Monthly Archives: December 2014

Holiday Hiatus

We’re taking a break for the holidays. Enjoy your time with friends and family, and check back the week of January 5 for new content!

Elegant Christmas background with snowflakes and place for text.


L3ND – The Bremer Rural Libraries and Literacy Leadership Institute

Bremer Rural Libraries and Literacy Leadership Institute LogoI’m pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for North Dakota libraries and literacy organizations to participate in the Libraries and Literacy Leadership  (L3) Institute of 2015 and 2016.  The deadline for libraries or literacy organizations to apply is January 31, 2015.

This is a unique opportunity for organizations to build their capacity and leadership abilities.  The Institute runs for a year and includes three rounds of on-site trainings and additional webinars, a year-long relationship with an experienced mentor, development of an actionable plan to build leadership capacity, and a seed grant to implement the plans of participating organizations.  All costs for participants are covered.

Participating institutions are required to be in or near (within 25 miles) a Bremer Bank community or reside within a tribal reservation in North Dakota.  Applicants can check on the nearest Bremer Bank at: To Learn more or apply, simply click through to the following:

L3ND Application Info & Requirements (PDF)

L3ND Application (Word Document)     L3ND Application (PDF)

If you are interested in applying or have questions about the application process or requirements, please feel free to contact Stu Wilson at  For any literacy specific questions, please contact Dan Backman at

Early Childhood Education at Story Time

MP900202031[1]Following up on last week’s post, another potential resource for early childhood education tips you can provide to parents is the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC “is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.”

There is a section of the site specifically for educators of preschool age children. Even if you don’t subscribe to their publication Teaching Young Children, you can access online features from current and past issues. There is a section called Message in a Backpack, which provides PDFs designed specifically to be sent home with children for continued learning during the week with the support of the parents. They cover a wide range of topics that could be integrated into story time themes you already have planned.

There is also a site for families called NAEYC for Families. Learning and Development Topics on this site are grouped into Child Development, Reading & Writing, and Music, Math & More.

Sample topics in the Child Development section include:

Sample topics in the Reading & Writing section include:

Sample topics in the Music, Math & More section include:

If you like to include music in your story times, there is also a page on the site devoted to music resources, including songs and information on learning with music.

There is also a blog, with useful posts such as, Low Cost Learning Materials for Infants and Toddlers. These posts were written by families sharing their “learning moments.”

What kinds of child development or early childhood education tips do you share with parents at story time? Share your suggestions in the comments!

2015 ILEAD USA in North Dakota


Are you working in a North Dakota library and interested in meeting 21st century needs through par­ticipatory technology? Do you want to be involved in a project that will develop your leadership and project management skills?


The primary goal of ILEAD USA is to implement a national program that develops the knowledge, skills, and abilities of library staff to understand and respond to user needs through the applica­tion of participatory technology tools. The ILEAD USA program will ex­pand the leadership skills of library staff members and increase their ability to address an identified community need.

Who Can Participate?

ILEAD USA is a leadership immersion program for library staff. Anyone who is working in a ND library, whether it’s public, school, special, tribal, or academic, can apply to participate. Applicants are not required to have a master’s degree in library science, do not need to be well-versed in technological tools, or need to be facile using the latest Web-based technology.

Other library stakeholders—such as school administrators, public library trustees, local government officials, academic staff, etc.—are able to be involved with the ILEAD USA process by serving as community user representatives.

Time Commitment

ILEAD USA – North Dakota participants will actively participate in three mandated in-person sessions over the course of nine months: March 23-26, 2015; June 23-25, 2015; and October 27-29, 2015.

During the Intersession periods between the three in-person sessions (April to May 2015 and July to September 2015), each team member will be responsible for participating in online training opportunities that will assist them in the completion of their ILEAD USA – North Dakota team project.


The location for the three in-person 2015 ILEAD USA – North Dakota sessions is the Bismarck Public Library.


All lodging and meals for the team members during the course of the three in-person sessions will be paid for through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant. Travel expenses will be reimbursed by NDSL. Participants from smaller libraries may be eligible for money to hire someone to cover the library.

Assemble a Team

Each participant will apply with two to four other ND librarians to form a team of three to five ILEADers. We are eager to see teams that are comprised of library staff from a variety of library types—public, school, academic, special, and tribal.

Application Process

An online application is available for teams to submit at The deadline for applications is January 15, 2015.

2015 ILEAD USA – North Dakota Timeline

Deadline for ILEAD USA – ND Applications January 15, 2015
Notification of Accepted
February 1, 2015
First Mandatory In-Person Session March 23-26, 2015
Intersession Activities April–June 2015
Second Mandatory In-Person Session June 23-25, 2015
Intersession Activities July–October 2015
Third Mandatory In-Person Session October 27-29, 2015


Contact either:

Eric Stroshane
Project Coordinator 328-4661
BreAnne Meier
Assistant Project Coordinator
(701) 328-4680

 During 2015, the North Dakota State Library is partnering with state library agencies from Illinois, Delaware, Maine, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin to implement ILEAD USA. Major funding for this 2015 ILEAD USA project is made possible through a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Institute of Museum and Library Services logoThis project is made possible by a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and funds from the North Dakota State Library.

Thanks to the ILEAD team at the Wisconsin State Library for providing a working template for this post!

Bright Beginnings

Couple with ChildrenBack in July, BreAnne wrote a post highlighting the usefulness of the resources on the NDSU Extension Service website.

Today I want to highlight a few of the resources on the Family Science page. They offer “a new parent education curriculum focused on parenting young children” called “Bright Beginnings.” The publications that go along with the ten lesson modules are available online.

While the resources are geared towards parents and cover topics such as physical, emotional, and social development, the publications related to play and reading are particularly well suited for use as story time resources as well.

If you are looking for resources you can provide to parents to take home so they can continue building on the skills learned in story time throughout the week, check out these publications.

The reading resources include (in PDF format):

The play resources include (in PDF format):

Do you currently provide take home resources for parents at story time? Tell us about them in the comments!

What I did on my vacation: Visiting Libraries in other countries

About a month ago, I was able to visit a couple libraries in England.  I was struck by how similar these two libraries are to the ones in North Dakota.

The first one I saw was at Stow-on-the-Wold.  The library is located on the ground floor of St. Edward’s Hall in the Town Square.


Continue reading

A New Session

State Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection (1-28-46-1)

State Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection (1-28-46-1)

The governor will present his budget to the legislature today. One of the popular topics that has come up in recent years is oil revenue. This isn’t something new as demonstrated in the above photo from 1952. A Williston  City Commissioner, Neuman Ditsworth, leads a protest against legislative action on a oil tax bill. You can read more about it on Digital Horizons.

Take a few minutes to explore the new Digital Horizons website and our new content! The North Dakota Memories collection has new items from the Pembina County Historical Society and the North Dakota County and Town Histories collection has a number of new books for your searching ease.

Reading is Fundamental

reading is fundamentalReading Is Fundamental “is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States.” Their mission is to encourage children to read, and their website has a number of resources to help parents accomplish this at home.

The Kids section of the site has three great resources:

  • Leading to Reading – this site has early literacy activities for pre-readers, with sections for ages 0-2 and 3-5, and resources for parents
  • Reading Planet – this site is designed for kids ages 5 and up and features a Game Station, Activity Lab, and Book Zone
  • Let’s Read as a Family – this is site has literacy activities parents can do with their children at home and also has lots of tips for parents

For use in the library, check out the Literacy Resources, which include:

The Activity section is probably the most useful resource for library programming, including:

You can also search for activity ideas by category, age, and other factors. These activities could be used in conjunction with story time, or for additional programming throughout the year.

Haunted Libraries

I know we are all getting ready for winter and the holidays that are coming up but I recently read an article on the 10 Most Haunted Libraries in America ( and found it quite interesting, even if it isn’t Halloween anymore.

One of the haunted libraries is the Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana. There have been so many sightings at this library that they have installed 3 “GhostCams” for people to watch online and capture any images that look like they have some sort of paranormal activity going on.  If you are interested, this is the link to the cameras: (  They have a webpage devoted to the top pictures that have been captured.

The list also includes the Parmly Billings Library in Billings, Montana, where people have seen a woman in the basement and a man on the second floor.  They have also heard whistling on the second floor.

Does your library have any paranormal activities happening?  Please share your experiences in the comments.