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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



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