Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Back to School with Google Classroom in EBSCO and LitFinder

BadgerLink resources EBSCO and LitFinder now offer one-click Google Classroom functionality, making it easier than ever for educators to share reputable content with their students.

Google Classroom is a free web-based platform that allows educators to integrate their Google Apps for Education account with other Google Apps services, including Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar. Classroom provides educators with an easy way to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized.

The BadgerLink team, in cooperation with the content vendors, have put together some tip sheets  to help educators use this valuable resource:

Are you already using BadgerLink resources with Google Classroom? Do you have other ideas for using BadgerLink in the classroom? Share your success stories with us!

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Flags at half-staff

Guest Post written by: Beth Harper

United States flag at half-staff
Courtesy of Pixabay
There have been many occasions recently that the U.S. has been flying its flags at half-staff. According to USA.gov's page on the American flag, the U.S. flag flies at half-staff when the nation is in mourning. These periods of mourning occur by Presidential proclamation.

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs has a page on Flag-Lowering Orders in Wisconsin. Not only does it give the current flag status and explain under what situations the flag is lowered, it also lists US and state flag lowering proclamations going back to 2009.

Guest Post written by: Beth Harper, Government Information/Reference Librarian, UW Madison

Monday, August 22, 2016

New & Improved BadgerLink Lesson Plans

One of the most common feedback BadgerLink staff get from educators is that it takes too much prep time to begin using BadgerLink in the classroom. In response, the BadgerLink team created lesson plans that allow educators to easily incorporate BadgerLink into their curriculum. The lesson plans cite national and state standards for a variety of subject areas and use ideas and concepts that teachers already teach.

Presented in a Google Docs format, you can now access 6 BadgerLink Lesson Plans from the BadgerLink website.

UPDATED Lesson Plans

Back in 2014, the BadgerLink team presented 4 lesson plans at the WEMTA conference. In this new release, we decided to nix a lesson plan that was no longer relevant and update the existing plans.

Analyze and Respond to Novels

In this lesson plan, students will use BadgerLink to analyze and respond to a novel.

Supporting Materials:

Scavenger Hunt

In this lesson plan, students will use BadgerLink to complete a the BadgerLink Scavenger Hunt.

Supporting Materials:

Wikipedia Vs. Encyclopedia

In this lesson plan plan, students compare Wikipedia to Britannica School (available through BadgerLink).

Supporting Materials:

NEW Lesson Plans

We wanted educators to know that BadgerLink seamlessly can be incorporated into every subject, not just the English Language Arts classroom.

Persuasive Letter

In this lesson plan, students gather information about a controversial topic, develop a stance on the topic, and then write a persuasive communication (letter, email, etc).

Supporting Materials:

Practice ACT Tests

In this lesson plan, students will use practice tests and ebooks to learn content and test taking skills for the ACT test by using LearningExpress Library College Preparation Center, available through BadgerLink.

Supporting Materials:

Time Travel Tribune

In this lesson plan, students are contributing columnists to the Time Travel Tribune.

Supporting Materials:


All of our supplemental materials (lesson plans, research guide, Google Slides) were created because an educator suggested it. Please let us know how we can help you!

Do you have a lesson plan that incorporates BadgerLink? Do you have an idea for using BadgerLink in the classroom? Share your successes with us!

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

For Whom Library Use is Difficult, Limited, or Minimized

In my last post, I discussed what it means to be inclusive. Here at DPI, we have been actively discussing Statute 43.24(2)(k) Promotion and facilitation of library service to users with special needs. In addition, inclusive services are emphasized in the 2017 LSTA Information & Guidelines in the "Serving Special Populations" category. 

Image of a human figure climbing over rocks
Using the library can be an unnecessary struggle (Pixabay)
The Division of Libraries and Technology interprets services to users with special needs as inclusive services. Inclusive library services are holistic, spanning library policies, collections, space, and services. Inclusive services reflect equity and accessibility for all members of the community, including services to individuals or groups for whom using the public library is difficult, limited, or minimized. This post will explore this terminology and offer resources for additional food for thought.

What do we mean by "difficult, limited, or minimized"? First, identifying special populations depends on each community; an individual or group whose use of the library might be compromised in one locale might look very different elsewhere. Second, library access and inclusion might be a temporary or ongoing issue. Here are some examples:

  • Neighborhood residents find it difficult to access a branch of the public library during road construction when no outreach or alternate services have been identified
  • An individual finds it difficult to apply for a library card because of literacy and/or language barriers 
  • Infrequent evening and weekend programs make attendance by working families at youth programs limited
  • Lack of flexible library account types (such as short-term resident or visitor cards) and/or fine and fee structures limit library use by members of the public for various reasons
  • A parent of a transgender teen finds minimal resources on gender identity in the library collection because materials are not readily identifiable through the catalog or on the shelves.
  • A group of immigrants received mixed messages about library services and therefore feels unsure about English classes offered at the library through the local literacy council
Playmobil figures standing around a table
Community engagement invites everyone
to come to the table (Pixabay)
In all of these examples, individuals and groups likely felt frustrated, misunderstood, or excluded by the library. These messages are often felt or experienced before even stepping foot in the library. This is why community engagement--connecting with leaders, individuals, and groups--in your village/town/city is critical.

The grants available through the Serving Special Populations category offer financial support for community engagement on matters of inclusion. Please consider applying for a planning grant or a project grant to improve literacy services or access to information. We await your grant application!

The following sampling of resources offer various ways in which you might identify and respond to specific needs in your community. 
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

DPI Managed Projects & LSTA Information

This post may look familiar to you since it was published on a Monday, known at DLT as an "extra" post day, over a week ago.  It is being republished with additional links to important information, in the event that anyone missed the first post, and to let you know what is not in the LSTA Information and Guidelines. This year, as in 2016, the DPI Managed Projects and Resources 2017
LSTA Division for Libraries and Technology, Managed Projects and Resources 2017
is located in a separate document to eliminate confusion with non-competitive and competitive grant projects.  

LSTA Information and Guidelines for Wisconsin 2017
.pdf is now posted on the LSTA web page. The Table of Contents has clickable links to chapters, category information, and examples of documents for the upcoming application and evaluations.

The 2017 LSTA Application form is now open and accepting applications.  All applications are due October 14, 2016 by 4:30 p.m.

Chapter three is a calendar for the 2017 grant year. Depending upon the U.S. Congressional allocation of funds to the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), this will be the second round of the “new” grant cycle beginning April 2017 and ending March 2018.

Grant category consultation (Chapter 4) is divided up into more general, technology, and special services/inclusive categories. Please feel free to contact us with questions after you’ve had a chance to read through the document. Formal “training” for LSTA applicants is not scheduled this year. Please contact consultants with questions. Those awarded grants are required to attend a training following notification of the award in March 2017.

Chapter five (5) is the Need to Know section where you will notice brief explanations about items that apply to all subaward applicants, as well as additional links to FAQs located on the general FAQ about LSTA Grant Applications and Awards. The FAQ is linked on the Public Library Development website’s left navigation menu that will expand to show several other FAQs for:
New this year is reference to “partnerships/collaboration” with an example of a memorandum of understanding. It is an example of a document that can be used by applicants as a contract to document the collaborative arrangement between partners.

Category requirements in Chapter Six (6) are those items that apply to all 2017 categories.

Chapter 7 describes whether a category is competitive or non-competitive, the individual requirements of each beginning with Technology categories, and eligible applicants for each. Category information provides a purpose and funding level for which eligible applicants can apply.

The application instructions chapter contains a Word document template that you can download to your computer for the construction of answers to application sections, before copying and pasting into the actual application form. There is also a spreadsheet template for the budget section that can be downloaded to your computer for help creating your project’s budget.

There are application, six-month evaluation, and final evaluation examples in separate chapters, and a section devoted to the review of applications and notification of award process.

Written by
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Library of the Month: Wisconsin's DPLA Service Hub

The BadgerLink Team highlights a Wisconsin library each month as the BadgerLink Library of the Month. In the past, we have highlighted many public and school libraries, but this month we are excited to share a new development in the Wisconsin library community that is completely online and accessible to all. This month, we are recognizing the newly-launched Wisconsin service hub of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The Wisconsin service hub went live on August 3, 2016, after nearly three years of planning and preparation, and now provides free and easy access to Wisconsin’s digital collections.

Black and white photo of children standing outside a bookmobile parked in front of a small schoolhouse
Marathon County Library Service Bookmobile at Granite School in about 1950
Photo courtesy of the Marathon County Public Library
Link to item in DPLA
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.  The BadgerLink Team connected with WiLS’ Emily Pfotenhauer, the program manager for Recollection Wisconsin and the service hub, who shared the story of how the hub came to be, and what’s on the horizon.

So what is DPLA, and what is a service hub? DPLA provides cultural organizations large and small with a way to provide access to their digitized cultural heritage resources through one single platform. Images remain hosted locally by libraries, historical societies, colleges, and universities, while the metadata from each item is ingested by DPLA, providing users with a powerful way to search across all available collections nationwide. DPLA uses a “pond to lake to ocean” analogy to describe the relationship of DPLA to cultural heritage institutions and service hubs: Content from local “ponds” like libraries and archives is sent through streams to a “lake,” which is the service hub, and then from there through a river and to the “ocean” that is DPLA.

Infographic illustrating relationship between institutions, Recollection Wisconsin, and DPLA
Image provided by Recollection Wisconsin
The “stream” that brings content from local organizations to the service hub is, in part, a new metadata aggregator that was created especially for this ongoing project by the Shared Development Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System. This new aggregator has allowed the amount of data harvested by Recollection Wisconsin to nearly double.  Unlike the Recollection Wisconsin portal, which offers access to Wisconsin-based collections that are specifically about Wisconsin history and culture, the DPLA service hub aggregator brings together Wisconsin-based collections on any topic.  This will provide greater access to many Wisconsin-based collections that are not about Wisconsin, like Wisconsin Historical Society’s Freedom Summer collection, faculty research from colleges and universities, and more.

Photo of branch library with red car parked in front
Marathon County Public Library - Unity Branch ca. 1992
Photo courtesy of the Marathon county Public Library
Link to item in DPLA
While 19 other states have already established service hubs, Wisconsin’s hub is starting out as the 5th largest in size, offering almost 400,000 records from 185 collections.  Pfotenhauer explained that despite having an established statewide digital collections program already in place, connecting with existing DPLA service hubs was crucial for getting the Wisconsin hub off the ground. Some influential hubs who provided advice during the planning process included the Empire State Digital Network in New York, the South Carolina Digital Library, and the Minnesota Digital Library.  

Black and white photo of students studying in the library
Library at UW Marathon County ca. 1980
Photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County
Link to item in DPLA
Wisconsin’s partnership with DPLA represents a commitment among participating Wisconsin institutions to supporting a national digital network for accessing and sharing cultural heritage resources. As described in the 2014 Aspen Report on Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, a local platform “must be connected across a shared platform in which libraries can coalesce to work—a network of libraries and other knowledge institutions. ...This digital platform would be a network of federated public libraries and other knowledge-creating institutions, with central hubs for the purpose of connecting but local autonomy and control over the platform itself.” Cheers to the Wisconsin DPLA service hub and all people and institutions involved for rising to the challenge of promoting Wisconsin’s rich cultural heritage to the nation and the world!

Check out resources from Wisconsin libraries and archives in DPLA here, and visit recollectionwisconsin.org/dpla to learn more about the service hub.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

LSTA 2017 - Technology Categories

It is LSTA grant time again! The 2017 LSTA Information & Guidelines and application form were recently released. The primary purposes of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in Wisconsin are:
  • Utilization of technology to improve library services
  • Convenient access and quality library services for all residents
  • Support the equalization of access to information and lifelong learning resources
Group of patrons in front of 3D printer inside the New London Public Library
Crowd in front of 3D printer at New London Public Library
In the 2017 LSTA Information and Guidelines the Need to Know section breaks down important information pertinent to all applicants, covering allowable and unallowable costs, DUNS numbers, CIPA information, and more. The Category Requirements list the general requirements that affects every category. 

The following grant categories are available under Technology:
  • Content Creation (eligible applicants: libraries and systems) - Previously titled Digital Creation, the purpose of this category is to help libraries get equipment and supplies that will allow unique production of local information in a collaborative learning environment by the community. Libraries can provide its communities help to create content for everyone to enjoy. Examples of previous projects include the following:
    • Mobile Makerspace Lab
    • Digital Media Conversion Lab
    • Creation Station
  • Digitization of Library Historical Material (eligible applicants: libraries and systems) - The purpose of this category is to increase the online access to historical materials found in Wisconsin libraries, with a focus on quality, accessibility, interoperability, and sustainability. Wisconsin libraries often have the historical stories of its community, and these projects help share those stories. Examples of previous projects include the following:
    • Historical Place and Name Index Digital Imaging
    • Digitization of Historic Newspapers
    • Memory Project
  • Library System Technology (eligible applicant: systems) - The purpose of this category is help support regional library systems' technology projects. Examples of previous projects include the following:
    • ILS Discovery Layer
    • Mobile Makerspace for all libraries in the system to use
    • Mobile digitization kits for all libraries in the system to use
  • Outcome Measurement Support (eligible applicant: systems) - This is the first year this category is offered. The purpose of this category is two-fold: Help libraries in systems to step away from manual and time consuming count of services and visits, and to plan, understand, and utilize data on a local level through training and tools. Examples of potential projects include the following:
    • Door counters
    • Workshop on outcome measurement
    • Session on data collection at a conference
    • Data survey software
More information about all categories can be found in the 2017 LSTA Information & Guidelines

Each year Wisconsin libraries and systems produce fantastic projects that benefit the communities throughout the state. We look forward to seeing what will be produced in the coming year. If you have any questions about the LSTA Technology grant categories, please contact Ryan Claringbole by email or call (608) 266-9534. Deadline for applications is Friday, October 14th at 4:30 p.m. 

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team