Monday, November 29, 2004

Ballot on WLA Constitution & Bylaws Amendments Out December 2
Major amendments to the WLA governing documents which eliminate 10 committees and merge the constitution and bylaws will be the subject of a membership vote, with a ballot to be issued December 2. These significant amendments include provisions for closer ties with the Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMA), future electronic balloting, and new rules of order. The amendments also simplify language throughout the document.

All members were sent a postcard notification of the proposed amendments. Members were also able to ask questions at the annual business meeting November 4 in Lake Geneva; no additional amendments were proposed there. For the text of the amendments and comments, frequently asked questions, and a timeline of the amendment process, please go to "Rethinking WLA's Structure."

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Annual Awards Showcase Excellence in Library Service

The WLA's Awards and Honors Committee is pleased to announce the following award recipients for 2004: DEMCO/Librarian of the Year, both Rob Reid, formerly with Indianhead Library System, Eau Claire, and Peter G. Hamon, director of the South Central Library System, Madison; Library of the Year, Carthage College Hedberg Library in Kenosha; Trustee of the Year, Sandralee Thiele, president, Darien Public Library Board of Trustees; Special Service Award, Donald Bulley, Trustee, South Milwaukee Public Library; WLA/Highsmith Award, Marathon County Public Library, Wausau; and Muriel Fuller Award, Laura Moss Gottlieb, Reference Librarian, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville.

The award winners will be honored at the annual Awards Banquet at the WLA Conference in Lake Geneva, Thursday, November 4, 7:00-9:00 p.m. The WLA website contains more information about the award winners. Congratulations to all for setting a high bar for library service!
Scholarship Winners Announced

The WLA Library Careers Committee recently selected recipients of the library and continuing education scholarships funded by the WLA Foundation. Jo Ann Gustavson, director of Neillsville Public Library, was this year's winner of the Scholarship for the Education of Rural Librarians in memory of Gloria Hoegh ($550) and the Diversity Scholarship ($450). Gustavson is working toward her MLIS. Sue Abrahamson, youth services librarian at Waupaca Area Public Library, received the George Bauer Continuing Education Scholarship of $450. Alycia Sellie, a student at UW-Madison, received the $950 Library Education Scholarship. The committee applauded her involvement with the Madison Zine Fest, which demonstrated Alycia's goal of promoting community involvement and inviting new programming into library settings. Lynn Schneider, also a UW-Madison student, received the $950 Sally Davis Scholarship. The committee found commendable Lynn's goal of influencing public policy to support library service for children and young adults.

The deadline for applications for the Vida Stanton Scholarship, granted to master's students at UW-Milwaukee SOIS who are pursuing a career in youth services or school librarianship, was extended to November 15.
Public Library District Legislation Key Part of 2005 Agenda

The Library Development & Legislation Committee has created a Library District Subcommittee, chaired by Jessica MacPhail, to shepherd district legislation from the drafting stage to passage. An important part of that process will require input from WLA members, and achieving consensus within WLA will be required for the success of this bill. Interested members are invited to attend "Rethinking Wisconsin Libraries" at the WLA Conference on Wednesday, November 3, 8:45-10 a.m., to learn more about library districts. There will also be a program devoted to "Top 10 Political Issues" in 2005 with discussion about districts and other library legislative and funding issues. Check the conference website for details. In addition, the Library District Subcommittee will hold a meeting at the conference on Wednesday, November 3, 2:15 to 3:00 p.m. in Galewood D.

The WLA website has more information about library districts, including a summary of the current proposal.

Monday, September 27, 2004

WLA Foundation Hosts Silent Auction at WLA Conference

Bid on a framed Renoir print, original paintings, jewelry, or beautiful hand-bound journals. Dozens of items will be available at this year's WLA Foundation Silent Auction, held Wednesday, November 3, and Thursday, November 4, at the WLA Conference in Lake Geneva. All proceeds increase the Foundation's endowment, which funds special programs, scholarships, as well as WLA professional and literary awards.

List of items available
To contribute an item
WLA and WLA Foundation Annual Business Meeting is November 4

For both the WLA and the WLA Foundation, the annual business meeting is Thursday, November 4, 2004, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in Lake Geneva at the WLA Conference. An agenda for the business meeting and related attachments are provided at Both the WLA Board and the WLA Foundation Board are proposing amendments to their governing documents, and members will be asked to vote on these amendments at this meeting.
"I Love Libraries & I Vote!" Campaign Continues

There's still time to order and display your "I Love Libraries & I Vote!" buttons and decals! And, of course, make sure to vote on November 2 before you come to the WLA Conference.

The "I Love Libraries & I Vote" campaign is going strong. WLA has distributed nearly 19,000 buttons and 6,000 static-cling decals with the I Love Libraries logo. (Thanks to Deb Haeffner, South Central Library System for creating the design.) Library supporters in Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, and Florida have placed orders for I Love Libraries promotional merchandise.

In addition to distributing the stickers and decals, several library systems have hosted or have scheduled Library Listening Sessions with state legislative candidates and office holders. Eastern Shores Library System and Waukesha County Library System each hosted one earlier this summer, and Nicolet Federated Library System has schedule four sessions in September. South Central Library System members are holding four sessions in September and October. Milwaukee County Federated Library System will host one October 23. Consult with your library system office for a detailed schedule.
Leadership Discusses Amendments to Governing Documents

On Wednesday, September 15, the Committee on Organization (COO) met with members of the WLA leadership to discuss proposed changes in the Association Constitution and Bylaws. The meeting, though attended by only a few, gave members a chance to ask questions about the changes and allowed clarification of key points.

COO will be recommending to the WLA Board that the Association's Rules of Order, currently Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, be changed to The Standard Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. These are the rules used by the American Library Association, and they were recommended by David Weinhold, WLA Parliamentarian. COO will also recommend that language regarding recall of elected officers and directors be added to the bylaws. Currently, these provisions are part of the procedures manual, requiring only board action.

Proposed changes and comments, along with a summary of the meeting on 9/15 can be viewed at:

Thursday, September 16, 2004

WLA Board Approves New Dues Structure

The WLA Board approved a new dues structure, which takes effect January 1, 2005, that will ask members to calculate their dues based on $3.00 per $1,000 of salary, with a cap of $250. WLA President Nancy McClements requested members' opinions on the proposal via the WLA listserv. The feedback was highly in favor of a change from using a member’s salary range to the more specific $3 per $1000 salary. Of the 89 responses, 75 were pro, 1 was con, and the remaining 13 were comments or questions without a stated opinion. Find out more about the responses online.
Board Proposes Constitution & Bylaws Changes to WLA Membership

At its August 20 meeting, the WLA Board approved the recommendations of the Committee on Organization to eliminate 10 committees and merge the constitution and bylaws. Merging the two governing documents required significant amendments, and there were also substantive amendments that were necessary to reflect changes within WLA's structure. For instance, WLA and the Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMA) have been working on a dual membership program that requires changes to the WLA Board structure. The Wisconsin Association of School Librarians will likely vote to dissolve the division (ballots are counted in early October), and it is proposed that a dual WLA-WEMA member represent school librarians on the WLA Board.

In addition, the proposed bylaws will allow for electronic balloting. (COO has recommended that the WLA Board appoint a task force to research the feasibility of paperless elections.) The amendments also simplify language throughout the document, but especially the sections pertaining to membership categories, records, archives, and publications.

All members should have received a postcard notification of the proposed amendments. Members may suggest amendments on the floor of the annual business meeting November 4 in Lake Geneva. For the text of the amendments and comments, frequently asked questions, and a timeline of the amendment process, please go to "Rethinking WLA's Structure."

Wisconsin Library Association Announces Library of the Year, Librarian of the Year and Other Award Winners

The Wisconsin Library Association’s Awards and Honors Committee is pleased to announce the following award recipients for 2004: DEMCO/Librarian of the Year, both Rob Reid, Indianhead Library System, Eau Claire, and Peter G. Hamon, director of the South Central Library System, Madison; Library of the Year, Hedberg Library, Carthage College, Kenosha; Trustee of the Year, Sandralee Thiele, president, Darien Public Library Board of Trustees; Special Service Award, Donald Bulley, Trustee, South Milwaukee Public Library; WLA/Highsmith Award, Marathon County Public Library, Wausau; and Muriel Fuller Award, Laura Moss Gottlieb, Reference Librarian, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville. Congratulations to all! More information is available on the WLA website.

2004 Banta Award, Notable Authors, and Outstanding Books Selected

Larry Watson’s book Orchard, a beautifully crafted novel set in 1950s Door County, has been selected as the winner of the 2004 Banta Award by the WLA's Literary Awards Committee. WLA will formally present the award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium, to Mr. Watson at the WLA annual conference in November. Mr. Watson will also do a book signing and speak at the conference, which attracts approximately 1,100 librarians, staff, and trustees from throughout the state.

According to Sandra Sechrest, chair of the WLA’s Literary Committee that selects the Banta winners, Orchard is a beautifully crafted novel set in 1950s Door County. It deals with the tragic relationships between a gifted but self-obsessed artist, his patient wife, his model/muse and her jealous husband.

Notable authors selected this year are Charles D. Stewart, an essayist and novelist, Jack Ritchie, a short story writer, and well- known novelist Peter Straub. The following were selected as 2004 Outstanding Books:
Bradley, James. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
Fromm, Pete. As Cool As I Am
Ligon, Samuel. Safe in Heaven Dead
McGilligan, Patrick. Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light
McLain, Paula. Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses
Maraniss, David. They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967
Peters, Margot. Design for Living: Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne: A Biography
Salter, Anna. Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists and Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children
Sidran, Ben. Ben Sidran: A Life in the Music
Townsend, Alison. The Blue Dress: Poems & Prose Poems

WLA Board Approves 2005 Legislative Agenda

The WLA's 2005 legislative agenda includes ambitious budget and legislative goals to improve library service in Wisconsin. Funding for public library systems and BadgerLink, securing the Common School Fund, and supporting UW system libraries are important agenda items once again. WLA also looks forward to promoting district library legislation, a "reform" bill related to public library systems, an early childhood learning initiative, and much more. The legislative agenda also includes a statement of purpose, and this will guide the legislative committee as it responds to challenges and new proposals throughout 2005.

Monday, August 30, 2004

WLA To Streamline Its Structure
The WLA Board recently approved amendments to the WLA Constitution and Bylaws which will
  • merge the document into one WLA Bylaws document;
  • reduce by 11 the number of WLA Committees;
  • address the pending dissolution of WASL and creation of a new board seat to represent school librarians from a pool of dual WLA/WEMA members; and
  • otherwise clarify WLA's governing documents.

WLA membership will have an opportunity to comment and suggest further amendments at an informational meeting September 15 at the WLA office and at the WLA Annual Business Meeting November 4 in Lake Geneva. More information about these important changes is available on the Board's web pages.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

WLA Legislative Leadership Promotes Library Funding Priorities
Tom Hennen, LD&L Committee Chair, Larry Nix, Legislative Advocate, Roxane Bartelt, Youth Services Section Chair, and Lisa Strand, Executive Director, recently met with staff from Governor Doyle's office to discuss library funding priorities for 2005-07. Representatives from the Wisconsin Educational Media Association also participated. Tom, Larry, and Lisa also met with Assistant Superintendent Rick Grobschmidt, Michael Cross, Director of Public Library Development, and other DPI staff to discuss strategies and priorities for the next bienniun. For more information on WLA's legislative priorities and background information on major issues, go to
Literary and Library Notables at the WLA Conference

The WLA Conference*, November 2-5 at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in beautiful Lake Geneva, will feature both notable literary figures and notable librarians who write. As the model for the librarian action figure, Nancy Pearl has received both praise and criticism. But more importantly, she is an author and a passionate book lover/reviewer, ready to present a lively "Evening of Book Lust" for the conference keynote address. Earlier in the day she will present a session on providing excellent readers' advisory. Another librarian whose name is well known to listeners of National Public Radio is Alphonse Vinh. As a reference librarian at NPR, Alphonse researches and helps fact-check stories, reviews reporters' scripts, and alerts NPR's programming staff to story ideas and good interview subjects. He has also written articles for a variety of publications, is working on his second book, and writes "Musings," an online column.

Among the other presenters are Avi, author of several books, including the 2003 Newbery Medal winner, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, and Larry Watson, author of this year's Banta Award winning Orchard.

Don't miss the excitement!

*A registration form is available now on the WLA website.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

WLA Streamlining Structure
The WLA Board of Directors may be reducing the number of WLA committees. Some of the reasons for a restructuring include the following:

  • To strengthen the divisions, sections, and round tables. The number of members available or interested in leadership roles within units has declined in the past several years. In 1998, 60.9% of leadership positions had competitive elections while in 2003, only 38.3% of these elections were competitive. In recent years, it has also become somewhat more difficult to fill WLA committee positions.
  • To streamline operations for increased efficiency and responsiveness to member needs and ideas. For instance, instead of maintaining an Intellectual Freedom Committee, the WLA Board could seek certain policy recommendations from the Intellectual Freedom Round Table. Having a WLA committee whose duties overlap that of a unit can cause confusion about roles and responsibilities.
  • Using task forces imposes discipline and accountability. When assigning a task force, the board will need to allocate the resources necessary to accomplish strategic priorities within a defined period of time. Standing committees, by contrast, are usually assigned broad, ongoing responsibilities. Changes in the association's priorities may not always relate well to previously established committee roles.

The Board is expected to act upon the specific recommendations of the Committee on Organization at its meeting Friday, August 20. The changes to WLA Committee structure will require amendments to the WLA Constitution and Bylaws. A mailed ballot to the membership is required to amend the Constitution. Bylaws may be changed at the annual business meeting, held November 4, 2005, at the WLA Conference in Lake Geneva.

Board to Consider Dues Structure Change
The WLA Finance Committee will recommend a news dues structure to the WLA Board August 20. The purpose of the proposal is to make the WLA dues structure more equitable than the current one, which provides for 7 categories of dues based on salary. Some members have been concerned that there is a greater difference between categories of dues at lower salary levels than at higher salaries. In addition, those with lower salaries pay a greater percentage of their income for dues. The proposed new schedule would be based on a flat $3.00 per $1,000 of salary. The Board hopes to hear more from members before taking action on the proposal.

Monday, July 05, 2004

As reported earlier, the WLA Board approved the recommendations of its legislative committee for 2005-07 library funding priorities. A new initiative, included in the list of priorities, is an early childhood learning initiative that would provide direct state funding to public libraries for important programs and services for children ages zero to four and their parents and caregivers. The vision: All Wisconsin public libraries and their branches will be effective early learning resource centers for children zero to four years of age, their parents, and their caregivers so that every child in Wisconsin will enter school ready to read and learn.

Friday, June 18, 2004

At their June 11 meeting, the WLA Board approved creation of a library advocacy conduit to allow WLA members to contribute to the political campaigns of candidates for statewide office. Members would contribute directly to the conduit via WLA, and WLA would maintain the accounts of each contributor. Monies may only be released with the permission of the contributor at the time the contribution is needed. A check from the WLA conduit fund, listing each individual conduit contributor, is presented to the candidate. He or she may report the contributions as individual contributions.

There are five months remaining in the 2004 campaign season. Library supporters now have one more way of making their political presence felt! Watch for more details!
Wisconsin Library Association has been working on improved collaboration with the Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMA). With the participation and advice of leaders of the Wisconsin Association of School Librarians (WASL), a multi-faceted plan to improve the representation of school librarians and their issues within WLA has emerged.

The most important feature of our plan is a new dual WLA/WEMA membership option and the dissolution of WASL as a division of WLA. Other approved goals for the collaboration include more co-sponsored conference programming, encouragement of cooperation between different types of libraries (particularly between school and public libraries within the same community), and continued emphasis on developing shared legislative priorities and strategies. Find out more!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

On June 11, the WLA Board approved the recommendation of its Library Development and Legislation Committee for library funding priorities for the 2005-07 biennium. LD&L has communicated the priorities to the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning. WLA representatives will also seek meetings with Gov. Jim Doyle and State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster to outline priorities for library funding in the next biennium.

Monday, April 26, 2004

On April 21, Governor Doyle vetoed AB 431, relating to exemptions from county library tax, stating, "I feel strongly that library funding arrangements are working statewide and object to any bill that endangers the quality of our libraries." While WLA had agreed to compromise language, given its likely passage in the legislature, the association felt it was a bill that offered a bad statewide solution to a local problem.

Monday, April 19, 2004

It's National Library Week!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

The WLA Board voted on Friday to sign on to the Society of American Archivists statement about the nomination of Allen Weinstein as archivist of the United States. Here's why...
Jim Lundstrom wrote a nice National Library Week column in the Appleton Post-Crescent: "This would be the time to say thank you to your local librarian"
Get behind the "I Love Libraries and I Vote" campaign. It's good and good for you.
My new favorite WLA thing: The WLA Organization Manual online -- otherwise known as The Maroon Binder of Doom.