State Library Transition Project

From the email bag:
State Representative Thomas J Van Norman, District 28A House of Representatives State Capitol Building Pierre, SD 57501

PIERRE-House Bill 1215 referred to by some as the Save Our Books
bill was deferred to the 41st day by the House Education Committee
Friday, February 2, 2007. The companion Senate Bill 210 received the
same treatment in the Senate Education Committee.

I urge ordinary citizens to contact your Legislators, the
Secretary of Education, and the State Librarian asking them to keep the
State Library open as a public institution, to keep the interlibrary
loan program intact so the State Library can serve citizens, and to
stop the disbursement of 80% of the South Dakota State Library book

State Representative Tom Van Norman one of the sponsors of the
Save Our Books Bills says, “This is a setback in our efforts to stop
the part of the South Dakota State Library Transition Project Strategic
Plan that calls for disbursement of an estimated 80 percent of the
South Dakota State Library book collection.” It also calls for
“disbursing” of all large print books, and cancellation of direct
services for citizens. In fact, the State Library has been sending out
its books since January 1st and closed its doors to the public that
date. The plan is to change the Library from a Public Library into more
of a “special” library that would primarily only serve state government
employees and legislators, as opposed to citizens of this state.

The plan will essentially eliminate a one stop library resource
for South Dakota residents located in rural, small towns and Indian
Reservations. Tribal Colleges do not appear to be eligible to access
the interlibrary loan program under the plan.

Breaking up and removing one of the best library collections in
the midwest and replacing the book shelves with Government office space
just doesn’t make sense to me.

Changing the mission of the South Dakota State Library is a
policy decision and to my knowledge the legislature was not consulted
in this rush to implement an out of state library consultant’s
misguided plan. I think we need to slow the process down, take a deep
breath and see what the consequences of this plan will actually be to
the citizens of this state before cutting public services even more. I
believe a legislative interim study should be made before our State
Library books are disbursed forever, making it more difficult and more
costly for South Dakota citizens to use. It would be very costly to
replace a great book collection such as what the State Library has made
available to the citizens of South Dakota’s since 1913.

And where did all of the large print books get sent off too?
And why is there no money in the proposed State Budget to help
the local libraries who are supposed to handle all interlibrary loans
from now on?

And what are the hours of operation in our rural towns?
The Library Plan is replete with bad timing, bad policy and sends the wrong message.
Our State Government is supposed to serve the citizens, and
that’s what the law says about the State Library. The State Library is
responsible for executing the library policy of the State of South
Dakota to promote adequate library service for ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE
STATE, to PROVIDE FOR THE CITIZENS of this state specialized library
services and materials not generally appropriate, economical or
available in other libraries of the state; establish and operate a
state publications library distribution center, and other functions.

Let’s keep the books where they belong in our central library!
Tom Van Norman, State Representative District 28ANice isn’t it? But I see they are going ahead full steam with this year’s version of the abortion bill (HB1293) as the next committee hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.  Anyone willing to bet that this bill won’t be deferred?

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