Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning - 2016 Highlights

2016 is nearly over, and it was an exciting year at Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning. Here are a few highlights:

After hours of webinars, emails, and phone calls to solicit recommendations and feedback, our new website, Job Seeker, was released. Job Seeker contains links to over a hundred resources for Wisconsin residents seeking employment. Libraries can link to the website directly, or embed the page into their own website!

Photo of branch library with red car parked in front
Marathon County Public Library - Unity Branch ca. 1992
Photo courtesy of the Marathon county Public Library
Link to item in DPLA
DPI partnered with the Milwaukee Public Library, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, WiLS, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Marquette University to launch the Wisconsin Service Hub of the Digital Public Library of America. DPLA gives cultural institutions like museums and libraries a way to provide access to their digital collections on a single, nationwide platform. At launch, Wisconsin became the 5th largest hub on the platform with nearly 400,000 records, with more to come!

To help make using BadgerLink as easy as possible, we developed a Set-Up Guide to help library and school staff give their users the best possible access to BadgerLink’s valuable resources. The Set-Up Guide outlines system requirements, automatic access and remote login information, vender-specific domains and IPs for internal network configuration, and more.

image of a card catalo
Card Catalog (source: Pixabay)
Did you know that a union catalog, developed in 1982, is still useful in 2016? We looked back on the development of one of the core pieces of our WISCAT program and highlighted recent developments that make it even more valuable now than when it was first established.

This year, after a contract change, magazine access was removed from Wisconsin’s Digital Library. Much of the same content has always been available in BadgerLink. The BadgerLink team is maintaining a list of this content to ensure that Wisconsin residents have uninterrupted access to their favorite popular magazines, including Real Simple, Field & Stream, Ebony, and many, many more.

We were happy to announce SHAREit, the underlying WISCAT software, will move to HTTPS before year end. This software also powers the BadgerLink Super Search. The move to HTTPS is important, because it will protect patron names, email addresses, passwords, searches, and interlibrary loan requests from being intercepted.

Picture of freshly picked vegetables
Courtesy of Pixabay
Each month the Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection highlights documents published by state government covering current, newsworthy topics about life in Wisconsin. For example, did you know that Wisconsin has over 1,100 organic farms, second in the nation to California? Over 4,100 new documents were added to the collection in 2016 making the Wisconsin Digital Archives your connection to state government.

In October, BadgerLink focused on promoting Genealogy resources, releasing an interactive tutorial to help Wisconsin residents use our resources to tell their family story. Webinars on BadgerLink’s major genealogical resources, Wisconsin Historical Society, Access NewspaperARCHIVE, Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers, and HeritageQuest are also available.

Resource sharing isn’t only about getting books from outside a library system. Way back in February, we highlighted Document Delivery, a service that allows patrons to make an ILL request for a photocopy of a desired article. We asked some of our biggest users of document delivery for testimonials. To say they were happy with the service is an understatement!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning! We are looking forward to another great year in 2017.

Posted by:
Ben Miller on behalf of the entire Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning team