Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mindfulness in the Library Workshop

by Ann Ward
Grand Marais Public Library

One session I found particularly useful at the Mindfulness in the Library workshop, held at the Duluth Library on Nov. 7, 2014, was the guided meditation. It reinforced mindfulness practices I do on my own. Additionally, it was a strong experience to have a meditation in what felt like a formal work environment. I will hopefully be able to integrate that experience into my work day.
Another aspect of the workshop I found useful was the discussion on availability bias. Being aware of this cognitive bias will help me to recognize it in myself and others to have a more truthful interaction with reality.

My only wish would have been a longer workshop. I was looking forward to some of the techniques that were touched on but we did not have time to explore, such as the loving-kindness meditation and more discussion on the personal assessment activity.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Glass Artist Meet and Greet at the Cook Public Library

The Cook Public Library invites you to meet glass artist Ron Benson during Cook’s Country Christmas at 5:00 on Friday, December 5, 2014.  Benson recently completed the library’s public art project sponsored by the Arrowhead Library System with funds from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund.  Benson is an experienced glass artist whose work has been purchased by The Smithsonian Institute, The Washington Cathedral and The Minnesota History Center among others.  He will be on hand to discuss his work and his inspiration for the library’s glass project.  The artist will also have art available for purchase during the event.


   



 



Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Read grants available!

Get your community on the same page! 

The Big Read is accepting applications from non-profit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2015 and June 2016. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enrichment.

Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected.

To review the Guidelines and Application Instructions, visit http://www.neabigread.org/application_process.php.

Fun with Phenology

Fun with what?? 

“Fun with Phenology” is held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Eveleth Public Library. Journey through the four seasons unlocking the secrets of the great Northwoods, as you study at the library with a guest naturalist, followed by a phenology hike through Fayal Pond. Sessions will continue to May and are free of charge.
Sponsored by the University of MN Master Naturalist Program and the Eveleth Public Library.

For more information, call 218-744-7499 or visit the city website for the schedule of guest naturalists and topics for the coming year,www.evelethmn.com and click on Special Events Tab.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

STEAMy Programming for Teens Presentation Review

By Mark King
Cloquet Public Library
Report on a Minnesota Library Association Session, October 2014

Perhaps the most dynamic session I attended was "STEAMy Programming for Teens" presented by librarians from the Ramsey County Library system on Wednesday, October 8. "STEAM" is an acronym for the following subject areas of learning for teens: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. It was my observation that Art was not addressed in the presentation. Two participating libraries in the Ramsey system have formed a Tech Team of three librarians who bring technology workshops into high schools and also hold technology sessions at their libraries.

An example of a program that they do in the schools is demonstrating how to take apart a computer. An example of a science project they hold in the libraries is having students make an LED magnet using a coin, LED light bulb, and duct tape.

The Tech Team librarians talked about "makerspaces" and the 3-D printer they have and allow teens to use. Weekly workshops they held have included instruction in digital audio mixing, POD-casting, use of scanners, digital cameras, and digital voice recorders. The idea is to teach science through hands-on projects. Materials used in the workshops include such things as liquid nitrogen.

Funding for such projects requires grant money and staff working full-time in science/technology collaboration. The library is promoted as an innovative lab.

I think that many of us attending the session were awed by what the Tech Team has brought to the schools. Certainly they are on the forefront of how libraries may need to change to draw teens to the library.

An endeavor like this seems most possible in a large library with many resources, including staff that can dedicate a great deal of time and who are also well-versed in technology. It was not a surprise to learn that the librarians involved had science backgrounds.


It appeared that a large percentage of the teens attending the library technology workshops were at-risk youth and those from immigrant families who might otherwise be falling through the cracks in society at large. It also appeared that the number of teens participating was not large. The presenters mentioned a figure of 12 teens who followed through in a series of technology sessions. Given the amount of resources in staff and financing, such efforts, while inspiring and thought-provoking, may be a bit out of reach for smaller public libraries.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

November Legacy News!

November Programs

November means hockey season is underway and to tie in to the regions love of hockey and the Native American culture that surrounds us, Henry Boucha will be touring the Arrowhead region visiting libraries, schools, community centers and, of course, hockey arenas!


Henry Boucha, author of Henry Boucha, Ojibwa-Native American Olympian will present free programs about his life growing up in Warroad, becoming an Olympic and NHL hockey player and how his Ojibwa roots have helped him persevere through challenges and tragedies to become a leader in raising awareness about Native American athletes today.  The program, including a display of Olympic & NHL hockey memorabilia, will be offered at the following dates and locations:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Baudette Public Library 
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 3:30 p.m. at the International Falls Public Library 
Friday, November 7, 2014, 1:00 p.m. at the Silver Bay Public Library 
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 1:00 p.m. at the Two Harbors Public Library 
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Eveleth Public Library 
Thursday, November 13, 2014, Noon at the Virginia Public Library 
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Hibbing Memorial Building Arena, Little Theater 
Friday, November 14, 2014, 10:30 a.m. at the Aurora Public Library 
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 11:00 a.m. at the Duluth Public Library 
Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m. at the Cloquet Public Library 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 1:00 p.m. at the Babbitt Public Library 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Greenway High School, Coleraine 
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Moose Lake Public Library 
Friday, November 21, 2014, 1:30 p.m. at the Grand Marais Public Library 
Monday, November 24, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Area Library 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Mt. Iron Public Public Library

Moose Lake Public Art Project

In October the Moose Lake Public Library held an open house celebrating the completion of their public art project.  The Mayor, ALS director, artists and others spoke at the dedication.



Coming in December/January

Kristy Johnson from Sacred Designs will be presenting a program about the art and history of Henna Body Art. This free program will include the history and culture of henna through the ages as well as how to mix and apply pure, natural henna.  The Duluth Public Library had a sneak peak at the program in October.  Watch this local news broadcast to learn more.



 

Monday, November 03, 2014

New information available in Chiltons database!

For more than 100 years, Chilton products have set the standard for reference sources for students, DIY automotive enthusiasts, and professionals. These exceptional resources are easily accessible for your library's patrons in a comprehensive, simple-to-use database.

This 24/7 online reference provides access to repair, maintenance, and service information on the most popular cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Better yet, Chilton Library is constantly being updated to provide the latest, most valuable information. Check out the exciting new updates now available!

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Test Prep Quizzes: Library patrons can prepare for the most popular certification exams with sample questions that allow them to assess their readiness. Users can test their knowledge on topics like engine repair and heating and air conditioning, with the most up-to-date content available that is reviewed and approved by master technicians for real-world accuracy

Labor Time Lookup Tool: This accurate, easy-to-use tool will inform patrons on the time and costs (multiply labor time by the hourly labor rate) of performing a repair. Chilton’s professional technicians draw upon their experience and access to technical information to calculate times and take into consideration skill level, tools, and variables such as the age and condition of the vehicle. Chilton labor times include three components: the manufacturer warranty time (OEM), the regular time, and the severe service time.

Meet Minnesota's Sixth and Newest Literary Landmark

Next summer, the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) and Listening Point Foundation – in partnership with the Friends of the Ely Public Library, the Ely-Winton Historical Society, and Vermilion Community College – will dedicate Vermillion Community College, the academic home of conservationist Sigurd Olson, as Minnesota’s newest “Literary Landmark.”

Literary Landmark programLiterary Landmarks are sites with a strong historical connection to prominent American authors and recognized through a joint partnership between United for Libraries’ Literary Landmarks Association and local affiliates. To date, there are over 150 such sites across the country, and Minnesota is home to five.

The Sigurd Olson dedication ceremony will be held Friday, June 5, 2015, on the grounds of Vermillion Community College. The event is free, open to the public, and will begin at 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be available courtesy of the Friends of the Ely Public Library.

Ely to host Minnesota's newest literary landmark


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Meet Minnesota's Sixth and Newest Literary Landmark

Next summer, the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) and Listening Point Foundation – in partnership with the Friends of the Ely Public Library, the Ely-Winton Historical Society, and Vermilion Community College – will dedicate Vermillion Community College, the academic home of conservationist Sigurd Olson, as Minnesota’s newest “Literary Landmark.”

Literary Landmark programLiterary Landmarks are sites with a strong historical connection to prominent American authors and recognized through a joint partnership between United for Libraries’ Literary Landmarks Association and local affiliates. To date, there are over 150 such sites across the country, and Minnesota is home to five. (These include the boyhood homestead of Sinclair Lewis in Sauk Centreand the Jon Hassler Library in Brainerd, dedicated by MALF in 2013 and 2014.)

The Sigurd Olson dedication ceremony will be held Friday, June 5, 2015, on the grounds of Vermillion Community College. The event is free, open to the public, and will begin at 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be available courtesy of the Friends of the Ely Public Library.

In conjunction with the dedication ceremony, the Listening Point Foundation will conduct tours of Olson’s cabin retreat on June 6, and the Ely Winton Historical Society (conveniently located on the Vermillion Community College campus) will host a small exhibit on the author’s life and work.

Stay tuned! Other exciting tie-in activities are still in the works. Further program details will be available in early spring 2015.


Who is Sigurd Olson?

The Midwest boasts more than its fair share of environmentalist luminaries and famous nature writers. While household names like Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson, and John Muir rank near the top of that list, none has left a more indelible mark on Minnesota than native son Sigurd Olson.

Olson is best remembered today for championing nature conservation through nine bestselling books, beginning with The Singing Wilderness in 1956 and his seminalListening Point in 1958. The latter is named for Olson’s personal retreat, located on scenic Burntside Lake just outside of Ely, Minnesota. Olson and wife Elizabeth lived in the Ely area most of their adult lives.

Sigurd Olson’s corpus of work struck a chord with the American public thanks to his approachable, unpretentious writing style, coupled with an ability to speak from a position of authority. Olson held advanced degrees in geology, botany and agriculture, and taught for many years at Vermilion Community College. He rounded out his academic career with stints as science department chair and dean of that Ely institution, before retiring from academia to write full time in 1947.

In truth, retirement proved something of a misnomer, as Olson took the opportunity to redouble his conservation efforts. He served as vice-president and then president of the National Parks Association (1951-1959), as vice-president and then president of the Wilderness Society (1963-1971), and as a special advisor to both the Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service (1959-1971). His efforts played a role in the establishment of national preserves ranging from the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to Point Reyes National Seashore in Calif.

Closer to home, Olson’s advocacy also proved instrumental to the legislation that created Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota.

Olson’s tireless efforts garnered him national praise and honors in his lifetime, including the highest award bestowed by four of the five leading conservation organizations in the U.S. He died in 1982, but his legacy lives on at Listening Point – now on the National Register of Historic Places and managed by a wilderness education foundation of the same name.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ITEM Conference in St. Cloud

By Ginny Richmond, Library Director
Hibbing Public Library

Usually I attend the Minnesota Library Association’s annual conference but this year, due to scheduling and distance, I have chosen to go to ITEM/MEMO instead.  This group has recently changed its name from Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) to Information and Technology Educators of MN (ITEM). 

A similar change was also made in the last year to my library school at Indiana University.  My degree is called a Master’s of Library Science (MLS).  I got my degree from the School of Library and Information Science (IU-SLIS).  Most public librarians in the 21st century get an MLIS.  Now Indiana’s “Library” program is the Department of Information and Library Science (ILS) within the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC). Oh how we love our jargon and acronyms!

Fortunately, the Made in MN: ITEM conference still has room for a “Creativity and Learning” day and a Minnesota book author: Jonathan Friesen.  Don’t worry, there were still plenty of high tech, brain bending sessions such as the keynote address by educational technology literacy specialist Naomi Harm.

This messy mix of technology and reading is the new way libraries of all kinds (public, school, academic and special) provide content for the education, enrichment, and entertainment of all people.  We each have preferred ways of accessing information (paper or electronic; audio, visual, and kinetic) but what we want to keep looking for is the best information.  That is the great challenge now.  We have many choices but must continue to be careful and critical in choosing which sources are accurate, accessible, and appropriate for our personal, family and community needs.  That is why libraries are still so important.  Those who use libraries already know that we have more than “just” books.  But many of us are very thankful there are still print books to be shared!

I had the opportunity to listen to author Jonathan Friesen speak about bullying, ostracism, isolation and living with disabilities at two different sessions during the ITEM conference.  He writes books for upper elementary through high school age readers (and adults who love YA novels!)  All of his main characters have a disability of one kind or another.  I had already met Jonathan at the spring Spotlight on Books conference when his YA book MayDay had just been released: “hot off the press”, still in the shipping cartons.  I read “The Last Martian” for upper elementary readers and “May Day” for older teens this summer and have now read “Aldo’s Fantastical Movie Palace” (upper elementary/middle school) and my own, freshly autographed copy of Friesen’s first book, “Jerk, California” as well.  Friesen is a great author, speaker, and human being.  He brings his children to these conferences (they are home schooled) and they are also very well spoken.

Jonathan Friesen lives in Mora, Minnesota and is available to speak to adults at conferences or meetings and to middle and high school students!  He lives with Tourette Syndrome himself and is a compelling, heart-rending speaker on a variety of subjects.  He has a heart for children and teens who are suffering and knows that they cannot learn when struggling with deep emotional pain.   

Thank you to Arrowhead Library Association for providing scholarship funds for me to attend this conference.  I did see a few school librarians (some still call themselves that!) from our region there but would like to have seen more. It was interesting to see how many different titles these school librarians/media specialists/technology integrationists currently use (and struggle with)!

I also recommend this conference and membership in ITEM to public librarians.  We all work with our local schools or at least with their students and can benefit from being more aware of what is going on in our districts. 


[Parts also used in Library Notes column in the Tailings section of the Hibbing Daily Tribune, Sundays, September 28 and October 26, 2014 editions.]

Fall Conference of ITEM (Information and Technology Educators of MN) October 2-4

By Shelby Anderson
Media/Technology Integrationist
Cook County Schools ISD166 Library Media Center
Grand Marais, MN


I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the Fall Conference of ITEM (Information and Technology Educators of MN) October 2-4. The keynote speakers, especially Naomi Harm, were inspirational.

The session I most appreciated was one given by Lisa Gearman of Chaska where she has experimented with the physical design and furnishings of her school media center.

The increased emphasis on creating has led to the maker-space movement. This is the idea of where people – in her case – students - have the freedom to explore, collaborate and create, whether it involves digital products or other projects. Lisa used as her theme, Joyce Valenza’s questions:

”Is your library a grocery store or a kitchen?
Do your patrons come in just to pick up items or do they use the library to find the ingredients and also find the space to whip something up?”

Such ideas need flexible furniture and space options. There were options such as desks with writing surfaces that could be moved together in various configurations enabling single or collaborative work. Another idea was recovering table surfaces or even walls, with a laminate whiteboard so students could collaborate with drawings and ideas. (Using whiteboard paint was discouraged because of the extensive preparation to make a surface perfectly smooth and need to re-paint regularly.) Lisa has put up a Lego base board on a wall and uses Legos to create fun informative signs.

Tables were on wheels to allow flexibility. To accommodate student needs for reflection and quiet, movable fabric room divider screens were used.

Lisa had the good fortune to have been in contact with a designer in the Target Commercial Furniture store. Target provided a month’s worth of furniture to her LMC for her students to experience. (Target also provided a showcase library at the conference for attendees to experience.)

There were higher counters with stools, giving it a kitchen feeling. There were modified ball chairs. When students had a choice between the hard chairs or the ball chairs at the computer stations, they chose the ball chairs.

Lisa documented student reactions & usage of the area during this time. Students felt more comfortable with the ergonomic-friendly furniture and stayed focused on projects.

Libraries are no longer just about books but more about creating a learning experience. By providing user-friendly welcoming environments and ergonomic-friendly furniture, an ambiance is produced where student exploration, creativity and collaboration are stimulated.


I took home several ideas and am exploring ways to make them happen in my library!