Library Headlines


South Dakota librarians awarded certification

The State Library awarded certification to 18 librarians from 13 communities at the annual South Dakota Library Association conference on September 27 in Sioux Falls. The voluntary certification program recognizes library directors and staff members who have met the certification standards. The program's goals are to help library directors and staff acquire, maintain and develop skills through continuing education in order to provide better library service to their communities. Through this program, the State Library acknowledges public library directors and staff who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis. Further information about the certification process can be found at

Congratulations to the following:

  • Ray Caffee, Hand County Library
  • Linda Dobrovolny, Yankton Community
  • Jolie Hogancamp, Rapid City Public Library
  • Kristi Jones, Harrisburg Community Library
  • LeAnn Kaufman, Freeman Public Library
  • Stacy Kvale, Bison Public Library
  • Jane Larson, Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library
  • Renae Lehman, Potter County Library
  • Doris Ann Mertz, Custer County Library
  • Cynthia Messenger, Hot Springs Public Library
  • Sean Minkel, Rapid City Public Library
  • Wendy Nilson, Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library
  • Jane Norling, Beresford Public Library
  • Angela Ostrander, Faith Public and School Library
  • Jeremy Scott, Rapid City Public Library
  • Stephanie Smith, Rapid City Public Library
  • Karen Haugrud Wiechmann, Siouxland Libraries
  • Stacy Wierenga, Rapid City Public Library



Digital Inclusion Survey

Digital Inclusion Servey LogoSouth Dakota public libraries provide a valuable service to their communities through the Internet access they offer. Every day visitors to the library take advantage of public access computers, free Wi-Fi and programming that helps users gain computer skills, pursue an education, find a job, and stay healthy. What is your library doing? What are the challenges you face? This fall a national survey gives you the chance to speak up. Public libraries in the survey sample have already received invitations by postcard, however, we hope that all South Dakota libraries will participate.

The Digital Inclusion Survey, funded by IMLA, ALA, iPAC (Information Policy & Access Center), and ICMA (International City/County Management Association), is collecting data to show the vital roles public libraries play in building digitally inclusive communities. The data it collects can be used to inform and educate your community's trustees, elected officials, and the media on the value you provide your community through your efforts to provide Internet access and technology services.

The survey has been taking most libraries between 20 and 40 minutes to complete. We know you’re busy, so you don’t have to complete it in one session. You can open it, look at it, save, and come back to it as many times as you like. Questions cover the kinds of Internet access your library offers and what kinds of programming your library does. You can access the Digital Inclusion Survey at and follow the "Complete the Survey" button. We hope you'll take the time to participate.

Need more incentive? When you've completed the survey you can enter to win one of three Amazon Kindle Fire HD Tablets. Surveys must be completed by November 15, 2013. Results will be shared beginning in 2014.

Thank you to the libraries that have already completed the survey.



A home away from home [school]

by Anne Rogers, youth and children’s services, Hearst Library, Lead

Homeschool families are a dynamic part of library life at the Hearst Library in Lead. Homeschoolers of all ages and their parents use the library as a study space, a resource for materials, a place to facilitate group work and attend weekly programs sponsored by the library. Traditionally, the library sees two formal groups of homeschoolers each week — a private group that gets together to teach classes and use the public access computers for research, and an open homeschool group — a drop-in group of students and their families who come for homeschool-specific library programs. These groups have been a mainstay at the library for years, and programs have grown and adapted to the changing needs of the groups and their families.

homeschooled girls enjoy a pottery lesson
Homeschooled girls enjoy a pottery lesson at Hearst Library, Lead.

During the last school year, the library worked with the private group once a month to teach library skills and South Dakota history and met with the open group once a week for activities that range in scope from library skills, to community awareness and several lessons related to the Prairie Bud and Prairie Pasque award nominated books. During the 2012-2013 school year, homeschoolers read Dave the Potter and visited the Lead-Deadwood Arts Center for a pottery lesson with local artist Bonnie Brooking; read The Buffalo are Back and learned about American Bison and life on the prairie; studied and sampled holiday customs for Lead's historic ethnic groups; explored the Black Hills Mining Museum and Historic Homestake Opera House; did several Dewey scavenger hunts; made Oobleck on Dr. Seuss's birthday; created snow stories in the park, and much, much more. This year's open homeschool program kicks off the first week in October, 2013.

Working with homeschoolers and their families is a delight — homeschoolers are bright and excited, independent thinkers who are ready to tackle a puzzle from every angle imaginable and are prepared to tell you just why they did. Homeschoolers keep librarians on their toes when it comes to reference and online resources and always ask "why?" Our library is a brighter place because of our homeschool families.






Beresford, Bison, certification, communities, Custer, Faith, Freeman, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, homeschool, Hot Springs, internet, Lead, Miller, public library, Rapid City, SDLA, Sioux Falls, survey, technology, Vermillion, Yankton

next: Continuing Education Opportunities

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