Category Archives: Programming

Episode 302: Ethics

Business ethics

Welcome back to Season Three of Linking Our Libraries! We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we are here to share information with all types of libraries, archives, and other nonprofits working to build their skills. This season we are working through the tools you can use to be a better manager and leader.

This week we discuss Ethics.

It is surprising how many people do not think about ethical issues being a problem in LIS. This may go back to the mistaken ideas some people have about what librarians do all day – that is, that we sit around all day waiting for people to come ask us lovely and fun questions that we can answer with smiles on our faces. Of course this does happen, and most of us enjoy it when things go so well. But other things happen too, and can pose challenges to our ethics, our practices, and even the laws governing our library and society. When you add in the idea of being a manager, responsible for the actions and behaviors of not only yourself but also your staff, things can get much more complicated when trying to behave ethically.

In the library field, we are a profession, and as such we are governed by an ethical code. To be more accurate: we are a multi-faceted profession with a lot of different people in different professional areas doing all kinds of different things. So we actually have several different ethical codes relevant to the work we do.

Too often, ethics are things that get mentioned quickly in orientation, everyone looks solemn, and we all reassure ourselves that we, of course, would always be nice people who will do nice things. Yay for us. But that is just the barest beginning of ethics and ethics training. We can all start from the stand that we are nice people (most librarians are, after all); but we need to have a specific, written-down, set of ethical principles that we all know, we all understand, and we all agree to follow. And then problems will happen and disasters will come to your door. Ethical codes give you either a nice ladder to climb up out of the problems, or can be used as a handy weapon with which to clobber if you ignore the rules and cause problems that make it into the news.

As a leader, it is particularly important for you to know and to display ethical behavior. Managers who lie, cheat, and steal show staff members that teamwork and ethical behavior are pointless; no one will get ahead in this kind of organization by following the rules and doing the right thing.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true. Managers who create an ethics-friendly organization, and who demonstrate ethical behavior even when it is the harder choice, are showing their staff how things should be done. All of this will add up to an ethics-friendly organization. And you will have yet another powerful skill for your own Manager Skill Set!

Thanks for joining us this week! And check back in with us next week to discuss Hiring and Staffing.

Season Two: Bonus Episode on Stress Management

The calm after the storm - Port Lincoln - South Australia (Explored)

Hi, and welcome back to Linking Our Libraries!

Just in time for the holidays, we are here with a bonus episode to our Season Two series. It’s a topic we all need now: Stress Management. Whether you are struggling with finals, trying to wrap up paperwork before the end of the year, or just working to get that darn snow shoveled – we understand! (We’re in Minnesota; we really understand the snow!) So this podcast will help us all to just take a break, to have a moment to relax, and to gather some tools for you to work on your own stress management skills.

Check out our full information page for all the ideas!

Episode 214: Programming

Check out our full information page here!

Programming in libraries is the tool we use to connect our services with our community members. All libraries and archives do some level of programming, and for most of us doing more is better. But finding time to develop programs our community members want and need, advertising it to everyone, getting needed materials, doing the programming, and doing evaluation of the results is a lot to handle! To help us with this, we have Guest Host Angie Yanke, from Zimmerman Middle-High School.

We have talked about building connections across your community, and programming can be a tool you use to reach out to connect people with your materials and resources. This is something very individual to each library or archive or history center – everyone will have a different population needing to be reached.

Some jobs are all programming and outreach, all the time. Most public services library people will be doing some level of programming, in addition to their other work. So, how do you know what to do? If you are new to your job, or new to doing programming, or just want to spice up your programming offerings in your library, where do you start? We have a few tips!


Episode 209: Conferences – Attending and Presenting

ICAPP Conference on Natural Disasters and Environmental Protection

This week we are talking about professional conferences: attending them and presenting at them. This is your chance to meet other people who do what you do, who like the same things you like, and who are experiencing some of the same challenges you are facing! In our system, made up of all types and sizes of libraries, we have many people who are solo library workers, or who work with a very small group of people. That kind of isolation can be tough, so conferences are a great way to be sure you connect with other people in your area of the library world! And, as you are part of a big profession, this is also a chance for you to be giving back to everyone else with your ideas, your experiences, and your material.

We all work better when we are working together, and sharing information is a responsibility of being part of a community. (plus, it’s really fun to present at conferences! You get to feel like you are contributing, and you get the chance to really talk about issues and ideas that are important to you!)

Contents on our full information page:
Contents of this page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Attending a Conference
  • Presenting at a Conference
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Episode 14: Special Libraries

Image result for special libraries association

Guest Hosts: Jessie Storlien, Stearns History Center; and Susan Schlepers, St. Cloud Hospital Library

Topic of the Week: Special Libraries

“A special library is a library that provides specialized information resources on a particular subject, serves a specialized and limited clientele, and delivers specialized services to that clientele.[1] Special libraries include corporate libraries, government libraries, law libraries, medical libraries, museum libraries, news libraries, and nonprofit libraries. Special libraries also exist within academic institutions, including law school libraries and medical school libraries. These libraries are included as special libraries because they are often funded separately from the rest of the university and they serve a targeted group of users.[2]”

(Download our podcast at iTunes, or the podcast app of your choice. And check out all our material on this topic here!)

Episode 13: Local History Resources

Local History room


Topic of the Week: Local History Collections

RUSA Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections

Genealogy work is an important part of local history work, and very popular in public libraries. We have a few big libraries with a lot of resources; but most libraries will have some useful resources people can use as they do their own genealogy work, including access to

You can check out all our material on our website; and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or the podcast app of your choice!

Episode Eight: Library Gardens

Image result for salt lake city public library garden
Salt Lake City Public Library garden

Libraries and gardens. At first, they may not seem to have much in common; but we grow ideas and knowledge already – and many of us also grow plants, flowers, trees and vegetables!

Thank you to all the libraries who responded to our call for information and photos – everything we discuss today came from these libraries, eager to share their information!

Our Spotlight Library this week has one of the most famous library gardens: the Salt Lake City Public Library. Check out the links we provide, and look around at all the great photos of this beautiful building, with their rooftop garden and their community garden!

For all our links, photos of the gardens we discuss, and any other information we have to share about library gardens, check out our website!

Episode Four: Library Programming

Yongsan Army LibraryThis week we are looking at all sorts of library programs. Libraries are all about connecting with our communities; and programs aimed at different community members can be some of the most valuable work we do!

This week we talk about a variety of programs in all sorts of libraries, and look at our Spotlight Library: The Evanston Public Library in Illinois.

For more information about programs, and links to all the libraries we discussed in this episode, check out our website!


Episode Three: Library Makerspaces

Maker space layout

This week we are looking at library makerspaces!

Makerspaces are an exciting trend in libraries of all types and sizes. Although their traditional programs are STEM/STEAM based technology learning, they can involve all sorts of programs that inspire patrons to try new skills and to create new things.

Our spotlight library this week is the Lewis and Clark Elementary Media Center in Liberty, MO. They are not only doing some very interesting work with their makerspace, in addition to sharing ideas for starting your own makerspace!; they also have some great resource for their community.

For more information on this topic, and all our links, please go to our website!

Episode One: Library Outreach!


This week we look at library outreach!

In this episode, we look at library outreach programs. Tune in here to learn about ALA resources, and libraries that are doing some interesting outreach programs that you can try. We share some books we are reading. And our Spotlight Library of the week is the Hennepin County Library; listen to find out all the great things they are doing!

Click here to get all the the stories we shared, and more information about outreach.