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Registration Open for Play Make Learn

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Play Make Learn Conference promotes high-quality learning opportunities for educators, researchers, developers, designers, foundation leaders, policy makers, museum and library professionals, and school leaders who are dedicated to promoting making, gaming, and playful learning. It aims to engage attendees in cutting-edge learning science ideas and experience; communicate state-of-the-art design, education, and research; demonstrate new and upcoming games and technology; and network to spark new projects.

Topics this year include:

  • Keynote from Dr. Benjamin Stokes
  • Breakout sessions on games, makerspaces, arts, and personalized learning
  • Highlighting new top learning games in our GEE! awards

So please consider attending (register here) and share with any interested individuals/networks.

Posted by Ben Miller
Library Services Team

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Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access Report Issued

Thursday, July 1, 2021

DPI is very pleased to share that the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access Report has been issued. The report details Task Force goals and recommendations for successfully expanding high speed internet access to every residence, business, and institution in the state by 2025, including solutions to make internet service affordable.

DPI and the Library Services Team has been, and will remain, deeply engaged in addressing broadband and the digital equity gap until it is solved once and for all. A special thank you to Assistant State Superintendent, Kurt Kiefer, for his leadership as a member of the Task Force and for leading the sub group on data.

Resources Expanding Broadband

We encourage libraries and library systems to collaborate and pool resources with local municipalities, counties, school districts and other local partners to invest in infrastructure. Federal and state funding, when combined with additional long-term local public funds, can be used to expand broadband and help shorten the return on investment. These public-private partnerships meet the goals of rural communities for high quality, high speed, affordable broadband. Please visit the DPI Expanding Broadband page for additional information.

Accessing the Report

https://psc.wi.gov/Documents/broadband/2021%20Governors%20Task%20Force%20on%20Broadband%20Access.pdf

Task Force Recommendations

  • Explore hybrid models of broadband infrastructure development and ownership. Create shared risk mechanisms for public/private partnerships that make use of publicly owned infrastructure to reach underserved locations by private internet service providers.
  • Increase construction and permitting coordination.
  • Increase Broadband Expansion Grant Program funding.
  • Collect internet access data from all ISPs at a household and business level of granularity.
  • Increase broadband consumer protections and pricing transparency.
  • Establish a State Internet Assistance Program.
  • Establish a state-wide Digital Equity Fund operated by a nonprofit or similar organization with a mission to fund, strengthen, and support digital inclusion activities and ideas that lead to all Wisconsin residents having the information capacity needed to fully participate in society.
  • Develop and fund a Statewide Digital Navigator program to assist underconnected people and solve a wide range of adoption issues. Digital navigators should be embedded in organizations with strong and trusting relationships to the target populations, with the organizational capacity and cultural competency to make an impact.
  • Assess broadband adoption and lack of adoption among households not adopting internet based on means, needs, connectivity, and prioritization.
  • Align, coordinate, and maximize present and future federal funding.
  • Increased funding for broadband administration.
  • Establish and support a coalition of willing, engaged broadband leaders to connect communities with: providers, local and regional partners, planning and technical assistance opportunities, funding opportunities, and resources.
  • Create planning and implementation grants for regions and communities.

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Important Broadband Updates

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Emergency Connectivity Fund rules to be released May 10

On Monday, May 10, the FCC is expected to release the rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), providing funding for libraries to help patrons get connected at home. I’ll send you a synopsis of the rules within a few days of their release. We have tentatively scheduled an ECF for Wednesday, April 26 at 1:00 PM -- stay tuned for details.

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Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) registration opens May 12

Starting on Wednesday May 12, eligible households will be able to enroll in the EBB program to receive discounted broadband service -- $50/month off, and $75 off on tribal lands. Residents can determine eligibility and apply at GetEmergencyBroadband.org, or through an approved provider.

EBB communication toolkit materials are now available for download. The toolkit is a collection of social media, printables, and other content to assist libraries and school districts with raising program awareness in their communities.

DPI will provide an EBB registration webinar on May 19 at 1:00 PM, where we will share ideas on how libraries can promote the program and set up EBB registration events. Chris Baker, adult services librarian at Portage Public Library, will join us to share his ideas, as Portage will have already conducted an EBB registration event. If you are aware of libraries that would like to join us and share their ideas on promoting the EBB, please let me know.

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Webinar Recording Posted - A recording of last Thursday's webinar, “Collaborating with Partners for Broadband Expansion,” is now posted. In it, innovators from around the state share examples of how they have leveraged resources within their community to collaboratively solve the broadband access problem.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!

Bill Herman, bill.herman@dpi.wi.gov

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CCBC Recommended Books Database Video Tutorial

Monday, March 29, 2021

As a long-standing partner with DPI, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) is a foundational resource for Wisconsin educators and librarians. Recently on the blog, we’ve highlighted CCBC Choices 2021 and the new CCBC website with enhanced searching.

The CCBC librarians have created a video tutorial (14 min, includes transcript) walking through ways to use the enhanced search features, including how to search by diversity subjects such as “Gender Nonconformity,” “Muslim,” or “Cognitive/Neurological Disability/Condition.” The creation and expansion of inclusive libraries and classrooms with authentic, engaging literature has never been more critical.

CCBC Diversity Book Search screen captureThe CCBC recommends a wide range of books for children and teens from birth through high-school age, most of which have been selected for various editions of their annual best-of-the-year list, CCBC Choices. Explore books they have recommended using resources such as: Recommended Books Search, Booklists, CCBC Choices, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award.

Database development for the enhanced CCBC book searches was made possible with the support of DPI through Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Written by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt (Library Services Team), with details provided by Megan Schliesman (CCBC)

See also:
The Cooperative Children's Book Center Releases CCBC Choices 2021 from March 17, 2021
New CCBC Website with Enhanced Search Features from August 27, 2020

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Berlin Public Library Beanstack #WinterRead2021 Winner

Monday, March 1, 2021

List of "Books Like Us" Winning LibrariesZoobean, parent company of Beanstack, the state’s online reading challenge platform, recently selected Berlin Public Library as one of the national #WinterRead 2021 winners. For the fourth year in a row, Beanstack offered their Annual Winter Reading Challenge. Simon & Schuster’s Books Like Us program sponsored the challenge, which supports public libraries and school systems throughout the United States. Berlin Public Library was selected as one of the winners, and will receive a set of 50 "books like us" from Simon & Schuster as well as a virtual author visit from one of the eight authors listed on this page. Chris Kalupa, Berlin Public Library director/patron services coordinator, shared the following:

Our staff is very excited to be chosen as one of six nationwide libraries to win the Beanstack Winter Read 2021, Books Like Us challenge. We decided to participate in Beanstack's Winter Read program to offer our patrons something different during the winter months, especially since we haven't been able to do much in terms of in-person programming. Not once did we expect to be one of the winning libraries. Our patrons blew us away with their participation. We initially set a community goal of 10,000 minutes of reading, and they crushed that goal within a week. And now to date, our patrons have logged over 100,000 minutes of reading! We're so excited that we get to reward them with something extra special! The Berlin Library would like to thank the Division for Libraries and Technology for sponsoring our participation in Beanstack through a LSTA grant.

~Berlin Public Library staff

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Library Services Team

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Virtual Lake Superior Libraries Symposium 2021: Mapping Our Identity

Monday, February 8, 2021

Guest post by Leslie Mehle, Superior Public Library

The organizers of the Lake Superior Libraries Symposium (LSLS) invite breakout session proposals for its ninth conference, which will be held virtually on June 11, 2021. There will be no registration cost for this year’s conference.

This year’s theme, Mapping Our Identity, invites attendees to explore the varied identities of libraries and library workers and how those identities shift in response to external events, personal development, changes in communities, and more. At LSLS21, attendees will ask, and hopefully start to answer, the questions of “Who are we?,” “Who do we want to become?,” and “How are we getting there?”

Possibilities for presentation topics include:

Redefining Boundaries
How have we, as individuals or organizations, broken barriers to create a new sense of who we are? How do we balance our work with our personal lives, especially as many of us now work from home? What do we do - and just as importantly, what don’t we do - to reinvigorate and advance our missions?

Expanding Our Reach
What partnerships have we been involved in, and how have they changed how we position ourselves? How have we reached out in response to recent national and global crises? What types of programming, marketing campaigns, tools, or services have we implemented to reach farther than we used to?

Defining Ourselves
How do our personal identities intertwine with the identity of being a library worker? What happens when we shift jobs or professions partway through our careers? How does learning about our past influence who we are and who we’re becoming?

Protecting Our Identity
How do we ensure the security of the data we collect, the information and resources we steward, and the systems we use? How do we help our patrons protect their identities? How do we show that we value and advocate for the diverse identities of our communities, despite continued marginalization of and violence against some groups?

Perceiving Libraries
How are libraries perceived, by library workers and by our communities? What do we find helpful about how library workers are perceived, and what might we like to change? How do we capitalize on the positive perceptions or address what’s misunderstood?

Successful breakout session presentations will be applicable to many types of libraries and showcase effective and innovative practices. 60-minute breakout sessions should include 10-15 minutes of question and answer. Panel presentations, particularly those representing a diversity of library types, sizes, and/or locations, are strongly encouraged. LSLS 2021 will be held virtually. The steering committee will provide more information about the virtual format to breakout session presenters upon notice of their presentation's acceptance.

Breakout session presenters should submit proposals at z.umn.edu/proposals. All proposals should be submitted by March 14th. Presenters will be notified of acceptance in April.

LSLS allows library staff to share their expertise, learn from their colleagues, and network to develop a stronger community of information professionals. Staff from all types of libraries are encouraged to attend. The event is organized and supported by library staff and educators from Minnesota and Wisconsin; for a full list of our supporters, see http://lakesuperiorlibrariessymposium.com/about/supporters/.

For questions about proposals and submissions, please contact Lisa Wheeler at ljwheele@d.umn.edu. A complete listing of speakers and agenda will be released in April.

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Professional Learning - An Update on PLSR Recommendation 7

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

On the heels of the recent Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) Implementation Update, this post offers an update on PLSR Recommendation 7 - Professional Learning. View a short video version of this update here (6:36).

The DPI team managing this recommendation area includes Cindy Fesemyer, Ben Miller, Gail Murray, Elizabeth Neuman, Shannon Schultz, Monica Treptow, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt (team lead), and Bruce Smith (PLSR coordinator). We are also partnering with the IT team at DPI to create a roadmap for the technical solutions.

A User Advisory Group for PLSR 7 launched in November 2020. This group is comprised of library and system staff from around the state with a range of perspectives and experiences. The group will provide formal feedback through beta testing and other tasks. User Advisory Group members include: Erica Brewster, John Mark Bolthouse, David Kranz, Leah Langby, Vince Mussehl, Brooke Newberry, Ivana Renteria, Viridiana Rocha, Joy Schwarz, Lisa Strohschoen, and Alicia Woodland. 

Recommendation 7 includes technical solutions, such a learning management system, as well as the collaborative solutions, such as how we create and connect around continuing education, or more accurately, professional learning. We use the term professional learning to acknowledge that we are all learning, whether at the start of a career or specific to a certain position.

Rather than emphasize one tool, a learning management system, and a particular outcome, library director certification, this recommendation emphasizes a suite of resources for a range of library and system staff. In the coming year, efforts will be made to develop:

  1. A shared professional learning calendar
  2. An online library directory, and
  3. An online platform for public library director certification.

Priorities for the PLSR 7 implementation process have been, and will continue to be, influenced by voices from the library community. Formal feedback sessions, as well as big picture observations from library life during the pandemic, emphasize equitable access to professional learning as a top priority.

Please direct all questions and comments to dpi.plsr@dpi.wi.gov

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Update WISCAT & BadgerLink URLs by December 1!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Do you link to your library’s WISCAT instance or any BadgerLink resources on your library website?

As of September 30th, 2019, all WISCAT & BadgerLink resource URLs changed. Our vendor is currently providing a redirect but that will no longer be in effect as of December 1, 2020.

WISCAT

For reference, the updated URL structure for linking directly to your library’s WISCAT instance is https://www.wiscat.net/home?cid=stwi&lid=XXXX where XXXX = your library’s WISCAT code. If your WISCAT link ends with reset=force, it is outdated and will not work after December 1.

BadgerLink
The updated URL structure for linking to BadgerLink’s authenticated URLs (e.g. Academic Search Premier) is formatted as: https://www.wiscat.net/ext/validateglobal.php?cid=stwi&lid=stwi&dataid=71. As of December 1, 2020, there will no longer be a redirect when using this outdated authenticated URL structure for BadgerLink Resources: https://www.wiscat.net/homepages/CustomerWide/ValidateGlobalIP.asp?cuid=stwi&lid=stwi&dataid=71&term=

Take a look at your WISCAT & BadgerLink URLs and contact us at dpirllill@dpi.wi.gov or badgerlink@dpi.wi.gov with any questions!

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