April 2009, Volume 1, Issue 4
Worlds Connect @ Your Library
Clock is Ticking
South Dakota Public Libraries Data Digest
Neither the school nor the community where I grew up in northeastern South Dakota had a library, a real problem for a kid who loved books and wanted to read. It seemed there was never enough to read. I envied people who had library access and vowed that if I ever lived in a place with a library, I’d read every book on the shelves. Upon enrolling in college, I discovered plenty of books and the fact that I didn’t know how to access them, never having learned how to use a library. Thus, enrolling in library science classes seemed like a practical solution to two problems: not knowing my way around in a library, and the difficulty of deciding upon a minor degree course of study-- something that would be a good fit with an English major. Those Library Science classes at Black Hills State University solved both problems and served me well when, after teaching grades 9-12 English at Bison High School for four years, I was offered the position of librarian for the school district. A few years later, I completed the coursework to earn a Library Media major from BHSU.
In 2007, after 33 years of employment with Bison School, where we had signed on in 1974 hoping to be able to stay for two years, my husband and I both retired from our teaching jobs. He subsequently accepted a full-time classroom position in Isabel while I enjoyed a year of substitute teaching in Bison in every class from kindergarten to twelfth-grade calculus (be glad your children were not involved in that particular calculus class). Since last July, I’ve been happily re-involved with school libraries in South Dakota as a School Library Coordinator working with schools in ESA Regions 5, 6, 7, and the northern part of ESA 4. Visiting school libraries, getting acquainted—or re-acquainted, in some cases—with the librarians, passing hints and tips from one school library to another, have been absolutely delightful.
We have three children, all grown now, with the youngest about to graduate from University of Mary in Bismarck with an education degree. She’s the only one who followed in the footsteps of the parents: the oldest earned a business degree from BHSU, and the middle child, with an Air Traffic Control major from UND, is in Fargo flying airplanes for the USAF National Guard. In my spare time, I like to embroider and have been diligently cross-stitching the same Christmas-themed tablecloth for longer than I care to admit. Those three children have been replaced around the house by three cats that require almost as much care and attention as the kids, but at least won’t have to be sent to college. Nor will they drive off to college with the family car. I enjoy working crossword puzzles and still love to read, but have lately accepted the reality that I’m probably never going to read all the books in any library, try as I might.