Friday, May 8, 2009

History Day projects going digital

In 1981 Pierre hosted the first South Dakota State History Day competition. Twenty-nine years later, and the event is still being held. This year, the South Dakota State Library has decided to recognize placing entries by making them available on the library's web site. Watch for upcoming details on this digital project.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The traffic signs of copyright & fair use

By Jane Healy

“I found an essay on the web that would be perfect for my next newsletter. It doesn’t have the copyright symbol ©, so it must be okay to use, right? I copied it from the web and pasted it into my newsletter template.”
Not so fast!

Library Management Competencies Define Essential Skills

As a library director do you ever wonder what skills, knowledge, and abilities the library world believes you should have to do your job well? In 2003, the Western Council of State Libraries received an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to improve library services by defining the essential skills of library practitioners, defined as library directors or managers without a master's of library and information science. WCSL developed a list of competencies for these library practitioners. The competencies represent a consensus opinion about what are the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities for public library practitioners. The Library Practitioner Competencies can be found at

Recently another professional library organization, WebJunction, also released Library Management Competencies, a guide to courses and resources to help library managers be more successful in their work. In developing the Library Management Competencies the WebJunction staff worked closely with experts in the field. The competencies are worth reviewing. Although there are links to WebJunction courses, you are not required to take the courses, and the State Library is in no way endorsing the courses. The Library Management Competencies identify the key aspects of managing a library and define the associated knowledge, skills, and behaviors. The competencies can be found at Click the Details & Learning button for each competency statement to find the associated skills and knowledge for that competency.

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Take a Look at the New Tools Available for Public Libraries

The Institute of Museum and Library Service and the U.S. Census Bureau announce two new tools for public libraries: Compare Public Libraries and Search Public Libraries. Both are available on the U.S. Census web site at and

Compare Public Libraries allows users to compare one library (the library of interest) with similar libraries (the comparison group). For example, a user may wish to compare one library's total circulation with the total circulation of a group of libraries with similar total expenditures.

Search Public Libraries, currently based on FY 2007 data received from the IMLS 2007 Public Library Survey, includes identifying information, organizational characteristics, staff, income and expenditures, size of the library collection, services offered, and electronic measures. Search Public Libraries contains information from almost 9,000 U.S. public libraries. This database allows you to compare your library with peer groups based on size of population of the legal service area and/or total operating expenditures.

We would like South Dakota’s librarians to try out these new statistical tools and give us your feedback. It will not replace our State Library’s subscription of Bibliostat’s Collect in the coming year. However, if they are comparable, Bibliostat’s Connect tool may be dropped in favor of these freely accessible national statistical tools. If that occurs, we will keep you informed.

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Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

The South Dakota State Library electronic resources turn your library card into a gym card! Celebrate May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month from the library or home. Learn physical fitness tips and sports techniques at the computer before you go out and play.

Public Library Standards Task force Formed

The Public Library Standards Taskforce is officially formed and off and running. Jane Norling (Beresford), Kathy Jacobs (Yankton), Amber Wilde (Spearfish), and Mike Mullin (Watertown) have agreed to serve as sub-committee chairs forming their own groups to research various aspects of public library standards. Jane will be heading up the Funding & Staffing Committee; Kathy, Administration and Governance; Amber, Public Relations and Technological Innovation; and Mike, Access, Collection and Resources. The sub-committees will be formed this spring and work will begin this summer. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees please contact one of the sub-committee chairs at the State Library.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Focus: Joan Upell

An avid reader, a teacher, a storyteller, a professional clown, and a bit of a geek… add it all together and what do you get? Joan Upell, a school librarian for 28 years and currently a South Dakota State Library School Library Coordinator.

Sanborn Central Library Recycles for Pets

Librarian Jolene Enfield at Sanborn Central School in Forestburg creates a service project for her high school students and recycles the library's old newspapers at the same time. Students shred the old newspapers and then donate them to area pet stores and the Humane Society to be used for bedding for pets.

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Does your library want to have a teen summer reading program?

A teen summer library program can fulfill key parts of your library's mission statement. Most public library mission statements call for equal service for all ages. Yours may also state your library's efforts to encourage life-long learning. A teen summer reading program can help to fulfill these missions. Today's teen is tomorrow's voter. Treat teens with respect and give them programs of their own. They'll be that much more inclined to support your library when that referendum vote comes up. Parents of teens will appreciate your efforts as well, and this can also translate into positive voting and maybe even increased financial support.

Student Voters Proclaim "I am a South Dakota Prairie Bud Reader"

Kathleen Siebrasse, librarian at Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, fashioned a tabletop voting booth by tri-folding a piece of cardboard inside of which she’d posted the covers of the Prairie Bud books her students had read, along with a sample ballot containing those titles. As students voted for their favorite, each received an adhesive label for their shirts proclaiming “I am a South Dakota Prairie Bud Reader.” Once the results were tallied, Kathleen created and displayed in the library a “The Winner Is. . .” banner featuring the title of this year’s local school winner, Mammoths on the Move. What a great method for creating excitement about the books and to introduce those young students to the voting experience—a cross-curricular connection, an area of expertise for school librarians.

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Classy Glass Exhibit at Hudson Public Library

If you had walked into the Hudson Public Library recently, you would have seen a bright display of stained and fused glass. The pieces were contributed by 10 local community members who had taken classes in Sioux Falls. Hudson Library Director, Becky VanNoort, was approached with the display idea by a former library board member who had taken these classes. Pieces included window hangings, bowls, plates, candle holders, jewelry (fused glass), and a lamp. One person displayed a huge bowl she made and plans to use as a bathroom sink! Becky advertised on the library's website and in the local newspaper. They also put some of the pieces on display in the library's front window. The display, which ran for about a month, attracted many people to the library. Becky says the library plans to do another glass display because more people are taking classes and several others bought kilns after finishing their classes. They are looking for a display cabinet to make the exhibit more permanent. The next type of exhibit the library is working on is a quilt show, featuring quilts made by community members.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For Review: Redefining Literacy 2.0

book cover of Redefining Literacy 2.0 -- image used with permission from bn,com

Are you wondering just what literacy means for schools in the 21st century? In Redefining Literacy 2.0 author David F. Warlick says we need to rethink what it is to be literate in today’s information environment. “Computers and the Internet,” he believes, “will be an essential part of teaching and learning because they are the tools of contemporary literacy.” In this book, he describes the basic skills we must learn and teach children in order to access, process, and communicate information in today’s information landscape. Many chapters end with lists of suggested actions that can be implemented right away by librarians, administrators, parents, and students to make the learning environment become more digital. Clearly written and easily understood step-by-step directions are given for employing Web 2.0 tools such as adding an RSS feed to a blog account. LINWORTH, 2008, second edition. (1-58683-333-2)

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School Library Study Group Update

The School Library Study Group convened for its first meeting on April 28. Discussion centered on the history of the SD school library annual report and what was needed to make the report more useful in gathering data to inform district level decision making. Based on Scholastic’s School Libraries Work 2008 edition, report questions will be created to cover the place, the program, and the professional with a focus on student achievement.

Currently, the group’s timeline includes a conference call meeting on June 30, ongoing editing during July, and a final recommendation submitted to State Librarian Dan Siebersma by Aug. 3. Pending approval, a document will be available for discussion at SDLA’s 2009 conference in the fall. Implementation of the report will begin with training in the winter of 2010. The completion of data will take place in the spring of 2010. Data results will then be made available in a report format for state-wide use in the fall of 2010.

Group members include Bonnie Harrison, Douglas School District; Steve Willard, Belle Fourche School District; Ann Smith, Sioux Falls School District, Kerri Smith, SDLA School Section Chair; Kim Cypher, DOE; Lee Crary, SDSL; Joan Upell, SDSL; Daria Bossman, SDSL.

Please direct any questions or comments to Joan Upell at

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