Thursday, December 28, 2017

Grant County Library shares the many features of Learning Express

The following article was written by Tammy Wollschlager at the Grant County Library for the Grant County Review Newspaper. Reprinted with permission.

scan of Grant County Newspaper. Full text below cut line.

Creation Station at Wilmot School Library

Wilmot School District was one of the 25 schools to receive the Classroom Innovation Grant provided by the SD Department of Education in 2016.

The $50,000 grant enabled the school to develop a makerspace, which has been dubbed the “Creation Station” by Wilmot students, to encourage STEAM experimentation and hands-on learning for grades K-12.

Students playing with Makerspace

The application for the grant was a collaborative effort between librarian Cindy Argo, technology coordinator Melissa Jurgens, and 2nd grade teacher Darren Prisigner.   The team worked together to coordinate a space renovation and purchase equipment and supplies. They are now actively implementing a maker learning atmosphere within the library.

It is Argo’s hope that the innovative space will foster a sense of exploration and encourage student-led discovery of interests beyond their comfort zones.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Why didn’t I think of that?: Lemmon's Grown Up Group

Lemmon Library has a Grown Up Group! The Lemmon Library Grown Up Group is a public Facebook group of local adults that bring monthly fun, social events to the library. Anyone 18 or older is welcome. Events are held after normal business hours and are put on by members of the group who want to share their interests and talents.

adults playing Apples to Apples card game in library
Lemmon Grown Up Group's Game Night After Hours event

Lemmon librarian Raven Christman is a founding member of the group. Their most recent event was a board game night. Contact Raven for more information or look them up on Facebook.

Make your library home-office-friendly

This recent article in, Useful Hacks for Making the Library Your “Home” Office, features libraries as “secret” office spaces. Read from a librarian’s perspective, here are a few things to consider if you want to make your library an inviting home office.

man sitting pensively at laptop in library

  • Free wifi makes the library a home office option. Do you also offer wireless printing, scanning, and fax services?
  • Everybody knows a quiet space, a cup of coffee, and the ability to take and make phone calls is an office necessity. Study rooms that allow visitors to bring a drink or snack and make phone calls will tick those boxes.
  • Make your home office regulars feel welcomed. Greet them by name, and...
  • ...find out how you can help. Take the opportunity to familiarize them with State Library electronic resources and other library collections that may be of service. Remind them that browsing the stacks can be a great creativity booster!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New and updated links to Open Access Resources at the State Library

The South Dakota State Library website includes links to many free resources.

FDSYS Federal Digital System: America's Authentic Government Information

FDSys, the Federal Digital System, is from the U.S. Government Publishing Office. This is the United States government's official depository of online documents. There are about 50 different collections of Federal Government information from all branches of government. You can reach it at > Electronic Resources, or at

Sci Tech Connect

Energy Citations is now part of SciTechConnect.  This is your connection to science, technology, and engineering research information from the U.S. Department of Energy. It has almost three million entries from 2500 organizations containing over 70 years of research. It includes technical reports, bibliographic citations, journal articles, conference papers, books, multimedia, and software. You can reach it through > Electronic Resources, or at

High Wire Stanford University

HighWire Press offers free access to millions of articles from hundreds of publications in the sciences. Affiliated with Stanford University, you can reach it at > Electronic Resources, or at or

Open Prairie: Public Research Access Institutional Repository and Information Exchange

South Dakota Newspaper Indexes is the new link for five collections of SD historical newspapers. These are the Argus Leader Index 1979-1995, Argus Leader Index 1996-2003, Deadwood Historical Newspapers Index 1876-1905, and Indian Country Today Index 1996-2003, and Rapid City Journal. It can be reached through > Electronic Resources or at

For more information, please contact David Bradford, Digital Resources Coordinator at

Federal Document of the Month

The SD State Library is a federal depository library and provides access to print and electronic federal government publications. Print publications are available via interlibrary loan. Electronic publications are linked from the state library online catalog.

Soil surveys for South Dakota counties
A soil survey is a detailed report on the soils of an area. The soil survey has maps with soil boundaries and photos, descriptions, and tables of soil properties and features. Soil surveys are used by farmers, real estate agents, land use planners, engineers and others who desire information about the soil resource.

The SD State Library has a large paper collection of soil surveys for counties throughout South Dakota. They are available for interlibrary loan.

County soil surveys are also available for each state in PDF form on the United States Department of Agriculture website. Check out the South Dakota list at

Thursday, December 7, 2017

New AASL School Library Standards

The SD School Library Standards are currently under review by a 14 member work workforce. This group is working on our state’s school library standards to best meet the needs and priorities of South Dakota students and educators.

In mid-November the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) released its new school library standards. The AASL Standards Framework reflects a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning by demonstrating the connection between the learner, the librarian, and the library.

One can use the pneumonic device of IICCEE to remember the six shared foundations of the new Framework for Learners: Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, Engage. Additionally, there are four domains/competencies including: Think, Create, Share, Grow. To learn more about the new AASL standards visit:

The SD School Library Review Work Group will use the new AASL standards, in addition to many other resources, to help inform their decisions about revisions to the current school library standards. Proposed standards will be open for feedback from the public during the 2018-19 school year.

For questions about school libraries, contact Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator at or by phone at 605-295-3152.

Brookings Public Library hosts Summer Showcase Performers event

East River public librarians were treated to a day of music, magic, science, and other fun activities this month. Twelve Iowa area performers gave demonstrations of their programs, answered librarian questions, and booked events. Many of the Showcase performers featured programs related to this years’ Collaborative Summer Library Program theme: Libraries Rock!

The State Library maintains a Performer’s Database. Performer’s summer schedules fill fast, so book now!

Performers at the Brookings event were:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Public Library "stats to go"

Using data in your publications, presentations, and grant applications gives you professional credibility.  Knowing how your library statistics compare to peers shows accountability when you are communicating with the public and your city and county officials.

To get started, you can download several “instant” spreadsheets for SD public libraries statistics from our new State Library LibGuides Public Library Annual Survey page. Check out this page for additional data resources and tools to tell your library’s story with data. Remember that you can contact the State Library Data Coordinator [email] for assistance.

Federal Document of the Month

The SD State Library is a federal depository library and provides access to print and electronic federal government publications. Print publications are available via interlibrary loan. Electronic publications are linked from the state library online catalog.

The EROS Data Center

"The Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center, located in Sioux Falls, SD.
The Center was established in the early 1970’s to receive, process, and distribute data from NASA.
The Center holds the world’s largest collection of space and aircraft acquired imagery of the Earth."

EROS titles in the State Library collection:

  • EROS Data Center (I 19.2:Ea 7/27)
  • Introduction to the U.S. Geological Survey's EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (I 19.2:Ea 7/17)
  • Water-quality characteristics and trends for selected sites in or near the Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center, South Dakota, 1973-2000 (I 19.42/4:03-4280) Electronic (
US Geological Survey Publication

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Library computers and internet are more important than ever

We depend on the internet for job seeking, health information, government services, distance education and homework resources. Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of access from home. The cost of a computer and internet service as well as availability issues for those of us in rural areas are among the many barriers.

Good thing that virtually all of South Dakota public libraries provide public computers, internet access, and most offer WiFi. Here are a few statistics to keep in your back pocket regarding the importance these services*:

photo of students around table working on homework with textbooks, notes, laptops and smartphones. Pie charts of information from bullet list below also superimposed on photo.

  • 88% of Americans use the internet, but…
  • 73% have access to broadband at home, and…
  • 53% of those making less than $30,000 per year have home broadband.
  • A school-assigned computer is of no use to a kid without internet.
  • 12% of Americans have smart phones, but no broadband, and…
  • 21% of those making less than $30,000 depend on a smartphone for internet.

Have you ever tried to fill out a job application on a smartphone? These stats are a reminder also to make your library website mobile friendly.

Library public computers and internet provide needed support in your community.

*These statistics courtesy of Pew Research Center: Internet & Technology.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Does Your Library Want to Update its Broadband Internet Access?

As libraries continue to evolve to serving as technology community hubs in the 21st century, one key ingredient is ensuring there is adequate Internet access service in the building.1 Patrons need and expect to have access to high speed broadband whether they are using their own laptops, tablets and smartphones to use WIFI or whether they are using the library computers.

Now entering its 20th year of providing technology funding to schools and libraries across the country, the E-rate program offers libraries the opportunity to purchase WIFI network equipment and to lease high speed Internet services. In July of 2015, E-rate underwent a major transformation and restructured the program rules to ensure that all schools and libraries will have access to these funding sources. Whereas in previous years, subsidies for equipment purchases were available only to the most impoverished applicants, most libraries were unable to qualify for funds to buy equipment. Beginning in 2015, all applicants now qualify for E-rate equipment funding.

E-rate operates as a discount program and will provide funding for broadband services and network equipment based on the discount percentage multiplied by what is called the “pre-discount amount.” Discounts range from 20 percent to 90 percent and are set based on the local school district’s percentage of students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program.2 Competitive bidding of goods and services is a prerequisite, in order to try to establish the most cost-effective price. Libraries typically qualify for the E-rate discount percentage of their local school district in which their library or the main branch of their library is located.

Use your library programs to promote future events

Every day 823 South Dakotans attend a public library program. Library programs have increased by 55% over the past five years! Use that momentum to your advantage.
photo of large crowd of kids with presenter
Summer Reading Program in Webster.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Soukup, Ft. Sisseton.

Here are some clever marketing ideas to promote upcoming library events.
  • Prepare "pre-roll" promotional slides to display before your program begins.
  • Leave printed flyers on the seats.
  • Provide opportunities for visitors to sign up for e-newsletters and social media reminders.
Find more ideas for providing “subtle nudges” at the

Friday, October 27, 2017

Why didn’t I think of that? Engaging teens in Huron

Huron Public Library participated in two programs in October which were great ways to engage youth and teens!

Teens at Huron Public Library's Zombie Walk
photo shared from HPL's Facebook page

21st Century School Libraries for 2017-2020 Honored

This year nine school libraries received the 21st Century School Library Award. Librarians and administrators were honored at the annual Systems Change Conference on October 20 in Rapid City.

21st century school library awards the place the program the professional. Award ceremony Friday October 20, 2017. Systems Change Conference, Rapid City.

The 21st Century School Library Award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: place, which refers to the learning environment (both physical and online), programming, and professional.

Friday, October 20, 2017

K-12 Education Nuggets from World Book

By Alissa Adams, SDSL School Library Technology Coordinator

On October 5, 2017, I participated in a webinar on the World Book, a database suite offered free to all citizens of South Dakota. Yes, because of my job I knew much of it, but there were nuggets that glimmered for K-12 education. I’ll list several nuggets here but know that these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to World Book. As always, for assistance using World Book, contact David Bradford, SDSL Digital Resources Coordinator or myself.

  • World Book Advanced: World Newspapers feature (for comparing news media from around the world, general reading, or lessons on fake news, propaganda, and bias)
    –database primarily for high school
  • World Book Student: Educator Tools section (Webquests and pathfinders extend learning in a digital environment; ready-to-go graphic organizers work particularly well in elementary, middle, and special education)
    –database primarily for elementary and middle school
  • World Book Student: elementary and middle school: Behind the Headlines feature (nice way to start off a lesson with a current world event or have a “daily debate” in the classroom)
    –database primarily for elementary and middle
  • World Book Discover: Life Skills section (especially good for alternative education, special education, and life skills classes)
    –database primarily for middle, high, ELL, SPED
  • World Book Discover: World Book Explains Videos feature (downloadable, short, rich videos; great for visual and auditory learners as well as differentiation)
    –database primarily for middle, high, ELL, SPED
  • World Book Kids: Compare Animals and Places feature (eases elementary students into the beginning stages of research and inquiry)
    database primarily for elementary, middle, ELL, and SPED

A return of four times the value of your investment is a good deal, right?

Last year South Dakota residents received an average return on investment (ROI) of more than $4 for every dollar spent on public libraries. We used your service statistics including circulation, program attendance, computer & WiFi use to estimate the retail value of the services libraries provide to their users.

Try this for your library. We have an easy and customizable Excel ROI worksheet available to you. Some librarians use this for budget presentations—and of course, it’s a good advocacy tool.

The 2016 South Dakota Public Libraries Survey statistics await your use. Visit the SDSL Public Library Annual Survey LibGuides page for more resources and annual report statistics for SD public libraries.

Friday, October 13, 2017

SD State Library Launches LibGuides Page

The SD State Library has launched a new SD State Library Services LibGuides page. This LibGuides page serves to bring many different links on the SDSL website into one section for easier navigation. Look for it on the left menu bar of the SDSL homepage

We hope that this page will make it easier for our visitors to find information on our website. Please visit our various LibGuides and feel free to provide us with feedback. You can contact the author of the page using the contact information listed or send a message to

Pronunciator and ProCitizen electronic resources now available

The South Dakota State Library is happy to announce that the language learning program Pronunciator, and a naturalization test module, ProCitizen are now available through the SDSL website. You can access these resources inside the library, or outside the library with your library card.

Photo of language books on keyboard with text: SDSL is proud to announce a new e-resource... Pronunciator

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fed Doc of the Month - October

The SD State Library is a federal depository library and provides access to print and electronic federal government publications. Print publications are available via interlibrary loan. Electronic publications are linked from the state library online catalog.

Dakota Access Pipeline map

Three environmental assessment titles on the Dakota Access Pipeline are available electronically from the SD State Library catalog.

Dakota Access Pipeline Project, Dakota Access, LLC : U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service environmental assessment, grassland and wetland easement crossings.
by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, - [2016]

Environmental assessment : Dakota Access Pipeline Project, crossings of flowage easements and federal lands / prepared on behalf of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- Omaha district.
by Dakota Access, LLC, - [2016]

Final environmental assessment : Dakota Access Pipeline Project, section 408 consent for crossing federally authorized projects and federal flowage easements / prepared by Dakota Access, LLC ; prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District.
by Dakota Access, LLC - [2016]

Friday, September 29, 2017

SD Share-It Turned One Year Old in July

Happy Birthday, South Dakota Share-It! One Year Old, July 2017

South Dakota Share-It is a service of the South Dakota State Library. This service is provided at NO COST to participating libraries. The South Dakota Share-It network allows users to search library catalogs wherever they have internet access. Authenticated users (users holding a valid library card at a participating library) will be able to search the catalog + the subscription e-resources provided by the SD State Library. All other libraries and patrons that have a SD State Library barcode/password will be able to login and search the subscription e-resources.

This network allows individual libraries to have their own ILS (integrated library system/catalog) and still be able to search multiple catalog and electronic resources at one time, as well as participate in statewide interlibrary loan.


All participating libraries sign an agreement and work with the SD State Library on implementation.

South Dakota Share It Logo - Interlibrary loan e-resources

Currently, there are 38 public libraries, 18 school/combo libraries, 17 academic libraries and 5 special libraries in South Dakota Share-It. We have 22 spaces to fill to make our goal of 100 libraries.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Nina Mentzel [] or telephone 605-280-6911 at the State Library.


As part of South Dakota Share-It, patron authentication is provided for electronic resources licensed through the SD State Library.

What this means for libraries:
  • In-house use:
    • If your library/patrons access electronic resources via South Dakota Share-It OR the SDSL web page - access will be by ip authentication, click and go
    • If your library/patrons access electronic resources via links on your library web page copied from the SDSL web page – you will need to make sure you are using the links provided on the SDSL web page here: [] - access will be by ip authentication, click and go
    • If your library/patrons access electronic resources via links on your library web page using your own authentication system (i.e. EZproxy) – access will be through that system
  • Remote access (out of library or off-campus):
    • If your library/patrons access electronic resources via South Dakota Share-It OR the SDSL web page – access will be by barcode/password
    • If your library/patrons access electronic resources via links on your library web page copied from the SDSL web page – you will need to make sure you are using the links provided on the SDSL web page here: [] - access will be by barcode/password
    • If your library/patrons access electronic resources via links on your library web page using your own authentication system (i.e. EZproxy) – access will be by your system login
Please contact Nina Mentzel, [], or David Bradford, [], with any questions regarding authentication.


  • If you request interlibrary loan materials through the SD State Library you will request those materials via South Dakota Share-It
  • If your library is participating in South Dakota Share-It, your library will process interlibrary loan requests directly in South Dakota Share-It

Instructions for logging in and placing requests are available on the SDSL web page.

Please contact Dustin Larmore, [] or Brenda Hemmelman, [], with any questions regarding interlibrary loan.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Banned Books Week

by Missy Koester, Director, Haakon Community Library
Edited by Shawn Behrends, SDSL

This week we, as librarians and directors, have the opportunity to open our public’s eyes to what kind of books are being banned or challenged. It’s not books that give step-by-step instructions on how to skin a live cat, or build a bomb. No, it’s more likely a book that exposes society’s secrets, makes you reevaluate your beliefs, teaches you about other cultures, or to quote a friend, “drags you kicking and screaming into the 21st century”.

interactive display of banned books hidden by brown paper bags with clues and images of fire

The first year I was here I put up an interactive display of banned books. My husband helped me decorate it with black plastic table cloths and letters made of flames. We set up books that had been banned or challenged (even burned) and then covered them with paper bags. We wrote the reason they were banned on the bag. In order to find out the name of the book that was banned they had to lift the bag.

WHAT? Little House on the Prairie? Where the Wild Things Are? The Holy Bible? Hop on Pop??

It was a HIT! Patrons wanted to see for themselves if it had reason to be challenged or banned or burned. I couldn’t keep up the demand for those books, and it was fabulous!

So here is my challenge to you. Put up a Banned Book Display. Make it interactive. Give your public something tangible to discuss.

Read Missy’s entire banned books article below:

Friday, September 15, 2017

School Library Deadlines and Events for 2017-2018 - Mark Your Calendars!




Check out this link from AASL for other school library related dates/events:

Save lots of planning time by using this doc. “Library Celebrations and Reading & Learning Promotions Throughout The Year” from Shannon McClintock Miller (who is this year’s keynote at the SDLA conference!)

Update: School Library Standards Review

On August 17-18, 2017 twelve members from the School Library Standards Review Work Group met in Pierre to begin the process of reviewing and revising the current 2010 School Library Standards.

Work consisted of establishing goals, discussion, and reviewing strands and standards by grade span (elementary, middle, and high).

The South Dakota Standards revision process and timeline is adopted by the State Board of Education for review of standards in all contents. This review process allows stakeholders to review current standards and make adjustments to the standards on a 5-7 year rotation. To view the main DOE content area review page, visit:

The general timeline for School Library content standards review process looks like this:

  • Summer 2017: Begin revising
  • 2017-18 School Year: Revision & gather feedback
  • Summer 2018: Finalize standards
  • 2018-19 School Year: Public hearings & adoption

For more information and to provide feedback, visit:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Federal Document of the Month

The SD State Library is a federal depository library and provides access to print and electronic federal government publications. Print publications are available via interlibrary loan. Electronic publications are linked from the state library online catalog.

The Homestake Gold Mine, located in the northern Black Hills, South Dakota.
'In 1874, the Custer expedition discovered placer gold in French Creek, near the present village of Custer, in the southern Black Hills. When word of the presence of gold in the Black Hills reached the outside world, the gold rush was on.'
Truly the start of something very big!
US Geological Survey Bulletin 1857-J (size: 60Mb)
The Homestake Gold Mine, an Early Proterozoic iron-formation-hosted gold deposit, Lawrence County, South Dakota
Peek inside to page J1 and J2.

Why didn't I think of that?

Library statistics + floor plan = cool infographic

By now we all recognize the power of infographics to communicate information in a memorable way. We love how this library combined their library use statistics with their floor plan to show off a multifunctional and busy place. Far more engaging than representing the information in the usual table or graph!
This one was made with Adobe Illustrator, but you could use Publisher from your from your Microsoft Office suite to make your own floor plan infographic. If you try this, please share it with us.

Friday, September 1, 2017

SD State Library federal documents program receives a visit

SD State Library received a visit in July from Jaime Hays, Outreach Librarian from the Government Publishing Office in Washington DC, and Alicia Kubas, regional Federal Documents Librarian from the University of Minnesota. The two were touring South Dakota’s federal depository libraries.

SD State Library has been a federal depository library since 1973. The library has transitioned to a mostly electronic depository. Items in the physical collection include anything related to South Dakota, tribes, agriculture etc. Records for physical and electronic documents are made available in the library catalog. Federal documents can be checked out by state employees and borrowed through interlibrary loan.
Left to right: Jaime Hays, Outreach Librarian, GPO; Barb Nickolas, SDSL Gov Docs Library Associate,
Alicia Kubas, Regional Gov Docs Librarian from MN, and Brenda Hemmelman, SDSL Docs Librarian
The visit included discussion of changes happening in Washington, ideas for collection promotion, review of the collection itself, and review of SDSL’s selection profile.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Updates from Young Adult Library Services Association

Get Ready for Back to School!

book cover of STEM and Making
YALSA’s Top Reads: STEM and Making is a compilation of the best articles, blog posts, and other resources aimed at helping make STEM programming easy for you to implement at your library.  It’s available for $29 as a digital download (your choice of .pdf, epub or mobi file).  ALA/YALSA members get a 10% discount.

Plan a Great Teen Read Week™

We have everything libraries need to plan great TRW activities at  This year’s theme features storytelling, which is a great opportunity for libraries to engage teens around the reading/writing connection.  Join YALSA in celebrating, Oct. 8 – 14!

Encourage Teens to Vote for their Favorite Books!

The 2017 Teens’ Top Ten nominated titles have been posted online since April.  Beginning Aug. 15th and running through Teen Read Week™, please help YALSA by encouraging the teens in your state to go online and vote for their favorite books. The link to the voting site will be accessible from

Friday, August 18, 2017

Did you know that other South Dakota librarians count on you to keep accurate service statistics for your library?

Every year many of your colleagues use the statistics from their peer libraries. Librarians use annual report statistics to evaluate their services or support requests for things like larger material budgets, bigger spaces, more open hours and staff positions. Last year the State Library received at least 20 librarian requests for assistance in supporting data-driven decisions.

bar graph with indicators for WiFi, CD/DVD, Books, Programs, Walk-In

If keeping a daily tally isn’t practical, estimating library statistics such as visits, public computer sessions, and WiFi use is acceptable.

October is an excellent “typical” month for estimating library service statistics.

Pick two weeks to track and multiply by 26 for the statistical annual report.

Contact the State Library Data Coordinator [] to find out how we can help you put those annual report statistics to work.

You don’t have to go it alone to host great library programs

Lisa Martin, children’s librarian and Madison Public Library, said that two of their most popular programs this summer were a result of partnerships with the community.

Woman assisting young man using sewing machine
Learning how to operate a sewing machine.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Option for MLS Degree in South Dakota

Emporia State University is coming to Sioux Falls this autumn. The ESU-SLIM program (The School of Library and Information Management) offers a 36-credit-hour MLS degree, fully accredited by the American Library Association. MLS courses are designed to meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional students and are currently taught in seven locations: Denver, Emporia, Overland Park, Portland, Salt Lake City, and now Sioux Falls.

This program also offers an online 18-credit-hour Archives Studies and a School Library Media Specialist certificate. All students go through classes as a cohort, which optimizes the academic support system and provides a professional network that includes over 250 SLIM alumni in the region. All required courses are taught face-to-face in two weekend-intensive classes supplemented by online instruction. Admissions requirements include a BA or BS degree, all official undergraduate transcripts, and an admissions interview. The School Library Media specialist courses are currently being reviewed by the SD Department of Education and are expected to meet DOE state certification/endorsement requirements.

For more information about the SLIM program, faculty, curriculum, and application process please go to or contact Mary G. Johnson at
And for additional information about other quality programs in the area, contact Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator at the SD State Library at 605. 295.3152 or

Another Route to Library Media Endorsement

It is now possible for certified teachers to gain endorsement in library media via successful completion of the state designated content test. In South Dakota, this test is the Praxis test.

A Library Media Specialist endorsement can still be gained through successful completion of accredited coursework. In South Dakota there are two options: Black Hills State University offers a library media minor/endorsement which is exclusively online; and Emporia State University will offer a SD endorsement via their MLS (Masters of Library Science) coursework either on the Augustana campus or online.

For more information, visit or contact Alissa Adams,, School Library Technology Coordinator at the SD State Library.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Let’s Get Ready to Automate

The South Dakota State Library wishes to facilitate automation for all libraries in South Dakota. This is an achievable goal for even the smallest of libraries.

Why automate?

  • Library automation allows for increased resource sharing and provides access to materials far beyond local collections on behalf of all library patrons
  • Automation allows 24/7 access to library materials and services for everyone, promoting the use of personal electronic devices to access the library
  • Automation encourages browsing online which facilitates better research and increases leisure reading
  • Automation provides the opportunity to integrate local database subscriptions and other electronic resources into the library catalog, creating a seamless, one-stop search for materials
  • Automation provides the ability to partner with local and regional school and public libraries and allows for seamless interlibrary loan when necessary
  • Automation allows library staff to create reports to show usage and demonstrate needs

Get Started
If you are thinking of automating your library for the first time, or migrating from your current automation system to a new one, maybe you want to know which automation systems are being used by libraries in South Dakota? Or perhaps you need contact information for vendors?

Check out the for reports and additional information.

Please contact Nina Mentzel with any questions by email or phone: 605-280-6911.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Oglala Lakota College's "Build Your Own Library" program

Did you know that most tribal colleges also operate as the public libraries for their communities?

Oglala Lakota College’s Woksape Tipi is a decentralized educational and library system that operates thirteen libraries that support the district communities of Pine Ridge Reservation and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. Woksape Tipi functions as the academic library for its students who attend OLC classes across Pine Ridge Reservation, in Rapid City, and in Eagle Butte, on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Woksape Tipi also functions as the public library for the reservation communities. It also partners with the area K-12 schools and the reservation-wide Head Start Program. When school is out for the summer, children have limited access to books in their communities, so the Build Your Own Library Program was introduced to provide outreach in the form of giving away new and gently used books for all ages in communities across the reservation. The program has benefited from IMLS support and has provided the communities of Pine Ridge access to the fabulous mobile book delivery van for the past five years. Short of calling it a bookmobile, the outreach technician travels to all the college centers to maintain the branch libraries and provide personal assistance to patrons.

two boys holding up "reading ninja" book bags in front of Woksape Tipi  Academic Public Library Archives Oglala Lakota College Van

Friday, July 21, 2017

Siouxland Libraries is a Family Place

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, the Downtown Library of Siouxland Libraries officially joined the 400-site, 27-state Family Place Libraries™ network. Kathy Deerr, national coordinator for the program, attended the dedication.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Siouxland Libraries began work on the Family Place Libraries™ initiative in 2015. This model of service incorporates programming, early learning spaces, community connection and family support to help ensure all children enter school ready and able to learn. To learn more about Family Place Libraries™ visit,

Friday, July 14, 2017

New librarian? Feel like a fish out of water?

The South Dakota State Library understands the complex issues facing all libraries today. Public libraries are no longer just buildings containing a few thousand shared books. Technology, multiple formats, networks, expanded services and programming for all ages adds to their complexity.

The South Dakota State Library, located in the MacKay Building in Pierre, has developed a website to familiarize new lay librarians with our services and how to manage a 21st century public library. It is appropriately titled, “Feel like a Fish out of Water?” The State Library’s website is and the section for new librarians is From day one, this section is the best place to start.

We’ve Got Standards!

The SD School Library Standards are up for review this year. The South Dakota Standards revision process and timeline is adopted by the State Board of Education for review of standards in all contents. This review process allows stakeholders to review current standards and make adjustments to the standards on a 5-7 year rotation. The school library review teams consist of several teacher-librarians and other stakeholders.

The first review meeting is scheduled for August 17-18 in Pierre, SD at the State Library/DOE. Further revision and feedback gathering will occur throughout the 17-18 school year.

For information about the DOE standards review process, visit:

Contact: Alissa Adams School Library Technology Coordinator at or by phone at 605-295-3152.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reading Beyond Lists

Do you know kids that can read way above their grade level? Most of us do, but finding books that have acceptable content for their age is often an issue. There is finally a professional list for this!

The ALA-Children’s Book Council Joint Committee just released a list of recommended books for kids who are advanced readers, but who still need titles that are age-appropriate. The list is posted online, and is also available as a printable handout that can be given to parents and educators.

Partnerships: Public Library + Schools

In this article, we’ll hear from Alissa Adams, SDSL School Library Technology Coordinator.

At this year’s Library Institute in Brookings, SD, I had the opportunity to talk with public librarians about collaboration between the public library and the school library in terms of teen and tween services. This was the first time I’ve been in this type of environment since my employment with the State Library and I’m pretty sure I learned as much if not more than the attendees. Gaining the public library’s perspective was enlightening and I found so many connections to the school library.

Our time together began with learning about the teenage brain and how technology affects it. We also talked about generational gaps and the difference between a digital native and a digital immigrant. We then dove into 21st century education and how, thanks in large part to technology, the shift is now moving towards personalized learning. Then, using Padlet, an online communication and collaboration tool, we spent time brainstorming ways to partner with schools to promote teen services. That Padlet is publically available at: We finished up with exploring a few teen related databases offered free to all SD students and citizens.

Lastly, I’d like to share a couple of practical takeaways for public librarians as they seek to partner with schools:

  1. Be proactive. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder email or phone call to teachers – i.e. YARP awards or summer reading programming. Sometimes it takes a willingness to volunteer – maybe at the book fair? Sometimes it’s offering a learning night – i.e. free ACT prep free SDSL database Learning Express Library.
  2. Be in the know. Many schools have weekly or monthly newsletters, get on the list for that distribution. Check school website regularly or, better yet, follow the school on social media. To be in the loop in terms of school library happenings in our state, subscribe to the School Library listeserv at:

For questions about school libraries, contact me or by phone at 605-295-3152.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Huron Public Library one of nine winners of "Beyond The Walls" awards

The Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN), in partnership with San Jose State University's School of Information (iSchool), announced earlier this month that a total nine projects will receive funding and support to expand the Libraries WhiteSpace Project.

Sponsorship for the campaign originated through a grant from the Institute of Museum' and Library Services (IMLS): "Libraries Leading in Digital Inclusion and Disaster Response via TV WhiteSpace Wireless Connections."

Five libraries in the nation, including the Huron Public Library, will receive awards under the IMLS grant.

The Huron Public Library will receive $15,000 to develop Wi-Fi service to city parks through the TV WhiteSpace project. They are also developing a disaster plan where the portability of the technology will be able to assist emergency responders during a time of need.

These funds will underwrite the costs of equipment and installation for libraries who've initiated partnership projects with other community institutions to explore and develop innovative uses for TV WhiteSpace (TVWS) network technologies to support remote fixed and portable library access points at new locations in their communities starting this summer.

Like WiFi, TVWS units use free open spectrum, requiring no third party carriers, ongoing fees, licenses or other permissions for use as wide area intra-facility networks. But unlike WiFi, TVWS has long range and penetrative capabilities that can support broadband connections over miles and around or through obstructions like trees and buildings.

"This may be the first time the economics of any infrastructure has favored rural areas because they typically have an abundance of valuable open public spectrum. The time has arrived for the country to finally take advantage of this powerful new communications resource, too long in the making," notes project Co-director, Don Means of the Gigabit Libraries Network.

Other libraries receiving the IMLS grant award were in Maine, Georgia, Nebraska, and Washington. Additional participating libraries were in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Do you have a big idea that requires you to ask for community assistance?

This project management idea was found in a marketing blog.*

“Build a 5 x 5 grid. 25 squares. Twenty-five elements that have to be present for your project to have a chance. If it's a fundraising concert, one of the grids might be, "find a theater that will host us for less than $1,000."
Bingo balls spelling B I N G O

Here's the key: Fill in most of the grids before you ask someone for generous help. When nine or twelve of the squares are marked, "done," and when another six are marked, "in process," then the ask is a lot smaller.
A glimpse at your bingo card indicates that you understand the problem, that you've highlighted the difficult parts and that you've found the resources and the knowledge necessary to complete most of it.”

Thanks to Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog for permission to share this.

We’ve Got Standards!

The SD School Library Standards (PDF) are up for review this year. The South Dakota Standards revision process and timeline is adopted by the State Board of Education for review of standards in all contents. This review process allows stakeholders to review current standards and make adjustments to the standards on a 5-7 year rotation. The school library review teams consist of several teacher-librarians and other stakeholders.

The first review meeting is scheduled for August 17-18 in Pierre, SD at the State Library/DOE. Further revision and feedback gathering will occur throughout the 17-18 school year.

For information about the DOE standards review process, visit:

Contact: Alissa Adams School Library Technology Coordinator at or by phone at 605-295-3152.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

School Librarian Wins Technology Award

Terri Fay is a librarian, a teacher, and an information media specialist all rolled in to one. Fay administers the library media program, manages the library place, develops and delivers the trans-literacy curriculum that reaches each and every student at Horace Mann Elementary Library in the Rapid City Area School District.

Terri Fay, Horace Mann Elementary Library,
Rapid City Area School District

Friday, May 26, 2017

Are you registered for School Library Boot Camp 2017?

School Library Boot Camp 2017 Registration Open!

School Library Boot Camp: Services for a Multicultural Student Body, 2017 Pierre

Each summer the State Library sponsors a professional development opportunity for school librarians and other educational professionals. The 2017 theme is School Library Services for a Multicultural Student Body.

When: July 17-20, 2017

Where: State Library in Pierre, SD

What: Boot Camp is a two credit Black Hills State University course and may be taken at either the undergraduate or graduate level. All educators are welcome. Find further details and the registration link at:

Registration closes June 1.

Questions? Contact Alissa Adams, or Kathleen Slocum,

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

All OverDrive Public Library Partners: Free Books this Summer!”

This summer the SYNC program returns to give your young adult patrons free audiobooks all summer long! OverDrive is once again partnering with AudioFile to provide two free audiobooks each week through August 16. Anyone 13 and over can download these YA titles, and any downloaded books are yours to keep for your personal collection. One may read these books on mobile devices with OverDrive’s mobile app, or a personal computer.

Audiofile Sync Audiobooks for Teens

OverDrive and AudioFile have also created a promotional toolkit containing flyers, posters and other handouts. To start downloading books, learn more, or find promotional items, check out AudioFile’s SYNC program at []. If you have other questions, contact David Bradford, SDSL Digital Resources Coordinator, at []

A Century of Library Service in Tyndall

The Tyndall Carnegie Public Library celebrated 100 years of service to the community with an open house held from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Crowds in library

Friends from near and far stopped by to share cake and coffee with us and read all the history that was displayed. We had a great turnout.
Serving cake with history!

Sue Gough, Director, poses in the library.

--Sue Gough, Director

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Girls Who Code @ the Rapid City Public Library

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. 40,000 girls in all 50 states are experiencing coding in a fun and friendly environment each year thanks to the Girls Who Code organization.

Have a Plan For Handling Patron Tech Questions

We all know that assisting patrons with public computers and their own devices can test our limits. It is important to have procedures in place to handle the many types of technology questions that patrons ask. This helps staff address these situations with equitability and clearly defined limits of service.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why Didn’t I Think of That – If it looks good, show it off!

Are your library's service statistics looking great? Make sure people know it. Theresa Schaefer, director of Wall Community Library, made this pamphlet to emphasize the ways her library is growing. She made the charts Excel and copied them to MS Word.

Wall Community Library brochure featuring data graphs: Print Books use is up 53%. E-Books and Downloadable Audiobooks is up 84%. Internet Use is Up 50%. Photos of Wall Community Library fill middle column. Number of Library Accounts is Up 15%. Access to Materials is Up. Wall Community Library has joined Black Hills Library Consortium, South Dakota Share It. Items in Catalog is up 2000% -- from 12,000 to over 250,000.
Wall Brochure featuring data graphs

Underscoring the value of letting your community know about your library, its services, and your work is Eric Erickson's recently released report on the 2017 SDLA Legislative Day

Midland Community Library Education Fair Supper

For many years the Midland Community Library Board has hosted the Education Fair Supper at the Midland School. Each member donates their time to make the supper a great success, beginning with a meeting to plan the evening, and ending with a clean-up after watching the Midland Tumblers perform! On the menu is homemade chicken noodle soup and chili, hot dogs, a large variety of sandwiches, delicious bars, and drinks. We receive many compliments on the excellent supper, and service with a smile. The money that is raised is spent wisely to keep our community library running.

cafeteria full of people seated at tables, eating.
Diners visiting in the Midland School lobby

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Upcoming YALSA Events

The 2017 Teen Read Week site was launched recently with the theme "Unleash Your Story." Library staff, afterschool providers, and educators can use this theme to encourage teens to write, share and tell their own stories as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folktales, and more in their local library!

YALSA also announced the Teens' Top Ten nominations. The stars of the upcoming movie Everything, Everything (based on the YA book of the same title by Nicola Yoon) announced the titles in a video you can see below!

Teens across the country can vote on their favorite titles between August 15th and Teen Read Week, which will be celebrated October 8th – 14th. The winners will be announced the week after. You can view an annotated list of nominees here (PDF).

Coming soon: Braille & Talking Book’s Summer Reading Program

The Braille and Talking Book Library are offering a Summer Reading Program to all youth age birth to 20 registered with the library. The six week program runs from June 5 to July 14, 2017, with the theme “Build A Better World.” Participants will be broken into four age divisions and will read books in braille or digital audio.
Logo with children reading books with building toys

At the conclusion of the program, participants who return their weekly reading charts will be eligible for prizes. This year the prizes will be more exciting with not only the $50 Amazon gift card winner in each age division but the readers will have the opportunity to win other prizes. All readers who complete the program will have a chance to win 12-inch tactile and visual table globe!

Online registration is now open!

For more information contact Mary Sjerven at 1-800-423-6665 press 1 1 or email

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Summer reading PSAs

Public libraries: help promote your Build A Better World summer reading program to your local schools, your community, parents, stakeholders - everybody! - with the public service announcements (PSAs) from the Collaborative Summer Reading Program (CSLP). There are 17 different versions available with varying lengths, English & Spanish options, and live action & animation options.

Build a Better World

Find all of them right here on the CSLP website.

South Dakota Online State Publications Website Gets a Facelift

The SDSL South Dakota Online State Publications page (CONTENTdm collection) was recently upgraded to a mobile friendly site
Screenshot of updated South Dakota Online State Publications site

It is cleaner than the old site. Direct links to the historical Legislative Manuals and Governors Messages collections are now on each collection page, and more direct links to special digital collections can be added in the future.

The South Dakota State Library's Digital Collections reflect the history and culture of South Dakota. Primarily of interest to librarians, researchers, and genealogists, our digital collections include newspaper articles, photographs, state documents, and more. The collections are best viewed using Google Chrome.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Updates from the Collaborative Summer Library Program

Last week I had the pleasure of attending my 10th CSLP Annual Meeting which was held in Charleston, SC, this year. As the State Representative for South Dakota, I attend the annual meeting to vote on behalf of our state’s public libraries on upcoming summer reading slogans & themes; give feedback to the Collaborative on what I hear from all of you who are in the trenches; and brainstorm about future programs and projects for the Collaborative.

As a result of that meeting there are several big announcements about future summer reading programs.

2019 Slogan

State representatives and voting proxies selected A Universe of Stories as the slogan for all age groups for the 2019 “Space” theme. The “Space” theme was selected at the 2016 annual meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon.

2020 General Theme

In addition to a 2019 slogan, state representatives and voting proxies also selected “Fairy Tales/Mythology/ Fantasy” as the general theme for 2020.

2020 Artist

CSLP is happy to announce the artist for the 2020 Early Literacy and Children’s artwork is LeUyen Pham!

LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of over fifty children’s books. Her books include the best-selling Freckleface Strawberry series with Julianne Moore, the Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale, the Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look, Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio, as well as her own self-authored There is No Such Thing as Little, The Bear Who Wasn’t There and Big Sister, Little Sister. She also designed artwork used on the bookmarks for the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign in 2014.

For more information about CSLP and all it has to offer for your public library’s summer reading program, please visit their website at

If you have any questions about CSLP or how you can be involved in shaping the future of summer reading, please contact me, Jasmine Rockwell at or (605) 773-5066.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Grant Opportunities For Your Library

APA Librarian Conference Travel Awards

DEADLINE: July 31, 2017
Supports early- and mid-career librarians who are seeking to attend library conferences in order to grow as professionals. Applicants must be currently employed as a librarian at an academic or health sciences library, and have less than 15 years of experience in a library after receiving their MLS. Three cash awards of $750 each available annually.

Frontier Communications Cyber Security Grant

DEADLINE: April 30, 2017
Open to school teachers and college professors. Submit either a 300-500 word essay or 1-2 minute video on the following prompt: “What have you as a teacher and your classes learned when it comes to cyber safety?” Award of $1,000 Visa Reward Card must be applied to the purchase of technological equipment or supplies for your classroom.

The Pilcrow Foundation Children’s Book Project

DEADLINE: May 1, 2017
The Pilcrow Foundation provides new, quality, hardcover children’s books to rural public libraries across the United States. A library’s local sponsors can contribute from $200 to $400, which the Foundation matches on a 2-to-1 ratio. The Foundation provides a list of over 500 quality hardcover children’s books to select from.

Sara Jaffarian Award Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming

DEADLINE: May 5, 2017
School libraries are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through eighth grade. This award is presented annually by the ALA Public Programs Office in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians

Vernon Libraries English Literacy for New Immigrants Grants

DEADLINE: Oct. 31, 2017 
Vernon Library Supplies is giving away 100% of its 2017 operating profits to libraries and other non-profit organizations with programs designed to help new immigrants achieve English literacy and proficiency. Awards of up to $5,000.

Launch of the Braille and Talking Book Winter Reading Program Breaks Records

The Braille and Talking Book Library held its first Winter Reading Program, “Celebrate February... Read!” with 44 youth reading the 28 days in the month. All readers are registered with the talking book program. They read in an alternative format that included 18 braille and 26 audio readers. Based on the 20/24/7 Program each reader documented a minimum of 20 minutes of reading time each day, seven per week for the month of February.

South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library 2017 Winter Reading Program [artwork snowman reading book]

The program broke two records. One is for the most braille readers participating in a reading program sponsored by the Library. The other was having a successful completion rate of 93%. This past Summer Reading Program comprised of ­­­­12 braille and ­­­34 audio readers with 70% completion rate. Part of the increase is due to collaboration with the SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

At the conclusion of the program the participants who returned their charts completed were eligible for the drawing for a Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet. The winner was Caden Chavez, age 9, son of Jessie Berg and Johnny Chavez of Hitchcock, SD. Thanks to the generosity of Wal-Mart of Pierre; this was able to be the grand prize.

Wall of completed Winter Reading Charts submitted by students completing the program.

The Braille and Talking Book Library is part of the South Dakota State Library and facilitate the National Library Service (NLS) Program. NLS is a free braille and talking book library service for those who qualify. Readers may have temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or physical disability that prevents them from holding a book such as arthritis, MS, stroke, Parkinson, or carpel tunnel. For more information on the program call 1-800-423-6665.

Get your news faster

The South Dakota State Library has made it easier to access the US Major Dailies database on its website. Now it has its own direct separate access point. One can reach it through A to Z Complete Listing or Databases Sorted by Category > News and Newspapers, then selecting US Major Dailies.

US Major Dailies provides access to five of the country’s most respected national and regional newspapers, offering researchers complete and timely coverage of local, national, and world events. These are the New York Times (1980-present), Wall Street Journal (1984-present), Washington Post (1987-present), Los Angeles Times (1985-present), and Chicago Tribune (1985-present).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Borrowing Library Ideas From Our Neighbors to the North

Here are a couple of neat ideas from libraries in North Dakota.

Build Minot: Minot Public Library started Build Minot, a campaign encouraging people to propose community improvements through notes written on large plastic building blocks that were placed at select locations throughout the city.

Build Minot: Step 1 Choose a block, Step 2 Write what you want to see in our community on block, Step 3 Add block to sculture
Binge Boxes: What are they? Plastic cases filled with DVDs revolving around a theme. For example, “Spark My Tears” is filled with Nicholas Sparks movies. This new way of sharing the collection was revealed at the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library. Patrons can check out one box per card for up to two weeks, and the first thirty boxes checked out came with candy and popcorn!
Binge Boxes on display at Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library

2017 South Dakota Children's & Teen Choice Book Award winners!

And the winners are:

South Dakota Children's Book Awards logo

2017 Prairie Bud Award Winner: 

Book cover of Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

With 2,591 votes, Gaston by by Kelly DiPucchio
Runner Up: Okay, Andy! by Maxwell Eaton

2017 Prairie Bloom Award Winner: 

Book cover of Dog vs Cat by Chris Gall

2,591 votes, Dog v. Cat by Chris Gall
Runner Up: Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox

2017 Prairie Pasque Award Winner: 

Book cover of The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren

With 3,096 votes, The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren
Runner Up: Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog by Ann Bausum

South Dakota Teen Choice Book Awards Logo

2017 Middle School YARP Award Winner: 

Book Cover of A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielson
A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielson
Runner Up: Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel

2017 High School YARP Award Winner: 

Book cover of Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Runner Up: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

The South Dakota Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards are sponsored by the South Dakota Library Association.

More information about the Prairie Awards can be found at this link and information about the YARP Awards are located at this link