Idaho Library News

National journal lauds Idaho's "2020 Vision" for libraries

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 30, 2014 - 2:38pm

In a recent editorial, the Library Journal recognized Idaho library leaders for their “2020 Vision: Idaho Libraries Futures Conference” in 2005 and the culture of creativity and innovation that emerged as a result.

The “2020 Vision” that came out of the conference—libraries as the nexus of global information, innovative services and community—still guides us as we implement statewide initiatives such as SPLAT (Special Libraries Action Team), BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities), and other digital literacy and early literacy projects.

You can view the editorial online at

Categories: Idaho Library News

Public library Internet speed test extended to August 8

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 30, 2014 - 6:54am

The American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland College Park are extending the deadline for public libraries to gauge the quality of public access to the internet until August 8. The speed test study is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and is supported by the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, the Public Library Association, and the Urban Libraries Council.

The new study will complement findings from the 2013-2014 Digital Inclusion Survey released last week, providing a snapshot of the broadband speed a library patron experiences at the device level. Taken together, the data will help inform the Federal Communications Commission’s current E-rate proceeding, including questions about future funding needs.

This new data collection effort will seek responses from a sample of about 1,000 libraries, while allowing any library to capture the broadband speed data for their advocacy use. No software needs to be downloaded, and libraries will be asked to run the speed test at least twice during open hours.

Libraries can log on at before August 8 to capture data. Results from the speed test study will be published in September 2014


Categories: Idaho Library News

Save the Date - Early Years Conference 2014

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 9:08am

The Early Years Conference is a two-day statewide conference for early childhood educators, practitioners, parents, and librarians. This year the conference is scheduled for October 29-30 and will be held at Boise State University. The Idaho Commission for Libraries is co-hosting the conference with Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare and we are able to offer financial assistance to library staff who want to attend the conference. Idaho librarians who are interested in attending have two options for assistance with related costs.

Option A: The Idaho Commission for Libraries’ Read to Me program will pay for the $110 registration fee with one purchase order for everyone who registers through us. Those who are traveling more than 40 miles one way from BSU may request a hotel room for the night of October 29 and ICfL will book your room and have those direct billed to ICfL. If you are traveling more than 100 miles away (one way) and need to come in the night before, ICfL will pay for two nights at the hotel. A six-month follow-up is required of all grant recipients who will report how the information gained from this conference has benefited their library end-users.

Option B: First-time conference attendee grants, funded by LSTA, are available for up to eight librarians who work in publicly funded Idaho libraries, live a distance (at least 50 miles) away from Boise, and have not attended the Early Years Conference in past years. Reimbursement grant awards are made to libraries. Eligible costs for reimbursement are travel, hotel, and registration and must be a minimum of $250 (grant maximum is $900). The individual will be responsible for making all travel reservations, hotel arrangements, and conference registration. A six-month follow-up is required of all grant recipients who will report how the information gained from this conference has benefited their library end-users.  Grant applications must be postmarked by September 9. Please contact CE Coordinator Shirley Biladeau at 1-800-458-3271 at least 10 days before submitting your application. For the grant application form go to

Visit this page for information on the conference and how to apply for financial assistance:

Categories: Idaho Library News

Notes from ICfL, July 2014

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 8:00am

Commission staff and Idaho librarians have been busy in the past few months with community building, literacy, professional development, and outreach activities.

Leadership Advisory Group  by Shirley Biladeau, continuing education consultant
In mid-April, the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) and the Idaho Library Association (ILA) co-sponsored a two-day summit in which 50 members from the library community met in Boise to conduct an environmental scan of the target audiences and the leadership training needs of the Idaho library community. From that two-day exercise, a wealth of information emerged, identifying and prioritizing target audiences and their unmet leadership training needs. As a result, the Commission, in collaboration with ILA has appointed twelve individuals representing the diversity of the library community to serve on the statewide Leadership Advisory Group to take the next steps in building a leadership culture within the Idaho library community.  The list of members can be found at

In July the Leadership Advisory Group held their first face-to-face meeting in Boise. The group broke into smaller work groups to address the infrastructure, which includes communication (getting the word out about existing leadership development opportunities), current leadership development opportunities (identifying the skills that can be gained from the existing opportunities), and a web portal (creating space on the ILA website and populating this space with information about leadership development). The group will continue to work on these components and report back on the progress of these activities at the next face-to-face meeting in November. Once the infrastructure is in place, the group can take the next step toward fostering and promoting leadership activities.

Community Building  by Shirley Biladeau, continuing education consultant
In May, teams from five Idaho public libraries met in Boise to plan for community-building projects specific to their libraries. These projects include community Make It activities, strategic planning, and community awareness for the library. Pat Wagner, Pattern Research, Inc., provided a step-by-step toolkit, taking the participants through a variety of “storming and norming” exercises so people could get to know each other and get on the same page. By the end of the summit, each library team had further clarified their project and identified a timeline next steps. The enthusiasm was high as they left to continue their work within their individual communities. (Find resources from the summit here.)

In July, an online checkpoint was held to share information on how the projects were progressing, identify and work on potential roadblocks, and prepare for the final unveiling of the projects at an online webinar in November. One deliverable from this project will be a guideline with best practices for other library community-building teams to initiate and implement a community-wide activity. Participating libraries include Portneuf Library District, Eagle Public Library, Meridian Library District, Lewiston City Library, and East Bonner Library District.

SPLAT Summer Adventure    by Shirley Biladeau, continuing education consultant
The summer of 2014 finds the members of the Special Projects Library Action Team (SPLAT ) journeying to North Idaho to visit small, rural libraries and share the Gizmo Garage with the library staff and their communities. Team members divided into three traveling groups and covered the Prairie-River Library District, Tri-Community Library District, Plummer Public Library, St. Maries Public Library, and Clearwater Memorial Library in Orofino. This has proved to be a popular event, as staff and the public both get one-on-one experiences with a variety of mobile devices, plus the expertise of the SPLAT group. 

School Librarians at  the Summer Summit
Twenty new school librarians and five experienced school library mentors from around the state attended the Idaho Commission for Libraries’ “Summer Summit 2014,” July 15-17. The Summit—a retreat-style workshop for school librarians at any level of K-12 education with two or fewer years of experience—provided an opportunity for participants to learn more about leadership, library management, and library service. The Summit was designed to equip participants with practical basic library-science skills, create mentor relationships with experienced Idaho school librarians, and provide materials and resources to take back to their own libraries.

Dr. Barbara Stripling, American Library Association Immediate Past-President and a former school librarian and director of school library programs in New York City, and Dr. Lynn Baird, Dean of Library Services at the University of Idaho, spoke with the group about leadership skills and how school librarians are in a perfect position to “lead from where they are,” because they have sight of the entire school. (See more at

Participants learned about school library best practices they can apply to their own library policies, resources to help them stay abreast of issues and connect with others, and new skills to help make daily tasks easier.

AmeriCorps VISTAs at ICfL
On July 14, Shondell Maillo and Sabonn Dammarell began their year of service as AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) at the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL). They will be working on Read to Me, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), and financial literacy projects.

Julie Armstrong, our AmeriCorp VISTA for the past two years, completed her VISTA service in mid-July. We are thankful that she dedicated two years to put in so many services hours and are pleased that she will be able to continue many of the projects she had started as a VISTA as a contracting program coordinator at ICfL for the next 11 months.

Our four fabulous VISTA Summer Associates (and the six others that are serving in five public libraries around the state) will end their summer of service on August 8. They have been doing amazing things to help minimize the summer slide  and help with our  Summer Literacy in the Park program and we are very proud of them and their work.  

VISTA was founded in 1965 as a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty in America. AmeriCorps VISTA members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities. Members and Summer Associates receive a modest living allowance. Learn more at

ICfL Staff Movers and Shakers
Gina Persichini, technology and access services , was elected by the American Library Association (ALA) Council to the ALA Executive Board and will serve a three-year term from July 2014 through June 2017.  The Executive Board provides leadership and vision for ALA. Persichini shares, “This is an important time for ALA as we work on development of a Strategic Framework that addresses the association’s direction in areas of advocacy, information policy, and professional development.” Representing small and rural library needs in the Association is a key goal for her term on the Executive Board. “I’m looking forward to providing a strong voice for Idaho libraries on issues like broadband connectivity and digital literacy, continuing education needs for rural library staff, and the important role libraries play in Idaho’s communities.” Persichini has served on the ALA Council as the Idaho Chapter Councilor since 2006.

Kevin Tomlinson, southwest/south central Idaho field consultant, was recently elected to the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) Board of Directors. Tomlinson will begin his new position at the 2014 ARSL Annual Conference in Tacoma, Washington, September 3-6. ARSL is a national organization of over 800 members whose mission is to provide resources and support that empower those in small and rural libraries to deliver excellent service for their communities. ARSL works to provide for continuing education opportunities for its members, serves as a source of current information about trends, issues and strategies for rural and small libraries, partners with other library and non-library groups and organizations serving rural and small communities, and advocates for rural and small libraries at the local, state and national levels.  More information about ARSL can be found at

Stephanie Bailey-White, reading programs coordinator, has been appointed to the Governor’s Task Force for Improving Education. Bailey-White and  Meridian District Library’s Natalie Nation will serve as library representatives on the Literacy Committee. We are very happy to have libraries represented on the Task Force.

Categories: Idaho Library News

Library News From Around the State

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 7:32am

Find out what is happening in Idaho libraries. Do you have news about your library that you’d like to share in an upcoming Nexus e-newsletter? Please let Teresa Lipus know at

East Bonner County District Library: Inventables, a company out of Chicago that focuses on desktop manufacturing for smaller teams, hosted a contest offering 50 free CNC Milling Machines, one to every state. Their focus was on libraries and other community organizations. Out of ten Idaho submissions, East Bonner County District Library was the winner. Read the press release at

Idaho Community Foundation grant recipients (
Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation, Inc. – $4,910 to purchase equipment and provide training for teens to participate in the “Peer to Peer” portion of the StoryCatcher oral history recording project at the library.
East Bonner County Library and Team Autism 24/7 – $4,750 to create an autism education lending library that will provide currently unavailable books, audiovisual material, and other informational resources.
Elk River Free Library District – $4,040 to replace outdated and failing antennas in order
to continue providing internet to the community.

Libri Foundation grant recipients (  New, quality, hardcover children’s books were recently awarded to Cascade Public Library and Valley of the Tetons Library through the Libri Foundation Books for Children program.

New Directors
American Falls District Library: Kindra Munk is the new director.
Garden City Public Library: Lindsey Pettyjohn began as director in June.
Middleton Public Library: Kate Lovan began as director in  March when director Elaine Mathiasen retired.
Snake River School/Community Library welcomed new director Lorrie Surerus earlier this summer.
Sugar-Salem School/Community Library: Sheila Jeppesen retired in June and Chantelle Green is the new director.
University of Idaho Law Library: Director John Hasko retired in June after serving 17 years as a member of the College of Law faculty. Helane Davis began as new director in July. She comes from the Albany Law School, where she served as the Associate Dean and Law Library Director.

Categories: Idaho Library News

Locally Recorded TBS Books Go National

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 7:26am

In April, the Idaho Talking Book Service (TBS) received an invitation from the National Library Service (NLS) to join the first pilot project to evaluate locally recorded books as a first step to adding these Idaho books to the Braille and Audio Reading Database (BARD). BARD is NLS’s national book download site for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) was pleased to accept the invitation, as we were confident the quality of our books was well within the NLS standards.

Sheila Winther, volunteer services coordinator and recording studio manager at ICfL, completed all the steps to submit our first book for evaluation, and we are proud to say we received a flattering response to our book. From the NLS evaluation response, “This is an exceptionally well-produced book, far above average. The source files are produced to a high standard; technical and artistic quality is excellent. Carla Stern [a volunteer at the Commission] does a fine job with this book’s narration.”

Since we passed the test with flying colors, we are now approved to place all of our Idaho digitally recorded books on BARD, making them available to TBS readers nationwide. Karen Keninger, Director of NLS, said in her congratulations letter, “I am pleased to inform you that your book DBC00781, The Fifth Generation: A Nez Perce Tale, by Linwood Laughy, is now available on BARD. The posting of your book to BARD marks an important milestone in our effort to increase the quantity of materials available on BARD. Congratulations.”

At this time, there are eight regional TBS libraries placing their books on BARD.  Idaho is proud to be included in this first group. Our volunteer studio production team takes great care and pride in their work, narrating, monitoring, editing, and assembling our Idaho Talking Books. 

You—or a family member or friend with a computer and high speed Internet—access can download books and magazines from BARD for registered TBS users. Contact the TBS at 800.458.3271 for more information.

Categories: Idaho Library News

Calls for Library Nominations

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 7:19am

2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service—all library types
Nomination deadline: October 15, 2014
The National Medal for Museum and Library Service honors outstanding institutions that make exceptional contributions to their communities. The winners are honored at a National Medal award ceremony held in Washington, D.C. Weippe Public Library & Discovery Center won in 2011. Let’s have another Idaho winner (or two) in 2015! Nominate Your Library! Nomination instructions and forms are now available at
Best Small Library in America Nomination—public libraries
Postmark deadline: September 10, 2014
The Library Journal’s annual award for the “Best Small Library in America,” cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, honors the U.S. public library that most profoundly demonstrates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less. The winning library will receive a $20,000 cash award, a feature story in the February 1, 2015, Library Journal, membership and conference costs for two library representatives to attend the Public Library Association Biannual Conference in 2016, and a gala reception at the conference. Two finalist libraries also will be chosen. For eligibility and nomination information, see

Categories: Idaho Library News

Important LiLI Database Notices

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 7:10am

By Gina A. Persichini, technology and access services consultant

A few changes at
1.   Please welcome LiLI to The LiLI “Guide Me” option is now available on our the main site. LiLI is there to guide newcomers to a good place to start based on their information needs or task at hand.

2.   We have added two databases from the Ebsco family: History Reference Center and Literary Reference Center. You’ll find both of these listed in the “Full Resource Index” as well as in the User Group and Homework sections for students in middle school and higher.

3.   As of July 1, LearningExpress Library 3.0 is the only edition of LearningExpress Library available. The Splash Page with the link back to version 2.0 has been removed. If your library is linking directly to LearningExpress from your own website, please be sure to remove the splash page. If you forget to save your custom URL and need help updating your link without the splash page, contact LearningExpress at 800.295.9556 (extension 2).

Find quick access to database tutorials at This page will always be a work in progress, but you can find quick and easy links to tutorials for LiLI Databases, especially the two new products just added (See #2 above). This link will also be available for all visitors. As of July 1, any user may access the tutorials link at the lower, right corner of

We’ll keep you posted on any other significant changes to the tools at If you ever notice something that needs a fix or have suggestions to improve the visitor’s experience at, please feel free to contact or me at

Categories: Idaho Library News

Interlibrary Loan–A Few Tips to Save a Few Dollars

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 29, 2014 - 6:14am

By Gina A. Persichini, technology and access services consultant
With the migration to the new OCLC WorldShare ILL platform complete, it’s a good time for some interlibrary loan (ILL) tips. And, who doesn’t love reminders for saving money?

Basic Training: A great way to find savings in the library is to make sure you are using the tools available in an efficient manner. It’s fine to stumble through to figure out how a system works, but it’s never a bad idea to go through the training to make sure you aren’t adding any unneeded steps. OCLC has WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Training online as a series of short videos for all the functions.

Avoiding Fees:  Sometimes a lending library may have a fee for borrowing through the ILL system. Two ways to avoid fees are:
Idaho libraries: The Idaho Library Association adopted the Idaho Interlibrary Sharing Guidelines in 2005. The guidelines state that, “Idaho libraries may not charge service or delivery fees for loans to other Idaho libraries,” except for special circumstances. Likewise, the LSTA Eligibility Requirements for receiving support through Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds also specify that Idaho libraries will not charge interlibrary loan fees to other Idaho libraries.
Libraries Very Interested in Sharing (LVIS):  LVIS is made up of libraries that agree to loan materials to other LVIS participants with no additional fees outside the regular postage costs. There are over 2,700 LVIS members. If you aren’t already a member, follow the link and sign up; it’s free!

Managing Fees: If a lending library does charge a fee in the ILL transaction, you may find you can cut down the costs by:
ILL Fee Management (IFM): IFM is a way to run your ILL fee invoices and payments as part of your OCLC invoice. Because IFM simplifies the administrative processes associated with invoicing, some libraries will charge a lower fee if you use IFM to pay it. To learn how to use IFM as a borrower, just review the OCLC IFM Borrow Tutorial.
Patron contribution: While LSTA Eligibility Requirements prevent Idaho public libraries from charging a fee for access to ILL service or for the postage costs that are part of delivering the ILL service, it is permissible to request the patron reimburse the library for all or part of the fees charged by the lending library in the transaction. It’s always best to avoid those lending library fees, so refer back to the “Avoiding Fees” section of this article.

Managing the Service: It is a challenge to provide library services equitably among all the users. What happens if one patron is using up your postage budget with ILL requests? It doesn’t happen often, but these power users can impact the library’s ability to keep services available to all. We want to serve the power user, but not to the detriment of our more casual library patrons. That’s why you’ll see some libraries include limits in policies. Just like some libraries have limits on the number of items to check out at once, time at a public access computer, and number of holds, you may also find policies that specify a ceiling for interlibrary loan transactions within a specified period of time.

It can’t be stressed enough that efficient use of the tool is going to free up more staff time and make better use of a library’s limited resources. Take advantage of the OCLC WorldShare ILL training. It includes self-paced tutorials, instructor-led courses, and previously recorded training sessions.

Categories: Idaho Library News

Idaho State Historical Society seeks input for expanded State Historical Museum

Idaho Commission for Libraries Blog - July 28, 2014 - 2:34pm

The Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) is expanding the Idaho State Historical Museum and developing world-class exhibits to inspire and invite exploration and discussion of Idaho's past, present, and future. ISHS needs statewide input now as they develop the museum. 

You can take their  survey at Please complete the survey by August 29!

Authorized by the Idaho Legislature in 1939, the original museum was completed in 1950 and is one of several facilities overseen by the Idaho State Historical Society. The museum was the first in Idaho and one of the first in the West to be accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1972. The new Idaho State Historical Museum (to open in 2017) will feature enhanced opportunities for Idaho students, families and visitors. It will connect us with our statewide community while presenting an unparalleled exhibition experience. The museum expansion and renovation is critical now more than ever because ...
• History touches us all.
• History helps us understand where we are today and empowers us to make choices for the future.
• Lessons from the past create an informed citizenry and deepen our connection to our communities.
• History compels us to think critically beyond our assumptions and emboldens our pursuit of a connected life.
• History promotes economic opportunity through tourism.

Established in 1881 and a state agency since 1907, the Idaho State Historical Society stewards the state’s history and historical assets of over 250,000 objects, 130,000 feet of government records, 30,000 rolls of microfilm, 500,000 photographs, 5,000 films and videos, 3,100 oral histories, 32,000 maps, 25,000 books and periodicals, 100,000 prehistoric specimens,  and 74 historic structures.  Today, the Idaho State Historical Society is comprised of the Idaho State Historical Museum, Idaho State Archives and State Records Center, Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, and Historic Sites Program.  The Idaho State Historical Society offers services that are essential to the state on all levels, providing information and understanding to everyone from schoolchildren to members of the upper echelon of state government.

Categories: Idaho Library News

December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
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