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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)

Access the Public Libraries Survey online report form at:
  • The FY 2020 South Dakota Public Libraries Survey is open February 1 - March 31, 2021.
  • 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.

FAQs - Got a question? You might find your answer here.  
If you don't find an answer, contact the SDSL Data Coordinator.


Public service hours (A24)

Q: Since our hours changed in April and again in July what should I put down? Our hours normally, currently, combination?

A: Fill in the schedule grid with the hours your library would normally be open (under non-pandemic circumstances.

Weeks per year library is open (B11, #715, #716,)

Q: How do we handle reduced hours of operation during the pandemic? The building was closed to the public March to August but the staff worked 8 am to 5 pm. August we opened but with limited hours.

A: IMLS temporarily added two additional questions (#715 & #716) to capture changes in library operation hours due to COVID. If the library was closed to the public--regardless of whether staff were still working--then report the number of weeks closed in #715. If the library was open to the public, but under limited circumstances--reduced hours, limited occupancy, visitor time limits, closed off areas, etc.--then report the number of weeks in #716 and include these weeks in B11 Number of weeks per year the library is open.

Typical week (B14, B14)

Q: Do I use our current limited hours of operation or pre-pandemic hours?

A: Report the number of hours (B14) and number of days (B15) the library is open under normal circumstances. That would be your pre-pandemic schedule if you are still operating at limited capacity

Library visits / curbside services (G02)

Q: Can we count the curbside service we provided while the library was closed as library visits?

A: No. In the library visits field you may only count people who enter the library during public services hours. However, if you counted the number of people you served curbside, through home delivery service, etc., you may report those transactions in G28 one-to-one programs.

Passive program activities (G26, G27)

Q: What types of activities can we count in this area?

A: Many of you provided activities for your patrons to complete independently while social distancing prevented in-person programs. You may count activities organized by your library that required in investment in staff time and materials. Remember, programs provide information about the library or deliver cultural, recreational, or educational information. You may count activities like take & make craft bags, story walks, I-Spy window activities, social media challenges organized by library staff. Do not count bags of candy you handed out at Halloween and Christmas, or activities like Legos, a puzzle, or checkers game you left out for play.

Q: Do you have any good ideas for how to count participants at activities like storywalks or I Spy windows?

A: You may have to be creative to find a solution. Our CYS coordinator, Laura, has a few suggestions: 

  • Hang a sign at the beginning of the walk and end asking to post a message of your experience or a picture. Count the postings; maybe create a photo shoot that says, " I completed the storywalk!"
  • Post a QR Code they could scan with a quick survey or conduct a survey at the end of a summer reading program of activities you attended.
  • Collect comment cards located at the end or next to the I Spy activity.
  • Turn in or show your completed I Spy sheet to librarian for a small prize or enter into drawing, count how many sheets you provide and how many are left.
  • Post your picture of completed I Spy with a you in the picture.
  • Stickers they place on a board at the end of the walk saying they completed or take a sticker once you complete an activity count remaining stickers.
  • End storywalk at the library and mark down participants as you see them   
Curbside service (G28)

Q: Our library provided curbside service while the library was closed to the public. Is there a place to report that?

A: Yes, if you provided services like curbside or home delivery while the library was closed to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic, you may report the number of patrons served in one-to-one programs.

Public computers (G32)

Q: We normally have 8 public access computers but with COVID spacing we are down to 3. How would you like me to report that?

A: You probably had 8 until sometime in March and if you anticipate opening all stations up again after the pandemic, then report 8 and leave a note that says you reduced available public computers to 3 during the pandemic.

Annual Wireless Sessions (G35)

Q: Which measure from our library's WhoFi report should we be using to complete the annual wireless sessions question?

A: The usage metric you should use from your WhoFi report is "Total Session Count".

  • 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.

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.