Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ILEAD USA-Wisconsin Update

(ILEAD USA logo courtesy of the Illinois State Library)

During 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries and Technology is fortunate to be partnering with state library agencies from Illinois, Delaware, Maine, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah to implement ILEAD USA, a nationwide leadership immersion program utilizing web technologies.  All ten states are holding three in-person sessions on the same dates during March, June, and October. During these sessions, keynote presentations are being broadcast from Illinois using live video streaming.

Six teams of library staff were selected to be part of ILEAD USA-Wisconsin.  Over the next seven months each team will be working together to identify a community need and develop, manage, and evaluate a project to meet that need.  In addition to the in-person sessions, our Wisconsin teams will hold virtual meetings and use collaborative, digital-based technologies to work on their projects.

This past week the first in-person session for the 2015 ILEAD USA-Wisconsin program was held at Heidel House in Green Lake.  Despite some early spring snowstorms, it was an exhilarating, educational, and intense three and a half days. In addition to the live streaming sessions, in-person training was conducted on a variety of topics: social media marketing, video production, building consensus in a community, project management, and Real Colors.

Many thanks to our presenters who generously shared their knowledge during this session:  Jon Mark Bolthouse (Fond du Lac Public Library), Shawn Brommer (South Central Library System), Benson Gardner (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction), Jackie Francois Gehin & Joe Muellenberg (UW Extension - Dane County), Stef Morrill (WiLS), and Kara Ripley (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction).

The 2015 ILEAD USA-Wisconsin program is made possible by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and funds from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  Information and ongoing ILEAD USA-Wisconsin updates are available at: http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_ileadusawi

2015 ILEAD USA-WI Team Members, Mentors & Staff - March Session
(2015 ILEAD USA-WI Team Members, Mentors & Staff - March Session)

Post written by:Denise Anton Wright, Public Library Development Team

Monday, March 30, 2015

12 Ways to More Effective Marketing

Image of Jamie Matczak
Jamie Matczak, presenter 

Guest Post contributed by Jamie Matczak, Continuing Education Consultant, Nicolet Federated Library System, Green Bay

On April 8, 2015, I will be presenting a webinar for WebJunction called "12 Ways to More Effective Marketing." For those unfamiliar with WebJunction, it is a training organization that according to their website, "...works with a number of supporting organizations to provide cost-effective training and staff development programs that are convenient to access and easy to manage.Their focus is on library technologies, management, and services, along with public access in small and rural libraries."

Last year I was able to participate in a continuing education training institute with WebJunction, and it gave me a better idea of the kinds of opportunities they provide for public libraries.

I have presented a similar version of this webinar at the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) Conference in Green Bay, the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference in Tacoma, Washington, and for the South Central Library System (SCLS). It is a program that has been well attended and has received a positive response. As an advertising major, I've always had an interest in marketing and how it can impact library services. WebJunction felt this program would fit well with the types of continuing education opportunities that they offer.

In this program, I will talk about why marketing in libraries needs to be at the forefront, and not an afterthought. I also offer simple suggestions and tips to make marketing libraries stronger. This webinar would benefit anyone who creates marketing materials for their library in their effort to better tell the library story.

Image of date April 8, 2015
April 8, 2015
If you are interested in attending this free program, you can register for it on WebJunction's site. http://www.webjunction.org/events/webjunction/12-ways-to-more-effective-marketing.html

Written by:
Jamie Matczak, Nicolet Federated Library System

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Annual Report: It's an Historic Document

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) Division for Libraries and Technology just completed the public library annual report collection process, marking over 120 years that the public library annual reports have been required to be submitted to the State. Considering that some library directors and system staff have complained about the deadline (around March 1, 60 days after the close of the fiscal year), it seems appropriate to give the historical context to the reports, as well as similarities in what is required. The library law of 1875, Chapter 53, Section 23, lists the requirements for the annual report prior to the establishment, in 1891, of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission: "It shall be the duty of the said board, in the month of July of each year, to publish in the official paper of said city, if there be such, a full report of their doings for the preceding year." 

Chapter 42, Section 935 of the laws of 1898 reflects the changes required with the incorporation of the Free Library Commission: "The said board of directors shall make an annual report...stating the condition of their trust, the various sums of money received from the library fund and from all other sources, and how much money has been expended, the number of books and periodicals on hand, the number added during the year, the number lost and missing, the number of books loaned out...and they shall send one copy of this report to the Wisconsin free library commission."

Wausaukee Public Library, circa 1902, Caption: part of a “social hall” that included the library and reading room, a lunch and dining room, and an amusement room. Building donated by State Senator Harland P. Bird
Wausaukee Public Library, circa 1902, part of a 
“social hall” that included the library, reading room,
 dining room, and an amusement room. Building 
donated by State Senator Harland P. Bird
Note that originally the reports were due at the end of the fiscal year of the time--July (the same as the State's fiscal year). That was changed in the early 1940s to require cities and villages to operate on a calendar year. In the 1943 Wisconsin Statutes, Section 43.34 was changed to read: "Within 30 days after the conclusions of the fiscal year of the municipality, the said library board shall make an annual report for the year. Such report shall be submitted to the Wisconsin free library commission...."

For 52 years, from 1891 until 1943, library annual reports were due right after the end of the fiscal year. For the next 56 years, until 1999, library annual reports were due within 30 days of the end of the fiscal year. 1997 Act 150 changed the deadline to within 60 days of the fiscal year end.

Despite the additional 60 days, a number of library directors maintain that they are unable to meet the statutory deadline. Some library directors, particularly in larger municipalities, contend that they cannot complete the financial sections of the annual report until their municipality’s audit is complete. While some cities and villages may be required to conduct an audit of their finances, that is not in order to create an "official" version of the library budget, it is to ensure that the financial practices are safe and effective in tracking the municipal budget. Consider, too, that villages and cities are required by statute to compile a fiscal status report on the current year before presenting a budget for the subsequent year. Wisconsin library boards have a statutory responsibility to file a report by March--that should be based on the budget they administer over the course of the year--approving expenditures against the budget and tracking revenues, investments, and trusts.

Accountant's Officer, circa 1900
Accountant's Office, turn of the last century
Library boards, under Wis. Stat. s. 43.58 (1) “...have exclusive control of the expenditure of all moneys collected, donated or appropriated for the library fund.” If the library board or director contends that a financial report cannot be conducted without the municipality's authorization, then the library board’s exclusive control of its finances has been compromised. But in fact, while the municipality holds the funds and pays the bills, the library board and director should know what appropriations the library has received, the fines and fees collected during the year, as well as gifts and donations. 

The library director and board must also keep track of what has been expended throughout the year, since all expenditures must be authorized by the library board. Relying on the city or villages accounting system can lead to dangerous mistakes since actual expenditures are often posted weeks or even months after the authorization for payment was conveyed by the library. Invoices can also be posted inaccurately by municipal staff, and audits only pull a small sample of transactions for review. By keeping track of the budget itself, the library director and board can ensure against such mistakes and maintain a more accurate point-in-time picture of the library's financial status. It’s not unlike maintaining a checkbook register and reconciling it regularly against bank statements.

Some municipalities apparently do not appropriate funds to the library budget for benefits (although they should), so there may be some question about the final pay period expenditures for workers paid on an hourly basis. Some of those municipalities rely on the auditors, instead of city staff, to make the ledger adjustments for those wages and benefits. Despite that, libraries can easily estimate or pro-rate payroll amounts from other pay periods with sufficient accuracy to calculate for the annual report if the municipal bookkeeper will not calculate the amount. All other expenditures for books, materials, and overhead should be known since the expenditures were approved by the library board. Consequently there is no reason that a report of sufficient accuracy cannot be produced and filed with the DPI by the due date. The statutory requirement for such a report does not require or necessitate an audit; simply that the library board be careful and consistent in recording and tracking revenues and expenditures.

For the Division for Libraries and Technology to compile complete and timely data on public library activities to track performance and trends in order to either take remedial action or effect changes when necessary, all libraries throughout the state must respect and respond to their statutory responsibility to complete and submit the annual report as required. It's the law, and it ultimately benefits all Wisconsin libraries.

Written by: 
John DeBacher, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Project ENABLE--Online Training for Serving People with Disabilities

Who are special populations and how can libraries serve them?  The Public Library Development Team considers special populations to be individuals or groups whose access to the library is limited, minimized, or difficult. This includes people with disabilities and a new online training resource is available to Wisconsin public libraries and public library systems who serve these users. Project ENABLE helps librarians  gain the knowledge and skills needed to create inclusive and accessible libraries that meet the needs of all users.

Project ENABLE logoProject ENABLE provides free, foundational training, designed specifically for public, academic, or school librarians worldwide. This unique training site allows librarians to designate their library type and location (state) on their registration form and receive content that is tailored just for them. In addition, training can be customized for individual or group use. The site is free and open to all who can benefit from this training.

Project ENABLE is a partnership of the Center for Digital Literacy (CDL), the School of Information Studies (iSchool@Syracuse), and the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University. Funding support for Project ENABLE was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Project ENABLE training web site consists of five learning modules covering multiple topics and sub-topics. They include:
  • Disability Awareness (person-first language and sensitivity, students’ perspective (videos by students with disabilities), experiencing disability (covering autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, hearing and vision impairments, physical disabilities).
  • Disability Law & Policy (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IEPs, Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Creating an Accessible Library (Universal Design, evaluating your library’s accessibility, library accessibility action plan, facilities design, collection development, library policies and procedures, leadership and advocacy).
  • Planning Inclusive Programs and Instruction (motivating diverse learners, Universal Design for Learning, differentiated instruction, collaboration, inclusive programs or lessons with examples, assessment).
  • Assistive Technology in Libraries (what is assistive technology, assistive technology for every disability, implementing and evaluating assistive technology, web accessibility).

Project ENABLE screenshot
Project ENABLE screenshot
Take note of the option for librarians to register as individuals or for administrators or trainers to register a group or class.

In addition, a certificate of achievement is available (and printable) to any trainee successfully completing all of the training and assessments. This certificate may serve as evidence of completion of approximately 20 hours of professional development.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Ruth V. Small, Ph.D., the Project ENABLE director, at drruth@syr.edu.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Researching Personal Financial Literacy in Schools

Money Smart Week, April 18-25, is a national campaign to help consumers better manage their finances, but it is also a great time to highlight the importance of teaching personal financial literacy in our schools. Throughout the state, elementary, and secondary schools are hard at work developing financial literacy programs to provide Wisconsin students the necessary skills to operate in a global economy in order to achieve financial success. 

I started thinking about where I would find information about why teaching personal financial literacy to students is important. I also wanted to know more about the various programs schools have developed to teach our kids about personal financial literacy. To answer those questions I visited the Wisconsin Digital Archives! Here are just a couple of reports available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives detailing the importance of teaching personal financial literacy as well as the various programs schools use to engage students:

Picture of a dollar sign
Courtesy of Pixabay
To help support educators in the development of Personal Financial Literacy programs, I’ve also provided a few additional online resources:

Resources from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction:
Additional Online Resources:
  • Financial Literacy: TEACH IT! A companion to the standards and curriculum guide from the Department of Public Instruction, in conjunction the Educational Communications Board (ECB), these resources will provide educators with the tools they need to effectively teach financial literacy.
  • Financial Resource Literacy Center   Access games to increase students’ money smarts for K-12 educators from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
  • Department of Financial Institutions Kids Page  Access financial literacy resources designed especially for younger students.
Written by: 
Mary Hutnik, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning
Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

STAR Library Education Network (Science-Technology Activities and Resources) Survey

STAR_Net Logo
The Space Science Institute’s (SSI) National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), and the Afterschool Alliance is continuing the broad implementation of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR stands for Science-Technology Activities and Resources). 
This National Science Foundation-funded project provides public libraries with interactive exhibits for multiple age groups and library staff training (online and in‐person) on the STEM content of the exhibits, guides staff in developing complementary programming, and helps staff implement outreach activities. The STAR_Net lead partners are not-for-profit institutions and organizations.
The survey will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes and can be accessed here: https://cuboulder.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_a3RoGibMjnWD9Ax
This survey will assess the current state of STEM programming in public libraries across the country. It will identify key needs, opportunities, and barriers to providing an effective, informal STEM learning program in a library setting. It will also assess the types of professional training that library staff feel are most valuable. The STAR_Net team is also interested in learning whether there are setting-specific conditions that need to be addressed for a library staff training program to be successful, and if so, are these conditions universal and transferable across different sites? Lastly, it will provide important data on how libraries plan to collaborate with STEM organizations as part of their STEM program development plans.
STAR_Net’s objectives for the survey are educational and non-profit in nature. The results will be shared at the Public Libraries & STEM Conference, to be held in August 2015, and widely disseminated following the conference. By sharing these results, the STAR_Net team intends to inform the collaborative efforts of public libraries, funders, STEM organizations, and researchers and evaluators in providing STEM learning experiences at public libraries. The data collected through this survey will be kept confidential to protect the identities of those participating.
Direct all questions and concerns to:

Jim Hakala, Senior Educator, University of Colorado Museum
The STAR_Net Team

Shared by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Census Reduces Data for Mid-Sized Counties and Municipalities

In an effort to save money, the Census Bureau is cutting back its American Community Survey (ACS) data program. As with most federal agencies, the Census Bureau is faced with a tightening budget and needs to trim $15 million in the coming year, and ACS three-year estimates are on the block. For Wisconsin counties in ten public library systems, that means getting a murkier picture of people and economies. Affected counties and communities with 20,000 to 64,999 residents will get data less often for five-year periods instead of three. The change will go into effect for the expected 2012 to 2014 estimates.

Using Wisconsin Department of Administration final 2014 population estimates, 30 of our 72 counties may be affected:
  • Adams
  • Barron
  • Calumet
  • Chippewa
  • Clark
  • Columbia
  • Door
  • Douglas
  • Dunn
  • Grant
  • Green
  • Iowa
  • Jackson
  • Juneau
  • Kewaunee
  • Lincoln
  • Marinette
  • Monroe
  • Oconto
  • Oneida
  • Pierce
  • Polk
  • Sauk
  • Shawano
  • Taylor
  • Trempealeau
  • Vernon
  • Vilas
  • Waupaca
  • Waushara
Wisconsin Counties with 20,000 to 64,999 residents
and 30 municipalities in 15 library systems:
  • City of Beloit
  • City of Brookfield
  • Village of Caledonia
  • City of De Pere
  • City of Fitchburg
  • City of Fond du Lac
  • City of Franklin
  • Town of Grand Chute
  • City of Greenfield
  • City of Janesville
  • City of La Crosse
  • City of Manitowoc
  • Village of Menomonee Falls
  • City of Mequon
  • Village of Mount Pleasant
  • City of Muskego
  • City of Neenah
  • City of New Berlin
  • City of Oak Creek
  • Village of Pleasant Prairie
  • City of Sheboygan
  • City of South Milwaukee
  • City of Stevens Point
  • City of Sun Prairie
  • City of Superior
  • City of Watertown
  • City of Wausau
  • City of Wauwatosa
  • City of West Allis
  • City of West Bend

For more information, see dailyyonder.com/census-data-cut-will-hurt-mid-sized-places/2015/03/16/7770

Written by:
Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Monday, March 23, 2015

4 things you could have learned last month

picture of girl realizing she forgot to do something important
She also forgot to go to
BadgerLearn Pro last month.
Image from Pixabay
In the short month of February BadgerLearn Pro released 20 new records. Each record links to free online professional development. Here are the highlights of what you could have learned (and still can learn!) last month:

eReader Detective: Solving the case for your library patrons
Asking the right questions, tracking clues, and following paths of inquiry are part of the process to support your eReading patrons. With all the combination of eReader devices, file formats, and eContent providers, how can we possibly be prepared for each encounter? Fully complete this course to earn your eReader Detective badge.

30-Minute Thursday: Low-Cost Marketing Tools
Ten years ago, Microsoft Word was a great tool for creating library flyers. Eckberg states that there are now other tools that do a better job. She explores these tools and where to find legal and decent stock photos to take a library's marketing up a notch.

Dealing with Angry Patrons No one enjoys having to deal with an angry patron, but with proper preparation, and by developing the specific set of skills required, you can minimize conflict, defuse patron anger, and identify the underlying issues so that you can help find the best solution.

Basic Development Milestones of Early Childhood In this webinar, review the basic tenets of child development from the Touchpoints perspective – identifying the major developmental tasks of infants, toddlers and preschoolers within the context of their relationships and culture.

BadgerLearn Pro is a joint project under active development by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning (RL&LL), Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS) and the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC).

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

The LibraryBox Project - Connecting, Connecting, Connecting

LibraryBox is a portable private digital distribution system designed for libraries and education. It is also an "open source project that is dedicated to the sharing of digital information in areas where there is no access to the internet, or in areas where access to the internet is intermittent or restricted in some way." Created by Jason Griffey using a modified version of the PirateBox Project, it is the first product from Evenly Distributed, LLC.

Library Box logo
LibraryBox logo courtesy of Jason Griffey
Recently through a 2014 Knight Foundation Prototype Grant, LibraryBox was able to release version 2.0. which included the following updates:
  • Expanding the hardware that can run the open source software
  • Collecting statistics and displaying use to users (completely anonymous, ensuring privacy)
  • Auto sync/Mesh component
  • Custom configuration
LibraryBox, or tools similar to LibraryBox, can be used to interact with the community in areas where connectivity is limited or nonexistent, or for emergency services. Some libraries and agencies have used it to store their first-responder documents so they are available for others to access when needed. Another library has loaded their LibraryBox with public domain and creative commons licensed materials to be accessed throughout the community (very useful for those libraries that want to have embedded librarians). Relatively easy and inexpensive to make, connecting to others in areas where connectivity is problematic or where privacy is a major concern.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Applications for appointment to COLAND being accepted by Governor's Office

Several vacancies currently exist on the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND). Individuals interested in being considered for appointment to COLAND should submit an application to the governor's office as soon as possible. The appointment application, which must be submitted online, can be found at http://walker.wi.gov/governor-office/apply-to-serve/boards-commissions/application. The vacant terms are both public and professional seats.

Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin
Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin
Created by the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1979, COLAND advises the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure that all state citizens have access to library and information services. Council findings are communicated as advisory recommendations to the state superintendent, governor, and Legislature. The 19-member council functions as a forum through which librarians and members of the public identify, study, and collect public testimony on issues affecting Wisconsin libraries and other information services. Members serve three-year terms. Membership includes ten professional members who represent various public and private libraries as well as library educators. The remaining nine council positions are held by public members with a demonstrated interest in libraries or other types of information services.

Additional information about COLAND can be found at http://coland.dpi.wi.gov.

Written by
Roslyn Wise, Division for Libraries and Technology

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Promoting Poetry in Your Community

Children holding portable pockets containing poems
Children holding portable pockets containing poems
(image courtesy of Academy of American Poets)

From poetry readings, poetry festivals, and poetry slams to sidewalk poetry, publishing poetry collections, and poet recognition / awards, Wisconsin libraries do an AMAZING job of promoting a love of poetry within their communities.  And those efforts will be shifting into high gear as National Poetry Month approaches.

I've become so accustomed to April being National Poetry Month, that I somehow assumed it’s always been that way.  But it was actually founded by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 – just 19 years ago.  The Academy was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month with these aims:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
  • encourage the reading of poems
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books
  • encourage support for poets and poetry
The website for the Academy of American Poets features a great list of “30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.”   Number 30 on this list is to celebrate "Poem in Your Pocket Day" on April 30, 2015.  The idea is simple - share a short poem (that can fit into your pocket) with everyone you meet that day.  The "Poem in Your Pocket" page has a downloadable PDF of short public domain poems that your library can easily copy, trim, and distribute.  The photo above shows children with portable pockets (made from old jeans) that contain poems.

Number nine on the “30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month” list is to learn more about poets in your state.  Wisconsin has had a formal poet laureate program since 2000.  Our current (2015 – 2016) Poet Laureate is Kimberly Blaeser, a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing.  The Wisconsin Poet Laureate page contains information on how to schedule Kimberly for a visit to your library or community.

Enjoy the month of April and share a poem.

Written by:
Denise Anton Wright, Public Library Development

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

LSTA Advisory Meeting and Public Hearing, April 7, 2015

The first of two Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Advisory Committee meetings to discuss 2016 LSTA grant categories and funding amounts for LSTA projects will take place on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, in DeForest at the Comfort Inn & Suites, 5025 County Highway V. There will then be an opportunity for the Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) staff to propose categories with amounts to the Advisory Committee.
Meeting image from Pixabay
Meeting image found on Pixabay

Additionally, there will be a public hearing at 10:00 a.m. as part of the meeting for anyone interested in attending to make suggestions about the LSTA program and to comment upon or propose new LSTA categories for 2016. If unable to attend the public hearing, you are encouraged to submit comments and support documents to be distributed to the committee. Testimony for the meeting must be submitted by 12:00 noon, Monday, April 5, 2015, to Terrie Howe by email for inclusion in the hearing.

2016 Proposed Project Categories

All project categories must meet federal LSTA program purposes, goals, and priorities established in the LSTA Five Year Plan for Wisconsin – 2013-2017:

GOAL 1: Utilization of technology to improve library services

GOAL 2: Convenient access and quality library services for all residents
Lower case letters for literacy
Letters of the Alphabet - Pixabay

GOAL 3: Support the equalization of access to information and lifelong learning resources

To that end, the following categories are some that the LSTA Advisory Committee and DLT staff may consider during the meeting:

Coding; delivery hubs; EDGE Assessment access; digital literacy training for librarians to instruct the public; regional public library system studies; youth and special services continuing education bundle. Following the meeting, the 2016 LSTA Information and Guidelines grant categories will be developed similar to the 2015 LSTA Information and Guidelines  and posted online in June 2015. There will be further information posted about the application process in June with applications due in September 2016.

Written by:
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team

Monday, March 16, 2015

Library of the Month: Racine Unified School District

Image of librarians in RUSD library space.
Image of librarians in RUSD library space.
The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team. 

Thank you to Racine Unified School District! In 2014 the RUSD website had the most referrals to the BadgerLink website--over 9,000 clicks to BadgerLink.net!

At Racine Unified School District the library is a place to create, collaborate, and learn. Recently, RUSD updated one high school and three elementary libraries to be 21st Century Learning Centers. These new library spaces provide a fun space for students to learn. Students can conduct research, read, and work on projects in comfortable and movable furniture. Going beyond the regular table and chairs that you find in most libraries, in a 21st Century Learning Center students feel “at home” at the library. The 21st Century Learning Center is more conducive to engagement than a traditional library setting; students enjoy using technology in comfortable surroundings which leads to more studying, collaboration, and learning. The 21st Century Learning Centers have been so successful that there are plans to transform 5 more libraries this summer with the help and support from Superintendent Lolli Haws. Rosalie Daca Chief Academic Officer is also working hard to make all RUSD Libraries fun learning environments for students.

Educators at RUSD find that BadgerLink is an awesome resource for students and staff to use. At Park High School, Librarian Mary McGlade teaches all freshmen information literacy skills during a Health Research Project. Students use BadgerLink and other online resources to research a health topic and then share the information gathered with their classmates. Through this assignment students learn to evaluate sources, how to use information responsibility, how to find information, and along the way students begin to understand the value of being able to locate and use information from multiple sources

Students at RUSD use BadgerLink everyday for research projects, class work, and much more. In Racine, the library is a great place for students to come and learn and engage.

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring BadgerLink Training

springtime flowers in snow

Twitter icon Click to Tweet
Thursdays 3:30-3:50 p.m.
April 2 to May 14

Mark your calendar! BadgerLink has online training scheduled for April and May.

April 2 | EBSCO Explora
EBSCO is releasing a new interface that will replace Student Research Center, Searchasaurus, and Kids Search. Learn about all the search features in Explora.

April 9 | History Reference Center
Connect with the past! Learn how to find information on history from magazines, newspapers, images, video, and book content.

April 16 | HeritageQuest Online
Discover the interesting history of you! Learn how to find census records, family histories, and other genealogy materials in the new and improved HQO.

April 23 | Business Source Premier
Stay competitive in the marketplace. Learn how to find market research reports, industry reports, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses, & full-text articles

April 30 | Access NewspaperARCHIVE
Explore your roots. Learn how to find full-text PDFs of local and national historic newspapers in Access NewspaperARCHIVE.

May 7 | Newspaper Resources
Save time when you are searching for newspaper articles. Learn about about the newspaper resources available in BadgerLink.

May 14 | Copyright
Each BadgerLink resource is licensed for use by Wisconsin residents but still has copyright restrictions. Learn about the different ways you can use each of the BadgerLink resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a librarian or a teacher. Does that matter? Can I participate?
Yes you can participate. BadgerLink training is available to all Wisconsin residents!

What do I need to participate?
You will need reliably fast internet connection, speakers or headphones, and a recent version of Java. To find out if you have the correct version of Java, open the following web page: http://bit.ly/BbSystemTest. If Java is needed, you may download it from here: http://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

Do I need to register in advance?
No, you do not need to register.

What conferencing software does this webinar series use?
This training uses Blackboard Collaborate. To find out if you have the correct version of Java, open the following web page: http://bit.ly/BbSystemTest

Should I log into a session early?
Yes, since each session is short, please log into the webinar 5-10 minutes early. If you have little experience with webinars, give yourself some extra time and log in a few minutes earlier.

When I try to log in, I am asked for a password. What’s the password?
There is no password. You can only log in 45 minutes before the session starts. When you are prompted for a password, it indicates that you have attempted to log in more than 45 minutes before the session. Wait and then try again. If you continue to have issues, please contact Kara Ripley at kara.ripley@dpi.wi.gov.

I can’t make that time. Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes, we will record these sessions and make them available from the BadgerLink webpage. Go to http://badgerlink.net/help/training for the archived sessions.

Who do I contact with my questions BadgerLink training?
For any questions, please contact Kara Ripley at kara.ripley@dpi.wi.gov.

Who can help me to get access to BadgerLink?
We can help. Contact Us!

Where can I get announcements about BadgerLink?
You can join the BadgerLink email list at http://badgerlink.net/list or read the Badger Bulletin http://www.badgerlink.net/bulletin. Additionally, BadgerLink is on Facebook and on Twitter.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

Computer courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com/archive
Computer courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com/archive
According to the recently released Digital Skills Gap Report from Burning Glass Technologies, knowing how to use Excel can make a big difference for job seekers. The report finds that people looking for “middle skill occupations” must be able to use spreadsheets and word processing software, programs for medical billing, or they should be able to run computerized drill presses to be seriously considered for employment. Middle skill jobs pay more than the median national living wage of $15 a hour, but don't necessarily require a college degree.

It's no longer enough to be engaging on the sales floor if you want to succeed in retail.  Retail employees can earn more if they have strong skills with software like Excel.

Another report, 5 tech skills every job-seeker needs, from Business News Daily, April 2014, recommends that candidates looking for jobs in administration, marketing, and sales should be able to effectively use social media and learn how to develop web and mobile applications.

How can you help your patrons build their skills?
Refer them to computer training classes held in your library, or made available through the Wisconsin Technical Colleges or Job Center of Wisconsin.  

If your patron is comfortable with self-guided online learning, you can show them the BadgerLink Computer Software resources, including the Learning Express  Popular Software Skills Center.

GCF LearnFree.org  courtesy of GCFLearnFree.org
GCF LearnFree.org
courtesy of GCFLearnFree.org
The Goodwill Community Foundation Learn Free website offers a comprehensive assortment of job-skill building resources including Microsoft Office computer software  tutorials.

You can help your neighbors build the digital skills they need to succeed in today's job marketplace  - and your colleagues in public libraries across Wisconsin can tell you what's worked for them.

Written by:
Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Make Shake and Move at WEMTA 15

WEMTA conference logo
WEMTA Conference 2015
The momentum continues to build for the 2015 WEMTA Conference. Starting Sunday, March 22, and continuing through Tuesday, March 24, the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells will be the place to be for making, shaking, and moving. Featured speakers  represent the diversity of the membership in WEMTA (Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association). Sessions range from library makerspaces to digital differentiation to literacy and beyond. This conference is a showcase of the makers, shakers, and movers from within and beyond the borders of Wisconsin.

You will not only hear great stories about what's happening in our schools but we also invite you to tell your stories.  What are you doing in your libraries, classrooms, districts, schools, virtually that is improving student access to learning opportunities and supporting innovative instruction? Watch for more information about the share your story opportunity at the conference. The Ebony room at the Kalahari will be available on Monday for you to share and have your stories recorded by a very congenial videographer from the Department of Public Instruction. We will provide the comfortable setting, focus questions and editing rights so  the incredible work you are doing to help learners of all ages can be showcased. We thank WEMTA for collaborating on this celebration of your work. Your stories, large and small need to be shared. We hope to see and hear you at WEMTA 15!

Written by:
Nancy Anderson, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Digital Learning Day 2015

Digital Learning Day logo March 13, 2015
Digital Learning Day March 13, 2015
On Friday, March 13, Wisconsin will celebrate Digital Learning Day 2015. State Superintendent Tony Evers is asking librarians and teachers to share their innovative practices that are being done to ensure all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live. This once-a-year opportunity is a great way to raise the profile of things happening in Wisconsin schools and libraries.

The Department of Public Instruction launched a Wisconsin Digital Learning Day homepage posting statewide events, highlights, and releases of new digital learning resources. Librarians and teachers are asked to participate in Digital Learning Day.

What can you do?
  • Register your local activity at the National Digital Learning Day site!
  • Help promote and spread the word via Twitter, Google+, Facebook, newsletters, and other connections to your library stakeholders about Digital Learning Day as a means of telling great stories in your library. Use the hashtag #widld
  • Re-tweet and forward State Superintendent Tony Evers' Digital Learning Day video with the #widld hashtag.
  • Share specific digital learning resources and tech tools and instructional strategies you use to help digitally inclusive learning environments.
  • Help promote our digital learning state partners (public libraries, CESAs, WI Media Lab, Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative, professional associations, WETL, WEMTA, and more) by sharing the professional learning opportunities they are sponsoring.
  • Challenge your professional networks to create an activity for Digital Learning Day.
  • Spread the word about WISELearn, the Wisconsin Educator Portal, new digital learning resources, professional learning opportunities and social networking opportunities. Help promote the new WISELearn partners and guest bloggers featured during the week of March 9-13th.
People of all ages go to the public library to learn, play, and be a part of their community. Digital Learning Day is a celebration of schools and libraries effectively using technology to strengthen the learning experience for the communities. This is a great opportunity to share what public libraries are doing when it comes to digital learning. 

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Legislative Reference Bureau Launches Digital Collections

Picture of the header for the LRB Digital Collections
Picture of header for the LRB Digital Collections

Guest Post contributed by Julie Pohlman, Legislative Research & Library Manager, Legislative Reference Bureau

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) has launched Digital Collections, an online resource of legislative agency publications and materials unique to the Wisconsin Legislature and the LRB. The database uses the software CONTENTdm from OCLC, the same software platform utilized by the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Currently the Digital Collections has over 123,000 documents available for search and access in six collections. LRB librarians add metadata unique to the material such as biennium, law & legislation, biography, or specially created subjects.  Launched in December of 2014, we are continuing to add content and functionality.

News Clippings Collection

The LRB has been clipping newspaper and magazine articles about Wisconsin government and the legislature in particular since 1901. This database contains digitized copies of most of the clippings since 1980 as well as a selection of prior clippings on select subjects. There are currently over 122,000 clippings accessible and searchable by keyword, subject, and date range. The database is available for use in the LRB as well as on the legislative network.

This collection will contain the entire LRB publications catalog since 1901.  There are currently over 700 titles available and searchable by series, title, data, and subject, for example “Basic Data on the Office of the Coroner in Wisconsin (Dec. 1955)”. The collection is accessible to anyone with internet access.

Electronic versions of new agency publications are being added to their appropriate collection as we receive them. We hope to provide access to their entire catalog in the future. These collections are accessible to anyone with internet access.

Throughout the statutes, the legislature has directed state agencies to provide them with a report on the progress, status, or results of a specific program, office or initiative. In this collection, we seek to gather copies of those reports into a single collection for easy access by the legislature and citizens of Wisconsin.  Reports are currently being added as we receive copies of them, such as “Report to the Joint Committee on Finance on management and Staff Positions (2014)”. This collection is accessible to anyone with internet access and can be searched by a variety of means, including statute number.

Written by:
Julie Pohlman, Legislative Research & Library Manager at the Legislative Reference Bureau