Ask a Librarian

Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning (RL&LL) answers questions from Wisconsin Residents, Public Libraries and Library Systems, Libraries in State Agencies And Institutions, and Employees Of State Agencies.

We can help you connect to the programs, services, and staff of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. We can also provide help with homework or guide you through research on issues that matter to your life: education, community, health, business, career, finances or hobbies.

We respond to email in the order it was received, during our business hours (M-F 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).

If you prefer to contact your local public library or another specific Wisconsin library CLICK HERE for a library directory.

Ask a DPI Team

Ask a Question by Email

Send an e-mail to our reference librarians

Ask a Question by Phone

Contact Kara Ripley at (608) 224-6165.


Additional Information



Reference Service Guidelines

When contacting Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning (RL&LL) for reference assistance, please:

  • Share as much detailed information as possible. What reading level is appropriate for your patron, grade school, high school, or college?
  • Let us know how much information you need, in what format (books, audiovisual materials, magazine articles, websites), and what language or languages?
  • Tell us your deadline. Please don’t specify ASAP or RUSH without a specific deadline.
  • Please include your name and how you would like to receive your information.

How does RL&LL Handle Reference Requests?

  • We research questions using our collection, BadgerLink resources, and authoritative websites.
  • Up to 10 pages of information can be faxed, if the fax number is included with the request.
  • If your request can be fulfilled using information in the Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning (RL&LL) collection we can check the book out to your library and send it through the delivery service.

Reference Requests in WISCAT

  • If the request was submitted via WISCAT, and the information needed is brief, we will respond in WISCAT. If the response is lengthy, we will email or mail it.
  • If your patron is seeking information not available from those sources, we will gladly search WISCAT and OCLC for items in the collections of other libraries. If your library holds a WISCAT license and you provide us your patron’s information, we may create ILL requests for items to be sent to your library on your patron’s behalf, or we may suggest that your patron work with your library’s staff to generate an ILL request.
  • For detailed information on creating and managing interlibrary loan requests, please contact Christine Barth or Vickie Long
  • We will notify the referring librarian of action taken on the patron’s request.








For questions about this information, contact Kara Ripley (608) 224-6165