Souvenir Shopping at Midwest

Souvenir shopping while attending the Midwest Chapter meeting in Bismarck will be easy. The Sunday social event is being held at the newly renovated Heritage Center, where the Museum Store has expanded to include new items. Gift shop hours that night will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

On a recent shopping trip, I spotted Pride of Dakota and other items for children and adults:

  • Tshirts, shirts, & sweatshirts
  • Jewelry
  • Pottery
  • Toys and puzzles
  • Books (every librarian needs more!)
  • CDs & DVDs
  • Posters
  • Chippers
  • Furry Animal hand puppets
  • Craft kits for cornhusk dolls, old fashioned sewing cards, and cats cradle
  • One-of-kind art items vary but may include handblown glass art and sculptures.

If you cannot find what you want at the Heritage Center Museum Store, a side trip to Plaza Drug might be an option for you. They have the largest selection of Pride of Dakota items I have seen in Bismarck (other than at the Heritage Center).

The best place to shop for Native American items is Five Nations Arts  located in Mandan’s historic Burlington Northern Railroad Depot. (If you’re curious, the “five nations” are Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara) and the Lakota and Dakota Sioux.  The six-mile drive from the conference hotel is well-worth it, but plan ahead as they are closed evenings and Sundays.

Other shopping opportunities were highlighted in the conference’s Tourist Attractions & Shopping guide or are listed on the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website. Enjoy your retail therapy!


Attention: Crafters

Sandi Bates, one of Bismarck’s crafty librarians, alerted me to a fabric sale currently at a store within walking distance of the Bismarck conference hotel. J&R Vacuum & Sewing  has 45-inch cotton quilt fabric on sale for $6.99 per yard with a one-yard minimum. Sandi also said they have a great selection of batiks. The store’s hours are posted on their website.

For other crafty shopping possibilities, see pages 12 and 13 of our Things to Do guide. Please note — conference organizers cannot be held responsible for any and all retail therapy you choose to engage in during your stay in Bismarck. Please buy responsibly!


Bon Appétit

The Bismarck Dining & Drinks Guide was posted on the Midwest Chapter Meeting website this morning. Merete Christianson and I included links to Google Maps walking directions and other information, hoping this will be helpful on mobile devices. A printed version of the guide, along with downtown maps, also will be available at the registration desk. The  complete list of Bismarck-Mandan eateries is available from the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

If you’re planning on driving downtown, be aware several places highlighted have street parking only. You may want to keep in mind what downtown parking ramps are available.

plate,napkin, & cutlery

Tour ND State Capitol

Photo by North Dakota Tourism/Amy Taborsky

If you’re attending the Midwest Chapter meeting in Bismarck, setting aside time to visit one of the “10 Captivating Capitol Buildings” may be on your itinerary. The North Dakota Capitol also holds the world record for the most snow angels made simultaneously in one place, but do NOT expect to see any snow during your visit. (I checked the forecast!)

The Capitol is 1.4 miles from the Radisson Hotel, an invigorating walk for some and a quick drive or taxi ride for the rest of us.

I would recommend taking the Capitol tour if at all possible. You get to see parts of the Capitol that casual visitors do not, and guides point out unique building features. Here are  specific details about the tours:

  • Available Monday through Friday
  • Begin at 9, 10, and 11 a.m.; 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
  • Last 45 to 55 minutes
  • Begin at the ground floor information desk
  • Park for free on the Mall Drive that curves around the front of the Capitol or in the visitors parking lot south of the Capitol and north of the State Library building.
  • Enter through the covered front entrance and turn right; you’ll be at the information desk in less than a minute.
  • No reservations needed
  • Call 701-328-2480 with any questions.

“Chipper” Hunting in Bismarck

Addicted to “chippers” or just want to try some? Here are some Bismarck locations where you can purchase them during the Midwest meeting:

  • Heritage Center Museum Store — open 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. during the Sunday reception (one more reason to attend!)
  • Plaza Drug1116 North 3rd Street (13 blocks from conference hotel), also probably best inventory of all Pride of Dakota products in Bismarck
  • BMCVB, Visitor Information Center & Genuine Dakota Gift Shop1600 Burnt Boat Drive (Exit 157 off of I-94, 4.4 miles from conference hotel), stocks two kinds of chippers including new Dickinson-made one made with Belgian chocolate.

Something New at Midwest Chapter

Who’s excited about the Midwest Chapter meeting? It is only 10 days away!

This year, we are trying something new at Midwest Chapter. Along the same lies as the Roundtable Luncheon at MLA annual meetings, we are going to have Campfire Conversations! From 4-5pm on Sunday Oct 12th (immediately following the paper presentations) we will offer the chance for you to join a campfire and talk with your colleagues on a designated topic. Each campfire will have a moderator to get the conversation going and keep it on topic. Listed below are the topics and moderators for the event.

Join us for the Campfire Conversations and talk about “hot” topics and enjoy “s’more” networking with your peers. (Puns totally and completely intended.)

TOPIC: AHIP –  Moderated by Jolene Miller

TOPIC: New and emerging roles for medical librarians  – Moderated by Doreen Roberts

TOPIC: Advocacy and promotion – Moderated by Kelly Thormodson

TOPIC: Future of libraries and embedded librarianship – Moderated by Michel Atlas

TOPIC: Working with nurses and nursing students – Moderated by Liz Weinfurter

TOPIC: New to the profession / Resume recommendations – Moderated by Janna Lawrence

Midwest Chapter Annual Meeting is Eco-friendly

The Planning Committee for the Midwest chapter meeting has decided to GO GREEN!

What does this mean for you?  It means we will have a one sheet printed/abbreviated program on-hand in Bismarck for everyone, but the full program is online only.  Signage on all the doors, you can’t possibly get lost.  A list of stupendous restaurants at the registration table.  And of course ALL of this information on our conference website!  But we are keeping the paper distribution to a minimum.  Your name tag and 1 piece of paper.  That is all you get!

Midwest Conference Website

What else does this mean?  It means no conference bag.  However, there is the incentive to bring your own bag!  In fact…we will be giving a prize to the person brings the oldest MLA or Midwest Chapter conference bag to use in Bismarck.  Make sure if you think you have the oldest bag you find Mary Markland, Ann Pederson or Kelly Thormodson so they can take your picture with your bag.  The winner will be announced at lunch on Monday, October 13th.

Finally, just a reminder, casual dress for this conference.  We are having a western theme party on Saturday night for the opening reception so feel free to wear your boots or your hat or your custom square-dancing attire just be ready to swing your partner if need be.

See you soon!

A message from President Weinfurter- Go West!!!

Have you registered for the Midwest Chapter Annual Conference yet? Every year I look forward to attending the Chapter conference, and this year is no exception. I love that the conference is small enough that you can meet new people and make meaningful connections with them, but big enough (both in size and diversity of attendees) that you will always learn something new and meet someone who will be just the person to answer a question you have later on.

I’m really looking forward to the program – the featured speakers are high-profile and AWESOME (great job, meeting planners!). Sally Gore is always an engaging speaker, and I know she will have interesting and inspiring things to say about embracing change in our environments. Mark Graber, MD is a leading expert on patient safety, and I’m interested to hear his thoughts and research about how librarians can support the diagnostic process. Betsy Humphreys, deputy director of NLM, will add her perspective on how librarians can support their institutions as we charge into the future.

I’m also really looking forward to the panel on the healthcare effects of the oil boom in North Dakota. This is a very hot topic right now, and who knows what similar things will arise in the populations we serve directly. It’s a great opportunity to have a front-row seat to explore the challenges and strategies in one of our states.

And of course – networking! This is the best thing about the conference and the Chapter. We are spread out across a huge geographic area, and the personal connections you’re able to make at a conference like this are extremely helpful moving forward. As I mentioned before, the conference is small enough that you can really connect with people. You can see all the paper presentations, and have good conversations about the posters. This is incredibly valuable, and it isn’t possible at a larger conference.

And finally, North Dakota is a state like no other. Growing up on the east coast, North Dakota was seen as a mystical place that people had heard of, but no one had ever been to. Maybe it’s less mysterious for native Midwesterners, but in my mind it’s truly a place to experience. Now is your chance! Go west!!!

Remember, the early bird deadline is Friday, August 29th! Register now, and I’m looking forward to seeing you in October!

DIY North Dakota

North DakotaHave you seen a pumpkin fly? Toured the winter home of the Lewis and Clark expedition or Theodore Roosevelt’s ranch cabin? Visited a prairie dog town? Braved a haunted historic fort? Golfed at a world-class course with views of the Badlands? Glimpsed a white buffalo? Watched a stage performance of Boeing Boeing? Encountered a 38-foot cow no one can tip? Stayed in an enchanted castle?

Midwest Chapter conference organizers have created a booklet highlighting selected North Dakota attractions, events . . . and not to be forgotten, SHOPPING opportunities. Addresses include links to Google Maps directions from the conference hotel. Links to relevant web sites also are provided, so you can check hours and other pertinent info.

Contact the Local Arrangements Committee if you have any questions or need additional info.