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March 2011, Volume 3, Issue 3

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

Read Across America Day
March 2

Teen Tech Week
March 6-12

PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
March 30

Public Library Survey, closes March 31

ACRL Conference
March 30-April 2

School Library Month
April 1-30

National Poetry Month
April 1-30

School Library Survey, April 1- May 18

Money Smart Week®
April 2-9

South Dakota Library Week, April 10-16

National Library Week
April 10-16

National Preservation Week
April 24-30

El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day)
April 30

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Resources to help you celebrate the holidays

Why didn't I think of that?


Library ducks become a collection, a trademark and a theme

ducks in the library

A few years ago, Jackie Aspelin, librarian and cheer coach for Agar-Blunt-Onida School District, received a yellow rubber duck sporting a purple bandana (school colors) as a gift from another staff member during homecoming week. Pleased, she placed it on her desk and was even more pleased by how tickled kids were at the sight of the little duck on her desk. So tickled were students, in fact, that they brought her some Halloween-themed ducks; and thus was born a collection that continues to multiply “…like rabbits,” Jackie says with a smile. “I think it’s funny how an accidental collection has become my trademark. Ducks keep appearing. The kids are so proud when they bring me one and put it on my desk. The ducks are constantly being rearranged.”

dewey decimal duck posterWith the purchase of Dewey Decimal System posters featuring ducks, a theme worked its way into the library curriculum. Jackie saw the posters advertised in an Upstart catalog and “…just knew I had to have them… It was like they saw my collection and made them just for this library! It makes learning fun.”

And when someone—usually an adult—asks about the collection, Jackie responds, “I am just trying to keep my ducks in a row.”


Teaching history with a Caldecott Honor Book and a cardboard box

Dakota Christian School Librarian, Lois Van Dusseldorp uses a simple cardboard box to help her elementary students understand history. She says, “My husband and I went to the National Underground Railroad Museum and they have a box that was used during that time to mail Black Americans to the north. I read the book, Henry's Freedom Box to the younger children and then they each took a turn in the box.” This Caldecott Honor Book title written by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson is based on the true story of slave Henry Brown and his escape to freedom.

Henry's Freedom Box at Dakota Christian School


Students mind their mice manners at the Mouse Hole Library

Mouse Hole Library at St. Mary Elementary

When the library at St. Mary Elementary School in Sioux Falls moved to its new space in the basement, Librarian Coral Blickstead renamed it the Mouse Hole Library. She says the name was a perfect fit and the theme and décor continue to grow each year. For example, students arrive for weekly classes with 25 points in “cheese.” The Mind Your Mouse Manners mice (see photo) keep an eye on everything that goes on in the library. The hungry mice, Tick Tock, Hearken, Shushy, Shipshape and Booker are just waiting to subtract points from the class so they will end up with all of the “cheese.” The goal is for each class to earn 100 points by returning books on time, following directions, being good listeners, etc. Once the goal is reached students select a book to own from the library’s treasure boxes. Classes are so motivated by the mice that they reach their goal many times during the school year.

Mice Manners at St. Mary Elementary





Agar, Blunt, Corsica, history, Onida, Sioux Falls

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