Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WLA Awards Announced: Celebrating Excellence in Library Service

The Wisconsin Library Association is pleased to announce this year’s library luminaries, selected as outstanding for their contribution to libraries and librarianship:

Library of the Year
UW-Sheboygan University Library
A new, state-of-the-art facility and a staff that have spent the last decade systematically building and enhancing progressive library services make this academic library a winner.

DEMCO/Librarian of the Year
Kathryn (Katie) Hanson, director, Graham Public Library
Union Grove
Library service improvements through technology, an expansion project and Katie Hanson’s personal touch have made the Graham Public Library a treasure in the community. WLA’s DEMCO Librarian of the Year will help Union Grove celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Graham Public Library this year.

Muriel Fuller Award
Darla Jean Kraus, director, Lakeview Community Library
Random Lake
Darla Jean Kraus is this year’s Muriel Fuller winner, recognizing her tireless advocacy for the Lakeview Community Library, from fundraising, management of remodeling and expansion projects, to increasing programming and collaboration with other community organizations.

WLA Highsmith Award
Ruff Readers Program – Racine Public Library
One of the first programs of its kind offered in the state, Ruff Readers gives the children of Racine an opportunity to practice their reading skills with non-judgmental listeners – certified therapy dogs that visit the library with their handlers.

Special Service Award
Chelsea Couillard, Christina Johnson, Catherine Phan
UW-Madison School of Library and Information Services
Conducted when all three were students at the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, a Community Needs Assessment for the Red Cliff Tribal Library resulted in the restoration of some tribal library service, threatened by a lack of funding and other challenges.

Citation of Merit
Mead-Witter Foundation, Inc.
Wisconsin Rapids
The Foundation awarded noncompetitive grants totaling $382,000 to selected public libraries in central and northern Wisconsin for a variety of public use materials and equipment or programs. The Foundation has now given a total of $1,206,000 through grants that have provided libraries and their patrons innumerable benefits.

View more details about the award winners.

WLA congratulates these stellar winners and will celebrate their accomplishments at an Awards & Honors Banquet at this year’s WLA Conference in Appleton at the Radisson Paper Valley. The banquet will be held Thursday, October 22, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

WLA will present these award winners with a proclamation and plaque detailing their accomplishments. In addition to contributions from DEMCO and Highsmith, the WLA Awards program is supported by the WLA Foundation, through individual charitable contributions.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Budget stopping you from going to WLA? WISLR can help!

The Wisconsin Small Libraries Roundtable is once again offering scholarships for small library staff who are members of WISLR to attend WLA this fall. WISLR is offering a $300 scholarship to cover registration, lodging, meals and mileage or two $150 scholarships to cover registration, meals, mileage.Awards will be decided based on the applications received.

Applications must be sent via email to Karen Bernau AND a copy to Diana Skalitzky. The Deadline is August 3rd, 2009. Recipient(s) will be notified by August 17th, 2009WISLR goals remain the same; provide members with information and resources that will enable small libraries to better serve their communities; share ideas and disseminate information to staff and trustees; provide information to other organizations about the value of small libraries. These scholarships are vital to ensure that small library staff members get a chance to learn and share.

Is there a catch? Of course. Recipient must write an article for the WhistleStop newsletter that gives an overview of the value of attending the conference; you must attend the entire conference; and you need to attend the WISLR business meeting while at WLA. (day and time to be determined). Applications can be found on the WLA webpage. Any questions? please call Diana Skalitzky at 608-655-3123.

UW Colleges Libraries Face Potential $.5 Million Cut

A Budget Planning Work Group appointed by UW Colleges-UW Extension Chancellor David Wilson to resolve budget shortfalls has recommended a reorganization of UW Colleges libraries and a $.5 million cut to their base budget. The group's report dated April 1 states that the 13 campus libraries are staffed at a "high level" when compared with other UW and national institutions. It further states that "Library services should be restructured to take maximum advantage of the 'one institution - one library' model, while preserving the current level of campus-based oversight and services." According to a UW Colleges library staff member, a library task force has been assigned to develop more detailed recommendations by August 1.

Muckwonago Public Library Proceeds with Expansion Plans

Three architectural firms are presenting options on June 29 to the Muckwonago Community Library Board for a 24,000 square-foot expansion project. The current library, constructed in 1996, is about 12,200 square feet. More information....

Overdrive's Digital Bookmobile Visits Madison Public Library

The 74-foot Digital Bookmobile, with broadband Internet, computers, and portable music players will visit Madison Public Library July 2 as part of nationwide tour, sponsored by Overdrive, Inc. Visitors can experience how to download books, music and video, including the electronic resources available through the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium at http://dbooks.wplc.info/. Madison Public Library reports that by the end of 2009, the digital collection will have been used more than in the entire previous year.

The La Crosse Tribune also reported about the Digital Bookmobile's visit to La Crosse Public Library, and director Kelly Krieg-Sigman's take on the significance of digital materials.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

UW school library consortium gets nearly $1 million for social media training

The United States Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program will award $989,495 that will be used to train 50 new school library specialists for Wisconsin’s rural and high-need urban public schools. The grant to the UW System School Library Education Consortium, administered at UW-Whitewater, was the only grant awarded in Wisconsin. Read the full article in BizJournal. A July 5 article in the Janesville Gazette provides more information about the way the funds will be used, including to develop materials for school administrators to understand the role of library specialists.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lynda Barry's "What It Is" wins RR Donnelley Literary Award

The Literary Awards Committee of the Readers’ Section of the Wisconsin Library Association has chosen What It Is by Lynda Barry as the winner of the RR Donnelley Literary Award, given for the highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author in 2009. What It Is appears at first to be an eccentric writer’s guide. In reality it is a densely-layered treatise on setting aside inhibition, following your dreams, and allowing your inner child to come out and play again.

Lynda Barry offers us insight into how she overcame self-doubt, as well as the doubts of others, to follow her muse, and in the process become one of America’s leading cartoonists. Part memoir, part writer’s guide, Lynda does a brilliant job of using her own experiences to illustrate that each of us has the power to create within us.

Two authors were chosen for their body of work as Notable Wisconsin Authors. Gene DeWeese is the author of multiple fiction titles for adults and children, including The Doll with Opal Eyes and Jeremy Case. Margaret Ashmun wrote fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books and her works include The Lake and the Isabel Carleton series.

2009 Outstanding Achievement awards for 2008 publications include the following ten titles by Wisconsin authors. They are:
Anthony Bukoski. North of the Port: Stories
Lauren Groff. Monsters of Templeton
Sharon Kaye. The Aristotle Quest: Black Market Truth
David Maraniss. Rome 1960: the Olympics that Changed the World
David McGlynn. The End of the Straight and Narrow: Stories
Rachel Pastan. Lady of the Snakes
David Rhodes. Driftless
Michael Schumacher. Wreck of the Carl D.: a True Story of Loss, Survival, and Rescue at Sea Lori Tharps. Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love, and Spain
Jean Wilkowski. Abroad for her Country: Tales of a Pioneer Woman Ambassador in the U.S. Foreign Service

2009 Outstanding Achievement in Poetry awards for 2008 titles include the following four titles:
Matthew Guenette. Sudden Anthem
Judy Roy and June Nirschl. Two Off Q: a Conversation in Poetry
Austin Smith. In the Silence of the Migrated Birds
Ron Wallace. For a Limited Time Only

The 2009 Literary Awards Committee members are: Ellen Jepson (chair), Jean Anderson, Susan Belsky, Anne Callaghan, Caroline Haskin, Brian Kopetsky, Amy Lutzke, Rhonda Puntney, Deb Shapiro, and Cece Wiltzius.

The RR Donnelley Literary Award is made possible by RR Donnelley Company of Chicago, IL through a grant to the WLA Foundation.

For more information about the work of the Literary Awards Committee, go to http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/readers/WLAC/lac.html

--Submitted by Ellen Jepson, Chair, Literary Awards Committee

2010 LSTA Grants

Wisconsin libraries are encouraged to apply for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants. Information on the LSTA program and grant categories is available in the LSTA Information and Guidelines for Wisconsin for 2010 . Print copies of the Guidelines can be requested from Terrie Howe, DPI's LSTA and Continuing Education consultant at teresa.howe@dpi.wi.gov. Eligible applicants for each category are listed in the Guidelines. First time applicants are encouraged to apply.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BadgerLink Content Update

The Department of Public Instruction intends to negotiate contracts with EBSCO, Gale’s LitFinder, TeachingBooks, and Heritage Microfilm’s Access NewspaperArchive to provide BadgerLink service.

EBSCO will be providing an expanded package of databases which nearly doubles the content currently available. Libraries in Wisconsin will now have access to thirty-two EBSCOhost databases, including many new ones that were previously unavailable on a statewide basis. EBSCO will also provide an expanded newspaper package. The package includes the following:

Academic Search Premier
Alt HealthWatch
Auto Repair Reference Center
Book Collection: Nonfiction – Elementary School Edition
Book Collection: Nonfiction – Middle School Edition
Book Collection: Nonfiction – High School Edition
Business Source Premier
Consumer Health Complete
Education Research Complete
Educational Administration Abstracts
Encyclopedia of Animals
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Health Source: Consumer Edition
Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
History Reference Center
Humanities International Complete
Literary Reference Center
MAS Ultra – School Edition
MasterFILE Premier
Middle Search Plus
Military & Government Collection
Newspaper Source Plus
NoveList K-8
Primary Search
Professional Development Collection
Regional Business News
Science Reference Center

In total, the combined, unduplicated content of this package breaks down as follows:

8,140 full-text magazines & journals (of which, 5,609 are peer-reviewed journals)
1,557 full-text newspapers & newswires (of which, 1,535 are newspapers)
6,755 full-text books & monographs

The above package includes an upgrade to the Premier versions of Academic Search and Business Source; a major newspaper collection (Newspaper Source Plus); the leading reader’s advisory service (NoveList and NoveList K-8); all three versions of Book Collection: Nonfiction; two new health databases (Consumer Health Complete and Alt Health Watch); two new education products (Education Research Complete and Educational Administration Abstracts); high school level science and history resources (Science Reference Center and History Reference Center); an auto repair database (Auto Repair Reference Center), and a pair of literary/humanities collections (Literary Reference Center and Humanities International Complete).

Libraries with individual subscriptions to any of these products should contact EBSCO for a customized offer to migrate to replacement databases.

This is a very exciting time for us as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of BadgerLink.
--modified slightly from the original, published via wispublib, an email list administered by the Department of Public Instruction, by David Sleasman,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

OverDrive's Digital Bookmobile in Wisconsin

OverDrive's "Digital Bookmobile" will be in Wisconsin in July--in LaCrosse on July 1, and in Madison on July 2. The Digital Bookmobile is a high-tech, 18-wheel download experience with instructional videos and interactive computer stations.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tony Evers picks deputy and assistant superintendents

State schools Superintendent-elect Tony Evers has named Michael Thompson as his deputy state superintendent. Thompson is currently executive assistant at DPI. The Wisconsin State Journal also reported the following appointments to assistant state superintendent positions, heading up DPI's divisions: Jennifer Thayer, Reading and Student Achievement; Richard Grobschmidt, Libraries, Technology and Community Learning; Deborah Mahaffey, Academic Excellence; Brian Pahnke, Finance and Management; Carolyn Stafford Taylor, Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Federal stimulus grants go to three Wisconsin library projects

Much of the cost of the proposed new public library in the Village of Webster in Burnett County will be covered by federal stimulus funding, according to a news release from the Office of Governor Jim Doyle. Along with the $360,000 grant to Webster, 15 other community projects will share $7,045,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The City of Necedah in Juneau County will receive $610,000 for a $1.3 million project that will include a library. The Village of Turtle Lake, Barron County, will receive $610,000 for a $1.3 million project that includes a library and a storm shelter.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Highsmith founder, Hugh Highsmith, dies

Hugh Highsmith, founder of Highsmith Co. Inc., one of the country's premier suppliers to schools and libraries, died June 7 at the age of 94. Highsmith started the company in 1956, after ten years as president of NASCO, and the company soon began mail order marketing of books, supplies and furnishings to schools and public libraries. In 1965, the company built a facility near Fort Atkinson that served as corporate headquarters for more than four decades, and at one time employed more than 270 people. Highsmith served as company president until 1987, when he was succeeded by his son Duncan. In addition to his business acumen, Highsmith was known for his charitable and civic endeavors, including service on the board of directors of the Dwight Foster Public Library. Read the full obituary...

Friday, June 12, 2009

State of America's Libraries

The value of America's libraries continued to grow in 2008, as people looked for cost-effective resources, according to ALA's State of America's Libraries report, released April 13, 2009. However, public library funding didn't keep pace with use. There are many other key findings in the report. The full text is available at http://www.ala.org/2009state.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Germantown budget cuts mean staff furloughs, but not for library staff

Dramatic drops in revenue have led Germantown city leaders to propose cuts of $510,000 for the remaining six months of the year and impose furloughs on all city employees except police, fire, and library personnel. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports immediate spending reductions in most departments, along with layoffs of 17 employees.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Culver's donates building to Prairie du Sac for library

Culver Franchising System, based in Prairie du Sac but with restaurants in 17 states, plans to donate its downtown corporate office to the Village for use as a library. Culver's offices are relocating to the village's new business park. The Village Board will meet on Tuesday, June 8 to vote on acceptance of the gift, estimated to value $1 million. According to a June 4 article in the Wisconsin State Journal, the new library could be occupied by summer 2010, depending on fundraising efforts.

Sheboygan School District to cut 11 library media specialist positions

In a May 14 letter to families and staff, the Sheboygan Area School District announced the school board's decision to reduce the number of school library media specialists from 16 to 5. The remaining positions include one at each high school, one at the middle school level and two at the elementary level. The letter also announced plans for a meeting of staff, including the "core group" of media specialists, to meet during the summer to develop a plan for teaching essential library skills at each level.

A letter to the editor from Jo Ann Carr, director of the Center for Instructional Materials and Computing at UW-Madison and president of the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association, appeared May 29 in the Sheboygan Press. Carr outlines the essential skills and important role that licensed media specialists bring to the school setting, including work with teachers in planning curriculum, knowledge of a range of databases and software, and direct instruction to students. She asks that since media specialists are licensed teachers whose absence will impact students directly, the school board use the same guidelines for reducing media specialist positions as they would for eliminating other teaching positions.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Step up to the Plate!

Season four of the national "Step Up to the Plate @ your library" program is well underway. The program teams up baseball and libraries to promote the importance of information skills. The contest centers on a baseball trivia contest. People of all ages are invited to visit their libraries and answer a series of trivia questions that focus on multiculturalism in baseball and baseball around the world, developed by library staff at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Entries are due September 1, 2009. One grand prize winner will receive a trip to the Hall of Fame in October. There are also prizes for the four libraries that bring in the most contest entries. See the contest rules for more information.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Summer 2009 WAPL newsletter available

The Summer 2009 issue of Communique, the quarterly newsletter of the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) is available online. It is available at http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/wapl, or by going to MemberClicks and clicking on Resources.

WAPL is distributing the newsletter online in keeping with WLA''s "Go Green, Go Online" campaign. It is in PDF format.

It is also available by going directly to http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/wapl/communique/73.pdf.

West Bend library board rejects request to limit access

On June 2, the West Bend Memorial Library Board rejected a citizen group's attempt to restrict access to a portion of the young adult collection. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that about 200 people appeared at the meeting, and about 60 individuals spoke to both sides of the issue for 2-1/2 hours. Ginny and Jim Maziarka, who formed an organization called West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries, had asked the library board to remove books that they deemed inappropriate because of their sexual content and also requested that the library add faith-based books with "traditional heterosexual perspectives" or that were written by "ex-gay" authors. Another citizen group, West Bend Parents for Free Speech, was formed by Maria Hanrahan to support the library's policies and reject attempts at censorship.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award goes to Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book"

The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association announces that this year’s winner of the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, published by HarperCollins. The committee, chaired by Leah Langby, also selected the following Outstanding Books:

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes, published by Greenwillow

Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes, published by Greenwillow

It's Not Fair! Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal), published by HarperCollins

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great by Gerald Morris, illustrated by Aaron Renier, published by Houghton Mifflin

Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth, published by Peachtree

The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award winner receives a $1,000 award, funded by the WLA Foundation through a generous contribution from Worzalla Publishing of Stevens Point. The winner is also invited to attend the Awards banquet at the WLA Annual Conference, scheduled October 21-24, 2009 at the Paper Valley Radisson, Appleton. The committee reported that it looked at about 80 titles this year.

Committee members are Kate Fitzgerald-Fleck (Waukesha Public Library), Pat Freitag (Graham Public Library, Union Grove), Barb Huntington (DLTCL, Madison),
Tom Hurlburt (Rhinelander District Library), Linda Jerome (La Crosse Public Library), Leah Langby (Indianhead Federated Library System, Eau Claire), Susan Pesheck (River Falls Public Library).