Streams 2012.11

In this November 2012 Issue:

VoteYouth Program HighlightsBook Club KitsLibrary eBook ServiceDigital Literacy, Libraries and Public PolicyDonations for Prison LibrariesTechnologyTrainingLinksReflection


Current Events

November 10 NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting, 12:00, NWLS
November 15
Merlin Consortium Meeting, 10:00, NWLS
November 15
Library Directors Meeting, 12:30, NWLS

Current News

VOTE: Prepare Yourself for the Polls

Many crucial issues are at stake in this close election and in Wisconsin a few votes could give either presidential candidate the margin of victory. Polls will be open until 8:00 p.m. and voters are encouraged to prepare ahead of time to confirm where to vote, to check current registration status, and to review the ballot. New voting laws have been passed in Wisconsin since 2010 that may create unexpected challenges for some voters, especially young, minority, low-income, and disabled voters.

No ID is needed for voting. Wisconsin tried to pass a photo ID requirement in 2011 which was challenged in court. But in order to register to vote Wisconsin residents are required to provide an acceptable proof of residence document. People who must register when they vote include new voters and people who have moved, changed their names, or haven't voted in four years.

Voters have new online voting resources including My Vote Wisconsin for finding information about registration status and the current local polling locations. The Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) offers a Voting Information Center with a voter information checklist, rules for election observers, procedures for reporting problems, news advisories, legal resources, etc. is a new online voters' guide to voter registration, verifying registration, previewing ballots for Federal, State, and County races, comparing information about candidate positions and goals, polling schedules and locations.

The new voter ID laws could negatively influence voter participation in Native American communities, some of which have no street addresses. Native Vote, established to protect the rights of citizens, provides an online information center and a hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) to respond to the questions and concerns of voters, and to serve as a "crisis line" in the event of Election Day problems and to file complaints attorneys can follow up on.

To prove residency there are many documents people can use, including a Wisconsin driver's license or ID, or Social Security number, university ID, a current utility bill showing name and current address, or other official document displaying name and current address such as letters from public schools, student loan papers, correspondence with a Native American tribe in Wisconsin, vehicle registration, and food stamp correspondences. Homeless voters may use an affidavit from a public or private social service agency as proof of residency.

A quick way to establish residency is to set up an account for online banking that lists the new address. The State Government Accountability Board ruled in August that electronic records showing a person's address are acceptable, so voters can use their laptop or smartphone to verify where they live. Resources are available to help homeless voters establish residency. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers free state ID cards to be used for voting.

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Youth Program Highlights

Fall workshops sponsored by NWLS offered librarians an opportunity to share highlights from their  children's programs and explore a host of engaging resources and customer service tips for maintaining a welcoming library environment. Many libraries throughout the northland received generous community support for a variety of successful 2012 youth activity programs:

• Reading incentive programs offered opportunities to read away fines, read for free books, read to a therapy dog, and enter book reports in weekly drawings
• Library socials provided entertainment with storytellers, local author book signings, book discussion parties, movie events, icecream socials, the Incredible Loon entertainer, the magician Jacob Roeber, summer reading bingo, Wii games, a summer carnival with an Amazing Race theme, and an elaborate halloween party with a theme of famous witches and wizards
• Learning activity programs included a live streaming video of an eagle's nest, telescoping the night sky, nature programs with environmental educators, and trivia contests
• Craft programs gave kids an opportunity to make their own embellished sleeping mats, self portrait collages, postcards, memory books, t-shirt stamping with natural materials, nature dioramas, paper mache sculptures, and creative art projects with iPad apps.

Librarians also shared experiences with managing difficult public service situations and explored the principles and strategies of the Wakanheza Project for creating and sustaining a welcoming library evironment with an encouraging, empathetic and positive approach that directs attention toward appropriate outcomes.

Librarians also had an opportunity this fall to explore a variety of ways to integrate technology into youth services programming with free webased animation and story tools for building comic strips (, movies (,, stories (, and animations (

The Northwoods Children's Book Conference offered yet another opportunity to make connections and catch up with everyone's stories. Speakers included authors and leaders in library youth services who shared booktalks and program ideas for storytime activities, and library clubs for kids of all ages.

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Book Club Kits

The popularity of book discussion groups has increased dramatically, and teachers are often in need of multiple copies for classroom use of after-school programs. A regularly updated list of over 1,000 titles are available in kits for book clubs of all sizes, and early learning pre-school kits are available with sets of books related to a theme. The kits are available from libraries through the WISCAT Interlibrary Loan resource sharing service for Wisconsin libraries.

Library e-Book Service

Libraries have been leading digital literacy initiatives to help individuals explore new information technologies that play an important role in civic and cultural life as they become broadly available and user-friendly. Digital reading has made publishing and distributing materials easier and more efficient and has transformed the way people interact with content. Digital software integrates dynamic multimedia interactive features offering audio, video, hypertext, and display options that especially enhance the reading experience for learning and for people with disabilities.

People are turning to the library for content to view on their new digital devices but discover a service that has been slow to improve in efficiency and selection as the technology and legal issues evolve for the ebook market. The race is on for businesses to invest in the largest, most commercially viable collections and the most elaborate digital content management systems with access control technologies that have disproportionately impacted library users. Six publishers currently control of the lion’s share of digital publishing rights of many popular authors and have distribution deals with the big retailers and vendors.

Most books are managed by a small number of very large companies with library lending policies that vary from price increases and undesirable formats to circulation caps and limited or no access to best sellers, new titles, or full series. The emphasis on scale has disadvantaged the thousands of independent publishers of diverse, high quality literature often appealing to local interests. If libraries are to continue to light the way to increased literacy and prepare for the digital environment, they need solutions that support simple access to the necessary diversity of literature.

To ensure libraries, authors, publishers and the public all benefit from ebook lending services, the American Library Association (ALA) has been advocating on behalf of libraries and the readers they serve and urges libraries to negotiate agressively for the most favorable and flexible terms possible. E-book business models essential to the library's public role include:
1. Access to purchase and lend any title for sale to the public
2. The option to own and lend ebooks indefinitely
3. Mechanisms for integrating ebooks into the library catalog without undue complexity

ALA has released "eBook Business Models for Public Libraries" (PDF) and an ebook information center with links to data, bloggers, issues, business models, and reports for libraries offering digital content. ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group met this spring with the senior leaders of OverDrive, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and 3M, and some of the discussions were directed toward “removing any remnants of friction” in ebook borrowing.

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Digital Literacy, Libraries and Public Policy

The American Library Association (ALA) released a draft report this fall to address national policy issues and the need to support meaningful and sustainable change in our communities. Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy (PDF) serves to highlight the important role libraries play in leading digital literacy initiatives that help individuals fully engage in a democratic society. Libraries have been on the front lines of digital inclusuion and life-long learning by shouldering the responsibility for building digital communities that adapt successfully to the critical business, government, education, and social online services. The report advocates for adequate economic support for public libraries struggling to provide the digital service needs of their communities.

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Donations for Prison Libraries

Correctional libraries located in state prisons and county jails are in serious need of materials and would greatly appreciate donations to help the incarcerated improve their reading and educational performance and improve their chances of becoming productive citizens. The Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) in partnership with the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Instruction has organized an initiative to collect books in good condition published within the past three years (with the exception of classics) that match select subject areas.

Donations may be shipped directly to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections - Library Project, 3099 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53707-7925. To arrange small shipments through the delivery, contact Tim Drexler of South Central Library system at (608)266.4643. Donations are greatly appreciated and will help to improve the quality of life for inmates and their families throughout Wisconsin.


Secure Passwords - (From Ars Technica: IT news, reviews and analysis )

You can protect your online personal information using passcode management programs such as Password Safe or LastPass to generate and store all your passwords with a master password that's strong, unique, and memorable without using your birth date or words found in the dictionary. For every account that contains any personally identifying information about you, generate a unique password that includes symbols and a minimum of 13 characters. If you'll be typing the password into a smartphone or other device with a limited keyboard, use a mix of lower-case letters, capital letters, and numbers.

When signing in to websites, try to use a login URL that begins with "https." When you are using a public terminal, make sure that it has the proper firewall and anti-virus installed, make sure your network is secure, log out when you are done with your session and clear the cache once you are done. Change your password at least once every six months, and more often for your most sensitive accounts or after you've used a network you don't trust.

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Managing Traditional and Social Media for Libraries - Managing Traditional & Social Media for Libraries is a free two part library advocacy webinar on the fundamentals of media planning and outreach - including social media. The archived webinar is part of an advocacy training program sponsored by the Public Library Association originally presented May 31, 2012.

Grant Writing for Libraries Serving Children
- WebJunction posts resources for finding, writing, and submitting grant opportunities to support innovative programming and services for children.

Digital Rights Management
- American Library Association provides an DRM information flyer addressing issues related to the restrictions on electronic files such as ebooks.

Makerspaces: A New Wave of Library Service
- This free series of four one hour webinars features makerspace library projects that offer spaces for people to work on physical and digital projects.

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WLA Conference Presentations - Visit Wisconsin Library Association to view resources from the Libraries: For the Common Good conference.
ALA Recommended Websites - American Library Association lists quality web sites and social media guides.

Broadband Map - The FCC Broadband Progress Report is illustrated with an interactive web-based deployment map with features including population, census income statistics, and a percentage of each county with access to fixed technologies providing broadband service.

Digital Basics - A digital literacy tool for learning beginner, intermediate and advanced computer and Internet skills using videos and step by step instructions.

Creative Aging in Our Communities: the Public Library Project - A video presentation of library programs exemplifying the power of the arts to improve the quality of life for older adults, a project of Programming Librarian.

News Know-how - A news literacy education project for a nonpartisan, critical analysis of news and information with tools to assess the accuracy and credibility of information.

EveryLibrary - EveryLibrary is a new 501(c)4 organization dedicated to funding local voter education initiatives for libraries and leveraging donations nationally to support local libraries on the ballot. For more information visit American Libraries Magazine.

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What the world of tomorrow will be like is greatly dependent on the power of imagination in those who are learning to read today.
- Astrid Lindgren, author and screenwriter


For subscription services or to submit an article for streams contact Marsha at NWLS: 682-2365 ext. 18 or email Marsha Sorensen.
NWLS: 3200 E. Lake Shore Dr. • Ashland, WI 54806
Phone: (715) 682-2365 • Web:
Serving libraries in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, Vilas and Washburn Counties.