What Do You Call Yourself?

This article got me thinking.

When I started off in the school library profession back in the early 2000's, I referred to myself as a Media Specialist. That was what my degree listed and so that was what I went.

I spent a decent amount of time explaining exactly what I did. I mean, nowhere in the title was librarian or library, so I usually just ended up saying "I'm a School Library Media Specialist."

A mouthful. For sure.

Then I started seeing the word librarian re-enter the school library world.

I liked this because people instantly understood this term. Short, sweet, and relatable.

But then, on occasion, people would then confuse me with a public librarian. Truth is, I've never worked a day in a public library other than volunteering and serving on boards.

So... school librarian.

Yes, that succinctly summed it up.

Then teacher-librarian came into the game. And, that felt right too. It explained the teacher in me and the librarian in me.

After all, I did I start ou…

SYNC for Summer Reading!

SYNC  is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. This year it runs April 30th and continues weekly until July 29.

SYNC offers participants two thematically paired audiobooks per week. Titles are delivered through Sora, the easy-to-use student reading app from OverDrive. This means participants should download the Sora app before attempting to download and listen to these books.

One important thing to note is that each SYNC audiobook will be available to borrow /download for a period of 7 days only. To be in-the-know, sign-up to get notifications each week of newly available titles. Here's a preview of titles and release dates.

One other great thing about this program - titles, once loaded into the app, are 'for keeps' for participants. We love that, right?

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

Digital Curation | My #TIE20 Session

On April 20, South Dakota-based TIE (Technology and Innovation in Education) offered a virtual conference in lieu of their face-to-face conference held each year. I not only learned a lot thanks to the keynote speakers and the well-rounded sessions, but I was also able to present on a very library-based topic.
Sometimes You’re the Subject.
Sometimes You’re the Direct Object.
Curation isn't just a trendy word in education. It's a core competency for participation in our digital world. Humans have been curating for centuries and continue to do so on a broad scale and with modern tools. Learn the basics of digital curation and how the process can be used to enhance our lives - both professionally and personally.

Access all of my session resources.

Bonus #1! TIE is making all of the speaker/presenters session resources available! You're sure to find loads of good stuff for yourself or to share with your staff.

Bonus #2! You can earn CEU hours by watching arc…

Professional Time during COVID-19

How can you be of continued service to your school and local community during this pandemic?

You've been training for this type of adventure, right?

You're a leader.  You're a well of knowledge.

You know how to transfer your skills to support your teachers in ways that you might not have been able to before due to time restraints.

Now's the time to really showcase your talents. And, don't be shy, make sure your administration knows about all in the ways in which you do this. Advocate for yourself and your library!

The following is a list (not exhaustive at all!) I hope is helpful and inspiring to you.  This list is also posted on at
SUPPORTING STAFFOffer Zoom “office hours” for teachers and offer HELP hours, teach the teacher mini-lessons, or highlight resources.Support curriculum by curating resource lists especially for teachers.Support teachers by creating print or video instructions for accessing distr…

Harrisburg Libraries Celebrate Nat'l Library Week

Harrisburg Libraries are still celebrating National Library Week!

Eve Langerock, high school librarian at Harrisburg High School, worked with other librarians and the district's communication director to run a fun reading program in the form of a contest.

Students can participate by sending a photo of themselves reading from anywhere to the school's Facebook page. They can also simply email a photo - widening the way in which students can participate.

The prize? A donated Scooter's Coffee gift card. Kids of all ages love choosing their own hot or col drink-on-the go, right?

The librarians will also post quotes throughout the week and invite students to fill out this goals graphic organizer.

Nat'l Library Week 2020

April 19-25, 2020 is National Library Week!

The week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our libraries and librarians. It’s also a time to promote how each library serves the needs of its own community. These needs are reflected in their unique collections, in their unique spaces, and in their unique programming and events.

Specific Nat'l Library Week celebrations include:

Monday, April 20 the annual State of America's Libraries Report and the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2019 are released.

The Top Ten is always an interesting list and one that you can tie in with Banned Books Week in late September.

Tuesday, April 21 is National Library Workers Day.

Thank ALL library workers from the custodial staff to the library director. From the security officer to the clerk and the library board. Everyone matters.

Wednesday, April 22 is National Bookmobile Day.

Fun fact: There are four bookmobiles in South Dakota!

Thursday, April 23 is Take Action for Libraries Day.


eBooks via the SD State Library Databases

The South Dakota State Library offers 50+ databases and digital resources for FREE to all South Dakotans anytime, anywhere.

Simply visit to access!
To accommodate younger users and assist educators and parents, we've sorted our K-12 related databases into age groups to easier access. Check out this post for linkable URL's that can be used on library websites and newsletters.

For today's post, we're noted K-12 related databases with ebook options:
Book Flix Talking fiction books paired with videos. Includes lesson plans, activities, games, and more. For grade PreK to 3rd or so.

True Flix Non-fiction social studies and science books paired with videos. Includes lesson plans, activities and more! For grades 3rd to 8th or so.

Gale Virtual Reference Library Sets of specialized (high dollar!) reference books. For grades 6+ to adult.

SIRS Discoverer Non-fiction eBooks for elementary and middle school. For grades 3rd to 8th or so.

World Book Advanced Provides li…

School Library Month | 2020

It's April in the year 2020 and it's kind of strange times, right?

Says it all.

But even with this pandemic, it's still April, it's still spring, and it's still School Library Month.
School libraries around the nation take advanatge of the entire month of April to celebrate the essential role that strong school libraries play in teaching, learning, and fostering the well-being of children.

Our libraries celebrate by hosting community events, providing special services, collaborating with classroom teachers, promoting in the physical library (if still open! 😉) and through the virtual library, and teaching thematic lessons using School Library Standards.
Check out the resources on this page to help you come up with ideas to celebrate digitally and from afar.

Public and other types of libraries can buoy school libraries through promotion and partnerships. No matter type of library, libraries ensure that patrons have opportunities to make connec…

One-Stop-Shop Webpage for SD School Librarians During COVID-19

I’ve created a page on our LibGuides just for school librarians as they do their thing and support other educators during this stressful time of the CoVID-19 outbreak.

It’s a living webpage so know it will expand and contract as we go.
Feel free to bookmark and share. Here’s the short link:
This link lives in our LibGuides and, so far, has the following sections: SDSL Databases for K-12Digital BooksRead-Alouds & Fair UseDigital Learning ToolsFreebies from Publishers & VendorsProfessional TimeCleaning

Links to Student Research Lists (SDSL Databases)

This content was sent out on the SD State Library School Library listserv on 3/17/2020. I'm posting it here for ease of use and sharing.

ALL 50+ databases and digital resources offered by the SD State Library are FREE and accessible 24/7 WITHOUT a library card if within the geographical borders of South Dakota.

DIRECT LINKS TO STUDENT RESEARCH LISTS Use our age-appropriate Student Research Lists when linking on your library or school websites, blogs, digital newsletters, etc. These lists are curated just for these age groups and they provide quicker and more customized access for students.

Here they are with direct links and shareable screenshots:

STUDENT RESEARCH FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Copy and paste this link into your own website/blog/.newsletter/etc:

STUDENT RESEARCH FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL Copy and paste this link into your own website/blog/.newsletter/etc: