Monday, February 28, 2005

WLA Foundation Launches the Campaign for Wisconsin’s Libraries
The Wisconsin Library Association Foundation has embarked on an ongoing state level campaign to promote a wider understanding of the value and importance of Wisconsin’s libraries. The Foundation has made a commitment to raise a minimum of $100,000 each year to fund the campaign, and has set aside $15,000 of its current funds to develop an action plan for the campaign. The Foundation is also pleased to announce that the WLA and the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries have agreed to become the first Supporting Partners in the Campaign for Wisconsin’s Libraries with a contribution of $5,000 each.

The Campaign for Wisconsin’s Libraries will provide a collective voice in behalf of Wisconsin libraries of all types. The campaign will take advantage of any national level efforts to promote libraries that are in keeping with the purpose of Wisconsin’s campaign. Some possible messages include: the impact that libraries have on the State’s economy; the importance of libraries to lifelong learning; and the overall contribution libraries make to the quality of life of the state’s residents.

The Foundation will use a variety of strategies to raise the funding necessary to finance a successful ongoing campaign including the recruitment of additional funding partners. Individual members of WLA can support the campaign by becoming a member of one of the Foundation’s clubs (see ).

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Online Training
The Media and Technology Section (MATS) has been working on gathering sites that offer online training on a variety of library-related topics. Take a look at the Online Classes page of the MATS web site to see what we have so far. If you know of other good sites, please email them to, and we'll consider adding them. Thanks!

Beth Carpenter
2005 MATS Chair

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Library-related Legislation: Opportunities and Threats
In addition to the state budget, several library-related bills and proposals will occupy WLA this session. First, the Common School Fund (CSF), the only source of revenue for many school libraries, continues to be a target for raids. AB 40 and AB 130 are both attempts to decrease the percentage of fines and/or forfeitures sent to the state for the CSF while increasing the percentage that localities can retain. WLA and WEMA share the concern that these efforts ultimately will decrease the funding available for school libraries. Proponents say the bills will provide an incentive to localities to collect and process fines and forfeitures and will actually lead to increased collections that will benefit the CSF.

Rep. Stephen Freese (R-Dodgeville) has agreed to reintroduce two public library bills from last session. One would modify statutes governing public libraries (language bill) and the second relates to the organization and funding of public libraries and public library systems (reform bill). Rep. Freese is also assisting WLA with the drafting of a bill to enable public library districts, but he has not yet decided if he will introduce bill.

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Budget Snapshot for Libraries
On February 8, Governor Doyle proposed his biennial budget; for a summary of this and other legislative issues affecting libraries, view the WLA's Legislative & Budget Status Report. The governor:
  • increased public library systems aids by about $2 million
  • provided $136,000 more for BadgerLink to cover the cost to continue
  • flat-funded state service contracts (with WiLS, Milwaukee Public Library, Regional Library for the Blind and the Physically Handicapped, and CCBC), providing a victory on one hand, because contracts were not subjected to DPI agency operations cuts as they had been in the past, a decision WLA had lobbied for with DPI and Governor Doyle. Unfortunately, the total amount budgeted for contracts was held at base, and DPI will need to decide how to allocate the funds amongst the four agencies.
  • did not approve the UW System’s request for $6 million to fund “One System, One Library”. According to one source, cuts to UW administration will likely mean cuts to libraries, as "administration" has been defined as everything not directly related to classroom instruction.
  • cut DPI’s agency budget by 5 percent, rather than the 10 percent applied to other agencies. Apparently, Gov. Doyle felt that DPI had already suffered its fair share of cuts under previous administrations when other agencies’ budgets were increased.

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