Copyright and Creativity

Lately, I've received quite a few questions about the topics of copyright and fair use.  I thought I'd share two resource links that may be helpful as you teach digital citizenship skills.

The first is my curated Pearltrees collection. This collection has links about copyright, fair use, free-to-use images, plagiarism, etc...

The second is one that I've link on this Pearltrees list. It's called Copyright & Creativity, and it's pretty great. It's a free, one-stop-shop for teaching topics of copyright and digital citizenship; and as busy educators, don't we love that?

Within this website you'll find comprehensive lessons to teach elementary (1 per grade level), middle, and high school students about copyright and fair use. Each lesson has slides and a PDF for the instructor plus short videos to show students.

There are also printable posters and a flyer to share with stakeholders. You'll also find a professional development section that offers a f…

SD School Library Standards

So far the South Dakota State Library has offered two sessions of the online course titled An Introduction to the 2019 School Library Standards. 48 school librarians, paraprofessionals, and teachers have earned college credit or CEU hours by taking part in this course.

The SD State Library will offer another session in March 2020. Registration for this session opens in early February 2019 and will be communicated via the SD School Library Listserv.

I'll spend three more posts highlighting of each strand of the 2019 School Library Standards, but for this one, here's a bit of background info. For more depth and breadth, you'll have to take the course! 😉

Content standards provide educators a roadmap for what their students should know and be able to do.

Standards are not curriculum.
The South Dakota School Library Standards are designed to be age-appropriate guides for successful student learning - learning that should be differentiated, collaborative, and integrated across a…

John Harris Elementary Library + Inchy + Literacy

The library at John Harris Elementary in Sioux Falls, SD is now home to a book vending machine named Inchy.

The Argus Leader published an article that highlighted the machine’s tie to literacy at John Harris Elementary. I reached out to teacher-librarian Stefanie Hage with the hopes of gathering more details about this fun addition. Perhaps, you'll be inspired to acquire your own machine or perhaps you'll take away one of the neat embedded ideas that make this a dynamic addition to the library and to school-wide literacy efforts.

Read on to learn more from Hage:
Inchy came to be when a teacher found the idea and our principal, Mrs. Dobberpuhl, shared it with me. From there, several staff members started collaborating to bring this idea to our school. We spent a lot of time developing a plan to share and engage with students and staff. Together, we designed posters, made video clips, and created codes for cracking that gave clues to students. We also worked together to put an init…

Nuggets of Genius from the 2019 AASL Conference

In November I had the opportunity to attend the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) conference in Louisville, KY. This conference happens every two years and this was my second time attending. Whenever I go to a conference, I like to share one or two nuggets of genius.

One session was particularly useful and adaptable so I knew I wanted to share it with you all. Carolyn Allen and Julie Jamieson, both elementary teacher-librarians from the St. Louis area, presented a session titled “Show Me” Readers, Makers, Explorers, & Innovators."

This session was all about creating blended library lessons using hyperdocs. Hyperdocs is the way to go when you’re looking to flip a classroom or build in multiple literacies or get more of the standards covered. And, chances are, some of you have already built a Hyperdoc in a Google Doc or a Google Slideshow and didn't even realize there was a word for it. Read more about hyperdocs.

Using the Hyperdocs model, Allen and Jamieson wo…

Curated Collections from SDSL School Libraries

I use Pearltrees to curate digital resource collections specifically for school librarians and teachers. These collections are not static. I'm constantly editing based on many factors such as relevance, age, relatability to each other, use, content, authority, etc... The process of curating a digital collection is similar to the process you'd use when developing a school library collection. 
There are several handy and free curation tools that live on the Web like Symbaloo, Wakelet, Pearltrees, Diigo, Padlet, and Pinterest. I've tried all of these, and for this purpose, I prefer Pearltrees. For other purposes, I use other tools.

These collections are also linked on the School Libraries page of the State Library website.

There are 14 collections right now. Some are more library-related. Some are more classroom-related. Some are professional development-related.

Here are the top four by page views:

Digital Books

Native American Resources for SD Librarians & Educators


SDSL Database Highlight | Indigenous Peoples North America

The South Dakota State Library now provides another database from GALE. This one is called Indigenous Peoples: North America and it's for researching and learning about the many native people of the United States and Canada.

The database includes important primary sources in addition to manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, photograph collections, motion pictures, and images of artwork. Broadly, subjects include the political, social, and cultural history of North American native peoples from the 16th to the 20th century.

This database is a strong tool to use to fortify more general resources. It allows students to really dig into the past to discover the background of the ideas and cultures that have defined Indigenous peoples in our country and beyond.

If you're a South Dakotan, you have free access to this and 50+ other databases. Simply go to > Databases > and search for Indigenous Peoples

Here's a quick snapshot of the homepage...

Random Reads

- a smattering of two random reads about libraries, education & growth -

Turns out, Einstein didn't struggle with math as a child. Learn about his unique approach to learning.

How Einstein Learned Physics by Scott Young

This interactive map highlights the least traveled and most scenic routes in the US. And yes, South Dakota makes the top 10!
America’s Loneliest Roads, Mapped by Tim Herrera

We've Got a New Website!

As many of you know, the SD State Library has recently launched its new website.

A lot of work and time and expertise went into this major update and we hope you find it valuable both professionally and personally.

We'd love your positive or constructive feedback! Just email me and I'll send your message along.

I encourage you to spend some time browsing and even bookmarking pages that you'll know you'll refer back to. I'll list a few that you might find most useful for you and your students.

School Library Services The School Library Services homepage is a one-stop source for you as a librarian.

Note the three 'big hitter' buttons and all the other drop-down topics below those buttons.
We've made the K-12 Student Research button easy to locate and we sought to make it student-friendly by categorizing databases by age group. 
So if you click/tap the K-12 Student Research button on the School Library Services page, you'll land on the Elementary Resea…

That's a Wrap! Boot Camp 2019

Every year the SD State Library puts on a professional development event called School Library Boot Camp which is usually in the summer. This event, we changed things up a bit. The face-to-face portion of the event was held in conjunction with the annual SDLA conference on September 25 in Spearfish and the rest of the two credit course was online.
We had a full house! Thirty people participated with quite a variety of backgrounds ranging from certified teacher-librarians to library para-professionals to English language specialists to school counselors to teachers. In total, 18 districts/entities were represented.

This year's theme was centered around inclusion, equity, and diversity. Attendees focused on how they as educators can support ALL students with a unique focus on students with special needs, those with disabilities, English Language Learners, LGBTQI+ students, and the culturally diverse.

During the face-to-face segment of the course, teacher-librarian Jennifer LaGarde …

SDSL Databases Support Early Education

The State Library works diligently to support ALL South Dakotans and users with its 50+ research and inquiry digital resources. These databases can be freely accessed at > Databases and HELP/FAQ's + extra goodies are listed on our SDSL Resource Guides.

Recently, at the Systems Change conference, I spoke about early education and how we can use SD State Library digital resources to support kindergarten readiness and early elementary learning.  Of course, with adaption, the three databases I'll note below can serve the needs of students younger and older than preschool or elementary.

I'll also share this slideshow which gives an overview of Book Flix, World Book Early World of Learning, and Miss Humblebees's. While the slideshow is view only, if you'd like an editable copy to use with your staff or patrons, just contact me.

Let's get on with it, shall we...

Book Flix is one of my very favorite databases thanks to its 100+ pairings of fiction and…