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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



Measuring outcomes shows the good that you do!

Last month Daria and Shawn had the opportunity to attend the first Research Institute for Public Libraries. The Institute was sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and host of other library research and industry sponsors. Attendees were public library staff from libraries of all sizes around the country as well as state agency staff like us.

The main topic of the Institute was how libraries can shift evaluation of library programs and services from measuring inputs (e.g., what we spent, how many staff hours) and outputs (e.g., how many people attended, number of books read) toward measuring outcomes and impact. In other words, what good did you do?

Measuring outcomes takes a bit of extra effort and forethought. Have you clearly laid out the goals of the program? How can you evaluate whether you've met those goals?

If you are launching a child literacy program, for example, how will you know it had positive impact on the attendees? You could survey parents and find out whether, as a result, they will spend more time reading to their children, if they feel more confident helping them learn, if they know more about library resources available. These are all ways to find out whether your program impacted behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge of the participants. … and that is measuring outcomes.

Being able to measure outcomes means that you can share not just what you did, but the good that you do! Contact Data Coordinator Shawn Behrends, for assistance and resources for planning an outcomes-based evaluation of your library program.


Grant resources at the SD State Library

The South Dakota State Library is a Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center. As a member of this nationwide network of libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit agencies, the South Dakota State Library provides visitors with free public access to grantmaker directories, books on fundraising and nonprofit management, and the Foundation Center's electronic database — Foundation Directory Online Professional. The fully searchable database includes detailed profiles of all active U.S. foundations, as well as an extensive file of recent grants awarded by the nation's top funders.

If you don't have time to travel to Pierre, you can contact Brenda Hemmelman search assistance. In addition to the Foundation Center website above, there is also a great resource from the Foundation Center called Grant Space. Both of these websites offer free training webinars on how to start the grant process, how to develop proposals, and how to search for grant funders.


$100 + a "techy" volunteer = DIY people counter for your library

Looking for a low-cost way to automate visitor counts at your library? Staff at Research Institute for Public Libraries brought our attention to this DIY door counter for libraries. The project requires some basic electronic materials and someone with a bit of coding know-how. (Don't we all know someone who can do this?) Find the directions on the instructables website. Let us know if you tried this … and don't forget to divide that count by 2 (for the folks exiting the library) on your annual reports!





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books, community, DIY, grants, literacy, Pierre, public libraries, research, staff, survey, webinars, websites

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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.