Monday, December 23, 2019

Jump Start 2020 workshop schedule

Imagine your library this summer...

Imagine Your Story - Jump Start 2020

Start preparing for the 2020 Summer by attending a Jump Start workshop!

Attend a one of the eight Jump Start locations nearest to you and explore the Collaborative Summer Library Program’s manual. Learn more about potential activities and programs that align with the national summer theme “Image Your Story”. Jump Start is a wonderful opportunity for local librarians to get to know each other better. Also, the local workshops create an opportunity for peer-to-peer idea sharing, tips, adaptations, inclusion methods to the existing CSLP lessons.

  • Yankton Community Library, Yankton - Friday, February 21, 2020
  • Lennox Community Library, Lennox - Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Madison Public Library, Madison – Friday, March 6, 2020
  • Sturgis Public Library, Sturgis - Friday, March 6, 2020
  • Cozard Memorial Library, Chamberlain – Thursday, March 12, 2020
  • Bowdle Community Center, Bowdle - Friday, March 13, 2020
  • Hill City Public Library, Hill City - Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • Bison Public Library, Bison – Friday, March 27, 2020
All workshops will be 10am to 3pm, local time, with a break for lunch. The local library will coordinate lunch.

Register Today!

More Information is at

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Girls Who Code

From the desk of Brenda Hemmelman...

girls who code logo

At the New Mexico Library Association/Mountain Plains Library Association conference this fall, I had a chance to visit with a representative of "Girls Who Code" in the vendor area. I asked the rep to share some information that could be passed on to libraries in SD. Some libraries may already have a club started.

girls who code promotional photo, three multi ethnic girls smiling with laptop and phone

Girls Who Code is working to close the gender gap in technology. Girls Who Code collaborates with educators and librarians to launch free coding Clubs for 3rd-5th or 6th-12th grade girls to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world.


Since launching in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached over 185,000 girls across all 50 states, the United Kingdom, Canada and India.

If you are interested in starting a Club, fill out this 10-15 minute application:

Starting a Girls Who Code Club: Process Overview (Google Docs)

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Stephanie Miller Davis Grant Applications open now

The Stephanie Miller-Davis Library Grant will once again support early childhood literacy by providing library grant funds to South Dakota libraries and their summer reading programs! This grant program has been established in partnership with SD State Library and SD Community Foundation.

collage of photos of library programs from Lake Andes, Scotland, Viborg, and Midland. Also features additional images of children from Armour and Lennox South Dakota.and

Last year the grant was awarded to thirty-five libraries in rural communities across South Dakota. The funds helped grow summer reading programs and even establish summer reading programs.

Here are some impactful ways funds were used last year:

  • Created “Alone Zone”
  • 1000 books before Kindergarten program
  • 100 books recommended for preschoolers
  • Robot Day
  • Performer and Guest Speakers- Iditarod, Science Steve, children’s book authors, puppeteer, Mr. Twister, jugglers
  • Purchased several children’s books for library and bookmobile
  • Reading incentives, including free books for kids, magazines
  • Created circulating STEM kits
  • New children’s tables, chairs, rugs
  • Makerspace boxes
  • New early literacy programming available to patrons
  • Provided snacks for patrons during activities
  • Kick off summer reading events- Community Moonwalk
  • Increased Spanish collection
  • Planetarium

$1,000 awards will be given to libraries that meet specific criteria. Apply up to three years in a row! Act fast, the deadline is February 3, 2020. Funds will be awarded before summer reading starts!

Eligibility details can be found in the grant application. Visit and your questions can be directed to Laura Kelly at 1-800-423-6665 or email.

Applications will be filed through your sponsoring public library’s annual report portal:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

New Electronic resources: Books and Authors, CultureGrams, and World Book Dramatic Learning

This summer the SD State Library subscribed to a number of new electronic resources. These three are primarily for K-12, but can be used by all ages.

gale books and authors - guide readers toward a good book - text overlaid with image of group of adults smiling with coffee and books

Books and Authors provides book reviews for genre fiction and non-fiction. It has over 205,000 titles - including over 70,000 children/young adult focused items. There are also over 31,000 full-text biographies, book reviews, awards lists, bestseller lists, and 2,200+ book series.

ProQuest Culture Grams Insiders Perspectives on Daily Life and Culture -- images of indigenous people and Venice

CultureGrams provides cultural information on over 200 countries of the world; covering daily life, history, customs, and lifestyles. There are short videos, and some recipes and interviews with natives. It has four modules: World, Kids, Provinces, and States.

World Book Dramatic Learning website on laptop features stage, lights, and theater masks
World Book Dramatic Learning is a great source of plays for grades 1-12. It turns "texts into plays, skits, and monologues, providing adaptations of classic works." There is a section on how to put on plays; and each of the plays has scripts, lesson plans, activities, and other projects.

These can be reached through the SDSL’s database webpage. Or ask your local librarian to place direct links to them on their website. More information, including promotional and training materials, is on the SDSL help pages.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

November 2019 Federal Document

Adrenalin. It takes will and desire to climb a rockface with few tools. Rock climbing is an invigorating and passionate pastime for people that live on the ledge.

But, don't take it for granite. A few things to take into consideration.
'Several rare plants grow here. Avoid trampling vegetation when accessing climbing areas. Do not let your dog dig or scratch out an area to sit or lay in (consider leaving them at home.) We all have an impact here, it is cumulative and extinction is forever.'
--Excerpt from Rock Climbing in the Harney Range of the Black Hills
Brochure of man rock climbing including logos from US Forest Service, Custer State Park and National Park Service.

inside one section of brochure - featuring silhouette of rock climber

Rock Climbing in the Harney Range of the Black Hills
A 13.13:R 59/3 OCLC#173319709

Outside links:

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.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Three Early Literacy Electronic Resources

The SD State Library has three e-resources for developing early literacy skills. These all have unlimited, statewide, simultaneous access.

world book early world of learning website featured on laptop
World Book Early World of Learning: Introduced in July 2019, this resource is for preschoolers and early elementary students. There are narrated stories, interactive games, original videos, and a visual interactive encyclopedia to help develop and strengthen vocabulary, reading, and other skills.

Gale - Miss Humblebees Academy - Early Education Matters - text overlays photo of dad and son smiling at computer.

Miss Humblebee's Academy: Also new in July 2019, this resource consists of short lessons to assist in a literacy program for ages 2-6. It introduces key concepts in math, science and social studies, language and literacy, art, and music. There are hundreds of thematic-based, guided lessons with sound cues to support different learning styles and abilities.

Scholastic Book flix - where stories and non fiction connect - photo of smiling boy with tablet

BookFlix: This has talking books for early readers in grades K-3. It pairs approximately 135 animated stories with a nonfiction talking book on a similar subject.

All of these have activities and other ways to integrate them into your curriculum.

They can be reached through the SDSL's database webpage. Or ask your local librarian to place a direct link to them on their website. More information, including promotional materials and training videos, is on the SDSL help pages.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

South Dakota Week of Work is April 20-24, 2020

The South Dakota Week of Work will introduce 10th graders to career opportunities in their own communities through job shadows, industry tours, and other business-classroom connections. It is a week of exploration, with the aim of guiding students, engaging local businesses, and introducing employers to their future workforce. Think of it as a long-term investment in South Dakota’s future.

South Dakota Week of Work - Explore, experience, engage.

Schools and libraries can get involved with this initiative! You can provide career exploration opportunities for South Dakota 10th graders. What a great way to get a teen into the library and show them what you do.

Businesses (including libraries): You can sign up right now to participate in one of three ways:

  • Job shadow
  • Business tour for students
  • Guest speaker for classroom

Visit for more information.

Schools: assist in registering your students to participate, or have a business come in as a guest speaker. Registration will open for schools in January, but look over the information now at

Students/Parents: this is a great opportunity to think about what happens after graduation. Visit for more resources.

Bookmark the SD Week of Work website and keep checking back as more information and registration opportunities open up.

TrueFlix: for Science and Social Studies Students

Starting this November 2019, the SD State Library is introducing the electronic resource TrueFlix®by Scholastic. Offering hundreds of units to supplement social studies and science core curricula learning, TrueFlix® is a highly-engaging multimedia resource that can be used in the library, the classroom, on mobile devices, or at home.

true flix logo

Like Scholastic’s BookFlix®, this website is easy to navigate. It is for students grades 3 and up, but primarily targeted at grades 4-8. It contains introductory videos, digital flipbooks, lesson plans, highlighted and defined keywords, project ideas, and a read- aloud feature.

This can be reached through the SDSL’s A to Z listing webpage. Or ask your local librarian to place a direct link to it on their website. More information, including promotional materials, is on the SDSL help pages.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

That All May Learn: 2019 School Library Boot Camp

… from the desk of Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator

Every year, the SD State Library conducts its premier professional development event for school librarians and other kinds of educators. This year School Library Boot Camp was held on September 25 in Spearfish and then online through the month of October. Typically, Boot Camp is held during the summer, but this year’s format was modified to incorporate more learning modalities and make it easier for people to also attend the annual SDLA conference.

inclusion that all may learn

This year's theme was centered around inclusion, equity, and diversity. Campers focused on how they, as educators, can support ALL students.

Visit Collect+Connect, SD State Library’s school library blog, to read more. There you’ll also find a link to all the resources curated especially for this event.

School Library Boot Camp is coordinated by the South Dakota State Library in conjunction with Black Hills State University. This annual multi-day professional development opportunity is a two-credit course for undergraduate and graduate students, geared toward school librarians and all educators. LSTA federal funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services pays for speakers and other resources, as well as full-tuition scholarships for attendees.

How to Take Control of Your Library’s Online Profile—Yes, YOU have one!

Have you noticed the business profiles that show up with hours, contact info, directions and more when you do a Google search for a business or service? Do a search for your library and see what comes up. Did you know you can (and should!) manage your library’s business profile?

Google my Business

It’s important that your library’s information appears—and appears correctly—when people search online. After all, libraries are in the business of providing accurate information! Here are some of the things you probably didn’t know you can do:

  • Add your own cover photo for your library. This tells Google you prefer them to display this photo.
  • Add What’s New Posts where you can announce an upcoming program or new service. These disappear after seven days.
  • Reply to reviews that show up on your library’s profile. Yes, whether you like it or not, anybody can post a review about your library. You definitely want to use your customer service skills to respond to complaints, and to say “thank you” to the good reviews.

Visit to claim your Google My Business profile. You will need to set up a Google account and you’ll be asked to complete a verification process to prove that you are the legitimate “owner” of the business.

Questions? Contact Shawn [email] or Kathleen [email] at the State Library.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


YALSA teen tober what will you discover at the library?

YALSA is merging Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week into one amazing month celebrating teens in libraries. It started this October!

TEENtober is a new, nationwide celebration that takes place every October and it aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills and fuel their passions in and outside the library.

Library staff are encouraged to utilize this new celebration to advocate for awareness of the importance of year-round teen services in libraries. Follow this link to receive updates about TEENtober!

This year TEENtober marks the opening of voting for the Young Adult Reading Program!

South Dakota Teen Choice Book Awards also Young Adult Reading Program hosts YARP printables and information such as:
  • Printable Nominee Labels
  • Access Graphics
  • Sign up for Membership to the SDLA-Teen Reads Committee
  • Learn about Nomination Guidelines

View the 2019-2020 book nominees. YARP voting runs October 1st through April 1st.

Students can start voting now at

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Wrapping up Archives Month

Classical Revival style building in limestone and granite;
National Archives Museum building in Washington D.C.  Photo from
Archives Month is held each year in October to highlight the importance of our public historic records and to encourage access to our history through our state's archives, historical societies, libraries, county governments and other historical repositories.

On the Federal level, The National Archives and Records Administration is "the nation's record keeper". From the website, "Many people know the National Archives as the keeper of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever.

Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family's history, need to prove a veteran's military service, or are researching a historical topic that interests you."

Visit the website at Better yet, visit their physical location in Washington D.C.

Federal publications from the National Archives and Records Administration are shelved at federal depository libraries with a call number beginning with AE.

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.

Consumer Reports now available online

The SD State Library now provides the electronic resource, Consumer Reports’ online website. This has unlimited, statewide, simultaneous access.

screenshot of consumer reports website

It is an easily searchable compilation of consumer product research. There are over 8000 products reviewed such as autos, washing machines, TVs...what Consumer Reports typically reviews. There are also money-saving tips and trends, blogs, product ratings and reviews, recommendations and videos, to allow consumers to read the latest consumer news and advice.

This new resource can be reached through the SDSL’s Complete List of Databases webpage. Or ask your local librarian to place a direct link to it on their website. More information, including promotional materials, is on the SDSL help pages.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

SD State Library launches new website!

tweet from @librarysd of laptop sandwiched between stacks of books, with new website on screen, with numbers 10 11 19.

The SD State Library launched a new website on Friday, October 11th at

A great effort was made to make it clean and easy to navigate.

Please visit our new site. If you have comments or questions, email the state library at

Many thanks to SD State Library Information Officer/Webmaster, Wynne Nafus Sayer, for the months of work that has gone into this much needed update.

The webmaster also wants to thank fellow SDSL staff for their extraordinary help in weeding the old site, input and revisions, and their time. Honorable Mentions go to the website content committee: Brenda Hemmelman, Alissa Adams, and Shawn Behrends.  -- WNS

3rd Annual Performance Showcase Event

third annual performance showcase sioux falls aberdeen rapid city

Let the Show Begin! How exciting to be hosting three Performance Showcases this year in South Dakota. Last year’s events were so well attended, we added another venue this year. The South Dakota State Library, in collaboration with Siouxland Libraries, K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library and Rapid City Public Library announce a variety of different performing acts all in one day. The best news about the showcase is it’s free to attend! Also, by previewing these acts you can ensure the performance will fit your libraries needs before booking it and the event allows you to combine bookings with other organizations.

  • Sioux Falls -- Wednesday,November 6
  • Aberdeen -- Thursday, November 7
  • Rapid City -- Friday, November 8

All acts are brought to Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and Rapid City locations by Rick Eugene Brammer a professionally performing magician for the past twenty-six years. Rick has worked hard to compile a variety of different acts guaranteed to meet all of your needs. These showcases include, but are not limited to, the following acts: children’s music, juggling, ventriloquist, science live demonstrations, traveling theater company, magic, ballet, storytelling, optical illusion show and The Noise Guy and more.

COME ONE, COME ALL To The Greatest Performance Showcase Event Ever!

Register today!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

WebDewey! - Of Course We Do Dewey!

slide from D D C 23 web dewey 2 point O introduction and overview

The South Dakota State Library subscribes to WebDewey. WebDewey is a browser-based version of the Dewey Decimal Classification® database and is updated quarterly. It is designed to make your classifying activities more efficient and enjoyable by allowing you to point and click your way through the latest version of the DDC 23 database.

If you are not familiar with WebDewey, we have some information on our website that you may want to visit:

You may want to review these WebDewey resources from
For login information to use WebDewey please contact: Dustin Larmore, or Nina Mentzel,

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

October is Archives Month!

The SD State Archives and the SD State Library are celebrating Archives Month!

collage of photos: ground breaking, construction exterior and interiors and finally full color photo of Cultural Heritage Center from road facing entrance

Archives Month is held each year in October to highlight the importance of our public historic records and to encourage access to our history through our state's archives, historical societies, libraries, county governments and other historical repositories. The month-long celebration coincides with the national Archives Month established by the Society of American Archivists.

The South Dakota State Archives is hosting a website that includes an online calendar of events and a copy of the 2019 poster. We encourage you to promote Archives Month by planning your own events. Please check the website for events that will be held throughout the state to celebrate South Dakota Archives Month, and contact the Archives at (605)773-3804 or to submit your own event for inclusion.

Please visit the State Archives website at and click on the link to "Archives Month 2019" for a list of events that will be held throughout the state.

The South Dakota State Library is working hard to digitize historical SD state government publications. Our state agency historical publications are located in a digital repository at SDSL Digital Collections. Check out the Featured Collections, which include historical SD Law as well as Governor's Inaugural and State of the State messages from as far back as 1890.

Join us in celebrating Archives Month!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Federal Document of the Month

Forests of South Dakota are an attraction for many as they stop, stretch or travel through our great state. Along with the beauty of pine trees are natural and prescribed fires. As for wildlife habitat, ‘prescribed fire and mechanical treatments can have negative impacts on many important components of wildlife habitat, such as snags, downed logs, and old growth or large trees. Downed logs provide habitat for small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Large trees are used by a variety of wildlife species for nesting, feeding, foraging, and roosting.’ (excerpt page 62 from Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Treatment Practices for Ponderosa Pine in the Black Hills, Colorado Front Range, and Southwest)

The name Black Hills is a translation of the Lakota Pahá Sápa. The hills were so-called because of their dark appearance from afar.

cover of Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Treatment Practices for Ponderosa Pine in the Black Hills, Colorado Front Range, and Southwest
Cover of  Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Treatment Practices for Ponderosa Pine
in the Black Hills, Colorado Front Range, and Southwest 

Titles and links below are available for viewing:

Black Hills resilient landscapes project, draft environmental impact statement:

Forests of South Dakota

A comprehensive guide to fuels treatment practices for ponderosa pine in the Black Hills, Colorado Front Range, and Southwest

BIA forest lands of North and South Dakota, 1996

Forest health highlights

South Dakota timber industry

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.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Observe the Moon Night - October 5, 2019

International observe the moon night is October 5th.

International Observe the Moon Night is a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration held annually since 2010. One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to observe and learn about the Moon together, and to celebrate the cultural and personal connections we all have with our nearest neighbor.

Each year, thousands of people participate at museums, planetaria, schools, universities, observatories, parks, businesses, and backyards around the world. Anyone can participate. All you need to do is look up! Any astronomy club, interested group, or individual can host an event; events range from small family gatherings to community events that draw hundreds of visitors!

The event occurs in September or October, when the Moon is around first quarter. A first quarter Moon is visible in the afternoon and evening, a convenient time for most hosts and participants. Furthermore, the best lunar observing is typically along the dusk/dawn terminator, where shadows are the longest, rather than at full Moon.

You can register your participation at

Plan Ahead!

Upcoming dates for International Observe the Moon Night

  • October 5, 2019
  • September 26, 2020
  • October 16, 2021

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Electronic Resources for Genealogy Research

The State Library has a number of online resources to help you research your ancestors, including a new one introduced this summer.

image of six navy men circa world war II with fold 3 logo

Fold3 by Ancestry
New this summer, this resource focuses upon United States military records-- including stories, photos, and personal documents. This has unlimited, statewide access.

Research family and local history with access to thousands of collections from around the world, with immigration, military, birth, death, census records and more. Note: you can only access this inside a library or school building.

Using the same searching interface as AncestryLibrary, it has census, gravestone records, family and local history books, and much more. But this one you can use from home, as it has unlimited statewide access.

These can be reached through the SDSL’s A to Z listing webpage. Or ask your local librarian to place a direct link on their website. More information, including training videos, is on the SDSL help pages.

There are also a number of other South Dakota-related links on the SDSL website that may be of use in your genealogical research; such as Black Hills Knowledge Network and Sanborn Maps.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Virtual Reality (VR) headsets available from the SD State Library

Teens team up at Rawlins Municipal Library in Pierre test out the Oculus Go VR headset. One wears the headset while the rest of the team can watch the experience on a synced device. 
Bring the FUTURE to your library by checking out Virtual Reality Headsets from the South Dakota State Library!

SDSL has received two Oculus Go VR headsets from a grant through Oculus to fourteen Western State Library agencies. VR (Virtual Reality) in libraries allows librarians and their patrons an opportunity to explore and create best practices in promoting the use of educational VR content in the library setting. It is also part of a continuing effort to develop programs of STEM related technologies for public libraries and their communities.

Coordinate your checkout with another South Dakota library and communicate with other patrons across the state. Use the headset in conjunction with summer reading with space apps like Mission: ISS that take a user on a trip into orbit and allows them to experience the International Space Station!

These headsets are not recommended for anyone under the age of thirteen and should only be worn for thirty minutes at a time. A user agreement and liability waiver must be signed by an adult for any minor child thirteen years of age or older to use the device.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Download Legal Forms Online for Free

photo of judge's gavel on laptop representing Legal Forms by Gale

In July 2019 the State Library introduced the electronic resource Legal Forms by Gale. It provides thousands of downloadable, customizable, legal documents specifically for South Dakota residents. There are over 50 categories including corporate, personal, leases, taxes, and business.

This website is easy to navigate to find SD-specific forms, and provides useful supplemental information. For example, under wills, there are documents that can be downloaded in either Word or .pdf form. There’s also a couple-paragraph description of what a will is, and a medium-length summary describing who can write and witness a will. Some templated forms are specific to SD, others for the US in general.

This can be reached through the SDSL’s A to Z listing webpage. Or ask your local librarian to place a direct link to it on their website. More information, including promotional materials, is on the SDSL help pages.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Big Read 2019

Boy holding books with text "one day one book one dollar October 2, 2019 hashtag The Big Read 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada, August 2019 -- The 1000 Books Foundation is proud to announce that The Big Read™ has been scheduled for October 2, 2019. We encourage all parents/caregivers to participate in this one-day online event. One Day. One Book.

What is The Big Read?

The Big Read 2019 is our annual one-day, online event to help kick-start early childhood literacy. We simply ask all parents and caregivers to read one book to their child on that day.

What is the goal?

This is a worldwide campaign developed by the 1000 Books Foundation, a Nevada-based 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, in partnership with other non-profit partners. The goal of #TheBigRead2019 is to promote the importance of early childhood literacy and encourage all parents and caregivers to read with their children.

Why should I care about The Big Read 2019?

Numerous studies have shown that parents who expose children to early language and literacy, create a bond that teaches vocabulary, introduces the connection between pictures and words, and promotes quality time spent with the people they love the most. This reinforces your role as your child’s first teacher. Parents and caregivers provide “early readers” the opportunity to have a head start which strengthens their confidence to succeed.

How do I get involved?

It’s very simple, on October 2, 2019;

  1. Read a book to your child.
  2. Take a picture and use the hashtag #TheBigRead2019 to post your involvement on social media (e.g, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Snapchat, etc.)
  3. **Optional ** Donate $1.00 to the 1000 Books Foundation. This tax-deductible donation is not mandatory to participate, however, it allows us to continue to innovate, grow and inspire children all over the world.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Haakon County Library organizes a Kindness Carnival

Sign for Carnival with signs pointing to rides and prizes
Kindness Carnival - photo courtesy of Haakon County Public Library's Facebook Page

"A token given for being an awesome human." This was the start of a joint community program with the Haakon County Library, Extension Office, and 4-H in Philip, SD. The group wanted to have a kid friendly event that did not cost anything for the kids to attend.

Businesses, schools, and daycares in Philip were asked if they would be willing to hand out kindness coins to well-behaved children, which the children would then use as tokens at a community carnival. It became a huge success!

The date was set for October from 2-5 pm at a local park.

The local photographer ran a photo booth, FCCLA was in charge of the Cookie Walk and Snow Cone machine. The High School Art Class ran the Face Painting and Tattoo booth, FFA was in charge of the Coin Dig, 4-H led the Pumpkin Painting with pumpkins and gourds donated by local gardeners. Hansen’s Taxidermy organized a Minnow Race, with the winning minnows being the prize (this game was the highlight for the kids)! Game, Fish and Parks had a Backyard Bass game.

There was apple bobbing, stick horse races, spoon and eyeball races, potato sack races, three legged races, plinko, duck pond, LARGE Jenga. Cornhole and checkers were set up for adults to play, as well as a very large tic tac toe table. Standard carnival games such as bean bag toss and ring toss were included, and also a miniature animal petting zoo with mini donkeys, mini cow, mini horse.

The day started with a costume parade, the local DJ played music and the Fire Department sponsored a Chili Cookoff. 350 to 400 attendees turned out for what became a huge community event that started as an idea to reward children exhibiting acts of kindness.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Gearing Up for a New School Year!

From the desk of Alissa Adams, SDSL School Library Technology Coordinator…

It is indeed that time of year as school and public librarians gear up to support students and educators across South Dakota.

First, check out this post titled Back-to-school Basics: 2019-20 Edition. It’s got some practical reminders for starting off the school year in the library. Some of these goodies can be applied to the public library too.

Second, here is a list of handy information and links related to school library. Many cross over into public library:

  • The SDSL School Libraries page is a great starting point for school library info. and resources.
  • SDSL’s eresources/databases are free, go-to resources for research, inquiry, and literacy-building. We’ve sorted them for elementary, middle, and high school. Try bookmarking or direct linking your favorites to your library website so easy, student-friendly access.
  • Did you know South Dakota has its very own children’s book awards? The Prairie Bud, Bloom, Pasque Awards for K-5 grades AND The YARP Awards for 6-12 grades. Make it easy for kids to vote by linking to your library website.
  • Subscribe to the Collect+Connect. This is a blog delivers weekly practical tips and resources, local library highlights, and thoughts for the modern school librarian.
  • Subscribe to the school library listserv so you can be in the know about school library happenings and deadlines. This also serves as a forum for school librarians across the state.
  • If you intend to borrow books/interlibrary loan from other libraries take a look at the Interlibrary Loan information. Public libraries often support students and educators via this outlet.

Lastly, here are the current deadlines for the 2019-20 school year relevant to school library:

FALL 2019


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Public library Wi-Fi service: Good for patrons, good for YOU!

photo of girl using tablet in library with bar charts and graphs super imposed around her

Public library Wi-Fi service opens the library to a whole new population of users who come to the library for Internet access on their own devices. Increased visits lead to an increase in usage of other services including circulation and program attendance. Bonus!

Here are a few pointers to help you make the most of your library’s public Wi-Fi:

Get the word out

  • Be sure to provide Wi-Fi signage on your entrance doors and throughout the library.
  • Feature free public Wi-Fi service on your library’s home page.
  • Send email reminders to local educators every school year.
  • Use local media to promote library Wi-Fi service.

Maximize accessibility

  • Provide adequate bandwidth and wireless network access points.
  • Have evening & weekend open hours that allow access for everybody.
  • Consider broadcasting the library wireless signal outside the library.
  • Consider making the library Wi-Fi available 24/7.

Get results

  • Use your library’s wireless usage stats to show community impact.
  • Use usage data to determine the best open hours for your library.
  • Build programs around patron devices like genealogy and ebooks trainings.
  • Set up comfortable spaces for visitors to use the library as a home office.

Last October, 35 South Dakota public libraries took part in a pilot program to try out a software product (WhoFi) that allows them to track usage on their public wireless networks. Some of us were surprised at how much use our library Wi-Fi gets. It’s a good reminder about how important public library Wi-Fi is to communities. If you’d like to add your public library to this program, contact Shawn [email] at the State Library.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Visiting the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington D.C.

Even though summer vacation is wrapping up for students, a trip to the National Mall and Memorials in Washington, D.C. could be an upcoming class trip or a future family vacation.

Panorama Top view scene of Washington DC
Panorama Top view scene of Washington DC

A visit to the D.C. area is full of history, honoring veteran’s, lobbying members of Congress, and visiting amazing sights. The National Park Service maintains a website where you can plan your DC area trip at

Federal Depository Libraries also have a number of documents in their collections that can be used to educate oneself ahead of a trip. Search your library catalog for a number of keywords: National Mall, Washington D.C., Memorial Parks, White House, or any number of the Smithsonian Museums. You may find titles like the following:

For librarians, a trip to Washington D.C. is not complete without visiting our “mothership”, the Library of Congress and the National Archives

Keep up to date with federal documents being published by searching the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications at

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.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

SD Step Ahead

photo of moms and baby/toddlers with SD Step Ahead logo

Help your early literacy patrons reach their full potential at each stage of growing with the information provided by SDStepAhead childhood initiative made possible by the South Dakota Department of Education!

SDStepAhead Supporting Early Learners
Interactive website to showcase the Early Learning Guidelines.

Organized by age range and developmental domains:

  • Approaches to Learning
  • Social & Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language & Literacy
  • Cognitive Development
  • Health & Physical Development SD


  • Improve knowledge of child development.
  • Inform age-appropriate expectations for children’s development and learning.
  • Establish goals for children’s development and learning that are shared across programs and services.
  • Guide plans for developing curricula and activities.
  • Support transition for young children into school settings.

For more information contact the SD Department of Education Head Start Collaboration Office at 605.773.4640 or

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Read & Win at the SD State Fair

south dakota state fair 2019
The SD State Fair, along with Ag Performance, is partnering with school and public libraries from across the state to promote reading and honor achievement in reading. To honor achievement in reading, free youth gate admission passes are being offered to the 2019 State Fair, Aug. 29-Sept. 2. The free passes can be used to supplement a current reading program or a whole new reading program can be started.

If you are interested in participating in the Read & Win program, please complete this form and send it back to the SD State Fairgrounds Office.

To be eligible for free youth admission passes, register no later than Monday, August 19th.

Federal Document of the Month - Homestake Mine

Homestake Gold Mine Lead, SD

Homestake was discovered in 1876 by brothers Fred and Moses Manue. In 1877 three men purchased the Homestake for $70,000.
‘Lead has been called the richest 100 square miles on Earth. Miners pulled more than 41 million ounces of gold and 9 million ounces of silver from Homestake, the largest mine in the western hemisphere. In December 2001, Homestake mined its final ore and left behind more than 370 miles of tunnels from the surface to the 8,000-foot level.’
-- Excerpt from Sanford Lab Homestake History
Homestake Mine. Circa unknown.
Photo via
Homestake's Open Cut. "Approximately 0.5 mile across and 800 to 1,200 feet deep."
Photo via

Federal publications from the SD State Library collection:

The Homestake Gold Mine, An Early Proterozoic lron-Formation-Hosted Gold Deposit, Lawrence County, South Dakota

Geology of the region around Lead, South Dakota, and its bearing on the Homestake ore body

Gold Distribution in Diamond-Drill Core from the Homestake Mine, Lead, S.Dak.
I 28.23:6897 OCLC#9339055

A few of many Homestake Mine books available from the SD State Library book collection.

The Story of Homestake: a South Dakota enterprise F659.L4 H65
History of Homestake Gold Mine:1876 to present HD 9536.U54 H57 1994
Homestake (DVD): the legend and legacy HD 9536.U54 H652 2003

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.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Interlibrary Loan – The Tricks of the Trade

From Dustin Larmore, Interlibrary Loan/Cataloging Librarian

Interlibrary loan is a wonderful service to obtain an item that your library doesn’t own. However, interlibrary loan is not intended for all items. Libraries should not look to ILL to replace their collection budgets. Each library should strive to obtain new items that patrons want. For this reason, when facilitating other libraries’ requests, the state library will generally not request items published within the last six months. We are always glad to lend items that the state library itself holds.

laptop with magnifying glass and books in background

On a related note, South Dakota Share-It, which libraries use to request other libraries’ materials, is not just an ILL system. It is a discovery system with all sorts of titles, including ones that cannot be requested via interlibrary loan. Therefore, you might find non-circulating items in Share-It. In such a case, you would need to tell your patron to visit the owning library, or you might be able to have the owning library copy certain pages.

Please contact Dustin Larmore ( or Brenda Hemmelman ( for any questions or concerns about the interlibrary loan process. We are always glad to help.

Happy searching!

Oh, those Budgets!

From Daria Bossman, State Librarian

Budgets are important. They are more than just a guess at what your library needs. Budgets are a roadmap and a statement of what is important.

In South Dakota, there is one curious issue and this might be seen as both a good and a bad thing. The issue? Libraries not spending their budgeted funds within their fiscal year.

It is great that the local governing bodies are generously funding their local public libraries. However, what message are we sending them if we don’t spend all those funds for new resources, access, programming and services for our community? Did you know in 2018 South Dakota public libraries left a combined total of $1.3 million dollars on the table? $1.3 Million was allocated for library services, but went back into local coffers to be spent elsewhere. Now, some of this can be explained by a particular situation. One library wrote that one full-time position was not filled for over a year. That is understandable. Another wrote that they were delayed in purchasing a number of computers and technology which would come out of the following year’s budget. Again, very understandable. I look at percentages and 10% left is reasonable some years, but more than that can be suspect, especially if it keeps happening year after year. We have 15 public libraries in South Dakota who last year had between 14% and 45% of their annual budgets unspent. That is unacceptable.

Now that we have some outside donors wanting to give small grants to libraries, I am concerned they will not want to give in the future to libraries who can’t spend the tax-payers funds set aside for resources, programming and services. It might be perceived that these local libraries want to apply for grants for extra funds but don’t have the energy or foresight to spend the resources already allocated to them. These donors want to give where the need is clearly evident, not where funds are left on the table unused. I think we can do better. This next year, take time to create your budget carefully. If you are not involved with the Finance Department, ask to be involved. Let your goals or your strategic plan inform what you need to purchase next; what is your next project to improve your library? Then plan for it in your budget and execute your plan. Spend the funds given to you! If you need assistance or advice, call the State Library. This is why we are here. 1-800-423-6665.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Voluntary certification for public library directors and staff

The SD State Library recognizes public library directors and staff who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis. The goals of this program are to help library directors and staff acquire and maintain skills in order to provide better library service to their communities.

Certificates are awarded by the SD State Library during the annual SDLA conference in September.

Certification is valid for three years. To renew at the same level, 30 contact hours of continuing education are required.

How do you apply? Visit and click on the "How to apply for certification" tab. Fill out the application and make sure you are applying or renewing at the proper level by taking a look at the Guidelines document.

A current list of certified library directors and staff is also provided.

Questions? Contact

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Nuggets from Black Hills Area Librarians Workshop

…from the desk of Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator:

In late April I attended the Black Hills Area Librarians Workshop hosted by the Rapid City Public Library. I’ve attended this training/workshop before and have always been pleased, so this time I thought I do a little download and share some helpful nuggets.

The first part of the workshop was about the bigger picture. Sarah Baker from Regional Health presented on that age-old quest of finding your why. We walked through a sequence of questions on a worksheet that prompted us to explore our attributes and think about how we could apply them to our sense of purpose. I found this process to be helpful in terms of long-term goal setting and alignment.

After a local lunch, we digitally Zoomed into the Tulsa Public Library in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, public librarian Katlin Seagraves spoke about online privacy. Katlin’s cleverly titled presentation titled Defense Against the Dark Arts-Cyber Privacy was very informative and had me frantically taking notes about account safety, digital cookies, authentication, passwords, encryption, security settings, and much more.

The third and final session included a discussion panel about collaboration between school and public libraries. Panelists included myself, Laura Kelly of SD State Library, Kimberly Darata of Douglas High School Library, Sam Slocum of Rapid City Public Library. This discussion was recorded and can be accessed via the Rapid City Public Library. Listen in for lots of goodies about how public libraries can support school libraries and vice versa. I’ll also share with you two links: SDSL’s Collaboration Checklist and SDSL’s Better Together: School and Public Library Partnerships. These resources are from a session that Shawn Behrends, Laura Kelly, and I presented at last year’s SDLA conference.

I encourage all types of librarians to participate in local workshops offered by area libraries. Not only is it usually an inexpensive way to participate in professional development, it’s a goldmine of information and a great way to network with others in the field.

And, as always, for questions about school libraries, contact me at

April 1, 2020 is Census Day

If you haven’t already heard, the 2020 Census is coming and libraries could play a large role in helping people submit their forms online in early 2020. Communications and advertising campaigns have already begun.

meeting of people with paper, computers, and notebooks around table.

By law, the Census Bureau cannot share answers with the IRS, FBI, Welfare, Immigration or any other government agency. Census workers are sworn for life to secrecy. Census counts guide the distribution of federal money and, in some cases, can change a state’s number of Congressional seats.

When it is time to respond, households will receive an invitation in the mail. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. Reminder letters, then postcards will be sent to non-responders. A paper questionnaire may be sent to people who don’t respond online. In late April, those who still have not responded may have a Census worker knocking on their door.

A few SD communities (Vermillion, Huron, Aberdeen) have created Complete Count Committees. CCC’s help to distribute information and assist in making sure their local citizens complete the form. Libraries can be a big part of this. Visit the following links for more information.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Federal Document of the Month: Midwest farming issues

flooded corn field

The 2019 spring season has been rough for South Dakota farmers. Weather and flooding have set back planting time significantly, and unrest at the national level with tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports has also added to the stress levels of farmers everywhere.

Here are a few online titles of interest to the farming community. Keep up to date with federal documents being published by searching the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications at

Profiles and effects of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports 
Internet Access:

Access to Sufficient Capital for Everyone in Natural Disaster Areas Act of 2019 :
report (to accompany H.R. 2777)
Internet Access:

The 2018 Farm Bill - what is new and what has changed.
Internet Access:

The 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334) :
summary and side-by-side comparison
Internet Access:

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.

State Library Recognizes 21st Century School Libraries

13 school libraries have received the 21st Century School Library Award for 2019. 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 the professional.

21st century school library award for 2019 2022

Applicants conduct a self-assessment and provide evidence of their ability to meet South Dakota's guidelines for school libraries. Award status is valid for a three-year period.

Representatives of the selected libraries will be honored at the annual Systems Change Conference.

Exemplary Award recipients:

  • Aberdeen Central High School Library, Aberdeen; Librarian Mikayla Arechigo, Administrator Dr. Jason Uttermark
  • Alcester-Hudson Elementary School Library, Alcester; Librarian Nola Conner, Administrator Tim Rhead
  • Alcester-Hudson Jr/High School Library, Alcester; Librarian Nola Conner, Administrator LeeAnn Hasich
  • Creekside Elementary School Library, Spearfish; Librarian Sheleen Bauer, Administrator Dan Olson
  • Georgia Morse Middle School Library, Pierre; Librarian Renae Lehman, Administrators Dr. Kyley Cumbow and Brandon Lowery
  • Harrisburg High School Library, Harrisburg; Librarian Eve Langerock, Administrator Ryan Rollinger
  • Stagebarn Middle School Library, Piedmont; Librarian Scottie Bruch, Administrator Dave Olson
  • Sturgis Middle School Library, Sturgis; Librarian Scottie Bruch, Administrator Chad Hedderman

Enhanced Award recipients:

  • Dakota Valley Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School Libraries, Dakota Valley; Librarian Erin Nilges, Administrators Harlan Halverson, Eric Sommervold, and Dr. Jerry Rasmussen
  • Lennox Jr/High School Library, Lennox; Librarian Michael Larson, Administrator Chad Allison
  • R.F. Pettigrew Elementary School Library, Sioux Falls; Librarian Nicole Ulvestad, Administrator Kevin Dick
  • Sonia Sotomayor Elementary School Library, Sioux Falls; Librarian Jenni Egstad, Administrator Tracy Vik
  • Sturgis Brown High School Library, Sturgis; Librarian Scottie Bruch, Administrator Pete Wilson

Find more information on the State Library’s 21st Century School Library Award webpage.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

ProQuest Research Library: A Good Place to Start Research

Looking for an electronic resource to do some general research? Try ProQuest Research Library with its easy-to-use search bar. Primarily for late high school and adult learners, it features a diversified mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and other timely sources across the top 150 subject areas. By covering more subject areas than other resources, it serves a wide variety of people, from the one-time user to the interdisciplinary needs of serious researchers.

Pro Quest Research Library the starting point for research key titles and diverse international content across 150 subjects

This database expands daily, and currently includes more than 6,600 titles, 75% of which are available in full text. Subject areas covered include:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Health and medical
  • History
  • Law
  • Literature and languages
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Engineering and technology

ProQuest Research Library can be reached on SDSL’s A to Z listing webpage. You can learn more on the SDSL help pages, or check out some videos from ProQuest's YouTube channel.

Electronic Resources are provided through a combination of funding from the South Dakota State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Loaning Hotspots in Vermillion

Guest article from Daniel Burniston, Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library

photo of wireless internet hot spot and laptop

Libraries across the country have continued to circulate an ever-growing number of non-traditional materials. One of these items has been mobile hotspots. Our library started looking into hotspots seriously at the end of 2016 and went live with the service the beginning of 2017.

Initially, we had a lot of questions as these devices were new to us. How to manage multiple devices, which service to use, how they would work and how long to check them out for were just some of the questions we had. With a little research and some help from other libraries we managed to get started.

Since then, we’ve learned a lot. After sharing this information with several other interested libraries, it made sense to put it out there for anyone who may be interested and/or thinking about it. What follows is background on how we got started, what we learned, and things to ask and consider if you’re also looking at circulating mobile hotspots.

Daniel's full article, with much more information, is available in this downloadable PDF document.