Passionate Readers Book Study: A Participant's Review

During the month of July 2020, fifteen school librarians from around the state participated in a book study facilitated by the SD State Library. The book? Passionate Readers: The Art of Reaching Engaging Every Child by Pernille Ripp.
Laura Kelly, the Children & Youth Services Coordinator at the SD State Library, enrolled in the course and she kindly wrote about her experience.

...from Laura Kelly:
I have worked at the South Dakota State Library (SDSL) for the past two years. I serve 110 public libraries in South Dakota which include combination school/public libraries.  I help librarians provide literacy programs for children, teens, and adults. One way I am able to serve others is by actively participating in continuing education as a learner.

I started my career in education teaching reading as a Title I teacher in North Dakota and then I transferred into an elementary school librarian teaching position. I taught for a total of ten years and then transitioned into the public library…

Banned Books Week 2020 + Defending Intellectual Freedom Guide

For one week each September, school libraries and other types of libraries celebrate Banned Books Week. This week spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and in schools. It also helps to bring together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas. 
Visit the website for the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, other handy lists, downloadables, display ideas, and more.

I'd also like to share a resource that school librarians may find particularly helpful when revising Selection Policies or dealing with book challenges. 
The American Association of School Librarians created a guide to support school librarians in addressing challenges related to censorship and patron privacy issues, particularly with LGBTQ+ materials. Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries is not only a resource guide, but it's also a professional development tool. The guide uses the AASL Standards framework as…

SD School Library Guidelines - Open for Review!

Study after study has shown that school libraries make a powerful difference in student achievement.

We know that school libraries support the whole child through its many offerings. School libraries encourage reading for academic and personal growth.School libraries support the development of research strategies to create and share new knowledge.School librarians teach ethical participation in an interconnected world. 

The South Dakota State Library is excited to announce that the original SD School Library Guidelines (2010) have recently been updated! The guidelines were created in 2010 and revised in 2020 by professionals who studied research and best practices from educational organizations. 
When librarians and administrators use the SD School Library Guidelines in tandem with the SD School Library Content Standards, they are taking an important step toward ensuring school libraries effectively serve its patrons and the school community as a whole.
The format of the updated guidelin…

Troubleshooting Access to the SDSL Databases

It's always a good time to use the State Library's 50+ free, vetted e-resources and databases for research, literacy, and inquiry. 
For more efficient access for teachers and students, the State Library has categorized the K-12 databases into elementary, middle, and high.
Librarians can also link specific databases to their websites, blogs, online newsletters, OPACs, etc. Visit Technical Help on our Resource Guides.

WAYS TO ACCESS There are three options depending on your circumstance: QUICK: Instantly anywhere with the physical borders of South Dakota through nifty IP tracking technology called GeoIP.

QUICK BUT DEVICE SPECIFIC: Instantly at school with registered school devices. If new devices have been purchased, it's likely SDSL will need the new IP range from your school. Contact Kim Bonen for that.

HANDY WHEN TRAVELING OUT OF STATE: Each school has an SDSL ecard. Students, parents, and staff are able to use those login credentials to access most of the databases when out of …

Bitmoji Libraries

I made a Bitmoji library! Like a Bitmoji classroom, a Bitmoji library is a virtual replica of a real library.
As any librarian would, I did a bit of research before embarking. This article, Educators Turn to Bitmoji to Build Community and Engagement, pretty much covered everything I needed to know. I encourage you to read it and head out to linked sources before you begin your own Bitmoji project.
Click/tap the image below to view my project that reads more as a Bimoji wall than a Bitmoji library/classroom. That's the cool thing about this concept - it can be whatever you want because it's really just a fancy hyperdoc.

I won't lie, it was time-consuming and you need to have decent Google Docs skills, but it was also a fun way to improve my digital literacy skills while also supporting my work and my patrons. A Bitmoji library/classroom can be a creative way to deliver information and resources to your patrons or lessons and concepts to your students. It's also a way to di…

Back-to-school Basics for School Librarians: 2020-21 Edition

As you prepare for this new school year, have you...Become acquainted with the Starting Well 2020 page from the South Dakota Department of Education? This is loaded with information for South Dakota schools as they return to school during pandemic circumstances.

Reviewed the resources, updates, and reopening guidance specific to SD school libraries at Starting Well 2020: A Guide for School Libraries & Newest Updates on School Libraries & COVID-19 Resource Guide.

Introduced yourself to new staff in person and by email? Don't forget to share critical services and resources while keeping it short and simple. New staff are already overwhelmed, right?

Reached out to staff in a staff meeting to communicate the library's plan to address COVID-19. Share critical resources, changes in programming, Makerspaces, schedule changes, updates, etc.

Touched base with your administrator IN PERSON?

Created your back-to-school newsletter with vital resources for students, families, and teache…

School Libraries Receive Technology Grants!

Congratulations to all of the recipients of the Library Technology grants funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the federal CARES Act.  This grant funding is intended to update, expand, or improve technology in the public and school libraries. 

And... a special shout-out to school library recipients!Huron School DistrictKimball School DistrictWatertown School District
See news release for all 16 second-round recipients.See news release for all 19 first-round recipients.

HEAT Up Those Book Talks!

Do you need to jazz up your book talks?
Want your students to create their own talks - maybe using FlipGrid or Loom or a classroom YouTube Channel?
Allow me to share just two resources about book talking:

Bring the HEAT to Your Book Talks
This excellent blog post from The Reading Roundup leans more toward student book talks and provides free templates to help students create better book talks.

Rebellious Reading - Book Talks
This curated Wakelet list triples as an instruction manual and an assignment. It's concise (we love that!) and also thorough. It outlines best practices and provides examples of both hot 👍 and not-so-hot 👎 book talks.

Disclaimer: The South Dakota State Library does not endorse any service, product, or recommendation listed in this blog.

Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens

Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens provides a variety of practical resources designed to help teach digital citizenship concepts.
It's our job as educators to teach and then reinforce to students the protections and limitations of fair use and copyright as they learn online, create online, and share online.

Check out free, easy-to-understand lessons and videos for Elementary, Middle School, and High School pages under the Resources tab. 
For your own learning, there's a Professional Development page. 💪

Lastly, I'll highlight the Copyright and Distance Learning page with a handy printable for teachers and administrators.
Maybe you'll display the printable in your library? 
Maybe you'll add it to your curated list of teacher/professional resources? 
Perhaps you'll share it with staff in a weekly update email or a quick staff meeting?
Make it more digestible by also providing quick tips for educators suc…

Starting Well 2020: A Guide for School Libraries

To assist school library staff as they prepare for the 2020-21 school year, the SD State Library, in partnership with the SD Department of Education, has created a document titled Starting Well 2020: A Guide for School Libraries.

The document contains questions and considerations intended to help school librarians and administrators think about from-the-library and in-the-library adaptations that may be needed for face-to-face learning, distance learning, or a hybrid of the two.

Locate this document on the Starting Well page, in the Toolkit for Schools, under the General Guidance heading. 
The State Library has also linked on the COVID-19: Information for SD School Libraries page.