottle holder and a ride computer to track the time, distance and calories burned during each session.

Jared Hoppenfeld, interim director of the West Campus Library, said at about $300 per unit, he is confident the bikes will be a good investment. He said not two minutes after installing the units at his library, a group of students had already gathered around to give them a try.

“I went downstairs to get the signs, and when I got back three students were taking pictures, sitting on it and asking me questions about the bikes,” Hoppenfeld said.

He said in the first day of being installed, eight students responded to a voluntary online survey about the bikes and several indicated that they would be “more likely to come to the library to study if they could use the bike.”…

Hoppenfeld said the bike desks are a part of a larger effort in the libraries to implement innovative strategies and technologies. As resources increasingly move online, Hoppenfeld said they are hoping the new opportunities help keep the libraries relevant.”

Day Eighty of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!


We all like to read books – I’ll just take that as a given! (We are library people after all; if you don’t like to read, this might not be the ideal work environment for you.)

I read a lot of books, so I  always appreciate recommendations for more, good books. Check out this great list!

Librarians Vote for the Top 100 Must-Have YA

“In November of 2015, School Library Journal released a poll to investigate what professionals in the field would call their “Top 100 Must-Have YA titles.” The survey received 274 responses; of those who identified themselves, 29 percent work in a public library and 43 percent in a school library (18 percent in a high school library, 12 percent in a middle school library, four percent in an elementary school library, and nine percent in another type of school library). While opinions varied on what constitutes a young adult book, it’s clear that both genre fiction and contemporary works have made significant contributions to the corpus of titles marketed to teen readers.

Day Seventy Nine of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Think about participating in this really interesting program from Web Junction: Outside The Lines

Outside the Lines: Libraries Reintroduced

Libraries and library staff are skilled in their ability to adapt to meet the changing needs of their communities. Step into today’s library, and you might find expanded collections that include everything from telescopes to fishing poles to sewing machines. Libraries have embraced ideas and services that help communities to be their best, whether that’s by providing access to the latest technology or facilitating life-long learning through programming for all ages. Yet, despite these innovations, many outdated perceptions of libraries linger. For the library industry as a whole, the challenge remains: How do we help our communities understand that libraries are more relevant than ever? Outside the Lines, now in its fourth year, is an international grassroots initiative aimed at doing just that.

A weeklong global celebration

Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration – September 10-16, 2017 – demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Libraries of all types–small, large, urban, rural, public, academic–are invited to participate in an effort to reintroduce themselves to their communities. To do this, organizations agree to host at least one event or campaign during Outside the Lines (OTL) that gets people thinking and talking about libraries in a new way.

As of the late July, more than 160 libraries from across the globe–from Alabama to California, Brazil to Croatia, Ghana to Australia–will take part in OTL 2017, tailoring their events to meet the needs of their specific communities. Outside the Lines is designed to be flexible so that all libraries, no matter their size or resources, can engage with their communities in a way that works for them. Creative outreach can benefit any community – OTL simply provides a framework and support to help make it happen. And you are invited to include your library and community to this weeklong celebration!

Brainstorming for a successful OTL

Figuring out how to participate in Outside the Lines might feel a little daunting at first – the possibilities are endless. So how do you figure out a creative way to celebrate the library while also representing your community? When working with libraries on developing ideas for a successful OTL, we’ve found the following brainstorming activity to be effective. With your planning team, ask the following questions:

  • What words describe your community?
  • If you were to take your library out into the community, where would you take it?
  • What would the community be surprised to learn about your library?
  • Thinking about your answers, what dream OTL event would you host? With this question, we encourage libraries to think big and take inspiration from those big ideas. Your big dream might be closer to a reality than you think, and you can always scale back as necessary.

From a battle of the bands to wine festivals and floating libraries, check out some of the ideas that formed from one such brainstorming session at the Public Library Association 2017 conference.

“Every day of OTL I met people who were delighted to find the library out and about. We learned together about our community, splendid parks, amazing nature, fascinating personal stories, and the power of play.”

Heather Ogilvie, Bay County Public Library, Florida

In 2016, Bay County Public Library participated in Outside the Lines by hosting adventure walks, potluck picnics and a “Read on the Beach” session where residents received free admission to a state park with their library card.

Last-minute ideas

For libraries interested in participating but worried about not having enough planning time, there are several ways to create an easy OTL experience. In fact, sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective. We’ve seen a number of libraries share great success in setting up shop at their local farmers’ market, on the bike trail, or at the bus stop. What about a pop-up story time at an unexpected place like the park or a local business? You don’t have to throw a parade to make an impact on your community.

Using OTL to reach your organizational goals

Is there a specific audience your library is trying to reach? Is there a community partnership you’d like to form? What about a strategic goal you hope to fulfill? Whatever your library’s current goals, Outside the Lines can help you reach them. For example, if your library is looking to promote a specific service, think about the target audience for that service. Where in the community might you reach them? Outside the Lines is a great way to experiment and try something new.

“We were surprised at the fact that we were able to accomplish so much in just a week. A lot of our campaigns and events were things we have been wanting to do for a long time, so it was nice to finally have a catalyst to do them and find out that it was all possible!”

Jenna Harte, Sterling Municipal Library, Texas, OTL 2016

Learn more about setting and achieving organizational goals using specific examples in this free webinar hosted in conjunction with the Public Library Association.

Day Seventy Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Walden Pond (63)

Whether or not you are usually interested in video games, the new game Walden might be a relaxing, fun adventure for you!

About the Game

Walden, a game, is a first person simulation of the life of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. The game begins in the summer of 1845 when Thoreau moved to the Pond and built his cabin there.

Players follow in his footsteps, surviving in the woods by finding food and fuel and maintaining their shelter and clothing. At the same time, players are surrounded by the beauty of the woods and the Pond, which hold a promise of a sublime life beyond these basic needs. The game follows the loose narrative of Thoreau’s first year in the woods, with each season holding its own challenges for survival and possibilities for inspiration.

The audience for the game is broad: from experimental game players to lovers of Thoreau and Transcendental literature. As such, the game offers more opportunities for reflective play than strategic challenge. The piece has a subtle narrative arc, in homage to the original text, which is not an adventure of the body pitted against nature, but of the mind and soul living in nature over the course of a New England year.”