Wednesday, December 30, 2020

American Indians in Children's Literature Best Books 2020

As librarians, we know it is critical that people (especially children!) see themselves in the books they read. It's also important that they see/empathize with others who do not look like them through the books that they read/view. This seeing develops empathy and creates understanding. It's that books as mirrors, windows, and doors idea first introduced by educator Emily Style in 1988 for the National SEED Project. Later, author/educator Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop added to the books and windows concept, describing books as sliding glass doors.

Books Are Mirrors (character looking in mirror) Windows (character looking in Window) and Sliding Glass Doors (Character looking at doors)
Building a Diverse Book Collection – Katy Tessman

Locating children's books with Indigenous content and by Native authors can be challenging due to a variety of factors but the respected American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) blog makes it approachable.

Each year the AICL publishes its "Best Of" list - a go-to when looking for book titles with quality content about Indigenous People and mostly from Native authors.

Check out the AICL's Best Books of 2020.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Britton area residents help build library in Africa

A new library will open in 2021 in Susu Village, Zambia, Africa and Britton, SD residents are a big part of how it became possible.

Britton native Lana Lynn, now of California and founder of Elizabeth’s Library International, points to the new library set to open early next year in Susu Village, Zambia, largely due to donations from Britton area residents. Lynn was in Britton on Thursday and gave a slide presentation of the progress of the new facility. Photo published in Marshall County Journal, November 2020

Britton Native Lana Lynn is the board chair of Elizabeth's Library International, a non-profit that "invests in people and their communities by establishing libraries and supporting educational opportunities in underserved areas of the world."

Growing up in Britton, Lynn spent many hours in the local library. When she had read almost all of those books, she took advantage of additional books that were loaned by the SD State Library. "I never imagined that one day, I'd be part of an organization sending cardboard boxes of books around the world to start libraries where there are none," Lynn shared.

Britton area residents provided funding to purchase the land for the new library and also help with construction costs. Construction has caused a ripple effect, and now gardens and a corn crop have been established, and plans are underway for other beneficial services for the community.

Read more in this story from the Marshall County Journal.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

South Dakota Titles to Go News

Welcome to the new at-large SD Titles to Go (SDTTG) Purchasing Committee member, Deirdre Whitman. Deirdre is Watertown's City Librarian. She has been selecting library materials for 12 years including content for Watertown's advantage collection for all ages for the past three years, and for children in the four years preceding. She is an advocate for intellectual freedom and believes the SD-Titles-to-Go collection is invaluable to the citizens of South Dakota to meet educational, informational, and recreational needs.

The Committee voted LeAnn Kaufman, Freeman Public Library, to be the 2021 Committee Chair. LeAnn has served since 2018 – present and previously from 2013-2015.

The 2021 committee is as follows:

  • LeAnn Kaufman, Freeman Public Library (Chair), Tier 1
  • Lori Williams, Moody County Resource Center, Tier 2 & 3
  • Kerry Bowers, Rawlins Municipal Library, Tier 4
  • Hannah Lagerquist, K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library, Tier 5& 6
  • Dierdre Whitman, Watertown Regional Library, At-Large

What is South Dakota Titles to Go?

South Dakota Titles to Go, provided by OverDrive and facilitated by the State Library, provides participating public library patrons the ability to download audiobooks and eBooks. Downloadable audiobooks and eBooks are available in a wide variety of popular genres, including bestsellers, fiction, romance, suspense, children's, young adult, business, self-help and language learning. They may be checked out for a period of time, placed on the patron's computer, or transferred to a portable device.

Audiobooks and eBooks are automatically returned when due.

Participating libraries sign participation agreements with OverDrive, which manages all billing and financial aspects directly with the participating library.

Is your library interested in joining SDTTG?

South Dakota public libraries can contact Kim Bonen, Digital Resources Coordinator at the South Dakota State Library to find out more!

Federal Document - Gray wolves

NPR: Gray Wolves To Be Removed From Endangered Species List
A gray wolf is captured by a remote camera on U.S. Forest Service land in Oregon in 2017.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/AP

As recently as October 2020, the gray wolf was removed from the Endangered Species List, losing protective status in the contiguous states where over 6,000 wolves populate. The gray wolf was placed on this list in 1974. A transient wolf will travel through South Dakota. According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service, there isn't a wolf population in our fair state, but wolves are prevalent in Minnesota and surrounding states.

Gray Wolf; Canis Lupis
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the State Library collection:

  • Reintroduction and Management of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park and the Central Idaho Wilderness Area : a Report to the United States Congress by the Wolf Management Committee
    Y 3.W 83:2 W 83 OCLC#24250231
  • The gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) : a case study in the listing and delisting challenges

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, December 10, 2020

Stephanie Miller Davis Grant - Applications are Open

Stephanie Miller-Davis Library Grant Program is the opportunity your library has been looking for to fund your goals for childhood literacy. This grant program has been established to promote early childhood literacy in rural South Dakota communities in partnership with SD State Library and SD Community Foundation.

Use the funds to develop or expand a summer reading programming, add materials to your collection or book interesting presenters to share their knowledge with your patrons. Grant funds are encouraged to be used to broaden programming during this time of social distancing to include curbside, outdoor and virtual programming.

$1,000 award will be given to 25 libraries that meet specific criteria for up to three years! Act fast the deadline is February 1, 2021. Funds will be awarded before summer reading starts!

Eligibility details can be found in the grant application. Questions can be directed to 1-800-423-6665 or email Laura Kelly.

Take a look at the below video to see creative ways grant funds were spent in 2020! For a complete list of grant awardees and quotes from partnering organizations visit Stephanie Miller-Davis Library Grants.

Bitmoji Libraries

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

Teachers and school librarians use Bitmoji classrooms as a way to engage kids, teach in a virtual environment, and deliver a large amount of information in a fun, compact way. 

A Bitmoji classroom is something that could easily be transferred to the library setting. Think: program landing pages, virtual bulletin boards, fun newsletters, digital book displays, etc. 

Take a look at this article on the Collect+Connect blog to learn more about how you can create a Bitmoji library for your school or public library.  

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Is WiFi Good for Libraries?

John Kerber, co-founder of WhoFi, presented a session entitled How Providing WiFi in Public Libraries Improves Communities at the 2020 SDLA conference. Libraries are stepping up to provide access to internet through free public WiFi, extending the reach of WiFi networks, and lending devices that enable internet access for everyone.

free wi fi sign

In case you missed the presentation, here are a few facts and stats you can pull out of your pocket when the opportunity arises.

  • Access to education is related to access to the internet. That point has certainly been made by recent events. Who offers free access to internet? Libraries!
  • In 2002, 5% of American jobs required high digital skills. In 2016, that number increased to 23%. Library WiFi provides equitable access to online information and opportunities.
  • In rural America 85% of people use the internet, but 63% have home broadband. Library WiFi plays an important role in diminishing the digital divide.
  • A library is not what it has; a library is what it does for its community.

Here's an impressive (but not exhaustive) list of things a library with WiFi does for a community:

online research resources access, homeschooling support, online coursework, higher education and financial aid applications, job search, online resume creation, job training courses, employment exams, employer correspondence, participation in ecommerce, research new skills, work remotely, access information about local government, apply for government benefits, complete the census, access legal resources, get health and medical information, access medical provider portals, access social media, read & send email, learn a language, create or post original media, support underserved communities

So, yes, public WiFi service is good for libraries and great for communities.

SDSL has Internet-related information and resources for public libraries:

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

SD School Library Guidelines Updated

The South Dakota State Library is excited to announce the newly updated 2020 SD School Library Guidelines.

The format is similar to the original 2010 version in relation to its levels of The Program, The Place, and The Professional.

Some objectives have been tweaked to reflect current language and some have been added to emphasize new practices and research.

When librarians and administrators use the SD School Library Guidelines in tandem with the SD School Library Content Standards, they are taking an important step toward ensuring school libraries effectively serve its patrons and the school community as a whole.

For assistance or questions, contact Alissa Adams, SDSL School Library Technology Coordinator.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Electronic Resources Updates

There have been several developments to the electronic resources page and their LibGuides:

A Language Resources LibGuide can now be found under the Electronic Resources/Databases LibGuide.

This page contains a list of resources for those wanting to learn a language. Click on a link to be taken to a website. Please note: These are not SDSL database subscriptions. For technical/training assistance, please see each site's help/contact page.

Black Freedom Struggle from ProQuest featuring images of Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Civil War soldier, and contemporary or modern woman in mask

ProQuest's new open source database, Black Freedom Struggle in the United States, has been added to the SDSL database page and a LibGuide created. These reliable, easily discoverable materials may be used for homework assignments, personal inquiry, research papers and National History Day type-projects focused on African American history in the U.S. Educators may use this material to teach a specific topic or person, such as Frederick Douglass or the Abolitionist Movement, to introduce students to using primary sources and to help novice researchers develop essential critical thinking and information literary skills. The content is curated around six time periods:

  • Resistance to Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860)
  • The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877)
  • Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932)
  • The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945)
  • The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975)
  • The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)

If you have any questions, please contact SDSL Digital Resources Coordinator, Kim Bonen at 605-295-3174, email:

November is Native American Heritage Month

Flandreau Indian School Choir, South Dakota
image from

November is Native American Heritage Month, and the federal government has many resources online and in print to help you learn more.

Visit for exhibits, audio/video, images, and more.

The “For Teachers” section of this website highlights many resources shared by government agencies such as The Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Institution.

On November 11, 2020, the first national memorial dedicated solely to Native American veterans was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

The United States Department of the Interior and Department of Justice publish many documents that can be found in collections of Federal Depository Libraries nationwide.

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 12, 2020

Distraction-free YouTube videos

Here’s a no-worries way to share YouTube videos 

man on computer with code screens and Video link logo at bottom

VideoLink is a FREE website that scrubs distracting content from YouTube videos. Go to and paste the URL of a YouTube video you’d like to share in the text field. VideoLink generates a link that plays the video all by itself, without the distracting links, buttons, and comments on YouTube’s website.

Security for Rural Librarians

At the recent Association for Rural and Small Libraries conference, Dr. Steve Albrecht presented on security and staying safe when help may be far away.

Here are some takeaways from that presentation.

General ideas:

  • Use security incident reports to build your case for policy changes and security improvements.
  • Talk your way out of confrontations (or out of the building).
  • Make bold safety decisions when you must.
  • Ask law enforcement (local or county PD, highway patrol) to drop in or drive by periodically.

Working alone:

  • Create a twice daily 'check-in call' protocol. Whether it is a family member, friend, or the business owner across the street, check in around the same time every day.
  • Install a camera system that can be monitored offsite.
  • Install a panic alarm that rings to an alarm company.
  • Get permission to carry pepper spray on you, not just nearby.
  • Talk to your "phantom co-worker".
  • Have an escape plan: park your car near the exit door; create a "robbery pack" (fake keys, wallet, purse, old cell phone).
  • Create a safe room where you can lock or barricade the door until help arrives.
  • Leave! You are more important than the books or equipment.

Working with one or more colleagues:

  • Develop code words or phrases that mean: call police, leave the building, come help me now.
  • Talk about how to handle the most challenging patrons. Maybe the patron responds better to one staff person over another.
  • Discuss when a permanent ban may be necessary.
  • Create better sightlines, eliminate blind spots, do walkarounds.

Talking to officials:

  • Use national cases and incidents to support need for change.
  • Make your case to local civic and community groups, library board and Friends groups, businesses.
  • Keep the focus on the employees by discussing staff morale, employee retention, increased liability, worker's comp etc.

Albrecht recommends that library staff, board members, Friends groups view the California State University Active Shooter Safety Training YouTube video (8 minutes)

Book resources:

The gift of fear: survival signals that protect us from violence, by Gavin de Becker

Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities, by David Albrecht

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Why didn’t I think of that? Fishing for program ideas

Fishing for Program Ideas 

Fishing for Program Ideas - card tacked on corkboard

Have you run out of program ideas? Your community is full of folks with skills and knowledge to share. 

Try this: Create a "What can you teach?" bulletin board at your library. See what you can reel in!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

4th Annual Performance Showcase Event

Let the Show Begin!

Showcase Virtual Performers Playlist - November 16-19. November 20 Q and A Meetup

Due to social distancing, the South Dakota State Library has decided to move the Performance Showcase to a Virtual Performance Showcase.

Beginning November 16, attendees will be directed to a webpage where they can view all the performers from the convenience of their own desk! Attendees have Monday through Thursday to peruse all of the performer's videos.

SDSL will then host a follow up Zoom session where we provide tips for hosting a performer and allow for a Q&A session. 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.

SDSL is premiering the performers' videos on November 16 -20!

Zoom meetup scheduled for Friday, November 20 from 10-11am CST!

Librarians need to register prior to the event and can receive contact hours for attending and watching videos. Librarians will be responsible for contacting the individual acts on their own with specific performance questions and booking details.

All acts are brought to you 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, dance, traveling theatre company, magic, comedy, storytelling.

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

Registration is open through November 9, 2020 so reserve your seat today!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Be an Informed Voter with the SDSL Databases

The next presidential election is November 3rd. If you want to brush up on current events and the election process, check out the following reliable resources provided by the SDSL! 

photo of I Voted sticker with text it's not about the sticker. Get informed. Vote

SIRS Issues Researcher

  • Under "Editor's Picks" there is a special Election 2020 section. Here you will find Viewpoints, Critical Questions, and Timeline of the 2020 election.

Points of View Reference Center

  1. Check out "In the News" at the top of the page for current events such as Voter Identification Laws, Election Interference, and more.
  2. Scroll down further to Browse by Category and you fill find Voting & ElectionsVoting Technology, Vote by Mail, Electoral College, Term Limits, and more.

U.S. Newsstream 

Keep up to date on current election news using reliable sources. U.S. Newsstream enables users to search the most recent premium U.S. news content. Here are just a few titles you can access:
  • New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • The Chicago Tribune
  • The Star Tribune
U.S. Newsstream also offers one of the largest collections of local and regional newspapers.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Read for the Record is next week!

Join the South Dakota State Library in celebrating Jumpstart's 15th Annual Read for the Record! 

Jumpstart Read for the record poster

Jumpstart's Read for the Record is October 29, 2020. Join us for a virtual reading of Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away! with Secretary of Education Ben Jones, premiering on the South Dakota State Library's YouTube channel! This video will be available on Monday, Oct. 26 for you to share with your classes and groups throughout the week.

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record brings together millions of adults and children around the world each year to read the same book on the same day in order to raise awareness about the critical importance of early literacy and access to high-quality books.

Find more 2020 Read for the Record's Activities & Resources Toolkit at

Join the conversation online using #readfortherecord in your social media posts and tagging @jumpstartkids as well. 

Passionate Readers Book Study

From the desk of Laura Kelly… 

This past summer, fifteen librarians and educators from around the state participated in a book study facilitated by Alissa Adams, School Library Technology Coordinator at the SD State Library.

The book? Passionate Readers: The Art of Reaching Engaging Every Child by Pernille Ripp.

Read more about my experience taking the course at Alissa's blog

Alissa and I are partnering to run this book study once again in 2021. Note: This course is not limited to school librarians.

"Creating learning communities where students are passionate about reading requires many things- a great classroom library, time to read, choice, and also the courage to break some of the rules that surround traditional reading instruction."
-Pernille Ripp
Book Cover of Passionate Readers by Permille Ripp
Passionate Readers: The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child By Pernille Ripp
ISBN 9781138958647 | Published 2017 by Routledge

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Use the E’s to Craft an E-ffective Presentation

The E's of Libraries makes it easy to put together a persuasive presentation for any type of audience: Your commissioners, school administrators, service clubs. The E's help you target your message to the interests of prospective supporters.

Pick a couple of these E's that match your audience's interests: Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Empowerment, and Engagement for Everyone, Everywhere. Then highlight the programs and services your library does well in those areas. For example, "Our library supports Education for Everyone through storytimes that support early literacy, K-12 programs that fight summer slide, and research resources for adult learners."

Here are two resources that will show you how to spin the good things your library does into a memorable presentation.

Visit the American Library Association's E's of Libraries webpage.

Check out this title from the State Library's professional collection: Proving Your Library's Value: Persuasive, Organized, and Memorable Messaging by Alan Fishel and Jillian Wentworth, ©2020.

book cover of Proving Your Library's Value Persuasive Organized and Memorable Messaging

Historical Newspaper Images Now Discoverable Online with New Tool from the Library of Congress

From the desk of Dustin Larmore via the Library of Congress…

The public can now explore more than 1.5 million historical newspaper images online and free of charge. The latest machine learning experience from Library of Congress Labs, Newspaper Navigator allows users to search visual content in American newspapers dating 1789-1963.

screenshot of newspaper navigator searching for baseball players

The user begins by entering a keyword that returns a selection of photos. The user can then choose photos to search against, allowing the discovery of related images that were previously undetectable by search engines.

For decades, partners across the United States have collaborated to digitize newspapers through the Library's Chronicling America website, a database of historical U.S. newspapers. The text of the newspapers is made searchable by character recognition technology, but users looking for specific images were required to page through the individual issues. Through the creative ingenuity of Innovator in Residence Benjamin Lee and advances in machine learning, Newspaper Navigator now makes images in the newspapers searchable by enabling users to search by visual similarity.

To create Newspaper Navigator, Lee trained computer algorithms to sort through 16 million Chronicling America newspaper pages in search of photographs, illustrations, maps, cartoons, comics, headlines and advertisements. The idea for Lee's groundbreaking project began with a Library crowdsourcing experiment by 2017 Innovator in Residence Tong Wang called Beyond Words, which invited members of the public to help identify cartoons, illustrations, photographs and advertisements in World War I-era newspapers. Users could draw boxes around visual content on a page, transcribe captions or review other users' transcriptions.

For more information, see the Library of Congress's full press release.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Siouxland Libraries launches "A card that’ll save you money!" library card sign-up campaign

Siouxland Libraries came up with a fun way to celebrate the 2020 Library Card Sign-up campaign. Justin Stevenson, Siouxland Librarian and Betsy Rice, Communications & Marketing for the City of Sioux Falls are responsible for the campaign: A card that'll save you money!

The campaign, which is running on all Siouxland Libraries' social media platforms and in the bi-monthly Highlights newsletter began Monday, September 14 and will end Monday, October 26.

Branch librarians submitted names of "library super users". Rice interviewed nine and obtained photos to be used for social media posts.

The focus of the campaign is the amount of money saved to date in 2020 by borrowing materials from the library rather than buying. A great bargain any day, but especially during a pandemic when people are trying to save money.

In addition to the library card campaign, Siouxland is also featuring a running total on checkout receipts showing what a patron has saved by borrowing vs. buying!

When you work for Kids Inc. afterschool/summer program your need for books is great. Just ask Miss Lori. She pops in to the Oak View Branch *almost three times a week every week* jam-packed book tote in hand, to exchange 20-40 returns for an equal or greater number of books she's placed on hold.

"The library's saved us a ton of money," Marisa exclaims. Literally ― if measured in coins!

**graphic design created by Lindsey Conrad, City of Sioux Falls

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Federal Document of the Month

A parade of presidents colorfully line our federal document shelves. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States is a collection of public papers containing the President's daily schedule, messages, remarks, and statements to Executive Orders. The State Library's physical collection begins with President Herbert Hoover, ending with the first book of President Barack Obama. More recent titles can be accessed online at

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

photo of shelves at the South Dakota State Library.

GS 4.113:

open book of Gerald Ford, 1975 edition. Features color photo of President Ford.

With our rural nature, South Dakota is often a 'flyover' state for POTUS. According to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, President McKinley visited in 1898 with sixteen presidents following suit. It is a curiosity of holding a volume, paging through and reading words by influential people of their time.

To read from where you recline, visit:

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 24, 2020

Homeschool Survey Results

The SDSL conducted an online survey from July 30th – August 15th to gather data on home school trends for Fall 2020. Forty-one responses were received and analyzed. Please note: Home schooling has its own curriculum while distance learning is done working from home with your local school district and teachers. SD/DOE has a page about home schooling:

Most (45%) reported less than 25% of their student population would be home schooling this fall. However, 37.5% indicate they have no idea how to tell how many in their community plan to home school this fall, and 12.5% would like guidance on how to find out. Library staff can look for where parents are having these conversations. Facebook groups for parents and other online social media can help library staff connect to this user base. Where do parents gather in your community?

See full infographic of SDSL Homeschool Online Survey.

Twenty nine respondents answered they did see evidence home schooling will increase, while sixteen respondents answered they did not. How are you reaching out to your community to gather information? Contacting school administrators is a great way to collaborate, get facts, and advocate for your library.

30% of respondents said they did not feel prepared to handle a potential increase in patrons who homeschool. A whopping 80% of respondents opted to receive additional resources that benefit the home school community.

What can libraries do?

Libraries can provide access to Wi-Fi and SDSL online databases to support research, homework, and projects. Whether the student is being home schooled, learning online, or in person through the school district, libraries have a lot to offer.

SDSL databases

The SDSL provides a large selection of online databases on a variety of topics. Users have instant, statewide access using GeoIP technology. Check out the following:

As always, feel free to contact me for more information and/or to set up training on the SDSL databases:

Kim Bonen, Digital Resources Coordinator
605-295-3174 |

If you lose my phone number, just call the State Library 773-3131 ext. 6 and they can patch you through.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

South Dakota Teen Choice Award gets makeover!

"The Young Adult Reading Program (YARP) committee is excited to announce our new logo for the SD Teen Choice Book Awards. Thank you to Lucy Wang from Siouxland Libraries for taking the lead on designing a new logo that will look great on our future posters."
-- Elizabeth Hoffman, YARP Committee Chair

Colorful new logo featuring silhouette of coyote with shape of South Dakota

2020 Design by Lucy Wang,
Teen Services Librarian, Siouxland Libraries

Along with the new logo, the nominees for the 2020-2021 school year is also released. You will also find updated downloads including labels for you to use in your library as well as the 2020-2021 Almost Made it list.

Teen Choice Book Awards voting runs October 1st through April 1st.

All the details are available at

Laura Kelly from the SD State Library interviewed Lucy Wang, designer of the new 2020 logo, and just for fun, also interviewed Wynne Nafus Sayer, designer of the previous 2007 logo.

What was the inspiration of the 2020 design?

We really wanted to add a pop of color to the design. I started by looking at other logos for teen awards, and one piece of inspiration was the Teen Choice Awards that airs on Fox each year.

What was the most challenging part of the logo design process?

The most challenging part of the logo design process was coming up with ideas that would be in agreement for most of the committee members. The symbol of the coyote has been with YARP since the beginning. I have heard that the origination of the term YARP was because that is the sound a coyote makes - and it just happened to also be the letters in Young Adult Reading Program. Regardless of the origin, some members of the committee felt it was necessary to keep the coyote in the logo while others felt that it was time to move on from the image as it did not make sense with the mission of the group. In the end, we found a way to incorporate the coyote while also modernizing the entire look.

Are there elements of the new YARP design you hope teens will identify with?

I hope teens will identify with the "new" title, that is "SD Teen Choice Awards" rather than "YARP." YARP is certainly less of a mouthful, but it's not as self-explanatory as a teen choice award. Having our new logo reflect our updated title will also help us as librarians to promote it as the teen choice awards.

2007 Design by Wynne Nafus Sayer,
SDSL Information Officer/Webmaster

What was the inspiration of the 2007 design?

The inspiration that Jasmine (Rockwell, SDSL) had given me was the coyote and graphic novels. We went through several variations before we decided on the main graphic. I've worked for the SDSL since 2006, and I really don't think that YARP had a logo previously – or at least I haven't found anything in our website archives, anyway.

What was the most challenging part of the logo design process?

Finalizing a design that will work in several areas – website, posters, labels, etc. The best part was going to parent-teacher conferences at my kids' school years later and seeing my design in the library's display case with that year's YARP books.

Are there elements of the new YARP design you hope teens will identify with?

I love Lucy's design!! It's colorful, bright, creative and engaging! I really think that teens will find something in the simplicity that speaks to them.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

ProQuest K-12 Education Coursepack materials available

ProQuest developed K-12 Education Coursepack materials this year. The materials are available at no cost and contain the following:

  • Access train-the-trainer presentations that can be downloaded and customized to provide staff training for ProQuest's K-12 databases.
  • Use the guide to learn the intended uses for each K-12 resource and provide examples of key components directly supporting core curriculum areas.
  • Use this guide to assist Educators with classroom integration and instruction.
  • Scavenger Hunts are provided to guide exploration of database content and interaction with the Guided Research platform. These exercises are intended to be utilized by Educators and Researchers.

ProQuest Logo

Product Education presentations include Recorded Trainings and E-learning Training Modules on each database's LibGuide. They are here to help all users Get Started!

Questions? Contact

Enhancements to Miss Humblebee’s Academy

SDSL is excited to announce recent and future enhancements to Miss Humblebee's Academy to empower young students in their learning journey towards kindergarten readiness, support online/offline learning and curriculum guidance.

Fun and Interactive Onine Learning Program for children ages 3-6 Miss Humblebees Academy

What is new?

  • Learning Path Classroom Menu Option: New classroom menu item to visualize and follow lessons along a sequential learning path. Additional classroom option to select a lesson is still available.
  • Button to expand and collapse classroom menu options to enhance mobile responsiveness.
  • Offline STEAM curriculum: Offline Curriculum based on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. These hands-on activities reinforce current lessons focused on development milestones and kindergarten readiness while supporting recommended limits on screen time.
  • Printable Parent Resources: Core planners and schedules such as learning schedules, reading charts, curriculum lists and planners are available as printable resources.
  • eBook Updates: In addition to read aloud options, eBooks have been expanded to include prediction and comprehension questions. New options to retell the eBook is also available as an offline printable with words or with pictures.
  • New lessons focused on Math, Language and Literary (ongoing updates throughout the remainder of the year).

What is coming up?

  • New eBooks: New series of World Changer non-fiction books based on children and adults that have had a positive impact on the world. A total of 20 titles will be added on a bi-weekly basis beginning with an eBook focused on Civil Rights Pioneer Ruby Bridges in the library this week.
  • Interactive Kindergarten Readiness Checklist and Development Milestones: Parents can enter information into online spreadsheet and store/track progress in their student dashboard instead of printing and storing readiness materials offline.

Questions? Contact

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Sturgis Public Library Awarded $18,000 in Disaster Fund Grants

Building of Sturgis Public Library/ City Hall

The Sturgis Public Library is pleased to announce that the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, John T. Vucurevich Foundation, and the United Way of the Black Hills have each awarded $6,000 to the Sturgis Public Library in the form of Disaster Fund Grants. Totaling $18,000, the grants will be used to support the library's efforts to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

The Public Library worked with the Meade 46-1 School Librarians, Scottie Bruch (Middle & High Schools) and Heidi Kruse (Elementary Schools) to identify areas of need. The result of that collaborative effort is portable Wi-Fi hotspots and the expansion of the public library's digital eBook and audiobook Overdrive collections for school-age students. 

"As our schools moved to remote learning last spring, it became apparent that a segment of our students did not have access to the internet at home. The school district worked to connect those students, but it remains a struggle for many in our community. These hot spots will allow families to connect should we move to distance learning again in the coming year," said Kruse. "Additionally, many students and families did not have adequate access to level appropriate books. This new collection will help to fill that gap." 

"We know that there is the probability of some students being homeschooled this fall and also the possibility that all of our students could be moved to a hybrid or virtual learning environment at some point during the school year," said Bruch. "We are grateful they will have access to quality content even when they can't physically access our school libraries." 

These resources will be available to the whole community, not just students. "Like the schools, our public library services continue to be limited because of the pandemic. We know there are many in our community that will benefit from these hot spots beyond the students," explained Julie Moore Peterson, Head Librarian of the Sturgis Public Library. "We are thrilled to offer this new opportunity in a time of such need." The public library is in the process of purchasing 10 Wifi Hotspots for patron use, and new digital content is already available.

Thursday, August 27, 2020


The South Dakota State Library is one of nine Federal Depository Libraries in the state. These libraries offer a selection of government documents and digital resources to patrons of all ages as part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Some libraries have more digital resources, while others continue to receive paper items from the Government Publishing Office in Washington D.C. 

Federal Depository Library program emblem and text

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. It distributes materials in a variety of formats, including electronic, CD, microfiche, and paper. As part of its publishing program, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) distributes certain classes of government documents free of cost to designated libraries throughout the United States and its territories.These libraries are known as Federal Depository Libraries. 

Whatever federal government information questions you may have, an FDLP library can help. South Dakota Federal Depository Libraries are listed under the Federal Government Publications area at

Thursday, August 20, 2020

SDSL Resources to Support Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the forefront of many minds these days. It's not something that is just taught a couple times a semester by school counselors or delivered once during a summer story time. SEL is a broad type of interpersonal learning that should be integrated throughout all content areas and be supported by school library and public library collections.

Social Emotional Learning circle chart featuring 5 cores: Self Awareness, Self management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making

CASEL's Framework identifies five key components of social and emotional learning:

I can recognize my emotions and thoughts and I know they can influence my behavior.

I can regulate manage stress, control impulses, motivate myself, and work toward achieving my personal and academic goals.

Social awareness
I can empathize with others, understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and recognize resources and support systems that can help not just me but others too.

Relationship skills
I can establish and maintain healthy relationships with others by communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and offering help when needed.

Responsible decision-making
I can make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, realistic consequences, and the well-being of myself and others.

To help public and school librarians enrich their collections, check out the SD State Library's list titled: Social and Emotional Learning Books & Resources which can be located at > School Libraries > Reading Resources.

In addition, this curated list from the SDSL School Libraries has links to even more SEL resources for libraries, schools, and home.

New comparative library data from the Public Libraries Survey (your annual report) is available

Man looking at big screen of analytics and data

Public library 2019 data files with selected financial and service statistics, per capita and other key ratios for all South Dakota public libraries is posted on our SDSL Resource Guides.

Use these self-service statistical files to prepare reports for your library board and budget meetings and for benchmarking your library’s performance against your “peers.”

Remember that data from all elements contained in the annual Public Libraries Survey are available for your use. Contact the State Library Data Coordinator for assistance in accessing additional information from the annual reports.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Think your library can’t afford faster Internet or better WiFi? Here’s how to make it happen…

The federal E-rate program makes broadband access affordable for public libraries. Even if your library receives free broadband service, you can still benefit because there are two kinds of E-rate funding: 
  • Category 1 subsidizes broadband services TO your library. You can use this toward your current service or for upgrading to a higher capacity broadband connection. 
  • Category 2 subsidizes internet equipment and services INSIDE buildings, for example, access points, antennas, cabling, switches, routers. This is the equipment you need to improve internet speed and connectivity inside the library and for extending your library’s public WiFi service. 
E-rate funding is based on a discount of the services you’ve contracted for. The amount of discount is based on the percentage of students in your school district receiving free/reduced rate lunches. Discounts for rural libraries start at 25% and can be as high as 90%! 

Your application begins with a competitive bidding process where you formally request bids on the services & equipment you’d like to purchase. After 28 days you will conduct a bid evaluation to choose a vendor. You will then have the total cost for your project that you will use to apply for E-rate funding. 

The competitive bidding process for funding year 2021 opened July 1, 2020. Start the bidding process NOW to give yourself plenty of time to meet deadlines. 

This webinar especially for South Dakota public libraries will show you how to get started.  

More library-specific E-rate information can be found on the Internet for Libraries page of the SDSL Resources Guides.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Resources for homeschooling

As the South Dakota mid-summer heat swelters to an almost unbearable intensity, thoughts begin to drift towards fall and cooler temperatures. Like the rest of 2020, this fall may be an unusual one. Due to COVID-19, parents are currently deciding whether to send their children back to public school or provide alternate instruction at home. For first timers, the world of homeschooling can be confusing.

Family dining table with kids (varied ages) studying, coloring, with healthy snacks, laptop, tablet, waters, and books.

So, what can librarians do to help patrons with school age children? Easy! They can share resources that guide them through the homeschooling process. Librarians can suggest patrons visit the SD Department of Education (DOE) Homeschooling Page to learn what steps to take in order to homeschool:

The South Dakota State Library remains dedicated to providing high quality resources for all South Dakota residents. Here are just a few of our online databases that will help supplement your patron's curriculum whether they attend public school OR receive instruction at home:

EBSCO Learning Express Library

Learning Express Library : For ages 9-90, Learning Express Library is for anyone wishing to build skills or take a standardized test.

Funk and Wagnells New Encyclopedia available via EBSCO host

Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia : A student encyclopedia that provides over 25,000 entries on a wide variety of topics.

Gale Miss Humblebees academy

Miss Humblebee's Acadamy : Interactive learning program for ages 2-6; in math, science, social studies, language and literacy, art, and music.

True Flix

TrueFlix : Dozens of social studies and science units. Primary sources, fiction, videos, audio clips, images, and related websites.

Visit the South Dakota State Library's Database Page to discover more on:

Student Research for Elementary School

Student Research for Middle School

Student Research for High School

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Web tools: build your summer reading with READsquared

READsquared for South Dakota Libraries. Mom and young boy with open book

READsquared can help you build your summer reading participation and more!

The SD State Library has made the READsquared online reading program software available to all of South Dakota’s public libraries.

The software allows librarians to manage summer reading programs online. Library users can register for library programs and track reading goals through an app that can be used on mobile devices.

READsquared will be available year-round and can be used for hosting book clubs, winter reading programs and 1000 Books before Kindergarten. The app’s many functions include the ability to host games & contests, award prizes, and recommend book titles from the library’s collections. We hope you’ll add this to your library’s programming toolbox.

Read what SD librarians say about READsquared:

“Thanks to the READSquared app, our patrons - especially our usually non-participating adults and teens - have really thrown themselves into the summer reading program. Our 54 current participants - we allow registrations throughout the program and usually end the summer with around 200 patrons participating - have already read almost 12,000 minutes and completed a number of missions and projects within the app's framework. We are hopeful that access to this app with provide our patrons with new and interesting ways to interact with the library in the months and years to come.”

--Megan Eggers, Library Director, Piedmont Valley Library

“Thanks for making READsquared possible. It has made virtual Summer Reading a pretty fabulous event this year. We appreciate the idea and the support. Thank you."

--Cyndie Harlan, Director Hearst Library, Lead, SD

"I am loving the new ReadSquared!!!"

--Melissa Hutmacher, Library Director, Cozard Memorial Library, Chamberlain

Funding for READsquared is made possible by the federal CARES Act through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the South Dakota State Library.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

100,000 summer readers in 2020

This year the South Dakota State Library challenges libraries to reach 100,000 participants! The past few years, the summer reading participation number has been close to 100,000, but we have not yet reached this milestone.

Join South Dakota Library Summer Reading Programs to reach our goal of 100K summer readers for 2020 #SDSummerReading2020

Due to social distancing this summer, tracking participation can be challenging. Check out the added questions about live programming, recorded programming and remote activities. Grow your library's participation numbers and help us reach our goal by following this link:

Join us and take a book selfie of yourself or share summer reading activities your library patrons are completing and share on social media with #SDSummerReading2020. Spread the word about our goal on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Plan a 100,000 celebration when we reach our goal!

Thank you to the following libraries that are regularly using the #SDSummerReading2020 hashtag!

Gregory Public Library
Centerville Community Library
Facebook | YouTube

Deubrook Community Library

Doland School & Sherwood Memorial City Library
Facebook | Instagram

Custer County Library
Facebook | Instagram

Phoebe Apperson Hearst Library, Lead

Vermillion Public Library

Thursday, July 16, 2020

SD State Library migrates to new library catalog ILS

New integrated library system for the South Dakota State Library: Auto-Graphic’s VERSO

The South Dakota State Library migrated its records to a new integrated library system (ILS), Auto-Graphic’s VERSO, on June 29, 2020. SDSL began using the new system for circulation in early July.

Welcome to the catalog of the South Dakota State Library

Users will notice that VERSO looks and searches much like South Dakota Share-It.

VERSO was designed with a graphical interface using HTML5 web technology. VERSO’s user interface highlights search results with large and informative cover images and graphic design features. VERSO provides intuitive navigation, utilizing familiar web cues, and a “wizard-like”advanced search screen, using filters and prompts modeled from popular search engines.

Search results can be clustered and displayed to present all formats of a title in a single FRBR-like display. VERSO employs innovative, attention-grabbing display techniques such as Cover Flow showcase book jacket display, as well as an enhanced drag-and-drop functionality to library users’ personal lists. Patrons may manage their accounts and modify their own user experience through “My Lists” and “My Account” customization options. VERSO’s discovery engine provides a central point of control for patrons to search, manage and share their library information.

As a web-based system, and like South Dakota Share-It, VERSO is best accessed using Google Chrome. Mozilla Firefox would be the next best choice, while Microsoft Edge will also work. Internet Explorer is no longer supported.

Search the new SDSL catalog at

If you are considering automating your library collection for the first time or maybe switching to a new product, the SD State Library has compiled information at

Contact for more information.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

New databases now available

Applied Science & Technology Source

This database offers a diverse array of full-text and indexed content covering the full spectrum of the applied sciences and computing disciplines — from acoustics to aeronautics, neural networks to nuclear engineering. Applied Science & Technology Source was developed through a merger of high-quality databases from EBSCO and H.W. Wilson and includes many unique full-text journals not previously available in any other database.

EBSCO Open Dissertations

EBSCO Open Dissertations is a free database with records for more than 1.2 million electronic theses and dissertations from around the world. It is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs to increase traffic and discoverability of ETD research. You can join the movement and add your theses and dissertations to the database, making them freely available to researchers everywhere while increasing traffic to your institutional repository.

European views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750

European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750 is a free archive of indexed publications related to the Americas and written in Europe before 1750. It includes thousands of valuable primary source records covering the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples. It represents a wide range of topics, from the British/French/Dutch in America to natural disasters, religious orders, slavery and more.

Newspaper Source

Newspaper Source provides cover-to-cover full text for hundreds of national (U.S.), international and regional newspapers. In addition, it offers television and radio news transcripts from major networks. Newspaper Source can be accessed via EBSCOhost or Explora, EBSCO's dedicated interface for schools and public libraries.

World Politics Review

This unique database provides uncompromising analysis of critical global trends to give academics, policymakers and businesspeople the context they need to have the confidence they want. The content is much more current than that found in leading international affairs academic journals, without compromising quality.

Find some grants for your library dreams

Thinking about finding some grant funding?

During the recent Small, Rural, and Independent Libraries mini-conference, Stephanie Gerding presented a terrific 30 minute session on Winning Grants for Small & Rural Libraries. You can view the recording at

With the pandemic, some libraries may be facing budget cuts, or maybe you have a wish list of things and you'd like to seek grant funding. Stephanie offers great advice and highlights some of the following resources.

Here are a couple of recorded webinars from Candid:

  • Introduction to Finding Grants YouTube
  • Introduction to Fundraising Planning YouTube

The SD State Library has a grants information guide at We also provide access to the Foundation Directory Online Professional grants database. And don't forget, due to the pandemic, FREE access to the Foundation Directory Online Essential grants database is available through August 31st. See the information at, Grants Database tab under E-Resource Information.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Database Update: Sources in U.S. History

Walker, Jonathan. Trial and imprisonment of Jonathan Walker at Pensacola, Florida, for aiding slaves to escape from bondage : with an appendix, containing a sketch ... Boston, 1850. 124pp. Sources in U.S. History Online: Slavery in America.

Database vendor Gale will release an enhanced user experience for their Sources in U.S. History Online series this summer. As part of these enhancements, your archives will now be available as part of Archives Unbound along with all the rich contextual materials currently included in the archives. This will affect the following resources: 
  • Sources in US History Online: The American Revolution 
  • Sources in US History Online: The Civil War 
  • Sources in US History Online: Slavery in America 
Benefits of the new user experience include: 
  • Enhanced product platform— A modern look and feel, in line with user expectations of modern websites. 
  • Improved Accessibility— Maintained for Web Accessibility standards to ensure access by users of all abilities. 
  • Smarter search results—New interface will retain legal search fields and Advanced Search limiters. It will also include new features, such as new filtering options in search results and Name and Subject Expansion, which looks for pseudonyms and synonyms of your search term. 
  • Streamlined user interface—The new UI will be consistent with other Gale products and will deliver an engaging experience that allows quick access to search tools, relevant content, and collaborative features like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. 
  • Secure product access—Guarantees the use of HTTPS protocol to ensure that data between a patron’s browser and Gale products is encrypted, and the right to privacy for library users is protected. 
These enhancements for Sources in U.S. History Online are scheduled to release on July 31, 2020. 

Questions? Contact

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Health Programming for Summer Reading and Beyond

Small and large health programming ideas that can be used for Summer Reading 2020 and beyond!

The NNLM held a webinar in April highlighting small and large health programming ideas that can be used for summer reading and beyond.

For 2020, the slogan is Imagine Your Story with a theme of fairy tales, mythology, and fantasy. Included are written program plans with ideas for fairy tale nutrition, nature walks, graphic medicine, tooth fairy dental health storytime, and more. 

In addition to summer reading, the webinar covered how public libraries are responding to service reductions and closures during the COVID-19 Crisis with virtual engagement and programming opportunities.

Watch the Recording (above) and check out the Resource List now!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Congratulations 21st Century School Libraries!

The South Dakota State Library, a division of the SD Department of Education, is happy to announce the newest awardees of the 21st Century School Library Award. This annual 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 Awards The Place Program the professional

Applicants conduct a self-assessment and provide evidence of their ability to meet the South Dakota School Library Guidelines. Award status is valid for a three-year period.

Exemplary Award recipients:

  • Douglas Middle School Library, Box Elder; Librarian Melissa Hubbell, Administrator Greg Seefeldt
  • Harrisburg Middle School Library, Harrisburg; Librarian Kristi Jones, Administrator Darren Ellwein
  • Horizon Elementary School Library, Harrisburg; Librarian Leslee Reiland, Administrator Lisa Garrett
  • Madison Central School Libraries, Madison; Librarian Joanne Kallhoff, Administrators Adam Shaw, Cotton Koch, Janel Guse
  • Robert Frost Elementary School Library, Sioux Falls; Librarian Korey Erickson, Administrator Lynn Gillette
  • West Central Middle/High School Library, West Central; Librarian DaNann Kistler, Administrator Melinda Jensen
  • West Middle School Library, Rapid City; Librarian Shelley Rath, Administrator Dan Conrad

Enhanced Award recipients:

  • Elk Point-Jeffereson School Libraries, Elk Point; Librarian Deedra Holdhusen, Administrators Janet Ries, Skyler Eriksen

Effective Award recipients:

  • Piedmont Valley Elementary Library, Sturgis Elementary Library, and Whitewood Elementary Library; Meade 46-1; Librarian Heidi Kruse, Administrators Ethan Dschaak, Chantal Ligtenberg; Brittan Porterfield
  • Rapid Valley Elementary School Library, Rapid City; Librarian Jennifer Backhaus, Administrator Cher Daniel

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Federal Doc of the Month: Topographic Maps

Topographic maps are amazing; descriptive details put to paper. The US Geological Survey defines a topographic map as,
'The use of elevation contour lines to show the shape of the Earth's surface. Contours make it possible to show the height and shape of mountains, the depths of the ocean bottom, and the steepness of slopes.'


Call numbers contain measurements, each distinctive to the map.
'The scale used for all modern USGS topographic maps is 1:24,000. That covers a quadrangle that measures 7.5 minutes of longitude and latitude on all sides, so these are also referred to as 7.5-minute maps, quadrangle maps, or "quad" maps.'


At the SD State Library, South Dakota topo maps are located in the Federal Government Map Case, from Alcester to Zeona, an extinct town once located in Perkins County.

Map file cabinet at SDSL

Many South Dakota cities and towns are listed in our catalog, available in paper format, including:

I 19.81:N4307.5-W9630/7.5
Alcester quadrangle, South Dakota : 7.5 minute series (topographic) / mapped, edited, and published by the Geological Survey, 1968

I 19.81:N4415-W9815/7.5
Wolsey SE quadrangle, South Dakota--Beadle Co. : 7.5 minute series (topographic) / mapped, edited, and published by the Geological Survey, 1973

screenshot of ZEONA map

I 19.81:N4507.5-W10245/7.5 / 31583007834870
1:25 000-scale metric topographic map of Zeona, South Dakota, 1980 / produced by the United States Geological Survey in cooperation with State of South Dakota agencies.

Various online topo maps can be found 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.