Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer reading is here. Are you ready?

Woman reading outside by the water
Image from Pixabay
Do you panic when someone asks you to recommend a book? Do you need to brush up on how to use OverDrive? Do you need help planning a book club? Or, do you need to learn more about children's books? 

BadgerLearn Pro is here to help you discover free continuing education resources! Below are a few recommended resources to refresh your readers' advisory skills. You can find additional resources on the BadgerLearn Pro website

Wisconsin's Digital Library FAQ

From Wisconsin Public Library Consortium
Do you need help using Wisconsin's Digital Library? Here are some common questions and their answers for using the OverDrive interface, both on desktop and mobile devices.

Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age

From InfoPeople
Want ideas to help users apply engaging reading techniques across books, apps, movies, and other media? Author Jason Boog explores a set of interactive reading techniques that can help parents and caregivers to increase a child’s intellectual development.

“Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.”: An Overview of the Horror Genre

From Kentucky Department for Library and Archives
How do you help your patron find horror books that match their preferences? Learn about the basics of horror in this one-hour session.

Diversity in Children’s Literature

From Georgia Public Library Service
Join us for a conversation with award-winning children’s book illustrator R. Gregory Christie about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. We’ll talk with him about his work, his inspiration, and his recent projects.
How can you prepare and what are some tips and tricks for making the group run smoothly and the discussion meaningful? Join Vicki Wood, Youth Services Supervisor at Lincoln City Libraries and Lisa Kelly – Nebraska Library Commission - as they present lessons learned from leading book groups.

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Some Sources of Wisconsin Demographic Data

I recently saw an animation of U.S. demographic data scaled down to 100 people. It really just depicts percentages in whole numbers, but the visual comparisons are informative.

Wouldn't a Wisconsin version be interesting? I haven't had time to design one, but these are some Wisconsin population estimates by county from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS):

American FactFinder has many, many more files of ACS information, although not all data is available for all Wisconsin counties for all years. Oh, and if you find an "If Wisconsin Were 100 People" video, let me know!

Written by
Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Monday, June 27, 2016

LSTA Advisory Committee Determines 2017 Grant Categories

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Advisory committee met on June 2nd in DeForest, WI to discuss proposed LSTA Grant Categories and funding for 2017. Sub-award categories and preliminary funding amounts are as follows, pending approval of the federal budget by the U.S. Congress:
  • Accessibility, Competitive, $60,000
  • Delivery, Non-Competitive, $90,000
  • Digital Creation, Competitive, $100,000 
  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Non-Competitive,$50,000 
  • Digitization of Library Historical Material, Competitive, $20,000 
  • Library System Technology, Non-Competitive, $350,000 
  • Literacy, Competitive, $60,000
  • Outcome Measurement Support, Non-Competitive, $75,000 
  • Public Library System Redesign (PLSR), Non-Competitive, $150,000 
This will be the second year of the recently altered LSTA grant award cycle. 2016 grant awardees are a few months into the first year of the new schedule.

Schedule of important dates for the 2017 grant award cycle is as follows:
  • July (Late) 2016:  2017 Grant Information & Guidelines announced
  • Aug.(Early) 2016: 2017 Grant Application form opens 
  • Oct. (Mid) 2016:  Grant Applications Due 
  • Dec. 1, 2016: Advisory Committee proposes grant awards 
  • Apr. 1, 2017: 2017 LSTA Grant Year begins
The committee also approved the following Division for Libraries (DLT) Managed Projects and Resources for funding in 2017:
  • Learning Express Library License, $95,000
  • New Library Director Orientation, $13,000
  • WILEAD, $60,000
  • WI Public Library Coding Project (Year 2), $100,000
  • Youth and Inclusive Services CE Projects, $15,000
  • Youth and Inclusive Services Institutes,$30,000
During the meeting, Division staff expressed its support for the Aspen Report through a slide presentation and discussion with the Committee. In preparation for the development of the 2018-2022 LSTA Plan for Wisconsin and the WI Public Library Standards, DLT staff discussed the creation of action steps to assist libraries seeking to become part of the leadership in their communities.

Written and posted by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Library of the Month: Crivitz School District Libraries

The BadgerLink team recently noticed a lot of visits to BadgerLink from Crivitz School District, a rural district in Marinette County. With such big numbers coming from such a small district, the BadgerLink team is featuring the Crivitz School District Libraries as June’s Library of the Month!

Crivitz Elementary School Library
Crivitz Elementary School Library, photo courtesy of Hope Simpson

The Crivitz School District Libraries are making the transition to libraries without walls, and BadgerLink is helping them accomplish that task.  District Librarian Hope Simpson says her goal is to “provide resources for our students that are accurate and reliable. Whether it be for basic research or an in-depth project, BadgerLink helps us meet that goal. BadgerLink is a “go to” resource for our library staff and as a result is promoted with our educators and students and is easily accessed off our library’s website.”

Students study in the Crivitz High School Library
Students study in the Crivitz High School Library, photo courtesy of Hope Simpson

Crivitz School District serves over 700 students, and this year students and staff alike were excited to have wireless capabilities within each of the district’s buildings.  Wireless access, teamed with the purchase of over 300 ChromeBooks, has helped the small district to make the transition toward the concept of anytime/anywhere learning.  The availability of BadgerLink resources has helped students and staff to embrace that goal.

Crivitz High School Library
Crivitz High School Library, photo courtesy of Hope Simpson

While Crivitz School District is not currently a 1:1 school district, they are moving closer.  Staff uses resources such as BadgerLink with their students within the classroom for inquisitive exploration throughout the school year, and those students continue to use those resources at home.  “This combination can only be described as a win-win,” says Simpson.

Crivitz Elementary School Library
Crivitz Junior High School Library, courtesy of Hope Simpson
The BadgerLink team was excited to hear of the enthusiasm and excitement about BadgerLink coming from Crivitz School District.  Simpson went on to say that “the reliability and ease of use makes BadgerLink an awesome resource for our staff and students. Having that resource available for all Wisconsin residents free of charge is nothing short of amazing.”

Thanks to Hope Simpson and the students and staff at Crivitz School District for their support of BadgerLink!

Written by:
Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning
Hope Simpson, Crivitz School District

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Request BadgerLink Bookmarks & Posters

BadgerLink has promotional materials for your library that you can request online. Materials are mailed or sent through library delivery at no charge to you.

Ideas for promo materials at your library:
  • Put a poster or two on bulletin boards, near computers, and in study rooms
  • Place bookmarks near self check-out stations or bookdrops
  • Hand out bookmarks, postcards, or posters to parents at library events
  • Distribute bookmarks, postcards, or posters to staff
Have other ideas for getting the word out about BadgerLink? Share them with us!

Get Caught Reading poster, Audience bookmark, and Science poster
BadgerLink bookmarks & posters!

BadgerLink has always provided promotional materials for Wisconsin organizations to spread the word. We recently replenished our stock so let’s tell Wisconsin about BadgerLink!

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

John Chrastka to speak at the Annual ILL Meeting

Building Plans and Color Swatches
Building Plans

2016 Wisconsin Annual ILL Meeting
Building the Future.  Together.
August 16, 2016
Verona Public Library                                              

The Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning team is pleased to announce the Annual ILL Meeting to be held this year at the Verona Public Library. We are excited to have John Chrastka as our keynote speaker. John is executive director of EveryLibrary, the first nationwide political action committee for libraries. Since 2013, EveryLibrary has helped 25 library communities with ballot measures for funding, operations, and buildings, winning 19 and securing over $46 million in funding on Election Days. A long-time library trustee, supporter and advocate, Mr. Chrastka is a member and former president of the Board of Trustees for the Berwyn (IL) Public Library (2006 – present) and is a former president of the Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS), a multi-type library system.

John's keynote address:  My Library is a Real Library Because of ILL

Photo of John Chrastka
John Chrastka

Interlibrary loan and resource sharing are the foundation for modern library services, taking individual libraries in a network 'to scale'. The public is interested in the story about how you improve their libraries. Learn how to share your story about the impact and relevance of your work with funders and the communities you serve.

The meeting is free and includes morning coffee and lunch. Watch for registration information and a complete program to be released soon.

Written by:  
Christine Barth, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Organic Farming in Wisconsin

According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin consumers spend some $43 million on local and directly marketed foods, and increasing demand for
locally grown organic foods presents an opportunity for Wisconsin organic farmers.

Wisconsin has over 1,100 organic farms, which is more than any other state in the Midwest and second only to California. The Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism has an online directory to help consumers locate local farmers markets where many organic farmers sell their products. Also available are business directories to connect consumers to specific products sold throughout the state:

To learn more about the organic farm industry, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Here you'll find documents that provide a snapshot of this growing industry, statistics, economic impact reports and consumer standards.

Post written by:
Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

WISCAT Licensing Process Changes

Improvements are being made to simplify and streamline the WISCAT licensing process for libraries and WISCAT staff and to better align the process with our new, state accounting software.
  1. Single coverage period of January-December
  2. Earlier reminders to libraries when time to order a new license
  3. Enhanced online WISCAT order form
    • More intuitive form workflow for user
    • WISCAT Code Lookup list by city is accessible within the form
    • FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) field added - This info will help prevent invoicing delays
    • Downloadable form for use by single payer ordering for multiple libraries to attach to the online order
    • Single payer for 12 or more licenses is not required to use the online order form - contact WISCAT staff 
  4. After online form is submitted, DPI business office staff will mail invoice to library billing address

WISCAT license orders can be submitted starting in October. Look for an email reminder this Fall.

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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

New Overtime Ruling Could Affect Salaried Library Workers

New Overtime Ruling Could Affect Salaried Library Workers
On May 18, 2016, President Obama announced the publication of the Final Rule updating overtime regulations, which will become effective on December 1, 2016. This rule increases the standard salary threshold under which most white collar workers are entitled to overtime to $913 per week, compared to the existing level of $455 per week. This means that until November 30, 2016, overtime compensation is only required to be paid to full-time, exempted white collar employees who make less than $23,660; however, beginning on December 1, overtime compensation must be paid to such employees who make up to $47,476. This change could very well affect salaried library workers.
For local governments, the impact of the Final Rule is limited by other rules and exemptions. For example, hourly workers and workers with regular work weeks of 40 or fewer hours will not be affected. Salaried workers who do not primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties are also ineligible. In addition, government employers who have compensatory time arrangements (comp time) with their public employees can continue to satisfy their overtime obligations by providing comp time instead of overtime.
Local governments have a number of options for complying with the Final Rule.  For white collar workers whose salaries are close to the threshold, the employer may wish to increase the worker’s salary so that the worker can maintain their exempt status. Local government employers may choose to convert salaried employees to hourly pay. If an employee has a fairly consistent schedule and only sees occasional spikes of overtime, the government employer may simply keep the employee at their current salary and pay the overtime as the Final Rule dictates. Other options employers may consider are reorganizing workloads to reduce overtime and utilizing comp time arrangements with employees.
If you or your library workers are eligible for protection under the Overtime Final Rule, you should be prepared to discuss your local government employer’s compliance plan. You can find more information on the U.S. Department of Labor website. Click here to view a summary of the Final Rule and state and local governments. If library directors or staff have questions, they should be addressed to the county or municipality that handles payroll for your library. The DPI’s Public Library Development Team is not authorized to provide legal advice or interpretation on labor law.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The June Edition of the Youth Services Showcase

The Wisconsin Youth Services Showcase has a new online submission form. The form has proven easy to use and recent submissions populate the June showcase. Submissions can be uploaded online at: submit multiple items, refresh your browser and click on the submission link again.

A sampling of June Showcase items
A sampling of Showcase items
Check out this month's edition of the Showcase to find examples of:

  • Foam light sabers in action
  • Early literacy writing drop-in activities
  • An SLP promotional video, and
  • Easy crafts to share and display.

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. 

Written by:

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries - Update

The official roll out of the Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries begins fall 2016. This initiative focuses on increasing awareness of the whys and hows of coding for library staff and library users of all ages. What role does the public library have in learning and use of computational thinking? What resources are available to libraries? Are there nearby community organizations and/or schools that are doing similar projects or have resources libraries can use through partnerships? The initiative will look to provide answers to these questions.

Right now the biggest question might be what we mean when we say code? As stated on the Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries web page,
When we say 'coding,' we mean not only coding and computer programming, but also coding as a literacy, as the ability to apply computational thinking for problem solving and stimulating creativity. More than anything, we want to increase awareness that coding concepts are for anyone and everyone.
The initiative will kick off with a screening of the documentary film CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap at 20 public libraries in the state. The documentary looks at the lack of female and minority software engineers, the historical context of this situation, and how would everyone benefit if this was not the case. Recently a poll went out asking Wisconsin public libraries if they would like to participate, as well as other questions regarding coding. The poll is still open for those that have not yet participate.

The Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries is a DPI managed project using LSTA funds. There will be resources added to the web page over the course of the year. Community partners and school districts that are participating in coding and similar programs will be identified so public libraries can reach out for potential partnerships. WisCode Literati, one of the teams from the 2015 ILEAD USA - Wisconsin program and partner in this initiative, is presenting at conferences and holding workshops in public libraries around the state on materials and kits and resources for libraries doing coding programs with no tech, low tech, and hi tech options.

Look for more information about the initiative and the film screening in the next couple months.

Questions about the Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries can be sent to Ryan Claringbole or Tessa Michaelson Schmidt.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team