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.

The SDSL provides consultation and assistance to libraries in areas such as grants, standards, children’s programming, statistics and record-keeping. Reference assistance and continuing educational opportunities—all tuition free, are shared. And the SDSL has a social media presence on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. However, the most helpful spot will be signing up for our public library “listserv.”

This listserv will allow library staff to get our Cornerstone newsletter blog and receive frequent updates on things happening in the state, who to contact with questions and various opportunities available for your community. The “Trustee wiki” (our online Public Library Trustee Handbook) can be accessed from this site. This resource can be an invaluable aid for your library board as well.