- Libraries to gain faster Internet access with broadband expansion
- Haven’t registered? You can still attend Legislative day on Feb. 11
- Member/Staff News
- Overstock books available to libraries from Borderland Books
- Author David Baldacci weighs in on e-books, library budget cuts in @ your library video
- Continuing Education Calendar
Libraries to gain faster Internet access with broadband expansion
Slow Internet connections in nearly three-quarters of the state’s public libraries will speed up dramatically with a $4.2 million federal E-rate investment in fiber broadband connectivity.
“More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet connection speeds to serve library patrons,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Many of our libraries are the only public Internet access in their small, rural communities. Our libraries provide online education resources for students of all ages, including BadgerLink; services for job seekers; and information on government services; so this upgrade of Internet connectivity will be a welcome improvement across the state.”
Planning for the library fiber upgrade has been underway since mid-2013 and is part of enhancing the state’s BadgerNet broadband network. The actual fiber installation will begin this April and should be completed for approximately 350 libraries by November. Libraries were selected for fiber upgrades based on need. Nearly all public libraries will receive an increase in capacity, often tripled, as part of the program upgrade.
Telecommunication carriers provide the BadgerNet connections. The network is under the general management of the Department of Administration (DOA). Approximately 75 percent of the state’s school districts and 95 percent of its libraries have a connection to BadgerNet. As a result of the fiber project, libraries will get a 10Mbps BadgerNet connection for $100 per month and up to 100Mbps for $250 per month. Currently, only 8.5 percent of the state’s libraries have Internet connection speeds above 10Mbps. All of the state’s 17 regional library systems also will receive significant broadband increases.
Funding for the fiber project comes from the federal E-rate program. Each year DOA’s Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) program applies for and receives E-rate funding to help support broadband and Internet connectivity for over 900 schools and libraries in the state. The Department of Public Instruction has worked with DOA, the carriers, and the state’s library community to move the fiber broadband project forward. “With so much information available only via the web there is a need for ever greater Internet connection speeds in our libraries,” Evers noted. “In addition to information flow, slow connections have limited libraries’ abilities to offer computer training and web conferencing. Fiber is a wise investment in networking infrastructure, and it will greatly help our libraries serve their community’s needs for ever faster Internet connectivity.”
According to the Department of Public Instruction, South Central Library System member libraries scheduled to receive the fiber upgrades are:
- Adams County Library
- Angie W. Cox Library, Pardeeville
- Baraboo Public Library
- Belleville Public Library
- Black Earth Public Library
- Brodhead Memorial Public Library
- Cambridge Community Library
- Columbus Public Library
- Cross Plains Public Library
- Dane County Library Service
- Deerfield Public Library
- DeForest Public Library
- E. D. Locke Public Library, McFarland
- Fitchburg Public Library
- Jane Morgan Memorial Library, Cambria
- Kraemer Library & Community Center, Plain
- La Valle Public Library
- Lester Public Library of Arpin
- Lester Public Library of Rome
- Lodi Woman's Club Public Library
- Marshall Community Library
- Mazomanie Free Library
- Monroe Public Library
- Mount Horeb Public Library
- New Glarus Public Library
- North Freedom Public Library
- Oregon Public Library
- Pinney Branch Library, Madison
- Portage County Public Library, and the Almond, Plover & Rosholt Branches
- Poynette Public Library
- Ruth Culver Community Library, Prairie du Sac
- Reedsburg Public Library
- Rock Springs Public Library
- Sauk City Public Library
- Spring Green Community Library
- Stoughton Public Library
- Sun Prairie Public Library
- Verona Public Library
- Waunakee Public Library
- Wyocena Public Library
Did you forget to register for Legislative Day 2014? Have your plans changed and you are now free? Well, you can still attend the Wisconsin Library Association’s Library Legislative Day on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Inn on the Park in Madison.
While it’s too late to register online, you can show up that morning and still be a full participant. You just won’t know ahead of time when your legislative visits are scheduled, and your name won’t be on the visit list. But you are more than welcome -- in fact, everyone is encouraged to attend.
The morning will begin with a keynote address by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers. The morning program will also feature remarks by 34th Assembly District Representative Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) who chairs the Rural Schools Task Force and 32nd District Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) who is a member of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance.
More information about Library Legislative Day is at http://wla.wisconsinlibraries.org/legislative/legislative-day. If you are unable to attend, please send emails or call your state legislators and let them know why your library is important to your community. Share some stories about the services and resources you provide. For legislator contact information, visit the Legislature’s website.
Five Dane County libraries (Fitchburg, McFarland, Oregon, Madison's Goodman South branch, and the Dane County Bookmobile) this week announced plans to start a Dane County Seed Library, which will debut sometime in mid-March. Read more in the Feb. 7 issue of the Wisconsin State Journal.
When one’s memory doesn’t seem to be as sharp as it used to be, it’s all to easy to feel isolated. Helping to end this isolation is the purpose of Memory Café, which recently opened at Portage Public Library. You can read more in the Portage Daily Register.
The February issue of WSLL @ Your Service has been published at http://wilawlibrary.gov/newsletter/1402.html.
Denise Anton Wright will be the new Public Library Administration Consultant at the Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries and Technology. She will begin her duties at the DPI on Monday, March 17. Denise has worked as the Public Library Administration Consultant for the South Central Library System (SCLS) since February 2012. Prior to that she worked as director of the New Glarus Public Library, a position she began in August 2004. She also worked seven years as the library development consultant for the Alliance Library System in Illinois, and earlier as Children’s Services Librarian for the former Corn Belt Library System. She also worked as a reference librarian at Illinois State University, and served for five years as a public library trustee in Bloomington, Illinois. Denise earned her undergraduate degree from UW-Eau Claire, her master’s degree in Library Science from UW-Madison, and also earned a master’s in English, with an emphasis in children’s literature, from Illinois State University. Denise's last dat at SCLS will be Friday, March 7.
SCLS member libraries have a limited opportunity to obtain donated titles from Borderland Books. These new books are in overstock, and Borderland would like to donate them to interested libraries.
You can visit http://www.borderlandbooks.net to see the available titles. All of the books listed are available, except “A Good Life” and “Under a Lucky Star” (paperback available, but not hardcover).
If you are interested in any of these titles, please contact Tim Drexler at SCLS Delivery with your request. He will work with Borderland Books to facilitate the order and delivery. If you have questions, contact Tim at (608) 266-4643.
Author David Baldacci, who wrote the best-seller “Absolute Power,” said he believes publishers will provide libraries with greater access to e-books in a video produced by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Information Office (PIO) for the ALA’s website for the public, @yourlibrary.org.
Regarding the publishing Industry and e-books, he said, “There’s a shakeout period. Obviously I think greater access and granting access to libraries for books, e-books, any type of format – audio – is very important. I think the publishers are going to get there. They’re trying to figure out how they can do all of this and still make money. As we well know, they have a lot of challenges from enormous competitors out there whose main business is not books, and so it’s difficult to compete against behemoths like that. I think that at the end of the day, publishers will provide a lot more access . They just have to figure out how they can make money doing it and make sure the industry survives,” he said.
Baldacci’s interview is one of more than 100 interviews featuring authors and celebrities sharing their love of libraries. Visit the @ your library website to find stories told by such authors and public figures as Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner”), Laura Moriarty (“The Chaparone”) John Grisham (“The Firm”), Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”), Brian Selznick (“The Invention of Hugo Cabret”) and Steve Sheinkin (“Bomb”). The website contains not only the videos, but also transcriptions of the material.
In the video, Baldacci shares his memories of libraries.
He says, “Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, we would go to the library every weekend.
“I was able to sort of see the world in many respects, without ever leaving my hometown. It had a profound effect on me, because if you make a reader early, I think you make a reader for life, and that certainly was the case with me.”
His librarians introduced him, he says, to biographies of famous people that focused on their childhood. Reading them, he “saw how a kid grew up and was able to change the world.
Later on, he says he used the library for research. For his book “Wish You Well,” set in his native Virginia, he “pretty much camped out at the state library in Richmond,” where he examined WPA reports, oral accounts written down by people in the Depression and genealogical documents.
In the video, he criticizes library budget cuts, saying, “It’s a shortsighted approach, and we’re going to feel the effects.
“If we want to spend money on something that’s going to help this country move forward, we can turn away from the bombs and turn back to the books.”
Baldacci became an author after establishing a career as a lawyer. His novel “Absolute Power,” published in 1996, became an international success and was turned into a film starring Clint Eastwood.
Another novel, “Wish You Well,” was made into a film, for which he wrote the screenplay as well.
@yourlibrary.org is the public website for the American Library Association’s public awareness campaign, the Campaign for America’s Libraries, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.