June 2011, Volume 3, Issue 6
Check Your Calendars!!
ALA Annual Conference
Indian Education Summit
SDLA Annual Conference
SD Festival of Books
AASL National Conference
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Learning Express Library helps summer job seekers
Dakota Collections Care Initiative is funded by IMLS
The Institute for Museum and Library Services has awarded a grant of $238,000 to the South Dakota Historical Society, South Dakota State Library and the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The grant runs from May 1, 2011 through March 31, 2014. It will be used to improve collections care in small to mid-sized libraries and museums in North and South Dakota under the project name Dakota Collections Care Initiative: A Collaborative Project Between North and South Dakota.
This grant will fund, among other things, a conservator to work with the libraries and museums within North and South Dakota. In the first year of the grant, that conservator will develop resources and present workshops throughout the Dakotas. These workshops will focus on hands-on preservation and conservation techniques. Library and museum staffs that volunteer their facilities as a workshop location will have the opportunity to have the conservators work directly with their collections. Year two will focus on disaster planning. For more information contact Stacia McGourty, Collection Services Librarian, South Dakota State Library, 605-773-6391, email.
Reference to the Rescue highlights resources
The Reference to the Rescue webinar that was held on May 5, and hosted by Brenda Hemmelman, Research/ Government Publications Librarian, is now archived on the SDSL website. Note that in the audio recording, the webinar officially begins about eight minutes in. We hope to repeat this webinar live again in the future.
Highlighted during the webinar was the State Library Delicious page. This page includes many resources and frequently accessed websites that may help you at your library. The Reference to the Rescue webinar and others are available for you to view at your own convenience.
In other news, the reference staff continues to weed through the many vertical file items in the collection. The files are being digitized and will eventually appear on the library ContentDM site. Another project in the works is a complete update of the SD Grant Directory.
Summer vacations are finally upon us. Don’t forget that the State Library has many books in our professional collections for you to check out and read as you do continuing education projects and classes during the summer.
Board Talk: The Public Library Survey – What is it? Why is it so important?
By Daria Bossman, Asst. State Librarian for Development Services
South Dakota is growing, but we still have fewer than one million residents. In fact the 2010 U.S. Census states that we have 814,180 citizens with a 7.6 percent growth rate. Not bad for one of the least populated states in the nation during one of the hardest economic times since the Great Depression.
Every year, more than 9,000 public libraries are surveyed in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories answering questions on population, library collections, services and programs, staff numbers, revenues and expenditures and other electronic information. Nationally the Public Libraries Survey’s 98 percent response rate makes the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which oversees the survey, the envy of all other federal agencies. This past year South Dakota boasted a 97 percent response rate, up in just a few years from dead last in the nation! Our libraries have done a commendable job in recent years working with our State Library staff to get the correct data imputed in a timely manner and it shows. Our 112 public libraries range from serving large metropolitan areas like Sioux Falls to tiny burgs of less than 200 residents. We are largely a rural state with only 17 towns serving a population over 10,000. State Data Coordinators are the point person in each state and territory, and I serve in that capacity besides my other duties as Asst. State Librarian for Development Services.
"The Public Library Surveys are an important national resource and an essential tool for monitoring and improving library services nationwide," noted Carlos Manjarrez, Associate Deputy Director of the IMLS Office of Planning, Policy, Research, and Statistics. "To help showcase the important contribution public libraries make, we have leveraged this resource, making it available to many more stakeholders in a variety of different formats."
For example, U.S. Census now uploads the library survey data to DATA.gov, a federal clearinghouse of government data that provides users the opportunity to rate the usefulness of the data. Making data available on the website makes it easier for the public to combine library data with other government economic, education and social data. U.S. public libraries can be located and national comparisons made at Compare Public Libraries (IMLS). Here the data your librarians input faithfully each year is represented. Your circulation counts, visitations, programming attendance or computer usage is all part of this larger, national picture.
South Dakota public library data is important for state government as well to communicate with state law-makers. It can assist local librarians in communicating with city or county elected officials. Things are changing so quickly. Libraries are no longer mere collections of books and print materials. Rather they are community gathering places and centers for access to a world of information. With ebooks and business, health and news electronic resources, small communities can offer, for a very reasonable investment, a world of information. Thus, communication is vital with local leaders, community stakeholders and with all citizens. Library boards play an increasingly significant role in that communication and vision process.
Like the public library, the Public Library Survey is not a stagnant instrument and is constantly evolving to address the needs of a rapidly changing library and information environment. In fact the questions, "the elements," on the survey are so important, SDCs meets each year in December in Washington, DC to discuss the questions and define the terms. Great care is taken to have a statistically accurate and relevant survey. We need to use this information to the maximum. Get it, read it, know it!
This fall we will be in our fourth year of publishing our state's statistics in the South Dakota Public Library Data Digest. This is a shorter, graphical and more colorful presentation of many of the pertinent findings relevant to our state. The current edition can be found on the State Library website. You can also find "A Day in the Life" on the same page. These brief facts are great conversation starters at the local café. Go to our State Library's website and print off a copy. Or better yet, print off several copies and make sure every leader in your community has one. Thanks for your efforts in your community. Your contribution has never been more important.
Explore! NASA Space Science Workshop trains librarians and educators
Several South Dakota librarians and educators recently attended the Explore! NASA Space Science Workshop Marvel Moon training held April 13-14 in Bismarck, ND. Scientists and educators from the NASA Lunar Science Institute and the Lunar and Planetary Institute led the workshop. They shared space science information, resources, hands-on activities, and demonstrations developed specifically to infuse into programs with children and youth ages 8 to 13 and their families. Library, museum, science center, planetarium, observatory, and park staff from South Dakota and North Dakota participated in the workshop which was made possible through a NASA grant.
Pictured are workshop scientists and educators with the attendees from South Dakota: (front row l to r): Andrea Jones (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), Michelle Kirchoff (Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO), and Kelliann La Conte (Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX). (back row l to r): Bev Stubbles (Estelline School Library), Krista Testin (The Journey Museum, Rapid City), Nancy Eckert (Alexander Mitchell Public Library, Aberdeen), Kathy Dykstra (Sturgis Public Library), Katherine Eberline (Brookings Public Library), and Linda Miller (Mt. Vernon School Library).