ALA Poll finds that the public broadly opposes book banning efforts!

By large majorities, American say they oppose recent efforts to remove books from schools and libraries, and say they trust in librarians to make appropriate collection decisions.

T-Mobile Hometown Grants Program

The T-Mobile Hometown Grants Program intends to help build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities throughout the United States. Up to 100 towns each year for the next five years will receive community improvement grants of up to $50,000 for projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections.

The focus is on providing support to revitalize community spaces in towns with 50,000 people or less. Examples of eligible projects include revitalizing a town hall, a senior center, a library, or any space where friends and neighbors gather. Elected leaders, town managers and employees, and nonprofit leaders are eligible to submit applications. The full proposal should be three-five pages, and include a “shovel-ready” plan, and up to 5 letters of support.

Deadlines: Quarterly; the last day of each quarter. For more information and to apply, visit the website.

Leah is Seeking Input

IFLS is planning a Fall 2022 1-day, super-cool, in-person workshop with keynote speakers and breakout sessions and networking opportunities for people who are not managers, directors, or department heads. Many thanks to Laurie Braun of Ellsworth for the suggestion!

What we are looking for now is some input.  If you fit the description above, please take about 5 minutes to fill out this survey.  If you have co-workers who do not have an email address but who fit this description, please share this survey with them!  We are accepting responses until the end of April.

Programming Kits

Spring is in the air, even though it might not feel like it.  Many folks are going back to some in-person programming, and it is a good time to remember the Programming Kits available to you for programming for all ages.  This is a collaboration between IFLS and our partners to the north and east (NWLS and WVLS).  You can find everything from storytime kits and early childhood activities to crafting kits (needlefelting, sewing machines, knitting, woodworking) to button makers to escape room kits to robotics, coding, and electronics kits, plus several kits to help stimulate discussion for people with dementia and their caregivers.

If you don’t have a Lend Items account yet, please fill out this form and we’ll get you set up for one.  If you can’t remember if you have one, fill out the form and we’ll check, and If you are having any trouble getting into your account, please let Leah know!

Wanted: WiLS Board Members

Now accepting nominations for positions on the WiLS Board.  For more information, see the WiLS Board Member Expectations.You can nominate yourself or a colleague (as long as you tell them!) for this 3-year term position by completing our nomination form.

Get Even Smarter

WAPL 2022 Registration and Transportation

Registration is now open for the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) Annual Conference: Infinite Possibilities. Dates are May 11-13, 2022 at The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

Info and registration link is on the website, or register directly on the WPA website. You’ll need to log in to register. Follow #WAPL2022 on Facebook and Instagram.

WVLS is reserving a 38-passenger motor coach for the WAPL Conference in Pewaukee. The bus will depart from the Marathon County Public Library in Wausau at noon on Wednesday, May 11, and depart Pewaukee after the conference is finished on Friday, May 13. There are ramps near the library where people can leave cars. Attendees will be asked to wear masks on the bus.

WVLS will cover half of the bus cost for NWLS and IFLS members. The maximum cost will be $120 per person. The more people we have, the lower the cost. (As a price comparison, librarians driving on their own from Chippewa Falls to Pewaukee would be reimbursed around $275 round trip).

Spots are available first-come, first-served. Contact Jamie Matczak via email by Wednesday, April 13 at, to reserve your spot. 

Coming Up at IFLS

To see meetings and check-ins, as well as IFLS educational events, go to the IFLS calendar.

  • April 14, 1-2 pm – Understanding Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter in Majority-White Spaces  Register  For more information about the Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race project, including archived webinars and opportunities for independent study and discussion:
  • May 24 at 2:30 – Chippewa Valley Museum is interested in collaborating with area libraries. They have exhibits/displays and programming opportunities about a variety of local history and cultural topics, available as a low-cost alternative for programming for all ages.  They’re interested in cross-promotion, and maybe other ways to collaborate.  For more information and to weigh in on what this looks like, mark your calendars now for a virtual informational/organizational meeting on May 24 at 2:30.  Watch for the link, coming soon. If you have questions, contact Leah or Katelyn!
  • Spring Webinar Series, from IFLS, WVLS, NWLS, and SWLS (content based on your survey responses)
    • Tuesday, April 19; 12 pm Enhancing Your Workplace Culture with Brenda Viola Register Work should be a place that is invigorating, not draining. Culture is the underlying foundation that creates an atmosphere where ideas, teamwork, and personal and professional growth can flourish – and you can be a key to effecting incremental change to “right the ship.” A healthy culture makes for happier employees, and is reflected in the service extended to citizens. This webinar will cover assessing existing workplace culture, establishing goals for change, obtaining buy-in from co-workers, implementation strategies, and more.
    • Thursday, April 28; 1 p.m. Where Does the Money Come From? Public Library Funding in Wisconsin Register IFLS Director John Thompson will talk us through how public libraries are funded in Wisconsin, making clear the muddy waters of Act 150, county reimbursement, municipal funding, and other sources. Participants will come away with a better understanding of how libraries are funded, as well as some ideas about how this knowledge can help inform advocacy for maintaining or improving budgets. This webinar is designed for library directors and staff, as well as library board members and Friends.
    • Thursday, May 5; 10 a.m. Public Libraries and Fake News: How to Educate and Inform in the Age of Disinformation Register In this presentation, Sam Molzahn and Barbara Alvarez will share ideas about how public libraries can educate their communities about information literacy in a time where fake news seems to dominate. Sam and Barbara will discuss historical and contemporary concepts of disinformation, misinformation, and fake news, and provide ideas about how you can ensure access to credible resources and develop courses, resources, and partnerships to dismantle disinformation.

New on the Website

Changes Coming to the IFLS Website

Over the next few months we’ll be refreshing some pages. You won’t lose any of the great content, and we’ll be sure to keep you well-informed.

The first order of business is to retire the COVID-19 page (it doesn’t get used). You’ll still be able to access the services spreadsheet (in case there are future big changes). Some information will be moved to their specific program areas. If there’s something on that page that has been especially useful, please let me know.

Going forward we’ll be refreshing program pages as needed. We’re also planning to reorganize the home page and the library resources page so they’re more useful and easier to navigate. (Wanna be a beta tester? Contact Reb.)