Grant Opportunities


Last Call — One Book mini grants still available!

The South Dakota State Library, in collaboration with the South Dakota Humanities Council, is offering 20 mini grants for free registrations for the 2014 One Book South Dakota program. These mini-grants are available for public libraries who wish to have a One Book Program and have a financial need that would make the $35 registration fee a hardship.

Public libraries selected would receive five free books with the option to borrow an additional 20 books directly from the Humanities Council. A special study guide to celebrate South Dakota's 125th birthday is also being produced and will be available with a special section on early statehood issues and their relevance today. Public libraries selected can lead their own discussion, select someone from their community OR they will soon be able to apply for a Humanities Scholar to come free of charge to their public library to lead the discussion and book talk.

  • Only South Dakota public libraries serving populations under 10,000 are eligible to apply for these mini grants.
  • Send completed applications via mail, fax or email to:
    Jasmine Rockwell; 800 Governors Drive; Pierre, SD 57501
    Fax: 605-773-6962; Email:
  • In two paragraphs or less, state your program idea and library budget situation. Programs should be held between April 2014 and September 2014.
  • Be sure to include full name of the public library, town, address and the library director's name, phone and e-mail address.
  • Application deadline is March 7th.

From the applications submitted, 20 recipients will be selected. Recipients of these grants will be notified by March 21st.

The 2014 title, chosen in honor of South Dakota's 125th is "Dakota" by Kathleen Norris. Norris describes the book as a "spiritual geography" set in and around Lemmon, SD, where Norris inherits and moves into her grandparents' place.

You may familiarize yourself and your board with the South Dakota One Book Program by going to South Dakota Humanities Council: One Book South Dakota.


There's still time to apply for technology grants for your public library!

Over the past three years there has been an exciting collaboration between the South Dakota State Library and the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT). The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunication and Information Administration's (NTIA) State Broadband Initiative (SBI) has specifically targeted "community anchor institutions" and sought as its goal to strengthen and expand local broadband and technology improvements.

Did you know that the federal government has named "public libraries" as a "community anchor institution" on par with police, fire departments, hospitals, local churches and schools among others? Did you realize public libraries are considered that important? It is because these public entities are stable, necessary institutions that have enduring qualities. They add value to local communities as well as stability and permanency. They offer computers and reliable Internet access and can be used as community centers during times of crisis or natural disasters.

Check out the national goals and action items:

The South Dakota Broadband Initiative is under the umbrella of the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications. The first three rounds of this grant resulted in 59 grants; 17 (29%) were awarded to South Dakota public libraries! This has amounted to a cash value of $92,742.11 for our local public libraries' technology needs! This does not include many schools which applied and received funding thus indirectly benefiting their school libraries. Funds were used to install firewalls (cyber security) to protect computers, network switches to ensure uptime and stability as well as increase network speeds and performance, wireless equipment for mobile connectivity and increased performance, and new and additional laptops and desktops to provide increased access to broadband services.

Here is a list of the 17 participating South Dakota public libraries. Feel free to give any of your neighbors a call and ask them about the process. I believe all would tell you it was fairly simple as grant applications go, seamless and extremely helpful. And besides the new computers, equipment or broadband added, a full assessment of the unique technology needs is outlined in a report to the library board and community leaders.

  • Beresford Public Library
  • Leola Public Library
  • Sturgis Public Library
  • Potter County Library
  • Madison Public
  • Haakon County Public Library
  • Brookings Public Library
  • Dorothee Pike Memorial Library (Lake Preston)
  • Jackson County Public Library
  • Dakota Club Library (Eagle Butte)
  • Gregory Public Library
  • Hot Springs Public
  • Hill City Public Library
  • Rapid City Public Library
  • Vermillion Public Library
  • Wall Community Library
  • Whitewood Public Library

"The projects funded through these grants will provide a wide variety of technology improvements and expansions across South Dakota to key Community Anchor Institutions," said Jim Edman, Acting Commissioner for the state Bureau of Information and Telecommunications and Project Manager for the State Broadband Initiative.

We are excited that these communities continue to invest, improve and expand their computer infrastructure. By doing so they increase broadband services, usage and adoption; which is a key goal for the State Broadband Initiative.
--Jim Edman

The South Dakota Broadband Initiative Technology Planning team will assist the library staff and their technology partners with the implementation of the equipment into their infrastructure. The Technology Planning and Computer Ownership program is one segment of the overall South Dakota Broadband Initiative. The primary purpose is to provide libraries with technology consulting and solutions pertaining to their technical infrastructure and broadband connectivity. Eligible institutions include libraries, medical and healthcare facilities, K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, public safety offices, government and tribal offices, and community support locations. The grant requires a 20 percent matching investment from the participating community.

An additional nine or ten public libraries applied in Rounds Four and Five, but we know there are other libraries that have expressed to us a need to upgrade the library's computers and/or obtain more broadband capacity for your library. This is a wonderful opportunity to help your library and your entire community! Please give this grant serious consideration. Round 6 opens March 3; the deadline is March 28. If you are interested in applying, NOW is the time to share this with your Library board and with your city leaders and begin planning and raising the matching 20% funding.

If you have ANY questions or concerns, give us a call or contact one of the above listed awardees.

About South Dakota Broadband Initiative (SDBI): The purpose of the SDBI is to inventory, enhance and increase the adoption of high-speed broadband. The SD State Library stands ready to assist and advise as well. If interested give us a call at 1-800-423-6667.


Charles Lafitte Foundation Grants

Deadline: ongoing

The education initiatives of the Charles Lafitte Foundation support programs that target at-risk populations, integrate all learners, aid students with learning disabilities, and that involve innovative and data-driven approaches.


Target Early Childhood Reading Grants

Deadline: April 30

Target awards $2000 grants to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations that support programs such as after-school reading events, library story times and weekend book clubs. Applications are accepted from March 1 through April 30 each year. Programs must take place between September 2014 and August 2015.


Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant

Deadline: May 22

Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:

  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs


Beresford, broadband, Brookings, Eagle Butte, Gettysburg, grants, Gregory, Hill City, Hot Springs, Kadoka, Lake Preston, Leola, literacy, Madison, One Book South Dakota, Philip, Rapid City, South Dakota Humanities Council, Sturgis, technology, Vermillion, Wall, Whitewood




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