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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

LSTA Evaluation & Planning

The LSTA Five-Year Evaluation for Wisconsin 2013-2017 is linked on the PLD site under recent updates. It was recently filed with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as required by federal law for Wisconsin’s Grants to States program. The purpose of Section 9134 (c) of IMLS’ authorizing (LSTA) legislation directs State Library Agencies to “independently evaluate, and report to the Director regarding, the activities assisted under this sub-chapter, prior to the end of the 5-year plan.”

This evaluation provides the Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) an opportunity to measure progress in meeting the goals set in the approved Five-Year Plans with a framework to summarize information across all state reports in telling a national story.

The evaluation guidelines identified a set of questions from IMLS for evaluators to use in conducting the 2013-2017 Five-Year Evaluation that included developing key findings and recommendations from the past five years for use in organizing the next Five-Year Plan.

The Division worked with independent evaluators Library Strategies and Rainbow Research from the Twin Cities. The report provides information that the DPI is using in the development of the next five-year plan. We encourage you to take some time to review the evaluation document and participate in the five different Listening sessions that Library Strategies will host for the LSTA Five-Year Plan for Wisconsin, 2018-2022 on the topics and dates listed below. The consultants are on an aggressive schedule for the information gathering because the new plan is due to the IMLS in Washington D.C. by June 30, 2017.

The instructions follow to join the first and second listening sessions with Karen Rose, Library Strategies, Ann Hutton, and Donovan Lambright, SELCO. In order to maintain impartiality, the Division staff will not participate in the sessions; Karen and her colleagues will be the facilitators. The purpose of the sessions is to frame the major topics for the participants and solicit feedback on the broad topics, all of which fall within the LSTA purposes.
  •  Resource Sharing and Collaboration
    Wednesday, April 19, 2017; 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM;
    OR Dial +1 (646) 749-311; Access Code: 354-939-221
  • Community Engagement & Outcome Development
    Tuesday, April 25, 2017; 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Youth & Inclusive Services
    Tuesday, May 2, 2017; 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Technology Infrastructure & Services
    Thursday, May 4, 2017; 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Important: If you would like to provide feedback on the improving the grant award process, evaluation, review, or announcement process, please share those statements with me by email Terrie Howe or by phone at (608)-266-2413.

Written by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team

BadgerLink Behind the Scenes: History, Funding, and Support

You probably already know about all the great resources available through BadgerLink, a service provided by the Department of Public Instruction, but you may not know just how BadgerLink came to be, how it’s funded, and who is working behind the scenes to provide resources to all Wisconsin residents.

BadgerLink Beginnings

Partial screenshot from an early version of BadgerLink in February 2011, via the Internet Archive

BadgerLink first went live in September of 1998 after many months of planning and recommendations from the Library Technology Planning Conference. September 14, 1998 was declared “BadgerLink Day” by then-State Superintendent John Benson, and BadgerLink has been providing statewide access to online resources ever since. At inception, BadgerLink’s collection included 4,000 periodicals and over 40 newspapers from vendors EBSCO and UMI. The collection has grown over the years to include census records, over 8,000 full-text magazines and journals, 1,990 full-text reference books, 1 billion full-text newspaper articles, 18,000 videos and video clips, and much more from 11 different vendors. For more of BadgerLink’s early history, check out the Channel newsletter archives.

BadgerLink Funding
BadgerLink resources are paid for with a combination of state and federal funds. The state funds are from the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is comprised of surcharges on telecommunications. You can read more about the USF in Wisconsin on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin website. The federal funding comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an independent agency of the federal government that serves as the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums.

The USF provides 2.6 million dollars to the BadgerLink program, covering the cost of the resource subscriptions, and IMLS provides $283,679 to support the BadgerLink program. While a small amount compared to what’s provided by the USF, the IMLS funds go toward staffing and access, providing critical services from authentication and access to outreach and training. Without the IMLS funds, there would be no way to access BadgerLink resources, and no team to troubleshoot, make updates, and spread the word about resources to Wisconsin residents.

The BadgerLink Team
The BadgerLink team is comprised of 5 DPI staff members who spread the word about BadgerLink to schools, libraries, organizations, and individuals statewide, and who maintain access to BadgerLink resources for all Wisconsin residents.

The BadgerLink Team (L-R): Elizabeth Neuman, Kara Ripley, Gail Murray, Martha Berninger, Ben Miller

Martha Berninger is the director of Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning, and she oversees the BadgerLink program and team.

Ben Miller is the assistant director of RL&LL, and he provides oversight, technical support, and troubleshooting for BadgerLink.

Elizabeth Neuman is the Technical Services Coordinator at RL&LL, and she maintains a close connection with vendors, provides technical support, and manages statistics for the BadgerLink program.

Kara Ripley is the BadgerLink Training and Reference Librarian, and she answers research questions and coordinates training for Wisconsin organizations.

Gail Murray is the Content Management & Outreach Librarian at RL&LL, and she provides technical support, outreach, and training for BadgerLink.

Please contact the BadgerLink Team with any questions about the program’s history and funding, access issues, training requests, or for any other BadgerLink questions.

Written by:
Gail Murray, Resource for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Library of the Month: Hedberg Public Library in Janesville

The BadgerLink Library of the Month feature is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries.

Building Community is a philosophy that the Hedberg Public Library (HPL) in Janesville has fully embraced, interweaving that concept into everything the library does. It was at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Seattle a few years ago that the Library Director, Bryan McCormick, attended the ALA President’s Program and heard about the concept from Peter Block, an expert on Building Community and author of Community: The Structure of Belonging.  At its simplest, Building Community is about bringing people together to share common thoughts and ideas; building relationships so that when different thoughts and ideas are presented, there has been a foundation built from which we can discuss our differences and work together to find common ground. As a result, HPL is often the first place people in Janesville think of when they talk about community.

Local Experts
One of the first initiatives presented by the library in order to Build Community was the Local Experts series of programs. The series featured local gardeners and horticulturalists, a toy-collector/hobbyist, extreme coupon clippers, local shop owners with unique items, and local history experts (cemetery ghost stories anyone?). These sessions were very popular with the community and helped to introduce people to neighbors they might never have met before.

What’s the Staff Reading?
Is there a better way for a library to be involved with its patrons than to show what they’re reading? At HPL there are several large monitors placed strategically around the library, and patrons are greeted by the smiling faces of library employees and the book they are currently reading. All library employees are encouraged to participate, from shelvers to supervisors. This brings about great diversity in what staff are reading, but also illustrates that each member of the team is part of this community, representing a vast difference in what interests are featured.

Reference librarian Beth recommends Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Staff member Beth shares her current read.

Memory Care Kits
Part of Building Community is reaching out to those unique audiences that may not have a connection to the library. In many areas, there is an increasing number of individuals suffering from dementia. In Janesville, the library works closely with the Rock County Council on Aging, a group that provided funds to purchase Memory Care Kits. These kits come with many comfort items to help those suffering from dementia. HPL has created 20 different kits, with the most popular items being the realistic cat and dog that someone can hold and pet.

A kit including lifelike toy cat, comedy DVD, puzzle, and matching game.
A memory care kit.

Parenting Connections
HPL is also building relationships with several organizations to provide resources for caregivers of youth with special needs by hosting parenting workshops. Families of children with special needs are a part of the community, and the library wants to be a welcoming place for all, creating a place where these families can connect, share and learn from each other. The workshops will help foster this community and link families to the different organizations and services that can give them the information and support that they need. The first 3 workshops are Library Meet and Greet, Autism 101, and What’s After High School: Training on Transitions.

Human Library
In celebration of National Library Week this April, HPL is hosting their first Human Library. Attendees are encouraged to “read” a human “book” in order to start a conversation with someone who is different than them in some way. Featured” books” include a young Muslim poet, an African American woman, a Latino father and a tattoo artist. The goal is to break down stereotypes and, essentially, build community.

Finally, what better way to Build Community than a bookmobile that travels into the neighborhoods of a city. And better yet, this bookmobile was a gift from the community to the library. A group of professionals taking part in Janesville’s Leadership Development Academy knew that the library had shown some interest in a bookmobile as a way to get more involved with neighborhoods and to promote library services. This group acquired an ambulance that was going to be auctioned off and helped convert it to a bookmobile. They raised funds and worked with a local marketing group to put a new wrap around the vehicle and Voila! The library now had a bookmobile, with the added benefit of lights and sirens (great for parades and bringing attention to yourself!). The bookmobile will be back again this spring and summer and will be seen all around the Janesville community.
Photo of community members standing in front of bookmobile for ribbon cutting ceremony
Members of the Rock County Leadership Development Academy and their
families, library staff, Janesville Fire Fighters, and Forward Janesville
Ambassadors participated in the bookmobile dedication ceremony

Hedberg Public Library provides important programs, resources, and services for bringing the community to the library, and for bringing the library into the community.

Guest post written by:
Bryan McCormick, Director of Hedberg Public Library

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Helping Career Explorers Learn What It Takes to Get There

Guest post written by Jay Stulo of Fox Valley Technical College

The WI Career Pathways website,, helps people explore and understand different careers, and can be a valuable tool to use with patrons in public libraries. While career assessments, occupational information, and educational options currently exist in various formats and locations on the web, they don’t provide meaningful data truly capable of guiding someone in career choice decision-making. By using an integrated approach, the website and Android mobile app place data from multiple sources in the hands of Career Explorers.
Career Pathways logo
Career Pathways logo is an engaging and easy to use website created in partnership and with guidance from several state agencies and educational organizations including:
  • Wisconsin Technical College System & individual colleges
  • Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development & Department of Public Instruction
  • K-12 school districts
  • Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs)
  • University of Wisconsin System
  • Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU)

The National Career Clusters® Framework ( categorizes’s vast occupational data into educational clusters. Each one contains broadly grouped occupations in similar fields of work requiring similar skills. Each cluster is also divided into pathways, which are sub-groupings of knowledge and skills.

All possible professions can be found within this framework. Both the clusters and the pathways allow individuals to explore any number of jobs and educational paths including Wisconsin postsecondary majors and programs and thousands of occupations. The framework is currently organized into 16 career clusters and 79 pathways.

Screenshot of Career Clusters
Screenshot of Career Clusters
Career explorers can set up an account during their first visit to, or browse to explore careers without logging in. After an account is created, each person can then take the career clusters interest survey. Once this is completed, they land in a secure portal called My Locker where they can view their clusters in rank order based on their survey results. They can also take the O*NET Interest Profiler with Holland code results matched to the clusters. These self-assessments can be retaken at any time.

Typically, web-based, career-guidance tools offer assessments designed to narrow occupational choices. Their focus is on one job’s specific requirements and they miss the big picture. Career Pathways gives users a variety of ways to explore, including reviewing careers in a cluster, exploring different clusters, and learning how jobs are related to each other and to higher education. Instead of narrowing career exploration, Career Pathways expands it.

In a technological world where skills from one job are transferable to another, why limit someone’s exploration to a narrow set of choices? Our survey results cover a vast selection of professions. This allows each person to explore colleges, and research occupational information in every cluster, even their least desirable clusters. provides a unique opportunity for our visitors to expand their career knowledge.

Originally a resource for high school and middle school students and staff, now makes it possible for anyone to explore multiple careers and educational paths.

Guest post written by Jay Stulo of Fox Valley Technical College

Friday, April 7, 2017

Send a Shout-Out for your library!

The American Library Association's National Library Week is right around the corner! This year, we produced a video featuring State Superintendent Tony Evers and the Lancaster and Beloit Public Libraries. In the video, Tony talks about the critical role libraries play in their communities and talks about the devastating proposed cuts to the IMLS budget. We’re hoping you can help us by sharing the video through social media or any means you regularly use to communicate.
Image of Dr. Tony Evers, WI State Superintendent from video message
Image from Dr. Evers' Library Message

Public libraries are there for you throughout the year to help people of all backgrounds address their needs. Increasingly those are for access to government information, workforce development, literacy for children and families, computer training, and other information.

The federal budget proposal to eliminate all federal funding for libraries could jeopardize our statewide support for delivery, sharing materials through WISCAT, support for online databases like BadgerLink, and specialized consulting services. Our public and school libraries need to be supported at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure they do what they do best—link you with information, training, and resources to enrich your lives. Thank a librarian next week during National Library Week.

Dr. Tony Evers' message can be viewed here. Please feel free to share his message.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What's Your Coding Story?

The Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries is moving full STEAM, or STEM ahead
Screen capture of animation showing 4 people interested in coding
Coding offers something for everyone, as shown
in the Exploring Coding in Wisconsin Libraries video
(depending on your acronym of choice). Regardless of how coding might be integrated into your library, coding means different things to different people, and that's just fine. In fact, part of the reason that public libraries are so well poised for coding connections is because libraries celebrate curiosity. The Coding Initiative emphasizes that coding is for everyone--library staff and library users of all ages. Learning about coding can be a one-time thing, like Hour of Code, or a deeper commitment like a Python class or coding camp. Be sure to check out the Coding Initiative webpage for updates on the project timeline as well as a sampling of resources for those who are "coding curious."

child doing worksheet activity
An example of a binary code activity from the
Sowing Seeds Librarian blog
If you are still on the fence about what coding is or how it relates to public libraries, take a look at what is happening at the Brewer Public Library in Richland Center. This small and mighty library in the Southwest Wisconsin Library System jumped into coding after their youth librarian, Emily Zorea, attended our session at the 2016 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference.

Emily chronicles how she got bit by the coding bug on this post on her Sowing Seeds Librarian blog. Like many library staff in Wisconsin, Emily didn't know much about coding, but that didn't stop her from getting started. Her most recent post outlines tech-free activities all about binary code (no computers required). Thanks, Emily, for sharing your story.

Stay tuned for more updates about the Coding Initiative, including a series of regional workshops rolling out this fall.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team