March 2016
Bridges Library System | 262-896-8080 |
NOTEworthy News
A Big Heart, A Deserving Award 

Librarians and library supporters have long known that libraries are at the heart of their communities. But at the heart of those libraries are dedicated and passionate librarians and library staff. Fort Atkinson recently recognized one of the valuable librarians at the Dwight Foster Public Library. On February 12, reference/adult services librarian Amy Lutzke received the Lou Ehninger Big Heart Award of 2016 from the Heart of the City community service organization, for her expertise in her work at Dwight Foster, as well as her work with the Friends of Lorine Niedecker group and the Fort Atkinson Regional Science Fair.

Amy says she wasn't sure if she was hearing correctly when she was told that she won. Truly honored by the award, Amy says, "It is a special thing to be recognized by your peers and is very humbling as well." Amy started her career in the library field working the circulation desk at Dwight Foster while she was in library school. Prior to library work, she had worked with adults with disabilities in Madison. After graduation, she went on to the Jefferson Public Library before coming back to Dwight Foster about 18 years ago. Besides working in reference, she does most of the adult programming and marketing, manages the library's website, and helps contribute to the Facebook page.

A passionate reader, Amy says she loves talking about books with others, and getting recommendations from other people. She's also passionate about "strong communities" and cites Fort Atkinson as very welcoming and invested in their community. In addition, she is involved with the Friends of Lorine Niedecker group , which preserves the legacy of Niedecker, a world-famous poet from Fort Atkinson. This work has allowed her to be involved with the annual Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival, among other projects. As if that weren't enough, she has been involved with the local Regional Science Fair for many years, most recently serving as its president, and has worked with the Heart of the City group, helping with their bimonthly newsletter.

I think most librarians can attest to Amy's statement that "Sometimes you just get in the groove of doing things and you are not really aware of the impact you are having." While librarians don't do their work for the glory, it's heartening to see a community recognize and appreciate the value and impact of libraries and librarians.  
Congratulations, Amy!
"Return of Library Materials" bill becomes a law!

On Monday, February 29th, Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 466, formerly Act 169, after much hard work and dedication on the part of librarians and library advocates, including Bridges' Director Connie Meyers and Pauline Haass Public Library Director Kathy Klager. The bill clarifies how libraries throughout the state can legally retrieve  unreturned public library materials and collect replacement costs.

"This isn't about nickel and dime fines for items that are returned late," stated WLA Executive Director Plumer Lovelace in a press release issued by WLA. "This is a serious issue. More than three million dollars' worth of taxpayer-owned library materials are simply not being returned to our public libraries each year, despite months of repeated notices and calls from library staff. Statewide, libraries are losing about 5% of their annual materials purchasing budget." The bill allows, but doesn't require, libraries to utilize collection agencies or local law enforcement to retrieve materials that total over $50 in value.  Each community can decide to handle this differently. The most common scenario is that a letter is mailed to the borrower on police or municipal attorney letterhead.

Besides the importance to libraries and taxpayers of Wisconsin, another important implication of this bill is the proof that libraries and librarians have the power to enact change beyond their library walls. That's something to be excited about! 
1000 Books Before Kindergarten App: Phase Two

Phase Two of the 1000 Books app
is underway and it's expanding to include new partners and new features. Bridges Library System is partnering with other Wisconsin library systems, including Indianhead Federated Library System and South Central Library System so that they can offer the app to their patrons and retrieve usage statistics. Other enhancements the app will soon offer include: a searchable title list, the ability for users to email book lists to themselves, the ability to share a reading status on social media, and a new FAQ section. Still in development, Phase Two of the app is set to premiere Summer 2016.

The app was first launched in April 2015 and is free to download from the iTunes app store and Google Play Store. Another way to encourage young readers and their families, the app provides reading tips, allows users to track the books they read with their children, and offers achievement levels, which users unlock as they progress. The app can be used in conjunction with, or separate from, the paper version of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten used in the library. New marketing materials will soon be available to help you promote the app as well. Check out the 1000 Books page on our website for more info.
Spotlight On...
In the next few months, each newsletter issue will feature two member libraries, one from Waukesha County and one from Jefferson, as a way for us to get to know our fellow libraries and to highlight the things that make each of our member libraries a unique asset to their community. 
Hartland Public Library
by director Nancy Massnick

The Hartland Public Library was founded in 1897, making us one of the oldest libraries in Waukesha County. The library has had several locations in the Village; our current location was built on the site of an old grocery store in 1995. Our library building was remodeled in 2012. We added a large Reading Room area that houses all of our non-fiction and half of the fiction, as well as our magazines, newspapers, and our Hartland History Room. The current size of the building is approximately 21,000 square feet.

Our library enjoys the support of a long-standing Friends of the Library, a wonderful Library Board and Village Board, and an unusually close relationship with our local school district. During the school year, all of the kindergarten and second grade classes (ten in all) visit once per month for stories, library skills lessons, and books. They walk over in all kinds of weather and we love having them!

Our beautiful new addition offers perhaps the only quiet place in town for study and leisure reading.  We also are indebted to the Hartland Historical Society for our lovely Hartland History Room, which contains many historic bits of old Hartland and our print historical collection. It is a favorite place for quiet study. Our library overlooks the Bark River and we are right on the Ice Age Trail. Hartland has been designated as the first Ice Age Community in the state, so we have developed a library garden along the trail for education and relaxation. We love to have visitors - come on over and check us out! The Library is Open!

Visit the Hartland Public Library's website for more.
Watertown Public Library
by director Peg Checkai

Our story begins in a Main Street storefront in 1902. This original library location became too small for our growing community within a few short years and the library board contacted Andrew Carnegie asking for an appropriation of $20,000 to build a new library. The first request was denied but persistence paid off and the next request was approved by the well-known philanthropist. The new Watertown Free Public Library opened in 1906 due to the hard work and diligence of many in the community. The last addition to the library was in 1984. We are currently working toward another addition/renovation project that would double the square footage of the library. Renovating the Carnegie building back to the glorious 1906 standards is a fundamental component of our plans.    

Our library services fill a two floor, 25,000 square foot building. We maintain three full service desks in the Children's, Reference, and Circulation departments for patrons needing assistance with placing holds, checking out, and searching the catalog...a friendly chat is also welcomed!  We currently are the only library in Jefferson County providing Sunday hours, with an average of over 200 people visiting over a 4 hour period. 
Recently, mobile printing was added to our technology resources with more plans to create a stronger WiFi signal throughout the building by increasing our access points.  

Our Children's department offers a wide assortment of programs from weekly early literacy classes, to monthly book chats and Saturday morning Donuts with Dad. This past year we welcomed a new team member dedicated to teen programming and community outreach to teens at our middle and high schools. 

We value our community partnerships and participate in local events throughout the year. A Thursday afternoon farmer's market, Garden Tales, is held in the library parking lot from August through the end of October, the Jefferson County Literacy Council teaches basic computer skills with our mobile laptop lab, and we recently partnered with a high school art class to paint ceiling tiles, depicting favorite children's books, for one of our meeting rooms. 

We are excited about our new collaboration with the Waukesha County libraries and look forward to many years filled with successful "libraryland" adventures.

Find out more about Watertown Public Library on their website.
Paper Love Notes
Eagle Public Library
Hearts abounded in February; not because of Valentine's Day, but because it was Library Lovers Month! While libraries always try to promote their services and value in the community, Library Lovers Month allows libraries to hear directly from their patrons- those library lovers who use, depend on, and appreciate the library. 

Some libraries used social media to spread the library love message. Butler and Oconomowoc public libraries were two who posted images to their Facebook pages to engage patrons. Others did full displays to promote the month.
Alice Baker Public Library in Eagle encouraged their patrons to write what they loved about their library on hearts that they attached to the circulation desk. The hearts stated, "I love my library because..." and the 
Powers Memorial Library
patrons took it from there. One heart reads, "Because you are always forward thinking and are always helpful and friendly."

Powers Memorial Library in Palmyra also decorated their circulation desk with an eye-popping, red-and-white "wall of hearts". Director Angie Zimmermann said that patrons loved filling out the hearts and often commented on what a great idea it was.
Whitewater Public Library

Whitewater Public Library also did an
interactive heart display, but added a book display and a list of ways that
library patrons can show their love and support to their library to the display space.

Watertown Public Library
At Watertown Public Library, the hearts were displayed in the Children's Room. One of the hearts posted here reads, "The people that work here are great. Love to come here and just sit and read."

Town Hall Public Library
Patrons filled out red hearts at Town Hall Public Library 
in North Lake, which were posted in two different locations. The kids' paper hearts were displayed on the bulletin board in the Children's Department, while the adults' hearts were displayed on the glass window of the staff workroom. User Services Librarian Stephanie Flessert said people were "delighted to be able to give us a paper love note!"
Hearing Loops: A #feelgood Story 

If your library has a Hearing Loop, you most likely received an evaluation form from the Bridges office in the last few weeks. We greatly appreciate the feedback we've received so far about the efficacy and usage of the Hearing Loops. One comment we received from
Waukesha Public Library was especially touching; two women who did not have hearing aids used the headsets and afterwards "sang the praises" of the technology. One said she had stopped attending book club because she could no longer hear but she now wanted to return. The second lady said she couldn't afford a hearing aid and was so happy to have this option. She is now a regular attendee at library programs and always uses the headset.

Those of us who don't experience hearing loss can easily forget why the Hearing Loops are such an important thing for patrons. Stories like these reiterate why our libraries strive to offer these accessible and inclusive services to visitors.

In other Hearing Loop news, watch for an updated page on our website, which will include visuals you can use in your promotional materials and some updated content. A new brochure should also have arrived recently for you to display in your meeting rooms and near your service desk loops.
Your Toolkit
Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

JobNow Training Session
Become a whiz using JobNow after attending this free, one-hour training session, presented by the Director of Library Services for Brainfuse, Inc. To RSVP, email Jill Fuller at

Wednesday, March 9
Jefferson Public Library
3:00-4:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 10
Pewaukee Public Library
10:00-11:00 a.m.



Exceptional Customer Service: From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Will Be Rescheduled


Thursday, April 28

Data Visualization: Turning Data into Visual Statements
Session 1: 9:00 am-12:00 pm or
Session 2 (repeat of Session 1): 1:00-4:00 pm 

Presenter: Stef Morrill, WiLS
Location: Computer Room, New Berlin Public Library 

Register for Session 1 here


Register for Session 2 here. 

New: Teen Think Tank

Do you serve teens at your library? Bridges Library System has formed a new Teen Think Tank just for you. Get ideas, share stories, and get inspired at the first meeting on Thursday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. in the Delafield Public Library. Any and all library staff who work with teens are welcome to attend. Come prepared with one question and one program idea to share with the group. Please RSVP to Angela Meyers

A Marketing Must-Have:
Libraries now offer a variety of services and programs that they never did before. As librarians, you all know this. But your audience may not. is one way you can reach audiences beyond your library walls and bring them in to your non-conventional programs and events, especially those that meet each month. For a small price ($15 a month for 6 months or $20 for one month), you can create a group or event, and add photos, a description, and event details. Anyone on can join the group and RSVP to the events. Currently, the site has over  24.53 million members.

Here's an example of how it can work for libraries. A local knitter may want to find a knitting group but may not think to look for knitting clubs at public libraries. If they were to type in "knitting" for your area on, your library's knitting club would pop up. That knitter now knows they can find a knitting program at your library. also emails their members with upcoming local programs that match their interests, so your program could appear in someone's inbox and you wouldn't have had to do a thing!

You can peruse without an account or you can create a free personal account, so take a look and see if it is right for your library.
From the Web
Your Turn
Do you have something to share with your fellow librarians? Want to toot your library's horn about the successful new event you had or the accolades a coworker recently received? Maybe you just have some feedback on the newsletter. We want to hear about it! Contact  Marketing Librarian Jill Fuller  at  with all of your news and suggestions.