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Dec/ January 2010, Volume 2, Issue 1

Check Your Calendars!!

SDLA Legislative Day
Jan. 14, 2010

ALA MidWinter
Jan. 15-19, 2010

2010 National African American Read-In
February, 2010

Read Across America Day
March 2, 2010

Teen Tech Week
March 7-13, 2010

PLA National Conference
March 23-27, 2010

Featured e-Resources of the Month
AncestryLibrary and HeritageQuest answer family trivia questions

In Focus

In Focus — Barb Nickolas, Government Publications Associate

Hello! I am Barb Nickolas. During the past 20 years of my paraprofessional career I have worked in various areas of the State Library. For the last six years I have worked with state and federal publications. The State Library is the State Distribution Center distributing state documents on a monthly basis to eight depository libraries across South Dakota. It has also been a federal depository library since 1973.

Barb Nickolas, Government Publications Extraordinaire.

I had a wonderful childhood growing up in Lebanon where South Dakota's first outdoor swimming pool is still going strong. I am the youngest of four children. My sister was attending college when I was born. My mother often told me the story that a nun went into her classroom shortly after my birth whispering, "Claire Ann, your mother just had a little girl.”

I loved being read to and remember Mom and Dad reading to us in crooks of arms as did babysitters and older siblings. As I grew, my love of books grew. I remember books about Toyland, Mother Goose, Black Beauty and hand-me-downs from my cousins. I am sure we had classroom libraries, but nothing could compare to the bookmobile. With great anticipation we waited in line to climb the big steps and see the walls of books and inhale the smell of them. I close my eyes now and can still see the wonderment on our little faces.

When I began third grade we moved to Bowdle. It was a city of paved streets, smooth bike rides and new kids. Bowdle is known to have South Dakota's tallest water tower. Mrs. Erbe was the librarian in the school. She was stern, shaking her finger at the boys. She liked quiet in her library; but away from the library she taught history and was jovial. I did enjoy her classes. I spent little time in the high school library with the exception of typing catalog cards. I remember typing three rows down, two spaces over, cards getting stuck in the plastic guide and all the other little quirks. We were told those cards were sent to the State Library. The State Library was tucked in the back of my mind, filled with catalog cards and I set a goal to someday make a visit there.

I started college with the mindset of becoming a first grade teacher. I wanted to be a stepping stone for small faces yearning to learn how to read. Facing unforeseen obstacles in life, as we all do, after two years of education, I changed my major to library science. I was a member of the last class to graduate from Northern State College with a Bachelor's Degree in Library Media. As I applied for positions I volunteered at the public library which looked good, but didn't pay much. I then began work in the serial's department at Northern which also trained me to process state and federal publications. I did love the college campus. If you've been to Northern you know how the treetops meet and canopy much of the campus, there are miles of sidewalk that lead to everywhere, you see students relaxing on the green and people greeting each other.

After learning so much with good people, it was time to move onward and there were openings at the State Library. Imagine my excitement. Knowing several people on staff, I applied and began working in the circulation department in December 1991. I moved to interlibrary loan and enjoyed helping many individuals and librarians from school and public libraries locate hard-to-find requests and renew books. As for the catalog cards, I now work with a beautiful shelflist which holds in its many drawers the state and federal collections. Did I type the cards? No, but I have created new ones and it seems to complete a circle that started a lifetime ago.

Driving home from busy days at work, my family awaits me. I have two “kids” named Buster and Carlee. They are rescued, adopted and loved. They are taste testers for our dog treat business, Bab's Bites 'n Bones. We live in a cozy log cabin many friends and I built several years ago on a patch of prairie. We all enjoy walks, car rides, sunrise, sunset and storytime.


government publications, staff




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