August 2012, Volume 4, Issue 7
Check Your Calendars!!
Indian Ed Summit
Festival of Books
Banned Books Week
Sept. 30 – Oct. 6
SDLA Annual Conference
Teen Read Week
National Friends of Libraries Week
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Help your patrons find answers in genealogy resources
Board Talk: Changes in the South Dakota Public Library Accreditation Standards
By Daria Bossman, Assistant State Librarian for Development Services
Don't panic! Remember, in South Dakota this is a voluntary application process. However, currently 26 percent of all of our federally and state recognized public libraries now participate. This is a 100 percent increase over last year. And scores of others are using these standards as a blueprint for meeting the essential library services criteria for their community. It can also be used simply and easily as just an assessment tool. It is an excellent starting point for a general discussion among community leaders, library boards and their library staff. All SD codified law is embedded within the Essential tier to make it easy to understand what is required by law as well as what additional criteria are necessary to meet that first, Essential level.
As you might remember, the standards were updated by a rather extensive statewide committee of public librarians in 2009 after the State Library took over the administration of the standards previously administrated by SDLA. You can find the document at our website under "Library Development" and "Standards." Their purpose is to 1) provide a tool to assess the quality of library service, 2) identify areas needing improvement, and 3) aid libraries in gaining maximum community support. library.sd.gov.
This past May the SDSL Accreditation Committee met, and after numerous discussions with library directors across the state, added a board training component to the governance section of the standards. The State Library Board approved of this change at their recent July meeting. The new standard was embedded within the Public Library Accreditation Standards to keep the process as simple and easy to understand as possible. Many, if not most states, require a separate credentialing of public library board members. Because ours is a voluntary system, not mandatory like many states, we wanted to keep it simple. That is our intention, and we hope that will be the result. As always, we appreciate your feedback and ideas. Folding this into the public library accreditation process should make for a smooth transition for both the director and his/her board.
Keep in mind this new requirement will not be in effect until January of 2014. So, this means that if your library is applying (or reapplying) in the summer/fall of 2013 for library accreditation, you will need to prove that at least two of your board members have attended 15, 30 or 45 hours of library-related training over the past/previous three years (back to January, 2010). The Exemplary level already had another stipulation in its training requirements. As is noted within the document, your library is responsible for maintaining its own records and when necessary, obtaining written prior viewing permission.
Here is the new Essential governance standard:
- Library board members collectively attend a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education concerning library board issues every three years.
- No one board member can obtain all 15 hours
- A maximum of 12 of the required hours can be obtained online
- Online course-work must be pre-approved by the SDSL CE Coordinator and the site must be archived and reviewable by the SDSL Accreditation Committee at the time of application.
- Libraries are responsible for keeping an accurate record of their own collective board CE hours, events and dates.
Keep in mind that the Enhanced and Exemplary levels have additional standards concerning library board training which were already in place. Their required hours are different as well---30 hours for the Enhanced and 45 hours for the Exemplary level. Again, this is over a three-year period and is multiplied by each trustee who attends an event. Thus, if three trustees attend a three-hour training, you have already racked up nine hours of continuing education for your library. One person attending a day at the SDLA conference could obtain six or seven hours of CE credit for your library. It will add up faster than you might think. The important part is getting your board informed on the current issues and trends of the day.
For those of you interested in getting started we have provided a few links to some excellent trustee orientation/training sites below. The Wyoming video vignettes are short (15 to 20 minutes) and extremely entertaining. They are also on our website. Remember, if you view one 15-minute session and four of your board members are present, that is one hour of online training you already have under your belt. These are so short you can easily view one each time your board meets. The Pennsylvania videos are on YouTube and are even a tad shorter. They are all pithy, informative, current, and easily digestible and great for discussion starters!
So gather around a library computer. Good luck and have fun. Keep in mind references specific to the state may not apply to SD. For instance, Wyoming is totally a county library state. Here in SD, we have a variety of governing bodies (county, municipal/city, multi-county, etc.) administering public libraries.
Here are some pre-approved links to get you started:
- Wyoming's "Trustee Troubles": www.wyominglibraries.org
- Pennsylvania's "Get on Board": www.youtube.com: Library Improvement Channel
Other questions or concerns? Give us a call here at the State Library, 1-800-423-6665.