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September 2015, Volume 7, Issue 8

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

Library Card Sign-up Month

National Children's Good Manners Month

Labor Day
September 7

International Literacy Day
September 8

Patriot Day
September 11

Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day
September 12

National Grandparents Day
September 13

National Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15- October 15

Lead the Change Maker Workshop
September 16, online

Constitution Day
September 17

National POW/MIA Recognition Day
September 18

Talk Like a Pirate Day
September 19

The International Day of Peace
September 21

SDLA Conference: Preparing for a Bright Future
September 23-25

School Library Journal Leadership Summit
September 26-27, Seattle

Banned Books Week
September 27- October 3

Banned Websites Awareness Day
September 30

International School Library Month

National Fossil Day
October 14

The Digital Shift
October 14, online

Teen Read Week
October 18-24

National Friends of the Libraries Week
October 18-24

Give Me 20 Fall Challenge
October 19-December 11, 2015

Read for the Record
October 22, 2015

School Library Chats
October 28, 2015

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Back to school, back to business



Who is IMLS?

IMLS is the Institute of Museum and Library Services. When you have a few minutes, browse through their very informative and interesting website full of useful reports and research. It might also enlighten you as to the larger role this agency plays in advocating for museums and libraries on the national level. Their website is

By their own words, "The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement… to provide leadership through research, policy development, and grant making." IMLS supports key issues of national concern such as literacy, education and lifelong learning, technology, broadband access, health issues, immigration, local economic development, jobs, and so forth using the annual Public Library Survey statistics given to them by each state. In this technology-rich age, many people take for granted the appearance that everyone has a smart phone and access to the Internet. Statistics from Public Library Survey data show otherwise for many economically and geographically disadvantaged areas.

A very small agency by federal standards, IMLS was birthed out of the Department of Education in the late 1990s so it is still a relatively limber and flexible. Nevertheless, it manages several large grants and research projects; does research on behalf of museums and libraries; and advocates for their state, local and private support. They are a responsive and effective agency among the giants who spill out of D.C. and beyond. This is something that we sometimes take for granted in this technology-rich age where it "appears" like most everyone has a smart phone and access to the Internet. Most librarians know differently for the poor have neither and often they do not have the English literacy skills to read and understand.

Just like I hope we respond at the state level when you call us, we call them and they always respond quickly and cheerfully. Yet few citizens or even state or local leaders know they exist. Their "Grants to States" program is one of their most long-standing and successful. If states maintains a current Five Year Plan based on local needs and on IMLS priorities, if their state's goals are routinely evaluated, and if states "match" a percentage of the funding, then states are eligible for this annual federal funding. For South Dakota it is currently $996,021.

This is not a huge amount but it pays for statewide access to nearly 40 specialized proprietary databases available in all public and school libraries or to private citizens via our SDSL e-card, provides for interlibrary loan support, and fully supports our Braille and Talking Book program. You can review the SD State Library profile here and our current Five Year Plan [PDF].

In the coming years we will be having meetings across the state to get your feedback and to assist us in the writing of our next 5-Year plan. If you can't wait you can complete our survey of services or you can give me a call. I always enjoy talking to school administrators, teachers, librarians, trustees and city officials. I'd be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas or concerns, or steer you to an expert in our office. 1-800-423-6665 or catch me at





prev: Featured E-Resources of the Month | next: Library Outreach

Table of Contents

Braille, funding, grants, health, IMLS, interlibrary loan, literacy, policy, public libraries, school libraries, standards, statistics, survey, technology, trustees

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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.