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.