Thursday, October 27, 2016

Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Library WLA Session

Did you miss our presentation on the Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Library at the 2016 Wisconsin Library Association conference? You can view it here!

Also, if you haven't taken our recent survey on coding in libraries please do so! Your comments will be integral to the success of this project over the next couple years.

More information about the Coding Initiative can be found on our web page.

If you have questions please contact Ryan Claringbole or Tessa Michaelson Schmidt.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Future Ready Librarians

Future Ready Librarians 

Graphic of Future Ready Gears for Teacher Librarians
Future Ready Librarians
Future Ready Librarians are the connections between the gears in the Future Ready Schools Framework. Rigorous, personalized learning environments, caring adults, student agency and digital tools are some of the keywords used in the descriptions of the framework and they speak directly to the work of school librarians.

The foundation for the framework is based on years of research in education and an in-depth analysis of best practices. This framework provides a mechanism for districts to assess what already works in their districts, where the gaps are, and how they can move forward to improve learning opportunities for their students. The school framework provides the tools for districts to assess where they are and what direction they need to move to address any gaps. The gears include:
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Personalized Professional Learning
  • Robust Infrastructure
  • Budget and Resources
  • Data and Privacy
  • Use of Space and Time
  • Collaborative Leadership
As library professionals connect their practices, programs and spaces to this work they will see many opportunities to provide leadership in the digital transformation of learning. They are already curators of resources and information and their flexible use of space and time in their programs serves as a catalyst for collaboration and creation. The Future Ready Librarian Fact Sheet provides an excellent overview of the gears. This Fact Sheet also includes a video of Mark Ray, Chief Digital Officer of the Vancouver Public Schools in Washington explaining how future ready librarians make a difference for students. 

Watch for more information about how Future Ready Librarians are leading the way forward in Wisconsin.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Winning Strategies for Mature Job Seekers

Mature bike repairman
Mature bike repairman - courtesy Huffington Post
The U.S. employment picture has been improving in the past year, and mature Americans have been finding jobs and launching new careers.  Successful mature job seekers embrace the opportunity to enhance their technical skills and demonstrate their skills using social media.  Some make a point of addressing the perception that as older recruits they may not fit well into an organization with younger leadership and a younger workforce.  Verifying the current salary ranges for positions of interest and developing a strategy for positioning yourself as a vital asset, worth the salary you deserve is also important.

May Ellen Williams, highlighted some key strategies in "How Older Job-Seekers Can Overcome Their 3 Biggest Roadblocks on Huffington Post. She highly recommends updating your technology skills and making sure to demonstrate your skills in the interview, and stressing your cross-functional skills.

Mature job-seekers can find online technology training resources like the GCFLearnFree on
Job-Seeker, hosted on the DPI website. GCFLearnFree offers cost-free training on Microsoft Office, Social Media and more. You can make it easy for your patrons by adding  Job-Seeker to your own library website. The On Your Website page includes the code you can use to add the site.

Learn more about using social media effectively using the newspapers and serials in BadgerLink. Staff working with job seekers may want to do an occasional search in "Career Planning and Adult Development Journal", found in Education Research Complete. It includes great, recent news like,  How to Combat Ageism in a Linkedin Profile and Online Presence for Mature Job Seekers: Getting Started.
Good interview preparation, and self-reflection will help mature job seekers position themselves as great assets to a workplace team. shares insights on What Older Workers and Younger Workers Can Learn from Each Other,

Before the interview process gets serious, mature workers should also be ready to address the perception that more experienced, seasoned workers are too expensive.  Know what the current salary ranges are for positions by checking websites like or Glassdoor.

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) at WLA

Logo for the WI Public Library System Redesign Project
Logo for the Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) Project

Guest Post:
John Thompson
PLSR Steering Committee Chair

The Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) is one of the most significant reviews of library systems and their services to Wisconsin public libraries in the past two decades. With 30 plus years of public library service in Wisconsin with almost 25 years of receiving and then providing library system services as an administrator, I have seen numerous impacts on library service. The future for Wisconsin library service is bright thanks to the quality work of library staff and trustees. The PLSR process will help make the future even brighter. The dedication to this process by the PLSR Steering Committee; workgroup members; Division staff as well as the entire library community to date has been remarkable. As the process moves forward, continued input from the Wisconsin library community is crucial for a successful outcome. Be sure to check out PLSR at the WLA Conference and by visiting the PLSR website.


Join in any or all of the following to hear about what’s been accomplished so far and to offer your input. Questions welcome!

Tuesday, October 25th at 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. An in-person PLSR Steering Committee in the Prosperity Room at the Potawatomi Conference Center. The Agenda has been posted.

Wednesday, October 26th, starting at 10:00 a.m. – Thursday, October 27th, 5:00 p.m. Workgroups will be sharing their ideas about new service models and looking for your feedback throughout the conference. Just outside the exhibitor’s hall, find posters, presentations and workgroup members showing early ideas for new models of service. The area will be staffed by workgroup members at a minimum during no conflict times and your feedback, questions, ideas, and comments are welcome (and really wanted!).

Wednesday, October 26th at 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. A Conversation with the PLSR Steering Committee. Join members of the Steering Committee to hear about the progress of the PLSR project and to provide the committee with feedback and input to aid the committee as it guides this very important process.

Thursday, October 27th at 4:30 P.M. - 5:15 P.M. Notable Reports Panel: PLSR Edition
The Notable Reports Panel has wowed WAPL crowds with their overviews of the reports that are important to public library work. In this session, the panel will turn its summarizing powers to information that is being used in the Public Library System Redesign Process, giving attendees summaries of reports used in this process and how the information is being applied.

Not at WLA? No problem
We know that many of our library colleagues will not be able to be at WLA next week, but we still want them to see what the workgroups have been developing over the last several months. We will be making all of the posters and presentations available on the PLSR site, on the main Workgroups page, right after the conference. Please take a look and let the workgroups know what you think and what questions you have. You can use the Contact form to send feedback to a specific workgroup or share general feedback.

Also, we are looking for volunteers to serve on a survey panel. As the workgroups continue to develop their models, they will need to gather opinions and thoughts from the library community in a systematic way. We'll be using the PLSR Survey Panel for this purpose. If you join the panel, you'll receive surveys from the workgroups and project managers. You can respond to all of them or only respond to some. It'll be up to you! It's a great way to be part of the process and the workgroups will appreciate your input. You can also unsubscribe from the panel at any time. Sign up with this simple form.

And, don’t forget that you can hear from and talk with representatives of each of the workgroups at a Virtual Q and A session. Each month, a pair of workgroups will speak about how their work is progressing and will ask for community feedback. There will be ample time for questions from the community. And, no matter what workgroup is taking part in the discussion, your questions about any of the service areas are welcome. The upcoming sessions are:

  • November 18th, 9:30 AM Technology
  • December 13th, Noon CE/Consulting
  • January 13th, 9:30 AM ILL/ILS – Discovery
  • February 14th, Noon Delivery/Electronic Resources

As always, please contact John Thompson – PLSR Steering Chair ( or WiLS – PLSR Project Managers ( with any questions, concerns or ideas. Feedback and input from the library community is essential for this process to be successful.

Written by:
John Thompson
PLSR Steering Committee Chair
Director Indianhead Federated Library System

Posted by:  Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Friday, October 21, 2016

DLT Staff Activities @ the Wisconsin Library Association Conference

The Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) staff will be actively participating at the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) Conference being held in Milwaukee, WI from October 25-28, 2016. Come and celebrate 125 years of librares working together!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) Steering Committee Meeting
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - Prosperity

Better Together @ 125 Years - WLA Annual Conference
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Stellar Services to School Age Kids Preconference
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino – Clarity
Registration Fee $25 WLA Members/$50 Non-Members

The Youth Services Section of WLA and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction invite you to join library staff serving youth for an invigorating preconference. This small and large group event will offer scalable ideas related to programming, drop-in activities, technology, and outreach for children in grades 2-5. TED-style talks by Wisconsin library staff will address tried-and-true and shiny-and-new efforts for this age group. A passive programming gallery of ideas awaits you during the robust snack break. Best of all, network with library peers who are equally interested in reaching kids who are beyond early literacy but not yet a tween. Past participants in YSS + DPI pre-conferences have said that it’s the best part of WLA!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 10:00 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.

Grand Opening and No Conflict Time in Event Center
Shannon Schultz, Department of Public Instruction, Madison – Exhibits Chair
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - Event Center

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 11:00 a.m.- 11:45 a.m.

Looking at Yourself, Your Colleagues and Your Patrons through the Power of Habit
Track: Leadership & Professional Development
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salon C

Ryan Claringbole, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; Stef Morrill, WiLS, Madison
In his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg looks at habits and how they can be changed. Join your colleagues for a discussion on this book and its message of changing a work culture's habits (for the better) and how that might impact communities, in this second book of the WLA Reads series.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

State of the State: Wisconsin Children and Teen Library Services
Track: Advocacy & Promotion
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salons D/E 

Leah Langby, Indianhead Federated Library System, Eau Claire; Megan Schliesmann, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Madison; Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Department of Public Instruction, Madison. Join our youth think tank! YSS, DPI and the CCBC will update you with the current status of library services for youth in our state. Then it's your turn to share. This active sharing/listening session will focus on YOUR needs as a youth library staffer and what our leading library organizations can do to support and improve library services for all youth in our state.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Difficult Choices: Filtering in Libraries
Track: Library Issues & Challenges
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salons D/E 

Ryan Claringbole, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; Vicki Teal Lovely, South Central Library System, Madison; Greg Barniskis, South Central Library System, Madison; Nikki Busch, Oregon Public Library.   Filtering internet in libraries is not a simple decision. While many libraries choose not to filter the internet for many different reasons, it prevents them from being CIPA compliant and being able to apply for E-rate funds and certain kinds of equipment in LSTA grants. Join these presenters in an open debate to discuss the pros and cons of filtering and if it is something that should be looked at (maybe again and again). 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Play and Read: A Partnership to Engage Young Readers
Track: Mix-It Up

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; Jeni Schomber, Beloit Public Library; Emily Zorea, Brewer Public Library, Richland Center; Jen Fait, Kenosha Public Library; Brooke Newberry, La Crosse Public Library; Claire Parrish, Rice Lake Public Library.
The Play and Read grant project is a collaboration between AmeriCorps Serve Wisconsin and the Department of Public Instruction to develop literacy skills through play for young children at the local public library. Play and Read aims to enhance early literacy skills of three and four year old economically disadvantaged children while engaging their families to promote a love of reading. Join our panel of experts from some of the participating Wisconsin public libraries to hear about our successes and our plans for continuing and expanding the program.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Coding Go Down

Track: Engaging People
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salons D/E 

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; Ryan Claringbole, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; Jen Fait, Kenosha Public Library.
Did you know that a British teen in the 1800s invented the first computer program? Her experimentation with puzzles and hand-on learning (the same kind of learning offered at your library) led to her discovery. In this interactive and fear-free session, find out how to have fun and benefit from coding. Set aside your assumptions and learn what coding IS and how this "invisible literacy" is vital for everyone--staff and patrons alike. Join DPI's Coding Project leads to explore and shape what coding looks like for Wisconsin library communities.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers
Track: Collaboration & Innovation

Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning, Madison; Ron Larson, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison; Beth Bennett, Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Madison.
Available through BadgerLink, the Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers provides full-text access to 250 daily and weekly Wisconsin newspapers from 2005 to 90 days ago. In 2015, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Public Library Consortium and WiLS began to work together to bring historical newspapers into the Archive. This panel will provide updates on this collaborative project, tips for searching the Archive, and information about how libraries can participate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

A Conversation with the PLSR Steering Committee
Track: Library Issues & Challenges
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salons A/B

John Thompson, Indianhead Federated Library System, Eau Claire; Paula Kiely, Milwaukee Public Library; John DeBacher, Department of Public Instruction, Madison.
In August 2015, DPI State Superintendent Tony Evers announced the appointment of a Steering Committee to oversee a multi-year project to re-envision how Wisconsin Public Library Systems serve Wisconsin's 384 public libraries. With the support of the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND), the Steering Committee, in conjunction with the Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) project manager, WiLS, has developed a community- led process to review and redesign how shared and coordinated services are provided to public libraries and citizens in Wisconsin to maximize the investment in library systems and public libraries. Join members of the Steering Committee to hear about the progress of this process and to provide the committee with feedback and input to aid the committee as it guides this very important process.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 
LSTA Forum
Track: Mix-It Up

Terrie Howe, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; John DeBacher, Department of Public Instruction, Madison.  The Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) needs your help to examine the current LSTA Plan (2013-2017) for Wisconsin's Grants to States program with the purpose of establishing priorities for the next Five-Year plan (2018-2022). This session is a key opportunity to consider the Institute of Library Services' (IMLS) focus for the only federal grant program dedicated to libraries, evaluate the ongoing plan and share your views about how the LSTA program can help re-envision your library.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Meeting the Challenge: Collection Development of Youth Materials

Track: Building Collections
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salons A/B

Megan Schliesman, Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), UW-Madison; Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Department of Public Instruction, Madison. Should you buy a buzzed-about book if reviews point out serious shortcomings? How do you handle an award-winner that rubs you the wrong way? Are you uncertain after reading blog posts calling out books for racial insensitivity? Do worries about challenges make you hesitate with some titles or topics? This safe and instructive conversation will also explore the essential role intellectual freedom plays in the work you do every day. Library newbies and veterans welcome.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Librarian to Director: Is It Right for You?
Track: Leadership & Professional Development
Woodland Dreams Ballroom - Salon F 

Shannon Schultz, Department of Public Instruction, Madison; Laurie Swartwout, Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee. Are you considering taking the plunge into library management? Take an inside look at the transition from librarian to library director. Some of our greatest librarians have made that move only to find disappointment when seated at the helm. In this Q & A style discussion, librarians with academic and public library backgrounds answer your questions about making this career change.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Notable Reports Panel: PLSR Edition

Track: Library Issues & Challenges

Ben Miller, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning, Madison; Tasha Saecker, Appleton Public Library; Krista Ross, Southwest Wisconsin Library System, Fennimore.  The Notable Reports Panel has wowed WAPL crowds with their overviews of the reports that are important to public library work. In this session, the panel will turn its summarizing powers to information that is being used in the Public Library System Redesign Process, giving attendees summaries of reports used in this process and how the information is being applied. Attendees will be encouraged to share thoughts about the reports and recommendations about other sources that might benefit the process, too.

Posted by Terrie Howe at 12:00 PM

Labels: AnnouncementsContinuing EducationDivision News

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Talk About Tax

A great discussion took place at the New Public Library Director Boot Camp, which I had the pleasure of coordinating, at the end of September in Wausau. With so few public libraries reporting that they collect sales tax, it seemed like a great topic for a Q&A-style blog post.
Image of Tax appearing as an American Flag
I don’t charge sales tax; should I? While sales to public libraries are exempt from sales tax, sales by public libraries are generally not exempt.  Most public library sales, including sales of photocopies and computer printout charges, are subject to the Wisconsin sales tax and any county and stadium sales taxes. Other library sales, such as sales of coffee or food items, withdrawn books, used equipment, and used furniture also are subject to sales tax.  Public libraries must also charge sales tax for rentals of bestselling books and videos. Wisconsin Administrative Code section Tax 11.05 details the sales tax rules for state and local government agencies. Public libraries fall under the same general rules that apply to other state and local government agencies.

Library fines, including charges for unreturned materials and duplicate library cards, are specifically exempt from sales tax. Photocopy and records search charges that result from an official public records request are also exempt.

This sounds complicated. It doesn’t have to be. To simplify the collection of sales tax at your library, you do not need to add the tax on top of your sales—you can consider sales tax as part of the price you charge. However, if you do this, you must notify customers by a sign and/or on receipts provided to the customer that “prices include sales tax.” If your prices include sales tax, the tax due is simply calculated by dividing your total receipts by your tax rate. 

Let’s compare the two methods. Consider this: your library users made 10,000 black/white printouts and photocopies at 10 cents apiece during the month of September, and your sales tax rate is 5 percent…
  • If you choose to add sales tax on top of this, you would have to increase your page price to $0.105 (or a half-cent sales tax on each page). You would then collect a total of $1,050, and pay $50 in sales tax. That works fine when working with totals, but it is not so great when an individual makes one copy. 
  • If you choose to include sales tax in your charges, you would take the $1,000 you collected and then divide that by your tax rate: $1,000/1.05= $952.38 in copies, and $47.62 collected in sales tax. This means that your actual charge per copy is 9.52 cents, but it is a lot easier to charge by the copy this way.

Do I need a seller’s permit? Whom do I pay? Any organization that collects sales tax must have a seller’s permit from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue; this includes local government agencies. However, the municipality must handle the necessary filing and tax submission under its seller’s permit, if it or any of its subunits (including the library) makes taxable sales.
If a library contracts with a private vendor who owns and has control over the photocopy machines in the library, then the vendor, not the library, is responsible for collecting sales tax. The same would be true for pay phones owned and controlled by a private vendor—if anyone still has them.

Then what about the Friends Book Sale?  These sales may be exempt from sales tax if they meet certain tests.  Sales by nonprofit organizations on fewer than 20 days per year, or with total taxable receipts of less than $25,000 per year, are exempt “occasional sales” if the sales event does not involve an admission charge or paid entertainment. A municipality also may qualify for the “occasional sales” exemption if it meets the same tests. 

I thought I got around this when I called the payments donations… Some organizations believe that if they call payments “donations” they can avoid the obligation to collect sales tax. To qualify as a donation, a payment must be completely voluntary, with no restrictions placed on people who do not make a payment. For example, if a library requests a $.10 donation per computer printout, the library cannot place any restriction on computer printouts made by people who do not make the donation. This means that you cannot provide a suggested donation amount, as that implies an expectation of pay. The Department of Revenue looks at the facts surrounding requests for donations to determine whether they are truly voluntary donations, or if they are sales subject to the sales tax.

Speaking of tax, how do I know if my library is tax exempt? Are we a 501(c)(3)? While many organizations want to apply to be a 501(c)(3) organization to get nonprofit tax-exempt status, local governments, including public libraries, are already considered nonprofit tax-exempt organizations under IRS regulations. Therefore, the IRS will not grant 501(c)(3) status to your library. 

Donations to your library meet the IRS definition of a “charitable contribution” to a “qualified organization,” and they are tax-deductible. Better yet, no application is needed to get this status, per the IRS Publication 526 on Charitable Contributions. The publication defines one type of “qualifying organization” as any state or any of its subdivisions that perform substantial government functions. If your public library is established and operated according to Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 43, then your library clearly meets that definition.

If you have questions about sales tax, or any other public library administration topic, please contact Shannon Schultz of the DPI Public Library Development Team.

Written by Shannon Schultz

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2017 System Plans and Program Budgets

By October 15 every year, Wisconsin public library system boards submit their plans for the next fiscal year to the Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT). The Division must review and approve these plans to certify the payment amounts of state aid to public library systems. For 2017, funding will come largely from county appropriations and service contracts totaling 63.4% of system budgets statewide.

2017 Public Library System Income Sources
(click the image above to view the full size chart)

As planned, systems will be spending 35% of budgets statewide on technology, reference, and interlibrary loan and 36% on direct payments to member libraries for nonresident access to library services within systems. The remaining 29% will be used for nonresident access payments across system borders and programs that include:

  • Delivery
  • Continuing Education and Consulting
  • Library Collection Development
  • Library Service to Youth
  • Library Service to Special Users

2017 Public Library System Program Budgets
(click the image above to view the full size chart)

For comparison, these are the 2015-2017 percentages for Wisconsin public library system plans.

Library System Funding Sources201720162015
State Aid to Public Library Systems31.0%31.4%31.7%
State Aid Interest and Carryover0.9%1.4%2.3%
Other State and Federal Funds4.7%1.4%1.0%
County, Contract, and Other63.4%65.7%65.0%
Library System Program Budgets201720162015
Technology, Reference, Interlibrary Loan35.0%34.0%33.6%
Other Programs3.6%4.2%4.8%
Continuing Education and Consulting3.4%3.3%3.5%
Library Collection Development0.8%1.0%1.1%
Public Information1.9%1.8%1.9%
Library Service to Special Users0.6%0.6%0.6%
Library Services to Youth1.0%1.1%1.1%
Nonresident Payment to Other Systems3.6%2.8%2.7%
Nonresident Access Payments Within System36.2%37.0%36.9%

Approved system plans for 2013-2016 are online at

Written by Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Library of the Month: Chippewa Valley Technical College

The students at Chippewa Valley Technical College have been making great use of BadgerLink, and their library is the BadgerLink Library of the Month for October! Chippewa Valley Technical College [CVTC] is based in Eau Claire, with 8 campus locations there and 4 other regional locations serving an 11-county area. The CVTC Library is located in The Learning Center at the Eau Claire Business Education Center.
The Learning Center at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Image provided by Vince Mussehl. CVTC. 
The 2015-2016 academic year saw many large increases in statistics for CVTC, including a 103% increase in materials borrowed, renewed, and used in-house, and a 140% increase in database searches. CVTC launched their subscription to EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) in February, which provides greater access to online resources for students and staff alike. Librarian Vince Mussehl mentioned that the decision to go with EDS over other discovery services was, in part, based on students’ familiarity with and longtime access to EBSCO resources through BadgerLink.
Image from the CVTC 2015-2016 Annual Report. Image provided by Vince Mussehl. CVTC. 
In addition to the new EDS platform, CVTC launched a new library automation system (Sierra) in August 2015, and in July of 2015 they began a student employee mentorship program. Students have also enjoyed a wide range of library programs, from therapy dog visits to massages. It’s been a busy time at CVTC, but their statistics show that it has been paying off!

Therapy dogs visit the library. Image provided by Vince Mussehl. CVTC.
The Chippewa Valley Technical College library supports students in over 65 different academic program areas, including business management, nursing, child care services, and a new library & media technician program. Here’s to a great school year for the students and staff at CTVC, and many more to come!

Post written by:
Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning team

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Now Available: BadgerLink Genealogy Tutorial

Are you curious about BadgerLink’s genealogy resources, but not sure where to start? Are your patrons looking for a quick way to get a feel for how to start their genealogy research? Try the new interactive genealogy tutorial from the BadgerLink team! Read a description and watch a short video on 3 BadgerLink genealogy resources (HeritageQuest Online, Access NewspaperARCHIVE, and Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers), then test your knowledge!

Historic and contemporary side-by-side photo of a woman
Explore your family history with BadgerLink!

If you’re looking for more BadgerLink genealogy help, check out our Genealogy Class series, going on each Thursday through October 20th. Representatives from the Wisconsin Historical Society, Access NewspaperARCHIVE, Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers, and HeritageQuest Online will be joining us for 20-minute webinar sessions on how to use each resource. All sessions are recorded, and will be made available on this page shortly after the session is over. You can find more information, including how to join the sessions, on that page.  

See the full list of genealogy resources available through BadgerLink here, and please contact the BadgerLink team with any questions!

Post written by: Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning team

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What's Mine is Yours: A Love Letter to Interlibrary Loan

Guest Post by Jennifer Eltringham

Reposted from Hack Library School

When I started working in interlibrary loan (ILL) two years ago, my experience with the system was limited to getting one book on vintage hairstyles through my public library and frantically requesting articles for impending papers during my undergraduate degree. As part of the application for the position, I had to write an essay on why ILL is important in the public library. I’m too afraid to dig it up to quote it for you all, but I’m almost positive it was something along the lines of, “Uh… I dunno, access probably?”

I’m not entirely sure how I got hired considering how little I actually knew about the complex, wonderful, improbable, wacky system that is interlibrary loan. But it probably had something to do with innate charm, self-confidence, and poise.In the intervening time, however, I have come to love and respect the process of interlibrary loan, and if you’ve talked to me about libraries for more than five minutes, chances are that you’ve heard all about it. My favorite thing to do is brag about how many lending strings I have memorized – as you might know, each library is assigned a three-letter code to assist with automation. Ours is CQU, and I’ve been known to shout a library’s lending string upon seeing an advertisement for its college in the airport or to identify people this way at interlibrary loan conferences. I also have a good memory for items I process, which made me humbly decide to crown myself the Ollivander of ILL (“I remember every ILL I’ve ever processed, Mr. Potter…”). As you can imagine, these qualities make me super fun to be around.

library bookshelves
“The ILL chooses the borrower. That much has always been clear to those of us who have studied interlibrary loan lore.” – Ollivander if he were a librarian, probably. (Photo in the Public Domain courtesy of Pixabay.)

In all seriousness, however, ILL is a vital and underappreciated aspect of library services. In 2015, I was able to go to a local interlibrary loan conference where EveryLibrary’s John Chrastka was the keynote speaker. This meant almost nothing to me at the time but I have gone on to become EveryLibrary’s biggest fangirl, mainly because what Chrastka had to say about ILL was so compelling. He made the argument that interlibrary loan is an incredibly subversive and unlikely system – it operates across state (and sometimes national) lines, it is reciprocal in nature (“I won’t charge you if you don’t charge me,”), and relatively few people actually know that it exists. It can benefit large and small libraries alike, it opens up the world of information to our patrons, and it’s so complex that it seems like it shouldn’t really work but still does.

But, as has been discussed by many, Chrastka also pointed out the ways in which ILL is falling behind and failing patrons. We may soon be able to have a pizza delivered by drone to our front door in minutes. In this sort of environment, people won’t be willing to wait the three-to-six weeks that I warn my patrons they might have to endure to get their ILL. They’ll want it instantaneously, and they’ll want it digitally – which is also nearly impossible in the current state of ILL. Systems like Occam’s Reader are trying to make ebooks more ILL-friendly, but the work is slow going and definitely not widespread.

So my question for you all is this – how can we (as students, as future professionals, as library advocates) make interlibrary loan better? Even here, at Hack Library School (HLS), the visibility and support for ILL is nearly non-existent – most of the articles that mention it regard it in a negative light (it’s inefficient for patrons or an unwieldy system.) But as Jessica pointed out in a recent article, ILL is often the only way some collections come to light. It’s often the only way patrons in remote or small library districts get access to a wider collection of materials. And how else would my patrons get access to all the obscure horror movies, 21-cases of the Bible on CD audio book, and sheet music that their hearts desire?

ILL is important, and after two years of carting books from the mail to my office to the branches to the patron and back through the other direction, I finally have better strategies to articulate it. So, do you know the ins and outs of the ILL system at your library? In your job, how can you better represent and advocate for ILL to your patrons? If we can start answering some of these questions, maybe we can start to make ILL better – for our patrons and for the principles we hold as information professionals.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : YoungStar Improves Child Care Centers in Milwaukee

A recent report from the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum indicates that the quality of child care in Milwaukee County is improving due to child care providers participating in YoungStar, a child care rating system managed by the Wisconsin Dept. of Children and Families.

YoungStar logo with parent holding child's hand
Courtesy of DCF
YoungStar was created by the Legislature and Governor in 2010. According to the YoungStar webpage, YoungStar drives quality improvements in child care throughout the state of Wisconsin by:
  • Helping providers who want to improve the quality of their care
  • Creating financial incentives that encourage providers to deliver better services to children
  • Giving parents the meaningful information they need to make informed child care decisions for their children—at home and away from home              
  • Supporting ongoing child care quality improvement by linking higher quality care to higher Wisconsin Shares payments and helping prevent fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program  
To learn more about the impact YoungStar has had on child care statewide visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Here you'll find YoungStar Monthly Statistics starting with Sept. 2011 to current. Each month there is a report that includes a narrative that describes what the numbers mean in relation to the progress the program is making. 
Post written by:
Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Popular Magazines Available From BadgerLink

Libraries in Wisconsin were recently notified that OverDrive’s magazine access ends in October.  Did you know that many of these popular magazines are still available to your patrons from EBSCO, provided through BadgerLink?

BadgerLink staff have prepared this list of popular magazines available through EBSCO, which includes many of the affected titles. We will continue to keep this resource up to date as availability changes. BadgerLink resources are available to Wisconsin residents 24 hours a day using a Wisconsin public library card number on our login page.

You can link to EBSCO or any of our resources directly from your library’s website using our list of authenticated URLs. Please contact the BadgerLink team for any assistance, and subscribe to our email lists for BadgerLink updates and training reminders.

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

BadgerLink Summer Recap

BadgerLink Wisconsin's Online Library
From personal interest to educational research, BadgerLink offers access to trustworthy information online for all Wisconsin residents

The BadgerLink team was busy this summer! Read more about what we were up to, and be sure to click the links to read the full Badger Bulletin articles:

Changes to EBSCO’s Whitelist for Firewalls & Proxy Servers
EBSCO made some changes on their end that may have an effect on how schools and organizations access BadgerLink resources.

New Content in Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers
The Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers added a collection of historical content.

New Resource: Wisconsin Historical Society Family History Records
The Wisconsin Historical Society is now offering access to Wisconsin family history records through Ancestry, with authentication provided by BadgerLink.

New content in LearningExpress Library
New resources are available for continuing education, test preparation, and more.

New & Coming Soon: MLA 8 Citations
MLA 8 was released in April, and BadgerLink vendors are adjusting their citation features.

Back to School with Google Classroom in EBSCO and LitFinder
Google Classroom functionality is now available in EBSCO and LitFinder.

Office Hours are back
Virtual drop-in Office Hours are back for the new school year. Check the article for the schedule and directions for joining.

New & Improved BadgerLink Lesson Plans
See new lesson plans and updates to the existing ones in this Badger Bulletin article.

URL Changes
Some of BadgerLink’s authenticated resource URLs have changed. Make sure yours are up to date!

BadgerLink Health Class
BadgerLink held a series of Health Classes for those looking to use BadgerLink for health research or preparing for health-related careers.

Sign up to receive BadgerLink news in your inbox! And don't hesitate to contact us with any questions!

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