professional development

Public Library Annual Report

Dear South Dakota Library Colleagues,

Ever feel like a tiny minnow in a Big ocean? Did you know your library is just one library among some 122,000 libraries in the United States? Sometimes it is difficult to see past all the pressing needs of serving those beloved patrons. They are standing right there in front of us needing our assistance. Surveys… boring? Insignificant? Not in this case.

This past fall I had the privilege of visiting with some of our librarian colleagues at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington D.C. Check out www.imls.gov. I must confess I was not prepared to be so overwhelming impressed with the organization and vision of this national group. They really do have their act together and care deeply about the state of our nation’s libraries. They realize it is all grass-roots… all local. Yet their job is to advocate, as is your South Dakota State Library, on your behalf. And believe it or not, statistics help us… help you build a case for stronger and better funded libraries on the local level.

This year we are hoping to greatly improve our response rate on our annual Public Library Survey. Can you believe that South Dakota was dead last (lowest percentage) of responding public libraries last year? Let’s not ever let that happen again! The staff of the State Library is here to assist you and answer all your questions. Soon your instructions will be emailed to you and the 2008 Public Library Survey will open on April 1, 2009 and close on May 31, 2009. It is exclusively an online survey.

It is important that everyone participate. You count. Your library matters. Data submitted in this report is used to justify budgets, answer questions regarding staffing, create comparative statistics with other libraries, boost libraries opportunities for grants and for many other good purposes. Once all our libraries have entered their data and the data is verified, you will be able to go to collect.informata.com to compare your library to other libraries, to create charts and graphs and use these statistics for years to come.

Don’t miss out. Remember, the South Dakota State Library is here to assist you and answer your questions. Thank you for your participation and for your time on this statewide and national effort.

Good luck and Best Wishes,

Daria Bossman
Assistant State Librarian for Development Services

public libraries, reports, statistics

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