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