Monday, October 26, 2009

Take another look at school library standards

It’s time to take another look at the South Dakota School Library Standards. Endorsed by SDLA and adopted by the SD Board of Education and the SD State Library Board in 2004-2005, these voluntary goals and guidelines have served our school libraries for five years.

What’s the next book in the series?

Have you ever tried to help a child, teen, or parent find the next book in a series and just weren’t sure of the order or how many there were? Well here’s a handy tool from a Missouri library that’s sure to help: Juvenile Series and Sequels. You can search by series title, author, or subject.

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Here’s an idea from some Australian public libraries

Drawing inspiration from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares, this voluntary program has four pairs of jeans traveling around to public libraries, with participating libraries decorating the jeans and hosting programs or displays based around the theme before sending the jeans to the next library. A variety of materials can be (and have been) used to decorate the jeans, including paint, stenciling, embroidery and beadwork. Libraries have developed a range of related workshops, film nights and displays. Libraries have been encouraged to take photos of the jeans in iconic locations, inviting local schools or youth organizations to be creative and artistic.

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More resources in the news

Assess your tech: Why nonprofits need technology assessments (wayback machine capture)

Basic tips for evaluating new technologies for your nonprofit (wayback machine capture)

Did you know 4.0 – another update to Shift Happens

EPA info on recycling electronic products

14 ways K-12 librarians can teach social media

Free census materials

Info on the current Google Books issue and related links

Options for streaming your own video

Showing Films in the Classroom (PDF)

Promoting reference services (PDF)

Top 15 reasons people join volunteer boards

Top 10 things library administrators should know about technology (wayback machine capture)

Ways to make computers more senior citizen friendly

Your library does not end here

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Where do I find movie review and purchasing resources?

  • Internet Movie Database allows you to choose a variety of search groups from a dropdown and when you get something you like the page give all sorts of information plus a large assortment of links to other aspects of the same page, such as links to all the actors. When you click on one of the actor links, you get a complete list of everything that actor was in along with even more links.
  • Metacritic has all sorts of ways to sort/seek information. One of which is specifically for DVDs which you can review by recent releases, high or low rating scores, or look at their entire archive and look for DVDs in a large alphabetical list. It rates the DVDs giving them a metascore based on reviewers giving them “favorable”, “mixed”, or “unfavorable” scores.
  • is useful because under the dropdown of “Movies & TV” and then “Advanced Search” you can search by keyword, actor director, as well as various means. Once you find something you’re interested in, the page will give you all kinds of additional information in addition to the fact that it may be available for purchase and for how much.
  • Critic's Choice Video is dedicated to providing the newest releases to the most obscure cult classic. Guests to the CC VIDEO® web site will find releases exclusive to Critics’ Choice, weekly specials, budget videos, as well as one of the largest selection of Classic movies anywhere. In addition to our DVD library, you will also find a wide selection of high definition Blu-Ray discs.
  • Netflix allows you to browse, search or see recommendations for each individual if you sign up for a membership. They also include a special "back of box" feature that lets you get the detail of any movie instantly. Over 100,000 titles on DVD – from classics to new releases to TV episodes.
  • Midwest Tape is a full service DVD and music provider, doing business exclusively with public libraries since 1989. There are more than 125,000 titles available, with more added each day. From the latest Hollywood blockbuster or Billboard chart-topper to hard-to-find titles from small, independent studios or record labels. They also offer a full range of CD and DVD supplies. (from Web site)
  • Library Video Company is the leading distributor of educational video, DVD and audiobook to schools and public libraries nationwide. The company stocks thousands of titles covering a diverse range of topics for all ages and grade levels. Each program has been carefully reviewed and selected for content that is appropriate for the classroom and public library setting. (from Web site)
  • Public Broadcasting System (PBS) gives you the ability to shop by series, arts, history, issues and events, religion, travel, health and more. Descriptions of each title are included.

Do you have a favorite source you would like to share? Send an e-mail to Brenda Hemmelman at the State Library:

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Looking for another way to advertise?

Try This site, maintained by the Department of Travel and Tourism, hosts a free visitor's services directory. If you would like to be included simply check the Visitor's Services Directory.

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ALSC revises competencies for serving children

ALSC has released a revised edition of its Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries. The division recommends these core competencies to all children’s librarians and other library staff whose primary duties include delivering library service to and advocating library service for children from birth to age 14.

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To WriMo or not to WriMo: November is National Novel Writing Month

by Stacia McGourty

It’s fall. For some it’s a time when the leaves gently fall from the trees. It’s afternoons spent raking, creating neat piles ready to be bagged, only to have some person decide to relive their youth and start jumping. For others it’s a time of preparation. Get the emergency snow kit back in the car, get out the winter wardrobe, start planning Halloween festivities and what to make for Thanksgiving. Some are even starting their holiday shopping frenzy. (If you are one of those people, keep it to yourself.)

For a third group, fall means it’s time to plot out murder and mayhem, create worlds unknown, and explore the depths of the human condition. Large groups of people will face the blank page, the blinking cursor if you will, and go on to create something. It’s time for National Novel Writing Month.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tools to use for Web site evaluation

Here are two tools you can use to help teach your staff and middle and high school students some Web site evaluation strategies. All you need to use both of these tools is the URL of a Web site.

To find the owner of a Web site go to easyWhois. Knowing who owns the site is a lot like knowing who published a book. Students need to know if the information they are finding is from a qualified and reliable source.

Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive lets you find the history of a Web site. You can see when the site first began and the changes that have been made to it over time. You can also use this to find a site that takes you to a dead link, or to find information that was once on the site but has been updated and removed.

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The Filtering Frontier

Should you fence in your public library Internet computers with filters? Yes, the law requires it if you receive federal e-rate funds. Maybe, if you don’t receive federal funds. Filtering or monitoring computer use may be part of your computer use or technology policies or the policies of your funding authority.

A survey of several medium-to-large South Dakota public libraries shows that most of them let their patrons roam the open range of cyberspace filter free. Libraries have policies requiring parental permission for minors to use Internet computers and should have Internet use policies for patrons of every age. Most libraries unofficially monitor patron computer use by placing computer stations in view of the circulation or reference desk or in a traffic area where librarians walk by. Sometimes patrons mention others’ improper computer use to librarians, and the librarian checks on the situation.

You may choose filtering software to act as your Internet deputy sheriff. Two filtering software programs used in South Dakota public libraries are iPrism and Cybersitter. This spreadsheet, Galecia Group: Internet Filtering, created by Lori Ayers in 2005, compares various filtering products.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that if you do filter and an adult patron asks for a site to be unblocked, you must unblock it with no questions asked. Choose a filter that opens gates to sites easily.

For a round up of information about filtering, the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and more, see ALA: Filters and Filtering.

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National Gaming Day is Nov. 14

Hundreds of libraries across the country will join ALA to celebrate the second annual National Gaming Day @ your library on Nov. 14. During National Gaming Day, public, school, and academic libraries will offer a variety of in-person gaming activities, including a national video game tournament. For more information go to

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What is Library Development reading?

book cover of The Host by Stephenie Meyer, image used with permission from
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
It’s against all the policies to co-exist in the same body, but Wanderer and Melanie are not the typical alien and host pair. Melanie’s deep love for her little brother and her boyfriend leads Wanderer to the hiding place of a small group of humans who have survived her species’ invasion of Earth. Through suspicions, violent misunderstandings, and total mistrust the humans and Wanderer become partners with a better vision for the future of the universe. Meyer again creates a world where families, relationships and loyalties are what matters regardless of time or place.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Voluntary free reading is key component in reading success

Reading is the baseline skill for success in school and in life so a goal for teachers and librarians is to get kids excited about reading books and media. Students who read are better writers. Students who can’t read or who read poorly frequently struggle to access and use technology productively and efficiently. How do we get busy or, perhaps, disinterested kids to read? Many experts advocate for offering them choices in reading matter.

WorldCat Expands!

For years, WorldCat has been your source for finding books, doing interlibrary loan and looking up call numbers. Now WorldCat is part of the OCLC FirstSearch Base Package which offers “one-stop shopping” for indexes to books, articles, images, dissertations, archive material and more.
OCLC World Cat Logo

To access most of these indexes, log in to WorldCat. Beside “Search in database,” click on the drop-down menu. You will see the list of available indexes.

Brookings Public Library has very good friends

By Elvita Landau, Brookings Public Library Director

A friend is defined by Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” The Brookings Public Library has some very good friends in the Friends of the Brookings Public Library.

Patrons browse the annual Friends of the Brookings Public Library book sale.

Using space creatively in Custer and Hermosa

Do you wish you had more space for a notice board or wall advertising? Custer County Library has a great idea. They took some of their low shelving in the children’s area and reinforced one side with bulletin boards. The shelves face out into one of the main aisles so they can be easily seen. There is space for decoration and a board that shows the events and activities of the local schools.

The Hermosa Library found a way to jazz up its walls and keep track of how many books children read over the summer. Librarian Roberta (Bert) Upton created a vine to cover their walls. Each time a child read a book they got a small green paper leaf with their name on it to put on the vine. At the end of their program the vine went over halfway around the library. This could easily be done in fall colors and spring flowers as well.

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