Friday, February 27, 2015

News On the Fives: Wisconsin Library History

Larry Nix, who served Wisconsin Public Libraries in my position up until 2003, is now known as the Library History Buff, but also for volunteering his time and knowledge to the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, "promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin."

image from postcard of Elroy Public Library following an ice storm in 1922
Postcard from Larry Nix's collection depicting the Elroy
Public Library following an ice storm in 1922
Miss Titcomb's Library Wagon, a plate in the September 1905 issue
Miss Titcomb's Library Wagon, a
plate in the September 1905 issue

The latest blog post serves as a reminder that we have an opportunity to celebrate some history: 120th years since Wisconsin established the Free Library Commission (the predecessor of the Division for Libraries and Technology), and 110 years since the first issue of its publication, The Wisconsin Library Bulletin, was issued. And Larry's post also directs us to the digital copy of the first issue that is available on the Haithi Trust site.

Browsing just that first issue points out some drastic changes...but also some remarkable similarities. For instance, the state agency felt the need to point out how new technology could be used in libraries. The article "Lantern Slide Exhibits for Public Libraries" discussed how "lantern slides" (slide projectors) could be used for programs exhibiting travel pictures to "stimulate interest in new subjects [that] are proper adjuncts to the public library and part of its regular work." In the May issue, it is evident that libraries took up the suggestion and borrowed from the collection of slides offered by the State Library, since it created an Interest in Forgotten Books in Manitowoc: "The exhibit of lantern slides picturing Swiss scenery at the library hall last week has caused an unprecedented demand at the public library for books upon Switzerland. This has brought to the front some hitherto unused books, some that belonged to the old Jones library....Readers of these old time books have had a happy surprise. They have also found accounts of travel which are also literature."

That first issue also offered some historic help for public access catalogs of the time: "The Library Bureau will hereafter supply catalog cards with the special typewriter ruling used in Wisconsin libraries. These cards have one vertical line only and we consider them very much better than anything else for typewriter work….The Hanson & VanWinkle[sic] celluloid lacquers which are said to be superior to any other preparation for book labels. Often it is difficult to get just the right shellac.”

The January 1905 issue also reported that Carnegie funds for new libraries had further expanded the number of libraries in our state. Carnegie grants, usually of $15,000, were awarded to Cumberland, Hayward, Kaukauna, and Rice Lake. Antigo had just accepted a grant, Sturgeon Bay’s City Council was considering accepting funding from Carnegie, and Wauwatosa had been awarded $6,000 for an addition. Beloit College had just dedicated a Carnegie building, and Lawrence University had received $50,000 for a library there. In total, 33 communities serving over 14% of Wisconsin’s population had been granted library buildings by Andrew Carnegie by 1905.

But some communities got along with what they could. The issue reported that Campbell’s library association had announced that it was maintaining a small library at the home of Mrs. T. H. Hawkins in the La Crosse County town. In Manitowoc, about $300 was obtained for the book fund by means of a “library ball,” to overcome drastic budget cuts by the city, and in Portage, the library was closed on account of smallpox. So, from small pox in 1905 to Bird Flu in 2005 and Ebola scares in 2015, libraries marshal on!

Written by: John DeBacher, Public Library Development

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WISCAT User Group webinar recording available

A recording of the WISCAT User Group meeting held on February 24th is now available. The recording is approximately 40 minutes long.

View the WISCAT User Group webinar recording

Topics covered include:
  • Multi-copy requests
  • Lender responsibilities
  • Rejected Renewals
  • Pre-publication records
  • Searching

Questions? Contact the WISCAT team, (888) 542-5543 Press 1 or

Written by Vickie Long, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Special Services to Children (and Adults)

Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference logo
Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference
With the blizzard of webinar options available through the 2015 Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference in January, it's possible that you may have missed the gem that was "Creating Welcoming and Accessible Libraries for Children with Special Needs." The recording of this webinar, plus the slides, are worth checking out. Renee Grassi of the Glen Ellyn Public Library in Illinois shares ideas and information that can be applied to every Wisconsin public library. While the title of Ms. Grassi's presentation suggests a youth services audience, much of her content applies to an all-ages audience. If you're ever wondering how your library can meet the needs of people with disabilities in your community, be sure to check out the archive of this event on the 2015 Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference webpage.

Creating Welcoming and Accessible Libraries for Children with Special Needs (recording) (slides)
Renee Grassi
Renee Grassi
Renee Grassi, Youth Department Director, Glen Ellyn Public Library

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Whether large or small, rural or urban, all library communities serve children with special needs. Developing an awareness and sensitivity to children with special needs is crucial to providing top-notch inclusive service to families in our communities. Participants will learn how to perform a community needs assessment in their library communities, forge new partnerships with outside organizations, and be inspired by new and innovative programming ideas. This program will also provide positive strategies for disability etiquette, as well as present different approaches to reevaluating existing youth programs for an inclusive audience.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Maps

Maps can show us how to get from point A to point B, but maps can also reveal patterns and trends about a variety of different topics. The Wisconsin Digital Archives has a growing collection of maps at your fingertips! Simply do an Advanced Search for the Format of Maps and all the maps in the collection will be returned as search results.

screenshot of Wisconsin Digital Archives page
Click image to enlarge
Make your Map Connection today in the Wisconsin Digital Archives and find interesting information relating to:

Natural Resources
Mouse, Globe, World Map, Symbol, Www
Courtesy of Pixabay
Asian carp in Wisconsin waters
Emerald ash borer surveys
Wolf depredations and threats
Gypsy moth quarantines

Health Statistics
Childhood lead poisoning

Wisconsin public school free or reduced-price school meal eligibility

Bike trails
Bus routes
Highway systems

Written by: Abbigail Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wi-Fi Uses: A Library Data Diamond in the Rough

Uses of Internet-Connected Computers at 345 WI Public Libraries 2009-13As Wisconsin public libraries work on their 2014 annual reports, many are seeing service statistics decrease. Use of Internet-connected computers, for example, has decreased a total of 16.8% at the 345 libraries that reported uses every year from 2009 through 2013. Individual libraries have seen ongoing increases, but statewide the downward trend appears to have continued through 2014.

Annual report data for 2014 is still being submitted, but a general picture is emerging from the raw data and it has a bright spot: wireless Internet uses.
Internet Computer and Wi-Fi Uses at Wisconsin Public Libraries That Reported Both StatisticsFor 2013, 129 libraries reported both Internet-connected computer uses and wireless Internet uses. At those libraries, wi-fi use was more than 85% of Internet computer use. So far this year, raw 2014 data includes both of these statistics for 122 libraries. Their total wi-fi use is more than 12% higher than Internet computer use. Individually, 53 of the 122 libraries report that their wi-fi use is equal or greater to Internet computer use by a factor of 1 to 8.9.

The 122 libraries are located in 16 of the state's 17 regional library systems. The resident population of the libraries' municipality is:
  • less than 1000 (18)
  • 1,000 to 5,000 (45)
  • 5,000 to 10,000 (23)
  • 10,000 to 50,000 (33)
  • 50,000 to 100,000 (3)
The U.S. Census designation of municipality locale includes:
  • rural—fringe (12), distant (34), and remote (12)
  • town—fringe (8), distant (32), and remote (2)
  • suburb—small (2), midsize (4), and large (14)
  • small city (2)
At this point in the annual report process we can only make general observations, but the wi-fi data bears watching.

Written by Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Monday, February 23, 2015

4 Resources That Will Make You Better At Your Job

BadgerLearn Pro adds new resources everyday! Take a look at some of these great CE resources available right now.
Nancy Pearl: Taking Readers' Advisory Online from Bibliocommons Watch these six 15 minute videos with readers advisor extraordinaire Nancy Pearl on topics ranging from building better lists to writing better annotations.

Youth Services Toolbox from DPI It’s a new year! In this webinar revisit free tools and resources that enhance programs, services, and collections for youth of all ages. In this webinar 
Introduction to Cataloging for Non-Catalogers from WebJunction This course, aimed at library staff new to cataloging, provides an introduction to the purpose, importance and varieties catalogs.   
You Can Do I.T. On Your Own from InfoPeople In this webinar, you’ll get tips, tricks, and advice for libraries with minimal information technology staff and a shoe-string budget.
What is BadgerLearn Pro?
BadgerLearn Pro is a free continuing education portal for Wisconsin librarians and support staff. Discover & access archived webinars, articles, books/handbooks, handouts, online courses/tutorials, podcasts, presentation slides, screencasts, videos, and webpages on a variety of topics important to librarians including ebooks, reference skills, reader's advisory, and more!

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

E-rate Category 2 Services

With the permanent addition of $1.5 billion to the E-rate fund, raising the spending cap on the E-rate program to $3.9 billion, there is a good chance for applicants to receive Category 2 (C2) funding. Applicants must filter Internet access to be compliant with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in order to be eligible for support for Internet Access, Internet Connections, and Basic Maintenance. C2 covers internal connections and maintenance, which would require CIPA. Since funding is currently at $3.9 billion, it is a good time for libraries to evaluate the costs and time associated with filtering, along with other issues related to libraries and filtering. 

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Administration (DOA) encourage libraries that have insufficient in-building networks to consider filing E-rate applications for Category 2 funding. In anticipation of the new BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN) contract to result in lower broadband rates, the lower rates may then enable the DOA TEACH program to offer  bandwidths above the current 100Mbps maximum.

If this expectation is realized, there is a concern that a possible bottleneck to greater broadband speeds will occur in outdated in-building networks. For example, if the new BCN is able to offer a 1Gbps connection to a school but the school's router, switches, in-building LAN wiring, etc., can accommodate only 200Mbps, much of the 1Gbps capacity will be wasted.
network cables connection
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Under the new BCN contract any increase in the Badgernet Converged Network (BCN) bandwidths above 100Mbps will likely require the library to confirm that they have the in-building networking infrastructure to use the higher bandwidths. To facilitate this process DPI will be requesting libraries and library systems to provide LAN/WAN connectivity specification details through some form of survey or feedback mechanism.

The deadline to file the initial E-rate form #470 is Thursday, February 26.  It it strongly suggested not wait until the final day.  File the form as soon as possible for any E-rate service in Category 1 (telecom, broadband, Internet access) or Category 2 (in-building networking).  

In addition to the DPI E-rate website at  here are some other useful websites:

If you have any questions or comments on the above information, please contact:
Ryan Claringbole ( for questions regarding public libraries and E-rate.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Continuing Education in the Wisconsin Public Library Profession

Part of my responsibility at the Department of Public Instruction is to ensure that public libraries within the state are led by qualified library personnel and those persons capable of professional management and administration of Wisconsin’s library resources, programs, and services. This has been library law in Wisconsin since 1921. Additionally, “The law also recognizes the need for public librarians to continually update their skills and knowledge and be prepared for new challenges and responsibilities.” (Page 1, Certification Manual for Wisconsin Public Library Directors, 2011, Continuing education is an essential element of re-certification every five (5) years since library directors must participate in 100 hours to maintain their certification. This is due to the continuous changes in the library profession and the services offered within communities. For more information see the blog post written in December 2014:
Learning courtesy of Pixabay

That does not mean that continuing education is essential for library directors only. Continuing education (otherwise known as CE) is vital to all persons working in the library profession. Library services have evolved from the singular responsibility of circulation, cataloging of library materials, or reference to knowledge of technology to find the information that may only be available online. Those who now perform a reference interview need to become proficient in technology to enhance services to library patrons individually or to instruct a group of persons about finding information in online databases and materials listed in the integrated library systems.

Access to continuing education is available through many resources including your public library system’s continuing education coordinator web links (, the UW Library School’s Continuing Education site (, BadgerLearn Pro ( and many other websites.

Continuing education is a comprehensive term that includes learning how to best accommodate and provide multiple services for adults and children. Your previous educational background is insignificant. Working in a library, with or without a degree, makes you the professional face of the library to the public.

Written by Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Top 10 BadgerLink Resources for Milwaukee Public Library

Guest Blogger: Catherine Markwiese, Milwaukee Public Library

Image of patrons at computers
Image courtesy of
Milwaukee Public Library
As the largest public library in the state of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Public Library attracts patrons from all over the state, in person, on the phone, by mail, and via electronic communication. No matter how they contact the library, with BadgerLink, we always have a statewide resource we can use to help them.

The Milwaukee County Federated Library System, of which Milwaukee Public Library is a member, is one of the top BadgerLink referrers for 2014. Why is that?

Here’s a Top Ten List of Milwaukee Public Library’s most popular BadgerLink resources for 2014:
10. LearningExpress Library Popular Software Skills Center Reentering the job market requires up-to-date software skills and this product can help give job seekers the confidence they need. 
9. Newspaper Source Plus Searching for authoritative information on a current topic? Use this index to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other publications from around the globe.

8. Business Source Premier From academic journals to specialty industry and trade publications, this database pulls it all together and the back file is exceptionally deep. 
7. LearningExpress Library We often see usage peak in the spring and fall, as students prepare for the ACT® and SAT® tests, but the GED® preparation and career practice resources draw many users, too. 
6. Academic Search Premier This database quickly helps our public library patrons access scholarly publications, a bonus since we aren't a subscriber to JSTOR. 
5. BadgerLink All Resources The perfect page to make the public aware of everything that Wisconsin provides to its citizens. 
4. Auto Repair Reference Center This is easier to use at home than photocopied pages from a library reference manual. If the problem is misdiagnosed the first time, go back to your smartphone or tablet and try again. 
3. HeritageQuest Online Patrons love to start their detailed census research from the convenience of their homes, and don’t miss the bad old days of scrutinizing worn out National Archives microfilm rolls. 
2. Access NewspaperARCHIVE Genealogists and history buffs can’t get enough of the great newspaper content this source includes. And the geographical coverage is outstanding.
And the number one most used BadgerLink resource at the Milwaukee Public Library is… 
1. EBSCO All Resources List The main menu is a popular starting place for staff and patrons who want to search across several EBSCO products at once.
Without the access BadgerLink provides to these basic, yet diverse products, we couldn't afford the more specialized databases a large urban library also needs. The State of Wisconsin, through BadgerLink, serves citizens of all ages and helps create a more informed and forward-looking population.

Written by:
Catherine Markwiese, Milwaukee Public Library

On Library Fines and Forgiveness

Puppet with Money
Puppet with Money photo courtesy of Pixaby

Recently the discussion list for the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) featured a lively debate on the topic of public libraries charging overdue fines. There are certainly strong cases to be made for charging as well as not charging, so I’m not going to choose a side. However, the discussion got me thinking about “amnesties” or fine forgiveness campaigns.

In 2012 the Chicago Public Library offered its “Once in a Blue Moon” library fine amnesty program; the first time in over 20 years that it offered such an initiative. During this three-week program, late fines were waived on all library materials, no matter how long overdue.  If an item had been lost, patrons were responsible for paying only the replacement cost.  Most items returned were three to five years overdue but staff was surprised by the number of items from the 1970s and 1980s. The oldest book returned was a limited-edition copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that was due in 1934. Chicago Public Library estimated that over $2 million in library materials were returned as a result of this program.

Many libraries throughout Wisconsin run successful “food for fines” drives. During these drives, non-perishable food items are accepted and fines reduced accordingly. Each fall the Neenah and Menasha public libraries hold a combined drive benefiting two local food pantries. $1.00 worth of non-perishable food items results in $2.00 of overdue charges being waived. No damaged or expired items are accepted and food items are only applied toward fines – no lost or damaged book charges or other fees.

During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, the Deerfield Public Library ran a “Fine Forgiveness Lottery.” The library put a "treasure chest" at the circulation desk filled with slips of paper listing various fine amounts. Patrons were encouraged to draw a slip out of the treasure chest and then have their overdue charges reduced accordingly.

Libraries can benefit in numerous ways from holding amnesties and other fine forgiveness initiatives. They’re an effective way to encourage the return of long-overdue library materials. They reach out to patrons who may be prohibited from using the library due to excessive fines. And they position the library as a friendly, fun, and responsive community partner.

Post written by:
Denise Anton Wright, Public Library Development

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Search Resources in WISCAT

Image shows partial list of library catalogs searchable in WISCAT
102 library catalogs searchable in WISCAT
South Central Library System (LINKcat)  and  Beaver Dam Community Library  catalogs are now searchable in WISCAT via remote connections to their Z39.50 service.

WISCAT is a union catalog and a virtual gateway to 102 library catalogs. The collections of over 550 libraries of all types can be searched simultaneously. 
  • 71 Wisconsin library catalogs 
  • 28 Minnesota (Minitex) library catalogs 
  • 3 national library catalogs

In addition, the Z39.50 connection to a host library catalog enables the WISCAT interlibrary loan management software to check current shelf status. If an item is checked out, on hold, etc., the request automatically moves onto the next potential lender. Saving the time of busy library staff.

WISCAT is a service provided by the Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries and Technology using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Post written by:
Vickie Long, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Monday, February 16, 2015

Library of the Month: Western Technical College

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

Students using computers at Western Technical College
Students using computers at
Western Technical College
Thank you to Western Technical College, located in La Crosse, WI! In 2014 Western had the most referrals, almost 9,000 clicks to the BadgerLink website, of any technical college in the state. Students and staff are using BadgerLink!

The Western Library serves a small population of students but that doesn't mean that the library is quiet and empty. The Western Library collaborates with other organizations to promote collections and programs. Some of Western’s partners include Veteran’s Services, the Multicultural Center, Violence Prevention & Student Advocacy, Health Science Center (a partnership with UW-La Crosse), and Diesel & Heavy Equipment Center. The partnerships and outreach programs are paying off and during this Fall term the library had 40,000 people come to the library--which is an amazing number because enrollment at Western is about 5,000.

When students visit the library, they can and use technology like netbooks, digital cameras, and laptops. Providing these materials levels the playing field so all students have equal access to the tools needed to succeed. Also available are instruction sessions covering a variety of topics. Additionally the Western baseball team players and their coaches have participated in a variety of team activities at the library. From library instruction sessions on doing research and developing time management skills, to weekly study halls, Western ball players continue to further their education. During the Fall term alone, Western Library hosted 50 library instruction sessions reaching about 1000 students, 1/5th of the student body.

Internally, Western staff use and promote BadgerLink resources through instruction sessions. Western staffs have created pathfinders to assist students use resources. Sam Wood, a reference librarian at Western, says “we are very happy with the selection of databases.” Students use search features, like the Super Search, to find recent articles for research projects, business plans, speeches, essays, and a variety of academic and personal purposes.

The Western library fulfills their mission to develop, promote, sustain, and transform their library by providing easy access to information in support of the teaching and learning environment. Thank you for using and promoting BadgerLink!

Friday, February 13, 2015

State Superintendent Approves LSTA Grant Awards For 2015

State Superintendent Tony Evers has approved Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program grants totaling approximately $2,659,963 million for 2015. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded $2,663,262 funds as part of the Grants to States program. IMLS awards fund projects during a two year period.

The Wisconsin LSTA Advisory Committee met in DeForest November 19, 2014; to review the grant applications and make recommendations to the state superintendent on grant awards. Grant award letters will be sent out by the end of February 2015, following changes to federal regulations requiring monitoring and oversight.

Summary of LSTA grant programs funded:

Accessibility - $ 46,888 will be awarded to four public library systems; two library systems will assist member libraries in making their meeting rooms hearing accessible with the installation of hearing loops. Two library systems will use LSTA funds to plan for serving special service populations in their communities.

Delivery - $90,000 will help support the statewide delivery service backbone structure and delivery service to the libraries in the very northern part of the state.

Digital Creation Technologies - $94,060 will support nine projects to develop and improve library resources and services that promote digital creativity and learning for all ages.

Digitization of Library Historical Material - $37,576 will be awarded to support six projects providing online access to historical materials found in Wisconsin libraries. Libraries or library systems will manage projects and develop partnerships to scan and host unique local resources that can be located in Recollection Collection (formerly Wisconsin Heritage Online – WHO).

Library System Technology Projects - $360,000 will support 17 public library systems’ technology projects based on the needs of the systems and member libraries. The amounts, based on a formula of system area and population, are located in the 2015 LSTA Information and Guidelines on pages 20-21 (

Early Literacy - $60,839 will be used to promote and demonstrate the role of public libraries in providing early literacy services to children birth through age six and their caregivers for whom using a library is difficult. Six (6) projects will prioritize early literacy based on the needs of special populations for whom library use is limited or minimized

Learning Express Library License - $100,000 will support a statewide database license for Learning Express Library, an online source of work force development preparation materials for students and adults accessed through BadgerLink. The amount covers a license for January 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015, pending necessary approvals.
Learning Express Computer Module - $16,000 will support a statewide access to computer testing and skills module of the Learning Express Library database. The amount covers a license for January 1, 2015 - June 31, 2015, pending necessary approvals.

Growing Wisconsin Readers – Early Literacy Year #3 - $25,000 will support the third and final year of the initiative. Funds will be used to further develop Growing Wisconsin Readers training materials and publications, for Collaborative efforts with initiative partners to provide training and resources regarding parent/caregiver engagement and empowerment, to target support for early literacy needs of children in toxic stress environments, and to support libraries based on Year 2 survey feedback.

Youth Services Institute - $15,000 The Second Wisconsin Youth Services Leadership Development Institute will provide professional development and networking for librarians who serve babies, children, and teens in small to medium-sized public libraries.

Public libraries and public library systems submitted thirty (30) applications in five competitive categories to be implemented in 2015. Outside reviewers evaluated the applications; projects and grant rankings were reviewed by the Division staff and LSTA Advisory Committee at its meeting on November 19, 2014.

LSTA funds will also support resources and services provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries and Technology, including consulting services and interlibrary loan support.

Written by Terrie Howe, Public Library Development

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Creating a Job Seeker's Curriculum

Your library may offer patrons help creating resumes or searching for job postings on the internet. Those are GREAT ways to assist job-seekers. If your library has the time and staff, you could create a full range of programs - kind of a "job seeker's curriculum." Maybe you have a new hire who remembers the tools that kept them stoked during their job search. This could be an energizing project for a newbie.
Ongoing learning from Pixabay
Ongoing learning from Pixabay
Finding a new job or changing careers can be a long process, even in an improving economy. Keeping yourself motivated and improving your odds by creating a well-rounded approach to thinking about your work history, your skill sets, and your professional dreams and aspirations can yield huge benefits., the premier online news source for Ohio, featured the great services offered by the Cuyahoga County Public Library career counselors.  The library offers programs that include help for people returning to the workforce, understanding the inter-generational dynamics of today's workplace, and much more.

Not ready to commit to that level of programming?  The career centers of colleges and universities often share unusual and interesting tools you can use. Check these out:

UW-Madison from Pixabay
UW-Madison from Pixabay
UC-Santa Barbara - highlights the top 10 candidate skills/qualifications employers want.

Mount Mercy University
 - includes a great set of "behavioral" interview questions to help prep for highly competitive interviews.

University of Toledo - Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services shares a four-step Career Development Process that guides patrons through the stages of career development, from self-assessment to creating an action plan.

Developing the right mix of resources, programs, and web content to meet your patrons needs can be an engaging and exciting process, and it can help your staff grow and develop a better sense of the unique skills they bring to their work each day.

Written by Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2015 ALA Leadership Institute and Knight Prototype Grant

Here are two grant opportunities for libraries and librarians:

Knight Foundation logo
Official Knight Foundation logo.
Knight Prototype Fund
The Knight Foundation is offering grants of $35,000 to help media makers, technologists, and tinkerers take ideas from concept to demo. From the Knight Foundation's web page:
Innovators are given six months to research, test assumptions, and iterate before building out an entire project. The program recognizes that with the cost of experimentation dropping, innovators should have the opportunity to test their greatest ideas and explore many options before choosing a final path. 
 The Knight Foundation are interested in any new models or technology to inform communities. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis.

The deadline for applications is February 16, 2015.

Those that want to apply should fill out the application form.

Here is the Knight Prototype FAQ.

2015 ALA Leadership Institute
The American Library Association (ALA) opened applications for the 2015 "Leading to the Future" ALA Leadership Institute. As stated on the press releases:
The institute helps future library leaders develop and practice their leadership skills in areas critical to the future of the libraries they lead. Through reflective and active learning, it offers participants an opportunity to delve into leadership practices, concepts, and frameworks and to shape their own sustainable leadership vision and ethos, at the same time building a learning community and network. With content based on real-world cases and nuanced situations, participants explore topics related to the greatest challenges and possibilities of leading into a future marked by turbulence and ambiguity.
The Institute is held at the Eaglewood Resort, Itasca, Illinois on August 9-13, 2015. Applications are now open and accepted through April 8, 2015.

More information on the 2015 ALA Leadership Institute is available in their press release.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Forward to the Future

Digital Learning Day 2015 is set for March 13th this year. Since it started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided opportunities to share successful innovation happening in your school and public libraries. This year the 2015 Digital Learning Day site also includes information about the Future Ready Schools effort co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education. It's great seeing AASL (American Association of School Librarians) listed as a member of that coalition. Many of our Wisconsin teacher librarians are transforming their schools by creating opportunities that will help our students graduate "future ready." School and public librarians are designing makerspaces, providing diverse digital resources and teaching students what digital citizenship really means and why it's important. We encourage you to share and celebrate your accomplishments.  Your stories prove that the importance of libraries is growing not going away.

Graphic from summer workshop on Emerging Roles of Library Media Specialists
Graphic from Emerging Roles of Library Media Specialists workshop

We know there is much to celebrate so please share what you doing on the Digital Learning Day Activities site.

Written by: Nancy Anderson
Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Helping the Community to Connect: Public Libraries Lending Out HotSpots

It is easy to take for granted being able to connect to the internet. Some public libraries are meeting the connection needs in the community by lending out Wi-Fi hotspots, devices that offer internet access over WLAN (wireless local area network). Sandusky Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and New York Public Library each started a program in 2014 to lend out Wi-Fi hot spots to their communities.
Wireless local area network symbol
WLAN image courtesy of Pixabay

Sandusky Library started the program in July 2014 to help meet the digital divide in their community. The program has become very popular with the community and is wait list only. The program is funded by the Sandusky Dorn Foundation through a $50,000, two-year grant. The library has also produced a Google Drive folder sharing their marketing pieces for other libraries that might be interested. (Thanks goes to Samantha Chada, Director of Communication & Technology of Sandusky Library for sharing this information). 

Chicago Public Library program, Internet to Go, launched this month consisting of 100 hotspots and devices circulated at three library locations. This program is funded by a $400,000 Knight News Challenge grant and a $175,000 Google grant. CPL states, like Sandusky, that this program is pushing to close the digital divide and help those communities "be more fluent in the digital world." 

New York Public Library, along with Queens Library and Brooklyn Public Library, started lending out 10,000 hotspots to its patrons. The program, funded by $500,000 by a coalition of non profits, and $1 million donation from Google, will allow patrons to check out a hotspot for six months to one year. The hotspots can be checked out with unlimited data  "as long as the borrower is enrolled in a library program."

While in-library public computers and wireless access are still essential services in libraries, these and similar programs are extending access outside the library, as well as hours of access. But lending hotspots to community members to help close the digital divide by providing access to the internet beyond the walls of the library. Since federal grants through the LSTA program require filtering compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), other sources of funding must be identified, and when these sources are identified the Division will share that information with the libraries in Wisconsin.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Monday, February 9, 2015

Engaging Students in the Classroom with the Wisconsin Blue Book Online

Wisconsin Blue Book Cover
Wisconsin Blue Book Cover
The Wisconsin Blue Book, published by the Legislative Reference Bureau, is the premier almanac of Wisconsin facts and the single most comprehensive manual of Wisconsin government. Available online from 1853 to the most recent 2013/2014 edition, the Wisconsin Blue Book includes the biographies and pictures of elected state officers and legislators, detailed descriptions of the state government, the text of the Wisconsin Constitution, election results, and a wide variety of statistical information about life in Wisconsin including its people, places, natural resources, and current and historical facts.

Studying State Government 
Wis. Stat. ch. 35.24 specifies that the Wisconsin Blue Book be useful for civics classes in Wisconsin schools. To fulfill that directive, the Legislative Reference Bureau creates study guides and study companions to meet the needs of K-12 students in a format that teachers can use in the classroom. Both the guide and the companion are designed to acquaint students with the content of the Wisconsin Blue Book as well as help students understand the importance of government in their daily lives and how they can become productive Wisconsin citizens. 

Written by: 

Abbigail Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Friday, February 6, 2015

Kathleen T. Horning, Director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center, Wins National Award

Kathleen T. Horning
Kathleen T. Horning, CCBC Director
At the recent American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, Kathleen T. Horning, director of Wisconsin's own Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), won a distinguished service award.  The Cooperative Children’s Book Center is a unique examination, study and research library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The CCBC’s noncirculating collections include current, retrospective and historical books published for children and young adults. The CCBC was established in 1963 and is funded by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and by the / Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction/Division for Libraries and Technology. Here at the Division for Libraries and Technology, we are so proud of K.T.'s leadership statewide and nationally.  The original news release from the ALA Midwinter Meeting follows. 

Kathleen T. Horning is 2015 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Kathleen T. Horning is the 2015 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.

Horning is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and in her work there has been a long-time advocate for multiculturalism and diversity in literature for children and teens.

She has served ALSC on an organizational level as President, member of the Board of Directors, chair of the Caldecott 75thAnniversary Task Force and co-chair of the pre-conference celebrating 75 years of Caldecott books.  As President, she forged strong ties with REFORMA resulting in an annual Pura Belpré Award and strengthening the national Día celebrations. She has also served on many media evaluation and award committees including chairing the 1995 Newbery Committee, and the 1997 Batchelder Committee.  She is currently serving on the 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Committee.

Horning has extended her expertise in children’s literature through service on many book committees of ALA and other organizations including the Ezra Jack Keats Award Committee, the Charlotte Zolotow Award Committee, the ALA Coretta Scott King Award Jury, the ALA Stonewall Book Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award Committee for USBBY.

She is both an author and a teacher. Her title, “From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books” (HarperCollins, rev. 2010) is a classic guide for all youth librarians. She has also authored “Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, 1980 – 1990, Volume 1,” co-authored with Ginny Moore Kruse and Volume 2, co-authored with Kruse and Megan Schliesman.  Both titles were published by the Madison, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  For ALSC, she has taught The Caldecott Medal: Evaluating Distinguished Picture Art in 2011 using Moodle. In addition, she has also taught The Newbery Award, Past, Present and Future, also using Moodle, in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

In 2010, Horning delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture entitled “Can Children’s Books Save the World” Advocates for Diversity in Children’s Books and Libraries.”

“K.T.,” said chair Julie Cummins. “is a visionary leader, literary critic, brilliant scholar, gentle teacher and inspirational mentor who lives by a high standard for children’s and teen literature. She has been a passionate and knowledgeable advocate for diversity and multiculturalism in youth literature in all her professional work. Through her professional service to ALSC and through her service on multiple award committees for ALSC, ALA and other organizations, she has fully demonstrated her drive for excellence. She is strongly committed to the membership of ALSC, frequently engaging new members in probing conversations. She is a consummate professional who imbues every discussion with incredible insight, grace, and wit.

ALSC is pleased to honor Kathleen T. Horning with the 2015 Distinguished Service Award.

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at

The 2015 ALSC Distinguished Service Award Committee includes: Chair, Julie A. Cummins, Canandaigua, N.Y.; Amy Kellman, Pittsburgh, PA; Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse (Wisc.) Public Library; Penny S. Markey, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Susan J. Pine, Forest Hills, N.Y.

News release produced by:
Courtney Jones | Awards Coordinator | ALA Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) | 50 East Huron Street | Chicago IL, 60611 | T 312-280-5839 | F 312-280-5271 |


Blog post written by: Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team