school libraries


Check your "To Do" list for upcoming deadlines

It's the beginning of April and the end of the school year is approaching quickly! Before you move on to thoughts of summer check your "To Do" list for State Library deadlines:

  • May 1: Applications for the 21st Century School Library Award 2014 are due. All details and the application form may be found at
  • May 13: School Library Surveys for 2013-2014 are due. Only one survey per district is required. You'll find the survey at it's a new platform but requires the same login and password you used last year. Contact Marta Stirling,, or Joan Upell,, for all questions.
  • June 2: Registration closes for School Library Boot Camp 2014: ShaZam! The 4Cs in the 21st Century School Library. Partner with one of your classroom teachers to attend and return to school with a new digital project to co-teach. Complete information is at


School Library Integrated Library Systems White Paper

The South Dakota State Library wishes to facilitate automation for all school libraries in South Dakota. To assist in this effort, SDSL staff have prepared a School Library Integrated Library Systems White Paper. The white paper is available on our web site at:

Please take some time to review the information presented and contact Nina Mentzel,, with any questions.

Digital Gizmos: Celebrate 125 Years of Statehood with Online Resources

south dakota 125 logoTo celebrate South Dakota's 125 years of statehood, the State Library Division of the Department of Education developed 125 school and classroom activities. These activities are aligned to the Common Core Anchor Standards for the language arts and the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings.

The 125th Anniversary celebration activities can be a great resource to you as you prepare standards-based, information literacy projects for your students. They can also be used for collaboration and partnership between school librarians, classroom teachers, and other areas of the community, and they may lead to further projects and actions that allow students to question and explore the world in which they live.

Visit the Department of Education 125th Anniversary celebration webpage to view these activities and other historical resources, and take a moment to share them with your fellow teachers and school administrators.

The activities are arranged by grade span (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) with additional school-wide projects including map, field trip, and guest speaker ideas. Many activities can be adapted across grade levels and cover a spectrum of higher order thinking skills. The activities for each grade span include suggested online resources that are available through the State Library. These resources can be used for the school-wide projects, too.

It is significantly important for students to make decisions that are grounded in evidence as they grow to be active, productive citizens of their community and South Dakota. The online e-Resources provide access to vetted information and are a great starting point for establishing background knowledge. Each school has free, direct access to these online resources, and suggested grade levels are provided for many of the e-Resources that are ideal for classroom use. To access these resources, visit the South Dakota State Library website.


In My Experience: Paperless = Worry-free Nonfiction

By Susie Tecklenburg, Harrisburg North Middle School Library Assistant

In the past, we have stocked our shelves with titles we knew would enrich our students' minds, strengthen their beliefs and make them thirst for more knowledge. Students would come to the library for a research project, sit at a table that had four books - one book per seat. They would look at the books for ten minutes and have to switch tables to look at the other books. Students would stress out since they did not have time to find or write down the information they found. They could not check out the books because there were over 100 students needing to use that same book. Students would freak out!

Therefore we decided to go with MackinVia and here are some of the reasons why we chose them: the amount of compatible devices, ebooks are downloadable onto devices and titles can be purchased as permanent or subscriptions. An email with the MARC records can be downloaded into your library program. It is easy for students and staff to use from either the MackinVia app or our Destiny program.

Students can setup a backpack in MackinVia. In the backpack they can checkout, make request for checked out titles, save a favorite for later reading and view notes. In the ebook you can highlight, add notes to the highlights and bookmark pages. There is a key word search within the ebook. Click on a given option to be directed within the ebook. Click on a word to see the definition. A cite tool is available as well to copy or save to your Easybib account. Click on the AR button to take the AR test. Students can find the ebooks in the MackVia app or our library program Destiny.

Repaired, damaged, outdated, lost books and multiple copies are a thing of the past. There is no lost information because it is saved in the "backpack". Shelf space is no longer an issue. Not all of us are opening a new library, but you can start the eBook process gradually as you make your yearly book orders. Happy Research!

If you are attending TIE on April 15, and want to hear more, you can attend Susie's breakout session.

"Harrisburg North Middle School decided to go with Max Access non-fiction eBooks this year." Max Access is a subscription platform that allows simultaneous use for multiple readers.


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The Cornerstone monthly e-newsletter is created by the South Dakota State Library. For more information on how to be a part of this newsletter, please contact us via e-mail with your questions and ideas.