In This Issue: January 2011

Museum and Library Service Act • A Sound Return on Investment • Digital Media Boom • New Library Comparison Tool • Money Smart Week • Books for Children Grant • Technology • Training • Links • Reflection 

Current Events

January 19 NWLS Webinar on Graphic Novels 1:00-3:00
February 8 NWLS Webinar on Food Security 9:00
February 9 NWLS Webinar on Promoting Your Library (Part 1) 10:00
February 22 Library Legislative Day, Concourse Hotel, Madison
February 23 Merlin Consortium Meeting Webinar 10:00
March 1 NWLS Webinar onPromoting Your Library (Part 2) 10:00-noon

Current News

Museum and Library Services Act

From - On December 14, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA). The U.S. Senate has also passed MLSA under unanimous consent. MLSA will now be sent to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.

The passage of MLSA ensures that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) can continue its federal leadership role by administering the numerous programs in the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) portion of the bill. This bill received bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats in both House and the Senate.

“The ALA is relieved by today’s action in the House – both in that the reauthorization process was wrapped up before the end of the year and that LSTA funds maintained current authorization levels and were not cut by a Congress that is increasingly looking for ways to save a dollar – even at the cost of invaluable programs, such as library services,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association Washington Office, said.
“While the needs of libraries far exceed the funding levels this program was reauthorized under, librarians have always been masters of providing priceless services to patrons at little cost to the taxpayer. The library community is appreciative to Congress for protecting LSTA and library programs.”

Visit Wisconsin Library Association to help promote and improve library and information services by taking action on issues affecting libraries in Wisconsin.

A Sound Return on Investment

Over the last five years, public library visits in Wisconsin increased by more than 10 percent, circulation of library materials increased by 15 percent, yet paid library staff per capita decreased by 2 percent. “Public libraries are focused on service to their communities,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “State aid to public library systems is critical in providing these services in an efficient manner and is a sound return on investment for Wisconsin taxpayers.”

Library systems use funds according to plans developed and adopted by regional boards to meet the needs of each public library system area. Library system services include:
• ensuring that system residents have complete access to all public libraries within the system area. State residents made 35.8 million visits to public libraries and checked out 65.6 million items in 2009, both increased from the previous year.
• coordinating the sharing of library materials among participating libraries to meet user needs. Annually, libraries loan nearly 9 million items to each other in response to users’ requests. System-supported delivery networks deliver interlibrary loan items.
• providing training and continuing education for local library staff to help them offer the best possible service to their communities.

Additional information and the full text of the news release is available on the Department of Public Instruction newsroom website.

Digital Media Boom

Libraries and schools worldwide were at the forefront of the digital media boom in 2010, as patrons and students downloaded millions of digital books for iPhone®, Android™, Sony® Reader, NOOK™, and personal computers. More than one million new users signed on to access free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from ‘Virtual Branch’ websites last year, resulting in a 200 percent increase in eBook checkouts and a 52 percent increase in audiobook checkouts over 2009. Key national statistics for library eBooks, audiobooks, and more from OverDrive-powered digital catalogs include:

• 718 million book and title catalog pages viewed
• 15 million digital titles checked out
• 6.6 billion minutes of spoken word audio downloaded
• 400,000 copyrighted eBook, audiobook, music, and video titles available to libraries

In Wisconsin ebook checkouts increased 180% last month after the collection received over 600 new ebook titles from generous WPLC Partners and Members. The spike in OverDrive downloads over the holidays explains the outages and slowness issues experienced nationwide.

Since the addition of downloadable ebooks to OverDrive in November 2009, regional circulation has been relatively quite high. 2010 Merlin patron statistics include:

• 864 NetLibrary ebook circulations
• 7,565 OverDrive audiobook checkouts (up 25% from 2009)
• 88 OverDrive music checkouts
• 120 video titles checked out
• 553 OverDrive downloadable ebook checkouts

OverDrive added a free, public domain ebook titles in September of 2010. Since these titles are only available statewide (not through local library catalogs), the checkout activity can only be counted statewide. Nevertheless, there were 3,528 checkouts on the Project Gutenberg titles to Wisconsin residents last year.

To find eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles from Merlin online library catalog, visit the Merlin featured list. To browse the OverDrive collection of downloadable media, visit the Wisconin Public Library Consortium digital download center. To access guides for using OverDrive, visit the OverDrive help center in the Merlin online library catalog.

Library users are able to download eBooks over the air directly to their iPhone®, iPod touch®, and Android™ tablet or phone, in addition to downloads for PC, Mac®, and popular eBook readers. The free OverDrive Media Console apps launched with EPUB eBook support in December 2010 and helped drive new records for library mobile checkouts. OverDrive will release an optimized iPad™ app with eBook support, as well as BlackBerry®, with other platforms in development.

Page up

Wisconsin eContent Summit

In order to try to resolve important issues surrounding e-books and other e-content, the Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) will be organizing an e-book summit to be held in early May 2011 to develop statewide strategies for addressing e-content issues (many of these issues are identified in the COSLA report.) At its November meeting, the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) Advisory Committee endorsed funding for this summit and funding for expanded e-content licensing in 2011. The Committee endorsed this proposal unanimously with a commitment of over $100,000 toward these purposes in 2011.

Statewide library organizations and librarians from all types and sizes of libraries will be represented at this summit. Soon the Division will be asking for nominations for summit participants. For more information, visit The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Page up

New Library Comparison Tool

In late 2010, the LibPas library reporting tool (used to collect Annual Report data) was enhanced to allow public libraries to utilize several report templates designed to quickly compare your library with other Wisconsin libraries, within a 10% range of local appropriation, circulation, municipal population, or total income. Graphical comparison charts can easily be generated from the tool. Librarians will also soon have the ability to create a library brochure from the statistics available. See the following document for instructions:, which is supplemented by this narrated video. If you have other questions about the annual report, contact your regional library system, email support, or call John DeBacher at (608)266-7270.

Note: Information from the annual report, including a 2010 worksheet in PDF format, definitions for data elements, and additional instructions on data entry can be found on the Wisconsin's Public Library Development website.

Page up

Money Smart Week

The American Library Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago are collaborating to make “Money Smart Week @ Your Library” a national initiative from April 2-9, 2011. Celebrating its 10th year, Money Smart Week’s mission is to promote personal financial literacy. Throughout the 10-year history of Money Smart Week, libraries have been instrumental in facilitating and hosting quality Money Smart Week events. Libraries of all types have partnered with community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations, and other financial experts to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances, covering topics from learning how to apply for a mortgage to teaching young people about credit.

Page up

Books for Children Grant

The Libri Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2011 Books for Children grants. The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which donates new, quality, hardcover children's books to small, rural public libraries throughout the United States with a limited operating budget and an active children's department.

The Libri Foundation will match any amount of money raised by your local sponsors from $50 to $350 on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1,050 worth of new children's books. local sponsors (such as formal or informal Friends groups, civic or social organizations, local businesses, etc.) have four months, or longer if necessary, to raise their matching funds after a library receives a grant.

The librarian of each participating library selects the books her library will receive from a booklist provided by the Foundation. The 700-plus fiction and nonfiction titles on the booklist reflect the very best of children's literature published primarily in the last three years. These titles, which are for children ages 12 and under, are award-winners or have received starred reviews in library, literary, or education journals. The booklist also includes a selection of classic children's titles.

Application deadlines for 2011 are January 23rd, and April 15th. Application guidelines and forms may be downloaded from the Foundation's website.



Jing is a free training application useful for creating quick screen shots and adding basic annotations. It can also record up to five minutes of the activity on a computer screen (or any part of the screen), with narration. Jing can capture full or partial screen shots with annotations including colored arrows, highlighting, boxes and words, etc. It does not include editing features, so what would otherwise take hours of editing, polishing, and improving can be finished in 15 minutes.

Jing is quick and can easily be picked up by clicking around the simple menus. A PAUSE button feature is useful for adjusting the page in the window or skipping what learners don’t need to see. Jing is suitable for any computer function you can demonstrate in under five minutes. It's ideal for quick explanations used in training guides, emails or other tutorials that don't require a polished presentation.


UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies - Continuing Education Spring Online Courses include topics in consumer health, library administration, reference, cataloging, services for sdults and youth, and personnel management.

WebJunction - Free webinars are scheduled this winter on employment, E-Rate, advocacy, and reading incentives.

BadgerLink Webinar Lunch Series - January 27 Explore Wisconsin History through VideoLink. Registration for the webinar and an archive of previous sessions is found at BadgerLunch webinar Series.


Top 10 Food Books of 2010 - Health and well-being for both humans and the biosphere are the goals of the 10 best food books of the year, in which both pleasure and sustainability are emphasized as authors suggest changes in food shopping, cooking, and eating.

Library Webinars - A source for webinar listings for librarians.

Reading - A fun, safe, and free social network for kids that encourages reading. It also features tools for teachers and librarians.


Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library; the only entrance requirement is interest.
- Lady Bird Johnson


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.