Rediscover: Minnesota History

January 6, 2013

…AND 6 months later I update my *almost* forgotten blog…

My New Year Resolution for 2013 is…

Rediscover Minnesota History

Last year I challenged myself to read the digital format of a book instead of the print version. I am happy to say that I did do this, but it was difficult. I struggled to be on the waiting list at the library when I had the print copy sitting on the shelf of the library where I work. I also struggled not to BUY the eBook version if it wasn’t available through the library eMedia catalog. In 2012 I read 125 books. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 18  eBooks
  • 19 audiobooks
  • 17 comix (comics, graphic novels, illustrated novels, etc.)
  • 71 books in print


So, how am I going to rediscover Minnesota History this year? I say ‘rediscover’ because I took an entire year of Minnesota History in 6th grade (which was a long time ago).
Here are some of my ideas: Read the rest of this entry »


Minnesota State Shutdown Ends – Work is Not Done!

July 15, 2011

This is partially an email sent to me earlier today and partially my own words and plea. Thank you!


Now that an agreement to re-start the state government has been reached, we have a very short window to act on one very important topic:

Before the shutdown started, MOE (Maintenance of Effort) for Libraries was suspended for two years.  The MLA/MEMO lobbyist, Elaine Keefe, is hard at work trying to get MOE returned to some state other than suspended.  (Because of the way MOE is calculated on the three previous years, a two year suspension could have a devastating effect on libraries around the state.)

Please take the time to contact the Governor, House and Senate Leadership, and Tax Chairs and ask them to NOT suspend library maintenance of effort.  It can’t hurt to remind them that the library community has been the only MOE recipient to come to the table with compromises in the past several years.  This is our chance to have an enormous impact on our future, but we have very little time to act!

Here are the appropriate email links for those who need to be contacted:

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch

Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers

Governor Mark Dayton 

Tax Chairs

House:  Greg Davids                    

Senate: Julianne Ortman          

Thank you for your time and effort!

Heidi (and libraries in general)

A job! – Library Director of Muir Library

April 13, 2011

It’s the post everyone’s been waiting for – well maybe not everyone. But to those of you who have been growing tired of me talking about finding a job – I HAVE A JOB! I am the new Library Director of Muir Library in Winnebago, Minnesota.

Winnebago is a town near (just 10 minutes north of) my hometown of Blue Earth, Minnesota. It is part of the same school district, so I actually went to sixth grade in Winnebago. In any event, it is an active small town and I am unbelievably excited to be part of the community! I’ve already been introduced and re-introduced to so many people – and they all have wonderful things to say about the library and the community. This support makes me feel hopeful about this new position.

The former Library Director, Judy, retired after 29 years in the position. I am thankful that she will still be in town to perhaps provide some guidance for me. There are 3 part-time employees at the library and they have already welcomed me and given me pieces of great advice to get started. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas and expectations of me in the first few weeks.

Finally, I want to touch on another group of people who I am sure have and will continue to be an asset to the library – the volunteers (Friends of the Library). Recently, there’s been several posts about volunteers in libraryland. Katie wrote one for HackLibSchool – there’s one on Annie’s blog – and over here on TheGoLibrarians. In any event, as I’ve been a volunteer for different organizations for several years, I know how valuable volunteers are to an organization. It will be different for me to be coordinating their schedules and duties, but I look forward to getting to know each person who volunteers their time to make the Muir Library a better place.

Look for another post (with pictures I promise) soon as I head into the library!


Happy New Year!

January 3, 2011

When I was 7 or 8, a huge blizzard wrapped my family into our house in southern Minnesota for a couple of days over the New Year Holiday. We all huddled in the basement next to the stone fire place. It is even possible that we didn’t have electricity because of the storm (although I could be mistaken) and so we sat in that room and played quietly. My mom handed me a book to read. I could tell it was one of her old books from when she was a little girl. It had “a lot” of pages and smelled like a combination old newspaper and homemade bread. It was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods.

I sat next to the warm, glowing fire place in an old rocking chair and read that book for hours that day. I became lost in the Big Woods and in the Ingalls’ family’s story. That may be why I want to think that we didn’t have electricity. This is one of my richest and most comforting memories.

On New Year’s Day 2011, I found myself curled up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow. I had electricity, the Internet, and dozens of DVDs to keep me occupied, but I ached for an afternoon of getting lost in a story. It was a wonderful way to start the new year — a year where I will be moving to a new part of the country, beginning my life with new (and old) friends, and hopefully finding my place in the world of librarianship. The afternoon lacked only one thing — I wished for the soft glow and crackle of my parents’ warm fire place to keep me company. Of course, if I’d have been in my parents’ house in front of the fire place, I would be reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods for the eighth time, but that doesn’t matter.

What matters is that it is a new year and another chapter of my story is ready to unfold.
Happy New Year!

Hugs, Crying, Rejoicing

December 13, 2010

Here ends Fall Quarter 2010. And here begins Trips to the Airport — which is where I take people to the airport to go home to their families and then pick them up as they return. My first trip will be tomorrow at 5 a.m. No worries, I, too, will be heading to the airport to make my way back to the lovely and snowy Minnesota.

These trips to the airport remind me of the last scene of the movie Love Actually where everyone reunites at the airport and hugs and cries and rejoices. These activities (hugging, crying and rejoicing) all happen at the end of a complicated, stressful quarter of library school, too. Heart-bopping music doesn’t fill the classrooms and hallways, though it should.

And then it was September?

September 4, 2010

Although my ability to maintain a blog during the summer was -clearly- nonexistent, I did continue to be an MLIS student. This summer, I took LIS 570 — Research Methods. It was another required course for the MLIS program at the Information School University of Washington in Seattle. However, I took it online as I spent the summer in Minnesota with my family.

LIS 570 — Research Methods
Since it was completely online, we had readings posted online and then we also watched and listened to lectures from our instructor. Finally, we kept a Research Log and posted on discussion forums with other students from around the country.

The main part of this class was a group project where we designed and performed our own research study. My amazing group members, April and Deb, are also friends from school. They are both in Seattle for the summer (and I miss them dearly).

Our study is called Expanding the Sense of Community: The Influence of Digital Reference on Rural Libraries. If you would like to see our presentation, please feel free to contact me!

So, that was my “schooling” this summer. I explored rural and small libraries in Minnesota and enjoyed every single minute of it. Look for a post about what I read this summer in a couple of days.

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