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Now Hiring Grants Specialist

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Library Services Team is hiring a Grants Specialist!

This position will primarily be responsible for coordinating grants issued by the Department of Public Instruction’s Library Services Team. Working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders, this position will work to develop grant budgets, documentation, and applications; provide information and awareness about potential grant applications; and monitor the grant process, including ensuring reporting is completed in adherence to the requirements of the grant allocation. This position has the unique opportunity to help Wisconsin recover from the COVID pandemic through helping disburse American Relief Plan Act funds that help libraries become community centers for recovery, resiliency, and revitalization.

DPI is a human-centered, family-friendly place to work where we focus on equity and inclusivity. We enjoy a casual office atmosphere, flexible work schedules, and an exceptional employee assistance program that offers programs and tools to help promote wellness.

For more information on the position and details on how to apply, please visit the full posting on Wisc.Jobs.

The deadline for this announcement is Sunday, May 23rd, at 11:59 p.m.



BadgerLink Newspaper Collections Procurement

Friday, May 14, 2021

BadgerLink currently licenses more than 60 resources within 11 broad collection areas. Each collection is a separate contract which began in 2018 and was renewed last summer, providing access through June 2022. One additional renewal is available for July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024. However, based on feedback and consideration of the importance of newspapers, as well as the desire to break up the procurement cycle, the Request For Proposal (RFP) process has begun for the three newspaper collections.

  1. Newspapers published daily and weekly since at least 2005, in Wisconsin communities with populations up to 10,000. (currently Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers)
  2. Newspapers published in the ten largest U.S. cities, the ten largest Wisconsin cities, and Wisconsin cities with populations of more than 10,000. Coverage should include at a minimum, the last five years. (currently U.S. Newsstream)
  3. Historic newspapers from communities of all sizes, including a minimum of 150 Wisconsin cities, and other areas nationwide, published between 1850 and 1995. (currently Library Edition World Collection)

In the coming months, BadgerLink will request general input and feedback from the community on desired features and functions, develop the RFP specifications, and work with the library community to evaluate responses. It is our hope to have awards announced by March 2022 with contracts beginning July 1, 2022.

Stay tuned for for more updates via Badger Bulletin and Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone.

Written by Jen Champoux, BadgerLink Technical Support & Training, Library Services Team


Marketing Toolkit Survey: Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS)

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Members of the WI Library System Marketing Cohort and I are asking for your help today. As part of the Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) program, a statewide marketing effort will be rolled out as libraries continue to add services for their communities.

Once the majority of public libraries are again open to the public for a full, or near-full, range of services, that marketing campaign will reach out across the state to communicate with people looking for work, or scaling up their careers, or needing assistance with Unemployment Insurance. As part of that effort, libraries will be provided with an easy-to-use toolkit to help spread the message within their communities. 

The following survey (also linked below) will be used by KW2, the marketing firm creating the toolkit, to help identify communication tools that can help you and your library communicate two important  messages within your community. The marketing effort will

  1. drive seekers to workforce tools at and
  2. let people know they can access workforce tools at their local public library.

To help us provide you the right toolkit for your marketing efforts, please take this short survey by Monday, May 24. Thank you for your assistance!   -Cindy

Survey link:


Important Broadband Updates

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Emergency Connectivity Fund rules to be released May 10

On Monday, May 10, the FCC is expected to release the rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), providing funding for libraries to help patrons get connected at home. I’ll send you a synopsis of the rules within a few days of their release. We have tentatively scheduled an ECF for Wednesday, April 26 at 1:00 PM -- stay tuned for details.


Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) registration opens May 12

Starting on Wednesday May 12, eligible households will be able to enroll in the EBB program to receive discounted broadband service -- $50/month off, and $75 off on tribal lands. Residents can determine eligibility and apply at, or through an approved provider.

EBB communication toolkit materials are now available for download. The toolkit is a collection of social media, printables, and other content to assist libraries and school districts with raising program awareness in their communities.

DPI will provide an EBB registration webinar on May 19 at 1:00 PM, where we will share ideas on how libraries can promote the program and set up EBB registration events. Chris Baker, adult services librarian at Portage Public Library, will join us to share his ideas, as Portage will have already conducted an EBB registration event. If you are aware of libraries that would like to join us and share their ideas on promoting the EBB, please let me know.


Webinar Recording Posted - A recording of last Thursday's webinar, “Collaborating with Partners for Broadband Expansion,” is now posted. In it, innovators from around the state share examples of how they have leveraged resources within their community to collaboratively solve the broadband access problem.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!

Bill Herman,


Rural Libraries Summit May 25-26

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The American Library Association's Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee (RNTLOAK) invites rural library workers inaugural Rural Libraries Summit.

During this two-day summit, library workers will have the opportunity to hear new innovative initiatives happening at libraries across the United States, share challenges and successes, and network with peers. Conversations happening at the summit include partnerships with academic libraries as well as tribal libraries, avenues for unique library funding, and more. All summit attendees are encouraged to join these conversations and share resources from their library and communities.

The Rural Libraries Summit is May 25-26, from 10 AM - 4 PM with generous breaks. Registration closes Friday, May 21. The summit is free to all attendees but will have a limited capacity, so please save your seat!

Learn more and register; feel free to share with your networks as well.

If you have any questions, please email


Lake Superior Libraries Symposium 2021 - Registration Now Open!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Guest post by Leslie Mehle, Superior Public Library

Registration for the free ninth annual Lake Superior Libraries Symposium is now open! LSLS21: Mapping Our Identity will be held virtually on Friday, June 11th, 2021. Library staff, administrators, trustees, and students from the Upper Midwest and beyond are invited to attend and participate. Register today!

This FREE event will include a keynote by Fobazi Ettarh, creator of the concept “vocational awe,” and 13 inspiring presentations that help you explore your identity and that of your library.

Registration is first-come, first-served and will be capped at 200.

The Symposium will take place virtually from 8:45 am to 3:45 pm Central Daylight Time (UTC-5). It will be held on the QiqoChat platform, with presentations available through Zoom. Information about the platform and how to log in will be provided to registrants.

The Lake Superior Libraries Symposium is a conference developed by library staff members from Northwestern Wisconsin and Northeastern Minnesota. The Symposium was created to promote resource sharing and communication between organizations and to help librarians develop enhanced professional networks. The symposium's continued operation is thanks to the in-kind and monetary contributions of supporters.

Have more questions? Contact the symposium organizers at


How Libraries Can Help During the ACA COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period

Thursday, April 8, 2021


The content of this blog was complied by the Public Library Association (PLA) to assist library staff as they assist patrons with the Affordable Care Act. Their PLA post can be found here.

Need Health Insurance Now? The ACA has you covered!

COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period is February 15–August 15, 2021

March 23, 2021 marked the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “Obamacare." The Biden administration has made several executive orders to boost access to quality, affordable healthcare early on in its first term, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opening the new COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (SEP), February 15–August 15, 2021, at To date, CMS released a report showing more than 206,000 Americans signed up for insurance through the ACA Marketplace during the first two weeks of the special enrollment period. These numbers demonstrate people need and want affordable health insurance, especially in the middle of a pandemic when millions have lost their jobs and health insurance.

CMS wanted to ensure that anyone who is uninsured would be able to have access to coverage regardless of their life circumstances, which means no documentation is required and coverage begins the very next month after enrollment.

How Libraries Can Help Promote the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period

Tell your community the library is here to help learn about and enroll in health insurance coverage plans during the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period!

Advertise on social media, tv, radio and other outlets using the ready-made communications assets in the Outreach Hub (Google Drive) for:

Learn More About the ACA and How to Help Patrons

Additional Health Resources

Posted by Cindy Fesemyer


LSTA Subaward Recipient Update: Breaking Out in the Menominee Nation

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Many of us can probably identify with the desire to “break-out” - especially during 2020, a year full of quarantines and restrictions we could not escape. One of the Public Library School Library Subaward recipients from 2020 overcame challenges to successfully do just that!

The S. Verna Fowler Academic Library, Menominee Public Library, Keshena Primary School, and the Menominee Indian Middle School worked together to create a series of escape games for elementary and middle school age children using STEM skills with a cultural focus on maple sugar, sturgeon, and wild-rice. In escape games, teams use inquiry, problem-solving, and knowledge to solve puzzles with the purpose of answering an overarching quest in a set period of time. Although the original intention was for all the games to be played in physical environments using BreakoutEDU, the team shifted their work, creating some of the games to be played in a digital environment, which made them more accessible during the pandemic. The work was truly a community effort, enlisting the help of librarians, teachers, and students to create an engaging way to learn.

The focus of this grant opportunity, provided by the DPI Library Services team with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), was to honor and encourage collaborative work between schools and public libraries. The DPI Library Services Team celebrates the amazing accomplishments of this collaborative group, which have also been recognized in the Menominee Nation News. The games created through this project have also been published on the BreakoutEDU website, making them accessible to millions of students.

Project leader Laura Robinson, Youth Services Librarian for the Menominee County Public Library found this project strengthened connections between the school and public library and has had many positive outcomes. She hopes other educators, especially those in districts serving native students and families, will be able to use these resources. The games can be found on the BreakoutEDU website.


April Professional Development Opportunities

Friday, April 2, 2021


Guest post by Joy Schwarz

Please check the NEWI list of free webinars to find online continuing education opportunities you may attend from where you are, whether in the library or working from home. Most sessions are 60 minutes long, and are provided – at no charge to you – by associations, agencies, companies, and library systems. There’s a lot to choose from, so here’s a sample of topics that may be of interest to you.

COVID-19 pandemic topics, click title to register:

Managing stress & building resilience webinars, click title to register:

Equity, diversity and inclusion webinars, click title to register:

A sample of webinars on other topics; click title to register:

Missed a webinar? It might have been archived, so check NEWI’s list of webinar recordings you can watch for free, anytime.

NEWI is a continuing education (CE) partnership of library systems located in North Eastern Wisconsin. The NEWI website aims to be a central source of CE info for staff working at libraries in four library systems: Manitowoc‐Calumet Library System (MCLS), Nicolet Federated Library System (NFLS), Outagamie Waupaca Library System (OWLS), and Winnefox Library System (WLS).

Joy Schwarz, Continuing Education/Training Librarian, Winnefox Library System & NEWI: Northeastern Wisconsin CE Partnership


Posted by Cindy Fesemyer



Read Africa: Grants available to enrich your collections with a new perspective

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


By Aleia Ingulli McCord

The African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to offer public libraries throughout Wisconsin the opportunity to enrich their collections with new titles through their Read Africa program. Public libraries across the state are invited to submit proposals to purchase books and materials that will enable Wisconsin readers to deepen their understanding of Africa.

The African Studies Program offers two curated lists for Wisconsin librarians to browse. The first, the African Books List, is curated by Ainehi Edoro-Glines (Assistant Professor of English and African Cultural Studies) and Vincent Ogoti (Ph.D. candidate, African Cultural Studies). Edoro writes of the selections:

“African literature has never been more vibrant. It has had an expanded global influence in the last 20 years. Writers are exploring storytelling in all its diversity and representing the continent’s cultures and experiences. There is a rise in creative non-fiction and exciting genres like science fiction, crime thriller, comic, YA, and children’s books. While the 150+ books listed in this collection are by no means exhaustive, they capture this wealth of creative expression. We want to celebrate the new voices capturing the beauty and complexities of the contemporary African experience.”

The second list comprises winners of the Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA). Since 1991, Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association, in partnership with the Center for African Studies at Howard University, have presented this annual award to authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books about Africa in an effort to promote accurate, balanced perspectives about the continent.

Looking for more ways to bring Africa into your community? The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to one of the nation’s first and finest African Studies Programs in the nation. The African Studies Program is inspired and guided by the Wisconsin Idea to share the expertise, talents, and scholarship of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to promote the study of Africa in schools and communities across Wisconsin. We offer a range of complimentary outreach programs and personalized support to help communities expand their understanding of the lives, lands, and languages of Africa. We invite you to take advantage of this local, global-resource.

Apply for the READ AFRICA program>>>

Learn about our Outreach Programs>>

Contact our Outreach Coordinator:

The African Studies Program’s Read Africa program is supported with federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI. National Resource Center program, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Library Services team.

Aleia Ingulli McCord, Ph.D., Associate Director, African Studies Program

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 608.262.4461,,

Posted by Cindy Fesemyer, who adds: Here’s a list of all known and active grant opportunities available to Wisconsin libraries these days. Please let me know if you have more opportunities to add.