Friday, June 23, 2017

Gail Murray Joins the WISCAT Team!

The Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries and Technology is very pleased to announce
that Gail Murray has accepted the position of WISCAT Technical Coordinator at Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning. She will officially begin transitioning to her new role on Monday, June 26th.

The WISCAT Technical Coordinator is responsible for administering, configuring, supporting and maintaining the statewide Interlibrary Loan platform, comprised of union and virtual library catalogs and an interlibrary loan management system, for use by public library system staff and library staff in public, school, special, and other types of libraries. Gail will also be responsible for compiling and reporting statistics, creating WISCAT documentation, and investigating and implementing enhancements to improve resource sharing in Wisconsin.

Gail has worked for the Department of Public Instruction since June 2015 as the Content Management and Outreach Librarian for the BadgerLink program. In that role, she provided technical support, training, and contributed to the overall vision of the program. Because BadgerLink uses the same underlying software as WISCAT for user authentication and federated searching, Gail is already very familiar with the software and configuration of WISCAT.

Before working at DPI, Gail earned her Master's of Science in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While there, she was a supervisor at the Ikenberry Library as well as working on marketing, outreach, and assessment in the Residence Hall Libraries. She also worked as an outreach intern for electronic resource vendor Credo Reference, where she worked with libraries across the country to increase visibility of their online resources on their websites and discovery layers.

Gail grew up in a small town in central New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at SUNY Binghamton and worked for several years in hospitality and customer support roles while volunteering at local libraries prior to beginning her graduate studies.

Gail will be an outstanding addition to the WISCAT team and will help continue to improve resource sharing in libraries throughout Wisconsin. Please join me in welcoming her to this new role!

Gail can be reached at (608)224-5394,

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Wisconsin Heat Vulnerability Indices

Thermometer indicating rising temperatures outside
Courtesy of Pixabay
The Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services collects data related to population density, health factors, natural and built environments, and demographic and socioeconomic factors to track negative impacts extreme heat can have on vulnerable populations such as elderly populations, socially isolated people and those with pre-existing chronic conditions. This data is used to create heat vulnerability indices (HVI) to identify areas of greatest risk for negative health impacts due to extreme heat for the entire state of Wisconsin, by county and for the greater Milwaukee urban area.

The heat vulnerability indices are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives along with other resources related to managing extreme heat:

Learn more about how data is collected for the heat vulnerability indices and other heat-related health and safety tips.

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Library of the Month: Hurley School District

The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team
Main entrance of the Hurley School District
Courtesy of Hurley School District

The Hurley School District has 571 students and since January 2017, there have been more than 5,000 visits to BadgerLink from Hurley School District website! So we reached out to find out what they were doing.

Hurley School District is located in the township of Kimball and serves residents in the cities of Hurley and Montreal, and the Towns of Anderson, Carey, Gurney, Kimball, Knight, Oma and Saxon. Serving such a large region can pose difficulties, but also allows for a variety of educational field trips within their 468 square mile service area. Recently students have learned new things with visits to the Iron County Historical Society and Museum, North Lakeland Discovery Center, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, and Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department.

Varsity football player reads to 2 fourth graders
Team Read, Courtesy of Hurley School District
The Hurley School District finds ways to make learning fun and connect with the community. This year Hurley held a read-a-thon in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Together the elementary school read for 91,591 minutes! Also in support of literacy, Hurley hosted “Team Read” sessions and varsity football players read with 4th graders. The Senior to Senior Tech Class reached out to senior citizens in the community and gave them an opportunity to learn the basics about computers from the school's resident experts, the senior class.

Students teach senior citizens how to use computers
Senior to Senior Tech Class,
Courtesy of Hurley School District
The library is a hub of technology learning. Each library has a computer lab for students to use in addition to the district's 9 laptop carts and 2 iPad carts. Additionally, the High School students each have their own laptop. All students, pre-kindergarten through high school, spend time in the library learning about technology and developing digital literacy skills.

This spring, high school students put their digital literacy skills to the test when they were assigned in-depth research projects. Evaluating the credibility of resources and their information is vital to any research project. Freshman searched for information on influential people in U.S. history, while the sophomores researched controversial court cases throughout U.S. history, and the seniors researched potential careers. Students relied heavily on BadgerLink’s reliable resources to research their topics.

The last day of school for students was June 2nd. We hope staff and students have a great summer break! We send a huge thank you to Hurley School District for using BadgerLink!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Día de los Niños at Waukesha Public Library

The Youth and Inclusive Services System Continuing Education Projects are a great example of collaboration on state, regional, and local levels. Using LSTA funds, the Public Library Development team assisted multiple regional library systems in offering face-to-face continuing education events including mini-grants for attendees. The South Eastern Wisconsin (SEWI) system consortium and Winnefox Library System partnered on a project that focused on inclusive library services for children and families. The Waukesha Public Library, a member of the Bridges Library System, participated in an in-person workshop and applied for a mini-grant to increase outreach to the Hispanic community in Waukesha. What follows is a summary of the event, by Michele Gagner, Children's Services Library Associate.
Kids and families doing cultural crafts at the library
Families enjoyed the Día de los Niños event,
supported with LSTA funds, at the Waukesha Public Library.

Waukesha Public Library's Día de los Niños program, generously funded by the LSTA Mini-Grant, was held April 29, 2017. The program was a great success!  Along with the Spanish language and bilingual books and cultural craft project supplies funded by the grant, we also involved community partners - three local businesses contributed food and gift cards to purchase refreshments and supplies, two musical ensembles featuring school-aged kids performed, and local agencies and community partners assisted us with marketing and provided Spanish-speaking volunteers.  About 250 children and adults attended, well exceeding our goal of 100-150.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What is Your BadgerLink Story?

My BadgerLink Story ribbon
BadgerLink Stories

"BadgerLink is not just for students. I am so impressed with what's available in BadgerLink that I cannot express it in words. I have always found the access to newspapers valuable as a librarian in the business world." -- Rhonda, Business Librarian & Records Manager, Wausau, WI

"BadgerLink is a tremendous resource for learning. I work with a 51 year old man who worked his entire life in the auto tire business changing tires, but he was laid off over a year ago. He had never finished high school and couldn't find another job. A librarian at the Milltown Public Library showed me the LearningExpress Library High School Equivalency Center, and my student was able to take the test to better understand the level of competency necessary. [He] obtained a job in a different industry and we will continue to study weekly." -- Dave, Tutor, Milltown, WI

"BadgerLink supports the academic curriculum on our campus. We introduce and promote BadgerLink resources, so no matter what their skill levels, students acquire life-long learning skills. [They] complement our offerings and support us in preparing students as they transition through the various phases of their careers." --  Mernathan, Instructor & Campus Facilitator and Shelley, Librarian, Milwaukee Area Technical College

These are just a few testimonials demonstrating the difference the BadgerLink resources make in the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners in Wisconsin. We save schools and libraries millions of dollars, support education, and enhance economic development. Read all BadgerLink Stories

What is your BadgerLink story? Get inspired and share your story today!  

BadgerLink is a service provided by the Department of Public Instruction and our resources are paid for with state funding and federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Announcing the 2017 Youth Services Institute Cohort

The Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute provides professional development and networking for Wisconsin public library staff who serve babies, children, and teens in smaller public libraries. The Institute targets library staff who have no graduate degree in librarianship and/or work in rural/isolated library communities. For these individuals, there is a need to improve skill and knowledge base, foster a supportive network, and develop stronger peer-to-peer and professional community connections within the Wisconsin public libraries infrastructure. The Institute is supported through an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

The application process was competitive for this year's Institute. Twenty-five participants were selected from a large pool of applicants representing 14 of the 16 regional library systems. Cohort members are listed alphabetically by library system and last name.

The 2017 Youth Services Institute Cohort

  1. Jayme Anderson, Milton Public Library, Arrowhead Library System
  2. Karin Timmermann, Hedberg Public Library (Janesville), Arrowhead Library System
  3. Brianna Adams, L.D. Fargo Public Library (Lake Mills), Bridges Library System
  4. Jessi Peterson, Chippewa Falls Public Library, Indianhead Federated Library System
  5. Martha Kaempffer, St. Croix Falls Public Library, Indianhead Federated Library System
  6. Florence LaBeau, Ellsworth Public Library, Indianhead Federated Library System
  7. Jodie Porep, Fontana Public Library, Lakeshores Library System
  8. Amanda Rentas, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
  9. Kate Kirschner, Horicon Public Library, Monarch Library System
  10. Sarah Lange, Juneau Public Library, Monarch Library System
  11. Mary Winter, Shawano City-County Library, Nicolet Federated Library System
  12. Angie Bodzislaw, Spooner Memorial Library, Northern Waters Library Service
  13. Keri Rose, Hortonville Public Library, Outagamie Waupaca Library System
  14. Rebecca Hoffman, Marion Public Library, Outagamie Waupaca Library System
  15. Wendy Borden, Oregon Public Library, South Central Library System
  16. Chris Baker, Portage Public Library, South Central Library System
  17. Pamela Thompson, La Valle Public Library, South Central Library System
  18. Tara Teasdale, McCoy Public Library (Shullsburg), Southwest Wisconsin Library System
  19. Sarah Kyrie, Argyle Public Library, Southwest Wisconsin Library System
  20. Emily Zorea, Brewer Public Library (Richland Center), Southwest Wisconsin Library System
  21. Lisa Thomas, Hatch Public Library (Mauston), Winding Rivers Library System
  22. Nicole Overbeck, Wautoma Public Library, Winnefox Library System
  23. Hannah Schraufnagel, Neenah Public Library, Winnefox Library System
  24. Katie Kubisiak, Rhinelander District Library, Wisconsin Valley Library Service
  25. Krista Blomberg, Rib Lake Public Library, Wisconsin Valley Library Service
Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Public Libraries and Workforce Development

Guest post by Shawn Brommer Youth Services & Outreach Coordinator, with assistance from Mark Jochem, SCLS Consultant Services Intern

The South Central Library System recently held three planning meetings to connect public library staff and staff from community agencies that provide direct services to job seekers. Hosted by the Sun Prairie, Monroe, and McMillan Memorial Public Libraries, these planning sessions provided opportunities for public library and workforce development staff to meet each other, learn about organizational services to job seekers, and identify ways to deepen partnerships and work together to reach shared goals.

Project background:

In the Spring of 2016 The U.S. Employment and Training Administration sent a memorandum to state and local workforce development boards, workforce agencies, and American Job Centers asking them to collaborate with public libraries to complement and extend the career and employment services available to job seekers and unemployed workers. While direct federal funding is not available for public libraries, the Department of Workforce Development and its Workforce Development Boards are encouraged to collaborate with public libraries in the regions they serve. Collaboration examples include:
  • Including public libraries as stops on routes of mobile American Job Centers.
  • Using space available at public libraries to provide career assistance and employment services to library patrons, host job fairs, familiarize patrons with career resources that are available electronically or in-person at American Job Centers.
  • Informing and training public library and Department of Workforce Development staff members about the resources, services, and programs of each organization.

We saw this as an opportunity to help libraries in the South Central Library System connect with regional Workforce Development Boards and last fall we created a survey in which library staff identified: 1) their questions about serving job seekers, and, 2) questions about services provided by workforce development agencies. The survey input provided discussion outlines for the planning sessions, which were held in March and April 2017.

What we’re learning:

Public library staff, workforce development staff, and community agency partners gathered together in March and April and our discussions were lively, engaging, and productive. Staff from all agencies determined shared goals and began to identify ways to work together to meet the needs of job seekers in their communities. Examples include:

  • Sharing resource recommendations for technology training, job announcements, resume and cover letter templates, and regional workforce assistance programs.
  • Sharing information about organizational services and programs.
  • Sharing information about regional job fairs.
  • Sharing information about transportation services.
  • Sharing information about resources that help job seekers strengthen their interpersonal skills and learn ways to engage with employers and stay employed.

We recognized that job seekers often require additional help and that social service agencies that support children, families, transportation needs, and healthy lifestyles are crucial partners in serving community members who are un- and underemployed. Based on our discussions, we determined that job seekers deserve dignified point-of-need service and connections to local and trusted agencies and programs.

Next steps:

The face-to-face time is invaluable and we will continue to host planning sessions for public libraries and community agency partners. At the system-level, we are creating regional resource guides that connect job seekers and library staff with trusted resources (see the Green County guide). At SCLS we are reaching out to agency staff who will give brief presentations about their organizations and the services they provide and we are looking at ways to publicize existing library resources, such as Learning Express (provided by BadgerLink), print collections, and library technology classes to community agency staff. In order to move forward, public libraries and systems need to continually connect with social service agencies and meaningfully engage with communities to discern a holistic view of community life and to learn about the daily barriers faced by many community members.

The planning sessions were supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the DPI by Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Written by:
Shawn Brommer Youth Services & Outreach Coordinator
Mark Jochem, SCLS Consultant Services Intern

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Inclusive Services: A Statement from the Division of Libraries & Technology

Statue of Liberty with collage of synonyms for welcome
Libraries are welcoming beacons for all
For the past year or so, I have made a few posts about inclusive services in Wisconsin public libraries. These posts include:

Inclusive library service is an evolving theory and practice. Many elements are not new; e.g., public libraries as a free and democratic institution, while other elements are more contemporary; e.g., gender identity options on library card applications. For me, my role as a statewide consultant has evolved from a focus on exceptions; e.g. services to special populations, to an emphasis on the exemplar; e.g. libraries are for everyone. 

The prominence of equity as a foundation for inclusive services is directly tied to the mission of my team and the leadership of our agency. The Public Library Development Team (PLDT) provides leadership, advocacy, assis­tance, planning, coordination, and funding for the improvement of public libraries and public library systems so that all Wisconsin residents have equitable access to information. (Italics my own.)

The Wisconsin State Library Agency is an integral part of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). State Superintendent Tony Evers, alongside The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), released Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs, a series of commitments for state education agencies to consider to positively impact educational equity.
In consideration of the evolution of inclusive services and the future focus on equity in Wisconsin public schools and libraries, the Division for Libraries and Technology is proud to release a statement defining What Does It Mean to Be Inclusive?. This statement was developed by Wisconsin public library and system staff, PLDT staff, and DPI staff. It is our hope that this statement will provide direction and purpose for future efforts of Wisconsin public libraries, regional systems, and the state library agency. We expect that this statement will be a foundational component of training and resource development in the months and years ahead.

Please read, share, and discuss this statement with your staff, board, and colleagues. As the statement identifies, "Wisconsin public libraries serve everyone, and it is the duty of everyone in the service of Wisconsin public libraries to foster inclusivity."

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

LSTA Funding Update & Public Hearing

Everyone is aware that the federal legislative budgeting environment in Washington D.C. following the President’s proposed budget recommendations is tenuous.  This means that the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grants to States Program,Wisconsin's source of Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding for libraries and library systems, is jeopardized.

The Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) administers the LSTA funds and aims to convey to the plan to address priorities of statewide service to the library community.

LSTA FundingUpdate from the Division

As administrators of the Institute for Museums and Libraries (IMLS) “Grants to States” program, the Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) is moving forward with plans for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds for 2017 and beyond. While amount and timing of funds from IMLS remains unclear, DLT intends to maximize the federal dollars available to support library services and resources in Wisconsin. 

Specifically, 2017 LSTA funds will prioritize statewide projects such as Delivery, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and the Public Library System Redesign (PLSR); competitive grants for local projects will not be funded nor will System Outcome Measurement Support, pending further clarity around the federal FY18 budget that may occur in September. Statewide projects and resources managed by DLT will be funded with modifications to budget and capacity, including: Summer Library Program, the Coding Initiative, New Director Boot Camp, WISCAT, BadgerLink, Wisconsin's Digital Archives, and staffing. This may be the final year of Library System Technology grants, pending other functional analyses being performed by DLT and in consultation with the LSTA Advisory Committee; block grants will be restructured after 2017. 

As DLT moves forward with the LSTA Plan for 2018-2022, five main goals will be emphasized: Public Library Development through Law, Finance, and Data; Resource Sharing and Collaboration; Youth and Inclusive Services; Community Engagement and Outcome Measurement; and Technology Infrastructure and Services. These goals have been presented to the library community through listening sessions and presentations and will be reviewed by the LSTA Advisory Committee.

This statement will be posted on the LSTA web page.

LSTA Public Hearing Announcement
The LSTA Advisory Committee, appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will discuss the 2018-2022 LSTA Plan for Wisconsin and budget amounts for LSTA projects. The committee will meet at the DeForest Public Library on Thursday, June 1, 2017. As part of the meeting, a public hearing will be held starting at 10:00 a.m. to allow interested persons to testify on the LSTA plan and priorities. If you cannot attend the meeting and would like to contribute testimony to be considered at the hearing, please email Terrie Howe ( by 12:00 noon Tuesday, May 30, 2017 OR call (608) 266-2413.

Written by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Trout Fishing in Wisconsin

The general trout fishing season begins on the first Saturday of May. If you're one of the many people who will be heading out to get a fishing license and an inland trout stamp to legally fish for trout, you might be surprised to learn more about what a big economic impact trout fishing has in Wisconsin.

According to a recent article in the La Crosse Tribune, trout fishing has a significant impact on the economies of the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The Driftless Area is primarily southwestern Wisconsin and includes southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

The article reports on a recent study,  Economic Impact of Recreational Trout Angling in the Driftless Area, commissioned by Trout Unlimited from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse economics professor Donna Anderson. The study finds that trout fishing generates about $952 million a year in the Driftless Area, supporting local economies that have embraced the tourist trade. Anglers are drawn to the Driftless Area because of habitat restoration and preservation efforts that make the location more desirable for trout fishing. The study goes into great detail about the economic impact and demographics of the anglers contributing to what some refer to as "healthy trout economies."

Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations 2017-2018 image of cover
Courtesy of the WI DNR
Before you get ready to grab your tackle box and head out to the stream, let us direct you to a few useful resources you'll find in the Wisconsin Digital Archives that will help you have a more successful fishing trip.

For more information about trout fishing and regulations, visit the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources webpage.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

4th Annual Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference

Guest Post by Margaret Chambers, Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois

Harnessing the winds of change

Join your resource sharing colleagues in Oak Brook, IL on June 8-9 for the 4th Annual Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference on June 8-9, 2017. Register by May 26 to take advantage of the early registration fee of $95.

This conference is designed to support resource sharing efforts in public and academic libraries throughout the region and offers a cost-effective way to gather ideas for collaboration, marketing, streamlining workflows, and staying on top of changes in resource sharing.

Sessions will include:

· Cross-Training Established Staff in Interlibrary Loan Procedures

· Enriching Your Wealth of Resource by Marketing ILL

· Talk Amongst Yourselves: Improving System-to-System Communication to Speed Request Processing

· People Can Make the Difference: Staff Roles in Resource Marketing and Education

· Trying to Jump-Start Collaborative Collection Development: Finding Simple Methods for Effective Cooperation

Corey Seeman, Director of Kresge Library Services (Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and manager of A Library Writer’s Blog, will deliver the keynote address: History Has Its Eyes on You: Lighthouses and Libraries Weathering Storms of Change.

To register, or for more information, visit the conference website.

Written by:
Margaret Chambers
Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Library of the Month: Wilson Junior High School Library

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

Students hanging out in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
The BadgerLink team recently noticed a lot of visits to our website from the Wilson Junior High Library’s LibGuide. So we reached out to find out what they were doing. As it happens, the LibGuide is very heavily used in the school to direct students and staff to great online resources. So far this school year, Wilson’s LibGuide has been accessed more than 56,000 times which is huge for a school of 575 students!

Wilson is one of two junior high schools in the Manitowoc Public School District. Built in the1930’s, the Wilson library was renovated four years ago. The library layout changed to allow for group work, a maker space, and a TV studio. Since the renovation, the library has become a hub of inquiry and independent study. In addition to use during the school day, the library is used for staff meetings, parent meetings, and a space for students to gather before school to hang out and relax.

Students working in groups in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
In the mornings on Tuesdays through Friday all students participate in 30 minutes of Hawk Time, which is when students may receive additional help from their teachers, participate in enrichment activities in the library, or have silent reading time. Recently, as an enrichment activity, students began recording segments for a new program for station WJHS. Students meet on Tuesdays and Fridays to prepare and video tape for their new program. This enrichment allows students to learn reporting and filming techniques using equipment in the designated library area studio.

Ellen working with a student in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
The library is also a space to learn about technology. Classes come to the library’s computer lab to use Microsoft Suite programs and other important computer programs. Soon, a SMART Board will be installed in the lab for additional instructional space. To support students’ digital literacy, library staff use ISTE standards to teach to how to be successful in the digital age. The librarian, Ellen Reinertson, works closely with teachers to facilitate learning. Teachers often refer to Reinertson’s expertise when teaching research skills or designing a project. For next school year, there will be a designated maker space in the library to allow students an opportunity to explore and create.

Student working independently on her computer in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
Wilson Junior High School celebrated National Library week with staff and students. A golden ticket was hidden in one of the books in the library. Students were given clues which required them to use the LibGuide, Destiny Catalog, BadgerLink, and other library resources to find the correct book with the hidden ticket. Another scavenger hunt activity got teachers involved. Staff wrote a clue about their favorite book and placed it outside of their room. Students matched the book to the teacher to win a prize. Additionally, a new “Book Trailer” section was added to the LibGuide and the library hosted 500 students for selection of books and independent reading. It was a fun-filled week!

The library is a busy place! Thanks to Ellen Reinertson for her support of BadgerLink and for giving us a glimpse into the Wilson library, and here’s to a successful rest of the school year!

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dispatches from DPLAfest

In late April, 350 librarians, archivists, educators, developers, and scholars convened at the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago for the 4th DPLAfest, a 2-day gathering of individuals doing work related to the national platform of digital collections that is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  This year’s DPLAfest was sponsored by Chicago Public Library, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).  DPLA is a single interface where users can search a wide range of digital collections from institutions across the country, from large libraries like the New York Public Library to smaller local organizations like the Mineral Point Historical Society in Wisconsin. Speakers and attendees included representatives from state, public, academic, and K-12 libraries across the country, vendor and non profit organization representatives, and international attendees representing their region’s versions of aggregated digital collections, such as Trove in Australia and Europeana in the European Union.
Outgoing DPLA executive director Dan Cohen addresses
attendees in the Winter Garden. Photo via DPLA Flickr
Programs covered a broad range of topics, including the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), access issues, using digital collections in K-12 classrooms, measuring the social impact of library programs and services, and cultivating partnerships across institutions and sectors. The gathering offered attendees the opportunity to connect with representatives from other states who are at varying stages of involvement in DPLA, some longstanding and some just coming on board. The full schedule can be found here, with descriptions for each session, including presentation slides for many sessions. (Author’s notes from attended sessions can be found here).

photo of white flowers in a field
Wildflowers near Moen Lake, WI 1970
From the National Archives at College Park
While the conference covered broad issues and developments in digital collections and related resources, a central theme that emerged was that of relationship-building, between institutions and organizations, communities and resources, and professionals who attended. A representative from the Georgia Library Service’s HomePLACE described it best when speaking about her program as “both a relationship and a resource.” This can be said about Wisconsin’s DPLA service hub as well.

red and white bookmobile
Postcard: Bookmobile, Madison WI
From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Wisconsin Service Hub of the DPLA is a joint project of the Milwaukee Public Library, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, WiLS, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Marquette University, and it builds upon and draws from the Recollection Wisconsin statewide digital collections program. These organizations work together to ensure that Wisconsin’s rich history is accessible online to all, drawing from collections from 66 contributing institutions across Wisconsin.
For example, a search for Trempealau, a place name unique to Wisconsin, returns over 820 results from 36 institutions across the country, including a majority from Wisconsin organizations. These results include a 1975 radio show recording about Trempealau County via the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a 1961 supper club menu from Wason’s in Galesville held by the Culinary Institute of America, and scans of a WWII diary from a rural Wisconsin farm boy who became a soldier and bronze star recipient, from a collection owned by the La Crosse County Historical Society.
Front page of dinner menu showing photograph of restaurant
Wason's Supper Club Menu, 1961
From the Culinary Institute of America
Through stewardship of cultural heritage resources, and through collaboration and vision, DPLA and its many state and regional hubs enables the public to connect with resources that may otherwise be inaccessible. DPLA is both an invaluable resource on the basis of the vast collections it enables access to, and a network of crucial relationships among collaborating institutions all working to expand the reach of our nation’s cultural heritage collections.

For more first-hand accounts of DPLAfest, check out DPLA's Storify, a collection of tweets from event attendees.

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May Is Summer Library Program Launch Month

Children's Theme Artwork
Children's Theme Artwork
For public libraries that host a summer library program, May is often a busy month of finalizing details, organizing materials, and conducting outreach visits. These visits, often in the form of elementary classroom appearances or informative skits to group audiences, help build excitement for summer programming. They are also usually the first of many high-energy summer events produced by youth services staff.

Teen Theme Artwork
Teen Theme Artwork
Summer library, or summer reading, programs have a long history in Wisconsin. Check out Evolution of a Summer Library Program white paper by Carissa Christner to learn about past themes and artwork as well as collaborative efforts in Wisconsin and nationally. Today, Wisconsin participates in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP).  CSLP is a consortium of states working together to provide a unified summer reading theme along with professional art and evidence-based materials so that member libraries can provide high-quality summer reading programs at the lowest possible cost and to play a significant role in literacy initiatives. 

Adult Theme Artwork
Adult Theme Artwork
Using LSTA funds, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction purchases a statewide membership so that all Wisconsin public libraries can access CSLP materials for the annual program. The all-ages theme for 2017 is "Build a Better World." Artwork and future themes and slogans can be found on the Wisconsin Summer Reading Program webpage. The BadgerLink Team created a suite of ready-to-go activities for kids, teens, and adults using BadgerLink resources. Additionally, there are two Top Ten documents to help library staff and families make the most of summer reading programs. 

Best of luck to all Wisconsin public libraries who are working hard to Build a Better World!

Written by:

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wisconsin Historical Newspapers Online

Guest Post written by: Emily Pfotenhauer, WiLS
Article originally published on April 25, 2017

Clipping from the Sugar River Recorder newspaper October 11, 1895
Historic Sugar River Recorder, available on Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers

Digital access to historical newspapers is always in high demand from genealogists and other researchers. Recollection Wisconsin harvests a handful of historical newspaper collections (see list below). However, due to lack of centralized full-text searching and other technical limitations, we don’t actively work to digitize or support access to newspaper content. Fortunately, several of our partners have taken on projects to meet this need!

Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers

The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC), Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and WiLS are working together to provide digital access to Wisconsin’s historical newspapers through the Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers, freely available to Wisconsin residents through BadgerLink.

This project builds on a longstanding partnership between WHS and WNA to digitally archive the state’s currently-published community newspapers. More than 85,000 newspaper pages representing thirteen titles from the 19th and early 20th centuries are now fully searchable in the Archive, alongside hundreds of titles from 2005 to 90 days ago. This project was launched with support from Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as well as funding from WPLC. Another 100,000 pages will be added to the Archive this spring, thanks to contributions from participating libraries.

National Digital Newspaper Program in Wisconsin

In 2015 the Wisconsin Historical Society joined the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC) to provide access to historically significant American newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. WHS is in the process of digitizing 100,000 pages of newspapers to be added to LC’s Chronicling America website. Titles contributed to Chronicling America so far include the Wood County Reporter (Wisconsin Rapids) and the Watertown Republican. More titles will be added in the coming months, representing a diverse geographic, social and political picture of the state.

Independent projects and other access points

Several libraries and local historical societies in Wisconsin have taken on projects to share their community’s newspapers online, independently or in partnership with a vendor. The Wisconsin Historical Society has put together a map of newspapers available online across the state (scroll to bottom of the page). The genealogy blog Ancestor Hunt also offers an extensive list of digitized newspapers in Wisconsin.

Newspaper collections harvested by Recollection Wisconsin

A few newspaper titles can be found through the Recollection Wisconsin portal, primarily student publications from colleges and universities:

Written by: Emily Pfotenhauer, WiLS

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Wisconsin Population Trends and Statistics

Graph of Wisconsin Population by Year
Courtesy of the Dept. of Health Services
The U.S. Census Bureau counts every resident in the United States every 10 years as required by the Constitution. The data generated by the census is used to generate a vast amount of data analysis reports including reports about the population in Wisconsin published by Wisconsin state agencies.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to a wide range of reports about Wisconsin's population. Here are just a few of the reports you'll find in the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Department of Health Services
Wisconsin population estimates (2000-2014)

Wisconsin's Hispanic Population : a demographic summary

Department of Workforce Development
The impact of population aging on Wisconsin's labor force

Effects of aging population demographics on the registered nurse workforce

Department of Administration
Wisconsin's aging population : projections for the growing 65 and older population, 2015-2040

Wisconsin's future population : projections for the state, its counties and municipalities, 2010-2040

A look at Wisconsin's race and Hispanic origin estimates

For help locating population data specific to Wisconsin, email .

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BadgerLink Resources and Training Materials for Educators

BadgerLink has quality online resources for everyone in Wisconsin. It's well known that we have a lot of great materials for students. But we also provide tons of great resources for educators!

From the homepage, under Audience, select Educator to get a list of all resources that specifically have content for educators.
Screenshot from BadgerLink homepage
From the BadgerLink homepage, you can browse our resources by format, subject, or audience.When you select "Educator" under Audience, you get a listing of all the great resources that are relevant to teachers.

BadgerLink Resources Filtered by Audience: Educator

We have:

Find Training: Videos, Websites, and PDFs

We also provide a variety of training materials so you know how to use our resources. There are two ways to find training materials. See the instructions as a PDF.

One way to find training materials is to go to our Training page. You can get to the page from the blue navigation bar at the top of the page. Once on the Training page, use the filters to find the materials you need.

On the BadgerLink training page you’ll find:
  • The BadgerLink Set Up Guide, which is a handbook for school and library staff to learn the system requirements and basic guidelines for use of BadgerLink resources
  • Fliers detailing how to use Google Classroom with LitFinder, EBSCO, and resources
  • A video on how to set up an educator account with Britannica
  • A video and instructions on how to search for lesson plans in EBSCO resources
  • And so much more!

The other way to find training materials is to go to the resource's Full Details & Training page (Example: Science Reference Center Full Details & Training page). First find a resource you want training on. On the resource listing, click on "Read more..." Then click on "Full Details & Training." Once on the Full Details & Training page, scroll down to find the training materials for the resource.

For Educators Materials

On the All Resources page, find a resource you want to use. Then click on "See more" to get any supporting documents like lesson plans that may help you use BadgerLink in your classroom.
Screenshot from BadgerLink website
Some of our resources have lesson plans or other documents that help you use the resource in the classroom. 

If a resource has any supporting documents, Click on Read more... and check out the links in the For Educators section. You can also find the links on the Full Details & Training page!

Introduction for Educators Video

To help educators (and librarians!) become familiar with BadgerLink, we put together this short video.

You can also view the video on our website

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Apply NOW for the Youth Services Institute

Eagle Lodge
Heartwood Conference Center,
site of the 2013 and 2017 Institutes. 
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2017 Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute, to be held Sunday, August 27 - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at the Heartwood Conference Center in Trego, WI. 

The Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute provides professional development and networking for Wisconsin public library staff who serve babies, children, and teens in smaller public libraries. The Institute targets library staff who have no graduate degree in librarianship and/or work in rural/isolated library communities. For these individuals, there is a need to improve skill and knowledge base, foster a supportive network, and develop stronger peer-to-peer and professional community connections within the Wisconsin public libraries infrastructure.

Group photo outside
The 2015 Institute Cohort
Details about the Institute as well as the application text are available online. The application is due on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Youth library staff from all corners of the state are encouraged to apply. The best testament to what the Institute is all about comes from past graduates. The statement below was originally posted on the IFLS youth services listserv.


From Jenna Gilles-Turner, Chippewa Public Library

By now I hope you have heard the powers that be have posted information about the next Youth Services Institute. Former participants have been asked to share with others their own experiences in order to encourage others to apply.

I don't need to be asked twice.

The Youth Services Institute has been by far the most influential positive experience in my professional life. It was almost like therapy for the fears, doubts, and self-esteem in my professional life...and some of those very same issues also fall into the personal life category. So yeah, it was intense and emotional at times. But also intensely inspiring and engaging.

You know all those times you're sitting around a table or in an audience with all those amazing librarians and you lament the inability to have a decently lengthy conversation or gripe session with those amazing librarians who have amazing ideas and have had amazing experiences and ask amazing questions? You can do that at the Institute! You're together for more than just a meeting or conference or webinar! It's amazing! You have time to digest stuff (not just the amazing food) and then go back the next few days to continue conversing with and learning from one another! You meet librarians from outside our system and form fast friendships with people who will cheer you, lift you, and inspire you. Again: It's amazing! And they FEED you!

The biggest thing for me personally and professionally was going away from the Insitute feeling validated and seeing that I had been on the right track all along. I don't have a degree in library science and that's always weighed heavily on me. I didn't always feel like I was up to snuff or that I deserved a seat at the table. I wasn't sure I was doing the right things or if I was way out in left field. Every once in awhile I would have inklings like, "But I *know* this" or "Hey, I'm actually onto something good here," but for the most part the self-doubts were in control. Being with the other participants for that amount of time in a very judgement-free environment helped me realize what I really did know all along but was too afraid to let myself believe: I DO know my stuff and if I don't have an answer or solution, I know what to do about it. My experiences and schooling, while not a degree, do make me worthy of feeling proud for my accomplishments, passion, and ideas. I'm not saying I am free from suffering those fears and doubts, but I do suffer much less. And now I even have a wonderful cheering squad to help me through them when they do become too burdensome.

If you have any doubts or fears about going: drop them. Apply. 

Apply now. You can thank me later...

And feel free to share with colleagues and co-workers. Because they should apply, too. I wish everyone could have this experience. I really, really do.

Now go and don't worry about who will watch the desk while you're gone or about childcare or who will feed your partner or who will clean the litter box or who will do storytime or whatever. Because in the grand scheme of things: this Institute is so worth it. So thank me later but thank IMLS now by contacting your reps and telling them how important these funds are for experiences like this one and more.

Why are you still reading this? Go apply.

Jenna Gilles-Turner
Chippewa Falls Public Library

Post compiled by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team