Thursday, June 29, 2017

This blog is getting a new home!

Starting July 5th, the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog will be updated in its new home at The site is active now, so go ahead and check it out!

This is the final post at this blog address. All new blog posts will be posted only to the new site, so be sure to bookmark it! If you’re currently signed up for email notifications, you’ll continue to receive those email notifications from the new blog. If you’re not signed up for email notifications but would like to be, you can do so here.

In recent years, many great features and updates have taken place at the Department of Public Instruction’s website, so moving the blog into the DPI domain will allow the RL3 and PLD teams to take advantage of those developments while underscoring our status as the state library agency within DPI.

We hope you like the new blog! Please let us know if you have any questions about these changes.

Written by: Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LSTA Budget Update from the Division

Last month, the Division issued a statement about federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding. Since that post, the Division convened a meeting of the LSTA Advisory Committee and received that body’s endorsement of both a revised 2017 LSTA budget and the Division’s 2018-2022 LSTA Five Year Plan for Wisconsin.
Logo celebrated 20 years of the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences

The President’s federal budget includes the elimination of several federal agencies, including the Institute for Museum and Library Services, which administers the LSTA and its the “Grants to States” program.  The revised 2017 budget, acknowledging the uncertainty of future funding, reflects an emphasis on projects with a statewide impact.  As stewards of several funding streams, the Division views public libraries are directly supported at the local and county level. State aid for public library services is directed toward  regional efforts, and federal funding therefore is focused on statewide projects.  If federal LSTA funding continues, the Division will revise the budget and project list in 2018. For now, the following budget has been approved:

2017-18 LSTA Budget: Division for Libraries & Technology

Staff funded by LSTA:

13.70 FTE
Total Salaries:

Total Benefits:

DPI Fixed Costs, Travel:


DPI Administered Projects:

Coding Project:

Learning Express 1/2 Yr

WISCAT (contract less fees)

Database Services (Incl. WorldCat)

Summer Library Program

Youth and Inclusive Services Institutes

Electronic Forms (LibPAS)

New Library Directors Orientation


Grant Awards:

DPLA Participation Support

Library System Technology

Delivery (incl NWLS)

Public Library System Redesign



LSTA 2017 Appropriation:


Estimated 2016 Carry-forward:

Total est. funds available  for April-Sept 2018:


The statement below (shared previously)  provides additional information on the LSTA projects and spending plan:

As administrators of the Institute for Museums and Libraries (IMLS) “Grants to States” program, the Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) is moving forward with plans for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds for 2017 and beyond. While amount and timing of funds from IMLS remains unclear, DLT intends to maximize the federal dollars available to support library services and resources in Wisconsin. Specifically, 2017 LSTA funds will prioritize statewide projects such as Delivery, Digital Public Library of America, and the Public Library System Redesign; competitive grants for local projects will not be funded nor will System Outcome Measurement Support, pending further clarity around the federal FY18 budget that may occur in September. Statewide projects and resources managed by DLT will be funded with modifications to budget and capacity, including: Summer Library Program, the Coding Initiative, New Director Boot Camp, WISCAT, BadgerLink, Wisconsin's Digital Archives, and staffing. This may be the final year of Library System Technology grants, pending other functional analyses being performed by DLT and in consultation with the LSTA Advisory Committee; block grants will be restructured after 2017. As DLT moves forward with the LSTA Plan for 2018-2022, five main goals will be emphasized: Public Library Development through Law, Finance, and Data; Resource Sharing and Collaboration; Youth and Inclusive Services; Community Engagement and Outcome Measurement; and Technology Infrastructure and Services. These goals have been presented to the library community through listening sessions and presentations and will be reviewed by the LSTA Advisory Committee.

For more information about LSTA, visit:

Patron Career Development with LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library (LEL) is an EBSCO resource provided by BadgerLink to all Wisconsin residents. LEL includes 7 different centers, providing different types of content to different user groups, including the Adult Learning Center, Career Center, College Center, College Preparation Center, High School Equivalency Center, Recursos para Hispanohablantes (Resources for Spanish Speakers), and School Center.

LearningExpress Library logo
Image of people in career outfits, including a doctor, firefighter, and 2 business people.
The Career Center is particularly useful for libraries to promote patron career development, and it includes information, ebooks, tests, and tutorials on over 20 career fields and occupational exams, including the following:
  • Allied Health 
  • Air Traffic Control 
  • Commercial Driving 
  • Cosmetology 
  • Culinary Arts 
  • Emergency Medical Services 
  • Firefighting 
  • Homeland Security 
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Postal Work 
  • Nursing 
  • Real Estate 
  • Plumbing 
  • Teaching 
  • Military/ASVAB 

In addition to information about specific careers, LEL provides information on building job search and workplace skills, and preparation resources for the TOEIC and WorkKeys Assessments.

Learn more about how to use LearningExpress Library on the BadgerLink Training page, and feel free to contact the BadgerLink team with any questions. LearningExpress Library and other BadgerLink resources are provided by the Department of Public Instruction and paid for with state funding and federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Written by: Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gail Murray Joins the WISCAT Team!

The Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries and Technology is very pleased to announce
that Gail Murray has accepted the position of WISCAT Technical Coordinator at Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning. She will officially begin transitioning to her new role on Monday, June 26th.

The WISCAT Technical Coordinator is responsible for administering, configuring, supporting and maintaining the statewide Interlibrary Loan platform, comprised of union and virtual library catalogs and an interlibrary loan management system, for use by public library system staff and library staff in public, school, special, and other types of libraries. Gail will also be responsible for compiling and reporting statistics, creating WISCAT documentation, and investigating and implementing enhancements to improve resource sharing in Wisconsin.

Gail has worked for the Department of Public Instruction since June 2015 as the Content Management and Outreach Librarian for the BadgerLink program. In that role, she provided technical support, training, and contributed to the overall vision of the program. Because BadgerLink uses the same underlying software as WISCAT for user authentication and federated searching, Gail is already very familiar with the software and configuration of WISCAT.

Before working at DPI, Gail earned her Master's of Science in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While there, she was a supervisor at the Ikenberry Library as well as working on marketing, outreach, and assessment in the Residence Hall Libraries. She also worked as an outreach intern for electronic resource vendor Credo Reference, where she worked with libraries across the country to increase visibility of their online resources on their websites and discovery layers.

Gail grew up in a small town in central New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at SUNY Binghamton and worked for several years in hospitality and customer support roles while volunteering at local libraries prior to beginning her graduate studies.

Gail will be an outstanding addition to the WISCAT team and will help continue to improve resource sharing in libraries throughout Wisconsin. Please join me in welcoming her to this new role!

Gail can be reached at (608)224-5394,

Written by: Ben Miller, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Wisconsin Heat Vulnerability Indices

Thermometer indicating rising temperatures outside
Courtesy of Pixabay
The Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services collects data related to population density, health factors, natural and built environments, and demographic and socioeconomic factors to track negative impacts extreme heat can have on vulnerable populations such as elderly populations, socially isolated people and those with pre-existing chronic conditions. This data is used to create heat vulnerability indices (HVI) to identify areas of greatest risk for negative health impacts due to extreme heat for the entire state of Wisconsin, by county and for the greater Milwaukee urban area.

The heat vulnerability indices are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives along with other resources related to managing extreme heat:

Learn more about how data is collected for the heat vulnerability indices and other heat-related health and safety tips.

Post written by:
Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Library of the Month: Hurley School District

The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team
Main entrance of the Hurley School District
Courtesy of Hurley School District

The Hurley School District has 571 students and since January 2017, there have been more than 5,000 visits to BadgerLink from Hurley School District website! So we reached out to find out what they were doing.

Hurley School District is located in the township of Kimball and serves residents in the cities of Hurley and Montreal, and the Towns of Anderson, Carey, Gurney, Kimball, Knight, Oma and Saxon. Serving such a large region can pose difficulties, but also allows for a variety of educational field trips within their 468 square mile service area. Recently students have learned new things with visits to the Iron County Historical Society and Museum, North Lakeland Discovery Center, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, and Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department.

Varsity football player reads to 2 fourth graders
Team Read, Courtesy of Hurley School District
The Hurley School District finds ways to make learning fun and connect with the community. This year Hurley held a read-a-thon in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Together the elementary school read for 91,591 minutes! Also in support of literacy, Hurley hosted “Team Read” sessions and varsity football players read with 4th graders. The Senior to Senior Tech Class reached out to senior citizens in the community and gave them an opportunity to learn the basics about computers from the school's resident experts, the senior class.

Students teach senior citizens how to use computers
Senior to Senior Tech Class,
Courtesy of Hurley School District
The library is a hub of technology learning. Each library has a computer lab for students to use in addition to the district's 9 laptop carts and 2 iPad carts. Additionally, the High School students each have their own laptop. All students, pre-kindergarten through high school, spend time in the library learning about technology and developing digital literacy skills.

This spring, high school students put their digital literacy skills to the test when they were assigned in-depth research projects. Evaluating the credibility of resources and their information is vital to any research project. Freshman searched for information on influential people in U.S. history, while the sophomores researched controversial court cases throughout U.S. history, and the seniors researched potential careers. Students relied heavily on BadgerLink’s reliable resources to research their topics.

The last day of school for students was June 2nd. We hope staff and students have a great summer break! We send a huge thank you to Hurley School District for using BadgerLink!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Día de los Niños at Waukesha Public Library

The Youth and Inclusive Services System Continuing Education Projects are a great example of collaboration on state, regional, and local levels. Using LSTA funds, the Public Library Development team assisted multiple regional library systems in offering face-to-face continuing education events including mini-grants for attendees. The South Eastern Wisconsin (SEWI) system consortium and Winnefox Library System partnered on a project that focused on inclusive library services for children and families. The Waukesha Public Library, a member of the Bridges Library System, participated in an in-person workshop and applied for a mini-grant to increase outreach to the Hispanic community in Waukesha. What follows is a summary of the event, by Michele Gagner, Children's Services Library Associate.
Kids and families doing cultural crafts at the library
Families enjoyed the Día de los Niños event,
supported with LSTA funds, at the Waukesha Public Library.

Waukesha Public Library's Día de los Niños program, generously funded by the LSTA Mini-Grant, was held April 29, 2017. The program was a great success!  Along with the Spanish language and bilingual books and cultural craft project supplies funded by the grant, we also involved community partners - three local businesses contributed food and gift cards to purchase refreshments and supplies, two musical ensembles featuring school-aged kids performed, and local agencies and community partners assisted us with marketing and provided Spanish-speaking volunteers.  About 250 children and adults attended, well exceeding our goal of 100-150.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team