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Congratulations Talahi Community School!

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TalahiBooksThe Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) recently awarded the 2014 Bookapalooza Program to three libraries, one of them being our own  Talahi Community School in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

“The award includes a variety of materials from books to DVDs and audiobooks. These materials have been received at the ALSC office from publishers for selection committees to evaluate for awards and notables consideration. To make room for the next year’s publications, Bookapalooza was created to infuse three collections with new materials for children age birth through age 14.

The Talahi Community School has plans to use the Bookapalooza collection for many innovative programs that include a reading outreach project with a nearby retirement community, the STEM program for the St. Cloud School District and the newly created reading garden where the children will have an alternative place to read when the weather is nice. The school serves a diverse PreK-5 population of 518 students with much collaboration from the St. Cloud community.  The children who attend Talahi are at the 93-percent factor in free and reduced meals and more than 30 percent of the children come from single parent homes.”

CMLE staff contacted Talahi school media specialist Sara Martini to find out more…

“… the thanks go to Talahi’s foster grandpa, John Bowden, who wrote the grant application. The books came in 27 huge boxes and contained over 1,350 items, worth around $24,000. How exciting!” All of the books are hardcover and were published in 2013 or 2014 and will be available for students to check out.

Excerpts from this post came directly from the ALA press release at http://tinyurl.com/mf6vnq7

If you are part of a library/school media organization in Central Minnesota,  you may have a “feel good” story you too would like to share. These regional stories always have great appeal. Please send your ideas or stories to cmle@stcloudstate.edu and thank you!

Written by Patricia

April 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Heartbleed – Mobile Devices

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200px-Heartbleed_svgIn a previous post, we talked about the Heartbleed bug and its danger to users of many popular websites. Besides these websites, it turns out we also need to be concerned about our mobile devices. “Of the smartphones in use, only Android devices are vulnerable to this form of attack” The Guardian reported. “Apple does not use the vulnerable version of OpenSSL on the iPhone or iPad, while Microsoft said that neither Windows Phone nor Windows is affected.”

So what can you do if you have an Android device?

First, check the list of 80 Android phones/tablets that might be vulnerable. Second, download the Heartbleed Detector, a free app developed by Lookout and scan your device. If you do have a vulnerable version of Android, users should look for an update to protect themselves. “If … there’s no fix available for you, I would be very cautious about using that device for sensitive data,” Lookout’s Marc Rogers told Ars Technica.

Written by John

April 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Tips to Manage Your Email Clutter

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Image from SumAll - Free Marketing Images

Image from SumAll – Free Marketing Images

We all suffer from too much email, but many people don’t realize there are things we can do to help us manage our inboxes. A recent article by MakeUseOf  led us at CMLE to compile a list of ideas to stop email clutter, especially before it hits your inbox.

Please note: Phishing or scam emails should never be opened and you should never click any links in them. Please read Microsoft’s post about identifying fraudulent e-mail and phishing schemes for more information.

Unsubscribe - Reduce the email coming in: Turn off notifications from social media sites. Mass unsubscribe from “bacn” (pronounced “bacon” – it’s a techie term referring to email that’s “better than spam, but not quite as good as a personal message”). There are even services like unroll.me that can help. A few years ago New York Times columnist David Pogue found that the “unsubscribe” link in emails usually works. If you continue to receive junk mail even after you have attempted to unsubscribe from the service, you can take additional steps like reporting the mail as “spam” to your e-mail service provider, or adding the sender or domain of the sender to your “blocked” list.

Declutter Daily – Remember the mantra: “Respond, Delete, File, Archive. With each email, you’re going to perform one of four actions: respond, delete, file, archive. The goal is to completely clear your inbox.”

Move Your Conversations Elsewhere – “For work-related or team-based communication, set up a central platform using services like AsanaBasecampHuddle, etc. For communication with friends, switch to a common social network wherever you can.” For quick questions, pick up the phone, use Skype, or go talk to the person face-to-face. 

We’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite tip/trick for managing your email? If you’re searching for more email management ideas, check out these articles: 6 Ways to reclaim your email inbox, Slay the Email Monster!

Written by John

April 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

A Mindful Moment: Tool 8: Watch Your Resistance

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Image by bibigeek. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.

Image by bibigeek. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

From now until the end of the school year, each week we will be including a post called A Mindful Moment.  Mindfulness is an emerging topic in libraries as it relates to our own personal wellness, but also as it affects good customer service. If you are at all like me, if you get a list of 12 things to consider at one time, it is just too overwhelming. Therefore, in these weekly posts, we will be providing small bits of information to assist you in moving toward  a more mindful life. All credit for the content goes to Leo Babauta at Fast Company, who believes “a mindful life is worth the effort.” I really, really love the introduction Leo gave to his 12 piece tool set and his explanation of a mindful life. This week, we feature this tool …..

Tool 8:Watch Your Resistance

“When you try to do something uncomfortable, or try to give up something you like or are used to, you’ll find resistance. But you can just watch the resistance, and be curious about it. Watch your resistance to things that annoy you–a loud sound that interrupts your concentration, for example. It’s not the sound that’s the problem, it’s your resistance to the sound. The same is true of resistance to food we don’t like, to being too cold or hot, to being hungry. The problem isn’t the sensation of the food, cold, heat or hunger–it’s our resistance to them. Watch the resistance, and feel it melt. This resistance, by the way, is why I’m doing my Year of Living Without.”

What is this business about a mindful life? Read Leo’s introduction, it will take like one minute and is well worth your time to frame this subject!

Interested in other posts CMLE has done on mindfulness recently?

Written by Patricia

April 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Still Time Left to Register for Minitex ILL Conference

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PrintApril 22, 2014

Register Today for the Minitex ILL Conference

Date & Location

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
8:30 AM – 3:15 PM

Continuing Education & Conference Center
University of Minnesota – St. Paul Campus
1890 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Registration Details

Fee: $40.00 – Register Now!

Registration closes on Tuesday, April 29.

Keynote Presentation – Phil Simon, “Big Data: Too Big to Ignore”

Phil Simon is a keynote speaker, recognized technology expert, and the award-winning author of six management books, most recently The Visual Organization. He consults organizations on matters related to strategy, data, and technology. His contributions have been featured on NBC, CNBC, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, Fast Company, The New York Times, ReadWriteWeb, and many other sites.

Ryan Litsey & Joni Blake, “The Occam’s Reader Ebook/ILL Project”

Occam’s Reader is a software program that allows interlibrary loan of electronic books. Occam’s Reader is a collaboration between Texas Tech University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Greater Western Library Alliance. Currently Occam’s Reader works with the ILLiad software to allow the document delivery staff to lend electronic books seamlessly between libraries. The software currently works with .PDF documents, but there are plans to support other formats of electronic books and to develop a standalone, web-based version of the system. This session will focus on current and planned functionality as well as the discussions with ebook publishers.

Ryan Litsey is the Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan Assistant Librarian in the Texas Tech University Library. He earned a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science as well as a Master of Arts in Political Science from California State University Northridge. He also holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences from Florida State University.

Joni Blake is the Executive Director of the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA). She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Literature from Cornell College, a Master of Arts in Library Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Educational Leadership and Higher Education Administration.

Valerie Horton, “Deep Collaboration”

“Libraries have a choice, we can collaborate or die.” This sentiment was expressed by William Jordan, and captures the new thinking sweeping through libraries. The days of casual cooperation are long gone as a new era of deep collaboration is unfolding. Deep collaboration requires more courage, more resources, and more commitment to mutual agreed upon goals. Drawing from her work as co-general editor of Collaborative Librarianship, Valerie will look at how deep collaboration works in the Minitex region, and examines how projects like DPLA, HathiTrust, and Kuali Ole have been transforming our profession.

Valerie Horton started as Director of Minitex, a three-state library consortium, in December 2012. Prior to that, she was the first Executive Director of the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) from November 2004. Valerie was also Library Director for Mesa State College, Head of Systems for New Mexico State University Libraries, and a Systems Librarian at Brown University. In 1993, she received an ALA International Fellowship to help automate the public, school, and government libraries for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Valerie has a book coming out from ALA Edition in 2014 on library consortia. In 2009, Valerie published Moving Materials: Physical Delivery in Libraries, and she is co-general editor for the online journal, Collaborative Librarianship.

Katie Birch, “Life after WorldCat Resource Sharing: the future of ILL”

During this session, Katie will provide an in-depth look at the migration of more than 5,000 libraries to WorldShare ILL and how this new service is transforming fulfillment options for interlibrary loan staff. Katie will also talk about OCLC’s new WorldCat Discovery platform and the future of VDX.

Katie Birch is Portfolio Director for Delivery Services at OCLC. In this capacity, Katie oversees WorldCat Resource Sharing, including the WorldCat policies directory and IFM, as well as ILLiad, VDX, and WorldCat Navigator. Katie is a librarian with 10 years experience in resource sharing and document delivery. Before joining OCLC in 2005, Katie was project manager and business development manager at Talis.

Learn More

Get the full conference agenda, speaker bios, and registration forms at the conference website.


Written by Patricia

April 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

Upcoming “Librarians” Series on TNT

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Image by Rob Boudon. Retrieved in Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.

Image by Rob Boudon. Retrieved in Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

How exciting, a new series where librarians are dedicated protectors of library artifacts! According to the Hollywood Reporter, “…TNT has ordered 10 episodes of the scripted drama The Librarians and tapped Rebecca Romijn to star as a skilled counter-terrorism agent. Noah Wyle, who starred in the TNT movie trilogy, will reprise his role as Flynn Carsen. The new series, which will debut in late 2014, will center on four people who are enlisted to assist Flynn as “Librarians,” members of an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library.”

I see viewing party possibilities all over this one, don’t you?

Read more about it at….Greenlight for The Librarians series on TNT




Written by Patricia

April 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2013

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Image by melentia2012. Retrieved from FlickR. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.

Image by melentia2012. Retrieved from FlickR. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

The Office for Intellectual Freedom creates a report each year on book challenges from librarians, teachers, concerned individuals, and press reports. Before you look at the list, can you guess which book series has been challenged in multiple years for “offensive language,” “unsuited to age group,” and “violence”, and is in the #1 spot again in the new list for 2013?

Challenged Books List of 2013

Out of 307 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom…

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    : Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by RudolfoAnaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

 Click here to see the detailed lists from 2001 through 2013.   (Scroll down on the page!)

Do you have policies in place for dealing with book challenges? For additional definitions and resources to assist you in this area, go to http://www.ala.org/bbooks/challengedmaterials. First you will see definitions, then scroll to the bottom to gather additional resources including information on how to report a book challenge.

Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials




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