Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The System Effectiveness Statement: What's it for?

Since the late 1990s, the last section of the public library annual report has been the Statement Concerning Public Library System Effectiveness added by this 1997 Wisconsin Act 150 revision to Chapter 43:

43.58 Powers and duties.
(6)(c) The report to the division shall contain a statement by the library board indicating whether the public library system in which the library participated during the year of the report did or did not provide effective leadership and adequately meet the needs of the library and an explanation of why the library board believes so.

This is every library's opportunity to contribute to an assessment of system services. As a statutory requirement of being a public library established in Wisconsin, the statement is also a mandatory part of the annual report.

43.05 General duties of the division. The division shall:
(14)(b) Conduct a review of a public library system if at least 30% of the libraries in participating municipalities that include at least 30% of the population of all participating municipalities state in the report under s. 43.58 (6) (c) that the public library system did not adequately meet the needs of the library. If the division determines that the public library system did not adequately meet the needs of libraries participating in the system, it shall prepare an advisory plan suggesting how the public library system can so do in the future, including suggestions designed to foster intrasystem communications and local dispute resolution. The advisory plan shall be distributed to the public library system board, the boards of all libraries participating in the system and the county boards of all counties participating in the system.

By requiring that two thresholds must be met before the DLT can be involved, this language ensures that a DLT system review is not the result of isolated incidents.

So, for example, consider a theoretical Wisconsin public library system that has 25 member libraries, and those member libraries were established by municipalities that have a total resident population of 190,258. Before the Division can conduct a review of this fictitious system, at least eight libraries would have to report that the system did not provide effective leadership etc. (25 libraries * .3 = 7.5) and the total resident population of the municipalities that formed those eight libraries would have to total at least 57,078 people (190,258 * .3 = 57,077.4).

While the DLT cannot take action until both conditions are met, we do monitor the effectiveness statements filed with us. In the event that sufficient "not effective" statements are received, we have a better understanding of the circumstances involved if library boards have submitted thoughtful explanations of their position when either "did" or "did not" provide effective service is marked on the form.

Written by Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team

Monday, January 30, 2017

Visit BadgerLink at Upcoming Conferences!

The BadgerLink team is attending an exciting lineup of conferences this spring. If you’re planning on attending any of them, please come say hello! We will be presenting and/or exhibiting, and will have free posters and bookmarks to take back to your school, library, or organization. See where we’re headed and add us to your list of presentations or exhibitors to see!

Logo: Wisconsin State Reading Association

Wednesday, February 8 - Friday, February 10
Exhibits on Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday morning

Logo: Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association Conference

Sunday, March 19 - Tuesday, March 21
Wisconsin Dells
Exhibits on Monday and on Tuesday morning
Presentation, date and time TBD, “Beyond Access: Developing Deep Knowledge of BadgerLink Resources”

Logo: Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers

Thursday, March 16 - Saturday, March 18
Exhibits on Thursday evening & Friday
Presentation on Thursday at 3pm, “BadgerLink, Your Online Laboratory!”

Logo: Wisconsin Health Literacy

Tuesday, April 4 - Wednesday, April 5
Exhibits on Tuesday, April 4

Stay tuned for more updates on conferences from April on, and as always, contact us with any questions!

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Child's Play: Youth Services on the Public Library Annual Report (Part 2 of 2)

Part 2 of 2

This two-part blog post focuses on a few frequently asked questions, or "Aha!" moments that have stemmed from conversations in the field regarding youth services and the Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report. Read Part 1

Enlightenment Concept #3: Literacy Offerings as Umbrella Events
Rainbow beach umbrella
A Literacy Offering can be thought of as an umbrella event
Libraries create many experiences for patrons such as programs, displays, book lists, and drop-in activities. Not everything that libraries offer is counted on the Annual Report, but that does not mean libraries should not offer them. In fact, most library directors would balk if they had to count every single effort.

Literacy offerings are a specific kind of short-term event that many libraries offer to encourage reading and/or the development of literacy skills. The most common kind is a summer reading program, often targeting a specific audience such as children (ages 0-11). A literacy offering can be thought of as an umbrella--an overarching, highly visible structure under which other library events and activities are scheduled. Looking at this photo, imagine that the rainbow umbrella represents a "Color Your Summer with Books" literacy offering for children. The umbrella stands out from other things on the beach, much like a literacy offering stands out from a library's regular programs and services. Underneath the rainbow umbrella, the red cooler represents all of the programs that were offered during Color Your Summer with Books. The yellow flippers represent all of the drop-in activities that were offered. There are some other things, like displays, contests, and readers advisory that took place, but those items are not counted on the Annual Report. 

In this example, in order to be involved in Color Your Summer with Books, a child must register, or sign up, any time during the eight week event. On the annual report, the library would report that it hosted one Summer Literacy Offering for Children, and the number of individuals involved would be the count of the unique persons signed up for Color Your Summer with Books.

As for all of the programs offered as part of Color Your Summer with Books, those get counted under Programs and Program Attendance. Programs always get counted under Programs.

As for all of the drop-in activities offered, those get counted under Drop-in Activities and Participation. Drop-ins always get counted under Drop-ins.

But wait! What if you count involvement differently at your library? For example, what if involvement for an individual in your summer literacy offering means completing a reading record? In this case, your library would be using participation in a drop-in activity (a reading record) as a measurement for two report elements--drop-in activities and literacy offerings. In this specific example, a library might have 25 reading record participants in a drop-in activity AND a 25 person count for individuals involved in the literacy offering. While it seems counterintuitive to count something twice, in this case it works because this is how your library determines what literacy offering involvement means. Refer to Enlightenment Concept #1: Ways to Count in Part 1 of this post and remember that the Annual Report does not dictate how you count, only that you count consistently.

Enlightenment Concept #4: Email Communication
Person emailing with worried expression
Direct burning annual report questions
to LibraryReport@dpi.wi.gov (Pixabay)
Answers to your Annual Report questions are only an email away! Any questions regarding LibPAS, the Public Library Annual Report, or instructions should be directed to LibraryReport@dpi.wi.gov. This account is monitored by several team members so that the Public Library Development Team can respond quickly and effectively.

Person receiving email with happy expression
Make sure you are included on
the YS-List for youth services updates
Have you ever received an email from me, usually addressed to "Wisconsin Library Staff Serving Youth"? Our team maintains a one-way email listserv for Wisconsin Youth Services (YS). In order to be included on this email list, your name and email address must be listed on the Annual Report, Section XIII, item 3. Staff Serving Youth. This email listserv is updated annually, and contact information is also utilized as an in-house directory of youth services staff around the state. Without this information, we don't have a way to readily identify youth services staff, especially for queries such as "Who is the new youth services person in Cranberryville?" or "Can you put me in touch with the youth services person from Cheddar Town who did that great webinar last month?".

In a nutshell, please be in touch with us, and help us to be in touch with you.

Want to learn more or test your knowledge? Here are three resources that are intended to support your data collection throughout the year, as well as during reporting season.

(Note: includes quizzes and suggestions of "Ways to Count")

Wishing you a calm and consistent reporting season!

Written by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Understanding the Numbers: Successful Retrievals of Electronic Information on the Public Library Annual Report

The 2016 Public Library Annual Report includes a new section for tracking usage of “electronic collections,” otherwise known as databases or electronic resources. See previous posts Looking Ahead: New Data in FY2016 Annual Reports and Annual Report / LibPAS Workshop Material for more information. 

While many libraries purchase their own electronic collections, a bulk of this data will be coming from the state-provided resources in BadgerLink (http://badgerlink.dpi.wi.gov). Over the last 6 months, I have been working with systems and/or libraries to make updates with our content providers to allow for these individual usage statistics to be captured. As the process is unexpectedly taking longer than anticipated, libraries will have the option of selecting “did not collect” for the 2016 calendar year.

However, for those libraries wishing to report usage for 2016, I provided in a separate email message, guidance on how to navigate the vast array of reports and metrics available through a few of our providers. This guidance stemmed from overall changes in attitude and thought on how to best capture the usage of online content, and are not only recommended for the Annual Reports, but also for the reporting BadgerLink shares at the state-level. This is a big change, but we are excited to move forward with some consistency and clarity so we can all best represent the actions of our users!

Image of computer monitor displaying various graphical charts
Add value to your library's story with electronic collections data.
Image from Pixabay.

What exactly is a successful retrieval of electronic information?

That’s a good question, and one that can be debated even with a stated definition. According to the Annual Report, this is the “number of full-content units or descriptive records examined, downloaded, or otherwise supplied to a user, from online library resources that require user authentication but do not have a circulation period. Examining documents is defined as having the full text of a digital document or electronic resource downloaded or fully displayed. Some electronic services do not require downloading, as simply viewing documents is normally sufficient for user needs.” That’s helpful, but what happens when you encounter multiple report options from a content provider, each supplying a different metric? Or when the report options vary from provider to provider? How can we compare apples to apples? One way to remedy this is with the COUNTER Code of Practice.

COUNTER Code of Practice

COUNTER is a non-profit organization supported by a global community of library, publisher, and vendor members who contribute to the standard that enables the knowledge community to count the use of electronic resources. Known as the Code of Practice, the standard ensures vendors and publishers can provide their library customers with consistent, credible and comparable usage data. (https://www.projectcounter.org/). Some, but not all, BadgerLink content providers are COUNTER-compliant, and 3 out of the 5 total providers supplying individual library usage are, so it is a step in the right direction.

Taking into consideration the successful retrieval definition above, the available COUNTER reports, and best practices and guidance from Usus (http://www.usus.org.uk/), the BadgerLink team moved forward with recommending the specific COUNTER Database Report 1 and Result Clicks metric as a “successful retrieval of electronic information.” Historically many libraries, including BadgerLink, reported out Searches and Sessions as a way to document usage. However, with the advent of federated search platforms, and increasingly with discovery services, those metrics are no longer accurate measurements of usage. Result Clicks provide a better snapshot of the action a user is taking to view a particular item, whether full-text or abstract. This measurement demonstrates the human interest in a database, not how well a system is able to ping multiple resources with one search.

Everyone else

For non-COUNTER compliant vendors, we have also recommended specific reports and metrics that best align to Result Clicks. The most important thing to remember is we are attempting to capture the user action that ultimately leads to viewing, using, and/or downloading a desired resource.

Moving forward

As Nancy Bennett of Carroll University stated in her opinion piece about usage statistics (available at http://www.usus.org.uk/could-we-ever-get-rid-of-usage-statistics-winner-of-the-usus-travel-award/), “Gathering usage statistics is very time-consuming and analyzing the numbers takes some effort, but I don’t think it is possible to fully utilize our resources and guide our students in their research without them.”

The BadgerLink team looks forward to providing additional instruction on how to gather, analyze, and enter this data on future Annual Reports. We welcome ideas on making this process more streamlined, or questions in general, so please contact us at http://badgerlink.dpi.wi.gov/contact-us!

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's here! An open access journal for all aspects of librarianship

Guest Post written by: Cinthya Ippoliti, Oklahoma State University

On behalf of editors Stephen Weiter and Matthew Kopel and the editorial board, I am pleased and excited to announce the publication of Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Journal of New Librarianship: http://www.newlibs.org/
The Journal of New Librarianship is an open access journal for members of the library and information professions, and published via Scholastica.   

Editor's note with image of library
The first issue includes double-blind peer reviewed articles by Meg Henderson from the University of Southern California and Emma Oxford James Madison University; book reviews by Bea Calvert of Loyola University- New Orleans and Carol Waggoner-Angleton of Augusta University; and essays by Dan Vinson of Mount Mary University, Deb Schwartz, CEO, LAC Group, and Emily Drabinski of Long Island University.

Moving forward, the journal hopes to publish a wide variety of content from a wide variety of librarians from public, special, academic and other libraries, including: peer-reviewed articles; essays; opinion pieces; book reviews; and content in a variety of formats, including text, video, podcasts, etc.
Works will be published on a rolling basis. We are accepting submissions now to v2i1, which will include all work published between now and June 30th of 2017.

Submissions may include, but are not limited to: Solicited articles; Scholarly Articles; Essays; Experience and opinion pieces; Media (i.e., podcasts, video, etc) relevant to innovative practices in librarianship; Book reviews; Technology reviews; Letters to the Editor on topics relevant to the field; Data sets; Manifestos; Extended scholarship (Greater than 15,000 words); and Interviews.
Non-English content is welcome. Translation assistance is available for accepted works.

As this is a diamond-model open access journal, there are no APCs: Submission is free, as it should be. There is also no charge to readers or to authors for the Journal of New Librarianship. For additional information, please check out http://www.newlibs.org/for-authors

Written by:  Cinthya Ippoliti, Oklahoma State University

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New in 2017: Monthly BadgerLink Classes followed by Office Hours

In 2017, the BadgerLink team is making changes to our training schedule!
Previously, we held Classes, a series of webinars over the course of a month, all based around a theme (for example, our Genealogy Class we held in September/October). Independent of Classes, we hosted monthly Office Hours, an agenda-less time to ask any and all BadgerLink questions. Now, Classes and Office Hours are joining forces!
Last Tuesday of the MonthMark your calendars for the last Tuesday of each month from 3pm to 4pm for a BadgerLink Class followed by Office Hours! Join us for both a Class and Office Hours, or drop in for one or the other.
Our first Class, on January 31st, will cover Access & Authentication, focusing on school & library logins and IP registration. All Classes will be recorded and posted on our Training page ; Office Hours are not recorded.
Tuesday, January 31
3 to 3:20 PM Class on Access & Authentication
3:20 to 4 PM Office Hours
Get instructions to join Classes & Office Hours
Need a reminder? When it gets closer to the training, we'll email you. Sign up for email reminders
We hope to see you there -- please Contact Us with any questions!
Written by:
Ben Miller, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Economic Impact of Wisconsin Cheese

Wisconsin is very well known for producing delicious, award winning cheese. In 2016, cheese produced in Monroe, Wisconsin, won the World Championship Cheese Contest. Most notably however is the significant impact cheese has on Wisconsin's economy. Wisconsin cheese is so important that it is actually traded as a commodity. Wisconsin's dairy industry as a whole contributes $43.4 billion annually to Wisconsin's economy with cheese production at an all time high. In 2015, cheese production in Wisconsin topped 3 billion pounds for the first time ever. As a matter of fact Wisconsin is responsible for producing 26% of the total amount of cheese made in the entire United States.

Wisconsin cheese, 26% of U.S. total with a pictures of various Wisconsin cheeses
Courtesy of the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Learn more about the economic impact of Wisconsin cheese by reading the annual Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics report found in the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Interested in visiting a cheese factory or ordering some Wisconsin cheese from one of the many producers throughout the state? The Wisconsin Digital Archives also provides access to the Wisconsin Dairy Plant Directory and the Something Special from Wisconsin Directory.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Library of the Month: Madison Public Library

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

Rob Franklin and Library Director Greg Mickells  accept a 2016 National Medal for Library Service  awarded by First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House
Image courtesy of Madison Public Library
Rob Franklin and Library Director Greg Mickells
accept a 2016 National Medal for Library Service
awarded by First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House

The mission of Madison Public Library (MPL) is to provide free and equitable access to cultural and educational experiences. Last year, MPL was recognized with our nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. “The Madison Public Library’s programs and services promote creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Library initiatives...address community challenges and engage residents in new and exciting ways,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Madison Public Library celebrates ideas, promotes creativity, connects people and enriches lives while addressing important issues facing Madison citizens, including education, poverty, economic development and quality of life.
As “your place to learn, share and create,” MPL connects visitors with participatory experiences, like the Bubbler. The Bubbler’s hands-on pop-up workshops introduces participants to a variety of local artists and experts, most recently featuring classes and workshops on poetry, writing, sewing, screenprinting, food preparation as art, comic book design, collage and more. The Bubbler partners with artists and groups around Madison to keep users’ experience current and dynamic, and serves as a nationally-consulted model for maker programming in libraries, recently recognized with an IMLS National Leadership Grant in conjunction with the UW-Madison, a Google Making Spaces grant, and two grants to host Maker Corps programs, from Maker Ed and the Evjue Foundation. The Bubbler's Media Lab hosts classes and drop in sessions where attendees learn animation, audio and video production and editing, graphic design, and other media production skills.

Kids participate in a cooking class featuring fresh fruits  and vegetables at Meadowridge Library
Image courtesy of Madison Public Library
Kids participate in a cooking class featuring fresh fruits 
and vegetables at Meadowridge Library
A growing homeless population inspired MPL to offer access to social services inside the Central Library. Through partnerships with local social service agencies like Shine608, Porchlight, Veterans Administration, Tellurian, Second Harvest Foodbank, the Central Library houses more than 50 hours of social services assistance weekly, connecting those in need with shelter, housing, meals, showers, storage, job assistance, and skills training. Services are also offered through some of our neighborhood libraries, including tax assistance, food share assistance, job skills and writing assistance. Over 1800 visits were recorded in 2013-14 at the Central Library alone.

Madison's eight neighborhood libraries have similarly embraced new services, for example, when the Meadowridge Library was remodeled in 2015, the library included a community kitchen. The library collaborates with the Neighborhood Center to outfit the kitchen and use it to provide snacks to kids, as well as teach youth how to prepare their own nutritious snacks and meals.

Artist Victor Castro poses with Dane County teens involved  in the Making Justice program
Image courtesy of Madison Public Library
Artist Victor Castro poses with Dane County teens involved
in the Making Justice program
Collaborative and innovative library programming for teens at MPL have social and educational impact.The library partnered with three Juvenile Court programs to take digital literacy and arts-based projects to incarcerated teens, as well as reaching teens in targeted populations through partnerships with Common Wealth Development and Centro Hispano. Another great partnership was with Madison Metropolitan School District and United Way of Dane County. Together, they piloted Read Up, a program offering literacy rich programming and free books to children enrolled in summer care at two schools. By measuring children’s test scores before and after the summer programming, the project was able to show that 75% of students maintained or increased their reading levels rather than the normal summer slide. In addition to these programs, MPL provides workshops at the Bubbler and media lab, coding, book events, and many other fun and engaging learning opportunities for teens. Overall, the library saw an 116% increase in teen program attendance over three years.

Madison Public Library's tradition of promoting education, literacy, and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 140 years. And the creative, innovative, and engaging programs will have a deep and long-lasting impact for many more years to come.

Written by: 
Tana Elias, Madison Public Library
Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Guns in the Library: You Have the Policy…How Do You Enforce It?

Imagine you are a library director or supervisor, and you arrive at work to find an incident report from an employee who worked the evening before. The report details an interaction during which staff asked an older male teen to leave for violation of the public behavior policy. Apparently, a parent called claiming her son witnessed a boy showing a gun while inside the library. Your astute staff member reviewed the surveillance tapes to try to find evidence of a gun but there was none. Knowing that firearms are prohibited in the library but not wanting to call the police without proof, your staff member approached the teen and told him of the phone call she received, and then asked him to leave. Problem solved?
Image of library staff member walking a tightrope
Image from pixabay.com

With the current epidemic of random violence, public library workers feel responsible for—yet vulnerable to—the public they serve. After concealed carry became legal in Wisconsin, many library boards modified their public behavior policies to prohibit firearms in the library. In addition, many library directors and boards have sought out and provided active shooter training for staff. These are great steps toward ensuring the safety of library workers and patrons alike. However, directors must work with their boards to develop policies and procedures that dictate how staff should handle a situation in which a threat is not imminent, such as in the case of an active shooter, but there is a heightened potential for harm. While this would certainly include an individual with a weapon, it is not limited to that scenario. All library workers should be trained to appropriately deal with situations that may put staff or patrons in danger.

If your policy states that weapons are prohibited, consider including an action plan in the event that this condition is violated. For example, the policy could state, “The Library is a weapon free environment. If staff become aware, whether by report or observation, that someone in the building may be carrying a weapon, they are directed to contact the Anytown Police Department by dialing 911, and the responding officer(s) will determine the appropriate response. Any person found to be carrying a weapon in violation of this will be suspended from the library for a period to be determined by the library director.”

Would one of your staff approach someone with a weapon? Do not risk finding out. Review your behavior policy and procedure manual and, with your library board, make any amendments necessary to take this decision out of the hands of the staff member facing the situation on the fly.

Written by Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Child's Play: Youth Services on the Public Library Annual Report (Part 1 of 2)

At the start of the calendar year, library directors begin work reporting on the previous year's library activities on the Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report, affectionately referred to as the "Annual Report." For those who have attended a training session led by the Public Library Development Team's Data and Finance Coordinator Jamie McCanless and myself, you are aware of the adage that the "Annual Report is an opportunity to reflect and report" versus an annual burden like completing one's taxes. To view slides from a recent training session, click here.

As the Youth and Inclusive Services Consultant, I spend January and February each year helping library directors, system staff, and youth services staff to reflect and report on library activities related to programming, which include traditional programs, drop-in activities, and literacy offerings.

This two-part blog post will focus on a few frequently asked questions or "Aha!" moments that have stemmed from conversations in the field.

Photo of a colorful abacu
An abacus offers an old-fashioned way to count (Pixabay)
Enlightenment Concept #1: Ways to Count
The Annual Report asks for quantities, or counts, of specifically defined elements; e.g., program attendance. However, the Annual Report does not specifically define how to count these elements. For example, regarding attendance at a program planned for children such as a Wednesday story time, a library should keep track of the number of attendees (which, by the way, includes ANYONE who attends the program--children, parents, nannies, teen siblings, etc.). A library might choose to perform a head count during the program, offer a sign-in sheet, or utilize a mechanical tally counter. What matters most is that a library counts consistently from program to program, and reports counts consistently from year to year on the Annual Report.

Child reading book in the grass
Drop-in activities, like reading records, are designed for
 individual participation, rather than group attendance
Enlightenment Concept #2: Drop-in Doesn't Mean Dropping By
The Annual Report element "Drop-in Activity and Participation" received this name both as an intentional deviation from the federally defined "Program and Program Attendance" and in consideration of previously unreportable library activities informally called "passive," "stealth," or "informal" programs. Traditional programs can be thought of as events scheduled on a specific date and time for a group. Drop-in activities, in contrast, are planned for participation by individuals and scheduled with flexibility for individuals (versus a group). "Drop-in" suggests that individuals can drop-in and participate when they like, for as much or as long as they like. The most familiar example of a drop-in activity is a reading record. Usually, a library assigns a reading record sheet to an individual for her/him/they to utilize independently, and often off-site. Reading records usually have a time period, such as a "Summer Library Program Reading Record." An individual might read for 3 or 30 hours over the course of the summer. He/she/they might read at the library, at home, or on the bus. The experience is up to the individual to determine. This is what primarily differentiates a "Drop-in Activity" from a "Program."

Want to learn more or test your knowledge? Here are three resources that are intended to support your data collection throughout the year, as well as during reporting season.

Handouts: Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report Input: Youth Services Definitions and Examples
A Closer Look at Literacy Offerings
Online Learning Module: Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report: Youth Services
(Note: includes quizzes and suggestions of "Ways to Count")
Webinar Recording: Just to Clarify: Youth Services and the Annual Report

Still have questions? Direct your queries to LibraryReport@dpi.wi.gov

Wishing you a calm and consistent reporting season!

Written by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LSTA Grants Demonstrate Projects with Images

The Grants to States program is part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and awarded to states from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  In 2015,  a portion of the annual award to the state funded projects in Accessibility, Early Literacy, Digital Creation, Public Library System Technology, and Digitization of Library Materials.  Below are images from a selection of projects.   Abstracts of these and other projects.

Early Learning Materials at New Richmond Public Library
New Richmond demonstrates Early Learning Materials
Indianhead Library System's Media Mentor Project for Early Learners
Indianhead Library System's Media Mentor Project for Early Learners  

Aram Public Library in Delavan Digitizes the WI Reporter on behalf of the School for the Deaf
This image is from the WI School for the Deaf’s collection of the Wisconsin Times Newspaper

St. Croix Public Library provides STEM learning opportunities for 8-15 year olds
St. Croix Public Library:
STEM learning for 8-15 year olds

Poster demonstrating Mukwonago Community Library was part of a Bridges Library System  Technology Project to obtain Charging Stations  for member libraries
Mukwonago Community Library was part of a
Bridges Library System
 Technology Project to obtain Charging Stations
 for member libraries

Written by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Thursday, January 5, 2017

GoodProspects®: Individualized career help from Goodwill

Job seekers everywhere can connect to virtual career mentors using GoodProspects ®.

Goodwill Industries GoodProspects® website supports job seekers
Goodwill Industries GoodProspects® Website

GoodProspects® offers something most job support websites and portals can't - the opportunity to connect with a virtual career mentor. Mentor-experts are recruited from Goodwill's business sponsors and partners.

How does it work?
Volunteer mentors work with job seekers who submit a free registration and mentor request on the website. They can help patrons develop career plans, learn about industries, research and apply for jobs and prepare for interviews. Each mentor's profile shows which industries they know the most about. Here's how it can work:

GoodProspects® virtual mentor process workflow diagram
GoodProspects® virtual mentor process - courtesy Goodwill  

How do you get started?
First, complete the registration form, then click the "make connections" button and begin browsing the community of fellow job seekers.  Users can add community members to a list of trusted contacts or join a forum (group discussion).

Registered users connect to virtual helpers by submitting the "request a mentor" form.  Users can request a mentor with experience in a particular industry and they can specify the particular kind of help they want. To help match mentors and job seekers, the form allows users to share more information about themselves. For example, you may request a mentor who has experience working with veterans, members of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, single parents, or job seekers with criminal backgrounds.  Once you've submitted the request form, you'll receive a list of mentors recommended as especially beneficial given your job search parameters.

The opportunity to select a mentor who can provide one-on-one help and answer questions about the job search process makes GoodProspects® a uniquely beneficial service.  It can be especially useful for folks who may not be able to easily connect with in-person career and job search resources.

GoodProspects® also offers all of the robust job seeker support resources users expect from any well-rounded career portal: tools to build skills, industry and career background resources - including videos, job postings from Indeed.com, and access to an online community of fellow job seekers.

Written by Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Applications for WILEAD 2017 Now Open!

What do digitization projects, code literacy initiatives, and system-wide makerspaces have in common? They were all projects developed by Wisconsin’s ILEAD USA participants in 2015.  If you are interested in developing your leadership and project management skills while addressing a community need, consider participating in the WILEAD 2017 program, a continuation of ILEAD USA.

Anyone working in a Wisconsin library - public, school, special, academic, or regional public library system - is eligible to participate. Each participant will apply with 3 other Wisconsin librarians to form a team of 4 WILEADers. Team members will participate in three intensive, mandatory in-person sessions over the course of nine months to be held at the Green Lake Conference Center on the shores of beautiful Green Lake, Wisconsin.

The online application and more details are at: https://forms.dpi.wi.gov/se.ashx?s=56301B2D01400404

Applicants will be asked for individual contact information in addition to details about their team project. The deadline for applications is extended to February 3, 2017 is January 27, 2017, with notification of selected teams on February 7, 2017.

The 2017 WILEAD program is funded with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

If you have questions, please contact Ryan Claringbole at ryan.claringbole@dpi.wi.gov or 608-266-9534, or Shannon Schulz at shannon.schultz@dpi.wi.gov or 608-266-7270.

Written by:
Ryan Claringbole and Shannon Schulz, Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Customize WISCAT Patron Email Notices and more


WISCAT can help notify your library patrons when their interlibrary loan items arrive.

Up to five interlibrary loan (ILL) statuses may be selected to initiate automatic email notices to patrons. Staff may customize the message for each status selected such as Received in the Patron Notification Set-Up section of the library's WISCAT Participant Record. 

Then,when an ILL request is updated to Received status by staff, a notice is automatically sent to the patron’s email address. 
  • Your message may be entered above or below the following pre-set fields (limit 1400 characters): 
    • Name: #Patron's First Name# #Patron's Last Name#
    • Pickup at: #Pickup Location#
    • Title: #Title#
    • Author: #Author/Creator#
    • Edition: #Edition#
    • Description: #Physical Description#
    • Series: #Series#
    • Request Date: #Request Date#
  • If desired, the Due Date field may be added to display in the email notices.  
    • Enter the label you want the patron to see and then the field code such as Date Due: #Due Date# 
Customized email message sent to patron stating: The following item is available for pick up at the Circulation Desk
Customized Message in Patron Email Notice

See the Patron Email Notification Set-Up Guide for more information.

New Feature Coming -- Customize ILL Request Tracking Messages 
Starting January 11th, staff will be able to customize the messages patrons see in their ILL Request Tracking accounts. This new feature will also enable staff to configure the text that displays to guest users when setting up an ILL Request Tracking account.

If a library chooses not to configure their own messages, the standard messages will continue to display by default.
Items from Other Libraries - Standard message for request in Awaiting Approval status displays as: This request is awaiting approval by staff
My Account -- Patron ILL Tracking
Patron Tracking option available in ILL Admin menu on Staff Dashboard
ILL Admin Menu

ILL Admin Patron Tracking screen shows text boxes for customizing
Patron Tracking Admin Screen

Questions?  Contact WISCAT Staff

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