The News for December 2021

Explore the World from you Pocket

by Laura Turpin, St. Croix Falls Public Library

Most of us carry a device in our pockets or bags that links us to a staggering amount of the world's knowledge. Instead of scrolling through pictures of cats or getting into arguments with complete strangers, why not expand your range and tap into some of that knowledge?

  • Want movie reviews? Check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly.

  • Doing a research project? Search for your subject and browse the results.

  • Not sure what to make for dinner? Check out a cookbook from your kitchen.

  • Bored in the waiting room? Browse a list of items available immediately.

  • Can't sleep? Check out a book in the middle of the night.

  • Taking a road trip? Check out an audiobook or three, and stream them to your car's stereo.

You can do all of this with the Wisconsin Digital Library. The Wisconsin Digital Library is our e-resources library and it’s available to every Wisconsin library card holder. Just sign in to start. Use your browser or get Libby, the state-of-the-art mobile app.

You can download your checked-out items to your device to use when you have a spotty connection or no data service. And you’ll never have an overdue item, because your items are automatically returned at the end of your loan period.

Wisconsin's Digital Library is a partnership between the Wisconsin Library Consortium and Overdrive.

Supporting Our Library Professionals

IFLS is committed to providing support and resources that grow our librarians’ professional capacity. One of the ways that we do that is by providing scholarships to conferences that would otherwise be out of reach for many. Here’s what some librarians had to tell us about their experiences:

“The conference was such an incredible opportunity to network and build connections…I have an ongoing group text made of people I really connected with at the conference, and we are all still sharing ideas … long after the conference has ended.” –Anna Griffin, Centuria

“Talking to other librarians and attending conference sessions with a small library and rural library focus provides me with so much to think about and consider regarding my own library’s situation and services.” –Elizabeth Miniatt, Stanley

“Despite the state of affairs in our current covid-stricken and politically-divided world, a few days of discourse and fellowship with librarians renewed my sense of optimism for the world.” –Jake Wyrzykowski, Phillips

Library Systems Working Together

In October this year, staff from IFLS, NWLS, and WVLS worked on a tight deadline to apply for American Rescue Plan Act funding available to libraries. As a consortium, the three systems submitted four grant proposals. In total, 57 pre-applications were submitted requesting over $6.7 million in funding (over twice the amount available).

One of our grants, Outside and In: A Hybrid Service Model, will be funded. Eleven libraries (in two systems) will receive book bikes; nine libraries (in all three systems) will receive pop-up canopies; and five libraries (in two systems) will receive equipment to enhance virtual programming and meetings. There will be some continuing education offerings about outreach available in 2022 as part of this grant.

The list of all ARPA grant pre-applications that will be moving forward with funding has been posted to the DPI ARPA grants website and a direct link to the final funding list can be found here.

In the Neighborhood

  • Hudson Area Public Library has re-opened their curbside service! The building is still closed following extensive storm damage. Staff are available by phone or email.

  • Somerset Library was received a $1 million anonymous donation to go towards their new building’s construction costs. In addition, they were awarded a $200,000 grant from The Katherine B. and Fred C. Anderson Foundation, putting them close to the finish line on their building campaign.

  • Thomas St. Angelo Public Library will be starting Countryside Delivery, bringing the library to four rural and indigenous communities around Cumberland.

  • Cadott Community Library won a Packer Foundation grant for $3,000 to add sports equipment in a local park and sports kits that will circulate from the library.

  • All grants have come through for Glenwood City’s new library’s tech and furniture, about $60,000.

  • New Richmond’s Friday Memorial Library has started their new building process with their first community meeting with 51 participants present. They’ve also received feedback from nearly 300 high school students. Another community meeting is coming up soon.

  • Katie Schneider (Spring Valley Director) let us know that Grace Diane Schneider was born at 12:30 AM, 12/1/2021 & 7# 2oz & 20 1/2 inches. She’s named after her strong, beautiful, loving Grandma Diane Schneider.

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We Love Hearing From You!

As John Thompson mentioned in his Librarian of the Year Awards acceptance speech, the work that IFLS does is deeply collaborative, a team effort between IFLS staff and trustees, and library staff. So when we hear feedback from our librarians, we want to share it with you! This is from Cricket Lafond, Director of Clear Lake Public Library, after the WLA conference where she presented a very popular session on grant-writing. Thank you, Cricket!

“I just want to say THANK YOU!

My experience at the WLA conference really put a spotlight on the level of support that IFLS has provided during the pandemic. You gave us means to communicate with staff in similar situations (Directors, Adult Services, Youth Services) via Zoom meetings. These soon became support groups and places for us to have safe landings when things were going sideways. These groups led to collaborations that would not otherwise have taken place.

You all answered e-mails and phone calls promptly. You visited libraries if necessary. You provided us with the latest COVID information but you also all stayed abreast of what was happening in the library world so we could continue to do our jobs well. You gave us "permission" to set aside time for ourselves and to keep our staff and patrons safe and healthy.

I always knew that IFLS was a great library system but the last few months have led me to believe that IFLS staff is the best and I just wanted to express my appreciation. I would not be as emotionally healthy as I am without your support and guidance during the last few months.”

Heads Up

The Overdrive App is due to sunset in February of 2022. What does this mean for app users? Details in the next News from IFLS.

Also watch this space for details about an Intro to Advocacy virtual event coming up in January! Jim Tripp, IFLS Board President, will share his insights and knowledge.

Save the date: Library Legislative Day, Feb 8, 2022 in Madison. This is our chance to let our elected state officials know how important libraries are to our communities! Hope to see you there.

Best of the holiday season to you!

From the IFLS family to yours, hoping your holidays are safe, jolly and bright!

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