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July/ August 2011, Volume 3, Issue 7

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

2011 One Book South Dakota

2011 Authors on the Road

Indian Education Summit Pre-Conference
Sept. 25

Indian Education Summit
Sept. 25-27

SDLA Annual Conference
Oct. 5-7

SD Festival of Books
Oct. 7-9

AASL National Conference
Oct. 27-30

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Go beyond the book with eResources

School Libraries


Welcome Mary G. Johnson, new School Library Coordinator

Mary Johnson, new School Library CoordinatorMary G. Johnson from Sioux Falls will begin Aug. 1 as a new School Library Coordinator for the State Library. Mary will be one of the senior librarians on the Development Services team. She will work remotely from her home in Sioux Falls. Mary’s primary responsibility will be to contact and consult with the school librarians in the eastern portion of the state. Mary, like her counterpart, Joan Upell who will now be covering primarily the west river area, will be in contact with librarians, technology coordinators, superintendents and principals sharing with them “best practices” and 21st century skills and standards in the field of school libraries.

Mary comes to the Department of Education with a wealth of teaching experience. She previously was a classroom teacher in the Lennox and Sioux Falls School Districts. Most recently Mary was the school librarian at Horace Mann Elementary in Sioux Falls. She has her bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in reading from the University of Sioux Falls. Her teaching certificate is in middle and secondary schools in language arts, reading and Spanish. She is a reading specialist and has her endorsement in school library media from Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.


Indian Education Summit School Library Pre-Conference set for Sept. 25

Native American Circle, black white yellow red with featherThe South Dakota State Library will be hosting our first annual School Library Pre-Conference in conjunction with the Indian Education Summit on Sept. 25 at Cedar Shore Resort in Oacoma. All school librarians with a predominantly Native American student body are invited to attend the pre-conference at no cost. To register go to For more information and registration details for the entire Indian Education Summit, visit

If you have questions, please email or call Daria Bossman, Asst. State Librarian for Development Services, 605-773-3167 or 1-800-423-6665, email


Stephanie Miller-Davis honored for support of children and reading

Jones County Elementary Library’s 2011 reading celebration event, the first-ever Stephanie Miller-Davis Day, recognized and honored a long-time supporter of children’s library services in Murdo. Miller-Davis, a published author from Sioux Falls who grew up in Murdo, passed away a year ago after a short battle with cancer. In 1995, Miller-Davis expressed to then-librarian Carmen Miller her desire to provide for Jones County Elementary School students the kinds of library materials she herself had always longed for.

Over the years, Miller-Davis’s generosity enabled the library to purchase previously unaffordable hardcover copies of the newest Newbery and Caldecott winners. For a number of years, her donations meant the library could purchase books so students could participate in the annual Prairie Pasque Book Award contest. She often involved her own young daughters in her library collection development efforts, having them personally select for Murdo students titles they’d enjoyed reading themselves. When she learned that bookshelves in the elementary library were so tall that students had to stand on stools to browse, she and her husband, Dr. John Davis, arranged for the donation of shelves by a Sioux Falls bookstore scheduled to close. The two of them deconstructed the shelves in the still-open-for-business store, hauled them through Empire Mall, delivered them to Murdo, and set them up in the library where they remain to this day.

Because the library would not be what it is today without Miller-Davis’s support, current librarian Tammy Van Dam arranged this year’s memorial recognition with the intention that it be an annual occurrence. 2011 activities kicked off in the city auditorium as Mayor Kelcy Nash, on behalf of the city council, proclaimed Stephanie Miller-Davis Day. A subsequent “reading party” featured students reading aloud to chosen listeners and costumed school staff members lip-synching a library-themed tune. School superintendent Larry Ball presented framed certificates to members of Miller-Davis’s family present for the occasion—her husband, parents, siblings and a daughter. In her memory, a shadow box containing her picture, the cover of one of her favorite Dr. Seuss books, and a copy of the words to a song about reading—another favorite, will be permanently displayed in the elementary library. Tammy reports the Davis family intends to carry on Stephanie Miller-Davis’ vision to put books into the hands of children.





author, librarian, Murdo, Native American, Oacoma, school library, Sioux Falls, staff, teacher

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