NEA Big Read Collaboration Opportunity

Angie Bodzislaw from the Spooner Public Library, is working on an NEA Big Read grant for September 2022-June 2023, and as part of that is applying to bring the bestselling and critically acclaimed author Tommy Orange to the area (probably the LCO college auditorium in Hayward). She is looking for potential partners in the libraries in the region. If you are interested in potentially partnering with Angie on this project, please contact her directly at by Thursday, January 20! Here’s what she says:

If interested, libraries could offer book discussions or events based on the book. I would:

  • coordinate the marketing effort as a whole including reaching out to Wisconsin Digital Library about getting more copies or continual copies of the book on Libby;
  • compile all the event locations, dates, and times into one central digital presence and make a large facebook event for the Tommy Orange visit;
  • pick up Tommy Orange, make local arrangements;
  • work closely with the St. Croix Tribe, LCO College, WOJB, and the LCO Library to provide a reception, feast, and other accommodations for Tommy;
  • speak with Tommy’s agent to see about a hybrid option for streaming opportunities across the region.

I know in the past Tribal communities have offered bus transit to events such as this and maybe a partnership with the casinos could help make that happen. I will obviously have a COVID backup plan.

Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race

A 2020 survey of workers at libraries of all sizes statewide told us that “the ability to communicate about topics related to race” is needed to expand community efforts–big and small–to foster diversity, equity and inclusion. How can you better position your library, the heart of your community, to do that?

The IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity in Action) Team invites public library staff from throughout Wisconsin to participate in the 2022 LSTA-funded project, Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race. This project is a continuing education series especially for Wisconsin library staff members interested in devoting more time to learning about how to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in their libraries and communities.

There are three ways to participate, based on your learning style and schedule in 2022: Group Education, Group Discussion and Independent Study. For all the details, please go to the website. Webinars start on February 15, so head over and take a look.

Say “bye” to the OverDrive App

This has been coming down the pike for a while: the legacy OverDrive app will be removed from app stores on February 23, 2022.

  • New users looking for the OverDrive app will be directed to Libby.
  • Users who previously installed the OverDrive app (mobile or desktop) will still be able to use it without disruption.
  • All users can continue to access your library’s OverDrive website.

If you haven’t already done this, please:

  • Review your library’s website and promotional materials to ensure you’re actively promoting Libby and no longer referencing the OverDrive app.
  • Bookmark this page on the OverDrive Resource Center for an overview, FAQs, Libby promotional materials, and more.
  • Join the February 2, 2022 at 2PM ET for a webinar on best practices to help your library prepare for this change.

Contact Maureen ( with questions or concerns.

Coming Up

  • Jan 19 Advocacy 101: Especially for library trustees, volunteers and staff, join Jim Tripp (current IFLS Board president and the District 23 Dunn County Board Supervisor) to walk through the basics of what we need to know to become effective advocates for our libraries. We’ll also answer your questions! Please submit questions by January 14. Register here.
  • Starts Jan 24 Hammond Public Library is working with Tonya Schmitt from Mindful SOULutions and Heidi Roettger from MBC Collaborative to present ABC’s: Avoiding Burnout & Cultivating Self-Care. This five-week self-care workshop series may be useful for library boards, directors, and staff. Please feel free to pass along this information! More information and registration is available on their calendar event.
  • January 26-27 Don’t miss the 10th Annual Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference! So much excellent content, there’s sure to be something for you no matter what your role at your library. Did I mention it’s free?
  • February 2 OverDrive webinar on best practices to help your library prepare for the discontinuation of the OverDrive App. (Maureen will be attending this webinar and will pass on information.

Operations, Tech & Marketing

Library Love Story campaign update and Q&A

So far, this campaign has collected 27 stories Thanks to everybody that’s participating! It would be great if all libraries could promote this to their community (check out the toolkit for more details)! Stories are a powerful tool for advocacy, and the campaign and spreadsheet will continue to be available beyond the initial target date of Library Legislative Day (Feb 8). Some questions have come my way, so I assume others will have questions. Contact Reb ( with questions!

It says on the bottom of the poster printout to ask a librarian for a paper form. I can’t seem to find it. Your library should have gotten a package of die-cut hearts. That’s what people would use (it’s not a typical “form”). There are also some coloring pages available on the toolkit for printout that are geared towards kids, but some parents have been using those. Some of our libraries have been displaying their hearts and coloring pages!
Just remember to input people’s stories into the form, or send them to IFLS (attn: Reb) for me to input.

We’ll be doing a paper option for customers at our library, so staff will need to enter stories into the online form. What is the deadline for submissions? Feb 5 is the deadline for entering stories for Library Legislative Day, but we’ll be continuing to make the story collection tool available after that date.


The News from IFLS went out this week. This is geared to library trustees, Friends and other volunteers but is great for staff to keep up with IFLS news. Subscribe and view archives. (Having trouble subscribing or viewing your newsletter? Contact Reb at

Marketing Monthly also went out last month. This short newsletter gives you marketing tools, tips and information specifically for IFLS-member libraries. Subscribe and view archives at that link or on the bottom of the IFLS marketing page.