This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

Simplified: Siouxland Libraries has a long history of serving the rural communities in the Sioux Metro. Now, they're expanding services and programming to make it even easier for people in the region to take advantage of library resources.

Why it matters

  • The Sioux Falls public library merged with the Minnehaha County rural library system back in 1995 in order to share one computer system. After realizing that books and materials could be shared between the two systems, the two groups merged to form Siouxland Libraries.
  • In the decades since, both the city and county have grown tremendously, and with that the library systems have grown, too. Library Director Jodi Fick said they system now adds between 35,000 and 40,000 materials annually.
  • With that growth Siouxland Libraries is also finding innovative ways to support rural communities with its expanded access program – in which library card holders can go to the library even when there's no staff present. That program will be expanding to more rural branches this year.
  • That also means that people across the Sioux Metro can easily access up to 2 million physical and digital library resources.
"Basically our entire system is based on how we can give the taxpayer more bang for their buck," Fick said.

Tell me more about expanded access

Right now, expanded access is available in the Hartford and Crooks library branches, and it's been a very popular program, Fick said.

  • About 1 in 6 people using the Hartford library are coming in outside of staffed hours, and in Crooks, the number is 1 in 4.

In 2024, expanded access will be added in Baltic, Colton, Garretson and Humboldt branches.

What else is new?

Along with expanded access, Siouxland Libraries also added storytime for kids at all rural branch locations.

Two branches – Hartford and Garretson – will also see physical changes.

  • In Hartford, the library system and the community are partnering together to install a permanent "book walk," in which people walk along a path and can read a large-scale version of a storybook.
  • The Garretson community is working with the library on a remodel, with more details to come later in the year.
"Libraries play a critical role in adding to the quality of life in our region," said Tyler Tordsen, president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. "It's great to see communities working to support the library system, as well as seeing the library respond to the needs of our ever-growing population."