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BadgerLink is a project of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning. Its goal is to provide access to quality online information resources for Wisconsin residents in cooperation with the state's public, school, academic, and special libraries and Internet Service Providers. BadgerLink resources are available through this site and through links on many library web pages. Most libraries also provide access to BadgerLink from public access computers within the library.
The Department of Public Instruction currently contracts with eight vendors (EBSCO, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., Gale/Cengage Learning, Heritage Microfilm, Inc., LearningExpress, LLC, ProQuest, TeachingBooks.net, LLC and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association) to provide access to a large volume of full-text information. Users can search approximately 20,000 full-text magazines, journals, newspapers, reference materials and other specialized information sources. Included are over 8,000 full text magazines and journals, over 1,500 newspapers and newswires, and approximately 6,800 full text books. Full text articles are taken from 2,900 historical newspaper titles. In addition the BadgerLink vendors provide access to automobile repair manuals, company profiles, country economic reports, industrial reports and yearbooks, biographies, primary historical documents, charts, images, schematics, maps, poems, essays, speeches, plays, short stories, author audio programs and book readings, author video programs, book reviews or discussion guides, and many other full text resources not available through regular internet search engines. When these resources are available through search engines such as Google, it is because Wisconsin has licensed the content to appear when searched through these search engines.
BadgerLink also connects users to WISCAT (the online catalog of Wisconsin library holdings), OCLC WorldCat (an international database of library holdings), directories of libraries, digitized library collections, and other information.
BadgerLink services began in July, 1998. The project is funded through the Universal Service Fund at over $2.2 million annually.