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Latest Media Releases



For Immediate Release: October 19, 2009
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

State Library Board explores changes in accreditation



The South Dakota State Library Board is examining the accreditation standards for the state’s public libraries.

“The proposed standards will be on the agenda for the board’s January meeting,” said State Librarian Dan Siebersma.* “Development of the standards has been a very participative process. We’ve gathered input from libraries and librarians across the state.”

A task force has developed a written set of guidelines for a three-tiered accreditation system. Under this system, libraries would be accredited at one of three levels: essential, enhanced or exemplary. The essential level outlines basic guidelines that must be met in order to be legally recognized as a public library, and from year to year, libraries could be working toward a higher level of accreditation.

Previously, minimum standards had been set by the South Dakota Library Association but administered by the State Library. The proposed standards have been endorsed by the public library section of SDLA. The standards will focus on governance, administration, access, collections and resources, funding, staffing, technology and public relations.

“Our staff will be available to work with libraries to help them meet their goals on an ongoing basis throughout the transition to these new standards,” Siebersma said. “I think this change will help make South Dakota’s public libraries even stronger.”

Libraries that recently received Public Library Accreditation under the current system are:

· Brookings Public Library

· Custer County Library

· Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library

· Huron Public Library

· Mitchell Public Library

· Watertown Regional Library

Librarians who recently received public library certification are:

· Sherry Bauman, Elkton Community Library

· Marguerite Cullum, Custer County Library

· Melinda Ellenson, Huron Public Library

· Cathy Enlow, Brookings Public Library

· Jan Gossman, Bison Public Library

· Jackie Hess, Mitchell Public Library

· Debbie Huska, Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library

· Elvita Landau, Brookings Public Library

· Janet Miller, Dakota Valley School District Library

· Debra Moor, Jackson County Library

· Michael Mullin, Watertown Regional Library

· Colleen Smith, Huron Public Library.

To view the proposed accreditation standards, go to http://library.sd.gov/forlibrarians/development/combined.htm.

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*Siebersma (SEE’-burz-muh)