Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 WLA Conference: Libraries - A Renewable Resource

WLA Conference Chair Bernie Bellin and his planning committee for the 2011 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference have been busy working on details for this much anticipated event. WLA members will converge on southeast Wisconsin for this conference slated for November 1 – 4, 2011, at the beautiful Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel and Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee.

This year we celebrate WLA’s 120th Anniversary, and the conference theme is “Libraries – A Renewable Resource.”

We are very excited about this year’s conference’s keynote speaker Stephen Abram, MLS.  Abram is Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Markets for Cengage Learning, and a leading international librarian and lighthouse thinker in the North American library community, with extensive experience in library technology and trend forecasting. He has more than 25 years in libraries as a practicing librarian and in the information industry.

He was Past-President of SLA and of the Ontario and Canadian Library Associations. He also served as Vice President of Innovation for SirsiDynix and Chief Strategist for the SirsiDynix Institute. His columns appear in Information Outlook and Multimedia and Internet @ Schools, OneSource, Feliciter, Access, as well as writing for Library Journal. He is the author of ALA Editions' bestselling Out Front with Stephen Abram.

Stephen was also listed by Library Journal as one of the top 50 people influencing the future of libraries. He has received numerous honors and speaks regularly internationally and is a speaker in demand. We are fortunate to offer his insight at this year’s opening session!

Engaging writer/illustrator Tad Hills has also been announced as the YSS Luncheon speaker.  Tad is the winner of the 2011 Irma Simonton Black & James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature for his bestselling picture book, How Rocket Learned to Read.  In addition, Tad is the author and illustrator of the highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling picture books Duck & Goose and Duck, Duck, Goose. Hills’ appearance promises to be fun.

Calling all Book Cart Drill Teams…
An opportunity awaits for all those “closet drill carters” out there who’ve secretly been wanting to strut their stuff in the WLA Book Cart Drill Team competition, but until now have held back, waiting for the competition to take place on the big stage…Milwaukee!  Well, now is your opportunity.  This is the “official” call for entries – use the attached form to register your team.  The deadline for registering is June 1st.  Get ready to blow people away with your technical and artistic performance.

The WLA Foundation Fundraiser Will Be Serving Some Fun at Spin

Get ready to become a part of the trendy, hip scene while in Milwaukee, as the WLA Foundation hosts this year’s fundraiser at Spin Milwaukee, a 16,500-square foot table-tennis social club located in the Historic Third Ward. A dozen top-quality table-tennis courts on cushioned Olympic-competition flooring, plus a 13th stadium-like center court.  Spin Milwaukee also houses a pro shop, restaurant, bar, lounge and two private event rooms. BTW, Spin Milwaukee is licensed from an investor group owned by actress Susan Sarandon that owns and started Spin New York…so if you fancy yourself as “hip” (and you know you do!) you just have to be there.

Your Conference Planning Committee members for this year’s conference include:  Conference Chair, Bernie Bellin; Pam Belden (Waterford Public Library); David Weinberg-Kinsey (Cardinal Stritch University Library); Peter Loeffel (St. Francis Public Library); Adam Brisk (Indianhead Technical College); Jim Schwieters (SirsiDynix); Mary Milinkovich (Milwaukee Public Library); Mary Murphy (Wauwatosa Public Library); Linda Bendix (Frank L. Weyenberg Library); Jennifer Williams (Frank L. Weyenberg Library); Michael Kenney (Appleton Public Library); Linda Pierschalla (Whitefish Bay Public Library); Jim Novy (Lakeshores Library System); Joe Rice (Brown Deer Public Library); Kathy Blume (Milwaukee Area Technical College); WLA President Rhonda K. Puntney (Lakeshores Library System) and Brigitte Rupp Vacha (WLA Conference Liaison).
--Michael Kenney, Publicity Chair

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fiscal Bureau Issues Library Budget Options for Joint Finance Committee

Legislative Alert!

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) analyses of library-related budget items has been released for use by the Joint Finance Committee as they continue executive sessions on the 2011-13 state executive budget. Paper #562 gives background and funding options for public library system aids, maintenance of effort funding for public libraries, statewide resource contracts and BadgerLink. WLA supports the following alternatives provided by the LFB:

A. Maintenance of Effort: Alternative #3: Delete the provision that would eliminate MOE funding for public libraries. 

WLA opposes Alternative #1, which is to retain the budget language proposed by Governor Walker. WLA also opposes Alternative #2, which would allow MOE to be suspended for the 2011-13 biennium. WLA had offered a compromise that would have allowed up to a 10% cut to MOE-level funding as a way of protecting libraries from bearing the brunt of local budget cuts. Without some minimum funding protections, communities that don't adequately fund their libraries strain the resources of neighboring communities that do.

B. Aid to Public Library Systems and Library Service Contracts: Alternatives #2a, 2b, and 2c to provide an additional $4,082,200 SEG to the base for these programs. 

As state funding to library programs is provided through the Universal Service Fund, there is no impact on the general fund. In addition, maintaining this SEG funding also protects about $3 million in federal funding through LSTA that Wisconsin can ill-afford to lose.

Please contact your legislators about this matter!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Live from the WAAL Conference!

Hallway talk about lost opportunities to be Bon Jovi groupies + serious discussion about libraries' role in data curation + author/farmer Justin Isherwood = WAAL Conference 2011 in Stevens Point. If you can't be here, join the chatter on Twitter: @WAAL2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Support Staff Make Libraries Strong: Registration Now Open!

WLA's Support Staff Section will host its annual One-day Conference for support staff from all types of libraries on Wednesday, May 25, at the UW-Milwaukee Student Union. At just $45 for members ($60 for non-members and $25 for students), this conference is a great value!

Breakout session topics include implementing RFID, support staff certification, degree completion, how to find free multimedia software, and more! Joyce Latham, Ph.D., UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, will provide a keynote address on "This is What Democracy Looks Like: Supporting the Right to Know."

Take a look at the complete schedule and register online today!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Milwaukee Public Library Director to be Featured on WPR's At Issue

Listen to At Issue with Ben Merens today at 5 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio for an interview with Paula Kiely, director of Milwaukee Public Library.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WAPL Online Registration Extended

Online registration has been extended until Friday, April 22 for the "Thrive and Strive" WAPL Conference in Madison!
Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes. Avoid the hassles of standing in line and registering onsite!

Many excellent programs, speakers and sessions are on tap for this year's conference, held May 4-6. The Sheraton Hotel is also offering great room rates!

Library Copyright Alliance releases fourth guide to Google Books proposed settlement following judge’s decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) announces the release of “A Guide for the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement,” an analysis of the latest decision in the Google Books Search case and its potential effect on libraries. The LCA is comprised of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
This Guide is the latest in a series prepared by LCA legal counsel Jonathan Band to help inform the library community about this landmark legal dispute.
In the Guide Part IV, Band explains why the Court rejected the proposed class action settlement, which would have allowed Google to engage in a wide variety of activities using scanned books.
As stated in the Guide, “The court concluded that the settlement was unfair because a substantial number of class members [i.e., authors and publishers] voiced significant concerns with the settlement.… However, the validity of the objections seemed less important to the court than the fact that many class members raised them.”
As for the impact of the decision on libraries, Band writes that while it is too early to say what the parties will do next, “it appears that both the challenges and the opportunities presented to libraries by the settlement when it was announced in the fall of 2008 are growing narrower and more distant.”
Past Guides and other LCA materials related to the case are available on the LCA website.

Contact: Jonathan Band
(202) 296-5675

Contact: Jenni Terry
Press Officer
ALA Washington Office
(202) 628-8410

Thursday, April 07, 2011


The 2011 National Library Legislative Day is quickly approaching and will be held on Monday, May 9, and Tuesday, May 10. On Monday, there is an all-day briefing at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Tuesday will be spent in Congressional offices with visits scheduled ahead of time by myself (Julie Schneider) Many changes in Congress now contribute to a new political climate in both the House and the Senate. New members need to hear from you and other constituents. We hope to have a good showing of Wisconsin librarians in legislators offices.

The registration fee is $20 and includes breakfast and an afternoon snack. Register online for NLLD now or download this form (pdf), complete and mail it to your state coordinator. Having trouble with registration? Take a look at our step-by-step instructions (pdf).

The American Library Association has a block reserved at the Liaison Hotel, and the block is listed under American Library Association 2011. You may also make reservations by calling 1-866-AFFINIA or clicking here.

If you have questions, please email Julie Schneider ( or Rhonda Puntney (

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

WLA Issues Legislative Alert on Maintenance of Effort Funding for Public Libraries

WLA today issued the first of several planned legislative alerts to restore library programs that were cut as part of  the proposed 2011-13 State Executive Budget. First on the docket is support for retaining public library maintenance of effort funding.

Under current Wisconsin Statutes 43.15 (4)(c), in order to take advantage of the significant benefits of public library system membership, local libraries must meet several requirements. One membership requirement is that the local library be funded at a level that is not lower than the average funding for the previous three years.  This requirement is commonly referred to as maintenance of effort - or as WLA has dubbed it, maintenance of membership support (MOMS). (More about MOMS)

ACTION TO BE TAKEN:  Please contact your State Senator and Assembly Representative and ask for their support of either of the two MOE options described below.

1st OPTION:  separate bill
i.    WLA requests that the proposal to eliminate MOE as a requirement for public library system membership be removed from the Governor’s 2011-13 budget and be considered on its own merits as a separate bill.
ii.    Primary reasons for doing so:
1.    It’s a policy item
2.    It has no fiscal impact at the state level.

2nd OPTION:  compromise language in 2011-13 budget proposal
iii.    As an alternative, WLA recommends that municipalities and counties may cut up to 10% of the MOE appropriation in first year of biennium; no further cuts in second year of biennium.  This is similar to funding pattern for many other items in the Governor’s proposed budget.
iv.    Sunset provision, i.e., the compromise language is in effect for just the 2011-13 biennium.

3 things to keep in mind.
•    In the current political environment, Republicans legislators need to be our primary contacts.
•    Best approach.   Schedule a meeting at a public library in the district with each legislator and library representatives (directors, board members, local advocates).
•    Our ultimate goal is to forward this message to the members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) – Republicans in particular.  Ideally, the message needs to be delivered by legislators sympathetic to the WLA position and by constituents (i.e. your library advocates) of JFC members.

As a result of conversations that took place on Library Legislative Day and at libraries in legislators’ home districts, we already have a number of Republicans who are sympathetic to WLA’s position on MOE.  (And we hope to identify more once we analyze the MOE survey results.)

Please keep WLA posted about the results of your contacts with state legislators on this matter.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Early WAAL registration deadline 4/8; Conference hotel rate deadline 4/5

This is the last week to register for the 2011 WAAL Conference at the early bird rate. The conference will be held April 26-29, 2011 at the Ramada in Stevens Point, WI. Register by Friday, April 8th to take advantage of the discounted rate!

In addition, if you haven't yet reserved your room at the conference hotel, you must do so by TOMORROW! Tuesday, April 5th to book the conference rate - $89 single/$99 double occupancy. To make a reservation, phone the Ramada-Stevens Point front desk at: 1-800-998-2311.

New this year! Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for the "Best of WAAL" using the online conference evaluation form. The contributed presentation earning the most votes will be invited to present again at the 2011 WLA Conference in Milwaukee. Along with the honor of being voted 'best in show' the WLA Board will cover WLA Conference registration fees for the winning presenter(s).

We encourage everyone to register via the online registration system. Links to online registration as well as a PDF print registration form are available at

For more information including full program details, visit the conference Web site at