Worried About Your Child Having a Summer Slide? Here Are 3 Ways to Ensure That Doesn’t Happen

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With summer break around the corner, kids are surely looking forward to being outdoors and having fun with friends. But, summer breaks can be a challenging time for parents, as they try to avoid their child experiencing a “summer slide.” If you’re a parent who is already feeling the heat of the upcoming vacation season, don’t fret, as in this article by Dillon Public Library, we’ll explore a host of useful ideas and strategies to keep kids entertained and active throughout the summer.

  1. Participate in Summer Programs at Local Libraries

Every summer local libraries host a range of programs for students. Reading programs are one of the more popular ones, where kids can visit the library to improve their reading and comprehension skills. While at the library, parents can help their child create a reading list to be completed over the summer, which significantly reduces the chances of experiencing a summer slide i.e. losing some part of academic gains during the summer months, owing to the lack of classes or revision of topics they’ve learned over the past academic year, according to Scholastic. Books serve as excellent sources of education during the summer season when there are no classes.

Additionally, libraries also host family and entertainment events which can include arts and crafts, carnival games, magic shows, community collaborations, and more. These events can also serve as socialization activities for parents and kids alike. Learning how to make friends is a key skill every child needs to learn, according to Raising Kids Network. Strong interpersonal skills will prove beneficial once they enter college and then make their way into a professional setting.

  1. Create Educational Worksheets

Creating educational worksheets is another great way for parents to help their kids avoid a summer slide. However, you’ll need to create worksheets that are both fun and challenging and make kids use their cognitive thinking skills to complete them. These worksheets can serve as a great medium to recap key concepts of the past academic year, especially in subjects such as math and science.

While there are plenty of free tools you can use to create, check this one out as it is the best. It provides a range of templates that can be used to create worksheets for most subjects. Additionally, rather than providing your child a plain white worksheet that represents an exam, you can personalize the document with their favorite colors and even add images of cartoons, performers, musicians, and more as a way to entice them to interact with the content.

  1. Spend Time in the Great Outdoors

In addition to being an enjoyable activity, spending time in nature during the summer can serve as a great learning experience for kids as well. For instance, your child is bound to have learned about natural ecosystems such as forests, rivers, etc. through their classes. Taking them for a camping trip at a national park, using the Library’s Backpack Program, can prove to be the perfect way to help them put their learning to use.

Nature walks and hikes, using local resources from the library, serve as great opportunities for kids to observe and inquire about the world around them. During a hike, they’re bound to ask questions regarding plants, insects, and animals they encounter and learn about their behaviors and characteristics. Some of these learnings will never be included in their books, however, through this experience, they’ll develop a holistic understanding of nature and the world around them.

With the school break quickly approaching, parents need to take the right steps to avoid their child experiencing a summer slide. Participating in activities at a local library will help kids improve their reading, writing, and socialization skills. Additionally, while at home, kids can be provided with educational worksheets to recap key concepts from the previous academic year. Finally, summer will never be complete without spending some quality time outdoors, where kids can learn from their senses, refresh their minds and be ready to go for the next academic term.

Some Great Enrichment Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Dillon Public Library is a place where families read together and grow together. Where imagination is FREE! Contact us today for more information! 406-683-4544

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School is not the only way to keep your children intellectually stimulated and engaged. There are plenty of programs and activities for kids that are not school-related that can provide a sense of accomplishment, build confidence, give them a sense of purpose, and teach them new skills. If you’re looking to promote self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills in your child or just want them to have some good free-wheeling fun, you have plenty of options — Dillon Public Library explores a few below.

Team Sports

Team sports are a great way for your child to build character, leadership skills, and social skills. They can develop skills that will help them in their future careers. It also helps them learn to work with others and develop a sense of community.

And they learn the importance of winning and losing graciously. Sportsmanship is important in all areas of life, and these lessons can be learned through team sports participation.

Book Clubs

The great thing about book clubs for kids is that it encourages reading, which is a lifelong activity. On Book Street notes that reading teaches empathy and compassion, helps children articulate their feelings, and promotes lifelong learning. And book clubs are a great way for kids to learn about different genres of books and get exposed to new authors. It also gives them the opportunity to discuss what they have read with other kids. They also provide an opportunity for children to share their thoughts and opinions on what they have read, which can help them develop their language skills.

Visit Dillon Public Library and see the depth and range of books available to all ages!


If ever there’s been a time when learning how to code equates to future lucrative job opportunities and job security, it’s now. The IT field continues to grow and flourish, so why not expose your kiddos to this helpful and interesting skill? If they’d like to learn how to code, they can explore the STEM Kits at the library or check out sites with expert tips and help for troubleshooting specific coding and error messages. They can learn more on these sites, and do so at their own pace.


Art is an excellent way to introduce children to new ideas and concepts that they may not have been exposed to. It gives them the opportunity to express themselves and learn about the world around them. Self-expression through art is proven to relieve stress and significantly decrease anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. You can introduce them to different types of art by exposing them to museums, galleries, or other cultural institutions, as well as visiting local artists’ studios or exhibitions. Make it a family activity by getting involved in the process and exploring different types of art together, like painting, drawing, sculpting, or collage.

Starting Their Own Business

A recent study found that kids who start their own businesses are more likely to have higher levels of happiness, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

Parent’s magazine points out that there are many benefits to helping your child start their own business. It will help them develop a sense of independence and responsibility, as well as teach them how to work hard and be creative, manage money better, and be successful. It also helps them develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Starting a business at a young age teaches them about responsibility. And they can learn real-world business practices like structuring their business as an LLC in order to protect any of their personal assets. And it’s something they can even learn how to create themselves with online formation services. What’s more, there are many online guides and resources that can walk you through everything you need to know about learning how to start an LLC.


Volunteering gives your kids the opportunity to learn about new people and cultures, as well as make friends that care about the same things they do. They also learn how to help others, which is a skill that will be useful in their future careers. There are lots of ways kids can volunteer in their community, from volunteering at the library, picking up trash in the park to making care packages for the homeless or creating a fundraiser for a cause they care about, like climate change or pet adoption. They can have a lot of fun while knowing they’re making a difference in a real and tangible way. Some of the most popular types of fundraisers include bake sales, car washes, and lemonade stands.

What’s more, if you live in a walkable area, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Walking is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to get around, so you’ll be able to easily get to and from your volunteering commitments without having to worry about finding a parking spot or dealing with traffic. Plus, walking is good for your health, so you can feel good knowing that you’re getting some exercise while also giving back to your community. When you live in a pedestrian-friendly area, it’s easy to make volunteering a part of your regular routine.

Whether it’s the age-old team sports activity, or book clubs and business ventures, your child’s enrichment doesn’t have to end when the school day does. This includes learning how to code, a lifetime skill. In many ways, that can be the best time to get involved.

Learning Outside the Classroom: Ideas and Activities for Struggling Students

It can be difficult to watch your child struggle in school. You may feel powerless or overwhelmed, but there are many ways you can help your child learn outside of the classroom. The Dillon Public Library has compiled a list of ideas and activities.

Help Discover Interests and Passions

One of the best ways to help a struggling student is to encourage them to explore their interests and passions. Ask them what they enjoy doing most or what topics they find most interesting. Research these topics together online or at the library. This will give them a sense of ownership over their own learning process, as well as help them build confidence in their abilities.

Make Learning Fun and Engaging

It is important to make learning fun for children who are struggling in school. Instead of focusing on grades or test scores, focus on having fun while learning something new. Activities like reading aloud together, playing educational games that involve movement, or making up stories with puppets or dolls will engage your child while also helping them learn new concepts.

The Dillon Public Library has educational games, STEAM Kits, that can be checked out and a great way to make learning more enjoyable. Look for board games or apps that teach math, science, language arts, history, and geography. There are even some games that have been specifically designed for struggling students, so be sure to research these options before purchasing any games for your child.

Explore Art and Music

Art and music can provide a creative outlet for children who are struggling in school. Encourage them to explore different forms of art, such as drawing, painting, and sculpting. Or, try playing music together by singing songs or playing instruments like guitars or drums. These activities will build self-confidence while also teaching valuable lessons about creativity and expression through various forms.

 Take Field Trips

Field trips don’t have to just be about visiting museums or historical sites; they can also be about exploring nature. Going on hikes together or visiting local parks can be an exciting way to learn about science, such as plants, animals, and weather patterns. Plus, it gives you quality time away from home, which is always beneficial when it comes to building relationships between parents and children. Spending time outdoors is actually one of the best ways for children to get away from all the stressors associated with being inside classrooms all day long. The Dillon Public Library has a backpack program with local biking and hiking trails, maps of local flora and fauna, binoculars, and fishing poles. Check them out for five days and go on an adventure!

Develop Your Own Skills

For parents whose children are struggling in school, take a look at this education program. It’s designed to hone the critical skills you need to shape your children’s learning and encourage better academic performance. Studying to be an educator will not only help set your child up for success, but it can lead you to a more rewarding career.

Children who struggle in school need extra support from parents who understand how challenging this experience can be. There are plenty of ideas and activities available outside of traditional classrooms that can help foster a love of learning within any student, so consider the many ways you can provide extra support without feeling overwhelmed by all the possible options available.

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How to Keep Your Homeschooling Family Organized

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Homeschooling can be a great way to educate your kids. You can teach them about biology by growing your own vegetable garden, for example, or help them master chemistry by cooking in the kitchen. That said, when your home doubles as a classroom, it can be hard to keep it tidy. Additionally, organizing your family’s schedule when you’re both a parent and a teacher is tough. This guide provides cost-efficient tips to help you stay on top of it all.

Visit the Dillon Public Library for a huge variety of books for children and adults!

Declutter your home

Clutter can make it hard for kids to concentrate on their lessons and creates an unpleasant environment at home. Start your journey to a more organized life by decluttering. Becoming Minimalist offers pointers on how to get started, like using the 12-12-12 challenge. Pick 12 items to toss, 12 to donate, and 12 to properly organize. Also, try viewing your home as if you were visiting it for the first time to identify useless clutter.

Digitize your documents

Your family probably has all kinds of important paperwork, from medical records to kids’ school papers and your work files. Instead of having loose papers flying around, digitize them for easy storage. You can use a mobile scanner to make documents digital and then find a free PDF merger tool to add them to one file.

Invest in organizers

The right tools will make it easier to stay organized. For example, large bins are great for storing kids’ toys, while stackable boxes can be used for stashing everything from shoes to electronic gadgets. The Home Edit has a roundup of kid-friendly tips that little ones can use to keep their things in order. For example, encouraging kids to arrange books, toys, art supplies, and other goods according to color can help make organizing feel like a game.

Create a calendar

Staying on top of all of your family’s events and obligations, from birthday parties to doctor appointments, isn’t always easy. Invest in a good calendar system to simplify matters. You can hang a large wall calendar that everyone can access in the kitchen, for example. Another option is digital shared calendar tools like Google Calendar or Cozi. This guide has a roundup of digital and non-digital scheduling tools.

Plan your meals in advance

Meal planning is a great way to save time as a parent. When you’re homeschooling and doing double duty as a parent and a teacher, your time becomes even more precious. Use meal planning to prepare food in advance and freeze leftovers for reheating. There are many easy-to-prepare, family-friendly recipes you can try and the Dillon Public Library offers AtoZ Food America for recipes and histories of the culture and food. If your kids are old enough, encourage them to help with the prep work.

Give kids responsibilities too

Keeping an organized home isn’t solely the responsibility of the parent. Encourage your children to do their part in keeping a well-organized home you can all enjoy together. You can get kids excited about cleaning and organizing with hacks, like creating a chore chart or making the activity into a game. For example, you can have a race to see who can pick up the most toys the fastest.

Make a plan for future organization

Once you’ve got your home nicely organized, of course, you want to keep it that way. Follow best practices for maintaining an orderly home. For example, before you buy something new, figure out where you’ll put it to make sure you have the space. Also, make organizing part of your regular routine by adding it to your family calendar. Cleaning a little bit every day is easier than doing one big clean once a week.

Homeschooling offers many benefits. However, it can also pose challenges—like making it hard to keep your family organized. Try tips like digitizing documents and creating a shared calendar to get a handle on things.

Understanding 3 Common Kinds of Contracts

Contracts are a major part of every industry, but they’re also a source of stress for many inexperienced business owners. If you’re facing an upcoming negotiation, and you’re not sure how to prepare, you can start by gaining an understanding of three of the most common types of contracts — sales agreements, service agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. If you’re entering one of these contracts — or a different contract — you can benefit from the following tips from Dillon Public Library.

Sales Agreement

A sales agreement is exactly what it sounds like — a contract outlining the sale of a product between parties. This type of contract is often drafted in high-value transactions, and like every other contract, it’s essential because it protects all parties involved.

This protection is provided by the clear description of each party’s responsibilities that the contract must include. Every contract, in fact, should include this information — as well as information about dispute resolution, contract termination, and key objectives. You’ll also have to choose which state’s laws will govern the contract. To ensure that each of these items is adequately addressed in the contract, you should do some research before negotiations and draft tentative suggestions for phrasing.

Service Agreement

Another common kind of contract is a service agreement. A service agreement is similar to a sales contract, but rather than dictating the transaction of a product, it dictates the transaction of a service. As such, a service agreement will usually include more details surrounding the agreed-upon delivery, since there are more variables in delivering a service than a product.

When negotiating a sales agreement — or any contract — you should ensure that any included financial information is up-to-date. To calculate accurate figures, you can use an accounting system that provides insights into your company’s financial well-being. This program may also offer a single point of access to all the financial figures you need, including daily cash flow.

Non-Disclosure Agreement

Confidentiality can be a major concern in negotiations, and some parties may request a non-disclosure agreement to accompany any other contracts signed. Sometimes, though, an NDA is a standalone contract that’s used to ensure that one or both parties don’t discuss sensitive information. This can help protect business interests and ensure the contract’s integrity is intact.

An NDA may intentionally omit or censor the names of people involved, but in most cases, branding is advantageous for a contract. Embellishing a contract with your company logo can make it recognizable, and using that same logo across your invoices and documents is a great way to create consistency.

Strengthening Your Hand

Now that you have a good grasp of the basics when it comes to accounting, don’t forget that every aspect of your business is connected. In other words, by strengthening one area – marketing, for instance – you boost the overall health of your business, leaving you in a much better position to negotiate. If you’re new to marketing, spreading the word via social media is a great way to save money, but that will only get you so far. Spend a little time researching your marketing options to plan your next move.

Also, to simplify matters as you work with multiple PDFs – as is common with contracts – use this tool to help you extract PDF pages online for free. That’ll save time and make life a little easier when managing multiple files.

Understand Contracts Before You Negotiate

The best way to prepare for an upcoming negotiation is to review general information about contracts and conduct research about the other party. You want to ensure that you’re negotiating with an authority in the company, and you want to be confident that they’re trustworthy, too. When you do this, you can better understand the other party’s needs and motives — which, in turn, can lead to more productive negotiations whether you’re negotiating with a customer, vendor, or employee. Even a beginning business owner can enter negotiations assuredly with these tips.

Dillon Public Library is a place where families read together and grow together. If you have any questions, let us know!

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I am having more conversations lately with people who are utterly overwhelmed.

I have my theories. Two of them are:

  • The makeup of homelessness has changed because Covid “activated” a lot of mental illness. Consequently, there are simply more people in active episodes of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder right now.
  • The “labor shortage” is stressing out over-extended staff.

Are you stressed, overwhelmed or burned out?

If you are, please stick with me through this technical email. I’m writing to you!


Burnout (chronic stress) changes the brain in ways that are remarkably similar to PTSD:

  • The Amygdala (responsible for fight or flight) enlarges.
  • The Prefrontal Cortex (responsible for calm, rational thinking) thins.
  • The connection between the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex is weakened.

The result? The person has a harder time managing negative emotions.


According to research, there are six factors that affect burnout:

  1. Workload – How many hours are you working?
  2. Control – Do you have any control over how you do your work?
  3. Reward – Do you feel fairly rewarded (both appreciation and money)?
  4. Community – Is your workplace a supportive community?
  5. Fairness – Do you feel that you are treated fairly by the organization?
  6. Values – Do your values align with those of the organization and your co-workers?

Interestingly, the research shows that two of these factors are most important than the others:

  • Control
  • Values

I spend a lot of time talking about values, so let’s talk about control today.


When we are stressed, our Amygdala causes a release of neurochemicals (cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline) and activates the sympathetic nervous system.

If the Amygdala does this frequently enough, the result is burnout.

Now, listen to this beautiful sentence from an article in the journal “Neurobiology of Stress”:

“Intriguingly, the [Prefrontal Cortex]

can turn off the stress response

if it considers that the subject

has control over the situation.”

If that didn’t hit you like a bucket of water in the face, read it again.

If you feel like you have control over the situation, your brain TURNS OFF THE STRESS RESPONSE!!!!

And that, my friends, is why “control” is one of the top two factors for burnout.


I want to issue you a challenge.

Pro tip: If my challenge strikes you as cheesy, go back and re-read above about how control changes your brain’s response to stress.

What is one thing that is stressing you out?

Only pick one.

Overwhelming yourself with a list of worries will not help.

Now, what is ONE THING you can do TODAY to move the needle on this one problem?

Don’t try to solve it today.

Pick one (small) step forward you can make before you leave work today.

Can you call or email someone who might be able to help?

Can you schedule a meeting to address it?

Can you take an hour with a pad of paper and a pen to brainstorm possible solutions?

For today, the important part is not that you solve the problem.

For today, the important part is that you take an active step towards solving the problem.

Seize some control…

It won’t solve all of your problems, but it’ll get your brain on the right track and make it easier to solve your problems.

Hang in there… the world needs your contributions!



P.S. Don’t forget to order your “Empathy is the Answer” t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie! They are only available through September 30 and then they are GONE! You can check them out at this link:

How to Stop the ‘Summer Slide’ in Its Tracks

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How to Stop the ‘Summer Slide’ in Its Tracks

Summer is on the horizon and that means long days and late nights. Unfortunately, for many children, it also means heading down the “summer slide,” a term used by teachers across the country to describe a reduction in academic abilities during the summer months. Don’t let your child go back to school this fall further back than they were in May. Here are a few great ways you can help struggling students stay afloat.

Get to Know Your Child

Even if you and your children are as close as can be, there are many things about them that you may not realize, one of which is their learning style. While you may learn best by reading or through social interactions, your child might retain more information using his tactile senses or through music and sound. There are seven learning styles, and Learning-Styles-Online reports these as visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. Determining which way your student learns best can help you formulate a plan to help them do better in school this coming fall and for the entire 180 days that follow.

Although reading may not be your child’s top learning style, it is an important practice to encourage. One of your most valuable educational tools is your local library. Reading just 20 minutes each day is proven to give children an academic edge. If your children are younger than first grade, read with them. Older children, meanwhile, should be able to handle books, magazines, or interesting online articles on their own. If your child is not particularly interested in reading, a quick visit to the library may encourage them otherwise.

Imagination Soup points out there are plenty of free summer reading programs (Oceans of Possibilities) to keep kids engaged, too. And libraries like Dillon Public Library offer a summer reading program to stop the summer slide as well as other educational programs that make reading and learning fun for your kids. And if the internet or computer access is hard at your home, public libraries are a great place to access free technology.

Log on for Fun

More than just reading, there are other activities that can help your child retain – and expand – their academic knowledge over the summer. Kids who are technologically inclined may enjoy spending a few hours each week on one of the many fun and educational websites that cater specifically to budding minds. National Geographic Kids, Starfall, and Fun Brains are three excellent learning websites recommended by VeryWell Family. Another great option is Prodigy, an online math game formatted like an adventure quest where students earn special skills for completing math equations. The site automatically gauges the child’s abilities and adjusts the complexity of the problems to their current and emerging math skills.

Fine Tune Efforts

Something to consider is whether or not your child could use some special help with a challenging subject. With younger kids, this might mean a little coaching from mom and dad, along with math flashcards or fun workbooks.

With older kids, sometimes similar strategies work, but oftentimes the subjects go beyond a parent’s comfort zone. If, for example, your son or daughter is struggling to understand calculus, summer is a good time to ramp up efforts in that area; but not all of us have calculus in our skills repertoire. With a little research you can hire a calculus tutor to meet your child’s needs. Whatever the subject, there are tools and tutors available to help your youngster get over the learning hurdle this summer.

Get Active

One of the best parts about summer is being outside. And, fortunately, there are almost endless ways to continue learning through outdoor play. One is to plant a garden, which can help your child grasp complicated scientific concepts, such as photosynthesis. The Dillon Public Library has a free seed library for your planting needs. You might also plan to spend an afternoon walking local creek beds or lakeshores hunting for crinoid fossils or making observations on animal behavior. The Dillon Public Library has a free backpack program with local maps and trails and free passes to Glacier National Park.

Summer camps can also be a great way to get kids outside and connected to learning in a fun way over the summer. But if you’re more comfortable keeping your kids home while learning through these camps, there are virtual options, too. The Mint Foundation offers teacher-led instructional summer camps for kids, focusing on S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) subjects. Camp is conducted virtually, and kids receive a weekly education plus a snack pack.

Summer can be difficult for parents, especially those who work. Even during these hectic times, it’s important to carve out quality time with your kids. But remember, you don’t need to go on a prolonged or expensive vacation. Invite your kids to help with everyday activities, like folding laundry or gardening, or create new activities you can all do together. Maybe you build a birdhouse or everyone learns how to repair a broken fence. The important thing is being together, and creating an experience.

Stop the summer slide and encourage a love of learning even in the off-season. It starts by getting to know your child’s learning abilities and obstacles and then finding creative – and fun – ways to challenge their mind. Come August, your child and their teachers will thank you.

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Libraries are not “JUST” books.

Libraries are so much more. Libraries are an institution which supports lifelong learning. Libraries offer numerous educational and fun opportunities for youth and adults throughout the year. The impact of library services on the lives of those served varies. For some, it is a lifeline in a technological world where not everyone can afford or live in a place to “be wired”.
Libraries offer Internet access, technology assistance (unemployment, housing, public assistance, email and everything else), and current technology classes including computer programming classes for teens using Scratch, Game maker, and Linux for app making, 3D printing, genealogy and more. Libraries have iPads’s/Laptop/Chromebook checkouts, hotspot lending programs, telescopes, educational take home kits, and more. Libraries have proctoring for students during long distance learning. Libraries have databases like AtoZ
Food America where you can learn about different cultures and the food they make, including instruction on the history and how to make beer. Universal Class, an accredited continuing education online learning platform with a live instructor. With over 500 classes anyone can achieve anything.

Libraries support the literacy needs of all ages with an emphasis on “raising readers”, building a community, and the sharing of information. In small communities Libraries may be the only community organization that provides early literacy programs-which are the basis for reading readiness skills in children under 3 years of age, striving to eliminate the “30-million-word gap” (Between zero and three if children are read to for 15minutes a day they have a vocabulary of 30 million more words than those who are not read to, Hart and Risley). We partner with schools to support the teaching of reading for all skill levels through choices of
reading materials and having AR codes visible. Libraries support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Libraries partner with Federal, State and local organizations to host a variety of events. Elementary and middle schools, collages, professional organizations, local businesses, and artists. Libraries teach different varieties of art activities including spray paint art, clay sculptures, watercolor. Some libraries even write, produce, and perform their own Murder Mysteries. Libraries have Backpack Programs where patrons can check out a pack. The pack offering fishing gear, binoculars, and maps of trails, flora, and fauna.

Libraries have implemented STEAM programming that is not available anywhere else for free. Libraries have Lego’s, Robotics, a Drone program, computer programming, art, culinary programs, and family game night. Libraries provide opportunities to explore nature through an Ag story time with petting zoo. We offer fly tying classes, fly fishing casting classes in the park, and a kid’s fishing derby. We partner with Fish Wildlife and Parks; they show patrons the different types of fish and talk about the fish in our streams. Libraries offer opportunities for families to participate in summer education through The Collaborative Summer Library
Program (CSLP), a nonprofit, charitable organization that supports literacy, education and science through summer reading events in public libraries across the United States.

The library has become a safe and structured place for after school children. It organizes community gatherings in hopes of bringing back the local experiences from earlier childhoods, escape rooms, educational scavenger hunts, peeps diorama competitions, storybook cake decorating competitions, and cook offs.
Libraries are second responders, with print resources and disaster literacy, especially during a cyber-attack.

Libraries have safe meeting places, provide a sense of normalcy, and are a resource for information during a time of uncertainty.

Libraries are leaders for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost.

There is a lot in the media right now about the expectations of libraries and the Librarian. On December 17, 1791 the First Amendment in the constitution was added. It states, “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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Libraries exist to have access to information.

Librarians are not responsible for raising other people’s children. If a parent is offended by a book, don’t let your child read it. Talk to your child about why it is not appropriate. There are millions of books to check out, stop focusing on one book. Every single book in the library can offend. There are killings, rape, bullying, racism, inappropriate content in almost every book in existence. Think about your favorite author or favorite book, someone will find something wrong. Banning books is a way to try to manipulate thoughts, creativity,
and ideas.

Hitler punished people for speaking. He banned and burned books. Society is getting punished for saying “gay” in Florida. Idaho and Kentucky are trying to hold librarians accountable for the roles of parenting. It is not the job of the librarian to dictate what people can read or checkout; that is censorship. A librarian’s job is to ensure a safe place for the community to access information. Our freedoms are under attack and democracy is in
jeopardy. We must guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens whatever the background. We must remember that any oppression, and injustice, any hatred is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our
children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the
same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children
what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Ronald

6 Ways to Delete Yourself From the Internet

You’ll never be able to get a clean slate—but you can significantly downsize your digital footprint.

person resting on bed with mobile phone

DEPENDING ON WHEN you were born, there’s a good chance you’ve spent either several decades online or have never known an offline world. Whatever the case, the internet and its advertising giants know a huge amount about your life.

Amazon, Facebook, and Google all have reams of data about you—including your likes and dislikes, health information and social connections—but they’re not the only ones. Countless murky data brokers that you’ve never heard of collect huge quantities of information about you and sell it on. This data is then used by other companies you’ve likely never heard of to nudge you into buying more stuff. On top of that, all your ancient web forum comments and ill-advised social media posts are still out there, waiting to turn you into a milkshake duck.

At this stage it’s going to be very difficult to completely delete yourself from the internet, but there are some steps you can take to remove a lot of it. Removing personal information and deleting accounts is a fiddly process, so it’s better to break it down into a few smaller steps and tackle them over time.Opt Out From Data Brokers

Collecting and selling your data is big business. In 2019 the US state of Vermont passed a law requiring all companies buying and selling third-party personal information to register: In response, more than 120 firms logged their details. They included companies building search tools to look up individuals, firms handling location data, and those specializing in your health data. These companies collect everything from your name, address, and date of birth to your social security number, buying habits, and where you went to school and for how long.

Among the biggest data brokers are Acxiom, Equifax (yes, that one), Experian, Oracle, and Epsilon. Some, but not all, data brokers let people opt out of having their personal information processed—this also depends on where you are in the world—but the process isn’t straightforward. You’ll often have to contact them via email, fill in online forms, and provide extra identification information.

The US-based nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has created a database of data brokers that contains their email addresses, links to their privacy policies, and info about whether they let you opt out. There are 231 US companies on the list, which gives you an idea of how big the data brokerage industry is.

If you’re covered by Europe’s GDPR or California’s Consumer Privacy Act, you can also send requests for your data to be deleted. Privacy-focused group YourDigitalRights has created opt-out forms for 10 of the biggest data brokers to speed up the process of getting your information deleted. It’s probably best to start opting out of the biggest companies first.Get Google Search Results Updated

You can’t change the way that Google displays its search results, but there are some limited steps you can take to make sure that what’s displayed is up to date and to remove harmful details, such as doxing attempts. If a web page has been updated by its owner but it isn’t reflected in Google’s search results, you can use its tool to remove outdated content. Google will update its search results for pages that no longer exist or are significantly different to the versions it has indexed previously.

Google will also consider requests to remove harmful content. If there are non-consensual explicit images; fake pornography; financial, medical, or national ID data; doxing; or images of children on websites then you can ask for them to be removed. To do so, you’ll have to submit a form and provide evidence of the content.

There’s also the Right to be Forgotten, a principle that was established in European courts in 2014 and was incorporated into GDPR in 2018. This allows certain specific information to be removed from search results, including Google, when relevant criteria are met. Generally, if information about you is in the public interest then it will be very difficult to get it removed from search results.Delete Old Online Accounts

There’s no real shortcut to finding and deleting accounts that you don’t use anymore. But if you really want to minimize your online presence then you need to track down those old Myspace and Tumblr accounts and remove all traces of them. For that you’re going to need a web browser—preferably on a laptop or desktop—and a good chunk of time.

Start by making a list of all the old accounts you remember using—email addresses and usernames you’ve used can be helpful—and then work through them one by one. For each you’ll need to sign in or recover the account and navigate through the deletion process. As a handy starting point, has a list of links that point to the deletion pages of everything from Gumtree to Vimeo.

If your list of accounts to delete is running short, then it’s worth checking saved logins in your password manager or browser to refresh your memory. Alternatively, you can search your inbox for old subscriptions and online accounts. Entering your email or phone number into the data-breach-notification service Have I Been Pwned? will trawl more than 500 data beaches for your details and is also likely to remind you of some obscure old accounts you’ve forgotten about. You’ll still have to do the hard work of shutting down the accounts, though.

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You should also search for your name online and combine it with some other pieces of personal data—for instance your email address or where you live—to see what comes up. If you’re diving deep into your online history and attempting to remove old posts on forums or similar services you may have to email web administrators. If the contact details aren’t clear, as might be the case with really old pages, one starting point is to check the web registration details through a WHOIS lookup. Alternatively, if the Wayback Machine has archived the page you’re looking for it may have preserved old contact details.

There are some dedicated services that will attempt to look for and delete your old accounts by scanning your emails. But it’s often unclear how they’re using your data—the parent company of email unsubscription service Unroll.Me was found selling user data in 2017—so it’s best to avoid them if you can.Clean Up Your Digital History

Even if you’re not deleting your online accounts you can still clean up what data you store online. It’s likely your email account contains thousands of old messages (and attachments) dating back years; your Facebook and Twitter accounts might still have posts on them that you’d rather didn’t resurface publicly.

Publicly posted data—either photos or text—is obviously far more likely to be found by others. If you’re considering making the plunge and deleting your current profiles or existing posts, consider downloading and backing up your posts first. Almost all major social media platforms have backup options in their settings.

Twitter doesn’t have any tools to easily delete all your old tweets in bulk, but third-party services do. Both Tweet Deleter and TweetDelete will get rid of your old tweets. If you’re deleting in bulk, both services can be a little glitchy when handling years of data. Forking out TweetDeleter’s monthly $5.99 cost—you can cancel after one month—may be worth it to delete an unlimited number of tweets at once. Keep in mind that by allowing any third-party service access to your online accounts, they may be able to access information stored within them, such as your direct messages. Both company’s privacy policies detail what they do with your data. Alternatively, if you just want to delete your Twitter account entirely you’ll need to follow these steps.

Google doesn’t index your individual Facebook posts, so they won’t show up in its search results. But if you’re trying to remove as much of your history from the internet as possible you should also delete your old posts or at least stop people from seeing them. In Facebook head to Settings & privacyActivity log and select the type of activity you want to delete—ranging from posts, to photos you’re tagged in. The tool isn’t the most streamlined if you want to delete years of Facebook usage, but as with all efforts to wipe yourself from the internet you’ll get better results if you spend more time doing it. Alternatively, you can just delete your Facebook account entirely.Go Nuclear

A lot of the ways to remove yourself from the web are time-consuming and involve a lot of paperwork. There may be some instances where you may want to try to speed things up a little or use legal muscle. It may be sensible to seek legal advice and help removing your data from the web if it involves defamatory statements, explicit photographs, and other harmful content.

While you should treat any third-party data-removal service with caution—make sure you read their privacy policies before using them—there are some paid options for helping remove yourself from the web. DeleteMe will try to remove your data from data brokers selling your information, for example. And Jumbo can alert you to data breaches and automatically delete new social media posts after a certain number of days.Future Protections

It’s pretty much impossible to keep your data off the internet entirely, but there are some steps you can take going forward. First, consider how much information you want to proactively put online. When you’re signing up for new online accounts, consider whether you need to enter your personal details or whether it would be better to use a burner account to mask your identity.

Where possible avoid using Big Tech for all your online activities. Pick a web browser and search engine that don’t collect your data; use end-to-end-encrypted apps and disappearing messages when appropriate; and understand what data WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, Amazon, Spotify and others collect about you.

Finally, it’s not just on you. If you’re keen to be invisible online then you should also consider discussing your position with friends and family. Most people are likely to be considerate to requests not to post your photo or location on social media. After all, the head of Google’s smart speakers has said people should disclose whether they have the devices when guests visit their homes.

IRS online tool help

Did you know that the IRS has an online tool to help you find out if you need to file an income tax return? 

The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) takes about 12 minutes and can give you helpful guidance on whether you need to file taxes this year to avoid penalties. Find the Interactive Tax Assistant at:

To learn more, check out the Taxes section on If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try our smart search bar. Or call the Montana Legal Services Association HelpLine at 1 (800) 666-6899. Support free legal information for all Montanans at

Alex Clark
Community Outreach Coordinator
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Montana Legal Services Association

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