Monday, August 30, 2010 Despite Cuts, Urban Libraries "America's Knowledge Center"

Here's hoping local and state officials are reading, where the editor recently wrote about cuts to library budgets at a time when use has been rising dramatically. Calling urban libraries "America's knowledge centers" as well as "islands of public safety," the article also points out how libraries have successfully anchored mixed use developments or redevelopments. Share widely!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stoughton Public Library Presents Film Featuring Local Library Stories

Stoughton Public Library will present a community based film including interviews of local residents telling their library stories on Thursday, September 9.  This event celebrates September as National Library Card Sign-up Month. The film features community members, including local celebrities, using the library and sharing what the library means to them. The movie was filmed and edited by WSTO cable TV. Library staff also acknowledges the support of the South Central Library System.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

UW Digital Collections Reaches Out with Twitter

Librarians Vicki Tobias and Melissa McLimans have noticed an uptick in interest in UW Digital Collections since they started using Twitter to highlight the unusual and sometimes bizarre items that lurk in the collection.  The Isthmus, an alternative weekly newspaper based in Madison, reported:

"The UW Digital Collections Twitter feed is also, according to Melissa, an amazing representation of the Wisconsin Idea; they are using university resources to provide people around the world with these historical images, newspapers and other documents. "There are 70,000 images in our online collections," Melissa says. "I remind myself daily about the amazing things that are in there." Read more...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Terry Dawson, Appleton Public Library Director, to retire

Terry Dawson, director of Appleton Public Library since 1996, will retire in January 2011 after 32 years with the library. Terry, who was WLA President in 2005, has seen the library through tremendous change during his tenure. Recently, he's engaged the community in discussion about building a new library, a project that he leaves well positioned to progress under a new director.

Quoted in the Appleton Post-Crescent, Terry said, "I've had so many opportunities to work with good people on the library staff, the library board, the Friends of the Library. This is just a great place to work," Dawson, 62, said. "It's actually a hard place to leave even after 32 years."

Congratulations, Terry, and best wishes for an enjoyable retirement!

Omro library expansion plan moves forward

Two properties for the expansion of the Carter Memorial Library in Omro were recently purchased, according to a news report quoting library director Theo Knigge. The expansion, estimated to cost $2.5 million, is expected to be completed within the next five years, depending upon fund raising efforts.The original library was built in 1968 and was to last 20 years. The architectural drawing of the expansion is available at the library.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Study Shows Investment in University Libraries Increases Grant Awards

Elsevier, a publisher of technical, medical and scientific information, announced results of a major study that show a correlation between investment in university library collections and the institution's ability to attract grant income. The results of the study, lead by Dr. Carol Tenopir of the University of Tennessee, is available as a white paper published by Elsevier.  Tenopir said that though the exact monetary results vary, it's clear that a university's library plays a key role in helping faculty research and write better grants proposals.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

2010 WLA Awards Announced

The Wisconsin Library Association is pleased to announce this year’s library luminaries, selected as outstanding for their contribution to libraries and librarianship.

Library of the Year: Monona Public Library (Erick Plumb, Acting Library Director)
Under the creative leadership of the late library director Demita Gerber and her staff, the Monona Public Library has gone from good to great! The library has launched several innovative programs and initiatives and has developed collections in strategic areas.

Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Manager, La Crosse Public Library, is WLA’s DEMCO Librarian of the Year. Marge is well known as a leader in library youth services. Her work has involved networking and partnerships within the community to enhance services for kids. Marge has been active in ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children, particularly as a priority consultant and then board member, in WLA as a WeLead mentor, and in the Wisconsin Women Library Workers.

Susan Braden, Reference Librarian, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, is the 2010 Muriel Fuller Award winner. On top of her normal duties staffing the reference desk, answering email reference questions, teaching computer classes, and selecting books, she is known as “Ms. Local History.” Notably, she collects materials from defunct Janesville industries, including the General Motors plant that closed in December 2008. She’s also converted oral histories of the United Auto Workers into transcribed podcasts available on the library’s website.

The Special Service Award goes to Robert Bocher, Public Library Technology Consultant with the Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning at the Department of Public Instruction. No one can argue that Bob has been one of the strongest proponents of enhancing library service through technology. Bob has been a strong and knowledgeable advocate for shared integrated library systems, Internet access, and BadgerNet connectivity.

The Citation of Merit is shared by John Wilmet, John Mielke, Mark Zastrow, Loren Gray, Davin Lescohier and Dick Schultz, city officials in Fort Atkinson during the years when the commitment was made to expand and renovate the Dwight Foster Public Library. They retained a vision and commitment to the project despite the economic downturn, ensuring that the library will remain relevant well into its next chapter and beyond.

Dr. Katherine Schneider, past president, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library Board of Trustees, is the Trustee of the Year. Katherine is a long-time library user and an ardent supporter of the library community and everything to do with libraries – at the local, state and national levels. She has been actively involved in the Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and attends the annual Library Legislative Day in Madison. She supported the library’s 2006-08 capital campaign and, in 2009, led the Library Board through the largest renovation of the current library facility in the building’s 33-year history.

WLA congratulates each winner and celebrates their accomplishments at the WLA Conference awards banquet Thursday, November 4, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. For more information about the award winners, go to

In addition to contributions from DEMCO and Highsmith, the WLA Awards program is supported by the WLA Foundation, through individual charitable contributions. The WLA brings together and supports people from all types of libraries to advance library and information services in the state. The awards program is one way the association acknowledges the dedication of its members to provide exemplary library service to the people of Wisconsin.

Woodrow Hall Jumpstart Award Announced

Paula Sergi of the Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective in Fond du Lac won first place and $500.00 to collaborate with the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office, the Association of Commerce, the Fond du Lac Public Library, the Fond du Lac Arts Council, and Park Ridge Organics to bring poetry to the farmers’ markets, the library, the Windhover Center for the Arts and two harvest festivals in the Fond du Lac area. The finalist was Phil Hansotia of Ellison Bay who received $250.00 to create “poetry trails” (poems in display cases mounted on posts) in Newport State Park, a partnership between the Wallace, Unabridged and Word Women poetry groups with the Newport Wilderness Society, Newport State Park, and Sevastapol, Gibraltar and Southern Door high schools.

Shoshauna Shy of Woodrow Hall Editions based in Madison created the Woodrow Hall Jumpstart Award, an offshoot of the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf initiative, designed to help other Wisconsin poets implement a project that brings poetry into the eye of the general public in an unconventional manner.

Learn more about this award and the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf program at

Foodshare Outreach Network Welcomes Library Partnerships

Libraries have become one of the most important resource centers for patrons who are looking for help meeting their basic needs including food. On September 17, join the network of public and private community partners throughout the state who are committed to increasing FoodShare enrollment by integrating outreach activities into their daily business without taking on extra projects. Many of us interact with potentially eligible families and individuals every day. We can make them aware of FoodShare, help them access benefits, and break the stigma long associated with "getting food stamps!

Join community leaders and partners who are dedicated to ending hunger in Wisconsin at the first annual FoodShare Outreach Network Conference!
Swipe Out Hunger: Putting food on your table and money in your community through FoodShare

Friday, September 17, 2010
Radisson's Paper Valley Hotel, 333 West College Avenue, Appleton, WI
8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Registration opens at 8:00 a.m.
Conference adjourns by 3:30 p.m., in time for attendees
who observe Yom Kippur to travel home before sundown.

Why attend: Currently, only an estimated 66% of eligible households participate in FoodShare Wisconsin (formerly known as food stamps), ranking below the national average. FoodShare not only puts healthy, nutritious food on the table for our low-income families, children and seniors: the USDA estimates that every $5 spent with FoodShare benefits generates $9.20 in local economic activity, additional resources that no Wisconsin community can afford to turn away.

Fee: Nominal fee to cover meal expenses.
Accommodations: A block of rooms will be available.
Registration: More information is coming soon.
For more information, please contact:
Gina Wilson
Second HarvestFoodbank of Southern Wisconsin

WLA Foundation Announces 2010 Scholarship Recipients

The Wisconsin Library Association Foundation is pleased to announce six recipients of its annual scholarship awards.

The library education scholarships are as follows:

Library Education Scholarship. (An applicant for this scholarship must be a Wisconsin resident and attend a master’s level program in library and information science at a Wisconsin school.)

Alexandra Hinrichs received an award of $1,300 to complete her master’s degree in library and information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She plans to work as a children’s librarian in a public library after receiving her degree in 2011.

Diversity Scholarship. (This scholarship is available to a Wisconsin resident who attends a master’s degree program in library and information science at a Wisconsin school and who is African-American, Latino-Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, of Native American/Alaskan Native descent, or physically challenged.)

Kia Vang, received an award of $1,000 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison starting in September 2010. She plans to complete her degree in 2012 and work as a reference librarian in a public or academic library.

Sally Davis Scholarship. (This scholarship is available to a Wisconsin resident attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies.)

Cristina Springfield
was awarded $1,250 to pursue her master’s degree in library and information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She started the program in the fall of 2009 and expects to complete her degree in 2011. She aspires to work as an academic reference librarian specializing in multicultural and bilingual materials.

Vida Cummins Stanton Scholarship. (This scholarship is available to a Wisconsin resident attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies pursuing a career as a school library media specialist or youth services librarian.)

Elizabeth Lowrey was awarded $1,400 to complete her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. She plans a career as a youth services librarian in a public library setting. She expects to receive her degree in 2012.

The library continuing education scholarships:

George Bauer Continuing Education Scholarship. (This scholarship is available to a person employed in a library in Wisconsin, or someone who works with library employees in those communities, to attend a conference or other continuing education program within or outside Wisconsin.)

Dawn Wacek, Youth Services Manager, Rice Lake Public Library, was awarded $700 to attend the Wisconsin Library Association annual conference in November 2010 in the Wisconsin Dells.

Gloria Hoegh Scholarship. (This scholarship is available to a person employed in a library in a Wisconsin community with a population of 5,000 or less, or someone who works with library employees in those communities, to attend a conference or other continuing education program within or outside Wisconsin.)

$1,050 was available in 2010 for this scholarship and was awarded to two Wisconsin librarians. Jane Marie Smiley Frankiewicz, Director, Spooner Memorial Library, and Jill Elaine Fredrickson, Library Assistant, Spooner Memorial Library, were each awarded $525 to support their attendance at the 2010 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference in the Wisconsin Dells.

--Peg Branson
WLAF Scholarship Committee Chair 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

WPR features Tracy Herold, Sun Prairie Public Library Director

Based on recent news reports discussing the popularity of libraries, Joy Cardin of Wisconsin Public Radio talked for an hour on August 2 with Tracy Herold, director of Sun Prairie Public Library. You can hear the broadcast:

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Richard Grobschmidt to Retire as Assistant State Superintendent at DPI

Richard Grobschmidt, assistant state superintendent in the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning at the Department of Public Instruction, has announced his plans to retire on Sept. 10.
"After 25 years of working in Madison and living in South Milwaukee, I find it is now time for me to say good-bye to my DPI family and spend more time with my South Milwaukee family," said Grobschmidt. "I have truly appreciated the opportunity to work under the leadership of State Superintendent Tony Evers and past State Superintendent Libby Burmaster."

Grobschmidt was appointed as assistant state superintendent in January 2003. Previously, he had served as a state senator and as a member of the state Assembly, representing the people of South Milwaukee. He had chaired both the Assembly and Senate education committees.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers praised Grobschmidt's service and commitment to schools and libraries during his tenure at DPI.

Evers also announced the appointment of Kurt Kiefer as Grobschmidt's replacement. Since 2007, Kiefer has served as the chief information officer and executive director of Research and Program Evaluation for the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). Kiefer has also served as the district assessment coordinator and registrar, and began working for MMSD in 1994 as a research and evaluation coordinator.

Additional information is available on the Department of Public Instruction newsroom website