Monday, August 31, 2015

Making History about Library History

Full-Text of Wisconsin Library Bulletins, 1905-1984, Now Available Online

Through the combined efforts of the Google Book Project and their Library Partners (including the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Historical Society), we now have full-text access to the entire run of the Wisconsin Library Bulletin, from 1905 through 1984. Previously, only those editions in the public domain were available in the full-text view.

Early Logo of the Wisconsin Free 
Library Commission, circa 1902
This February, former Public Library Development director (and Library History Buff) Larry Nix contacted the Division for Libraries and Technology to ask whether volume years of the Bulletin still under copyright (basically, after 1923) could be cleared by the DPI for full text access. Mr. Nix was referring to the public and academic-facing side of the Google Book Project, the Hathi Trust Digital Library, and he hoped that full-text access might help scholars as well as members of the library community learn more about the history of their local libraries-- particularly since 2016 will mark the 125th anniversary of the Wisconsin Library Association. I contacted our sister team, Resource for Libraries and Lifelong Learning, since they handle DPI Records Management, to find out whether this liberation effort could be completed this calendar year.

Credit my colleague Abby Swanton, coordinator for the Wisconsin Digital Archives, for working with her contacts at the Legislative Reference Bureau (who already had worked with Google for legislative document access), the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and the DPI administration in gaining authorization for relinquishing DPI's copyright on those materials, as well as many other publications of the Free Library Commission and the DPI. I am also grateful to the Google staff working on the Hathi Trust project for facilitating the initial search list and access, and their continued efforts to clear specific publications for access.

Accessing the Collection

While the resources are available through Google Books, better search options and more access can be obtained through the Hathi Trust Digital Library. Abby has created a saved search to the Wisconsin Library Bulletin volumes here. Note that there are duplicates, because the Bulletin was scanned as part of a number of Google Library Partner projects. If you find that a particular page is less-than-clear or skewed, you might try an alternate copy. All are searchable through Google's OCR, though that process has its limitations (and occasional unintended consequences), and the full-text searching is apparently available only within each specific publication, not from the search options of the Hathi Trust interface. So a library looking for articles or coverage of its opening, director changes, new construction, or other milestones should search within the individual volumes around the time of the event to see if there was coverage.
Logo, late '60s, after the
and commission
was transferred to the DPI

Also, while anyone can now search and read the full text, you can only download the PDF of the volumes or specific pages, or save searches to a personal "collection," if you have a login to Hathi Trust through one of the partner institutions. For instance, those who attended the University of Wisconsin as undergraduates, or the library school for graduate programs, may be able to log on with their alumni university credentials. I was able to gain full access by applying online through the University of Chicago, where I attended library school. If you did not attend one of the partner schools, you can still build personal collections of resources for retrieval (but not download), by requesting a "guest" account" though the University of Michigan.

A sample of library history articles from the past

Fifty years ago, in the 51st volume of the Wisconsin Library Bulletin (January-February 1955), Emmett C. Blackshear (presumably spouse of Bulletin editor Mrs. Orrilla Blackshear), wrote about the beginning of the Bulletin in 1905, its format, cost, and content. In that same issue there is a related article, "ALA Booklist Reaches Fifty-Year Mark" showing how that time honored publication (still frequently cited on dust-jacket and ad blurbs today), has its foundation in the Wisconsin Free Library Commission's "Suggestive List of Popular Books for a Small Library," first issued in 1897.  
Picture of Larry Nix, announcing his
joining the Division as a consultant,
in the May-June 1980 issue

The entire Summer 1984 issue is dedicated to the Long Range Plan for Library Services in Wisconsin, 1984-1989, and offers an interesting comparison to issues and challenges faced in statewide support of public libraries today.

The final issue of the Bulletin, Winter, 1984 (issued quarterly instead of bi-monthly by that time), included articles from retired members of the Wisconsin library community.  One of particular interest is entitled  "Wisconsin Public Library Service to Children: Its History and Development from 1872 to 1984," by Elizabeth Burr.

After the Wisconsin Library Bulletin ceased publication, the Division had only its newsletter, "Channel DLS" (later just Channel) as a regular source for news. But since that was not bound and shelved by academic libraries, it does not appear in the Hathi Trust or Google Books collections. However, issues from 1997 through 2010 are still available through the Wisconsin Digital Archive here, and the Division can consider how and when to digitize the intervening issues of Channel for preservation and access

Written by John DeBacher
Public Library Development Team

Friday, August 28, 2015

Special Populations Toolkit from ALSC

Gay dads and child
How does your library welcome LGBTQ families?
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) has developed a FREE online toolkit by the Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers (LSSPCC) Committee.

As reported on the ALSC Blog, "This toolkit offers a wide variety of information about serving many different types of groups in your library community, including homeschoolers, Spanish-speaking families, LGBTQ families, children with autism, children with incarcerated parents, children with print disabilities, and more.  While this is by no means an exhaustive list of special populations that are served in all of our library communities, it’s a great place to start."
Hand-holding through prison cell bars
How might your library better serve
children with incarcerated parents?

This toolkit is a great resource for library staff working with children and their families. Renee Grassi, an Illinois public librarian and occasional presenter in Wisconsin (here and here), describes the features of the toolkit developed by her fellow LSSPCC committee members:

"In this toolkit, you will find a brief introduction in each section, which will provide librarians and library workers with context and background information needed before beginning to serve these groups in your community.  In addition, each section has a list of subject headings and keywords that will help make catalog and online searching on this topic a lot easier.  We have included short lists of subject area experts, if you are interested in connecting with people in our field and finding out more about that particular area of outreach.  We have even included information about existing partnerships, which are examples of the successes some libraries have found connecting with local organizations to serve these special populations. There are numerous lists of additional print and digital resources for further learning beyond the toolkit itself." (Source: ALSC Blog)

Read more about the LSSPCC committee here:

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Musings on Coffee, Libraries & Sales Tax

Photo of coffee beans and letter tiles spelling "coffee"
(Photo of coffee beans courtesy of Pixabay)
More and more public libraries are making coffee, bottled water, and even snacks available to their patrons.   The details and logistics may vary from library to library but the basic concept remains the same - creating a public space that's an inviting, comfortable place to visit.

A question often asked of our Public Library Development Team is whether the sale of beverages and snacks in a library requires the collection of sales tax.  I recently contacted the folks at our Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) to find out.  Here's the (coffee) scoop:

  • A useful resource is DOR's Publication 209: "Sales and Use Tax Information for Wisconsin Counties and Municipalities."
  • According to the DOR, there's a difference between "prepared foods" which require the collection of sales tax and "food and food ingredients and beverages" which do not.
  • If a library sells ready-to-drink coffee or other beverages, those are considered "prepared food" and require the collection of sales tax.  Coffee that the patron makes using a single-serve "pod system" (like a Keurig) is not considered "prepared food" so does not require the collection of sales tax.
  • Pretty much any snack / candy item is considered "prepared food" and will require the collection of sales tax.
  • If a library sells items that are defined as "prepared food" then it will be the library's municipality that applies for the Wisconsin seller's permit and makes the necessary payments to the state.
  • If a library doesn't charge a set price for coffee / beverages / snacks but instead asks for a donation, then it must truly be a donation; payment cannot be required or expected.
  • If a library works with a private vendor to provide vending machines for coffee / beverages / snacks, then that vendor is responsible for collecting sales tax.  The library would not be involved.
  • A helpful overview of this topic - "Sales Tax Issues for Wisconsin Public Libraries" - can be found on our DPI website.

Written by:
Denise Anton Wright, Public Library Development

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creativity of Customer Service, Makerspaces & Tech Training

The Colorado State Library has a wonderful site called Library Creation and Learning Centers. It has short videos that library staff can follow to learn about many topics. You may have learned about customer service in a library course but would like to brush up on your skills or would like your staff to provide improved service to patrons. There are four different modules for the customer service course. The text is accompanied by persons "acting out" the different topics of customer service which include:

1. Privacy, Confidentiality, and Intellectual Freedom
2. Approachability and Attitude
3. Communication Skills
4. Dealing with Conflict

Additionally there are modules for Online Tech Training for Staff where staff gain the skills and knowledge to assist customers. All of the modules contain learning objectives and involve role play, a type of learning that is fun to watch.

1. Use a Technology Reference Interview
2. Proficiency with Technology
3. Find Answers
4. Tech Training Tips
5. Dealing with Sticky Situations
6. Evaluating Information
7. How Adults Learn                                        
8. Design a Class

There are menus of Makerspace topics that cover everything from beginning a makerspace in your library to digital software, 3D Printers, creative programming ideas, and funding.

Follow the technology menu and you will see links to staff tech training curriculum and tech training for the public, complete with lesson plans, outlines, handouts and activities.

This website is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and implemented by the Colorado State Library.

Image courtesy of Pixabay:

Written by:
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Alcohol Abuse in Wisconsin

Picture of car keys next to an alcoholic beverage
Courtesy of Pixabay
According to a report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Wisconsin ranks #1 in the nation in binge drinking and Wisconsin's annual alcohol consumption is 28% higher than the national average.

To learn more about Wisconsin's alcohol culture, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. There you'll find additional reports, statistics, and graphics pertaining to various issues that relate to Wisconsin's high alcohol use provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Written by:
Mary Hutnik and Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Monday, August 24, 2015

Library Data Looks Different by Locale

Locale codes are derived from a classification system originally developed by NCES in the 1980s to describe a school's location ranging from "large city" to "rural." Substantial improvements in geocoding and revisions to the definition of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas have led to a "core based statistical area" system that relies less on population size and county boundaries and more on the proximity of an address to an urbanized area.

For libraries, this provides additional information about their area and a means of more completely identifying and comparing public libraries. (These codes have been added to the 2014 "publib" and "plall" files of Wisconsin Public Library Service Data linked to

Locale Codes

City, LargeTerritory inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with population of 250,000 or more.
City, MidsizeTerritory inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with population less than 250,000 and greater than or equal to 100,000.
City, SmallTerritory inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with population less than 100,000.
Suburb, LargeTerritory outside a principal city and inside an urbanized area with population of 250,000 or more.
Suburb, MidsizeTerritory outside a principal city and inside an urbanized area with population less than 250,000 and greater than or equal to 100,000.
Suburb, SmallTerritory outside a principal city and inside an urbanized area with population less than 100,000.
Town, FringeTerritory inside an urban cluster that is less than or equal to 10 miles from an urbanized area.
Town, DistantTerritory inside an urban cluster that is more than 10 miles and less than or equal to 35 miles from an urbanized area.
Town, RemoteTerritory inside an urban cluster that is more than 35 miles from an urbanized area.
Rural, FringeCensus-defined rural territory that is less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster.
Rural, DistantCensus-defined rural territory that is more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster.
Rural, RemoteCensus-defined rural territory that is more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster.

Here's an example of looking at library data by locale. Statewide circulation of physical material decreased 5.4% from 2013 to 2014, but circulation increased at 62 Wisconsin public libraries. Counting these libraries by locale, 44 were "rural," 12 were "town," and 6 were "suburb." Looking from 2009 to 2014, a larger pattern emerges.

Number of Wisconsin Public Libraries Where Circulation Increased

City (16 libraries)88310
Suburb (46 libraries)23121696
Town (98 libraries)4540372612
Rural (221 libraries)129104916844

This suggests that changes in the way people use public libraries first become apparent in more urban areas. The picture isn't complete—for example, the 44 libraries where circulation increased last year haven't seen increases every year—but if you want to compare libraries, taking locale into account can help.

For more information about locale codes, see

Written by Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Friday, August 21, 2015

Because you're a pro!

thumbs up
Image from Pixabay

BadgerLearn Pro is a continuing education portal for Wisconsin librarians and library staff. This free collection is maintained by volunteers from the Department of Public Instruction, WiLS, and WPLC.

Here are some new resources we've added this month!

Be Fearless: Public Speaking for Librarians
  • Do you quake at the thought of public speaking? You really can overcome your anxieties and master the art of public speaking. 

Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources
  • Learn how librarians can take advantage of "Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources," a self-paced course to promote confidence and competence in responding to library customers’ questions on personal finance and investments.

Discovering Great Mysteries Hidden in Plain Sight
Booklist and ALA (American Library Association) Editions have teamed up for a series of free, hour-long readers’ advisory webinars, featuring content experts in various genres. Up first, ALA Editions author (The Readers' Advisory Guide to Mystery) and veteran Booklist reviewer, John Charles, will reveal the secrets of working with readers to help them find the right books.

Health Happens in Libraries: Launching Community Conversations with Local Health Data
Community health data is a powerful tool. It allows public library leaders and local partners to launch conversations and prioritize activities to support community members with reliable health information and services. 

Genealogy Research at the Library: How to Get the Most out of Library Resources
Almost all public libraries offer the library edition of popular ancestry resources. In this webinar, Katherine Pennavaria will show you how to search ancestry resources like a pro.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Libraries of the Future (maybe)

The Aspen Institute recently hosted the Leadership Roundtable on Library Innovation. Consisting of leaders in the library profession and thought leaders in government, philanthropy, academia, and business, the roundtable discussed the future of the public library.
time lapse image of building and bridge over water at night with light blur
Image courtesy of Unsplash

The ideas discussed are not necessarily new, but rather expanding or tweaking previous concepts. The idea of connectivity has been and still is an important priority in public libraries. The roundtable took the idea of connectivity to the next level: super connectivity, adding 10 GB connectivity to the internet. Increasing connectivity in libraries allows the library to play a bigger role in being a digital community hub, helping business creation and the ability to create and share digital content. While 3D printers are being added in more and more libraries, super connectivity would allow for 3D imaging and allow for public libraries to host digital meeting rooms for the community to use.

Another suggestion is libraries working together. This idea of creating an infrastructure and platform consisting of many libraries uniting is not new, but the focus of collaborating more is being supported by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) and in other national platforms like the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The full report of the Leadership Roundtable on Library Innovation will be released in about one to two months and will be shared in a future post. There was an assumption from one of the participants during the gathering, "There are about 9,500 public libraries in the U.S., most of them serving small and medium-sized communities. Probably 8,500 of them are not interested in innovation..." It's important to continue to try and show that public libraries are interested in innovation and in connecting with their communities through the use of many different types of tools and resources.

What do you think the public library of the future will be? What innovations can library staff contribute to to help shape this future?

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Connect NoveList to your Catalog

BadgerLink can now connect your library’s catalog to NoveList and NoveList K-8!

Screenshot of NoveList
Screenshot of NoveList--Click to enlarge
When browsing NoveList or NoveList K-8 for a book title, it can be frustrating for your users to find just the right book, only to discover it’s not available in your library or library system. Now, NoveList and NoveList K-8 have the capability to connect to your library catalog so users can see if a book title is available at your library directly within the NoveList interface.

How it works:

BadgerLink works with EBSCO to connect your BadgerLink account to your library catalog. After the connection is set up, users who authenticate into your library or school’s BadgerLink account can see catalog records in NoveList and NoveList K-8.

Get started:

Contact Us. The BadgerLink Team will compile the account information you need and give you contact details for requesting this connection from EBSCO.

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Increasing Focus on Connectivity

Internet Wireless Connection logo
image courtesy of Pixabay
Two recent developments show how libraries continue to assist in solving the digital divide. During ALA Annual 2015 the Chicago Public Library, and the New York Public Library (consisting of the Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library) presented an update on their hotspot lending pilot programs. The Queens Public Library loan period for the devices are one month with up to three renewals. The Brooklyn Public Library loans the devices for six months, renewable for a year. The Boston Public Library loans the devices out for a full year. Brooklyn Public Library and Boston Public Library designed the program to target those who do not have broadband access at home, and are enrolled in education or after-school programs. The Queens Public Library has the devices available to those with a library card, but is focusing on implementing the program in its overall outreach strategy. The Chicago Public Library gave three branches 100 hotspots each, along with ten Wi-Fi lending kits that include a tablet or Chromebook. These can be checked out for three weeks and can be renewed up to 15 times if there are no holds placed on the kits.

Each of the libraries are using a different strategy in their implementation of the hotspots. The Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library loan the hotspots out for longer periods, and Chicago Public Library loans them for shorter periods, using a logistics company to keep track of the devices and shut them down if they are overdue. Hopefully, analyzing both programs will provide quality data on the short vs. long loan period and overall usage.

A couple questions still remain, such as long term funding and privacy (the hotspots provided by Sprint tracks and retains usage history). These are definitely concerns that need to be addressed, especially privacy as it pertains to libraries.

While the hotspot lending programs are helping to narrow the digital divide on a smaller, more temporary scale, the ConnectHome Broadband Initiative looks to do the same on a larger scale, more permanent scale. This initiative looks to provide high speed internet access to more than 275,000 low-income households. The program is launching in 27 cities and will look to expand in the near future. The initiative consists of many partners including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Best Buy, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and PBS, among others. A big contributing partner to this program will be public libraries. The recent Council of Economic Advisers report, Mapping the Digital Divide, goes over the current landscape in the US looking at connectivity and what are the factors that determine who is connected and who isn't, with income arguably being the most crucial.

Below is a map of the United States (courtesy of Vox Media, first shown in an article on The Verge website), showing the percentage of people with home internet access and the mean household income by county:

The American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) will help develop programming for to focus on key areas like digital literacy, privacy, and technical skills.  ALA President Sari Feldman stated, "As part of this initiative, libraries will provide tools and training so that residents can maximize broadband access to advance job skills, complete homework assignments, pursue online learning and certifications, and protect their privacy and security of personal information as they expand their online lives."

The libraries doing the hotspot lending project are reporting that it is very popular. It is becoming more and more apparent how important it is for communities to be able to access the internet, comparing connecting to the internet with electricity and water. Wisconsin libraries continues to improve its connectivity for its communities

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Monday, August 17, 2015

Library of the Month: Tomahawk Public Library

Tomahawk Public Library
Image courtesy of Tomahawk Public Library
The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

For 2015, there were more than 2,250 hits to the BadgerLink website from Tomahawk. That means that in the past 5 months the equivalent of 75% of the population of Tomahawk visited the BadgerLink website! That’s pretty amazing! Let’s see why:

Tomahawk Public Library serves the City of Tomahawk, Lincoln County, and also parts of Oneida and Price Counties. With such a large geographic area, the library is always busy and provides a variety of services beyond “just books.“

The population of Tomahawk triples during the summer with seasonal residents as people travel to Tomahawk for vacation, high school reunions, and the annual 4th of July parade. And luckily, summer is a great time to be at the library!

Computers at Tomahawk Public Library
Image courtesy of
Tomahawk Public Library
Tomahawk Library offers public computers and free Wi-Fi. In the summer, Wi-Fi is particularly important to library users because often the library is the only place where seasonal residents can get online. An internet connection is a vital part of today’s lifestyle. Even though you’re on vacation, you may still need to check your work email. Also, you may want to stay in touch with friends or family, send pictures, or play games--it is vacation after all!

Library users come to the library to use Wi-Fi or public computers and stay at the library because it’s a great place to play. Look no further than the summer library program for evidence of the fun and energizing environment where people play and learn.

In the summer, Tomahawk Public Library hosts their summer reading program. For children and teens, there is special programming. There were two portable planetarium programs where kids learned about stars in the School District of Tomahawk’s gym as well as programming in the Northwood wildlife center. The summer library theme this year was “heroic stories” and the library celebrated local heroes like the police department, rescue dogs, and seeing eye dogs. In August, the library will present, “Stories on the River” once a week which is an outside story time. Bring a chair or blanket and listen to a story alongside a landscaped area by the Wisconsin River.

Lincoln County Reads, the adult summer reading program, is offered in all libraries across the county and everyone over 18 can participate through Labor Day. Adults can also participate by reading to kids!

Tomahawk Public Library works with the local school to provide access to BadgerLink resources. The children’s and Youth Services Librarian, Annette Miller, visits the schools (both public and parochial) on a regular basis - 12 classrooms per month plus in the fall she is invited to High School Freshman English classes - promoting all the great resources at our library which of course includes BadgerLink. Annette works closely with the Tomahawk School Library Media Instructional Technology Coordinator, Peg Billing, to coordinate BadgerLink training among students.

Tomahawk Public Library is at the heart of the community and provides important resources to their users.

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

Friday, August 14, 2015

Customize WISCAT -- Add Your Library Website

Put your library's website front and center on the Home page in your WISCAT. 

     Library users will:

  • view events and helpful information on the library's website
  • scroll down the page or go to the other sections of the website
  • access their local library card user account 

East Troy Lions Public Library website displays beneath WISCAT banner
Library website displays just below WISCAT banner

It's easy with the page customization tools in the UX Admin (User Experience) menu accessible to library staff logged into WISCAT. See how to create a library website widget in the 6-minute video provided by Auto-Graphics, Inc. Two slight differences from the video instructions are:
  1. UX Admin tab is located next to the Home icon when in the staff side of your WISCAT.
  2. To allow your library website to display on the Home page, you'll need to remove the check mark in the box next to Home page on the Page Manager list as shown in the image below.

Image showing check mark in box next to Home page on the Page Manager list
Clear check box for Home Page in Page Manager 
After watching the brief video, it only took a few minutes to create the example using East Troy Lions Public Library's website address in our Demo Library.

Questions?  Contact WISCAT staff at or 888-542-5543 ext 1, then press 1.

Written by:
Vickie Long, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grant Application Tips

View examples of previously written grant applications

In the second column of the LSTA page under the 2016 LSTA Information there are links to lists of previously funded grants in Accessibility and Literacy, 2011-2015 and Digitization and Digital Creation, 2011-2015. Each grant information year lists awards by category, with titles and grant number(s) for viewing an abstract. Visit that year's grant abstracts to review project summaries. If the grant award number begins with a 15, the abstracts for 2015 projects are linked in the third column of the LSTA web page under 2015 LSTA Information. Find the link to the corresponding grant category and grant number. If you would like to request a copy of the grant application, send an email to Terrie Howe stating the year, grant title, and the grant number. For LSTA grant award information prior to 2015, visit the Other LSTA Documents, LSTA Activities Prior to 2015 in column 3 of the LSTA web page.

There are two additional links that I'd like to mention that contain very helpful grant application tips. The FAQ-Grant Applications & Awards is not new but has changed to meet some of IMLS-altered federal requirements. The next link is A Guide to Grantwriting, written by the ArtsBC, a charity and provincial arts service organization with a mandate to support and develop economically diverse communities in British Columbia. The organization's site has nothing to do with LSTA projects. The website, however, contains all elements of the grant writing process.
Image of Light Bulb with the word Tip!
Tip for Grant Writing

If you only have time for a brief check of the site, the last three pages describe the realities of public sector funding. It explains the essential elements of any public grant application including the planning, research, writing the proposal, budget, and questions to consider before submitting the application. Questions include:What do you want the money for?, Who will do what?
When will it be done?

Is a particular audience targeted? If so, with whom will you be collaborating to ensure that this group has a buy-in so that they do, in fact, participate? And, what are the steps you will go through to obtain this buy-in? Remember —just informing them isn’t usually enough!

Can you articulate exactly what will be changed, and for whom, as a result of what you your grant sets out to accomplish?

How will you find out if anything has, in fact, changed? This is “evaluation.” Evaluation has two parts: 1) record-keeping of costs and attendance, and 2) finding out if your project or organization made any difference. People usually do the first; people rarely think through the second. The second part of evaluation is just as important.

Written by:
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Career Resources for People with Disablities

According to the CareerCast Disability Network, Best Jobs for People with Disabilities 2014, changes in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that took effect in March of 2015 should result in a stronger market for job seekers with disabilities.
Job Seekers with Disabilities - courtesy
Job seekers with disabilities - courtesy

The “Final Rule,”  amendments set a goal for many U.S. companies to expand their workforces so that 7% of their employees are disabled. It's an amendment to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act meant to promote the hiring of applicants with disabilities by government contractors and subcontractors. The net result of this change should be a huge increase in the hiring of disabled candidates, says Janet Fiore, the Philadelphia-based CEO of the Sierra Group and President of

How can you ensure that job seekers with disabilities in your community are aware of job opportunities?

If you or your staff have had limited experience serving people with disabilities you can access great basic information on the DPI website at: Serving Special Populations

Ticket to Work is a Federally-funded employment program designed to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries (i.e., individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplement Security Income benefits based on disability) the choices, opportunities, and support they need to enter the workforce and maintain employment with the goal of becoming economically self-supporting over time.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides important data on employment policies relating to people with disabilities. The OPM site also links to organizations seeking to hire people with disabilities. Learn more at is the U.S. federal website for comprehensive information about disability-related programs, services, policies, laws, and regulations.  One great feature is the Disability Blog, a wonderful platform for learning from others in the community.

Reading Braille - Courtesy NOC
Reading Braille - Courtesy NOD
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has been a leader in advancing opportunities for people with all kinds of disabilities for over 30 years. The NOD website offers some valuable resources on employment issues.

The Great Lakes ADA Center website offers valuable information on a broad spectrum of issues of concern to persons with disabilities, family members, and community organizations working to serve their needs.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development offers resources targeting job seekers with disabilities at

The Job Center of Wisconsin offers a Disability Toolbox designed to help job seekers prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment that is consistent with the job seeker’s individual strengths, resources, capabilities, interests.

Next month I'll share sites of interest to job seekers with disabilities.

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Inquiry Institute 2015

Photos of participants
Teams at work on Inquiry projects
The Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire was an ideal learning lab for the educators who participated in the Inquiry Institute. The Institute was supported by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds, awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The Inquiry Institute was held July 20-22, 2015. Teams of school librarians, teachers, and other educators came from across the state representing schools, districts, CESAs, and the DPI.

Dr. Leslie Maniotes has been immersed in the Guided Inquiry framework as a researcher, educator, presenter and facilitator. Her expertise, the power of the Guided Inquiry Framework, the collective wisdom of the participants and a setting that was truly a learning laboratory created great synergy. Participants were immersed in their learning and very intentional about the projects they created to use in their districts. WI DPI School Libraries Professional Learning Community includes more photos. This PLN (professional learning community) site will also include additional follow up. Participants will be sharing stories and information about the implementation of the projects they developed at the Institute. They are also very committed to continuing to build on the connections they created in their three days together so stay tuned.

Learning happens everywhere
This learning experience was powerful on many levels. Educators representing North Crawford, Milwaukee, CESAs (Cooperative Educational Service Agency) 10 and 12, Ashland, Janesville, Augusta, Eau Claire, Chequamegon, and DPI (Department of Public Instruction) came together as a very diverse group with a wide range of backgrounds. Their willingness to dig deeply into their own projects and the optimal learning environment created by Dr. Maniotes and the Chippewa Valley Museum show what can happen for learners of all ages when they have opportunities to collaborate, create and construct meaningful projects. 

Liz B. said it very well when she said, “I got immediately useful strategies to shift my instruction and empower students to take charge of their learning and create…”   

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

Monday, August 10, 2015

August Edition of the Youth Services Showcase

Check out this month's edition of the Showcase to find examples of:
  • Local Hero Alerts! Libraries who highlight local talent as program guests
  • The power of reading on parade
  • A "Hero Match" interactive bulletin board, and
  • Homemade superhero capes.
A sampling of August Showcase items
A sampling of August Showcase items
View this month's Showcase here:

Anyone is welcome to submit content and ideas for the Showcase; e.g., librarians, library directors, proud parents, supportive colleagues, etc. Only contributions featuring Wisconsin youth services and Wisconsin public libraries will be featured on the Showcase. Collaborative projects can be submitted; however, the Showcase will focus on the public library connection; e.g., a photo of a library book talk at a 4-H meeting will emphasize public library outreach. To submit an item for the Showcase, contact Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Youth and Special Services Consultant.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Friday, August 7, 2015

Archiving the Web : the Wisconsin Historical Society's Archive-It Collections

Guest post by Eileen Snyder, Wisconsin Government Publications Librarian at WHS
Wisconsin Historical Society logo
Courtesy of WHS
The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) began developing the WHS Archive-It Collections back in 2010 to collect electronic government records from state agency websites. The WHS state agency website collection ties into the Wisconsin Document Depository Program’s efforts to collect primarily individual pdf state agency through the Wisconsin Digital Archives

Archive-IT logo
Courtesy of Archive-It

Archive-It is a license-based product of the non-profit Internet Archive for collecting websites and other information on the internet. The Internet Archive is the same organization that created the Wayback Machine for archiving the internet, and while the tools are similar, they differ in that Archive-It collections are curated and full-text searchable, while websites for the Wayback Machine are captured mostly automatically and are not full-text searchable.

In 2010, the imminent disappearance of websites and other online information related to Governor Doyle's administration offered WHS the opportunity to pilot the Archive-It tool by archiving Governor Doyle’s webpages before the new administration took over. The tool provided a way to quickly collect and preserve the information from the Governor’s website, as well as his Facebook and Flickr pages, YouTube channel, and various other websites and social media from his administration, all of which would otherwise have disappeared. WHS web archiving efforts grew from that project, beginning with state agency websites.

WHS continues to expand the use of Archive-It. Today, in addition to state agency websites, WHS collects county and municipal government websites, and topical websites of special interest to Wisconsin, such as sites related to recent gubernatorial campaigns, mining in Wisconsin, and sustainable agriculture. We also have an extensive collection of online newspapers and newsletters and a collection related to existing national manuscripts collections in WHS archives.

I hope you will visit the WHS Archive-It Collections often. It is a constantly growing and changing resource. For more information, see the WHS website.

Written by:
Eileen Snyder, Wisconsin Historical Society