ND State Documents Collection: By the Numbers

Last month’s column provided an overview of the North Dakota Memories in honor of the collection reaching over 2,500 items. This month, there is another milestone to celebrate. The North Dakota State Documents digital collection now contains over 750 items. Hip hip, hooray (again)! In honor of this milestone, the Digital Initiatives Department decided to do a breakdown of the collection. Here’s a look at some of the numbers.

The collection launched in early 2015. By the end of that year, a little over 150 items had been uploaded. By the end of 2018, 375 items were in the collection. Now, roughly halfway through 2022, the collection has 753 items uploaded. Most of the government publications in the collection have multiple pages, so of the 753 items, there are well over 35,000 pages.

The ND State Documents collection is organized into ten subcollections. The largest by far is ND State Agency Reports, with over 345 items, or about 46% of the collection. This subcollection consists of annual reports, biennial reports, and other reports published by state agencies, commissioners, boards, etc. In several cases, there are enough reports digitized and added to the collection that the subcollection is further divided into sections. In this subcollection, the top five sections with the most content are from the State Board of Animal Health, ND Department of Transportation, State Library, Dept. of Water Resources (formerly the State Water Commission), San Haven State Hospital (initially the Tuberculosis Sanitarium/ Sanatorium), and the Dept. of Agriculture.

The other subcollections with the most content include Report of the ND GovernorND State Agency NewslettersND State Document Videos, and Laws Passed by the ND Legislative Assembly. These subcollections combined make up about 44% of the collection.

For format, about 92% of the collection consists of text (documents, books, publications, etc.). The other 8% consists of videos.

The most common decade in the collection is the 1980s, with 100 items, or nearly 13%, of the collection. The next most common decades are the 1970s, 1910s, 1990s, and the 2000s (2000-2009). About 88% of the items in the collection date to the 20th century. The other 12% are a little more modern and were created in the last 22 years.

The last category to explore is state agency, and this is arguably the most important category. The collection contains content from over 30 agencies, commissions, and other state entities (some of which no longer exist). The top five agencies with the most content in the collection are the Dept. of AgricultureState LibraryGovernorDOT, and the Legislative Assembly.

To learn more about ND State Documents, visit the collection’s finding aid on LibGuides or browse the collection directly on Digital Horizons.

North Dakota Information Technology

The North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) Team supports the IT business needs of state government, K-12, and higher education with the purpose of “Empowering People, Improving Lives and Inspiring Success.” With technology changing virtually every job and every industry, the NDIT Team’s vision is to be a trusted business advisor to state agencies with the goals of providing a world-class government experience, securing all government-held data, and delivering the most efficient services in the country. As part of its mission, NDIT stands guard against hackers, computer scams, and cybercrime.

For example, a Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a sophisticated scam that targets businesses and local and state governments. BEC attackers rely heavily on social engineering tactics to trick unsuspecting employees and executives. Often, they impersonate CEOs or any executive authorized to do wire transfers.

To protect your library against BEC scams:

  • ​​​​​​​Be suspicious – Ask for clarification, forward an email to an IT person, or check with a colleague. 
  • If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t – Encourage employees to trust their instincts and ask, “Would my director tell me to do this?” or “Why isn’t this supplier submitting an invoice through the proper channels?”
  • Slow down. Attackers often time their campaigns around our busiest periods of the day.

In 2021, the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that BEC has cost organizations $3.5 billion. The average cost is $75,000 per incident, which is exponentially more expensive than many other cyber events.

Embedding Videos on Your WordPress Website

Did you record a fun summer reading program, and now you want to post it on your website? Are you looking for a fun way to capture your audience’s attention? Try including a video on your WordPress website!

Although you can upload videos directly to your WordPress website, it is not recommended. Instead, you should upload the video to a video hosting service, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once you have the video uploaded, click on “Share” underneath the video, and copy the link. Go to your WordPress website page, click on the location where you would like to embed the video, and paste the link. Your video will automatically display in that spot.

Section 107 – Fair Use, Part 1

I am not a lawyer.  Any advice given is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

The United States Copyright Law, Title 17, United States Code, covers all forms of tangible expression (written on paper, recorded on tape, coded into a computer). Works do not have to have a notice of copyright to be considered protected by law. One should assume that all works created on January 1, 1978, or later are copyrighted unless otherwise indicated. 

The reason why copyright exists is to give the creator control (otherwise known as exclusive rights) for a limited amount of time. After that time has elapsed, the work falls into public domain where it is free for anyone to use.

During the time copyright is granted, the creator controls Reproduction, derivative works, distribution, public performance, and public display. And in the case of sound recordings, public performance by means of a digital transmission.

With Reproduction – no one other than the copyright owner may make reproductions or copies of the work. So only the owner can photocopy a book, copy a computer program, use a cartoon character as art on a wall, put part of their article into another article, or put a portion of their song into another song.

Derivative works are kind of like reproduction, but with a twist. 

In the library world, this means making a novel into a Large Print edition or an audiobook. It also controls turning a novel into a movie.

Distribution – this allows the copyright holder to control how the work is made available either through sale, rental, lease, or lending. However, the right of distribution is limited by the “first sale doctrine.” Once the item is sold the first time, the copyright holder can no longer control what happens to that copy.

Public performance – is kind of self-explanatory. A place is considered “public” when the work is performed in a “place open to the public or at a place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances are gathered.” So, showing a movie or playing music in your library is illegal due to this right granted to the copyright holder. This also includes songs and videos during presentations that are open to the public.

Public display goes along with public performance. The copyright holder has the right to display individual stills from a film, paintings, drawings, sheet music, or photos. 

It is important to note with public performance and display that it can happen directly or indirectly. Indirectly can be seen in many YouTube videos that have music playing in the background of kids dancing. Music in your office while your customers wait. Or why your copy of WKRP in Cincinnati is not quite the same as you remember. The copyright holder of the music playing in the background has control over how their music is used. Therefore, they usually demand payment for using their item in the background of a video. The same rule can go with images. You will often see t-shirts or other background images fuzzed out of certain shows. That way, the show doesn’t have to pay for the use of the image.

ND Memories Collection: By The Numbers

The State Library’s North Dakota Memories digital collection has hit a milestone: over 2,500 items have been added. Hip hip, hooray! In honor of this milestone, the Digital Initiatives Department decided to do a breakdown of the collection. Here’s a look at the numbers.

Since its launch in late 2014, ND Memories has grown exponentially. The collection had about 55 items at the end of 2014. A few years later, at the end of 2018, that number had increased to about 1,560. Now, roughly halfway through 2022, the collection has 2,505 items uploaded and readily available.

At its core, ND Memories is a community-driven collection, which means items (images, documents, objects, etc.) are contributed from the private collections of residents, organizations, and cultural heritage institutions. About 64% of the items in the collection have been contributed by residents, or former residents, of North Dakota. Of the remaining 36% of the collection, 19% came from the collections of libraries (public, academic, school, etc.), 14% came from museums and historical societies, and 3% came from ‘other’ (businesses, churches, etc.).

ND Memories is organized into ten subcollections. The largest is the ScanDay Collection with over 1,800 items, which makes up about 72% of ND Memories. ScanDay is an event hosted with or in libraries across the state, in which Digital Initiatives staff bring scanning and photography equipment to a community and digitize items from the collections of local institutions and private citizens. After digitization, the items are returned, each participant is given a flash drive containing digital copies of their items, and the items are later uploaded to ND Memories.

For format, most of the collection, about 99%, consists of images. The other 1% consists of a handful of documents, videos, and audio.

Location-wise, 93% of the items in the collection were taken (like a photograph) or created (like a letter) in the United States. Unsurprisingly, 81% of all items hail from somewhere in North Dakota. At the county level, Cass has the most representation with 112 items, followed closely by Burleigh (104), Hettinger (103), Wells (97), and Emmons (92). ND Memories has content from most counties in the state, but it is still missing Renville County and Sioux County content.

As far as topics, over 1,400 items, or about 58%, in ND Memories have the general subject ‘people’ attributed to them. This is because family photographs are the most common item contributed to the collection. In a distant second place is ‘military,’ followed by ‘agriculture,’ ‘city & town life,’ and ‘religion.’

The most common decade in ND Memories is the 1940s with 645 items, or roughly 26%, of the collection. The next most common decades are the 1910s, 1950s, 1900s (1900-1909), and the 1920s.

The last category to explore is rights (as in copyright). Digital Initiatives strives to apply the proper rights statement to every item within its collections. However, it can often be difficult to determine copyright, which is why the most common rights statement in ND Memories (1,090 items or about 44%) is ‘copyright undetermined.’ This is followed closely by ‘no known copyright.’ About 11%, or 261 items, have ‘no copyright – united states.’ This means the item has entered the public domain, its copyright has expired, etc. These items are free to use and reuse (no special permission is needed for the public to download and use them however they see fit).

To learn more about ND Memories, visit the collection’s finding aid on LibGuides or browse the collection directly on Digital Horizons.

Patrons and Incarceration

“No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”
–Nelson Mandela

The topic of today’s EDI article is a more sobering one: What are libraries’ places in helping currently and formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as their families? This is primarily a public library concern; however, other library types (especially school and academic) can adopt programming and access to resources as their patrons experience loved ones being imprisoned or reentering society after imprisonment themselves.

Support in Prison and Jail Libraries

ALA’s Prisoners’ Right to Read outlines how the Library Bill of Rights pertains to incarcerated individuals, as well as their correctional facilities’ libraries. This document contains the following statement:

Participation in a democratic society requires unfettered access to current social, political, legal, economic, cultural, scientific, and religious information. Information and ideas available outside the prison are essential to people who are incarcerated for a successful transition to freedom. Learning to thrive in a free society requires access to a wide range of knowledge. Suppression of ideas does not prepare people of any age who are incarcerated for life in a free society. Even those individuals who are incarcerated for life require access to information, to literature, and to a window on the world (2019, para. 3).  

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions further explains the role and responsibilities of prison libraries in its Guidelines for Library Services to Prisoners, 3rd Edition (2005).

To keep things simple, regardless of patrons’ legal freedom statuses, libraries exist for access to information and services that aid in lifelong learning and critical-thinking skills. 

How Can Libraries Advocate for Current and Former Inmates?

      Libraries, especially public libraries, can act as advocates in various ways, including:

  1. Establishing connections with prison libraries, correctional librarians, educational programs, and other local groups already providing information to people who are incarcerated.
  2. Hosting book drives for local jails and prisons.
  3. Hosting video visitations at libraries for families separated by incarceration.
  4. Forming connections with professionals in the criminal justice system, such as sheriff’s offices, public defenders, and prosecutors, in order to better incorporate library services in local prisons and jails.
  5. Creating lists of resources that offer free and low-cost services to individuals navigating reentry (legal aid clinics, homeless shelters, health care, child and family counseling, for example). Post these lists (at a minimum) in an easy-to-find area on the website and at the reference desk.
  6. Advertising library resources available to aid newly released job seekers, such as access to computers, classes, and books (Ringrose, 2020).
  7. Addressing the importance of mental health after release by offering various library resources for stress relief, personal learning, and self-awareness. Some libraries, particularly those with large former inmate populations, work directly with social workers in-house.
  8. Creating and executing programs for positive family bonding. These can be literary-based, such as family storytimes, or even get-togethers for families to spend quality time, such as a carnival on the library lawn (Simon, 2020).

Advocating for Families of the Incarcerated

When a loved one goes to prison or jail, the whole family feels the effects. Possible aftershocks include loneliness, financial distress from the loss of the incarcerated individual’s income, stigmas and gossip surrounding arrests, concern for the arrested “on the inside”, a launch into single parenthood, or children being displaced from the family home. While libraries cannot make the worries go away, they can help alleviate them.

Youth.org offers various resources for addressing children of incarcerated parents. Such materials include dealing with trauma from a loved one’s arrest, exposure to violence, drugs, or alcohol use, and information about child welfare services. Children of Incarcerated Parents Bill of Rights (Bernstein, 2003) outlines that children have the right to:

  1. be kept safe and informed at the time of their parent’s arrest,
  2. be heard when decisions are made about them,
  3. be considered when decisions are made about their parent,
  4. be well cared for in their parent’s absence,
  5. speak with, see and touch their parent,
  6. support as they struggle with their parent’s incarceration,
  7. not be judged, blamed, or labeled because of their parent’s incarceration, and
  8. a lifelong relationship with their parent.

Libraries can also help the family, as a whole, through programming, recommending circulated materials, and hosting support groups. Sullivan (2013) advises amending programs to better fit the families of the imprisoned, as your community needs. However, even on a smaller scale, regular day-to-day programming can help decrease the shame by bringing to light the subject of incarceration.

Resources at NDSL

If you are further interested in the experiences of incarcerated individuals, NDSL offers various books about prison and jail time including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Prisoner Reentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration by Daniel Mears and Joshua C. Cochran

“Prisoner Reentry is an examination of prisoner reentry and how to improve public safety, well-being, and justice in the “era of mass incarceration.” Authors Daniel P. Mears and Joshua C. Cochran investigate historical trends in incarceration and punishment policy, the salience of in-prison and post-prison contexts and experiences for reentry, and the importance of understanding group differences in offending, punishment, and social context. Using reliance on both theory and empirical research, the authors identify how reentry reflects criminal justice policy in America and, at the same time, has profound implications for crime prevention and justice. Readers will develop a diverse foundation for current policies, identify the implications of reentry for families, community, and society at large, and gain a conceptual and empirical toolkit for analyzing and improving the lives of those released from prison.”

  • Anatomy of Innocence:  Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted edited by Laura Caldwell and Leslie S. Klinger

“How do wrongful convictions happen, and what are the consequences for the lucky few who are acquitted, years after they are proven innocent? Fourteen exonerated inmates narrate their stories, while another exoneree’s case is explored. They detail every aspect of the experience of wrongful conviction, as well as the remarkable depths of endurance sustained by each exoneree who never lost hope.”

  • Halfway Home:  Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller

“Miller, a Chicago Cook County Jail chaplain and mass-incarceration sociologist, examines the lifelong realities of a criminal record. He demonstrates how America’s justice system is less about rehabilitation and more about structured disenfranchisement. In doing so, he captures the stories of the men, women, and communities fighting against a system that is designed for them to fail.”

  • The Juvenile Justice System by Duchess Harris and Carla Mooney

“The Juvenile Justice System examines all aspects of juvenile justice in the United States. It discusses the history behind the US juvenile justice system and how juveniles are affected by the system.”

  • The New York Times Book of Crime:  More than 166 Years of Covering the Beat edited by Kevin Flynn

“This book, edited by Times crime-beat veteran Kevin Flynn, captures the full sweep of the newspaper’s reporting on the subject. It examines issues like incarceration, organized crime, and vice (from the Attica Correctional Facility riot to the powerful Medellín Cartel) as well as the infamous crimes that riveted the world. With 70 photographs as well as reproductions of front-page stories, here are the noteworthy crime articles from The New York Times archives that are sure to engross readers.”

  • Better, Not Bitter by Yusef Salaam (Eaudiobook)

“This inspirational memoir serves as a call to action from prison reform activist Yusef Salaam, of the Exonerated Five, that will inspire us all to turn our stories into tools for change in the pursuit of racial justice. Yusef writes his narrative: growing up Black in central Harlem in the ’80s, being raised by a strong, fierce mother and grandmother, his years of incarceration, his reentry, and exoneration. Yusef connects these stories to lessons and principles he learned that gave him the power to survive through the worst of life’s experiences.”

  • Beyond Bars:  Rejoining Society After Prison by Jeffrey Ian Ross

“Can the common criminal get a fresh start? A resource for former convicts and their families post-incarceration. The United States has the largest criminal justice system in the world, with currently over 7 million adults and juveniles in jail, prison, or community custody. Because they spend enough time in prison to disrupt their connections to their families and their communities, they are not prepared for the difficult and often life-threatening process of reentry. As a result, the percentage of these people who return to a life of crime and additional prison time escalates each year. Beyond Bars is a guide for ex-convicts and their families about managing a successful reentry into the community and includes: tips on how to prepare for release while still in prison; ways to deal with family members, especially spouses and children; finding a job; money issues such as budgets, bank accounts, taxes, and debt; avoiding drugs and other illicit activities; free resources to rely on for support.”


American Library Association (2019, January 29). Prisoners’ right to read:  An interpretation of the library bill of rights. https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/prisonersrightoread.   

Bernstein, N. (2003). Children of incarcerated parents:  A bill of rights. U.S. Department of Justice. https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/children-incarcerated-parents-bill-rights.

Lehmann, V., & Locke, J. (2005). Guidelines for library services to prisoners (3rd ed.). International Federation of Library Association and Institutions. https://repository.ifla.org/bitstream/123456789/558/1/ifla-professional-reports-nr-92.pdf

Ringrose, K. (2020, September). Libraries reentry:  The importance of public spaces, technologies, and community to formerly incarcerated patrons. ALA Policy Perspectives, 7. https://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/tools/Libraries%26Reentry_WEB_090620%20%282%29.pdf?utm_source=ILL&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=reentry.

Simon, L. (2020, October 26). For formerly incarcerated people, libraries are a lifeline. Ilovelibraries. https://ilovelibraries.org/article/formerly-incarcerated-people-libraries-are-lifeline/#:~:text=Libraries%20are%20a%20haven%20where,social%20workers%20to%20provide%20assistance.

Sullivan, M. (2013, September 3). Welcoming children and families affected by incarceration into public libraries. Public Libraries Online. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/09/welcoming-children-and-families-affected-by-incarceration-into-public-libraries/.