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Please scan over the titles below. If you see a topic that interests you, click the Read More link to access the page.

Here’s to all the ILL power users!

Friday, August 9, 2019

I was recently invited to speak at an Optimists’ Club meeting.  After the panic subsided, I was left with just the sheer terror that ensues when I need to explain Interlibrary Loan to non-users without the aid of library lingo.  How can I keep the audience excited and engaged and want to run to the nearest library and ILL something?  Experience has taught me that I will receive one of two reactions when I start to explain exactly what I do as an ILL librarian:  eyes will glaze over or someone sits up straighter and has a story to tell.  These storytellers are the ILL power users.  When budgets are tight and interlibrary loan is first on the chopping block, we depend on the power users to be our champions.  This week, author Nick Ripatrazone shared his ILL story on Literary Hub:

“The librarian greeted me, asked for my name, and scanned a shelf of books along the wall.  She pulled one from the collection, and placed it on the counter—but left her hand on the book. She smiled.  “Don’t remove this white band,” she said.  “Don’t rip it. Don’t touch it. It will cause problems.” I nervously smiled in return.  There is nothing more frightening than a confident librarian.

The white band on the book, as fellow devotees of the glorious InterLibrary Loan system know, contains all of the information to facilitate return of the item to the lending library.  Removed bands slow down the system.  And the last thing that I would ever want to do is hurt, in any way, a system that has been so good to me.”

Read the rest of Nick’s story,  “InterLibrary Loan Will Change Your Life”,  on Literary Hub.

Thank you to all our champions!

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


Update: WISCAT and BadgerLink Upgrade/Outage POSTPONED to September 6-9

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Due to issues that became apparent in a recent migration of another of their customers,  the WISCAT and BadgerLink platform vendor, Auto-Graphics, has postponed the migration to Version 6. The system is now scheduled to go down on Friday, September 6th at 7pm and come back online, live with Version 6, on Monday, September 9th at 7am. We understand that this delay may cause significant inconveniences, especially for academic and school libraries. While we regret having to postpone the migration now for a second time, our hope is that this delay ultimately results in a better migration experience for WISCAT libraries and BadgerLink users.

For WISCAT users:

Library staff who work with the WISCAT platform should join the WISCAT/ILL listserv to be kept up to date with WISCAT changes and training by sending a blank email to, or contact WISCAT staff.

For BadgerLink users:

Stay up to date on BadgerLink by subscribing to the Badger Bulletin. The latest Badger Bulletin post goes into detail about the BadgerLink changes. You can also contact BadgerLink staff directly. 


Trustee Training Week

Friday, July 19, 2019

Register now for Wisconsin Trustee Training Week, which will be held Aug. 12-16, 2019. There will be one webinar each day from noon-1 p.m. on a topic that’s relevant to public library boards, friends, and trustees. Webinars are available free of charge and open to anyone.

The schedule of presentations is as follows:

  • Monday, Aug. 12 -- Governing Libraries that Inspire Investment -- A primary role of the board is to secure adequate funding for the library. Hear from Rebekkah Smith Aldrich about making the case for funding and inspiring stakeholders to invest in your library. With fierce competition for public and private funds and changing perceptions about what a library actually does, it has never been more important to talk about the essential nature of your library to those you serve to those who make funding decisions about your library. During this webinar you will receive an introduction to the basic building blocks that need to be in place to inspire investment of funding and good will into your library, and you’ll get a front row seat to some of the latest thinking in the profession on how to ensure your library's future in an uncertain world. (register)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 -- Free is Key: Ensuring Your Library is Meeting its Mission -- Join Dawn Wacek for a discussion of your library's mission and how fine policies may be working against you! Learn the ins and outs of going fine free and what library research and best practice recommendations show about the benefits of making your collection more accessible. (register)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14 -- Effective Library Advocacy -- Hear advice for effective library advocacy from Library Development & Legislation Committee (LD&L) Co-Chairs Connie Meyer and Kathy Pletcher. Covering everyday advocacy to decision-makers and stakeholders as well as Library Legislative Day, hear tips on who to talk to, when, and how from our presenters. (register)
  • Thursday, Aug. 15 -- What Does Inclusivity Look Like at Your Library? -- What does inclusive mean to your library and its daily operations? Is your library inclusive? Join Shauna Koszegi, Adult Services Librarian from the Sun Prairie Public Library, as she gives you an overview of the newly released Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide. This guide will help you reflect on how your library can be a place where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. (register)
  • Friday, Aug. 16 -- Recruiting and Retaining Library Directors and Staff -- Expectations are changing when it comes to how long library directors (and other library employees) stay at one job. Join Pat Wagner to learn more about how library boards can attract and retain quality leadership and personnel in a competitive market? What is the “new normal” in terms of director recruitment? Topics include improving board-director relations, reviewing finances and job descriptions, investing in support for better salaries and benefits, setting realistic goals, and being better talent scouts for future hires. (register)

You must register for each webinar individually using the links above, or at More information is also available at that link, and you can also access recordings from the 2015-18 webinars.

Trustee Training Week is coordinated by the South Central Library System with all 16 Wisconsin Public Library Systems sponsoring. Additional financial support comes from the Division for Libraries and Technology and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


CALL FOR CONFERENCE SESSION PROPOSALS, Lead the Way: Libraries at the Heart of Community Engagement

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Do you have ideas to share about engaging your community?

Lead the Way: Libraries at the Heart of Community Engagement

Information School, University of Wisconsin-Madison     April 20-21, 2020     Madison, WI

Call for Proposals

Lead the Way: Libraries at the Heart of Community Engagement is an ideal venue to share your exciting projects and practices! This inaugural conference will bring librarians and staff from all types of libraries together to share ideas and keep libraries at the forefront of their communities. The program committee will accept proposals until September 6, 2019.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • community engagement for beginners
  • how to be an engaged leader
  • service outside the library
  • making connections & partnerships within the community
  • community engagement and strategic planning
  • library as a lead community engagement institution
  • community engagement as library advocacy
  • services focused on diversity and inclusion
  • community engagement related to all forms of accessibility
  • teaching as a form of engagement
  • leveraging technology to enhance engagement
  • community engagement and programing re-boots
  • using community data to inform decision making
  • how to fund community engagement projects
  • administrative strategies to foster community engagement

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Statement

Program Committee encourages presenters representing a variety of personal and professional backgrounds, perspectives, and voices. We aim for conference presenters to be as diverse as the communities we serve. Submissions are welcome from anyone who is interested in presenting, including students, new professionals, first-time presenters, and representatives of allied professions.

How to submit a proposal

Please submit a 200-250 word description of your proposed session to Anna Palmer,, by September 6, 2019. Sessions at the conference will be one hour. Please include an additional sentence or two about how this proposal aligns with our diversity, inclusion and equity statement outlined above. Note that the proposal will not be the finalized description for the conference program; the committee will contact selected speakers for a final draft. Panel presentations are accepted.

All selected proposals will receive one complimentary conference registration, which may be divided however the presenters of that session choose.

Keynote Address

Not-so-secret Agents of Change: Library Workers Leading the Way in Community Engagement presented by Mary Davis Fournier, American Libraries Association

More details:

Questions? Contact Anna Palmer, or Meredith Lowe,


Interlibrary Loan Reminders: Registration Open for ILL Conference, Upcoming Migration to WISCAT Version 6

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

In case you needed a reminder to register for the upcoming Interlibrary Loan Conference on August 21st in Marshfield, here it is! Organized by DPI's Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning team, this free one-day conference will provide resource sharing staff with insight into best practices, inspiration, and opportunities for networking. This conference will not be platform-specific or Wisconsin-specific -- we welcome those in- and out-of-state, using WISCAT, OCLC, other platforms, or those simply wanting to learn more about ILL! Find the full details here. Registration will be open until August 1st.

In other interlibrary loan news, WISCAT Version 6 will go live on August 12th, 2019. Details on the migration can be found here and will also be covered in the next WISCAT User Group Meeting webinar on August 8th at 1pm. Webinar login details will be provided in the coming weeks on the WISCAT/ILL Listserv. Documentation is being prepared to share out in the coming weeks to WISCAT users detailing the changes and updates.

Please contact the WISCAT team with any questions.


Pumped for Primary Sources!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Last week, I had the amazing experience of participating in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Workshop for School Librarians in Washington, D.C. This professional learning opportunity will drive my work with Wisconsin library media specialists and other educators throughout the upcoming year, but I could not wait to share some of these great digital resources with you!

Library of Congress: The main page can be overwhelming, but it is worth a visit to get an overview of the wealth of information available online.

Poetry and Literature: Last week Joy Harjo was appointed as the 23rd Poet Laureate. She is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation and the first Native American to serve in this role. This page leads you to resources to find out more about her, as well as other poets and writers.

By the People: Speaking of poets, here is where you and your students can transcribe the works and letters of Walt Whitman or other historical documents, including some from women’s suffrage history, as a volunteer. The Library of Congress is looking to all of us to improve access to history!

U.S. Copyright: Librarians and educators always have copyright questions. Why not go straight to the source? In fact, more than one copyright librarian told me they are more than happy to answer anyone’s questions via email or phone.

Classroom Materials for Teachers: Find primary sources divided out by topic, lesson plans, and other resources that are ready to use with students for an easy path into the world’s largest library.

I hope you will join me during the 2019-20 school year for a deeper dive into these and other digital resources that can provide opportunities for equity, engagement, critical thinking, and inquiry skills to all of our students. Information regarding dates and locations will be posted this fall. Until then, enjoy exploring!


Book clubs made easy

Friday, June 21, 2019

Having trouble finding enough copies of a book for story time or a book club?

The ILL team at RL&LL can help!  We maintain lists of Book Kits and and Early Literacy Kits.

The Book Kit List is perfect for public library book clubs, K-12 classrooms and reading circles. The kits contain multiple copies of a single title and often include a discussion outline. Many titles can also be used with BadgerLink resources such as TeachingBooks and NoveList.  Currently, there are over 1800 titles on this list from Wisconsin libraries that are willing to loan their kits.

The Early Literacy Kits are appropriate for ages 0-2 and 3-5, these kits provide pre-planned story times on popular themes, and contain several different book titles and other items. Great for childcare centers, classrooms, and homes.

Please keep in mind that kits you find in a search on WISCAT may not be available for loan through ILL. We'd love to see these lists continue to grow.  Please Contact Us if you have kits to share and we will add them to the list.

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


Register Now for the 2019 Interlibrary Loan Conference!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 21st for the FREE 2019 Interlibrary Loan Conference at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Marshfield! Organized by DPI's Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning team, this one-day conference will provide resource sharing staff with insight into best practices, inspiration, and opportunities for networking. The conference will be an excellent opportunity to be encouraged, energized, and build pride in the job ILL staff do as part of larger resource sharing networks.

This conference will not be platform-specific or Wisconsin-specific -- we welcome those in- and out-of-state, using WISCAT, OCLC, other platforms, or those simply wanting to learn more about ILL!

Registration begins at 9:30am, and the conference runs from 10am to 3:00pm, followed by an optional tour of the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library at 3:30. Sessions include the following:

  • Library Alphabet Soup - Debbie Hensler, SHAREit Customer Services Product Manager, Auto-Graphics
    • Acronyms are everywhere, from news stories to social media to the library. Learn what SIP, NCIP, ISO, API (and more) mean and how they work in the library.
  • SCLS Statewide Delivery System - Corey Baumann, Delivery Coordinator, South Central Library System
    • How do items you request via ILL get from the lending location to your library? Join Corey Baumann for a description of the SCLS Delivery Network as it currently operates. Learn how delivery works between public libraries, the UW System, UW Madison, private colleges, and more. In addition, hear about what the future might hold for delivery based on the Public Library System Redesign recommendations.
  • Topic-based discussions over lunch, including Best Practices, the Public Library System Redesign project, and SHAREit/WISCAT Version 6.
  • Tips & Tricks for Streamlining your ILL Workflow - Maureen Welch, Reference & ILL Coordinator, IFLS Library System
    • Does your interlibrary loan process begin with your patron’s Great Expectations, make you feel the need for the detective work of Nancy Drew while materials seem to take a trip Around the World in 80 Days? Join Maureen to discuss ways to streamline your interlibrary loan workflow from the intake of patron requests to the return of materials and the gathering of statistics.
  • ILL and Genealogists - Lori Bessler, Reference Librarian, Wisconsin Historical Society
    • Although there are many resources that are found online for researching family history, there are just as many resources that are not yet available online but can be found in libraries and other research institutions. Family historians are finding this out and wondering how to gain access to these collections. Interlibrary Loan is still very much considered a very vital service to genealogists. Lori Bessler will describe the core genealogy websites to show what they lack that can be accessed through ILL instead.

There is no charge for attendance, and lunch and snacks will be provided. Limited mileage reimbursement may be available for Wisconsin-based attendees traveling 80 miles round trip or more, with preference given to those carpooling, and in order of registration. For more details and to register, see the registration form at Funding for this conference is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


How to determine availability and lendability in WISCAT, and why you don't need to!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Instant availability checking is a feature of using WISCAT for interlibrary loan, but the benefit is greatest in how the WISCAT platform uses that information behind the scenes. It sounds odd, but library staff and patrons can often safely ignore availability when placing requests.

This is because when you place a request on a bibliographic record in WISCAT, you aren’t requesting that specific item from that specific lender -- you’re requesting an item that matches the record you’re placing the request on. Once the request is placed, WISCAT is able to figure out automatically which libraries own that title, whether they will lend that title (as indicated in the ILL Lender? column), and whether or not it is available at those libraries (as indicated in the Status column). In the example below, the first record is lendable and available. The second is not lendable and not available, and the third is lendable but not available.

Screenshot of availability/lendability on a WISCAT bibliographic record

Once a request is placed, a lender list is then created automatically, which may or may not include the library whose bibrecord you placed the request on. Due to cataloging differences, WISCAT doesn’t always find every possible lender the first time around. If the request isn’t filled after going through the lender list, it then defaults to your primary default lender, which for most libraries is either staff on DPI’s Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning team, or your library system’s ILL staff. They will then manually add any possible additional lenders to the list and send it along for another try. This workflow has enabled WISCAT to have a fill rate of 90% or higher for the past 5 years, with an all-time high of 94% in 2016 and 2017.

In the upcoming WISCAT Version 6 update slated to roll out in August, libraries will have the option to hide the Status column from their patrons and/or staff. If you tend to focus on availability when placing requests, or if you think that column might be distracting or confusing for your patrons, you might consider hiding the Status column so that availability isn’t visible.

In short, if you find a bibliographic record in WISCAT that represents what your patron is looking for, go ahead and request it -- even if it shows as not available or lendable. WISCAT does the work of finding available titles from participating lenders so you don’t have to!

Written by Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning



Postponed WISCAT and BadgerLink Outage -- New Date August 9-12

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Due to server issues identified by the WISCAT and BadgerLink platform vendor, Auto-Graphics, the migration to Version 6 has been postponed. The migration has been rescheduled for the weekend of August 9-12. WISCAT and BadgerLink are now slated to go offline at 7pm on Friday, August 9th, and be back online at 7am on Monday morning, August 12th.

The WISCAT platform will see significant changes as part of this upgrade to Version 6. Training and documentation are being developed, and will be shared out during the May 14th WISCAT User Group Meeting. Library staff who work with the WISCAT platform should join the WISCAT/ILL listserv to be kept up to date with WISCAT changes and training by sending a blank email to

All library-specific WISCAT URLs and authenticated BadgerLink resource links will be updated with new URLs as part of this migration. Auto-Graphics will provide a redirect of the previous URLs for up to 6 months.

Any library or school that places direct links to BadgerLink resources on a website, within a proxy, or another SSO application such as OpenAthens, will need to edit the URLs no later than early February 2020 in order to continue providing users access outside of the BadgerLink website. The new BadgerLink resource URLs are listed in the BadgerLink Resource URLs spreadsheet.

For reference the current BadgerLink authenticated URL structure is as follows:

The new BadgerLink URL structure will be formatted as:

The current WISCAT library-specific URL structure is as follows, where XXXX = your library’s WISCAT code:

The new WISCAT library-specific URLs will be formatted as:

This upgrade will not affect functionality of any BadgerLink resources, however the WISCAT platform, which is also used for Super Search, will see new features and more modern styling. Additional details on these upgrades will be posted in the coming weeks.

To stay up to date with BadgerLink changes subscribe to the Badger Bulletin, and for additional help, contact BadgerLink or WISCAT staff.

Written by Elizabeth Neuman, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning