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July 2009, Volume 1, Issue 7

Check your Fall Calendars!

Banned Books Week
Sept. 26- Oct. 3

Festival of Books
Oct. 2-4 in Deadwood

SDLA Annual Conference
Oct. 7-9 in Aberdeen

Teen Read Week
Oct. 18-24

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Library Development

Library Training Institute mixes fun and learning

Late nights, early mornings, day-long classes, bunk beds, shared bathrooms, cafeteria food, does this sound like a fun time? Believe it or not, it is a GREAT time! Library Training Institute is the most fun you can have and still be learning. This year Institute consisted of 19 students from the southwestern corner of the state to the northeastern corner. Students are young, not so young, tall, short, outgoing, shy, funny, serious, male, and female, so what do they have in common? They are all passionate about libraries and they want to learn everything they can about being a good librarian.

Library Training Institute classes are held all day Monday through Thursday. Instructors are a combination of State Library staff, South Dakota librarians, and librarians from around the country. In addition to attending class all day there is always homework to fill up the students’ evenings. But somehow the students seem to find time to have fun and get to know each other. It might be running out for ice cream, some late night shopping, or maybe just enjoying those wonderful cafeteria meals together. Of course you cannot graduate without a graduation party. Thursday night is filled with pizza, cake and ice cream, a white elephant exchange, and a lot of fond memories.

Don’t let the fun times fool you. The students work hard, learn a lot, and at the end of four years graduate with their Certificate of Public Library Management. The Library Development staff say they can always tell an Institute graduate. Institute graduates have a lot going on at their libraries, they are active in their communities, and they are involved in their state library association.

This year’s graduate, Sue Bull, did an excellent job of summing up what Institute means to those students who attend.

“What I really learned these past years was that Institute is for learning to become a well-rounded librarian even if you think you will never use it, right Karla?! It is for learning where to shop in Aberdeen and who has the best ice cream, my vote Culvers! We had some great discussions over that sweet treat! It is for meeting librarians from all over the state and sharing ideas of what their libraries do and taking some of those ideas home to yours.

And mostly what I learned is that you will never forget all the friends you made. And my advice to you is to always remember that those friends will be there for you to share the disappointments and accomplishments of your library with. They will be there to try and help you with questions you have about programs they have run or activities they have done that have failed. Please always keep our numbers and e-mails handy and get in touch with us whenever you need us or just want to talk. As I end this I will say, “see you later” to all my dearest and oldest friends.”

Library Training Institute has been around since 1985. Coordinated by the South Dakota State Library, the Institute is a four-year program of continuing education for library practitioners, support staff, and trustees of small to medium-sized public libraries. Students attend in-person classes for one-week in June. Additional classes are taken online between summers.

Library Training Institute curriculum includes these important skills:

  • Library Management
  • Professionalism
  • Fundraising
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Cataloging
  • Reference
  • Collection Development
  • Children’s Services
  • Library Promotion
  • Community Programs
  • Communication Skills
  • Working With Trustees
  • Library Law
  • Young Adult Services
  • The Planning Process
  • Electronic Resources
  • Professional Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Library Training Institute, please contact Colleen Kirby, 1-800-423-6665 or

continuing education

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