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March 2010
Volume 2, Issue 3

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book South Dakota
throughout 2010

SD Public Library Survey
February 1- March 31, 2010

Prairie Bud & Pasque voting deadline
March 15, 2010

PLA National Conference
March 23-27, 2010

YARP voting deadline
March 31, 2010

School Library Month
April 1-30, 2010

SD School Library Survey
April 1- May 31, 2010

National Library Week
April 11-17, 2010

National Library Workers Day
April 13, 2010

Featured e-Resources of the Month
SIRS Discoverer, SIRS Issues Researcher, and ProQuest offer full-text online articles on a wide range of topics for research projects

Continuing Education Alert
Highlighting March Online Learning Opportunities

Library Development

Board Talk

By Daria Bossman, Assistant State Librarian, Development Services

With this article we are introducing a new section within our e-newsletter. We hope trustees and librarians alike will find it informative and helpful. In our efforts to revise our own South Dakota Trustee Manual, we are taking a look at some of the highlights and well-written portions of other state’s recent revisions. The following excerpt is from the newly revised and published 2009 Iowa Library Trustee’s Handbook,, concerning a Board’s relationship with their Library Director:

It is important to note that the director is responsible to the board as a whole, but not … to each board member individually. Individual board members, including the board president, have no power to make demands or give orders to the director.

The director is a valuable resource to the board on all issues and often the leader on many issues that come before the board. The director should attend all board meetings and be encouraged and expected to make well-supported recommendations on all issues that come before the board. The director should be expected to take part in deliberations to help the board make decisions in the best interests of library service to the community.


Board Talk from Custer

Board member Les McClanahan tutors how Ancestry Library works.

By Marguerite Culum, Library Director, Custer Public Library

Custer Public Library board member, Les McClanahan, (pictured above) tutors another board member, Kaona Hazlett, and retired educator Judy Baldwin on how AncestryLibrary works. Les has used AncestryLibrary more than anyone in our community and knows the program well. He has attended several trainings over the years with me and kept updated on system changes. Whenever we have an open house, meet-the-author, or similar event he mans “his” computer to show anyone interested in learning more about genealogy. Anyone at the Senior Citizens can attest to the fact that he is a great library advocate and board member, especially singing praises when we get new databases or updated computer technology.


Beneath this tombstone lies…

By Daria Bossman, Assistant State Librarian, Development Services

Google “Readers’ Guide” and you will still find a lot of references to this century- old staple of libraries. For over 100 years, researchers and students alike relied on this source as the ultimate index of subjects covered in popular U.S. magazines and newspapers. Well, I don’t know if it is a “staple” anymore, but it certainly isn’t dead. However, it has transformed itself in the last decade or two.

With contemporary research skills rapidly merging with technology in a tech-savvy world among tech-savvy students, the heralded Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature has taken on new and more flexible forms. Whereas once it was a necessary subscription for every public and school library to provide research access and practice for budding student researchers, its print form has pretty much been relegated to the broom closet or hit the dumpsters in recent years.

Though some of you may still want to continue to house and dust the older indices, most if not all of you should cease to spend your limited dollars on this annual index. At $425 per annual subscription it is not cheap, especially when other “better” and less expensive options are now available.

What has taken its place some might ask? We are fortunate in South Dakota to have statewide databases provided by the State Library. These are available free of charge in any library in South Dakota and may accessed from home with a barcode and password. The old RGPL has been replaced by the faster and more expansive searches by such general subject databases as ProQuest, SIRS Discoverer and SIRS Issues Researcher which give students a wider, deeper, faster, and more in depth scan of a topic…and often these databases provide the full-text of an article with one quick click.

Though our electronic access to these statewide databases is extremely reliable, there are times when the electricity goes down. If and when that happens, the State Library retains a complete set of print volumes ranging from 1900 through 1995 (Vol. 1-55). It is cataloged as A13. R48. And if you really want to look only in the Readers’ Guide, we have H.W. Wilson’s Readers’ Guide Retrospective: 1890 -1982 database here at the State Library. Just give our reference desk a call at 1-800-423-6665.

So let’s not bury old RGPL just yet. However, the need for 400 plus schools and 100 plus public libraries to individually purchase these print volumes has long past. Now that is some very good news we can all celebrate!


Public Librarian Certification Task Force at work

The South Dakota Public Library Certification/Accreditation Standards were originally developed and administered by the South Dakota Library Association. In June 2008, the SDLA Board voted to move the administration of both the Certification and the Accreditation Standards to the South Dakota State Library. The SD State Library Board approved the revised Public Library Standards for library accreditation in January 2010. As the second part of the process, the public librarian certification application must now also be reviewed and updated accordingly.

The Public Librarian Certification Standards Task Force was formed to review the state’s current certification standards. The purpose of the certification process is to encourage the ongoing development of quality library staff in the state. Certification of librarians is a voluntary process.

The first meeting of the task force was held in mid-December. The task force members were then split into two sub-committees to review separate sections of the certification application, which can be found at

Each of the sub-committees met via conference call in January to discuss revisions to their sections of the application. The task force will also be working on a contact hour approval form that can be used in the certification process. The next step will be to meet again as a large group in late February, combine section revisions into one revised document, and then present this to the SD library community for additional comments and revisions. Please watch the listservs for an announcement. The final draft document will be reviewed by the State Librarian and the State Library Board for final approval.

Members of the Task Force include:

  • Brenda Hemmelman, SD State Library, Chair
  • Daria Bossman, SD State Library
  • Stacia McGourty, SD State Library
  • Jane Healy, SD State Library
  • Sally Felix, Siouxland Libraries
  • Jane Larson, Vermillion Public Library
  • Deb Moor, Jackson County Library
  • Cindy Messenger, Hot Springs Public Library


Custer, genealogy, public libraries, research, SDLA, trustees




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