Thursday, March 29, 2018

DIY Library Website (aka Virtual Library)

Recent privacy issues with Facebook have caused some people to question whether they want to continue having a Facebook account. Some libraries use Facebook as the sole method of communication with their patrons while other libraries use Facebook in tandem with a website or blog.

Websites and blogs are easier than ever to create for the rural library. You no longer need to know code and you no longer need to pay someone else to do the work. Now it’s a matter of choosing a platform in which to create the site or blog, picking a mobile-friendly template, and spending time building and curating the site. Some freely available popular platforms include Google Sites, Weebly, Blogspot/Blogger, Wordpress, and Wix.

Before creating a virtual library it’s important to review examples of other library sites that are similar in size and scope. Here are several examples of South Dakota rural libraries that use these free online platforms for their virtual libraries:

Add Binge Boxes to your library collections

This is a great idea for sleepovers, sick days, staycations.

dvds, popcorn, and movie ticket that says "binge boxes"

A binge box is a lunchbox-sized container with five or six movies. Boxes circulate as a single item. Binge box themes could include seasonal movies, princesses, superheroes, monster movies, famous directors or actors, classics, chick flicks, James Bond, baseball movies. Use your imagination.

Some libraries are throwing in a box of movie candy or microwave popcorn.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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.

‘Take Home a Treasure from Indian Country: Buy Authentic South Dakota Indian Art’

Indian Arts and Crafts Act brochure

Indian Art and Crafts Act I 1.84:T 71

For more information, contact the US Department of Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board.

Five ideas that add value to your library

21st century libraries are community hubs, family spaces, creation stations & economic incubators. Here are a few ideas for adding community value to your library:

  • Money talks. Use a Return on Investment calculator to give meaningful context to service statistics in your library reports.
  • Meeting rooms and study spaces for the public add visibility and value to the library.
  • You may be out of physical space, but your library’s website is its digital branch. Your website should showcase the library’s digital offerings.
  • Add value to your digital offerings by hosting programs that teach patrons how to download your ebooks and use the electronic resources.
  • Partner with local businesses and service organizations for programs and services. They will have a stake in promoting those things, too.

Want to know more? Check out this NCompass Live recorded webinar: What is Your Library Worth?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

21st Century School Library Award – Apply Today!

South Dakota school librarians! It’s time to receive recognition for all of the excellent learning and teaching going on in your library with the 21st Century School Library Award. The SD State Library annually recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st Century school library through its program, place, and professional. Apply March 1 through May 1.

21st Century School Library Award

To apply complete the steps below:

  1. Complete the self-assessment tool here. If you score 75 points or higher, then proceed to Step 2. If you don’t meet 75 points you will not be eligible to apply for the award; however, you still have the benefit of having completed the self-assessment. This is meant to be an informative tool to help guide decisions about your library and your professional practices. You can also use the tool as an advocacy tool with administrators, staff, school boards, and the public.
  2. Fill out the formal application here.
  3. Submit by email one example of place, one example of program, and one example of professional as evidence supporting your score.

New Look for Learning Express Library

screenshot of learning express library web page

This new LearningExpress Library is sleeker and easier to navigate, with a more prominent search box that allows you to search for the type of resource you want: practice tests, tutorials, eBooks and articles. The content within the library has not changed. The Guidance tab is also more pronounced, letting you more quickly see how that particular item can assist you.

LearningExpress Library can help you prepare for:

•Careers, including occupation and military exams
•Job searches and career exploration
•GED Exams
•College admissions tests, such as the ACT
•College placement exams and coursework
•Elementary through high school coursework
•Improving computer and software skills

If you have more questions, please contact David Bradford, SDSL Digital Resources Coordinator, at

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Libraries hosting book clubs

Does your library want to host a book club, but you can’t afford to purchase the items? Public libraries across the state offer “book club” books for interlibrary loan (ILL) through SD Share-It. These are multiple copies of a book in a bag.

books with alphabet blocks spelling "book club"

Stephanie Brewer of Grace Balloch Memorial Library in Spearfish has created a master list of all the book club kit/bag/totes that are available for ILL within the state. For information on how to request these items through SD Share-It for your library for a limited time, contact Dustin Larmore.

Stephanie has given the state library permission to post her master list on the SDSL ILL LibGuides page. Visit and look for the link on the left under Interlibrary Loan Resources.

New service to help find federal government information

When searching for government information, librarians and the general public typically search for information based on subjects rather than government agency authorship. Recently, the Federal Depository Library Program launched FDLP LibGuides.

lib guides logo

Library guides are a tool commonly used by libraries to provide users with lists of resources on particular topics. Providing Federal Depository Library partners with guides is a valuable service not only to the depository library community, but also to the general public as well.

FDLP LibGuides provides an easy site for students to find authoritative information that can be used for school reports. Here you can find information on Natural Disasters, Substance Abuse and Addiction, and Presidential Documents.

Currently 12 Guides are included, some geared specifically toward partner depository libraries. The new site is a work in progress and more Guides will be added on a continuing basis. The “Community Guides” section will link out to Guides that have been created by partner Federal Depository Libraries. This collection will also continue to grow.

Keep checking the site as more and more information is added.