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South Dakota State Library Services

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

Voluntary Certification for Public and Academic Library Staff

 The State Library recognizes public library directors and staff who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis. The goals of this program are to help library directors and staff acquire and  maintain skills in order to provide better library service to their communities.

THE SCHEDULE FOR CERTIFICATION HAS CHANGED: Beginning in 2024, the deadline for application is by 5 pm CT on the first Friday in August

  • An individual's certification is valid for three (3) years.
  • To renew at the same level will require 30 contact hours of continuing education during the three years leading up to the renewal application.
  • Certificates are awarded by the SD State Library during the fall SDLA conference.

To obtain certification renewal, applicants must submit evidence of 30 contact hours of continuing education earned during the three years leading up to the renewal application. See the SD Librarian Certification Guidelines for details.

Certification is awarded for three years.

Currently certified directors and staff

Librarian / library staff

Certified through August 31 of the year listed

Grade level

Tammy Alexander

2024

Director 3

Melanie Argo

2025

Staff 1

Angela Bailey

2026

Director 1

Sherry Bauman

2024

Director 3

Shawn Behrends

2025

Staff 1

Rhonda Behrens

2025

Director 2

Stephanie Bents

2024

Staff 1

Kim Bonen

2025

Staff 1

Kendra Brewer

2025

Staff 1

Leslie Brondsema

2025

Staff 1

Audrea Buller

2024

Director 3

Tanya Bult

2026

Director 3

Daniel Burniston

2026

Director 1

Misti Burns

2024

Director 2

Victoria Caine

2024

Staff 1

Cheyenne Chontos

2026

Staff 1

Raven Christman

2025

Director 3

Annie Crist

2025

Staff 2

Terri Davis

2025

Director 1

Joshua Easter

2025

Staff 3

Abby Edwardson

2026

Director 1

Tara Engel

2025

Director 3

Teri Ewalt

2024

Director 3

Jodi Fick

2026

Director 1

Crystal Gering-Nelson

2025

Staff 3

Paige German

2026

Director 2

Nita Gill

2024

Staff 1

Maria Gruener

2026

Director 1

Amanda Hall

2026

Staff 1

Brenda Hemmelman

2025

Staff 1

Jennifer Hrdlicka

2026

Staff 3

Melissa Hutmacher

2024

Director 3

Ester Johannesen

2026

Director 3

Kristi Jones

2025

Director 2

Sarah Jones-Lutter

2026

Director 1

Stephanie Kaitfors

2024

Staff 1

LeAnn Kaufman

2025

Director 3

Janelle Kelly

2026

Staff 3

Kevin Kenkel

2026

Director 1

Kallie Kronberg

2024

Director 3

Krista Licht

2026

Staff 1

Jennifer Littlefield

2026

Staff 1

Tiana McKinney

2026

Staff 3

Glenda Maxted

2024

Staff 2 

Nina Mentzel

2025

Staff 1

Sean Minkel

2025

Staff 1

Brittany Moeller

2024

Director 2

Shayna Monnens

2024

Staff 1

Sarah Myers

2026

Director 2

Kelly Namminga

2026

Director 2

Wendy Nilson

2025

Staff 1

Natasha Noethlich

2026

Director 3

Jane Norling

2025

Director 3

Zackery North

2026

Staff 1

Mary Jo Parker

2026

Director 2

Jean Patrick

2024

Staff 1

Shawna Przybycien

2024

Staff 3

Amanda Raiche

2026

Staff 1

Jan Riggins

2025

Staff 3

Cassandra Rogers

2024

Staff 3

Janet Schmidt

2026

Staff 3

Lydia Schnaible

2024

Director 3

Robin Scott

2025

Director 3

George Seamon

2025

Director 1

Sarah Shoop

2025

Director 2

Donia Sichler

2026

Staff 1

Kathleen Slocum

2025

Staff 1

Amy Smith

2025

Director 3

Megan Stietz

2026

Director 3

Nancy Swenson

2024

Staff 1

Thea Teasley

2025

Staff 3

Mary Terrones

2025

Director 2

Tara Thomas

2025

Director 3

Joanne Urban

2025

Staff 3

Barbara Vander Vorst

2024

Director 3

Court Weck

2025

Staff 1

Lyle Weekly

2024

Director 3

Liane Welte

2024

Director 3

Amber Wilde

2026

Director 1

Tammy Wollschlager

2024

Staff 3

Tracy Zylstra

2024

Director 3

Voluntary Accreditation for Public Libraries

The purpose of the voluntary accreditation program for public libraries in South Dakota is to encourage the ongoing development of quality library service. South Dakota Public Library Standards is a self-evaluation tool. These standards are intended to:

  • Provide a tool to assess the quality of library service
  • Identify areas needing improvement
  • Aid libraries in gaining maximum community support

Accreditation applications are accepted annually.

THE SCHEDULE FOR ACCREDITATION HAS CHANGED: Beginning in 2024, accreditation applications will be received from June through the third Friday in August. DEADLINE this year is by 5pm CT, AUGUST 16, 2024.

Applications are reviewed and decisions made by the first Friday in September. Recognition of accredited libraries will take place during the SDLA Conference in September. Accreditation awards are valid for three years, commencing on October 1 of the year awarded and expiring September 30 of the third year.

The manual below is divided into three sections by level of accreditation:

  • ESSENTIAL — the minimum which should be available to all
  • ENHANCED — an expansion of services beyond the basic
  • EXEMPLARY — the highest level of service

Each section is then divided into the following categories:

  • Governance
  • Administration
  • Access
  • Collections and Resources
  • Funding
  • Staffing
  • Technology
  • Public Relations

Each standard is presented as a statement, allowing the library to easily determine whether it meets or does not meet the criteria.

Accreditation applications are accepted every year. They may be submitted from June through the third Friday of August. Specific dates will be announced via listservs. Applications are reviewed and decisions made by first Friday of September. Accreditation awards are valid for three years, commencing on October 1 of the year awarded and expiring September 30 of the third year.


Continuing Education Requirements for Library Boards

To qualify for accreditation, library boards are expected to accumulate a minimum of 15, 30, or 45 hours (depending on accreditation level) within the three years leading up to the application. Continuing education events should concern library board issues. Here are some general guidelines regarding the CE requirements:

  • No one board member can obtain all required hours.
  • Online CE: For Enhanced and Exemplary levels limits apply to how many CE hours may be earned online. Online coursework must be preapproved by the SDSL accreditation committee.
  • Libraries are responsible for keeping an accurate record of their collective board CE participation. 

Refer to standards #10, #39, #64 in the Standards Manual for details regarding fulfilling the CE requirements.

For your convenience, the following resources are provided by the State Library for obtaining and recording continuing education activities.

Libraries are accredited for three years.

Currently accredited libraries

Library

City

Accredited through September 30 of the year listed

Accreditation level

Beresford Public Library Beresford 2025 Enhanced
Bowdle Public Library Bowdle 2025 Essential
Brookings Public Library Brookings 2025 Exemplary
Canton Public Library Canton 2026 Essential
Cozard Memorial Library Chamberlain 2024 Essential
Custer County Library Custer 2026 Exemplary
Doland Community Library Doland 2025 Essential
Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library Vermillion 2025 Exemplary
Emil M. Larson Library Clark 2025 Essential
Freeman Public Library Freeman 2025 Essential
Grace Balloch Memorial Library Spearfish 2025 Exemplary
Grant County Library Milbank 2024 Essential
Gregory Public Library  Gregory 2024 Essential
Grossenburg Memorial, Tripp County Library Winner 2026 Enhanced
Hill City Community Library Hill City 2024 Exemplary
Huron Public Library Huron 2025 Essential
Keystone Town Library Keystone 2025 Essential
Lennox Community Library Lennox 2024 Essential
Mitchell Public Library Mitchell 2025 Essential
North Sioux City Community Library North Sioux City 2025 Essential
Piedmont Valley Library Piedmont 2026 Essential
Potter County Free Library Gettysburg 2024 Enhanced
Rapid City Public Library Rapid City 2025 Exemplary
Rawlins Municipal Library Pierre 2026 Exemplary
Scotland Community Library Scotland 2026 Essential
Wall Community Library Wall 2026 Essential
Watertown Regional Library Watertown 2024 Exemplary
Yankton Community Library Yankton 2024 Enhanced

 

Below are messages from our Monthly Email Tips Series posted to the public library directors listserv.


January: Public Library Accreditation – The Basics

What is it?

Public Library Accreditation is a VOLUNTARY program in which libraries review a list of standards and evaluate the library based on those standards. These standards are intended to:

  • Provide a tool to assess the quality of library service
  • Identify areas needing improvement
  • Aid libraries in gaining maximum community support

Libraries are accredited for three years at one of three levels: Essential, Enhanced, Exemplary. Accredited libraries have to have certified library directors. The application period opens in July and closes in August. Libraries apply using the Public Library Survey portal. Certificates are awarded in a special ceremony at the SDLA fall conference.

Learn all about Accreditation/Certification by visiting SDSL Resource Guides: Accreditation

Here is a handy checklist for you as you go through the application process: Checklist of Required Documents


February: Public Library Accreditation – Trustee Continuing Education

The voluntary library accreditation application doesn’t open until July, but it’s not too soon to prepare. We get a lot of questions about meeting the continuing education (CE) requirements for library board members. Here are some guidelines to help your trustees share the responsibility. Public library trustees sign on to lead the library by setting policy, engaging in strategic planning, and optimizing the library’s budget. This is an important job!

How to meet trustee CE requirements for accreditation:

  • Trustees have a three-year period over which they can earn CE hours.
  • CE hours must be earned by two or more trustees—but all library board members should participate.
  • For libraries preparing to apply for the Enhanced and Exemplary levels, only a portion of CE hours can be done online.

Please note: You cannot count the library director’s CE hours toward this requirement. Directors’ training hours go toward certification—a separate requirement toward accreditation.

CE requirements:

  • Essential level: 15 hours
  • Enhanced level: 30 hours (10 of which must be F2F)
  • Exemplary level: 45 hours (15 of which must be F2F)

Sharing the responsibility:

If five trustees agree to earn CE hours over the course of three years then the workload for each trustee is as follows:

  • Essential level: 1 hour per year, per trustee
  • Enhanced level: 2 hours per year, per trustee
  • Exemplary level: 3 hours per year, per trustee

You can see that it’s not that much, if you break it down.

How to earn CE hours:

  • One trustee can earn approximately 14 hours of CE credit by attending one of the 2-day SDLA annual conferences.
  • SDSL's Continuing Education Coordinator can give you more ideas on how your trustees can earn F2F training hours throughout the year.
  • The State Library provides many opportunities for earning CE hours online. Visit the SDSL Training Opportunities webpage for some ideas

March: Public Library Accreditation – Library Director Certification

One of the requirements for a library to be accredited is that the library director is certified at the required level. See #16 of the South Dakota Public Library Standards Manual:

The library has a permanent, paid director who is, or will be within two years of hire, certified at the required level, or who is actively enrolled in a program leading to the required certification.

What is the certification program? The SD State Library recognizes public library directors and staff who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis. The goals of this program are to help library directors and staff acquire and maintain skills to provide better library service to their communities. The deadline for application is the first Friday of August. An individual's certification is valid for three (3) years. To renew at the same level requires 30 contact hours of continuing education earned during the three years leading up to the renewal application.

Library director certification starts with knowing the “population served” by your library. Based on that, you will know whether to apply for Grade I, Grade II, or Grade III certification.

For directors of smaller libraries Public Library Institute is one way to meet those certification requirements. This is a three-year program of continuing education for new library directors, support staff, and trustees of small public libraries.


April: Public Library Accreditation – Policy reviews & where to find sample policies

If you are applying for Enhanced or Exemplary status, you will need to provide proof that you are regularly reviewing and updating your library policies (#37 on the standards document). Every library should be doing this, even if not applying for Accreditation. It takes only 10-15 minutes at your board meeting to bring one or two policies before the board to review. If you make it a practice to do this at every board meeting, then it becomes routine and you do not have to review the entire policy manual in one sitting. Does anyone really want to do that? Of course not!

How many policies do I need and where do I find examples? The number of policies depends on your library and the amount of activity happening there. Take a look at the SD State Library LibGuides page on Library Boards & Trustees to learn about what should be contained in a policy manual, some suggested library policies, and policy examples from different libraries.  


May: Public Library Accreditation – How to evaluate programs

If you are applying for accreditation, you may be required to provide proof that you are regularly evaluating library programs. See Enhanced (#43) or Exemplary (#67) of the Public Library Standards document

  • If you are renewing at the Enhanced level, you will need to provide three evaluations (one per year over the three year renewal period).
  • If you are renewing at Exemplary level, you will need to provide nine evaluations (three programs per year over the three year renewal period).

Program evaluation provides evidence of how library resources are used and the outcomes achieved. Evaluating library programs also provides an opportunity to reflect on changes you might make next time. The SDSL staff has made it easy for you by providing an example of a program evaluation document in Appendix C (page 14) of the Public Library Standards document.


June: Public Library Accreditation - Reviewing library bylaws & what they should include

All public libraries should have written bylaws that outline the library board’s purpose and operational procedures (#6 on the Public Library Standards document). Bylaws are organizational rules for conducting the library’s business. A bylaws document is essential for avoiding internal disputes. It is the responsibility of your library’s board to establish its own library bylaws. Your library most likely has its bylaws recorded somewhere, but when was the last time they were revisited? The Public Library Standards document (item #36) requires that library bylaws are reviewed at least every three years.

What should be included in your library’s bylaws?

Library bylaws should indicate which SD public library statute guides the appointment of the board. Bylaws also lay out the schedule for regular meetings, meeting procedures, requirements of a quorum, and duties of officers. When writing or reviewing your library’s bylaws, keep in mind that library board meetings are open to the public therefore are subject to the South Dakota Open Meetings Law. Be aware that some provisions to the Open Meetings Law have been revised in recent years. That’s all the more reason to review your library’s bylaws.

You can find sample library board bylaws and more information about open meetings on the State Library’s LibGuides page for Library Board Meetings.


July: Public Library Accreditation – Evaluating the director & where to find sample evaluation forms

Just as employees of any organization are subject to a yearly review, the library director also needs to be evaluated. Although the governing body (city, county, etc.) may do a review, the library board is required to complete a review of the director to achieve accreditation at the exemplary level (#62 of the standards document)

The state library does not require a copy of the actual evaluation, but a copy of the minutes of the meeting where the director was evaluated needs to be included with the accreditation application.

Need some ideas on what to include on a director evaluation? Visit the resources below.


September: Public Library Accreditation - saw you at conference!

October: Public Library Accreditation - Non-resident fees

Do you serve people in your broader community who do not pay property taxes and thus do not support the public library they use? If so, you might want to think about charging a user’s fee for nonresidents who do not support the library with their tax dollars. This fee would be in lieu of taxes, not an additional tax. Every public library should have a policy in place which protects your tax-paying citizens. It should be a written, board approved policy with a reasonable fee put in place and re-evaluated every couple of years.

Even a minimal fee still makes the point that library services are not really “free” in the sense that someone has to pick up the tab. The shared responsibility of financially supporting the operations of a library—utilities, building, technology, materials, resources, databases, books, magazines, games, staffing, etc. is a shared burden by the citizens of a specific locale.

A fee policy accomplishes several important things:

  • It opens up the library to users beyond the limitations of the community tax base,
  • It increases the value of the public library,
  • It creates public awareness that it is a publicly funded service and not “free” in the sense that it takes money to keep a library open and operational,
  • It wards against user abuse or misunderstandings,
  • Such a policy protects tax payers, who have a financial and emotional vested interest in that particular library,
  • It reimburses the library for resources and services used by nonresidents, and
  • It legally protects the library board.

Average cost of doing business

You can figure out how much each citizen pays for library services by taking your most recent total annual library expenditures and divide that sum by the total number of citizens in your city (or county if you have a county system). That will give you the actual amount your library needs in tax support from each local citizen to operate at your current level.

Something to think about

The important thing to take away is that it is vital for each library board to write, approve and have in place a user’s policy and more specifically, a nonresident (however you define it) user’s fee policy. Even if you choose to not charge anyone living beyond your defined boundaries, it is a very wise practice to have a written policy stating why you do not charge nonresidents (non-tax payers) for library usage. One example would be where the municipal library receives from the county commissioners a healthy contribution of county funds to its annual budget.


November: Public Library Accreditation - Collection Development Selection Tools

If you are applying for Enhanced level of Accreditation, you will need to supply the title of at least one selection tool that is used to purchase materials for the library. This is addressed in #53.  

The West Virginia Library Commission has put together a nice list of tools you can use for collection development. These can be found at Collection Development: Selection Tools

If you don’t subscribe to Booklist, Library Journal, or other subscription resources, you can use the SDSL databases, at SDSL Electronic Resources In the EBSCOhost collection, you can search the Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database, or do a general search in Academic Search Premier, EBSCO MegaFILE, or MasterFILE Premier.


December: Public Library Accreditation - Technology Plans

Are you applying for Enhanced or Exemplary status? Then you need a Technology Plan (#55). A copy of the plan is required as well as proof of the board meeting minutes where the plan is reviewed annually.

SDSL's Library Technology Plan page can point you to webinars, resources, and a technology planning guide. Webjunction has some resources for technology planning. You can also ask similarly sized SD libraries to share a copy of their technology plan if they have one.