Thursday, October 18, 2018

Better Together: School and Public Library Partnerships

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

Each September brings the annual South Dakota Library Association (SDLA) conference and this year I partnered with my outreach staff colleagues, Laura Kelly & Shawn Behrends, for a presentation about collaboration. Our session centered on the collaboration between school libraries and public libraries and it's importance in today’s increasingly diverse, digital world where money is often tight and time is at a premium.

We’d like to share with all types of librarians our presentation and the Collaboration Checklist and we hope these resources support your goals of working together.

Because there is no staffing mandate in our state, school librarians range from certified teachers with multiple masters degrees to para-professionals who may only be in the library one hour a day. This may influence collaboration. Here are some other takeaways from our session.

Public librarians:

  • Know that school librarians spend the majority of their day teaching classes while also managing a library. Days in the school library can be non-stop. School librarians also wear many hats in the school and district.
  • You have some advantages over school libraries. Public libraries often have flexible library hours and staffing, more liberty with collection development, and open wi-fi. You also offer resources at times when schools can’t, like after school or over holidays and summers.
  • If your virtual library (aka website) doesn’t have links to go-to resources/homework help for students, link them. The school library site, school/district site, and SD State Library databases should be linked.

School librarians:

  • One of the easiest ways to collaborate with the public librarian is to invite him/her to your school to promote summer reading, book awards, or other programs.
  • If you’re virtual library (aka website) doesn’t have a link to the public library, link it!
  • Be sure to talk to your students about the public library and its services including library cards, Internet access, and summer programming.

For additional session materials form this year’s SDLA conference, visit

Reminder! 2nd Annual Performance Showcase Event

The South Dakota State Library, in collaboration with Siouxland Libraries and K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library announce a variety of different performing acts all in one day. The best news about the showcase is it’s free to attend! Also, by previewing these acts you can ensure the performance will fit your libraries needs before booking it and the event allows you to combine bookings with other organizations.

All acts are brought to Sioux Falls and Aberdeen locations by Rick Eugene Brammer a professionally performing magician for the past twenty-five years. Rick has worked hard to compile a variety of different acts to guarantee to meet all your needs. These showcases including but are not limited to the following acts: children’s music, polka musician extraordinaire, science live demonstrations with lasers, drone programs, traveling theatre company, a magician who is only fourteen years old and Guinness Book of World Records Professional Jump Roper with glow in the dark routines.

REGISTER TODAY 2018 Performance Showcase

For More Information:

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Your library’s website is your digital branch!

This fall SD State Library staff challenges libraries to update your library website. It’s essential for all libraries to have a website. We’ve put together an easy inventory checklist and tips for making the most of your library’s webpage.

At the most basic level, a library webpage provides contact information, open hours and services. When a library hosts digital content on its website—and SD libraries all have digital content thanks to the SDSL-provided e-resources—then the website becomes the library’s “digital branch”.

Why should you have a digital branch? Pew Libraries 2016 survey reported that people use library websites for:

  • 58% searching the library’s catalog
  • 44% conducting research or homework help
  • 37% using online databases

One more tip: Make sure your library’s website is mobile-friendly. According to Pew, half of library website visits were on handheld mobile devices. There are many options that allow a novice to build an inexpensive, attractive, and mobile-friendly library website. You can do it!

If you’re looking for ideas and advice on building your own library website, we are happy to help. Contact Shawn or David at the State Library.

Learning About Library Design

As part of the Library Journal Design Institute held in Minneapolis on September 20-21, state library staff had an opportunity to tour four branches of the Hennepin County Library system: Webber Park, Brooklyn Park, Ridgedale, and Walker. Three branches are less than four years old, and Ridgedale was recently renovated. It was a chance to see current trends in library design and layout. For example, high ceilings, lots of windows, multipurpose spaces, and plenty of play area. Two fun touches were a giant “Lite-Brite,” and a wall panel which was a dry erase board.

Brooklyn Park, Hennepin County Library System
Minneapolis, MN

Brooklyn Park, Hennepin County Library System
Minneapolis, MN

Ridgedale, Hennepin County Library System
Minneapolis, MN

Walker, Hennepin County Library System
Minneapolis, MN

Webber Park, Hennepin County Library System
Minneapolis, MN

Over 100 people, from at least five states, attended the conference. Important points included: library work is more and more about participatory work with the community, and library design should reflect that. Note that designing work spaces is as important as public spaces. And remember to reach out and get input from the community when planning a project.

Library Trustee Training and Resources

Library directors, do you have new trustees on your board? The SD State Library has a LibGuide site just for library boards/trustees!

This could be your new trustee onboarding assignment! Have your new trustee sit down and look at all of the great resources on this site. Trustees will learn about the duties of the board and the head librarian, laws affecting libraries in South Dakota, library budgets, strategic planning, websites and other helpful information. Library policies are also covered, as well as Friends and Foundations groups.

Do you need training for your trustees? In order to participate in the SD State Library voluntary library accreditation program, your trustees need training hours! Some training hours can be earned by taking online webinars. The SDSL compiles a list of training possibilities at Need in person training? Ask your local first responders to do CPR, First Aid, fire extinguisher, or active shooter trainings. Have your city or county finance person come in to talk about the budget process. Call the state library for more ideas.