ILS ALERT: Systems Upgrades on Saturday Evening

SELCO will be performing system upgrades on Saturday evening, December 15, starting at 6:30 pm. We expect all work to be complete by the end of the evening. During this time, SELCO services and systems will be unavailable with the following exceptions:

  • Email, calendars, and other Google suite applications
  • The Enterprise online catalog (searching only; My Account and real-time item status will be down)
  • OverDrive ebooks
  • SELCO and library websites

Thank you for your patience while we work to provide the most reliable services possible. For further information, please contact the SELCO Help Desk

MLA Institute for Leadership Excellence — deadline extended!

MILE has extended its deadline through the end of the year. Find application here

The SELCO region has had many participants in this outstanding 4-day conference, including Reagen Thalacker and Pam O’Hara at SELCO. MLA’s incoming president, Patti Bross,  attended in 2017. The 2019 Institute will be held at the beautiful Sugar Lake Lodge in Northern Minnesota.

The MLA Institute for Leadership Excellence provides participants with the opportunity to:

  • Develop and refine skills necessary to be a leader in the libraries of tomorrow
  • Develop and move forward on professional and personal goals
  • Network and make connections with people in the broader community
  • Reflect on the variety of leadership opportunities available at the local, regional, and state levels
  • Meet and connect with your individually selected mentor from Minnesota’s professional library community; you will work with this person for up to a year and a half following the Institute

Are you in a position of leadership within your library? Do you have aspirations of one day taking a leadership role at your library? Do you find yourself providing leadership for colleagues even though your official position might not be a leadership position?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then MILE is for you!

MILE helps you discover the leader within yourself and learn to lead effectively today—even if your current position is not one of leadership. During the four-day conference, selected participants spend their days in an intimate conference setting with 24 other emerging library leaders from across the state. They learn about using improvisational humor and creative idea generation to foster creative approaches to problem solving and strategic planning, discover their personal strengths, and learn to lead no matter what their current library position may be.

Visit the 2019 MILE website.

Understanding Horizon Settings Class in January; Moratorium on Horizon Settings Changes

Based on feedback from the ILS Operations / Technology Policy joint committee, SELCO is developing a new online training class to help library/media center Directors better understand the myriad of settings in the Horizon system and their impact on library services. Once library staff have taken Understanding Horizon Settings, SELCO staff will pay a site visit to review that library’s settings with the Director and make changes (if needed) to better fit their services.

The class will launch in CLOTH on January 04, 2019. Directors at all libraries using Horizon are required to take this class within 12 months of the launch date. Directors may choose to include their library’s Automation Contact(s) as desired. 

While SELCO completes development of Understanding Horizon Settings, we are declaring a moratorium on changes to Horizon settings. This pause will be in effect, starting today, for each library until it completes the class and the corresponding site visit. 

Thank you for your patience as we finish work on this project, which we believe will enhance the use of Horizon within the larger vision of services provided by each Online Library. Please contact the SELCO Help Desk with any questions on Understanding Horizon Settings or the settings moratorium  

New Help Desk Numbers

help desk numbersAn email has been sent to directors and flyers went out in Delivery today, announcing changes in accessing the Help Desk. Beginning Wednesday, December 5, SELCO will have a new phone system with an automated attendant. This system will streamline our phone communication and reduce costs. 

The biggest change library staff will feel as a result of this is that there are no longer Help Desk-specific phone numbers; we will simply use the main number and toll-free number to access the Help Desk. In order to do so, you will dial (507)-288-5513 OR 800-992-5061 and choose Option 1. 

We ask that directors ensure that they share this with staff. A flyer is going out in Delivery today to each of our online libraries, and a revised copy of the Help Desk flyer that is typically shared in the Back-to-School packet is attached so that you may print and post as many copies as needed throughout your site and in procedural manuals, etc.

You may begin using the “new” numbers immediately. They are, again, (507)-288-5513 OR 800-992-5061. The phone system switch will be made on Wednesday, December 5, after which the old numbers will no longer be in service.

NEW: Free Limited Cataloging for Small Public Libraries and School Media Centers

In continuing our efforts to make SELCO cataloging service more timely, efficient and incremental to our member libraries, we are pleased to announce limited free cataloging for small public libraries and all school media centers using the Horizon system. Starting January 1st, 2019, SELCO will catalog up to 20 items a month as a part of your automation fees.

For the schools that currently have contract cataloging this service replaces it, and expands to those schools not currently using contract cataloging. For mediums and large public libraries a plan to pilot and evaluate the feasibility for this service is being developed.

In order to save time for all and space in your delivery tubs, we’re transitioning to an online submission for your items. You’ll find the form here. You’ll get an email back from us when your items have been cataloged, or if we need you to send the item in for original cataloging.

As always, before you submit those items, make sure that there is not already a bibliographic (bib) record that will work in Horizon.  Search Horizon by both ISBN/UPC and title to see if you can find a bib record that will work for your item in hand. A good reference on whether or not you can use a bib for your item can be found here. If you search by title and find a record that will work, please add the ISBN into your record (if you have cataloging permissions in Horizon).

Please contact the SELCO Help Desk with any questions.

SELCO Among Top Lenders & Borrowers of MNLINK Materials

In a recently released article from Minitex, they listed the top lenders and borrowers for MNLINK, the statewide resource sharing system, for FY2018.

SELCO comes in at #3 for lenders, with 35,084 items, for the state behind some larger systems like Hennepin County and Great River Regional.  We also come in at #4, with 35,104 items, for borrowers behind Hennepin County, Dakota County, and East Central Regional.  In addition we’re given kudos as being one of the top five net lenders in the state.

MNLINK is an essential part of library services in Minnesota and benefits patrons from all walks of life.  When libraries lend and borrow materials via MNLINK they broaden the access their patrons have from what they just have on their shelves to a collaborative collection of several million items.

Be sure to look at the article for more specific details.

SELCO Staff Conference Report: Chris Austin – MLA 2018

Or – How I spent my MLA 2018 edition

Thursday: First I went to “The Web is Lovely, Dark and Deep.” 7/10 for minor factual errors and emoji use. I did learn that some libraries are now offering the TOR browser on their public PC’s, something that I’d be more that happy to provide on request.

Next I went to “Attack of Killer Computer, is Your Library Ready to Code?” looking for STEM kit ideas. 4/10 didn’t really cover anything I didn’t know, but I did have a nice talk with a children’s librarian from Mankato about what I did with code club.

After that I really need some caffeine, so I went down to common area and had a pop, while making some last minute additions and reviewing my own presentation.  I also visited the vendor area.

Then it was lunchtime, Officially I have no opinion of the keynote “We, Surveilled and afraid, in world we never made.” However I couldn’t maintain a poker face to the delight of the others at my table.       

After lunch I met up with James and we rehearsed our presentation.

For the first afternoon session I attended the “Robot Petting Zoo” with Becky 9/10, not enough time with the robots. But we did get some good ideas of what to put in a robot kit.  I ended my first day with “12 DIY Adult Programs” because the description made it sound like one of the 12 was on 3D printing, turns out that they used their 3D printer to make tools for one program. Not really what I was looking for, but what can you do.

Friday: For the first session, I attended “ I Did It!!: The Tip-Meister Dishes on Effective Processes to Get to the Finish” 10/10 for being useful, upbeat and well attended by SELCO staff. I think the biggest takeaway I got was this;  

Gather your facts; gather input , let it stew BUT

DO go ahead and bring an end to the decision making process.

Be sure to get a broad consensus but realize everyone may not be 100% on board.

Don’t let that untrack you.

For my mid-morning session I attended ”Champagne Library Technology on a Beer Budget: Tech Tools for Small Libraries”  I was hoping for hardware or public PC alternatives, but instead it focused on software, I shared some of my experience with Google forms and saw an interesting tool for doing live surveys. (add name from notes)

Blah blah addended something about teamwork.

Then it was my turn, James and I gave our presentation “Making Virtual Reality a Reality in your Library” The crowd was smaller that I thought it would be but, oh well. We took a tag team approach,  with James discussing programming using a HTC vive for a full VR experience. While my half focused on things to do with Google Cardboard. Our slide deck can be viewed here Despite some technical difficulties with the wifi, everything went okay. But, I consider it a win when I get up to present and don’t end up balled up under the podium.

Scholarship Report: Diane Yliniemi – ITEM Conference 2018

Event:  Information Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) Conference — Alexandria, MN — October 25-27, 2018

Attendee:  Diane Yliniemi – Library Media Specialist, Sunset Terrace Elementary School – Rochester


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

Currently, I am a library media specialist for an elementary school in Rochester, MN.  The ITEM conference is the state professional conference for library media specialists, technology coordinators and specialists, technology integrationists, and anyone else interested in application of information and technology to learning.  The people, speakers, information, and sessions are focused on all of the topics and information I can use in my job.  I am also able to be informed on new trends and information and relay this back to my district and the other media specialists I work with.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

I love meeting all of the authors from Minnesota who did several sessions at the conference.  It is always so interesting to find out the background of our authors and illustrators of the books we purchase in our schools.  I am always so impressed by the talent in Minnesota.  I was able to talk to several of the authors afterwards and have them autograph some of the books I was purchasing for my school.  I read for the Maud Hart Lovelace committee here in Rochester and we are always looking for books written by Minnesota authors.

What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

I went to a session on Native American Literature sponsored by the MN Department of Education.  The media specialists of Rochester are currently working on updating our collections.  It was great to see the list of books that have been recommended for educators.  Last week, we had a staff development day in Rochester and the media specialists were pleased to see this bibliography that I brought back.  We plan on ordering books from this list as well as doing book studies on some of the new books we are purchasing.  I have also picked out two of the books that I will be using in my classes next week.  I am encouraging some of our team to present at ITEM next year when we will have a Thanksgiving curriculum written which has been vetted by our Native American liaison and our Rochester parent group and focuses on historical accuracy.

Scholarship Report: Rachel Gray – MLA Conference 2018

Event:  Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Conference — St. Cloud, MN — October 11-12, 2018

Attendee: Rachel Gray – Director, Van Horn Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

MLA always gives me a lot to think about and this year was no exception. I attended a variety of sessions this year on programming, reader’s advisory and more which has given me good ideas to follow for the next year.  I also love the networking opportunities and being able to talk directly with vendors.  I am refreshed, revitalized and inspired to offer great, innovative library services here in Pine Island.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was Programming Outside the Lines.  Amy Muchmore & Sarah Smith from Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, IA were very dynamic speakers who have a lot of experience with adult programming that goes beyond book clubs & author talks.  Some of their most popular ones are Nerf @ the library (After hours program, 18+.  Most participants bring their own Nerf guns but the library has extra for use.), Bad Art Night (Participants have craft odds & ends, a theme & 45 minutes to create the worst piece of art they can.) and Cabin Fever Mini-Con (All ages event/con for all things nerd/geek.  They have speakers, panels and even some vendors.  This session really got my creative juices flowing and encouraged me to think of unusual library programs.

What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

I did a lot of programming sessions this year, so my takeaway is to try to be more creative in what I offer to my patrons.  It is important to bring programming to the public where they are, and to stretch myself & my budget with the things on offer.

What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

After talking to our rep in the vendor hall, I am planning to use Baker & Taylor’s subscription service that automatically fills a cart for me of upcoming releases from popular authors.  I can then go in & choose which ones I want for my library.

Scholarship Report: Layna Mestad – MLA Conference 2018

Event:  Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Conference — St. Cloud, MN — October 11-12, 2018

Attendee: Layna Mestad – Youth Services Librarian, Northfield Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

I am the Youth Services (teen focused) Librarian at the Northfield Public Library.  Attending the Minnesota Library Association Conference directly relates to what I hope to accomplish in serving the Northfield community.  This conference gave me an opportunity to connect with other youth services librarians across the state of Minnesota, learn about new programming ideas to implement with my Teen Advisory Board (TAB), and how to ensure our library services reflect the core values of librarianship.  Many of the sessions I attended related to my youth services responsibilities, such as early literacy skills implementation in storytime, working with teens, under the radar young adult books, visual merchandising, and self-care.  The self-care session was helpful not only for myself, but also what I hope to bring into the library via conversation and programming.  The presenter for this particular session stressed, “You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”  I believe by providing a space that encourages lifelong learning, in whatever form that takes, we have the opportunity to encourage self-care and mindfulness, and help destigmatize the conversation about mental health.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

“Teens are Humans Too” was my favorite session that I attended.  The St. Paul Public Library’s CreaTech Team presented this session that focused on how teen librarians, and all library staff, can best serve the teens in our communities.  One of the quotes they included in their presentation was, “Be who you needed when you were younger.”  This resonated with me because, as we all know, being a teenager is a significant time in our lives where we are discovering our identities and our place in this world amongst our friends, family, and society.  This session validated my personal librarianship experience, and inspired me in what I hope to accomplish with Northfield’s youth going forward.  I appreciated their discussion about building the relationships with teens over time.  They mentioned how as teen librarians, it is important to focus on balance by, “Respecting teens enough to hold them to a high standard of behavior, but also appreciate that they will act out as part of learning to be an adult.”  It is important to keep this in mind while remembering not to take anything personally because this is not about us, it is about the teens.

What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

“Manga and Graphic Novels” was another session I attended.  It explained the difference between the two forms of illustrated novels, and the common misconceptions attributed to both.  Members from my Teen Advisory Board have expressed interest in starting an anime and manga group at the Northfield Public Library.  This session provided me with the background I believed necessary for myself to get this group off the ground.  The Teen Advisory Board and I have planned to start a Teen Anime and Manga Club that will start in November.  As one of my TAB members pointed out, this Teen Anime and Manga Club will interest teens who would not be interested in joining TAB, which is crucial.  My hope is to reach as many teens as we can with library programming.  I am excited and hopeful about the direction this group will take, especially because it was initiated by teens.

Another session I attended was about visual merchandising, which relates back to the Teen Anime and Manga Club.  The visual merchandising session mentioned imagining where hot zones are located in your library.  When promoting the anime and manga club, I kept this thermal map in mind.  In addition to social media and , event graphics were posted in the young adult graphic novel section where the manga is located because teens who use that particular collection are likely already interested in manga.  This collection is one of the locations on the heat map for teen anime and manga enthusiasts.