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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 Development


Trustee Wiki keeps your library on track

Is our library following state law? What policies should our library have? Does a board member have to do anything besides attend meetings?

When questions arise about your library's governance and mission, you and your trustees can turn to the South Dakota State Library Trustee Wiki. Use the left sidebar to find the information you need, from conducting board meetings to creating budgets. Strategic planning, policies and procedures, state statutes, friends groups and foundations, and other topics will help you and your trustees keep your library running smoothly. For a guided tour, view this recorded webinar. The wiki is updated as necessary.

You are also welcome to call the State Library for information: 1-800-423-6665 (SD ONLY).


Save money on library products with Minitex discounts

Why pay full price for bar codes, scanners, DVD cases and other supplies for your library? Minitex, an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries, offers discounts on many types of library supplies. The products are available to libraries inside and outside the Minitex region. See details here at


Making the most of your library's technology services

Virtually all of our libraries across South Dakota provide public computers and Internet access; 86% have Wi-Fi for patrons. Yes, we have public computers and Wi-Fi in the library, but are we making the best use of these services? This last year five of our public libraries assessed themselves on this question. Centerville, Dell Rapids, Grant County, Huron, and Madison took advantage of the free opportunity to participate in the Edge Initiative's National Preview. The assessment and subsequent training helped them to understand best practices in providing technology services and to improve on technology programming.

So what did we learn? The Edge Assessment poses some important questions we should be asking about our own libraries in these key areas:

  • Does your library provide the kinds of technology resources, services, and training that support community needs?
    Providing public computers and internet connection is not enough. Do computer users have access to the kinds of productivity software they need? Beyond the Microsoft Office package, should you consider photo and video editing software and web development tools? Can your staff provide knowledgeable tech assistance to patrons? Remember that people come to the library for assistance with problems they can't solve themselves. Websites are increasingly the primary access point to library services. Is your website fully populated with access to the library catalog, your ebook services, the state-sponsored databases, and library curated web resources?

  • How connected is the library to the community?
    Does your library partner with other community organizations? Do you know what they have? Do they know what you have? Strong relationships give magnitude to the library's reach and help to avoid duplication of effort. Do you submit press releases about library services and activities? Are you seeking input from the community for decisions about public technology needs? Community surveys, library-sponsored needs assessments, focus groups, and forums are all important information gathering tools for making strategic decisions.

  • How well do you manage the library's resources and staff to provide access to everyone?
    Does your library have the infrastructure and expertise to meet public technology needs? Does the library have enough bandwidth, computers, and access points? Is there a technology plan for replacing and updating devices and software? Is library staff allowed time in the work schedule and training resources for keeping up with the necessary technology competencies? Are you able to offer patrons the time, privacy, and devices they need (e.g., scanners, wireless printers to accommodate patron devices) to complete projects?

Providing access to technology is becoming a primary role for libraries. After all, we have always been in the information business. It is difficult to apply for a job, keep up with the latest health information, or even file our taxes without access to computers, the internet, and all the tools that go with it. Not to mention some degree of technology literacy--or someone who can assist. Making informed choices based on knowledge of community need ensures that we have invested wisely in tech tools, resources, and training. Partnering with community organizations and the media ensures that our services benefit the most people, and the people who most need the services.


2014 Native Youth Report

The White House recently released a report on the status of Native American education. It can be accessed at (pdf).


Programming tips learned at the recent AzLA/MPLA regional conference

The session "Creative Programming for 20- to 40-something Adults" was presented by librarians from the Mesa Public Library who had the following suggestions for some programming ideas:

  • Look at your stats to see what is circulating, then build a program from that
  • Survey your community
  • Partnerships are crucial
  • Consult the book "Adult programs in the Library" by Lear (available at SDSL)
  • DIY programs are great: cooking demos, master gardeners, green living
  • Market your programs
    • Use good graphics and make flyers easy to read
    • Use a monthly calendar flyer that can be handed out and posted on website
    • Use photos on Facebook

Programming for kids - let the kids do the work:

  • STEAM club (science, technology, engineering, art, math);
  • Lego club;
  • Minecraft club;
  • armchair astronomy;
  • Create-Play-Learn (3-5 year olds);
  • Girls who code

Online resources:


Upcoming legislative session

South Dakota Capitol Building in Winter; photo by SD Tourism

The 90th South Dakota Legislative Session will open at noon CST on Tuesday, Jan. 13. You can find the Legislative Calendar at (pdf).

Follow all things Legislature and listen in on committee hearings and House and Senate floor debates at

SD Library Association Legislative Day will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22. The SD State Library Accreditation ceremony for libraries obtaining voluntary accreditation will be held that afternoon in the SD State Capitol Rotunda.





accreditation, art, board, Centerville, community, Dell Rapids, foundation, friends, Grant County, Huron, internet, law, legislation, Madison, marketing, Native American, programming, science, software, staff, statistics, technology

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