Libraries in the News! (ed. note: cool!)


On December 8, 2022, Mike Benoy (computer engineer and library volunteer who teaches the Robotics program at the Ellsworth Public library) and Caroline Herfindahl (Ellsworth Public Library Youth Services Librarian and Program Coordinator) accepted a Packer Foundation Grant award in the amount of $4000 on behalf of the Friends of the Ellsworth Public Library.

Former Badger and Packer player Jared Abbrederis presented the check on behalf of the Packer Foundation at their annual Packer Foundation Grant Recipient Luncheon at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The award will be used to fund new robot kits and Chrome books for programming the robots which will be used in the Ellsworth Public Library Robotics Exploration Program. The library also is working on plans to utilize the Chrome books in other programs, in the Makerspace in their new library building and for in-library use.

Eau Claire

Anna M Zook, reference and digital services librarian at the LE Phillips Memorial Public Library, and the library’s Sawdust City Sounds streaming service were featured in an article in The Guardian: “A free Spotify alternative? How US libraries became the place to stream your new favorite band.”

$$: NEA Big Read Grants

by Stephanie Gerding Dec 9, 2022

Arts Midwest is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program. The deadline to submit an Intent to Apply is January 18; completed applications are due by January 25, 2023.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read program provides grants of $5,000 to $20,000 for community-wide reading programs (virtual and/or in-person) designed around a single NEA Big Read title to bring your community together, share the joy of a good book, and find inspiration in new stories and ideas. The list of books available for NEA Big Read programming changes each year and can be found in the NEA Big Read library.

Past grantees have a proven track record of successfully engaging their audiences through the power of literature and stirring up a passion for reading that persists year after year. They’ve also developed meaningful and lasting partnerships with other organizations in their community, and program participants have the opportunity to meaningfully connect in-person and/or virtually. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure has positive impacts on one’s health and this program can also provide entertainment and connection to community members in a time of isolation.

NEA Big Read programs may last as short as a week or as long as several months and include a kick-off event; book discussions; events inspired by the content and themes from the book (e.g., panel discussions, lectures, author readings, film screenings); and projects that engage the community and/or respond creatively to the book (e.g., art exhibitions, theatrical and/or musical performances, poetry slams, writing workshops and contests, activities related to collecting and sharing oral/written stories from members of the community).

If you have questions, please contact Arts Midwest at or 612-238-8024. For more information about the the NEA Big Read application process visit this page:

Raising Wisconsin’s Children free online conference

University of Wisconsin Extension is hosting a free online conference for parents and caregivers.  Looks relevant for anyone who works with kids, teens, and families, and it would be great to help spread the word:  UW Madison Extension’s annual Raising Wisconsin’s Children Conference  runs from January 23-27, with sessions at noon and 7 pm each day! Check out the website and agenda for more details. Feel free to share social media post.

New Unemployment Insurance Desk Guide Available

Unemployment Insurance (UI) has released its newest desk guide to provide helpful information to claimants trying to access their unemployment 1099-G tax statements online.

Library staff may find this information helpful as they assist library users in need of unemployment resources. As with the previous guide, staff may continue to share the one-page reference sheet with library users who may have questions about their unemployment 1099-G tax form. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) anticipates 1099-G tax forms for 2022 will be available online January 13, 2023.

The desk guide is available in the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Publications Repository:

If you have questions, please contact the DWD at (608) 266-3131.

Coming Up at IFLS

  • TODAY – Deadline to submit holiday delivery form. See Dec. 9 email from Katelyn Noack
  • Fri Dec 16, 10:00am – 11:00am – Director Check-in: Year-End Round-Up
  • Fri Dec 16 – Deadline to submit end of year clean-up forms. See this week’s TWAM from Lori Roholt.
  • Fri Dec 23 – IFLS closed
  • Mon Dec 26 – IFLS closed
  • Fri Dec 30 – IFLS closed
  • Sat Dec 31 – MORE’s Freading subscription ends
  • Mon Jan 2 – IFLS closed
  • Fri Jan 6th – Deadline: Apply for Professional Development Scholarships or Grants

New on the website

Part of regular website maintenance is updating pages. The latest changes reorganized the Youth Services page to be easier to scan and use. We’ve also updated all the content and links on articles like this Storytime Resources page. We’re also adding new articles to Youth Services–we’ll highlight that here.

Stay safe and warm!