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November-December 2011
Volume 3, Issue 10

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

2011 One Book South Dakota

National Novel Writing Month

Native American Heritage Month

National Gaming Day
Nov. 12

American Education Week
Nov. 13-19

SDLA Legislative Day
Jan. 12

ALA Midwinter Meeting
Jan. 20-24

PLA Annual Conference
March 13-17

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Downloadables now available in State Library electronic resources

Why Didn’t I Think of That?


Dummy Books are helping make Mobridge residents smarter

Dummy Books in Mobridge

A.H. Brown Public Library helps link people to information by making “Dummy Books” containing website addresses. Library Director Karla Bieber said, “I have to admit this wasn’t an original idea. The idea came from something I learned at Library Institute and we modified it for our needs.”

The library staff creates and shelves Dummy Books to make up for gaps in the library’s collection due to cost of materials, difficulty in staying current on a topic, low patron desire, or low quantity of books on a topic.

Bieber explained, “We have twenty “dummies” on the shelves all cataloged by general subject, barcoded and labeled. Each “dummy” has a list of websites on the inside and is available to check out. We used old VHS containers because we have a surplus of them, but other things would work (like a block of wood or DVD or CD case).”

Bieber says the most popular topics are Law & Legislation and Health & Medical. They find reputable websites from a variety of sources. “The State Library website was a great resource,” said Bieber. “Others came from local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce; the hospital; Corps of Engineers; Game, Fish & Parks; Social Services, local lawyers, school guidance counselor, Dept. of Labor, and others.”

The twenty Dummy Book categories are Travel, Biography, Genealogy, Geography, History, Native American, Entertainment: Music, TV & Movies, Hunting, Fishing, & Camping, Business & Consumer, Agriculture, Health & Medical, Weather, Employment, Economic Assistance, Education, Grants/Foundations/Nonprofits, Law & Legislation, Rural Issues, Government, and General Reference.

These Dummy Books are helping make Mobridge residents smarter!


“Buy Your First Car” proves to be popular seminar for teens

By Jane Norling, Library Director, Beresford Public Library

The Beresford Public Library has held a very popular “Buy Your First Car” seminar for teens for more than three years after borrowing the idea from Cara Romeo at the Alexander Mitchell Public Library in Aberdeen. Here are a few tips to get one started at your library.

First, I spoke with the driver’s education teacher to collaborate and have a group of teens that would be a captive audience and would benefit from this seminar. We have two community rooms in the library so we split the group of 40 students into two groups. We asked the local car dealership to bring three cars to the library. They brought a reasonably priced four door car, a SUV type car and a sporty type car and parked out front. They had the prices on the cars, let the students look under the hood and a salesman was there to answer questions. The kids were told to choose a car they would like to purchase. We asked loan officers from the three banks to volunteer their time, insurance sales people from two agencies to come, we also asked someone from a repair shop to come in and called the SD Highway Patrol and they sent a trooper.

One group of students got information about how to apply for a car loan with the loan officers (they sat two or three students per table to keep things moving). They also got insurance quotes for their vehicles and realized the difference in price depending on which car you chose to buy and about multi-car discounts if your parents added the car insurance on their policy. We did get the VIN numbers from the dealership before the seminar and got those to the insurance companies so they could gather some insurance quotes ahead of time. We also have wireless Internet so they brought their laptops to get some of the information they needed.

The other group of students listened to the car repair shop mechanic talk about vehicle upkeep. They learned about oil changes, rotating car tires and various other tips and maintenance costs. This group also listened to a SD Highway Patrol trooper tell them about what to do if you are stopped by a trooper, what to do if you get a flat tire, etc. He had many safety tips as well as fatality reports and seat belt information for the students. He answered questions about what types of lights were legal on cars and the kids had lots of questions for him. The kids then switched spots so both groups got all the information.

It was very interesting and an enlightening overall experience for the students. I think the majority of the kids learned how much work and expense is involved in owning a car and they also gained very valuable tips from the SD Highway Patrol. The local business people seemed pleased with the information and questions from the kids. They seemed glad to volunteer their time for this worthwhile seminar.


Traveling exhibits engage students and patrons of all ages

Looking for a special way to engage your students or patrons in science, literature, art, history, or another area? How about a traveling exhibit? For many years, South Dakota has offered a variety of traveling exhibits for schools and public libraries.

Some of these come from HOP, a Hands-on Partnership of Literature, Science and Art. HOP exhibits are described as “turn-key traveling exhibits, using modern technology and fun.” Some of the exhibits offered are on animals, bugs, dinosaurs, light and color, termespheres, and math and books in a Go Figure! exhibit.

Another agency that offers exhibits to communities is the South Dakota State Historical Society. These are offered as kiosks or framed traveling exhibits. Some of those available are homesteading, Lewis & Clark, mining in the Black Hills, historic places, telephone history, Sioux Nation art, World War II, archive photos, and newspapers from the Museum Collection. The Historical Society website offers a brochure and slideshow of exhibit selections. There are fees for each exhibit.

If a smaller exhibit is desired, suitcase education kits are offered with hands-on artifacts and activities related to the SD standards. These relate to SD history on such topics as buffalo and the Plains Indians; cowboys and ranch life; Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota Life; one-room schoolhouses; SD archaeology, immigrants, mining, places, transportation, and trading posts and general stores.

If online exhibits are what you’re looking for, check out the online exhibits provided through the historical society’s museum. These are available at and educate the viewer on everything from the frontier days of 1860-1880 to this year’s flooding of the Missouri River.

How about trying out the Siouxland Heritage Museums’ traveling exhibits? Learn about the tipi, R.F. Pettigrew and the railroads, the World War II radio training schools, or how South Dakotans learned to keep warm through the cold winter months over the years.

For other traveling exhibits outside South Dakota, visit for a list of museums and organizations offering these. While most include a fee, schools and public libraries might consider collaborating on bringing an exhibit to their area. This is, by no means, an all-inclusive list of such exhibits; many more can be found in every state.

And don’t forget to consider what your students can do. Have them do the research on a time period, topic, or group of people. Ask them to produce some drawings or homemade artifacts to go with the topic to create their own “traveling exhibit” or “suitcase.” Allow them to present their products to classmates, other student groups, or parents. It can be a great learning experience for all those involved!

For further information:





Beresford, exhibit, institute, Mobridge, teens

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