On January 3, 2014, LearningExpress will be updated to LearningExpress Library 3.0.

LearningExpress Library is a collection of web-based test preparation tools and skill-building materials for children, teens, and adults to help improve academic skills, achieve educational goals, and prepare for careers.

LearningExpress Library 3.0 offers improved functionality and content including: new and improved site design, easier to use navigation, new interactive tutorials, multiple test modes for study and practice, and recommendations for additional study.

The update of LearningExpress and the shift to a new platform requires users to re-register their accounts. Existing accounts will not be carried over to the new version. Work completed on the old LearningExpress will not be available after January 3, 2014. Users should register for a new account at their earliest convenience after January 3.

For questions about the update to LearningExpress Library 3.0, please contact BadgerLink: http://badgerlink.net/help/contact-us.


Source: Channel Weekly, Vol. 16, No. 14  Dec. 19, 2014


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Mark your calendars for the 2014 Growing Wisconsin Readers Early Literacy Symposium on Friday, March 21, at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point. Youth services librarians, public library directors, and early childhood advocates are invited to attend this day-long professional development opportunity. State and national experts will explore the topic of engagement by discussing how books, screens, and physical spaces encourage literacy development in relationships with young children and their caregivers. Panel presentations and a display gallery will highlight early literacy innovations from public libraries around the state.

Registration will open mid-January. There is no cost to attend the symposium and space is limited. This is a must-attend event for early literacy practitioners, so circle 3/21/14 on your calendar and begin organizing a carpool to Stevens Point.

The Growing Wisconsin Readers initiative is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information or with questions, contact Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Youth and Special Services Consultant with the Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries and Technology at tessa.schmidt@dpi.wi.gov.

Source: Channel Weekly Vol. 16, No. 12, December 5, 2013


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This fall BadgerLink is providing training on its new website through BadgerBrunch, a four-part, weekly webinar training series. The sessions will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursdays starting on September 26, and will last 30-45 minutes.  Topics for the sessions include the new BadgerLink website (September 26), BadgerLink access and authentication (October 3), Access NewspaperARCHIVE (October 10), the BadgerLink Research Guides (October 17), and TeachingBooks.net Text Complexity (October 24).

All sessions are open to anyone who wants to learn; students, teachers, librarians, and members of the public are welcome to attend! There is no registration required. To join the session, go to  http://www.badgerlink.net/bulletin#24 to get the URL.

If you are unable to attend the webinars, they will be recorded and posted on http://www.badgerlink.net/help/training.

For more information contact Kara Ripley at kara.ripley@dpi.wi.gov or go to http://www.badgerlink.net/bulletin#24

Source: Channel Weekly, Vol. 16, No. 3, September 19, 2013

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There are several questions in the Library Services section of the public library annual report that require the public library to either tally counts throughout the year, or, if that is not feasible, to collect data for a “typical week.” If your library does not routinely count each patron coming into the library (visits), each reference question, or each Internet computer use, then the library must conduct a tally during a typical week in October each year.

The questions on the annual report that might be answered with data collected during “typical week” counts are:


  • Reference Transactions,
  • Library Visits (patron count), and
  • Number of Uses of Public Internet Computers
  • Wireless Internet Uses (optional for 2013)


According to the definition used for national library statistics, a reference transaction is an information contact which involves the knowledge, use, recommendation, interpretation, or instruction in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff. The term includes information and referral service. Information sources include printed and non-print materials, machine-readable databases, catalogs and other holdings records, and, through communication or referral, other libraries and institutions and persons both inside and outside the library. The request may come in person, by phone, by fax, by mail, or by e-mail or networked electronic reference service from an adult, a young adult, or a child. Note:  Do not count directional transactions or questions of library rules or policies in the report of reference transactions. Examples of directional are “Where are the children’s books?” and “I’m looking for a book with the call number 811.2G.”  An example of a question of rules or policies is “Are you open until 9:00 tonight?”


Libraries may use electronic or mechanical means of collecting the data throughout the year, such as infrared door counters, or software to manage public access to Internet workstations. But if the library does not count use throughout the year, then the library should schedule at least one week in October to collect appropriate data (for comparative purposes, the national guidelines dictate that the one week survey should be done in October).

Under no circumstances may the library estimate the numbers to be reported, or report the number submitted in prior years. For instance, libraries should not adjust their previous year’s count for reference based on circulation changes, or as a ratio of their door count numbers, or other criteria. Please note the collection for Public Internet Computers was changed last year from users to uses.

Source : Channel Weekly, Vol. 15, NO. 39, August 22, 2013

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, the 2013-15 biennial budget bill that includes the following items affecting Wisconsin public libraries:

  • The bill funds Wisconsin’s public library systems at the current level of $15,013,100 for each year of the biennium (that level was a 10% reduction from the 2011 system funding level). Based on projected public library total expenditures, the flat-funding will reduce the system funding to 6.8% of statewide library expenditures (the statutory target is 13%).
  • Funds the four statewide library service contracts (Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library, InterLibrary Loan, Milwaukee Public Library, and Cooperative Children’s Books Center) at a total of $1,167,200 for each year of the upcoming biennium, an increase of $22,700 (per year)
  • Funds BadgerLink at $2,478,800 for FY 2014 and $2,485,000 for FY 2015 (an increase of $29,900 and $36,100 respectively)
  • Funds Newsline for the Blind at $111,100 for FY 2014 and $111,500 for FY 2015 (an increase of $400 for FY 2015).

The Joint Committee on Finance also added an item to the Governor’s budget (included as item 35 in their omnibus motion number 538), changing the way that municipalities in joint public libraries may exempt from the county library tax: “Notwithstanding current law requirements, municipalities participating in a joint library are exempt from the county library levy, provided the municipal library levy is maintained at no less than the average of the last three years.”

For most municipalities in joint libraries, the three year average level of spending is far higher than what would be generated by the county library tax rate level, as this was formerly a maintenance of effort requirement for a library to participate in a public library system under s. 43.15(4)(c). That requirement was eliminated by 2011 Act 32 (the previous biennial budget bill). The Division for Libraries and Technology is concerned that, over time, increasing property values in joint library communities and the county could create a considerable disparity in library tax rates, with the county funding more of the library’s operations while municipalities in the joint library maintain a lower library tax rate. There would be a disincentive for the participants in the joint library agreement to increase funding for new services, since those increases would raise the three-year average for the municipalities, which could have a detrimental effect on library services in the county. State Superintendent Tony Evers requested that the item be vetoed in his memo to the Governor; however, the Governor approved the motion, which will be incorporated into Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Another Joint Finance motion related to public library systems was vetoed by the Governor. That motion would have required the Department of Administration, in consultation with the Department of Public Instruction, to conduct a study of Wisconsin’s public library systems to identify the potential for savings by: consolidating systems; increasing the use of technology; reducing duplications and inefficiencies; utilizing LEAN production principles; and increasing the sharing of services between library systems. The DOA would have been required to submit a report on this study to the Joint Committee on Finance by July 1, 2014. The Governor, in his veto message, indicated that “I am vetoing this section because it is unnecessary. The Department of Public Instruction is the appropriate agency to conduct such a study and has the ability to do so, without a legislative directive, if it believes a study is warranted.”

Summary information on the state budget related to Elementary and Secondary education and other operations of the Department of Public Instruction is available from the Policy and Budget Team: http://pb.dpi.wi.gov/files/pb/pdf/Act_20_final_summary_2013-15.pdf.

Source: Channel Weekly, Vol. 15, No. 34  July 11, 2013

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Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute Sunday, September 8 – Wednesday, September 11, 2013 Heartwood Conference Center * Trego, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute will provide professional development and networking for librarians who serve babies, children, and teens in smaller public libraries. The Institute will target librarians who have no graduate degree in librarianship and/or work in rural library communities.  There is no fee for Institute participants; the costs are covered through an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

A complete description of the Institute including a letter of support from Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent, can be found at http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/files/pld/pdf/YS_Institute.pdf

Applications are due by Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Twenty-five applicants will be selected, preferably representing all 17 public library systems. Applications must be completed online at https://forms.dpi.wi.gov/se.ashx?s=56301B2D2B5640E4

Questions should be directed to:

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt

Public Library Youth and Special Services Consultant Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

125 South Webster Street / PO Box 7841

Madison, WI 53707-7841

P: (608) 267-5077 F: (608) 267-9207


Webpage<http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_ys-sn> * Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/WisDPIpubLibDev> * Twitter<https://twitter.com/>

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The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is partnering with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC-W) to promote and encourage participation in residential and business demand surveys in Wisconsin through May, 2013.  PSC-W, through the LinkWisconsin project, has partnered with University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to assess the broadband needs and gaps in our state with the goal of identifying rural areas that are either underserved or not served at all with broadband.

Results from the surveys will be used in two ways: 1) locations will be mapped to show unmet needs or demand for high speed Internet; 2) submissions will be used to communicate need to area Internet providers.

DPI hopes libraries will share the information with staff, patrons, and local businesses to help drive strong survey results. There are templates available to customize and use here (shortened link):  http://1.usa.gov/17f27Rh.  These templates include handouts (“backpack mail”), Facebook, and Twitter messages, newsletter templates, and press releases. In addition, code for a pre-formatted graphic webpage “badge” is available: http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_libtech.

Residential Internet access survey is here: http://wisconsindashboard.org/residence-survey.  Business owners are encouraged to fill out this survey for business broadband needs: http://wisconsindashboard.org/business-survey.

More information about the LinkWISCONSIN project can be found at http://www.link.wisconsin.gov.

Questions on the project, project background, communications tools, or other can be directed to Tithi Chattopadhyay, State Broadband Director, PSC-W: PSCStateBroadbandOffice@wisconsin.gov

Source: Channel Weekly, Vol. 15, No. 26  April 18, 2013

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