In this September 2013 Issue:

Health Information ResourcesMerlin and BadgerLink Upgrades2014 LSTA GrantseRate ReformsRight to Libraries CampaignBad River Grant AwardOctober TallyTechnologyTrainingLinksReflection

Current Events

September 12 Workshop: Technology Trends, 1:00-2:00 webinar
September 13 Workshop: Evaluating American Indian Children's Literature, 10:00-2:00, LCO College Community Library
September 17 Workshop: Americans With Disabilities Act in the News, 10:00-2:00, NWLS
October 2 Workshop: Library Support Staff: Book Repair 10:00-2:30, Hands-On Gadgets Help, 12:30-2:30 NWLS
October 16 Workshop: Growing Wisconsin Readers, 10:00-3:00, Hayward
October 22-25 Annual Conference: Wisconsin Library Association, Green Bay Hyatt Convention Center


Health Information Resources

Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins October 1. Libraries are likely to see an increased requests for public health information opportunities with the establishment of federal and state-run Health Insurance Marketplaces, which opens for public enrollment on October 1, 2013, as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to access resources for learning about types of health benetits, comparing options and enrolling in coverage.

What can libraries do to help people prepare? Links to information, handouts and webinars are provided by the Department of Public Instruction. For updates as the eHealth project developes you can also visit WebJunction's eHealth; a comprehensive guide for helping patrons navigate health information and for connecting to resources related to health and wellness.

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Merlin and BadgerLink Upgrades

Recently both the Merlin library catalog and the BadgerLink discovery database have been renovated to provide users with the same great content but with new features and improved display and navigation.

The Merlin renovation added new features to accommodate self registration, online fee payments, online library donations, and improved support for screen readers to better increase accessibility.

The new BadgerLink website showcases a responsive design that gives users multiple paths to finding information including the ability to browse resources by subject, formate, or user group - on any device. BadgerLink training resources are available and a Website Introduction webinar series is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on September 26.

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2014 LSTA Grants

The 2014 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant applications for six competitive grant categories are due by 4:30 p.m. on September 13, 2013. Competitive grant categories are: • Digital Creation Technology • Digitization of Library Historical Material • Accessibility Projects • Early Literacy Projects • Literacy Projects • Merging Integrated Library Systems.

The LSTA web site contains:
• 2014 LSTA Grant Application
• 2014 LSTA Information and Guidelines
• 2014 LSTA Information Session Recording
• LSTA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
• LSTA Grant Application Worksheet
• E-Book Reader Lending Program Guidance
• Serving Special Populations
• Tips for LSTA Grant Writers
For further information: Terrie Howe, 608-266-2413 OR by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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e-Rate Reform

On July 23 the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) initiated the most comprehensive reform process of the e-rate program since the program started in 1997. Background: E-rate provides our schools and libraries with discounts on their broadband and Internet costs. Wisconsin schools and libraries receive, directly or indirectly, about $35 million a year from the program (about 90% of public libraries indirectly benefit from the program as part of the statewide E-rate application that the TEACH program submits). E-Rate is the largest federal technology program for school and libraries. The FCC website provides a good two-page summary of this major reform effort and the complete reform notice, which includes over 600 questions. Department of Public Instruction staff members will submit comments to the FCC on E-rate reforms by the September 16 deadline.

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America's Right to Libraries Campaign

The President of the American Library Association introduced The Declaration for the Right to Libraries as an advocacy tool to help communities take action to protect the value of their libraries and library staff. The initiative focuses on transformative library practices in literacy, innovation, and community engagement and the value of libraries as institutions that empower individuals, strengthen families, build communities, and protect our right to know. Signed declarations will be presented to Congress by library supporters during the 2014 National Library Legislative Day on May 5-6.

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Bad River Grant Award

The Bad River Public Tribal Library has been awarded a minigrant by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation to help fund the Bad River Traditional Outfit Creation Program with goals to teach young adults and children at the library to learn more about the Ojibwe culture. Participants will learn how to design and make their own traditional dance outfit. The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation awards 59 minigrants each year to teachers and librarians across the United States for programs that foster the love of learning, enhance creative expression, and optimize interaction between educators and students.

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October Annual Tally

Public libraries that do not routinely count library visits will be required to collect data for a "typical week" in October. The questions on the annual report that might be answered with data collected during "typical week" counts are Reference Transaction, Library Visits, and Public Internet Computer Uses, Wireless Internet Uses.

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Free Open Source Software for Libraries - community-generated software portal for creators, users, and support providers and information about new packages, events, software releases, and support options and an institution's own use of open source software.

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Libraries and MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses offered by universities have been offered free of charge for no credit with the option of receiving a certificate for completing course work. The Hyperlinked Library is a free twelve week professional development MOOC focusing on the latest trends in the information profession presented by the San Jose State University this fall. For more information on MOOCs for librarians, see the Google Group MOOCs and Librarianship.
Collections: Making Smart Choices Within a Limited Materials Budget - View the August 22 webinar on collection development planning, trends, and resources.

The art of Public Speaking - Five tips for a presentation that informs, inspires, and motivates 1. People learn best in 20-minute chunks (ex. Ted Talks) 2. Avoid complicated sensory distractions 3. Audiences react to tone and body language 4. Be specific about your call to action 5. People immitate emotions - enthusiasm will be contagious.

Caring for Yesterday's Treasures Today - Free online series tailored to help libraries protect historical collections. The recordings, handouts, and resources are available.

BadgerBrunch Fall 2013 - A fall series exploring BaderLink's rich collection of information tools.

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Keys to the Whole World: American Public Libraries - National Public Radio explores the public library system in a series addressing library support, architecture, media consumption, copyright, and community.

All Star Libraries - Noteworthy examples of the 2012 All Star Public Libraries selected by Library Journal.

Library Campaigns That Made a Difference - The Public Library Association explores successful public awareness campaigns in public libraries around the country.

100 Must-Reads for Kids 9-14 - The National Public Radio's list of great reads for kids includes a little bit of everything: tales of adventure, stuggle, exploration, escape, coming of age, animal stories, pioneer sagas, science- fiction, and beloved classics.

Great Websites for Kids - Ten websites have been added to the list of reliable online resources for children under age 15 featuring a blend of fact and fun with a range of diverse subjects and resources for teachers and parents.

IFLA Report: Trends Impacting the Information Environment - The International Federation of Libary Associations and Institutions (IFLA) reports on changes taking place in the information environment their affect on the role and identity of libraries.

Pricing Comparison - An ebook pricing report published by the Douglas County Libraries (Colorado) comparing public and library ebook prices.

Overlooked Novels of 2013 - Kirkus Review provides a list of novels published so far this year that deserve a second look.


A well-stocked, well-staffed library is like a gardener who plants books, knowledge, and dreams and grows readers, learners, and do-ers.
Laura Purdie Salas, author


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.

In this November 2012 Issue:

VoteYouth Program HighlightsBook Club KitsLibrary eBook ServiceDigital Literacy, Libraries and Public PolicyDonations for Prison LibrariesTechnologyTrainingLinksReflection


Current Events

November 10 NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting, 12:00, NWLS
November 15
Merlin Consortium Meeting, 10:00, NWLS
November 15
Library Directors Meeting, 12:30, NWLS

Current News

VOTE: Prepare Yourself for the Polls

Many crucial issues are at stake in this close election and in Wisconsin a few votes could give either presidential candidate the margin of victory. Polls will be open until 8:00 p.m. and voters are encouraged to prepare ahead of time to confirm where to vote, to check current registration status, and to review the ballot. New voting laws have been passed in Wisconsin since 2010 that may create unexpected challenges for some voters, especially young, minority, low-income, and disabled voters.

No ID is needed for voting. Wisconsin tried to pass a photo ID requirement in 2011 which was challenged in court. But in order to register to vote Wisconsin residents are required to provide an acceptable proof of residence document. People who must register when they vote include new voters and people who have moved, changed their names, or haven't voted in four years.

Voters have new online voting resources including My Vote Wisconsin for finding information about registration status and the current local polling locations. The Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) offers a Voting Information Center with a voter information checklist, rules for election observers, procedures for reporting problems, news advisories, legal resources, etc. is a new online voters' guide to voter registration, verifying registration, previewing ballots for Federal, State, and County races, comparing information about candidate positions and goals, polling schedules and locations.

The new voter ID laws could negatively influence voter participation in Native American communities, some of which have no street addresses. Native Vote, established to protect the rights of citizens, provides an online information center and a hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) to respond to the questions and concerns of voters, and to serve as a "crisis line" in the event of Election Day problems and to file complaints attorneys can follow up on.

To prove residency there are many documents people can use, including a Wisconsin driver's license or ID, or Social Security number, university ID, a current utility bill showing name and current address, or other official document displaying name and current address such as letters from public schools, student loan papers, correspondence with a Native American tribe in Wisconsin, vehicle registration, and food stamp correspondences. Homeless voters may use an affidavit from a public or private social service agency as proof of residency.

A quick way to establish residency is to set up an account for online banking that lists the new address. The State Government Accountability Board ruled in August that electronic records showing a person's address are acceptable, so voters can use their laptop or smartphone to verify where they live. Resources are available to help homeless voters establish residency. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers free state ID cards to be used for voting.

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Youth Program Highlights

Fall workshops sponsored by NWLS offered librarians an opportunity to share highlights from their  children's programs and explore a host of engaging resources and customer service tips for maintaining a welcoming library environment. Many libraries throughout the northland received generous community support for a variety of successful 2012 youth activity programs:

• Reading incentive programs offered opportunities to read away fines, read for free books, read to a therapy dog, and enter book reports in weekly drawings
• Library socials provided entertainment with storytellers, local author book signings, book discussion parties, movie events, icecream socials, the Incredible Loon entertainer, the magician Jacob Roeber, summer reading bingo, Wii games, a summer carnival with an Amazing Race theme, and an elaborate halloween party with a theme of famous witches and wizards
• Learning activity programs included a live streaming video of an eagle's nest, telescoping the night sky, nature programs with environmental educators, and trivia contests
• Craft programs gave kids an opportunity to make their own embellished sleeping mats, self portrait collages, postcards, memory books, t-shirt stamping with natural materials, nature dioramas, paper mache sculptures, and creative art projects with iPad apps.

Librarians also shared experiences with managing difficult public service situations and explored the principles and strategies of the Wakanheza Project for creating and sustaining a welcoming library evironment with an encouraging, empathetic and positive approach that directs attention toward appropriate outcomes.

Librarians also had an opportunity this fall to explore a variety of ways to integrate technology into youth services programming with free webased animation and story tools for building comic strips (, movies (,, stories (, and animations (

The Northwoods Children's Book Conference offered yet another opportunity to make connections and catch up with everyone's stories. Speakers included authors and leaders in library youth services who shared booktalks and program ideas for storytime activities, and library clubs for kids of all ages.

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Book Club Kits

The popularity of book discussion groups has increased dramatically, and teachers are often in need of multiple copies for classroom use of after-school programs. A regularly updated list of over 1,000 titles are available in kits for book clubs of all sizes, and early learning pre-school kits are available with sets of books related to a theme. The kits are available from libraries through the WISCAT Interlibrary Loan resource sharing service for Wisconsin libraries.

Library e-Book Service

Libraries have been leading digital literacy initiatives to help individuals explore new information technologies that play an important role in civic and cultural life as they become broadly available and user-friendly. Digital reading has made publishing and distributing materials easier and more efficient and has transformed the way people interact with content. Digital software integrates dynamic multimedia interactive features offering audio, video, hypertext, and display options that especially enhance the reading experience for learning and for people with disabilities.

People are turning to the library for content to view on their new digital devices but discover a service that has been slow to improve in efficiency and selection as the technology and legal issues evolve for the ebook market. The race is on for businesses to invest in the largest, most commercially viable collections and the most elaborate digital content management systems with access control technologies that have disproportionately impacted library users. Six publishers currently control of the lion’s share of digital publishing rights of many popular authors and have distribution deals with the big retailers and vendors.

Most books are managed by a small number of very large companies with library lending policies that vary from price increases and undesirable formats to circulation caps and limited or no access to best sellers, new titles, or full series. The emphasis on scale has disadvantaged the thousands of independent publishers of diverse, high quality literature often appealing to local interests. If libraries are to continue to light the way to increased literacy and prepare for the digital environment, they need solutions that support simple access to the necessary diversity of literature.

To ensure libraries, authors, publishers and the public all benefit from ebook lending services, the American Library Association (ALA) has been advocating on behalf of libraries and the readers they serve and urges libraries to negotiate agressively for the most favorable and flexible terms possible. E-book business models essential to the library's public role include:
1. Access to purchase and lend any title for sale to the public
2. The option to own and lend ebooks indefinitely
3. Mechanisms for integrating ebooks into the library catalog without undue complexity

ALA has released "eBook Business Models for Public Libraries" (PDF) and an ebook information center with links to data, bloggers, issues, business models, and reports for libraries offering digital content. ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group met this spring with the senior leaders of OverDrive, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and 3M, and some of the discussions were directed toward “removing any remnants of friction” in ebook borrowing.

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Digital Literacy, Libraries and Public Policy

The American Library Association (ALA) released a draft report this fall to address national policy issues and the need to support meaningful and sustainable change in our communities. Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy (PDF) serves to highlight the important role libraries play in leading digital literacy initiatives that help individuals fully engage in a democratic society. Libraries have been on the front lines of digital inclusuion and life-long learning by shouldering the responsibility for building digital communities that adapt successfully to the critical business, government, education, and social online services. The report advocates for adequate economic support for public libraries struggling to provide the digital service needs of their communities.

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Donations for Prison Libraries

Correctional libraries located in state prisons and county jails are in serious need of materials and would greatly appreciate donations to help the incarcerated improve their reading and educational performance and improve their chances of becoming productive citizens. The Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) in partnership with the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Instruction has organized an initiative to collect books in good condition published within the past three years (with the exception of classics) that match select subject areas.

Donations may be shipped directly to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections - Library Project, 3099 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53707-7925. To arrange small shipments through the delivery, contact Tim Drexler of South Central Library system at (608)266.4643. Donations are greatly appreciated and will help to improve the quality of life for inmates and their families throughout Wisconsin.


Secure Passwords - (From Ars Technica: IT news, reviews and analysis )

You can protect your online personal information using passcode management programs such as Password Safe or LastPass to generate and store all your passwords with a master password that's strong, unique, and memorable without using your birth date or words found in the dictionary. For every account that contains any personally identifying information about you, generate a unique password that includes symbols and a minimum of 13 characters. If you'll be typing the password into a smartphone or other device with a limited keyboard, use a mix of lower-case letters, capital letters, and numbers.

When signing in to websites, try to use a login URL that begins with "https." When you are using a public terminal, make sure that it has the proper firewall and anti-virus installed, make sure your network is secure, log out when you are done with your session and clear the cache once you are done. Change your password at least once every six months, and more often for your most sensitive accounts or after you've used a network you don't trust.

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Managing Traditional and Social Media for Libraries - Managing Traditional & Social Media for Libraries is a free two part library advocacy webinar on the fundamentals of media planning and outreach - including social media. The archived webinar is part of an advocacy training program sponsored by the Public Library Association originally presented May 31, 2012.

Grant Writing for Libraries Serving Children
- WebJunction posts resources for finding, writing, and submitting grant opportunities to support innovative programming and services for children.

Digital Rights Management
- American Library Association provides an DRM information flyer addressing issues related to the restrictions on electronic files such as ebooks.

Makerspaces: A New Wave of Library Service
- This free series of four one hour webinars features makerspace library projects that offer spaces for people to work on physical and digital projects.

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WLA Conference Presentations - Visit Wisconsin Library Association to view resources from the Libraries: For the Common Good conference.
ALA Recommended Websites - American Library Association lists quality web sites and social media guides.

Broadband Map - The FCC Broadband Progress Report is illustrated with an interactive web-based deployment map with features including population, census income statistics, and a percentage of each county with access to fixed technologies providing broadband service.

Digital Basics - A digital literacy tool for learning beginner, intermediate and advanced computer and Internet skills using videos and step by step instructions.

Creative Aging in Our Communities: the Public Library Project - A video presentation of library programs exemplifying the power of the arts to improve the quality of life for older adults, a project of Programming Librarian.

News Know-how - A news literacy education project for a nonpartisan, critical analysis of news and information with tools to assess the accuracy and credibility of information.

EveryLibrary - EveryLibrary is a new 501(c)4 organization dedicated to funding local voter education initiatives for libraries and leveraging donations nationally to support local libraries on the ballot. For more information visit American Libraries Magazine.

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What the world of tomorrow will be like is greatly dependent on the power of imagination in those who are learning to read today.
- Astrid Lindgren, author and screenwriter


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.

In this April 2013 Issue:

Libraries Doing More With LessLibraries and eGovernmentThe State of American LibrariesNWLS Digital Media in ReviewEveryoneOn Digital Literacy CampaignBroadband SurveyLake Superior Library Symposium • TechnologyTrainingLinksReflection


Current Events

May 1-3 Conference: Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries Conference, Lake Geneva
May 21
Webinar: Virtual Not Invisible, 9:30-10:30
May 23
Meeting: Merlin Library Consortium, 10:00, NWLS
June 5/6 Meeting: Library Directors, 10:00, Grantsburg/Boulder Junction
June 7 Conference: Lake Superior Library Symposium, Superior WITC

Current News

Libraries Doing More With Less

The Institute of Museum and Library Services released the results of a public library survey analysis on trends at the local, regional and state levels of services and operations, resources, and workforce. A snapshot for each state reports on services including circulation and expenditures per capita, and public use Internet PCs per capita in 2009 and 2010 with comparisons to regional and national results. Highlights from the Report:

• Libraries offered an average of one program a day, the majority designed for children. Program attendance has continued to rise.
• 2010 circulation was the highest in 10 years; more than one-third was children’s materials, an increase of 28.3%.
• The physical collections made up 87.1%. Audio, video and e-book formats are increasing.
• Computer use rate was more than one use for every five visits to the library.
• Visits averaged 5.3 times per year, a ten-year increase of 21.7%.
• Revenue decreased 3.5% in FY 2010 from FY 2009.
• Operating expenditures in FY 2010 decreased for the first time since FY 2001.
• Full Time staff declined by by 3.9%. Staff expenditures were 67.0% in FY 2010.
• Only half of all libraries are staffed with an ALA-MLS certified librarian.

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Libraries and eGovernment

As governments move services online, public libraries serve as critical community access points to electronic government services. The "Libraries and E-Government: New Partnerships in Public Service" is a program launched by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) to help public libraries provide their communities with essential e-government services and to provide support for collaboration and collective resources.

In the April 12 recorded presentation of Libraries and eGovernment:
  • Learn how to use the web portal to help serve the community's e-government needs.
  • Learn how to use the virtual Ask A Librarian feature through Government Information Online service.
  • Learn more about online resources of organizations that deal with issues such as immigration and taxation.
Due to popular demand, the American Library Association is hosting a two hour webinar on May 1, “E-Government in Action: Matching People with Jobs” (the webinar filled quickly but will be recorded) that will cover job-related e-government services for patrons and ways to provide patrons with job assistance. Numerous libraries will discuss innovative workforce development programs that have successfully connected people with jobs.

For more information visit The Center for Library and Information Innovation and the ALA eGovernment toolkit.

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The State of American Libraries

Libraries continue to respond to the needs of their communities. They maintain a safe harbor for youth, a place to nurture literacy and lifelong learning for all, a community hub for local  history and culture, free access to information and technology, and collaborative partnerships that deliver quality resources and services. The State of America's Libraries Report 2013 from the American Library Association (ALA) details the value and impact of libraries in the past year and the challenges of advancing technology, huge demand, facility and budget constraints, and limited public resources.

ALA has developed a new Libraries Matter portal for accessing information on hundreds of studies documenting the impact of libraries on local economies, community development, and literacy education. Visit ALA's Transforming Libraries site for resources, publications, webinars, and online discussion communities of libraries collaborating on important and sometimes daunting changes.

NWLS Digital Media in Review

2012 marked a year of big changes and growing usage of the digital media collections. BadgerLink and Wisconsin's Digital Library both offer Wisconsin residents free access to digital resources:

provides an EBSCOhost ebook database of about 250,000 nonfiction titles for full-text viewing or downloading. Access the EBSCO ebook collection by clicking the EBSCO "Database List" link in BadgerLink, then choose the "eBook Collection" link from the list. In 2012, access to the EBSCOhost ebooks included 857 searches, 52 full-text views, and 11 checkouts.

Wisconsin's Digital Library
Wisconsin's Digital Library
offers an OverDrive database of about 19,200 ebooks, 9,960 audiobooks, 319 videos, and 179 music titles. Ebook circulation has shown the most dramatic increase of all digital formats (from 4,084 in 2011 to 19,561 in 2012). OverDrive support for Kindle ebooks resulted in 10,321 (or 53%) of the ebook circulations. The highest circulating ebook title in 2012 was "The Litigators" (82 EPUB ebook checkouts, 136 Kindle checkouts). Audiobook circulation totaled 12,239, up 35% from 2011. "The Hunger Games" was the highest circulating title (63 checkouts). The music collection had 56 checkouts (down one from 2011) and the video collection had 95 checkouts (up 19 from 2011).

New for 2013 is the OverDrive Advantage program funded by NWLS to give member library patrons exclusive access to a additional titles purchased to reduce waiting time for popular ebooks. To access Advantage titles, sign in before browsing the catalog.

OverDrive upgraded to a "next generation" interface this year with improved user-friendly features for navigating the catalog and accessing titles with a one-step checkout to download to all major devices. OverDrive Read is a new built-in browser ebook reader for easy access to titles without downloads or installations. To learn more about the new features visit Wisconsin's Digital Library.

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EveryoneOn Digital Literacy Campaign

A three year "everyoneOn" national public service campaign was launched in March to raise awareness of the importance of digital literacy skills, the important role libraries play in digital learning, and to provide a means to extend those services to more citizens of Wisconsin of all ages. The program objective is for all Americans to have access to free digital literacy training and to use technology to access information, educational content, and prepare for a 21st century workforce. The effort can build stronger communities and stronger libraries. The everyoneOn project is a collaboration between Wisconsin's Department of Public InstructionConnect2Compete, the American Library Association, the Institute of Museums and Library Services, OCLC, the Ad Council, and many private corporations.

A webinar recording and a slide presentation provide an overview of the program and the training locator map. A toolkit for libraries will make it easier to get involved in the campaign. Follow everyoneOn via Facebook and Twitter.

Technology learning resources:Digital LearnBadgerLearnBasic Computer SkillsGoodwill FoundationBasic Skills for the World Wide WebLearningExpressLibraryMy Web My WayALISONLynda.comLearn the NetInternet Tutorials

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Please Take a Survey

You Can Help Improve High Speed Internet Connectivity in Wisconsin!

Local Wisconsin residents and area businesses are invited to complete a survey regarding current and future broadband usage and needs.
The survey’s goal is to assess the need for expansion and development of broadband Internet services in Wisconsin. Data from the survey will help Internet providers and policy leaders at the local and state level with future broadband planning. Please complete one survey per household. The survey deadline is May 15, 2013. For more information visit LinkWISCONSIN.

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Lake Superior Library Symposium

Registration is now open for the June 7th Lake Superior Library Symposium at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior. This year's theme is "Libraries by Design" - designing services, spaces and skills to serve our communities and face the future. The event keynote speaker Nate Hill will share his ongoing efforts to keep the Chattanooga Public Library a vibrant community space that helps people access, create, and exchange information and knowledge in the modern world. Nate Hill was named one of Library Journal's 2012 "Movers and Shakers."

The Lake Superior Libraries Symposium debuted in June 2012 to offer a unique regional professional development and networking opportunity to library professionals in Northern Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. It was recognized by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers at the annual “Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities” awards on Friday, February 1, at the state capitol in Madison.

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Reading Rainbow - Engage youth in reading and written word activities through interactive digital experiences featuring National Geographic video field trips as well as hundreds of books with the option of a voice-over narration by professional actors.

Spreadsheet Live - An online spreadsheet sharing service with hundreds of interface functions common to Microsoft Excel, facilitating workflow without inconsistencies or alterations.

Free Barcode Scanning Apps - New iPad and iPad Touch technology includes camera functions compatible with barcode apps for conveniently accessing information from a barcode, QR code or image link to URLs, emails, maps search results or contact information. View video demo. (Use Delivr to generate QR codes with embedded links.)

Quality Apps for Digital Storytimes:Wheels on the Bus (create interactive musical book) • Puppet Pals (movies are created to build narrative skills) • Don't Let the Pigeon Run (an interactive digital book builds skills for phonolgy, vocabulary and creativity) • Go Away. Big Green Monster (interactive fun digital story builds early literacy skill • Build It Up (shapes, colors and sizes build early literacy skills)

Maintain a Secure Browser: Browser plugins can expose computers to unpatched security vulnerabilities. To protect your computer by checking for outdated plugins with websites like Firefox's plugin check. Enable automatic updates for each plugin you have installed. Chrome and Firefox offer a click to play plugin feature which runs plugins on request. Keep your browser updated (especially IE) and leave the auto-update feature enabled. When in doubt don't agree to upload ActiveX controls or EXE files, (they have access to your system and can infect your computer with malicious software). Antivirus can help if you do accidentally download a malicious program.

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BadgerLunch Spring Training - Thursday May 2 at noon explore PubMed (biomedical literature) health resources in BadgerLink

50 Great Apps for Librarians - In this presentation you will learn the potential of apps to provide innovative, value-added reference services, deliver content, and enhance library programming. Speakers discuss 50 great apps for Android and Apple devices and how to find them.

Tech Training for Libraries - A portal for sharing trainer resources for library staff dedicated to helping the public with technology,and workforce development. All materials are available for download. Includes lesson plans, handouts, links, and information on ADA assistive technology programs and support.

UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies - The summer online and location courses include instruction on next generation cataloging practices, organizing book discussions, collecting self-published works, virtual reference services, and using Pinterest and Tumblr.

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Digital Public Library of America - A new platform for America's cultural and scientific records from archives, libraries, museums, cultural heritage institutions, academics, and the public.

Library Programs and Displays - School Library Journal displays a Pinterest presentation of helpful tips for librarians.

Library Programs for Youth - Review lists of ideas for activities related to books, community service, crafts, performance, food, gaming, guests, science, technology, and other fun events. Provided by the Association for Library Service to Children.

Recollection Wisconsin - Formerly Wisconsin Heritage Online, the new statewide digital history website provides free acess to a growing set of historical resources including photographs, postcards, maps, letters, diaries, articles, books, artifacts, and oral histories.

The Right of Publicity Law assures individuals the right to control use of their own images for marketing or commercial purposes and gives them the right to stop others from using their image without permission.

Books Set In - Explore stories set in another time and place.

smart investing @ your library - Resources for library financial literacy programs to expand community awareness of effective and unbiased tools for managing money and navigating technology.


Libraries are society's workhorses, making available what is good and worthy and open to all who need information, reassurance or a kick in the imagination. A town without a library is irredeemably impoverished.
- Bill Peschel, author


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.

In This Issue: July 2011

NWLS Announces New Website • Learning Labs Project • Libraries Connect Communities • Strategies for Preserving Public Libraries • Meeting the High Demand for Technology • Technology • Training • Links • Reflection 

Current Events

July 16 NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting 10:00 (NWLS)

Current News

NWLS Announces New Website

From Jim Trojanowski, NWLS Director - Northern Waters Library Service is releasing a new website and visitors to our old site will be automatically directed to the new at the same address:

The new site, built on the Joomla open-source content management platform, facilitates security and expandability, and allows all staff to easily edit content.  

We’ve given our site a fresh look and updated menus to make it easier for visitors to the site to find what they are looking for. Some new content and features have been added to the content from the previous site.

Please take time to visit the new site and familiarize yourself with it. Feel free to send comments to me.

Learning Labs Project

Grant application guidelines are now available for the “Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums” project to fund the planning and design of up to 30 Learning Labs in libraries that support a community of practice based on current research on how young people learn through new media.  The Learning Labs will engage young people nationwide in learning that is interest-based, youth-centered, flexible and collaborative.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are funding the project, a program in partnership with the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC).  The funding initiative is part of President Obama's “Educate to Innovate” campaign, a nationwide effort to bring American students to the forefront in science and math, to provide the workers of tomorrow with the skills they need today, and to re-envision learning in the 21st century.

This partnership underscores the critical role the nation's libraries and museums play in helping citizens build and develop skills in areas such as information, communications and technology literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, civic literacy, and global awareness. 

For more information visit the IMLS Web site at and, Funding Opportunity Number LLP-FY11. Proposals must be submitted through no later than August 15, 2011. Awards will be announced in November 2011. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the Learning Labs Project. 

Libraries Connect Communities

Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2010-2011 is a new national report on computer-related library services and the impact of library funding changes on connectivity, technology deployment and sustainability. The project is made possible by a generous donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association.

Today’s public libraries are vital community technology hubs that millions of Americans rely on for their first and often only choice for Internet access to critical job seeking and e-government resources.  Despite increased demand for library computers, however, libraries typically have not seen a corresponding increase in budgets and many are challenged to provide enough computers or fast-enough connection speeds to meet demand.  Budget cuts on the state and local level have forced libraries across the country to scale back drastically on operating hours and access to services, just when resources are most needed.

The study provides information useful for advocating for technology resources; for policymakers at local, state, and federal levels; for manufacturers of information and communication technologies, and for the communities served.

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Strategies for Preserving Public Libraries

The latest policy brief from the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy’s (OITP) breaks down the formidable challenges in store for libraries during the next few decades. The brief, “Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library” (PDF) responds to the possible outcomes of the current economic, social and technological forces and trends that will affect libraries and require them to evolve rapidly with alternative service strategies that can preserve their fundamental role in the future of serving the American public with necessary information services. Strategies are suggested in the brief to help libraries play an active role in shaping their future based on their specific situations and to assist in making choices that reinforce their contributions to the individuals and communities they serve in the coming decades. 

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Meeting the High Demand for Technology

Public access computers in U.S. public libraries continue to be in high demand according to Who is in the Queue: Public Access Computer Users (, a new research brief by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Libraries have responded to demand by increasing financial investments in hardware, subscription databases and computing infrastructure. The report also demonstrates that public libraries are providing much more than basic technology access.

Libraries serve young and old, rich and poor, people with little formal education as well as those with graduate degrees. Young people between the ages of 14-19 were most likely to be using computers for educational purposes, users between the ages 25-54 were focused on employment and training, and older adults focused on health information. 


E-Book Updates

• Owners of e-book readers doubled to 12% in May from 6% last November according to  results of a survey project conducted by the Pew Research Center. Tablet computers designed to accomodate e-books as well as more interactive web functions have not seen the same level of growth. 

• Many comparison reviews of ebook readers are available on the blog.  

• Answers to frequently asked e-book questions from public librarians are provided by the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy's E-Books Task Force (PDF).

• OverDrive WIN is a series of OverDrive platform enhancements that will be launched to simplify eBook lending and expand collections to create win-win-win for libraries, publishers, and readers. Key priorities for librarians include streamlined procedures for borrowing eBooks on a variety of platforms and devices, strong publisher support for library eBook lending programs, and additional options for digital book collections to meet the swell in demand for eBooks from public libraries.


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 Online Presentations
• July 12 Libraries at the core of Workforce Recovery: Supporting Small Business and Financial Health - A workshop designed to help move your community from surviving to thriving. 
• July 20 Information Cartographer: Social Media Librarians of the Future - A presentation on successfully incorporating social media services.
• July 27 WebJunction Finding a Legal Comfort Zone on the Web - Learn how to structure web initiatives that don't require another written policy. 

BadgerLink resources are available to help find the perfect summer read. Registration for the July webinars at BadgerLunch webinar Series:
July 14 TeachingBooks: Explore K-12 fiction and nonfiction resources that encourage integration of multimedia author and book materials into reading activities.
July 21 NoveList K-8: Learn about the fiction database designed to appeal to students.
July 28 NoveList: Discover the rich reader' advisory features including title information, read-alikes, book discussion guides, reading lists and more.

23 Things for Professional Development - A self-directed learning program designed to encourage exploration of new technologies within the context of libraries, including blogging, twitter, online networks, organizing yourself, librarianship training options, collaboration, organizing your references, presenting information, advocacy, and more.

July 26 BookList Book Group Buzz - Join a readers' advisory expert for a presentations about trends in book group selections, and a look at recommended upcoming and backlist titles. 

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Hooray For YA: Teen Novels For Readers Of All Ages - Five "young adult" novels will appeal to readers of all ages are previewed on National Public Radio .

Open Cover Letters - Displays cover letters that led to interviews for library related employement. 

American Association of School Librarians Top 25 Websites for Teaching and LearningThe top websites foster qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration in the following categories: Media Sharing, Digital Storytelling, Manage and Organize, Social Networking, Content collaboration, Curriculum sharing and Content Resources 


By the time I was sixteen I had read many books and I had become a freethinker.
- From All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy


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. 

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. 

In This Issue: September 2011

Digital Media Gains Momentum • Updated Certification Rules • Ojibwe Book Wins National Award • Winning Big Support • Broadband in Wisconsin • Early Learning Challenge • Print vs. Online • Public Records and Open Meetings Laws Seminars • Mike Cross Retires from DPI • WLA Annual Conference 

Current Events

September 17 NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting (NWLS) 10:00
September 22-23 Northwood Children's Book Conference (Flat Creek Inn, Hayward)
October 5  NWLS Workshop: Interlibrary Loan/Database Training (Shell Lake) 10:00
October 6  NWLS Workshop: Interlibrary Loan/Database Training (Mercer) 10:00 
October 14 NWLS Workshop: Why Talk About Books, (NWLS) 10:00 

Current News

Digital Media Gains Momentum

From Mike Sheehan, NWLS Assistant Director - The year 2011 has seen a flurry of activity in regards to digital media for libraries. In the early part of the year, librarians saw new OverDrive eBook and eAudio apps available for iPad users. Librarians became involved this summer in a statewide summit on electronic content and have begun committing funds to add titles with OverDrive. Also this summer, NetLibrary eBooks were taken over by EBSCOhost. Expectations are high for Kindle readers accessing OverDrive titles by the end of the year.

Despite the changes this year, usage of digital media by patrons in the NWLS area is still expected to skyrocket. 2010 and 2011 statistics for January through August show digital media popularity increased from 5,423 to 6,181. In 2010 ninety-three percent (5,025) of the OverDrive digital media use was audiobooks and five percent (269) was eBooks. NetLibrary eBook use totalled 551. In 2011 seventy-seven percent (4,749) of the OverDrive digital media use was for audiobooks and 23% (1,402) was eBooks. NetLibrary and EBSCO eBooks checkouts have totalled 440, but a big increase in use of the EBSCO foreshadows checkouts surpassing previous years.

2011 has been called the year of the eBook, and mobile devices, mobile apps and Kindles are hot. Statistics may show only one aspect of the demand and interest of digital media, but they help solidify the idea that digital media will be around for some time and will continue to grow in popularity.

Updated Certification Rules

The 2011 Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification Manual (pdf) is now available online. The table of contents contains bookmarks to the different sections of the manual. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction provides certification resources including links to the updated certification application and activity reporting forms. A summary of the changes made under the new rules are:

• Certification renewal requirements include at least 10 hours of technology-related training.
• Allow grade II certification for applicants with bachelor’s degree and a minor in library science with 3 semester credits in advanced public library administration.
• Updated public librarian certification requirements for grade II and III certification to reflect the changes in the nature of public library operation and flexibility as to how the 12 required credits may be earned.
• The temporary certification for grade II and III certification is modified to reflect the requirements of new coursework, and a minimum of one course is to be completed annually until the certification requirements are complete.

Ojibwe Book Wins National Award

A book from Wiigwaas Press written in Ojibwe for young readers, Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-gikinoo’amaageng, has been named Minnesota’s Best Read for 2011 by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Representing Minnesota at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. next month, it is the first in a series of books being published to encourage learning the tribal language. The book is a collaboration of a team of editors from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada, including illustrator Wesley Ballinger of Mille Lacs, currently a Chequamegon Bay resident working as a Language Specialist for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission. Ballinger fills the book with beautiful watercolor versions of bears and birds of prey. The collection of stories, suitable for all ages, shines a light on Ojibwe culture and delights readers and language learners with the antics of animals who playfully deal with situations familiar to children in all cultures.

The creation and publication of Awesiinyensag was made possible through partnership between the Minnesota Humanities Center and Birchbark House nonprofit. Funding for the project came through a National Endowment for the Humanities We the People grant. Ojibwe language publishing has been a rapidly growing field in the region with the advent of several new immersion programs and resurging interest in tribal languages and culture in the area.

Winning Big Support

The newly-updated Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library provides tips and tools on using publicity, reports, media, stories, technology, and partnerships to strengthen support for your library. The toolkit is available free from the ALA Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the Association for Rural & Small Libraries and the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. Printed orders over 20 will be available for $.50/toolkit with a $7 flat shipping fee. 

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Broadband in Wisconsin

In 2010 the FCC drafted the National Broadband Plan to provide all Americans with affordable broadband Internet access. Ninety-seven percent of Wisconsin libraries fall below the FCC's broadband benchmark and Wisconsin ranked 43rd in the nation in high-speed broadband connectivity. Twenty-six percent of rural Wisconsin residents cannot get broadband service. Currently each NWLS library will max out their allotted 1.5 to 3 Mbps broadband width by 10 a.m. or earlier resulting in slow Internet speeds. Libraries are providing new and innovative services that demand streaming capabilities and bandwidths far exceeding 3 Mbps.

Projects in Wisconsin are currently underway to expand the open fiber network infrastructure and to increase bandwidth with no added cost to taxpayers. LinkWISCONSIN is currently seeking public comments on a Broadband Action Plan serving Region 1 in northern Wisconsin. For more information on the broadband landscape in Wisconsin, you can read the DPI's recently updated "School and Library Broadband & Internet Access in Wisconsin" by Bob Bocher.

The FCC is currently working to “reform and modernize” the Universal Services Fund (USF) to address the issue of affordable and equal access to broadband Internet services. The reform may affect subsidies which could translate into more broadband power and a reduction in costs for residential, school, library and healthcare organizations. The FCC is reviewing public comments regarding the reform. The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) filed comments with the FCC regarding USF reform. Highlights include:

•  Community anchor institutions should have a minimum of 1 Mbps level of service for every computer (the 4 Mbps standard for residential consumers is far too low).

•  The USF should directly fund a portion of high-capacity broadband services to anchor institutions.

•  The FCC should adopt a “comprehensive community” approach by encouraging institutions to share network assets.

•  Recipients of FCC subsidies should be required to provide anchor institutions with the high-capacity broadband they need to serve their communities. Nearly 80% of schools and libraries in the E-rate program say their connections do not meet their needs.

 • Anchor institutions are largely underserved.

•  Most schools have less broadband than the average home.

•  29% of rural health-care clinics were located in areas where mass-market broadband was not available.

•  62% of public libraries have a broadband connection at 3 Mbps or less. [Broadband Assessment Project, Gates Foundation]

•  Rural anchor institutions have less broadband capability than urban institutions.

•  Rules and reporting requirements need to ensure broadband needs are being met. 

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Early Learning Challenge

The U.S. Department of Education, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released the final application for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC). The purpose of the Early Learning Challenge is to prepare young children ages birth to five for success in school, a task libraries take on everyday in communities across the country.

The Early Learning Challenge awards will range from $50 million to $100 million, depending on the population of the state. Since only Governors are eligible to apply for these awards it is important Governor Walker is aware of the important role libraries play in preparing children to start school and what this money can do to help Wisconsin libraries continue this work. It is also important to continue efforts to get librarians onto the governor’s task force boards. Applications for this grant are due October 19, 2011 and award winners will be announced in December 2011.

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Print vs. Online

The newspaper's role in preserving democracy through an informed citizenry is being transformed as online news formats become more conducive to modern lifestyles. Digital media challenges one's capacity for concentration and contemplation, and studies show that online readers unintentionally ignore worthy stories. Medium Matters, a small academic study presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication reveals that print readers retain significantly more than online newsreaders and remember more main points of the news stories. 

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Public Records and Open Meeting Laws Seminars

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced that the public, media representatives, and government officials and employees can begin registering online to attend upcoming Department of Justice seminars on the public records and open meetings laws. These topics are of interest to public library board directors and trustees, municipal officials, and others who work with public boards. Space is limited for the free programs, so anyone interested in attending the seminars should register early.

The three-hour, live programs will be held the afternoons of Monday, October 3 (Pewaukee) and Monday, October 10 (Madison). An online webinar also is scheduled for Thursday, October 20.

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Mike Cross Retires from DPI

Former NWLS Director Mike Cross has announced his retirement from the Department of Public Instruction as director of the Public Library Development Team. Mike joined the DPI's Development Team in 1998 as Consultant for Public Library Administration. He chaired the Trustee Essentials handbook project, and a project to update the Wisconsin Public Library Standards. He also helped staff the 2002 Legislative Task Force that resulted in significant updates to Wisconsin library law. Mike has led a team of library consultants who provide a wide range of services that support Wisconsin public library service. Mike’s last day at the DPI will be September 14.

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WLA Conference

Libraries: A Renewable Resource is the theme of the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference November 1-4 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Workshops topics include:

ALA certification programs • BadgerLink Multimedia • Google services • communication strategies • library staffing issues • assisting OverDrive users • library technology issues and trends • ebook developments • notable book titles • providing instruction toolkits • legal issues • professional development • RDA update • library board strategic planning • FoodShare resources • interactive childrens programs • job seeking resources • library programming • working with the library board • state budget politics • retirement planning • technology show and tell • applying web 2.0 • customer service • building plans

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IPAD Library Workstation

iPads are easy and familiar to the digital generation and offer loads of educational apps that can help people learn to read, retool their resumes, view training turorials, and play educational games with a user friendly touch screen. Many tech websites and blogs list top mobile apps (usually free or low cost) or review new apps. View 20 Coolest iPad Ideas for Your Library for inspiration.

Open Library

Open Library is an open digital library project of the non-profit Internet Archive built by libraries for libraries. Their goal is to provide a list of every book with links to an online-readable version if available, links to library copies, and links to purchase sources. There are currently over one million free public domain eBooks.

The Lending Library is a collection of over 100,000 eBooks provided by over 1,000 currently participating libraries. Up to 5 eBooks can be borrowed at a time for up to two weeks and can be read on the device of your choice; no compatibility issues. To participate the library just needs to contribute at least one book to Internet Archive for digitization. Libraries can send "last copies" and share with other libraries while freeing up valuable shelf space.

Numerous Ways to Enjoy a Good Book

Deciding on a Book, and How to Read It - New York Times technology reporter Nick Bilton reads a book to answer the question: "Which device is best for reading books?" He reads each chapter from a different platform including Kindle, iPads, Nook, iPhone, Windows Phone, Android phone, Android tablet, laptop computer, and a paperback. 

Calibre eBook Managment

Calibre is a free and open source comprehensive ebook application for managing ebooks with features supporting a variety of formats.


Innovative Use of Skill-based Volunteers in Public Libraries - A one hour WebJunction webinar Monday October 19, 1pm. Identifies plan of action and critical issues necessary for tapping into expertise and professional skills of net-generation volunteers.

Customer Service and Interpersonal Skills - WebJunction offers resources on topics including customer service goals, managing workplace stress, and communication skills. Also available is an archive of the Pat Wagner presentation "Staying Committed to Great Customer Service When Your Library is in Chaos".

What's My Role - trustee training screencast from the Southwest Wisconsin Library System.


Stories Support Libraries - "Child of the Library: Stories is a new web site collecting stories of what your library means to you and what it meant to you growing up. Piers Cawley shares his song "Child of the Library" and the important role libraries played in his life in England. He asks to share the song far and wide in the fight to keep libraries alive.

Autism from a Kid's Point of View - "Remarkable Reads: Autism"  is a selection of books from School Library Journal that focuses on children with autism, their friends, and family.

WebMath - Solve your math problems today and learn how to arrive at the correct answer, whether you're calculating retirement savings and converting metric systems or dividing and converting fractions. 


"Must be able to get along with Western people, ride and drive, as well as pack a horse, follow a trail, shoot straight, run an automobile and be able to rough it whenever necessary."
- Early 1900s advertisement for Platte County Wyoming librarian


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.