In This Issue: October 2011

Supporting Budget Requests With ReportsActivating Advocacy NetworksALA Funding and Technology SurveyPopular Library ProgramseBook SamplesThe Digital DividePublic Library District LegislationBe Aware of Facebook Social AppsLibrary eBooks for KindleTechnologyTrainingLinksReflect

Current Events

November 2-4  WLA Annual Conference  (Milwaukee)
November 12   NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting (NWLS) 12:00 
November 17  Merlin Consortium Meeting (NWLS) 10:00
November 17  Library Directors Meeting (NWLS) 12:30

Current News

Supporting Budget Requests With Reports

Annual report data collected through LibPAS are available to for generating comparison reports and graphs that can be used to highlight the library’s achievements, demonstrate needs, or to justify continuing support. Public libraries can now utilize several report templates designed to quickly compare the library with other Wisconsin public libraries, within a 10% range of local appropriation, circulation, municipal population, or total income. Graphical comparison charts can easily be generated from the tool. The Department of Public Instruction provides instruction on using the templates. The library directors can log into the LibPAS application from the portal page.

The full set of 2010 Public Library Annual Report data is available on the Public Library Development Team’s Service Data page. Library staff or trustees who are familiar with Excel or compatible spreadsheet products may prefer to sort or filter the data available in the worksheets and generate their own charts and graphs.

Activating Advocacy Networks

Activating advocacy networks is crucial to preserving quality library services. Library directors can benefit from building strong, positive word-of-mouth marketing, detailing services on the library website, and from the support of a reporter. Directors can also benefit from briefing supporters and encouraging them to:

• Attend and participate in public budget workshops and presentations offered by your municipality
• Review budget information shared online and respond to surveys
• Present brief testimony at the "comments from citizens present" portion of council meetings. Have advocates tell their library stories "for the record"
• Write letters to the editor of the local newspaper (and cc: local officials)
• Attend functions attended by local officials and engage in relationship building conversation

ALA Funding and Technology Survey

The annual American Library Association (ALA) Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey is now available for all libraries to complete. In past years Wisconsin has had one of the highest response rates (80%+) in the country. Support from the Gates Foundation ends this year, and this may be the last year to participate in the annual survey.

The survey should first be previewed and individual Wisconsin library IDs are needed to start the online survey which takes about 30-40 minutes to complete. If you have any problems or questions, contact survey support at 301-405-9445 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Popular Library Programs

A library program sure to win popularity is a sleepover at the library, just for stuffed animals! Children invite their stuffed animals to a bedtime storytime and engage in helping them listen and say rhymes together. The program ends with a lullaby and a one-on-one board book story read by each child to their stuffed companion before tucking them in and saying goodnight. The stuffed friends are picked up the following day accompanied by a craft made "by the animals" and a memory book of the overnight adventure. For more information visit the Association for Library Service to Children ALSC Blog.

Fall is a busiy time of year for everyone @ your library. For ideas of how libraries are celebrating autumn with Halloween and Thanksgiving projects, visit ALA's Celebrate Autumn @ Your Library.

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Sampling eBooks

OverDrive “eBook Samples” have been added to the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) Digital Books catalog for patrons who wish to sample ten percent of a story immediately on their computer or mobile device before deciding to check it out, ultimately reducing holds and wait lists. A “Sample” button will appear below the jacket of eBooks that can be previewed. For more information visit the OverDrive Digital Library Blog. To sample eBooks, visit the WPLC Digital Download Center and browse through lists of eBooks.

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The Digital Divide

Libraries have long been at the forefront of advocacy for equal access to information services for all people. This is a crucial time for protecting equal access to an open Internet, a major issue of contention now that television, radio, phone service and every type of media will be delivered by a broadband connection. State and federal government must take seriously its obligation to make decisions that are in the public interest.

In a time when broadband becomes necessary for economic development, education, and health care, closing the digital divide would allow everyone to benefit from the new economy, but eighteen million Americans in rural areas remain without broadband services. Many rural communities are benefiting from locally owned networks built to serve the public interest, but efforts to bring communities up to speed with 21st Century broadband infrastructure have been challenged by state lawmakers acting in the best interest of telecommunication companies securing state protection and support at the expense of the consumer.

Rural broadband projects may be seriously jeopardized by reforms to the Universal Services Fund scheduled for release on October 27 if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rubber stamps an industry-written and supported plan that would eliminate the state's ability to enforce accountability and consumer protection, and a commitment to unserved and under-served communities.

The Internet is also the subject of heated debate over the FCC's Open-Internet rules, scheduled to go into effect on November 20. Public interest groups are challenging the FCC for approving a proposal made by Google and Verizon to enforce open internet rules on wired connections but to allow wireless companies more latitude in putting limits on access to services and applications. FCC authority to protect Internet users is being legally challenged by House Republicans and the Internet industry. Net neutrality rules on wireless providers of mobile broadband are also not enforced by the recently proposed National Wireless Initiative.

Important public policy questions are currently being debated that can rapidly change the Internet as we know it. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national broadband policy in place to protect Internet users and to bridge the digital divide. Millions of Americans have sent letters to the FCC, Congress and state representatives urging leaders to stand with the public for once and for all.

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Public Library District Legislation

Legislation to authorize districts as an option for public library governance and funding in Wisconsin is being introduced by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the System and Resource Administrators Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW). Public library districts would be an alternative choice to the four options currently provided by state law for public library organization and governance. According to statistics collected by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, nearly 15% of U.S. public libraries are organized as districts.

The formation of a public library district, basically defined as an independent taxing authority that is authorized by state law to establish and operate a public library, would be a matter of local choice. The proposal will be further discussed at the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) board meetings and the Wisconsin Small Libraries (WISL) section at the WLA Conference. More information about districts will be included in the WLA Conference presentation “What’s New Under the Dome,” Thursday, November 3, 4:15 to 5:00 p.m. in Room 201A of the Frontier Airlines Center, Milwaukee.

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Be Aware of Facebook Social Apps

Facebook's new Timeline design, a memory bank of photos and history, requires an awareness of how much information users want to share. The new Read, Watch, Listen media sharing apps are NOT buttons and will automatically update Facebook news feeds, unlike the button which provides a choice to share individual pieces of content. These plug-ins would allow third parties to post status items to a user's Facebook timeline without their intervention, even after logging out of Facebook.

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Library eBooks for Kindle

The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) offers eBooks and audiobooks for use on a PC or Mac computer and popular mobile devices such as a Smartphone, MP3 player, and eBook reader like the Barnes & Noble® Nook™ and Sony® Reader. The eBook collection is now compatible with the Amazon® Kindle eBook reader. With a valid Wisconsin library card anyone can now download popular and classic eBooks to a Kindle device or any mobile device running the free Kindle app, such as iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, etc. When selecting the "Get for Kindle" link, the book is borrowed from OverDrive and then downloaded from Amazon where it is activated for the Kindle.

Once a user takes advantage of this new Kindle/OverDrive service, the library card number, eBook checkout history, and any eBook notes becomes part of Amazon's database and subject to their privacy policy. Books must be returned through the "Manage Your Kindle" page. The book remains listed in your Amazon library unless you click again and delete it from your library. Privacy is more protected when using a generic account with a different email address than the account used to purchase from Amazon.

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E-Content - Create your own search tool for just the websites you know and trust. Take a look at some of these search rolls that have already been created:
Public Domain e-Books Search
Frontline's Alternative Medicine
Create your own search

is a cross-platform open-source tool providing several ways to trim PDFs to look better on an eReader. For more information visit Lifehacker.


Summer Reading Program Workshop - The 2012 Dream Big - Read! Summer Reading Program Workshop will be held at the Milwaukee Public Museum Planetarium and IMAX Theatre on Tuesday, November 1 at 1:00 to 4:00 preceding the WLA vendor reception. The $10.00 registration fee can be paid at the door. For more information contact Rhonda Putney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reaching Reluctant Readers
- Tuesday, November 1 at 1 p.m. Booklist will present a free, hour-long webinar on how to transform reading from a frustrating to a rewarding experience for children and teens.


Advocacy Fact Sheets - American Library Association has recently released Advocacy Fact Sheets to help libraries and library systems provide necessary services with a high degree of excellence.

- A new blog offered by American Libraries to help libraries keep up with digital content news, strategies and resources.

2011 National Book Awards - The twenty finalists for the best of American literature for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people's literature were announced October 12.


"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life."
- Henry Ward Beecher


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.