Public Library System Revision


State Superintendent Tony Evers announces the appointment of a Steering Group to oversee a multi-year project to re-envision how Wisconsin Public Library Systems serve Wisconsin’s 384 public libraries.  Wisconsin’s library systems have provided services to public libraries in Wisconsin for over 40 years.  With the support of the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND), the Steering Group in conjunction with various work groups and the Division for Libraries and Technology, will seek to update and refine the roles and services of Public Library Systems and maximize the public investment in library systems and public libraries.


The Steering Group will:

  • Provide Strategic Vision, oversight and general leadership for the process.
  • Work with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to select a project manager to lead the service model development and implementation process.
  • Establish process to select and appoint implementation for work group members.
  • Provide feedback and guidance to the project manager in the development of the work groups and timelines.
  • Provide oversight to ensure transparency and appropriate communication to the library community, decision makers and stakeholders.
  • Work with DPI to assess, based on information gathered and progress of service work groups, budget and legislative requests for the 2017-2019 biennial budget.


BadgerLink Updates

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As of June 30th "Explora" has replaced Searchasaurus, Kids Search, and Student Research Center. The three new Explora interfaces use the same great EBSCO databases with new and improved features:

Live and Work Where Others Vacation!

Bring your love of libraries to the Great Lakes! 

Northern Waters Library Service, an eight-county federated library system headquartered in Ashland, Wisconsin, is seeking a Director to administer the program of services to 28 member libraries.

The Director supervises a staff of 5.5 full-time equivalents and oversees a budget of approximately $1,000,000 under the direction of a 19-member Board of Trustees. Responsibilities include providing consultation and assistance to member library directors and staff on budgeting, policies, library law, and funding.

Requirements: The successful applicant will possess excellent communication, organizational, public relations, and supervisory skills. Budgeting, planning, and grant-writing experience are also required, as is familiarity with current trends in library services and technology.

Additional requirements include an MLS from an ALA-accredited institution; 5 years of professional library experience, including two years in an administrative position; working knowledge of budgets; and the ability to provide leadership to a dedicated staff and to member library directors and trustees. Must provide proof of a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or demonstrate the ability to obtain one.

Deadline: August 14, 2015

Salary Range: Dependent upon qualifications; generous benefit package included.

Northern Waters Library Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and list of three references via email to Linda Stobbe at lstobbe(at) using the subject line “Director application.”

Campaigning for Libraries

A Library Advocacy Success Story in Wisconsin
Recently a group of Wisconsin libraries developed an advocacy campaign in response to a plan to cut library reimbursements for serving county rural residents by 30%. Information and talking points were distributed to the community asking for their support, and used by library supporters to pass county funding resolutions with library and municipal boards. Several months later the county board voted unanimously to pass full funding for libraries. Read the full article in the Winnefox Trustee Tale (May 2015). 


Responding to a Budget in Crisis in Texas
Watch a free webinar (50 minutes) on Responding to a Budget in Crisis with valuable tips for developing an advocacy campaign for your library. Discover creative ways to campaign, get publicity, work with the media, and more. Learn about the advocacy plan used by the Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library to campaign for funding to open 12 branches for 50 hours a week, after experiencing budget cuts of 40%, leaving it the worst funded urban library system in the country. Speakers include Kate Park, executive director of the Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library; Patti Clapp, advocacy chair of the Friends, and Sally Reed, executive director of United for Libraries. For additional resources visit Citizens Save Libraries Power Guide.


VoteLibraries: A New Advocacy Project
A new library advocacy project was recently launched to offer libraries the resources needed to build the best voter engagement campaign. VoteLibraries is a community of library campaign experts devoted to helping local ballot committees succeed in voter outreach and engagement, while also supporting effective informational communications campaigns by library staff and trustees. VoteLibraries is a project of EveryLibrary, the first national political action committee for libraries. For more information visit 

The Power of Summer Reading

Reading through the summer makes a huge difference when kids return to school. It's important to keep up the good work! For enjoyable activities with lifelong benefits, check out the summer library programs for kids of all ages, an opportunity to meet new friends and discover the fun in defeating the villainous Summer Slide with the POW!-er of reading!


WPLC Annual Meeting Open to All Members


The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) 2015 Annual Meeting Wednesday, May 6 at 2:00 is an opportunity for members to provide the WPLC Board with direct feedback and input on what WPLC purchases and supports throughout the year (OverDrive is the biggest service). The meeting addresses new developments, including digital magazines and the new logo. • Recorded meeting • Meeting minutes


Join the May 6 WPLC Annual Meeting
The meeting is open to everyone and will be held in Wisconsin Rapids the afternoon before the WAPL confernce in the McMillan Library Multi-Purpose Room, across the street from the conference center hotel. The library is located at 490 East Grand Avenue.  To attend the meeting with Go-To-Meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone visit
To dial into the meeting using your phone
United States (Long distance): +1 (571) 317-3131
Access Code: 637-868-781


Demo Digital Magazines May 4
The WPLC Steering Committee has approved draft 2016 Collection and Buying Pool Recommendations for the WPLC board, including the purchase of approximately 100 magazine titles with plans to evaluate the demand. A webinar demo for digital magazines has been scheduled for Monday, May 4 at 10:00 a.m. To share feedback after the demo please contact Amy Stormberg, the NWLS representative.

Broadband Quality in Public Libraries


Broadband speeds in U.S. public libraries continues to lag behind national broadband connectivity standards, according to “Broadband Quality in Public Libraries: Speed Test Highlights,” a new report released jointly by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland College Park as part of the Digital Inclusion Survey.

A more detailed report, Broadband Quality in Public Libraries: Speed Test Findings and Results available from iPAC examines the quality of broadband access in more than 2,200 public libraries from data collected on upload and download speeds in 49 states.

Library Systems Landscape


From Library Journal (April 7, 2015) - Selecting a library management system is never an easy decision. Vendors of integrated library systems (ILS) offer solutions tailored to public, academic, and special libraries, but even when organized by type, libraries are hardly one-size-fits-all organizations. Choosing a new vendor tends to mean a major investment, with a multi-year commitment to a solution that often will require new training, adaptation, and trade-offs among cost, features, and functionality. Still, it’s a tough choice that many libraries are facing once again. The second edition of Library Systems Landscape examines the impact of recent mergers, the continued adoption of next-generation library services platforms, the emergence of mobile-optimized staff clients, and new partnerships and feature development in the open source arena. (...Read more)

COLAND Work Group Directives


From Nita Burke, COLAND Chair - This is the first of a series of articles for those of you who are following the progress of COLAND regarding library systems and the process of Lean. Please send comments and/or suggestions to Nita Burke, COLAND Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


The Council on Library and Network Development
(COLAND) Work Group completed a 9- month project, writing the Strategic Vision for Library Systems in the 21st Century. The Work Group made a few changes to the strategic directives before Work Group Chair Kathy Pletcher, COLAND Chair Nita Burke, Library System Director Krista Ross and Bruce Smith from WILS recommended the document with COLAND’s full support to Superintendent Tony Evers last month.


Of interest to most librarians, Directive 3a was changed from suggesting a statewide ILS to a statewide discovery point; this meaning that COLAND agreed to recommend moving to a single discovery layer of some type, but not to mandate a single shared catalog. Other directives in the Strategic Vision for Library Systems included recommendations about library consulting, technology support, coordination of electronic resources and a transition to a multi-hub delivery system.


The directives were partially developed by consulting key ideas from the Lean Study conducted by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Lean Study Group last year. The Strategic Vision is heavily steeped in Lean principles and supported by the group, which includes many system directors. Lean Study members wrote an accompanying Roadmap to the Vision including a timeline to move forward the strategic directives for library systems in the future. COLAND unanimously moved to support the Strategic Vision with the accompanying Roadmap. The strategic directives received full support from the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) on Friday, February 13, 2015, a few days after Superintendent Tony Evers received the COLAND recommendations.

The Lean Study Group and the COLAND Work Group are both in agreement that the Lean process is a methodical way to take a look at library services to identify efficiencies as well as inefficiencies in order to determine cost effective and value-added library service for Wisconsin patrons. The new efficiencies will allow reallocation of resources in order to deliver broader and even more new services to deal with the flat-line increases to library budget in the past year.


If you are interested in reading the Strategic Vision for Library Systems in the 21st Century as well as the Roadmap for implementation of the directives, please check out the Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development website at


The discussion will continue about the Vision and next steps at the COLAND virtual meeting this Friday, March 13 at 10 a.m. A copy of the agenda is on the COLAND website also, under "Agendas and Minutes . . ." This meeting is open to the public and input is welcome.

New Public Library Survey Results


The Public Libraries in the United States Survey (Fiscal Year 2012) has recently been released by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS). The report examines when, where, and how library services are changing to meet the needs of the public. These data, supplied annually by more than 97 percent of public libraries across the country, provide information that policymakers and practitioners can use to make informed decisions about the support and strategic management of libraries. The report describes shifts in funding, as well as changes in the services and programs of public libraries that reflect changes in public demand. 

The report ranks Wisconsin #1 in interlibrary loans received per 1,000 population and #8 in Circulation transactions per capita. Wisconsin also ranks high in video (#5) and audio (#6) collections. The report reveals positive links between investments—particularly in staffing and collections—and public library usage. Visit IMLS to view report details.