Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

First things first, this issue is sponsored by What Sara Said.

  • What Sara Said Founder Sara Gillis works with creative business owners to create copy that's word magic. Right now, she's offering a free Must-Have Copy video series, which will teach you how to write six pieces of strategic sales copy to distinguish you in your market, endear you to your audience, and book more clients. Find that resource here.

Weather check: Warm and springy!

This week, you'll get a look at how libraries are future-proofing their physical locations with new offerings for the community. You'll also learn about the growing popularity of soccer in the Sioux Falls community, and we'll meet some women supporting women through infertility.

And now, news:


How libraries are planning for the future

Simplified: Siouxland Libraries are planning for a future where libraries are used less for checking out physical copies of books and more as community gathering spaces. Here's a look at what changes could be coming in the next several years.

Library study rooms

Why it matters

  • Siouxland Libraries Director Jodi Fick said she sees the future of libraries as focusing less on consumption of materials – i.e. checking out physical copies of books – and more about creating through things like makerspaces, writing groups, podcasting studios and more.
  • That's not to say folks aren't checking out books anymore. Siouxland Libraries has a higher circulation per capita than both the state and nation, but, in the last five years, the library is seeing fewer overall visits.
  • Those that do visit are coming less for the books more for the structured programming and for the study or meeting rooms.
  • The system is looking to evolve in a couple of key ways: by establishing libraries as community gathering spaces, and by upping the focus on supporting young readers.
"A library is not about the books," Fick said. "It's about the sharing of information. It's about the passing on of knowledge. It is a community saying, 'We care enough about our community that we are going to make sure there are resources here for my family and for my neighbor's family."

Tell me more about some of the future plans

And learn about a new program for kids.


Why more Sioux Falls kids are playing soccer

Simplified: Sioux Falls is seeing hundreds more kids playing soccer, and it's largely thanks to community-focused nonprofits making the sport accessible across town.

Why it matters

  • Groups like Sioux Falls Neighborhood Soccer and Atlas Academy have sprung up in the last several years in an effort to both create community and give kids an opportunity to play the sport regardless of their socioeconomic status.
  • Soccer is also seeing more support from local governments. The Sioux Falls School District added soccer for eighth graders this year, and Mayor Paul TenHaken recently announced plans for at least one new soccer "mini-pitch" – a small, enclosed soccer pitch that'll take the place of an existing underused tennis court at Terrace Park.
  • Soccer is a relatively easy sport to make accessible and affordable – especially because all a person really needs to get started are shin guards, a ball and green space, said Leo Diaz, founder of Atlas Academy. And it doesn't hurt that it's the most popular sport worldwide.
"Soccer is a language to a lot of these kids," Diaz said. "So when you give them a ball and an opportunity to play in green space, they go after it."

Tell me more about how soccer has grown

Find the full story here.


Understand housing needs (and solutions) at this two-day event

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

Simplified: The Sioux Metro Growth Alliance's 2023 Growth Summit will focus on filling the housing gap in our community. Here's what you need to know.

Why it matters

  • We all know the region needs more housing – especially as the number of people and businesses only continues to grow. But, the reality is that growth comes at a cost. With more people comes the need for more planning, infrastructure, utilities and more.
  • The Growth Summit – Filling the Housing Gap is designed to look at these costs, dig deep into the challenges of regional housing needs, explore practical solutions and even leave you with ways to take action moving forward.
  • In past years, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance has hosted a multi-day "Grow Smarter" conference. This year, the organization is repackaging the event into a tighter schedule focused solely on one topic: housing.
"We want the focus to be very specific so that no matter what size community you're coming from, what size budget you have or what level of readiness you're at, you leave the summit with a way to take action," SMGA President and CEO Jesse Fonkert said.

Tell me more about the event

Get the details on the schedule and how to get tickets here.


Super Simplified Stories

  • Changes at the Pavilion. The Kirby Science Discovery Center has a new traveling exhibit called "Building Buddies" focused on completing home projects. Meanwhile, as of May 1 both the CineDome and the kids water playroom will be under construction. The new immersive water experience is expected to open in June or July, and the new planetarium (replacing the CineDome) is expected to open late summer.
  • Lennox voters to decide on high school expansion. The Lennox School District is asking voters to approve a bond to fund a $17.3 million expansion to the high school. It'll add a new performing arts center, an auxiliary gym, a larger weight room, locker rooms and more kitchen/cafeteria space. Election day is May 9. Learn more details here.
  • Hotel-ready in Harrisburg. A study commissioned by the Harrisburg Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) showed that the city of Harrisburg could sustain an upper midscale hotel, according to a news release. Learn about that and more at the Heart of Harrisburg annual meeting this week.
  • Get a faster certificate. You can now earn a Community Health Worker certificate in as few as eight weeks, thanks to a new program at Southeast Tech, the college announced last week. Details here.


Meet two women supporting couples through infertility

Simplified: Infertility can be a long and lonely journey for couples looking to start a family. That's why two Sioux Falls women – who've been there themselves – are working to make couples on that journey feel a little less alone. Meet Kelsey Lesnar and Jennifer Eisenzimmer.

Why it matters

  • Lesnar and Eisenzimmer have been friends since kindergarten, so they've seen each other through many of life's challenges – including their individual infertility journeys.
  • Both women have healthy toddlers now, and over the past year they've been working to offer support to other couples who are facing infertility. They began giving out gift bags last year, and they're doing it again this week at Sanford in recognition of Infertility Awareness Week.
  • Infertility isn't something people often openly discuss – often because it's such a personal topic but also because there's a stigma around it, Lesnar said. She's found that by sharing her experience, she's seeing more people open up about their own infertility stories.
"It's more common than people think – it's just not talked about," she said. "That's why we need to bring awareness to it."

Tell me more about the gift bags

And hear from someone who's been there how best to support a friend dealing with infertility.


What I'm falling for this week:

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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or bicycle repair tips to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, Selah Space and Silverstar Car Wash. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

Special thanks to What Sara Said!

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