June/July 2013, Volume 5, Issue 6
Check Your Calendars!!
ALA 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition
June 27– July 2, Chicago, Illinois
SD Festival of Books
Sept. 20-22, Deadwood
Tri-Conference: NDLA, MPLA, SDLA 2013
The Library: All Travelers Welcome
Sept. 25-27, Sioux Falls
Indian Education Summit
Sept. 29- Oct 1, Chamberlain/Oacoma
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Ah-choo! Allergy info for all ages
Make summer reading programs accessible to the visually impaired
To create an all-inclusive community for summer readers and reading programs, libraries are grounded in respect and appreciation for individual differences. We would encourage continuance in providing programming and resources that enhance knowledge and encourage understanding of those who are visually impaired and cannot read standard print. A good way to begin is to identify agencies that have expertise in issues of blindness and visual impairments. The South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired of the Dept. of Human Services, Dakotalink and South Dakota Parent Connection are just a few.
Summer reading loss is a real issue, and children who read daily have a greater chance of avoiding the loss. We want to send children back to school ready to learn more and continue building on the knowledge they have gained through the summer reading program.
Children are encouraged to participate in their local library's summer reading program. School and public libraries can collaborate to give children encouragement and resources to build their reading skills. Getting parents involved is important as well. Learn which individuals in the community need extra encouragement and words of welcome.
Adjusting the types of incentives and activities to include children with visual loss can be a great way to include children with visual impairments in your summer programs. Creativity can be reached through textures, scents and sound. Imagination has no boundaries.
Enhance reading and writing activities for those with low or no vision by using bold writing pens, dark-lined or raised-line paper, video magnification and books with large print or braille letters with tactile images. Computer monitors can simply be moved closer to the user or have programs such as Jaws (for screen reading) or Zoomtext (for enlarging text) installed. Use audio book talks with authors, illustrators and professional narrators via Internet as a great accessible addition to your summer programs.
Switch computer keyboards to those that are yellow or are black with large white letters. Making iPads accessible is as simple as using the zoom and voiceover options along with accessible apps.
Make tactile artwork by outlining images in glue and by coloring over sandpaper, window screening or other materials with a texture pleasant to touch. Use felt boards to illustrate books as they are being read out loud. Gardening, digging for treasure and family-based scavenger hunt/reading nights are accessible activities and will fit well with this year's themes of "Dig Into Reading," "Beneath the Surface" and "Groundbreaking Reads."
The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has numerous resources available for children with vision disabilities. Use this resource this summer if you are looking for great ideas to diversify your library.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is listed under the CSLP Diversity Menu under vision disability. The Braille & Talking Book Program of the State Library is a Regional Library of NLS. This program provides braille and audio books and magazines to those who cannot read standard print materials. Digital audio and braille can also be downloaded for use through Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).
Under the partnership between Bookshare and OverDrive, Library E-book Accessibility Program (LEAP) will provide qualifying U.S. public library patrons serviced by OverDrive with a full year of free membership. Bookshare is available to individuals of all ages who have qualifying disabilities. Proof of disability must be submitted before services begin. If patrons of your library have a print or visual disability, they will be eligible for a LEAP account for free for one year. Libraries should contact OverDrive to have LEAP added to their service for free. Bookshare has established this program solely for qualified patrons of U.S. public libraries that offer e-books from OverDrive. LEAP account patrons will be able to download and read up to 20 accessible eBooks each month.
Summer reading for all ages
Summer reading is now all that consumes your waking hours, and maybe even some of your sleep. No matter what position you hold in your library — director, children's librarian, cataloger, etc. – you have a role to play in summer reading. Working with children and teens may not be your thing, but if you know how to talk to other people, then you could probably help run an adult summer reading program. Adults, while typically less messy with glue and markers, still like to be entertained, and the good news is that they can be much more self-sufficient. Get together a group of adults in your community who are faithful library patrons and ask them to take a turn at leading an activity or discussion. If you don't know what to do, check out the adult section of your CSLP manual.
Also, don't forget those babies and toddlers in your community! Make sure you've made contact with any local moms' groups and daycares, and if you have to leave the library building to reach these audiences, then so be it.
Good luck this summer — you can do it!
Student workers add value to public libraries
Many public libraries in South Dakota use high school and, in some cases, middle school help. Most students are volunteers, while some are paid. Either way, student help in public libraries is mutually beneficial.
Benefits to the public library include:
- providing extra hands to help with material processing, shelving, circulation, covering the desk and other tasks
- capitalizing on students' talents, such as working with technology or giving puppet shows
- developing students as leaders and life-long learners
- cultivating empathy by having students work with younger or older patrons
- growing library supporters
- making a connection between the school and the public library
- helping your library be "youth-friendly"
- writing and posting book reviews and participating in YA collection development
- designing and decorating their own teen space in the library
Some of the best student workers are busy with school and community activities, other jobs, family and friends. Doris Ann Mertz, Custer County Library director, said of her student volunteer, "She is a wonderful young lady, and I value her help immensely…. I'm glad she finds the time to fit us in."
Teens are able to organize, enhance and run their own programs. Teen Advisory Board members at Gregory Public are developing middle school programming from ideas to promotion in schools to fundraising.
Vermillion Public Library's volunteer helped present during after-school programs. She and a couple of friends were completely in charge of one of them a couple years ago. According to Joyce Moore, youth services specialist, "She is the sole reason we have author Susan Dennard here in Vermillion right now. It was her idea; she contacted Susan's literary agent; she and her mom raised money and helped write a South Dakota Arts Council grant; she is nothing short of amazing!"
Some volunteers and workers have regular hours, but for some libraries, having students work as needed on special projects works better. At Grant County Public Library, teens moved YA materials into their new teen area, as well as choosing colors and furniture for the area.
Benefits to students include:
- receiving pay, community service hours, job references or simply satisfaction
- developing leadership, customer service, technical and other skills
- learning job skills and good work habits
- contributing to the community in a positive way
- growing relationships with adults outside their families
If you are not using student help, consider adding that component to your staff. In addition to getting library tasks done. "They give life to the library," says Viborg Library Director Deb Graham.
For more information on teen workers in the library, check out Teen Volunteer Services in Libraries by Kellie M. Gillespie and other books available at the State Library, as well as these websites:
- American Library Association wiki: School/Public Library Cooperative Programs
- Mid-Hudson Library System: Public Library/Local School Partnerships