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Back to School with BadgerLink

Thursday, August 31, 2017

It’s September and the BadgerLink team wishes to send a big “welcome back and good luck!” to all educators and librarians as you start the new school year.

BadgerLink provides access to newspaper and magazine articles, multimedia, primary sources, lesson plans, education research and more. Best of all, it’s already paid for with state and federal funds!

With the plethora of options available to make the year successful, here are a few key BadgerLink resources to help both newbies and veterans of the digital content space.

  1. Learn about BadgerLink in our Introduction for Educators Video.
  2. Review the BadgerLink Set-Up Guide.
    • Verify you can access the resources on campus.
    • Determine if a school login is desired or review what the existing login credentials are.
    • Tip: contact us if you aren’t sure!
  3. Add direct links to Britannica, Explora, etc. on your website using info from BadgerLink Resource URLs.
  4. Bookmark our supplemental materials:
  5. Order bookmarks and posters for your classroom, school, or school district.
  6. Download, modify, and distribute a BadgerLink letter to parents.
  7. Request training for your next in-service or staff development day.

And as always, we are here to help! Contact us if you have any questions or ideas for implementing BadgerLink into the classroom.

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


For questions about this information, contact Elizabeth Neuman (608) 224-5389

New WISCAT Documentation: Creating Staff Notifications

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The WISCAT team recently released new documentation illustrating how to set up staff notifications in WISCAT. With these notifications set up, staff can receive notifications for some or all of the following situations:

Borrower emails:

  • NEW request
  • Conditional response
  • Overdue notice
  • Recall request
  • Renew rejected response
  • Unfilled notice
  • Retry notice
  • Lost/not returned notice
  • Shipped notice

Lender emails:

  • NEW lending request
  • Condition accepted response
  • Renew request
  • Renew/overdue request
  • Cancel request
  • Item not received notice
  • Overdue item not received notice
  • Return notice

For the full details, review the Staff Notifications document, available in Google Drive. This document can be accessed by anyone with the link; you do not need to be signed in to a Google account to view it. Additional changes to WISCAT documentation are planned in order to make documentation easier to find and access for WISCAT users.

Please Contact Us with questions about setting up staff notifications, or any WISCAT or resource sharing questions you may have.


Written by Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning


LSTA Update from the Division: Moving Forward

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Over the past few months, the Division has shared two updates related to the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and the budget for Wisconsin’s 2018 LSTA program. To recap, this spring the President’s proposed federal budget called for elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the “Grants to States” program. With these uncertainties in mind, the Wisconsin LSTA Advisory Committee approved to an amended budget for the LSTA program in Wisconsin for 2017 and beyond. This budget took a conservative approach and emphasized using federal dollars to support projects with statewide impact.

As the federal budget process continues to unfold, the Division reiterates the following:

  • Federal funds for public libraries, such as LSTA, will continue to be put toward resources with statewide impact. State aid for Wisconsin public libraries will be directed toward regional library services. Local aid for public libraries will always remain on a local and county level.
  • Due to the uncertainty of continued federal support, the projected budget for the 2018 LSTA program will continue to focus on statewide projects and initiatives.If additional funds are available, the Division will not reconsider funding projects submitted in 2017 as competitive grants. Rather, additional funds would be applied to existing statewide projects and resources. For example, the budget for the Coding Initiative was greatly reduced in anticipation of a major funding cut; with additional funds, this project could rely on the original budgeted amount. For another example, the Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) project might employ additional funds to support pilot projects that test efficiency and collaboration models.
  • Wherever possible, the Division intends to leverage state funding for projects. For example, flexibility for using additional Wisconsin Information System for Education (WISE) appropriations for library projects may become reality with an approved state budget. This would allow us to fund such things as interoperable software systems (e.g., the Interlibrary Loan platform) and training and guidance for librarians around data use. It may align with PLSR ideas that have been identified as possible recommendations.

Moving forward, the Division will rely on the LSTA Advisory Committee, the LSTA Five-Year Plan for Wisconsin 2018-2022, and the LSTA Five-Year Evaluation for Wisconsin 2013-2017 to guide decisions about LSTA funding in Wisconsin.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team


Planning a summer vacation?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

If your WISCAT library participates in ILL, and will be temporarily unable to process lending requests due to holidays, vacations, staff shortages, etc., you should suspend lending service.  This will prevent lending requests from sitting in your pending file and expiring without a response.  It's very easy to do using the Holiday List.

To update your Participant Record with a Holiday:

• Click Staff Dashboard to access the administrative modules
• Under the ILL Admin menu choose Maintain Participant Record
• Click the Holiday List link at the top of the page or scroll down to that section in the record
• Enter the Start and End dates using the format MM/DD/YYYY
• Click the Submit button at the top right or bottom right of the record

It is suggested you begin your holiday suspension the day before the last work day you will be gone. This ensures that any requests caught in between the current day and the holiday may be moved along while staff is still available. Please check Pending requests at the end of your work day. NOTE: Your staff and patrons can continue to request items while the suspension is in effect.

Suspending ILL service is completely separate from holdings updates. You can continue to add, change, and delete holdings in the WISCAT database regardless of your ability to participate in ILL.

Enjoy that vacation!

Written by:  Christine Barth, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning




For questions about this information, contact Christine Barth (608) 224-6171

Updated Proxy Configuration Help

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The BadgerLink team recently updated our proxy recommendations in the BadgerLink Set-Up Guide. We were able to determine that, when set up correctly, a proxy both works with and overrides our own authentication. This is good news, as it ensures that usage is attributed to your institution’s account for the purpose of collecting accurate statistics, and also ensures that your users don’t need to both log in to your institution’s platform and the BadgerLink authentication. Special thanks to Katherine Fish of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Sue Crouch and the IT department at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College for giving us an inside look at their proxy configurations.

The BadgerLink team recommends sharing the IP address of your proxy server via the Contact Us form, and using the authenticated URLs listed in Column E on the BadgerLink Resource URLs Google Sheet to build your proxy URLs.

Please contact us with any questions, and check out the BadgerLink Set-Up Guide for more information on integrating BadgerLink with your technology to provide better access, whether you’re at a K12 school, public library or library system, academic or technical college library, health science library, or other organization.

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


For questions about this information, contact Elizabeth Neuman (608) 224-5389

Gail Murray Joins the WISCAT Team!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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


For questions about this information, contact Ben Miller (608) 224-6168

4th Annual Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference logo

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


For questions about this information, contact Christine Barth (608) 224-6171

Customize WISCAT Patron Email Notices and more

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


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
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


Create Links in WISCAT for Your Library Users

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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
  • Staff users (logged into WISCAT)
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

Posted by


Resource Sharing Statistics in WISCAT

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Statistics menu lists ILL Statistics and Database Statistics options

Statistics demonstrate the value of interlibrary loan (ILL) to funding sources and management, help to improve ILL services, and measure effectiveness of those improvements.

The Statistics menu on the Staff Dashboard provides various ways for libraries to monitor their interlibrary loan activity and other WISCAT usage. Some of these reports are described in this post.

ILL Statistics:

Activity and Request Reports - generate detailed reports on your library's borrowing and lending activities

  • Reports are based on origination date of requests.
  • Status of these requests continue to change from day to day until all activity on the request has ceased; therefore, numbers in an earlier report will be inconsistent with a later report covering the same specified time period.
Activity reports (your library as borrower and as lender, and net activity per library trading partner) -- provide total numbers of ILL requests per status; Filled column is number or completed requests (all activity has ceased).

Request Records (your library as borrower) and Lender Response Records (your library as lender) reports -- provide detailed information for each ILL request

Activities and Request Reports screen shown with Select Format menu open to choose  HTMP, PDF, or EXCEL
Activities and Request Reports screen
To produce reports:
  1. select the start and end dates
  2. choose a format
    1. Activity report options are HTML, PDF, or EXCEL
    2. Request Records and Lender Response reports in EXCEL only
  3. select the report type, then Submit

CONTU Copyright Tracking Reports - shows the number of article copies your library requested from specified journal titles and whether each request was filled or not.

To produce report:
  1. enter year such as 2016
  2. select one of the Summary reports or the Detailed report then Submit

Borrower Statistics* - shows the number of all active and completed ILL requests created and processed by your library as a borrower for a specified week or month.
Lender Statistics* - shows the number of all active and completed ILL requests received and processed by your library as a lender for a specified week or month.

* These Borrower Statistics and Lender Statistics reports:
  • count actions taken on active requests in the specified time period
  • after the specified time period has passed, these numbers do not change (in contrast to the Activity and Request Reports)

Lender Days to Supply - provides historic data on the time taken to fill ILL requests by your library as a lender during a given report period (for the borrowing library to receive the requested material). Each report period is one month long.

Database Statistics:

Database Field Stats - shows general information on the number of bibliographic and locations (holdings) records in the WISCAT Union Catalog, and if your library holdings are in the Union Catalog, provides detailed MARC Field statistics for your library.

Statistics Report - generate reports on the number of logins to your library's WISCAT, number of searches by guest/patron/staff, and if your library has holdings in the Union Catalog, number of locations added to records by staff (not by batch update).

More information?

Use the Help from within each statistics report page in WISCAT.

Documentation menu gives access to Training Videos, User Guides, Bulletins, and moreAccess the User Guide: Statistics Version 5.0e from the Documentation menu on the Staff Dashboard by selecting User Guides and then the Statistics guide relevant to the SHAREit product -- This guide does not currently cover some recent changes to the Statistics module; therefore,

  • for a detailed description of the Activity and Request Reports option, select Bulletins in the Documentation menu, then open the Preliminary Software Update Bulletin for January 2017 Release of Version 5.0.18 for SEARCHit/SHAREit , see pages 47-63 in the Addendum to that bulletin.

Written by:

Vickie Long, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Posted by Vickie Long