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home : government : government July 22, 2014


11/26/2013 12:45:00 PM
State online library improves

Wisconsin's online library that allows residents to access vaults of valuable, licensed content without the usual subscription charges is now much easier to use,
"Access to current materials and information can be critical in our knowledge economy," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers. "Based on feedback from users, we completely redesigned BadgerLink to better serve job-seekers, consumers, business owners, students, teachers, librarians, and others who need targeted information."
At "www.badgerlink.net" Wisconsin residents can access more than 20,000 text media and interactive resources compiled from hundreds of databanks. Job-seekers, students, and aspiring citizens will benefit from LearningExpress Library's preparation materials for important tests such as civil service examinations, the ACT, GED, U.S. citizenship tests, and LSAT. Encyclopedia Brittanica provides reliable reference information in English and Spanish. Professional and amateur mechanics can access normally expensive automotive documentation through EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center.
BadgerLink also provides health, health care, and medication information; training on software such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Outlook; podcasts; images; a large archive of newspaper articles from Wisconsin and the nation; Spanish language resources; a searchable bank of literary works; resources to support literacy; and more.
"BadgerLink can be valuable for teachers and parents in Wisconsin" Evers said. "If purchased individually, Wisconsin's libraries, schools, universities, and other organizations would spend as much as $75 million to provide this service. It's cost-effective to buy in bulk at the state level."
The new site is mobile friendly and can be followed via email or a variety of new media, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and SlideShare. The portal's online holdings can now be searched by fields, including title, subject, format, student grade or reading level.
The redesign follows a period of rapid growth in use of the site, due to increased outreach. Users made approximately 36,000 visits to BadgerLink during the first half of 2013, approximately nine times greater than the amount 5 years earlier.
The Department of Public Instruction works with about 200 Wisconsinbased and national Internet service providers to ensure that libraries, schools and individuals throughout the state can easily access the offerings, which are made available to people from Wisconsin through contracts negotiated by the department with vendors. The resources are provided in cooperation with the state's public, school, academic, and special libraries, drawing on funding appropriated by the state as well as support from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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