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.