Constitution Day/Congress Week

September 9, 2011

This year is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  It’s an appropriate time to revisit the documents and institutions that sustain our country in the wake of a national tragedy like 9/11 and other challenges.  Constitution Day, September 17, and Congress Week, September 12-16, provide us with that opportunity.

Constitution Day celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.  Established by Congress in 2004, Constitution Day stresses the importance of the Constitution as a document that guides our government and protects citizens’ rights.  You can read the Constitution online or come in to the Government Documents office on the lower level of the library for a free copy.

The Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC) created Congress Week to coincide with Constitution Day.  ACSC encourages the study of Congress and its key role in the government as established by the Constitution.  Our own Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Research Study, located within the Special Collections area of Briggs Library, provides a unique resource for the study of Congress.  Here the public can access papers from Daschle’s twenty-six years in Congress.

The staff at Briggs Library encourages you to explore our resources and learn more about the U.S. Constitution and Congress.  The library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, and has been since 1889, so we provide free access to congressional, executive, and judicial publications.  For more information on this program connect to our Government Documents Web page. 

You can also come to the library to see displays on the lower and main levels.  Access our History and Political Science Research Guides.  Search library resources such as our online catalog and databases to get more information.  Also, feel free to contact a librarian about the Constitution, Congress, or any other research interests.

 Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian

Festival of Cultures

March 25, 2011
Librarian Mary Kraljic at Past Festival of Cultures / Photo by Patty Vick

Briggs Library staff members will be hosting a booth at SDSU’s 29th Annual Festival of Cultures.  We hope you will join us in Frost Arena on Friday 1 April anytime from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Our booth will highlight library resources related to culture.  You can explore world cultures in more depth by visiting the library in-person or online.  Following are just a few ways to dive into the topic.

  • Peruse the library’s collection of local, regional, and world newspapers found on the main level of the library.
  • Use the library’s catalog to find records for books, government documents, DVD’s, and electronic books.
  • Consult resources in the library’s Reference Collection on the library’s main level, including multivolume works on Culture and Customs organized by country and Food Culture organized by country or region.
  • Use one of our many databases to find articles in magazines, journals, or newspapers.
  • Explore Government Information, including international information.
  • Ask a librarian to help with your research.  Consult with a librarian in person at the Information Services Desk or click on the Ask Us link on the library’s homepage for information on connecting by phone, e-mail or instant messaging. 

 Linda Kott
Information Service Librarian

Microfilm Disaster Abatement (Nearly) Completed!

October 13, 2010

During the lower level renovations this summer, a plugged drain in the ceiling sent water into a storage room, wetting hundreds of microfilm reels.  We’re happy to report that the microfilm, with the exception of a few requiring conservation, have now been re-boxed, re-labeled, and re-shelved!

Congratulations and thank you to those involved in getting these 1,710 microfilm reels salvaged, back in the cabinets, and ready for use!

Wet microfilm set out for drying and checking

-Laura Plowman, Public Services Library Associate

September 17 – U.S. Constitution Day

September 16, 2010

Constitution Day commemorates the date in 1787 on which delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the U.S. Constitution. In effect, September 17th is the birthday of our current form of government. Constitution Day also recognizes all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization have become citizens.

For more information on the Constitution or our government, visit the Government Documents Office and Collection on the Lower Level or visit with a librarian.

Also, please feel free to take a look at the Constitution Day display on the Lower Level and pick up a free Pocket U.S. Constitution.

Pocket U.S. Constitution

A constitution embodies the fundamental principles of a government. Our constitution, adopted by the sovereign power, is amendable by that power only. To the constitution all laws, executive actions, and, judicial decisions must conform, as it is the creator of the powers exercised by the departments of government.”  –

-Laura Plowman, Public Services Library Associate

What can a person do with 13,000 feet of plastic wrap?

May 25, 2010


31 ranges of shelving…
at nearly 100 shelves per range,
13,000 feet of 10″-wide green plastic pallet wrap,
and help from Sunil, Nikunj, Lisa, Sandy, Susan, and Laura with photographs by Patty… 

…we can plastic-wrap the Government Documents Collection in preparation for moving the shelving!  

The documents are secure and are now awaiting the stack movers for the next step in the recarpeting project!  

Looking down the plastic-wrapped aisles

Looking down the plastic-wrapped aisles




Sandy, Susan, and Nikunj wrapping the upper shelves

Sandy, Susan, and Nikunj wrapping the upper shelves


Lisa and Sandy wrapping the shelves

Lisa and Sandy wrapping the shelves


Banana Boxes Maps and Microfilm

May 17, 2010

Briggs Library Lower Level Madness has risen to new heights. Library staff have been furiously moving furniture, clearing shelves, emptying map cases, and empting microfilm cabinets. Why the madness, you ask? And what do Banana Boxes have to do with anything?  

Briggs Library is undergoing major changes on the Lower Level of the Library. Since 1977, the year of H.M. Briggs opening, the Lower Level has been “decorated” for the time-1977, that is. What do you think of when asked about the library basement? ORANGE! Yes, the orange carpet and orange shelves are certainly retro, but the carpet has seen much better days. Sooooooooooooo…finally………………..the library is getting new carpet for the entire Lower Level! AND………………….it IS NOT ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

The Bound Periodical, Documents, Curriculum, Maps, and Microform Collections will all be moved at one time or another to accomodate the carpet layers. Thus, these collections will have limited access until the project is completed. Microfilm cabinets and map cases are entirely too heavy when full to move. Documents Staff have emptied 240 map drawers with over 70,000 maps, and 360 microfilm drawers with over 20,000 microfilm reels to temporary locations. If all goes well, the collections should be available  by Mid-June. Thank you for your patience during our organized chaos.  

So what about those banana boxes? Did you know a banana box can hold 80-88 reels of microfilm? Well now you know! Amazing what one learns when scavenging for boxes-banana boxes are the best!    

Nikunj and Sunil prepare maps for move

Kathy prepares map stack

Room soon to be filled with maps

Nikunj, Sunil, and Laura map movers

The "Map Room"

Banana boxes-thanks HyVee!

Microfilm cabinets-360 drawers

The "Microfilm Room"

Ice cream for a job well done!


 Vickie Mix, Documents Librarian  

National Library Week Trivia Display

April 8, 2010

Do you visit Briggs Library?  Do you like trivia?  Or glossy book covers? Do you like finding non-guilt-inducing ways of procrastinating a few minutes?  (It’s educational!)

If you answered yes to any of those questions, visit the lower level of the library and check out our National Library Week trivia display!

Just twelve simple questions – do one or do all.  Chances are your score will be pretty good!

-Laura Plowman, Public Services Library Associate

National Library Week lower level trivia display

Be Counted! Participate in Census 2010

March 30, 2010

The United States Census Bureau asks all residents of the United States to be counted. The census is required by Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution

The first census began in 1790 a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts. The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in “two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction], there to remain for the inspection of all concerned…” and that “the aggregate amount of each description of persons” for every district be transmitted to the president. (U.S. Census Bureau, History).

Why is the Census important? Census information affects the numbers of seats your state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. Individuals, businesses, and states use census data for political, economic and social decision-making. The information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services. For students at SDSU, this means federal dollars for education, research, financial aid, and community services.

Briggs Library Government Documents Department has an extensive Census collection on the lower level of the library dating back to 1790. In addition, current and historical census information can be found on the library’s Government Information Census  web page. And for your browsing pleasure, Documents Staff have created a Census 2010 display on the lower level of the library.

Vickie Mix, Documents Librarian

South Dakota Legislative Session

February 4, 2010

2010 South Dakota State Legislature

The South Dakota State Legislature is currently in full session. The Legislative session opened January 12, 2010 and adjourns March 29, 2010. Article III of the Constitution of South Dakota established the legislature as a bicameral body consisting of the State Senate and House of Representatives. 35 Senators from 35 districts serve South Dakota constituents as do 70 Representatives from 35 Districts.

2010 has been a busy legislative session despite the challenges of a South Dakota winter. February 4, 2010 is the final day to introduce committee bills and joint resolutions. As of Feb. 12, 2010, the Legislative Research Council ‘s 2010 session bills list  indicates 511 total bills have been introduced in both Houses.

House of Representatives:

  • 278 House Bills
  • 2 House Commemoration
  • 8 House Concurrent Resolutions
  • 6 House Joint Resolutions


  • 196 Senate Bills
  • 13 Senate Commemorations
  • 1 Senate Concurrent Resolution
  • 7 Senate Joint Resolutions

The South Dakota Legislative Research Council provides information on State Legislators, Legislative Sessions from 1997 to present, the South Dakota Constitution, South Dakota Codified Laws, Administrative Rules, and other information on the Legislature. In addition, with a MyLRC account users can create customized lists of Bills, Statutes, Rules, and other information, and sign up for email notifications based on the lists that have been created. South Dakota Public Broadcasting provides live audio broadcasts of Senate and House Sessions linked on the 2010 Legislative Session page.

A brochure providing an overview of the current session can be found at

For more detailed information about the South Dakota Legislature, please visit the South Dakota Legislative Research Council .

Additional information about South Dakota State government is available from the Official State Government Website . As always, Government Documents staff are ready, willing, and enthusiastically able to help you find local, state, and federal government information.

Vickie Mix, Government Documents Librarian


September 28, 2009

bbwbadge_smCelebrate the Freedom to Read during  Banned Books Week , September 26-October 3, 2009. Banned Books Week annually celebrates the importance of the First Amendment, the freedom to read, the freedom to access information and the freedom to express ideas without fear. Intellectual freedom provides the foundation for a free and democratic society to access and express multiple viewpoints regardless of popularity.

Librarians at SDSU are committed to intellectual freedom and unfettered access to information. In celebration of Banned books week, the library features displays on the Main Level and the Lower Level. Check out the Main Level East hallway display case and the Table Display in the lobby near the Information Services Office which includes the 2008-2009 Challenged Books List and examples of books that have been challenged in libraries, schools, bookstores, and communities. The Lower Level display outside the Government Documents Office explores federal publications related to the freedoms protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

See the American Library Association’s Issues & Advocacy pages for more information about Banned and Challenged books

Vickie Mix, Government Documents Librarian