In This Issue: August 2011

E-Books in Wisconsin Public LibrariesMobile Merlin ProjectEBSCOhost eBooks2012 LSTA GrantsPublic Access to Government InformationReader's Advisor Online •  Autism Spectrum DisorderCongress Amends CPSIA •  2010 Public Library DataGrievance Procedure DeadlineTechnologyTrainingLinksReflection 

Current Events

August 23 Merlin Consortium Meeting 10:00 (NWLS)
August 30 Library Directors Meeting 10:00 (NWLS)

Current News

eBooks in Wisconsin Public Libraries

From Jim Trojanowski, NWLS Director - In May, I attended Wisconsin’s E-Book Summit, an opportunity to discuss the growing popularity of e-books and what it means for libraries. The summit took place at a time when book publishing is changing rapidly. New vendors are entering the e-book marketplace and Amazon has announced that it now sells more e-books for Kindle than it sells print books. As the draft report from the summit states, “Until recently popular print titles have been viewed by some as being immune to the changes in library services brought about by technology. Regardless of how many in the library community still hold this view, it is becoming increasingly untenable.”

Most public libraries in Wisconsin rely on the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) collection to serve those who prefer e-books to print. Unfortunately, the WPLC budget is too small to purchase enough titles and copies to meet statewide demand. Patrons are frustrated and many librarians believe we risk irrelevance if libraries fail to improve e-book collections.

WPLC heard a report on the e-book summit about a week after it concluded. In recognition that its collection is too small and demand for e-books is exploding, WPLC formed a committee to recommend a funding structure for a statewide e-book buying pool.

On July 7, 2011 WPLC approved the committee’s report. A statewide buying pool of $1,000,000 will be created, with each public library system to pay a share of the cost based upon system population and use of the collection. Each system will determine how to pay its share; most will ask member libraries to contribute toward the cost. To make participation in the buying pool easier, the Division for Libraries, Technology and Lifelong Learning intends to allocate Library Services and Technology Act funds to pay 30% of each system’s 2012 share. For Northern Waters Library Service and its member libraries, the pool is a bargain; for $20,395 we’ll gain access to $1,000,000 of e-books. And because the buying pool is so large, WPLC will be able to negotiate better pricing than NWLS could individually.

To prepare for the buying pool, WPLC is determining how to provide technical support, how to allow librarians from across the state to participate in collection development, and which vendor or vendors to purchase from. Library systems are working with OverDrive, WPLC’s current e-book vendor, to get usage data for each member library.

The statewide pool for digital media is a remarkable achievement. It assures efficient use of public funds and it provides every resident of Wisconsin equal access to the same high-quality collection of e-books. Because the buying pool will be provided through WPLC, the current collection will continue to be available and the changes will be transparent to those who use it.

Look for more updates on this exciting expansion of e-book availability in Wisconsin public libraries in future editions of Streams.

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Mobile Merlin Project

Beginning August 3, 2011, the Merlin regional library catalog was optimized for the mobile web. Now patrons with mobile devices can use Merlin on-the-go. This project was made possible through an LSTA grant to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The software recognizes mobile connections and uses an optimal display for that device.

Merlin is enhanced to offer new interfaces designed to take advantage of the display features of the most popular devices including the iPhone and iPod Touch, Blackberry Storm and Bold, Droid and other Android devices, and the PalmPre. Mobile Merlin includes full keyword search capabilities, item information display (including book jackets and media icons), patron record display (including titles checked out, held items, and money owed), renewal and request capabilities.

A menu link to the "Main Site" will be available for unsupported smartphones, iPads, and for those who prefer the option to “pinch and zoom” displays from the classic catalog. As new touch phone models allow this newer technology, we'll continue to expand the availability of the mobile interface.

EBSCOhost eBooks

As of July 22, 2011, EBSCO Publishing's extensive collection of eBook titles (formerly from NetLibrary) are now accessible through BadgerLink. The new platform offers eBook users a more robust and integrated search experience. EBSCO provides access to quality, trusted content from hundreds of the world's leading publishers.

Patrons can now browse by subject, genre, language, and more; examine documents with an enhanced viewer; choose their own checkout duration; view the Table of Contents from the Results List and Detail Record; use “Search-within” functionality to find specific terms within a book; maintain personal folders to view checked-out and downloaded books (including the amount of time left on active check-outs), and save holds, notes, articles, journals, images, saved searches, and more; and search across eBooks and other EBSCOhost content for integrated results.

To access the EBSCO ebook collection, click on the EBSCO Database List from the menu in BadgerLink, then click on eBook Collection. Patrons new to EBSCOhost will need to create a "My EBSCOhost" account by using the Sign-In link at the top of the page. Patrons with an existing "My EBSCOhost" account can search the eBook collection.

A few things to keep in mind:
•    Previous NetLibrary accounts, preferences, holds, etc. were not migrated to the new site.
•    NetLibrary subscription titles found through the Merlin catalog will carry over and will automatically link to the corresponding EBSCOhost record.
•    Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is required for eBooks downloading.
•    For additional training and support, patrons can visit the EBSCO Support Center.

2012 LSTA Grants

2012 Wisconsin Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant application forms, guidelines and recorded information sessions held in June have now been posted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning. The grant application form is web-based and copies can be printed for your records. The applications and postmarked signature pages are due by 4:30, September 16, 2011.

The LSTA Information and Guidelines for Wisconsin 2012 (pdf) describes the program, the funding categories, the priorities for 2012, the requirements and criteria by which grant applications will be rated, the grant review and award process, and forms related to the administration of the program. The LSTA program is administered at the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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Public Access to Government Information

The House of Representatives voted July 22 on drastic cuts and policy changes (H.R. 2551, The Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill - Thomas) that, if unchanged, could undermine the capacity of government to report its activities to the American people. In response to the Government Printing Office (GPO) request for $5 million to continue the development of Federal Digital System (FDsys), the House cut the entire line item from the bill and cut GPO's funding by 20%. The American Library Association has requested library imput in a study to review the feasibility of decentralizing and privatizing GPO.

The GPO's primary responsibility is making public documents available to the American people, including Congressional Record, bills, laws, the U.S. Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. The GPO maintains FDsys, a website that provides online access to many of these documents, and manages the Federal Depository Library Program, which distributes government publications to libraries nationwide. GPO digitizes historical government publications for free public access to information about core functions of the federal government, including legislation and regulation.

H.R. 2551 has been sent to the Senate. Now is the time to contact your Senators on the importance of the GPO and its relationship with the Federal Depository Library Program and public access to government information in order to preserve the open and balanced system of government set forth in our constitution and Bill of Rights. For more information visit OMB Watch, The Office of Management and Budget.

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Reader's Advisor Online

Reader's Advisor Online is being offerred as a free service until fall 2012. ABC-CLIO, the owner of the Reader's Advisor Online, will suspend subscription fees and content updates during a major site overhaul. Frequent additions will however be posted to the blog, as well as news, booklists, tips, and more.

Take a tour of the Reader's Advisor Online to take advantage of the advice of top reader's advisory experts, over 400 genres, subgenres, series, and reading interests, and to take advantage of the efficent search tools for finding related popular titles and generating reading lists. Results include book details and description, links to related reads, and a Read-Alike Finder tool.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Libraries and Autism: We're Connected is a customer service training project to help library staff serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families more effectively. Increasing numbers of families dealing with ASD are turning to their public library for resources, programs and a commumity center where they are welcome. Resources include a customer service training video and a large, updated collection of information, training guides, and tools to assist individuals, families, and professionals dealing with autism, and techniques for offering more inclusive service to this population.

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Congress Amends CPSIA

The Congress on August 1 amended the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed in August 2008 to protect children from lead poisoning to specifically exclude ordinary children's books and other children's paper-based printed materials from being tested for lead content. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. The American Library Association had been concerned that the law would oblige libraries to test their entire collections at a prohibitive cost or to restrict access to their children's book collections. For more information visit Library Journal.

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2010 Public Library Data

The preliminary 2010 Wisconsin public library statistics are now available in more formats, arranged in an Excel workbook of spreadsheets. The workbook now shows the data in four views, at the public library level, statewide by systems, county totals, and all libraries arranged by system. The file containing the spreadsheets can be found as a link at the top of the Service Data page at These statistics are based on information submitted on the 2010 Public Library Annual Reports. Library directors are asked to review their library's data. Errors or corrections should be reported to John DeBacher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The final Wisconsin data will be made available soon after review and acceptance of Wisconsin's 2010 public library data submission by IMLS (probably late August); however, the preliminary data may be useful for planning and comparison purposes, as well as for preliminary budget preparation.

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Grievance Procedure Deadline

2011 Act 10 (the new collective bargaining law) requires all local government units to offer some form of grievance procedure to all employees by October 1, 2011. All union and non union employers must have a grievance procedure that covers, at a minimum, the topics of employee discipline, employee termination, and workplace safety.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities provides an article on grievance procedures required under Act 10 at: The League also provides two sample grievance procedures at:

The Act 10 grievance process must include “An appeal process in which the highest level of appeal is the governing body of the local governmental unit.” It is DLTCL opinion that since Wisconsin Statute s. 43.58(4) gives a library board the highest level authority over library personnel matters this includes the authority for the ultimate disposition of any grievance brought by a public library employee.

In order to comply with Act 10, public libraries and public library systems should have a complying grievance process in place by October 1, 2011. If library employees will be covered by a municipal or county grievance policy, the library should work with their local government officials to make sure that their grievance policy provides that the final step in the grievance appeal process goes before the library board, and that in all other respects the municipal grievance policy preserves the legal authority of the library director and library board regarding library personnel matters.

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New to LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library keyword searching provides access to new e-books (a complete list is also available) recently added to the following sections: • Academic Test Preparation • Career & Certification Preparation • EMT Certification Preparation • Licensing and Certification Exam Preparation for Teachers • Military Officer Candidate Tests Preparation • U.S. Citizenship Preparation

LearningExpress Library has also added new Online Practice Exams: • Chemistry Skills Improvement • Placement and Admissions Practice Exams for LSAT Logic Games, MAT (Miller Analogies Test), and updated 2011 GRE • Professional Licensing and Certification Practice Exam for Pharmacy College Admission and for Police Officer • SHSAT (Special High School Admission Test) Practice Exams • Updated GRE General Practice Tests

The LearningExpress Library Popular Software Tutorials Center now provides access to new and updated basic and advanced level interactive tutorials for Adobe CS4 and and Microsoft 2010.


UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies Fall Schedule - Continuing Education Spring Online Courses include new topics: Gaming in Libraries, Youth and Family Outreach, Google Apps for Libraries. Other classes include library administration, collection development, social media marketing, programs for adults, youth literature, library grants, spanish for the library, online skills courses, and booktalking.

Turning the Page 2.0 - Develop an Advocacy Work Plan in this free six-week public library advocacy online training course. This facilitated online course will be offered three times. Registration begins September 15 for the October 31 - December 12 session. ALA membership is not required. 

Interest and Careers: Explore & Prepare for Jobs of the Future - Registration is limited for this Job & Career Accelerator webinar presentation for anyone seeking or helping job seekers match current interests with tomorrow's careers.


E-Book Resources

No Shelf Required - An eBook blog to discuss digital content found in libraries as well as the technology needed to read and listen to this digital content. Includes links to articles on the ALA Annual eBook Wrap-up.
E-reader Policies and Procedures - Libraries share their policies for mobile devices on WebJunction. - Use the LendMe search engine feature to lend or borrow books with Nook owners.
ebookfling - Swap eBooks for Kindle and Nook usinig your e-reader device, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android smartphone. It's free to join.
Inkmesh - A search engine for locating free ebooks in all the major U.S. ebookstores (Kindle, Kobo, B&N, etc.)
Feedbooks - A digital publishing/ebookstore site with many ebook formats and an automated conversion supporting several common formats.


"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"
- Dr. Seuss


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.