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May 2010
Volume 2, Issue 5

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book South Dakota
throughout 2010

Choose Privacy Week
May 2-8, 2010

Preservation Week
May 9-15, 2010

Children’s Book Week
May 10-16, 2010

SD School Library Survey
Deadline May 31, 2010

ALA Annual Conference
June 24-29, 2010

Summer Boredom Buster

World Book Logo

Library Development

Build a Book Club

The South Dakota State Library has received materials from the National Endowment for the Art’s Big Read Program to distribute across the state to libraries of all shapes and sizes. These materials can be used in a book club already in existence, or you can use them to start a book club at your library. Materials will be distributed in packets which include the following: 10 Reader’s Guides, 1 Leader Guide, and 1 Audio Guide. Packets are available for the following titles:

  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
  • Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

If your library is interested in receiving any of these materials please fill out the order form found here.


Board Talk: Is my Library Board legal?

by Daria Bossman, Asst. State Librarian for Development Services

The South Dakota Codified Laws are very specific about the make-up and size of a local Library Board. The specific powers and duties of board trustees are found in section 14-2-40 and in 14-2-41. Here their duties, six specifically, are listed. The first one states that they are to “appoint a librarian to serve at the pleasure of the board. Any paid librarian shall receive any employee benefits provided all other employees of the local governmental unit and shall be compensated at rates determined by the governing body’s compensation schedule, if such a schedule exists…”

The second duty is to “adopt bylaws for the conduct of their business and adopt policies for the selection of public library materials, the governance of the library and the use of public library services and materials.” That means written policies and written by-laws with minutes to substantiate that a vote of approval was conducted.

The third and fourth ones are very important. “Prepare and submit an annual budget request to its governing body.” Please note who should be starting that process. Boards should not be passively accepting annual budgets from their governing body without some initial input and active consultation of the library’s needs and goals…even in, and especially in, more difficult times. Budgets are the financial way to tell your story. It is an opportunity to communicate with local leadership what the library does and what the informational and recreational needs of the community are. After a conversation, then number four states, “adopt a final annual budget with those funds certified to it as being appropriate in the annual budget of its governing body.”

Number five is a requirement to meet quarterly. No Library Board should be meeting less than four times a year. Note Open Meeting laws in other sections of the SD Code.

The last one is often not totally understood. It is not the librarian’s responsibility to submit the “annual report” or the Public Library Survey as it is now called. Ultimately it is the Board’s responsibility to see that this data is reported annually to the State Library. They may delegate the duties to the librarian, to a clerk, or to someone else under the local governing body’s jurisdiction. Certainly the librarian must assist, but the responsibility lies solely with the Library Board. Number six states, “Prepare and submit an annual report to its governing body and to the South Dakota State Library on such forms as may be provided by the State Library.” Those “forms” are electronic these days and information is submitted electronically so that we can submit it to the federal government on their electronic database.

If you have questions about the South Dakota law or are unclear about any issues concerning your Library Board, contact the State Library. I would be happy to have a conversation about how to make your Library Board the most effective and productive board it can be. Being a library board trustee can be a very rewarding and even a fun experience. It is, however, a huge responsibility and not without a strong commitment to the community in which you serve.


How can the Research staff help you and your patrons?

How can we help you, South Dakota librarians? Last month we highlighted how the Research Department reached beyond the SD border to help with a project during the legislative session. Now we want to share the many different ways our staff can help you and your patrons.

The State Library is a state and federal documents depository library. More than that, we have many historical documents in our collection that are heavily used for research. For example, a librarian called once needing some historical content from the SD Codified Laws. We have the state’s laws dating back to the 1800’s. Need historical information from Legislative sessions? The South Dakota Legislative Manuals (dating from 1903) are here at the library. These books contain biographical information on the senators and representatives serving during the session, post offices, election results, city and county taxes and more. Some other interesting historical titles we have include South Dakota History magazine and Official Brand Book of the State of South Dakota. Are your students doing projects about SD? Here are some suggested titles available at the state library and other document depository libraries in the state: Backyard Birds of South Dakota, Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of South Dakota, Field Guide to Butterflies of South Dakota.

The library also houses a strong Native American collection, SD history collection and professional collection for librarians and educators. Assistance is provided to many school libraries in the state when students are working on class projects and History Day projects. If we don’t have the items here, we will help you locate them elsewhere, whether it is a book, DVD, newspaper, or journal article.

If you need grant seeking assistance, the library has information to help you. Research staff maintains the South Dakota Grant Directory and the library is a cooperating collection of the Foundation Center. As a cooperating collection, we provide visitors with free public access to grantmaker directories, books on fundraising and nonprofit management, and the Foundation Center's electronic database, Foundation Directory Online Professional. The fully searchable database includes detailed profiles of all active U.S. foundations, as well as an extensive file of recent grants awarded by the nation's top funders.

As you know, the library provides statewide access to excellent databases at If you want to schedule a training session to enhance your search skills for any of the databases, contact our Electronic Services Coordinators Julie Erickson or Jane Healy. If you need assistance finding an article or book that you just can’t seem to locate, contact the research team at

Call us, e-mail us, or visit in person with your research questions. As you plan your summer vacations, if your travels bring you through Pierre, stop by and take a tour. We are here to help you and your patrons!


board, books, grants, history, law, Legislation, NEA, Native American, research

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