The Weekly Update

from SD State Library School Library Services

December 27, 2021

2021 in Review

2021 was a year of comings and goings at the South Dakota State Library. State Librarian Daria Bossman retired in June, a new Library Technology Coordinator - Cheyenne Chontos - was hired, Kate Kosior took over as manager of the Braille and Talking Book Library, and I replaced Alissa Adams as School Library Technology Coordinator in July. It was a smooth transition, and I was excited to jump into the middle of all of the on-going projects including the 21st Century Library Awards, ExCITE!, the School Library Survey and Data Digest, the ARPA grant, and so much more! Here are a few highlights:


ExCITE! is an annual professional development opportunity for South Dakota librarians and other educators. In 2021, this training was held online in July with 32 participants. Each year brings a new theme, new personal connections, and new learning. This year, we explored Textual Literacy, which is a strand of the SD School Library Standards, and learned about engaging readers through curriculum, programming, and connections; literacy and brain research; effective reading strategies; and modern collection development. ExCITE! is a graduate or undergraduate level college course offered by the SD State Library. Tuition is paid for with IMLS LSTA funds, and the course counts toward a DOE endorsement in school library media.

ARPA Grant

78 South Dakota libraries received $1.9 million in grants funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Grants were awarded to 41 public libraries, 22 school libraries, and 15 academic libraries to replace old technology, add new equipment to benefit students, teachers, and community patrons, and purchase library automation software. The SD State Library also purchased $80,000 worth of audiobooks and e-books for the SD Titles to Go consortium.

21st Century Library Award

SDSL formally and annually recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st century school library through its place, professional, and program.Thirteen school libraries were awarded as 21st Century School Libraries in 2021:

• Enhanced: Huron High School Library, Freedom Elementary School Library (Harrisburg), and Explorer Elementary School Library (Harrisburg).

• Exemplary: Belle Fourche Middle School Library, Brookings High School Library, Flandreau Middle/High School Library, Lincoln High School Library (Sioux Falls), Patrick Henry Middle School Library (Sioux Falls), Roosevelt High School Library (Sioux Falls), Spearfish High School Library, T.F. Riggs High School Library (Pierre), Washington High School Library (Sioux Falls), Watertown High School Library.

2021-24 21st Century School Library Awards
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The Year in Numbers

Every Spring, the SD State Library conducts a School Library Survey from which the data collected is used to track changes and trends in South Dakota school libraries. SDSL compiles the information from the survey into the annual School Libraries Data Digest. View the 2021 South Dakota School Libraries Data Digest by clicking the picture below.

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The School Library Scoop with Scottie

In September, I launched a new platform for sharing short tutorials and videos with school librarians. There are currently 13 episodes of The School Library Scoop with topics ranging from SDSL Databases to educational technology to SDSL resources and more! Each Scoop is around 5 minutes or less, so if you haven't watched them all, now would be a great time to get caught up!
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On Your Radar

School Library Survey

The School Library Survey (SLS) will be available this spring and will be emailed to your district. The State Library uses data collected from the SLS to track changes and trends in South Dakota School Libraries. Funding for services such as the statewide electronic resources for research and education, programs like ExCITE!, and interlibrary loan services are contingent on your participation in the SLS. The annual School Libraries Data Digest provides a snapshot of statewide summary data from the SLS. School districts have access to the data for comparison across districts and over time. One survey is filled out by each district/system. It is okay to project an estimate for survey questions, like circulation, that require a year-end total. Data for all SD school districts/systems are available to school librarians and administrators through the survey portal or by contacting the SDSL Data Coordinator. We encourage you to use it for peer comparison, demonstrating need, and promoting the value of school libraries.

21st Century Library Awards

Applications for the 21st Century Library Award are accepted March 1 through May 1 of each year. SDSL recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st century school library through its place, professional, and program. Awards recognize the status of the library as Effective, Enhanced, or Exemplary based on the South Dakota School Library Guidelines. The 21st Century School Library Committee, comprised of library and education professionals, reviews all applications. Award announcements are made in late May/early June. Awardees are also formally recognized at an annual conference held in the fall (if held). Award status is valid for a three-year period.

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

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..from SDSL School Library Services

The Weekly Update is a correspondence from the South Dakota State Library focusing on current topics in school libraries, best practices, resources, professional development, and more.

SDSL does not endorse any service or product listed or linked to in this newsletter.