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2023 Year in Review

Thursday, December 21, 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, the DPI’s Library Services Team would like to thank all the public system, local, and school library staff along with our external stakeholders with whom we have collaborated with this year.  

In all our projects, the Library Services Team tries to adhere to its mission statement, “Empowering Wisconsin Libraries to Best Serve Their Communities.” One of the best examples is DPI-run BadgerLink. The state’s online library turned 25 this year and continues to provide hundreds of thousands of licensed resources online to all Wisconsinites for free. Public library staff and school librarians are crucial to its success as you develop research projects to use BadgerLink and answer library user’s questions.

For those in need of government information and enhancing their library’s collection, the Wisconsin Document Depository Program makes access to electronic state government information easy and convenient for libraries! Librarians can review lists of recently archived state documents, which are regularly updated, and choose different options for providing access to library users.

The Library Services Team’s consultants have been busy all year promoting numerous programs statewide many of which are carrying over into 2024 including:

Behind the scenes, the Library Services Team continues to partner with various systems and organizations for several studies and projects funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and aimed at gathering data to enhance decision making for the DPI, our libraries, and their boards. In fact, the Library Services Team has already implemented new processes in response to study findings and our library systems have reported positive local impact.

One such example is the Data Landscape Study. The DPI provided LSTA funding and staff expertise support to Southwest Wisconsin Library System (SWLS), in partnership with WiLS, on a research project on the current realities and future needs of public library staff’s data skills across the state of Wisconsin. The result of this research is the Data Landscape Study final report which provides actionable pathways for the DPI Library Services Team, public library systems and libraries, and other partners to support professional learning and the data use by library staff across the state.

The DPI also partnered with the System and Resource Library Administrators Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) to commission a study, supported by LSTA funding, of compensation for library staff across that state. SRLAAW has created a web page,, with a resource toolkit for libraries to best utilize the results of the 2023 library staff compensation survey that was completed by 308 Wisconsin public libraries.

Over the last two years, several library systems have been collaborating in a cooperative cataloging project. This project seeks to identify opportunities for library collaboration beyond consortium boundaries and create opportunities with vendors. This is an ongoing statewide collaborative project that the Library Services Team is very excited about and will, along with the project partners, be sharing more details about in the future.

Dr. Williams and Greenwood Library Director talking in library
Dr. Williams visiting Greenwood Area Library

One last thank you to the libraries who opened their doors this year to welcome Dr. Darrell Williams, Assistant State Superintendent for Libraries and Technology. With more than 7,000 miles logged and over 50 school and public libraries visited, not to mention visits with hundreds of library staff at various conferences, workshops, and webinars, Dr. Williams was able to talk directly with many of you and to hear your concerns as well as your library’s accomplishments and amazing service to your communities. He looks forward to visiting with more of you in 2024.

From our team to yours, the Library Services Team wishes you the happiest of holidays and best wishes for the new year.

For questions about this information, contact Beth Tomev (608) 266-7410

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