Digital Lites


This blog is the digital continuation of the WVLS newsletter, "The Lamplighter," and exists to share WVLS updates, news from libraries in our area, training opportunities, helpful tips and resources, national library news and more. To contribute to this blog, email Inese Christman.

It's time for outcomes, not outputs in library services!


Project Outcome Logo

"Libraries are very good at counting outputs... it's more difficult to count outcomes," says Stacey Wedlake, research and communication coordinator for Impact Survey, one of several national projects developed over the past ten years to help public libraries jump that hurdle.


The Job and Career Services Department of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH, has measured outcomes for decades, using paper and online surveys for participant evaluations and an electronic records system designed for counseling centers for secure data storage. However, many libraries don't have staff with time to learn this approach, and, for the most part, only some of the most recent graduates have these skills.


What explains the current national focus on outcomes measurement? Wedlake is specific: "[We've] been talking about the importance of outcomes for many years, but [it's] reached a tipping point. There seemed to be a shift post-2008. Local governments and taxpayers started taking closer looks at how their money was being spent and wanting institutions to 'prove' their value. Outcomes help tell that story [and] give valuable information to librarians who want to improve their serves."

Read the full article: Koerber, Jennifer. "Meaningful Measures: Assessment. National initiatives step into the gap on the urgent need to capture outcomes." Library Journal. June 21, 2017.

Actions you can take right now to change the conversation from output to outcomes:

  • Write down patron stories, ask their permission.
  • Take pictures of services, events, and patrons: these could be service flyers/brochures, patron photos, behind the scenes,  pictures from programs and events and more!
  • Create an infographic using statistics YOU choose, patron stories, and images from your library. Browse WVLS Design Basics and Infographic Resources.
  • Call and visit your city department heads, city council, county board representatives, and state representatives and senators to tell them about the awesome things the library is doing, invite them to stop by the next time they are in town.
  • Send your state representatives and senators, your city department heads, and your county representatives letters, patron stories and library pictures, infographics, and invite them to stop by your library.
  • Send the same materials to your library advocates and potential library advocates. The more information they have the better when it comes to speaking up for libraries!

Tools for Outcome Measurement

Submitted by Anne Hamland.


Anne Hamland /

Library Programming for Millennials: Upcoming WVLS Webinar


Alt Library Logo

A Pew Research Center survey from 2016 "finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library of bookmobile in the previous 12 months." Is your library providing programs and services for Millennials?

Register for the October 4th WVLS/NFLS webinar "Are You Being Served? Programming for Emerging Adults" for tips on designing programs for the 20s and 30s crowd. View the full 2017 WVLS Fall Continuing Education Schedule. 

Jessica Jupitus, Downtown Libraries Manager of the Sacramento Public Library, and Lori Easterwood, City Librarian of Folsom Public Library, both in California, are the creators of Alt Library. Alt Library is a programming initiative of the Sacramento Public Library designed to engage community members in their 20s and 30s with fun and provocative programming. Read the Alt Library Initiative. Checkout the Alt Library events on Meetup.

The same Pew Research Center study notes that only 45% of GenXers, 43% of Baby boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation visited libraries or bookmobiles in the last 12 months. Read the full Pew Research Center article: "Millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries," from June 21, 2017.

Submitted by Anne Hamland.

Anne Hamland /

Audio Books ARE Real Books: How Audio Promotes Literacy

06/23/2017 has produced an amazing infographic "How Audio Promotes Literacy" and offers other resources for librarians and educators on the topics of sound learning and transmedia literacy. 

The Audio Publishers Association's interest in promoting the benefits of audiobooks may be obvious, but no less relevant to awareness of the importance of listening skills to language mastery and learning.

"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to Children." -Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading

"Children who are better listeners are also better learners." North University of Texas professor emeritus Sara Lundsteen

Denise Johnson is an assistant professor of reading education at the College of William & Mary in Virginia who writes compellingly about the value of audiobooks as more than just an alternative format. In her article Benefits of Audiobooks for All Readers on the Reading Rockets website, Johnson points out that "audiobooks have traditionally been used with second-language learners, learning-disabled students, and struggling readers or nonreaders. In many cases, audiobooks have proven successful in helping these students to access literature and enjoy books. But they have not been widely used with average, avid, or gifted readers."

Youth librarians who avidly promote the benefits of reading to children from and earyl age (Hello? 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, anyone?) are sometimes taken aback by parental confusion about the value of audio books when it comes to Summer Reading program and associated record keeping.

So, if you're hearing, "Do they count toward the number of minutes?" or "Don't pick a listening book, Mary, pick a real book you can read with your eyes!" Take time out for a literacy advocacy moment about the many benefits of audiobooks!

Thanks much to Sarah Cournoyer whose post on this topic at the Youth Services Shout-Out: YSS Blog was the original flag for this entry!

Submitted Kris Adams Wendt.


PDF icon How Audio Promotes Literacy infographic.pdf

Anne Hamland /

Cooperative Children's Book Center Bibliographies Offer a Wealth of Resources


The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) has compiled an amazing array of useful booklists to reference when keeping youth of all ages engaged in reading during the summer months.

During the busy summer months, youth services librarians can rely on the CCBC for bibliographies and booklists when young readers and their parents are looking for new titles to meet current interests, as well as for suggestions to potentially open doors to new titles and topics.

The CCBC has created bibliographies and booklists of recommended books on a wide range of themes and topics, and organized them into the following categories:

For a comprehensive listing of CCBC Bibliographis by thematic topic, check their website's site index and scroll down to Bibliographies and Booklists.

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.

Anne Hamland /

Wizarding World Book Club


Read and discuss the Harry Potter stories with anyone, anywhere. The Wizarding World Book Club is available free to all registered users of Pottermore, the digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company from J.K. Rowling.

Libraries could incorporate this new tool into programming. Harry Potter's Birthday is July 31st!

The Pottermore website "offers news, features, and articles as well as new and previously unreleased writing by J. K. Rowling." Additionally, users can access the bookclub and monthly discussion questions as well as "Discover you Patronus," "Join your Hogwarts House." "Join your Ilvermorny House," and "Discover your Wand" once they have created a free user profile.  

This week, the book club is reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In June and July book clubbers will discuss the themes of Magic and he Muggle world, first impressions, education and more using Twitter accounts.

Submitted by Anne Hamland.

Anne Hamland /

What is the Difference Between NoveList and NoveList Plus?


Chart illustrating differences between Novelist and Novelist Plus
Screenshot from NoveList Plus
NoveList Plus Logo

Wondering what the difference is between NoveList and NoveList Plus? There are two: nonfiction and audiobooks. NoveList Plus includes both fiction and nonfiction titles, and now it also includes information about audiobooks. This chart illustrates the differences:

Showing the differences between NoveList and NoveList Plus

What can NoveList Plus do for libraries?  

Provide the follwoing:

  • Audiobook recommendations: It's never been easier to find the right books to listen to!
  • Nonfiction: Readers love to read nonfiction too, so make sure you cover all the bases.
  • More titles: The number of titles included in NoveList Plus is about 70% higher than in basic NoveList.
  • Encourage reading for all ages: NoveList Plus meets the needs of readers of all ages.
  • Nonfiction that Reads Like Fiction

Nonfiction is very popular with readers. The nonfiction included in NoveList Plus is meant to appeal to readers reading for pleasure. That means we don’t include every kind of nonfiction – no textbooks, for example, but also no instructional books for cooks or knitters. But we do include biographies, narrative nonfiction, and other kinds of creative nonfiction that readers enjoy. Nonfiction is important to students, parents, and teachers. Many classroom assignments rely on nonfiction, and finding the right book for each reader is critical. Read more about how you can use NoveList Plus to find curricular resources.

Here is what NoveList Plus looks like:


Novelist Plus and Novelist both provide a readers’ advisory database created by librarians and educational experts to help connect readers to books. The database was created to provide book advice to all age ranges and genre preferences. The user can choose which age range they would like to read in and then choose a genre or browse the top picks curated by EBSCO. With an account you can also create favorites for types of books and save lists of books. This is especially useful for book series that are fairly long.

Some other great features include recommended reading lists, book reviews from reliable sources, discussion guides, and the ability to search by Lexile reading level. If collection development is part of your work, you can use NoveList and search by Dewey range to beef up weak sections of your library. Teachers will also find resources to help teach reading and writing skills and connect books to their curriculum. Readers who are looking for something new to read will find a variety of tools to help them find their next book. Overall, NoveList is a valuable tool that will help you better serve your readers and will help you learn more about the different books that are available.

Inese Christman /

23 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now... and Other Tips to Retain Summer Sanity

06/15/2017 Keep Calm and Library On

You say the population of your community has tripled for the summer while too many of your library's public computers ahve decided to take a vacation? That municipal street reconstruction has closed your parking lot and given new meaning to the CSLP theme "Build a Better World?" And the daily patron who only reads books by dead authors is testing your bibliographic skills?

Is that what's bothering you, librarian bunky? With apologies to The Old Philosopher, Eddie Lawrence, for that introduction, take a few minutes to click on the articles below.

Photo credit:

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.

Anne Hamland /

V-Cat Cataloger's Retreat - August 10, 2017


Retreat Logo

V-Cat Cataloger’s Retreat

Date: Thursday, August 10, 2017  

Time:  9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Place:  WVLS Office 



9:00 am – 9:30 am - Coffee and Conversation

9:30 am – 10:15 am – Introduction 

What is cataloging?

MARC Guidelines 

MARC Alerts vs Z39.50

10:15 am – 10:30 am – BREAK

10:30 am – 12:00 – MARC Alerts

12:00 pm – 12:45 pmLunch   WVLS will provide Lunch. (Please let us know about any dietary restrictions)

12:45 pm – 2:45 pmZ39.50 – What’s the big deal?!?!?!  Never done this before?  Try it – you might like this!  This session will count as Z39.50 training.

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm – Wrap up


Please bring a variety of items to catalog as well as your questions, experiences, and tips to this workshop. 


To register please email Chris Luebbe at before August 7, 2017.

Since this is considered training on existing software, there are no Contact Hours for this workshop.


Inese Christman /

CBC Launches Reading Beyond Book List


Reading Beyond logo

The Children’s Book Council has announced the inaugural Reading Beyond book list, an annotated bibliography for parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, and others seeking book recommendations for children who read at an advanced level. The list will be updated biennially.

The 75 books featured on the 2017 Reading Beyond list were selected by the ALA-CBC Joint Committee from more than 600 books submitted by publishers and librarians. Titles were evaluated with an eye toward challenging yet age-appropriate content for young readers.

The list represents a variety of genres and formats, and is divided into three categories, with 25 books each: for kindergarten and first graders reading at a third grade level; for second and third graders reading at a fifth grade level; and for fourth and fifth graders reading at a seventh grade level.

Janet Wong and Susan Polos, co-chairs of the ALA-CBC Joint Committee, said in a statement, “The Reading Beyond list celebrates the power of books to lift and expand children’s minds, providing reading experiences beyond levels and limits.” Wong told PW that the list, which was several years in the making, addresses an urgent gap. “The need is clear: there are many resources for struggling and reluctant readers, but very few that recognize the diverse learning needs of advanced readers. Traditionally, advanced readers have been given books that match their reading ability but are out of sync with their interests. As a consequence, for too many of these children, reading has become a dull activity that they try to avoid.

(Publisher's Weekly, June 13, 2017 - by Emma Kantor)

Inese Christman /

Our Courts: State Bar of WI offers programs for libraries and organizations


Our Courts Logo

The State Bar of Wisconsin offers a program called "Our Courts," free of charge, to community groups and organizations. Read the "Our Courts" brochure for more information.

State bar members, including judges and attorneys, have developed these programs specifically directed toward providing information to the public about the courts and legal system.

Presenters are judges and attorneys who have volunteered to present these programs to the public. The programs are presented in an interactive, interesting, and engaging format at your local meeting... or library! Presentations can be tailored to meet your timeframe.

If you would like to have one of the "Our Courts" Programs presented at your location, please contact Katie Wilcox, Public Education Program Manager at the State Bar at (608) 250-6191, or Carol Barbian, public Education Program Assistant at (608) 250-6140. You can also email

Submitted by Marla Sepnafski.

PDF icon State Bar of Wisconsin_Our Courts Brochure 2017.pdf

Anne Hamland /


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