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Tips on Serving Patron Tech Needs--Free Webinar

Monday, September 9, 2019

Free Webinar: Tools for Building Digital Skills with Your Patrons and Staff

Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 1-2 p.m. Central

There’s a free webinar coming up from the Public Library Association that addresses something I heard about a lot when I was a library director: how best to serve patron tech needs. In a technological world that is ever changing and evolving, public libraries are providing programs and services that help patrons get jobs, gain knowledge, increase productivity, and engage with others online. And we need to keep up so we can assist out patrons to the best of our ability. In this free webinar, a panel of digital literacy experts will share tools, resources, and partnership strategies to help you enhance digital skill development among patrons and library staff.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to integrate digital tools and resources into the library’s new or existing digital literacy training efforts to reduce burdens on staff, capture learner data, and promote local resources;
  • Spread information among library staff about tools they can use and also recommend to patrons seeking technology or computer help; and
  • Recognize potential partnerships that can support and sustain new technology and its impact on the community’s access and digital readiness.


Registration Details

This webinar is free, but registration is required. You can register for this webinar until it begins, or until space is no longer available. If you are unable to attend the live webinar, an archived recording will be available on PLA On-Demand Webinars.

Information link:

Registration link:



Save the date for the Lake Superior Libraries Mid-Winter Unsymposium

Friday, September 6, 2019

Guest post by Leslie Mehle, Superior Public Library

Save the date for the 8th Annual Lake Superior Libraries Mid-Winter Unsymposium at the Superior Public Library! Join us on January 10th, 2020, for an afternoon of networking, discussion, and collaborative problem-solving!

Sometimes you need a break from the average conference: you need an UNCONFERENCE! At the LSLS Unsymposium, you determine the conversation. Participants brainstorm a host of topics, which are then selected in a bottom-up, democratic manner. Rather than listening to a single speaker, you get to ask questions, interact, and offer your own expertise on a topic chosen by the whole group. So...everyone wants to talk about diversity in collection development? Done. You’re the only one who wants to talk about library-themed cupcakes? Maybe we’ll talk about them next time! Together, we’ll discover our common challenges and develop solutions collaboratively. You'll come away from the Unsymposium invigorated by lively discussions and ready to take that excitement back to your library.

The Unsymposium is free and open to everyone.

• WHEN: 1:00-4:30 pm, Friday, January 10th, 2020
• COST: Just your time!
• WHERE: Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Avenue, Superior, WI
• HOW DO I REGISTER?: Coming soon!
QUESTIONS? Contact us!


BadgerLink session at WLA Conference

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

As you plan your Wisconsin Library Association Conference this year, consider attending our session, eResource Usage: Nationwide and Local Trends, on Wednesday, October 9 at 11AM. Join us to discuss electronic resource use at public libraries nationwide, particularly libraries with statewide resource collections similar to BadgerLink.

We would love to highlight Wisconsin public libraries that are using BadgerLink in library programming, staff development, and/or at the reference desk. If you are a public librarian, please reach out and let us know how you use BadgerLink. Hope to see you at the conference!


For questions about this information, contact Jennifer Champoux (608) 224-5390

Kudos to the 2019 Youth Services Development Institute Cohort

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Last week, twenty-five Wisconsin library staff serving youth graduated from the 4th Youth Services Development Institute. These individuals are committed learners, compassionate colleagues, and future library leaders. Seek them out, and support them as they spend the next year working on goals set at the Institute.Group photo of 2019 Institute cohort and leaders

  • Sarah Hemm, Beloit Public Library, Arrowhead Library System
  • Andrea Bisordi, Pewaukee Public Library, Bridges Library System
  • Amy Christian, Dwight Foster Public Library (Fort Atkinson), Bridges Library System
  • Daniel Kilkelly, Somerset Public Library, IFLS
  • Emily Resendiz, Barron Public Library, IFLS
  • Jake Wyrzykowski, Phillips Public Library, IFLS
  • Jeanne Gomoll, Community Library (Salem), Kenosha County Library System
  • Karen Rozzoni, Kenosha Public Library, Kenosha County Library System
  • Kirsten Smith, Manitowoc Public Library, Manitowoc-Calumet Library System
  • Alison Loewen, Mead Public Library (Sheboygan), Monarch Library System
  • Lara Lakari, Stephenson Public Library (Marinette), Nicolet Federated Library System
  • Braelyn Spencer, Algoma Public Library, Nicolet Federated Library System
  • Sara Christopherson, Grantsburg Public Library, Northern Waters Library Service
  • Ann Larson, Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library (Hayward), Northern Waters Library Service
  • Sarah Read, Kaukauna Public Library, Outagamie Waupaca Library System
  • Autumn Laird, Spring Green Community Library, South Central Library System
  • Abby Seymour, E.D. Locke Public Library (McFarland), South Central Library System
  • Jennifer Warnke, Angie W. Cox Public Library (Pardeeville), South Central Library System
  • Kristin Holman-Steffel, Schreiner Memorial Library (Lancaster), Southwest Wisconsin Library System
  • Erin Isabell, Platteville Public Library, Southwest Wisconsin Library System
  • Tammy Gates, Wonewoc Public Library, Winding Rivers Library System
  • Sheri Dunham, Neenah Public Library, Winnefox Library System
  • Erica Dischinger, Minocqua Public Library, Wisconsin Valley Library Service
  • Elizabeth Lutz, Marathon County Public Library--Marathon City Branch, Wisconsin Valley Library Service
  • Mary Jo Netzer, Marathon County Public Library--Stratford Branch, Wisconsin Valley Library Service

The 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.

The Institute would not be possible without the energy, genius, and passion of the Leadership Team. This year's team included Sue Abrahamson (Waupaca Area Public Library / Outagamie Waupaca Library System), Shawn Brommer (South Central Library System), Anne Hamland (Wisconsin Valley Library Service), and Angela Meyers (Bridges Library System). In addition, the Institute was enhanced by presentations and resource sharing from Merri Lindgren and Megan Schliesman from the Cooperative Children's Book Center, and Monica Treptow, DPI School Library Education Consultant.

The Institute is supported through an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development


Update: WISCAT and BadgerLink Upgrade/Outage POSTPONED again to September 27-30

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The WISCAT and BadgerLink platform vendor, Auto-Graphics, has again postponed migration to Version 6 due to issues with recent migrations for customers in other states. The system is now scheduled to go down on Friday, September 27th at 7pm and come back online, live with Version 6, on Monday, September 30th at 7am. We regret that these continued postponements have caused inconveniences in libraries of all types statewide, but our hope is that these delays result 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. You can also contact BadgerLink staff directly. 


Reminder: WISCAT and BadgerLink URLs will change in Version 6

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Wisconsin’s implementation of Auto-Graphics’ SHAREit platform is migrating to a new version from September 6th to 9th. Access to WISCAT and BadgerLink resources will be unavailable from 7pm on Friday the 6th to 7am on Monday the 9th. 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. The programs’ main website URLs, and, will not change.

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 March 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 in column F.

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, is as follows:

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

This upgrade will not affect functionality of any BadgerLink resources other than the outage from 9/6-9/9. However, the WISCAT platform, which is also used for Super Search, will see new features and more modern styling. Full WISCAT Version 6 release notes are available in the Documentation link when logged into WISCAT staff accounts.

To stay up to date with BadgerLink changes subscribe to the Badger Bulletin. Library staff who work with the WISCAT platform should join the WISCAT/ILL listserv by sending a blank email to For additional help, contact BadgerLink or WISCAT staff.


Wisconsin Partner State in IMLS-Funded Reimagining School Readiness Training

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Wisconsin will take part in a three-year project with the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) to support early learning in public libraries for children ages 0-8 and their families. The efforts in Wisconsin will be led by Tessa Schmidt, Youth and Inclusive Services Consultant on the Public Library Development Team. For details about the project, read on for the press release from BADM.

Reimagining School Readiness

National Expansion of the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit Will Impact 51,000 Children and Adults in Three Years

July 25, 2019 / Bay Area Discovery Museum, Press Releases / Featured

A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will support the expansion

Sausalito, CA – The Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) is pleased to announce plans to expand its Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit (Toolkit) on a national level. Scaling the Toolkit in this way is possible thanks to a $245,721 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded to the Pacific Library Partnership (PLP), which, along with the California State Library (CSL) is partnering with BADM on this work. As a result of the grant, the Toolkit will expand to 18 states over three years.

The Toolkit’s resources—including implementation tips and strategies for librarians, and take-home activities for families—are based on research from Reimagining School Readiness, a position paper with key findings published by BADM’s in-house research department. This research was generously supported by the Thomas Murphy Fund at the San Diego Foundation. Following the paper’s publication, the Toolkit was developed by BADM with generous support from CSL, to equip librarians throughout California with the resources they need to help families prepare children ages 0-8 for success in school and in life.

“At the Bay Area Discovery Museum, we believe that providing children with high-quality learning experiences is the best investment society can make,” said Karyn Flynn, CEO of BADM. “The Toolkit empowers librarians to support children and families in building key early learning skills through fun, everyday activities that can happen at the library or at home. With the success of the Toolkit thus far, we are excited to see how it will continue to impact families in California and across the country.”

In scaling the Toolkit for a national network of libraries, PLP, BADM, and CSL will rely on lessons learned from piloting the Toolkit in California. From 2016-2018, BADM and CSL worked closely with six California libraries, representative of rural, urban, and suburban communities, to refine and rollout the Toolkit. Staff members from each library worked together to conceptualize and provide feedback on the components that would be in the final Toolkit. These components include a set of resources specifically created for the library staff, as well as downloadable content—bookmarks with tips for parents, a poster with family conversation starters, daily math activities, and more—in six languages that library staff can distribute to families.

“The Pacific Library Partnership is very excited to work with BADM and CSL to expand the Toolkit nationwide,” said Carol Frost, CEO of PLP. “Libraries already support the cognitive, emotional, and social growth of a child through programs and resources, and teaching more librarians within California and throughout the United States will benefit librarians and children, and make for stronger communities.” PLP will specifically support the Toolkit’s rollout by managing stipends to support training at libraries nationwide, as well as connecting with library networks nationwide to raise awareness for this project.

More than 50 percent of 4-year-olds across the nation remain unenrolled in public preschools. There is a clear opportunity for libraries, which are safe, accessible, and trusted spaces in the community, to serve families by providing critical, research-backed early learning experiences. Through its “train-the-trainer” model, the national rollout of the Toolkit will empower more than 1,200 individual librarians to reach more than 51,000 children and adults in this way.

During the pilot period, there were repeated requests for in-person trainings and additional workshops from libraries throughout California, as well as from other states across the U.S. With PLP’s receipt of the IMLS grant, BADM, PLP, and CSL have the support needed to implement a three-year national rollout of the Toolkit, and will be able to train librarians across the country to feel confident talking about the research behind their programming and designing new programming based on the observed needs of the communities they serve.

A staff member from Ovitt County Family Library, one of the six pilot libraries in California, put it this way: “[The Toolkit] helps me be better at my job, which helps the profession, which helps the community. I think the ripple effect long term, it’s going to be great.”

In Year One, 50 librarians from each of three new partner states—Arizona, Kentucky, and Wisconsin—will receive training on the existing Toolkit. A subset of these librarians, in addition to librarians who have been using the Toolkit in California, will participate in an evaluation to assess the Toolkit’s impact. These evaluations will also allow BADM staff to refine the Toolkit to ensure it is as effective as possible for as many librarians as possible across the country. In Year Two, 20 library staff from 10 states—all four of the Year One states and six new Year Two states—will be trained as trainers, who are then responsible for training additional library cohorts in their states. In Year Three, 16 library staff from eight new states will be trained as trainers, and will be responsible for training library cohorts in their states.

Currently, children who are unable to attend preschool start Kindergarten behind, and are at a disadvantage to their peers for whom preschool is accessible. BADM, CSL, and PLP are excited to train trusted members of the community—library staff—on the research behind successful school readiness, and to provide them with the Toolkit so that they can share its easy-to-implement strategies and actionable tips with the families who need it most.

BADM as an institution is grateful to IMLS for demonstrating its support of this project by awarding PLP a $245,721 grant for this effort, and looks forward to providing impactful, early learning experiences to more children and families across the country.

About the Bay Area Discovery Museum
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a children’s museum in Sausalito that applies the latest research to develop early learning experiences that inspire and build creative problem-solving skills in children, transforming the way they learn and the way they contribute to the world. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the museum provides STEM-focused, inquiry driven experiences that develop creativity and conceptual thinking, critical components of problem solving.

About the California State Library
Founded in 1850, the California State Library has an extensive collection of document from and about the state’s rich history, ranging from books, maps, miners’ diaries, newspapers, and periodicals to photographs, paintings and posters. The State Library also holds federal and state publications, and is home to the Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library, and the Braille and Talking Book Library.

About Pacific Library Partnership
The State of California is divided in 9 cooperative library regions. The Pacific Library Partnership (PLP) is comprised of the 8 counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and includes 42-member library jurisdictions: 31 public and 9 academic institutions. PLP’s role is to work with the State Library on funding initiatives and to provide value to member libraries through grants, innovation, collaboration and training. PLP capitalizes on the talents and competencies of a larger group of member library staff and increases the opportunity to share and learn from each other. The libraries collaborate to invest in research and development of new initiatives and pool resources to support development of these initiatives.



Workforce Data: Industry and Occupation Projections

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wisconsin Digital Archives

According to a recent Forward Analytics report on employment, pay and education, Wisconsin's economy is slowly transitioning to high-skilled, higher-paying jobs. Wisconsin Public Radio provided highlights of the report which showed jobs requiring a bachelors degree or associates degree grew almost 12 percent from 2012 to 2018. Those that require only a high school diploma or less grew 6 percent or less.

Additional workforce data published by the Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development (DWD) is available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives. This data provides detailed information about the labor force, industry employment and wages, and employment projections broken down by county. This data is useful to better understand Wisconsin’s workforce and how it’s changing.

Here are just a couple of reports available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives:

For more information about industry and occupation projections, visit the DWD webpage.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


For questions about this information, contact Abby Swanton (608) 224-6174

Share your ideas for Wisconsin Job Seeker

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wisconsin Job Seeker will be refreshed as part of the Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) project. Next week the LAWDS Project Advisory Council (PAC) will be meeting with representatives of our 16 public library systems and 11 Workforce Development Boards. We will be discussing a variety of topics, and beginning a conversation about future plans for Wisconsin Job Seeker. The site will host learning tools developed during the LAWDS project, and additional resources as recommended by the PAC and the library community. Please share your ideas with me, or with your public library system’s LAWDS representative. LAWDS is funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Wisconsin Job Seeker Website home page
Wisconsin Job Seeker website

The Wisconsin Job Seeker site was launched in 2016 by members of the Resources for Libraries and Lifelong learning team within the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). DPI had been connecting for many years with other states, including South Carolina, that had developed toolkits and outreach plans designed to foster stronger support for career changers and job seekers and closer connections between libraries and workforce development organizations.

Jason Broughton, now State Librarian of Vermont and Commissioner of Libraries at the Vermont Department of Libraries, was the wizard behind the WorkSC site. Mr. Broughton brought his experience as a Workforce Development Specialist to his role as an Outreach Coordinator focusing on workforce topics for the South Carolina Public Library. He was named a 2015 Library Journal Mover and Shaker in recognition of his work developing the WorkSC site, and for connecting staff in the workforce development and public library communities. The WorkSC site has undergone a number of changes since then, and is now a section of the South Carolina state library website, rather than a separate stand-alone domain, as it had been under Mr. Broughton’s leadership.

During 2016, DPI surveyed public libraries statewide to learn which were actively collaborating with Wisconsin Job Centers and which offered specific resources and training or programming for career changers or residents looking for jobs. Follow-on meetings were held with libraries eager to engage around the topic. Discussions centered on specific tools to be included in the site, how the site should be organized, and how it would be shared and promoted. The site was launched in September of 2016, and shared with the Council on Library and Network Development. The conversations around the site development, outreach work between Wisconsin libraries and workforce development organizations, especially in the Racine area, and the formation of Wisconsin's Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act plan led to the development of the LAWDS project.

We look forward to offering you an expanded and improved (and possibly renamed) Wisconsin Job Seeker in the coming months.


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

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. 


For questions about this information, contact Gail Murray (608) 224-5394, Elizabeth Neuman (608) 224-5389