Library staff complete training, take learning back to communities

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Eight librarians have graduated from the Public Library Training Institute, which took place earlier this month at Northern State University in Aberdeen. The institute, sponsored by the South Dakota State Library, is a four-year program of education for librarian practitioners, support staff, and trustees of small to medium-sized public libraries who do not have library degrees.

Twenty-nine students, representing 26 libraries across South Dakota, attended this year’s institute. The following individuals graduated this year with a Certificate of Public Library Management:

  • Amy Smith, Hurley Public Library
  • Sara Weishaar, Bison Public Library
  • Janet Schmidt, Sisseton Memorial Library
  • Tara Engel, Gregory Public Library
  • Annie Crist, Beresford Public Library
  • Jan Riggins, K O Lee Aberdeen Public Library
  • Thea Teasley-Whiting, Custer County Library
  • Tara Thomas, Emil M. Larson Public Library, Clark

“This year, students learned about creating early literacy kits. These kits can be checked out by patrons or used as education stations around the library for independent and interactive play,” said Kathleen Slocum, continuing education coordinator for the South Dakota State Library. “They’re excited to take their learning back to their communities.”

Students attend in-person classes for one week in June and take additional classes online between summers. Participants earn a minimum of 120 contact hours over a four-year period and two college credits each year from a South Dakota public university. Librarians who attend all four years receive a Certificate of Public Library Management and are recognized as certified library practitioners.

The Public Library Institute started in 1985. Financial support is provided by the South Dakota State Library in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C.