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Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, a virtual workshop for staff and patrons

Friday, October 16, 2020

WI DPI is partnering with Grow with Google and the American Library Association to help our communities learn digital skills, with a virtual workshop on Tuesday, November 10, 9:00 – 10:00 AM.

A Grow with Google trainer will teach your patrons and library staff to discover new job opportunities using Google Search, and learn how to organize and enhance the job search experience using Google Workspace tools.

In this session we’ll discuss best practices for:

  • Discovering career opportunities using Job Search on Google
  • Using Google Sheets to track the progress of job applications
  • Creating a resume using Google Docs


Again, this workshop is for patrons and staff alike. Please share this learning opportunity in your community and in your library using these ready-to-go marketing items, including a flyer and social media images and messaging.

About Grow with Google:

Grow with Google helps ensure that the opportunities created by technology are available to everyone. Since launching in 2017, we’ve trained more than three million Americans on digital skills. And through a network of more than 5,000 partner organizations–including local libraries, schools, and nonprofits–more people across the country can reach their full potential. To learn more about Grow with Google partners and the available tools and resources, visit



Register Now for Tech Days 2020

Monday, August 17, 2020

Guest post by Joy Schwarz, Continuing Education and Training Librarian for Winnefox Library System and the NEWI: Northeastern Wisconsin CE Partnership

Learn from experts without having to travel — we've transformed our annual event from workshops to webinars!

Registration is now open for Tech Days 2020, a series of four webinars over two days, September 23 – 24. The schedule of sessions is as follows:

  • Wednesday, Sep. 23, 10:00 - 11:30am – Technology Training for Non-Techies. Helping patrons navigate their technology needs can be daunting when you’re not super confident in your own “techie” skills! Now that we’ve moved to a new world where virtual work and remote services have become central, many library workers must (to one degree or another) provide some level of tech support and training to their patrons while learning new skills themselves. How can we make sure we’re ready to support patron needs when we’re not so confident ourselves? During this session, we will explore some ways we can answer this at both an organizational and individual level, and share some tips for making sure that even the least tech-savvy among us can find our comfort zone. Presenter: Emily Clasper. Technology-related continuing education contact hours: 1.5
  • Wednesday, Sep. 23, 1:00 - 2:30pm – Mind the Gap: How to Navigate Your Way Across the Digital Divide (And Why That Isn't As Easy As It Sounds). The headline version is simple – the “born digital” generation can handle any technology changes that come their way and the older generations cannot – but is that true, especially in light of the pandemic and an increased reliance on technology to work and live? How do librarians keep themselves up-to-date on new tech developments and ensure that patrons who need help with tech are able to find it? In this session, we'll explore the concept of the digital divide, examine just where this divide exists, and how we as librarians can help bridge the gap to keep all our patrons, digitally competent or otherwise, happy. After this session, participants will be able to discuss the concept of a digital divide in terms of age, race, gender and class; create physical and remote library space that is welcoming to people of all levels of technological competence; and locate tools and resources to assist patrons who may want help using new technology. Presenter: Kris Turner. Technology-related continuing education contact hours: 1.5
  • Thursday, Sep. 24, 10:00 - 11:30am – Productivity and Technology. It may be hard to remember sometimes, but technology is here to make your life easier. There are great tools out there to help you be more productive and efficient, both on the job and at home. Join us as we do a rapid-fire review of a series of great low-cost and free tools that prove that technology is still your friend. Presenter: Kris Turner. Technology-related continuing education contact hours: 1.5
  • Thursday, Sep. 24, 1:00 - 2:30pm – Change is a Constant: Technology, Service, and Constant Change. The one sure thing about technology is that it changes constantly, often leading library workers experiencing anxiety, frustration, and “tech burnout” as we struggle to stay abreast of the latest updates impacting our colleagues and patrons. Now, the uncertainty and changes brought by the Coronavirus pandemic have caused these issues to multiply. This session tackles the difficulties library workers often face as we deal with the pressures of system updates, device upgrades, learning new technologies, and dealing with information overload. We will discuss strategies for keeping up, staying confident, and guiding others through the ups and downs of constant change and new technology challenges. Presenter: Emily Clasper. Technology-related continuing education contact hours: 1.5

You must register for each webinar individually at More information is available at that link, and you can also access resources from the 2015-19 workshops.

All webinar sessions will be recorded and available at the Resources page.

There is no charge to attend Tech Days webinars, thanks to sponsorship by all 16 library systems and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Public Library Development Team, with funding support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Questions? Contact Joy Schwarz at

Posted by Cindy Fesemyer


Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access: high-speed broadband is a necessity

Thursday, July 16, 2020

On July 14, Governor Evers announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access, responding to the need for everyone in Wisconsin to have access to fast, reliable, affordable internet service. Evers said, “The COVID-19 pandemic underscored that access to high-speed broadband is a necessity, not a luxury, and folks across our state have had to adapt – from kids and educators shifting to virtual classrooms, workers having to work from home, and even folks using telemedicine to visit with their doctor.”

There are 24 task force members, including Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; representatives of telecommunications providers; state senators and representatives; economic and community development officials; health care leaders; IT directors; and education advocates.

The Task Force is directed to:

  • Research and recommend forward-looking broadband policies and initiatives
  • Promote expansion of broadband facilities and adoption across the state
  • Report to the Governor and Legislature, annually by June 30, on:
    • Recommendations for deployment of broadband in Wisconsin
    • Digital inclusion and strategies for addressing gaps and inequities
    • Opportunities for coordination among state, local, and federal agencies
    • Needs, barriers, and goals regarding broadband access, affordability, and adoption
    • Innovative approaches and partnerships to expand broadband adoption
    • The role of broadband in:
      • education
      • healthcare
      • agriculture
      • manufacturing
      • industry
      • Tribal Nations
      • energy
      • libraries
      • public safety
      • tourism
    • The extent to which stakeholders have accessed federal Universal Service Funds
    • Advances in broadband technology
    • The adequacy and appropriateness of existing statutory broadband goals
    • Top priority broadband issues, presented in technical or white papers


More Virtual Training on BadgerLink Resources

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Join us for even more virtual training on BadgerLink resources! Sign up to receive meeting details for any or all of the sessions below:


TeachingBooks on Wednesday, May 27, 11am

TeachingBooks on Wednesday, May 27, 2pm (same session content as 11am)

Explore videos filmed in authors’ studios, lessons, book trailers, and vocabulary lists. Discover resources that will expand the experience readers have with books. Deepen connections to books while discovering online materials to engage readers, support families, and empower colleagues.

Book Connections on Friday, May 29, 11am

Book Connections on Friday, May 29, 2pm (same session content as 11am)

Book Connections is a recently launched public library interface of TeachingBooks specifically designed to meet the needs of public libraries and their communities. It focuses on enriching everyone's connections to children's and young adult books.


Recordings of each session will be made available after the session. If you would like to receive notification of the recording, please feel out the sign up form, even if you are unable to attend the live session.


Digitization Kits Help Libraries Broaden Access to Unique Local Collections

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Guest post by Vicki Tobias, WiLS/Recollection Wisconsin

Public libraries across Wisconsin collect and preserve some truly magnificent materials that document their community’s history. Unlike books and other library resources, these collections typically cannot be checked out, limiting access only to on-site, in-person patrons. Digitizing and sharing resources online significantly improve public use of these one-of-a-kind collections. For libraries that lack time or resources to set up their own digitization work environment, circulating scanning kits from the South Central Library System (SCLS) are a proverbial game-changer, making it easier and faster to do this valuable work.

Funded as part of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s WISELearn program, 20 scanning kits were distributed to Wisconsin library systems for use among their member libraries. The kits include a flatbed scanner, a laptop and other key equipment necessary to digitize photographic prints, slides and historic documents.

With training and assistance from SCLS and Recollection Wisconsin, several libraries have already completed local history digitization projects using the kits. Two recent projects that showcase educational institutions in Wisconsin were completed by Milton Public Library and Pauline Haass Public Library (Sussex). Milton Public Library collaborated with the Milton College Preservation Society to digitize historic photographs of the library and Milton College, which closed in 1982. The Pauline Haass Public Library Historic Digital Collection currently features yearbooks with plans this year to add newsletters and memorabilia from local schools.

Milton College classroom
Image ID: MPL_MiltonCollege_034
Title/Caption: Milton College classroom.
Source: Milton Public Library

A survey of recent scanning kit users revealed overwhelming support for the kits, as they offer library staff learning opportunities while building digital collections. Survey respondents unanimously indicated an increase in confidence and skills to complete future digitization projects using the kits and, likewise, acknowledged the time and resource savings benefit for their organizations.

“The kits provided all the resources necessary to successfully achieve our digitization project.” Ashlee Kunkel, Milton Public Library Director

Collections digitized using these scanning kits are publicly available online through Recollection Wisconsin and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

Visit Recollection Wisconsin for detailed information about the kits including digitization workflows, templates and other resources. Libraries interested in reserving a scanning kit may contact their library system for more information.


Virtual Training on BadgerLink Resources

Friday, May 8, 2020

Join us for virtual training on BadgerLink resources! Sign up to receive meeting details for any or all of the sessions below:

Recordings of each session will be made available after the session. If you would like to receive notification of the recording, please feel out the sign up form, even if you are unable to attend the live session.

Written by Jen Champoux, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning


Webinar Repeat--Unemployment Insurance Basics: Assisting Library Patrons

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Webinar: Unemployment Insurance Basics: Assisting Library Patrons

Monday, May 18, 10:00-11:00 AM

Login here, no registration necessary. Sorry there is no option to call in via phone.

The way Wisconsinites sign up for and apply for unemployment is changing rapidly, sometimes multiple times a day. As such, the DPI Public Library Team is repeating the Unemployment Insurance webinar originally given on April 27, 2020. Ann Astin will include up-to-the-moment tips. This webinar does not have a seat capacity so everyone will be able to access it. It will be recoded and captioned, as well.


Wisconsinites are registering for Unemployment Benefits at a record rate in response to COVID-19. The Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) project can help you prepare to offer well-informed guidance.

This webinar from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) trains public library staff on how to register on Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance Benefit Services Site, and how to complete an application.

Webinar participants will gain confidence in:

1) Navigating

2) Answering General Unemployment Insurance Questions

3) Demonstrating Best Practices for Library Staff

Participants are encouraged to watch these two short explainer videos before attending the webinar:



The webinar will be led by Ann Astin. Ann has been with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) for more than 10 years and currently works in the Division of Employment and Training (DET)/Job Service Bureau. For the last 5 years she has led the DET side of the Re-employment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program as the RESEA/Unemployment Insurance (UI) Specialist. Before that, she worked with the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for both Job Service and UI.

The LAWDS project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

We hope you can join one of the webinars or access the recording at your convenience.

If you have questions please contact


Investment in Online Reading Platform and Mobile App for Wisconsin Libraries

Thursday, April 23, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division for Libraries and Technology is supporting libraries and library users by launching a new statewide online reading challenge platform and mobile app to support summer library programming in 2020 and beyond. The Division will award a discretionary grant for nearly $327,000 to the Wisconsin Valley Library Service to contract with Beanstack on behalf of Wisconsin public libraries. Over the course of three years, this statewide procurement will save over $761,000 when compared to local libraries procuring this service individually. The contract will run through 2023.

Beanstack specializes in summer reading, winter reading, 100 Books Before College, and other reading challenges for all ages, customized for individual libraries. The online platform and mobile app make it easy for patrons to register, track reading, and earn incentives while libraries gain data-driven insights. The statewide Beanstack contract will allow Wisconsin public libraries to enhance virtual connections with patrons. This project aligns with Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) goals related to equity, shared services, and collaboration. Rollout of the Beanstack platform to Wisconsin public libraries will begin immediately, with the launch date of June 15 for the public.

The Division for Libraries and Technology surveyed each library, and determined that this is a necessary step to support the Wisconsin library community and library users across the state during the pandemic and beyond. The Wisconsin Valley Library Service provided integral support to guarantee that this investment would immediately support the programming efforts of Wisconsin library staff. Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Consultant for the Division for Libraries and Technology said in her role as coordinator of the statewide summer library program, "I am thrilled that libraries will have such a high quality tool for making virtual connections with library users focused on the joy of reading."

The investment in Beanstack was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, LS-00-19-0050-19.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Division for Libraries and Technology



Safer at Home Order in Effect on March 25, 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

At 10:30 a.m. on March 24, 2020, the State of Wisconsin issued a press release regarding Emergency Order #12, the “Safer at Home Order,” that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order. The order goes into effect at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. The following sections of the Order pertain to public libraries:

Order 4: Closures. The Safer at Home Order expressly orders the closure of all public libraries “for all in-person services, but may continue to provide on-line services and programming.” Compliance with this order would include the cessation of curbside and drive-thru services and any other distanced in-person services currently offered by libraries.

Order 12: Essential Government Functions. This order instructs government bodies such as a library board to continue to follow the guidance provided by the Office of Open Government (OOG) regarding holding meetings, as necessary. At a minimum, library boards should continue to convene monthly to audit and approve the payment of all expenditures of the public library, pursuant to Wis. Stat. sec. 43.58(2)(a). The OOG advisory on open meetings is available at For help with additional questions about open meetings requirements, please contact the Open Meetings Help Line at (608) 267-2220.

Other functions exempted under this order could include food distribution and other activities deemed essential by the municipality, such as when the library acts as the municipal polling place. In-person library service to the public is not defined as an essential government function under this order.

Order 14: Minimum Basic Operations. This order allows the minimum necessary activities to preserve the library facility and equipment, address information technology (IT) issues, ensure physical and cybersecurity, process payroll and fulfill business services obligations, as well as activities that facilitate the ability of staff to work remotely from home.

DLT acknowledges that public libraries are a matter of local control. We encourage you to contact your municipal attorney, county corporate counsel, or independently contracted attorney for advice when interpreting legal issues.

Submitted by the Libraries Team
Division for Libraries & Technology


Library Closures & Service Priorities in Response to COVID-19

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

At 1:47 p.m. on March 17, 2020, the State of Wisconsin issued a press release regarding the Emergency Order #5 issued by Governor Tony Evers that prohibits mass gatherings of 10 people or more. The Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) has determined that libraries fall within this Emergency Order.

A public library may remain open under this order only if it meets all of the following requirements:

The only exemption is when a public library operates as a polling place. This means that the only time during the ban on mass gatherings that the library can have more than 9 people in its space is on election day, and only if the library itself is the polling place.

We understand that this is a difficult time for library administration and municipalities alike, as many decisions must be made regarding library operations. There may be numerous reasons why a library may consider remaining open even under the terms mandated by this emergency order; however, this local decision must consider the welfare of library staff and the public. While DPI does not have the authority to direct public libraries to close, we support a library's decision to close physical library buildings to the public and to shift staff focus to other projects or service priorities for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. We acknowledge that COVID-19 is a public health crisis and libraries should do their part to reduce the potential for spread, as this crisis affects more than just the physical health of those who are ill, it affects the social, educational, emotional, and economic health of everyone. We encourage libraries to help mitigate these issues where possible.

Under these unique circumstances, some services libraries may provide from a distance include:

  • Online and telephone reference services and assistance
  • Online programming, particularly in support of students and families impacted by school closures
  • Increased access to electronic materials (additional titles and extended borrowing)
  • Outreach and community engagement via social media
  • Enhanced web presence
  • Waiving overdue fees on all materials and extending due dates
  • Keeping WIFI on and expanding access whenever possible
  • Extending library card expiration dates to prevent any stoppages in service
  • Other virtual services as identified by the community

This is also an excellent time for library staff to engage in virtual professional development activities. A blog post dedicated to this topic will follow later this week.

For additional information, please see the DLT’s Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness website.

For the latest updates on the pandemic, see the CDC and WI DHS websites.

We are overwhelmed by the collaboration and creativity we are witnessing across the state library community. Not surprisingly, you are once again showing how essential your services are within your communities.

Thank you.

Submitted by the Library Team, Division for Libraries & Technology