Monthly Archives: August 2019

Grow Your Graphics Collection!

Looking to beef up your Junior and YA graphic novel collection? Below you will find some authors that consistently have popular work, lists curated by ALA, YALSA, Common Sense Media, and more, and a list of some stand-out series and stand-alones that are great starting points for your collection.

Authors to watch:

  • Ben Hatke
  • Jarrett J Krosoczka
  • Jen Wang
  • Jennifer L Holm
  • Katie O’Neill
  • Nathan Hale
  • Raina Telgemeier
  • Shannon Hale
  • Ursula Vernon
  • Victoria Jamieson

Readers Advisory Lists: 

Highly Recommended Series and Stand-Alones:

  • Abigail the Snowman by Roger Langridge
  • Alabaster Shadows by Matt Gardner
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
  • Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Berrybrook Middle School by Svetlana Chmakova
  • Bone by Jeff Smith
  • Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice
  • Compass South by Hope Larson
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Emmie and Friends by Terri Libenson
  • Hilda by Luke Pearson
  • HiLo by Judd Winick
  • Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt
  • Jellaby by Kean Soo
  • Knights of the Lunch Table by Frank Cammuso
  • Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman
  • Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
  • Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Mega Princess by Kelly Thompson
  • Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton
  • Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez
  • Olga by Elise Gravel
  • Owly by Andy Runton
  • Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  • Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
  • Princeless: Jeremy Whitley
  • Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly
  • The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner
  • The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
  • The Chronicles of Claudette by Jorge Aguirre
  • The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo
  • The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson
  • The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier
  • The Time Museum by Matthew Loux
  • The Witch Boy by Molly Knox OStertag

Dealing with Difficult Patrons

Getting to know your patrons is an important part of being a librarian. Regular patrons develop a strong relationship with their librarian and are likely to advocate for the library in the community. But for every super awesome patron, there is bound to be one that is a little more difficult. Classic examples of difficult patrons are easy to come by; they may have a strong body odor, talk too loud, run, bring their bike into the library, ignore all social cues, walk behind the reference desk, or expect you to remember their Facebook password among other things.

So, how do you deal with a difficult patron effectively? The first step is to make sure that you have policies in place and that you enforce them equally across all races, social classes, genders, and ages. Too often, policies are written as a reaction to difficult patrons. Save yourself a headache and write policies now. This will assure that you aren’t targeting one specific patron by writing a “no brushing your teeth in the 2nd sink of the upstairs men’s restroom” policy.

Make sure you treat your patrons with kindness when addressing them about a breach in policy. Librarianship is a customer service profession and responding in a condescending tone may only escalate the situation. Stay calm—especially when it feels like it would be easier to blow up.

Below are some webinars and readings that can help you learn how to cater your approach to dealing with difficult patrons. Hopefully these prove beneficial, but it may help to look at other communication or customer services training depending on your specific issues and library.


Some light reading on the topic:

  • This website provides scripts and tips for common library patron issues. The webinar through ALA is linked above (as is the book which is available through ILL.)
  • Difficult Patron Behavior: Success Stories from the WebJunction Community:
  • Technology, Road Rage, and Customer Service:
  • The case studies at the end of this PDF may be good discussion points.

Online Courses through Universal Class:

Annual Report to Governing Body: A How to Guide

North Dakota public libraries are required by law to submit an annual report to their governing body (either the city and/or county commission). This report is different from the PLS (Public Library Survey)/ annual report that is submitted to the State Library.

NDCC 40-38-09. Annual report of board of directors…

According to NDCC 40-38-09, “The board of directors shall make a report on July first of each year to the governing body of the city or board of county commissioners, as the case may be…”

NDCC 40-38-09 also includes a list of what should be included in this report:

  1. The condition of the library and property.
  2. The various sums of money received from all sources.
  3. How much money has been expended and for what purpose.
  4. The number of books and periodicals on hand.
  5. The number of books and periodicals added by purchase or gift during the year and the number thereof lost or loaned out.
  6. The character and kind of books contained in the library.
  7. Such other statistics, information, and suggestions as the board may deem of general interest or as may be required by the state library.

Creating the Annual Report

NDCC 40-38-09 outlines what needs to be included, but there are numerous ways in which this annual report could be approached.

  • Your report should be organized, well-thought-out, visual/ eye-catching/ colorful, and informative.
  • You want your report to be designed in such a way that an outsider (a non-library user) should be able to pick up a copy and understand the library’s impact and what the library is doing.
  • With a little time and dedication, you should be able to create a report without any issues. Use the tools you have at your disposal and/or the tools you are comfortable with; so take advantage of things like Word, Publisher, Google Docs, etc. to help create your report.
  • Keep things simple.
  • Colors and fonts matter!

What to Include

Items that you should absolutely include in your report (other than what is listed in Century Code):

  • Contact information
  • Fun facts about the library
  • Information about your services
  • Highlights from the past year (feature what is awesome about your library, or awesome things you did/ accomplished)
  • Photographs
  • Data
  • Information about future goals, projects, etc.

Numbers, Data, Stats, Oh My!

Definitely include data from your library’s most recent PLS; however, you should NOT just print this off and submit it as your annual report to the governing body. The raw data in the PLS can be bland, and it includes information that the governing body may not understand without proper context.

Numbers can really drive the point home. However, don’t use too many figures. That may overwhelm folks.

Consider doing something fun with the data, like charts, graphs, storymap, or an infographic. Infographics are brief and visual. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create an infographic. You can easily create free infographics online by using websites like Canva (other, similar websites are also available).

Be Strategic with Your Data

  • Don’t make people have to work to find your data. For example, when using things like charts or graphs, label them appropriately. Label them with things like “library circulation continues to increase” instead of the uninteresting “this year’s circulation stats.”
  • Put numbers in context. For example, try making data somewhat local by comparing your figures to some sort of local data (fair or sporting event attendance; the number of people in your town, county, or the state; etc.)
  • Pay attention to some of the principles of graphic design.
  • Choose the appropriate visualization:
If you want to show… Then you should use…
Small numbers, percentages, frequencies Single numbers, pie charts, percentage donuts
Changes over time Slope graph, line graph, stacked columns
Survey responses Bar or column chart, lollipop graph
Comparisons Bar and line combined, bullet graph
Place Heatmap, tile map
Something complicated Flow chart, process map
Source: Bodily, Patrick. “Presenting Data Effectively.” Session presented at the Annual Convention of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, Springfield, IL, 2018.


This report can also serve another purpose: advocacy. Never miss an opportunity to advocate for your library, and the annual report is a wonderful opportunity to do this. The governing body should be able to review the report and visualize the impact the library is making in the community.

Also, take advantage of the Library Value Calculator. You can use this calculator to help determine your library’s value and return on investment. The calculator is available on ALA’s website ( An Excel Spreadsheet version of this calculator can be downloaded here (this version is easier to print and the data can be easily updated): library-value-calculator.xlsx

Speaking of library advocacy, additional information and resources on this topic are available here:

Examples of Library Annual Reports

Examples of Infographics

New Items Added to Digital Horizons (May-July 2019)

The Digital Initiatives team at the North Dakota State Library has been keeping busy. Many items have been uploaded onto Digital Horizons in the last couple of months. Listed below is a highlight of new items added to the North Dakota State Library’s online collections. You can access the items featured below by clicking on them or by visiting the Digital Horizons website (where you will also find thousands of other treasures).

ND Memories

ND Atlases and Plat Books

ND State Documents

ND County & Town Histories

ND School for the Deaf Banner