In This Issue: September 2010

Budget TipsLibraries: Create AdventureOpen Meetings and Public Records LawNew Broadband Map and SurveyCelebrate AskAway!2009 Wisconsin Public Library Service DataCollecting Data for the Annual ReportNew to BadgerLink!TechnologyTrainingLinksReflection

Current Events

October 13, Social Networking Webinar, 10:00-2:00
October 20 NWLS ILL Meeting, 10:00 Hayward
October 21 NWLS ILL Meeting, 10:00 Presque Isle
November 2-5
Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference, Wisconsin Dells
November 13 NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting
November 18 Merlin consortium Meeting

Current News

Budget Tips

From Jim Trojanowski, NWLS Director - Local governments have begun holding budget work sessions and library directors across the state will be presenting and defending their funding requests to towns, villages, cities, and counties. Here are a few tips for helping the process go as smoothly as possible.

Acknowledge everyone’s role
Librarians often complain that most elected officials don’t understand what libraries do, especially those who don’t use libraries. While there may be some truth to that, it works the other way as well.

Elected officials get pressure from every side, from those who want more services to those who believe taxes are too high. As a result, any decision they make opens them up to criticism.

I often tell elected officials that I understand their work is difficult because I too, am asked to meet service demands that are growing more quickly than the funding available to meet them. I promise to respect the task before them and ask them to respect the expectations library patrons have of me.

Treat bullies with respect
Inevitably a few bullies get elected to local government and they make work unpleasant. The best way to handle them is to answer their questions honestly, firmly, and politely. Bullies tend to be disliked and that limits their influence. You are more likely to win support by handling them well than you are by responding in kind.

Avoid generalizations
Comments, such as “Library use was up a lot last year,” do little to build a case for the library. How much is a lot? What types of use were up? What has the library done to make a difference in the community? Be brief and be prepared to defend your statements.

In planning for the budget presentation, try to anticipate questions. Budget preparation instructions, elected officials who support the library, and questions from past presentations can help prepare for the presentation. If you receive an unanticipated question you can’t answer, promise to provide an answer later rather than making up an off-the-cuff response that may not be correct.

Prepare for next year
The best time to begin preparing for next year’s budget presentation is this year. Make notes of what went well and what did not go well while those thoughts are fresh. Develop a plan for improving your presentation and create an outline for implementing it. Consider including a summary of the results of the library’s annual report shortly after the board approves it. This helps keep the library fresh in the minds of elected officials.

Following these few simple ideas can help remove some of the stress of budget time. Good luck to all directors. Those who need assistance creating an effective presentation are encouraged to call Northern Waters Library Service for help.

Page up

"Libraries: Create Adventure"

Plan now to attend the largest library conference in the state, "Libraries: Create Adventure" at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, November 2-5, 2010. Learn and explore while having some fun! Adventure comes in many forms - changing workplaces, technology advances and navigating new library roles. This conference offers an opportunity to make new connections, learn new approaches for programming and services, reconnect with friends and colleagues, and to have good time!

Pre-conferences begin on Tuesday, November 2, including "Lessons to Lead By: Assessing and Building Your Leadership Skills" and "Embracing and Enhancing the Role of Private Gifts in Managing your Library Budget." On Wednesday, hear from Marilyn Johnson, our keynote speaker, author of This Book is Overdue. From there, choose from dozens of breakout sessions on topics ranging from advocacy by Friends of the Library, creating effective partnerships and the latest literary award winners. There's something for everyone!

Deadline for early, discounted registration is October 1, 2010. Access registration for the 2010 WLA online or send in a registration form (PDF). Reserve your room at the Kalahari -- it's the same fantastic $99 rate as in 2006! Kalahari's online reservation requires a Group ID 7886 and Password 452. For more information and additional registration details and costs, visit the WLA conference Web site. Register early to take full advantage of these discounts!

Page up

Open Meetings and Public Records Law

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has posted the updated (2010 version) of the Open Meetings Compliance Guide and the Public Records Compliance Outline. To promote public awareness of and compliance with the state’s open meetings and public records law, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will be hosting a free three hour seminar in Wausau on October 5th and will be accompanied by assistant experts in Wisconsin’s open meetings and public records laws.

The seminar is free and open to the public, though advance registration is required due to limited seating. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Justice website to register (provide name, title, organization or agency) or for additional information regarding event details.

Page up

New Broadband Map and Survey

As reported in the September 3, 2009, issue of Channel Weekly, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes $300 million for states to develop maps of broadband availability. In Wisconsin the Public Service Commission (PSC) has contracted with LinkAMERICA to produce the map and a beta version is now available with tips on how to navigate the map, an FAQ, and other information.

In addition to the broadband mapping, LinkAMERICA is now conducting a consumer survey to better understand specific broadband availability, needs, uses and barriers to adoption. DPI encourages libraries to make their patrons aware of the survey, which is at The survey will close in early October.

Page up

Celebrate AskAway!

September 13 - 17 is AskAway Awareness Week. AskAway is an online information service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week staffed by librarians from across Wisconsin, the United States and the United Kingdom. Librarians are online to help you find resources to satisfy your academic, professional, and personal information needs. For promotional bookmarks and a complete list of library databases visit Northern Waters Library Service.

Page up

2009 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data

The 2009 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data is now available by state and system, county, public library, and public library by system and county. Due to budget constraints, the Division will no longer publish a print version. The Public Library Development Team annually collects statistics from the state's public libraries. Excel files are available of the data for 1996-2009. Statistics since 2003 are also available in PDF. National public library data can be found on the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) website. Wisconsin statistics include over 115 data elements grouped by general categories:

• library/type
• circulation
• staffing
• non-resident use
• hours open
• ILL statistics
• income
• expenditures
• collections
• programming
• outputs
• service population

Page up

Collecting Annual Report Data

The public library annual report includes statistics for the following:

• Reference Transactions
• Library Visits (patron count), and
• Number of Users of Public Internet Computers

Libraries unable to use electronic or mechanical means of collecting the data throughout the year, such as infra-red door counters, or software to manage public access to Internet workstations can schedule at least one week in October to collect appropriate data. The national guidelines dictate that the one week survey should be done in October.

Under no circumstances may the library estimate the numbers to be reported, or report the number submitted in prior years. For instance, libraries should not adjust their previous year's count for reference based on circulation changes, or as a ratio of their door count numbers, or other criteria.

Page up

New to BadgerLink!

BadgerLink now has access to two new interfaces from EBSCO - Science Reference Center and History Reference Center.

The new Science Reference Center Interface include six main science categories: Applied Sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Scientists and Space Sciences and Astronomy. Other features include a Featured Science Topic of interest, and Reference Shelf links to the Dictionary, Science Experiments, Citation Help and a Research Guide.

The new History Reference Center Interface is divided into U.S History and World History, both featuring key topics such as famous people, events and topics from a selected period.

Page up


Many websites provide access to forms in PDF format that require the user to print and then fill out the form by hand or with a typewriter. However, with a free PDF viewer and mark up tool called PDF X-Change, you can fill out PDF forms and save them to email or print. PDF X-Change, offered by Tracker Software Products Ltd is compatible with Windows operating systems and includes a variety of markup tools. A Typewriter tool allows you to easily edit and fill in forms. When you're finished, you can save and/or print the form.

Page up


University of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Library and Information Studies - Online Continuing Education Courses:

• September 13 - December 6 Public Library Administration
• September 13 - November 5 Grant Writing for Libraries
• September 20 - December 10 Collection Development
• September 27 - November 7 Understanding Library Technology
• September 27 - October 25 Social Media Marketing for Libraries
• September 27 - November 20 Readers' Advisory in the Library
• October 1 - 29 What's New in Children's Books?
• November 1 - 30 Promoting Science and Math in the Library

The One Thing that Always Works in Getting Policymakers to Listen

This American Library Association webinar recorded August 24 emphasizes critical steps to capturing the attention and support of your policymakers and building a concrete plan for moving forward on core relationship-building activities.

Page up


Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki - Librarians contribute links and ideas for everything from management, fundraising, resource sharing, training and technology to collection maintenance, programming, readers' advisory, and services to specific groups.


Making Cities Stronger: Public Library contributions to local economic development - Prepared by the Urban Libraries Council, this report helps make the case that libraries are important economic assets for our communities and neighborhoods.

Save Libraries - Save Libraries is a grassroots effort to compile information and advocacy resources for libraries.
Page up


 "Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust."

- from The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table byOliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.