Digital Library Upgrade


Throughout October the Wisconsin's Digital Library powerd by OverDrive will be preparing library staff for an upgrade scheduled to be released to the public November 7th. Improvements include new features and a faster and easier digital library experience for browsing, borrowing, and renewing. 


Registration for one of the several training webinars scheduled over the next several weeks for library staff is available at Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC). All training webinars will be recorded and shared to the WPLC website and blog, OverDrive support community, and announcement mailing list.


• The webinar for General OverDrive training: Oct. 11 (2 pm), Oct. 13 (10 am), Oct. 18 (10 am), and Oct. 20 (2 pm).
• The webinar for Wisconsin’s Digital Library training: Oct. 21 (10am), Nov. 3 (1pm).


Support documentation will be updated on the WPLC website on October 24th. OverDrive’s Help articles on the new site will be updated to support the upgrade. The new site goes live and the old site is retired on November 7.

2016 General Election: Know Before You Go 

Navigating the general election process in Wisconsin has become convoluted by new voting and registration rules and the legal challenges that are rapidly shifting the landscape for voters and election officials. A 2011 voter ID law initially blocked by the courts went into effect for the presidential primary and the fall election, but more than a dozen other election changes were struck down, including limits on early voting hours and locations. Voter information and identification requirements may change prior to an election. For updated voter information visit the Wisconsin Elections and Ethics and Commission or visit the My Vote Wisconsin.


Early voting has begun for individuals who opt to cast an absentee ballot in-person or by mail. Municipalities are free to set their own early voting schedule; some provide multiple locations, smaller towns may require a personal appointment (request by Nov 4) with the municipal clerk. Register before requesting a mail ballot application and return the application with an attached copy of your valid ID by October 19. Visit My Vote Wisconsin to contact your Municipal Clerk for options available to you for absentee and early voting.

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS: Provide proof of residence

• Phone (608) 266-8005 or check online if you are currently registered or to update your name or address. Download a registration form or call (866) 868-3947
• A driver’s license or state ID with a current address
• Provide the last four digits of your social security number and another qualifying proof of residence document if you don’t have an updated driver’s license or state ID

VOTING REQUIREMENTS: Provide valid proof of identity


Valid ID even if expired
• An ID issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin may be used even if expired before the most recent general election.


Valid IDs that didn’t expire before Nov. 4, 2014 

  • A U.S. passport
  • A Wisconsin Department of Transportation-issued ID or driver license
    • valid if issued under the religious exemption without a photo 
    • valid if if address isn't current or driving privileges are revoked or suspended
  • A Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
  • A photo ID issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college that includes:
    • date of issuance
    • signature of student
    • expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance.
    • a separate document that proves enrollment (may be used even if expired before the most recent general election)


Valid IDs that are not expired:
• A veteran’s photo ID issued by the Veterans Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
• A certificate of naturalization that was issued not earlier than two years before the date of an election at which it is presented
• A driving receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
• An ID card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
• A temporary ID card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT through the Identification Petition Process (IDPP) (valid for 60 days)
• A citation or notice of intent to revoke or suspend a Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license that is dated within 60 days of the date of the election.


Get a free valid ID:
• With a qualifying document to prove your identity, such as a birth certificate or marriage license, the local Division of Motor Vehicles office will provide a free state-issued ID. 
• If you don’t have any of the documents required to get a free state-issued ID, you can enter a petition process and receive a receipt with your photo, which can be used as a valid voter ID while the DMV reviews your application for a state ID card.
• If you do not have a valid voter ID, election workers must offer you a provisional ballot. You’ll have until 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election to bring an acceptable ID to your municipal clerk’s office. Then your provisional ballot will be counted.

On November 8 polls are open 7am to 8pm. Be in line by 8pm and bring a valid ID or a DMV-issued voting credential. In Wisconsin you can take up to 3 hours paid absence to vote (with a days notice.) Vote in the municipality you have lived in for the past 28 days. As long as you’ve been living in Wisconsin for at least 10 days and have a valid ID, you can vote for president and vice president by asking for a "presidential-only" ballot. If you feel you are denied your right to register or vote, report to your election official immediately. If election officials fail to help, contact the Civil Rights Division toll-free at (800) 253-3931, or contact them by mail at:  

Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division Room 7254 - NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530

Discontinued Digital Magazines


We regret to announce that the current digital magazine service available in Wisconsin's Digital Library will end September 30. In July, OverDrive terminated its partnership with Barnes and Noble, which provides NOOK Periodicals for Wisconsin's Digital Library. The WPLC, the managing body for Wisconsin's Digital Library, is exploring other potential digital magazine products to replace this valuable statewide service to library users. We appreciate your patronage of Wisconsin's Digital Library, and we are very sorry for this inconvenience.


LCO Awarded IMLS Grant

The Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Ojibwa College Community Library has been awarded $130,247 for a Native American Library Services Enhancement grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  The award will be used to develop the Avoiding Conflict project, addressing the 1989 Wisconsin Act 31 which mandates that Wisconsin schools teach American Indian studies at least three times during the K-12 career of students. The purpose of the project is to address outdated curriculum and other materials and help school and public librarians have the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to support Act 31 endeavors in Wisconsin schools.


Avoiding Conflict project activities include collaborating with Northern Waters Library Service and the Great Lakes Convening Culture Keepers (GLCCK) as well as sharing tribal expertise and resources through training and professional development; establishment and enhancement of electronic resources; creation of an updated manual; and development of library services that will provide access to information for local and system-wide schools and public libraries.


IMLS, the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums, supports exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promotes the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.


Do You Have a Library Card?


September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time when libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. They are free and offer access to collections of books, movies, audios, magazines, downloadable media, discovery databases, computers, games, and more! Librarians are literacy experts and offer a variety of programs to stimulate an interest in reading and learning. Preschool story hours expose young children to the joy of reading, while homework centers provide computers and assistance to older children after school. Summer reading clubs keep children reading during school vacation and have been shown to be the most important factor in avoiding the decrease in reading skills that educators refer to as "summer learning loss."


Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning. For students, a library card is essential. A library card provides access to computers, the Internet, and a multitude of online research tools and study resources. For those without Internet access at home, a library card may mean the difference between failing and having a successful school year.

If you haven’t been to your local library lately, it’s a great time for a visit. Snoopy, the world-famous beagle has been known as The Flying Ace, The Masked Marvel, Man’s Best Friend, and the Literary Ace. This September he will serve as Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month. Programming resources are available from American Library Association. Promotional ideas include the following:

  • Peanuts story hour, costume party, comic contest, movie night
  • Snoopy dog look-alike contest
  • Library booth at school parents' night (with a Librarian is In sign)
  • Dog parade
  • Promotions with pet adoption, shelter, grooming and vetrinarian services
  • Read to a dog program
  • Free library card replacement 

Everyone can enjoy the resources of the public library! Visit the library’s website or the library online catalog for more information about your local library services.

At the Reference Desk: Voter Update

Voting season is in full swing and while many people know who's on their ballot in November, the upcoming August primary is just as important. The August 9 primary, otherwise known as the 2016 Partisan Primary election, voters will determine the Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, the state Legislature and other important local positions.

View a sample August ballot (click on What's on My Ballot)


A pair of federal court rulings in July made important changes to Wisconsin election law to make it easier for citizens to obtain a photo ID and cast a ballot. At this time, the rulings are expected to be in effect for the November 8 general election:

• On July 19, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled that persons who did not have a valid photo ID could sign an affidavit at their polling place in order to cast a ballot on November 8.

• On July 29, U.S. District Judge James Paterson struck down laws passed since 2010 that limited early voting to weekdays between certain hours at one location per municipality, raised residency requirements from 10 to 28 days and blocked the use of expired student IDs for purposes of proving voters’ identity.


However, the Wisconsin Department of Justice is expected to appeal both rulings and ask for a stay of the decisions.  That action could potentially lead to further changes in election law and procedures followed by municipal clerks and reshape how the November 8 general election is run.

To read more about the most recent court ruling:

Wisconsin State Journal: State and local elected officials brace for voter confusion this fall

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Judge strikes down Wisconsin voter ID, early voting laws


Wednesday, June 29 was the last day of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. On Thursday, June 30, the Wisconsin Elections Commission (voter information) and the Wisconsin Ethics Commission (campaign information) begin operations. The G.A.B. website will remain online as a resource and historical document.

Treat Yourself to Your Library This Summer

As summer approaches, libraries are gearing up with programs and resources that will reinforce learning and provide social opportunities. Library resources not only include programs and collections to stimulate a love of reading and learning, but also databases to help college bound students improve their academic skills, and technology to equip youth with digital skills that will be needed to survive in a 21st century learning environment.

It’s time to indulge! When the hustle and bustle of everyday life is getting the best of you, remember to treat yourself to your local public library. The 2016 summer library theme is fitness, health and wellness!  Enjoy the summer... while it lasts.

Trends in Library Reporting Data

Results of the data reported by NWLS libraries to the state this year show consistent trends that follow what we have seen for a few years. Overall, from 2014 to 2015, circulation saw a slight drop and resource haring has fallen slightly as well. Operating revenues and materials expenditures (directly related to the items added to library collections) increased. Programs offered dipped from the previous year; however attendance at those programs rose slightly. The number of new registered borrowers fell but some purging of outdated records accounts for this drop. Some libraries reported an increase in hours and staffing. The demand for electronic resources has continued rising, especially for electronic books. 2015 also saw a dramatic (34%) increase in search activity for the Ancestry genealogical database subscribed by NWLS.

The information below provides a quick comparison of system-wide data from 2014 to 2015.

  • Registered borrowers fell 6% 
  • Circulation fell 4% 
  • Interlibrary loans fell 3% 
  • Interlibrary borrows fell 3% 
  • Public programs held fell 9% 
  • Public program attendance rose 8%
  • The number of public Internet workstations remained the same
  • Internet use fell 3% (note: several libraries reported no data)
  • Electronic media usage nearly doubled from the previous year
  • New electronic media users fell 19%
  • Total library funding increased 3%
  • Materials expenditures increased 7%
  • Total items added increased 3%

Major WISCAT Upgrade March 29

A WISCAT database software upgrade will be installed the evening of March 29. Significant changes to the look and feel will provide a more user-responsive interface:

• Scalability – use on any device
• Flexibility - fit the needs of all the various ways to navigate, whether it is a mouse, function keys, or touch screen.
• Navigation within the system will be different, the underlying functionality will remain the same making for an easy transition.

 with an overview of the new features will be available Tuesday, March 15 at 1:00pm and/or Wednesday, March 23 at 3:00pm through the GlobalMeet conferencing system. There is no need to register: click on the link at the scheduled time. The meeting will be recorded.

OverDrive App Changes for Nooks


Barnes & Noble has recently announced that, effective March 15th, it will no longer be offering third party applications from the Nook App Store. This will not affect OverDrive users of the NOOK app for periodicals (which is still available through Google Play, iTunes, and the Windows Store), but it will impact OverDrive users in the following ways:

1) The latest OverDrive app update, v3.5.2, in the NOOK Apps Store will be the last update available to users who installed the app using the NOOK Apps Store. Any users who installed the app using the Google Play store will continue to receive app updates when OverDrive releases them.

2) New NOOK users will have to install the OverDrive app from the Google Play store.

3) Older NOOK devices that cannot access the Google Play store (like the NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet) will no longer be able to install or update the OverDrive app. Users can still use Adobe Digital Editions to transfer EPUB eBooks to these devices.