Thursday, July 29, 2021

LOUD LIBRARIANS LEAD! - July Vlog with Jamie (Watertown Regional Library )

Think inside the box by viewing the latest vlog episode as Jamie Formanek, Young Adult Library Specialist at Watertown Regional Library discusses Subscription Book Boxes.

Collage of book box cover and inside that includes book, note, treats and more
Realize how personalizing each box draws participation and learn how to get prompt feedback.

Jamie was raised as a military brat, meaning her father was in the military and she grew up on air force bases for 15 years. Once her dad retired her family moved to Watertown South Dakota, where she began shelving materials at Watertown Regional Library. Jamie continued working at the library throughout all her high school years. After graduating high school, she attended college and received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Job searching brought her back to Watertown Regional Library where she took a position the Young Adult Librarian. Jamie has held her position for almost 4 years and enjoys having teens back in the library! Teens are her favorite part about working at the library. Teens always bring exciting and spontaneous ideas to the library.

Jamie adores spending time with her two barn cats Boo and Ki and her two amazing dogs Gypsy and a Yorkie named Mocha.

Enjoy the video above, and for more links and information, visit Loud Librarians Lead at

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Growth in SDSL Electronic Resources Usage Continues

An upward trend in State Library database usage can be seen in the following statistics curated by SDSL Digital Resources Coordinator, Kim Bonen:

Electronic Resources Views

  • Fiscal Year 2019: 2,822,969
  • Fiscal Year 2020: 3,674,507
  • Fiscal Year 2021: 4,418,689

Electronic Resources Sessions

  • Fiscal Year 2019: 1,202,330
  • Fiscal 2020: 1,507,498
  • Fiscal Year 2021: 2,401,185

There was a 28% increase from 2019-2020 and a 20% increase from 2020-2021 in SDSL electronic resource views. Sessions showed a 25% increase from 2019 – 2020 and a 59% increase from 2020-2021.

The South Dakota State Library subscribes to a variety of general and subject-based online databases with statewide access. A complete listing of these databases can be found at

Thursday, July 15, 2021

July 2021 Federal Document – South Dakota’s First Astronaut!

Quite an accomplishment! Lt. Col. Charles Gemar was South Dakota’s first astronaut to travel in space. The Lieutenant Colonel completed three missions in 1990, 1991, and 1994, logging more than 580 hours. His longest space stay was 14 days in 1994.

Lt. Col. Chuck Gemar, born and raised in southeastern South Dakota, belonging to several organizations and receiving many special honors.

NASA Astronaut Charles D. (nickname Sam) Gemar
Photo: NASA

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the space act in 1958, establishing NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 

The State Library is a source of early NASA federal documents. Titles from the state library collection were selected along with a NASA daily calendar to view awestruck astronomy, linked below.

The SD State Library is a federal depository library and provides access to print and electronic federal government publications. Print publications are available via interlibrary loan. Electronic publications are linked from the state library online catalog.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Huron Public Library – South Dakota Collection Project

From Angela Bailey, Cataloger Librarian, Huron Public Library

Angela Bailey, Cataloger Librarian, Huron Public Library

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huron Public Library building was closed to the public from March 19, 2020 thru September 8, 2020. It was during this time that the South Dakota Collection at the library was relabeled, reorganized, and metadata was added to item records for ease of access and usability.

It was a project that had been discussed, started, and stopped multiple times. Since it would take a large number of staff hours, it was always put at the end of my "to do" list.

library room featuring South Dakota resources (books) and art.
South Dakota Collection

The South Dakota Collection is located in a separate room that is home to approximately 4,200 books about the local history of Huron, South Dakota, and Beadle County. Resources include books written by South Dakota authors, South Dakota government publications, local phone and city directories, city maps, high school and college yearbooks, and state guidebooks. The collection has over one hundred volumes of poetry and more than two hundred biographies. The most valuable part of the collection is the original genealogy research compiled by members of the community such as Gladys Pyle and Mildred McEwen Jones. As a whole, it is a collection of great value to historians searching for information on genealogy and local history.

Many of the items in this collection had MARC records, but the majority were just a place holder in the library system containing title and author. I took each book and began by scanning a copy of the cover to add to the record. I discovered early on that scanning the cover was faster than searching for cover images online. Scanning also helped when I couldn't find a cover for items published locally or prior to 1920 in the edition I needed. Many records had no subject headings or summaries, while other records contained incorrect information. I found a number of items that listed "South Africa" as a subject heading instead of "South Dakota." I spent hours typing summaries and descriptions of books that could not be obtained through copy cataloging.

Bailey with the South Dakota Collection

Call numbers were updated for each item as well. Many items in the collection were acquired before online library systems and computers. The format and procedure for labelling items has changed multiple times and the collection contained a number of different formats depending on when items were added.

At one time the South Dakota room had a portion of the collection that circulated. As a result, duplicate items were not shelved together making it hard for patrons to find items. Approximately 300 duplicate items were moved into the library's general circulating collection to make room for future acquisitions. Items that were deteriorating due to age and use were put into archive preservation boxes. After all the items were relabeled, the physical layout of the collection was changed to make the collection easier to use by patrons and staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have closed the doors to the Huron Public Library for a period of time in history. But I spent the summer of 2020 learning about the foundations of the community and the amazing history of South Dakota.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

2021 ALA Annual Conference – Virtual!

From the desks of Kathleen Slocum, Continuing Education Coordinator, and Cheyenne Chontos, Library Technology Coordinator…

Kathleen: This year the ALA 2021 conference was held virtually for the continued safety of our many librarians that would have attended and met up in Chicago. The conference highlighted so many opinions and offered multiple resources on the topic of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Cheyenne: I was especially drawn to Billie Jean King’s session as she talked about diversity and gender in sports and in the business world. During her session, she described the huge impact that community resources, such as access to the public library and to public parks, had on her childhood and her tennis career. It was inspiring to see the incredible impact libraries can have on people and how dearly they hold those experiences for their entire lives.

Kathleen: I found another opportunity that literally fed my heart and soul. The cookbook authors were very down-to-earth, and they offered us wonderful opportunities to get a taste of what their favorite foods were and the memories they have with their friends and family. The three I enjoyed were Stanley Tucci, Trisha Yearwood, and the 2019 winner of The Great British Baking Show, David Atherton. All three have new books coming out this fall. Enjoy them – I know I will!

Cheyenne: I also want to highlight some of the amazing breakout sessions that were offered this year. One of my favorites was the “Social Media for Small and Rural Libraries” session. Suzanne Macaulay, Deputy Director of the Pioneer Library System in Canandaigua, New York, offered practical ideas and tips for running social media for small and rural libraries. Some of my favorite tips from this session included:

  • Do one or two social media platforms well, rather than trying to be involved in all of them.
  • Patrons really enjoy social media content that is original, such as open-ended questions, images and graphics made in-house, and teasers of programs.
  • Branded content, such as promotions for your digital libraries, can also be great to share on your social media.
  • Your professional, community, and government organizations, such as ALA or a state agency, may also have content for you to share.
  • Keep it positive and keep it simple!

I also enjoyed “Reaching The Underserved: How to Strengthen Your Library’s Community Engagement Strategies to Better Serve Those Who Cannot Visit the Library in Person,” “Library Budgeting: Working with What You Have and Advocating for What You Need,” and “Navigating Patron Privacy Concerns in the Digital Age.”

ALA 2021 Annual Conference Learn More
Learn more at

Most content from ALA’s 2021 Annual Conference – including live speakers and breakout sessions – will be available through ALA for a year after the conference ends. We hope that those who are able will take time to enjoy and learn from all this incredible content!