Stay Connected to SDSL

The beginning of the school year can be overwhelming, so I don't want to bog you down with a long list of items to add to your to-do list!  That's why, over the next couple of weeks, I'll post some quick tasks you may want to attack to ensure that you are appropriately prepped for this year in your school library.  Let's start with an easy list with some tasks that you have probably already done!  If not, just follow the links below. The School Library Listserv helps keep you informed of deadlines, current events, and so much more and is email communication for SD school library staff. (Click the Stay in Touch icon or scroll to the bottom of the page.) The Collect+Connect Blog offers practical weekly posts for school libraries. The SDSL School Library page is a wealth of resources. The SDSL K-12 Databases page is your home base for all of the SDSL Databases - Elementary, Middle, and High. If you have linked the SDSL Databases to your library website(s), check over t

Hi...I'm new here!

 -8/11/21 I am excited to introduce myself here on this Collect + Connect platform...a blog that I have enjoyed reading over the last few years!  My name is Scottie Bruch, and I am the SD State Library's new School Library Technology Coordinator.  I've shared a bit about myself in the Weekly Update and SDSL's Cornerstone, so I thought it might be fun here to do something a little different.  My middle school son and I were just looking through his English portfolio from a couple years ago, so alphabiographies are kind of on my mind.  Here's a short form that you could even use with your library students to get to know them this school year!  A ttire   - My "uniform" is a cardigan.  What else would it be?!  B ook - One of my favorites is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. C ats - We have 2 - Kuby and Junipurr. D og - We have 1, Ringo, who lives with my father-in-law.  And possibly another on the way... E ase - I am most at ease at home. F ood - I like to make my ow

Summer Reading - What's On Your List?

Goodreads is my go-to when finding my newest book. It's also the place I track my reading with my free account. And... it's a place I use to locate books for library collections. I like that Goodreads has real people reviews. This allows me to get a good indication of what other people (adults and teens and kids alike) think about specific books and series. The point is to not just have books on the library shelves, it's to have kids actually read the books, right?! Well, reviews help with that process. While adding my newest read to my CURRENTLY READING list, I happened upon the  Armchair Travelling: Books Set in Every U.S. State  section on the  Summer Reading  page. A literary state-by-state tour through America? Yes, please. I actually went through all 50 states and discovered I had either read or listened to 8 titles.  The Great Alone  by Kristin Hannah Small Great Things  by Jodi Picoult Educated  by Tara Westover The Giver of Stars  by Jojo Moyes  Gone Girl  by Gill

2021-24 SD School Library Awards

The South Dakota State Library, a division of the SD Department of Education, has awarded thirteen school libraries the 21st Century School Library Award for 2021. This annual award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: place, which refers to the learning environment (both physical and online), programming and the professional. Applicants conduct a self-assessment and provide evidence of their ability to meet South Dakota's guidelines for school libraries. Award status is valid for a three-year period. Exemplary Award recipients: Belle Fourche Middle School Library, Belle Fourche; Librarian Karen Schlekeway, Administrator Kevin Schmidt Brookings High School Library, Brookings; Librarian Jean Kirschenman, Administrator Dr. Paul vonFischer   Flandreau Middle/High School Library, Flandreau; Librarian Lori Williams, Administrators Brian Relf, Nicole Herzog Lincoln High School Library, Sioux Falls; Librarian Mary Peters, A

Read Native Challenge 2021

Here's a wonderful way to encourage reading AND support and recognize Indigenous authors, scientists, legislators, storytellers, and creators. The American Indian Library Association created the Read Native Challenge that encourages youth (and adults) to read books and articles by and about Native Americans. Throughout the year, find and read books and publications by and about Native Americans, visit tribal websites, search peer-reviewed scholarly journals, visit Native-owned bookstores, and check with Native librarians for all of the best sources for learning more about Native Americans and Indigenous people around the world. Booklists and author lists will be added to the AILA website throughout the year.  Read more about how the process works by visiting  Read Native Challenge . Also, be sure to check out the  American Indian Youth Literature Awards too! Every school library should be using this awards list to enrich and diversify its collection. Disclaimer: The

School Library Websites. It's a Must.

As we look toward summer and (possibly) have a little extra time on our hands, it might be a good time to create/refine/boast your library website. A virtual library is a MUST for any library existing in the 21st century. A virtual library needs to work just as hard as a physical library. The presence of an updated, well- functioning, engaging website is not just good for patrons/students, it's good for librarians and the profession as a whole. School librarian extraordinaire Jennifer LaGarde writes, " we cannot afford to maintain spaces (physical or virtual) that leave people wondering what our value is. Every ounce of real estate we control should send the message that our work changes lives - because it does." Check out LaGarde's post Creating GREAT Library Websites for TODAY's Learners! Even those of you who are limited to a certain interface -say, if the district requires you to use its web development tool - can supplement with other features that enhance yo

And the 2020-21 SD Book Award Winners Are …

View the SD Teen Choice Book Awards winners! And for the Prairie Awards... View the winners and the complete list of nominees.

Librarians Need a Wishlist and They Need It Now!

With the unprecedented influx of money headed to South Dakota schools and libraries, it's super important to start thinking about what your library needs to make its services more effective and efficient. This applies specifically to technology and curbing student learning loss due to the pandemic. The State Library will be receiving approximately two million dollars with which to distribute to all types of libraries. This American Rescue Plan Act funding will be made available to libraries through grants. This means librarians need to be ready and waiting with a strategized list. Here are some items to think about: wifi hotspots for checkout computers laptops printers copiers ILS systems self-checkout systems recording studios to record music, podcasts, etc. digitization equipment (scanners, computers, VHS to digital converter) tables with tech embedded charging stations ebooks and audio book subscriptions (with the understanding that this money is one-time money and the subscript

Strategic Planning for School Libraries

Does the school library have a strategic plan? If not, it's time. The American Rescue Plan Act , was signed into law on March 11, 2021. It is a massive economic package - the third in a series provided by the federal government - addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about federal COVID funding at . Now is the time to get the library's desired future on paper via a strategic plan. A school library strategic plan... defines goals to achieve over an extended period of time - usually 3 to 5 years. allows for backward planning. is aligned with the school’s mission, the curriculum, and the School Improvement Plan. connects the dots between the library and student outcomes. creates a baseline and allows the librarian to measure growth. allows librarians to concretely share with administrators the role the library plays in the learning culture of the school. demonstrates the depths and legitimacy of the school library program

AASL Position Statement on School Library Supervisors

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL)  released a new position statement titled “The Critical Need for and Responsibilities of District-Level School Library Supervisors."  This statement replaces the previous “Role of the School Library Supervisor.” Essentially, this new position statement defines the supervisor as a member of the district-level administrative team. This individual is the visionary, the supervisor, and the coordinator of district- and building-level school libraries. All position statements from AASL  can be used as guidance for creating and sustaining exemplary school libraries. Visit School Library Services  > Advocacy on the SD State Library website for more resources and tools.