South Dakota State Library's Library Institute...what a terrific opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of what is happening in the library world! Although each year included valuable information, my favorite was this year's course on Children's Services & Programming.
As usual, the State Library's Continuing Education Coordinator, Kathleen Slocum, did a superb job of bringing in instructors who challenged us to better ourselves and our libraries. (She also had the daunting task of "mother hen": keeping us calm, on task and on time (!) while handling the glitches, library scavenger hunts, overachieving air conditioners and frenzied last minute student study sessions.) Thanks, Kathleen!!!
Thanks also to the energetic Jasmine Rockwell, Children and Youth Services Coordinator, who spent the week with us sharing ways of creating children's areas in our libraries, helping us develop specific policies we need to protect our child patrons, sharing resources for multicultural literature, and giving hands-on demonstrations of how to use technology and social media in children's programming. We all appreciated everything that you both did to help us grow as community educators and librarians.
But what about the other educators who shared their experience and knowledge?
1. Joan Upell, SDSL's School Library Coordinator (West River), who helped untangle the myths and facts about Common Core while presenting ideas for partnerships between schools and public libraries and I ENJOYED it!
2. Kristie Maher, Executive Director of the SD Discovery Center, who let us experience our childhood again with hands-on manipulatives and LEGOS! We used several of the GEMs kits at our library this summer...a real addition to our programming;
3. Saroj Ghoting, an Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and national trainer on early literacy, who gave us so many ideas to use in our children's programming that I ran out of ink in two pens jotting them all down. (And, yes, she does have a website which I have already accessed a couple of times!);
4. Shawn Behrends, State Data Coordinator, who gave us advocacy tools to use through our PLS data and patiently worked with us until we were comfortable making sample reports. (I can't wait to visit with the county commissioners again!);
5. Daria Bossman, State Librarian, who traveled all the way from Pierre to lend her support and encouragement and officially hand out the certificates!
Thanks to all of you for giving of your time and considerable talents.
But the list of those who shared and cared does not end there.
To the freshman: thanks for the eagerness to soak in knowledge as first-timers at Institute. It was inspiring...keep it going!
To the sophomores: what a change to you and your libraries in one year...keep growing!
To the juniors: your enthusiasm and effort in your libraries and in your communities is obvious...and I hope somebody (heh, heh) gets you back at your graduation!
To the seniors: we rule, but aren't complacent...gotta keep learning and evolving these 21st Century librarians that we are!
(And thanks, Kathy Connell, for being a terrific roomie this year!)