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October 2014, Volume 6, Issue 8

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

SDLA Annual Conference
October 1-3, 2014

Teen Read Week
October 12-18, 2014

AASL Fall Forum
October 17-18, 2014

National Friends of the Libraries Week
October 19-25, 2013

YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium
November 14-16, 2014

SDLA Legislative Day
January 22, 2014

Featured e-Resources of the Month
SIRS Discoverer enhances elementary research

Library Headlines


October is time to celebrate National Friends of Libraries

By Shawn Behrends, Data Coordinator

Oct. 19-25 will be the ninth annual Friends of Libraries Week. In South Dakota 22 of our public libraries have Friends groups. Friends of the Library groups support the library through fundraising, volunteering, communication and advocacy activities. Friends of Libraries have their own Friends Board, tax exempt status, and collaborate with the library’s Trustees and Director to support the library. United for Libraries, the division of the American Library Association under which Friends of Libraries operates, says that many libraries across the U.S. owe their new additions and new buildings to the efforts Friends groups provide in terms of fundraising and advocacy campaigns.

Friends of Madison Public Library (FOMPL) is one of the newest Friends groups formed in South Dakota. A few enthusiastic library patrons, a trustee, and Library Director Nancy Sabbe formed a steering group. In November they registered the FOMPL with the State of South Dakota as a not-for-profit organization, opened a bank account, and launched a website. At the FOMPL website, visitors can submit a volunteer interest form, and membership payments can be made online. The group also has a Facebook page that is their point of contact for answering questions and highlighting programs and activities.

The most notable impact of the Madison Friends group is the full schedule of all-inclusive events they sponsor at the library. The group has hosted lectures on travel, the arts, and current issues by local residents and scholars; music, poetry, and dance programs; and children's events. That's not all they're up to. Friends' publicity coordinator, Mary Kenyon, says their long term goals are to "raise money and raise our voices to promote a first-class public library for Madison, South Dakota."

What is the payoff for organizing a Friends group? Casualene Meyer, programming coordinator and one of the founders of FOMPL said, " feels so exciting to me, and it's been so wonderful to support the library and meet and help bring together such terrific people through this experience."

Friends groups can have small or large goals for the support they provide their libraries. At any level, their impact is great. Ken & Casualene Meyer of the Madison Friends group share some examples of what Friends can do in terms of advocacy, service, support, and programming in an article for Rotary e-Club.

Want to start a Friends group in your library? Find out how at United for Libraries Resources for Friends Groups.

Madison Public Library Building Detail
Photo submitted by Casualene Meyer (FOMPL)


Your library is on the map — Digital Inclusion interactive mapping tool

Digital Inclusion Survey LogoSome of you public librarians may recall the Digital Inclusion national survey that you were asked to participate in last fall. The survey asked about technology services the library provides and included a speed test. We are happy to announce that the first of many useful resources from that project is now available for your use. Find South Dakota data at

The feature product of the survey project is an interactive mapping tool that combines data from the Digital Inclusion survey with community-level data. Demographics, education, economics, and health data are displayed for the map location you've chosen. All public libraries and branches have an entry on the map; however, libraries that have submitted the survey will have some of the survey data displayed as well. You can adjust the service area or draw shapes on the map to choose the neighborhood for which you want to see data. A color PDF of data for the chosen area can be printed. Aggregate state-level data and national data are also available on a State Details page that can be printed as a PDF. Other resources include issue briefs on topics such as broadband access and talking points handouts that can be used for advocacy.

Use the interactive library map and the community data to gain a better (data-based) understanding of the community your library serves.

Last year we had phenomenal participation with 104 main libraries and branches completing the survey. This year randomly chosen sample libraries have received a postcard invitation to participate in the survey. If your library is not in the sample group you are still invited to take the survey and have your library's data included on the map. The Digital Inclusion Survey is open Sept. 22 through Nov. 21, 2014.


activities, advocacy, broadband, communication, Madison, programming, public libraries, survey, technology




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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.