Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weeding resources

On the listservs this past month there was a discussion among school and public librarians about weeding the library collection. The librarians mentioned several resources that can be used when determining what to weed. The Library Development staff decided to compile a list of the resources and put them in Cornerstone. Thank you to all the librarians for a list of wonderful resources.

South Dakota's Star-Rated public libraries

Library Journal’s new national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service, identifies 256 "star" libraries. Created by Ray Lyons and Keith Curry Lance, it rates 7,115 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three Michelin guide-like stars. All included libraries, stars or not, can use their scores to learn from their peers and improve service to their communities.

South Dakota is honored to have three star-rated public libraries. The libraries are Centerville Community Library, Faulk County Library, and Hazel L. Meyer Memorial Library, DeSmet.

We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight one of South Dakota’s star-rated public libraries.

Centerville Community Library

by Joan Upell
The moment I enter the building it is obvious that there is always something going on at the Centerville Community Library. Librarians Linda Holmberg and Mary Ferwerda excitedly talk about the honor of being named a five star library by Library Journal as patrons check out books, work on the computer, read in the teen area, and zoom in on toy tractors in celebration of FFA Week. And they say they are sorry I stopped in to visit on such a quiet day!

Centerville Community Library is one of America’s Star Libraries according to Library Journal’s new Index of Public Library Service. Star libraries were named based on statistics for library visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use in relation to the library’s total operating expenditures. For the complete article announcing America’s Star Libraries go to

The Centerville Community Library is a combined school and public library serving a K-12 student population of 263 and a community population of 900. Centerville School Superintendent Doug Voss says the community is honored, but not too surprised by this news as Linda and Mary do a great job and deserve recognition for all of their hard work. Both librarians have lived in Centerville their entire lives and feel that they are very lucky to have such a supportive and generous community. As an example they pointed out the huge success of the Holiday Home Tour program the library sponsors each December. This involves free entertainment, a silent auction, a tour of five or six local homes, and begins at the library. They were able to have author Keri Kay of Floppy Cat fame as a tie-in visit for the children this past year.

Read more about the Centerville Community Library in Centerville Community Library, SD: Taking Advantage of a Combined System at

Originally published at :

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

April is School Library Media Month

Celebrate School Library Month right along with National Library Week. Read books about libraries and librarians to your elementary students. Show movie clips about libraries and librarians to your middle school and high school students. Or, turn it into a contest and ask your students to find the best book, movie, or website about libraries and/or librarians!

Internet safety information for all ages

Disclaimer: Presentation of any particular curriculum does not constitute endorsement, approval or recommendation for adoption of that curriculum by the State of South Dakota or the South Dakota Department of Education and its offices.
Recent studies:

Free info and materials:
  • CyberSmart! Education has released a free, research-based cyber bullying curriculum for K-12 schools.
  • NetSmartz® Workshop helps kids, tweens, and teens recognize Internet risks through content tailored for each age group, from animated music videos to short, teen-narrated documentaries.
  • The U.S. Government at offers tips, games, videos, and free materials in large quantities (bookmarks, pamphlets, etc.) for children, parents, and all adults.
  • The Take 25 campaign is a national grassroots initiative encouraging parents, educators, and other trusted adults to simply take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety. Its free resources include safety tips, discussion guides, child ID kits, and sample outreach materials.

Books for background info:

Professional Networking for School Librarians

“For those of us who connect, teach, share, and lead in new information landscapes. Come play in this exciting learning sandbox! Pose questions in the forum. Add your images and video! Post in the blog.” Check it out at This site was created by Joyce Valenza who also blogs on School Library Journal under Neverendingsearch at described as “A discussion of information fluency, teaching, and learning in the 21st century.”

Originally published at :

Public Library Annual Report

Dear South Dakota Library Colleagues,
Ever feel like a tiny minnow in a Big ocean? Did you know your library is just one library among some 122,000 libraries in the United States? Sometimes it is difficult to see past all the pressing needs of serving those beloved patrons. They are standing right there in front of us needing our assistance. Surveys… boring? Insignificant? Not in this case.
This past fall I had the privilege of visiting with some of our librarian colleagues at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington D.C. Check out I must confess I was not prepared to be so overwhelming impressed with the organization and vision of this national group. They really do have their act together and care deeply about the state of our nation’s libraries. They realize it is all grass-roots… all local. Yet their job is to advocate, as is your South Dakota State Library, on your behalf. And believe it or not, statistics help us… help you build a case for stronger and better funded libraries on the local level.
This year we are hoping to greatly improve our response rate on our annual Public Library Survey. Can you believe that South Dakota was dead last (lowest percentage) of responding public libraries last year? Let’s not ever let that happen again! The staff of the State Library is here to assist you and answer all your questions. Soon your instructions will be emailed to you and the 2008 Public Library Survey will open on April 1, 2009 and close on May 31, 2009. It is exclusively an online survey.
It is important that everyone participate. You count. Your library matters. Data submitted in this report is used to justify budgets, answer questions regarding staffing, create comparative statistics with other libraries, boost libraries opportunities for grants and for many other good purposes. Once all our libraries have entered their data and the data is verified, you will be able to go to to compare your library to other libraries, to create charts and graphs and use these statistics for years to come.
Don’t miss out. Remember, the South Dakota State Library is here to assist you and answer your questions. Thank you for your participation and for your time on this statewide and national effort.
Good luck and Best Wishes,
Daria Bossman
Assistant State Librarian for Development Services

Originally published at : 

DOE Report Praises Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program

According to a recent report by the US Department of Education, students attending schools that received grant money from the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) program perform higher on state reading tests than those in schools that didn't participate in the program. You can read the entire article at

Originally published at :

Monday, March 9, 2009

How does your library promote itself?

by Peg Williams, Potter County Library

Our two county newspapers print a weekly library column free of charge.

We don't have money for a "real" website, so we use a free blogsite. We know it leaves a lot to be desired, and we're planning to improve it. In the meantime, we get email questions from people who view it.

Any organization, group, or club in the county who needs a program can count on us.

We dedicate a book in the library for each child born to county residents. We get the parents' permission to use the child's name and then afix a label to the outside front cover of the book that says something like this:

Every birth is a blessing.
This book honors the birth of
Elsa Catherine Schiferl

As they get older, the kids love to find "their" book.

Originally published at :

Featured e-resource of the month: ProQuest

Whether you want to compare TV brands or study rocket science, ProQuest provides fast, full-text popular or scholarly journal articles at your fingertips by adding thousands of dollars worth of journals to your collection.

In Focus: Brenda Hemmelman

My first love affair with a book was at Hayes Elementary School. Yes, that is little tiny Hayes, SD on Highway 14. I don’t remember the name of the book, but I do remember asking the teacher if I could just have it. She, of course, declined. In high school at Philip, I spent some afternoons sitting on the floor of the Haakon County Library perusing paperbacks. My sister and I were gifted the entire original Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, so that kept us busy as well.

My first working experience at a library was as a student at SDSU. While working on a teaching degree, I was a work study student in the Circulation Department at H.M. Briggs Library. When I graduated, my library supervisor told me that if teaching didn’t work out for me, I should consider library work. I took his advice to heart and have worked in almost every area of libraries: ILL, circulation, documents, reference, cataloging. By far I enjoy the reference work the most because I like to work with and help people find information.One learns something new themselves every time a patron question is answered.

I’ve also been very lucky to be a part of the Executive Board of the SD Library Association since 1999. Having this opportunity has allowed me to get to know so many librarians throughout the state. Going to conference feels like a gathering of old friends.

Although I love the Black Hills, coming to the State Library in Pierre as the Research/Gov Docs Librarian allows me the chance to get back into my favorite area of library work. At the same time, I am also able to keep a closer eye on my aging parents, who still live in Hayes. Bringing up my six-year-old son in a smaller community also has a certain appeal.

I have a bachelor’s degree from SDSU in Math and Spanish, where I was also a proud member of the Pride of the Dakotas marching band, and a MA in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona in Tucson. In addition to reading (Nevada Barr and Tony Hillerman are favorites as well as SD history), I enjoy spending time hiking and camping with the family, riding my four wheeler, playing with my dogs, landscaping, and home improvement. I watch a fair amount of HGTV, History Channel, and Discovery Channel.

My family includes husband Brian, currently a professor at SDSM&T, but looking forward to starting his own consulting business in Pierre, and our son Devin, currently a kindergartner in Rapid City. The road between Pierre and Rapid City will become very familiar until the rest of the family moves to Pierre in the summer. We also have two young dogs, Koda (sheltie) and Ranger (pound dog), and a very old cat.

Originally published at :

Making Your Mark

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! Take advantage of "free" advertising. Most small town community newspapers have a community calendar section. Be sure your library's programs and events are posted there regularly. Most local newspapers are always looking for a nice feel-good community interest story. In this day and age of digital photography, take your own pictures and email some of them to the paper. You might be surprised what they use.

But remember when taking photos of people be sure to get and have on file a "release" signature to photograph them.

Originally published at :