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 The number of new registered borrowers fell but some purging of outdated records accounts for this drop.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.

Call to Action to Support Library Funding


The proposed 2017 federal budget threatens to trim almost $1 million from Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program.  In addition, funding for Native American and Native Hawaiian library services would see a reduction of more than $200,000. Federal funding provides critical assistance, giving libraries across the country the support they need to serve their communities with databases, continuing education, innovative programs, and materials delivery. 

Now is the time to urge senators and members of congress to request that the congressional appropriators support LSTA and other key library programs.  American Library Association (ALA) has set up a Call to Action page to help advocates call, tweet, and email their senators and representatives. The appropriations committee will accept these letters in the Senate until March 18, and in the House until March 24.

Your help, and these funds, make a huge difference in what libraries and librarians can do in every corner of the country and, with the deadline fast approaching to get the letters to the Appropriations Committees, there’s no time to lose!

LCO and Eagle River Chosen for Native Voices Exhibit

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa College and Community Library and the Olson Memorial Library of Eagle River have both been chosen along with 104 other U.S. libraries to host “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness,” an interactive travelling exhibit. The exhibit features the interconnectedness of wellness, culture, land and spirit for Native people and explores the impact of epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the inhibition of culture on the health of Native individuals and communities today. The four year national tour of Native Voices is sponsored by the American Library Association on behalf of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To learn more and view content from the exhibition, visit

Sawyer County Increases Library Funding

Following appeals made during the November Sawyer County Board of Supervisors budget hearing, funding for the public libraries of Hayward and Winter was increased by 3.5 percent. Advocates for the increase praised the libraries for their highly used resources and as valuable community centers for meetings, library programs, technology support, and for people with special needs. For more information visit the Sawyer County Record.

RADD to the Rescue!

The technology community at the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) has been developing a laboratory constructed of salvaged and recycled equipment for digitizing vulnerable historic information. Old books as well as varying formats of videos, audios, films, and disks that are deteriorating or becoming obsolete are at risk of being lost. The Recovering Analog and Digital Data (RADD) service of SLIS is dedicated to digitizing materials that need to be preserved and accessible for future generations.

Local archives, libraries, museums or historical societies with unique audiovisual (A/V) materials but without funding for a RADD project are encouraged to inquire about grant partnerships, small RADD projects for SLIS classrooms or individual student practicums, and A/V digitization training for working professionals.

For information about RADD projects, standard rates, or equipment donations contact Dorothea Salo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. For RADD news and documentation visit RADD (

Presque Isle Friends Donate $12,000 

The Presque Isle Friends group has contributed $12,000 to their library's lower level expansion project. The generous donation will be used to equip the room with a state-of-the-art audiovisual system. The new edition will be available soon for training, programs, meetings, community groups and travelogues. Congratulations!

2015 Trustee Essentials


The 2015 revision of Trustee Essentials for Wisconsin public library trustees is now available on the DPI website (  Trustee Essentials is the result of the efforts of a dedicated task force of public librarians, regional library system staff, trustees, and DPI staff in 2002.


As a result of dramatic changes in technology and public expectations over the years, Trustee Essentials is no longer printed in hard copy and distributed statewide.  However, it is available online in printable .pdfs.  Several states (including Nebraska and New York) have transitioned their trustee manual into an online format with select quick reference documents being available in .pdf.  That may be the trend that our state follows for future revisions. The majority of chapters have some level of change. Revisions include the following:

  • Updated online links and resources
  • Updated several legal references and added a few more (related to consolidated county libraries)
  • Current state and federal law is referenced throughout the document
  • Revised system map, system contact information, and glossary found in the appendices