In this Issue: May 2012

NWLS Assistive Listening System Grant  •  Project Compass National Convening  •  Public Libraries in the Digital Age  •  American Indian Youth Literature Awards  •  Twenty First Century Literacy  •  UW Telecommunications Audit Underway  •  Innovating, Evolving, Thriving  •  Internet Privacy Issues  •  Technology  •  Training  •  Links  •  Reflection

Current Events

May 19 NWLS Board of Trustees, 10:00 NWLS
May 24 Merlin Consortium Meeting, 10:00, NWLS
June 1 Lake Superior Libraries Symposium, 8-4, WITC-Superior
June 5 Directors Meeting, Webster 10:00   
June 7  Directors Meeting, Presque Isle

Current News

NWLS Assistive Listening System Grant

Eighteen NWLS libraries have received funding to install assistive listening systems at their circulation desks to improve services to patrons with hearing loss. The new hearing loop system will transmit a clear speech signal to hearing aids with a T-coil setting or from a headset plugged into the loop.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 36 million (17%) Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loop technology reduces the distortion picked up by digital hearing aids in public spaces. Rather than being projected to the hearing aid's internal microphone, speech is sent into a microphone, an amplifier, and an antenna that radiates a magnetic signal to the hearing aid.

This grant was awarded to participating NWLS libraries by the Wisconsin by the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning in the Department of Public Instruction with funds from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) federal grant program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library.

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Project Compass National Convening 

Linda Stobbe, NWLS Office Manager, joined 215 Project Compass delegates in April for a national convening in Arlington, Virginia to examine ways to sustain workforce recovery efforts. It was an opportunity to share ideas in support of public libraries' efforts to meet the urgent and growing needs of communities impacted by the economic downturn and to explore new solutions to support their local economies. 

Guest speakers included Mary Chute and Susan Hildreth from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); futurist Garry Golden; Assistant Secretary Jane Oates of the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor; Terri Bergman from the National Association of Workforce Boards; author Marilyn Johnson; and Ron Carlee, from the International City/County Management Association.

“Working together, libraries and the workforce system are making a real difference in communities across the United States,” said Susan Hildreth, Director of IMLS. “Collaborations at the local and state levels are making it easier for citizens to access the services and resources they need. I am grateful for the excellent leadership of our partners at the Department of Labor on the federal level and to the leaders and many participants in Project Compass for making this project such a success.” 

“Three years after the onset of the American recession, people still flock to their public libraries for resources and guidance, and this places new demands on public library staff,” said Chrystie Hill, OCLC Community Relations Director. “Project Compass offered training and support to 2500 library staff across the country, and gave them the boost they needed to continue their support for people writing resumes, applying for jobs, creating networks, or starting new businesses. I’m thrilled by the energy I’ve seen from our state and public library participants; they’re literally powering economic recovery – and all Americans ultimately benefit from their commitment to this work.” 

Funded by a grant from IMLS, WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) launched Project Compass on October 1, 2009, to investigate job seekers’ specific demands on public libraries. Since then, the IMLS-funded grant program has supported workforce recovery efforts in U.S. libraries through state library summits, face-to-face and online training, and a Workforce Services community of practice that includes the Project Compass Workshop Materials.

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Public Libraries in the Digital Age

has begun a series of studies examining the changing role of public libraries in the digital age. The Rise of eReading, released in April, is the first in the series of reports in the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The next study will investigate the state of e-book borrowing and will combine results of phone and online surveys of both librarians and e-book borrowers. Online surveys for libraries and patrons involved with public library ebooks will be live April 16 through May 18. Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, will provide an update on the Pew library research on Sunday, June 24, at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. 

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American Indian Youth Literature Awards 

The American Indian Library Association (AILA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, has selected children's books honoring excellence in writing and illustrations by and about American indians: 
  • "The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood" (2011), written by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, illustrated by Ellen Beier; 
  • "Free Throw" (2011)  written by Jacqueline Guest  
  • "Triple Threat" (2011) written by Jacqueline Guest
  • "Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School" (2010), written by Adam Fortunate Eagle.
Honor Books in the Picture Book category:

  • Saltypie; A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle

  • Kohala Kuamo'o: Nae'ole's Race to save a King by Kekauleleana'ole Kawai'ae'a

  • Mohala Mai 'O Hau = How Hau Became Hau'ula by Robert Lono 'Ikuwa

  • I See Me by Margaret Manuel
Honor Books in the Middle Grades category: 

  • Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL by Melanie Florence

  • Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-Gikinoo'amaageng by Anton Treuer et al.
Honor Book in the Young Adult category:
  • Native Defenders of the Environment and other titles in the "Native Trailblazers series by Victor Schilling

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Twenty-First Century Literacy

The Council on Libraries and Network Development (COLAND) has explored issues associated with health literacy, financial literacy, adult reading literacy, and student literacy. Efforts to develop interventions addressing low literacy issues in Wisconsin are presented in the Literacy Resources report by COLAND. They include library programs, resources, and studies created to strengthen the four types of literacy in a local community. 

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UW Telecommunication Audit Underway

A Legislative Audit Bureau audit of the relationship between WiscNet and the UW currently underway is required to be completed by January 1, 2013. Current law prohibits the UW system from selling or providing telecommunications services after July 1, 2013. A bill introduced to extend the deadline one year (AB 473/SB 375) died in committee before the Wisconsin Legislature could bring it to a floor vote in either chamber of the state legislature. 

WiscNet services are fully funded by members, including the UW, and are priced low because of the non-profit research and education collaborative nature of working together to advance networking needs at real costs. The University of Wisconsin system and WiscNet are not in violation of state statutes. WiscNet services are of critical importance to local governments, libraries school districts, colleges and universities relying on WiscNet's more affordable internet service to their members. 

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Innovating, Evolving and Thriving

Current trends detailed in the 2012 State of American Libraries report include the increased demand for public library services as the U.S. struggles to build up its economy and maintain an educated and healthy labor force. Millions of Americans rely on the library for books, information, assistance, public computers, and digital services. Libraries have a long history of adapting to meet the changing needs of their communities and have had a strong impact on employment and business development. But as state and local governments target libraries during budget cuts, public libraries are challenged to meet the increasing needs of their communities.

As Wisconsin leads the country in jobs lost in the past year and lags behind in broadband internet access, libraries play an important role in providing valuable technical resources for assisting the unemployed. As communication and information become increasingly digital, libraries bridge the digital divide, and are often the only option for accessing computers and the Internet. Tech-savy librarians play the role of teacher, research guide, electronic-information navigator, and employment counselor for people seeking employment, government resources, continuing education, career development, and new business opportunities. 

When so much of our economy is driven by information, libraries level the playing field and provide a strong community foundation with their commitment to open access to books, information, computers, technology training, youth programs, and literacy support. Communities that secure necessary library funding are invested financially, energetically, philosophically, and physically, regardless of cultural and socioeconomic differences.

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Internet Privacy Issues 

 The American Library Association has established a national campaign to rally Americans to protect privacy rights in a digital age. "Privacy for All" resources include videos that encourage people to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy. The ALA Privacy Tool Kit offers policies, guidelines, and resources to assist librarians in preserving privacy and confidentiality for library users. 

New technologies have facilitated surveillance with the power to collect and mine personal information. People today have little recourse when their personal information is sold or shared for uses the consumers never contemplated and rarely become aware of. Our data generates billions of dollars in annual ad revenue, and credit card account information is easy for cybercriminals to steal. 

The privacy and civil liberties issues have stirred up lawsuits, concerns from privacy advocates and Attorneys Generals, investigations by the FTC and Congress, and a Do Not Track movement to stop social networks and ad companies from knowing consumer online activities. Internet privacy laws are unlikey to be passed in a tough legislative cycle in an election year. Until they have the law on their side, people need to be vigilant, read the fine print, monitor their credit, and avoid putting all of their digital eggs in one basket.

Figuring out how sites track and share data can be challenging and time consuming. Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers currently offer settings that deny permission to track web history. The privacy settings in accounts such as Facebook or Google influence what is tracked across websites. Visit the Google "Dashboard" service to view and control some of the information Google has collected. Google Web history is a log of all your search activity, and some browsing history. To prevent searches from being tracked by Google, visit Digital Trends step-by-step column, "How to Delete Your Google Web History" or delete your account from Google. 

Support eBooks for Libraries

Some publishers have limited your library ebook choices. Please sign a petition to encourage publishers to work with libraries to:

  • Provide digital content to libraries
  • Allow libraries to have access to books in all formats
  • Develop a business model that allows publishers and authors to thrive while ensuring that libraries can continue to serve readers and build collections for our communities



USB Flash Drive Versatility - Visit Cnet to learn ten top ways to use thumbdrives that go well beyond storing and transferring files. 

Teenager-Proof a Windows 7 PC - Cnet offers a guide to implementing free security programs to enhance a machine's virus resistance.

Symbaloo -  A cloud based tool for saving and organizing bookmarks from an Internet desktop plaform.  

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Support Staff & Circulation Conference - May 23 at the DJ Bordini Business & Industry Center in Appleton the Support Staff and Circulation Services Section of WLA Library advocates is sponsoring a one day event with a theme "Working Together - Blending, Merging, and Transforming." Topics include advocacy, RFID technology, Autism Spectrum, WPLC, Koha, ResCarta local history, chair yoga, eReaders, and telling the library's story. 

Lake Superior Libraries Symposium - June 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior, WI (600 N. 21st St.) the Lake Superior Libraries Symposium will offer librarians an opportunity to share information on management, digitization, leadership, assessment, literature, outreach, technology, and long term planning. Keynote speaker Eli Neiburger will address modern library issues and the challenge of remaining relevant and useful in the years to come. To participate or register, phone 714.468.2815. The $25 fee includes deluxe taco bar. 

Best Kept Secret: Marketing the Small & Rural Library - A June 7 WebJunction webinar on marketing and branding and ways to build partnerships that support and sponsor valuable services and resources.

BadgerLink Genealogy Camp -  Wisconsin residents are invited to join the BadgerLunch webinar series Thursdays in June at noon. Discover genealogy research tips and resources in Wisconsin!

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Summer Reading Program Ideas - Libraries across the nation are using Pinterest to share ideas for "Dream Big Read" summer reading programs, crafts, great books, and displays. Some of the featured ideas provide links to more details. 

Summer Programming with BadgerLink! - View this archived BadgerLink webinar guide to resources available for this Summer's library programming. 

Which Social Network Should You Use - and When? - An infographic to help you develop your social strategy. 

Assistive Adaptive Technologies - A presentation from the LibTech 2012 Conference with resources for library assistive adaptive technologies and services. 

Library Design Showcase - More than 100 new and recently renovated library buildings are featured in the spring American Libraries journal, 16 of which are showcased in the digital supplement along with articles to inspire libraries seeking to make a case for the economic benefits they provide their communities.

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The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
- Mark Twain


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.