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August 2012, Volume 4, Issue 7

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book SD 2012

Indian Ed Summit
Sept. 23-25

Festival of Books
Sept. 28-30

Banned Books Week
Sept. 30 – Oct. 6

SDLA Annual Conference
Oct. 3-5

Teen Read Week
Oct. 14-20

National Friends of Libraries Week
Oct. 21-27

Heritage Quest
Featured e-Resources of the Month

Help your patrons find answers in genealogy resources

Welcome to the Cornerstone Archives. Find the current newsletter at

In this month's issue


Tips for rethinking collections and reference services

The State Library held its annual Public Library Institute June 3-8 on the campus of Northern State University in Aberdeen. Guest lecturer was library consultant Mary Bushing, who spoke on the topics of collection development and reference services.

Bushing has been a regular instructor at Institute, sharing many years' worth of library work experience and consulting. Here are a few "gems" she shared during her presentation on collections and reference services. Perhaps these tips will start some thinking and conversations in your own libraries.

  • "Get rid of computer books in your library. Purchase e-books or use magazine articles instead."
    Those shelves of computer books do go out of date quickly with the constant changes in technology. However, keep in mind that many patrons don’t always have the resources to purchase the new version of something.
  • "Spine labels and where things are shelved is NOT cataloging. Put fiction series together, despite who the author is."
    This makes it a lot easier for your patrons to find those series books. Think about the Star Wars book series with so many different authors. Put them all in one area. Your patrons will thank you.
  • "Our library boards need to have more people under 50."
    It is never a bad idea to recruit from the younger generation set. They may bring forth a lot of new, creative ideas for your library.
  • "Have the sense to know when to 'kill' a collection."
    Cassettes, VHS tapes? They are on their way out, but you know your community best and know what is/is not still being checked out. Large reference collections are also shrinking, with the number of reference resources now online and provided by the SDSL.
  • "Weeding, culling, de-selection - don't care what you call it, just do it."
    Need we say more? You will see increased circulation by weeding.
  • "If you see two copies of a book on the shelf, then you don't need both copies anymore."
    The popularity has waned, so it is time to weed one of those copies and put it in the annual book sale.

Don't forget to call the State Library at 800-423-6665 or email us for further research help.


Getting the word out: Simple marketing strategies for small libraries

Summer reading is wrapping up and fall activities will soon be underway. You've got some great new materials and programs to feature. But you are a small library with few—or no—staff. How do you get the word out without spending a lot of time and money?

Here are some ideas from other librarians:

  • Take pet care books to the vet's office or make a brochure advertising pet care books to place in the vet’s office. What similar lists can you create for other businesses?
  • Use a black or white board to highlight a number or fact about your library (number of patrons/day, materials checked out/day, program attendance/week, etc.). Display in your library or library window for passersby to see.
  • Create (or have a volunteer create) a slide presentation about your library services to post on your social media pages and/or take to service clubs.
  • Host service club and community organization meetings at the library so you can attend.
  • Design a brochure (or have a volunteer design) that highlights library services and value. Distribute it at the library and in brochure racks around town. Link to it on your social media pages.

"Get social," both online and in person, recommend Michelle A. McIntyre, director, Roaring Spring Community Library (PA) and Melinda Tanner, district consultant librarian, Washington, Greene & Fayette Counties (PA). Use a website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter and other online means to get the latest library news to patrons. These free or low-cost venues can be set up and administered by volunteers, with your guidance for content. In person, use the social networks you already have by sharing library news with clubs and organizations to which you belong. Make your library a Chamber of Commerce member and tell your library's story at meetings. Invite community leaders to library events. Build relationships within the community, and encourage your trustees to do the same.

Custer County Library uses a small blackboard to share the number of patrons who visit the library each day.
Custer County Library uses a small blackboard to share the number of patrons who visit the library each day.

For more library marketing information

  • View this WebJunction webinar archive: "Best Kept Secret: Marketing the Small & Rural Library." You can view the archived presentation or just the slides or chat and explore other resources listed:
  • Read Cornerstone archives: marketing
  • Check out books on marketing from the State Library. The newest marketing title is Marketing your Library: Tips and Tools that Work, edited by Carol Smallwood, Vera Gubnitskaia and Kerol Harrod. McFarland: 2012.


How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian and other resources in the news

Reviewed by Jane Healy, Electronic Services Coordinator, East River

book coverHow to Thrive as a Solo Librarian, Carol Smallwood and Melissa J. Clapp, Eds. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2012. 300 pgs.

You're "it"—the one and only librarian for your library. How can you be as effective as possible? How can you get it all done? What should your priorities be? Good news! Editors Carol Smallwood and Melissa J. Clapp have heard your questions and found people to answer them in this book.

Twenty-six librarians each wrote a chapter for one of the book's eight sections, allowing you to dip into the areas where you need advice.

  • Time Management informs on developing a work flow, prioritizing tasks, saying "no" and managing stress.
  • Community Involvement tells how to build partnerships, manage volunteers, offer programs with community appeal and appoint committees.
  • Public Relations and Marketing gives tips on how and why to advertise your library, making the library visible, developing relationships and dealing with problem patrons.
  • Professional Development advises how and where to keep up with what's new in librarianship and reinforces the need for life-long learning.
  • Internet-based Ideas for Librarianship talks about creating online instruction for patrons, managing online materials collections and using free social media tools to enhance your library.
  • Administrative Tasks recommends how to do big picture planning, conduct an annual report and handle security issues.
  • Assessing, Weeding, and Moving Collections helps you get to know your collection, see its strengths and weaknesses, determine shelving needs, develop a process for withdrawing materials and moving the collection.
  • Library Overviews discusses the rewards and opportunities for personal growth as a solo librarian.

While chapters highlight specific library types, the advice given can suit any library. Each chapter recommends resources for further reading, and the book contains an index.

This and other books about librarianship are available from the State Library:

Other resources in the news:

  • Quick copyright help is here
    Can I use this without permission? It is copyrighted? Can I say it's Fair Use? Any time you use material created by someone else, you may need to get permission from the copyright owner. How do you know? Each situation is different, depending on what the material is and how you plan to use it. Let the Copyright Genie, the Fair Use Evaluator and other fun tools give you guidance: These resources were developed by the Copyright Advisory Network, part of ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy.
  • One-on-one technology training tips
    Me? Give technology training? Yes, you. If you’ve ever shown someone how to use a mouse or get an email account, you have given technology training. One-on-one training can be very effective because it's personal, focused and takes a short amount of time. The patron comes to you with a particular need and leaves empowered with new knowledge. To be more purposeful in your one-on-one sessions, consider the tips offered here by TechSoup for Libraries, a nonprofit specializing in library technology:
  • Carnegie Medals awarded for excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction
    Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz and Robert K. Massie's Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman were named the first Andrew Carnegie Medal winners in June. Further details may be found at
  • I Love My Librarian 2012 Award nominations now open
    Library users can nominate a librarian for the 2012 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award from now until Sept. 12 at Each nominee must be a librarian with a master's degree from a program accredited by ALA in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school librarianship from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.





collection, institute, marketing, research, review, social media, weeding

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