Monday, December 20, 2010

DEMCO Aquires Highsmith

MADISON, Wisconsin (December 20, 2010) - DEMCO, Inc., a leading library supplier, has acquired the assets of Highsmith, an award-winning educational products and library supplier, from W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving business and institutions.

The acquisition of Highsmith®, which includes the Upstart® and Edupress® brands, broadens the DEMCO® product line, creating a richer offering of products and services to better serve the needs of librarians and K-12 educators nationwide.

DEMCO President Mike Grasee said, “DEMCO and Highsmith have a shared commitment to serving the library community: school, public, and academic. For more than 100 years, DEMCO has provided quality solutions for libraries. Together, we will continue that tradition into the future.”

In the library supplies market, Highsmith has deep roots in primary and secondary schools. The addition of Highsmith helps DEMCO grow its products and services to become an indispensable resource for libraries and schools across the country.

Grasee said, “In addition to the library products business, we are also excited about the addition of the Edupress and Upstart brands. They complement the DEMCO offering with unique products that include games, books and learning materials that support literacy and make learning fun. Combining all of these highly-respected brands under one roof gives DEMCO a greater reach into the school market.”

The Highsmith business will operate from the DEMCO facilities in Madison and Deforest, Wis. DEMCO currently employs 245 coworkers and anticipates hiring an additional 60-75 people to support the acquisition of the Highsmith business; the vast majority of whom will come from Highsmith.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Madison Mayor Shares Value of Library, Central Remodel Plans

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz blogs his ideas about why libraries are valuable and changing institutions, as he applauds the plans for revamping the Central Library. He says the plans are "less about where to put stacks of books than they are about making the library a vibrant and flexible place to discover and share ideas." He's also touting the current plan as cheaper than previous proposals, which included a complete rebuild on a new site and a mixed use development.

Another report: Daily Cardinal

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chris Wagner One of 10 Carnegie/NYT I Love My Librarian Award Winners

(NEW YORK – Dec. 7, 2010) Today, branch librarian Christina “Chris” Wagner of the Goodman South Madison (Wis.) Branch Library was named one of 10 librarians recognized for service to her community as a winner of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

Wagner works to provide low-income adults with educational resources. For the past eight years, the library has hosted the University of Wisconsin Odyssey Project, an award-winning free college humanities course for adults near the poverty level. 

Wagner has been a WLA member for nearly 20 years. In 2006, she and Carolyn Forde, received the WLA/Highsmight Award for creating th South Madison Game Night at the Madison Public Library's South Madison Branch. 

More than 2,000 library supporters nationwide nominated a librarian.  The nine additional award recipients are:

Paul Clark
Clay County Library System
Fleming Island, Fla.

Ellen M. Dolan
Shrewsbury Public Library
Shrewsbury, Mass.

Jeff Dowdy
Bainbridge College Library
Bainbridge, Ga.

Laura Farwell Blake
Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.

Melissa McCollum
County of Los Angeles Public Library, Lawndale Library
Lawndale, Calif.

Kelley I. McDaniel
Helen King Middle School
Portland, Maine

Patricia J. Updike
Webb Street School
Gastonia, N.C.

Doug Valentine
McKillop Elementary School
Melissa, Texas

Stefanie Wittenbach
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Each of the 10 award winners receives a $5,000 cash award and will be honored at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times, on Dec. 9.

More information about the award recipients is available at  Nominations were open to librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. 

 “Libraries are among those cherished institutions that are most representative of our open society,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “We must, therefore, acknowledge that libraries—and hence, librarians—are indispensable to the strength and vitality of our nation and our democracy.  Libraries have and always will contain our nation’s heritage, the heritage of humanity, the record of its triumphs and failures, the record of mankind’s intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements. And more, they are the diaries of the human race and the true instruments of civilization that provide tools for learning, understanding and progress.  We celebrate them as our link to the past, our partner in navigating the present, and our guide to the future.”

“We are delighted to once again join Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Library Association in honoring librarians from across the country,” said Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company. “The New York Times is proud of its commitment to education and is thrilled to pay tribute to these ten men and women who play such a vital role in the intellectual health of their communities and in our society as a whole.  We are truly grateful to them.”

“We are thrilled to honor the 10 winners of this award for their excellence and as a tribute to the significant impact that libraries and librarians have on the lives of people in their communities every day,” said Roberta Stevens, president of the American Library Association (ALA). 

The ALA administered the award through the Campaign for America’s Libraries, its public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

The award, which began as The New York Times Librarian Awards in 2000, is now a collaborative program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times and the American Library Association. 

The selection committee is comprised of Dr. Camila A. Alire, past president, American Library Association; Cassandra G. Barnett, past president, American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association; Dr. Rookaya Bawa, program officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York; Audra L. Caplan, president, Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association; Lori A. Goetsch, past president, Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association; and Diane McNulty, executive director, Corporate Communications, The New York Times Company.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to “to do real and permanent good in this world.”   For almost 100 years, the Corporation has carried out Mr. Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy by building on his two major concerns: international peace and advancing education and knowledge. 

The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2009 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, and more than 50 Web sites, including, and The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members.  Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

Contact: Megan Humphrey
American Library Association

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wisconsin's new Poet Laureate

Wisconsin's new Poet Laureate is Bruce Dethlefsen, retired director of Montello Public Library. The Poet Laureate is recommended by the Poet Laureate Commission and appointed by the Governor to a two-year term.

"Bruce Dethlefsen is a dedicated and talented poet," Governor Doyle said. "He has exceptional credentials and a devotion to poetry and representing our great state. I am confident he will be an outstanding Poet Laureate."

Dethlefsen intends to use his position as the State Poet Laureate to promote the writing and sharing of poetry throughout Wisconsin. He plans to encourage and support local cultural and creative talent by organizing local poetry readings in public libraries, schools and coffee houses throughout the State. "I look forward to being an ambassador for the wonderful poets and poetry of Wisconsin," Dethlefsen announced.

The Marquette County Tribune has a nice piece about Bruce, his poetry, and his plans.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

SOIS and SLIS Team Up for WI Distinguished Lecture Series

Dr. Birger Hjørland, internationally renowned expert in knowledge organization was the keynote speaker at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies (SOIS) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS)’ co-sponsored event on Friday, November 19, 2010.

The presentation will be the first in the Wisconsin Distinguished Lecture Series in Library and Information Science, a joint effort between SOIS and SLIS. The two library and information science programs will alternate sites every year with the first lecture being held this year at UWM’s Golda Meir Library. In 2011, the lecture will move to Madison.

This year’s presenter, Birger Hjørland is a professor in knowledge organization at the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology and Journal of Documentation. He is chair of the International Society for Knowledge Organization's Scientific Advisory Council and consulting editor of Knowledge Organization.  

His presentation will address the current state of library classification, including threats and challenges to the Dewey decimal classification (DDC) system and the Library of Congress. Hjørland feels that in order for these systems to survive, librarians will need to band together.

“Many researchers, managers and users believe that classification systems are not worth the effort, rather search engines can be improved without the heavy costs of providing metadata” he said. “This presentation will argue that classification is necessary at both the practical and the theoretical level, and it should not be seen in isolation from other challenges facing libraries.”

SOIS Interim Dean Hope A. Olson is very excited for Hjørland’s presentation and for the burgeoning partnership with the school’s sister institution in Madison. “We’re very happy to be working with SLIS on this prestigious lecture series,” she said. “Bringing in important names like Birger will only be an added benefit for students and alumni associated with both schools.”

The program is from 5 – 6:30 PM in the 4th Floor Conference Center at UWM’s Golda Meir Library. All events in the series are open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please visit

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Say Cheese Results Now Available

The cheese carvings are complete; photos have been taken and uploaded to the Say Cheese Flickr group; press releases publicizing Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! A Day in Pictures have been sent statewide to over 230 print and online newspapers, 18 television stations, 12 radio stations, to state and national news services, consumer and public policy specific trade magazines, periodicals, and online sources;  announcements are being prepared to send to state government officials (incumbent and newly elected) ---  NOW it’s time to say “thank you” to the Wisconsin libraries who participated in this year’s Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries event, Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! A Day in Pictures.

When the Say Cheese initiative was first implemented last year by the WLA Foundation’s Campaign Action Committee, it was envisioned as a fun, affordable, flexible, simple tool to give Wisconsin libraries the opportunity to visually reinforce to their library funders and patrons the variety of resources, services, programs, and activities available at their library each and every day.

We hope that Wisconsin librarians will benefit from their Say Cheese participation -- perhaps using some of the promotional suggestions found on the Say Cheese website  or developing other creative techniques to make this program an effective way to promote their libraries.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baraboo Middle School Earns $2,000 Grant for Reading Program

English teacher Jane McMahon created "Books, Blogs and Brouhaha" with the help of library media specialist Kelly Steiner to generate interest in reading and won a $2,000 grant from Wisconsin Retired Educators to continue the program. The Jack Young Middle School students read graphic novels and other works, discussed them in class and via a blog, and used podcasts and other technology to share their impressions of the books, according to a report in the Baraboo News Republic.

Burnett County Getting New Library

A new Webster library that will triple the size of the current 2,000 square-foot library is set to be open in the summer of 2011, after years of fund raising and two citations for being out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Library Board President Laura Rachford, interviewed by 91.3 KUWS, said that 75 percent of visitors check out books, although the Internet use is booming, as well. The library averages 100 visitors per day - not bad for a community of 700!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Election Year Challenge: 100 Contacts with New Officials

At the WLA Conference, Paul Nelson, Chair of the Library Development & Legislation Committee (LD&L), issued a two-part challenge to librarians: make sure Governor-elect Scott Walker and U.S. Senator-elect Ron Johnson receive at least 100 letters of congratulations from library workers and supporters around the state. In addition, every librarian represented by a freshman state legislator is urged to make contact via a congratulatory letter (handwritten, please) prior to Library Legislative Day on February 22. Let's make sure that February 22 is not your first contact with these newbies. Extra credit for contacting any re-elected officials, whether part of the freshman class or not!

Contact information for state legislators, Governor-elect Scott Walker and Senator-elect Ron Johnson is provided for your convenience. Many have not yet made the transition from campaign headquarters to legislative offices, but you can still reach them at these addresses.

Paul has also started a blog containing profiles of the freshman class. Get a better picture of these legislators, their districts, their interests and start developing a Common Agenda. Engagement with your elected officials is the name of the game. Let's get started today!

Library Legislative Day Registration Now Open

With new political leadership in the Capitol, dozens of freshmen legislators to engage, and an ambitious  library agenda, your attendance at Library Legislative Day (LLD) is more important than ever! Registration is now open. Attend the event Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at the Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club, One West Dayton Street, Madison. (Note the new location.)

Your challenge now is to get to know your legislator and engage him or her before Library Legislative Day! This event should not be your first contact with your legislators. If you have a brand new senator or representative, or if your incumbent was re-elected, start by sending him or her a note of congratulations.

Make it your mission to inform your legislators about current library issues and how valuable your library is to your institution or community. Make sure that the information you provide about your library also intersects with your legislators' main interests. For instance, in 2010, WLA developed the "Common Agenda" approach to library issues, focusing on the role libraries play in jobs and economic development, information access and technology, and education. Take a look at our materials for ideas on tailoring your message.

Contact information for legislators is provided for your convenience, as newly elected individuals are still in transition from campaign headquarters to their legislative offices.

ALA Emerging Leaders Include Three Wisconsin Librarians

ALA announces that three of 83 Emerging Leaders selected for the 2011 program are Wisconsin librarians: Easter DiGangi, library intern at Fitchburg Public Library and a UW-Madison SLIS student who will graduate in December 2010; Kristina Gomez, State and Local Documents Librarian, Milwaukee Public Library, and August 2010 UW-Madison SLIS graduate; and Paige Mano, Reference/Instruction Librarian, UW-Parkside, and 2007 UW-Milwaukee SOIS graduate.

The program enables librarians and library staff from across the country to participate in leadership roles within ALA. A two-day orientation will be held at ALA Midwinter in San Diego.

Congratulations to these up and coming library leaders!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Foundation Online Auction Bidding Continues through 10:00 PM Today

FINAL BIDDING is in full swing on the WLA Foundation’s Online Auction site!   Bidding ends today, Tuesday, November 9, at 10:00 PM (CST) so be sure and take a look at the NEW items that have recently been added to the site.  Sincere thanks go to our generous auction donors and to those who have (and will!) place their bids to support the WLA Foundation in its work to promote Wisconsin’s libraries!
--Bernie Bellin, 2010 Auction Chair

Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! is November 17

Just a reminder that this “encore” event (a program of the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries) is scheduled for Wednesday, November 17, 2010!  Visit the Say Cheese website to find suggestions and resources to help your library participate in this event and use that participation to promote your library’s services, resources, and value to your community and library funders.
A few changes to note from last year:
·         The Say Cheese Flickr group will accept photos from LIBRARY Flickr accounts only – no personal accounts, please.  This protects your privacy by preventing Say Cheese visitors from linking to personal Flickr accounts!
·         Choose your library’s ten (new limit this year) best photos to load. Remember, candid photos showing library activities work best.
·         Each library is asked to follow its own policy regarding permission for the photos taken --- no photo permission slips are required to be sent to the WLA office this year! 
·         Taking your photos on Wednesday, November 17, is preferable; however, if another day during the week works better for you, please load your photos to the Say Cheese Flickr group account as soon as possible.
The Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries, which sponsors Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! A Day in Pictures is an ongoing, statewide marketing and public relations initiative that provides a collective voice for Wisconsin libraries of all types, focusing on developing and disseminating effective messages about the importance of all Wisconsin libraries. Visit the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries for more resources to promote your library.
--WLA Foundation Campaign Action Committee

Monday, November 08, 2010

Colleen Rortvedt to Take Helm as Appleton Public Library Director January 8

The Appleton Public Library has selected Colleen Rortvedt, assistant director since 2009, as the new library director, effective January 8, 2011, according to a news report. Current director Terry Dawson, who's been with the library for 32 years, will retire January 7.

Public libraries, please fill out ALA survey on Internet services and funding by Nov. 14

Please make sure your library completes the 2010-2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey, which provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information regarding computer and Internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training and other uses of public libraries.

Libraries are encouraged to log on now at

This critical survey and study are coordinated by the American Library Association and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Recently, study findings have:
  • been cited in hundreds of media outlets, including Newsweek, Governing Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and NPR;
  • informed the National Broadband Plan and successful library grant applications for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program;
  • been used in presentations to the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) and the National Association of Counties Association; and
  • been used in Congressional and state-level testimony, as well as in comments to federal agencies.
In addition to national data, the research team is able to produce state-level analysis for all states where there is an adequate and representative response rate. One-page state summaries on employment and e-government services in public libraries also are available for these states.
“The power of the survey as an advocacy tool rests largely on the individual state response rates,” said Larra Clark, project manager for the American Library Association Office for Research & Statistics. “Libraries regularly report back the impact of the study data in raising awareness of the successes and challenges in meeting community needs.”
Improvements in the Web survey now make it easier for libraries with multiple branches to report where data is the same across branches (“ditto” feature) and for libraries that responded last year to import and update previous responses.
The study continues work begun by John Carlo Bertot and Charles R. McClure in 1994. The survey is managed by the Center for Library & Information Innovation at the University of Maryland.
More information, including results from the 2009-2010 study, is available online at A new blog – Libraries Connect Communities – and Twitter feed (ala_ors) also share news, findings, insights and free resources from the study.
Questions, please contact: Caroline Jewell

Friday, October 22, 2010

Action needed to secure broadband fiber expansion to public & school libraries

To help ensure that public and school libraries get the broadband fiber expansion they need, please contact U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, along with your U.S. Representative!  (Contact information is available via WLA's CapWiz account.) Background information on this issue:

 --  In August 2009 the State of Wisconsin submitted a ARRA broadband grant (ID 174) to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  The grant proposed to bring fiber broadband connectivity to 467 schools and libraries on the state’s BadgerNet network.  Many of these sites are in small, rural communities but there is at least one site getting fiber in every county in the state.

--  In February NTIA awarded the grant for $22.9 million.  (See Governor Doyle’s press release announcing the award.)

--  The grant will allow our schools and libraries to get more than a  five-fold increase in their Internet bandwidth at NO additional cost. 

--  The grant was submitted and approved based on the State extending its contract with AT&T and other telecommunication providers who provide the BadgerNet circuits.  But now NTIA is requiring additional conditions be placed on the telecommunication providers, including issues related to long-term use of the fiber.

--  From a long-term perspective, the NTIA should focus on getting the State to ensure that it will continue to offer broadband service to our schools and libraries, as is now required under state law.  And the best way to do this is for NTIA to get a reaffirmation from the State based on the network business model (i.e., BadgerNet contract extension) that was in the grant. 

--  It has now been over eight months since the grant was awarded and no schools or libraries have received any fiber.  The delay in getting this grant approved further delays the bandwidth our schools and libraries desperately need and it further delays getting stimulus funding spent to help the overall economic recovery.  

Thank you for taking this action to secure expanded broadband for 467 Wisconsin schools and libraries!

Get Ready for WLA - Tweet #WLA2010

Registration? Check. Hotel reservation? Check. Conference-at-a-Glance? Check. I'm almost ready for WLA 2010, are you? The conference program looks fan-tas-tic! So many intriguing programs, so little time.

We are delighted to host Marilyn Johnson for what is sure to be an enlightening and humorous keynote address on Wednesday (11/3)!

Get more information about the WLA Conference; it's not too late to decide to attend. You can still register on-site!

Are you tweeting about WLA 2010? Use our hashtag #WLA2010!

See you at the Kalahari!

Best regards,

Vicki Tobias
Publicity Chair
WLA 2010 Conference Planning Committee

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Voices of Rural Wisconsin Project Features Librarian Recommendations

The Voices of Rural Wisconsin project is a partnership between Portal Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters to share the stories, thoughts and histories of the state's rural population. WLA recruited several members to provide book lists related to the subject. Helene Androski, retired Senior Academic Librarian, UW-Madison Memorial Library, provided a book list for adults; Betsy Bromley, children's and teen librarian at Oconomowoc Public Library, provided the list for teens; Svetha Hetzler, head of Children's Services at Middleton Public Library, created a children's reading list.

Dozens of other WLA members answered the call for assistance and may be used as a resource for future Portal Wisconsin projects.

YSS Book Discussion November 4 at WLA

Are you going to the WLA conference this year? Mark your calendars and start reading for a great program, you won't want to miss. The YSS Book Discussion will be held Thursday (November 4) at 4 p.m. This is your chance to participate in a book discussion led by librarians from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC). Everyone attending should have read either Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper (Atheneum, 2010) or Bruiser by Neal Shusterman (HarperTeen, 2010) in preparation for this session. Participants will follow CCBC book discussion guidelines.

Please go online to Survey Monkey to indicate your book choice.

WLA Foundation Fun at Conference!

WLA Foundation Fundraiser — Bowling & Boards!! (Kalahari Resort Bowling Center, Wednesday, November 3, 8:00 – 11:00 pm) If you haven’t already signed up for this event in advance on your conference registration form, sign up onsite at the Conference (no later than 5 PM Wednesday). Admission to this event ($35 per person) includes a donation to the WLAF, one drink ticket (good for beer, wine or soda), snacks, pizza and a fun evening with friends and colleagues.

Contact Bernie Bellin to register your team of four bowlers OR boarders (prior to October 31st) and each member will get one ADDITIONAL beverage ticket (which you’ll receive when you arrive at the event). If you name your team, let me know that, too. The team with the most creative name … the “Four Pins”… the “Gutter Guys” … the “Boarder Belles” … whatever you come up … will go home with one of the coveted trophies being awarded that night! Don’t have a team – come anyway, you’ll have a good time! Bowlers, don’t forget, this is a BYOS (bring your own socks!) event.

Great items are being donated to the onsite Conference Silent Auction – but, we’re never satisfied – we’d still welcome more! Please bring your donation(s) to the Conference. If that’s not possible, forward them to the WLA office and we’ll find a place to temporarily store them. However your generous donation makes its way to the Kalahari, please let us know by October 31 what you’ll be contributing by returning a copy of the Auction Contribution Form for each item you are donating.

Conference attendees and non-attendees alike – remember to register to bid on the WLA Foundation’s online auction items available for the first time this year at
--Bernie Bellin, Chair, Conference Fundraiser

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nominations Open for WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award

Do you know of someone actively promoting intellectual freedom?  Someone who exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom?  If you do, you know someone that should be nominated for the WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award.

Anyone who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin is eligible.  Activities within the past five years are eligible for consideration.
*A personal member of either WLA or WEMTA must submit the award nomination.
Individuals and groups may nominate themselves for the award.

This award is sponsored by: and the Center for Information Policy Research and the School of Information Studies at UWM.

Additional information on the award criteria and nomination process can be found at  Nomination Deadline: January 15, 2011

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WiFi Access in U.S. Public Libraries (Map)

From the American Library Association (ALA). Wisconsin looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Congrats to Four Wisconsin Libraries Named LJ's Star Libraries

A belated congratulations to four Wisconsin Libraries named by Library Journal as a "Star Library:" Madison Public, 3 stars, in the $10 million to $29.999 million category; Middleton Public Library, 3 stars, in the $1 million to $4.999 million category; Kilbourn Public Library, Wisconsin Dells, 3 stars, $400,000 to $.999 million category; and the Lettie W. Jensen Public Library, Amherst, 4 stars, $10,000 to $49,999 category. Each of these libraries are members of the South Central Library System.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ruth Ann Montgomery Receives Frances de Usabel Outreach Services Award

Ruth Ann Montgomery, director of the Arrowhead Library System, is the recipient of the 2010 Frances de Usabel Outreach Services Award, presented annually by the WLA's Outreach Services Round Table (OSRT). Jamie Matczak, OSRT Chair, said Ruth Ann was instrumental in helping the workers displaced by the closing of the GM plant in Janesville. Presently, over 1,600 residents in Rock County have participated in the computer classes Ruth Ann developed as part of an LSTA grant.

"It is a great honor to receive the Frances de Usabel award,” said Ruth Ann. “It has been my good fortune to work in a profession that values making buildings accessible to all.  Public library special needs and outreach projects have always been dear to my heart.”

The award is named in honor of the former Special Needs Consultant for the Wisconsin Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning, Frances de Usabel. Frances worked diligently and successfully to advance outreach services in Wisconsin public libraries for many years.  Funding for this award is made possible by the siblings of Frances de Usabel. Ruth Ann will be honored at the WLA Conference Awards Banquet on Thursday, November 4.

Ruth Ann feels fortunate to have a position where a difference can be made. “Every day I get to work with creative people who value library services. It is magical the way librarians share, enhance and promote program ideas,” she said.

Janesville Gazette reports on Ruth Ann's award-winning ways.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Portage Public Library Plans Expansion

The Portage Public Library is discussing an expansion of the library with Plunkett Raysich Architects, with a decision about moving forward possible by November, according to a report in the Portage Daily Register. The plans include expanding the meeting space and children's area, along with several modifications to existing space to create a teen space, correct water drainage problems and improve lighting, heating and cooling. The reported timeline for the project estimates completion by December 2011, but it appears that a final funding package has not yet been approved.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese: A Day in Pictures - November 17

Confident that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries, a multi-media publicity campaign sponsored by the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation (WLAF), has created Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! to spotlight what’s happening in today’s libraries. 
Through online sharing of photographs in Flickr, this “day in pictures” provides a way to increase understanding, through photos, of the multitude and variety of resources, services, programs, and activities all types of libraries offer — with the intent to strengthen the base of support libraries have among the public officials who fund them and the people who use them. 
Visit to learn more about how your library can participate.