Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's Not Too Late To E-rate!

Upcoming presentation:
Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) logo
USAC administers the E-rate program
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is offering an E-rate information session on Preparing the Form 471, Category 2 budgets, and free and reduced counts (NSLP data). This session will be on February 4 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Follow the E-rate Google Community or watch the DPI E-rate webpage for updates on the E-rate program.
Libraries that are planning to apply for E-rate should do so soon. E-rate is the schools and libraries program that provides discounts for eligible products and services. The E-rate Modernization Order increased the available funds for schools and libraries. With the 2016 E-rate fund over $5 billion, we anticipate that most, if not all, eligible applications to be funded. Now is the time for public libraries to apply for E-rate for Category 1 services (data transmission services, internet access, and voice services) and especially for Category 2 services (internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and basic maintenance of internal connections).

But it's not too late for libraries to apply. At the very least, libraries should evaluate their needs, ask questions about the E-rate process, and plan to apply next year.

What to do:
Applicants need to file a Form 470 in the E-rate Productivity Portal (EPC) to begin the competitive bidding process for the services requested. The Form 470 is the description of services requested and certification, and the applicant should be prepared to evaluate bids and negotiate providers. One of the goals of the E-rate Modernization Order in 2014 was to improve the open and fair bidding process. This Applicants must wait 28 days after filing their Form 470 before closing the competitive bidding process and filing the Form 471.

After evaluating the bids the applicant will choose the most cost efficient option. To help with this process we suggest creating a bid evaluation matrix. Once this is done and the applicant can file a Form 471 when the filing window opens on February 3. Steps on filing a Form 471 can be found on USAC's website

Note: we encourage applicants to wait 14 days after the Form 471 filing window is open. This year's version of the Form 471 is new, and we anticipate some applicants might experience technical difficulties with the EPC portal, which is used in the filing, due to heavy demand. 


DPI E-rate Google Community

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Helping Job-seeking Veterans

WI Vets - Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau
WI Vets - courtesy U.S. Census Bureau

Wisconsin is home to about 414,000 veterans.  They make up about 11 % of our population.  Approximately 4.1% of veterans in Wisconsin were unemployed according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

As the map shows, veterans live in communities across our state, with higher concentrations on the Eastern side of Wisconsin.  Libraries around Wisconsin can assist veterans who are seeking or changing jobs and embarking on new careers.

If you're looking for ideas to perk up your portfolio of job-search services for veterans read on.

The Davenport Public Library's veteran's page uses LibGuides to share information on local groups providing employment and other services for veterans.

Hooah! Quad Cities, is a project of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, that connects veterans to news and job resources.  The organization is committed to maintaining the Rock Island Arsenal as a regional and national asset.

The San Francisco Public Library offers a Veterans Resource Center, staffed by trained volunteers who provide information about veterans benefits, resources and local services.  What a great way to bring members of the veterans community and their neighbors together. The SFPL's website features a robust assortment of links to online and print resources, local and regional organizations supporting employment and other services to veterans and more.

The Baltimore County Public Library website includes a very robust collection of links to resources designed to connect veterans to a wide range of services.  One of the more unique resources is Helmets to Hardhats - a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

The Los Angeles Public Library hosts a great site that combines links to employment postings with inspiring resources like iHeartRadio's Show Your Stripes .  Show Your Stripes is a great site built to generate awareness around the issue of veteran unemployment, encourage businesses to hire skilled veterans and help those transitioning out of the military find jobs.

There are many great sites and organizations working with vets on employment issues.  One of the most robust is Military.Com - the MONSTER Veterans Employment Center.  It offers a valuable tool that helps veterans translate their military skills to specialties sought in the civilian work force.

If you know and use other great tools in helping veterans who are seeking jobs or changing careers, please share them!

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Library of the Month: Ridgeland Area Library

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

Outside of Ridgeland Area Library
Courtesy of  Ridgeland Area Library
The founding of the Ridgeland Area Library is evidence of the strength of the community and the need for a library in every community.

When a local history buff who wrote a book about local veterans passed away, her sons wanted a place to share her research. A Little Free Library owner heard about it, and spread the word. One thing led to another and a survey was sent out to the Ridgeland area about starting a local library. The survey confirmed what the community already knew; there was a need for a library. Being on the county line, Ridgeland was considered an underserved population with the nearest library about 20 miles away.

Once the word got out, donations to support the library started flowing in. All new shelving was donated and a lot of books. The books that aren’t added to the collection are sold and the proceeds go to support the library. Even the building housing the library, the previous American Legion building, was donated to the town.

Ridgeland is a small town of less than 300 people, but a community with a big heart. When something needs to be done, people roll up their sleeves and pitch in. It is common for people to volunteer their time to support the community. Right now, the entire staff supporting the library are volunteers. In the near future, the library board hopes to become a library branch of an existing library and to join a library system to provide paid staff and to expand library services to this worthy community.

Computers at Ridgeland Area Library
Computers at Ridgeland Area Library
In January, Ridgeland Area Library will begin children’s programming with a makerspace and a, twice monthly, story time. Volunteers will present a Frozen themed story time with snacks and crafts and a retired science teacher will share experiments and excitement.

Congratulations to the Ridgeland Area Library! You are an inspiring story of a community who saw a need and worked together to make it happen. So much love has been poured into your beginning and so much more will feed your success.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

COLAND to meet by teleconference on January 22, 2016

The Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) will hold its next meeting Friday, January 22, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. by teleconference originating from the headquarters of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Conference Room 325, 125 South Webster Street, Madison. Members of the public are invited to participate either in person or by calling in to conference call bridge at 1-877-820-7831, pass code 709486. The meeting agenda is available from the COLAND web page at

Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin
Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin
Items on the agenda include a vote on a revision to the COLAND bylaws related to the Nominating Committee selection date in Article III, Section 2; an update on the Public Library System Revision Steering Committee, final review and vote on the approval of COLAND's Biennial Report to the State Superintendent on the Condition and Progress of Wisconsin Libraries 2013-2015, discussion and approval of COLAND's goals for 2015-16, a legislative update, and updates from the Division for Libraries and Technology.

At its November 13, 2015, meeting, COLAND held a public hearing to discuss and hear testimony regarding the State Superintendent’s Biennial Report to COLAND on interlibrary cooperation and resource sharing each biennium. Section 43.03(3)(d), Wis. Stats., requires the state superintendent to submit to the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) a biennial report which describes the programs and policies to promote cooperation and resource sharing among all types of libraries and to plan, coordinate, evaluate and set statewide priorities for the development of networks to enable interlibrary cooperation and resource sharing carried out in the preceding biennium and the programs and policies to be carried out in the succeeding biennium. The final version of the report is available at Biennial Report on Interlibrary Cooperation and Resource Sharing 2013-2017.

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.

Several vacancies currently exist on COLAND. Individuals interested in being considered for appointment to the Council 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 The vacant terms are both public and professional seats. Individuals from northern, central, and western parts of the state are especially encouraged to apply.

Additional information about COLAND can be found at

Written by:
Roslyn Wise, Division for Libraries and Technology

Thursday, January 14, 2016

DPI Changes All PLD Webpage and File URLs

The Department of Public Instruction periodically makes agencywide changes to the structure of its website. This week, DPI changed the URLs of all Public Library Development Team (PLDT) webpages and added levels of navigation. Any links you have to PLDT webpages or files are now redirected only to the main team page.

Ryan Claringbole has listed PLD's former and current webpage URLs in sheet Sheet2 of

For quick reference, the 20 PLD webpages most visited in the past 12 months are listed below in alphabetical order by page title.

Written by
Jamie McCanless and Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

BadgerLearn Pro: 2015 in Review

This past year saw significant growth for BadgerLearn Pro, including a 39% increase in Twitter followers and 273 new continuing education resources, many created right here in Wisconsin. Thanks to all of our partners for continuing to make BadgerLearn Pro a valuable resource for Wisconsin libraries. See below for a selection of 2015’s most popular webinars.

From WebJunction
Do you quake at the thought of public speaking? Are you also faced with the need to communicate to audiences, small or large, the importance of your work in libraries? You really can overcome your anxieties and master the art of public speaking. View this webinar to learn some basic skills for preparing and delivering speeches, plus tips to manage your nervousness and make your presentations more memorable. Armed with practical techniques, you’ll be ready to deliver clear, persuasive, and engaging presentations on behalf of your library.

From Outagamie Waupaca Library System
An introductory webinar on the basic types and genres of nonfiction, combined with practical techniques and tips for developing nonfiction title awareness and nonfiction readers' advisory skills. Learn the types and genres of nonfiction, discuss attributes of nonfiction readers, learn basic resources and techniques for nonfiction title awareness, and learn techniques for offering nonfiction readers' advisory services (both direct and indirect).

From Indianhead Federated Library System
Samantha Johnson, Augusta Public Library and a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, shares ideas about easy, low-cost programs that libraries can provide to encourage the writers in their communities.

From Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
It’s a new year and a great time to revisit free tools and resources that enhance programs, services, and collections for youth of all ages. The Public Library Development Team collaborated with four Wisconsin partners to bring you this fabulous webinar: CCBC, Wisconsin Media Lab,, and BadgerLink.

From Booklist
Almost all public libraries offer the library edition of popular ancestry resources, but not many provide in-depth training on how staff can help patrons use those resources. Getting the most out of online genealogy resources requires knowing some basics about research and practicing search strategies that really work. In this informative webinar based on her book Genealogy: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Katherine Pennavaria covers those basics and answers questions about doing genealogy research, and also shows you how to search ancestry resources like a pro.

BadgerLearn Pro is a joint project under active development.

Our Partners:
 Bridges Library System Logo  DPI Logo  Indianhead Federated Library System Logo UW SLIS logo   Milwaukee County Federated Library System    OWLS logoWiLS Logo
 Winnefox Library System LogoIMLS logo
Written by:
Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

NEW Tools for the Library Classroom

Help visually express information and relationships between ideas, supplement information literacy skill-building, spark critical thinking, and enhance comprehension using the growing collection of BadgerLink Graphic Organizers.

Now available to download or print through the BadgerLink website!

BadgerLink Graphic Organizers
Main Ideas & Details and Credible Sources

Questions or comments? Contact BadgerLink.

Written by:
Elizabeth Neuman, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Internet Resources for Interlibrary Loan

Guest post by Carol Nelson, Minitex

There are a lot of great sources for information about interlibrary loan (ILL) on the Internet. If you are looking for ways to connect to other ILL staff, or to read up on trends in interlibrary loan, check out these links:

ShareILL is a website designed and maintained by interlibrary loan staff. You will find ILL codes
ShareILL logo
and guidelines, OCLC Custom Holdings lists created and shared by other ILL staff, and online directories.The "Keeping Current" section has links to conferences, e-mail lists, associations, and publications.

ILLers; a FB Group For Interlibrary Loan is a closed group, so send a request to the group if you would like to join. The posts range from helpful information to examples of the fun and interesting things that happen in our ILL offices. Many members post to the group regularly.

ILL-L is a discussion forum for ILL practitioners in all types of libraries around the world. You will see messages requesting help locating an item, asking for advice, or providing information to other ILL staff.

OCLC-Sharing-L is an email list for announcements, changes, and enhancements to OCLC resource sharing services. Subscribers cannot post items on this list, but it will keep you up-to-date on OCLC news.

@OCLC is one twitter account you should follow when you need information about OCLC outages. When OCLC had system issues this fall, their staff e-mail accounts were also affected. Twitter was the only place OCLC users could get information about the downtime, so OCLC recommends checking here if you suspect system issues.

Workflowtoolkit-l should be on your radar if your library uses ILLiad. This is the best list for sharing news, support, ideas, and best practices for ILLiad.

Library Science Daily is a curated list of links to library news gathered from the web. Reading up on the latest news about libraries will give you something to discuss with your colleagues in the breakroom.

Written by:
Carol Nelson, Minitex

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Google+ Rolls Out New Interface

Google Plus Icon
Google+ Icon
As you are probably already aware, DPI is in the process of transitioning from WISPUBLIB, our state library listserv, to Google Communities for Libraries, a social platform that allows more nuanced and searchable conversation to happen between members of the Wisconsin Library Community. There are currently six Google Communities for Libraries:

Public Library Communities:

Other Library Related Communities:

If you’ve visited the communities lately, you’ve probably noticed Google is in the process of rolling out a new interface for the Google+ platform. DPI is recommending the use of the classic interface for the time being. We are actively monitoring the update and will make the recommendation to switch over when we are confident the platform is stable. Here’s what we know so far:

Good news for longevity

The fact that Google is investing money and resources into a Google+ update shows the company is interested in keeping the service around. Bradley Horowitz, Vice President of Photos and Streams, said in an interview with TechCrunch that the company relied on intensive user research and even went out into the field to watch how power users interacted with the service.

Mobile first philosophy

Google believes the future of communication and computing will happen on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Unsurprisingly, this new update hopes to optimize the user experience for mobile, touchscreen users. Some features we were used to, polls and events for example, have been removed from the desktop environment. There is speculation that these features will be restored at some point, but as of now they are only available through the classic interface.

Focus on Content

The new update places an increased focus around bringing users together around a certain topic (libraries for example!) and a decreased focus on the traditional social media mindset of adding tons of “friends” to your account. Content, not companionship, is king.

Test the Waters

Martin Shervington, a marketing consultant with over a million followers on Google+, put together a fairly comprehensive video tutorial on getting around in the new Google+ desktop interface if you want to dip your toes in the water a bit.

DPI is partnering with OWLS to provide a webinar on using Google Communities for Libraries on January 26th at 2 pm. Registration for this webinar is open to all Wisconsin librarians. This webinar will be archived and made available for viewing on BadgerLearn Pro.

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

State Government Supports Your New Year's Resolutions!

Happy New Year 2016 with fireworks
Courtesy of Pixabay
Happy New Year! Many people kick off the new year by making a new year's resolution. Unfortunately many people are often unable to keep the resolutions they make. The Statistic Brain Research Institute published the list below of the most common new year's resolutions made.

If you made one of the resolutions on the list, then 2016 could be the year you keep your new year's resolution! Check out how state government programs and services can help support you in keeping your new year's resolution so you can have your best year yet!
  1. Lose Weight - The Dept. of Health Services, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program provides statewide leadership to help prevent obesity and chronic illness.
  2. Getting Organized - The Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Office of Privacy Protection helps consumers organize their personal information to prevent identity theft.
  3. Spend Less, Save More - The Dept. of Financial Institutions, Office of Financial Literacy provides training to help consumers learn about personal finance.
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest - The Dept. of Tourism can help you plan your next adventure by highlighting places to go, things to do and activities to enjoy throughout the state of Wisconsin.
  5. Staying Fit and Healthy - The Dept. of Natural Resources can connect you with activities such as skiing, canoeing, and hiking to keep you active and enjoying the beauty of Wisconsin's great outdoors.
  6. Learning Something Exciting - The Dept. of Public Instruction, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning can help you learn about anything your heart desires through access to BadgerLink, WISCAT and the Wisconsin Digital Archives.
  7. Quit Smoking - The Dept. of Health Services, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program provides support and resources to overcome tobacco addiction.
  8. Help Others in Their Dreams - The Dept. of Workforce Development WORKnet is your connection to finding your dream job! Explore new job opportunities and connect with employers.
  9. Fall in Love - The Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Something Special from Wisconsin Program wants you to fall in love with products made by local farmers, food processors, and entrepreneurs in Wisconsin that support Wisconsin's economy.
  10. Spend More Time with Family - The Dept. of Transportation, 511 Wisconsin service will save you time and keep you safe on Wisconsin's roads by keeping you informed about road conditions and traffic delays.
Best wishes for the new year!

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spring Happenings at SLIS Continuing Education Services

Guest post by Meredith Lowe, Outreach Specialist at SLIS, the iSchool at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Logo courtesy of iSchool


UW-Madison SLIS is pleased to announce our spring online courses! Many of our spring courses are filling up fast, so please register soon! We’re offering an early-bird discount on registrations this year, as well as group discounts. If your library or system has a group of 5 or more people interested in a class, please contact Anna Palmer ( or Meredith Lowe ( to arrange a discounted group registration fee.


UW-Madison's School of Library and Information Studies-Continuing Education Services announces a scholarship for Wisconsin library directors currently taking certification courses. SLIS-CES will cover the entire cost of one certification course ($415) for the winner. The course must be taken during the 2016 Spring semester. Only current Wisconsin public library directors are eligible for this scholarship. Previous scholarship winners are not eligible to win again.

The winner may use the award on any one of these upcoming fall courses:
  • Basic Public Library Administration (Feb 15 – May 6)
  • Organization and Management of Collections (Feb 15 – May 6)
To apply, please send an email with "CE Scholarship" in the subject line to Meredith Lowe ( In the body of the email, include your name, library, and a paragraph or two about how taking the certification courses helps you provide excellent service to your community. Submissions are due by 5:00 PM CST January 15th.

If the winner has already registered and paid for an upcoming certification course, their course fee will be refunded.


SLIS is pleased to host our 4th annual series of free webinars this spring, presented by SLIS alumni! Registration for the webinars will open on the SLIS Continuing Education website later in January and anyone is welcome to register! The topics are very broad--youth services, archives, digital collections, outreach, you name it! Presenters will prepare a 30-minute webinar on an innovative service or practice to share with the library, archive, and information world. Webinars will be broadcast via Adobe Connect, and recordings will be available on BadgerLink. We plan to host two webinars per month from February till May. Questions? Email Meredith Lowe at


The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s School of Library and Information Studies, Continuing Education Services is pleased to announce the third Librarians’ Tour to Germany! The tour dates are May 29 – June 8, 2016. Visit the Librarians' Tour of Germany website for more information and to register.

Written by:
Meredith Lowe, Outreach Specialist at SLIS, the iSchool at University of Wisconsin-Madison