Library, librarian become accredited

By Leslie Silverman

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The Keystone Town Library is accredited now that Keystone Town librarian Robin Scott finished her state training.

Scott was awarded a certificate of library management after graduating 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 continuing education for library practitioners, support staff and trustees of small-to-medium-sized public libraries who do not have library degrees.

“If I’m going to get this job I can’t get it and not know what I’m doing because I was never a librarian,” said Scott. “I’m not going to do this and not know what I’m doing so I have to go to school.”

In all, 26 students from across the state — including library directors and staff — attended this year’s institute, which focused on library administration. Training topics included budgets, strategic planning, policies, procedures, state laws and diversity in the local library.

Scott was one of three individuals this year who were graduated with a certificate of public library management.

Scott previously worked for the post office and in a nursing home as a certified nursing assistant.

The training was a challenge for Scott personally.

“I hated leaving my kids,” she said. “It was the hardest thing for me. Even though I have family here I am so connected to my kids.”

The training each year Scott attended the institute was different.

“One year was childhood education,” she said. “This year was all administration.”

Scott did not have to complete the training as a condition of her employment but knew it would be best for her and the community.

“Now we’re accredited,” she said. “The county gives us money. The county wanted us to be accredited.”

About $9,000 of the total $71,000 library budget comes from Pennington County, according to Keystone’s finance officer.

Scott is happy with the services the Keystone Library offers. She bases book orders on people’s requests and stocks a plethora of popular movies.

“I try to keep up on the series, but that’s pretty hard,” she said. “I try to stay up on the movies as well.”

The library serves about 10-16 children weekly in its recreation program, which is offered Tuesdays and Fridays. It also sees its fair share of regulars and seasonal regulars

“I like being here year round,” Scott said. “We don’t change our hours. I like being here for the community and offering the resources we do have. If the people need a computer or Wi-Fi, I like being here for the kids and having a place for the kids to go. There’s really no place in Keystone for them to go”

As for the future, Scott would like to see a more welcoming space, although she has not requested any improvements nor money  from the library board or town.

“We’re kind of growing out of our library here,” she said. “I feel like we are. I would just like to expand this building. I never brought that up to anybody. I’d like to have just little spaces where people can sit and read by a window. Some of the bigger older libraries are pretty cozy. I just want a place if somebody needs to come in and do some private work they have somewhere to go. I’d like it a little cozier.”

Scot also envisions hosting more programs for both adults and children.

The library recently hosted guest author Sandra Brannan and is co-hosting a monthly book club with the senior center.

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