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Statewide Data Landscape Study Final Report Released

Friday, June 2, 2023

The Department of Public Instruction Library Services Team announced today the release of the Statewide Data Landscape Study Final Report. The report coincides with the objectives of the DPI 2023-2027 LSTA Strategic Plan, which includes developing and increasing public library staff’s access to, awareness of, and use of data, resources, and tools for library service and administrative decision-making and planning.

The results of the study provide local library and library system staff a data toolkit that includes the Final Report, Report Presentation Video, Report Presentation Slides, and Report Discussion Questions. These are also available in the Project Highlights section of the Libraries Grants & Funding page on the DPI website. The report provides an actionable pathway to library data use that moves beyond philosophical ideas about libraries and data. The toolkit can be used as a resource to facilitate internal discussions about how libraries and systems already have access to data and how it can be better leveraged to improve operations, plan strategically, and make decisions.

Next Steps

The Library Services Team will use the Final Report data and recommendations to:

  1. Facilitate collaborative efforts through Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and Library Services Team support to provide equitable improvements throughout the state by acting on the report recommendations.
  2. Follow through on recommendations specific to the Library Services Team, including the formation of a Library Data Services Workgroup.
  3. Continually improve our Library Services Team’s work with statewide data including the Public Library Survey and data related to state-provided library services and programs.


The Southwest Wisconsin Library System (SWLS) was awarded LSTA funds in fall of 2022 to complete the statewide Data Landscape Study. SWLS partnered with WiLS (Wisconsin Library Services) to perform the study.

The study’s goals were to:

  1. Provide a foundational assessment of the statewide “data ecosystem” - the intersection of all the people, organizations, and resources in the state involved in library data usage and how they currently function.
  2. Gather information and make data-informed recommendations that account for the different realities and roles of public library staff.
  3. The research took a mixed-methods approach with a statewide reach, pairing quantitative data gathered from a survey with qualitative data gathered through a series of focus groups. A number of key findings were identified during the research phase about the current realities of library data use for staff.

The Library Services Team would like to thank all who participated in this study. Your input was vital to the report research and the development of the recommendations. For questions regarding the Data Landscape Study Final Report, please contact the Library Services Team State Data Coordinator, Melissa Aro, at


For questions about this information, contact Melissa Aro (608) 267-0376

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