State of the State Library Address 2015
Before we get started this morning, I want to share with you the two (or should I say four) highlights of our year...
Yes, this is our second son whom we had nearly given up on and declared a â€˜confirmed bachelor'! The first photo was taken October 12, 2013 and Maya and Isobel were born June 30, 2014! They did fast work! This photo of the twins was taken at about 2 months old. These are our 3rd and 4th granddaughters, Maya Jane and Isobel Marie...and as you can see they look (and act!) very different.. They live in Sioux City, Iowa so we have seen quite a bit of I-90 and I-29 these past few months!... So thank you for indulging me for just a brief moment. As some of you can attest-- is so much fun being a "grandma"!.
But before we go on, I want to take this opportunity to introduce our South Dakota State Library Board. This is a group appointed by the Governor, broadly representative of different political parties and geographic areas. They advise me and approve State Library policy. They meet four times a year, at least once in Pierre and once in the Eastern or Western side of the state. This has been a very active and engaged board. I appreciate their expertise and the time they have committed to be advocates not only for the State Library but for all libraries ---school, public and academic---across the state.
President: Dr. Lesta V. Turchen, Hill City
Vice-president: Mr. Monte Loos, Rapid City
Board members: Mrs. Judy Trzynka, Watertown; Dr. Diane Olson, Mitchell; Mrs. Trista Friman, Parkston; Dr. Stephen Willard, Belle Fourche; Dr. Paul Turman, BOR representative, Pierre
Would you give them a big "Thank you" for the work and advocacy they do for South Dakota libraries? Thank you!
I am being a bit sarcastic and humorous, but it seems to me this painting best describes most SD librarians' emotions and feelings over the past year? Right? "The Scream" is one of the world's most recognizable works of art. It depicts a man in a private moment of anguished despair and anxiety, while the other people in the painting, perhaps his friends, seem blissfully unaware of the man's situation.
The Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) did several versions of "The Scream," an alter image for himself in oil, pastel, and lithograph between 1893 and 1910. This was his earliest 1893 version. No matter, I can't imagine spending 17 years basically "perfecting" the image of his despair and trying to capture his emotional anguish. I have often thought of this painting this past year...basically in a humorous way...to chuckle internally at times. But yet, it seriously depicted what many of us felt trying to come to some consensus on how to move forward with SDLN--the South Dakota Library Network dilemma. In the end, perhaps it was the best to let this 30 year consortium just "go" by the wayside...It's mission accomplished as individual libraries moved on in various paths. In those 30 years the SD State Library grew in its capacity to meet the needs of its clientele and new technologies raced by at lightening speed. We watched as other library consortia in other states and other state library agencies took on statewide federated searches and "in the cloud" access to their data. But still, oh, my! We were so safe and yet discontent in our sameness. It is hard to move on! Perhaps Munch's despair is over an uncertain future, a fear of a lack of funds, or just the uncertainty of change itself. Are those blissful characters in the background in total denial?...or do they have more solid data and more facts than we have learned or been able to ingest?!, we ponder. It all can be so confusing! Yet, we move on...because we must and because we have to. We have patrons who need us and who need the best that the 21st century has to offer...
So what's in the works. The State Library has been very busy from the earliest discussions that SDLN might change or morph into something different. We begin to ask ourselves, "How can we best meet the needs of our state's libraries?" What do we need to take on? What can't we take on? What are our priorities? As you can see this is some of what emerged from those early days of discussions. We will be taking on "authentication" with the purchase of EZ-Proxy. That should be operational very soon. We have passed all the BIT and other hurdles to purchase the softward, Illiad to give us greater functionality and reporting of our ILL transactions. We have received resumes and done interviewing. We think we are very close to offering an additional ILL position to one person. We have begun the process much like many of you to review ILS systems. I suspect we will be making a final decision prior to Christmas with implementation hopefully in the spring 2015. Lastly, in the spirit of teamwork, we need less room and the Department of Education needs more room...so we gave a little more square footage and will be seeing a reduction in our footprint on the first floor of the MacKay Bldg---but nothing that I think anyone but our staff will notice! More on that later as well! Lastly, I am sad to report that our Mixitex Courier bill will go up a whopping $18,000 to off-set rising gasoline prices. We have been making some rearrangments and trying to tighten our belts a bit. We are grateful for a merger $16,000 increase in federal LSTA funding for next year. Easy come...easy go...
You might have seen our billboards and advertisement for our Year Round Reading initiative. We also had a very successful Summer Reading Program!! Our State Library CSLP Summer Reading program merged with the Department of Education's 2nd Aspiration or Critical Goal: " For all SD students entering the 4th grade to be proficient or advanced in reading."
And the results are in!
Total program participation* for all ages (birth - adults) in 2013: 69,141
Total program participation* for all ages (birth - adults) in 2014: 86,249 (this is all participants, age 0 to adults)
Of this number 76,674 were children 0-12. In the past we had numbers in the 40,000 range and we projected 50,000 participants!
Overall increase in program participation* for all ages: 17,224
This is a 20% increase in overall numbers for all ages from 2013.
Almost 84% of public libraries reported program participation of some kind this year! Let's get more of our public libraries involved and leap to 94% participation next summer!
These are the Dept. of Education's 4 Aspirations on which All our work is focused. There really are quite a few ways the library world within SD can integrate these goals into their local goals. I call your attention to the first one which is about reading proficiency. Studies and decades of research tell us that one of the best indicators of reading (and academic success) is early literacy. The sooner we start reading to our babies and toddlers the better...and it can't be overdone. Reading is foundational for academic success. That is where public libraries play a critical and vital role in your community. If you have preschoolers you should be having year-round programs for this precious community of toddlers and their parents. If you are in a small community and not particularly gifted with story-telling or reading children's books, then find a parent volunteer or any volunteers and start having story-time, puppet shows, hands-on activities with reading. Partner with your school district. There may be a school librarian, teacher or administrator waiting for your call. Make if happen for your community. No community is too small. If you have children, this IS in your job description!
Then lets look at the final aspiration, "Students will graduate high school ready for postsecondary or the workforce." Teen Advisory Groups, Teen Book Clubs come to mind. Programming for young adults. Collaboration again with your school district. Bring our Electronic Services staff in to have an in-service day for the local teachers and board members. Make the morning about general electronic resources and snag the local business folks with an afternoon on Resources that would interest them or the local genealogist group with an overview of Ancestry or Heritage Quest. Partner with your school counselor to learn about all the career options and resources for job seekers, resume writing, etc. in Learning Express. Do you have a travel agency in town or folks who travel? Do they know about Mango, our language database? The opportunities are endless...as far as your mind will go!
Then look at the foundational statements supporting these goals. They sound like libraries to me: "Access to High quality standards and instruction," "effective teachers and community leaders,"and "providing our students and citizens with an environment conducive to learning." When was the last time you weeded some unused or old books to make room for a comfy chair or two and a reading lamp?
The last line should be in every single library mission statement in the state, "Students (and all citizens) have opportunities to engage in 21st century learning." Isn't that why our libraries were created in the first place? To help our citizens "engage" in learning? The 21st century implies that it will in relationship to more than just the print format, but they will have an opportunity to engage in technology and computers and have access to the Internet. How many of you have scheduled a "Technology Petting Zoo" program within the last year or two? Did you know the State Library will loan you devices to explore and play with? Or we will do a "show and tell" of many different e-readers and e-devices so that you and your community need not purchase before you give them a try.
The possibilities are endless. Let's get engaged folks, and be the educational life-long learning institutions we were originally created to be. Our job is to serve our communities' educational, informational and recreational reading needs. One is not exclusive to the others.
Here are a few of our major Accomplishments this year.
***We have explored two surveys which were offered free of charge to any public library this year. We had 25 libraries take advantage of the Impact Survey and the EDGE survey. Impact is a community analysis and it is an online survey tool designed for libraries to survey their patrons about how they use the library's technology services including public access computers, WiFi, the library's website, catalog, and other online library resources. It also gathers demographic information from respondents and asks about the types of devices patrons use to access library web resources. When the responses are tabulated the survey site provides detailed analysis reports, charts, and graphs, and advocacy-oriented communication tools using the survey results. The Impact Survey is an especially useful tool to understand community technology needs and provides real user data for libraries that wish to assess and improve their technology services. The survey was developed by the University of Washington Information School. In the future if the price is reasonable, the State Library hopes to offer this survey on a statewide basis to interested public libraries.
The Edge Assessment is a self-evaluation tool that assesses public libraries on various technology parameters:
- How well the public technology services they provide meet community needs (bandwidth, hardware, software)
- How well they partner with community organizations to improve quality of life in their communities
- How they manage technology resources and provide access and assistance to patrons
The product also includes customized presentation tools to help librarians communicate the importance of providing adequate technology services. The Edge Initiative was developed by the Gates Foundation, Urban Libraries Council, and a coalition of local government organizations. Thanks to our State Data Coordinator, Shawn Behrends, who coached and supported these participating libraries in this pilot project. In the end, these two surveys will help 25 public libraries better understand (and thus better serve!) the technology needs of their unique communities.
**** In August 2013 school library coordinator Joan Upell joined SD's Smarter Balanced Digital Library State Leadership Team. The team is composed of Assessment Division staff, TIE and Educational Cooperative staff and university staff. Over the past year the team helped to develop a platform and collection of more than 1,500 formative assessment resources to be used in professional development and classroom instruction. Working on a "rain the trainer" model, the leadership team attended national meetings with teams from the other Smarter Balanced states and then returned to SD to train and work with a group of about 60 SD educators. The Digital Library is a resource created by educators for educators and is now available to those schools who administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The work to sustain it will be ongoing.
*** And our Children's and Youth Services Coordinator, Jasmine Rockwell From June 1, 2013 -- June 1, 2014, had the privilege of heading one of the most incredible organizations: the Collaborative Summer Library Program (or CSLP) as the national president! Did you all know that?! As the national summer reading program, it is no simple tasks to produce a summer reading manual for public libraries across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Marianna Islands, the Cayman Islands, and parts of Micronesia. This is serious diversity! The summer of 2014 brought one of the most popular programs in CSLP's history with the science-themed "Fizz! Boom! Read!" program and South Dakota has never been more engaged! We are proud of Jasmine's accomplishments and work both with CSLP and with her work along with others here at home on the state's reading aspiration.
I could go on and on. It has been a busy and very productive year. South Dakota, thought small, is showing herself to be a leader on the national field in other areas and projects as well...too numerous to mention in one session.
Here are some of our other accomplishments in the area of training. The Electronic Resources Challenge started in January of 2010 thanks to Julie Erickson and Jane Healy careful oversight. Over these four years over 200 have participated in 10 rounds. Our Public Library Institute, now in its 27th year continues to be wildly popular. And our big announcement is that after 2 and a half decades at Northern, we will be moving the Institute to Dakota State next June in Madison. Hopefully that will make the drive for West River folks a tad easier. And what can we say about School Library Boot Camp?--successful beyond our wildest dreams! Hats off to our school library coordinators, Joan Upell and Marta Stirling and many others in the development staff for the time energy and passion they put into this four day camp for our school teachers, librarians and leaders! One student paid us a huge compliment when she stated," I've learned more in four days of Boot Camp than I did in my entire endorsement program!" Now that is excitement and customer satisfaction! The "Trustee Academy" has also proven to be very popular for asynchronous training of a library's trustees. We hope to be able to have enough interest to offer these sessions again to interested public libraries willing to take the time and do the work. Contact Kathleen Slocum if you have an interest in your board taking "Trustee Academy" webinar training.
We had a unique opportunity this year to subscribe to TumbleBooks, an e-book product for children. This database unlike our other databases is not paid for with LSTA funds. Nevertheless, we hope we can continue offering it. We encourage you to take a look, promote it in your community and let your school teachers know you have it available in the public library. Then start using it often with your school age kids.
South Dakota Titles to Go! In terms of population reached, we have been ahead of the national average up until this past year. The National average is now at 95% citizen access. We still have a few county library systems who have not yet found creative ways to fund e-book and audio-book access for their citizens. We hope in the coming year we can close ranks and catch-up with the national average for access and availability of audio and e-books for all South Dakotans through their local public libraries.
If you have a SDTG subscription, stand outside your building some morning before it gets too cold and imagine 12,000 NEW popular fiction and non-fiction books showing up in a huge truck! Here it comes around the corner. A big 18-wheeler! In your mind blow out one of your walls and just imagine how big your library really is with the addition of all your e-books! It is awesome! But also think about all the work it would be to process, catalog and shelve all those books! Someone add a room to my library, hire more staff, build more shelves! Help! My, wouldn't that be a lot of work! Wonderful, but a tremendous amount of work and expense. Folks need to get that picture of all this "in their head"! Then they will be far less likely to complain about the library's minimal annual fee which is really pennies on the dollar!
I am happy to say we had a small amount of unspent funds in our 2013 LSTA account which HAD to be spent by Sept. 30th. So the State Library purchased for the SDTG libraries another $30,000 of audio and e-books. We started by purchasing every single title your patrons put on their "want list" and then we also added in Prairie Bud and Prairie Pasque titles and then a few more for good measure!
This is part of our report we turn in annually to the State. It is called our Performance Indicators. Note starred areas, generally a 10% increase over the past 6 or 7 years. Attendance at workshops has gone up 10 fold, and our in-coming calls were over 4,000 this past year. That means every day we take 16 or 17 calls from the field--answering your questions, assisting you, advising you, getting you requested information. We are doing our job!
And again with the Summer Reading program, we jumped to 76,674 zero to twelve aged children participating in Summer reading. Our projection was that we would increase from 40,000 to 50,000!...and we blew that number out of the waters!!
You'll see our access to our digitized resources is growing steadily and our view of our databases or Electronic Resources is over 1.3 million views.
BTB is holding steady with 2,186 active patrons and 122,121 circulations. They continually reach out to add new patrons, but have an equal amount who drop out, most often due to death as many of the BTB patrons are elderly.
Our big jump in the BTB area is in volunteer hours. With the addition of a volunteer recording site at the Siouxland Public Library our volunteer hours have jumped from 160 hours last year to 2,400 hours this year. And we want to extend a special thanks to Siouxland and to our Sioux Falls volunteers as well as to Josh Easter who travels to Sioux Falls and trains them on a regular basis.
I mentioned we are in the midst of remodeling again, reducing our foot-print a bit on the first floor of the MacKay Building. Here are some finished areas: We got new wood panels on our shelving which looks much nicer and we weeded unnecessary books and took down two shelves to carve out a small study area for in-coming traffic and a quieter more private place to use the public computers. Later this fall, an area in the BTB unit will be converted to DOE legal offices and the front portion of the Library Commons will become a large meeting room, creating more privacy by building a wall where the Reference desk is now.
You know I started out this talk on a bit of a downer. Remember: the screaming guy! Really I just wanted to recognize what we have all been feeling. It has been a terrific year of uncertainty and stress. Yet change and uncertainty can also be a tremendous time to reflect and move into new and challenging opportunities. Doors and windows open up and we begin to see things in a new light with a new pair of eyes! We search more intently for solutions and we see more clearly the longer we study and search and listen and think about the possibilities. That is why I have a tremendous amount of hope for the future and the future state of libraries within South Dakota. National Library Week which will be April 12-18 (and by the way all of April is National School Library Month!) has as its theme, "Unlimited Possibilities @ your Library." You can certainly insert your library's name in there, but I'd like to insert our State! In this 125th State celebration I'd like to suggest it should be "Unlimited Possibilities @ South Dakota's Libraries!" ...and let's insert that explanation point as well!
The State Library is state agency within the Department of Education. We are here to serve you --to consult, advise and train and to act as a pass-through agency for federal or state funding, equipment or resources to assist your work in serving your community. Call us anytime. Our job is to be interrupted! Call us! Email us! Fax us or text us! I hope you have a great time at this conference!
We hope to see you all again on January 22, 2015 for SDLA's Library Legislative Day. At that time the State Library will be having a ceremony and recognizing those public libraries which have applied for a level of excellence in receiving the SDSL voluntary State Accreditation awards. Start taking a look at the standards. You may be surprised that with only a little bit of work even the smallest of libraries can obtain the Essential Level or maybe even a higher level of accomplishment. What a great achievement for your community and a point of pride. It is also great local press to focus on the financial and physical needs of your library.
And before we honor our public librarians who have achieved public library certification, I'd like to announce the winners of a contest we had this summer. Earlier I spoke of the opportunity this summer to "test out" the new technology survey, "The Edge" or the new community engagement survey called, "Impact." Well, as an incentive to test drive these surveys (besides the benefits the results will bring their communities), we promised two mini-I-pads to two randomly selected libraries from among the participants. Will a representative from Lemmon and one from Dell Rapids please come forward and receive your mini-I-pads...and special thanks to the 23 other public libraries which participated in either or both the Edge and the Impact surveys!
Now for the presentation of our 2014 Public Librarians certified this year.
Let's give these librarians a big hand for going the extra mile to be trained and certified in South Dakota!
Presented by Daria Bossman, at SDLA Conference 2014 in Pierre.
State Library Board
April 27, 2017, Brookings
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