Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Document Delivery - an important part of ILL service

For those unfamiliar with Resource Sharing, an important part of this service involves Document Delivery. Full text scholarly journal articles are rarely freely available online. They live behind pay walls that make these articles inaccessible without a subscription. With increased visibility online, patrons are easily finding citations, but are unable to obtain the article. A single article can cost anywhere between $30-$50. Enter Interlibrary Loan. Patrons can create an ILL request for a photocopy of an article through their local library – all at no direct cost to them. Provided the photocopy complies with copyright law, articles are sent via OCLC’s Article Exchange or via PDF email attachment. In many cases turnaround time is 48 hours.

This service supports many diverse individuals and institutions in our communities. It helps students succeed, small businesses to grow and create new jobs, supports research in state agencies and more. From a few satisfied customers…
WITC logo

The Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College:

“Wow! I have to tell you I have had incredible luck getting these requests filled. I can say that out of the last 50 requests I have had one turned down. That is amazing!

Thank you for this incredible service you provide for our students.”

The Eastern Shores Bookmobile

"I'm Chris, an R&D Chemist at a Wisconsin plastics company. When I started working there 8 years ago, the company had 56 employees. Now we have over 600. Part of that success is due to the development of new products, which is my job. The most important tool I have for new product development is my library card.

Over the years I have acquired many primary literature articles through interlibrary loan through the
Eastern Shores Bookmobile. Using that data as a foundation for my research, my company has filed for several patents and created hundreds of professional jobs during one of the worst recessions in America's history. Knowledge is power, and your library card is the key; all you need to do is find your lock."

Green Bay West High School 

Green Bay West Wildcats logo
"Our students are completing internal assessments for International Baccalaureate and the extended essay. The assignments range across the curriculum.

We would not be able to support their research without ordering articles full text through interlibrary loan. We REALLY appreciate this service.
Thanks so much!"

Wisconsin DNR logoWisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

“Thanks very much for the quick acquisition of these studies. Great work as always. We certainly appreciate it.”

Written by:  Christine Barth
                    Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Informational Papers by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau

Guest Post written by: Keely Wrolstad

At the beginning of each legislative biennium the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) produces another run of their Informational Papers. These papers provide legislators with fiscal information about Wisconsin revenue and expenditures to help with state budget decisions, covering topics such as taxation, education, environmental programs, transportation, and justice.
Wisconsin State Capitol
Courtesy of Pixabay

While the Informational Papers are created with legislators in mind, they provide historical and legal context as well as fiscal information, and are a great place to start when learning about a particular program or tax. They began in 1983, and some titles such as “The State Budget Process” have been produced each biennium. Others have ended or been replaced as needed, for example “Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP)” ended in 2013 and “The Federal Affordable Care Act” began in 2015.

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau is working on a project to get a complete run of the LFB Informational Papers in their digital collection.

Guest Post written by: Keely Wrolstad, State Documents Librarian, Legislative Reference Bureau

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Create Links in WISCAT for Your Library Users

WISCAT Support Form Link for Staff
Recently, the Link Page function was used to make the WISCAT support form readily accessible to all staff logged into their libraries' WISCAT.  Be assured, only WISCAT staff can create and add a Global Link Page to every library's WISCAT.
WISCAT Support link displays in toolbar above Staff Dashboard and image shows partial view of support form
Staff access link to WISCAT Support form
Why a WISCAT support form?
The form should ensure your messages go to the right place and are responded to as quickly as possible. WISCAT staff monitor the inbox Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30.

Library staff are welcome to:
  • Ask questions about WISCAT features and functionality
  • Report issues encountered using WISCAT
  • Upload an image (gif jpg jpeg png) to assist in troubleshooting

Local Link Pages
WISCAT staff aren’t the only ones who can add helpful links for their library users in WISCAT, local library staff are able to create customized links, called Local Link Pages, to display in one or more of the user environments in the library's WISCAT: Guest, Patron, Staff   

These links will be accessible above the Home page, Staff Dashboard, Advanced Search, Search Results (Gallery, List, Grid views), and in a full record display (View Details).

A few possibilities for links: 
  •  Guest and/or Patron users
Link to BadgerLink home page displays in toolbar of library's WISCAT
Library created a link to BadgerLink for Guest users of its WISCAT 
  • Patron users (logged into WISCAT)
    • Local guide to creating interlibrary loan requests 
    • Login screen for your library licensed resources 
Book Kits link in toolbar displays only to library's staff and opens to current list of kits libraries are willing to lend through interlibrary loan
Library created a link to Book Kits list for its staff logged into WISCAT 

Ready to get started?

See the step by step guide for staff to Create Local Link Pages

Personal Note:
Another reason I want to encourage staff to use the WISCAT support form is my upcoming retirement from state service.  For over 26 years it has been my privilege to assist library staff in using WISCAT.  Thank you and best wishes for the great work you do serving your library communities and beyond through resource sharing.

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Libraries Are For Everyone

Libraries are for everyone--diverse people holding globes
One in a series of images by librarian blogger Hafuboti
Does this image look familiar to you? It was developed for a library legislative day in Arkansas, and has gained a lot of attention on the Internet from librarian blogger and image creator Hafuboti. This image, which is one in a series of free images, pays homage to the traditional library sign with a right view profile of a library user consulting an information source. However, unlike the original icon, the information source is not a print book, but rather a multi-hemispheric globe. In addition, the library users depicted in the series are reflective of the heterogeneous communities in which libraries are embedded.

Imagine the delight and inspiration that these images provided to the group of Wisconsin library and system staff gathered for the DPI-sponsored "Inclusive Services Retreat." The debut of this series aligned perfectly with the two-day retreat that I convened in February. The focus of this intense and intimate working meeting was to delve into the concept of inclusion and its role in the services of Wisconsin public libraries, regional library systems, and the state library agency (DPI).

As discussed in 2 previous blog posts, What Does It Mean to Be Inclusive? and For Whom Library
Libraries are for Everyone image with lettering in American Sign Language
Libraries are for Everyone in ASL
Use is Difficult, Limited, or Minimized, the Public Library Development Team is actively considering resources, communications, and consulting efforts related to inclusive services. The retreat was an opportunity to bring together library and system staff with a vested interest in redefining what it means to accommodate the needs, interests, and lives of underserved and/or under recognized individuals and groups. Retreat discussions and activities explored all levels of library service; e.g., collections, customer service, policies, and marketing as well as numerous aspects of perception and equity; e.g., poverty, race, entitlement, and actual/assumed needs of users. Areas of growth and continued exploration include continuing education, assessment tools, and standards and guidelines.

In the coming months and years, you can expect to see professional learning and sharing opportunities related to inclusive services on multiple fronts. In the meantime, I urge you to consider how you know, or don't know, that your library is for everyone.

I would also like to publicly thank the retreat participants who helped guide the initial direction that inclusive services in Wisconsin libraries will take. My deep appreciation, in alphabetical order, goes out to:
  • Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System
  • Bruce Gay, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
  • Sharon Grover, Arrowhead Library System
  • Lara Lakari, Stephenson Public Library (Marinette)
  • Leah Langby, Indianhead Federated Library System
  • Sherry Machones, Northern Waters Library Service
  • Angela Meyers, Bridges Library System
  • Jill Miatech, Kenosha Public Library
  • Becky Petersen, Manitowoc-Calumet Library System
  • Marcia Sarnowski, Winding Rivers Library System
  • Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development Team
  • Joy Schwarz, Winnefox Library System
  • Holly Smith, Monarch Library System
  • Vickie Stangel, Dodgeville Public Library
  • Kris Adams Wendt, Wisconsin Valley Library Service.
Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Federal Budgets & LSTA Funds in 2017

Logo for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS)
Logo for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS)
By this time of the year, the Public Library Development team usually announces grant application awards that have been approved for funding in 2017. However, there are no current plans to send award notifications and letters from the State Superintendent to fund projects. The agency from whom the Division for Libraries and Technology receives Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding is the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This agency and its LSTA funds, through the Grants to States program, are subject to the current Continuing Resolution (CR) affecting all federal agencies and is in effect until April 28, 2017.

To back up a few months, the 2017 federal fiscal year began October 1, 2016. There was an initial CR issued to keep the government running until November 18th. On that date, a 2nd Continuing Resolution was issued to keep the federal government operating until April 28th. That CR will either get resolved with a budget at the end of April, or risk a government shutdown.

When the new President took office, Congress began working on FY 2018 appropriations bills, not FY 2017. President Trump is supposed to issue a budget for programs that he would like to accomplish during the current year. However, the administration has yet to fill many positions on his staff. When the budget is sent to Congress, it is expected that the President’s budget will propose large funding cuts for many domestic programs as suggested in his speech to the Congress.

According the American Library Association (ALA) Legislative office”… there is no indication that the President will suggest abolishing the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the independent agency that administers the bulk of federal library funding under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).“ It will be up to the U.S. Congress to appropriate money for the continuing support of LSTA funds.

The Division will continue to monitor the federal budget legislative issues and alert you as soon as there is news to report impacting the distribution of grants.

Written by:  Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Library of the Month: Talking Book and Braille Library

Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library logoThe Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

If you’re serving a library patron who has vision impairment, reading disability, or physical difficulty holding a book, make sure they know about the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library!

Image shows entrance to Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library located in the Milwaukee Public Library building.
Image from WTBBL
The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) provides audio and braille of books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as audio-described DVDs and videos to people living in Wisconsin who cannot see regular print or handle print materials. The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library is funded through the National Library Service, the Department of Public Instruction and the Milwaukee Public Library.

Image shows an example of a playback machine and audio cartridge.
Image from WTBBL
Located in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library serves adults, young adults, and children throughout the entire state. WTBBL provides users with playback machines, accessories including headphones, and braille or audio cartridges. All books, equipment, and services (including the mailing of materials) are free to WTBBL patrons.

Image shows piles of playback machines ready to be checked in and out.
Image from WTBBL
WTBBL currently serves nearly 7,000 registered patrons and over 580 institutions like libraries, schools, nursing homes, and veterans centers. A staff of 14.5 people handle phone calls, emails, and circulation. About 1300 digital cartridges are checked in each day and about 1300 digital cartridges checked out each day. This small library makes a huge impact.

You are eligible for WTBBL if you have vision impairment, reading disability, or if you have physical difficulty holding a book. To become a patron of WTBBL, you must complete an application. The application is free and requires certification by a medical professional, professional librarian, or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress (see the application for details).

Image shows playback machine and audio cartridge on coffee table.
Image from WTBBL
In addition to physical materials, WTBBL also provides users with digital services through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download), a web-based, password-protected service that provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music materials. With the BARD Mobile app, readers may download and play talking books on their smartphones and tablets. Braille readers also may download and read materials using a refreshable braille display with a Bluetooth connection.

Working with a local non-profit, ABLE (Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement), that transcribes print materials into alternative formats for people with disabilities, WTBBL selects books by Wisconsin authors to be recorded and accessible on digital cartridge or via BARD. In 2016, 23 books added so that Talking Book patrons from other state programs all over the country have easy access to the Wisconsin recordings.

Get more information and fill out an application at

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Do you serve job seekers at your library?

Public libraries have been a hub for job searching activities for years. Library users come to the library, sometimes with limited computer skills, and use the free computers and internet access to submit unemployment claims, write resumes and cover letters, and apply for jobs. Once in the library, patrons often realize that we provide more services than books and free internet.

Image of someone applying for a job online
Image from Pixabay
We’ve been writing about Patron Career Development on this blog for the last couple of years. We’d like to switch things up and periodically share success (or failure) stories from libraries that have attempted to reach job seekers. Contact Kara Ripley at with your story!

Stay tuned in the coming months for ideas on how other Wisconsin libraries have helped their local job seekers.

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

Monday, March 6, 2017

BadgerLink Class and Office Hours: Open to All!

On the last Tuesday of each month, the BadgerLink team hosts a live online class session on a specific BadgerLink topic or resource. After the 20 minute class session the webinar transitions to Office Hours, an agendaless time to drop in and ask questions about BadgerLink and see what others are asking. Check out our upcoming class topics and join us! Follow the instructions to join a session.

All Class & Office Hours sessions are the last Tuesday of each month from 3pm to 4pm.

Can't make it? Class sessions are recorded, and you're welcome to contact us at any time with questions. Check out past sessions here:

All are welcome, from library staff to educators to members of the general public. We hope to see you there!

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