New Year’s Resolution 2012 – Cultivate the Habit of Reading

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” — W. Somerset Maugham

What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2012?  Why not cultivate the habit of reading? 

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Have a few set times every day to read for 5-10 minutes.
  • Always carry a book or magazine or an ereader with you.  If you end up waiting somewhere, reading is a great way to pass the time.
  • Keep a list of the books you want to read.
  • Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can read without interruption.  Make it a pleasure for yourself.
  • Reduce your TV/Internet time.  Step away from the screens!
  • Read out loud — to your kids, to your partner, to someone in the hospital or a nursing home.
  • Keep a log or journal.  Write down what you read (author & title), when you read it, and what you thought about it.
  • Talk to others!  Tell them about what you’re reading.  Ask about what they’re reading.  Join a book club and go to book discussions like BookTalk at BSC.
  • Visit your favorite library every week!  Go to used book shops and used book sales and bookstores.
  • Read things you like and also challenge yourself by trying something new.
  • Aim high (50 books this year?) and set out to do your best to accomplish that goal.


The Library Alternative

I’ve posted about the uneasy relationship between publishers and libraries before.  In the December 19, 2011, issue of Publishers Weekly, there’s an interesting article by Peter Brantley entitled “The Library Alternative,” in which he says:

“… libraries provide a unique storefront for literature. Publishers must recognize that an important strategic sales opportunity now rests where it has never before existed: libraries may be their best retail outlet.”

Brantley goes on to talk about a variety of ideas to make e-books “work for libraries, publishers, and readers.”

Check it out!

Who Needs Libraries Anyway?

Who needs libraries?  Turns out that a significant number of us rely on them …

“In casual conversation with family and friends, questions regarding the need for and future of libraries continue to come up. While presenting stats on increased circulation and visits are somewhat of a surprise, what really gets jaws to drop is the fact that almost one-third of Americans do not have high speed internet access at home. Those in the conversation quickly grasp the challenges faced by the “have-nots.”  This is always a great tie-in when highlighting the importance of libraries in providing essential services and bridging the digital divide …

So when libraries come up in the discussion around the holiday table, remember to share the big numbers, including the fact that in 65% of communities, the public library is the sole source for free access to computers and the Internet (73% in rural communities).  Trust me, you’ll see those jaws dropping.”

For the full article, go to “New Study on Internet Use at Home Ties to the Impact of Libraries.”


New York Times Book Review – 10 Best Books of the Year

From  the editors of The New York Times Book Review (Dec. 11, 2011, p. 12), the 10 Best Books of the Year are:


  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  • Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht


The editors said: “All 10 books … are triumphs of replenishment and so fulfill the mysterious function special to the best writing in every age and at any moment, even one as pinched as our own …”

Good reading!

Christmas Break Hours

The Library will observe these hours during the holiday break:

  • Monday, December 19 – Thursday, December 22 — 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday, December 23 — 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 24 – Monday, December 26 — CLOSED
  • Tuesday, December 27 – Thursday, December 29 — 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday, December 30 – 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 31 – Monday, January 2 — CLOSED
  • Tuesday, January 3 – Thursday, January 5 — 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday, January 6 — 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 7 — CLOSED
  • Sunday, January 8 — Open for BookTalk at BSC Discussion of O Pioneers!, 1-3 p.m.

Regular academic year hours will resume on Monday, January 9, at 7: 30 a.m.

Access to the Library’s databases, including ebooks and eaudiobooks, and the ODIN catalog available 24/7.

New Books by North Dakota Authors at BSC Library

Check out these new books by Larry Watson, a North Dakota native and BSC alum, and Larry Woiwode, North Dakota’s Poet Laureate.

American Boy by Larry Watson was published by Milkweed Press. The story begins in 1962 in Willow Falls, Minnesota, with a teenage narrator, Matthew Garth. In the October 1, 2011 issue of Library Journal, reviewer Donna Bettencourt said, “With his graceful writing style, well-drawn characters, and subtly moving plot, Watson masterfully portrays the dark side of small-town America. Highly readable and enthusiastically recommended.” The book also received a starred review in Booklist (Oct. 15, 2011) by Bill Ott, who called it a “…powerful coming-of-age story about a teenage boy being shocked into maturity by a moment of sudden and unexpected violence.”

North Dakota’s Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode has a new book that children of all ages will enjoy. The Invention of Lefse: a Christmas Story is a story about a Norwegian farm girl, Mette Iversdatter, and making the best of what you have.  It will warm your heart!  Woiwode also released a collection of essays in June entitled Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture.  G. W. Hawkes, Professor of English and co-director of Creative Writing at Lycoming College, said, “This is a book for writers and readers, for those uncertain and certain of God. Woiwode’s examination of literature is so masterful that one can’t help but weigh his prose hand in hand with the art he admires, and I will not be surprised if you should find his sentences richer. I’ve been a student of Woiwode’s work for thirty years and am not yet done—this stunning collection of thought and prose has made me think and dream as I haven’t in years.”  Woiwode was also recently named the High Plains Book Awards 2011 Emeritus Award Winner and was recognized “for his significant body of work that has made a lasting contribution to the literature and understanding of life on the High Plains.”   

Good reading!

Librarians Bake It Up!

Liz Mason telecommutes to do her job as BSC’s Technical Services Librarian.  A couple of jobs before starting at BSC, Liz worked at the Fargo Public Library and started a holiday cookie baking tradition with a co-worker, Lori West.   2011 marked their 19th year of baking cookies together!  It was a front page story in the Fargo Forum on Monday (December 12) and also made the news on American Libraries Direct (December 14)How cool is that?!

Check out the story:  Women Make Hundreds of Cookies at Annual Baking Blitz in Fargo

Of course, the BEST thing from our point of view is that Liz & Lori share the cookies they make.  Our box of treats arrived on Tuesday.  Yum!

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$1 Buys a Box or Bag of Books – Bid on Holiday Ornaments, Too

It’s the final week of the BSC Library Annual Used Book Sale

For $1, you can fill up a bag or a box with as many books as you’d like.

Stop by & shop ’til you drop!


We also have ornaments on display from the

Holiday Ornament Decorating Contest

sponsored by the Visual Arts Department

They are being sold via silent auction; proceeds go to the Spring Visual Arts Student Trip. 

Vote for the People’s Choice Award, too.     

Best Databases of 2011

Library Journal polled a group of librarians and LJ reviewers to choose the “Best” Databases of 2011.  The one named “Best Overall” is CredoReference, which is available through the BSC Library.  Here’s what the evaluators had to say:

“Looking for material from the Library of Congress? Elsevier? Edinburgh University Press? Credo Reference hosts more than 550 reference titles from those and other respected houses. Jennifer Michaelson says it’s the best database she uses, with straightforward search and results pages. The database can be linked to the library’s OPAC and to other resources. Credo also offers several unusual features: a “Gadget” bar on the homepage, for example, with search boxes labeled “Define,” “Person,” “Images,” “Pronunciation,” “Crossword Solver,” and “Conversions” (e.g., temperature, area). Best of all, though, says Lura Sanborn, are the database’s “Topic Pages” gathering materials by subject, which adds accessibility options to a resource that was “awesome to begin with.” Christine Sharbrough nominated the collection for “Best Integration of Media” and “Best Integration of External Content.” “I love the way [Credo] allows us to pull together catalog entries, videos, journal articles, and images from the web for patrons,” she says. “That’s tremendously helpful in finding esoteric subject matter.” She also praises Credo’s Mind Map feature for narrowing and broadening topics, helping students to visualize their topic and identify keywords. The upcoming Credo ­literati is an information literacy add-on that includes subject-specific tutorials and videos, customization that reflects the language an institution uses for information literacy instruction, pre- and postassessment surveys, and library marketing programs.”

Check it out on our Databases -General Research page!

I’m pleased to say that we also subscribe to several others on the “Best” list, including American Song, NetLibrary (EBSCO ebook and eaudiobook collections), AccessScience, Films on Demand, Encyclopedia Briannica, Literary Reference Center, Auto Repair Reference Center, and (Library edition).  Check them all out! (BSC Library Databases)

Note: If you are prompted for a library card number or library access number when accessing the databases, it is the 14-digit barcode on the back of your BSC photo ID.  Your password is your last name (no spaces; not case-sensitive).  To apply for an online library access number, go to our Online Services page.