Thursday, May 25, 2017

Inclusive Services: A Statement from the Division of Libraries & Technology

Statue of Liberty with collage of synonyms for welcome
Libraries are welcoming beacons for all
For the past year or so, I have made a few posts about inclusive services in Wisconsin public libraries. These posts include:

Inclusive library service is an evolving theory and practice. Many elements are not new; e.g., public libraries as a free and democratic institution, while other elements are more contemporary; e.g., gender identity options on library card applications. For me, my role as a statewide consultant has evolved from a focus on exceptions; e.g. services to special populations, to an emphasis on the exemplar; e.g. libraries are for everyone. 

The prominence of equity as a foundation for inclusive services is directly tied to the mission of my team and the leadership of our agency. The Public Library Development Team (PLDT) provides leadership, advocacy, assis­tance, planning, coordination, and funding for the improvement of public libraries and public library systems so that all Wisconsin residents have equitable access to information. (Italics my own.)

The Wisconsin State Library Agency is an integral part of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). State Superintendent Tony Evers, alongside The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), released Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs, a series of commitments for state education agencies to consider to positively impact educational equity.
In consideration of the evolution of inclusive services and the future focus on equity in Wisconsin public schools and libraries, the Division for Libraries and Technology is proud to release a statement defining What Does It Mean to Be Inclusive?. This statement was developed by Wisconsin public library and system staff, PLDT staff, and DPI staff. It is our hope that this statement will provide direction and purpose for future efforts of Wisconsin public libraries, regional systems, and the state library agency. We expect that this statement will be a foundational component of training and resource development in the months and years ahead.

Please read, share, and discuss this statement with your staff, board, and colleagues. As the statement identifies, "Wisconsin public libraries serve everyone, and it is the duty of everyone in the service of Wisconsin public libraries to foster inclusivity."

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

LSTA Funding Update & Public Hearing

Everyone is aware that the federal legislative budgeting environment in Washington D.C. following the President’s proposed budget recommendations is tenuous.  This means that the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grants to States Program,Wisconsin's source of Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding for libraries and library systems, is jeopardized.

The Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) administers the LSTA funds and aims to convey to the plan to address priorities of statewide service to the library community.

Basic Statement

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 (DPLA), and the Public Library System Redesign (PLSR); 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.

This statement will be posted on the LSTA web page.

LSTA Public Hearing Announcement
The LSTA Advisory Committee, appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will discuss the 2018-2022 LSTA Plan for Wisconsin and budget amounts for LSTA projects. The committee will meet at the DeForest Public Library on Thursday, June 1, 2017. As part of the meeting, a public hearing will be held starting at 10:00 a.m. to allow interested persons to testify on the LSTA plan and priorities. If you cannot attend the meeting and would like to contribute testimony to be considered at the hearing, please email Terrie Howe ( by 12:00 noon Tuesday, May 30, 2017 OR call (608) 266-2413.

Written by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Trout Fishing in Wisconsin

The general trout fishing season begins on the first Saturday of May. If you're one of the many people who will be heading out to get a fishing license and an inland trout stamp to legally fish for trout, you might be surprised to learn more about what a big economic impact trout fishing has in Wisconsin.

According to a recent article in the La Crosse Tribune, trout fishing has a significant impact on the economies of the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The Driftless Area is primarily southwestern Wisconsin and includes southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

The article reports on a recent study,  Economic Impact of Recreational Trout Angling in the Driftless Area, commissioned by Trout Unlimited from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse economics professor Donna Anderson. The study finds that trout fishing generates about $952 million a year in the Driftless Area, supporting local economies that have embraced the tourist trade. Anglers are drawn to the Driftless Area because of habitat restoration and preservation efforts that make the location more desirable for trout fishing. The study goes into great detail about the economic impact and demographics of the anglers contributing to what some refer to as "healthy trout economies."

Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations 2017-2018 image of cover
Courtesy of the WI DNR
Before you get ready to grab your tackle box and head out to the stream, let us direct you to a few useful resources you'll find in the Wisconsin Digital Archives that will help you have a more successful fishing trip.

For more information about trout fishing and regulations, visit the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources webpage.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

4th Annual Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference

Guest Post by Margaret Chambers, Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois

Harnessing the winds of change

Join your resource sharing colleagues in Oak Brook, IL on June 8-9 for the 4th Annual Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference on June 8-9, 2017. Register by May 26 to take advantage of the early registration fee of $95.

This conference is designed to support resource sharing efforts in public and academic libraries throughout the region and offers a cost-effective way to gather ideas for collaboration, marketing, streamlining workflows, and staying on top of changes in resource sharing.

Sessions will include:

· Cross-Training Established Staff in Interlibrary Loan Procedures

· Enriching Your Wealth of Resource by Marketing ILL

· Talk Amongst Yourselves: Improving System-to-System Communication to Speed Request Processing

· People Can Make the Difference: Staff Roles in Resource Marketing and Education

· Trying to Jump-Start Collaborative Collection Development: Finding Simple Methods for Effective Cooperation

Corey Seeman, Director of Kresge Library Services (Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and manager of A Library Writer’s Blog, will deliver the keynote address: History Has Its Eyes on You: Lighthouses and Libraries Weathering Storms of Change.

To register, or for more information, visit the conference website.

Written by:
Margaret Chambers
Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Library of the Month: Wilson Junior High School Library

The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

Students hanging out in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
The BadgerLink team recently noticed a lot of visits to our website from the Wilson Junior High Library’s LibGuide. So we reached out to find out what they were doing. As it happens, the LibGuide is very heavily used in the school to direct students and staff to great online resources. So far this school year, Wilson’s LibGuide has been accessed more than 56,000 times which is huge for a school of 575 students!

Wilson is one of two junior high schools in the Manitowoc Public School District. Built in the1930’s, the Wilson library was renovated four years ago. The library layout changed to allow for group work, a maker space, and a TV studio. Since the renovation, the library has become a hub of inquiry and independent study. In addition to use during the school day, the library is used for staff meetings, parent meetings, and a space for students to gather before school to hang out and relax.

Students working in groups in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
In the mornings on Tuesdays through Friday all students participate in 30 minutes of Hawk Time, which is when students may receive additional help from their teachers, participate in enrichment activities in the library, or have silent reading time. Recently, as an enrichment activity, students began recording segments for a new program for station WJHS. Students meet on Tuesdays and Fridays to prepare and video tape for their new program. This enrichment allows students to learn reporting and filming techniques using equipment in the designated library area studio.

Ellen working with a student in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
The library is also a space to learn about technology. Classes come to the library’s computer lab to use Microsoft Suite programs and other important computer programs. Soon, a SMART Board will be installed in the lab for additional instructional space. To support students’ digital literacy, library staff use ISTE standards to teach to how to be successful in the digital age. The librarian, Ellen Reinertson, works closely with teachers to facilitate learning. Teachers often refer to Reinertson’s expertise when teaching research skills or designing a project. For next school year, there will be a designated maker space in the library to allow students an opportunity to explore and create.

Student working independently on her computer in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
Wilson Junior High School celebrated National Library week with staff and students. A golden ticket was hidden in one of the books in the library. Students were given clues which required them to use the LibGuide, Destiny Catalog, BadgerLink, and other library resources to find the correct book with the hidden ticket. Another scavenger hunt activity got teachers involved. Staff wrote a clue about their favorite book and placed it outside of their room. Students matched the book to the teacher to win a prize. Additionally, a new “Book Trailer” section was added to the LibGuide and the library hosted 500 students for selection of books and independent reading. It was a fun-filled week!

The library is a busy place! Thanks to Ellen Reinertson for her support of BadgerLink and for giving us a glimpse into the Wilson library, and here’s to a successful rest of the school year!

Written by:
Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dispatches from DPLAfest

In late April, 350 librarians, archivists, educators, developers, and scholars convened at the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago for the 4th DPLAfest, a 2-day gathering of individuals doing work related to the national platform of digital collections that is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  This year’s DPLAfest was sponsored by Chicago Public Library, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).  DPLA is a single interface where users can search a wide range of digital collections from institutions across the country, from large libraries like the New York Public Library to smaller local organizations like the Mineral Point Historical Society in Wisconsin. Speakers and attendees included representatives from state, public, academic, and K-12 libraries across the country, vendor and non profit organization representatives, and international attendees representing their region’s versions of aggregated digital collections, such as Trove in Australia and Europeana in the European Union.
Outgoing DPLA executive director Dan Cohen addresses
attendees in the Winter Garden. Photo via DPLA Flickr
Programs covered a broad range of topics, including the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), access issues, using digital collections in K-12 classrooms, measuring the social impact of library programs and services, and cultivating partnerships across institutions and sectors. The gathering offered attendees the opportunity to connect with representatives from other states who are at varying stages of involvement in DPLA, some longstanding and some just coming on board. The full schedule can be found here, with descriptions for each session, including presentation slides for many sessions. (Author’s notes from attended sessions can be found here).

photo of white flowers in a field
Wildflowers near Moen Lake, WI 1970
From the National Archives at College Park
While the conference covered broad issues and developments in digital collections and related resources, a central theme that emerged was that of relationship-building, between institutions and organizations, communities and resources, and professionals who attended. A representative from the Georgia Library Service’s HomePLACE described it best when speaking about her program as “both a relationship and a resource.” This can be said about Wisconsin’s DPLA service hub as well.

red and white bookmobile
Postcard: Bookmobile, Madison WI
From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Wisconsin Service Hub of the DPLA is a joint project of the Milwaukee Public Library, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, WiLS, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Marquette University, and it builds upon and draws from the Recollection Wisconsin statewide digital collections program. These organizations work together to ensure that Wisconsin’s rich history is accessible online to all, drawing from collections from 66 contributing institutions across Wisconsin.
For example, a search for Trempealau, a place name unique to Wisconsin, returns over 820 results from 36 institutions across the country, including a majority from Wisconsin organizations. These results include a 1975 radio show recording about Trempealau County via the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a 1961 supper club menu from Wason’s in Galesville held by the Culinary Institute of America, and scans of a WWII diary from a rural Wisconsin farm boy who became a soldier and bronze star recipient, from a collection owned by the La Crosse County Historical Society.
Front page of dinner menu showing photograph of restaurant
Wason's Supper Club Menu, 1961
From the Culinary Institute of America
Through stewardship of cultural heritage resources, and through collaboration and vision, DPLA and its many state and regional hubs enables the public to connect with resources that may otherwise be inaccessible. DPLA is both an invaluable resource on the basis of the vast collections it enables access to, and a network of crucial relationships among collaborating institutions all working to expand the reach of our nation’s cultural heritage collections.

For more first-hand accounts of DPLAfest, check out DPLA's Storify, a collection of tweets from event attendees.

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May Is Summer Library Program Launch Month

Children's Theme Artwork
Children's Theme Artwork
For public libraries that host a summer library program, May is often a busy month of finalizing details, organizing materials, and conducting outreach visits. These visits, often in the form of elementary classroom appearances or informative skits to group audiences, help build excitement for summer programming. They are also usually the first of many high-energy summer events produced by youth services staff.

Teen Theme Artwork
Teen Theme Artwork
Summer library, or summer reading, programs have a long history in Wisconsin. Check out Evolution of a Summer Library Program white paper by Carissa Christner to learn about past themes and artwork as well as collaborative efforts in Wisconsin and nationally. Today, Wisconsin participates in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP).  CSLP is a consortium of states working together to provide a unified summer reading theme along with professional art and evidence-based materials so that member libraries can provide high-quality summer reading programs at the lowest possible cost and to play a significant role in literacy initiatives. 

Adult Theme Artwork
Adult Theme Artwork
Using LSTA funds, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction purchases a statewide membership so that all Wisconsin public libraries can access CSLP materials for the annual program. The all-ages theme for 2017 is "Build a Better World." Artwork and future themes and slogans can be found on the Wisconsin Summer Reading Program webpage. The BadgerLink Team created a suite of ready-to-go activities for kids, teens, and adults using BadgerLink resources. Additionally, there are two Top Ten documents to help library staff and families make the most of summer reading programs. 

Best of luck to all Wisconsin public libraries who are working hard to Build a Better World!

Written by:

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team