Friday, July 29, 2016

2016 New Director Boot Camp, Part II

On July 19, I posted an article about the 2016 New Public Library Director Boot Camp to this blog. We opened registration for the event on Thursday, July 21, and in 3 business days we had 30 confirmed registrations! The Boot Camp is filling up quickly, so if you are a new director, please read this important information:

  • We sent invitations to 73 new library directors on July 21. If you are a new director and you did NOT receive the invitation email, then check your spam or emails for that day. If you still can't find it, contact me at to be added to the list
  • If you have information about a director vacancy that has been recently filled but the individual has not started the new position yet, please contact me at the email above
  • If you know a new director, share this post with them

Let's give every new director in the state a chance to meet with other directors and learn all about public library administration!

Written by:
Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rick Grobschmidt was an advocate for all Wisconsin libraries

The Wisconsin library community lost a terrific leader and advocate with the passing of Richard Grobschmidt this past week after a long illness.  State Superintendent Tony Evers issued a statement expressing sympathy following the death of Richard Grobschmidt:

“Wisconsin lost an ally for kids and families with the passing of Rick Grobschmidt. He served the state in many roles: as a teacher in South Milwaukee, as a Wisconsin State Representative and Senator, and as an Assistant State Superintendent at the Department of Public Instruction. He was principled in his beliefs, but always looked for ways to build common ground to better serve his constituents and our state.  Rick touched many lives and was one of the kindest people I have ever met. I am glad to have called him a friend. My condolences to Barb, Rick’s family, and his many friends.”

As Assistant State Superintendent, Rick oversaw the Wisconsin state library functions. The library teams within his DPI division included Public Library Development and the Reference and Loan Library (now Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning).  Rick was the staff liaison to the Council on Libraries and Network Development (COLAND), rarely missing any of their bi-monthly meetings.  He worked very closely with then-COLAND chair Kathy Pletcher on the 2008 Visioning Summit.  Rick also oversaw the school library media and instructional technology functions at DPI.  During his tenure, Rick’s team led the revision of licensing standards for School Library Media Specialists.  In addition to library responsibilities, Rick also had responsibility for Early Childhood and Service Learning program areas, as well as all information systems functions within DPI.
Rick and the Wisconsin delegation to the 2007 American Library Association Legislative Days, pictured with Representative Steve Kagen.
Rick and the Wisconsin delegation to the 2007 American Library Association Legislative Days, pictured with Representative Steve Kagen. Photo from May/June 2007 issue of Channel newsletter.

Rick was a skillful and engaged advocate for public and school libraries, working with the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Advisory Committee, COLAND, the Governor’s Office, and the Legislature.  Rick regularly attended ALA Legislative Days in Washington, DC, leading the Wisconsin contingent on their congressional office visits.  Rick was also a regular participant in many WLA and WEMTA (WEMA) annual conferences and meetings, as well as meetings of the national Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA).
Rick, along with State Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, and Secretary of State Doug LaFollette, accepts the ceremonial check from the 2009 Common School Fund distribution.
Rick, along with State Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, and Secretary of State Doug LaFollette, accepts the ceremonial check from the 2009 Common School Fund distribution. Photo from Winter/Spring 2009 issue of Channel newsletter.
Rick was welcoming to all, the long-standing professionals and leaders from multi-type libraries and schools, newcomers and staff representing small and rural schools and libraries.  He made everyone feel that their insights were valued.  

Rick will be missed.

Written by:
Kurt Kiefer, Division for Libraries and Technology

BadgerLink Health Classes Starting Soon!

Join us starting August 4th for the BadgerLink summer health series. Everyone is welcome!

Read our instructions on using Global Meet and use this link to join all classes. Recordings will be posted on our Training page for later viewing.

Health image
Stay healthy & informed!
August 4
3-3:30 PM
August 11
3-3:30 PM
August 18
3-3:30 PM

Too far in advance? Sign up and we'll send you reminders. 

And in the meantime, catch up on popular titles such as Better Nutrition, Environmental Nutrition, Harvard Women's Health Watch, Health Magazine, Men's Health, Pediatrics for Parents, and Prevention. All available through BadgerLink! Trouble accessing? Log in with your public library card on our site:, then try again. 

BadgerLink provides access to quality, licensed, online resources to all Wisconsin residents. Feel free to contact us with any questions! 

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Annual ILL Meeting - Register now!

Annual ILL Meeting August 16, 2016 Verona Public Library

Time is running out to register for the Annual ILL Meeting. The registration deadline is August 1, 2016.

There is no cost for the meeting, but please fill out and submit the registration form. Registration includes morning coffee, lunch, great company, and an inspiring program .
Written by:
Christine Barth, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Google Communities for Libraries: Let us know what YOU think!

Feedback - Alan Levine.jpg
Photo by Alan Levine. Some Rights Reserved.
We are quickly approaching the one-year anniversary of Google Communities for Libraries. Please let us know about your experience by completing this very short survey.

We appreciate your feedback and hope we can work together to make this communication platform even better!

As a reminder, you can find links to our current communities, instructions on how to sign up for a Google account with your work email, and tips and tricks on using Google+ on the Public Library Development Team’s Communication Page.

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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Job Seeker Website Update

With input from the field, staff at Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning are developing a "job seeker" website for libraries. The purpose of this site is to share vetted, free, online resources for job seekers. We are happy to report that this resource for libraries, librarians, and library users is currently under construction! 

Image of what the layout of the Job Seeker website may look like. It has the DPI header and top navigation with a left navigation bar that allows you to browse our collection of job seeking resources.
Mock-up of the
Job Seeker Website
The site will be a part of the Department of Public Instruction website with a DPI URL.The layout and look of the website will be similar to the WISELearn website: We've put together a mock-up of what the site may look like.

A screenshot of a generic library website with Job Seeker resources embedded on the page
Mock-up of a generic library website
with embedded Job Seeker resources
When the site is launched, you will have the option to link to the page on the DPI website or copy and paste JavaScript to embed the resources on your website. We will also provide a Google spreadsheet of the resources on the website.

In April, we hosted a few online meetings to get feedback on what we had already put together. Based on that feedback, we put together a Google spreadsheet of resources. Here is a draft of the resources and categories that will be on the website.

We want to know what you think. Provide your feedback in our survey.
Let us know!
In addition to needing an official name for this project, we'd also like some additional feedback. Take this short survey to let us know what you think. Please complete the survey by August 1st. We plan for the website to be available by the end of August.

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Emerald Ash Borer in Wisconsin

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive, wood boring beetle that kills ash trees of any size, any age, healthy or unhealthy (according to research by Michigan State University and the US Forest Service). Accidentally brought to the United States in the wood of shipping crates from China, EAB was found for the first time in Wisconsin in August 2008 near the community of Newburg, several miles northeast of West Bend and continues to spread. A news release reports that most recently, EAB was found to have spread into Wood County.

Picture of an Emerald Ash Borer
Courtesy of DATCP
The greatest threat of EAB spreading throughout the state is by people accidentally moving EAB larvae inside infested firewood, ash nursery stock, and other items made with ash wood. With more than 770 million ash trees in Wisconsin and nearly 7 percent of the tree population potentially at risk, EAB will continue to have a significant impact on Wisconsin.

Learn what Wisconsin is doing to respond to EAB by visiting the Wisconsin Digital Archives:

For more information visit Wisconsin's Emerald Ash Borer Information Source website . This website provides general information about EAB, ways to report and identify EAB, information about regulations and current maps showing where EAB is located in Wisconsin.

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Protecting Patron Privacy: HTTPS Coming To WISCAT

Full HTTPS will be enabled for WISCAT and all Auto-Graphics, Inc. customers using SHAREit by December 2016.  Auto-Graphics is one of the initial signers of the Library Digital Privacy Pledge.  

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP  (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol).  As an HTTPS website, all information sent using a web browser to WISCAT will be encrypted, preventing anyone from intercepting the message anywhere along the network to the serverLibrary patron names, email addresses, passwords, catalog searches, and interlibrary loan requests will be protected.

Until recently, implementing HTTPS was very expensive to obtain from a certificate authority verifying a website as trusted.  Now it is freely available through Let's Encrypta public service provided by the Internet Security Research Group.
Lock shown protecting password access
Information Privacy (Pixabay)

You can read more about the Library Digital Privacy Pledge of 2015 and an explanation of HTTPS in a blog by Eric Hellman, a leader of the initiative; and in What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS by Jacob Hoffman-Andrews.

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

2016 New Public Library Director Boot Camp Scheduled

The Public Library Development Team is pleased to announce that the 2016 New Public Library Director Boot Camp has been scheduled for Thursday and Friday, September 29-30, 2016, at the recently renovated Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott in Wausau.

Originally intended to be held every other year, this one-day event was planned to provide public library directors either new to the position or new to Wisconsin with an orientation to the laws and regulations that affect the operation of public libraries in our fair state, as well as other useful information such as advocacy, collaboration, and media relations. Since its inception in 2012, the Boot Camp has received extremely positive feedback from attendees. In fact, recommendations from surveys indicated that the Boot Camp could be a bit longer to allow for attendance at more of the breakout sessions offered. The Public Library Development Team listened to this valuable input and, in coordination with multiple library systems across the state, planned a new and improved event with additional content offered in smaller, more digestible pieces, in an immersive format.

The 2016 Boot Camp will offer two days of new director camaraderie, jam-packed with—yes, laws and regulations—but also useful and practical information on creating strong policies and procedures, managing staff, budgeting, planning for the future, running the facility, tackling current issues, gathering and reporting data, re-envisioning the library through community engagement, incorporating inclusivity, and more. Seasoned library leaders will lead these discussions before attendees broken into groups of “like” libraries. Even better, this immersive learning experience is made possible through funds from the Institute of Museums and Library Services, the federal organization that administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). This means that attendance, including fees, supplied meals and lodging, is available at little to no cost for new directors! Due to space constraints, attendance is limited, and we expect registration to fill quickly.
Director's Chair (Pixabay)

Do you know someone new to the director’s chair? Please share this post with your new colleagues so that they can plan for this amazing professional development opportunity. New directors can expect invitations in the next couple of weeks.

If you have questions, please contact Boot Camp coordinator Shannon Schultz.

Written by: Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development Team

Friday, July 15, 2016

What Does It Mean to Be Inclusive?

Image of globe surrounded by hands of all colors
Inclusion is for everyone (Pixabay)
As a college undergraduate, one of my first courses in the UW's School of Education was called "Strategies for Inclusive Schooling." I remember being so confident in my decision to become an elementary school teacher, but was immediately confused when I read the name of this assigned course. What did "inclusive schooling" mean? 

I soon realized that this would be one of my first tastes of professional jargon, and learned that "inclusive schooling" is an approach to educating students with special educational needs. Under the inclusion model, students with special needs spend most or all of their time with non-disabled students (Wikipedia). Inclusive schooling is an educational movement that stresses interdependence and independence, views all students as capable, and values a sense of community. Further, it supports civil rights and equity in the classroom (Paula Kluth)

Fast forward two decades and I again find myself defining what it means to be inclusive, specifically in terms of public library service. The title of my position at the Department of Public Instruction recently changed from "Youth and Special Services Consultant" to "Youth and Inclusive Services Consultant."  This change is not simply a matter of wording; it is also represents a change in mindset. The term "special needs" suggests an us/them framework, while "inclusive" suggests belonging and acceptance. The catalyst for this shift stemmed from dialog on local, state, and national levels.  I feel refreshed by this evolution, and recognize that my title is only the tip of the iceberg.

Welcome mat
How do you welcome all library users? (Pixabay)
In the coming months, the Public Library Development Team will be exploring what inclusive services means in both theory and practice. For example, as we evaluate the current Five Year Plan for LSTA and begin work on the new plan, we will be making recommendations for projects and categories that support inclusive services. Rather than developing services that are reactive accommodations, we will look to support proactive efforts based on authentic community engagement. For example, rather than a grant to purchase a vendor's suggestions of popular materials in the Spanish language, grants would support library outreach efforts to identify, listen, and learn from Spanish-speaking community members. 

If you are reading this and feeling like I did as a college sophomore, rest assured that you are not alone. We are all in this together--that is the essence of inclusion. As we move forward with this conceptual shift, you might recognize how inclusive many of your services already are. In other ways, you might reflect on ways that individuals and groups in your community might not feel welcome or included by the library. 

  • For example, maybe you make it a point to welcome families to storytime by saying, "Hello kids and grownups!" versus making assumptions about who is a mom/dad/foster parent/grandparent, etc. 
  • On the other hand, maybe your library card application form suggests an unintended bias based toward gender identity, family structure, or language-preference.
Two recent articles offer some food for thought about inclusion and access. An opinion piece by Teneka Williams in the June 2016 American Libraries Magazine explores inclusion in policy and practice. A post on the In the Library with a Lead Pipe blog discusses accessibility through document design.  Please be in touch with your ideas about inclusive library services. I look forward to engaging conversations in the Wisconsin public library community about ways that we can model and create inclusive services for all. 

Written by:

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Library of the Month: Rib Lake Public Library

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

Front entrance of Rib Lake Public Library
Photo Courtesy of Rib Lake Public Library
Rib Lake Public Library (RLPL) is a community hub, where people go to learn, access information, socialize, and have fun!

As one of the only wi-fi hotspots in Rib Lake, the wi-fi is available 24 hours a day. The library also provides 10 public access computers--which are in high demand. These services help bridge the digital divide that often occurs in small towns and rural areas.

Kids are read stories while sitting under a table with blue streamers to simulate the being in the deepest part of the ocean
Underwater Storytime
Photo Courtesy of Rib Lake Public Library
The children’s department serves children from birth to 12th grade, including a large homeschool community where learning and literacy skills are key to the engaging and fun programming. “Story Time Adventures,” the pre-school storytime, runs every Tuesday. The little adventurers explore the deepest parts of the ocean, tour the African Serengeti on a safari, or walk on the moon --all without leaving the library! To support early literacy, the library also offers 1000 Books before Kindergarten. For (slightly) older children, the library has a registered therapy dog, Juno, who visits the library each week with her owner Kerri Olson. Reading to Juno helps children struggling with reading or speech to gain confidence by practicing in a non-judgmental environment. Children can sign up for a block of time to read to Juno and earn prizes for reaching reading goals. In June and July, the children’s department takes a break from the "adventure" to switch to their summer library theme - On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

The library also provides learning and fun activities for adults with monthly Adult Coloring Night and a writer's workshop. Their memoir writing class, taught by author Sue Roupp, has been meeting at the library for over 2 years and is almost ready to publish their first book, Two Cups of Flour. The RLPL also owns a nice selection of local and state history books, books by local authors, newspapers, and memorabilia.

A new project has been developing the library’s digital collections. Recently, RLPL had the opportunity to participate in a newspaper pilot project. Wisconsin Historical Society, Recollection Wisconsin, WPLC, and WiLS teamed up to provide digitized historic newspapers. The Rib Lake Herald, along with newspapers from 12 other communities will be added to the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers. These historic newspaper collections will soon be available through BadgerLink.

Reading area with comfortable chairs at Rib Lake Public Library
Photo Courtesy of Rib Lake Public Library
Another digital collection is the Rib Lake High School Yearbooks. The year books are available through Google Drive and were digitized through a program offered by Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI). The entire digitization project was free. OCI paid for shipping both ways and returned a quality digital reproduction of the yearbooks. In addition to digitized print materials, RLPL also owns a collection of oral histories from the 1980s that are in the process of being digitized. Using an inexpensive USB cassette capture device, the library is converting the recordings to MP3s that are also available on Google Drive: Historic Audio Interviews. This, however, is a very time-consuming process, as each tape needs to play through in real time. For more information about these projects, go to the Rib Lake Library website

Rib Lake Public Library provides resources that help their community explore the past and look to the future!

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Thoughts on the Future of Libraries and Technology

At the 2016 American Library Association conference, the Library Information Technology Association held their Top Tech Trends panel discussion. The panel looks at the library and technology landscape and shares their thoughts on what they think will be the next big thing, something that libraries shouldn't overlook, and what is flash but no substance.

The panelists featured were the following:
  • Blake Carver, LYRASIS
  • Lauren Comito, Queens Library
  • Laura Costello, Stony Brook University
  • Carolyn Coulter, PrairieCat Consortium
  • Nick Grove, Meridian Library District
Some of the topics discussed have been on the radar for the last year or so, but it is clear that librarians are interested and want to know more. These topics include:
  • How to collect and use real-time data effectively
  • Virtual Reality
  • Digital Privacy
  • Security (Ransomware)
  • Using devices and equipment (tech petting zoos, robots, Spheros, etc.) to showcase new technology
  • Blockchain (Not discussed here but mentioned often lately)
Some of the topics discussed that are viewed as somewhat overhyped:
There's also mention of 3D printers being discussed as something the panel is sick of hearing about. This is similar to coding, in that the focus should not be solely on 3D printers, but how 3D printers can be included in a larger Makerspace / content creation programs that the public library offers its community.

Many of these topics are being looked at in Wisconsin public libraries. While there are no virtual reality sets being utilized so far (that we know of), there are more discussions on how to better capture, collect, and use data, how to improve security of the networks in libraries, and showcasing technology. There is also the Coding Initiative, which looks to provide resources to help increase awareness of coding as a literacy, and how computational thinking can be applied for problem solving and creativity. There are many new and exciting ways technology will impact public libraries. Share what you think the future of libraries and technology is in the Public Library Technology Community.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

COLAND to meet July 8 in La Crosse

The Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) will hold its next meeting Friday, July 8, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Gundersen Health System Library, 1900 South Avenue, La Crosse. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting either in person or may listen remotely 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 .

Items on the agenda include the nominating committee report and election of COLAND officers for 2016-17, a vote on changes to the COLAND by-laws discussed at the May 2016 meeting, reports from the COLAND goals committees, an update on the work of the Public Library System Revision Workgroup, a presentation on the Gundersen Health Systems Envision program and a tour of the library, and a report on the Collaborative Summer Library Program. Also on the agenda will be updates from the Division for Libraries and Technology and an update on library-related legislation.
Graphic of the 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.

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 currently working as library professionals 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