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.

Teen Tech Week: Are you ready!?


Teen Tech Week Logo

Teen Tech Week is when libraries make the time to showcase all of the great digital resources and services that are available to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st century careers.

Celebrate Teen Tech Week with the theme "Be the Source of Change," March 5-11, 2017.

This year's theme encourages teens to take advantage of all the great digital resources offered through the library to make positive change in their life and community.

As you plan for Teen Tech Week, find guidance in the following toolkits, developed by the Teen Tech Week Committee:

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.

Anne Hamland /

2016 Books by or About Native Peoples: Debbie Reese Reviews



Read Debbie Reese's recent blog post "Published in 2016: Books by/about Native Peoples" for recommended and not recommended reads.

Debbie Reese was raised at Nambe Owingeh (a federally recognized tribe) and is tribally enrolled there. Reese has reviewed books for Horn Book Inc. and Multicultural Review, published in School Library Journal and Language Arts and taught children's literature at the University of Illinois College of Education. Reese' research focuses on the ways in which Native Americans are represented in children's books. 

Reese launched the American Indians in children's Literature (AICL) blog in 2006 to share information that will help readers and librarians learn about and understand the 500+ federally recognized Native Nations in the United States. Another driving factor is that her published research in academic journals are not easily accessible or available to people who work with children on a daily basis. 

On her blog, Reese publishes reviews of books by and about Native Americans to help readers identify recommended books.

Anne Hamland /

WVLS Rocks Library Legislative Day! Local State Budget Advocacy Continues...


WVLS LLD Delegation

Find out what WVLS Library advocates were talking about at the Capitol on February 21st and how local library stories matter to the ongoing effort to secure state library aid during the 2017-2019 budget process.

Library Legislative Day was sponsored by the Wisconsin Library Association at the Capitol in Madison on February 21st. Representing WVLS were librarians Mary Dunn (Tomahawk Public Library), Ralph Illick (Marathon County Public Library), Virginia Roberts and Sarah Steinbacher (Rhinelander District Library); WVLS Trustees Eileen Grunseth (Taylor County), Louise Olszewski (Clark County), and Mike Otten (Marathon County); WVLS staff members Anne Hamland, Chris Heitman and Kris Adams Wendt. 

Following a morning briefing, the WVLS team split up to cover 30 minute appointments with the three State Senators and eight Assembly Representatives whose districts include portions of our seven WVLS counties. Legislators received copies of the Wisconsin Library Association 2017-2019 State Budget Priorities from library advocates who used the WLA Building Relationships, Partnering for Progress briefing paper for background.

What comes next in the state budget drafting process currently underway?

View from the Madison Concourse Hotel

Senator Tom Tiffany (12th Senate District including Forest, Langlade, Lincoln and Oneida Counties) and Representative Mary (Czaja) Felzkowski (35th Assembly District including Langlade, Lincoln, and part of Oneida Counties) are both members of the powerful Joint Finance Committee that holds hearings on the Governor's budget proposal starting in March and makes changes for legislative review before it lands back on the Governor's desk in June.

What is "The Library Ask?"

  • A modest increase of $1,500,000 for public library system aids in fiscal year 2018 for an ongoing annual allocation of $16,513,100. The WLA proposal emphasizes system support for local library services in the areas of broadband access, workforce development and lifelong learning. (If the request is approved, WVLS would realize an additional $52,864 under the system aids distribution formula.)
  • Cost to continue funding to maintain core state library services-BadgerLink, Library Service Contracts and Newsline for the Blind.


The Governor's budget proposal maintained public library system aids at the same level since 2012. No cuts, no increase. However, the Governor did agree to maintain core state library services at the requested level. The buget proposals next go to review before the Joint Finance Committee.

Message to Legislators:

See "How you can help" and "Telling the Library Story" on the Building Relationships, Partnering for Progress briefing paper linked above. Your library stories matter! State funding enables local citizens to access library resources and services that local libraries cannot afford on their own. Legislators and Librarians share the same community constituents!


Please take a few minutes to drop your State Senator and Assembly Represenative a note on library letterhead expressing your regret at not being able to attend this year's Library Legislative Day. Then add a "me too" message supporting the two proposals above linking why they are important to examples from your local library experience.

Which Legislators represent what libraries? Find contact information for your Legislators in the WVLS Libraries and Legislators by County contact resource.

Contact Kris Adams Wendt with questions or for further information.


Representative Rob Swearingen wore his I Love MY Hodag Library shirt. Pictured from left are Sarah Steinbacher and Virginia Roberts of the Rhinelander District Library, Kris Adams Wendt of WVLS, and Mary Dunn of Tomahawk Public Library.

Pictured from left are Ralph Illick of the Marathon County Public Library, Representative Robert Kulp, Chris Heitman and Anne Hamland of WVLS, Eileen Grunseth and Louise Olszweski, WVLS Trustees from Taylor and Clark Counties. 

Pictured from left are Sarah Steinbacher of Rhinelander District Library, Mary Dunn of Tomahawk Public Library, Virginia Roberts of Rhinelander District Library, and Senator Tom Tiffany.

Pictured from left are Mike Otten Marathon County WVLS Trustee, WVLS Staff Chris Heitman and Anne Hamland, Representative Pat Snyder, and Ralph Illick of Marathon County Public Library.


Pictured from left are Mike Otten Marathon County WVLS Trustee, Representative John Spiros, and Ralph illick of Marathon County Public Library.

Anne Hamland /

Receive Real-time Updates on Tech Problems: Subscribe to Status Updates


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Subscribe to the WVLS/IFLS Status WVLS Updates page to receive updates in real-time as technology problems are diagnosed, monitored, and resolved.

How do I subscribe for automatic updates?

  • Visit the LibrariesWIN Services Status Page.
  • Bookmark this page.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • Click Subscribe.
  • Enter as many email addresses as you wish.
  • Select which updates you will receive.
  • Encourage all WVLS member library staff members to subscribe too!

Anne Hamland /

(At Least) 21 Programming Ideas for Women’s History Month


Women's History Month logo

March is Women's History Month

Promote healthy conversation. In every community there is someone (a physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, etc) who can address women’s health issues. Plymouth (Mich.) District Library worked with the speaker’s bureau of the local hospital to present an exercise and nutrition program. Ask a local physician. That’s what the Bartholomew County (Ind.) Public Library did for its “Living Younger for Women” program, which focused on dealing with such medical conditions associated with women’s aging such as osteoporosis and menopause, as well as what women can do to live longer. Or volunteer to prepare a brief bibliography that local groups can distribute when they sponsor talks about women’s health outside the library.

Contribute. Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library sponsors a yearly Breast Cancer Luncheon featuring breast-cancer survivors as speakers. A small fee is charged, 100% of which goes to the foundation for Susan G. Komen for the Cure (formerly the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation).

Celebrate your library’s history as Houston Public Library did in 2004 when its centennial celebration featured programs on the women who founded HPL, including members of the Ladies Reading Club, the Women’s Club, and HPL’s first librarian, Julia Ideson. There are bound to be women who played a prominent role in the founding of your library as staff, volunteers, or advocates. Do a program, a display, an oral history. Get school history classes to research your library’s history.

Create cooperative exhibits. Contact local women’s organizations including church groups or local women-owned businesses. Ask each group or business for a one-page description of what they do and their history, and to loan an artifact and a few photos. Do the same for cooking. Ask patrons for the loan of old cookbooks and kitchen utensils, feature family recipes with a photo of Aunt Jane whose potato salad recipe is the best. Or exhibit period aprons, diplomas, purses, gloves, hats, and jewelry; the list of women’s artifacts and their stories associated with them are endless.

Display your collection—and not just in the library. Feature a different item about or of interest to women each day in March. Do small displays in area businesses or on your library’s website. Feature female detectives, romances, biographies, famous heroines in literary fiction. Women are everywhere in your collection.

Interview local women: the oldest woman in your community, athletes, businesswomen, educators, cheerleaders, and others. You can either conduct the interview or get a volunteer, teen, or local celebrity to do it. Or create an oral history, catalog it for your library’s collection, and give a copy to the local historical society.

Honor military women (veterans and their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters). Military Women Veterans Yesterday–Today–Tomorrow offers ideas about women’s wide-ranging participation in U.S. military history.

Show a film from your collection or rent one for a public program. Women Make Movies, a distribution service with over 500 films available for sale or rental for institutional showings, can assist with selections, as can WAVE: Women’s Audio Visuals in English, “a database maintained by the University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Librarian’s Office, which lists documentary, experimental, and feature-film and video productions by and about women.” Create a filmography of films in your collection that were scripted, edited, produced, or directed by women or that feature strong women characters. Don’t forget films with women in production positions such as costume design, lighting, or special effects.

Feature local history, as did the Monroeville (Pa.) Public Library, which offered “Common Lives of Uncommon Strength: the Women of the Coal and Coke Era, 1880–1970,” a program on the role of women in southwestern Pennsylvania during the second industrial revolution, or the Bartholomew County (Ind.) Public Library, which featured the authors of More than Petticoats: Remarkable Indiana Women.

Use your library’s website. Annotate and list books, DVDs, and CDs. Link to women’s history websites. Feature reading recommendations from area women. Blog your women’s history interests, as did New York Public Library in 2009.

Highlight the often-unnoticed work of local women; showcasing unsung heroines will bring the library many new friends. Ocean County (N.J.) Library has presented programs on the diverse work women do in the community, including a children’s event that featured a woman pilot. Look at women’s role in labor history. Check the Women’s Labor History Links offered by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) for background and ideas, or consider starting replicating Evanston (Ill.) Public Library’s “Reboot!” support group for women “who are not currently pursuing full-time employment, but want to keep their skills current.”

Make music by booking local women musicians or a female singing group. You could also present music by women composers or performers. Ocean County (N.J.) Library offered tributes to the jazz and blues queens and the Queens (N.Y.) Library presented “Divas of Jazz” and “Divas of Our Times.”

Hold contests and quizzes. Stair Public Library in Morenci, Michigan, established a Red Hat Society (Morenci Millinery Mavens), a social group that brings mostly women into the library for a weekly discussion group as well as field trips and potlucks. The group has sparked friendships across generations.

Start a writing group for memoir, poetry, or fiction, such as the Herstory Writers Workshops of Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, New York, or the “Writing Your Story” program at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library. Attendees of the latter continued to meet as a group on their own after the program concluded. Look for local women writers who would speak to the group or do a public reading.

Ask academics. Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library has partnered with the Program for Women and Successful Aging group at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. Community outreach is a part of most women’s studies programs. For example, the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at California Polytechnic State University sponsored a spring monthly speakers’ series at San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Public Library.

Host beauty and fashion programs, which are popular with all ages. Find a hair stylist to talk about the latest trends, using patrons as models. Do as the Willingboro (N.J.) Public Library did: an “extreme makeover” with an audience volunteer and an African hair-braiding and wrapping program. Follow the lead of the Houston Public Library, which sponsored a series of workshops in spring 2009 on “Prepping and Perfecting Your Prom” with a focus on creative low-cost ways to achieve glamour. Sponsor a body-image program, as did Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library, whose event featured Body Drama author Nancy Redd; although the event was aimed at a younger demographic, women of all ages attended.

Ask a local media personality to participate; sometimes they charge a fee but often they appear for free, especially a newswoman or a DJ. In 2009 the Monroeville (Pa.) Public Library celebrated Women’s History Month with a presentation by award-winning Pittsburgh journalist and radio talk–show host Lynn Cullen.

Invite local women artists to exhibit and/or talk about their work. The Women’s History Project at the Southwest Harbor (Maine) Public Library sponsors an annual NWHM art show and Chicago Public Library is seeking artists who are willing to exhibit their works in neighborhood branches in March.

Start a book discussion group for works by and about women. Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library called their group “Women Reading Women.” You can develop a theme such as coming of age, women and aging, immigrant women, or a host of other possibilities. Alternatively, hold a program where well-known local people read aloud short stories or poems by women.

Honor local girls for achievements in sports, academics, the arts, and science. Post their pictures or have a reception in their honor. Broward County (Fla.) Public Library helped start a local Women’s Hall of Fame. Offer a program about mothers to which attendees bring a poem, picture, or story about their mom. Better yet, ask them to bring Mom along.

(From American Libraries Direct By Kay Ann Cassell and Kathleen Weibel |  February 10, 2010)

Inese Christman /

RESOLVED: Sierra Unavailable due to Outage at Regional Data Center (RDC) in Chippewa Falls on Monday February 20, 2017


Clipart Ethernet Cable

9:16am Update: The Outage at Regional Data Center (RDC) in Chippewa Falls on Monday February 20, 2017 that affected Sierra availability has been resolved. WVLS has been given the all clear and you can resume using Sierra. Thank you for your patience while the WVLS Tech Team worked through the issue. 

7:59am Sierra Unavailable due to Outage at Regional Data Center (RDC) in Chippewa Falls on Monday February 20, 2017.  We will keep you updated as we work thorugh the issue.


Anne Hamland /

More Than Just a Maker Space: Webinar Recording


Idea Studio Webinar Capture February 15, 2017

Jon Mark Bolthouse presents the development of the Idea Studio, the permanent makerpace housed in the Fon du Lac Public Library.

The Idea Studio is a permanent, do-it-yourself zone where people can gather to create, invent and learn. It includes work tables, equipment to use, display cases, a projector and screen, a demonstration kitchen and a digital recording studio. It will have a space for DIY programs. New equipment is being added all the time. View the Idea Menu, a full list of the Idea Studio contents and classes.

Learn more by watching "The Idea Studio: More than just a maker space" webinar, a recording from the Wild Wisconsin Winter Webinar Conference 2017.

  • When is it open?
  • Can anyone use the Idea Studio?
  • Can anyone use the equipment?
  • Is everything free?
  • How can I keep track of what's going on at the Idea Studio?
  • Who's staffing the Idea Studio?
  • What about liability?

Has your library reserved a WVLS/IFLS Makerspace Kit? Borrow free makerspace kits for programs, special events, or activity tables! Find more information about booking WVLS/IFLS makerspace kits and see the list of over 100 makerspace kits available!

Anne Hamland /

School Librarians Navigate Educational Technology vs. Student Privacy Concerns


Electronic Frontier Foundation

In “A School Librarian Caught in the Middle of Student Privacy Extremes,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation notices school librarians are often the  only staff members trained as educators, privacy specialists and technologists.

School librarians frequently find themselves at the nexus between administrators and teachers who approach educational technology in a cost-conscious or pedagogical way rather than through the overlay of student privacy concerns.  The February 10, 2017 issue of ALA American Libraries Direct features A School Librarian Caught in the Middle of Student Privacy Extremes, posted to The Electronic Frontier Foundation website.

Student privacyGennie Gebhart writes: “As a school librarian at a small K–12 district in Illinois, Angela K. is at the center of a battle of extremes in educational technology and student privacy. In search of a middle ground that serves students, Angela is asking hard, fundamental questions like, ‘We can use technology to do this, but should we?’ School librarians are uniquely positioned to navigate this middle ground and advocate for privacy, both within the school library itself and in wider conversations about technology.”...

“Coming from librarianship’s tradition of facilitating the spread of information while also safeguarding users’ privacy and intellectual freedom, Angela is committed to adopting and applying ed tech while also preserving student privacy.


Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.

Anne Hamland /

Scholarship: Coding Together, Learning Together


The Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is proud to offer scholarships for 20 library staff to participate in the online professional development course, "Coding Together, Learning Together" as part of the Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries.

The course is offered by University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool Continuing Education Services.

There is no cost to scholarship recipients to take part in the course; the $125 course fee will be paid directly by DPI. Twenty applicants will be selected, preferably representing all 16 regional library systems. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Submitted by Marla Sepnafski.

Anne Hamland /

Important! Replacing Patron Cards and Merging OverDrive Accounts


OverDrive The New OverDrive image

Reissuing or replacing a patron's library card?

Ask if a patron uses OverDrive before deleting old library card information. Library staff need to merge the patron's holds and bookshelf information in OverDrive from the old card with the new card number using OverDrive Marketplace. 

If the old card barcode is not recorded and merged with the new barcode information, patrons usually create a new account and cannot see or retrieve their OverDrive bookshelf and holds from their old card number. Patrons are unable to see their holds or access items that had been on their bookshelf.

As a last resort, library staff could add lost holds from the old card on the new card and bump the patron up the waiting list. 

Why can't I find the title I put on hold? - OverDrive Help 

Thank you Kay Teal of the Tomahawk Public Library for this gentle reminder!

Anne Hamland /


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