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Pierre, SD 57501

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Library Outreach/ LSTA | School Library Statistics: FAQ

School Library Survey: FAQ



How do I access the survey?
Access the survey online at: https://sd.countingopinions.com/. Your login is the same as last year.

Where is my log-in information?
Your login is the same as last year. If you don't have it, email or call Shawn or Alissa and tell us who you are and which school district you work for. (Contact info below.)

Does every school complete their own survey?
No. Library staff completes a district level survey that includes information and statistics for all of the district's school libraries and library staff.

Who in the district or school system is responsible for completing the survey?
The district superintendent receives notice of the opening of the survey and signs the certification field, however, it is usually an appointed library staff member who completes the survey.

How do I know what information I need for the survey?
Instructions are included online with the questions. If you prefer to begin the survey on paper, a worksheet can be downloaded from the portal page after you log in.

We don't have a school library that meets the survey definition of a school library so what do we have to do?
If you don't have a school library by definition, review and complete Section A on the survey. Go to section E, complete the supplemental questions, and follow the directions given to submit the survey. Because this status may change from to year to year it is important that we receive your information each year.

Why is it important that each district complete a new survey every year?
District libraries open, close, and recombine. Library spaces, staff, and programs grow and change. The survey measures these trends on a yearly basis.

Can I complete the survey once the school year has ended?
Please complete and submit the survey before May 15. For a few questions (e.g., district circulation) that require end-of-year statistics, it is OK to project an estimate.

Why are my responses not saving?
Your responses should automatically save as you move from question to question. If you are having trouble saving a response, try refreshing your browser and re-enter the response.

Do I have to complete the survey all at once?
No. You may stop and return to the survey as many times as you like. The survey will time out after an hour of inactivity, but your responses should be automatically saved each time you move to the next question.

Where can I find my information from last year's survey?
If you don't have a copy of last year's completed survey you may print one from the Data Input screen: At the top of the screen select the Period (from the drop-down menu), click on the Print prompt on the top bar of the screen, choose to print or download the PDF.

Why are there so many library type categories?
Because this is a district-level survey it represents many types of school libraries. Choose the level(s) (PK-12, Elementary, MS/Junior High, HS, School/Public combo) that most closely match your district libraries. Check the N/A boxes for library levels that the district does not have.

Do I have to fill in every category?
Yes, please. If a category is not applicable to your school district, select the N/A checkbox. Do not leave any questions blank.

If I don't have exact numbers is it OK to guess?
It is OK to make an educated estimate if you do not have exact numbers. If you must "guestimate" tell us by clicking the notepad icon to the left of the input field and leave a note there.

How do I know the survey has been submitted?
The survey has been successfully submitted after you have clicked on the Submit/Lock button and a padlock icon appears on the upper right side of the page. You may have to clear some edit checks and click on the Submit/Lock button more than once for the survey to lock.

What is the State Library going to do with this information?
The State Library uses data collected from the School Libraries Survey to track changes and trends in South Dakota School Libraries. Funding for services such as the statewide electronic resources for research and education, programs like School Library Boot Camp, and interlibrary loan services are contingent on your participation in the SLS. The annual School Libraries Data Digest provides a snapshot of statewide summary data from the SLS. School districts have access to the data for comparison across districts and over time.



Still have questions?
State Library 605-773-3131 / toll free 800-423-6665

  • Contact School Libraries Coordinator, Alissa Adams, if you don't understand the survey questions. email
  • Contact Data Coordinator, Shawn Behrends, if you have a technical problem with the survey. email





LSTA Files
Library Services and Technology Act South Dakota State Library Five Year Plan: 2013-2017
PDF Download

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South Dakota State Library Cornerstone
SDSL's e-Newsletter articles include:
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  - Continuing Education
  - Public Library
  - Why Didn't I Think of That?
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Shawn Behrends EMAIL
State Data Coordinator
605-280-5834
605-773-3131, Option 6

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