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.

SELCO Staff Conference Report: Reagen Thalacker – MLA 2018

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

Attendee:  Reagen Thalacker, Regional Librarian – SELCO/SELS

How does attending this event relate to your current role?

The professional development aspect of having been a part of the Conference Committee was a great way to help me build upon current skill sets in the creation of large scale continuing education events as well as work with colleagues from across all types of libraries.  The attending of the event allowed me to not to see the hard work of the Committee come to fruition but also to see and hear from various library connections around the state about what sessions they found valuable.  Attending MLA has always been a great way to reinvigorate my interest in library work as well as come away with new ideas to implement back home.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was entitled “Stop Supervising in Circles: Five Questions to Get Direction in Challenging Situations”.  My supervisory skills are admittedly not my strongest, having no formal training in this arena, and as such I’m always looking for ways to better this aspect of my work.  The speaker not only was an expert with 20+ years in supervisor, but the topics is also something she loves to do – so who better to gain knowledge from?  She provided great steps to walk you though how to tackle difficult situations with staff, as well as offered insights in to better approaches when you need to coach someone and what to do if that’s not working.  Her enthusiasm for the topic was definitely infectious, and I know that both myself, and a fellow SELCO colleague who was also in attendance, were definitely energized and inspired by what she said.

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

I attended a session called “Meeting Users Where They Are: Teaching Information Literacy Online” which was given by two academic librarians.  We’re looking at the option of expanding our online learning engagement opportunities further and since academic librarians create these all the time for their student population, I thought I could gain some knowledge on best practices.  I was able to walk away with some great frameworks and practical pieces as to how to best set-up and deliver online educational content.  Something that’ll definitely come in handy when we have the opportunity to move forward with this aspect.

Scholarship Report: Jill Nysse – ITEM Conference 2018

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

Attendee:  Jill Nysse – Library Media Specialist/Instructional Coach – Winona Area Public Schools

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

This year I have changed grade levels and also had Instructional Coach/Technology Integrationist added to my library media position. The Information Technology Educators Conference had so many sessions that related to both the library media specialist and the technology integrationist.  The conference committee always invites a number of authors, and I loved visiting with the authors and enjoyed the author panel during lunch.  I organize a yearly Elementary Author visit, so this was the perfect opportunity gather contacts and ideas for next year.  The professional development this conference offered was some of the best I’ve seen and I found myself wishing there was more time in the day!  The sessions on Google Classroom and Flipgrid were especially good, but I also enjoyed seeing what had been done using WeVideo, as well as a top 10 list of tips and tricks from Google.  The final event on Saturday was an “unconference”.  At an unconference, the participants get to set the agenda and suggest topics that they could either teach or topics that they want to learn more about. This was perfect for me–and yes, I was of course, the learner.

I sincerely thank SELCO for their ongoing commitment to professional development.  It is, without a doubt, the backbone of our profession!  The SELCO workshops I have attended have all been excellent and I am very grateful for the scholarship opportunities SELCO offers.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

I would have to say the “hands on” sessions with Flipgrid were my favorites.  I use the plural intentionally since the Flipgrid team offered a session on Friday, and during the “unconference” on Saturday, the very first session proposed was on Flipgrid.  In fact, Flipgrid unconference sessions were offered in all three slots, so obviously many people were interested in learning about it.  I had been looking for an easy way to record the voices of kindergartners reading.  Anything we used also had to be free.  Flipgrid was free and was advertised as easy, so it definitely was something worth looking into.  The developer of Flipgrid spoke at the opening keynote session.  I was impressed with his description of Flipgrid as a way to give the students a voice.  It definitely has a use as a platform that creates a community and provides a voice to members of the community.  In my case, I was looking at it in a more utilitarian way.

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

My biggest takeaway was that our profession is constantly changing and most of us have had to, or will have to, reinvent ourselves and become advocates for the profession.  It was really frightening to hear that districts continue to eliminate library/media professionals, even in the face of declining reading scores.

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

I am interested in trying to use Flipgrid to record voices and then create QR codes of young readers.  I also appreciated some of the ideas, and tips from the Google team in their session.  I know I will be using those right away.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would definitely recommend this to others.  Whether you are a library media specialist or tech integrationist or any of the many titles/jobs that we encompass, belonging to and supporting a professional organization is vitally important.  As incomprehensible as it is to us, many school districts are replacing licensed staff with paras or even eliminating the positions completely.  Our organization speaks to and lobbies for the continuation of professionals in our schools.  The organization needs our support.  The sessions offered at ITEM 2018 were excellent and offered something for everyone.  The opportunity to network with others in the profession is priceless (no humor or reference to the credit card ad intended).  I made two contacts with people from my area that I feel with be invaluable as I transition to this new role.  I should add that there is fun built into the conference with the trivia night (plus prizes!).  Whether you are a book person or a techie–or likely both–this conference has something for everyone.

Scholarship Report: Nancy Hackenmiller – MLA Conference 2018

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

Attendee: Nancy Hackenmiller – Library Assistant, Kasson Public Library

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was “12 DIY Adult Programs” presented by Laura Morlock on Thursday afternoon.  She was enthusiastic about the programs at her library, highlighting her PowerPoint presentation with photos of the various events.  I was intrigued with the variety of the adult programming at Wescott Library.  I have since been in contact with Laura via email to learn more from her and to pass on an activity that has been successful here at my library!

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

Gina Millsap, Friday’s keynote speaker, had a message that has remained with me.  In fact, I am now reading the two books which she recommended: “Rising to the Challenge” and “Built to Last”.  Her call to librarians to embrace their role as community leaders was important to hear.  And her many examples of effecting change in a timely fashion were the impetus to musing on what could be/should be changed at MY library.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

Yes, I would very strongly encourage others to attend the annual conference.  It is a wonderful venue for gathering new ideas, connecting with vendors, broadening horizons, and gaining a renewed sense of purpose.  Spending two full and busy days with a large group of people, all committed to libraries, is a very uplifting experience!

Horizon Library Basics Completed

Pat yourselves on the back, everyone with a Horizon login completed the class by the deadline!  We started with over 400 logins last October, and after deleting unused accounts, 334 people completed the class.  This is a huge success! 

Going forward, every time you have a new hire at your library, the Library Basics class will be assigned to them and they will have 60 days to complete it.  This should help all of the libraries stay on track and have the same basic training in Horizon.  You are always welcome to go back and look through the class again, and if you haven’t printed them already, the handouts for the class are on the last page of the training. 


Some comments from the final survey of the Library Basics Class:

  • I appreciated the ‘refresher’.
  • Very favorable. Any new employee should take this online training after “shadowing” on the job for a day.
  • Also, this information should be printed and placed in the library’s procedure book.
  • It is a very good basic training course for someone new to working in a library or to brush up basics.
  • I thought it was easy to follow and understand. The videos did a great job at showing me exactly what I need to do. It did a good job at preparing me for this job.
  • It’s a good review, and a reminder that there are multiple ways to do the same thing.
  • I like the training!
  • Very informative. I learned a lot.
  • Quick and dirty. Or clean…easy and informative.

Scholarship Report: Chris Beckman – ABOS Conference 2018

Event: Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS) Conference — Raleigh, NC — October 17-19, 2018

Attendee: Chris Beckman – Bookmobile Driver, Rochester Public Library

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

The ABOS conference is held every year in a different quadrant of the country.  The gathering of library staff are strictly associated with outreach outside of the brick and mortar walls.  There are a lot of Bookmobile drivers/associates to speak with regarding all the outreach activities that I do at Rochester Public Library including homebound, deposit collection delivery to assisted living centers and daycares, and Bookmobile service in Olmsted county.  These conversations can be used during day to day services.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

There was a session called “Bookmobile Buzz” that I keep thinking about.  The presenter is a vendor that specializes in Bookmobile request for purchases.  We used him when we designed ours at Rochester.  Generators have always been a stickler nationwide on bookmobiles because of their nature.  They run at high speeds and susceptible to dirt and road debris causing a lot of maintenance problems.  The future is close at getting rid of generators totally using cadmium and lithium ion batteries that have tons of power storage.  We are using lead batteries currently and replace them every 3 years, these [ion batteries] last 15-20 years.  Hopefully we can get by in 3 years from now to start using these!

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

I attended a session on truck checklists before starting the route.  I am going to start using this form to see if it is better than our current checklist.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

The conference is well organized and set up well for all staff dealing with outreach and would recommend to others.  It can give staff ideas gained from other libraries around the country that can be implemented at your library.  Face to face conversations can be priceless compared to modern day email and texting!