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South Dakota State Library Services: Public & School Library Annual Surveys

A list of services provided by the South Dakota State Library.

Annual Public & School Libraries Surveys

Every year the State Library fields two statistical surveys:

  • Public Libraries Survey (PLS): The PLS includes financial and service data, library trustee and policy information. This serves as the library's annual report that is required by state statute for all designated public libraries in South Dakota.
  • School Libraries Survey (SLS): The SLS collects information from all SD public districts, tribal/BIE, and non public systems on school library budgets and facilities, circulation and programs, staffing and professional activities.

Combo school/public libraries complete both surveys.

We encourage librarians, trustees, school administrators and other stakeholders to use the survey data for strategic planning and making informed decisions.

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) collects from more than 9,200 public libraries. The federal data elements provide a set of baseline statistics for every library in the U.S.
  • Some of the questions on the PLS are for data and information that the state uses for reporting, and for planning library development services.
  • All of our designated public libraries participate annually in the SD PLS. Compliance is tied to receiving federal dollars that support our statewide electronic resources and other reference and informational services to South Dakota citizens.
  • The annual Public Libraries Data Digest provides a snapshot of statewide summary data from the PLS.
  • The most current South Dakota public library statistics are available. Contact the SDSL Data Coordinator for assistance.
  • You can use annual report statistics for benchmarking (peer comparisons), demonstrating need, resource allocation, and to shout out what your library adds to your community.
  • The State Library uses data collected from the School Libraries Survey (SLS) to track changes and trends in South Dakota School Libraries.
  • Funding for services such as the statewide electronic resources for research and education, programs like School Library Boot Camp, and interlibrary loan services are contingent on your participation in the SLS.
  • The annual School Libraries Data Digest provides a snapshot of statewide summary data from the SLS. School districts have access to the data for comparison across districts and over time.
  • One survey is filled out by each district/system. It is okay to project an estimate for survey questions, like circulation, that require a year-end total.
  • Data for all SD school districts/systems are available to school librarians and administrators through the survey portal or by contacting the SDSL Data Coordinator. We encourage you to use it for peer comparison, demonstrating need, and promoting the value of school libraries.
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How can I use the Public Libraries Survey statistics?

The State Library makes the data available for use by South Dakota public librarians and their stakeholders. Use statistics from "peer" libraries to demonstrate need, for resource allocation, and to show off(!).

If you want to know more or would like help accessing and analyzing your library's data, contact the SDSL Data Coordinator.

Here are a few tools to help you combine your library's financial and services statistics with information about patron expectations, community goals, and potential partnerships.

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