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.
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.
Working with Individuals Affected by Homelessness: An Empathy-Driven Approach: https://bit.ly/2mBq9a1 – This is for purchase through ALA. The book that it is based on is available from NDSL through ILL: https://bit.ly/2mBqJEJ
Have you heard your Library Development Specialist say that you’re a “Home Rule City” and didn’t have any idea what that meant? You’re not alone. 88% of public libraries in North Dakota reside in a city or county with a home rule charter. Let’s break it down—
Typically, city and county governments need to follow the basics of state law, but if the municipality has passed a home rule charter, they are given freedom to implement ordinances in regards to finances, property taxes, and other taxes as laid out in NDCC 40-05.1-06. This means that, if specified in the home rule charter, a municipality may levy more than 4 mills for library service. (The 4 mill levy limit is prescribed in NDCC 57-15-06.7 and 57-15-10. There are additional constraints if you are funded by both a city and a county or a multi-city agreement.)
Regardless of home rule status, if you want to increase your mill levy for the library, you need to follow the process laid out in NDCC 40-38-02 #5. This includes either a motion of the governing body or a petition of residents to move the issue to a vote. In order to pass, 60% of qualified electors need to vote in favor of increasing the levy for public library service.
For a quick rundown of what a mill is and how it is calculated, check out the ND Association of Counties’ article Understanding Property Taxes.
As always, please remember that all cities and counties handle their money a little bit differently, and ND State Library staff are not lawyers. Any questions regarding interpretation of Century Code or mills should be addressed to your municipality’s attorney or auditor respectively.
8% commission + payment processing fee, flat monthly fee based on the number of books listed (fee is $10/month for 0-10,000 listings). If no orders are placed in a month, seller will receive a rebate of monthly fees that can be used to purchase books on Biblio.
Master of Library and Information Science Degree Grant (NDSL)
Application deadline: May 31
The North Dakota State Library provides a training grant encouraging North Dakotans to pursue a Master of Library and Information Science degree from an ALA-accredited school (ALA/MLIS) and to work in North Dakota. Applicants must be employed by a North Dakota public school library, a public library, a public academic library, or the State Library. Applicants must be accepted into an ALA/MLIS program prior to the award. Applications may be submitted for a total amount of up to $8,500. To learn more or apply, head to the State Library’s PDF about this grant.
Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation through Adversity (ALA)
Application deadline: March 16
The Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation through Adversity recognizes U.S. libraries and staff who overcome adversity and create lasting innovative community service programs that successfully inspire and connect with new readers. Selection criteria include: evidence of hardship, successful partnerships working together to overcome hardship, a strong focus on innovative and unique programming incorporating new technology, and a strong focus on inspiring and connecting with new readers. One $10,000 cash award and four runner-up awards consisting of $1,000 in Penguin Random House books are given annually. Further details and the application are available through ALA’s Awards, Grants, & Scholarships site.
Friends of the Library and Library Foundations are excellent groups to help raise money for your library. In order for these organizations to function optimally and to assist with the procurement of grants, it is encouraged for them to obtain a 501(c)(3) status. This means that they are viewed as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under IRS Code, Section 501(c)(3). Please seek the aid of an attorney or CPA to assist in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status as laws and common practices are subject to change.
The process to achieve 501(c)(3) status can take over 6 months to complete. The IRS has created a guide outlining the Life Cycle of a Public Charity that can help lead you through this process. In order to achieve 501(c)(3) status, the group must do the following:
Create an organizing document that contains the following provisions. More information and sample documents can be found here.
Limit the organization’s purpose to one of the exempt purposes listed in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.
State that the organization cannot engage in activities that don’t advance the exempt purpose.
State that the assets of the organization (money, property, etc.), will be dedicated permanently to the exempt purpose listed.
Establish a Board of Directors and create bylaws for the group.
Once the organization is legally established (see page 9 of IRS Publication 4220), obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS online, by mail, or by phone (1-800-829-4933). Applying for an EIN triggers filing requirements, so do not complete this step until you are prepared to move forward with your other forms.
File Articles of Incorporation for the group with the State of North Dakota as per NDCC 10-33. The paperwork can be found here. There is a $40 filing fee that must accompany the completed form. The ND Secretary of State Office and other state agencies created a guide to beginning and maintaining a nonprofit corporation in ND that can be found here.
Submit the IRS Form 1023-EZ or Form 1023 depending on your eligibility. Eligibility can be determined using the worksheet in the 1023-EZ directions. Directions for the forms can be found here(1023-EZ) or here (1023).
**You may be exempt from this requirement if your organization has gross receipts in each taxable year that are normally not more than $5,000. Please see http://bit.ly/2REnkD0 for more details.**
Before the group can solicit contributions, it may need to be registered as a charitable organization through the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office as per NDCC 50-22. That process can be found here.
The organization will need to follow the tax-code for a 501(c)(3) during the time that their application is in processing. See the IRS page “Tax Law Compliance before Exempt Status is Recognized” for more information. All bank accounts, books, and records for the group need to be separate from the library’s records.
Once the group has acquired 501(c)(3) status, they will need to follow all state and federal filing guidelines to maintain that status. This includes the annual filing of Form 990 and other, unrelated income tax filings, state filings, charitable solicitations reporting, donation substantiation reporting, etc. Additionally, records should be kept for things such as executive compensation, transactions with board members, sources of revenue, accomplishments, expense allocations, details of investments, and organization structure. These things help assure that the group will maintain annual compliance. Most records of the 501(c)(3) group will be subject to public disclosure requirements.
Finding the perfect picture to put on your website, brochure, or Facebook event can be tricky, and it gets even more difficult if you’re making sure your photos are legal to use. That’s right, legally, you can’t use any picture you find on Google Images.Using these photos opens your library up to possible lawsuits for copyright infringement. Instead, look for photos that fall into Public Domain or have a Creative Commons license.
Public Domain: The person who created this work has waived their rights to the photo. This means that you can copy, change, distribute, and perform the work for commercial purposes without asking permission.
Creative Commons Licenses: These licenses allow creators to waive and reserve certain rights in regards to their work. This may include if the image can be used for commercial purposes, if it needs creator attribution, and so on.
A guide for helpful information regarding stock photos can be found here.
The following websites are full of free and ready-to-use photos (as long as you follow the licensing restrictions) to make your library marketing a little more beautiful:
Master of Library and Information Science Degree Grant (NDSL)
Application deadline: May 31
The North Dakota State Library provides a training grant encouraging North Dakotans to pursue a Master of Library and Information Science degree from an ALA-accredited school (ALA/MLIS) and to work in North Dakota. Applicants must be employed by a North Dakota public school library, a public library, a public academic library, or the State Library. Applicants must be accepted into an ALA/MLIS program prior to the award. Applications may be submitted for a total amount of up to $8,500. To learn more or apply, head to the State Library’s PDF about this grant. Continue reading →
The Collaborative School Library Award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs through joint planning of a program, unit, or event in support of the curriculum and using school library resources. Applicants must be a school librarian and teacher(s) who have worked together to execute a project, event, or program to further information literacy, independent learning, and social responsibility using resources of the school library. School librarians must be personal members of AASL in order to be eligible.
In the first installment, we introduced you to CodeDak, the State Library’s initiative to encourage and support running coding clubs in libraries throughout the state. We looked at the exigent need to provide safe, fun, and free opportunities for our youth to learn coding and computer science. Now we’re going to define some terms and detail the bare bones of what you need to get started. This guide is far from comprehensive, but fear not—there’s more to come in future issues of the Flickertale!
Coding: Also called programming, computer programming, or scripting, this is the practice of creating sets of machine-interpretable instructions that make a computer do your bidding. This is an incredibly powerful skillset, as computers are in almost everything, including phones, drones, refrigerators, and rubber duckies. The applications of coding range from creating games and apps, automating routine processes like sorting, making robots dance, performing complex math, modeling weather patterns, even creating art and music—anything a coder can dream of.
Block Coding: A visual style of coding where instructions are represented as Continue reading →