Share a Trip Down Memory Lane!


A great range of memory kits have been recently added to the collections of 21 libraries, designed with multi-sensory objects associated with the past to aid in triggering memories and sparking conversations that bridge time and strengthen relationships. The memory kits can be checked out and used for reminiscence and story-telling in classrooms, at family reunions, and with individuals and families affected by dementia. Reminiscence is particularly beneficial for individuals at various stages of memory loss and those with communication difficulties.

The memory kits are part of the Building Dementia-Friendly Libraries in Northern Wisconsin project addressing the informational and social needs of individuals with memory loss. Northern Waters Library Service led the project, creating 88 kits with themes that include babies, beach, birthday, Christmas, cooking, gardening, sewing, military, music and travel. Students of the Gerontology Program of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College provided support in the preparation of the kits.

The project encourages partnerships with community agencies providing support for people with dementia. Memory kits can be incorporated into “Memory Café” events that provide a safe, supportive, and engaging environment for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers. The Memory Kits are made possible by a Northern Waters Library Service grant supported by Library Service and Technology Act funds awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Instruction by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Public Library System Models

Draft Wisconsin Public Library System service models are now available from the Public Library Service Redesign (PLSSR) work groups. The Consulting, Delivery, Electronic Resources, ILL, ILS/Resource Discovery and Technology models can be viewed on the PLSR website.  A general overview diagram explains the progress and direction of the project.

PLSR workgroups welcome questions and feedback to help determine what might be needed to further develop successful service models. A contact form is available for sending feedback to a specific workgroup or for sharing general feedback. Feedback is always welcome, but to be the most help to the workgroups, please submit ideas for the service models by the end of December. (Note: to enlarge your display of a model, use CTRL and the mouse wheel.)

The PLSR Steering Committee began to map out the next phase of the project during a facilitated process with the project managers and discussed other issues related to workgroup needs and implementation planning. Draft minutes and a meeting recording from the meeting are available for review. The Steering Committee minutes are also available for the WLA session, “A Conversation with the PLSR Steering Committee.”

Over the next few months one or more workgroups will speak about how their work is progressing and will ask for community feedback. Questions about any of the service areas are welcome during any of the workgroup presentations. The upcoming sessions are:
• November 18th, 9:30 AM, Technology
• December 13th, Noon, CE/Consulting
• January 13th, 9:30 AM, ILL/ILS – Discovery
• February 14th, Noon, Delivery/Electronic Resources
To connect to these meetings visit
Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended.
Or, call in using your telephone: Dial +1 (408) 650-3123
Access Code: 903-538-181
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 903-538-181

New Flipster Digital Magazine Service

Libraries have a large selection of your favorite magazines, and now offer the option to access a selection of popular titles online with Flipster, the new magazine database for libraries in northern Wisconsin.  Magazines, and some back issues, are all instantly available and there is no check out limit. Weekly issues may expire in two days, and some monthly or seasonal issues may expire in one week, but can be checked out again. A free Flipster app downloaded from the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store offers the option to manage downloaded magazines for offline viewing. Once you log into Flipster with your library card number, use the HELP link for further instructions or visit the Flipster FAQ


The current Flipster subscription includes: • Clean Eating • Consumer Reports Buying Guide • Country Living • Dogs Life • Food Network Magazine • Good Housekeeping • HGTV Magazine • People • Prevention • Rolling Stone. Flipster promotional materials are available from EBSCO. This service is supported by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by the Federal Institue of Museum and Library Services.


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 (view slideshow) include new features and a faster and easier digital library experience for browsing, borrowing, and renewing. 


Training webinars are available at Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) and will be recorded and shared to the WPLC website and blog, OverDrive support community, and announcement mailing list. 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.