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.

2014 Public Library Directories

The 2014 Wisconsin Public Library Directory from the Department of Public Instruction’s Public Library Development Team is now online in PDF and Excel formats. The directory is based on data compiled from the 2013 Public Library Annual Report and subsequent, ongoing updates. Library directors are asked to please review the information for their libraries and report any corrections.

The PDF version includes a combined "Directory of Public Libraries and Their Branches" listed by city, followed by an alphabetical index of library and branch names. The document also includes system and resource library directory information.

The Excel file has three sheets containing information for all 383 public libraries and services, 82 branches, and the state's 17 regional library systems. This Excel file is useful as a merge source for mailing labels or form letters.

New Workforce Act Recognizes Libraries

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22 to improve the delivery of job training and workforce development. The new bill recognizes the important role public libraries play in improving our workforce development system by making them eligible for funds as One-Stop partners. The Act is an amendment and reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 which established a national network of One-Stop Career Centers to provide assistance with employment and training services to all individuals (including people with disabilities). There are currently 1,700 One-Stops across the United States providing an expansive array of job search services and resources job seekers need to access the kinds of skills training, career information, and education that are required for today’s job market.

The new legislation instructs State and Local Workforce Development Boards to build “digital literacy skills” through training centers to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. In general, the Act takes effect on July 1, 2015, the first full program year after enactment, unless otherwise noted. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will issue further guidance on the time frames for implementation of these changes and proposed regulations reflecting the changes in WIOA soon after enactment. 

The Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) will continue to support collaborations between libraries and federally funded adult education programs to help Americans take advantage of workforce development resources. IMLS recently partnered with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) to assist the estimated 3 million Americans who are seeking access to federal job information, education, and training by connecting them through resources at their public libraries. IMLS partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) will highlight effective practices and encourage additional collaboration between the workforce investment system and public libraries.

Library Simplified

Finding ways to make ebook access as simple as possible is vital for libraries. Frustrating experiences can push patrons away and can have a lasting impact on their perception of library ebooks. In an effort to increase readership by removing these barriers, the New York Public Library launched “Library Simplified” in December, a two year project that aims to make library ebooks and other digital content easier to access.

 

LibrarySimplified will involve a coalition of ten libraries working with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop for libraries an open ebook reading platform, integrating content systems like OverDrive, 3M, Axis 360 as acquisitions modules, that will enable ebooks to be borrowed seamlessly using a single app or interface. Read the full article from Digital Shift.

Comment NOW on the Future of the Internet

Should the Internet remain an open platform for speech and commerce? Take the opportunity to weigh in on this important democratic issue. There are three questions the Federal Communications Commission is asking the public to answer:
1. Should there be an outright ban on fast lanes?
2. Should broadband access be classified as a Title II common carrier (a telecommunications service treating all traffic equally)?
3. Should the new Open Internet provisions also cover wireless (mobile) broadband?

You can leave a comment answering those questions in two ways: either go directly to the FCC form (the high volume of comments being filed may require more than one attempt to access to the FCC form) or send an e-mail to the FCC’s dedicated inbox, (openinternet@
fcc.gov) Why is net neutrality important to you? In what specific way would restoring or upending it help or hurt? What, specifically, would you like the FCC to do about it?

Eleven library groups have released net neutrality principles that adopt enforceable policies, ensure neutrality on public networks, prohibit the blocking of legal websites, and forbid paid prioritization that speed traffic for the privileged.

2013 Wisconsin Public Library Data

2013 Wisconsin Public Library Statistics have been posted by the Department of Public Instruction:

  • State totals and averages
  • Library system-wide statistics in order by system
  • County-wide statistics
  • Public library in order by municipality
  • Public library by library system and county – Includes statistics for every public library, county, and system in the state. Arrangement is alphabetical by system, then county, then by each library. County and library system totals are also provided.

Jump Start Your Genealogy Research!

Bring your family history to life and discover your heritage through a series of workshops with Vickie Chupurdia, a nationally recognized expert on genealogical research. The UW-Superior Center for Continuing Education will be offering the four genealogy workshops on Saturdays from September 13 to October 11:

 

Session 1 - September 13:

• Introduction to Genealogy Research • Overview of where to look for information • Organization of materials

Session 2 - September 20: • Using public libraries and archives • Accessing census data and court records

Session 3 - September 27: • Accessing land records • Using newspapers • Internet research strategies and techniques

Session 4 - October 11: • What you can learn "Around Town" • Accessing military records • Sharing your research

 

Cost: All four classes $175; 1st class only: $50

(NOTE: Class one is a prerequisite for the other three classes - you can register for the other three after taking the first class but your total cost will be $200 instead of $175)

Free Library Courses

Through the generous support of OCLC, the Gates Foundation, and many state library agencies across the U.S., WebJunction provides timely and relevant learning content for library staff to access anytime, from anywhere. Simply create an account at learn.webjunction.org, and explore the catalog of library-focused self-paced courses and webinars. Certificates of completion are available after completing any course or webinar enrolled in from the catalog. Over the next year, WebJunction will continue to grow its catalog of learning content, and will add new resources on topics of high interest. Happy learning!