Monthly Archives: February 2013

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

YALSAWe all know kids who, for whatever reason, are less than enthusiastic about reading. Fortunately, YALSA has a committee that picks fiction and non-fiction books that will appeal to reluctant readers between the ages of 12-18, regardless of why they don’t like to read. The 2013 Quick Picks list includes 65 titles and 3 series; there is also a top 10 list. For more ideas, view the past lists. There’s also a compilation of books in series that have been featured in the past.

You can also suggest books for consideration if you have titles that have been popular in your library. You can view the selection criteria to see how the books are evaluated.

How popular are the selected titles with your reluctant readers? Do you have recommendations that have been successful in your library? Share them in the comments!

New Library Science Titles at NDSL

The North Dakota State Library strives to maintain a collection of the most up-to-date information resources and materials to help librarians and staff with all aspects of librarianship. Here are some of our most recent acquisitions, available to request through our online catalog today!

Blake, Barbara Radke. Successful community outreach: a how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, c2011.

MacLeod, Don. How to find out anything: from extreme Google searches to  scouring government documents, a guide to uncovering anything about everyone and  everything. New York: Prentice Hall Press, 2012.

Murphy, Joe.   Location-aware services and QR codes for libraries. Chicago: ALA TechSource, 2012.  

Steiner, Sarah K. Strategic planning for social media in libraries. Chicaco: ALA TechSource, 2012.

Schmidt, Aaron and Amanda Etches. User experience (UX) design for libraries. Chicago: ALA TechSource, 2012.

Lascarides, Michael. Next-Gen library redesign. Chicago: ALA TechSource, 2012. 

Miller, Steven J. Metadata for digital collections: a how-to-do-it manual. New York, NY : Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2011.  

Singer, Carol A. Fundamentals of managing reference collections. Chicago: ALA, 2012.  

Marketing your library: tips and tools that work. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2012.

2012 Nebula Award Nominees Announced


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently announced the nominees for the 2012 Nebula Awards.

In the running for best novel are:

  • Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
  • Ironskin by Tina Connolly
  • The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
  • The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

The nominees for the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy are:

  • Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
  • Black Heart by Holly Black
  • Above by Leah Bobet
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
  • Every Day by David Levithan
  • Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
  • Railsea by China Miéville
  • Fair Coin by E.C. Myers
  • Above World by Jenn Reese

Voting opens March 1st, but there’s still plenty of time to read the titles you missed before the winners are announced in mid-May. More information is available on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America site.

Tell us about your favorites (and who you think was panned) in the comments!

Do You Need Demographic Facts About Your City?

Are you looking for census data or quick facts about your town? Listening to customer feedback, the United States Census Bureau redesigned American FactFinder. It is now easier to navigate and search, providing access to census, economic, and community survey data. Most of the information is presented in a table format which you can download. Find population, income, education, employment, housing data and much more.AmericanFactFinder

Kevin Iverson, who manages the ND Census Office, will present a session on the new American FactFinder system at the North Dakota State Library Spring Workshops 2013. We hope to see you there.

“If you don’t know anything, why open your mouth and prove it.”  –Tom Magliozzi (Car Talk)


Best Free Reference Websites

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, has developed the Best Free Reference Websites Combined Index, a compilation of its yearly best reference website lists from 1999-2012. This is a really great, comprehensive list of free online reference resources, covering a wide range of disciplines and subject areas. Here’s a quick look at a few examples:

  • Acronym Finder
    Ever wonder what ASRI, MAEE, or WWWS stand for? You’ll find these acronyms among the over 1,000,000 human-edited definitions on Acronym Finder.
  • LIFE Photo Archive
    A searchable, Google-hosted database containing photographs from the archives of LIFE Magazine, from the 1750s to the present.
  • Kids Count Data Center
    The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Center provides a wide array of data on aspects of child well-being in the United States, including education, economic well-being, health, and more.

If you’re looking for reputable sources of information online, this list is a great starting point. Something to be aware of is that some of the links, especially those featured on some of RUSA’s older yearly lists from the late ’90s and early 2000s, are no longer active. But the majority of what’s included is really useful and worth checking out!

2013 Rainbow List

ALA GLBT logoThe Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association recently announced the 2013 Rainbow List. The Rainbow List “presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age.”

If you don’t have all the titles on this list, you can always check the ODIN catalog and request them through ILL. (Don’t know how to ILL? Attend a webinar to learn!)

For additional GLBTQ recommendations and reviews:

Continue reading

Promising Practices for Public Access Computers

I’ve been wrestling for a while now with how best to tackle the manifold privacy and security concerns inherent in shared computer environments. It’s a complex issue pertinent not only to the sacred tenets of Intellectual Freedom and the legislated requirements for patron confidentiality (NDCC 40-38-12), but also for network security and the provision of a reliable and safe computing environment. To make it more challenging, so many libraries are constrained in terms of the resources, time, and technological proficiency they have at their disposal to address these challenges. There are many facets to this, and I intend to tackle them one by one–so begins an epic series of posts…

Before delving into today’s topic, it’s probably prudent to remind you that if you have publicly accessible computers, you should have an Internet Access Policy (word document template). In fact, if you’re filtering to comply with CIPA, you’re obligated to have one.

Okay, if you’re still with me that means your library has an Internet Access Policy and you’re interested in securing your lab and protecting your patrons’ privacy without spending another dime. Bully for you! Today’s lesson: configuring the privacy settings on your public computers’ internet browsers. Below you’ll find instructions for Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer; you may not have all of these installed on your lab computers, but I recommend making  the following adjustments to whichever ones you do.


1. Mozilla Firefox

It’s easy to configure Firefox to respect user privacy. First, you’ll need to open up the menu (orange logo-sporting area in the upper left corner of any open browser window). Select Options to pop open a new window with the settings options. Now click on Privacy so that you can make the necessary adjustments. Make sure the “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked” checkbox is ticked. Now select “Never remember history” from the “Firefox will:” dropdown menu under History, like so:


Finally, click the OK button to instantiate your changes!

Google_Chrome_icon_(2011).svg2. Google Chrome

To change Chrome’s default behavior, you will have to make one minor edit to it’s shortcut. To do this, right click Chrome’s shortcut on your desktop, Start menu, or taskbar. Then click Properties to summon forth the Google Chrome Properties window. In the Shortcut tab, simply append ” -incognito” to the very end of the text in the “Target:” field (note: don’t key in the quotation marks!) Click OK and you will have successfully modified your shortcut! It is important to note that if you have more than one shortcut, you will need to modify all of them.



3. Internet Explorer

The process for tweaking Internet Explorer is very much like that for Chrome. Right click the IE shortcut on your desktop, Start Menu, or taskbar. Then click on Properties. Append ” -private” to the very end of the text in the “Target:” field (note: don’t key in the quotation marks!) Finally, click OK to finish it up. If you have more than one shortcut to IE, you will have to alter each of them in this fashion.


A final note: if you’re not currently using a program like Fortres Grand’s Clean Slate, Faronics’ Deep Freeze, or Complete Lock’s Install Guard, patrons will still be able to adjust these settings and undermine the protections you’ve put in place for them. More on locking changes like this down in a later post!

How Do I Make a Living?

Do you know any high school students who are not sure what they want to do for a living? Maybe some of your patrons are veterans looking for a civilian career where they can use skills learned in the military.  MyNextMove is an interactive U.S. Department of Labor site designed to help you explore the skills and knowledge required for different jobs. You can search careers by key words or browse careers by industry. You can answer questions about the type of work you might like and the system will suggest careers that match your interests and training. You can find apprenticeship programs, or green careers. Discover new and emerging careers with a bright outlook; jobs that will grow rapidly in the next few years, or jobs that have large numbers of openings. Add MyNextMove to your job search toolbox.MyNextMove

“School libraries are the foundations of our culture — not luxuries.Laurie Halse Anderson- Author


The Joys of Winter Travel in North Dakota

I’ll admit it – when thinking about traveling around North Dakota in the middle of winter, Joy is not the first feeling that comes to mind. Apprehension and Dread are more like it. After checking and rechecking the weather forecast and ND Dept. of Transportation road conditions map dozens of times over the preceding days and packing my winter emergency gear, I ventured out on the road last Thursday, making stops at the Carrington City Library, Lakota City Library, and Lake Region Public Library in Devils Lake. I was happy to have the company of Michele from our administrative office on this trip – it was really  nice to not be traveling alone for a change! All in all, it was a productive, but very long day, and other than a few icy patches and some pretty serious fog on the return trip, the going was pretty easy, for February in North Dakota, anyway. Many thanks to Lenore, Geri, and Jim for your time and hospitality!

Elizabeth with Lenore Franchuk, Carrington City Librarian

Elizabeth with Lenore Franchuk, Carrington City Librarian

Lakota City Library presented annual report award

Michele & Elizabeth presented an award to Geri Wagness, Lakota City Librarian, in recognition of being the first to complete this year’s public library annual report. Also present was library board member Peggy Wheeler. Congratulations!

Brief Guide to Peer Review and Scientific Publication


Sense About Science just published this excellent guide to explain the peer review process and help people make sense of public debates about science and medicine. If you want to know more about peer review and research publication, or if you need a handout for students on how to analyze resource quality, dig in and enjoy!