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January 2012, Volume 4, Issue 1

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

SDLA Legislative Day
January 12

ALA Midwinter Meeting
January 20-24

Digital Learning Day
February 1

Read Across America Day
March 2

Teen Tech Week
March 4-10

PLA Annual Conference
March 13-17

National Library Week
April 8-14

World Book Night
April 23

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Find Your "A-ha!" Moment

School Libraries


Introducing a new sharing opportunity — the School Library Chat

Please join us for an informal School Library Chat on Feb. 9. Anyone working in a school library is welcome. School librarians and library paraprofessionals often report they have no time for travel to meetings or to attend webinars, but they would appreciate a chance to talk with others, share ideas and ask questions. The School Library Chat is a chance to do just that.

School Library Coordinators, Mary G. Johnson and Joan Upell, will begin hosting the pilot program of chats on Feb. 9 at 4:00 CT for those east river and 4:00 MT for west river. Participants will need to have a phone, a computer with Internet access and be ready to chat. There is no registration required and no credit offered. The focus of the first chat will be what's going on with the new school library standards in your libraries, but it's all informal and flexible! Watch for more information and directions as we get closer to the date.


Putting the new School Library Standards into action

To Emily Blackwelder, teacher librarian at Oscar Howe Elementary School in Sioux Falls, teaching students about online resources is an important skill for the 21st Century. In today's world of digital resources, students need to know and understand how to choose appropriate resources for their purpose, gather information, and evaluate the information for accuracy, relevancy and timeliness.

Blackwelder sees her fourth and fifth graders in the library for a 35-minute period each week. She has created lessons to teach her students how to use print encyclopedias, online encyclopedias, Wikipedia and compare the three types of resources.

Her first lesson begins by having students work in pairs, taking a print encyclopedia and reviewing how it is organized. She then gives students various topics to "look up" and find the correct encyclopedia volume in which the topic is represented. Many topics may be found in more than one volume.

The second part of the lesson (or a separate lesson) has students viewing World Book Online. World Book offers two online foreign language versions (French and Spanish), as well as World Book Kids (Grades K-5), World Book Student (Grades 5-9), World Book Advanced (Grades 9-12+), and World Book Discoverer (Differentiation). For Blackwelder's students, World Book Kids or World Book Students is most appropriate. Students learn how the online encyclopedia is organized, create searches, and then compare it with the print edition of World Book Encyclopedia. Students discuss when it might be appropriate to use each type. Parents are provided a library flyer with login information so that students might use and practice with the online version at home.

As an ongoing lesson on informational resources such as World Book (print) and World Book Online, Blackwelder teaches students about Wikipedia. What is a wiki? Is it valid information? What clues should one consider when evaluating the information? Students work to answer these questions as they take the same or similar topic from their World Book searches and apply it to Wikipedia.

These lessons provide students with several resources for information to compare, contrast and evaluate. These lessons cover the following South Dakota library standards:

  • Inquiry & Problem Solving
    1.5.1 ~ Access the physical and virtual library environment. (Remember)
    1.5.4 ~ Locate resources appropriate for purpose using library tools. (Apply)
  • Multiple Literacies
    2.5.7 ~ Use electronic/digital tools and resources to locate and creatively share information. (Apply, Create)
  • Ethical Participation
    3.5.5 ~ Work independently and in collaborative groups. (Create)

Working along with teachers in the social studies areas, Blackwelder gave students their foundation in working with these resources. Once students were in the process of gathering and evaluating their information, they moved on to create such products as brochures, PowerPoints, or posters on the theme of National Parks. Students were required to share knowledge of land formations, attractions, plants and animals of the area and other information. The fourth grade teachers combined their classrooms so students could work together on this portion of the project. Students then presented their work to other students in their own classrooms.

Blackwelder began her lesson idea with information from Smart Exchange for SMART Boards at Another great resource that also ties the standards to the Common Core is the AASL L4L Lesson Plan Database at


SWIM Scholars attend national AASL conference

SWIM scholars attend AASL in Minneapolis

Four of South Dakota's SWIM scholars attended the American Association of School Librarians National Conference in Minneapolis at the end of October. The scholars included Angela Ostrander, Ginny Sannes, Tina Eisenbraun and Kristi Herting who are pursuing their school library endorsement. All four reported a great learning experience and that they returned to SD with new ideas and a ton of conference exhibit materials.

The SWIM program is a one-time scholarship program made possible through collaboration among the South Dakota State Library, the Idaho Commission for Libraries, Montana State Library and the Wyoming State Library with funding provided by a grant from the Laura Bush Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Copyright titles and other school resources in the news

Reviewed by Jane Healy

Book Cover: Copyright Catechism. Image provided under contract from

Simpson, Carol. Copyright Catechism: Practical Answers to Everyday School Dilemmas. Worthington, OH: Linworth, 2005. 192 pp.

As school librarians, we are responsible for teaching and applying ethical use of information and technology, including copyright laws. Fortunately, Carol Simpson's books help school librarians find their way. Simpson practices school law in Texas and has written extensively on copyright issues in schools. These two titles, while not brand new, cover the gamut and are worth considering.

Simpson, Carol. Copyright Catechism is written in question and answer style, covering fair use and public display or performance in a school setting. Chapters are organized by material type, with common copyright questions based on how the material will be used: Print, graphics, sound recordings, video, multimedia, software, and distance learning are covered. The last two chapters discuss copyright management and permissions issues. This is the kind of book you keep on your shelf, and when questions arise, you find the corresponding material type and flip through the pages. Chances are very good that you will find an answer.

Book Cover: Copyright for Schools. Image provided under contract from

Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide for Librarians. Worthington, OH: Linworth, 2010, 5th ed. 252 pp.

Copyright for Schools takes a more thorough, deliberate approach, while living up to its subtitle, "practical." Sidebars on many of the pages contain questions and answers about copyright issues pertinent to the chapter in which they appear. Background information, legal history and definition of terms make this book an excellent choice for those new to copyright. Each chapter contains a "works cited" list for those wanting to delve deeper. Simpson backs up her answers and advice by citing legal cases, which adds credibility to the need to heed copyright laws. She includes worksheets and forms to make compliance decisions easier, shows your options and gives examples of how to obtain permission for use.

Whether you have copyright questions about scanning, music, print materials or multimedia, these books—and others on copyright—are available from the State Library


Other topics in the news:

The Coach in the Library

SLJ Best of 2011

Stretching Your Technology Dollar





21st Century, AASL, Common Core, copyright, school libraries, Sioux Falls, standards, SWIM, webinars, websites

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