Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2015 Youth Services Institute Graduates--Reflections One Year Later

One year ago, I published the names of the 25 graduates of the 2015 Youth Services Institute in a blog post. At that time, the graduates had just completed an intense multi-day training and were about to begin work on a year-long goal (or two!) back at their libraries. Recently, I asked the graduates to provide me with a report reflecting on their progress and how their professional lives have changed since the Institute. 

What follows are a few snippets from their reflections: 
  • I maintain that the time spent at Green Lake was one of the top five transformative events of my adult life.  It is difficult to put into words exactly how this has manifested itself.  I think it is more of a feeling or an attitude.  I feel more empowered, so I act more empowered.  I feel worthy, so I act worthy.   I know I am capable of promoting librarianship, so I do.  It has made me a stronger advocate for youth services in and out of my library. 
  • The institute was very inspirational. In my first report, I mentioned that there was a lot of discovery and self-realization. I will never forget the feeling that came with having to leave. I felt confident with holding a title, that before the institute, I didn’t feel I deserved. I had new ideas, and such helpful tools to take back with me – tools, that I use every day. And when I need inspiration, I know that I have a lot of people to help me or that I can turn to. I have so much more to learn, and I look forward to that challenge. In fact, the idea of going back to school for my degree in Library Science is no longer a thought, but a goal. I truly love my job, which isn’t a job at all, because it doesn’t feel like work. I have a passion for what I do. I am very blessed in the career that found me.
  • [I] was inspired to try more passive programming to both give me some breaks throughout the year and to create programs that were more convenient for patrons to come to at any time.  The passive programs have been a hit and really boosted our numbers!  Most months we have over 100 kids participating which is awesome for us.  It took a little convincing to get the rest of the staff on board but now that they see how easy it is and how many families we get, they are on board.  I don’t think I would have pushed so hard for this if I hadn’t been at the Institute and heard how important it is to take care of myself to be able to take care of the patrons. 
  • I believe I have been successful in reaching the goal I set at the Institute last year. While I had hoped to be able to reach out to an older group of kids, the school district has shown more interest in targeting younger children for our joint literacy efforts. I believe this is because they are seeing an increase in the number of kids who are struggling with literacy skills, due in part to a lack of reading in the home. I agree with their concerns and I cannot say enough good things about how beneficial this collaboration has been, for both our library and the school district.
  • I’ve learned that the challenges, while sometimes daunting, are well worth the reward. I also know that by working off the enthusiasm and dedication of the kids participating now, we can recruit and sustain a vibrant Teen Advisory Board into the future!
  • Not only did I meet the goals I set for myself, but I intend to continue on this trajectory to improve programming for my community.  
I hope these sentiments are inspiring to you and make you think of someone who might benefit from the 2017 Youth Services Institute. Watch for more updates early next year!

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Building Relations to Maintain a More Effective and Efficient Library Building

Planning, Prevention, and Proactive Repairs Prevent Costly Surprises

Maintenance construction sigh with crossed hammer and wrenchSometimes it is easy to overlook or take for granted the library building during the annual budget process. Past practices, assumptions, and ad hoc relationships with vendors or the municipality and its crews may comprise a patchwork of such services as snow clearing, mowing, basic repairs, and even cleaning services. But it is good practice to review those agreements or relationships periodically, determine how they are budgeted, who is paying for them, and, when possible, establish a more formal agreement to ensure that no surprises or abrupt changes will disrupt library operations or services in the future.

Library Trustees have a responsibility to ensure that the library facility is well maintained and refreshed periodically to make it both a functional space as well as an attractive and inviting environment for the public. Safety issues should be reviewed regularly, and the layout of furnishings and services should be reviewed with an eye to accessibility for those who may have physical limitations or difficulty navigating into and around the library. Library buildings that are outdated, worn, unattractive, poorly maintained, overcrowded, or inefficient can have a negative impact on the public, discouraging use as well as public support.

Pixabay image of boiler controls and pressure indicator
Pressure indicator, courtesy of Pixabay
The mechanical equipment should be inventoried and assessed both for preventive maintenance and any required checks and maintenance for public safety (e.g., elevator, fire extinguishers, alarms, and sprinkler systems maintenance and inspection). In some cases, the municipality or county include the library building in contracts as part of its overall facility and risk management program; in other cases, the library director and board are responsible for contracting for required or appropriate services. Some preventive maintenance, such as HVAC boiler, air handler, and condenser periodic maintenance (filter changes, pH testing, cleaning and lubrication of external components) may be done by municipal or library employees. In other communities, those services are conducted under a more comprehensive maintenance contract.

If repairs and preventive maintenance are done through the municipality or county, review any costs that may be assessed against the library's budget. If the costs appear unreasonable, discuss with the appropriate department head or the municipal administrator whether the apportionment among departments or buildings is being assessed appropriately. The library board may wish to contract itself with a vendor; however, such changes should be undertaken with careful consideration to ensure that the benefits outweigh any ill-will that might result from the library board exercising its authority over the building. Beware, too, that outside companies must profit from the services they provide. Often they will try to convince the library director to contact for a full parts-and-service maintenance contract, on the basis that the monthly or quarterly cost smooths out spikes in expenses for costly parts or equipment replacement. But the library will generally be better served by a preventive maintenance and service program that leaves parts and equipment to be charged on an as-required basis. In those cases, the library board should ascertain whether the municipality will include the library in its contingency or rainy-day fund, and appropriate additional funds in the event of a major equipment breakdown, or whether the library board must request and maintain funding on its own.

grass-level view of a lawn mower
Courtesy of Pixabay
It is tempting to have the director or library staff undertake some of the maintenance or periodic services as mowing, cleaning, light repairs, or carpet cleaning. But such penny-pinching arrangements may be costly in the end. Be sure to avoid potentially expensive liability or disability expenses by checking with the municipality's risk management or insurance carrier before permitting employees to undertake such tasks, and make sure that the personal insurance of volunteers covers accidents that may occur. The municipal attorney or risk management carrier may require a waiver in specific circumstances.

A list of specific building and facility issues to consider is beyond the scope of this brief article. It would include physical plant installations (HVAC, elevator, alarms,), exterior maintenance (mowing, landscaping, plowing, walkways, painting, tuckpointing, parking lot striping and crack sealing), and life-cycle of components, especially technology (computer and network components, alarm systems, HVAC controls). The Northeast Kansas Library System  has a maintenance checklist for public libraries that may be useful as a framework for your local situation. Maintenance and facility issues can be initially overwhelming, but by building the right building relationships, the risk of unexpected, expensive, critical or even dangerous failures can be easily prevented. Then you can have time to address the public library services you enjoy!

Written by John DeBacher
Public Library Development Team

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Job Seeker Site Now Live

Wisconsin libraries and the Department of Public Instruction are very pleased to announce the new Job Seeker website, tailored to Wisconsin residents, businesses and communities.

Lego Worker
Worker - courtesy Pixabay
Users can browse one list to see the 100+ resources selected for inclusion in the site. They can choose specific types of job postings or resources on building job-related skills. 

The easy-to-use site features links to jobs in all industries and county or city government. It features information on job-search skills like writing a successful cover letter or resume, how to complete a job application, the best ways to prepare for a winning interview, and more.  

Job seekers who may be thinking of relocating can find information on housing.  The Local Services section offers information on Department of Vocational Rehabilitation offices, resources for Veterans and information that can help released offenders connect to employment opportunities.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) programs and services are embedded in the site, making it easy for users to toggle between materials available on the Web and those posted by DWD.

Libraries can link to the website, or embed the content on their own library websites.  Instructions and links to embed the site are available on the "On Your Website" page.  The site is designed to serve both librarians helping job seekers and members of the community ready to launch their own job search process.  
Wisconsin community mainstreet
Wisconsin mainstreet - courtesy Pixabay

More than 60 Wisconsin libraries helped develop the site, contributing recommendations for content, providing feedback on the site design and navigation, and now helping to spread the word. Thank you to everyone who helped create this valuable statewide job resource for libraries and the communities they serve.

If you would like additional information on the site, have feedback or questions to share, please contact Martha Berninger

Written by Martha Berninger,
Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

New Coding Initiative Video!

The Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries is underway, and we are happy to share the new DPI introductory video to the Coding Initiative:

Please take a few minutes and fill out this short survey to help us get a better idea of coding/computer science activity in public libraries around the state, and to also help us identify what the Coding Initiative should provide to you.

Lastly, the 20 locations for the showing of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap were selected and we will share the date and time of those showings when they are collected. Information about the initiative is on the web page, and will be updated over the next few months with resources and updates.

If you have any questions about the Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries contact Ryan Claringbole or Tessa Michaelson Schmidt.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

2017 LSTA Grant Application Reminder

2017 LSTA Grant Applications are due in thirty (30) days. October 14, 2016, 4:30 pm is the deadline to submit applications for funding from April 2017-March 2018.

Don't Forget to Submit your LSTA Application!
Don't Forget to Submit your LSTA Application
Both the 2017 LSTA Application form and the 2017 Information and Guidelines are located on the Wisconsin Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) web page. ( Additionally there are frequently asked questions, links to abstracts of past grant applications, and lists of grants by category.  Copies of past grant applications and evaluations can be acquired by contacting Terrie Howe.

In this grant round there are four competitive grant categories: Literacy, Accessibility, Digitization of Library Historical Materials, and Content Creation. Funding levels are approximate and will be awarded based upon the quality of the application, available funding, and the number of applicants.

Assistance on category subaward ideas or general application questions is available from the Public Library Development Team consultants. Please do not hesitate to contact one of us about the application process or for help in the design of a project. There was a blog post to other helpful links on August 17th that is referenced here:

Written by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Monday, September 19, 2016

WI Dept. of Justice Launches Internet Safety Podcast

Protecting Wisconsin's children against internet crimes is a priority of the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice (DOJ). Wisconsin was one of the first in the nation to establish a state Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program to conduct proactive and reactive investigations to identify and assist victims of child predators and to educate the community on ways to keep children safe online.

Recently the DOJ launched the Protect Kids Online (PKO) Podcast designed as a resource for parents, grandparents, guardians, or caregivers of children. The podcasts provide information about the latest apps, websites, and online activities children 17 and youger might be engaging in. There are also tips and methods for combating online child exploitation and sextortion and information about internet safety laws, cyber-bullying, safe sharing tips and responses to listener questions.

Wisconsin Department of Justice Protect Kids Online Podcast
DOJ Protect Kids Online Podcast
Learn more about the work being done by the Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program in a report available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives:

Internet Crimes Against Children : Priority Needs for our Top Priority : Kids.

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

BadgerLink URL Changes

The BadgerLink badger enjoying fall
Fall is just around the corner. Time for apple picking, raking leaves, and helping students get back on track! BadgerLink plays a big role in students’ lives by providing reliable online information that isn’t available through free search engines. Educators and librarians are welcome to link to the BadgerLink website or directly to any of our resources on your website!

To better serve your users, it’s important to have the correct BadgerLink URLs. We use special authenticated URLs to our resources, to ensure that only Wisconsin residents are using our resources. If you aren’t using the correct link, you and your students won’t have access!

If you already link to BadgerLink resources on your website, you should know that some URLs have changed. But don’t worry, the updated URLs are easy to find! In the blue menu bar at the top of the BadgerLink website, click on Get the Word Out!. Then select, BadgerLink on your Website. On the BadgerLink on Your Website page, you can find a Google sheet for all of our current direct links. You can go ahead and bookmark this Google sheet so you can always access the most current URLs.

Changes to our resources:
Contact Us if you have any questions!

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Library of the Month: Minocqua Public Library

Beautiful flowers outside Minocqua Public Library
Photo Courtesy of Minocqua Public Library
The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

The Minocqua Public Library has come a long way since the early 1900s when the library’s collection was stored on Mrs.Torpy’s enclosed porch. Today the library is a thriving community center, expanded and renovated just five years ago to better serve the population of year round and seasonal residents, as well as vacationers who travel to Wisconsin’s beautiful northwoods. The larger facility includes areas for programming, study, quiet reading, and research. With this additional space and a greater community presence, library staff have forged partnerships and created new cooperative ventures that increase the value and scope of library service.

Man presenting to a packed room at the Science on Tap Program
Science on Tap Program
Photo Courtesy of Minocqua Public Library
For example, in early 2013, “Science on Tap – Minocqua” held its first event entitled “Wisconsin’s Northwoods: A Changing Landscape in Changing Times” at the Minocqua Brewing Company. The discussion focused on the northwoods' storied history of human impacts from logging and fishing to development and tourism. This event, like others in the series, was live-streamed at the library where attendees enjoyed root beer and pretzels. Science on Tap has become a successful partnership that has drawn large audiences (in person and online) and encourages meaningful discussions. The Science on Tap partners are UW-Madison Kemp Natural Resources StationUW-Madison Trout Lake Station for LimnologyLakeland Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni AssociationMinocqua Brewing Company, and the Minocqua Public Library. For more information, visit the group’s website at

Another collaborative effort is the newly organized Northwoods Book Festival, which includes six libraries in northern Wisconsin: Boulder Junction Public LibraryFrank B. Koller Memorial Library in Manitowish Waters, Mercer Public LibraryMinocqua Public LibraryPresque Isle Community Library, and Winchester Public Library. This partnership crosses three county lines–Iron, Oneida and Vilas–and two system boundaries (Wisconsin Valley Library Service and Northern Waters Library Service) to bring communities together. Each library has hosted an author program and a book discussion as part of a community read of Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler. A highlight of the festival featured a visit from the Wisconsin author. This relationship has offered new opportunities for library users and library staff to meet and for everyone to visit a variety of northwoods libraries.

Children and adults learn about plants in the Minocqua Public Library garden
Library Garden
Photo Courtesy of Minocqua Public Library
Finally, on a smaller scale, a gardening project has brought together library staff, story time families, and members of the library’s middle school book group to plant a variety of vegetables in two raised beds which were funded by the Minocqua Public Library Foundation. Tomatoes, beans, carrots, green peppers, lettuce, and flowering annuals have thrived in a space just outside the children’s area of the library. Now with summer’s end, kids are excited about the pizza and veggie party planned for later in the month featuring “home-grown” produce.

Libraries, no matter the size or location, continue to find new friends and partners to create amazing opportunities for their communities. So, when you head north for a visit, don’t forget to stop in. We’d love to share our story with you.

Written by:
Mary Taylor, Minocqua Public Library
Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

More Libraries Report Increases for 2015

The preliminary Wisconsin Public Library Service Data and Wisconsin Public Library Service Trends for 2015 are now online, so we're looking at trends in the resulting data. Although many statewide totals did continue to decrease from 2014 to 2015, more libraries reported increases; often for the first time since 2009.

Number of Libraries Reporting Increases

The largest of these increases is found in total circulation of physical materials. For 2015, half again as many libraries reported higher circulation (94) than reported an increase for 2014 (62).

Libraries Reporting Circulation Increases
Library Locale2009201020112012201320142015
City (16 libraries)13883100
Suburb (46 libraries)422312169610
Town (98 libraries)82454037261217
Rural (221 libraries)16813010491684467
Statewide (381 libraries)3052061641471046294

So, while statewide circulation decreased 4.9% in 2015 (2,789,525 items), 94 public libraries saw the opposite where their combined circulation increased 3.2% (204,222 items). The libraries are roughly one-quarter of the 381 public libraries in Wisconsin and are located in municipalities with resident populations of 374 (Gilman) to 36,473 (Greenfield).

Optimistically, this might be a very early indication of broader increases in library use.

Written by
Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Monday, September 12, 2016

WiLS Invites You to Attend a Regional Community Meeting This Fall

Guest Post by Andrea Coffin, Community Liaison/Service Specialist, WiLS
“How should libraries go about this work of aligning with community needs? First, by developing relationships with local government and community leaders. Libraries need to be less autonomous and adopt more collaborative approaches to engaging with and building partnerships across the community.”
-from The Aspen Institute, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries
Strategic partnerships are key to effective library service, but identifying and approaching potential partners can be daunting. WiLS’ 2016 Regional Community Meetings, held in various locations across Wisconsin during the fall, are free half-day opportunities to learn about and use community asset mapping, a powerful tool to help you engage and connect with the people you serve by revealing the assets and potential collaborators in your community, be it your school or university, neighborhood, business, or city. You’ll also be able to develop practical approaches to reaching out to the potential partners you’ve identified, connect with your colleagues in the area, and learn more about WiLS’ projects and services.

Image of illustrated houses and buildings in a neighborhood.
Image provided by WiLS
Staff from all types of libraries and cultural organizations are encouraged to participate in WiLS’ Regional Community Meetings. In addition to cultivating valuable professional connections, the meetings provide skills and tools that are applicable to community organizations of any type: K12, public, academic, and special libraries, as well as museums, historical societies, and other educational organizations. WILS Regional Community Meetings are better with a variety of perspectives.

The dates and locations of this year’s meetings are:
  • Tuesday, September 27, 1-4 p.m. at UW-La Crosse
  • Wednesday, September 28, 1-4 p.m. – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (Rice Lake)
  • Thursday, September 29, 1-4 p.m. – Tomahawk School District
  • Tuesday, October 4, 1-4 p.m. – Appleton Public Library
  • Wednesday, October 5, 1-4 p.m. – Verona Public Library
  • Thursday, October 6, 1-4 p.m. – UW-Waukesha
  • Friday, October 7, 1-4 p.m. – Schreiner Memorial Library (Lancaster)

WiLS is a non-profit membership organization of over 500 libraries and cultural organizations in Wisconsin in beyond.  WiLS works to save its members time and money through four core service areas: cooperative purchasing and projects, consulting, consortium management, and events and education.  You do not need to be a member to participate in WiLS’ events, but general membership is free and comes with great benefits so please consider becoming a member if you aren’t already.

If you have any questions about WiLS’ Regional Community Meetings or any questions about becoming a WiLS member, contact Andrea Coffin at  We hope to see you at a Regional Community Meeting this fall!

Guest Post by Andrea Coffin, Community Liaison/Service Specialist, WiLS

Thursday, September 8, 2016

What's New in BadgerLearn Pro: Resources for Library Services to Older Adults

What is your library doing to provide the best services and programs to your community's older adults? Check out these 5 resources that were added to BadgerLearn Pro recently, and check back often for more great free continuing education & professional development resources for your library staff.

Digital Skills for Older Adults: Teaching Technology in Public Libraries
from TechSoup for Libraries
Does your library offer technology assistance to older adults? Do you teach computer classes for seniors? Are patrons bringing in tablets and other devices that have been given to them by grandchildren? Recent research from the Pew Institute shows that only 59% of older adults go online. This webinar shows how libraries can help older adults adopt technology in meaningful ways for communication, lifelong learning, and entertainment.

Elder Tech
from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
Technology has the potential to enrich older patrons' lives. This webinar highlights strategies for teaching technology to senior citizens. In recent years, devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones have made content available to library patrons who are unable to read traditional print sources, and can help to reduce the isolation experienced by the homebound population. 

Engaging With Boomers
from Illuminage
This briefing features panelists discussing four areas related to boomers and community-based programs and services for older adults: understanding Boomers and their programming preferences; how one center is getting ready for the “Age Shift” through community collaborations; efforts to re-brand and renew senior centers; and the role teams play in mobilizing professional 50+ volunteers.

How to Market Your Large Print Collection
from Booklist
Is your library making the most out of its Large Print collection? Want to leverage your existing investment in those titles to bring in new readers and boost circulation? Find out how! Large Print books are an important part of any circulating collection, and they have great appeal to a range of readers. Learn how to get the most out of your collection and build awareness of the format as well. Led by four expert librarians, this webinar delivers practical tips, proven techniques, and overall strategies that have been field tested.

Helping Seniors Avoid Fraud, Scams, and Identity Theft
from Illuminage
In this session, Ramsey Alwin, the Vice President for Economic Security at the National Council on Aging, provides tips on helping seniors avoid scams.

BadgerLearn Pro is a joint project under active development. 
Become a partner today!

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 Logo Wisconsin Valley Library Service logo
IMLS logo

Written by: Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Content in LearningExpress Library

All Wisconsin residents can access LearningExpress Library resources through BadgerLink! Go to to get started.

More than 50 new resources have been added to LearningExpress Library since January 2016. Here are some highlights:

LearningExpress Library logo
Web-based test prep tools and skill-building materials available when you need them! 

SAT® and ACT® Test Prep
25 new resources were added for 2016 SAT® test preparation, including complete, full-length practice tests in a test-simulation mode that helps students become confident with the format, timing, and content of the official exam. Complete practice tests and 2 writing practice tests were also added for the ACT® test.

New eBooks
The eBook collection includes new eBooks for GED® test prep, time management, communication skills, and Praxis II test prep, plus new editions of Nursing School Entrance Exams, Nursing Assistant/Nurse Aide Exam, Praxis: Core Academic Skills for Educators, ASVAB Core Review, and Border Patrol Exam.

New School Center Resources
High School Math Skills Improvement has grown, with 5 new practice tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

CLEP® Test Practice
2 practice tests for the CLEP® College Mathematics exam have been updated to match the latest CLEP® test specifications.

New Career Center Practice TestsTest prep for military exams increased with the addition of practice tests for the SIFT, ASTB-E: OAR, and ASTB-E: Aviation and Nautical Information tests.

Send any questions to the BadgerLink team. Happy learning!

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Send a book to prison

Guest Post Contributed by:   Kyle Nabilcy, Librarian,
Department of Corrections, Oakhill Correctional Institution, Oregon, Wisconsin

Think about how much you value your local library. I’m not surprising anyone who’s reading this post by saying that in our lives full of priorities, distractions, and competing interests, we love our libraries. Now imagine that those priorities have been radically shifted, those distractions warped, competing interests in large part redefined by someone who now holds the key to the room you live in. If you were in prison, and still had access to a library amidst all that personal turmoil, you’d use the heck out of it, wouldn’t you?

The problem, of course, is that prison libraries are often the most cash-strapped, resource-deprived, tough-luck libraries around. In Wisconsin, our state budget allows for fewer and fewer library material purchases for the department’s minimum, medium, and maximum security institutions. We do what we can, and some are luckier than others – the particularly adept grant writer, for example, or the librarian who has the ear of his or her purchasing supervisor – but it’s a struggle, let me tell you.

Prison inmate reading
Image from the EBSCO Image Collection
Interlibrary loan, which is a service that many libraries aren’t even allowed to offer for a variety of reasons, is nonetheless indispensable for those institutions that can take part. All Wisconsin correctional libraries acknowledge that ILL cannot replace proper collection development, but that doesn’t mean ILL can’t be used as a collection development tool. In fact, it’s one of our best. The traffic we see in institutions that offer ILL is supremely valuable in showing librarians and their supervisors what the population wants to read, and what expenditures would be most efficient in serving that population.

And let’s not overlook the most vital part of any library transaction: the borrower. In our case, inmate borrowers are displaying all the kinds of behaviors we want them to when they use the library properly, and in particular when they choose to utilize ILL. Literacy, respect for the property of others, respect for civic institutions, an engagement with the world outside their own wants, and one of my favorites, delayed gratification. Nothing defuses the “I want what I want when I want it, by hook or by crook” mentality better than being willing to wait for a book to come in.

Some libraries are hesitant to fill ILL requests from correctional libraries because they think the books will get trashed. Yes, our readers read books a little harder than most, but I’ve only had to charge my borrowers three times in 12 years, for damage to ILL books. Some worry that the books are inappropriate for a prison setting. Don’t worry about that! It’s part of our jobs to pay attention to that sort of thing, and sometimes a questionable book is being requested because we want to review it for appropriateness.

What libraries outside of the correctional environment should think about is what they always think about: serving the people. You all do the work you do because you value serving the public. Correctional inmates might not be out on the streets, but they’re a readership base all the same. Knowing that someone who isn’t in a blue shirt, or who doesn’t cash a DOC paycheck, is willing to do something for them – free of charge, expecting nothing in return – means more than you can understand to a lot of the inmates who use correctional libraries. Many have never used a library before, and might do so for the first time once they get out.

Help us make better citizens out of our inmates, and maybe earn yourself a new patron somewhere down the road. Send a book to prison.

Guest Post Contributed by:   Kyle Nabilcy, Librarian,
Department of Corrections, Oakhill Correctional Institution, Oregon, Wisconsin

Friday, September 2, 2016

Cedarburg Public Library to host September 2 COLAND meeting

The Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) will hold its next meeting Friday, September 9, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Cedarburg Public Library, W63 N589 Hanover Avenue, Cedarburg. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting 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 an update on the work of the Public Library System Revision (PLSR) steering committee and workgroups, reports from the COLAND goals committees, a report on the recent Interlibrary Loan meeting, a report on revisions to the ILL guidelines with a request for endorsement from COLAND, a presentation about and tour of the Cedarburg Public Library, a discussion of the Aspen Report, and a report on the Hedburg Public Library Training Program: Change Your Mind—Create New Results. Also on the agenda will be updates from the Division for Libraries and Technology and an update on library-related legislation.
Image 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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September Edition of the Wisconsin 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 September showcase. To submit multiple items, refresh your browser and click on the submission link again.
A sampling of Showcase items

Check out this month's edition of the Showcase to find examples of:

  • An interactive "Hungry Caterpillar" experience
  • An after-hours Nerf Tag
  • A performance of "The Three Little Pigs", and
  • A growing beanstalk.

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