Continuing Education


The following are continuing education (CE) opportunities offered to all WVLS-member library staff, including workshops, online conferences and more. Where noted, some of these events count towards Wisconsin librarian certification. If you have any questions or would like to add continuing education events to this list, please email Inese Christman at

Poverty Awareness through Library Engagement – October 14, 2015 Workshop


Poverty Workshop picture of pig

Poverty wears many faces in our libraries, impacting families and individuals of all ages throughout our communities. Librarians can make a difference! 

The ability to recognize and deal sensitively with the needs of those who are living in poverty impacts library workers in all types of libraries. Public library directors are particularly encouraged to send at least one staff member. Youth Services librarians will find participation valuable. Library trustees are also welcome!  

WHAT: Poverty Awareness through Library Engagement training

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

WHERE: Wausau Room, Marathon Co. Public Library, 300 1st Street, Wausau

REGISTRATION:  Email Kris Adams Wendt at by October 9.

CEUs: 4.5


9:00 – 9:30: Coffee and conversation

9:30 – noon: POVERTY AWARENESS with Jackie Carattini, Marathon County UW-EX family living agent presents Poverty Awareness for Community Engagement (PACE) training

Noon- 1:00 PM: Lunch (provided on site by WVLS)

1:00 – 3:00 PM: LIBRARY ENGAGEMENT with Demmer Memorial Public Library Director Erica Brewster and Nicolet College Library Director Todd Mountjoy who will provide the bridge between PACE concepts and library operations and program.

Participants will be guided to develop a short list of library-based outreach action plans for library community outreach implementation, and encouraged to apply for a share of $800 available to fund quick-turn around mini-grants within WVLS borders. (For example, $75-$125 could be requested to begin partnerships with and create library promotional materials for placement in local food pantries.) 

Mini-grant funding requests from WVLS libraries will be due October 21 and must be spent before December 4.


A welcoming and respectful attitude is one of the most important things that makes a library accessible to people who are homeless and/or living in poverty. Needs of these populations should be considered by libraries in all aspects: planning and collaborating; accessibility; staff training; programs, collections, and services; and marketing. Poverty is a complex issue to define. Political and statistical classifications offer numbers, but do not always portray what it is like to be poor. Living in poverty generally means being without adequate food, shelter, and clothing, but can also include insufficient or unstable employment healthcare, transportation, employment, etc. Understanding the home situations and the needs of families living in poverty is required to provide effective library services. (DPI/DLT Serving Special Populations “Homelessness and Poverty.”

See also “Who is poor in Wisconsin?” At the UW-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty website. 

CO-SPONSORED BY: Wisconsin Valley Library Service and Nicolet Federated Library System. This program was funded in part through the Department of Public Instruction Division for Libraries and Technology with a Youth and Special Services Continuing Education Project grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). 

PLEASE NOTE: A TWIN PROGRAM…featuring an identical format but different UW-Extension speaker is being offered by Nicolet Federated Library System on Tuesday, October 13, at the Shawano Public Library if that location is more convenient for you.  Please contact Jamie Matczak if you have questions.

If you require special accommodations please contact WVLS in advance and we will endeavor to assist you.


Inese Christman /

Surviving Difficult Conversations


Surviving Difficult Conversations Logo
Jeff Russell Picture

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Presenter: Jeff Russell, Russell Consulting, Inc.

Location:  New Berlin Public Library, 15105 Library Lane, New Berlin, WI  53151

Info & Registration: 

Sooner or later, library directors, managers and supervisors will need to have a conversation with a staff member that will be difficult and challenging.  If just thinking about it gets your heart to start racing, then this workshop is for you.  During this interactive session, you will gain insights and tools for approaching this difficult conversation with confidence and composure.  When emotions run high and there is a lot on the line, you want to be able to guide this conversation toward a productive end.  Learn the powerful tips for turning these difficult conversations into satisfying ones.  

Learning Outcomes:  You will be able to…

1.Describe the characteristics of a difficult conversation.

2.Discuss why we engage in self-defeating, self-destructive behaviors during difficult conversations.

3.Describe the two mindsets that drive our beliefs, thinking, and behaviors: The My-Way and Collaborative Mindsets.

4.Apply the Governing Values and Enacting Behaviors of the Collaborative Mindset to your own conversations (difficult or otherwise).

5.Demonstrate an integrative model for conducting a difficult conversation.

6.Describe the Amygdala Hijack – and what you can do about it!

7.Demonstrate ways to create safety for yourself and others in the midst of a difficult conversation.

8.Implement a personal plan for strengthening your ability to navigate current and future conversations.

About the Presenter:  

Jeff Russell, co-director of Russell Consulting, Inc. (RCI) with his wife, Linda, specializes in helping leaders build productive, supportive, and motivating work environments.  RCI helps companies develop their leadership and strengthen team performance to achieve their great performance goals and outcomes.  By guiding the common organizational members and developing strategies and actions to express these values-in-action, RCI helps organizations achieve their strategic vision. 

This workshop is sponsored by the Southeastern Wisconsin (SEWI) library systems: Eastern Shores Library System, Kenosha County Library System, Lakeshores Library System, Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System, Milwaukee County Federated Library System and Waukesha County Federated Library System.


Inese Christman /

Makerspaces in Libraries October 7 2015


Makerspace webinar logo

Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more. Makerspaces are becoming increasingly popular in both public and academic libraries as a new way to engage patrons and add value to traditional library services.  Discover how you can create a makerspace within your own library though this step-by-step guidebook.  From planning your innovation center to hosting hack-a-thons, guest lectures, game nights and social events in your new lab, this practical primer provides detailed guidance and best practices.  Register NOW.


Theresa Willingham is a professional writer and the author of two books on health, with more than thirty years’ experience across a diverse spectrum of fields and interests. She is Regional Director for FIRST STEM education programs in central Florida, and a Creative Partner with Eureka! Factory, working as a consultant and creative space designer with her husband, Steve, helping libraries and other organizations develop makerspaces and creative programming. They are the designers of the 10,000 sq. ft. Hive, Community Innovation Center, at the John F. Germany Library, the main branch of the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System in Tampa, Florida.

Etta Verma – Reviews Editor, Library Journal

Presented by: Rowman & Littlefield & Library Journal

Event Date & Time: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST

Can't make it October 7th? No problem! Register now and you will receive an email from Library Journal with the URL to access the archive for this event.


Inese Christman /

Digitization and Libraries - Free Webinar From American Libraries Live


American Libraries Live Logo

On Thursday, September 10, 2015  at 1 PM Central time, attend the free American Libraries LIVE webinar on Digitization and Libraries!

Digitization is a rapidly growing area of librarianship. Whether you’re a community repository or you need to digitize old materials to save space, the ability to start a digitization project is becoming an essential skill for the modern librarian. 

Join us for a new episode of American Libraries Live, Digitization and Libraries. Our expert panel will discuss digitization in both broad and specific terms, looking at current trends and long-term implications for the library community. 

Our panel will include:

•Susanne Caro, Government Documents Librarian at University of Montana, author and frequent speaker on digitization and librarianship

•Alyce Scott, Professor, School of Library & Information Science San Jose State University 

Tune in for this free, streaming video broadcast! You can pre-register here for this free event (pre-registration assures you a reminder before the event), or go to on September 10 at 1:00 p.m. (Central) to view.

We are pleased to welcome the School of Information (iSchool) at San José State University as a sponsor for this episode. The iSchool prepares individuals for careers as information professionals. Graduates work in diverse areas of the information profession, such as user experience design, digital asset management, information architecture, electronic records management, information governance, digital preservation, and librarianship. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the iSchool is the best place to learn online. 

The iSchool’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program was named Outstanding Online Program by the Online Learning Consortium. This prestigious national award recognizes the school’s commitment to delivering innovative, convenient, 100% online learning solutions for students across the globe. Find out more about the iSchool’s award-winning online educational programs at

American Libraries Live

AL Live is an immediate and effective way to get to the heart of the real issues in our industry. With the help of real-time technology, it's like having your own expert on-hand. 

Inese Christman /

WI Public Library Director Certification Course Scholarship


University of Wisconsin Crest

UW-Madison's School of Library and Information Studies-Continuing Education Services announces a scholarship for Wisconsin library directors currently taking certification courses. SLIS-CES will cover the entire cost of one certification course ($415) to the winner. The course must be taken during the 2015 Fall semester. Only current Wisconsin public library directors are eligible for this scholarship. Previous scholarship winners are not eligible to win again. The winner may use the award on any one of these upcoming fall courses:

Basic Public Library Administration

Advanced Public Library Administration

Public and Community Library Services

To apply, please send an email with "CE Scholarship" in the subject line to Meredith Lowe (  In the body of the email, include your name, library, and a paragraph or two about how taking the certification courses helps you provide excellent service to your community. Submissions are due by 5:00 PM CST August 28th and a winner will be announced by September 4th.

If the winner has already registered and paid for an upcoming certification course, their course fee will be refunded.

Inese Christman /

YSS Powerhouse Presents: Collection Connections Webinar


YSS Collection Connection Logo

Collection Connections - Webinar

TUESDAY, September 22, 2015, 1 PM – 2 PM

For archived progrom go to:


Library collection development is the ubiquitous foundation of all library services, yet we may be so busy doing it that we seldom take the time to stop to consider what we’re doing and why!

You’re invited to join the next offering from the YSS Powerhouse Presents webinar series on Thursday, September 22, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM when YSS members and library practitioners will discuss the nuts and bolts of selection, dealing with salespeople and weeding, the importance of diversity in a collection, and ideas for improving access to your collection (displays, lists, and more).  Bring your questions for these collection gurus!


Shelly Collins Fuerbringer, Youth Services Manager, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

•Sharon Grover,  Head of Youth Services, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville

•Emily Passey,  Assistant Director, Shorewood Public Library

This webinar is brought to you by the Youth Services Section (or YSS) of the Wisconsin Library Association and Wisconsin Valley Library Service. YSS is the home for teen and children’s librarians in our state who push youth services forward and create exciting opportunities for youth librarians to network together, to lead and to learn. 

Please consider joining YSS by becoming a member of our statewide association: The Wisconsin Library Association. Together we are stronger!

Kris Adams Wendt

WVLS Public Library Consultant

Inese Christman /

2015 WVLS Directors Retreat


You are cordially invited to attend the 2015 WVLS Directors Retreat.

When: Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Where: Tribute Golf Course and Bunkers Bar & Grill (1001 Golf Club Road, Wausau 54403)

What’s happening? For those of you who are new to WVLS, our retreat uses a SHARE…LISTEN…LEARN format to encourage sharing local stories issues, while listening and learning from one another’s experiences. It’s a pretty fast paced and jam-packed day designed to facilitate discussion among library directors on a variety of topics of interest.  Past retreats have explored new services/programs, budget challenges for various sized libraries, current professional development resources, collection development, technology trends, staff safety, strategic planning, advocacy, local management issues, doing more with less, salaries and benefits…and (as they say in the game shows) “much much more!”

Working Lunch: Care and Feeding of Community Partnerships for Public Libraries 

In today’s library environment, it is more important than ever for library directors to take advantage of all the resources available to us. This presentation looks at ways to utilize community members and organizations to extend your library’s offerings and expertise while creating advocates for all you do. Brian Kopetsky from McMillan Memorial Library (Wisconsin Rapids) shares his experiences in developing library partnerships with individuals, local organizations, businesses and government. In this open approach to the relationship building process, Brian’s examples touch on “the good, the bad and the ugly” in the hope that you can avoid some of the challenges to be found in developing new relationships. Our libraries are so much more than warehouses for books – extend your reach!

Support: Lunch provided, plus full mileage for attendees from within WVLS borders. Meet new colleagues and make new friends. Earn 6 CEU’s. What’s not to like?

We have also extended an invitation to colleagues from neighboring counties. A minimum of 24 attendees is necessary to make this event a “go.”  

We would like to hear from you by Tuesday, September 1, if you plan to participate!  Registration information will follow your response. 

Please contact me if you have any questions.  

Cheers,  Kris

Kris Adams Wendt, Public Library Consultant

Wisconsin Valley Library Service

300 N. First Street

Wausau, WI 54403 


Inese Christman /

What you need to know about RDA / Z39.50 cataloging.


What you need to know about RDA / Z39.50 cataloging.

Join Indianhead Federated Library System catalogers Julie Woodruff and Kathy Setter for a cataloging update. They will cover cataloging the basic formats (book, audiobook, music CD, DVD) in Sierra using RDA. They will also talk about macros, templates, editing Z39.50 bibliographic records, core elements/fields by format, and required fields for an original short bibliographic record. Attendees must have viewed the RDA Webinar before attending!

WHEN: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 12:30 pm - 4:30pm
OR Thursday, March 19, 2015, 8:30 am - 12:30pm

WHERE: Marathon County Public Library, Wausau, WI

Space is limited! Please sign-up by March 13 using the EventBrite online form at

This workshop will improve catalogers’ understanding of RDA and Z39.50 cataloging processes. Successful completion of this workshop is a prerequisite for utilizing Sierra Z39.50 cataloging tools. 4 CEU credits for either of these sessions.

Sponsored by WVLS & V-Cat Council.

RDA Z39 workshop March 18 19 2015.pdf

Ben Krombholz /

New! Short Takes for Trustees


Short Takes for Trustees

Short Takes for Trustees is a series of 10 short videos (8-10 minutes each) that can be shown during trustee meetings to stimulate discussion about the important role that trustees play in the governance of their libraries.

Topics in the series explain the basics, such as what it means to be a Trustee (discussing the broad fiduciary responsibilities of governing boards as well as the limits of an advisory board), as well as how to set policy, how to evaluate the library director (and why you should!), along with board self evaluation, and the ethical and parliamentary standards for boards — both governing and advisory.

The courses are: What It Means to Be a Trustee; Board Meetings; Board Ethics; Library Advocacy; Library Policies; Strategic Planning; Working with Friends; Evaluating the Library Director; Board Self Evaluation, and Succession Planning and New Board Orientation.

To learn more about this series and how to register, visit

* United for Libraries members save an additional $10 through February 28, 2015.

Ben Krombholz /

Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference


The Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is a state-wide virtual conference developed by the Nicolet Federated Library System and supported by 14 other library systems in Wisconsin.

Five, 60-minute web presentations focusing on public libraries will be given each day from speakers all over the country. Attend what you want - one...four...or all 10.

Because of the collaboration, all sessions are available without cost.

For details, visit

The current session schedule is as follows (subject to change):

Wednesday, January 21


9 am: Look First: Creating Exceptional Patron Experiences
Erica Reynolds, Team Member
Shawnee, Kansas

Success in wowing people requires planning for the big picture and tiny details, considering all the senses, and considering the various reasons people visit or could visit the library—both online and in person—but all that requires that we look and listen before we act. Too often, we assume we know more than we do, and we skip the looking step. By taking time to observe and experience the library through patrons’ eyes, we can dramatically improve the experiences our patrons encounter. Learn simple, fun, and effective tools and low-budget tips that will improve the patron experience—for all ages, for big and small libraries, and for all budgets. No additional funds required.




  10:30 am: Creating Welcoming and Accessible Libraries for Children with Special Needs 
  Renee Grassi, Youth Department Director
  Glen Ellyn Public Library
  Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Whether large or small, rural or urban, all library communities serve children with special needs.  Developing an awareness and sensitivity to children with special needs is crucial to providing top-notch inclusive service to families in our communities.  Participants will learn how to perform a community needs assessment in their library communities, forge new partnerships with outside organizations, and be inspired by new and innovative programming ideas. This program will also provide positive strategies for disability etiquette, as well as present different approaches to reevaluating existing youth programs for an inclusive audience.




  1 pm: Tablet-Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Customer Service
  Leah Kulikowski, Assistant Branch Manager
  Lexington Park Library
  Lexington Park, Maryland
No matter a library’s size or budget, we are all looking for ways to increase staff efficiency and better serve our patrons. This webinar will focus on practical and creative ways to use tablet technology (including reference, circulation, payments, storytime music, program registrations, and more!) to stay on the leading edge of customer service.



  2:30 pm: Get Out to Get Them In: Marketing Outside the Library
  Erin Shea, Supervisor
  Ferguson Library
  Stamford, Connecticut

To attract nonusers to the library, you'll first have to bring the library to them. Getting outside the four walls of your building is often the first step toward bringing new users in. This presentation will cover outreach ideas that are easy to implement in order to market your library's programs and services.



  Sarah Houghton, Director
  San Rafael Public Library
  San Rafael, California

Much is written about love and libraries. And no, this is not a presentation about love in the stacks or sexy times in the study room. Much of library marketing across the world is focused on reminding people that they love libraries, or soliciting them to say outright that they love their libraries and their librarians. I believe that we are having the wrong conversation. The conversation we should be having is how much “we in libraries love our communities.”

Nearly everyone who works in a library believes wholeheartedly in our mission. We love our communities and want to serve them to the best of our ability. Modern library messaging should be that “The Library Loves You,” not pleading for love from our communities. How do we shift the viewpoint to be less navel-gazing and insecure and more about sharing our commitment to our communities?




Thursday, January 22:


9 am: Stop the Whining: How to Complain Effectively
Pat Wagner, Educator and Instructional Producer
Pattern Research, Inc.
Denver, Colorado

If we describe whining as complaining ineffectively, then it seems possible to learn how to ask for what we want more competently. To be more influential, we have to learn to get our own act together, build a support network, and make sure we know the facts. A combination of data and good interpersonal skills work better than accusations and whimpering. Learn how to become better at problem solving and decision making in the library instead of adding negativity to a situation.






10:30 am: What You Need to Know About Library Technology
Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research
San Mateo, California

Now that the revolutionary change that the Internet caused in libraries has largely been absorbed, what are the technologies that may change what we do or how we do it in the future? What changes to our metadata infrastructure will we need to weather? What new opportunities will these potential changes provide? This and more will be explored in a rollicking look at where we've been and are going in the near future.






1 pm: Listening to the Future of Libraries
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder
Serious Insights LLC
Sammamish, Washington

Daniel W. Rasmus will offer you a journey through the uncertainties that will shape the future of libraries and provide you with tools to help navigate your future. Rasmus will discuss issues of place, purpose, relevance and reinvention as it pertains to public libraries. 






2:30 pm: Six Essential Skills for One-on-One Tech Instruction
Crystal Schimpf, Training Consultant
Kixal LLC
Berkeley, California
Have you ever helped a library patron with a technology issue? Have you offered computer tutoring by appointment? One-on-one tech instruction happens every day in libraries, and every technology question presents an opportunity to teach new skills. Luckily, you don’t need to be a tech expert to provide effective tech instruction. Learn six practical training skills that will help boost your ability to help library patrons with technology questions.

4 pm: Trigger Talks

The conference will conclude with 6, six-minute presentations on a variety of topics, by 6 different people. They are:

Dominic Frandrup, Waupaca Area Public Library
Kevin King, Kalamazoo Public Library
Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library
Ben Miller, Sauk City Public Library
Kay Rankel, Gillett Public Library
Cole Zrostlik, St. Croix Falls Public Library

Their short spiels should "trigger" ideas for the audience members. 
But, the presenters will have to get their ideas across in only six minutes. 


Ben Krombholz /