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Twenty-five participants were recently selected from a large pool of applicants for the Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute, representing 14 of the 16 regional library systems.

WVLS will have three representatives participating in the Institute, which runs August 25-28.

  • Erica Dischinger, Minocqua Public Library
  • Elizabeth Lutz, Marathon County Public Library–Marathon City Branch
  • Mary Jo Netzer, Marathon County Public Library–Stratford Branch

“This immersive training will help me to gain confidence as a librarian in general,” said Erica Dischinger. “ At the end, I am hoping to have a deeper knowledge of how to spread the joy of learning, literacy and life skills to the children and families that I serve.”

The Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute provides professional development and networking for Wisconsin public library staff who serve babies, children, and teens in smaller public libraries.

The Institute targets library staff who do not have a graduate degree in librarianship and/or work in rural/isolated library communities. For these individuals, there is a need to improve skill and knowledge base, foster a supportive network, and develop stronger peer-to-peer and professional community connections within the Wisconsin public libraries infrastructure.   Elizabeth Lutz thinks it’s important that training in Wisconsin is provided for librarians without graduate degrees.

“I’ll get to learn about readers advisory and event planning from more experienced library professionals,” she said. “The small group size will give us each a more individualized experience. I hope to leave the experience with more confidence in working with children, teens, and their families.”

Mary Jo Netzer is also excited to network with other library professionals.
“This is going to help me brainstorm ideas and implement fresh approaches at the Stratford Branch,” Netzer said. “I will learn new ways to engage kids and families in our small community.”

The Institute is supported through an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Congratulations to Erica, Elizabeth and Mary Jo!