Grant awarded July 21, 2014
South Dakota State Library (SDSL), a division of the South Dakota Department of Education, provides online resources to all schools, public libraries, and academic institutions in the state. Given this expertise, they were uniquely suited to be the first institution in South Dakota to receive a TPS Western Region grant. SDSL hosted and facilitated a day-long online conference, Digging Deeper into Primary Sources, in March 2015. Due to the popularity of the first webinar, SDSL presented an additional half-day online webinar, Digging Deeper into Primary Sources 2, on November 20, 2015. The majority of the 198 participants in both conferences were North Dakota public school and academic librarians and classroom teachers. Both webinars focused on demonstrating to K-12 educators how to find and use free primary sources to meet Common Core standards and curriculum goals.
SDSL partnered with a host of regional and state experts and the TPS Western Region to present the online sessions which focused on the educational use of primary sources and highlighted TPS materials. Dr. Peggy O’Neill-Jones, TPS Western Region Director, and Keith Patterson, Project Coordinator, were popular keynote speakers. SDSL evaluated the impact of both online conferences through participant surveys. Results showed that the online webinar format was extremely successful, with 73% of respondents utilizing the Library of Congress website after the conferences. As Jane Healy summarized, “The impact on teaching practice and librarians over the two events was the increased awareness of the depth and variety of primary sources and teacher support materials on the Library of Congress website. Many attendees noted that modeling the use of the site was the most valuable experience. The creation of over 100 lesson plans, programs, and displays …is concrete evidence of this success.”