October 2011, Volume 3, Issue 9
Check Your Calendars!!
SDLA Annual Conference
SD Festival of Books
National Friends of Libraries Week
Teen Read Week
AASL National Conference
National Gaming Day
Featured e-Resources of the Month
What’s new in State Library eResources
Why Didn’t I Think of That?
Newspaper publishes library memories
Alexandria Public Library has found a poignant way to keep itself in the public eye. It is soliciting library memories that will be published in the Alexandria Herald newspaper. In the first in the series, published in the Aug. 25 issue, the writer recalls riding his bike to the Carnegie Library in Madison and spending hours there reading. He continues by explaining his need for library research during his high school and college years. Later, he and his wife took their children to the library, and now “our grandchildren are using the library and making memories for themselves…”
This kind of newspaper series reminds readers of the library’s importance to a community. Alexandria is raising money for a new community library, but this advocacy strategy could be used to garner support of all kinds.
Local historian expands Faulk County Library collection
Who’s your local historian? Faulk County Library has excellent reference assistance in the form of 100-year-old Irene Cordts. A former teacher, Cordts began collecting local history more than 50 years ago. Along the way she has donated a wealth of information to the library.
Her recent donation of Crazy Horse Monument memorabilia came with books as well as many other items. Cordts is a personal friend of the Ziolkowski family, and she and her husband were in attendance at the first mountain blasting in 1948. These materials join notebooks of school records and obituaries compiled from 1883 to about the 1980’s. Small file boxes of information detail the works of local pioneer artist Charles Greener. Equally fascinating is the notebook about Dr. Abbie Ann Jarvis, who is credited as being the first woman physician in SD. At the age of 43 she left her family’s homestead in Faulk County and went to medical school. She returned to the Faulkton area and practiced there until her death.
According to librarian Billie Nelson, in recent years Cordts has never hesitated to ask the library staff to conduct online searches for her as she watched over their shoulders and still continues to work on projects. However, the librarians find sometimes the answers for patrons are best found in Cordts’ notebooks which are now part of the library’s special collection.
Aliens host whole community fund-raiser for elementary library
By Nola Conner, Alcester-Hudson Elementary School Librarian
Thanks to students, parents, grandparents, staff, and local business people, the fall Scholastic Book Fair at Alcester-Hudson Elementary School was a rousing success. The theme for the book fair was “Reading is Out of This World.” Librarians Dee Cole and Nola Conner decorated the fair in a space theme and dressed up as aliens. The school welcomed family and friends to the fair for Monday’s Family Night and Wednesday’s Grandparents’ Lunch. Each student who participated in the school's summer reading program received a five dollar coupon, redeemable for a book fair purchase and paid for by the elementary student council.
Students and local businesses collected loose change for the library, competing for prizes. The total amount collected through sales, coupons and loose change donations came to approximately $3800, the largest amount in recent years of Alcester-Hudson's book fair sales. Books were purchased from the fair for the library’s collection with the loose change donations as well as with the merchandise credit awarded by Scholastic for sales and other incentives.
Author visits: some experiences and a few tips
When Sioux Falls Christian Elementary librarian Kelly Addink met author/illustrator Gary Harbo at the Autumn Festival in Sioux Falls, she took her first step in inviting authors to her school. Harbo, from Minnesota, was attending the festival to sell his books and also to sign books for kids and others who purchased his books. When asked by Addink if he made visits to schools, he replied that he did and even offered drawing lessons for students.
Addink soon began the process of funding an author/illustrator visit for her school. Her first year, she approached her principal with the idea and then wrote a grant with the South Dakota Humanities Council. Addink also set up a book fair with Barnes and Noble, and the proceeds went toward the author visit. This, in conjunction with a special school Read-a-thon, created an excitement with students and staff that helped to promote reading in their school. Staff members helped get the word out to parents and built up the author visit so that it became a big event at the school. Harbo spoke at an opening event which staff and many parents attended, followed by visits to classrooms to meet with various groups of students. Drawing lessons in the classrooms included a talk about how he became an author and illustrator.
Another year’s visit by author Jean Patrick of Mitchell included actual tools and artifacts from Mt. Rushmore to go along with her books written about South Dakota. The artifacts brought life to the words in Patrick’s books.
Addink has worked to have the author visits coincide with the school’s annual Read-a-thon in March. Teachers and students set individual and class goals for reading, and students are rewarded for meeting goals with prizes. Community leaders and parents come in to the school to read during the Read-a-thon, and an author finishes out the week with his or her appearance at the school for the day.
As for the benefits of having a published author or illustrator visit the school, Addink remarked, “We’ve had such a great experience having authors come in, I would highly recommend trying it out.” She recommends that teachers or librarians looking to do this share in the cost by booking an author with another school. In addition, one could start making plans by budgeting the funds for next year, scheduling book fairs or family reading events, inviting community and parent involvement, and writing a grant through an organization like the South Dakota Humanities Council.
For more information on visiting authors in South Dakota, go to Authors on the Road.