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August 2014, Volume 6, Issue 6

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book SD

Teen Blogging Contest
Deadline: August 1, 2014

SDLA Branch Out
August 7, 2014

Library Card Sign-up Month
September 2014

ALSC National Institute
September 18-20, 2014

Banned Books Week
September 21-27, 2014

Banned Websites Awareness Day
September 24, 2014

SDLA Annual Conference
October 1-3, 2014

SDLA Legislative Day
January 22, 2014

Featured e-Resources of the Month
New e-resources' features made available

Board Talk


SD public library accreditation and certification tweaked

By Daria Bossman, State Librarian

It is always good to get feedback, and we appreciate when we hear from our librarians and our public library boards. We had a tremendously successful Public Library Institute this year. Though 31 originally were enrolled, life got in the way for a few and our numbers were down slightly. However, we had 12 freshmen and we welcomed their energy and enthusiasm to the program. We had five graduates this year. We will miss their leadership and creative ideas! This year the module was Children's Services, which is always fun and lively. Check out our social media sites for some great photos of the week.

The South Dakota State Library oversees a voluntary certification program for South Dakota public library directors and library staff. The goals of this program 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 recognizes public library directors and staff who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis.

After Institute several students commented that they did not know that one could obtain certification (for themselves) and subsequent accreditation for their library going the college coursework route rather than attending Institute for four years. We are sorry for any misunderstanding and will try to do a better job of reminding everyone that the criteria are listed on our webpage which includes the tiers for certification and accreditation and the educational requirements. (See link below) With that in mind, we took another look at our document and decided we needed to clarify a few points. The document uses the terms associate degree, minor in library science and certificate in library science. Since such programs could mean anything from 15 to 30 hours in library coursework, we decided to define those options as a minimum of 18 college credit hours in library coursework.

Also, we noticed that Grade 3 librarians had no other option for "provisional certification" than attending our SDSL Public Library Institute. While most everyone enthusiastically values and wants to attend the annual Summer Institute, we understand that there are those circumstances where a librarian cannot attend, his/her board does not support their attendance or it would be a hardship for the community or individual. In those rare instances and in the spirit of promoting education, we wanted to give librarians and their board another option to obtain a "provisional certification" for their library. This is detailed in our updated document. See under South Dakota Public Library Certification Program.

In summary, it would allow for someone to elect to take 6 hours of library coursework in library studies and then over the course of three years complete that program whether it is an associate degree in library studies, a one-year certificate diploma or a minor in library science. 18 hours would be the minimum requirement with no provisional renewals. One will not be able to mix and match Institute training or the college coursework. These would be two separate tracks one would select from the beginning.

We are proud of our Public Library Summer Institute, now in its 27th year. We hear from those who attended ten and even twenty years ago. They always say the same thing: Besides learning so much and having a great time, they developed a close network of friends and fellow library colleagues which was invaluable in their career after Institute.

So now we have two paths for provisional certification. We hope everyone in the state will take a good long look at their educational opportunities. Perhaps you would want to support your staff attending both Institute and pursuing a specialize degree in library science. With so many great programs online these days, two within our state, there is no need to plead ignorance of 21st century trends and modern library services. The two online programs within the state are at Black Hills State University and Western Dakota Tech.

Boards, remember to put continuing education and professional development in your budget. And I hope you will see the value in board members pursuing their education by taking turns (or the entire board) attending the annual SDLA, South Dakota Library Association conference. It is at the Ramkota in Pierre this year, a central location for everyone. It is a very affordable and enjoyable two and a half day conference. The conference counts for one board member's trustee training (15 hours for the entire conference; 7 hours for one day or one hour per session attended).

Hope to see you all in Pierre October 1-3!





accreditation, board, certification, community, continuing education, Institute, public libraries, staff

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