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South Dakota State Library Services

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

Public Libraries Survey (annual report)

  • The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) is a statistical survey of all public libraries in the U.S.
  • The State Library adds additional questions used for collecting additional administrative information and planning library development services.
  • All designated public libraries in South Dakota are required to by state statute (SDCL #14-2-40) to complete this annual statistical report.

Want to know more? Check out this video: Introduction to the SD Public Libraries Survey (7 min)

Several changes were made to the federal data elements regarding the reporting of library programming for FY 2021. The revisions are outlined below.

FYI: The State Library is providing a free tool called WhoFi Community Calendar to help you record and track library programs. Using the Community Calendar form will help you align your program records with the new changes to the federal data elements. This tool is free and available to all South Dakota public libraries regardless of whether you are using the WhoFi wireless session counter. More information on the Community Calendar tool is available.

The new program data elements are highlighted  in yellow below:

Synchronous Programs

This is basically how your reported live programs in past years, however, for 2021 you will be asked to track whether the program was offered on-site, off-site, or virtual; also note the addition of an all ages program category for general interest programs. 

Reminder: A synchronous program is a planned event for a live audience which introduces the group attending to library services or which provides information to participants. Program sessions may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. Program sessions may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information. Examples of these types of program sessions include, but are not limited to, film showings, lectures, story hours, literacy programs, citizenship classes, and book discussions.

Report the venue of the program:

  • Onsite - An in-person onsite program session is any planned event that includes an in-person attendance option and takes place at library facilities. Examples include, but are not limited to, a job skills class in the library or a nature program on the library grounds. Regardless of the number of formats in which a program session is offered, each program session should only be counted once and in one format category. Include in-person program sessions that also have a virtual attendance option and count them as a single program session.
  • Offsite - An in-person offsite program session is any planned event that includes an in-person attendance option and takes place somewhere other than the library or the library grounds. Examples include, but are not limited to, facilitating a book club at a local nursing home, hosting a storytime at a local farmer’s market, or visiting a school to present about library services. Regardless of the number of formats in which a program session is offered, each program session should only be counted once and in one format category. Include in-person program sessions that also have a virtual attendance option and count them as a single program session.
  • Virtual - A synchronous (live) virtual program session is any planned event that is streamed virtually and can be viewed live as it progresses (i.e., live-streaming). Regardless of the number of formats in which a program session is offered, each program session should only be counted once and in one format category. Exclude program sessions that also have an in-person component; these should be counted under Number Synchronous In-Person Onsite Program Sessions or Number of Synchronous In-Person Offsite Program Sessions.

Report the age category of the program:

Reminder: Each program session should be counted in a single age category based on its primary target audience.  Choose the most appropriate age category to report the program in. To report number of attendees do a head count of all attendees regardless of age and report them all in the same age category as the program was reported. Example: Parents attending a preschool story hour should be counted in the Children Ages 0-5 category.

  • Children - Ages 0-5
  • Children - Ages 6-11
  • Young Adults - Ages 12-18
  • Adults - Age 19 or Older
  • General Interest -  A general interest program session is any planned event that is appropriate for any age group or multiple age groups. Include all-age, all-library, family, and intergenerational program sessions. Examples of these types of program sessions include, but are not limited to, family game nights, holiday events, or chess clubs. Include all programs here that do not fit into the other age category elements. Each program session should only be counted in one age category based on its primary target audience; do not include program sessions here that have already been counted in earlier age category elements. Avoid including program sessions that are targeted at more than one non-adult age category (and are not targeted at adults); these should be counted in the child or young adult age category that best represents the target audience.

Asynchronous Program Presentations

Reminder: An asynchronous program presentation is any recording of program content that cannot be viewed live as it unfolds (i.e., on-demand streaming). Only include program presentations posted during the reporting period. Regardless of the number of platforms on which a presentation is posted, count each unique presentation only once. Include recordings of synchronous program sessions that were available for asynchronous viewing after the session ended.

We asked you to report recorded programs last year, however there is one change you should note for 2021:

  • You may count views up to a week after the program is posted online. (In 2020 we allowed you to report views for the entirety of the year.)
Access the Public Libraries Survey online report form at: https://sd.countingopinions.com
  • The South Dakota Public Libraries Survey runs February through March every year.
  • Contact the SDSL Data Coordinator with your name, institution, and position if you need your library's account credentials to log in.
The following resources will help you complete your library's annual report.

They are also available on the online PLS form.

Worksheet contains definitions and instructions for PLS data elements on the FY 2020 annual report. Also find detailed instructions for reporting library programs and website visits in the appendices.

What Goes Where help sheet gives instructions for which fields to report specific items such as your library's digital collections, grants received by the library, other income/expenditure items, programs, and special instructions for school/public combo libraries.

Video overviews of PLS report form have helpful information on completing your library's annual report. Links to these videos are posted on the  PLS online form.

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 the good your library does for your community.

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

Annual reports for individual public libraries are available on request. Contact the State Library 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.