Thursday, December 13, 2018

Grants for School Libraries

From the desk of Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator…

Recently I've received several inquiries about grants for school libraries so I'd thought I'd share a few tidbits that could apply to other types of libraries too.

photo of file drawer focused on Grants folder

First, all of the resources listed below are curated on my Grants for Libraries Collection.

I’ll start with a local-to-SD State Library source: Brenda Hemmelman and Kathleen Slocum are the SD State Library's go-to grant people. They offer a free, two hour Find the Money, Get the Grant training which includes basic information on how to write a grant, data resources for grant applications, websites with helpful information, and a demo of the Foundation Directory Online Database. Plus, they've curated resources and compiled them in the SDSL LibGuides here.

Also, the South Dakota State Library is a Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center. As such, it offers free public access to grantmaker directories, books on fundraising and nonprofit management, and the Foundation Center's electronic database: Foundation Directory Online Professional.


For state and regional library association professional development grants visit:

The South Dakota the SD Dept. of Education offers the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant which would be one that a school librarian could apply for with the intent to establish or expand the library as a community learning center in high-poverty or Title 1 school-wide schools. This could be used in conjunction with a public library.

Another local option is the Young Readers One Book South Dakota with the South Dakota Humanities Council. The Council does quite a bit of work in the areas of literacy and enrichment.

Check out the South Dakota Community Foundation and think about how you could partner with your local community to offer outreach and educational services through your library.

Don't forget about any opportunities local to your city/town. Some towns have specific education foundations while some also have various community foundations like the Optimists Club. And lastly, local and national businesses are handy sources especially if you're doing programming and are in need of supplies.


Publishers often offer grants and avenues for freebies. Here are a few:

Blastoff to the 2019 Jump Start summer reading workshops!

Three…Two…One… Blastoff to the 2019 Jump Start summer reading workshops!

Jump Start 2019 A Universe of Stories

Choose from one of eight locations at a library near you.

  • Grace Balloch Memorial Library, Spearfish – Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Watertown Regional Library, Watertown - Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Hot Springs Public Library, Hot Springs - Tuesday, February 26, 2019
  • Lennox Community Library, Lennox - Wednesday, February 27, 2019
  • K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library, Aberdeen - Friday, March 8, 2019
  • Yankton Community Library, Yankton - Friday, March 1, 2019
  • Potter County Free Public Library, Gettysburg – Friday, March 1, 2019
  • Mitchell Public Library, Mitchell – Friday, March 29, 2019

All workshops will be 10am to 3pm, local time, with a break for lunch. The local library will coordinate lunch.

  • Each person should register separately and bring a craft, activity, or game to share with the group.
  • A kit of sample activities and supplies will be provided.

Register Now!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Learn a Foreign Language Month

photo of mini language books on laptop keyboard and screen in background

December is Learn a Foreign Language Month and the South Dakota State Library has got you covered! The SD State Library offers to all South Dakota citizens free 24/7 access to 50+ databases/eresources. Among those offered, several are specific to foreign language for language learning in the areas of acquisition, assistance, and development.


pronunciator logo
With Pronunciator patrons can learn over 80 different languages. In addition, there are also 50 English as a New Language (ENL) courses which include oral phrases, flash cards, learning guides, and live online instruction.

Procitizen in English & in Spanish

pro citizen logo
Procitizen is an interactive course for those preparing to take the Naturalization Test.


scholastic book flix logo

This database is for early readers, pairing 135+ animated stories with a nonfiction talking book on a similar subject. Many of these pairings are also accessible in Spanish.

World Book Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos (Spanish Language Encyclopedia)

world book enciclopedia estudiantil hallazgos spanish

This is a beginner's Spanish-language reference tool which includes the elements of World Book Kids. It is chock full of thousands of articles, videos, maps, and games and activities.

World Book: L'Encyclopédie Découverte (French Language Encyclopedia)

world book lencyclopedie decoverte french

This reference tool is written in Canadian French to a level appropriate for young native French speakers. It’s also appropriate for older students and adults for whom French is a second language.

World Book Discover

world book discover header

This database includes reference resources to assist in differentiated instruction for English language learners, reluctant readers, and adult learners.

GeoIP: A new, improved way to Access the Electronic Resources

The South Dakota State Library has made it easier for residents to access the 54 library-provided electronic resources from home or anywhere outside of a library or school building.

sdsl presents GeoIP electronic resources - artwork of books, papers, pencils, laptop and map

With the new system, GeoIP, if the user is physically located within the State of South Dakota, all you should have to do is "click and go,” just like when you are inside a school or library. This is much faster and simpler than the previous system which required entering a library card and password (the ecard/barcode method will remain as a backup). For most residents, GeoIP will be invisible, making the process much simpler. GeoIP information is also on the SD State Library's Login Help page.

If you have additional questions, please contact your local librarian, or David Bradford [] or Nina Mentzel [] at the SD State Library.

Holiday Book Tasting

When thinking of the holidays, how can we not think of food? Hosting a holiday book tasting event is a great way to get your patrons to think about reading during the holidays! A book tasting exposes your patrons to a variety of materials in a fun way. Your event can be set up for an entire month feast or a single meal. Librarians can act as a hostess and explain how the tasting works and seat their guests. Patrons can leave comments on how they liked each dish (book) on a menu provided. 

Tips for hosting your holiday book tasting:
·       Decorate your library tables like you would to serve a meal with flowers, table cloth, holiday decorations, placemats, etc. If using several tables, they can be organized by genre, reading levels and materials.
·       Books are placed in the middle of the table and where everyone can take one. If patrons don’t like a book they don’t have to continue reading so make sure you have more books than place settings.
·       Patrons can sample books for a set amount of time (4 min. suggested time) and then have to move on to the next course, or unlimited time to gorge themselves.
·       After a book is sampled, patrons can decide to keep it to check out or return it to the middle of the table.
·       Providing a menu of books for patrons to write comments helps others to see different opinions of books and can be hung up after the event for others to feast their eyes on.
·       Stay away from popular menu items. Your guests want to try something new. Have extra books pulled in case your guests look hungry for more.
·       Have snacks and drinks for your guests to enjoy!
·      Advertise your tasting for entire families or a particular age group.

Book Tasting with a 5-Star Rating!, Voya: Volume 41, Number 4, October 2018 page 32-34.