Monday, November 30, 2009

North Middle School Library hosts holiday gift giveaway

According to school librarian Arlette Schweitzer, Rapid City’s North Middle School Library will hold the Fourth Annual Gift Giveaway during the 2009 holiday season. New and used items for all ages are gathered throughout the year, everything from toys to coffee pots. The program provides a great opening for people to hunt up those items in their homes that they never use or don’t need—bath soaps, perfume, aftershave, pictures, dishes—anything and everything that could make a gift for someone. The new or gently-used items are placed under a Christmas tree and many names are drawn each day for students to choose a gift. Small, decorated Christmas trees are very popular and tend to go first. The library’s goal is to have enough gifts for each student to have the opportunity to choose something. Schweitzer says students, many of them from economically-disadvantaged environments, almost always choose something to wrap and take home as a gift for a family member.

Originally published at

More resources in the news

Library 101 Project by Michael Porter and David Lee King

ACRL 2008 Statistical Summaries

Best Free Reference Websites 2009

Choices Booklists from the International Reading Council

Complete Guide to Twitter

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure: online progressive story by famous children’s authors

TechSoup: Should you upgrade to Windows 7?

SD Office of Emergency Management has some free publications. Here’s the Winter Weather Preparedness bookmark (PDF).

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What are classes reading at your school?

We know that individual students of all ages are reading for a variety of reasons and in a variety of formats. But what’s happening with class novels, literature circle titles and other classroom assigned reading? Are we “killing ‘em with classics” or creating lifelong readers and learners? Take a look at the way this teacher integrated the reading of the classic Treasure Island into a global project on digital piracy: “Putting the Nerdy Teacher Back in the Classroom - Let Project Based Learning Begin” Making Teachers Nerdy blog.

YALSA Teens’ Top Ten list announced

book cover of paper towns by John Green - image used with permission from
Teen readers across the country chose Paper Towns by John Green as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten vote, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Teens cast more than 11,000 votes online between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18, with the official list announced during Teen Read Week, Oct. 18-24.

The 2009 Teens’ Top Ten are:

  1. Paper Towns by John Green
  2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins
  6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  7. Wake by Lisa McMann
  8. Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast
  9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Positive reading messages for students in Aberdeen

READ poster of elementary principal
When Dr. Lila Morris, librarian for Aberdeen’s public elementary schools, sought a method for conveying a positive reading message to students, she prevailed upon the various schools’ principals to demonstrate their participation in that message by posing for pictures with favorite books in their hands. After having a local photo shop produce 20 x 30-inch posters from the resulting pictures, Morris displayed each principal’s poster prominently in his or her school building. She says the project wasn’t all that expensive, at only about $30.00 per poster.

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Consumer health resources that can help!

By Fran Rice, Executive Director, Health Connect of South Dakota (MHSA, MSLIS)

In a time when everything in the world is a little topsy-turvy, it is important to feel empowered about the one thing we can usually control and that is ourselves. According to the Healthy People 2010 Library Initiative recently published American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) report, The Challenge of Providing Consumer Health Information Services in Public Libraries (2009), “one of the biggest challenges today’s librarians face is an insatiable consumer demand for health information.”

Superintendent Willard is 2009 SDLA Friend of the Library

Superintendent Steve Willard of the Belle Fourche School District is the recipient of the 2009 South Dakota Library Association Friend of the Library Award. Willard was presented with this honor at the SDLA annual awards banquet held in Aberdeen on Oct. 8.

Key points from The Teenage Brain & Teens in the Library

At the SDLA Annual Conference this year the State Library sponsored a pre-conference on the teenage brain and teens in the library. Dr. Sheryl Feinstein from Augustana College in Sioux Falls spoke to participants on how the teenage brain develops, how the teen brain affects their behavior and how at-risk lifestyle choices can take a toll on a teen’s brain. The following are a few of Feinstein’s key points to understanding the teens around you:

  • For both boys and girls, puberty can last up to age 24.
  • Peer influence peaks at ninth grade.
  • Only 1 percent of what comes into our brains (regardless of age) stays.
  • When we learn something new our brain creates a “dendrite.” As adults, we lose 1-3 percent of our dendrites each year, but teens lose an average of 15 percent.
  • A portion of the brain called the amygdala is where emotions come from. Testosterone agitates the amygdala.
  • Emotions are the gateway to learning and understanding reading instruction. Libraries are in a unique position to promote this.

Lisa Oldoski presented in the afternoon on library services to teens. She is currently the Collection Services Librarian at Pierce County Library System in the state of Washington. Her ideas were very practical and participants walked away with some helpful ideas to try in their own libraries. Highlights from the presentation include:

  • Do outreach with your enemies because you probably have more in common with them than you think.
  • If you have any staff members who are very anti-teen, try to find something they like to do or are good at, then pair them with a teen who also likes that thing. Making teens human breaks down walls.
  • Anything you or another staff member likes can be manipulated into a teen program. Examples include crosswords (make a giant one for a wall), have a puzzle competition, or rock climbing (if you can’t afford to have a wall brought in teach them how to tie knots).
  • For heaven’s sake, decorate their space and let them be the creative influence!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Senior citizen programming ideas from across the state

The State Library recently posted a question to the Public Library Listserv soliciting ideas for senior citizen programming. Here is what librarians across the state suggested. If you have other ideas to share, please contact Brenda Hemmelman (email).

  • "Host a rural school presentation/program"
  • "Senior centers are always asking for programs, so they might be a good place to ask for advice. Maybe even bring the first program to the center. For example: quilting"
  • "A few years back I contacted our local nutrition center and asked if they would bus the senior citizens to the library for an hour. It worked out well. We set aside a time for just their use and they enjoyed the quiet and time to just browse the book stacks."
  • "Host a storytelling event. One example was from a librarian who featured the Black Hills Storytellers with music by the French Creek Folk."
  • "Have spring and fall book discussions and history groups meet in the meeting room."
  • "Lunch & Learn Lectures: the library provides lunch and brings in a speaker of interest"
  • "Healthcare/Medicare Issues: there are agencies sponsored by some counties that actually teach people how to register for Medicare and walk them through the online setup."
  • "Host a program on some sort of health issue, flu shots, diet planning, or anything related to aging would be good. If a community has a community health nurse, they are usually willing to talk about things without charging."
  • "Offer medical information classes. Bring in a nurse, doctor, physical therapist, or nutritionist who can talk about diabetes, arthritis, being fit and retired… something to that nature."
  • "Host a quilting group that meets regularly at the library"
  • "Movie Time: show National Geographic videos/DVDs, South Dakota tourism type videos/DVD’s, any travel video/DVD, or movie classics."
  • "Ask library trustees to offer suggestions for programs."
  • "Offer a china painting class, computer skills class, knitting class and incorporate Debbie Macomber type of reading books."
  • "We hosted an ethnic cooking series, co-sponsored with a local museum and natural food store."
  • "Offer basic Internet communications classes from setting up and checking e-mail to possibly starting Facebook accounts so that they can see pictures of family, etc."
  • "Host genealogy workshops using, Heritage Quest and setting up social accounts on"
  • "For additional suggestions, see the Program Workbook handout at College of DuPage Press."

What is readers’ advisory?

Readers’ advisory is assisting patrons of all ages with choosing popular and recreational reading, viewing and listening choices. It’s about books and much more. It’s helping the patron find something when they only have a vague idea of what it is that they want. So how do you do this? Try these three steps to get started.

Resources: Automation, Technology and more

Library Automation Resources

Biblio Tech (wayback machine capture)
Provides the latest news about the library automation industry.

Internet Library for Librarians
A list of some automation vendors.

Library Journal.
The April issue provides an annual review of the library automation market.

Library Technology Guides.
Maintained by Marshall Breeding. Key resources in the field of library automation.

Perceptions 2008: An International Survey of Library Automation. (wayback machine capture)
A survey of some of the automation systems available.

Technology Plan Resources

Ricker, Y. (2008, September). TechAtlas for Libraries: Technology Planning Guide. WebJunction PDF

Butcher, P. (2009, March). Writing goals and objectives for a technology plan. WebJunction (wayback machine capture)

Automation Vendors


Basics of Library Automation. (2009, Oct. 20). Denver, CO: Colorado State Library. Retrieved October 23, 2009 from World Wide Web: (wayback machine capture)

Kroski, E. (2006, March) How to Automate a Small Library. WebJunction, (wayback machine capture)

Schultz-Jones, B. (2006). An Automation Primer for School Library Media Centers and Small Libraries. Worthington, OH: Linworth Books.

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Popular young adult novel made into movie

book cover of The Lovely Bones - image used with permission from

Critically acclaimed and best-selling young adult novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold has been adapted into a feature film. The film, set to be released Jan.15, 2010, is directed by Peter Jackson with the screenplay written by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. All three won Oscars for their respective work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy movie adaptations. To see a trailer for the movie go to

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Monday, November 9, 2009

What are we reading?

book cover of A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd -- image used with permission by
Patsy Kringel is reading A Duty to the Dead: a Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd. The story opens on a hospital ship in the Mediterranean, where Bess Crawford works as a nurse during World War I. She was asked by a dying soldier to deliver a message to his brother. The message and the unusual way the brother receives this message leaves Bess with an unsettled feeling and the mystery begins to unfold, complicated by the very unusual family dynamics of the family of the dead soldier. This is the first book in the Bess Crawford series. "I will definitely be waiting for the next!" exclaims Kringel. Charles Todd (a mother-son writing team) also has 11 books in the Ian Rutledge series which also take place in England right after World War I and Kringel highly recommend them too.

Other titles now being read by Library Development staff include:

  • 13 ½ by Nevada Barr
  • The Angel Whispered Danger by Mignon F. Ballard
  • Bad Boys of the Black Hills and Some Wild Women, Too by Barbara Fifer
  • The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson
  • The Family Band: From the Missouri to the Black Hills, 1881-1900 by Laura Bower Van Nuys
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • The Free Bards by Mercedes Lackey
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke, John Rendall and George Adamson
  • Pillage by Obert Skye
  • Splendor (Luxe Series #4) by Anna Godbertson
  • Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

And titles now being listened to in audiobook format include:

  • The Boomerang Clue by Agatha Christie
  • Defending Angels: A Beaufort & Company Mystery by Mary Stanton

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HathiTrust Digital Library protects the historical record

If you are familiar with using Google, you have probably also used Google Books. As of Oct. 9, Google has scanned over 10 million books. Now, there is a new source of digitized information available called HathiTrust. Hathi (pronounced hah-tee) is the Hindi word for elephant, an animal known for its excellent memory.

Automating for the first time or upgrading your current automation system?

By Colleen Kirby

If you are thinking about automating your library or upgrading your current library automation system there are several things that you need to consider. Selecting and implementing an automated library system is a time consuming process. It can also be a relatively expensive process depending on what you want to accomplish by automating the library. An automation system can be used to catalog the library’s materials, provide the means for patrons to search for those materials, keep track of items loaned, and provide reports and statistics.

Public librarians and libraries recognized for achieving standards

Librarians and libraries meeting the Public Library Accreditation/Certification Standards were recognized during this year’s South Dakota Library Association’s Annual Conference in Aberdeen.

Public library certification demonstrates that librarians are committed to increasing their skills and knowledge to keep abreast of developments in the information age. By continually improving their own library skills and knowledge they are able to provide quality library service in their communities.

Librarians receiving their public library certification were Sherry Bauman, Elkton Community Library; Marguerite Cullum, Custer County Library; Melinda Ellenson, Huron Public Library; Cathy Enlow, Brookings Public Library; Jan Gossman, Bison Public Library; Jackie Hess, Mitchell Public Library; Debbie Huska, Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library; Elvita Landau, Brookings Public Library; Janet Miller, Dakota Valley School District Library; Debra Moor, Jackson County Library; Michael Mullin, Watertown Regional Library; and Colleen Smith, Huron Public Library.

South Dakotans deserve and expect high quality service from their public libraries. South Dakota citizens can expect access to high-quality library services from public libraries that meet the Public Library Accreditation Standards. Libraries receiving their Public Library Accreditation were Brookings Public Library, Custer County Library, Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library, Huron Public Library, Mitchell Public Library and Watertown Regional Library.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Teen Read Week at Brookings High School

By Jean Kirschenman, Librarian

For Teen Read Week at Brookings High School Library, Chelsea Rief, a senior, created a DVD about reading for her Business Media Productions class, taught by Barb Walder. For the video, she interviewed students and teachers about what they were reading. Some also gave a quick promo for the library. The books ranged from Les Miserables to Brisingr. It turned out great—a real upbeat, fun advertisement for the library that was shown on TV's in the hallways during lunch the whole week. We also used this week to spotlight the YARP books with posters and bookmarks.

Originally published at

Invite Picturing America scholars to your community

Bring a professional art historian to your school or library and learn more about American art and how it connects with our history and culture. The South Dakota Humanities Council is offering a Picturing America Speakers Bureau for communities that received the Picturing America grant from the National Endowment for Humanities. Three art historians are working with the Humanities to visit schools and libraries that have the Picturing America grant.

SIRS adds November Native American Spotlight of the Month, 21st Century tools, and other content

Both SIRS Discoverer, grades K-9 resource for online magazine articles and more, and SIRS Issues Researcher, grades 6-12 resource for online magazine and newspaper articles and more, are featuring Native American Heritage Month for November’s Spotlight of the Month. SIRS Issues Researcher’s Spotlight includes a quiz question and article about Crazy Horse Monument. This information will be available in the Spotlight archives after November ends.

Aberdeen is part of Knight Foundation’s $3.3 Million initiative to expand digital access at libraries

To help meet citizens' information needs, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced the launch of a $3.3 million initiative to expand digital access and training at libraries around the country.

The initiative will work to increase local citizens' access to computers and the Internet at libraries in twelve communities: Aberdeen, S.D.; Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus and Milledgeville, Ga.; Detroit, Mich.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Tallahassee and Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Fla.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Wichita, Kan.. Grants awarded through the initiative will be used to establish mobile computer labs, recruit and train multi-lingual technology teachers, enable individuals to use computers for employment searches and career research, and install wireless Internet access.

Aberdeen’s Alexander Mitchell Public Library Director, Shirley Arment, said they could not be happier about their $59,000 grant. They plan to use the money to purchase laptops with stations, upgrade their wireless connection and provide computer training for the public. She credits the efforts of Absolutely Aberdeen, a regional community group, for bringing the library to the Knight Foundation’s attention.

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