The Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute provides professional development and networking for Wisconsin public library staff who serve babies, children, and teens in smaller public libraries. The Institute targets library staff who have no graduate degree in librarianship and/or work in rural/isolated library communities. For these individuals, there is a need to improve skill and knowledge base, foster a supportive network, and develop stronger peer-to-peer and professional community connections within the Wisconsin public libraries infrastructure.
Over the course of three days, Institute participants experience foundational training related to youth services, including programming, advocacy, and collection development. In addition, emphasis will be placed on developing technology and leadership skills. Training is conducted by the state library agency's Youth and Inclusive Services consultant and experienced professionals from around the state. The Institute is limited to 25 participants in order to facilitate an effective, intimate, and focused Institute experience. Face-to-face interaction in a small group setting is considered an important element of the Institute and the basis for future networking and professional participation, online and in-person.
In addition to the in-person experience, participants can expect to communicate regularly with the cohort and trainers via email and a Google+ community. Engagement in the Institute begins upon acceptance of a spot in the 25 person cohort and continues through the 12 months following the in-person training in Trego. The Institute experience requires a commitment of time and energy. In return, participants can expect professional transformation. Graduates of the 2013 and 2015 Institutes described their experiences as "life changing." For more testimonials, see Comments from 2013 Institute Participants.
There is no fee for Institute participants; the costs are covered through an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Public Library Development Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). At this time, we anticipate full funding of this event; if funding changes, applicants would be notified immediately.
Applications are due by Friday, April 28, 2017, through the online application process. Twenty-five applicants will be selected, preferably representing all 16 public library systems. If necessary, a waiting list will be maintained. Participants will be notified by mid-May.