You are here

Services & Programs

DPI uses keywords that are used to associate content with major category/topic areas. By using this classification system, you are able to click a keyword and see a listing of DPI content that has been associated with this category.

Please scan over the titles below. If you see a topic that interests you, click the Read More link to access the page.

LSTA Grants Demonstrate Projects with Images

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Grants to States program is part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and awarded to states from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In 2015, a portion of the annual award to the state funded projects in Accessibility, Early Literacy, Digital Creation, Public Library System Technology, and Digitization of Library Materials. Below are images from a selection of projects. Abstracts of these and other projects.

Early Learning Materials at New Richmond Public Library
New Richmond demonstrates Early
Learning Materials
Indianhead Library System's Media Mentor Project for Early Learners
Indianhead Library System's Media Mentor
Project for Early Learners  
Aram Public Library in Delavan Digitizes the WI Reporter on behalf of the School for the Deaf
This image is from the WI School for the
Deaf’s collection of the
Wisconsin Times Newspaper
St. Croix Public Library provides STEM learning opportunities for 8-15 year olds
St. Croix Public Library: 
STEM learning for 8-15 year olds
Poster demonstrating Mukwonago Community Library was part of a Bridges Library System  Technology Project to obtain Charging Stations  for member libraries
Mukwonago Community Library was part of a  Bridges
Library System Technology Project to obtain Charging Stations
 for member libraries 

Written by Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team


Child's Play: Youth Services on the Public Library Annual Report (Part 1 of 2)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

At the start of the calendar year, library directors begin work reporting on the previous year's library activities on the Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report, affectionately referred to as the "Annual Report." For those who have attended a training session led by the Public Library Development Team's Data and Finance Coordinator Jamie McCanless and myself, you are aware of the adage that the "Annual Report is an opportunity to reflect and report" versus an annual burden like completing one's taxes.  View slides from a recent training session.

As the Youth and Inclusive Services Consultant, I spend January and February each year helping library directors, system staff, and youth services staff to reflect and report on library activities related to programming, which include traditional programs, drop-in activities, and literacy offerings.

This two-part blog post will focus on a few frequently asked questions or "Aha!" moments that have stemmed from conversations in the field.

Photo of a colorful abacu
An abacus offers an old-fashioned way to
 count (Pixabay)

Enlightenment Concept #1: Ways to Count

The Annual Report asks for quantities, or counts, of specifically defined elements; e.g., program attendance. However, the Annual Report does not specifically define how to count these elements. For example, regarding attendance at a program planned for children such as a Wednesday story time, a library should keep track of the number of attendees (which, by the way, includes ANYONE who attends the program--children, parents, nannies, teen siblings, etc.). A library might choose to perform a head count during the program, offer a sign-in sheet, or utilize a mechanical tally counter. What matters most is that a library counts consistently from program to program, and reports counts consistently from year to year on the Annual Report.

Child reading book in the grass
Drop-in activities, like reading records
are designed for individual participation,
 rather than group attendance (Pixabay)

Enlightenment Concept #2: Drop-in Doesn't Mean Dropping By

The Annual Report element "Drop-in Activity and Participation" received this name both as an intentional deviation from the federally defined "Program and Program Attendance" and in consideration of previously unreportable library activities informally called "passive," "stealth," or "informal" programs. Traditional programs can be thought of as events scheduled on a specific date and time for a group. Drop-in activities, in contrast, are planned for participation by individuals and scheduled with flexibility for individuals (versus a group). "Drop-in" suggests that individuals can drop-in and participate when they like, for as much or as long as they like. The most familiar example of a drop-in activity is a reading record. Usually, a library assigns a reading record sheet to an individual for her/him/they to utilize independently, and often off-site. Reading records usually have a time period, such as a "Summer Library Program Reading Record." An individual might read for 3 or 30 hours over the course of the summer. He/she/they might read at the library, at home, or on the bus. The experience is up to the individual to determine. This is what primarily differentiates a "Drop-in Activity" from a "Program."

Want to learn more or test your knowledge? Here are three resources that are intended to support your data collection throughout the year, as well as during reporting season.

Handouts: Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report Input: Youth Services Definitions and Examples

A Closer Look at Literacy Offerings

Online Learning Module: Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report: Youth Services

(Note: includes quizzes and suggestions of "Ways to Count")

Webinar Recording: Just to Clarify: Youth Services and the Annual Report

Still have questions? Direct your queries to

Wishing you a calm and consistent reporting season!

Written by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team



Library of the Month: Madison Public Library

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

Rob Franklin and Library Director Greg Mickells  accept a 2016 National Medal for Library Service  awarded by First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House
Image courtesy of Madison Public Library

Image courtesy of Madison Public Library Rob Franklin and Library Director Greg Mickells accept a 2016 National Medal for Library Service awarded by First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House

The mission of Madison Public Library (MPL) is to provide free and equitable access to cultural and educational experiences. Last year, MPL was recognized with our nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. “The Madison Public Library’s programs and services promote creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Library initiatives...address community challenges and engage residents in new and exciting ways,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Madison Public Library celebrates ideas, promotes creativity, connects people and enriches lives while addressing important issues facing Madison citizens, including education, poverty, economic development and quality of life.

As “your place to learn, share and create,” MPL connects visitors with participatory experiences, like the Bubbler. The Bubbler’s hands-on pop-up workshops introduces participants to a variety of local artists and experts, most recently featuring classes and workshops on poetry, writing, sewing, screenprinting, food preparation as art, comic book design, collage and more. The Bubbler partners with artists and groups around Madison to keep users’ experience current and dynamic, and serves as a nationally-consulted model for maker programming in libraries, recently recognized with an IMLS National Leadership Grant in conjunction with the UW-Madison, a Google Making Spaces grant, and two grants to host Maker Corps programs, from Maker Ed and the Evjue Foundation. The Bubbler's Media Lab hosts classes and drop in sessions where attendees learn animation, audio and video production and editing, graphic design, and other media production skills.

Kids participate in a cooking class featuring fresh fruits  and vegetables at Meadowridge Library
Image courtesy of Madison Public Library 
A growing homeless population inspired MPL to offer access to social services inside the Central Library. Through partnerships with local social service agencies like Shine608, Porchlight, Veterans Administration, Tellurian, Second Harvest Foodbank, the Central Library houses more than 50 hours of social services assistance weekly, connecting those in need with shelter, housing, meals, showers, storage, job assistance, and skills training. Services are also offered through some of our neighborhood libraries, including tax assistance, food share assistance, job skills and writing assistance. Over 1800 visits were recorded in 2013-14 at the Central Library alone.
Madison's eight neighborhood libraries have similarly embraced new services, for example, when the Meadowridge Library was remodeled in 2015, the library included a community kitchen. The library collaborates with the Neighborhood Center to outfit the kitchen and use it to provide snacks to kids, as well as teach youth how to prepare their own nutritious snacks and meals.
Artist Victor Castro poses with Dane County teens involved  in the Making Justice program
Image courtesy of Madison Public Library

Collaborative and innovative library programming for teens at MPL have social and educational impact.The library partnered with three Juvenile Court programs to take digital literacy and arts-based projects to incarcerated teens, as well as reaching teens in targeted populations through partnerships with Common Wealth Development and Centro Hispano. Another great partnership was with Madison Metropolitan School District and United Way of Dane County. Together, they piloted Read Up, a program offering literacy rich programming and free books to children enrolled in summer care at two schools. By measuring children’s test scores before and after the summer programming, the project was able to show that 75% of students maintained or increased their reading levels rather than the normal summer slide. In addition to these programs, MPL provides workshops at the Bubbler and media lab, coding, book events, and many other fun and engaging learning opportunities for teens. Overall, the library saw an 116% increase in teen program attendance over three years.

Madison Public Library's tradition of promoting education, literacy, and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 140 years. And the creative, innovative, and engaging programs will have a deep and long-lasting impact for many more years to come.

Tana Elias, Madison Public Library

Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


Wisconsin Digital Archives Collection Connection : Economic Impact of Wisconsin Cheese

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wisconsin is very well known for producing delicious, award winning cheese. In 2016, cheese produced in Monroe, Wisconsin, won the World Championship Cheese Contest. Most notably however is the significant impact cheese has on Wisconsin's economy. Wisconsin cheese is so important that it is actually traded as a commodity. Wisconsin's dairy industry as a whole contributes $43.4 billion annually to Wisconsin's economy with cheese production at an all time high. In 2015, cheese production in Wisconsin topped 3 billion pounds for the first time ever. As a matter of fact Wisconsin is responsible for producing 26% of the total amount of cheese made in the entire United States.

Wisconsin cheese, 26% of U.S. total with a pictures of various Wisconsin cheeses
Courtesy of the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade
and Consumer Protection

Learn more about the economic impact of Wisconsin cheese by reading the annual Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics report found in the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Interested in visiting a cheese factory or ordering some Wisconsin cheese from one of the many producers throughout the state? The Wisconsin Digital Archives also provides access to the Wisconsin Dairy Plant Directory and the Something Special from Wisconsin Directory.

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


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

New in 2017: Monthly BadgerLink Classes followed by Office Hours

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In 2017, the BadgerLink team is making changes to our training schedule!

Previously, we held Classes, a series of webinars over the course of a month, all based around a theme (for example, our Genealogy Class we held in September/October). Independent of Classes, we hosted monthly Office Hours, an agenda-less time to ask any and all BadgerLink questions. Now, Classes and Office Hours are joining forces!

calendar icon Mark your calendars for the last Tuesday of each month from 3pm to 4pm for a BadgerLink Class followed by Office Hours! Join us for both a Class and Office Hours, or drop in for one or the other.

Our first Class, on January 31st, will cover Access & Authentication, focusing on school & library logins and IP registration. All Classes will be recorded and posted on our Training page ; Office Hours are not recorded.

Tuesday, January 31
3 to 3:20 PM Class on Access & Authentication

3:20 to 4 PM Office Hours

Get instructions to join Classes & Office Hours

Need a reminder? When it gets closer to the training, we'll email you. Sign up for email reminders

We hope to see you there -- please Contact Us with any questions!

Written by:
Ben Miller, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


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

Child's Play: Youth Services on the Public Library Annual Report (Part 2 of 2)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Part 2 of 2

This two-part blog post focuses on a few frequently asked questions, or "Aha!" moments that have stemmed from conversations in the field regarding youth services and the Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report. Read Part 1

Enlightenment Concept #3: Literacy Offerings as Umbrella Events

Rainbow beach umbrella
A Literacy Offering can be thought of as an
umbrella event (Pixabay)

Libraries create many experiences for patrons such as programs, displays, book lists, and drop-in activities. Not everything that libraries offer is counted on the Annual Report, but that does not mean libraries should not offer them. In fact, most library directors would balk if they had to count every single effort.

Literacy offerings are a specific kind of short-term event that many libraries offer to encourage reading and/or the development of literacy skills. The most common kind is a summer reading program, often targeting a specific audience such as children (ages 0-11). A literacy offering can be thought of as an umbrella--an overarching, highly visible structure under which other library events and activities are scheduled. Looking at this photo, imagine that the rainbow umbrella represents a "Color Your Summer with Books" literacy offering for children. The umbrella stands out from other things on the beach, much like a literacy offering stands out from a library's regular programs and services. Underneath the rainbow umbrella, the red cooler represents all of the programs that were offered during Color Your Summer with Books. The yellow flippers represent all of the drop-in activities that were offered. There are some other things, like displays, contests, and readers advisory that took place, but those items are not counted on the Annual Report.

In this example, in order to be involved in Color Your Summer with Books, a child must register, or sign up, any time during the eight week event. On the annual report, the library would report that it hosted one Summer Literacy Offering for Children, and the number of individuals involved would be the count of the unique persons signed up for Color Your Summer with Books.

As for all of the programs offered as part of Color Your Summer with Books, those get counted under Programs and Program Attendance. Programs always get counted under Programs.

As for all of the drop-in activities offered, those get counted under Drop-in Activities and Participation. Drop-ins always get counted under Drop-ins.

But wait! What if you count involvement differently at your library? For example, what if involvement for an individual in your summer literacy offering means completing a reading record? In this case, your library would be using participation in a drop-in activity (a reading record) as a measurement for two report elements--drop-in activities and literacy offerings. In this specific example, a library might have 25 reading record participants in a drop-in activity AND a 25 person count for individuals involved in the literacy offering. While it seems counterintuitive to count something twice, in this case it works because this is how your library determines what literacy offering involvement means. Refer to Enlightenment Concept #1: Ways to Count in Part 1 of this post and remember that the Annual Report does not dictate how you count, only that you count consistently.

Enlightenment Concept #4: Email Communication

Person emailing with worried expression
Direct burning annual report
questions to

Answers to your Annual Report questions are only an email away! Any questions regarding LibPAS, the Public Library Annual Report, or instructions should be directed to This account is monitored by several team members so that the Public Library Development Team can respond quickly and effectively.

Person receiving email with happy expression
Make sure you are included
on the YS-List for youth services
updates (Pixabay)

Have you ever received an email from me, usually addressed to "Wisconsin Library Staff Serving Youth"? Our team maintains a one-way email listserv for Wisconsin Youth Services (YS). In order to be included on this email list, your name and email address must be listed on the Annual Report, Section XIII, item 3. Staff Serving Youth. This email listserv is updated annually, and contact information is also utilized as an in-house directory of youth services staff around the state. Without this information, we don't have a way to readily identify youth services staff, especially for queries such as "Who is the new youth services person in Cranberryville?" or "Can you put me in touch with the youth services person from Cheddar Town who did that great webinar last month?".

In a nutshell, please be in touch with us, and help us to be in touch with you.

Want to learn more or test your knowledge? Here are three resources that are intended to support your data collection throughout the year, as well as during reporting season.

Wishing you a calm and consistent reporting season!

Written by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team

Posted by Tessa Schmidt


Visit BadgerLink at Upcoming Conferences!

Monday, January 30, 2017

The BadgerLink team is attending an exciting lineup of conferences this spring. If you’re planning on attending any of them, please come say hello! We will be presenting and/or exhibiting, and will have free posters and bookmarks to take back to your school, library, or organization. See where we’re headed and add us to your list of presentations or exhibitors to see!

Logo: Wisconsin State Reading Association

Wednesday, February 8 - Friday, February 10
Exhibits on Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday morning

Logo: Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association Conference

Sunday, March 19 - Tuesday, March 21
Wisconsin Dells
Exhibits on Monday and on Tuesday morning
Presentation, date and time TBD, “Beyond Access: Developing Deep Knowledge of BadgerLink Resources”

Logo: Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers

Thursday, March 16 - Saturday, March 18
Exhibits on Thursday evening & Friday
Presentation on Thursday at 3pm, “BadgerLink, Your Online Laboratory!”

Logo: Wisconsin Health Literacy

Tuesday, April 4 - Wednesday, April 5

Exhibits on Tuesday, April 4

Stay tuned for more updates on conferences from April on, and as always, contact us with any questions!

Written by:

Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Posted by Gail Murray


BadgerLink Celebrates Black History Month!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Black History Month is an annual recognition of the contributions African Americans have made to U.S. history. Follow @WisDPIBadgerLi on Twitter, and celebrate with us as we share links to primary source materials, speech transcripts, academic papers, magazine articles, full-text biographies, books, poems, plays, and more, all highlighting achievements, history, and cultural heritage of Black Americans.

Here are some highlights from last year's Black History Month celebration:

For your library displays, the BadgerLink team also put together a flier that you can download and share. Get the flier: BadgerLink Celebrates Black History Month.

Written by:
Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Posted by Kara Ripley


Free Basic Computer Skills Course

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Hands on a computer keyboard
Image from Pixabay

Computers touch most employment and nearly every education scenario today. Everyone needs to know how to use a computer, navigate the Internet, and read and respond to emails to register with a job center, or apply for jobs.

In response to the needs of the employment and education sectors, the Wisconsin Technical College System has created the Basic Computer Skills MOOC, a free basic computer skills course available as an open education resource. The free lessons teach users how to better operate computer devices, create documents, manage files, use the Internet, explore social media and more. Users can complete one, some, or all of the lessons depending on their needs, and the lessons can be used in any order.

A link to the course can also be found on Job Seeker, a collection of free resources, recommended by Wisconsin public libraries, to help build skills and find jobs.

This course was created through the INTERFACE Project with funds received from the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. For more information, visit or read the Basic Computer Skills Course Now Available Worldwide article.

Written by:

Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Posted by Kara Ripley


Library of the Month: Wisconsin Historical Society Newspapers in Chronicling America

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

Each month, the BadgerLink team highlights a library in Wisconsin, detailing that library’s unique contributions to its community. This month, we are excited to highlight the new Wisconsin collection in the National Digital Newspaper Program, managed by the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS).

Newspaper clipping displaying draft numbers and names for WWI
Watertown News, July 18, 1917: WWI draft
Newspaper clipping with article titled "Nation gets equal suffrage"
Manitowoc Pilot, August 26, 1920:
19th Amendment ratified

The National Digital Newspaper Program is a project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, developed to provide open access to digitized historic newspapers online via the Chronicling America website. The collection from Wisconsin can be found by doing a search by state on the Chronicling America website, or by visiting this page.

The Wisconsin collection began to go live on January 26, 2017, but it first began to take form back in 2015, when recruitment started for the Program Coordinator position. Overseen by Program Administrator Katie Mullen, Laura Farley started working on the project at WHS in February 2016, and in September of 2016, Randi Ramsden was hired as a Program Assistant. In March of 2016 Mullen and Farley worked together with the project’s Advisory Board to make decisions on how to move forward with involvement in Chronicling America, including the selection of newspapers to be included in the collection. The advisory board consist of members from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, WiLS - Recollection Wisconsin, Sheboygan County Historical Society, La Crosse Public Library, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library. The collection kicked off by offering access to the Wood County Reporter. The rest of the collection will be added in batches over the course of the year. The following newspapers are included in the collection and will go live this year:

  • The Superior times, Superior, 1870-1912
  • The Manitowoc pilot, Manitowoc, 1859-1932
  • The Manitowoc tribune, Manitowoc, 1865-1878
  • Wood County reporter, Wisconsin Rapids, 1857-1923
  • Watertown republican, Watertown, 1860-1906
  • Watertown weekly leader, Watertown, 1906-1908
  • Weekly Watertown leader, Watertown, 1908-1909
  • Watertown leader, Watertown, 1909-1911
  • Watertown weekly leader, Watertown, 1912-1917
  • The Watertown news, Watertown, 1917-1919
  • Wisconsin tribune, Mineral Point, 1847-1854
  • Mineral Point tribune, Mineral Point, 1854-1858
  • Mineral Point weekly tribune, Mineral Point, 1859-1868
  • Mineral Point tribune, Mineral Point, 1869-1938
  • Iowa County democrat, Mineral Point, 1877-1938
Newspaper clipping with article titled "Horrible affair in Washington: Lincoln killed by an assassin"
Manitowoc Pilot, April 21, 1865:
News of Lincoln’s Assassination

The board selected these titles due to their long runs, high-quality microfilm, and representation of four diverse geographical regions across the state, in order to maximize coverage from regional settlement through 1922. The collection currently includes over 11,000 pages, with more content being made available in the future.

Newspaper clipping with photos of women from the 1930s
Watertown weekly leader, July 25, 1931:
At what age is a woman most beautiful?

Look for Laura Farley and Randi Ramsden as they begin statewide outreach, with planned events and workshops at conferences, for National History Day, and more. For more information on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s involvement in this project, as well as their other newspaper collections, visit the Wisconsin Newspapers page on the WHS website. Thanks to everyone involved in this project for making these newspapers available to those in Wisconsin and beyond!

Written by:

Gail Murray

Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Posted by Gail Murray