Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekly Webcast Recap

Collection Development Tips & Tools

August 6, 2015
3:00pm EDT
Join Library Journal, Ingram Content Group, and special guests for a lively discussion about Collection Development. We’ll have a dynamic discussion about the challenges selectors face—from predicting popular titles in advance, to dealing with patron demands, to staying on top of titles in the media and much more. Our expert panelists will have some solutions for many of these challenges, and we hope you’ll join the discussion! Register

More than Words: Inclusive Language Campaign

August 13, 2015
1:00pm Central Time
Macalester College staff, Demetrius Colvin, Assistant Director in the Department of Multicultural Life, and Aaron Albertson, Instruction & Research Librarian in the DeWitt Wallace  Library, as they share information about the development and purpose of the More than Words: Inclusive Language Campaign. It was created to raise awareness about the importance of using inclusive language by empowering individuals to take ownership of the words they choose to use and to encourage people to examine their use of words that they know are problematic as well as words they feel may be just fine. Register

Event Information: Booklist Webinar—Readers' Advisory for your Library’s Midlist Collection

August 11, 2015
1:00pm CDT
Join Booklist and Thorndike Press for this free, hour-long webinar on using Readers' Advisory to leverage your library’s midlist, with a special focus on Large Print books. RA experts Wendy Bartlett (Cuyahoga County Public Library), Robin Nesbitt (Columbus Metropolitan Library), and Joyce Saricks from Booklist will discuss approaches and techniques to help you promote your adult midlist—and help your readers find those special under-the-radar gems. Representatives from Thorndike Press will showcase some of their hottest midlist Large Print titles. Moderated by Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist Editor for Collection Management. Register

Accomplishing More With Social Media

August 6, 2015
11:00am Pacific Standard Time
We’ll explore capabilities of different social media platforms and discuss ways to use them strategically and purposefully for your organization. Register

Music Activities to Support Social Development in the Early Childhood Inclusion Classroom

July 30
1:00pm Eastern Time
In this webinar, you’ll learn how songs and rhythmic chants can support necessary skills inherent in social development including joint attention, turn taking, and formulating greetings and appropriate responses. These skills are particularly challenging for children with disabilities whose social development may be delayed. Therefore, the presenter will highlight ways to approach making music with young children in the inclusion classroom to support the development in social skills not only in children with disabilities, but in any child who is delayed in social skill development. Participants will also be introduced to relevant social development theories as they apply to children. Register

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

ACRL Conference

By Brad Snelling, College of St. Scholastica

In late March, I used an ALS scholarship to help attend the biannual conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries  (ACRL) in Portland, Oregon. I would like to report on a session entitled “Sustaining Curiosity: Programs for Developing Lifelong Readers” which, for me, was the highlight of the conference. I thought it would be worth sharing here since the value of lifelong reading and learning is common to all types of libraries throughout the Arrowhead Library System.

While this session offered useful suggestions and descriptions of reading programs for academic libraries (e.g., popular reading collections, dorm libraries, and book clubs), the most memorable part of the program was a summary of literature and research suggesting that the distraction of technology--especially through our current “phone culture”--has become a serious threat to the attention required for reading book-length texts.

The presenter, Pauline Dewan (Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario), asserted that “if we want our students to become avid readers, we must recognize that they need to experience the joy of reading.” To experience this joy, one must become an accomplished reader. But this does not happen by chance. Rather, it is an acquired skill which is developed over time and through practice. As Dewan notes, “the more we read, the better we become at it.”

Dewan referred to research by Wolf and Barzillai which demonstrates how reading involves both hemispheres of the brain. Reading also requires time, focused attention, and an active imagination. Unfortunately, these various requirements often serve as barriers to aspiring readers in our current culture. Dewan remarked: “Today’s students have grown up in a culture of distraction that reduces their ability to focus, fragments the reading experience, and makes them less patient with book-length material.”

The most interesting portion of this presentation focused on how screen reading (on smart phones, computers and other electronic devices) can create poor habits which are not conducive to reading longer texts. The presenter noted that our current generation of youth was raised on screen reading and that this has had an impact on all of their reading, not just on electronic devices. Dewan noted that reading online is typically done through skimming text. She cited author Steven Krug who describes in his book, Don’t Make Me Think Revisited, how many readers of web pages will only glance at a page without looking at significant portions of the text. There is a tendency to jump from link to link, another activity which interrupts linear thinking. One’s reading is even more fragmented by the layout of pages which typically breaks material into numerous sections with scrolling text, sidebars, multimedia and advertisements. Screen reading “chips away” at our ability to focus on one thing at a time. Our continual exposure to snippet-length texts can make book-length reading a daunting task.

Towards the end of her discussion, Dewan discussed Nicholas Carr’s argument that the surface-skimming involved in screen reading “discourages deep thinking and sustained reflection.” She concluded by turning to an article by Durant & Horava which emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between reading and writing. These authors conclude that it is unlikely that our students will write well if they do not read well.

Dewan and her fellow presenters have co-authored an excellent book, The Slow Book Revolution: Creating a New Culture of Reading on College Campuses and Beyond, which discusses reading programs for academic libraries. Below, I am including a full citation for this work along with the other sources noted in this report:

Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W. Wilson, 2011.

Durant, D., and T. Horava. “The Future of Reading and Academic Libraries.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15.1 (2015): 5-27.

The Slow Book Revolution: Creating a New Culture of Reading on College Campuses and Beyond.  Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2014.

Krug, Steve.  Don’t Make Me Think Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web and Mobile Usability. San Francisco, CA: New Riders, 2014.

Wolf, Maryanne, and Mirit Barzillai. “The Importance of Deep Reading.” Educational Literacy, 66.6 (2009): 32-37.

I would like to thank the Arrowhead Library System for its kind support of my attendance at this conference. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weekly Webcast Recap

Free Compuer Tutorials at GCFLearnFree

The Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) offers numerous online courses as a way to help users learn the essential skills needed for living and working in the 21st century. Here, readers will find a compendium of courses designed specifically for users who don’t quite feel comfortable in the world of Computers. Each course is broken down into easily understandable lesson. Readers may progress at Computer Basics, a Mouse Tutorial, a Typing Tutorial, Internet 101, Internet Safety, and others. The Internet Safety course is an especially helpful tool. In its readers learn about passwords how to spot email spam, strategies for staying safe while browsing, the do’ and don’ts of financial transactions, and even how to deal with online harassment.  In all, the lessons on the site can serve readers who are complete newcomers to the world of computers, as well as those hoping to hone their skills. Website

Avoid These Top 10 Career Search Mistakes

July 23, 2015
12:00pm CDT
Glassdoor demo for Libraries. is the world’s largest career community site, a bit like “TripAdvisor” for work. We have millions of open jobs, detailed company reviews, salary data, and real interview questions shared by employees at just about any company, including companies in your local area. Our mission is to help people find the jobs they love. Register

Becoming a Pro at Professional Development

July 29, 2015
1:00pm EDT
Organizations say it all the time: “People are our most valuable asset.” When times are good and budgets secure, cutting-edge libraries mentor promising staff to grow into the leaders of tomorrow. However, when times are tough, employees must take charge of their own professional development to build the skills they need today and in the future. Register

Discovering Great Historical Fiction

July 21, 2015
1:00pm CDT
Booklist and ALA Editions have teamed up for a series of free, hour-long readers’ advisory webinars, featuring content experts in various genres. In this program, ALA Editions author (The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Historical Fiction) and veteran Booklist reviewer Jen Baker will discuss how to work with readers to help them find the right books. Booklist Adult Books editor Brad Hooper will share key titles every library should have in their historical fiction collection, and Five Star will share their best new and forthcoming historical fiction titles. Moderated by Booklist's Collection Management editor Rebecca Vnuk. Register

Crowdfunding for Libraries: Technology Tips for Futuristic Fundraising

July 29
11:00am PST
Could you use more funding for your library projects? Are you looking for money to launch a new program? Turn community-driven support into dollars with crowdfunding! A well-run crowdfunding campaign can yield big results, even for small libraries. Register

Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Webcast Recap

Horizon Back-to-Basics Training
July 15 & 16
Arrowhead Library System (ALS) Headquarters—Open to ALS member library staff who work with Horizon. In the morning, participants will go over the Horizon basics—adding patrons, shortcuts, pull lists, reports and more. In the afternoon, we’ll focus on cataloging basics—what is a record, adding items, OCLC, workforms and RDA. Time will also be set aside to highlight ALS services and for a building tour! Notes: There is a registration cap on this session to ensure a hands-on experience in our training lab. A $5 sub sandwich lunch option will be available on site—if you are interested, please note on your registration. Register for July 16

Crowdfunding for Libraries: Technology Tips for Futuristic Fundraising

July 29
11:00am PDT
Could you use more funding for your library projects? Are you looking for money to launch a new program? Turn community-driven support into dollars with crowdfunding! A well-run crowdfunding campaign can yield big results, even for small libraries. 
Join us for this free webinar to learn technology tools, tips, and tried-and-true practices for running a successful crowdfunding campaign for your library. Learn the basics, and hear from two libraries with experience in this type of fundraising. Register

Book Group Crystal Ball: Summer & Fall 2015
July 14
1:00pm Central
Join Kaite Mediatore Stover, Director of Readers' Services at the Kansas City Public Library, and representatives from Harper Collins, Random House, Shadow Mountain, and Sourcebooks for this free, hour-long presentation of great books for discussion. Stover will talk about her top five books that book groups shouldn’t miss, along with creative ways to pump up the conversation. Then our publishers will present their best new and upcoming titles. Moderated by Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist Editor for Reference and Collection Management. Register

Introduction to Facilitating Groups: Best Practices in Group Facilitation
July 15
11:00am Pacific
At some point, even experienced trainers, facilitators and managers find themselves standing before groups whose dynamics are all over the board.  Everyone is expressing an opinion, ideas are flying at warp speed, emotions are high, disagreement is rampant, and some participants in your group are shutting down – while others are rebelling against the process.  Wouldn’t it be great to have the tools that allow you to regain control and confidently lead your group to effective results?
In this session with Certified Master Facilitator, veteran trainer, and CEO Michael Wilkinson, you will learn practical facilitation techniques to elevate your group handling skills to help you achieve amazing team results. Whether you facilitate training sessions, project meetings, strategy planning, or executive retreats, this webinar will give you an introduction to a proven comprehensive approach for leading any type of group. Learn cutting-edge tools designed to make your sessions even more engaging.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Two ALS Employees Recognized

On June 11, the Arrowhead Library System (ALS) Board recognized Sharon Kangas and Jennifer Ancel for their years of service to ALS. Sharon Kangas, currently the Interlibrary Loan Assistant here at ALS, was recognized for 30 years of service. Jennifer Ancel, currently the Acquisitions/Processing Clerk at ALS, was recognized for 15 years of service. Congratulations to both Sharon and Jennifer and many thanks for their dedicated service to our customers!

Marge McPeak (left), President of the ALS Board, presents certificates of Appreciation to Sharon Kangas (center) and Jennifer Ancel (right).

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Explora now available from EBSCO

July 2, 2015

Explora Now Available from EBSCO

Explora is a new interface for K-12 students, teachers, and public libraries and has been added as an overlay to some EBSCO resources already provided via Minitex.
Multiple versions of Explora have been released for schools and public libraries. Each version features a unique landing page designed to best support the needs of students, patrons, teachers and librarians in their respective settings. Each version serves as an interface to several individual EBSCO databases. You can still search all EBSCO databases individually through their direct links.
Explora Kids and Explora Teens effectively replace the previous overlays Searchasaurus, Kids Search, and Student Research Center, although links to those latter interfaces will continue to work through December 2015.
Explora screenshot.
Note: Links below for MN libraries. ND and SD libraries should contact ODIN and SDLN respectively for more information.
Explora Kids (Take a look at Explora Kids via the ELM website)
Contains elementary school-appropriate magazines, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and images.
Includes these current ELM databases:
·        Primary Search
·        Middle Search Plus
Explora Teens (Take a look at Explora Teens via the ELM website)
Contains middle and high school-appropriate magazine, journal, and encyclopedia articles and also includes primary source documents, reference books, and multimedia.
Includes these current ELM databases:
·        Middle Search Plus
·        MAS Ultra - School Edition
·        Health Source - Consumer Edition
·        Consumer Health Complete
·        Science Reference Center
Explora Library (Take a look at Explora Library via the ELM website)
Full text of popular magazine and scholarly journal articles covering all subject areas including multimedia, primary source documents, and reference books.
Includes these current ELM databases:
·        Academic Search Premier
·        Business Source Premier
·        MasterFILE Premier
·        Health Source - Consumer Edition
·        Consumer Health Complete
·        Science Reference Center
·        Professional Development Collection

Explora interface links for your library

Set up direct links from your library website using the links on this page.


Contact Minitex Reference Outreach & Instruction at

EBSCO Support Materials

Information for Students and Patrons:
·        Explora User Guide
Information for Librarians and Teachers:
·        Explora Promotion Kit

ELM is brought to you by your local library or school library, Minitex, and State Library Services, Minnesota's state library agency, with state appropriations to Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota Department of Education.
ELM is administered by Minitex, an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries.
©2015 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota, University Libraries. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

July Legacy Events include something for everyone!

Zaraawar Mistry will present Children’s Music and Stories from India at libraries across the region in July. While you are at the library, pick up tickets to a variety of theatrical and musical events scheduled across the Arrowhead. 

  • All the Aprils of the World, a play written, produced and presented in Cloquet.
  • The Merry Widow opera will be presented in Chisholm and Ely by a combination of internationally known and local musical talent.
  • Minnesota musicians Duluthians and LSCO musicians Paul Bagley, violin and Aleksander Tengesdal, cello perform Brahms Double Concerto in A in Duluth.

For more information about all the legacy program go to: