Rural Library Funding Resources Webinar


WebJunction and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries will host Rural Resources and Funding December 10 at 1:00, a webinar showcasing information and funding resources for rural public libraries provided by The Rural Information Center (RIC). The RIC was established by the USDA to promote the vitality of America's rural communities with resources for funding and information, including assistance in economic revitalization, local government planning projects, funding sources, technical assistance programs, research studies and other related issues.

Library Volunteer Programs


Volunteerism is on the rise. A growing number of young people (the "net-generation") highly skilled with technology and the Internet are seeking work experience and opportunities to make a difference in their community. Retiring "baby boomers" are seeking opportunities to use their skills in ways that will be intellectually challenging. Public libraries are positioned to engage these talents to benefit the community.


Like any resource, good management is key to a successful volunteer program, and includes knowing how to attract volunteers, finding the right person, and being realistic about expectations. Having volunteers team up on short term projects and programs makes it easier to adapt to their lifestyles. Outreach teams for special interest programs such as crafts, technology, literacy, and travel are attractive to baby boomers who enjoy the social benefits of volunteering with others and being involved in public events.  You can also appeal to volunteers by emphasizing the opportunity to make a difference in the community: "Technology Tutors Change Lives!" “Teach an Adult to Read – Change a Life!”

Library Volunteer Program Resources: • Resources for managing a volunteer program (WebJunction) • Policies for library volunteers (Wisconsin) • Screening guide (Canada) Screening Handbook

eReading Rooms

An appealing, user-friendly eReading Room has been added to the OverDrive-powered website that displays content only for kids or teens. Once inside the eReading Room, all searches will show only kid or teen content. No adult content will appear in the search results. All titles in the eReading Room are also cataloged by reading level and other reading metrics to help parents and teachers select titles to aid in literacy campaigns. As with all eBooks in your full collection, all titles can be sampled in OverDrive Read prior to borrowing or placing a hold. Parents can feel comfortable knowing their children are browsing and borrowing books that are age, grade, and reading-level appropriate. The Kids and Teens eReading Rooms can be found at:

Library Systems Survey


COLAND To Develop Strategic Vision For Library Systems
With the encouragement of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) has appointed a work group to develop a strategic vision for public library systems in the 21st century and to recommend actions that will move Wisconsin forward to achieve this desired future state. COLAND members serving on the work group are Kathy Pletcher (chair), Trustee, Brown County Library; Jim Trojanowski, Director, Northern Waters Library Service; Bryan McCormick, Director, Hedberg Public Library in Janesville; Laurie Freund, Coordinator of Library Development, Waukesha County Federated Library System; Josh Cowles, IT Specialist, Fond du Lac Public Library; Doug Lay, Trustee, Wisconsin Valley Library Service, and Joan Robb, Coordinator of Collection Management, UW-Green Bay.

Please Take the Survey
As part of the visioning process, the work group is asking the library community for its input by way of an online survey at In order to have the most impact, members of the library community are asked to complete the online form by October 5.
Strategic Vision Forum at the WLA Conference
An additional opportunity for feedback will be offered on Thursday, November 6, at 7:30 a.m. when the COLAND work group will hold a forum on the strategic vision for library systems during the Wisconsin Library Association conference at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Final Recommendations
The work group’s recommendations will be presented for approval by COLAND at the next regularly-scheduled COLAND meeting on Friday, November 14, 2014, at the Columbus Public Library. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. If you have questions about the progress of the Strategic Visioning for Library Systems in the 21st Century, contact Kathy Pletcher, pletchek(at) and/or visit the COLAND website. If you have questions about COLAND or its role in the visioning process, contact Nita Burke, COLAND Chair, burken58(at)

Integrated Library Systems Report


Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) contracted with WiLS to study and report on the current state of shared Integrated Library Systems (ILS) operated by Wisconsin’s public library systems. The consultant was asked to collect information from each ILS consortia and to develop cost and operational comparisons that will be valuable when considering larger units of service for systems and ILS in the state. The report would also identify the remaining larger stand-alone libraries and counties in the state and determine their reasons for non-participation in the consortia.
Some facts that were shared about the ILS consortia in Wisconsin:

  • most of the consortia in the state are using one of two products from Innovative Interfaces, Inc.;
  • as independent entities, there is very little consistency among the consortia, including how the budgets are structured;
  • no mechanism is in place to measure satisfaction with the ILS consortia.

The DPI also has some recommendations for how to move toward more consistency and cost-effective centralized services. A second phase likely will continue into 2015 to analyze the results and propose changes to the current structure for savings or efficiencies and to avoid duplication of resources and efforts. The DPI’s recommendations based on the results of the study are available at The full ILS study developed by WiLS is available

Libraries: More Important than Ever


"Why Libraries are More Important than Ever" is a presentation by Sari Feldman, President Elect of the American Library Association, discussing with a Cleveland City Club audience the increasing relevance of libraries and their impact on our communities in the digital age.

Sari Feldman is the Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library honored with Library Journal's 5-star rating and the busiest per-capita library system in the nation. In 2013 she was the recipient of the PLA Charlie Robinson Award, established to recognize innovative public library directors.

Raising Visibility for the Library


Wisconsin Librarians are invited to gather this fall season for an informal discussion around the theme of raising visibility for the library in the community. Discuss the significant impact new technology, shifting expectations and budget fluctuations have had on library services and the successful ways your library has evolved to meet the changing needs of your unique community. Six regional meetings around the state will be hosted by WiLS and WLA. For more information visit WiLS 2014 Regional Community Meetings.

E-rate Modernization

In the August 6 E-Rate Modernization webinar, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) discusses the efforts to provide robust connectivity for all schools and libraries through proposed changes to E-rate support for broadband connectivity. The FCC released a public notice last week that opened a comment period opportunity within the next few weeks for libraries to suggest ways in which the e-rate program can support their needs. Discussions of proposals included transparency and affordability of pricing/costs, CIPA challenges, improved application processes, opportunities for schools and libraries in close proximity, contract term issues, and support for economically challenged areas of the country.

Wisconsin Digital Library Catalog Upgrades

The Wisconsin Digital Library Catalog of OverDrive e-books and e-audiobooks recently added new features (view demo) including the ability to suspend holds, automatically check out held items, view recommended titles, and access more accurate search results:


Suspend / "Freeze" Holds
When you leave town or know that you are going to be otherwise occupied, you can "freeze" holds for OverDrive ebooks and electronic audiobooks. In the Holds section of your OverDrive account, you will be able to select an area called "Options" to manage your holds.
Hold Auto-Checkout
Elect to have held items automatically checked out to you when they become available. If you prefer the current system, you will still have three days after your hold becomes available to check it out. Either way, an email notice will be sent out as soon as your requested item is available. You can elect to use auto-checkout by using the Options area for each title in the your Holds section of your OverDrive account.


Recommended Titles
When you log in to the Wisconsin Digital Library, you will now see a list of recommendations based on the items you have checked out or on hold. If you do not have items on hold or checked out, you will not see these recommendations.


More Relevant Search Results
Searching the digital library will now return shorter, more relevant lists.