Thursday, December 29, 2016

Open eBooks – An eBook Solution for Schools

School librarians... Are you struggling to afford ebooks? Title I schools, special education...this is for you! Open eBooks is a solution that offers thousands of high interest ebooks for free!

Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Project

Fifteen small U.S. public libraries have been selected to participate in the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project led by OCLC in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL). The libraries, chosen from 106 completed applications, are located in 12 different states and serve communities ranging in size from 1,000 to 21,000 people. SDSL is proud to announce that one of our own has been chosen: Madison Public Library! Congratulations!

Each library will be represented by a staff member, who will be guided through a training program designed by WebJunction, the learning program of OCLC Research. Participants will apply what they learn to reimagine and reconfigure library space to support socially engaging and active learning programming that addresses a defined community need.

"These libraries were chosen based on a well-articulated understanding of their communities, commitment to championing economic and educational success, and an enthusiasm for bringing the voice of community members to their planning process," said Sharon Streams, Director, WebJunction. "We are excited to work with these libraries as they create spaces that will encourage people to explore, play and learn together. We can't wait to get started."

Over an 18-month period, participants will be introduced to the principles of placemaking, community engagement and human-centered space design. After conducting community input, action planning and prototype activities, the libraries will implement a learning space using a starter set of materials.

This two-year project is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Library programming ideas here!

Because all those author talks, storytimes, computer classes, community dialogues, concerts, makerspaces, book clubs, art exhibitions, and ESL courses don't plan themselves., sponsored by the American Library Association, is a great resource for programming ideas. Plug in your library type, budget, age group, topic, and program type and find a page full of ideas that have been tried and tested by other libraries. Contributing libraries give advice on planning, marketing, and program execution. You can share your library programming ideas, too. Take a few minutes to check it out!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Why Should You Care About Text Complexity?

Text complexity and readability are big talk in education. Readability measures such as Lexile used in Scholastic Reading Counts! and ATOS used in Accelerated Reader help librarians and teachers make more informed decisions in relation to student reading level. This knowledge helps to make differentiated instruction faster and easier. If teachers know the Lexile measure of students, they can match reading and research resources to ability level across all content areas. Several school related SDSL eResources have the ability to refine by Lexile. This option is particularly helpful for students with special needs, ENL students, and elementary/middle school aged students.

Use the Advanced Search feature in these databases to refine your search by Lexile:

  • SIRS
  • World Book
  • Explora (new this year!)
  • Proquest
  • Tumblebook

For more information about text complexity, this handout is available on the SDSL site. Contact Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator for assistance.

Jump Start Summer Reading Workshops Announced

Announcing the 2017 Jump Start summer reading workshops. Choose from one of eight locations at a library near you.

  • Thursday, February 23rd: Rawlins Municipal Library (Pierre)
  • Friday, February 24th: Grace Balloch Memorial Library (Spearfish), Huron Public Library; Beresford Public Library or Watertown Regional Library
  • Thursday, March 2nd: Custer County Library
  • Monday, March 6th: Beulah Williams Library (Northern State, Aberdeen)
  • Friday, March 17th: Yankton Community Library

art of girl and boy building with books and gears

All workshops will be 10 am to 3 pm, local time, with a break for lunch. The local site will coordinate lunch. Each person registering should bring a craft, activity, or game to share with the group. Each person should register separately. Each registrant will receive a kit of sample activities and supplies.

Register today!

Planning a new library space? There’s a worksheet for that!

Are you planning to build or remodel in your library? Space planning worksheets can help you estimate your library’s needs. Why use a worksheet? These tools will make planning easier, they are tried and tested, and they will give you credibility when you present your request to stakeholders.

Here are a couple of examples of library space planning worksheets developed by state library organizations. These are Excel worksheets that walk you through the calculations from population estimation to how many reader seats you’ll need.

More information about public library space needs can be found in the SDSL Trustee Wiki.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

South Dakota's Five-Star Libraries

South Dakota again has several public libraries which have been nationally recognized for their efficient use of resources (expenditures) in comparison to their outputs in five distinct areas: Print circulation, visits, program attendance, public Internet usage and e-book circulation. Historically, the four measures included in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service have been circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer use. This year the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service added a fifth statistical measure to the scoring—circulation of electronic materials, or e-circ for short. Because the LJ Index is based on data collected by the Public Libraries Survey (PLS)—a federal-state cooperative project of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the state library agencies—the Index could not add new measures until now.

A South Dakota Public Library receiving 5-Stars was once again Centerville while 4-Star designations went to Freeman and Beresford and 3-Stars to Parker and Scotland Community Public Library. Congratulations to these wonderful public libraries that do an outstanding job providing resources and programming to their respective communities!

Do your library trustees do tech?

Our libraries offer public computers, Wi-Fi, ebooks, emagazines, downloadable and streaming services for audiobooks, music, and movies. Libraries have websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. We have online catalogs and virtual reference services. How well do your trustees understand your tech offerings? It is essential to have tech savvy trustees who can make informed decisions about library services and be better advocates for your library.

Here are a few ideas for coaxing trustees into the 21st century:*

  • Use email to communicate with trustees.
  • Post the meeting agenda and documents on the library’s website. This supports green library efforts and means trustees have to go online to get meeting materials.
  • Encourage your library board president to post a welcome message on the library’s website or blog.
  • Spend a few minutes of each library board meeting demonstrating one of the library’s tech services.
  • Encourage your trustees to take the technology training courses offered in WebJunction.
  • Get your trustees to explore a personal interest like learning a language through Mango, genealogy through Ancestry or Heritage, or adult learning courses on Learning Express.

Remember that continuing education for trustees is one of the SD State Public Library Standards for all levels of accreditation. So why not make it tech training?

*Thanks for Bonnie McKewon, State Library of Iowa, for some of these suggestions.

ALA website offers advice and resources for challenges to library materials

Has your library faced a challenge from residents to restrict any of its library materials? The ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom offers resources and advice on its Challenges to Library Materials webpage. Here are a few tips to help you manage or possibly even head off a confrontation.

  • Have a selection policy that you follow and be sure that your collections represent sufficiently diverse points of view.
  • Be sure to have copies of your library’s reconsideration (complaint) form at the front desk in the event that someone wants to raise a challenge. ALA has a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources template that you can download.
  • Have review procedures that you follow to the letter if a challenge happens.

If a challenge goes forward, ALA reminds you to focus on these three points:

  1. Libraries provide ideas and information across the spectrum of social and political views.
  2. Libraries are one of our great democratic institutions. They provide freedom for all people.
  3. Parents are responsible for supervising their own children’s library use.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Take the Challenge…The School Library Twitter Challenge!

Are you ready for a challenge?

The #schsdsl Twitter Challenge is a continuing education opportunity for school library staff that is a series of 20 tasks all relating to Twitter. It’s self-paced and on-demand so as long as participants can successfully complete it in 30 days, they can earn 5 continuing ed. contact hours. The goal is to introduce school library staff to Twitter as a professional learning tool and to encourage them to participate in the #schsdsl Twitter Chats – first chat starts Jan.18, 4 pm CT/ 3 pm MT!

For more information and to get started, visit or contact Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator.

Scholastic and SD’s First Lady Recognize Castlewood Public School for Summer Reading

This year’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge theme, “Be a Reading Superhero,” encouraged kids to build their “reading muscles” by reading more and logging their reading minutes to earn virtual rewards. Throughout the 18 weeks of summer, kids unlocked fun digital stories from 19 children’s authors who shared how they became reading superheroes including R.L. Stine, Angela Cervantes, Varian Johnson and more.

Since the program launched in May, kids across the globe spent 204,594,918 minutes reading! It’s an incredible accomplishment, and they couldn’t have done it without the students of South Dakota. Here are some exciting stats about the participating from schools in South Dakota:

  • Kids in South Dakota read 123,318 minutes.
  • Castlewood Public School in Castlewood logged 64,790 minutes, making them the #1 school in the state!

Scholastic sent a personalized plaque to the school congratulating them on their achievement. The plaque was presented to the school on Wednesday, November 30th by South Dakota First Lady Daugaard as a 2016 Summer Challenge Reading Ambassador.
South Dakota First Lady Linda Daugaard presents Castlewood Public Scool with their plaque from Scholastic

South Dakota First Lady Linda Daugaard, 2016 Summer Challenge Reading Ambassador
with Castlewood Public School students who logged over 64,000 minutes summer reading with Scholastic.

For more information about the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge see

National Endowment for the Arts announces Big Read Grants

Applications for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has just announced the applications for its Big Read grant program are now available on

Encouraging communities to come together over literature to broaden our worlds, the NEA Big Read program this year is offering a choice of 28 different reading selections. Approximately 75 communities across the United States will be awarded grants ranging from $5,000 - $20,000 to implement a program locally. Grant applications are due Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 4 pm CST.

For more information about the grants and the application process please visit the website above.

Don’t Let Weeding Become a Topic for the Newspaper

At the recent Colorado Library Association/Mountain Plains Library Association conference in Loveland, CO, MPLA President Mickey Coalwell presented a great session on weeding nightmares and how they can be prevented.

We’ve all heard the stories. The local library weeds its’ collection (as it should), and a ruckus is raised because “there were all these wonderful books in the dumpster!” Newspaper articles are written, letters to the editor abound, the library director is in danger of losing his/her job.

This scenario can be completely avoided by educating your local community about the responsibilities of the library. It is the library responsibility to remove outdated, unused and unpopular materials to make room for new materials. The library must have a weeding policy and follow it. Educate not just the public, but also the library staff on the importance of de-selecting library materials on a regular, year-round basis. This prevents that “filling the dumpster” scene because the library is purging materials in smaller batches on a regular schedule. Write a newspaper or library newsletter article describing the process the library uses to ensure that patrons have fresh, new materials to check out every month.

Also, remember there are many things to do with de-selected books rather than throw them in a dumpster. Can you recycle them? Check with your community recycling program. Sell them at a Friends of the Library book sale or ongoing book sale if you have the space in the library. Many discarded books are used by art teachers for class projects. Companies like Better World Books will sell your discarded books for you. There are many options other than the garbage for weeded books.

For more information on weeding, visit and

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Native American Health and Wellness Storytelling Contest

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Tribal Health Research Office (THRO) is pleased to announce a digital storytelling Challenge, or competition, in honor of Native American Heritage Month. The Challenge, entitled Storytelling about Health and Wellness in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities is to develop a brief (five minutes or less) digital story that communicates how traditions and heritage promote health within American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Submissions must be made by January 31, 2017.

The first place winner will receive $4,000; second place will receive $3,000; third place will receive $2,000; and two honorable mentions will each receive $500. Awards will be announced the week of March 6th, 2017. The first place winner will also be invited to an upcoming meeting of the NIH Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee. Travel will be reimbursed for those invitees.

The submission is a video that describes: 1) how heritage and tradition leads to health and wellness in AI/AN communities; and 2) how future research can improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Submissions are limited to a video that may not exceed five minutes. Winning entries may be posted on the NIH web site. Submissions must be substantially free of scientific jargon and understandable by viewers without scientific/technical backgrounds.

For more details on the specific requirements of submissions, please go to the announcement of the challenge on the THRO website. If you have any questions, please do reach out to us at or 301-402-9852.

Patron Support for South Dakota Titles to Go

If your library is member of South Dakota Titles To Go and you have a patron with a technical issue, there is a fast and simple way to get help. OverDrive has a Technical Support form that your library can access via the OverDrive Marketplace.

Overdrive Marketplace Web Header: screenshot of top navigation bar

This may be a technical error on the patron’s device or a behind the scenes issue from the platform.

The OverDrive Support Team will be able to use their in-house technology to try and replicate the situation happening. Please fill it out the Support Form to the best of your abilities and give as much information as possible.

Overdrive Marketplace Contact Us: Technical Support Button: Complete our support form for just about any issue including end-user questions about OverDrive and more. Invoicing Support Button for help with payments, content credit and other invoicing issues.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

South Dakota Libraries Represented at ARSL

South Dakota librarians at the 2016 Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) annual conference in Fargo last month gathered together for a photo. The conference had 40 breakout sessions all directed at the concerns of libraries in rural communities. It was a great opportunity to network and share ideas. Librarians from 49 states attended.

Pictured here are: Kathleen Slocum of SDSL, Jayne Nieland of Sisseton Public Library, Linda Dubrovolny of Yankton Community Library, Shawn Behrends of SDSL, Jody Carlson of Grant County Public Library, Sabrina Padfield of Alexander Mitchell Library (Aberdeen).
Next year's ARSL Conference will be held in St. George, Utah, September 6th - 9th. See the ARSL website,, for more information.

A Model Trustee

Here’s a short fun video to share with your library board. One that will encourage and perhaps get your board members thinking about what they can be doing to better serve their community. When we think of libraries, we think books, and the Librarian that helps you find what you're looking for. But ‘behind the shelves’ so to speak, there are folks you may not notice: they're called Trustees.
At the Hill City Public Library, one of those dedicated trustees is Mikal Lewis and he is the most recent SDLA Trustee of the Year award recipient!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Foundation Center Resource – IssueLab

Many of you already may know of the great resources provided free on the Foundation Center and Grant Space websites, but I recently learned of a new Foundation Center resource called IssueLab, which could be very useful for school research.

Logo: Issue Lab: A Service of Foundation Center

What is IssueLab?

IssueLab became a service of Foundation Center in 2012. Since then, IssueLab’s mission has grown beyond the “simple” collection and distribution of knowledge products, to include the support of social sector organizations in adopting the practical and necessary steps to openly publishing what they fund and produce. In other words, when something is published about a recent social issue, IssueLab makes those reports available to you in an open repository.

Check out the issues covered in IssueLab by visiting the “Issue Areas” link on Issue Lab website. Here you will find timely publications on issues such as Crime and Safety, Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, Immigration, and much more. There is even a special new collection on Race and Policing (check the News link).

--Brenda Hemmelman

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hotspot software can help you manage library public WiFi

Free WiFi in our public libraries is one of those silent, but important services. Last year visitors used SD public library wireless networks an average of 1,400 times a day! There are some low cost products available that can help you meet the annual reporting requirement for public WiFi usage and at the same time provide other beneficial management features.
photo of Free Wifi lighted sign with blurred background

There is, for example, a service that will allow libraries to count users as they click through a splash page (that can be set up to display the library’s Internet use policy!); set a limit to the bandwidth available to visitors; and generate usage reports. This one requires a one-time purchase of a $99 pre-configured router and the basic subscription for up to 500 sessions per month is free. Others have features that can protect patron privacy by blocking user device information and some can keep library-owned devices out of public WiFi session counts.

The State Library has been collecting vendor information for some of these products. Contact the Data Coordinator [] if you wish to learn more.

Douglas Middle School's DIY coloring corner

Easy DIY project which is almost FREE.

Photo of teenage girls coloring table in library

Librarian Melissa Hubbell from Douglas Middle School Library took an old table top (the cushion top was actually damaged years prior due to water) and laminated some adult coloring book pages. Next she used some command strips to fasten the laminated coloring pages down and provided students with some dry erase markers and an eraser which provides hours of fun as the pages can be erased at any time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

SDSL's Nina Mentzel is SDLA's Librarian of the Year

The South Dakota Library Association awarded the 2016 Librarian of the Year Award to Nina Mentzel, Metadata Librarian at the South Dakota State Library. Mentzel was nominated by her co-workers for this award which is given annually to a librarian who has made significant contributions to library service in South Dakota. Candidates for this award must have more than ten years of service in libraries and must be actively involved in the profession. Moreover, they must have focused attention on promoting libraries, librarians and their communities.
2016 Librarian of the Year: Nina Mentzel 
Mentzel has been a librarian since 1992 and moved to South Dakota in 2000. She lives in Spearfish and has worked for the South Dakota State Library since 2014 as Senior Librarian/Metadata Librarian. Prior to this position, Mentzel served as the Instructional Librarian/Assistant Director for the South Dakota Library Network. Mentzel has also held positions in academic, public, military and corporate libraries.

Mango offers two new English courses

With a growing Somali population in the U.S. and Canada, there's a greater need than ever before for English-learning resources that are customized, practical, effective, and flexible. English for Somali speakers teaches the essential conversations needed to succeed — from how to buy a new car to applying for a job.

The second new unit is “Classroom English for Hmong speakers,” which was created to serve an important need that exists within the Hmong community. With many Hmong families speaking a language other than English at home, children can find themselves struggling to master English. By focusing on classroom-related content, the course is a perfect complement for school-aged children and their parents or guardians.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Free e-book on creating a makerspace

Thinking about creating a makerspace in your school or public library, but not sure where to start? Download this free e-book from Nomad Press to help you get started.

POSTER: Get Creative Build a Maker Space Download Our Free EBook Today

Makerspaces are excellent hands-on, creative, and self-directed learning opportunities for children of all ages. They are also a great way to boost your programming numbers as they are typically passive programming!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

21st Century School Library Award: Twelve Librarians Recognized

The South Dakota State Library recognized the 12 recipients of the 21st Century School Library Award for 2016 at the annual Systems Change Conference Oct. 14 in Oacoma. The State Library annually recognizes school libraries for providing leadership in meeting the educational needs of 21st Century students and staff.
Pierre's Georgia Morse Middle School Librarian Renae Lehman with Department of Education Secretary Melody Schopp.
Pierre's Georgia Morse Middle School Librarian Renae Lehman
with Department of Education Secretary Melody Schopp.

National Teens Top Ten Books Announced

YALSA has announced their 2016 Teens' Top Ten titles:

  • Alive by Chandler Baker
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
  • The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
  • The Novice: Summoner: Book One by Taran Matharu.
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
  • When by Victoria Laurie
  • Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

More information featuring the winning titles can be found on the Teens’ Top Ten page.

Now through December 31, 2016, teens aged 12-18 can nominate their favorite titles to be considered as a 2017 Teens’ Top Ten nominee via the public nomination form. Book title nominations submitted in the current year will be used for consideration of the following year’s list of nominees. For books to be eligible for consideration, they must be published between January 1– December 31, 2016.

Several of titles on the YALSA list are also nominees for the 2016-2017 YARP/SD Teen Choice Book Awards. Voting is open now through April 1, 2017. Find more information at

Pew Libraries 2016 study shows users have new expectations for library services

Anybody who has been working in libraries for a few years recognizes that usage patterns are changing. The new Pew Libraries 2016 study shows that creating a safe place for children, creating educational opportunities for all ages, sparking creativity in young people, and providing training for new tech tools score high as contributions that public libraries make to communities.

What do public libraries of the (near) future look like? Libraries 2016 survey respondents rated how important they felt some changes in library technology services and spaces. Many of our SD public libraries are already hosting programs that teach digital skills, adding tech tools like 3D printers, and weeding out-of-date collections to make room for comfortable reading and meeting spaces.

Large majority says that libraries should have programs to teach digital skills; many hope they provide comfortable reading and working spaces. Following percentages of US adults (ages 16 and older) say libraries should definitely: 80% offer programs to teach people how to use digital tools. 57% have more comfortable spaces for reading, working and relaxing. 50% buy 3D printers and other digital tools to allow people to learn how to use them. 24% move some print books and stacks out of public locations to free up more space for tech centers, reading rooms, etc. Source: Survey conducted March 7-April 4 2016. "Libraries 2016" PEW RESEARCH CENTER.

Understanding the public appeal of libraries can help you make your case to stakeholders. Staying on top of changing user expectations can help the library stay relevant. What keeps people coming to libraries? Find out more from Pew’s Libraries 2016 report.

Gregory Public Library innovates with South Dakota Titles to Go

What do you do when your patrons have read all of your large print books? Or when your western-loving reader is far outside of his comfort zone reading large print steamy romances? At the Gregory Public Library, using donated funds, we started a pilot project to loan out two Kindle Paperwhite devices through our Books on Wheels program. First, of course, the trustees developed the loan policy. Since we deliver and collect their books anyways, this type of loan did not seem too risky.

elderly gentleman reading on an e-reading device

Next we approached two of our shut-ins to see if they would volunteer as guinea pigs, er, um, test readers. Then, the staff prepared large print handouts for troubleshooting and trained the patrons in using the device. Since we have already been choosing books for them for over two years, we are able to load titles that interest them on the Kindles using their registration barcode and SD Titles to Go.

Our 99-year-old reader still misses her hardcover books, but admits that the Paperwhite is much lighter and easier to hold. Instead of reading one book per week that may not interest her, she is now reading up to five titles that fall into her genre. Overall, we have found this project to be a success and hope to add more devices as funds become available.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

CHAOS Come to Douglas Middle School

The Rapid City Public Library Makerspace (CHAOS) Manager: Stephen Tafoya and Teen Librarian: Taylor Calderon came to the Douglas Middle School Library to present a makerspace workshop with the middle school students 6 – 8. The students were able to participate in a "Stop Motion Studio" movie tournament. The Rapid City Public Library provided the iPad and all of the Makerspace equipment including: PlayDoh, LEGOs and action figures. The Douglas Middle School Librarian Melissa Hubbell appreciates being able to partner with her public library for such events, including summer reading.

Rapid City Public Library Makerspace (CHAOS) Manager: Stephen Tafoya and Teen Librarian: Taylor Calderon
Rapid City Public Library Makerspace (CHAOS) Manager: Stephen Tafoya
and Teen Librarian: Taylor Calderon
Students participating in stop motion movie contest - using LEGOS
Boys participating in stop motion movie contest - using iPads and LEGOS
Students participating in stop motion movie contest - using LEGOS
Girls participating in stop motion movie contest - using iPads and  LEGOS
Students participating in stop motion movie contest - using iPads and Play-Doh
Students participating in stop motion movie contest - using iPads and Play-Doh
Students participating in stop motion movie contest - using iPads.
Students participating in stop motion movie contest - using iPads.

Book Club to Go!

Does your library lend out book club kits? Make sure everybody knows.  

Start your Own Book Club (sign)

Alexander Mitchell Public Library book bag

Book Club collection - bagged and on display for patrons

Alexander Mitchell Public Library (Aberdeen) keeps their book club collection already bagged and on display for patrons to browse.

Keep your computer skills up to date with Learning Express Library

Take a look at Learning Express Library’s newly updated, mobile-friendly Computer Skills Module. Video captions and course transcripts are downloadable.

Microsoft Windows 10 courses are now included, with a “What’s New” video and tutorials for basic, intermediate and advanced skill levels.

Learning Express Library contains practice tests, tutorials and ebooks for academic and career success for grades 4 through adult. Each user must create his or her own confidential account with the program to use it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The importance of school librarians

Recently in the MINITEX Reference News newsletter Beth Staats mentioned an article on school librarians. Now that school is back in full swing, we want to recognize the value of school librarians to students and teachers in support of the learning process. Many schools in South Dakota are not fortunate enough to have a school librarian. It is also important that, when possible, the school librarian and public librarian work together to provide resources. The article, "Don't overlook your school librarian, they're the unsung heroes of literacy," written by Sally Dring, stresses the value of utilizing the school librarian.

Mango Languages updates German Unit I, offers library stats

Mango Languages, the language learning eresource that contains courses for over 70 lanuages, has enriched its German Unit 1 by including new vocabulary, more in-depth grammar explanations and new culture notes. Chapter reviews, quizzes and tests are updated to reflect the changes.

mango languages logo

If you are currently studying German Unit 1, your progress will be reset to the first lesson of the chapter you were in.

The new version will launch when you access on a computer or laptop. To get the new version for an iOS device, download the latest app update from the app store. To get the new version for an Android device, press the back button on the app until you exit, and then start the app again.

Want to track your library’s Mango usage? Mango rep Meagan Snavely,, will give you a link to post on your website, so you can see how many patrons are working on which languages.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Get the word out about e-resources!

The State Library subscribes to 51 databases for your patrons to use at no charge! But how do you let your patrons know about them? They remain hidden unless you promote them.

The vendors offer a variety of materials you can customize and print to use with your patrons. These include logos, posters, brochures, and bookmarks. Look for the words “marketing” or “promotion” on these pages:

AncestryLibrary, HeritageQuest, ProQuest Research Library, SIRS Discoverer, SIRS Issues Researcher:

AncestryLibrary, HeritageQuest, Sanborn Maps:

Gale Virtual Reference Library & Chilton Library:

Mango Languages:

New Early Literacy App from Colorado

CO Play & Learn is a new app created by Colorado libraries designed for parents and caregivers to use with young children. The app provides access to tips and activity cards that help young children get ready to read and start them on the path to lifelong learning. There are three age ranges to choose from upon opening the app: baby, toddler and preschooler. The adult then selects one of the key 5 early learning skills identified by the Every Child Read to Read (R) program - Reading, Writing, Talking, Singing, and Playing. They are then presented with a tip about early literacy and slide the card over for an activity idea that can be done on the spot or at a later time. A resource page is also included with links to helpful sites and more information about early learning.

CO Play and Learn App logo

The app is 100% FREE (no in-app purchases) and available for both iOS and Android devices.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Yankton school encourages reading over summer break with pancakes!

Summer Readers at Stewart School, Yankton
Twenty-seven readers at Stewart School earned Klimisch Kakes (a unique pancake event created by their principal) by reading an average of 20 minutes every day this summer. Their dedication was celebrated at a special breakfast on September 2, 2016 complete with flying pancakes. Dr. Kindle, Superintendent and special guest chef, Mr. Klimisch, principal, and Mrs. Bergeson, librarian, honored their reading efforts with lots of pancake fun and books to keep them reading.

Special Guest Chef, Principal Mr. Klimisch, makes Klimisch Kakes for students.
The State Library also encourages you to have all your students read 20 minutes every day all year round by pledging to read 20, 24/7!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Technology Petting Zoo Giveaway Is a Success!

South Dakota State Library “Technology Petting Zoo” retired in July 2016. It was a program paid for by The South Dakota State Library using LSTA federal funding. The program aimed at providing patrons and library’s access to a variety of e-readers / tablets without the local library having to make the financial investment. It provided many years of great service. In July, IMLS gave the State Library permission to donate the tablets. We offered SD libraries the opportunity to submit proposals for the tablets.

SDSL received a total of 17 proposals from local libraries and all 17 libraries received at least one tablet. A total of 33 tablets were donated to SD public libraries. Below is a letter received by SDSL from Gregory Public Library after receiving their technology from SDSL.

We want to acknowledge and show our appreciate for the iPad 4 recently received from the retired "Technology Petting Zoo." We are grateful to the State Library and IMLS for allowing these items to be shared with South Dakota libraries. This gift certainly will make an impact on our library services for our rural community.

Because of this technology, we will be able to link to our digital projector with east for our many programs throughout the year in stead of moving a desktop computer into our meeting room for each event. We tried this today and it worked well! Also, the Teen Advisory Board members are always busy making Animoto book trailers for their favorite books and we know they will love using the iPad and it will free up the library's network computers for our patrons if they are able to do this.

Many of our patrons have no experience with this type of mobile device and we would like to help train those who purchase an iPad as we have in the past with Kindles and Nooks. Of course we will make it available in house for those teens who would like to use it once we complete our revision of our small teen area.

So, once again, thank you so much for this addition to our equipment and technology. The possibilities of increased service to our patrons have only begun to be explored!


Diane Althoff,
Gregory Public Library

What Library Boards need to know about privacy rights.

photo of old library book card with text: Libraries and Privacy Rights
I want to talk to board members about privacy. Privacy within any library is very important. It is a right and a value we hold dear and respect in the USA. I don’t know if I could state it any better so I will reference the American Library Association’s webpage on “Privacy: An interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.” Here is the link if you wish to read and study the entire page as well as the references cited:

“Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The courts have established a First Amendment right to receive information in a publicly funded library. Further, the courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Many states provide guarantees of privacy in their constitutions and statute law. Numerous decisions in case law have defined and extended rights to privacy.

In a library (physical or virtual), the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.

Protecting user privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of libraries. The ALA has affirmed a right to privacy since 1939. Existing ALA policies affirm that confidentiality is crucial to freedom of inquiry. Rights to privacy and confidentiality also are implicit in the Library Bill of Rights’ guarantee of free access to library resources for all users.”

Are there public or school libraries in this state which are still checking out books by asking the patron or student to sign a card and then return this singular card back to a pocket in that same book? If so, you might check with a local attorney. It is more than likely patently illegal and opens up a community for potential lawsuits and liability issues.

There are inventive ways to manually check-out books without exposing a patron’s identity. Computer systems are handy, facilitate greater usage especially if linked to other systems and are not that expensive these days. However, a computer system is not necessary to safe-guard personal identity. If you have questions, give us a call. 1-800-423-6665. We’d be glad to assist you as you transition to a safer and more secure check-out system.

--Daria Bossman, State Librarian

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Library Fines: Good, Bad, or Forgiven?

Does your library charge fines for overdue items? According to the FY 2015 Public Libraries Survey (your annual reports) 75% of SD public libraries charged fines ranging from $0.05 a week to $0.50 a day.

Do fines motivate patrons to return materials on time or are they keeping your patrons from returning? Fine forgiveness programs that let patrons feel good while doing public good are popping up everywhere. Read more about Fine Forgiveness Programs in Public Libraries Online.

Does your library have a fine forgiveness program? How do you feel about library overdue fines? Take a minute to tell us about it so we can share.

SD Braille & Talking Book Library Summer Reading Sees Growth!

The Braille and Talking Book Library Summer Reading Program ran from June 6 to July 15, 2016 and had 46 youth from ages 3 to 20 participate. This group included 12 braille and 34 audio readers. The program has had a 10% increase in participation since last year. Collaboration with the SD School for the Blind & Visually Impaired and Life Scape has assisted with these increases.

Braille and talking book library summer reading program submissions

Monday, September 12, 2016

Meet the newest SDSL staff member!

Alissa Adams is our new School Library Technology Coordinator replacing Joan Upell. Alissa joins the staff at the State Library all working to bring shared resources and support to every library in the state. The State Library division includes the Braille & Talking Book program, Interlibrary Loan, Digitization, Reference and Support services. She will be one among part of a team of senior librarians who each have areas of expertise and focus.

Alissa Adams, new School Library Technology Coordinator

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Banned Websites Awareness Day

September 28, 2016 Banned Websites Awareness Day

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries, AASL has designated one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day. On Wednesday, September 30, AASL asks school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning.

Hotspot software can help you manage library public WiFi

Free WiFi in our public libraries is one of those silent, but important services. Last year visitors used SD public library wireless networks an average of 1,400 times a day! There are some low cost products available that can help you meet the annual reporting requirement for public WiFi usage and at the same time provide other beneficial management features.

There is, for example, a service that will allow libraries to count users as they click through a splash page (that can be set up to display he library’s Internet use policy!); set a limit to the bandwidth available to visitors; and generate usage reports. This one requires a one-time purchase of a $99 pre-configured router and the basic subscription for up to 500 sessions per month is free. Others have features that can protect patron privacy by blocking user device information and some can keep library-owned devices out of public WiFi session counts.

The State Library has been collecting vendor information for a variety of these products. Contact the Data Coordinator if you wish to learn more.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Read An eBook Day is coming soon!

Mark your calendar for September 16th! This will be the third annual International Read an eBook Day.

Spread the word to your patrons and encourage them to show the power of reading by using the using the hashtag #eBookLove on social media. SD Titles to Go provider OverDrive is also planning some exciting things and has a media kit to help you spread the word.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Announcing Library Institute 2017

We are excited to announce that Library Institute 2017 is being held this year at South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings on June 4-9, 2017. The focus will be Teen Programming and Services. Look for the registration in January or February of 2017 on the public library listserv. We are not taking any registrations until that time.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Slocum at or 605-773-8438, 1-800-423-6665 (SD residents)

Summer Reading Survey NOW OPEN!!!

Public libraries: Everyone needs to fill out a summer reading program survey – we need your numbers to report both to the state and federal government.

School libraries: Your numbers aren’t required by the federal government but we like to have the most accurate picture of summer reading across the state as possible.

On Your Mark Get Set READ!

If you did your own program rather than the state-sponsored program, it doesn’t matter. If you didn’t attend the summer reading workshops, it doesn’t matter. Any and all summer reading program numbers are needed. Some of our smallest public libraries work with local schools to do summer programs, so if that was the case for you, please either pass this survey along to the school librarian or get the numbers from them.

In order to receive your 2017 CSLP Summer Reading Manual for free, you must complete the survey by the deadline: September 23rd. If you don’t want the manual, you don’t have to use it but we still need your numbers by the deadline anyway.

If you have any questions or feel that you have received this message in error, please contact Jasmine Rockwell ( right away!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Two SD School Librarians Featured in DOE's "Celebrating South Dakota Teachers 2016"

Celebrating South Dakota Teachers 2016
In the second publication of DOE's Celebrating South Dakota Teachers, school librarians Kim Darata and Jeff Cosier are featured on pages 16 and 30, respectively. Darata, Douglas High School Library,is featured for the excellent work she has done to create a welcoming and fun space for teens. Cosier, Rapid City's North High School Library, is featured for the technology innovations he has brought to his library. The 21st Century School Library Awards are also spotlighted on page 30. Read about these success stories and other innovative teachers here.

YALSA's upcoming events

YALSA Teen's Top 10 voting still going on

Teens Top Ten

The 2016 Teens’ Top Ten nominated titles have been posted online since April. Beginning August 15th and running through Teen Read Week™, please help YALSA by encouraging the teens at your library to go online and vote for their favorite books. The link to the voting site will be accessible from

Teen Read Week is coming: Oct. 9th - 15th

read for the fun of it teen read week

YALSA has everything libraries need to plan great TRW activities at This year’s multi-lingual theme features “Read for the Fun of It” in five different languages. YALSA encourages libraries of all sizes to reach out to the 22% of youth who speak a language other than English at home and engage them in literacies activities.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Braille & Talking Book Library Summer Reading Update

South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Summer Reading program has been a successful program. This year there are a total of 46 young people signed up for the program, which is 4 more participants than in 2015.
2016 Braille and Talking Book Summer Reading program submitted reading log sheets

We are seeing an increase in the number of readers submitting their logs for the program as well. This year we have 11 participants this year who are our braille readers. Our program has a wide range of participants from ages 3 to age 20. We are hopeful that the participant increase will continue into the 2017 Summer Reading Program.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Board Talk: What's new?

Well, more specifically, what’s new in South Dakota Libraries? As of mid-July, we are 15 days into our new South Dakota Share-It networked system. We’ve had a few minor bumps along the way, but generally speaking for new technology, it has been a smooth ride thanks to the great staff at SDLN and at the State Library. What is SD Share-It? It is the new network, managed by the SD State Library, provided at no cost to participating libraries. To date we have approximately 70 public, academic, tribal and school libraries on board viewing each other’s collections and already willingly sharing resources with one another. But there are still 30 slots remaining

The new network allows users to search library catalogs wherever they have internet access. Authenticated users (users holding a valid library card from a participating library) will be able to search the catalog plus some 50 statewide subscription e-resources. This network allows individual libraries to have their own ILS (integrated library catalog) and still be able to search multiple catalogs and electronic resources at one time, as well as participate in statewide interlibrary loan. It is one-stop shopping for information!

Regardless of your decisions, be sure to adopt a written ILL policy. Things like: “We will not lend newly acquired books or current copyright” should be clearly stated in a written policy, or “We reserved the right to not exceed our lending beyond the number of books we borrow.” Smaller libraries with limited staff may have some restrictions and many libraries instigate a small handling and/or postage fee to defray costs. This is a normal part of making any ILL system successful. The larger libraries usually carry the larger load, but everyone should do their part to support the health and success of their network.

All participating libraries sign an agreement and then work with the State Library on implementation. Not sure your library is participating? Contact Nina Mentzel at SDSL: or telephone 605-773-6391. I would encourage all board members and directors not yet on the system to seriously consider joining if you already have an automated catalog. We only have 100 slots total and when they are assigned to others, the network will be closed until we renegotiate a new contract for 2022!

If interested or have more questions, contact the State Library at 1-800-423-6665.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Safety Ninjas at Faith Library

The Faith Library Summer Reading Program celebrated Ninjas and Safety on Tuesday, June 28. The Faith Police Department visited the Faith Public/School Library. Participants received the opportunity to take a look at the police vehicles and push the siren. Chief Police Matthew Van Der Linden and Policeman Matthew Kindsvogel discussed the topics of safety, stranger danger, how to call for help and answered questions from the children. After the visit, youth created Ninja Headbands and puppets, then enjoy some outside time along with snacks and prizes.

Ninjas and Safety Summer Reading Program in Faith

Ninjas and Safety Summer Reading Program in Faith

Ninjas and Safety Summer Reading Program in Faith

Thanks to everyone for supporting literacy at the Faith Public/School Library and a special thank you to our police and fire departments that help protect us!

Data from the FY2015 Public Libraries Survey (PLS) is now available

Does your library outdo others in program attendance? How much do libraries charge for nonresident fees? Which libraries receive county funding? We can help you with those questions and more.
librarian with books, computer, calendar, folders, papers, reports,

Libraries have access to all of the South Dakota data through the Reports tool on their PLS (annual report) accounts at or you can contact the State Library Data Coordinator, Shawn Behrends [email] for assistance.

Remember that reports can be generated for any items on the PLS. Revenue and expenditures, service statistics, hours of operation and staffing are some of the information that can be used for peer comparisons and to show how your library has changed over time.

ProQuest adds US Major Dailies newspapers

ProQuest has added US Major Dailies, providing access to five of the country’s most respected national & regional newspapers offering researchers complete and timely coverage of local, national and world events, from 1980-present. The newspapers included are the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Time, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. ProQuest continues to contain ProQuest Discovery and Research Library databases, which offer full-text coverage of general, scholarly and trade publications. Within ProQuest, you may search one, two or all three of these databases simultaneously.

The new puzzle map contains the list: Go in and try them out!

If you have questions, please contact Jane Healy, SD State Library Digital Resources Coordinator at

Monday, July 25, 2016

South Dakota Share-It Still Has Room for More Members

There are 30 slots still remaining for South Dakota Share-It!

What is SD Share-It? It is the new network, managed by the SD State Library, provided at no cost to participating libraries. The new network allows users to search library catalogs wherever they have internet access. Authenticated users (users holding a valid library card from a participating library) will be able to search the catalog plus some 50 statewide subscription e-resources.

What are the benefits of joining such a network? First of all, you will have the opportunity from your home or library computer to view all the resources of the other member libraries. It will facilitate Interlibrary and access to materials your patrons want and need, but you are currently unable to purchase or supply quickly. That means lending as well as borrowing. International Interlibrary loan etiquette is all about fairness, sharing and being a good community members.

All participating libraries have signed an agreement and then work with the State Library on implementation. Not sure your library is participating? Contact Nina Mentzel at SDSL:  or telephone 605-773-6391. I would encourage all board members and directors not yet on the system to seriously consider joining if you already have an automated catalog. We still have 30 open slots and when they are assigned to others, the network will be closed until we renegotiate a new contract for 2022!

If interested or have more questions, contact the State Library at 1-800-423-6665.

Collaboration works! It makes for a healthier community environment and sharing is fun!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tweet #SCHSDSL for the latest school library news

Whether you are new to Twitter or an experienced tweeter with an extensive professional learning network, you won’t want to miss the news at #SCHSDSL. The State Library has established this hashtag for all things related to school libraries and librarians. It is used for the quarterly School Library Chats, Boot Camp, School library Summit and more. Tweet it, search it and learn!

With World Book, less is more

World Book has consolidated Public Library Edition modules Online Reference Center and InfoFinder into World Book Advanced and World Book Student. World Book has added the Activity Corner, which offers thousands of activities for all ages with easy, clear instructions, photographs, illustrations, and more. Every activity contains a list of materials for easy reference and can be printed, e-mailed, or saved in its entirety to your personal computer.

World Book Advanced World Book Student

World Book Activity Corner

The new puzzle map (PDF) contains the list. Go in and try them out!

If you have questions, please contact Jane Healy, SD State Library Digital Resources Coordinator via email.