Friday, March 30, 2012

What's New in Children's Reference - Free Webinar

Join us for this free Booklist presentation!
What's New in Children's Reference
Explore how children's reference has changed over the years, and how publishers are creating new publications and innovative delivery methods to help librarians meet new challenges. Representatives from World Book will present during this free, hour-long webinar moderated by Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist Reference and Collection Management editor.

Thursday, April 19
Time:   11:00 AM Central


Can't make the date? Register anyway so a link to the video archive of this webinar can be e-mailed to you after the event.

Please note: As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence from Booklist Publications and may receive other special offers from our sponsors.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WVLS Update - March 2012

March WVLS Board of Trustees Meeting – Highlights

·        Eileen Grunseth, new representative from Taylor County, was welcomed by the board.  Eileen replaces Donna Walbeck, who resigned in January following 30 years of service.

·        The appropriation of collection development grants to libraries participating in the WPLC Buying Pool Initiative in 2012 was extended to cover those libraries that first participate in 2013.  Given that WVLS will be covering 100% of the cost for those libraries not participating in 2012, the collection development grant will be in an amount that equals 10% of the 2012 allocation. (You may recall that in January the Board appropriated collection development grants to public libraries participating in the WPLC Million Dollar Digital Content Buying Pool Initiative in 2012.  The grant was to cover each library’s WPLC 2012 allocation plus an additional 10 %.)  

·        Reclassifications of two staff members were approved.  Effective June 1st, Inese Christman’s title will change from WVLS V-Cat Administrator to WVLS Assistant Director and, as such, she will assume additional responsibilities in the areas of budgeting and planning.  Additionally, Juanita Thomas’s title was changed from WVLS Database Manager to WVLS Outreach Coordinator as she is now responsible for planning, promoting and providing continuing education, workshop/training opportunities for member libraries.

·        Tomahawk Public Library Director Mary Dunn was appointed to the WVLS Library Advisory Committee for a 2-year term.

Additional Staff News

Joshua Klingbeil will be attending ALA’s National Library Legislative Day on April 23-24 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C.   As a representative of SRLAAW (System and Resource Library Administrators Association of Wisconsin), he will be joining other library advocates from around the nation to talk to Wisconsin legislators about the importance of libraries.

In mid-March Shaun Howard was hired as a part-time Technology Support Specialist for WVLS.  Shaun has extensive experience in technology and customer service and will devote most of his time to address member libraries’ computer- and network-related issues.  He is scheduled to be in the office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week, and may be reached at

Inese Christman and WVLS/MCPL trustee Audrey Ascher attended the 2012 PLA Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 13-17, 2012.  Also, Inese and fellow WVLS staffer Ann Mroczenski attended the 27th annual Computers in Libraries conference in Washington, DC from March 21-23, 2012.  Highlights of those conferences will be shared at upcoming WVLS and MCPL board meetings, the Library Advisory Committee meeting and Public Library Directors’ Retreat.

Marla Sepnafski has been selected to participate in Leadership Wisconsin’s signature program.  The goal of Leadership Wisconsin is to “develop leaders to strengthen communities” through a variety of programming opportunities.  As one of the fellows of LW’s Group XV, Marla will join leaders throughout Wisconsin at 11 seminars conducted over a two-year period – there will be eight 3-day seminars dealing with cutting edge issues held in various locations across the State, a one-week national seminar conducted in Washington DC, a one-week regional seminar somewhere in the U.S. and a two-week seminar held in another country.

Work on WVLS 2011 Audit Begins
Administrative staff is assisting the Krause, Howard and Co., SC to complete the 2011 audit of WVLS financial records.  We expect to share a final audit report with the WVLS Board of Trustees in May.

The 2012 System Survey
The 2012 System Survey was recently shared via the public library, school library and trustee listservs, and mailed to library board Presidents and county library board Chairs.  If you would like to have input into the future direction of WVLS, please complete the online survey available at or return a paper copy of the completed survey to WVLS by Friday, May 18th.

Cost Per Circ Information
2011 cost per circulation data is being aggregated from the public library annual reports and will be shared with public library directors next week.

Upcoming Events

·         March 29 – V-Cat Migration Committee meeting – MCPL – 10:00 a.m.
·         April 5 – V-Cat Council meeting – MCPL – 9:30 a.m.
·         April 6 – WVLS office closed.
·         April 8 – 14 – National Library Week – theme: “You Belong @ Your Library” -
·         April 10 – Library Advisory Committee meeting – MCPL – 9:30 a.m.
·         April 17 – WVLS Executive Committee meeting – MCPL – 4:00 p.m.
·         April 19 – Retreat for Public Library Directors – details forthcoming.
·         April 21-28 – “Money Smart Week @ Your Library” -
·         April 22-29 – “Preservation Week” –
·         April 23-24 – National Library Legislative Day -

That is all the news for now.  What’s happening in your library? Please let us know!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Reading Between the Lines


A modest crowd of 130 earnest library advocates converged on Madison to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the annual courting ritual called Library Legislative Day (LLD).

Given Wisconsin’s ongoing political carnival, there should have been twice as many citizens in attendance on February 14 – especially from among the ranks of trustees and library friends/foundation members – lined up to build relationships with and offer a figurative “token of engagement” to their electeds on behalf of their library.

If not now – after unprecedented cuts to education aid, the loss of public library maintenance of effort, with WiscNet under siege and other state funding growing ever more precarious – then when?

My job as an LLD committee member was to call colleagues represented by legislators not scheduled to receive personal visits on February 14. We attempted to identify local library supporters to contact each LLD “orphan” by phone, letter or email. With that outreach we achieved interaction with all 132 senators and assembly representatives at least once this year.

One of the colleagues I called during the quest for 100% coverage confessed to feeling battered and intimidated by the relentless tide of intransigent partisan politics and waves of special interest negativity. While her belief in the valuable mission of libraries remained unshaken, she wondered aloud how she could persuade citizen supporters to make the necessary calls when she could barely bring herself to do so.

“Talking to legislators is really hard for me,” she lamented. “My job is to find ways to help people solve problems. I don’t think like a politician.”

Her remarks were telling. Librarians, trustees and library supporters are generally a pretty collegial bunch, both with regard to temperament and world view. We’re used to checking our politics and pot-stirring at the door.

We seldom see shameless grandstanding or power plays within our state or regional organizations. Administrators from large urban libraries are not predisposed to gather in corners trashing small rural libraries as glorified bibliographic first aid stations while plotting their closure.

It would be unusual indeed for a library to deliberately craft its service plan to capture residents of cross-border and “non-libraried” municipalities, stealing their circulations and per transaction reimbursement dollars from other libraries. Pitting one group of patrons against another, with the goal of reducing services to all while they’re preoccupied in their own defense, is heresy in our world.

Librarians, trustees and friends understand that the living, breathing community organism does better when everybody shares and works to lift each other up.

While directing a library under budgetary siege in 2004, I gave a speech to a contentious group of citizens in which I shared the wisdom by C.W. Peterson, then a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees living in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Mr. Peterson recognized that if you have a problem and all you do is worry about it, that doesn’t do any good. He determined that there were actually “two kinds of worry.”

“Once I was going through a rough patch, talking it over with a friend, and mentioned I worried about some things,” he wrote. “Worrying about whether everybody's doing OK, now, that's a pretty good kind of worry. You're likely to act on it, help people you see having trouble, and maybe we'll all come out of it better in the end. Then there's the bad kind of worry. That's worrying about whether someone else is doing better than you. – ‘If we're not better than them, who are we better than?’”

Peterson maintained, “If you're worried about whether someone else is making out better than you are, and you act on it, the likely outcome is that everyone, yourself included, will come out worse…. Everyone does better when everyone does better."

Our libraries help “everyone do better,” every single hour that our doors are open. We are a vital part of community infrastructure. It is equally important that the bridges and highways to knowledge be maintained. Everyone is a potential library user, just as any one of us may choose to drive on a road never traveled before to reach a new destination.

On future legislative days our goal should be to encourage more politicians to “think like librarians” by recruiting more of us to proudly tell our story of shared cooperation and communication in a voice loud enough to resonate outside the capitol dome.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Khan Academy Offers Free Educational Videos

Last night on 60 Minutes, they featured the free website Khan Academy which can be found at:   This site features many watch and learn videos on a multitude of subjects.  The Kahn Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.  

All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.  

The Khan Academy website offers over 3,000 videos that cover K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history.  Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer. 

Teachers can also use this site for their classes and then check on student's their progress.

Friday, March 9, 2012


State Superintendent Tony Evers will recognize nine projects with his "Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities" awards on March 12 in Madison. Two of the awards will go to the following projects that involved libraries:

Baby Time, Toddler Time, and Rhyme Time are outreach programs linked to the Weyauwega-Fremont School District’s 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) program. The Weyauwega Public Library and Neuschafer Community Library in Fremont host these programs to provide academic, developmental, and social enrichment for children 4 years of age and under. The libraries introduce other services for children and adults, creating habits of literacy that last beyond children’s school-age years. In conjunction with the programs, the school district offers formal services to 3- and 4-year-olds who qualify for special education services as well as outreach for parents to help them identify their child’s needs so they start school ready to learn. Accepting the award will be Traci Zietlow, 4K teacher in the Weyauwega-Fremont School District.

Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library and Three Lakes School District Story Hour Reading Program began in 1963 to introduce reading and provide socialization activities for the community’s youngsters. When the district began its kindergarten program in 1967, Story Hour lowered the minimum age requirement to offer literacy skills to younger children. In 1971, the Edward U. Demmer Foundation provided funding to construct a new library building, and Mrs. Demmer suggested dedicating the lower level to facilitate Story Hour. For nearly five decades, thousands of children have had their lives enriched through the sing, read, and play adventures offering during Story Hour. Story Hour takes place weekly during the school year both at the library and at Sugar Camp School, with 15 to 20 children participating at each venue. Adult programs are offered concurrently with Story Hour to further serve community needs. Funding for Story Hour comes through the collaboration of the Three Lakes School District, Demmer Memorial Library, and the towns of Three Lakes and Sugar Camp. Accepting the award will be Janet Dixon, library director for Demmer Memorial Library; Charlotte Horant, story hour director; Vicki Reuling, president of the Demmer Memorial Library Board of Trustees; Dianna Blicharz, representative from Three Lakes School District and member of the Demmer Memorial Library Board; and Tom Rulseh, member, Three Lakes School Board.

Information about all the awards is at
(Channel Weekly, March 8, 2012)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

UW-Madison SLIS Ebook Q&A With Kansas State Librarian

Due to overwhelming interest in the SLIS Ebook Brownbag Q&A with Kansas State Librarian Jo Budler, which was held at UW-Madison SLIS last week, I've decided to share the audio link for the program with everyone here.

No password necessary; please be aware that we were working out some bugs with our capture software, so the background noise is rather loud during the first half of the program (it evens out later).

To listen, click here:

Please let me know if you have any questions, and enjoy!

(Erinn Batykefer 
Co-founder & Project Manager, The Library as Incubator Project   MLIS candidate, School of Library & Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Monday, March 5, 2012

WVLS Board of Trustees in 2012

WVLS is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees.  Each board member is appointed by their respective county board of supervisors to serve a 3-year term or to fulfill a term left vacant by someone who has resigned from the board.  The number of representatives from each county is based on county population.
The WVLS Board of Trustees meets approximately six times annually – routinely in January, March, May, August, September, and November.  At their January meeting, the board elects its 7-member Executive Committee, which may meet up to six times a year – as needed in February, April, June, July, October, and December.  All meetings are open to the public and most are held at the Marathon County Public Library.  Following is the 2012 WVLS Board of Trustees roster:
 WVLS Executive Committee                                 
·         PRESIDENT: Alice Sturzl, Forest County (term expires 12/2013)
·         VICE PRESIDENT: Doug Lay, Marathon County (term expires 12/2014)
·         TREASURER: Michael Otten, Marathon County (term expires 12/2012)
·         MEMBER: Kris Uhlig, Marathon County (term expires 12/2012)
·         MEMBER: Audrey Ascher, Marathon County (term expires 12/2013)
·         MEMBER: Tom Bobrofsky, Clark County (term expires 12/2014)
·         MEMBER: Paul Knuth, Oneida County (term expires 12/2013)

Other Members of the WVLS Board
·         Pat Pechura, Oneida County (term expires 12/2014)
·         Peg Jopek, Langlade County (term expires 12/2012)
·         Sandi Cihlar, Marathon County (term expires 12/2012)
·         Louise Olszewski, Clark County (term expires 12/2012)
·         Jim Backus, Marathon County (term expires 12/2013)
·         Eileen Grunseth, Taylor County (term expires 12/2014)
·         Vacant, Marathon County (term expires 12/2014)
·         Vacant, Lincoln County (term expires 12/2013)

NPR's New Book Club for Children

NPR's New Book Club

Here's one more book club for kids to join! NPR's Backseat Book Club has just started. The pick for March 2012 is The Mysterious Benedict Society. The Book Club's questions will be discussed during an All Things Considered interview with that month's author. Very cool of NPR to be promoting reading in this way.
(YSS Events, News & Info, March 1, 2012)