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September 2009, Volume 1, Issue 9

Check Your Fall Calendars

Banned Books Week
Sept. 26 - Oct. 3

Indian Education Summit
Sept. 27-29

Festival of Books
Oct. 2-4 in Deadwood

SDLA Annual Conference
Oct. 7-9 in Aberdeen

Teen Read Week
Oct. 18-24

YARP Voting Begins
Oct. 18

School Libraries

School Library Annual Report 2010 ready for comments

The School Library Study Group has submitted its final report to State Librarian Dan Siebersma and Secretary of Education Tom Oster. The report included a draft of the School Library Annual Report 2010 and made the following recommendations:

The School Library Study Group believes that the mission of South Dakota’s school libraries is to be an instructional partner in the preparation of students to be life-long readers and learners in the 21st century. The school library annual report is a tool to annually assess student achievement in relationship to this partnership and the effectiveness of school libraries. It is the legal responsibility of the SD State Library to collect school library data annually. Based on this belief and responsibility the School Library Study Group makes the following recommendations:
  • School library data will be collected by district during April and May of each year using the Bibliostat Collect School Library Annual Report. This is aligned with state and national best practices and standards.
  • SDSL School Library Coordinators will provide online and face-to-face training on the completion of the School Library Annual Report in March and April. They will also provide telephone and e-mail support as needed.
  • Data collected will be analyzed and results reported to the districts in the fall of each year.
  • SDSL Library Coordinators will re-visit and edit the content of the School Library Annual Report on an annual basis. This is an ongoing process and a study group will be re-convened as needed to align the report with state and national best practices and standards.

You can find the draft of the School Library Annual Report 2010 on the South Dakota State Library's School Libraries page.

The members of the Study Group invite your comments regarding the revised annual report. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the report at the School Section Meeting on Oct. 8 at 4:30 CT during the SDLA annual conference. The Study Group will review all comments and make any necessary changes. Please send all comments by Oct. 15 to Joan Upell, Chair of the Study Group, at


Letters About Literature Program seeks student writers

Seeking personal, reflective writing about the importance of written works in the lives of young readers, Letters about Literature is a national reading and writing program that asks students in grades 4-12 to write letters to authors whose books have made a difference in their lives. Sponsored by the South Dakota Center for the Book, South Dakota’s first place winners receive a $50 Target gift card and a $100 savings bond. Second and third place winners in the state receive $75 and $50 savings bonds, respectively. Winning entries at the state level are submitted for national competition, sponsored by the Library of Congress and Target Stores. National winners receive a $500 Target gift card and a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant awarded to their school or library. National runners-up receive a $100 Target gift and a $1,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for their school or library. The deadline for submission of entries at the state level is Dec. 12; complete guidelines are posted at


Students create soundtracks for novels

Take advantage of students' interest in music and movies with the lesson plan "On a Musical Note: Exploring Reading Strategies by Creating a Soundtrack" which asks students to create a soundtrack for a novel that they have read. As students search for songs and explain their choices, they engage in such traditional reading strategies as predicting, visualizing, and questioning. The activity can be completed as a response to a class-read novel or as a book report alternative.


Resources available for students with qualified print disabilities

Bookshare is a resource to find appropriate accessible books and textbooks for K-12 students with qualified print disabilities. Bookshare is a large online accessible library for individuals with print disabilities, such as blindness, low vision, a physical or reading disability that makes it difficult to read standard print. The library is free for U.S. schools and students who qualify through a $32-million award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Bookshare offers more than 50,000 accessible books, including best sellers, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and children's literature along with two complimentary software applications that read digital books; Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition from Don Johnston and Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition from Humanware.

Bookshare and the National Library Service for Blind & Physically Handicapped, the parent organization for Braille and talking book libraries, are working together to provide materials for students. For additional information on textbooks in alternative formats of audio, large print or Braille contact the SD State Library, Braille & Talking Book Program at 1-800-423-6665.


21st Century, accessibility, activity, disability, school libraries, writers

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