Category Archives: Services

Episode 205 Staff Development



Personal Training at a Gym - Cable Crossover

This week we are talking about Staff Development, and we have a Guest Host: Elizabeth Proell, from St. Cloud Public Library.

You know that to do any job in a library means you have to keep building and honing your skills. Everything we do changes, develops, and evolves – and this will never stop.  If there ever was a time in libraries where we could just coast along on skills we learned twenty years ago, those days are long gone! Technology, automation, and streamlining of all organizations and workers means that we are constantly looking for better, faster, cheaper ways to do all the work we do every day. And what that really means for all of us is that we have to not only keep up with things happening around us – but we need to be out there ahead of our patrons so we are ready to help them build their skills! It’s not just embarrassing to not be able to answer a question on email or web design or VR technology – it is bad practice.

We know it is a challenge!! Your budget is stretched to the max already, your time is also filled as full as you can get it. So we are here to help you! CMLE’s website is filled with information and links to all kinds of great places to go to help you build your skills.

  • We maintain a Continuing Education calendar.
  • We share all kinds of places to take classes, either for free or at a reduced cost – and we offer up to $300 in scholarship money to offset the cost of any training you can identify!
  • We are building webinars and in-person training sessions for you, to work though any time.
  • We are also available to come to your library (or archive, or history center, or other organization) and talk with you about some training ideas, or to do some training based on your individual library’s needs.
  • We have material on our site for this episode; and we also have material all kinds of useful library-related skills, available in our Skills Toolbox section of our site.

 

Contents on our full information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Guest Host Discussion
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Want to listen to an episode?

  • You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed: http://libraries.blubrry.com/feed/podcast/.
  • Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program?  We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

Episode 204: Library Friends and Volunteers



This week we are talking about people who like libraries allllmooost as much as we do! Does your library have a Friends group? A PTA? A volunteer group? Something else? Any of these can be just great for you, and can really help to make your library life easier.

There a subtle shades of differences in these groups. Generally, a PTA group is focused on helping the school as a whole, but can be working on the library as an occasional or regular part of the work they already do. Volunteers are nice people who come do tasks for us, so library staff can be utilized in helping patrons more directly, or in carrying out tasks that only staff can do. Friends are usually an organized group working in conjunction with the library – ideally not being told what to do, or setting too many Byzantine rules on the library either. In all these relationships, patience and proceeding from a starting place of good intentions given and assumed will help make them work out!

It is so nice to have people around who want to help, so as library people we should make sure we use them effectively so they have a good experience. You can find all kinds of information about developing a Friends group in your library, no matter how big or small you are; and you can find some good training information to be sure your Friends feel confident in their roles.

Contents on our full information page:

  • Intro
  • Background
  • Friends
  • Volunteers
  • Guest Host
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion
  • Additional Resources
Want to listen to an episode?
  • You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed: http://libraries.blubrry.com/feed/podcast/.
  • Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program? We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

Episode 203: Grants



This week we are talking about Grants.

These can be wonderful, and bring your library new materials, equipment, programs, and services! That is all great! Of course, nothing comes for free, so they also bring you extra paperwork, reporting responsibilities, staff time, and the need to oversee potentially new programs. You need to spend some time weighing the costs and the benefits to your individual situation. Every grant will not be right for you and your organization – but if you find something that can bring you benefits: Go for it!! Apply! It never hurts to ask for money to help build for your community!

And of course, as with every topic we discuss here – at CMLE we are available to help you with this process. If you have never written a grant, but get some ideas after listening to this episode – we can help you put your idea together and turn in a great application! If you are an experienced grant writer, but want someone else to look over things for you – we are available to help with that also! We never recommend you creating grants alone; it is always better as a team project. And if you want CMLE to be part of your team, we are ready to help!

 

Contents on our full information page:

  • Intro
  • Background
  • Basics of Grant Writing
    • Find a grant
    • Gather your basic information
    • Put together your stats
    • Writing the proposal
    • Review your proposal
    • Submit your application
  • Minnesota LSTA Grants
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion
Want to listen to an episode?
  • You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed: http://libraries.blubrry.com/feed/podcast/.
  • Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program? We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

Episode 15: Information Literacy



Image result for information literacy

This is our final regular show of Season One!! But stay tuned for info on our LOL (Linking Our Libraries) Podcast Awards Show coming up Thursday June 29!

You can download all of our podcast episodes at iTunes, or your podcast app of choice. And check out our website for all kinds of information on this topic!

Topic of the Week: Information Literacy

This material applies to all our patrons: students of all ages, senior citizens, new immigrants, soccer moms – everyone!

(We will not mention any names; but it was a little discouraging to see some of the very poorly designed websites with material on this topic, or websites filled with broken links. This is an important part of info literacy!)

From ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries): http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency

“Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” 1


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]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_library

(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 http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/guidelinesestablishing

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 Ancestry.com

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 Twelve: Stress in Libraries



Stress

Topic of the Week: Stress in the Library Workplace

Libraries are generally wonderful places to work – we all like it here!

But you also know that some days are just hard. We are a customer service profession, and that means dealing with all kinds of people every day: patrons, supervisors, colleagues – and it can be stressful.

It is not a surprise to anyone in the library field that we are feeling stressed at work. Any discussions between librarians seem to turn to the issues they are facing and ways they are solving problems, or not solving them. There have been many articles published with vague suggestions for reducing stress, including “take deep breaths” or “smile more often” – not completely helpful advice for many library people attempting to deal with increasing patrons pressures and decreasing funding.

Today we are going to talk about the some of my research work, which identified some of the most common sources of stress. Then we will talk about taking some organized steps to help alleviate or eliminate these stressors.

It is time to get past the idea that workplace stress is an issue affecting library people on just an individual level, and to begin to look at stress as a widespread issue we can address across the profession. Then we can help everyone to be more satisfied at work, and more productive!

Find all our information on our website! Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, or any other podcast app.


Episode Eleven: Copyright



License icon-copyright-88x31

Topic of the Week: Copyright

  • We will start off by looking at the history of copyright, and getting some ideas about how it has developed over time. Ownership is a big deal, and the rights of a creator to the products s/he has developed are important. Copyright helps to protect that absolute right to complete ownership, and also gives the rest of us some opportunities to use the material created.
  • Copyright is federal law; so unlike most of what we discuss – it has specific meanings, and specific penalties for breaking these laws! (and they can be pretty steep – not jail but a lot of money)
  • Federal law means it only applies to the US: every country has its own copyright laws and protections for intellectual property
  • The specifics can be very tricky to master; but the basics are often the responsibility of a library to know and enforce (such as: as copyright applies to ILL of copies of articles in journals, or how photocopy machines can violate http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/copyright-libraries-photocopy-machines.html )
  • As technology changes, and formats change, violations of copyright and intellectual property become both more difficult to enforce and difficult to regulate

Check out our website for a LOT of information! We have dozens of links to materials we discussed here, information on copyright in libraries, copyright with new technology, and training your patrons in copyright rules.


Episode Ten: International Libraries



World map blank without borders

Topic of the Week:
International Libraries

  • There are so many libraries all over the place, we want to bring you a few you might not know about yet
  • We will gush over a couple we have visited; then look at some other interesting libraries. There are thousands of libraries we could be looking at, so we picked some that are interesting right now, though not selected as representatives of their region.
  • We will revisit this topic again (probably multiple times!); so send us some of your favorites, or you are interested in hearing about in a future episode

Check out our website for all the information on this episode, photos of the libraries, and links to everything!


Episode Nine: Reader’s Advisory



Reading-books

Reader’s Advisory: A service which involves suggesting fiction and nonfiction titles to a reader through direct or indirect means

We are library people, and of course there are many other things we do in addition to reading books – but we do love to read books too!

There are so many genres out there – you can not know them all, but you need to be ready to help patrons find books across all of them. Check out this enormous list, and start thinking about books! No one person can know it all, so we need to work on strategies for learning enough to help our patrons!

Instead of our regular feature of a Spotlight Library, this week we are featuring a Spotlight Librarian: the incomparable Nancy Pearl

Check out our website for more information about this episode!