Mountains Beyond Mountains

May 29, 2009

 If you like to read and then discuss what you’ve read, consider the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

 This fall students in twenty-five sections of freshman opportunities and orientation courses, such as General Studies 100, will be reading the book, a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer.  Farmer, a world leader in public health and medical anthropology, founded Partners in Health, an organization which has provided health care to disadvantaged populations throughout the world, conducted ground-breaking research, and influenced policy in world health organizations.

 The book focuses on Farmer, a fascinating individual, who Kidder describes as “a man who would cure the world,” but it also invites discussions of broad and varied topics like public health, poverty and wealth, land use, and the responsibilities of the individual.  

 This fall you’ll find plenty of students who have read the book, but if you can’t wait contact Tim Nichols, Dean of the Honors College, at 605-688-5268, about a summer reading group. 

 To further advance study and discussion, Dr. Farmer will speak on campus on November 19, 2009, as the Griffith Honors Forum lecturer. 

 Ready to get started?  The library has two copies of Mountains Beyond Mountains (BOOKS/UPPER LEVEL R154.F36 K53 2003) and the University Bookstore has copies for sale.

 If you are interested in further investigation of the topics addressed in the book, the library has many resources available.  Search the library’s catalog to find records for books and government documents; search databases, such as EBSCOhost Megafile and ProQuest, for articles in newspapers, magazines and journals.   Also consult the library’s Topic Guides for research guidance in a particular subject area.  Librarians are available to help you research—consult with us in-person at the Information Desk, send an e-mail, a text message, or set up an appointment

 Happy reading!

 Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian

Memorial Day: Government Information Resources

May 21, 2009



Library of Congress:

National Moment of Remembrance Act 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Public and Intergovernmental Affairs guide to Memorial Day

Whitehouse Commission on Remembrance 

Vickie Mix, Documents Librarian

Congressional Hearing: Role of Museums and Libraries in Strengthening Communities

May 21, 2009

deplib4“Examining the Role of Museums and Libraries in Strengthening Communities” – Hearing before the Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities – Committee on Education and Labor – U.S. House of Representatives – 110th Congress, 2nd Session – September 11, 2008 – Serial No. 110-109.  Y 4.ED 8/1:110-109

Vickie Mix, Documents Librarian

Lobby Commotion

May 14, 2009
Installation of Food Booths in Library Lobby  Photo by Susan Schleicher

Installation of Food Booths in Library Lobby Photo by Susan Schleicher

What’s happening in the lobby of the library?  SDSU Dining Services personnel are placing booths and working on electrical connections so that food and beverages—including coffee!—can be offered in the library.  Unfortunately for those of us on campus this summer, the consumables will not be available until this fall.


Linda Kott

Information Services Librarian

Intellectual Freedom and Freedom of Information

May 4, 2009

deplib4Intellectual freedom begins with the freedom of information. The value of free and public information was recognized early in the history of the United States of America. In 1813, Congress authorized and mandated the distribution of Congressional materials to select universities, historical societies, and state libraries. The result, was the creation of the Federal Depository Library Program. The purpose of the Federal Depository Library Program is to provide free, easy, permanent access to federal government information. Title 44, Chapter 19 of the U.S. code established the legal requirements for federal depository libraries, foremost of which is to make government publications available for free use by the general public.

In 1889, South Dakota State University was designated as a depository library. H.M. Briggs Library is the largest depository library in South Dakota, collecting 75% of publications distributed through the Government Printing Office. There are over 575,000 volumes in the Government Documents collection including monographs, microforms, CDs, DVDs, floppy discs and electronic documents on the Internet. These are all publications produced by federal government agencies required by law to provide copies (in any format) of publications to the Government Printing Office for distribution to depository libraries that may choose to select those publications. Today, the Government Printing Office provides access to over 90% of these publications online. Additionally, government agencies increasingly only publish information through their websites. The Freedom of Information Act of 1966 and the 1996 Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments ensures public access to government information in tangible and electronic formats. Your right to know what your government is doing is further supported by the present Presidential administration’s transparency initiatives.

The Documents Department of Briggs Library supports your right to know and your right to access Government Information. The Government Documents collection is a rich legacy of historical and contemporary research materials on almost any topic. Resources are available in multiple formats paper, microforms, CDs, DVDs, floppy discs, online databases, online research publications, online consumer information sites, and electronic government services.

Exercise your intellectual freedom to access the information of your Government. Documents staff are more than happy to assist in the quest for government information. We are committed to the free, unrestricted access to government information.

Find out more about Government Information at Briggs Libray at and our collection access policy at

Vickie Mix, Documents Librarian

Evening Study Breaks

May 4, 2009

Need a break from studying for your finals?  Come to Briggs Library and enjoy coffee, cookies, and lemonade to help keep you going.

 Refreshments will be offered Monday & Tuesday, May 5 & 6, starting around 7 p.m. in lobby of the library.

Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian