Thursday, May 23, 2019

Attention Public Librarians: 2018 PLS data is available

100 percent participation (with colorful paint splashes)

This year we had 100% participation on the Public Libraries Survey. Thank you to all directors, support staff and trustees who work hard every year to complete the annual report.

Overall, we're seeing a small increase in operating income and expenditures. Physical item circulation is down somewhat this year, but circulation of library digital collections continues to rise. Libraries reported more visits than in the last several years. South Dakota's libraries continue to offer more programs and people are showing up to those programs in ever larger numbers.

Remember that all the data we collect is available to you for comparing your library services to your neighbors and peers. You can download data files with selected financial and service statistics on the LibGuides Public Libraries Survey page . Contact the SDSL Data Coordinator for additional statistical reports and for assistance on compiling data and talking points to share with your library's stakeholders.

EBSCO Electronic Resources: Research Help for ages 6 to 96

isometric illustration of people, computers, books, music, screens, bookshelves, phones, tablets

Through the SD State Library you can access 29 of EBSCO's electronic resources. These serve a wide variety of needs, including research help for K-12 students in most subject areas. Adults can look up information in health, business, teaching, general and academic research. One advantage is that virtually all of these e-resources use the same interface; so if you master one, you now have 29 at your fingertips!

To access the following e-resources, and a brief description of what each resource covers, go the A to Z listing

  • Academic Search Premier
  • AHFS Consumer Medication Information
  • Alt-Healthwatch
  • Business Searching Interface
  • Business Source Premier
  • Consumer Health Complete (Consumer)
  • Consumer Health Complete (Journal)
  • EBSCO eBook Collection
  • ERIC (Educational Resources Info Center)
  • Explora Educators
  • Explora Kids (Grades K-6)
  • Explora Libraries
  • Explora Teens (Grades 7-12)
  • Funk & Wagnall's New World Ency.
  • GreenFILE
  • Health Source: Consumer Edition
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic
  • Library, Info. Sci. & Tech Abstracts (LISTA)
  • MAS Ultra School Edition (Grades 9-12)
  • MasterFILE Premier
  • MiddleSearch Plus (Grades 5-8)
  • Points of View Reference Center
  • Primary Search (Grades K-6)
  • Professional Development Collection
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982
  • Regional Business News Plus
  • Science Reference Center (Grades 3-12)
  • Teacher Reference Center

You can learn more on the SDSL help pages, including upcoming EBSCO training webinars.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Questions? Contact

Thursday, May 16, 2019

What's trending in librarianship?

From the desk of Daria Bossman, State Librarian

Recently I had a board member ask me a question. What are some of the trends in librarianship today? My mind raced to find a summary answer. There are certainly trends that are unique to different kinds of libraries (academic, school, public, law, hospital, etc.). After some thought, I realized some general trends are emerging. Here are just a few:

Trend #1: Academic and school librarians have led for the past two decades in the area of teaching ‘information literacy’ and critical analysis of information (i.e. how to recognize ‘fake news’). Not all students at all college and school libraries have been fortunate to be exposed to this instruction. However, those who have are well ahead of others who haven’t had this exposure during their high school and college coursework. Talk about ‘career and life readiness’! This is high on the charts!

Trend #2: Technology advances. Most everyone recognizes that libraries have, for the most part, kept pace. However, I don’t think the general public fully appreciates how much the library profession has been involved with technology since the early 1970’s with the massive union lists going online (OCLC’s World Cat). In the late ‘70’s and 80’s came the early emergence of “Dialog” database searches with librarians keying in code to get online journal citations… not full text, that didn’t come around for another two decades!

Libraries serving as “community living rooms” or even acting in the capacity of a social service agency is definitely a trend. This #3 trend takes different paths in different settings. For example, big cities are setting up resources for the homeless which includes social workers on staff to counsel, provide contact information of agencies to help them, etc. Some large public libraries now have basic health clinics (complete with injectable drug overdose medications on hand). Ever heard of naloxone (narcan)? Smaller libraries are just clearing out extra shelves or tearing down walls to make room for more seating, separate meeting rooms, maker-spaces/ tech innovation labs, coffee-shops or a host of other noisier activities not previously known to libraries of any size!

Trend #4: While reference questions answered at a traditional reference desk are plummeting, scheduled programming (of a wide variety of ages, subjects and scale) is skyrocketing! This is certainly true in South Dakota across all types of libraries. And all the while our circulation stats (paper, audio, electronic, etc.) continue to climb. Public library computer usage is as strong as ever, only proving that not “everyone” has a smart phone, computer or a printer. WiFi usage is also skyrocketing (and we aren’t even beginning to capture accurately our state’s public library WiFi usage).

Trend #5: Collaboration with local/community agencies is a strong trend which takes many different forms, some of which benefit a community but are not necessarily seen (like an advertised public program is seen) by the public. And then there is the wonderful work public libraries are doing today in the early literacy/child development field. Librarians’ training, expertise and collaboration with educational institutions has gone way beyond the traditional “story time” for which librarians are well known.

I’ve mentioned five trends here. What other trends do some of you see happening here in South Dakota or across the U.S.?

Drop me an email and share your thoughts at

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Experience Accessibility First-Hand on May 16

Participate in the 8th Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

There are more than one billion people with disabilities and impairments in the world today. That is about 15% of the world's population with some sort of impairment from vision, hearing, and even immobility. Most of these people are active users of the internet and technologies - including iPads, smart phones, and so much more. Unfortunately, many websites, apps and gadgets are still considered unusable for people with accessibility needs.

Examples of accessibility are not only for the blind, though! Think of a mother herding three young children into the minivan with a load of groceries. Simply providing her a button on the keyfob to open the rear liftgate or side doors makes her situation easier to manage.

Back in November 2011, web developer Joe Devon suggested the idea of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. With the help of Jennison Asuncion, digital accessibility professional, GAAD is now celebrated annually on the third Thursday of May.

You can participate in many ways including:
  • Go Mouseless for an Hour
  • Enlarge Your Fonts for an Hour
  • Surf the Web with a Screen Reader for an Hour

Visit for more ideas and information about #GAAD. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Bring Cutting Edge Science to Your Library

NASA@MyLibrary - Researchers Presentations are opportunities for your library patrons to learn about various topics with an actual South Dakota scientist. Schedule a presentation with a scientist via e-mail to present at your library virtually. Check out their kit of materials from the State Library and watch as your patrons interact with scientists through engaging hands-on activities.

Learn more about how to get started at

South Dakota Discovery Center has many space science resources for your library to utilize for summer reading.

Travel to the Pierre location and explore the Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibit from the National Informal STEM Education Network. Field trip options are available to sponsor a bus and the planetarium can come to your community!

Check out Earth, Space Kits which contain an activity in which groups of children can participate, and they can be set up as rotating centers. Great for days with a large group of children or family events.

Great Explorations in Math & Science (GEMS) Kits: Oobleck, Earth, Moon & Stars, Message from Space. These kits include instructional materials as well as all of the materials needed for children to investigate science and math with inquiry based, hands-on activities.

Visit to learn more.