Category Archives: Uncategorized

2017 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees Have Been Announced

In case you haven’t already heard: YALSA has announced the Teens’ Top Ten nominees for 2017!

The list is comprised of the 26 books, along with summaries, that were nominated and chosen by teens as the favorites from 2016. Now is a great time to encourage the teens at your library to read the nominees, so they will be ready to vote for their favorites between August 15 and Teen Read Week (October 8-14, 2017).  Winners will be announced the week of October 15.

The nominee list and other information, including a guide on how to promote the books, a downloadable toolkit, and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found here:

“We’re Closed” signs

454736426_1280x720The holiday season is upon us and, with that, your library will probably be closed at some point to give employees time with their families. With the holiday season comes winter weather.  Unfortunately, the snow and cold has already set in and libraries around the state have had to be closed due to the weather.

When letting your patrons know the library is closed, whether it is scheduled because of a holiday or last-minute because of bad weather, be sure to remind them that the online library resources are still accessible 24/7. Just because they can’t go into the physical building, doesn’t mean they can’t reap the benefits of all the online resources that your library is providing.  They can still access TutorND, Universal Class, OverDrive (if your library provides it), etc.

If your library has a website or Facebook page where you can post about the closure(s), be sure to provide direct links to the online resources available at your library. If you are posting a sign on the library’s door, include your website’s url with information on how to access the online resources.

Holiday Hiatus

Happy holidays from the State Library!

Christmas Tree 2015

The State Library trees at the Capitol

We’ll be taking a blog break for the holidays.

Check back in early January for new content!

Screen PBS Documentaries for Free at Your Library

Logo for PBS's POV documentary film seriesPBS allows libraries to register to borrow and screen select documentary DVDs, free of charge. They even have discussion guides, lesson plans and reading lists to accompany these films. New additions to their lending library collection are added each year in association with their POV series. Their 2015 lineup includes The Overnighters, a feature-length award-winning film set in North Dakota’s oilfields. Not convinced? Scope their trailers!

In order for your library to participate, you do need to register in the POV Community Network. Once you register, you will receive an email with an activation link and temporary password. Use these to activate your account. You will then be ready to go–to make requests, you will simply need to log in to your account and click “Create an Event” to register and schedule a screening.

Over 80 high-quality documentary films on sundry topics and of various lengths are currently available to libraries through this program, and more get added each year.

Outside the Lines: Libraries Reintroduced

Outside the Lines logoThis September, libraries everywhere will once again celebrate Outside the Lines in their local communities. Last year, 178 libraries across the U.S. and Canada participated. This year, let’s help that number grow through increased participation in North Dakota!

Outside the Lines is a way of demonstrating that libraries are more relevant than ever before. It’s about showing people libraries have changed, instead of simply telling them.

Outside the Lines is a week-long celebration demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. It’s about stepping out and engaging the community you serve outside of the building you traditionally serve them in. Whether your organization is large or small, a school library or a public library, you can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign that:

  1. Gets people thinking — and talking — about libraries in a different way
  2. Showcases the library out in the community
  3. Highlights how your library is relevant to people’s lives
  4. Represents your local community
  5. Is active and gets people engaged
  6. Is extraordinary and unexpected
  7. Most importantly, is fun!

Outside the Lines is scheduled for September 13-19, 2015. Registration is not yet live, but you can learn more about the event at their official site or by checking out this Storify of how libraries participated in 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

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!

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

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.