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The Importance of Meaningful School Library Data

Friday, June 8, 2018

As the school year closes and the hallways become quiet, library media specialists assume the task of creating year end reports. With each passing year the presence of data in education grows, and effective gathering and use of data continues to be a meaningful way to illustrate the value of library programming to administrators. This data can be utilized to support many facets of the Future Ready Librarian Framework by providing information about the use of space, the creation of instructional partnerships, curation of resources, professional development needs, equity in access to resources, and budgeting strategies. In order to accomplish this, it is critical to think about how the different components of data can work together to illustrate impacts on student learning, rather than isolating each element.

Circulation data, some of the oldest and most commonly collected pieces of library information, might be disregarded by administration if not connected with other data points. Circulation data illustrates access to resources, and, when combined with other student or class information, may be an indicator for providing equity of access. Consider analyzing not only the print collection, but statistics showing access to databases, too. There are resources on the BadgerLink website to show you how to collect this information. Additionally, you might examine how your collaboration or other curriculum projects impact circulation at different times of the year.

Comparing collaboration data with circulation numbers is a way to give the latter a stronger connection to student learning. Collaboration data can also provide a unique insight into instructional partnerships and professional development needs. In addition to keeping accurate numbers of instances or time spent collaborating, coaching, and mentoring, document other pertinent items, such as subject area, curriculum units, and strategies used. Another helpful tool is surveying staff for feedback regarding experiences, student impact, and professional development needs.

Collaboration can also be connected to your collection data. Explore how collaborations impact use of your print and digital collections in order to better curate your collection and budget for resources. Being able to discuss collection data in terms of how the collection is impacting students is another great talking point to illuminate for administration why and how curation of resources can improve student learning.

As library spaces steadily evolve and continue to promote inquiry, creativity, collaboration, and community, data about the space itself continues to be of value, too. Again, the data must go beyond just numbers of visitors; it should document purposes of visits, size of groups, and popular attractions. This information can drive decisions about maker areas, furniture, future space design and availability. It may also be used to contribute to conversations regarding how library programming supports the social emotional growth goals in your school or district since the library is naturally an environment that encourages diversity, equity, and awareness of voice.

There are an abundance of ways to turn stale year end statistics into data used for growth and transformation. Dedicate yourself to showcasing your report to administration as an insightful tool to improve student learning. And, as you look at what you have collected, reflect on the questions you truly want answered and begin planning for changes you will make for next year.


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

Wisconsin's Government Information Day, June 8

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

If you have an interest in government information, the Government Information Special Interest Group (GISIG) of the Wisconsin Library Association is hosting Wisconsin's Government Information Day on Friday, June 8, at UW-Madison's Memorial Library

It's your chance to learn about basic legal resources, the latest websites and tools from the Dept. of Workforce Development and Dept. of Health Services, gov docs in the Hathi Trust, FRASER, and updates from the Wisconsin Document Depository Program/Wisconsin Digital Archives and Federal Depository Library Program. A full schedule of presentations for the day is available online.

It’s not too late to register online. Pre-registration ends at 5 p.m., June 6, but you can register (& pay) on site as well. Registration is $10, which includes a continental breakfast. 

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


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

Update on the BadgerLink Procurement Process

Friday, May 18, 2018

BadgerLink Logo

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is currently working with the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) to complete a Request for Bid process designed to license Collections in all of these content areas, to be provided through BadgerLink. All BadgerLink resources will be updated as of July 1, 2018, according to the awards resulting from the procurement process. Vendors for more than half of the Collections have been selected. Six Collections are being rebid, with a June 1, 2018 response deadline.

Contracts for collections will be executed in the order shown below. If the total cost of the best qualified, lowest cost bids for all selected Collections exceeds the BadgerLink budget, the Collections can be licensed for use by all Wisconsin public libraries and schools by another qualified public entity, and bidders are obligated to honor the pricing they included in their bid.

Collections in purchase order priority with status and/or selected vendor:


Status and/or Vendor
Collection #1: Educational resources for K-12, Post-Secondary and Lifelong Learners BEING REBID
Collection #2: Current newspapers published in Wisconsin communities and U.S. cities BEING REBID
Collection #3: Current newspapers published in Wisconsin communities Wisconsin Newspaper Association
Collection #4: Historic newspapers BEING REBID
Collection #5: Medicine and health (including traditional and alternative treatments) EBSCO Information Services
Collection #6: Genealogy and local history resources BEING REBID
Collection #7: Encyclopedias in English and Spanish Encyclopedia Britannica
Collection #8: Job skills and test preparation training resources BEING REBID
Collection #9: Multimedia Collections of children's literature and children's books
Collection #10: Business resources EBSCO Information Services
Collection #11: Full-Text Works of Literature Cengage Learning (Gale)
Collection #12: Language learning resources Recorded Books, Inc.
Collection #13: Auto repair resources BEING REBID


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

Public Library Standards at WAPL

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

If you are attending the WAPL conference this week, then you will have a chance to talk about the new Public Library Standards that were released two months ago. The conference session, which will take place on Thursday, May 3, at 4:15 p.m. in the Meadowbrook West conference room, will delve into the exhaustive process behind the development of the new standards, the new format of the 6th edition, and recommendations on ways to best use the new standards in library planning.

During the second half of the session, attendees will discuss the next phase of the Standards development process—a web interface that will allow library professionals to quickly compare their libraries with libraries across the state, or select a group of libraries based on specified datasets. Which datasets will be offered? Come to the session to offer input on which datasets you think should be included in the new interface.

Not attending WAPL? Feel free to contact Shannon Schultz using the link below to provide your thoughts on what datasets you believe would be most useful or valuable to public libraries in our state.

Submitted by Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development Team



Tracking Water Use and Withdrawal in Wisconsin

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wisconsin Digital Archives logo

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tracks and reports water use from around the state. The Water Use Program gathers data about how much water is being pulled from the ground and from surface sources such as wells, ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. All property owners in Wisconsin capable of withdrawing 100,000 gallons of water per day are required to register and report these withdrawals to the DNR.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives makes available the annual water use reports that the DNR publishes. The reports provide statistics about how much water is withdrawn by industry, maps of where the water is being pulled from and information about water being withdrawn from Lake Michigan.

The DNR also makes available a searchable database of people and companies that have registered with the DNR because they withdraw over 100,000 gallons of water per day. The information provided is much more granular and details water withdrawal and use specific to the person or company from 2010 to current.

Posted by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


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

Ideas to Action Funds Available to Libraries!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Guest post from WiLS

WiLS Ideas to Action Fund Logo

WiLS wants to help bring your ideas to life!

Introducing the new WiLS Ideas to Action Fund! WiLS’ mission is to help our members turn ideas into action. The new WiLS Ideas to Action Fund seeks to do just that – provide support for innovative or collaborative projects in order to help our members reach their goals and have a positive impact on the Wisconsin library ecosystem.

What type of support, you ask? In this first year of the Ideas to Action Fund, WiLS will award a maximum of $25,000 (up to $5,000 per applicant) and a total of 25 hours of WiLS staff time. We recognize that sometimes the barrier to completing a project is not lack of funds, but the lack of time to plan or think about the process. Instead of or in addition to funding, organizations can apply for WiLS staff time to help organize the project or provide expertise in facilitation, survey administration, or other project activities.

We are now accepting proposals! Proposals for the 2018 Ideas to Action Fund can be submitted through May 14 using this application form. Small libraries are especially encouraged to apply.

Awards will be announced and funds will be distributed in June 2018.

For more information on the goals of the Fund and eligibility and requirements, visit our website at

Guest post from WiLS
Posted by Ben Miller, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


Resources to Help People with Dementia, Their Families, and Their Communities

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wisconsin Digital Archives logo

According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS), Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are already straining Wisconsin’s long-term care system, and the number of people affected is expected to increase dramatically as the baby boom generation ages. DHS estimates that in 2015 there were 115,000 Wisconsin residents with dementia. By 2040, the percentage of individuals with dementia in Wisconsin is expected to increase to 242,000.

In 2014, DHS created the Wisconsin Dementia Care System Redesign Plan. The plan made improving care for people with dementia and their families one of DHS’ top priorities. The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the redesign plan and other documents and resources to support the implementation of the plan.

In 2018, DHS and partner organizations will be working on a new state plan to help people with dementia, their families, and their communities. Stay on top of the development of the new plan by visiting the DHS website. As new documents are published they will also be made available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

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


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

Host an Author/Illustrator Visit for FREE? Sign Me Up!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Do you want to bring a culturally relevant author/illustrator to your library? Have you ever wished that you could put a copy of the same amazing book in the hands of every family? This is your chance!

Figure wishing for grant moneyThe deadline has been extended until Friday, April 6, 2018 for the “Students as Community Members: Connecting through Books, Collections, and Perspective Sharing” workshop at Hotel Marshfield on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. This workshop is one of two "Connect and Create Workshops for Public and School Librarians" hosted by The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Registration is FREE and includes lunch. Register online here:

The phrase “students as community members” reflects that idea that youth need to see themselves and others in our global community in the books that they read. This workshop will be tailored to the needs of the attendees, and conversations and activities will emphasize concrete aspects of collection development, as well as bigger topics like social justice. Speakers will include Nick Glass (keynote) and Martha Kaempffer, Rita Platt, Susan Plewa (school and public library practitioner panel). Caitlin Schaffer and Jenny Barreau will lead challenge activities using BreakoutEDU. Grant opportunities for this workshop will emphasize program development and hosting for an author/illustrator visit to school and public library environments.

A descriptive PDF with additional information about the workshops, registration, and grants can be found at:

A blog post with registration and FAQs for the “Connect and Create Workshops for Public and School Librarians” can be found at:

Following the workshop, attendees who complete the workshop training will be eligible to apply for a joint school and public library project grant, which could be used to bring a culturally relevant author or illustrator to your community. Projects must have a dual public library and school library audience; therefore, grant applications must be submitted by committed pairs, one of whom must have completed the workshop training.

Details about the grants will be shared at the workshop, along with sample application materials. Grant proposals are due Friday, June 8, 2018; recipients will be notified mid-June. Projects must be completed by September 30, 2018, including encumbrance of funds, though project activities might take place anytime between July and December 2018.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team

Image source


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

Inclusive Services: Statement and Institute Update

Monday, March 26, 2018

The first session of the Inclusive Services Institute took place March 12-14, 2018. Sixteen participants from Wisconsin public libraries and regional systems came together for three intense days of learning and working. The group will meet again for three days in August. 

Group photo of Inclusive Services InstituteThe Inclusive Services Institutes is a professional development and workgroup opportunity for Wisconsin public library and regional system staff who are committed to making Wisconsin libraries more inclusive to all community members and potential library users. The Institute offers reflective learning experiences on topics of equity and social justice. See "Announcing the Inclusive Services Institute" post for more details.

The Inclusive Services Statement from the Division of Libraries and Technology provides the foundation for the Institute content and workgroup efforts. During the March session, the statement was updated to include race and ethnicity as dimensions of identity that should neither negatively influence nor interfere with access to library services. 

Inclusive Services Institute participants created four teams during the March session. The teams are charged with identifying and developing concrete concepts for public libraries to consider in regard to different aspects of inclusive services. For example, teams might suggest specific ways in which a public library might evaluate the experience of applying for a library card  and how library policies play a role, for better or worse. The Inclusive Service Statement and the newly revised Wisconsin Public Library Standards are guiding documents for the teams. Between now and the August Institute session, teams will work collaboratively on the considerations. During the August session, the teams will merge their work into a tool, a yet-to-be-named inventory/rubric/assessment, that will be available for the Wisconsin public library community to test as a prototype. 

The four teams and topics are listed as follows:

Who Is Responsible? Service Providers and Policy (Governance, Administration, Staffing)
Jessica MacPhail, Racine Public Library, Lakeshores Library System
Glenny Whitcomb, Chilton Public Library, Manitowoc Calumet Library System
Martha Bauer, Brewer Public Library (Richland Center), Southwest Wisconsin Library System
Irma Keller, Tomah Public Library, Winding Rivers Library System

What the Library Has to Offer (Collections, Resources, Programs, Services)
Mark Jochem, New Berlin Public Library, Bridges Library System
Samantha Johnson, Augusta Memorial Public Library, Indianhead Federated Library System
Kristina Gomez, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
Susan Younger, Wautoma Public Library, Winnefox Library System

Where the Interactions Take Place (Facility, Access)
Bobbie Kuehn, Brown County Library (Green Bay), Nicolet Federated Library System
Emilie Braunel, Plum Lake Public Library, Northern Waters Library Service
Laurie Ollhoff, T. B. Scott Free Library (Merrill), Wisconsin Valley Library Service
Holly K. Smith, Monarch Library System

Community Engagement (Community Relations, Funding, Self-Care)
Rene Bue, Hedberg Public Library (Janesville), Arrowhead Library System
Lisa Rivers, Southwest Library (Kenosha), Kenosha County Library System
Elizabeth Timmins, Muehl Public Library (Seymour), Outagamie Waupaca Library System
Shauna Koszegi, Sun Prairie Public Library, South Central Library System 

The Inclusive Services Institute Leadership Team includes Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System; Leah Langby, Indianhead Federated Library System; Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, DPI; and Shannon Schultz, DPI. 

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 Team

Image source


Submit a Session Proposal for the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference

Friday, March 23, 2018


Guest post from the WLA 2018 Annual Conference Committee

Started that new cake pan collection this year? Have a fabulous inclusive storytime? Tell us about it!

The 2018 WLA Conference Committee invites you to share your experience and creativity with the Wisconsin library community at our annual conference, to be held on October 23-26, 2018, at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse & La Crosse Center.

Professionals learn best from their peers. We’re looking for local expertise to provide a relevant, timely, and intentional learning experience at this year’s conference.

Feel free to suggest any program you'd like to present. You don’t have to be an expert, you just need a passion to share what you do. Examples include: your innovative program, a new service you unveiled, unique community collaborations, management hacks, self-care tips, your new safety initiative, and more.

Consider sessions related to topics such as: Advocacy, Diverse Collections, Collaborations, Innovations, Engaging People, Marketing, Social Media, Technology Trends, Support Staff and more.

Submit your proposal here.

First consideration for program proposals is April 6, 2018.

Guest post from the WLA 2018 Annual Conference Committee