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January 2015, Volume 7, Issue 1

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

New Year's Day

Copyright Law Day
Jan. 1

Science Fiction Day
Jan. 2

World Braille Day
Jan. 4

Poetry at Work Day
Jan. 13

Kid Inventors Day
Jan. 17

Thesaurus Day
Jan. 18

Martin Luther King Day
Jan. 19

SDLA Legislative Day
Jan. 22

Handwriting Day
Jan. 23

International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jan. 27

Puzzle Day
Jan. 29

Tackling Textbook Costs Through Open Educational Resources: A Primer
Jan. 29-30, Chicago

ALA Midwinter Meeting
Jan. 30- Feb. 3, Chicago

Take Your Child to the Library Day
Feb. 2

Digital Learning Day
Mar. 13

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Save patrons time – add the State Library's subscription e-resources links to your school or library website

Library Headlines


South Dakota Library Association Legislative Day at the Capitol -- Jan. 22, 2015

by Stephanie Bents, SDLA Issues Committee

South Dakota Capitol Building in Winter; photo by SD Tourism

All South Dakota librarians are asked to participate in the 2015 Legislative Day on Jan. 22. Each year the South Dakota Library Association sponsors an event to bring librarians and legislators together. This is our opportunity to talk about the difference South Dakota libraries make to the students, citizens and communities of South Dakota. Everyone is asked to participate and here are some ideas how:

  • Attend Legislative Day in Pierre. We will be hosting a luncheon in the Capitol Rotunda from 12-1:30 p.m. and are inviting all legislators to attend. At the luncheon, you can mix and mingle with decision makers to let them know about all the good work you do for your library community. After the luncheon, we will be attending House and Senate Sessions from 2-3 p.m., and the South Dakota State Library Accreditation Reception in the Rotunda from 3:30-4 p.m.
  • Provide a display for the Capitol Rotunda during Legislative Day. The display could be about a project or program your library is undertaking or technology you are working with. The purpose is to show legislators and other attendees how libraries matter.
  • Contact your legislators and ask them to attend the Legislative Day luncheon, even if you are unable to attend. By contacting your legislators, you are introducing yourself and reminding them that libraries benefit all South Dakotans. If you are unable to attend but have personally invited your legislators to the luncheon, please let the SDLA Issues Committee know (email), and we will be sure to make the contact with that legislator at the luncheon.

For questions or to reserve space for the Rotunda Display, please email or call Stephanie Bents at 605-367-8719.


Rapid City Central's Festival of Trees

by Marsha Mertes, Rapid City Central High School Library

Lakota Tree at Rapid City Central Special Services tree at Rapid City Central

In 2006, Rapid City Central started their first Festival of Trees. We had organizations and classes decorate trees and display them in the library along with proceeds from "cash" donations to go to libraries that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Rapid City Central donation buckets H O S A tree at Rapid City Central

Every year since, it has grown into the contest it is today. We have had "the traditional" and some that were "out of the box." This year we have 14 trees in our friendly competition. The winner of the competition gets bragging rights and prime placement for next year's contest. We have used our donations to help various individuals at Central High School, Honor Flight and organizations throughout Rapid City. This year the donations will go to the Cobbler Café which helps Central High School students in need.


Community partnerships create a win-win situation

by Doris Ann Mertz, Custer County Library director

Building relationships with community partners benefits the library as well as the partnering entity. The library can strengthen its relationship with the community, improve attendance at its programs, provide programs built on the partner's expertise, capitalize on the partner's marketing opportunities, and increase library membership. The partners benefit by providing extra programming and services to its stakeholders based on the library's expertise.

The Custer County Library could not provide community services without the help of its many partners. Some partners are unique to this area, such as the Custer State Park, the Black Hills National Forest, the local historical societies and local attractions. However, almost every community in the state has the opportunity to form mutually beneficial relationships with three potential partners: the senior center, the school district, and the YMCA (or other childcare provider).

tech class for seniors at Custer County Library

Our library recently formed a partnership with the Custer Senior Center to provide technology classes to seniors. The first class offered was "Introduction to Facebook," which was held at the Senior Center. We had about 10 participants eager to learn more about how to use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family and to see pictures of their grandkids. The second class was held at the library and was billed as a "Bring Your Own Device" workshop, focusing on using OverDrive. Future classes offered will be based on demand.

The expected need in Jan. will be for classes on how to use tablets received for Christmas, not just for OverDrive, but also for setting up email, downloading and using various common apps. The library has the expertise to help seniors learn more about using technology. The Senior Center has ready access to one of our target audiences and the ability to promote the trainings with articles in their popular newsletter.

Kids playing with Legos girl playing with Goldiblox

Each year, we work with the Custer School District on certain events, such as our teen book discussions and summer reading program and their career fair. The English teachers promote the book discussions and/or allow me class time to promote them. One of the paraprofessionals at the school even checks out books from our library to those who cannot easily drop by the library on their own. They also allow us class time or assembly time to promote the summer reading program, thus helping us to reach our intended audience. We share a common goal since all educators should be proponents of summer reading to prevent "summer slide." We participate in their career fairs by offering handouts and information on various electronic resources important to high school students, such as ProQuest and Learning Express Library.

This year, we began partnering with the YMCA childcare program during our summer reading program. They brought children to the library in three shifts one day each week to check out books and redeem time spent reading for prizes from our summer reading store. The YMCA caregivers set aside time each day for the children to read and had them record this time on their "Time Trackers". They also attended our various summer reading events. The YMCA benefited by offering an extra activity/field trip for the kids each week and an incentive for them to use their reading time wisely. The library benefited from more children participating in the program and attending the events; we reached kids we do not usually reach. Only about five of the 40 YMCA participants were regular library patrons who had signed up for our program. Another benefit for the library is some of the children's parents have become library members after their children told them how much they loved the library. We are also partnering with the YMCA during the school year to offer a story-time to the kids in their 2-year-old program once each month and to provide a program for the pre-schoolers every other week. The pre-school programs alternate between junior maker workshops and story times.

Kids doing science project

Community partnerships greatly enhance the library's footprint in the community, allowing it to serve more citizens and gain more supporters. A library should take advantage of every opportunity to form mutually beneficial partnerships. It should also accept every offer to speak to community service clubs, such as Rotary. Speaking engagements not only allow the library to spread its message, but also increase the chance of being remembered when it comes time to distribute service funds.


Is E-rate 2.0 worth the effort? Yes!

by Debra Kriete, South Dakota E-rate Coordinator

E-rate, the largest technology program for libraries and schools, was established in 1997 when spending time online was far more novel than normal. The program began when national telecommunications policy was overhauled from an outdated monopoly framework to a competitive model. E-rate too relies on competition to drive down prices. All libraries and schools must post an online bidding form known as Form 470. After evaluating bids, service arrangements are made; the annual costs of these services are quantified; and, a discount ranging from 20% to 90% is applied to compute the amount of E-rate funding that the applicant may receive. Applicants must complete a funding application form, known as Form 471; answer supplemental questions; and, file other forms after funding is approved to recoup the E-rate discount benefit.

E-rate has been laden with regulatory requirements and strict, unforgiving deadlines. Applicants may have unsuccessfully tried to request funding in past years and then became disillusioned. In past years, there was not enough funding to approve requests for network equipment purchases except for applicants with the highest discounts. Library discounts were computed in such a manner that they usually did not qualify for this funding.E-rate has undergone a transformation to focus funding on broadband-centered purchases and to ease applicants' administrative burdens. Two recent FCC Orders, one released in July and one issued on Dec. 19, 2014, have created the new and improved E-rate 2.0.

First, the annual E-rate funding cap has been increased substantially from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion. All applicants now have a realistic opportunity sometime in the next five years to receive funding for their broadband services to their buildings as well as network equipment to have fast broadband coverage throughout libraries and schools.Second, technology plans are no longer a prerequisite.

Third, libraries and schools now use the same method for computing discounts so there is no disadvantage to libraries.

Fourth, for several years now, corrections are permitted to fix ministerial and clerical mistakes so these technicalities are no longer a reason for denying funding.

Fifth, a new competitive bidding exemption has been introduced. Applicants that receive a commercially available Internet access service with a minimum of 100 mbps downstream and 10 mbps upstream at a monthly cost of $300 or less no longer have to post the Form 470 bidding form for this service. If service at this level is not available in your area, then a bidding form is still required for Internet.

There are many training materials available that explain the program requirements. See A webinar on how to apply for equipment funding (Category 2 funding) is available online.

I encourage you to review these materials to become familiar with E-rate, and please sign up for the State E-rate list serve at or email me. Post your Form 470 bidding form at If you have questions that the training materials did not answer, please contact me for assistance.





accreditation, broadband, community, Custer, electronic resources, event, funding, Pierre, programming, Rapid City, SDLA, senior, summer reading, technology

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