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Creating a Small Business Center

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Exterior Schreiner Memorial Library
Schreiner Memorial Library Lancaster Business Center

The Schreiner Memorial Library in Lancaster, Wisconsin, developed a Business Center to meet the needs of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and high school students studying entrepreneurship. Read on to learn how a library alert to the needs of local residents can make a big impact and foster important collaborative relationships.

Lancaster, the seat of Grant County, has a population of 3,736. The Schreiner Memorial library has a service population of about 11,000, and serves 70,500 visitors a year. There is no major metropolitan area or large city in the area and before the Center opened, community and business owners and entrepreneurs couldn’t easily identify or access business development resources.

Library Director Jennifer Bernetzke was aware that people in the area wanting to start or grow a business weren’t always sure where to turn. When the school library media specialist approached the library seeking a place for entrepreneurial students to work out in the community, Ms. Bernetzke saw the opportunity to develop a new service to meet multiple community needs.

The library began with an inventory of available resources and developed a website to make them more accessible. Connecting with the City Council and others in the community built support for the project, and led to the establishment of a workgroup. The workgroup has assessed needs, revised the project plan, and set long-term goals. The engagement of the community will be critical in providing funding to sustain the project, which was launched with support from the WiLS Ideas to Action Fund.

The Library reached out to collaborate with the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center. The project attracted the attention of People’s State Bank and other local organizations, and they now support the Center’s educational programming and offer access to resources and services for business owners. The Center continues to build its schedule of educational programs and has extended its marketing to encourage telecommuters to consider Lancaster when they choose a place to live.

Schreiner Memorial Library not only met the needs of local high school entrepreneurship students, they identified an opportunity to serve prospective and existing business owners and telecommuters, and built an innovative program that delivers a growing array of benefits.


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

BadgerLink Advisory Group: Call for Applicants

Monday, July 22, 2019

The BadgerLink team seeks applicants to participate in the BadgerLink Advisory Group. This group seeks to improve the ability of all Wisconsin residents to access and effectively use high-quality, licensed resources provided by BadgerLink, expand program visibility, and build stronger relationships between the program and stakeholders. By gathering the diverse opinions and expertise of Wisconsin’s learner communities, the BadgerLink team will develop strategies to adapt and grow the program as needs evolve.

We seek applicants representing diversity in race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, and professional background from libraries and schools of all types, sizes, and Wisconsin regions. Applicants from community organizations will also be considered.

Members serve staggered, two-year terms and the group meets twice annually, in the spring and in the fall. For more details, see the Participation Handbook:

Applications will close at the end of the day on August 16, 2019, with review and selection finalized on or before September 15, 2019.

Questions? Want to learn more? Please email

Please feel free to share this call for applicants ( widely.


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

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.


Wisconsin Crop Progress & Condition Report

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Wisconsin Digital Archives

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has a dedicated Wisconsin Field Office that provides reports about crops and field conditions in Wisconsin.

The weekly Wisconsin Crop Progress & Condition Report tracks information about degree days, temperature, precipitation, crop planting progress, crop development and harvesting progress. The Wisconsin Crop Progress & Condition Report recently reported that although just weeks ago it was estimated that crops were behind in growth by up to three weeks, the crops in Wisconsin were helped a lot by hot and humid weather over the Fourth of July holiday week.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to current reports as well as past reports for research purposes. We are working to ensure access is provided for the following years:

For more information about agricultural statistics, visit the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Wisconsin Field Office publications page.

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



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

Certification Course Scholarships for Wisconsin Public Library Directors

Friday, July 12, 2019

Continuing Education Services at the UW-Madison iSchool announces a scholarship for Wisconsin public library directors currently taking certification courses. Six scholarships are available for Fall 2019 certification courses. The scholarship covers the entire cost of one certification course for each of the six winners. Applications are due by Friday, August 2nd.

The iSchool will be offering the following certification courses in the fall of 2019:

  • Basic Public Library Administration: September 16 – December 8, 2019
  • Advanced Public Library Administration: September 9 – December 1, 2019
  • Public and Community Library Services: September 16 – December 8, 2019

Applicants must meet these requirements:

  • Only Wisconsin public library directors currently pursuing Grades II or III certification are eligible for this scholarship.
  • Previous scholarship winners are not eligible to win again.
  • Applicants are permitted to apply the scholarship to one course only.
  • One scholarship will be awarded per winner.
  • The scholarship must be applied to a course offered in the same semester as the award is given.
  • Applications from directors who have applied previously but were not awarded a scholarship, as well as first-time applicants, are encouraged.

Application Instructions:

More information about fall courses:


Share Your BadgerLink Story With Us

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Choose my favorite BadgerLink resource? Impossible. There are simply too many favorites.” --Margi, Library Media Specialist, DeForest, WI. Read more of Margi’s BadgerLink story.

"I am a librarian at a law firm and I can use BadgerLink in so many ways!" -- Diane, Law Librarian, Milwaukee, WI. Read more of Diane’s BadgerLink story.

"We find EBSCO [resources] in BadgerLink to be the best resource for the high level of journals that we need to prepare our students to be ready for college and their careers." --CAPP Psychology Class, Kettle Moraine High School, Wales, WI. Read more of Kettle Moraine High School’s BadgerLink story.

These are just a few testimonials demonstrating the difference the BadgerLink resources make in the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners in Wisconsin. We save schools and libraries millions of dollars, support education, and enhance economic development. Read all the BadgerLink Stories.

What is your BadgerLink story? Get inspired and share your story today!

BadgerLink is a service provided by the Department of Public Instruction and our resources are paid for with state funding and federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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

The Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide

Monday, July 8, 2019

We all know libraries and their services are supposed to be available to everyone. It’s even in Wisconsin law that public libraries have to be accessible to people with “special needs.”

But how can we predict which special needs we need to accommodate? … or which unique combinations of barriers and assets people will need us to address?

The Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide for Wisconsin Public Libraries is meant to be your roadmap for these issues. To see what we mean by this, watch this short video about how one library navigated inclusive services.

As you can see from the video, inclusion is not a one-size-fits-all concept, nor a complete-and-move-on challenge. The checklist and supporting resources found in the guide are meant to help individual libraries evaluate current services as well as plan for the future.

The Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide was designed by Wisconsin public library and system staff for Wisconsin public library directors, staff, and boards with the intent to foster inclusive library environments where everyone is safe, welcomed, and respected. This resource was developed to support libraries in implementing the Inclusive Services Statement. In addition, this resource intentionally complements the 2018 Wisconsin Public Library Standards.

For more information, visit: 

Written by: Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team


Tracking Crop and Market Impacts in Wisconsin

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Wisconsin Digital Archives

A recent newspaper article outlined the challenges Wisconsin farmers, as well as farmers from other states in the mid-section of the country from Nebraska to Ohio, have had getting crops planted this spring. Farmers have been up against wet weather this spring that has limited the number of days that are deemed suitable for field work. Many farmers are experiencing delays getting crops planted due to the wet weather and it is predicted that some farmers may not get crops planted at all. This will inevitably impact crop prices.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has a dedicated Wisconsin Field Office that provides weekly reports that track market prices in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to current reports as well as past reports for research purposes.

For more information about agricultural statistics, visit the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Wisconsin Field Office publications page.

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


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