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Monthly Memo Newsletter | March  2022


Monthly Circulation Statistics

Total Circulations in February 2022

  • Traditional: 66.125 81.5% 81.5%
  • OverDrive/Libby: 10,178 12.5% 12.5%
  • Hoopla Digital: 4,777 6% 6%

Arrowhead/Lakeshores System Merger Exploration Update

Shared from the “Merger Exploration Update Message 3/9/2022” email from WiLS.

The first phase of the merger exploration committee process is already wrapping up. Members of the Committee met three times in this phase in order to:
develop a shared understanding of system requirements, expectations, and the decision-making process,

The Issues Roadmap was developed through committee work, the knowledge of system staff, and members of the ALS and LLS community. 43 people, including member library directors, staff, and trustees, as well as system staff and trustees, responded to an input questionnaire that asked for feedback related to a potential, including what questions should be asked and answered by the committee before a merger should be voted on. This input was incredibly thoughtful, immensely valuable, and will inform the work of the committee in this next phase of work.

Looking ahead, Phase II starts in April with the committee considering data and developing recommendations related to the identified priorities from Phase I. The conclusion of Phase II will result in one of three decisions: progressing to Phase III (putting the merger into motion), determining to terminate merger exploration, or extending the timeframe for a decision on merger.

Please email the committee at your questions, comments, and input. It is always welcome. You can also keep an eye on this blog and emails from each system for updates on the exploration committee and its work.

What You Need to Know


New Source of Volunteers for Job Seeker Services at Libraries

Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) Project Collaboration with Wisconsin Society of Human Resource Managers (WiSHRM) Volunteers

Enhancing the services public libraries provide to Wisconsin job seekers is one of the primary goals of the LAWDS (Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills) project. The tools gathered on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Library Staff Resources to Assist Wisconsin’s Workforce can aid library staff working with job seekers.

The LAWDS project has built a relationship with the Wisconsin Society of Human Resource Managers (WiSHRM), which is surveying its members to identify volunteers interested in working with job seekers in public libraries. Between now and April 15:

  • All WiSHRM volunteers will attend an orientation to help them understand how Wisconsin libraries work with job seekers, and how volunteers’ expertise could be incorporated in one-on-one sessions or group training presentations.
  • They will be encouraged to share the specific types of services they are willing to provide, and to learn about existing library services and resources that may be in place already.
  • Volunteers will also be advised that the amount of meeting space, public access computers, and ancillary services available varies from library to library.
  •  The roles of library directors, Boards of Trustees, and library volunteer policies will be covered.

DPI staff leading the LAWDS project will know how many volunteers have registered and where they are located, and this information will be shared with public library system directors.

The DPI and the LAWDS Project Advisory Council want to ensure that collaborations growing out of this relationship are as positive and stress-free as possible. DPI staff are available to answer questions that arise before and during collaborations with WiSHRM volunteers; please contact Martha Berninger at and Beth Tomev at

Library systems may want to encourage their member library staff to prepare by: exploring the statewide resources on Library Staff Resources to Assist Wisconsin’s Workforce and identify workforce development resources and assets they possess. This information would be valuable to all frontline, patron-facing staff, and the WISHRM volunteers.

After April 15, WiSHRM volunteers will begin to contact the directors of their local library to offer their assistance. We encourage you to engage with volunteers who may contact your library and explore the possibilities this collaboration may present.

Call for Proposals: WLA Support Staff and Circulation Services Conference

The Support Staff and Circulation Services (SSCS) Annual conference will be held on Thursday, May 26 at the Waunakee Public Library, with a virtual option also available for staff unable to attend in-person.

Providing library service throughout the pandemic has left many library workers feeling sapped of enthusiasm for their work, while ever-changing guidelines and service models may have left others feeling burned out. With the goal of helping library staff regain their joy for library service while also taking care of themselves, the conference theme is Live Well, Serve Well: Rediscovering Your Passion for Service.

We are looking for library staff that have found creative and joyful ways to serve users, while also taking care of their own mental health and passion for their work. Have you found fun ways to keep staff motivated and engaged in their work? Creative service models that patrons are loving? Share them with us!

Sessions are 60 minutes long–45 minutes for presentations and 10-15 minutes for questions. We encourage library staff with great ideas for keeping staff excited about their work, creative ideas for stress reduction for staff, or programs for patrons that have helped keep library work fun despite all the challenges of the past two years. Email Elizabeth Clauss at with any questions, and fill out the online application form to submit your proposal. Our conference will be offered in a hybrid format this year, so please indicate your preference for a virtual or in-person presentation. Proposals are due by April 15.

SSCS Annual Conference

Live Well, Serve Well: Rediscovering Your Passion for Service!

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Waunakee Public Library

Virtual option also available!

Keynote speaker: Bob McGrath of UW-Madison, will talk about how to remain resilient in times of stress.

Registration opens on April 18.

Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race

 Guest WI Libraries for Everyone post submitted by Wisconsin Libraries Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Action Team | 1.31.2022

How can you better position your library, the heart of your community, as a place where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are celebrated?

In a 2020 survey, library workers statewide (and from libraries of all sizes) identified “the ability to communicate about topics related to race” as one skill they needed to better lead DEI efforts big and small in their libraries and communities.

The IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity in Action) Team invites public library staff from throughout Wisconsin to participate in the 2022 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)-funded project, Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race. This project is a continuing education series for Wisconsin library staff members interested in devoting more time to learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion and ways to bring DEI to their libraries and communities.

There are three ways to participate, based on your learning style and schedule in 2022:

1. Group education
Participate in one, two, or three one-hour webinars delivered once “live” virtually and recorded for later playback.

2. Group discussion
Explore the content of each webinar in online discussions made up of no more than 10 participants from across the state. Sessions will be offered virtually to allow for maximum accessibility and will be facilitated by trained library staff facilitators. 

3. Independent study and exploration
Independently explore the content provided in each Webinar, with materials provided by the People Company. Prompts will be provided for participants, in order to practice essential competencies explored in the webinars. Materials will be accessible through the Wisconsin IDEA Team, and are forthcoming in 2022.
For questions, updates, or to contact an IDEA Team member, please visit the Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race website,

This project was coordinated by the Wisconsin IDEA Team and made possible by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) Public Library Development Team, with funding support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


National Library Week 2022: Connect with Your Library

Shared from

Molly Shannon, multiple Emmy-nominated and Spirit Award-winning actress, comedian, and legendary Saturday Night Live cast member, will help celebrate our nation’s libraries as the honorary chair of National Library Week, April 3–9, 2022.

“I am so honored to serve as honorary chair of National Library Week for 2022. My mom was a librarian. She encouraged kids to read. So, the work of librarians and libraries has such a special place in my heart.

Libraries are places where communities connect—to things like broadband, computers, programs and classes, books, movies, video games, and more. But most importantly, libraries connect us to each other. Supporting National Library Week in this role allows me to connect to my mother’s memory and all the librarians out there. Thank you for everything you do.”

The theme for National Library Week 2022, “Connect with Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers, and other resources. Libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas, and classes—in addition to books. Most importantly libraries also connect communities to each other. Overall, the theme is an explicit call to action—an invitation for communities to join, visit, or advocate for their local libraries.

Learn more and use the marketing toolkit at


Celebration Days During National Library Week

Monday, April 4: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2021.

Tuesday, April 5: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators, and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

Wednesday, April 6: National Library Outreach Day (formerly National Bookmobile Day), a day to celebrate library outreach and the dedicated library professionals who are meeting their patrons where they are.

Thursday, April 7: Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to rally advocates to support libraries.


Steve Platteter

System Director

Tovah Anderson

Public Information Coordinator

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