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.

From Video Usage to Engagement to Impact - Explore the Future of Impact Metrics With Integrated Assessment in Video


Logo for Library Journal webcast

In 2016 Alexander Street began a conversation with librarians about our plans to create an admin portal that offered much more than usage data. Our goal was to move beyond usage and even engagement measures, such as referring URLs and playlist creation, and begin to tackle the toughest questions around impact: Why did the viewer watch the video? How did the viewer value the content?

Join us on this webinar as we present Alexander Street's recently released admin portal, discuss the possibility of integrated assessment in video, and seek librarians' further input as we continuously refine and improve our impact measures, and the overall utility of our admin portal.

  1. Explore the future of impact metrics with integrated assessment in video 
  2. Evaluate on screen viewer ratings of video as an impact measure 
  3. Review on screen viewer selection of "reason for watching" as an impact measure 
  4. Contribute to the development of forthcoming impact measures


  • David Parker, Senior Vice President of Editorial and Licensing, Alexander Street
  • Pete Ciuffetti, Vice President of Product Development, Alexander Street
  • Kathleen McLellan, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Alexander Street

Moderator:  Rebecca Jozwiak, Editorial & Research Director, The Bloor Group

Presented by: Alexander Street & Library Journal

Event Date & Time: Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST

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

Follow us on Twitter! @LibraryJournal #LJAlexanderStreet #AlexanderStreetImpact

For more information about this webcast, please visit

Need help getting registered? Send us an email describing your problem.

By registering for this webcast, you are agreeing that Library Journal may share your registration information with sponsors currently shown and future sponsors of this event. Click here to review the entire Library Journal Privacy Policy.

(From Library Journal Webcast Alert, April 25, 2017)

Inese Christman /

"Ideabook: Libraries for Families:" A Free Manual For Library Engagement


Ideabook: Libraries for Families

PLA and Global Family Research Project (GFRP) have just released a new publication designed to help libraries develop outstanding family engagement initiatives: Ideabook: Libraries For Families. The Ideabook continues the discussion in Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement, picking up where that call to action leaves off.

The Ideabook presents case studies from more than 50 diverse libraries and how they are incorporating the five "Rs" of engagement: reach out, raise up, reinforce, relate, and reimagine.

Download the free publication. You will be asked to provide some basic demographic information to access the file.

Libraries for the 21st Century: It's a Family Thing

The Global Family Research Project asserts: "Libraries provide families a welcoming environment in which to learn, to connect with other parents, and to find other community resources that can help them thrive. From birth through young adulthood, family engagement is necessary for children's literacy, math, and social-emotional development, and libraries are evolving to create more opportunities in which students can develop these skills with the support and encouragement of their families."

With assistance from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Global Family Research Project team partnered with the Public Library Association (PLA) to explore the family engagement in children's learning through libraries.

What is the Global Family Research Project?

According to their website, Global Family Research Project is an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that supports all families and communities in helping children find success in and out of school. They strive to create a worldwide exchange of ideas to further the understanding and implementation of anywhere, anytime learning for all.

The Global Research Project connects research, policy, and practice to support a community of people dedicated to advancing children's learning and development. It fosters collaboration among child and family-serving organizations so they can create equitable learning pathways across time and place. Its mission includes strengthening knowledge and skills through technical assistance, professional development, and evaluation. 

Education leaders, researchers, policymakers, funders, practitioners, and the media are among the Global Research Project's partners in innovating family and community engagement strategies anywhere, anytime children learn.

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.

Anne Hamland /

WVLS & NWLS Librarians Advocate at Finance Hearing: You can help!


Julie Beloungy Spooner JFC Hearing

Ten librarians from WVLS and NWLS attended the fourth public hearing on the state budget conducted by the legislative Joint Committee on Finance at Spooner High School on April 18, 2017. Thorp Public Library Director Julie Beloungy testified in support of a modest increase of $1.5 million to public library system aids in 2017-2019 budget.

(Pictured Right) Thorp Public Library Director Julie Beloungy and Kris Adams Wendt from WVLS.

The Governor's Executive Budget Proposal for 2017-19 was introduced to the legislature in February as twin finance bills AB64 and SB30 and assigned to the powerful Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) where the legislative review process begins. The JFC committee of 16 legislators consists of 8 each from the senate and assembly (12 from the majority party and 4 from the minority party). Senator Tom Tiffany (12th District) and Representative Mary Felzkowski (35th District) are members of JFC.

JFC member Mary Felzkowski

(At far right) JFC member Rep. Mary Felzkowski (35th District).

JFC Sen Tom Tiffany

(At far left) JFC member Sen. Tom Tiffany (12th District).

JFC hearings were scheduled in Platteville, West Allis and Berlin the week of April 3, as well as Spooner, Ellsworth and Marinette the week of April 18. The Wisconsin Library Association's Library Development & Legislation Committee organized groups of library advocates to attend all six hearings.

RepresentingWVLS and NWLS in Spooner on April 18 were:

  • Julie Beloungy, Thorp Public Library Director (our speaker)
  • Jocelyn Ford, NWLS Trustee/Washburn Co. Supervisor
  • Molly Lank-Jones, Hayward Public Library Director
  • Sandy Mackie, NWLS Trustee
  • Sherry Machones, NWLS Director, WLA Legislative Committee
  • Patti Meyer, Larsen Family Library Director (Webster)
  • Marla Sepnafski, WVLS Director
  • Michael Sheehan, NWLS Assistant Director
  • Amy Stormberg, Shell Lake Public Library Director
  • Kris Adams Wendt, WVLS Youth and Inclusive Services, WLA Legislative Committee

Listen to the Wisconsin Library Association Legislative Committee Library testimony beginning at the 50 minute mark. Here are the links to the letter on which Julie Beloungy's 3-minute testimony was based, as well as the joint WVLS/NWLS summary document.

You can help!

Using Julie's testimony and the summary document as a guide, please share your library's stories with your State Senator and Assembly Representative. Legislators who are not members of the Joint Finance Committee are assigned as "buddies" to JFC members and encouraged to communicate the concerns of their constituents to the JFC table. JFC members will be getting down to the serious decision making that crafts the legislative version of the budget in the coming weeks. Please add your voice!

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

Spooner Citizens waiting to testify.

Citizens waiting to testify.

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt.

Anne Hamland /

WVLS 2017 ARSL Conference Scholarship Announced!


 2016 ARSL Team Kay Heiting Audrey Kohlbeck Tammie Blomberg Denise Korenuk

WVLS wants to send WVLS Directors and Branch Managers to the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference in St. George, Utah from September 7-9, 2017!

Application Deadline: May 12, 2017

WVLS is pleased to announce the WVLS 2017 Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference Scholarship! This is a full scholarship and covers travel, hotel, and meals. This scholarship is open to public library directors or branch managers with at least one year experience working at a WVLS library. 

The ARSL conference is specifically designed for small and rural library staff. Previous conference topics have included: building community advocacy, effective trustee recruitment, employee and patron safety, inexpensive programming ideas, innovative web services with few resources and more.

Listen to the 2016 WVLS ARSL team rave about their awesome experiences: 

To Apply

Please complete and submit the 2017 WVLS ARSL Conference Scholarship Application.

Questions about the scholarship may be directed to Anne Hamland at 715.261.7258 or

Submitted by Anne Hamland.

Anne Hamland /

Choose Privacy Week: May 1-7


Choose Privacy Week ALA

How does privacy intersect with intellectual freedom? And how can you get kids to care?

Data mining and targeted advertising are daily online realities, and the process is streamlined to the point of being largely unnoticeable on the user's end. But now that concepts like fake news and confirmation bias are becoming part of everyday conversation, it is increasinly important to make the connection between online privacy and equitable access to information.

Participate in the upcoming Choose Privacy Week, an ALA initiative held May 1-7! Choose Privacy Week is meant to spur conversation about privacy rights. Find "quick, easy, free" programming resources, videos, and graphics for your library to use!

In March of this year, Congress voted to repeal new FCC regulations set to go into effect this year which would have strengthened broadband and wireless consumer privacy protections. This means that internet service providers will have an increasingly free hand to analyze and sell personal information without explicit consent and without highlighting an easy way for users to opt out. The narrowly customized service that results can potentially limit available information and stifle opportunity for discovery, which is especially worrying for young people that have inherent familiarity with the technology but aren’t necessarily trained in information literacy. The more a child’s online experience is tailored by what advertisers know about them, the more credulous they can become, and the less likely they are to seek out or even notice information that isn’t meant to entice or convenience them. This makes it much easier to violate their intellectual freedom rights, inadvertently or otherwise.

Source: Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) April 15, 2017 blog post.

Submitted by Marla Sepnafski.

Anne Hamland /

Innovation and Collaboration Grant: Congratulations Colby PL and Rhinelander DL!


Crandon Inno and Collab Grant Art Speaker 2016

Please join WVLS in congratulating the Colby Public Library and Rhinelander District Library as the spring 2017 recipients of the WVLS Innovation and Collaboration Grant!

WVLS offers a competitive grant to a member library to develop and implement a service for their community that is both innovative and collaborative. The new service, program or project should be sustainable, innovative, collaborative, and add value to the community.

Applications are accepted for two grant cycles: January-March and June-August

What's innovative? Something libraries have not done before that may be unique to the community or adaptable to all libraries. The sky is the limit, that is the difficult part. For example, a library could apply to create a WIFI garden for patron use when the library is closed? 

Find complete details, ideas, and past grant winning proposals on the WVLS Innovation and Collaboration Grant page. The first WVLS Innovation and Collaboration Grant winner was the Crandon Public Library in 2016. 

Colby Public Library Proposal

WVLS will fully-fund the Colby Public Library proposal to build a STEAM activity and program station in the new library location at the full amount of $4,500. 

The application includes three collaborators: Colby Public Library, Colby School District, and St. Mary’s School. 

This proposal is original in that the Colby Public Library will collaborate with community school teachers and local professionals to provide excellent programming straight from STEAM professionals. 

The Friends of the Colby Public Library will sustain the STEAM station after the WVLS Innovation and Collaboration Grant. 

Rhinelander District Library Proposal

WVLS will fully fund the Rhinelander District Library proposal to rebuild a weekend writer’s retreat in collaboration with ArtStart at the full amount of $3,675. 

The application includes a curriculum committee with over six collaborators: Rhinelander District Library, ArtStart, The Wisconsin Arts Board, Nicolet College, University of Wisconsin, The Robert Gard Foundation, local partners and past SOA instructors and participants. 

This proposal is original, libraries have author visits but no WVLS libraries have a weekend long writing workshop with activities. 

Most importantly, the Rhinelander District Library is requesting funding to jump start restarting a popular program and plans to work with community stakeholders to supplement participant tuition in the future. 

The funding will also enable the library to train an intern throughout the planning and program process to establish an event procedure for years to come. 

Submitted by Anne Hamland.

Anne Hamland /

A total eclipse of the suuuun!: The All American Total Eclipse


Total Eclipse poster Tyler Nordgren

Children in Libraries published the article "The Astronomical Event of the Decade: Library opportunities with the coming total eclipse of the sun" in the Spring 2017 issue by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz.

On August 21, 2017 we will witness the first total eclipse visible in the continental United States in forty years. It is being called the "All American Total Eclipse." 1918 was the last time the path of a total eclipse where the sun is completely covered was crossed the continental United States.

Warning! Observers must be careful when viewing a partial eclipse as the sun will still shine into their eyes if they look directly at it. Libraries can help with that! "Most people will need clear reliable guidance for when and how to safely observe it [the eclpise]."

How can your library create programming around this event?

  • Work with local schools and organizations to find expert speakers for programs. Any local astronomy groups or enthusiasts?
  • Displays 
  • Build simple proper viewing binoculars with patrons.
  • Host an observing party!

Online Resources

Submitted by Marla Sepnafski.

Anne Hamland /

OverDrive Update: Wisconsin’s Digital Library to Grow Even Faster in 2017



What’s new about the WPLC Wisconsin Digital Library and the shared buying pool?

In the early part of 2016, WPLC’s Digital Library Steering Committee discussed increasing the buying pool amount above $1 million for 2017 to address high hold volumes on the most popular titles, the one persistant fault exacerbated by the Digital Library's popularity and success.

Inese Christman is our Library System’s WPLC Digital Steering Committee representative.  In April (4/27/16) she shared a survey asking if WVLS members might support such an increase.  There were ten responses to that survey with 50/50 split on support.  One of the “no” respondents included a comment that the library would support an increase if it could be used just by WVLS member libraries to help our Central Wisconsin patrons.  The WPLC Digital Library Steering Committee eventually presented a recommendation to increase the buying pool amount in 2017 by 15% which was subsequently adopted by WPLC.

A 15% increase: How is WVLS helping your libraries ease those already-tight budgets? 

Members will only share in the base $1 million of the Digital Library Buying pool during 2017 as WVLS is subsidizing the difference in member libraries’ shares – approximately $7100 – and we will work with member libraries to simplify future budgeting utilizing a trailing recovery model.  WVLS will be freezing the cost sharing among members for 2018 shares at the 2017 levels, and applying changes that would have been realized during 2018 instead in 2019. Whether WPLC maintains the buying pool at $1.15 million or reverts to the original $1 million over time, from now on WVLS members will have over 1 year to plan for share adjustments.

Where is the 15% buying pool increase going?

In 2017 the additional funds are part of the primary buying pool but in 2018 and forward, the additional amount will likely go into Overdrive Advantage accounts.  The WPLC Formula Work Group has presented a recommendation to the WPLC Board to dedicate the additional $150,000 to target holds reductions through OverDrive Advantage programs in each Library System.  The formula for sharing the $150,000 would be different than the primary formula, focused instead on the number of holds placed in the previous year relative to other Library Systems.  Using the proposed formula results in a share increase that is about $1,100 less for our Library System.  

A vote to adopt this separate formal for the additional 15% will take place at the upcoming WPLC Board Meeting on April 26th.  In preparation, WVLS has established an OverDrive Advantage account and the WVLS Board of Trustees has approved the creation of a $20,000 fund to help member libraries dramatically enhance overall patron experience with the Digital Library.  We’ll be asking for help from the membership to develop, implement, and maintain this new OverDrive Advantage Project (find out more in an upcoming Digital Lites post).

Submitted by Joshua Klingbeil

Anne Hamland /

How Libraries Can Respond to the Repeal of the FCC Privacy Rules


Save Privacy Logo

A few weeks ago Congress, voting along party lines, passed a resolution that repealed the groundbreaking privacy rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission last October under the Obama administration. The new rules would have required ISPs to adopt fair information privacy practices in regards to their customers’ data, including a requirement that the ISP obtain affirmative “opt-in” consent from their customers before using, sharing or selling sensitive information, including geo-location information, financial information, health information, children’s information, social security numbers, web browsing history, app usage history and the content of communications. In addition, the rules would have imposed data breach notification requirements and required ISPs to adopt reasonable data security measures.

If the privacy rules had been left alone, they would have gone into effect at the end of this year. But because of the way the new resolution was written, the FCC will likely be barred from writing any similar rules in the future. And the Federal Trade Commission, which otherwise has broad authority to regulate unfair and deceptive business practices like inadequate privacy protections or deceptive privacy policies, is likely barred from regulating ISPs, which are classified as telecommunication common carriers only subject to FCC regulation. Thus, those Congressional representatives voting to roll back the FCC privacy rules have likely skewed the privacy playing field in favor of the ISPs for a long time to come.

This means service providers like Verizon are free to install apps like AppFlash, a new Android app launcher and search tool designed to collect information like a user’s mobile number, device identifier, device type and operating system, location information, installed apps, and contacts and share that information with advertisers without the customer’s consent.

How can libraries respond to the rollback of the FCC privacy rules? Start with the Library Privacy Guidelines and the accompanying Library Privacy Checklists, which outline the steps libraries should take to protect users’ data and provide a secure online experience in the library.

More specific steps libraries can take to protect themselves and help users protect themselves from data collection by ISPs include:

Participating in the movement to encrypt all web traffic by moving library websites and services to HTTPS, a protocol which prevents intermediaries like ISPs from eavesdropping. ALA is a sponsor of the Let’s Encrypt initiative which provides free and easy to install certificates for HTTPS websites.

Negotiating contracts with ISPs that forbid the collection of browser history and other activity data of Internet users in the library.

Providing anonymous Internet access in library using the Tor browser or similar technologies.

Teaching users to protect themselves from online surveillance by using technologies such as public proxies, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) services, and anonymity networks such as Tor, as well as educating and encouraging patrons to exercise their ability to opt-out of behavioral tracking, adopt do-not-track tools, and employ encryption technologies. San Jose Public Library’s Virtual Privacy Lab provides one model for providing patrons with the information they need to protect their privacy.

For those who are interested in learning more about these tools and tactics, the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the IFC Privacy Subcommittee are sponsoring a webinar on Practical Privacy Practices for Choose Privacy Week on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 1:00 PM Central. The webinar will provide information on how to configure and manage your integrated library system to preserve patron privacy, how to install free HTTPS certificates on your websites using the Let’s Encrypt services, and how to provide anonymous web browsing using TOR and other tools.

Finally, advocacy on behalf of data privacy, transparency, and customer choice is always an option. Minnesota and Illinois have already introduced legislation that would require ISPs providing services in those states to abide by a set of rules comparable to the FCC privacy rules repealed by Congress. While the FCC may be barred from adopting new privacy rules, Congress itself can propose and adopt a privacy regime that will protect individuals’ data. Librarians and patrons alike can let their elected officials know that they support laws that protect individuals’ online privacy.   Share !

(From ALA District Dispatch  March 31, 2017,  written by Emily Wagner who is the Information Manager for ALA's Washington Office. She earned her B.A. in Literature from Mount Holyoke College and her M.S.L.I.S. from The Catholic University of America. She can be reached via e-mail at

Inese Christman /

Celebrate National Library Week April 9-16, 2017!


National Library Week 2017

“Libraries Transform” is the theme for National Library Week 2017.  First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.  More information is available here.

On April 7, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Division for Libraries and Technology posted a video and blog article featuring State Superintendent Tony Evers and footage from the Lancaster and Beloit Public Libraries. Superintendent Evers talks about the critical role libraries play in their communities and talks about the devastating proposed cuts to the IMLS budget.

Observances during National Library Week include:

Monday, April 10: State of America's Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2016.

Tuesday, April 11: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

Wednesday, April 12: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

Thursday, April 13, has been designated Take Action for Libraries Day.  Read the press release.

National Library Week is a good time to think about the question, “How do the different kinds of libraries serve our local communities, regions and state?”

Each type of library does a different job. College and school libraries purchase materials to support the curriculum of their particular institutions. They are on the spot whenever teachers and students need them, providing equal access to all information resources.  This is especially important in a rural public school district where so many girls and boys must depend upon adults for transportation to the public library. 

Students attending UW-Marathon County, as well as the Nicolet Area Technical College and Northcentral Technical College districts have a similar need for on-site libraries supporting their coursework.

Corporate and hospital libraries contain collections of information on particular subject areas. The employees, clients or patients who use these libraries need ready access to technical periodicals, reference materials and other sources that are often too specialized or expensive to be included in libraries serving the general public.

The “free” in free public libraries isn’t about cost, but about free and equal access to information regardless of income or location. While the means by which each public library realizes its annual operating budget is complex, shared community investment in what Andrew Carnegie called “the people’s university” allows everyone to take equal advantage of the service.

A public library’s overall mission is more generic. It serves the recreational reading and information needs of all persons in the community, regardless of their age, educational background or interest focus.  These days, that includes providing reliable broadband access, assistance to job-seekers and citizens seeking knowledge and new skills to re-enter the workforce. Lifelong learning is an important part of a public library’s mission, whether it be focused on early childhood development, inclusive services, literacy and other programs for all ages, or memory cafes for seniors.  With the coordinated support of Wisconsin Valley Library Service and 15 other public library systems around the state, citizens who use small rural libraries have as much access to all that much larger libraries are able to offer as those in cities.

All types of libraries work together to serve a community. For example, school and public libraries both teach children that learning is a lifetime process and reading is fun. Both formal and informal adult education is accomplished through use of college and public libraries. Special libraries are added to the mix through referral and inter-library loan.

Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt

Anne Hamland /


Subscribe to Digital Lites | Wisconsin Valley Library Service