YALSA Book Finder

Check out this go-to resource from the Young Adult Library Services Association. YALSA has a free Teen Book Finder Database to support collection development and literacy programming at the middle school and high school levels.

This database provides access to all of YALSA's annual selected book and media lists, awards, and honorees. It replaces individual award lists formerly on the YALSA site. Search 4,000+ books, audiobooks, and films and filter by author, list, genre, theme, and year. Plus, download, print, and share lists. Technology at work for you!

And, of course, there's an app for that! Teen Book Finder App.

Bonus! Additional award books focusing on diversity have been recently added to the database. Those include books from Amelia Bloomer Book ListAmerican Indian Library AssociationAsian/Pacific American Librarians AssociationAssociation of Jewish LibrariesChinese American Librarians AssociationCoretta Scott King Award, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans…


Weeding or deselection of materials is a part of collection maintenance. It should be tied to the goals and mission of the library and the district. An optimal library collection is reviewed consistently for accuracy, currency, usage, diversity, and subject area gaps. Space limitations, edition, format, physical condition, and number of copies are also considerations.

Districts, with school librarians leading the charge, should develop district policies to guide collection maintenance. This policy could be called a collection development policy (a more comprehensive term) or a weeding policy.  The policy should not only provide considerations for the development of the collection, it should also specify who repairs materials and is responsible for ordering, weeding, and inventory. Lastly, policies may also provide guidance about the disposal of weeded items.

Conducting regular inventories are a very important part of collection development. Inventories don't necessarily need to …

Random Reads

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

Generation Z’s 7 Lessons for Surviving in Our Tech-Obsessed World
It's the first generation that’s never known a world without smartphones. They are the savviest of the savvy when it comes to tech, but...

The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter
Is a cluttered home really a stressful home? Read what researchers are learning.

Old Meets New at Douglas Middle School Library | HIGHLIGHT

The makerspace at the Douglas Middle School Library in Box Elder, SD now houses both modern maker items and vintage pieces. Joining the whiteboard wall, the 3D printer, and the green screen are few antiques from the library storage room: typewriters, record players, and an opaque projector.

Librarian Melissa Hubbell decided to add the older technology after a lightbulb moment during her annual inventory. There, in the storage room, sat the dusty items just waiting for a revival! Hubbell decided she’d try them out with her 8th grade students.

And…they were a hit!

Students did not know what the items were or how they were even used. This led students to conduct historical research discovering the what, when, why, and how of the vintage items. Honing in on creativity, HubbelI played Charlotte’s Web on the record player spurring students to use the typewriters to author their own rap songs and poetry.

Indeed, Makerspaces can be unique, inexpensive spaces with old and new technologies …

Programming via SD Humanities Council

Want to get a headstart on programming for next school year? Have you been wondering how you could partner with the public library during the summer and school year?

Here's a way! And it's inexpensive.

Who doesn't like that?

The SD State Library is helping communities provide excellent, local programming from the South Dakota Humanities Council. The State Library offers a reduced rate for programs offered by the Council. Libraries with operating budgets of $50,000 or less can apply for a reduced fee of $25 and libraries with annual operating budgets of $25,000 or less can apply for a complete fee waiver. 

Without assistance, the typical fee is very reasonable at $50.

There are three grant-funded public humanities programs: Speakers Bureau/Chautauqua
informative presentations covering a variety of topics & in-character educational performancesOne Book South Dakota
scholar-led book club discussions using the current One Book: Neither Wolf nor Dog by Kent NerburnBook Club to…

GoodReads: Tech Roundup!

Let's face it, so much of our high school students' world is digital. LIKE. SO. MUCH.

Sometimes we need to lean away from that and sometimes we need to lean into that.
An online book club is a way to lean in when it comes to library programming.

We all know when students get to high school they tend to have less time for the "extras."  And... book clubs often fall in that category. So let's make it more convenient for students and reach them where they're at.
Imagine being able to encourage your student readers from home. Even better, imagine your student readers encouraging other student readers from home.

One tool you can use to lean in is GoodReads. This digital resource may make it more convenient for your students to participate in that 'extra' book club.

GoodReads is a massive site for readers and book recommendations and it's been around since 2007. That tells you something. You can follow which books your friends or students are reading, t…

West Central Middle/High School Library | HIGHLIGHT

The past couple of years has been a whirlwind at the West Central Middle/High School Library. The once combination public/school library separated into two entities recently leaving the 6-12 grade library in the same space and relocating the public library to a downtown location. This allowed veteran teacher-librarian Danann Kistler to incorporate big changes such as genrefying the library collection and expanding the popular Makerspace. On top of that, all new seating areas were added after the library got a fresh coat of paint. Needless to say, this southeast South Dakota school library is thriving thanks to dedicated library staff and volunteers, administrative backing, and Kistler's leadership.

The library also received a large grant from Daughters of the American Revolution which provided funding for a large historical book collection, a display case for artifacts, scrapbooks, and an iPad.  True to her teacher-librarian role, Kistler co-teaches to embed library media standards…

Genrefication in the School Library | HIGHLIGHT

It's also called the bookstore model or subject-based cataloging.

It's genrefication. And it can be a heated topic in school libraries.

Genrefying is a process of classifying mediums (like books) into specific genres or categories. In school libraries, genrefication can be used in addition to or in place of the traditional Dewey Decimal System.

There is no one 'right' way. Each library is unique. At the end of the day, school librarians need to make decisions based on their own school and students needs. What works well in one school, might flounder at another school.

As with any project, there are potential disadvantages:
some believe it's just another fadsome believe it doesn't properly prepare students for the future - that they will not be prepared to use public and academic librariesit's a BIG undertaking! Think: Assigning genres, labeling, cataloging, signage, physically rearranging, reteachingmay be difficult to assign a title to a specific genremay …

School Libraries Celebrate Nat'l Library Week 2019!

How does your school library help to build a strong school community?

How does your library contribute to the community in which your students live?

Is your library a community in and of itself?

These are questions to think about as we seek to cultivate connection and harmony in a world that can be divided and discordant.

This week it's time to celebrate National Library Week and focus on community and what that looks like in the library, in the school, and in the place you live. 

Visit ALA National Library Week for free digital graphics, printables, sample media posts, and a video from year's spokesperson, Melinda Gates.

Monday  The day the State of America's Libraries Report is released. Plus, the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2018 will be released - always interesting!
Tuesday National Library Workers Day - A day to recognize the contributions made by ALL library workers. 

Wednesday National Bookmobile Day - A day to recognize our nation's bookmobiles and t…

Register for 2019 SD School Library Boot Camp!

Registration is now open for the annual SD School Library Boot Camp. Learn more about it below and if you have questions, don't hesitate to contact Alissa Adams.
This registration link will be active through August 30.

Each year the SD State Library offers a professional development opportunity called School Library Boot Camp. And, each year, we change up the theme. This year’s Boot Camp theme is Inclusion: That All May Learn.

We'll focus on how librarians and 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.
Here's low-down:
When: We're trying out something different so this year Boot Camp is on Sept. 25, 2019 starting at 8AM to 6PM. The rest of the clock hours will be completed online. Boot Camp will be saddled with the annual SDLA (South Dakota Library Association) conference scheduled for Sept. 25-27, 2019. NOTE: Boot Camp is NOT a p…