Apr 14, 2014


Potter County Library in Gettysburg, SD is searching for a new library director, who will begin full-time duties as of Monday, August 4, 2014.  If requested, some time will be available in June and July for on-the-job training.  This position includes sick leave, vacation, retirement, health insurance, and continuing education benefits.  Annual salary will be determined by experience. 

You can pick up an application at the library, or contact us to request an electronic copy by calling 605-765-9518, emailing pclibrary@venturecomm.net, or by accessing our Potter County Library Facebook page. We will take applications through Friday, May 2, 2014.  Completed materials can be sent to PC Library at 106 E. Commercial Ave, Gettysburg, SD, 57442, or sent electronically to the email listed above.



This year National Library Week will be celebrated with the theme “Lives Change @ Your Library,” during the week of April 13-19, 2014.  First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.  Libraries and librarians have a powerful and positive impact on the lives of Americans on a daily basis. Their stories are key to communicating the value of libraries. National Library Week is the perfect opportunity to encourage your community to tell the story of how the library has changed their life.  Stop into Potter County Library anytime from April 1, 2014 to April 19, 2014 to let us know about something you discovered at the library, what part of the library you like best, or why the library is important to you, and your name will be entered into a drawing for local business gift cards.  Winners will be notified by April 23, 2014.


Congratulations to this year’s YARP South Dakota Book Award winners!  2,046 South Dakota teens voted for their favorite book over the last 5 months and have decided their favorite books are:

Middle School
Winner: Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
Runner-Up: Legend by Marie Lu

High School
Winner: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Runner-Up: The Selection by Kiera Cass

As a part of the National Library Week tradition...
2014 Prairie Bud and Prairie Pasque South Dakota Children's Book Award Winners are....

Press Here, by Herve Tullet, is the winner of the 2014 Prairie Bud Award.  Harry Houdini:  The Legend of the World’s Greatest Escape Artist by Janice Weaver is the winner of the 2014 Prairie Pasque Award.

Sponsored by the South Dakota Library Association, South Dakota Children's Book Awards encourage students in grades K-6 to read and vote for their favorite book of the year. The Prairie Bud Award is designed for students in grades K-3, while the Prairie Pasque Award is for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.  Children who read at least five titles from the list for their grade level qualify to vote. Each award is given to the book receiving the most votes from students throughout South Dakota.

10,582 students in grades K-3 voted for a book nominated for this year's Prairie Bud Award; 4572 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders took part in the Prairie Pasque Award voting.

In order of votes received, the top five Prairie Bud books for 2014 are:
1.      Press Here by Herve Tullet 
2.      Earth to Clunk by Pam Smallcomb
3.      The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray
4.      Harry and Hopper by Margaret Wild
5.      Blackout by John Rocco

The top five Prairie Pasque books for 2014, in order of votes received, are:
1.      Harry Houdini: The Legend of the World’s Greatest Escape Artist by Janice Weaver
2.      Titanic Sinks! by Barry Denenberg
3.      Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
4.      Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

5.      Cal Ripken, Jr.’s All-Stars: Hothead by Cal Ripken

Apr 11, 2014


Spring Story Hour Is In Session!

Who: Preschool – K children

What: Spring story hour series

When: Thursdays in April 2014, at 3:40 PM

Where: Potter County Library

Please join us for spring songs, stories, crafts, videos and snacks!

Mar 17, 2014

Electronic Resources Challenge 2014 Wrap-Up

Upon my completion of ten weeks of exploring the South Dakota State Library e-resources, I have a few final comments.  First, my biggest discoveries were Proquest and World Book online.  I was somewhat familiar with these resources, but I had no idea how much more user-friendly World Book had become, nor how many more publications were included in Proquest.  With features like "read-aloud" in World Book, anyone can find quality research information, even if they have difficulty with reading, or a language barrier--plus, I love all of the links to other resources, like "primary sources" and "Web resources." Additionally, in Proquest, I had no idea that I could read articles from my favorite "just for fun" magazines, such as Good Housekeeping.  I thought that most of the Proquest publications were scholarly--not necessarily for leisure.

As far as promoting these sites, I began with the local schools when I began my ten week journey.  I sent the information I discovered to the educators of Potter County, and I published my discoveries in the local newspaper as well--not to mention posting them on the blog you are currently reading :-)  I also have been able to better assist certain patrons in the last couple of months who were researching for college, ancestry, and public school.  I plan on using the wonderful handouts available at http://www.library.sd.gov to spread the word as well.  In addition, I usually do some proctoring for college students who take online summer coursework, and I am anxious to share with them all of the wonderful research materials that are available through the SD State Library.  It has been a very useful learning experience, and I look forward to moving into advanced exploration in the future.  Thank you SD STATE LIBRARY for all you do for the citizens of South Dakota!

Mar 11, 2014


AncestryLibrary contains over 4000 different searchable databases and indexes. In addition to census information, you can find historical maps, yearbooks and indexes. One of AncestryLibrary's best features is their continuous index updating and additions, so if you don’t find something today, check back in a few weeks. Due to contract restrictions, AncestryLibrary is available only inside Potter County Library or school.

HeritageQuest is available inside Potter County Library and from home at http://www.sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=her with a library card. HeritageQuest provides access to census information plus full text historical books, Freedman's Bank records and more. If you are new to genealogy, seeking specialized information or gotten stuck somewhere, HeritageQuest provides tutorials in its Learning Center. Click to choose a collection (such as "Search Census"). Then click the Learning Center tab at the top of the page to see the topics covered.

Sanborn Maps lets you check out historical fire maps for 82 South Dakota communities. Established in 1867, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary source of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years. Fire insurance maps were used to estimate the potential fire risk for urban structures. Depending on the community and building, one can see details such as construction materials and location of windows and doors. Other details can include street names, house numbers and building use. The original Sanborn Maps were color maps; the digitized image we see is black and white. A black and white legend is provided to correctly interpret the digitized maps. A link to the legend and search tips are provided when in Sanborn Maps. Sanborn Maps are available inside Potter County Library and at home at http://www.sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=san with a library card.

To explore AncestryLibrary I performed 3 tasks—the first was to search my own name and report my results. I was hoping that birth or marriage records would come up, but the only records I could find were from the U.S. Public Records Index Volume 1, and the U.S. Phone and Address Directories 1993-2002, which included phone numbers and addresses in which I resided from high school through college and early marriage.

My second task was to look up a grandparent’s name and search for census records. I looked up my maternal grandfather, Albertus Haak, and was able to look at the 1940 census record. Everything was correct except one important detail—he was listed as female—and I can’t help but wonder why such a huge mistake was made? At the time he resided in township 129, range 76, Emmons county South Dakota, he was about 20 years old, he was single, he had an 8th grade education, and he was an unpaid family worker at his family farm.

My third task at Ancestry was to take a look at the pictures available in the database. I was pleased that there were so many resources including U.S. high school yearbooks, Library of Congress photo collection, and my favorite, Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogs from the late 1800’s to 1993. I further explored the spring catalog of 1992, because I graduated from high school at that time. Long shirts and sweaters with leggings in bright colors and patterns were the rage—coincidentally, I see a lot of that right now as well!

To take a closer look at HeritageQuest I searched for family books on both sides of my family, and came up empty-handed. However, I searched again in the articles tab, and found one that was interesting to my maternal side of the family called “Dutch in Emmons County,” which was published by North Dakota Historical Quarterly in Bismark, ND, in July 1962, Volume 29, Issue 13. Both my maternal grandfather and grandmother were 100% Dutch, and they grew up and farmed in Emmons County all of their lives.

To further explore Sanborn Maps, I queried using Aberdeen, SD, 1929-1960, and was pleased to find the Alonzo Ward Hotel at 104. S. Main St. Main Street on the map, which is still used today. It was built in 1928, and was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1982. Although the building’s purposes have changed throughout the years, it’s beauty and charm have remained. In addition, my wedding reception was held there in the Crystal Ballroom in 1995.

If you are one of the 75% of Americans interested in genealogy, history, or historical places, you should definitely check these sites out—you never know what you’ll find out!

Mar 4, 2014


WorldCat is used for two main purposes: Library Cataloging and Finding Materials.  WorldCat is an international catalog of member library materials. It contains over 179,000,000 records found in 72,000+ libraries, including the SD State Library & 25+ SD libraries. Records include a variety of formats from before 1000 BC to the present. Libraries add a new record every 10 seconds!

When I logged into WORLDCAT with the Potter County’s library barcode and password, I used the advanced search tab, limited it to “title phrase” and “books,” and used the title Jacob Have I Loved (by Katherine Patterson).  146 records came up, and the first was the original publication from 1980.   There were 3612 copies of that version alone worldwide. When I clicked on the record, I got a list of libraries that owned it, and the first was Augustan College.  The class descriptors were: for Library of Congress-PZ7.P273; PS3566.A779; and Dewey was Fiction.  When I clicked on the author’s name, I found that there were 1261 other books she had written (although these included all publisher’s versions, so there was overlap).  When I clicked on the subject Twins—Juvenile Fiction, 4819 other books on the subject by various authors came up.  Other things I noticed were the types of materials available at the top including ALL, BOOKS, INTERNET, SOUND, VISUAL, ARCHIVAL, COMPUTER, AND SCORES (MUSIC).  You could also further limit results by AUDIENCE, CONTENT, and FORMAT.

The OAIster (pronounced “oyster”) database is one of the few mostly full text databases in WorldCat. I chose OAIster from the dropdown menu next to “Search in database.” In the “Keyword” search box, I selected “Subject Phrase.” In the search box, I typed South Dakota. I chose “FACTS ON KIDS IN SOUTH DAKOTA” from my list, and there were two links available for me to “access” the item.  I selected the second http://worldcat.org/oclc/869301977/viewonline and I was presented with a 4 page PDF document from USD called South Dakota Kids Count, Volume 10 1st quarter, 2009.  I could read it online, download it, or print it.

CAMIO stands for “Catalog of Art Museum Images Online.” It is a growing online collection containing works of art from museum collections around the world, including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the Albert and Victoria Museum. It does not, however, contain images by prominent South Dakota artists because the owning institutes are not participating.

CAMIO covers cultures around the world from 3,000 B.C. to today. More than a collection of paintings, CAMIO includes art in the broadest sense from photos to sculpture to textiles to wood and silver and more. Researchers can start with a general search and then refine it by using the tools on the left toolbar.

Due to access restrictions, CAMIO is available only from the South Dakota State Library website (at http://library.sd.gov) within schools and libraries, not from home. Works of art may be used for educational and research purposes, if they are properly credited. Images may not be published or otherwise distributed.

Because it is image-oriented, CAMIO and search results may take a little longer than usual to load

When I typed “Sioux” into the search bar on CAMIO I got 63 results of images that came from Sioux artists or origins.  These included all media from books, sculpture, paintings, and photographs to costumes & jewelry and decorative arts & utilitarian objects.   The creator, date, type of art and museum location are all listed, and when you click on the link to the art itself, you can retrieve a high resolution full-image.  This resource could be used for art research or programming, and I think it would be very useful to our museum curator as well.

When I chose my topic, I searched “Bible” and got 200 results. I check-marked three of them: Christ in the Wilderness Served by Angels, Virgin and Child in a Landscape, and The Prodigal Son, and saved them to my favorites.   When I clicked “view my favorites,” I was pleased to see all I could do with the images- view a slide show, move the images around, compare images, and create a web page using these images.  If I were putting an art presentation together, this would be a wonderful tool.

Feb 25, 2014

E-Books on EBSCO Host—formerly NET LIBRARY

EBooks on EbscoHost (formerly NetLibrary) provides all South Dakota libraries with an expansive non-fiction collection containing books on topics ranging from Kathy Ross's craft books to resume books to historical information about South Dakota. Other books include many classic novels, "Idiot's Guides," Cliff's Notes and more.

EBooks on EbscoHost books are limited to one user per book, so you may get an "item in use" message when you try to view a book. The books are released after 15 minutes of inactivity. The newest titles available in the State Library subscription are copyrighted 2006. The titles in the State Library subscription are not downloadable.

To save titles, take notes and more, create your own EBooks on EbscoHost account.   You can set up an account if you are accessing inside Potter County Library or at home via your SD State Library e-card at http://www.sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=eb

In my first search for a topic of interest, I chose ROMEO and JULIET.  That brought back 13 results including the actual text, Cliff’s Notes for it, and even a teacher’s resource for tips for teaching literature to gifted students. 

Next, when I checked on information relevant to CONSTITUTION DAY with the “find all my search terms” choice, just doing a general search only produced 21 results, and some didn’t seem relevant.  I then tried again using the choice “SmartText searching,” and I got 1235 results, and the titles were much more relevant, and included many countries.  This could be further limited by using the advanced search tab at the top.  Some appropriate titles for Constitution Day were: Constitution of the Empire of Japan, the Constitution of the Confederate States, and The French Revolution: A History.

Last, when I used advanced search to find information about Western history in “Nebraska,” and selected PB Publisher from the “Select a Field” box, I got 107 results—and some didn’t seem too relevant. So, I went back to my search term and added  “Western history,” which limited my results to 14, and they seemed much more relevant.  Some of the titles were: The Traveler’s Guide to the Pony Express Trail, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Old West, and Historical Atlas of the Old West.

After exploring this resource, I would say that it is very useful, but that a person should be aware of accurate search terms in order to get the best results.  It seems that the more specific you are with terms and advanced options, the better results you get.  This might take practice for most patrons, but once they got the hang of it, there are wonderful resources available.

Feb 19, 2014

Gale Virtual Reference Library

     Gale Virtual Reference Library is licensed by the SD State Library, and these resources are available to an unlimited number of users at one time.  They can be accessed at Potter County Library, or with your SD State Library e-card at http://www.sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=gvrl This is a core collection of online reference books in the following subject areas:  health, history, government & law, science, education and business.

     This week my first task was to get to know the collection by clicking “Title List” to view all of the titles available.  Next, I chose a title of interest to me, World Religions Reference Library.  I then accessed an article “Greco-Roman Religion and Philosophy,” which was found on p. 207.  I noticed that I had many options for using the information including: print, email, download, citation tools, download MP3, download PDF to reader, translate and listen.  I could find anything I needed to know about world religions in this resource, which would be fabulous for research papers, particularly at the college level.  I did notice that most of these resources were rather dated though, with copyrights ranging from the 1990’s to about 2007.  Perhaps this might not be too much of an issue when researching historical topics like these.

     My next task was to go back to the home page for World Religions Reference Library, and type in a search term at the top of the page.  I used “creation” first, and 5733 results were given, so I narrowed my search topic to “Christian creation,” and 27 results were found—this was a much more manageable amount of information.  At this point I selected the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics from my list of 27 resources, and I tested the “listen” feature.  I was pleased that as the pages were read aloud, the words were highlighted.  I was really impressed that anything in this database could be translated into 12 different languages—a priceless tool for our ESL students, or for foreign exchange students.  This is a great tool for research.

Feb 11, 2014

Proquest Works for Research or for Leisure

Proquest Research and Discovery Library delivers full-text journal articles from scholarly publications and popular magazines.  Titles range from Agricultural Research to Good Housekeeping.  Proquest brings you feature articles, book and movie reviews, editorials and more.  The State Library’s subscription also provides newspaper indexes to three national newspapers.  You can access Proquest at Potter County Library or with your state library e-card at http://www.sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=pro 

HELPFUL HINT: Before searching, click the box beside “full-text documents only,” to make sure that your search results will have full-text in html, pdf, or both.  If you have ongoing research, use the “create alert” feature to have Proquest run searches for you and inform you when something new on your topic has been added.  

First, when I got to Proquest, I decided to check the database for information about Snapchat—using a basic search via the search bar—because this app is being used so much by my 15 year-old daughter and her peer group right now.  I was surprised that there were 261 full-text articles.  54 have been added since January 1, 2014, and the most interesting to me was from Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2014/01/06/the-inside-story-of-snapchat-the-worlds-hottest-app-or-a-3-billion-disappearing-act/
I was also able to limit my results by publication type, date, subject, classification, company, language (ETC.) Plus, I love the organization features here like CITE, SAVE TO MY RESEARCH, PRINT, EMAIL, EXPORT/SAVE—you can do anything you need to with the information you find—For example, for that Forbes article, here is the citation:

Colao, J. J. (2014, Jan 20). The inside story of snapchat: The world's hottest app or A $3 billion disappearing act? Forbes, 1. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1493902444?accountid=45616

For the second task I was asked to read some posts by other participants in this challenge, and to make a comment.  I commented on Jan Schroeder’s blog: Library Challenge 2014; concerning Sirs Issues Researcher, about the “Curriculum Pathfinders” information available.

Last, I was asked to use the PUBLICATIONS search bar in Proquest.  I chose to search for Library Journal and School Library Journal there, and was thrilled that both were included in Proquest.  Full text coverage was available from Jan 1996 to present for both—hooray!!  This is wonderful to know, so that I can refer to Proquest for relevant information in Library Media Science.

PROQUEST is not only a wonderful tool for research and information, but also, it’s like having unlimited magazine subscriptions FOR FREE!!  CHECK IT OUT!