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#eBooksForAll calls attention to positive and negative ebook lending models

Monday, September 23, 2019

We information professionals can’t possibly stay on top of everything that affects our libraries, so here’s a quick synopsis of the current situation with ebook lending via libraries. Perhaps you’ve been hearing about Macmillan Publisher’s newly proposed lending model? In a recent American Libraries article we learn, “Starting November 1, Macmillan will limit libraries to purchasing one copy of each new ebook and impose an eight-week embargo on buying additional copies.”

In a recent Library Journal article, Macmillan’s CEO John Sargent calls the new model a “response to our growing fears that library lending was cannibalizing sales.” He details a loss of revenue as a motivating factor saying, “the average revenue we get from those library reads (after the wholesaler share) is well under two dollars and dropping, a small fraction of the revenue we share with [authors] on a retail read.”

For big ebooks purchasers like the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC), which coordinates the Overdrive buying pool for our state, this new lending model could have a huge impact. According to a January 9, 2019 blog post on the Rakuten OverDrive site, 65 libraries reached one million digital checkouts in 2018. With the buying power of a whole state behind us, WPLC is up at the top of the list. In 2018 both WPLC and the Toronto Public Library topped five million digital checkouts.

At the national level, the American Library Association (ALA) is following the issue closely. In a July 25, 2019 ALA press release, ALA President Wanda Brown says:

Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library ebook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all. Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for patrons most dependent on libraries. When a library serving many thousands has only a single copy of a new title in ebook format, it’s the library – not the publisher – that feels the heat. It’s the local library that’s perceived as being unresponsive to community needs. Macmillan’s new policy is unacceptable.

In response to the Macmillan embargo, ALA recently launched a national campaign and hashtag: #eBooksForAll.

Though the hashtag was launched in response to a negative action by a Big 5 publishing company, there’s also good news for book lovers: Libraries Transform Book Pick. It’s a digital book club offering unlimited checkouts of “After the Flood” by Kassandra Montag. The title will be available October 7-21, 2019. As an Overdrive customer, WPLC can lend the book to everyone who wants to read it in that 2-week period, with no waitlists or holds.

For more information about the Libraries Transform Book Pick, please visit You can also follow the Libraries Transform Book Pick on ALA’s Facebook and Twitter and join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #LTBookPick. The Libraries Transform Book Pick is a collaboration between Booklist, the book review magazine of the American Library Association; Libraries Transform, the American Library Association’s public awareness initiative; and OverDrive, ALA Library Champion and lead sponsor of Libraries Transform.



Tips on Serving Patron Tech Needs--Free Webinar

Monday, September 9, 2019

Free Webinar: Tools for Building Digital Skills with Your Patrons and Staff

Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 1-2 p.m. Central

There’s a free webinar coming up from the Public Library Association that addresses something I heard about a lot when I was a library director: how best to serve patron tech needs. In a technological world that is ever changing and evolving, public libraries are providing programs and services that help patrons get jobs, gain knowledge, increase productivity, and engage with others online. And we need to keep up so we can assist out patrons to the best of our ability. In this free webinar, a panel of digital literacy experts will share tools, resources, and partnership strategies to help you enhance digital skill development among patrons and library staff.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to integrate digital tools and resources into the library’s new or existing digital literacy training efforts to reduce burdens on staff, capture learner data, and promote local resources;
  • Spread information among library staff about tools they can use and also recommend to patrons seeking technology or computer help; and
  • Recognize potential partnerships that can support and sustain new technology and its impact on the community’s access and digital readiness.


Registration Details

This webinar is free, but registration is required. You can register for this webinar until it begins, or until space is no longer available. If you are unable to attend the live webinar, an archived recording will be available on PLA On-Demand Webinars.

Information link:

Registration link:



BadgerLink session at WLA Conference

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

As you plan your Wisconsin Library Association Conference this year, consider attending our session, eResource Usage: Nationwide and Local Trends, on Wednesday, October 9 at 11AM. Join us to discuss electronic resource use at public libraries nationwide, particularly libraries with statewide resource collections similar to BadgerLink.

We would love to highlight Wisconsin public libraries that are using BadgerLink in library programming, staff development, and/or at the reference desk. If you are a public librarian, please reach out and let us know how you use BadgerLink. Hope to see you at the conference!


Update: WISCAT and BadgerLink Upgrade/Outage POSTPONED again to September 27-30

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The WISCAT and BadgerLink platform vendor, Auto-Graphics, has again postponed migration to Version 6 due to issues with recent migrations for customers in other states. The system is now scheduled to go down on Friday, September 27th at 7pm and come back online, live with Version 6, on Monday, September 30th at 7am. We regret that these continued postponements have caused inconveniences in libraries of all types statewide, but our hope is that these delays result in a better migration experience for WISCAT libraries and BadgerLink users.

For WISCAT users:

Library staff who work with the WISCAT platform should join the WISCAT/ILL listserv to be kept up to date with WISCAT changes and training by sending a blank email to, or contact WISCAT staff.

For BadgerLink users:

Stay up to date on BadgerLink by subscribing to the Badger Bulletin. You can also contact BadgerLink staff directly. 


Update: WISCAT and BadgerLink Upgrade/Outage POSTPONED to September 6-9

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Due to issues that became apparent in a recent migration of another of their customers,  the WISCAT and BadgerLink platform vendor, Auto-Graphics, has postponed the migration to Version 6. The system is now scheduled to go down on Friday, September 6th at 7pm and come back online, live with Version 6, on Monday, September 9th at 7am. We understand that this delay may cause significant inconveniences, especially for academic and school libraries. While we regret having to postpone the migration now for a second time, our hope is that this delay ultimately results in a better migration experience for WISCAT libraries and BadgerLink users.

For WISCAT users:

Library staff who work with the WISCAT platform should join the WISCAT/ILL listserv to be kept up to date with WISCAT changes and training by sending a blank email to, or contact WISCAT staff.

For BadgerLink users:

Stay up to date on BadgerLink by subscribing to the Badger Bulletin. The latest Badger Bulletin post goes into detail about the BadgerLink changes. You can also contact BadgerLink staff directly. 


LinkedIn Learning and Wisconsin Public Libraries

Thursday, July 25, 2019


On June 28, 2019, LinkedIn released a blog post that informed public libraries of substantial changes to its terms of service that would require patrons to create a LinkedIn profile to access LinkedIn Learning. Creation of such a profile would include provision of a library card number, full name, and an email address. The profile would be set to public by default, which would allow the individual to be searched on Google and LinkedIn.

Other states with accounts (rebranded as LinkedIn Learning) have determined that LinkedIn’s registration process not only still reveals too much of who uses library licensed resources, but also that the terms of use for those accounts provides LinkedIn and Microsoft to collect use patterns and share information with third party partners and advertisers. California State Librarian Greg Lucas recommended that libraries in his state “no longer use or provide LinkedIn Learning...”

Earlier this week the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom issued a response, urging LinkedIn Learning to reconsider the changes. In the statement, the ALA reinforces that the “Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations maintain that all library users have the right to access library resources without disclosing their personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties, and to be free from unreasonable intrusion into, or surveillance of, their lawful library use.” ALA President Wanda Kay Brown added that such disclosure may violate of some states’ library confidentiality laws.

The Division for Libraries & Technology agrees that the changes to LinkedIn Learning terms of service contradict the user confidentiality requirements detailed in Wis. Stat. sec. 43.30, as it violates the library’s obligation to keep an individual’s use of library resources private. It may also supersede the library’s authority to authenticate patrons.

The SHARE Consortium, comprised of the Arrowhead, Lakeshores, and Kenosha County Federated Library Systems, has already voted to terminate their relationship with LinkedIn Learning based on the upcoming changes in terms of service; the effective date of termination is unknown at this time.


Submitted by Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development


Interlibrary Loan Reminders: Registration Open for ILL Conference, Upcoming Migration to WISCAT Version 6

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

In case you needed a reminder to register for the upcoming Interlibrary Loan Conference on August 21st in Marshfield, here it is! Organized by DPI's Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning team, this free one-day conference will provide resource sharing staff with insight into best practices, inspiration, and opportunities for networking. This conference will not be platform-specific or Wisconsin-specific -- we welcome those in- and out-of-state, using WISCAT, OCLC, other platforms, or those simply wanting to learn more about ILL! Find the full details here. Registration will be open until August 1st.

In other interlibrary loan news, WISCAT Version 6 will go live on August 12th, 2019. Details on the migration can be found here and will also be covered in the next WISCAT User Group Meeting webinar on August 8th at 1pm. Webinar login details will be provided in the coming weeks on the WISCAT/ILL Listserv. Documentation is being prepared to share out in the coming weeks to WISCAT users detailing the changes and updates.

Please contact the WISCAT team with any questions.


Pumped for Primary Sources!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Last week, I had the amazing experience of participating in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Workshop for School Librarians in Washington, D.C. This professional learning opportunity will drive my work with Wisconsin library media specialists and other educators throughout the upcoming year, but I could not wait to share some of these great digital resources with you!

Library of Congress: The main page can be overwhelming, but it is worth a visit to get an overview of the wealth of information available online.

Poetry and Literature: Last week Joy Harjo was appointed as the 23rd Poet Laureate. She is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation and the first Native American to serve in this role. This page leads you to resources to find out more about her, as well as other poets and writers.

By the People: Speaking of poets, here is where you and your students can transcribe the works and letters of Walt Whitman or other historical documents, including some from women’s suffrage history, as a volunteer. The Library of Congress is looking to all of us to improve access to history!

U.S. Copyright: Librarians and educators always have copyright questions. Why not go straight to the source? In fact, more than one copyright librarian told me they are more than happy to answer anyone’s questions via email or phone.

Classroom Materials for Teachers: Find primary sources divided out by topic, lesson plans, and other resources that are ready to use with students for an easy path into the world’s largest library.

I hope you will join me during the 2019-20 school year for a deeper dive into these and other digital resources that can provide opportunities for equity, engagement, critical thinking, and inquiry skills to all of our students. Information regarding dates and locations will be posted this fall. Until then, enjoy exploring!


Postponed WISCAT and BadgerLink Outage -- New Date August 9-12

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Due to server issues identified by the WISCAT and BadgerLink platform vendor, Auto-Graphics, the migration to Version 6 has been postponed. The migration has been rescheduled for the weekend of August 9-12. WISCAT and BadgerLink are now slated to go offline at 7pm on Friday, August 9th, and be back online at 7am on Monday morning, August 12th.

The WISCAT platform will see significant changes as part of this upgrade to Version 6. Training and documentation are being developed, and will be shared out during the May 14th WISCAT User Group Meeting. Library staff who work with the WISCAT platform should join the WISCAT/ILL listserv to be kept up to date with WISCAT changes and training by sending a blank email to

All library-specific WISCAT URLs and authenticated BadgerLink resource links will be updated with new URLs as part of this migration. Auto-Graphics will provide a redirect of the previous URLs for up to 6 months.

Any library or school that places direct links to BadgerLink resources on a website, within a proxy, or another SSO application such as OpenAthens, will need to edit the URLs no later than early February 2020 in order to continue providing users access outside of the BadgerLink website. The new BadgerLink resource URLs are listed in the BadgerLink Resource URLs spreadsheet.

For reference the current BadgerLink authenticated URL structure is as follows:

The new BadgerLink URL structure will be formatted as:

The current WISCAT library-specific URL structure is as follows, where XXXX = your library’s WISCAT code:

The new WISCAT library-specific URLs will be formatted as:

This upgrade will not affect functionality of any BadgerLink resources, however the WISCAT platform, which is also used for Super Search, will see new features and more modern styling. Additional details on these upgrades will be posted in the coming weeks.

To stay up to date with BadgerLink changes subscribe to the Badger Bulletin, and for additional help, contact BadgerLink or WISCAT staff.

Written by Elizabeth Neuman, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning


WISCAT and BadgerLink Outage May 31 - June 3 for Migration to Version 6

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The BadgerLink and WISCAT outage originally scheduled for May 31-June 3 has been postponed till August 9-12. Please see the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone post, Postponed WISCAT and BadgerLink Outage -- New Date August 9-12 for details.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that this shift will cause. Please reach out if you have any questions!

Written by Elizabeth Neuman, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning