Monday, September 28, 2009

Gaming is for all ages

Gaming in the library doesn’t need to be high-tech or just for kids. Hurley Public Library has set aside a puzzle corner for adults.

Game room at Hurley

Librarian Marilyn Jorgensen says many adults find it a relaxing spot and a good place to come for some company and conversation. All of the puzzles were donated, so the library just had to create a space with a table and they were in business.

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More resources in the news

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Resources available for students with qualified print disabilities

Bookshare is a resource to find appropriate accessible books and textbooks for K-12 students with qualified print disabilities. Bookshare is a large online accessible library for individuals with print disabilities, such as blindness, low vision, a physical or reading disability that makes it difficult to read standard print. The library is free for U.S. schools and students who qualify through a $32-million award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Bookshare offers more than 50,000 accessible books, including best sellers, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and children's literature along with two complimentary software applications that read digital books; Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition from Don Johnston and Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition from Humanware.

Bookshare and the National Library Service for Blind & Physically Handicapped, the parent organization for Braille and talking book libraries, are working together to provide materials for students. For additional information on textbooks in alternative formats of audio, large print or Braille contact the SD State Library, Braille & Talking Book Program at 1-800-423-6665.

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What is Library Development reading?

book cover of Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog - image used with permission from
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis is science fiction and mystery all wrapped up in a Victorian comedy of manners. It shouldn't work as well as it does, but it's hilarious! To Say Nothing of the Dog follows Ned Henry, an Oxford University researcher. The year is 2057 and time travel is used for historical research. Enter Lady Schrapnell. She's turned the University upside down trying to build an exact replica of Coventry Cathedral - as it looked in the 19th century. Poor Ned has been sent back and forth in time, until he is absolutely jet lagged. The infirmary insists on two weeks of rest and the only way he's going to get it is by going to 1888. Unfortunately, 1888 won't be as restful as he thinks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Freeman and Marion cooperate on book exchange program

Libraries in SD continue to come up with innovative ways to expand book offerings to patrons. A new exchange program between Freeman and Marion is a perfect example. According to LeAnn Kaufman, Freeman librarian, the book exchange started this summer. The idea originated with the large print book circuit that used to run throughout the state. Freeman currently exchanges 15 books with Marion. During the summer, the exchange period has been for three months. As fall approaches and schools are back in session, the time frame will be shorter.

To move the books the roughly 14 miles between communities, innovation again comes into play. Linda Luke, the Marion School/Community librarian, was coming to Freeman one day, so that is how the inaugural exchange took place. In the future, Kaufman’s children, who attend school in Marion, will also become the library couriers. Menno School/Community Library, under the direction of Shana Smidt, has expressed an interest in joining the program exchange, and plans are in the works to make that happen.

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Sharing is caring with social bookmarking

By Stacia McGourty

Sharing is caring - we’ve heard it from teachers, parents and even Barney. Like most librarians, what I most often like to share is information. If you want to know something, I’ll do my best to track it down for you. Some of my best information sources come from the Internet. That ever growing, ever changing, morass of information allows me to find information on topics ranging from, “President Obama’s Healthcare Plan” to “Who shot J.R.?” (It was his sister-in-law, Kristin.)

I keep a list of favorite sites bookmarked on my computer, just so I don’t have to search for the same site again and again. This works out well, when I’m using my own computer. The problem comes when I’m trying to use someone else’s computer. Suddenly I can’t remember the name of the site, or how I found it in the first place.

Enter social bookmarking. There are sites that allow you to save and organize your favorites, not only on your computer, but on their Web site. They provide instant access, no matter whose computer you happen to be using. Sharing your favorite links on these sites not only allows you access to your favorites anywhere you might be, it also allows you to organize them, and make them available to others.

Tagging links with keywords will make each link more searchable for others using the sites. Of course, one of the drawbacks to tagging is the lack of a controlled vocabulary. If you are searching for sites using the term “shower,” you could find yourself looking at sites ranging from party planning to home remodeling. Tagging also doesn’t assume relationships between terms. If you’re searching for sites about South Dakota, Mount Rushmore may not be included simply because the user didn’t tag the link with both Mount Rushmore and South Dakota.

Most social bookmarking sites follow the “wisdom of crowds.” Social bookmarking sites keep track of how many people save the same links. The theory is that the more a site is bookmarked, the more credible it will be. Credibility can also be determined by who is saving the link. Many organizations use social bookmarking sites to make information available to their members.

There are a wide variety of social bookmarking sites available, each with its own unique audience. Some focus on scholarly articles, some focus on news items and still others don’t appear to have any focus - they’re simply for general use. The following is a small list of what’s available.

  • Citeulike: Citeulike allows you to save, share and organize scholarly papers that you are reading. By looking at what others are reading, the user may find other relevant articles. It should be noted that Citeulike does not provide full text articles. It will note where the article can be found, but unless you have the relevant database subscriptions, or the publisher has made it available on their site, all you will get is an abstract and a bibliographic citation.
  • Delicious: Delicious is one of the best known social bookmarking sites. It has a wide variety of users, and consequently, a wide variety of sites are stored on this site. Delicious users tag each link with a variety of keywords, allowing collections to form naturally.
  • Digg: Digg users share content from anywhere on the Internet. Like other sites, Digg allows the user to tag links, but Digg also allows other users to comment on them as well. Digg users also vote on links by clicking the Share or Bury options. The most popular links are posted on the front page of the site.
  • StumbleUpon: StumbleUpon users share and rate Internet links and news stories. Like Mixx, StumbleUpon does have a few pre-set categories that can be used to tag links. The tool bar is very helpful when you are looking for information in a specific area.

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Students create soundtracks for novels

Take advantage of students' interest in music and movies with the lesson plan "On a Musical Note: Exploring Reading Strategies by Creating a Soundtrack" which asks students to create a soundtrack for a novel that they have read. As students search for songs and explain their choices, they engage in such traditional reading strategies as predicting, visualizing, and questioning. The activity can be completed as a response to a class-read novel or as a book report alternative.

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SWIM (Become a Librarian) application available in early October

On Sept. 3, representatives from South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana met to discuss the SWIM (Become a Librarian) Grant program. This Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush grant program will award scholarships to 50 students from the four states to earn a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas’s distance education program or a School Library Media Endorsement from distance programs at Black Hills State University, Montana State University, or the University of Montana. The South Dakota State Library will award at least six MLIS scholarships and four media endorsement scholarships on April 30, 2010. Scholarship applications will be available in early October.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Public Library Accreditation Standards ready for review

Established by the South Dakota Library Association during the 1970’s, the Public Library Certification/Accreditation Standards provide a voluntary certification and accreditation program for South Dakota public libraries and librarians. The purpose of the standards is to encourage the ongoing development of quality library service in South Dakota. In particular, these standards are intended to:

  • Provide a tool to assess the quality of library service
  • Identify areas needing improvement
  • Aid libraries in gaining maximum community support

In June 2008, the South Dakota Library Association Executive Board voted to move the administration of both the Certification and the Accreditation Standards to the South Dakota State Library.

The decision was made to review the Accreditation Standards first and to review Certification Standards in a subsequent year. In April 2009, the State Library created a Task Force to review and rewrite the current Accreditation standards. The Task Force, comprised of four sub-groups with public library representation from across the state, rewrote the standards to create a tiered system. The new tiered system will allow libraries to be accredited at different levels, Essential, Enhanced, or Exemplary. All libraries in South Dakota should be able to be accredited at one of the three levels.

You can find the draft of the new Public Library Accreditation Standards at The members of the Task Force would greatly appreciate your comments regarding the new standards. The deadline for commenting on the Public Library Accreditation Standards will be September 18. The Task Force will review all comments and make any necessary changes. The new standards will be introduced at the South Dakota Library Association’s Annual Conference.

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In Focus: Jasmine Rockwell

Growing up in Anderson, Indiana I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. Around age nine I realized that wasn’t really a career path or a major in college. But I could still read the books! Many librarians say they remember their childhood librarian who was so nice to them and let them read as many books as they could carry, etc. I honestly do not remember any librarians until about junior high, and that was because she was a long-time family friend. However, I do remember my childhood library. It was a beautiful Carnegie building that seemed huge to me. The children’s room was in the basement and there were little round reading carrels with beanbags in them. Though the city outgrew it by the time I was in upper elementary, the building is now the Fine Arts Center. For all you history buffs out there here’s the history of the Anderson Public Library.

Jasmine Rockwell, hard at work

Tips and Resources for Grant Opportunities

A three-part article, "Tips to Get the Grant Funding You Need", by Karen Stinson and Phyl Renninger (Local/State Funding Report, June 22, June 29, and July 13, 2009) suggests ways to raise your chances of success.

Foundation Grants for Preservation in Libraries, Archives, and Museums covers grants to public, academic, research, school and special libraries, and to archives and museums for activities related to conservation and preservation.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Good Stuff @ Your Library

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology’s Devereaux Library has good stuff at their library. To share that message with their patrons they have "dum-dum" bouquets sitting on top of shelves in the main areas of the library.

candy bouquet

The sweet treats are wrapped in a colorful strip of paper with the saying "Good Stuff @ Your Library" on the outside and "Before all else fails, ask a librarian" on the inside. The strips of paper measure 5 1/2 inches by 1 1/4 inches and are cut out using "wavy" scissors so the edges are pretty. The library buys large bags of dum-dums at Sam's Club very inexpensively to create the bouquets. Library Director Patty Andersen said the treats are popular with the students who take one as they pass through. This idea could be easily used by other libraries as a promotional tool since the text could say whatever you want it to.

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Discover the World of World Book Discover

World Book Discover, a differentiated learning resource, is now available to all school, public and academic libraries in South Dakota! It is also available from home with a valid South Dakota Library Network member library card or State Library card.

World Book Logo

Though its target audience is reluctant readers, ELL students and those with learning disabilities, World Book Discover has features everyone can appreciate.

Activate the read-aloud toolbar in any article and hear the article read to you. The sentence being read is highlighted in yellow, and the word being spoken is highlighted in blue, allowing readers to follow along. Articles can be translated into 14 languages in print (no read-aloud). Comprehension questions accompany each article to check for understanding.

A click-and-go visual dictionary lets users search by category to bring up an image indicating the names of parts of the subject. For example, labels on “Exterior of a house” include “dormer window,” gutter” and “gable vent.”

World Book Explains is a series of videos answering questions about a variety of topics. Each video is introduced by a young person asking a question such as “Is it true that sharks don’t sleep?” A subject expert answers the question.

The Life Skills section offers information and activities on aspects of employment, money, food, shopping, health, social skills, housing, transportation, taxes and insurance. Answers to the activities are a click away.

Familiar features from other World Book modules are included here, too, such as Timelines, Citation Builder, How to Do Research, Atlas, state education standards correlation and more.

World Book Discover was added to our current subscription by World Book at no additional charge. Find it under “World Book School Edition” on the State Library Databases page.

Visit our webpage under ‘For Librarians > Licensed Databases > World Book' to find details on how to add World Book to your webpage and find World Book Discover handouts to use with patrons and students.

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Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome… no wait, you’re just going through summer reading withdrawal

So public librarians what do you do now that summer's over and kids haven't started pouring in with assignments yet? School librarians, what are you going to do to get the year started with a bang? For starters, check out these great back-to-school read-alouds from School Library Journal. Kids in grades K-5 are all covered with some funny and relevant titles.

Another fun and easy program idea is a twist on the old "what I did on my summer vacation" essay. Encourage kids and teens to come up with one thing that they wished they would have or could have done during their summer vacation but didn’t get to do. Have kids write their idea on a piece of paper that can be displayed, signed or not – it doesn’t matter. Then help them find a great book that lets them explore this idea or is about someone who did that kind of thing. These can be as outrageous as becoming an astronaut. (NASA wants you to have at least finished high school before you can apply.) For example, I (Jasmine) wished I could have gone swimming this summer. So then my friendly local librarian would help me find a book like The Boy Who Wouldn’t Swim by Deb Lucke or Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. Try it out and let Jasmine know how it went. Send your stories to

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Harrisburg Community Library makes big move

Harrisburg Community Library opened in its new location on August 15 with a ribbon cutting. It is now located at 200 E Willow Street in a separate wing of Liberty Elementary School. The expanded hours are Monday and Wednesday 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Deanna Marsh and Kristi Jones are the librarians.

Harrisburg ribbon cutting photo
Harrisburg Community Library Ribbon Cutting: (pictured l to r) Troy Lubbers, Harrisburg City Council; Liz Hoffman, Harrisburg Community Library Board; Deanna Marsh, Harrisburg Community Librarian; Faythe Yerdon, Harrisburg Community Library Board; Lori Sisson; Harrisburg Economic Development Board; Ron Albers, Harrisburg School Board.