President’s budget proposal to eliminate federal library funding 'counterproductive and short-sighted'


From ALA Office, WASHINGTON, DC — In response to President Trump's proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget, American Library Association (ALA) President Julie Todaro today issued the following statement:

"The President's proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget just released, and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds, is counterproductive and short-sighted. The American Library Association will mobilize its members, Congressional library champions and the millions upon millions of people we serve in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a Congressional reality.  Libraries leverage the tiny amount of federal funds they receive through their states into an incredible range of services for virtually all Americans everywhere to produce what could well be the highest economic and social "Return On Investment" in the entire federal budget.

"America's more than 120,000 public, school, college and university and many other libraries aren't piles of archived books. They're trusted centers for technology, job counseling, retraining, veterans services, entrepreneurship, education, teaching and learning and free inquiry at the core of communities in every state in the country – and in every Congressional district. And they’re staffed by the original search engines: skilled and engaged librarians."

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.

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.

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%