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Guest Post: Meet Recollection Wisconsin's New Search!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Guest post written by Emily Pfotenhauer of WiLS

Recollection Wisconsin recently launched a new and improved central search interface for their digital collections. Through this new search, you can find state and local history resources as well as materials from across the country and around the world, all from the collections of dozens of Wisconsin libraries, archives, historical societies and museums.

This new interface was created for Recollection Wisconsin as a benefit of their partnership with the Digital Public Library of America. In fact, Wisconsin is the first DPLA member in the country to launch a “DPLA Local” site. The search portal uses the same code DPLA developed for their own portal, which means Recollection Wisconsin users can benefit from handy features like auto-generated citations and the option to save custom lists.

Screenshot of search results page in DPLA Local interface.

The new search also uncovers resources about Wisconsin from other DPLA contributors around the country. For example, did you know that the New York Public Library has a great collection of stereographs of the Wisconsin Dells, photographed by H. H. Bennett? Or that the National Archives holds thousands of photos of Wisconsin landscapes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture?

The DPLA Local interface replaces the search portal created for Recollection Wisconsin in 2005 by UW-Madison Libraries. Recollection Wisconsin is grateful to UW-Madison for their many years of support to centralize access to Wisconsin’s digital collections and for their continued quarterly metadata harvests to update and refresh the data in the new system.

Screenshot of item record in new interface.

Give the new search a try and let Recollection Wisconsin staff know what you think!

Recollection Wisconsin is a consortium administered by WiLS and managed by seven Governing Partners: WiLS, Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee Public Library and Marquette University. Primary support for Recollection Wisconsin is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which administers Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds distributed by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


Wisconsin Takes Part in National Youth Services Project

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Two women fold paper airplane using algorithm
Workshop participants fold a paper airplane using an algorithm, 
a core concept of Computational Thinking

Last fall, the Public Library Development Team was selected to participate in the first cohort of the three year IMLS funded YALSA Transforming Teen Services Train the Trainer project, T3 for short. The Wisconsin T3 Team participating in this project includes Caitlin Schaffer from Oconomowoc Public Library in the Bridges Library System, Laurie Freund and Angela Meyers from the Bridges Library System, and Tessa Michaelson Schmidt from the Public Library Development Team. The Wisconsin team attended an in-person training in Chicago in October 2018 on the topics of Connected Learning, Ages & Stages, Computational Thinking, and Facilitation Skills. Since October, the team has been working with pilot state peers (AL, ME, MN, RI), YALSA staff, and a personal team coach to develop trainings for Wisconsin library staff.

The main training events in Wisconsin for 2019 are two workshops hosted by SEWI -- Sequences and Stories, Part One: Connected Learning and Sequences and Stories, Part Two: Computational Thinking. The workshops are connected, and participants will be encouraged to attend both parts. Mini-grants for technology and/or professional development will be an option for dual attendees. The first workshop will be held on April 23 and the second on September 23, both at the Franklin Public Library (Registration details). Library staff serving youth in the SEWI region, or anywhere in the state, are invited to attend. Note: While the YALSA grant emphasizes teen services, we will be adapting the content for the range of ages (0-18) served by Wisconsin public library youth services staff.

On the horizon, the Wisconsin T3 Team will be looking for at least one other system or region to host these workshops in 2020. The Wisconsin T3 Team will work with hosts to customize the content and offerings to meet the needs of youth services staff in different areas of the state.

Written by:

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team


Google Communities for Libraries to Sunset April 2

Friday, March 1, 2019

Google has announced that on April 2, 2019, Google+ consumer accounts will be shut down. Google will delete consumer account content and shut down any associated Google+ pages. All members and moderators with a G Suite account will continue to have access. However, members and moderators who have a consumer Google+ account will lose access. Consumer accounts are free Google accounts, while G Suite accounts are typically paid for and managed by an institution.

Google Communities for Libraries will continue to exist for the time being, but because most members of the Wisconsin Public Library Community are not G Suite users, this communication venue will sunset on April 2, 2019.

We are exploring possible alternatives and will continue to share updates on social communication options for libraries on the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone Blog and via email with the Public Library Systems for distribution to member libraries.

Not sure if you have a G Suite account or a consumer account? To find out your account type, go to:

If your page looks like this, you are a member of a G Suite account, and your account and associated content will remain active:

Screenshot of Google Suite Account

However, if your page looks like this, your account is a consumer account and all associated content and pages will be deleted on April 2nd:

Google Consumer Account

Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. DPI will not retain any information posted by community members. If you want to retain your content, we recommend you download and save it before April:

If you have questions, contact the Google+ moderator of your community in question.

Posted by Ben Miller
Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


Highlights of BadgerLink Website

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Many libraries link directly to BadgerLink resources from their website, rather than sharing the BadgerLink website with students and patrons. The BadgerLink team encourages you to do so and thanks you for your support of BadgerLink! We also want to take this opportunity to remind you of a few links and resources available on the BadgerLink website that may have been missed.

Many popular magazines with full text articles are available in BadgerLink at We recently added a few new titles upon upgrading to MasterFILE Complete this past summer. These include AllRecipes, Better Homes & Gardens, Eating Well, Martha Stewart Living, Midwest Living, and Motor Trend, among others.

In addition, EBSCO’s Multimedia Search provides access to EBSCO’s Image Collection, Medical Image Collection, Literary Image Collection, Science Video Collection, Medical Video and Animations, and Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century. These collections Include more than 10,000 videos and almost a million images.

Screenshot of BadgerLink website showing Read More link

Each database available through BadgerLink has a webpage devoted to the resource, with a description of the resource, and many also include training tutorials and info sheets. Simply click Read More under each resource when on the Browse Resources page to view.

The BadgerLink team is presenting a session on providing access to BadgerLink resources through your website and classroom tools at the WEMTA conference on April 2. Come join us to hear more about how you can easily share these resources at your school!

Contact us at with questions or for more information on using BadgerLink.

Written by Jen Champoux, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium is more than just OverDrive

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Guest post from the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium

What do you think of when you think of the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC)? If you said “OverDrive,” you aren’t alone. WPLC and the Wisconsin Digital Library are almost synonymous for many.

But did you know that WPLC does more than just coordinate the OverDrive collection?

WPLC also…

If you’re in a public library that belongs to a public library system, then your library is a member of WPLC. You have a representative on the WPLC Board and Digital Library Steering Committee. If you have any questions about WPLC, please feel free to reach out to them directly or to the project managers at

Want to read more about WPLC? Check out the website, the brochure, or join the WPLC mailing list.


New IMLS Initiative Seeking Grant Applications

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Last week the Institute of Museum and Library Services launched a special initiative, Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries, that will be accepting applications for grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 until February 25, 2019. This opportunity is designed to strengthen how rural public and school libraries support their communities. The following information from the press release illustrates the three categories for applicants:

Transforming School Library Practice: School libraries support learning and the development of critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills. IMLS is interested in furthering how school library professionals can serve as integral instructional partners to classroom teachers. Grant projects could include programs and services that prepare students for success in college, career, and life, or foster early, digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other types of literacies.

Community Memory: Libraries and archives not only serve as stewards of our nation’s knowledge and collections, but also as trusted spaces for community engagement and dialogue. This project category centers on engaging local communities in the collection, documentation, and preservation of their local histories, experiences, and identities. Proposals could include events and programs to digitize materials related to community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, or texts, or oral history projects that involve community members in the documentation and preservation of local histories.

Digital Inclusion: Libraries have an important role in promoting digital inclusion and increasing access to information, ideas, and networks. This category focuses on projects that support the role libraries play in promoting digital literacy, providing internet access, and enabling community engagement through civic data and civic technology. Grant proposals could include programs supporting broadband access and wireless networks to address the homework gap, increase small business development and entrepreneurship, or plan for emergency preparedness.

For more information about this fabulous opportunity, check out the IMLS website and consider attending  one of the webinars on Tuesday, December 18, from 2:00PM to 3:00PM, or Wednesday, January 9, from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.


Announcing the Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide for Wisconsin Public Libraries

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hands globe inclusionThe Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide for Wisconsin Public Libraries was produced by the Public Library Development Team. The beta version was released in Fall 2018, and the final version will be released in Spring 2019.

Participants in the inaugural 2018 Inclusive Services Institute developed a self-assessment tool and guide so that libraries are better able to evaluate the inclusivity of their spaces, programming, services, and administrative operations. This resource was designed to be used by individuals and groups as an ongoing reflection tool. The checklist and supporting resources are meant to help libraries evaluate current services as well as plan for the future.

This initial version, the first of its kind, was designed to have a period of response from the public library professional community. Input on every aspect of the document is welcome through December 31, 2018 via this Google Form:

The checklist is organized by areas of library service identified in the WI Public Library Standards. Each section provides a straightforward checklist that can be answered with Yes, No, In Progress, or Not Applicable. Scoreable responses to each checklist will provide a snapshot of current levels of inclusion. Supporting materials, such as the reflection worksheet (available now) and next-step suggestions (coming later), offer ways for individual libraries to evaluate existing assets and opportunities for growth and change.

The comprehensive nature of the considerations asked within the Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide is overwhelming. All communities are unique and therefore each library will use this guide differently. This tool might be used as an annual reflection, or utilized more often. The tool might be used as a whole, or by prioritizing sections. First and foremost, the Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide is meant to assist the library in better understanding how it considers inclusion as an institution. Each library needs to determine how to connect with the tool and process the reflections it provokes. In addition, each library will determine how to best share its efforts.

The Inclusive Services Institute

The Inclusive Services Institute was a professional development and workgroup opportunity for Wisconsin public library and regional system staff committed to making Wisconsin libraries more inclusive to all community members and potential library users. The Institute offered reflective learning experiences on topics of equity and social justice. Participants worked on small teams to develop statewide resources. The Inclusive Services Statement from the Division of Libraries and Technology provides the foundation for the Institute content and workgroup efforts.

The Inclusive Services Institute is funded by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services administered by the Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.


We thank the 2018 Inclusive Services Cohort for their time, talent, and commitment in developing the Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide.

Institute Participants:

  • Martha Bauer, Brewer Public Library, Southwest Wisconsin Library System
  • Irma Keller, Tomah Public Library, Winding Rivers Library System
  • Jessica MacPhail, Racine Public Library, Lakeshores Library System
  • Glenny Whitcomb, Chilton Public library, Manitowoc-Calumet Library System
  • Kristina Gomez, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
  • Mark Jochem, New Berlin Public Library, Bridges Library System
  • Samantha Johnson, Cadott Community Library, IFLS Library System
  • Susan Younger, Wautoma Public Library, Winnefox Library System
  • Emilie Braunel, Plum Lake Public Library, Northern Waters Library Service
  • Bobbie Kuehn, Brown County Library, Nicolet Federated Library System
  • Laurie Ollhoff, T.B. Scott Free Library, Wisconsin Valley Library Service
  • Holly K. Smith, Monarch Library System
  • René Bue, Hedberg Public Library, Arrowhead Library System
  • Shauna Koszegi, Sun Prairie Public Library, South Central Library System
  • Lisa Rivers, Southwest Library, Kenosha County Library System
  • Elizabeth Timmins, Muehl Public Library, Outagamie Waupaca Library System

2018 Institute Leaders:

  • Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System
  • Leah Langby, IFLS Library System
  • Shannon Schultz, Department of Public Instruction
  • Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Department of Public Instruction

Written by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team


Google Communities for Libraries Update

Friday, October 12, 2018

This week, Google announced it will be making changes to Google+, the platform used to support Google Communities for Libraries. DPI uses Google Communities to communicate with both the library and school communities.

We are following the developments of this announcement very closely and our Instructional Technology Services team is researching the overall impact as well as potential replacements for communication if Google+ ceases to be an option. The initial timeline indicates that Google+ will wind down over the course of 10 months. This will give our team time to best determine our course of action to make sure we are able to continue to communicate with the library community and allow the library community to engage with each other.

We will continue to keep you up to date on this issue as we learn more and start to determine next steps.


Digital eBooks for Students from the Wisconsin Schools Digital Library Consortium

Thursday, September 20, 2018

This year, nearly 100 school districts across the state have expanded their library collection with popular and classic eBooks that students can read anytime, anywhere, made possible by the Wisconsin Schools Digital Library Consortium. This consortium provides nearly 3500 eBooks to over 114,000 students across the state at a cost of only $1.50 per student. The consortium launched in January 2018 to help all districts across the state gain access to digital resources at an affordable price.

“The WSDLC collection opened the door to accessible e-books at our elementary school through easy use, a large selection, and teacher support. As the district library media specialist, I can now offer ebooks for everyone and can accommodate requests with almost instant additions to our collection with our account - this keeps students reading and teachers requesting them,” reports Peg Billing, Library Media Instructional Technology Coordinator of the School District of Tomahawk.

This eBook collection can help students of all ages read more and improve comprehension. Struggling or reluctant readers, learning-challenged, second language learners, and gifted readers can all benefit from this service that can enrich vocabulary, improve comprehension and pronunciation, connect students to books for their personal reading levels, teach critical listening, and help busy kids find time to read.

Three grade-appropriate libraries, for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12, make up the collection. Students can browse the library’s catalog, borrow titles, and start reading on all major computers and devices and all checkouts automatically expire at the end of the lending period - no late fees!

Like Wisconsin’s Digital Library for public library patrons, this collection is provided on the OverDrive platform. “The Richfield middle school students absolutely love using OverDrive,” says Richfield School District’s Patricia Thoma. “The idea of always having a book there for them, or on hold, excites our students. Every day, over 75% of our readers choose to read electronically. Our readership has exploded, and our nonreaders are extinct.”

The Wisconsin Schools Digital Library Consortium is a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, CESA Purchasing, the CESA Statewide Network, and WiLS. To learn more about WSDLC, visit

Article written by Sara Gold, WiLS Community Liaison/Service Specialist


Use WISELearn to Weave Summer Learning into Fall

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Refreshed, renewed, and ready to reboot, the new school year is upon us. Many library media specialists and other educators have spent time this summer creating resources, leading professional development, and discovering tools to improve learning experiences for students. Rather than creating another new folder on a computer that may get buried in a sea of other important work, why not share all those great ideas with other Wisconsin educators and find even more fabulous resources in the process?

WISELearn provides a centralized location for connecting Wisconsin educators and sharing classroom and professional learning resources, and if you have not visited lately, it is time to explore the fabulous new platform introduced last year. The WISELearn Resources Library is a customized microsite of OER Commons. This personalization allows us to make choices about terminology and include our state standards. So, for example, if you want to add or find a resource to help integrate the Wisconsin Information and Technology Literacy Standards in grades 3-5, these are searchable fields. WISELearn also allows you to link resources out to Twitter and Pinterest or include them in your Google Classroom, and you can connect with the creator to provide feedback and make connections.

As a library media specialist, be an ambassador for WISELearn in your district. In addition to using WISELearn for your own instruction and research, coach a team of teachers in your district through forming a Group in WISELearn and using the site to share their resources and lessons. Demonstrate WISELearn to your staff and illustrate its great features using the guide, video, and links available on the Training page. You can also showcase some of the great work recently done by visiting the New London Math Interventions/Enrichment Group, the Lakeland Union OER Grant Group, or the CESA 11 ITL Resource Work Group for examples to inspire your peers in coaching sessions.

Your school library most certainly has a section devoted to professional learning. WISELearn allows you to expand this section into the digital world in a way that is inviting, useful, and social. Let’s build our Wisconsin educational community!