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Monthly Memo Newsletter | November 2022


Prairie Lakes Library System in Full Bloom!

Shared from WiLS Community Connection – November 2022 | November 18, 2022

Prairie Style influenced stained glass window, brown eyed susan flowers in growing in front, and the wordsPrairie Lakes Library System written inside the window. Shades of teal, blue, green, mustard.WiLS is delighted and honored to help unveil the Prairie Lakes Library System logo, designed by none other than Tovah Anderson, Public Information Coordinator for the newly formed system. With native flowers and a nod to Frank Llyod Wright, it highlights features that make Rock, Racine, and Walworth counties so special.

In December 2021, the 11-member Arrowhead Library System (ALS) and Lakeshore Library System (LLS) Joint Merger Exploration Committee met for the first time in a conference room at the Milton Public Library. The member library directors, system directors, and board members kicked off the nearly 9 month process with WiLS staff members, Melissa McLimans and Jennifer Chamberlain, acting as facilitators as well as researchers, writers, and process partners. WiLS started the process by working with the Committee to develop project principles, achievable process outcomes, and a clear roadmap to successfully honor and accomplish each. The Committee, with WiLS at the helm, was able to articulate and answer critical questions so that Committee as well as member libraries, system board members, and county officials, could support a merger.

“This merger process has been years in the making, really, but the last 10 months have been an intense stretch of research, planning, and collaboration.” – Steve Platteter, Director of Arrowhead Library System According to Steve Platteter, “WiLS played an invaluable role in the merger exploration process. Their guidance and facilitation made the process seamless, transparent, and allowed committee members to focus entirely on the task at hand instead of on project management. This process had so many key dates involving a number of government entities, WiLS’ specialized assistance was tantamount to our success.”

Monthly committee meetings culminated in a final recommendation report, a Committee vote in favor of merger, and then subsequent votes at the system and county levels to officially merge the Arrowhead and Lakeshores Library System to form the new Prairie Lakes Library System (PLLS). The new system will become official on January 1, 2023. LLS Director, Steve Ohs, shared, “It’s tremendously rewarding to see the partnerships we’ve forged become solidified, the research the exploration committee completed used to inform our communities, and the strategic goals of this merger be embraced so enthusiastically not only by every library in both systems but also by all three counties.” WiLS couldn’t be more excited for the new system and the member libraries it will serve.

Local Author Wins Literary Award

Shared from

A Hedberg Public Library employee wins a literary award from the Wisconsin Library Association.

Youth Services Associate Jamie Swenson’s book, We Want Snow! A Wintry Chant, was one of ten titles awarded Outstanding Children’s Book of the Year. The Children’s Book Awards recognize outstanding books for youth by Wisconsin-connected authors.

Swenson’s award-winning book is also the featured winter title for the Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum StoryWalk®. Kids and families can join her for a StoryWalk® Celebration at Janesville Schools Outdoor Lab (3570 County Rd A, Janesville, WI 53548) on Thursday, December 15, at 10 a.m. Swenson will walk along and read her book, then warm up with cocoa and cookies provided by the City of Janesville Recreation Division.

Swenson’s book is available for check-out through SHARE. It can also be purchased at Hedberg Public Library’s Ground Floor Coffee and Gift Shop with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Hedberg Public Library.

Book cover: Illustrated children in winter outerwear jump in banks of snow.

Meet the Author & Outdoor StoryWalk®

Thursday, December 15, 2022
10:00 AM
Janesville Schools Outdoor Lab
3570 County Rd A, Janesville, WI 53548

SHARE Trainings

Circulation Refresher

Monday, December 5th at 9 AM at Beloit
Monday, December 5th at 2 PM at Elkhorn
Thursday, December 8th at 2 PM at Waterford

Right now we’re planning on a basic refresher for circulation in Workflows including the new features we added earlier this year, the SHARE Anywhere mobile app, and the SHARE catalog.

If you have any additional ideas, please send them in with your registration form and we’ll add them to the agenda.


Post-election Relationship Building

Shared from WLA Bulletin | 11.23.2022

Congratulatory notes need to be written!  Efforts by WLA members to build relationships with members of the legislature in recent years have yielded tremendous success! 2023 is a budget-producing year when successful advocacy for state library aids is of critical importance.

Handwritten notes from the library community have become WLA’s “brand.”  Now is the time to congratulate all newly elected legislators and old friends! All returning legislators provided unanimous support for library funding in the last session! 

The list of state legislators linked here is sorted so you can easily separate the newbies from the incumbents, and occupants of the odd numbered senate districts elected in 2022 from the rest whose terms expire in 2024.  Addresses are provided for all. You just need to invest two first class stamps to reach out to your own Senator and Assembly Representative.  

No need for complex messaging, just an introductory note that establishes a friendly connection for future communications when we will focus on WLA’s state budget agenda. 
• Start with a simple sentence of congratulations – on either the legislator’s first-time election or re-election to the Wisconsin Legislature.
• Follow with an “I am…” statement identifying your connection to Libraryland.
• End with simple statement of one way the library you most closely associate with is a vital community partner within the legislator’s district.  

Got two more stamps? Federal funding is equally important to Wisconsin libraries. Send congratulatory notes to Wisconsin U.S. House Representatives addressed to one of their Wisconsin offices: 1st District Rep.Bryan Steil, 2nd District Rep. Mark Pocan, 3rd District Representative-Elect Derrick Van Orden (667 E. Blackhawk Ave., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821), 4th District Rep. Gwen Moore, 5th District Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, 6th District Rep. Glenn Grothman, 7th District Rep. Tom Tiffany, 8th District Rep. Mike Gallagher, as well as to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.  

To verify your correct Senate, Assembly and Congressional districts, enter your personal address in the search box at Who are my legislators?  

WI State Capital Building, WLA Logo

Save the Date: Library Legislative Day

Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Registration opens on December 5th!

2023 is a budget producing year and we need your help!

What we all have in common are success stories that need to be shared with our legislators! Please gather your stories of how the crucial state investment in library and information services makes a daily difference in the lives of the Wisconsin residents – and bring them to Madison on February 7 for Library Legislative Day!

Registration Open: CSLP Virtual Summer Symposium

Illustration of two youth carrying a tray of books. Information for the CSLP summer symposium and the theme "All together now"

It’s time again for the Collaborative Summer Library Program Virtual Summer Symposium. Join them December 8, 2022, from 10 am to 3:30 pm.

Sessions include:

  • Keynote Speaker is Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of ALA! She will address The Library as a Civic Bridge and Community Learning Hub.
  • Summer Library Outreach to Underserved Children and Caregivers with ALSC’s LSUCTC.
  • All Together Now with Intergenerational Summer Programming with King County Library System and SilverKite Community Arts.
  • Decorating Together with CSLP State Representatives.

Not able to attend the virtual event live?
No need to register – the Symposium will be recorded. Recordings will be available after the event, or you can sign-up at registration to have an email sent when the recordings are posted.

Updates to Multi-library Catalog Search in Libby

Shared from: Updates to multi-library catalog search in Libby email | November 17, 2022

Based on partner and user feedback, Libby continues to improve the search and discovery experience for users with access to multiple library collections. 

In the coming days, Libby will release an update to automatically show users with multiple library cards the quickest option to access the title they want to read. Here’s how it will work:  

  • If a book they’re interested in is available to borrow from their active library (i.e., the library collection they’re searching in), they’ll see the option to Borrow from that library. 
  • If there is a wait list on the title at their active library: 
    • They’ll see the option to Borrow from one of their other saved libraries (if it’s available from one of them). 
    • They’ll see the option to place a hold from the library with the shortest wait list. This may be their active library or one of their other saved libraries.
    • After borrowing or placing a hold, the user’s active library won’t change.

Note: When a user runs a search, Libby will not show content that isn’t in their active library’s collection. Additionally, while Libby shows the quickest way to get a title, users can still see the title’s availability across all their libraries and choose where to take action. See how this works on Libby Help.

Watch this quick overview video about the update. 

This update will provide the following benefits: 

  • Keeps users in their active library—Your users can see the best availability for the titles they want to read without leaving your library’s collection.
  • Minimizes “extra” holds and reduces overall wait time—Presenting the shortest wait time up front will help prevent users from placing extra holds at multiple libraries.
  • Increases user satisfaction—The faster users can access the book they want to read, the happier they’ll be. Satisfied users are more likely to keep returning to your library’s collection for their next book.

As always, please reach out to your Account Manager with any questions.

Happy reading,

Quick Overview: Muli-Library Catalog Search

Statewide Database Inventory & Needs Assessment Study Final Report Released

Shared from WI Libraries for Everyone November 9, 2022

As a direct response to library community conversations on potential uses for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) grant program, the DPI Library Services Team contracted with the library consulting firm CDygert Solutions to complete a Wisconsin Statewide Electronic Resource Database Inventory & Needs Assessment Study.

The study’s goals were to:

  1. Address the lack of consistent and comprehensive data about existing databases offered by public and K-12 public school libraries.
  2. Determine whether any gaps exist between databases provided statewide through BadgerLink and those provided through public and K-12 public school libraries.

In April 2022, designated contacts from public library systems, public libraries, and K-12 public school libraries were asked to voluntarily submit an inventory of locally licensed databases. Between May – June, those same libraries participated in a voluntary needs assessment survey and multiple interviews and focus groups.

The Final Report, which includes both data and recommendations, is also available in the Project Highlights section of the Libraries Grants & Funding page on the DPI website.

Next Steps
The Library Services Team will use the Final Report data and recommendations to:

  1. Work alongside the BadgerLink Advisory Group to inform potential changes or updates to the BadgerLink Procurement Collections, based on the general selection principles as outlined in the BadgerLink Collection Development Policy. Additional factors like database usage will also be used to determine final Collections for 2024.
  2. Build awareness of BadgerLink as a service and the individual resources provided.
  3. Support future opportunities for increased collaboration between public library systems, public libraries, and K-12 school district libraries.

Thank you to the libraries who participated in this study; your input is vital in this work going forward! We are, however, keenly aware of the study’s limited scope. Discussions will continue with other stakeholders on how the report intersects with trends and needs in those communities. Stay tuned for additional updates as this work continues.
See more posts on the WI Libraries for Everyone page. 

BadgerLink logo

Call for Applicants: BadgerLink Advisory Group

Shared from BadgerLink Bulletin November 10, 2022

The BadgerLink team seeks applicants to participate in the BadgerLink Advisory Group. To maintain balanced representation, preference will be given to academic, K-12 school library, and other community organization professionals this round.


Steve Platteter

System Director

Tovah Anderson

Public Information Coordinator

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