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Guest Post: Meet Recollection Wisconsin's New Search!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Guest post written by Emily Pfotenhauer of WiLS

Recollection Wisconsin recently launched a new and improved central search interface for their digital collections. Through this new search, you can find state and local history resources as well as materials from across the country and around the world, all from the collections of dozens of Wisconsin libraries, archives, historical societies and museums.

This new interface was created for Recollection Wisconsin as a benefit of their partnership with the Digital Public Library of America. In fact, Wisconsin is the first DPLA member in the country to launch a “DPLA Local” site. The search portal uses the same code DPLA developed for their own portal, which means Recollection Wisconsin users can benefit from handy features like auto-generated citations and the option to save custom lists.

Screenshot of search results page in DPLA Local interface.

The new search also uncovers resources about Wisconsin from other DPLA contributors around the country. For example, did you know that the New York Public Library has a great collection of stereographs of the Wisconsin Dells, photographed by H. H. Bennett? Or that the National Archives holds thousands of photos of Wisconsin landscapes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture?

The DPLA Local interface replaces the search portal created for Recollection Wisconsin in 2005 by UW-Madison Libraries. Recollection Wisconsin is grateful to UW-Madison for their many years of support to centralize access to Wisconsin’s digital collections and for their continued quarterly metadata harvests to update and refresh the data in the new system.

Screenshot of item record in new interface.

Give the new search a try and let Recollection Wisconsin staff know what you think!

Recollection Wisconsin is a consortium administered by WiLS and managed by seven Governing Partners: WiLS, Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee Public Library and Marquette University. Primary support for Recollection Wisconsin is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which administers Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds distributed by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor – The Power of Libraries

Friday, April 12, 2019

State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor recently shared the following video message in which she describes the power of libraries.

As we take time to celebrate libraries and library workers this National Library Week, the State Superintendent’s message is a reminder that we should continue celebrating the incredible service that happens in our libraries every day of the year. Because of that service and commitment to transforming our lives and our communities, Wisconsin’s public library systems and libraries = strong Wisconsin communities.

Please take a moment to read some of the messages the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) shared throughout National Library Week. At the beginning of this week, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor issued a proclamation declaring that this is National Library Week in Wisconsin. DPI shared National Library Week stories in ConnectEd and our social media platforms like this tweet for Library Workers’ Day. We posted other National Library Week themed blog posts to the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog like this guest post from Dane County Library Service’s Tracy Herold about Wisconsin’s newest bookmobile, the Dream Bus.

Thank you for celebrating National Library Week 2019 with us. We are looking forward to a strong 2019 and beyond for our libraries and library systems!


For questions about this information, contact Michael Dennison (608) 264-6717

Take Action For Libraries with #MyLibraryMyStory

Thursday, April 11, 2019

My hometown library is the Beloit Public Library, and I would not be who I am today if it weren't for my library. Not only did the Beloit Public Library give me one of my first jobs that led me to this career, but it also provided me resources growing up in poverty and was the only safe space I knew. My story is not unusual. Library stories like mine tell why people use and value their library, crossing all demographics, showing the power of libraries to improve and change all lives.

I am grateful that our country has this institution dedicated to open access to information, ideas, and experiences. Think about your reasons for using and appreciating your library, then share your story!

hashtag my library my story

This week the American Library Association introduced the #MyLibraryMyStory initiative, a social media campaign that aims to mobilize library professionals and library advocates to create and share digital content about their libraries to engage stakeholders such as city leaders, nonprofits, and community members.

Post photos, videos, or text on social media telling your library story, and ask your community to post what they love about your library. The creator of one randomly selected story posted during National Library Week (April 8 – 13) will be chosen to receive a $100 VISA gift card. Post to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MyLibraryMyStory for a chance to win. The promotion ends Saturday, April 13, 2019, at noon.

Beyond this social media campaign, I urge you to share your community’s library stories with elected officials at all levels. These stories demonstrating library value at a personal level can have a tremendous impact on community decision makers, and even generate proactive power to protect libraries from future jeopardy. I implore you to get involved!

Librarians can reach out to legislators to offer library space for listening sessions which delight legislators and their staff. Having listening sessions at your library is an excellent opportunity to talk about library funding initiatives and engage legislators’ support by showing them in person how powerful and essential libraries are in the lives of their constituents!how do you library hashtag my library my story

If you want to take more action for libraries or keep up to date on library legislative happenings, please visit the ALA Legislative Action Center and the Wisconsin Library Association Library Development and Legislation Committee pages.

Guest post written by Sherry Machones, Director of the Northern Waters Library System, ALA Chapter Councilor, WLA President-Elect, and WLA Federal Relations Coordinator.

For questions about this information, contact Sherry Machones (715) 682-2365.


Happy National Bookmobile Day To Wisconsin's Newest Bookmobile!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Today is National Bookmobile Day! Wisconsin has a proud history of  bookmobiles dating back to 1922. Today, we celebrate the newest Bookmobile in Wisconsin, the Dream Bus, with a guest post from Tracy Herold, the director of the Dane County Library Service.

Dane County Library Service specializes in mobile and outreach services to residents who cannot access traditional library service.  Established in 1966, DCLS began delivering materials via its first Bookmobile in August of that year.  Outreach Services to residents at senior living facilities and daycares grew over the years, along with Bookmobile service.  In 2018, we make monthly deliveries to 90 different facilities throughout Dane County, have a 45K-item collection that is shared throughout South Central Library System, make 16 weekly Bookmobile stops, and just launched a new partnership for mobile service with Madison Public Library – the Dream Bus.

The new Dream Bus, featuring artwork from local Madison artist Rodney Lambright II
The new Dream Bus, featuring artwork by local Madison artist Rodney Lambright II.

In June 2016, the Bookmobile initiated a stop at Owl Creek, a small, highly dense, urban Madison community.  This stop was the product of discussions between Sarah Lawton, Pinney Branch Manager, and Tracy Herold, Director of the Dane County Library Service. The discussions began as an exploration of racial equity/social justice initiatives of both the governments of Madison and Dane County.  The lack of access to library service made Owl Creek an obvious choice to extend Bookmobile service as a pilot project.  The results were astounding and successful.  Owl Creek is a busy stop both during the summer and the school year, with dedicated patrons who spend time on the bus checking out reading material, and sharing time with their peers.                                                                                     

The Owl Creek experience paved the way for a 5-year partnership between Dane County Library Service and Madison Public Library to bring mobile library service to five isolated neighborhoods in Madison through a new vehicle.  Funding of the project is a 75/25 split, with Madison Public Library reimbursing Dane County Library Service for the mobile visits.  Madison Public Library Foundation stepped up to raise funds for the project.  Through their efforts, the Goodman Foundation provided funding for the new vehicle, called the Dream Bus.

The Dream Bus hit the road April 1 and makes 2-hour weekly stops in five neighborhoods.  Over the course of the next few years, we expect to add hours and possibly other locations to the Dream Bus route.  The project has gained additional financial support from various donors and is funded for the next three years.  It is our hope that the project success will leave to sustainable funding for many years.

Guest post by: Tracy Herold, Dane County Library Service


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

National Library Week 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

Welcome to National Library Week 2019! In conjunction with the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Week, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor issued a proclamation that the week of April 7-13, 2019, be declared National Library Week in Wisconsin. National Library Week is a time to celebrate Wisconsin libraries and honor the individuals who work in our libraries.

Libraries equal Strong Communities celebrate national libraries week 2019 logo with children and an adult standing on books that look like buildings in a community.The 2019 theme for National Library Week is Libraries = Strong Communities. The week includes special observance days, starting with Monday, April 8, and the release of the “State of America's Libraries Report.” On Tuesday, April 9, we celebrate all library staff, administrators, and friend groups and their contributions to libraries on National Library Workers Day. Wednesday, April 10, is National Bookmobile Day, when we recognize this unique method of community outreach and the professionals who make it possible. Thursday, April 11, is Take Action for Libraries Day, a day dedicated to sharing your favorite library stories using #MyLibraryMyStory. You can follow the theme days and celebrate along with the library community by using the 19 Ways to Celebrate National Library Week suggestions from ALA.

We’re highlighting the National Library Week theme days throughout the week on the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog, so check back each day for a new post! Be sure to check out the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s newsletter (DPI ConnectEd) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) for National Library Week posts, too!


For questions about this information, contact Michael Dennison (608) 264-6717

Scholarships Available for Interest in Outreach Services

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) offers annual awards that recognize outstanding service, support for conference attendance, and the education of a student currently enrolled in a Library Science degree program. Please consider applying for one of the awards and feel free to share the following information with your staff, colleagues and students. Please encourage them to apply.

John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award - $300

The ABOS John Philip Award is given to recognize outstanding contributions and prominent leadership by an individual in Bookmobile and Outreach Services. John Philip, known to all as "Mr. Bookmobile", spent his long and honorable career as an advocate of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. John Philip passed away on February 1, 2016. He is the "Father" of the National Bookmobile Conference which started in 1986 and has now evolved into the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. Through his strong leadership and high profile advocacy, Bookmobiles have been recognized as a viable library outreach service. This award honors his dedication and tireless work and serves as a pinnacle for all Bookmobile and Outreach staff to aspire to reach.

Carol Hole Conference Attendance Award - Three (3) $500 travel grants

Carol Combs Hole provided exemplary leadership on behalf of libraries, bookmobile and outreach services throughout her 32 year career as a professional public librarian. She retired from distinguished service to the Alachua County Library District on March 1, 2006 and died on October 1, 2007. The three (3) $500 travel grants include free conference registration and a stipend for travel expenses and/or accommodations for the conference. The 2019 Conference will be held in Omaha, Nebraska on October 23-25, 2019 at the Embassy Suites Downtown/Old Market. The winners automatically will be registered for the conference. Carol Hole Award winners will be notified by August 23, 2019.

Bernard Vavrek Scholarship - $1,000

In order to contribute to the education and training of library staff working in the area of bookmobile and outreach services, ABOS has created the Bernard Vavrek Scholarship. It is awarded annually to a student who has been accepted into or is currently enrolled in a Library and/or Information Science graduate degree program at an ALA accredited school, and who is interested in this particular field within the library profession. A check will be sent directly to the ALA accredited library school where the applicant is currently enrolled to be applied to the next term of study. Dr. Bernard Vavrek, Professor of Library Science and Chair of the Library Science Department at Clarion University, retired after teaching at Clarion from 1971-2008. He co-founded with John Philip the "Great American Bookmobile Conference", running it for many years until ABOS was formed and took over management of the conference. This scholarship honors Dr. Vavrek's profound commitment to librarianship.

For more information on these awards, see the ABOS website at:


Submitted by Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development


Celebrate Library Workers Today!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

DPI is proud to join Wisconsin libraries and library patrons in celebrating National Library Workers Day. In 2003, the American Library Association designated April 9th as a day to recognize the numerous invaluable contributions all library support staff and librarians make to facilitate lifelong learning in the communities they serve, according to the American Library Association’s website as of 4.1.19.

In 2017, Wisconsin public library patrons relied on the great work of 3,067 (full time equivalent) library staff members to deliver services at the 381 public libraries and 83 public library branches across Wisconsin. The 1,205 librarians who serve Wisconsin’s public libraries are joined by 1,861 colleagues working in other important roles.

Read to a Dog program, Forest Lodge Public Library, Cable, WI
Read to a Dog Program, Forest Lodge Public Library, Cable, WI

Between 2012 and 2017, the total number of paid public library staff has increased by 1.2% from 3,032 in 2012 to 3,066 in 2017. During those five years, the patterns of public library use have changed. The number of program attendees has increased by 28%, from almost 2.1 million in 2012 to nearly 2.7 million in 2017. Use of local electronic electronic collections (databases) has increased by 84%, from about 1.2 million in 2012 to nearly 2.2 million in 2017. Source: DPI annual library statistics as shown on the DPI website 4.1.19.

837 licensed school library media specialists and another 1,040 unlicensed library staff members deliver comprehensive school library media programs in the 2,216 public schools that comprise Wisconsin’s 421 public school districts. Source: DPI All staff reports, as shown on the DPI website 4.1.19.

Library workers in public, K-12, academic and special libraries perform a mind-boggling array of services and activities to keep libraries well-stocked with new materials and old favorites, ebooks, online databases and streaming collections, maker spaces, multi-media rooms, and bustling with activities that vary according to the type of library.

Library workers include library media specialists licensed by the Department of Public Instruction, library directors also licensed by the Department of Public Instruction, youth and adult services librarians, library program aids, circulation staff, interlibrary loan staff, technical services experts, reference staff, information technology staff, security personnel, facilities maintenance and cleaning crews and more. They are all joined by a passion for and dedication to making lifelong learning resources and activities available to members of communities across the state. Public library staff offer genealogy workshops, memory cafes, book clubs, story times, lectures by authors, computer learning classes and job-search and resume review sessions.

School library media specialists and school library staff teach students digital citizenship and best practices for internet privacy and security, how to access and use appropriate digital and print tools, and how to create and share original content that reflects the diversity of Wisconsin.  They act as school and district leaders in planning programs, services, and facilities that will meet the future learning needs of students, and they collaborate with school administrators, classroom educators, and parents to ensure that students have access to a well-rounded program that gives them individual choices in their educational experiences. 

Eau Claire Area School District North High School
Eau Claire Area School District North High School Library 

Countless librarians and dedicated library support staff make the excellent work of Wisconsin’s college, university, special, state agency, and medical libraries possible. Although I don't have data on the specific number of staff members working in those organizations, I want to be sure to recognize their important contributions to the learning needs of their patrons.

If you're heading to any type of library today, please consider taking a moment to give a shout out to the staff working there, or post a word of thanks on your favorite social media platform.


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

Application Open for the 2019 Youth Services Development Institute

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Group fist bump for teamworkWisconsin Youth Services Development Institute
Sunday, August 25 - Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Lake Lawn Resort • Delavan, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Youth Services Development 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.

Over the course of three days, Institute participants experience foundational training related to youth services, including programming, advocacy, and collection development. In addition, emphasis will be placed on developing technology and leadership skills. Training is conducted by the state library agency's Youth and Inclusive Services consultant and experienced professionals from around the state. The Institute is limited to 25 participants in order to facilitate an effective, intimate, and focused Institute experience. Face-to-face interaction in a small group setting is considered an important element of the Institute and the basis for future networking and professional participation, online and in-person.

In addition to the in-person experience, participants can expect to communicate regularly with the cohort and trainers via email. Engagement in the Institute begins upon acceptance of a spot in the 25 person cohort and continues through the 12 months following the in-person training in Trego. The Institute experience requires a commitment of time and energy. In return, participants can expect professional transformation. Graduates of the 2013, 2015, and 2017 Institutes described their experiences as "life changing."

There is no fee for Institute participants; the costs are covered 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).

The Institute will begin at 4pm Sunday evening and conclude at 1pm Wednesday afternoon. All meals, from Sunday dinner through Wednesday lunch are included. Individual, single room lodging will be provided for participants. Participants are expected to stay on site throughout the Institute versus lodging elsewhere or commuting. Furthermore, the Institute is designed as an immersion experience for participants—family and guests are not welcome in this intense and intimate training. Participants must provide their own transportation to and from the conference center. Carpooling from different regions of the state is encouraged.

Application Process
Applications are due by Tuesday, April 30, 2019, through the online application process. Twenty-five applicants will be selected, preferably representing all 16 public library systems. If necessary, a waiting list will be maintained. Participants will be notified by mid-May. In addition to basic contact information, the online application asks the following open-ended questions (maximum 1000 characters each):

  1. Why do you want to take part in the 2019 Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute?
  2. How do you think you would benefit from year-long membership in the Institute cohort?
  3. Please briefly describe your library background and any relevant training in the field of youth services.
  4. What is the one thing you hope to know or do after attending the Institute?

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team

Image source


Cheers for Collaboration!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I just spent the last three days participating in an amazing professional learning experience for school librarians and technology integrators - WEMTA Many Voices, Many Choices. This annual conference, presented by the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association, is organized by a dedicated group of volunteers who meet weekly for months prior to the conference after full days of work in Wisconsin schools. What an incredible example of collaboration!

As a presenter at this conference, I had the opportunity to hone my own collaborative skills, too. Working with experts in technology, coaching, public libraries, and online resources developed my knowledge and created rich experiences for participants in our sessions. When working with school librarians, we often discuss the merits of collaboration. Not only does it allow us to reach a broader audience of students, but it provides a means of professional learning and develops a network of relationships. Yet, it is challenging, time consuming, and often requires some scheduling gymnastics to make it work. For me, preparing presentations for conferences is a way to model Future Ready Librarian work, and it only enhances my valued sense of collaboration.

Another fabulous example of collaboration is reflected in a recent accomplishment of the the School Library Work Group. After several discussions, revisions, and the input of a variety of stakeholders, including great work from the Education Information Services team at DPI, there is a new Common School Fund Infographic. This document is a great way to introduce administrators, accountants and bookkeepers, and other interested people to the Common School Fund without overwhelming them with details. It highlights basic information about Common School Funds and provides examples of allowable purchases. I want to express my gratitude to all who collaborated with me on this important work.

My final cheer goes out to all of you who have reached out to connect and collaborate with others. These efforts make all our work better and bring forth the best opportunities for the students of our schools and patrons of our libraries. May others be inspired by your endeavors!


For questions about this information, contact Monica Treptow (608) 575-6065

Wisconsin Elections Commission

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Wisconsin Digital Archives

Spring election day is the perfect opportunity to highlight the work of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the information they make available to Wisconsin residents. The Wisconsin Elections Commission is responsible for administering and enforcing Wisconsin elections law. They also help keep voters informed through the MyVote Wisconsin webpage by providing information about how voters can find their polling place, view ballots, request an absentee ballot, and register to vote.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the publications of the Wisconsin Elections Commission including annual reports and election manuals. Below are just a few examples of titles available in the collection. Click here to see the entire list.

Statistics are available from the Wisconsin Elections Commission webpage about voter turnout from previous partisan and nonpartisan elections in Wisconsin and monthly voter registration by ward, municipality, county, state assembly district, state senate district congressional district and age.

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



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