Dual Application: Emporia State University School of Library and Information Science (SLIM)/Graduate Assistant (GA)

Requested start date: January 11, 2020

Reports directly to the South Dakota State Librarian

Location: Pierre office or remote from Sioux Falls

Salary: Paid to Emporia State University; $9.30/hr. plus allocations for food, travel and motel expenses up to 400 hours (estimated 20 hours per week during a semester)

Mileage/Meals/lodging/insurance: Factored into contract fee (approx. $1,830)

Function of Position

This temporary internship would be within the office of Development and Outreach at the South Dakota State Library. Having a person on staff to educate and advise specifically in technology has been the #1 request from the field over the past three to five years. This person, focused on local library technology needs, would bring a proactive approach to the State and not just a reactive response to immediate local issues or concerns. Currently fewer than one-fourth of our public libraries have technology plans, many of these may not be up-to-date or particularly useful. Only a handful are aligned with their city plans. With leadership from this position, The State Library's goal in the next five years is for 2/3 of our public libraries (73/110) to have a current/locally aligned technology plan in place and be making progress on specific local technology goals. The intern will be expected to assess and meet with 20 - 25 public libraries during the semester. Obviously, this position could only start this work. However, they could gather critical information and start the process. For the ones this intern could reach, library boards and local governing bodies would gain considerable guidance to plan and provide appropriations for expanded services in their local communities including broadband community needs.

The purpose of this position is to introduce public libraries and librarians to new and useful technologies to improve library services throughout the state by increasing the skills, knowledge, abilities, and self-reliance when dealing with technology-related issues and challenges and to actively pursue solutions that can be applied to technology-related issues. This person will understand the larger picture and the shifting nature of technology while also possessing the skills and practical details needed to successfully assess, plan, implement and evaluate technology to advance the local public library's mission in a digital age.

The ideal candidate not only enjoys technology and fosters a love for technology in others. Overall, this position will strengthen local library services, thus broadening access along with assisting in local economic development and working in-sync with other educational services in the area. The ideal candidate will educate about emerging technologies. Though there is not likely to be a great deal of extra time, this person when asked and if time permits may assist in an advisory capacity on implementing special technology projects for the local library.


Our SD small-town libraries are grossly underutilized due to a lack of professional training/education among staff and an inadequate understanding of what technology, often simple and inexpensive technology, is necessary to provide online access to the world's information. This person can be a guide and a "go-to" tech expert for our 111 federally recognized public libraries; of which 75% serve populations under 5,000, most without city or county IT personnel on staff.

Currently, public libraries that apply at the Enhanced or Exemplary levels of voluntary accreditation must have a technology plan in place. Fewer than one in five of our public libraries are accredited at the Enhanced or Exemplary levels. It is a fair assumption that less than one-fourth of our public libraries have current technology plans and the State Library has not offered any consistent or significant input into those plans. The goal would be to assess all 111 federally recognized public libraries of their technology needs and make recommendations. Then if requested, assist in writing or updating a local technology plan. If this internship could continue or if the State Library could have an additional staff person in the future, the goal would be to have technology plans completed for two-thirds (73) of our public libraries in place by 2025. Hopefully this initial work will build capacity and show local leaders the need for local city paid IT support.

Essential Duties

  1. Coordinate technology site-visits to public libraries in regard to their current technology capacity and needs. Identify and assess local library technology levels and needs. Help local libraries to review their technology services, identify and prioritize technology service improvements for the purpose of rectifying immediate deficiencies and making plans to write or update current technology plans and timelines.
  2. Contribute to the SDSL Cornerstone e-blog newsletter.
  3. Provide training and consultation concerning "soft skills" such as the effective use of the Internet, Web 2.0 applications, and other electronically-related resources to the libraries with which they are currently working.
  4. Keep up with technology-related library issues and new technology generally. Following trends, interpret such technologies to SDSL staff and SD librarians as possible solutions/applications to statewide technology challenges.
  5. Assist public library boards in up-dating local library technology plans or policies. When necessary help create and communicate technology plans that are aligned with local city or county initiatives.
  6. Serve as a liaison between the library and the city/county IT or administrative personnel. When appropriate facilitate public library participation in community conversations about broadband infrastructure and community economic development.
  7. Make recommendations on statewide technology and broadband-related issues.
  8. Other duties as assigned, short-term projects or general consulting/outreach responsibilities individually or as part of a team.

Machines or Equipment expected to Operate with competence

  1. Telephone/FAX
  2. Personal computers, desktop and laptop
  3. Video projector and other presentation equipment
  4. Digital cameras
  5. Scanners
  6. 3-D printer, laser cutter, CNC router, other maker-type equipment (Ozobots, Sphero, Makey- Makey, Littlebits, etc.)
  7. Common handheld devices such as tablets, iPads, Kindles, smartphones
  8. Virtual Reality equipment
  9. MP3 player
  10. eBook devices
  11. Car/vehicle
  12. Printer
  13. Other equipment as needed

Working Conditions and weekly hours

  1. Normal work week is 20 hours (may work more than 20 hours per week but not more than 400 hours for the entire semester: Keep a log)
  2. Evening and weekend hours sometimes necessary.
  3. Travel for projects required.

Supervision Received: Describe how the work is reviewed and evaluated

  1. Work is performed independently under general supervision
  2. Reports to the State Librarian; a report on each library assessment/surveyed will be given to the State Librarian by the next to the last week of employment.

Relationships or contacts with others: Excluded supervisor or those supervised

  1. Work with other SDSL staff to see and to development methods leading to improved technology in libraries statewide
  2. Work with SD library staff on technology issues in training sessions, and individually via e-mail or telephone.

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Financial Responsibilities: None


Minimum education: Bachelor's degree required and currently applying to Emporia State University SLIM Graduate program.

Minimum work experience: One to two years working in a customer service area

Special Skills, Abilities, Licenses required

  • Knowledge and general understanding of library issues including library technology, libraries' purposes, services and customers.
  • Demonstrated well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills related to computers, especially PCs and current technologies.
  • Ability to plan, organize, coordinate, and/or deliver instruction and /or presentations to diverse audiences.
  • Knowledge of broadband issues particularly those facing rural America including TV white-space spectrum.
  • Promotes an innovative, future-focused environment that encourages a high level of enthusiasm and competency in technology for staff and the public.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as be an effective team member in a professional setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and facilitate one-on-one and group learning activities.
  • Ability to write cogent emails, blog posts, articles and other various communications
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal, written and verbal skills
  • Valid, current driver's license.

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Hoffman, South Dakota Regional MLS Director

School of Library & Information Management
Emporia State University