State Funding for Wisconsin Libraries

The Policy and Budget office is preparing an official summary budget on the Governor’s budget
and how it relates to the DPI requests. In the meantime, here is our take on what the budget
holds, related to library requests:
BadgerLink
Approved: As you noted, the Governor’s office approved increasing BadgerLink funding to
cover projected increases in the existing contracts, as well as increases requested by the
Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
Denied: $191,100 in each year to pay for job and career readiness resources such as Learning
Express College and Career Ready Modules:
College and career ready digital modules provides on-line practice tests and courses for
elementary school, middle school, high school, college preparation, college students,
GED preparation, U.S. citizenship, computer skills, and job and career resources for
adults.
$50,000 in each year for “high quality online computer skill modules” similar to those offered by
Learning Express (it may end up being Learning Express’ modules, but it has to be bid as part
of the BadgerLink RFP).
The computer component has been funded through LSTA for just 2 years - starting in August of
2013. The main Learning Express library has been paid for through LSTA since 2011.
Likely Consequence: Because of reductions in state funding for libraries in the 2012-13 budget,
particularly the 10% reduction of Library System Aids, the federal appropriation for libraries
(LSTA grant program) has been reduced in 2015 by $135,000 due to reduced matching funds.
In 2016, federal funds will be reduced due to the match requirement (calculated on a 3-year
average) by $80-$100,000, and by about $60,000 in 2017. These resources, while useful to
local communities for job and career training, can no longer be covered through the LSTA
program.
Public Library System Aid
Approved: Base level funding. Consequently, the Governor recommends funding the program
at the current level, $15,013,100 each year.
Denied: Statutorily mandated request for increase for the State Aid for Public Library Systems to
equal 13 percent of total library operation costs.
School Library Aid Reestimate (Common School Fund)
Approved: The Governor approved the agency recommendation adjusting expenditure authority
based on reestimates of interest earnings from the common school fund. The funding level
changes from year to year based on the return on the fund investments. The $32 million base is
increased to $34,000,000 in 2016 and $36,000,000 in 2017. Greater returns are anticipated in
those future years.

Contracts: Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Milwaukee Public Library
ILL, CCBC, University of Wisconsin ILL
Approved: Base level funding is maintained.
WISELearn Digital Learning Portal, and Grants:
Approved: The current funding has been approved to continue into the next biennium. That is a
total of $1,450,000. For libraries, these funds are being used to support various digital learning
projects include the Growing Wisconsin Readers New Media Training and ILEAD USAWisconsin efforts. Similar projects could be included in the future, although availability is limited
since additional funding was denied. These funds would be prioritized based on strategic needs
within the library community. The Division would be requesting input into a needs assessment
through established methods including the LSTA Advisory Committee, SRLAAW, WLA, and
WEMTA.
Denied: Requests for additional funding, including matching funds for e-Book grants to public
libraries ($1 million each year) and school libraries ($1 million in second year), as well as funds
for additional curricular content.