Friday, July 29, 2011

Message to Read to Lead Task Force: Literacy Role of Libraries is Critical

Recently, the WLA and the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association crafted a memo to  Governor Walker's Read to Lead Task Force, in order to highlight the important role that libraries play in improving literacy. A portion of that memo appears below, or you can read the entire memo:

As statewide associations of librarians, we are excited to see the Governor convene the Read to Lead Task Force. We thank him and all of you for your efforts thus far.  As we are sure you know, school and public librarians provide effective literacy programs to children on a daily basis. We believe it would be valuable for the task force to consider the perspective of librarians as you conduct your work. This document illustrates ways Wisconsin children benefit from interactions with these professionals through early literacy programming, summer reading programming and curriculum-related programming. Please let us know if our associations can be of assistance to the task force as you move forward.

Read the complete memo.

Waukesha Public Library is WLA's 2011 Library of the Year

The Wisconsin Library Association Awards and Honors Committee confers the 2011 Library of the Year award upon Waukesha Public Library. The award is conferred upon any type of Wisconsin library, library system or library network for distinguished achievement in service. The staff, library board or administering body, and the community or people served shall all be involved in the work for which recognition is sought. The award shall be based upon such activities or accomplishments as user oriented services, development and participation in networks and systems and cooperative planning with other libraries, collections, professional growth opportunities and employee job satisfaction, and changes or improvements in physical facilities resulting in better service.

Waukesha Public Library exceeds the five award criteria particularly in regard to strong community partnerships with organizations such as the School District of Waukesha, local businesses, UW-Waukesha, Carroll University, Waukesha County Technical College, Waukesha Civic Theater, the West End Artists Association, Waukesha County Project Head Start, Waukesha County Historical Society, and more.

Waukesha Public Library has been fortunate to complete a two-phase building project which has culminated in better service to patrons from children to seniors. Waukesha Public Library has shown a history of being proactive as demonstrated by its initiation of an integrated library system with two other Waukesha county libraries, fostering the system for nearly a decade, and then recently gifting it to the Waukesha County Library System for the entire county to utilize. Waukesha Public Library recognizes the importance of public art and has made itself a destination for many reasons including a space to experience visual art.

Waukesha Public Library is clearly appreciated within its own community, and we are happy to recognize its achievements as well.  From the facility to the staff to the programs and community partnerships, Waukesha Public Library has much of which to be proud and is a great example of a Library of the Year.

--Rebecca Dougherty, Chair, WLA Awards & Honors Committee

Betty Backus, Union Grove, Wins WLA Citation of Merit

The Wisconsin Library Association Awards and Honors Committee confers the 2011 Citation of Merit award upon Betty Backus, Volunteer at the Graham Public Library in Union Grove, Wisconsin. The Citation of Merit is conferred upon Wisconsin citizens who are neither librarians nor library trustees, who have made outstanding contributions to quality library services.

Betty exceeds the award criteria by being an exemplary library volunteer for almost 20 years. Betty not only maintains but created Union Grove's local history collection by indexing and creating metadata from local papers, collecting information on local families, businesses, and community events, and continually combing local resources for additional information. She serves as the unofficial local genealogist and historian for Union Grove and its surrounding communities including Yorkville, Dover, and Paris. As if that were not enough, she also organizes the library's profitable annual book sale including recruiting more volunteers.

Members of the WLA Awards and Honors Committee are happy to honor Betty with the Citation of Merit and envy Graham Public Library and Union Grove for having such a fantastic volunteer.  Congratulations!
--Rebecca Dougherty, Chair, WLA Awards & Honors Committee

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WLA Volunteers Needed for 2012

Now more than ever the Wisconsin Library Association needs the volunteer support of our members.  Libraries face challenges today we couldn’t imagine just a few years ago.  Technological changes such as the rise of the e-book are transforming our services. Economic and political changes threaten our financial support.  These concerns are overwhelming when we think of confronting them as individuals.  Together as a library community, however, we can face these challenges and secure a strong future for Wisconsin libraries.
Many of you have worked hard for the Wisconsin Library Association for years.  Thank you!  Others, like myself, have participated only occasionally in the work of WLA.  It is time for all of us to do what we can to preserve and strengthen the great tradition of our library community. Everything that we do as an association is more important than ever.  We need to work together to take the Wisconsin Library Association to a new level of power and effectiveness. 

Visit the WLA website for a complete list of WLA units including divisions, sections, round tables, committees, and task forces.  Consider volunteering to help somewhere in this association structure.  Volunteers are also needed to work at the WLA and division conferences.  Whatever your abilities, interests, or time constraints, WLA has important work for you to do.  Call or email the WLA office now to express your interest for volunteering in 2012.  We’re counting on your help!
--Ron McCabe, WLA President-elect 

WLA Foundation Announces 2011 Scholarship Recipients

The WLA Foundation has announced the recipients of 2011 scholarships totaling $4,900 for both library and continuing education. 

The Library Education Scholarship of $1,150 goes to Angela Terrab, who will attend the UW-Madison SLIS this fall. Terrab said, "The financial support offered by this scholarship will give me more flexibility to find the right balance between school, work, and community service."

Matthew Heindel, Janesville, will receive a $900 Sally Davis Scholarship for individuals pursuing their MLS at UW-Madison SLIS.  

The Vida Cummins Stanton Scholarship of $1,300 for individuals pursuing a career in youth librarianship at UW-Milwaukee SOIS goes to Stacie Karlin, Manitowoc.

The Diversity Scholarship of $900 goes to Melissa Nicholas, Madison, and the $650 George Bauer Continuing Education Scholarship goes to Penny Johnson, Baraboo Public Library. 

The WLA Foundation Board allocates scholarship amounts based on a percentage in each scholarship endowment. The Scholarships Committee reviews applications and determines the recipients. This year's committee: Sharon Lake, Paul Nelson, Jane Pearlmutter, Jane Roeber and Alice Sturzl.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ask Cathy Markwiese About Jeopardy! ... but not just yet

Milwaukee--Milwaukee Public Library's own Cathy Markwiese (Database Maintenance) will be appearing on Jeopardy! the week of July 25th. But don’t ask her about it just yet. Cathy is under contractual obligation not to discuss how she did until after her appearance. But be sure to tune in the week of July 25th to see for yourself.

Cathy took the online test for Jeopardy! in January of 2010. “I had just finished chemotherapy and was feeling kind of broken,” Cathy said. “I wanted to do something that would make me feel like myself again.”

After completing the online quiz, Cathy was invited to Chicago in August to compete with other finalists before being chosen to appear on the program. “I met some really amazing people,” Cathy said. “The whole experience was really kind of mind-blowing for me.”

So what’s it like onstage at Jeopardy!? The show only records on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  A week’s worth of shows are taped in a single day.  Each contestant station has an individual elevated platform that can be raised to make all the contestants appear at the same height. “At each filming break one of the crew would come running over and say ‘Can we help you down, Cathy?’ since my platform had to be raised quite high.”

The buzzers are super-sensitive and you’re “blocked out” if you try to answer the question too quickly. A member of the crew activates a frame of lights around the board to signal when contestants can try to answer.

Host Alex Trebek was very interested in Cathy and her story and made a point after the show of getting to talk to her about her experience. “He asked me all about the chemotherapy and what it was like,” she said. “He kind of made a bee-line for me after the program and left the other contestants to talk amongst themselves.”

So tune in and see how you stack up against Cathy and the other contestants. While we don’t know yet how she did, there’s no question she represented MPL with her usual class and character.
--Sandra Rusch Walton, MPL Marketing & Public Relations Officer

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Attend This Year’s WLA Conference in Milwaukee Nov 1 – 4

10. Well, for one thing, that’s where it’s located this year…scheesh! (The Dells is so “2010”…)

9.  Celebrate the lack of November elections this year!

8.  Milwaukee is known as the Beer Capital of the World. (See reason #9 to appreciate why this might be relevant.)

7.  Can you say Silent Auction? Fantastic items to bid on, beginning Wednesday, November 2nd as part of the WLA Foundation’s Silent Auction!

6.  Our conference hotel, the acclaimed Hilton Milwaukee City Center…this ain’t the Bates Motel, that’s for sure! (Right, mother?)

5.  Those wacky after hours parties playfully discussing whether Melville Dewey’s hot new classification system really has a chance of catching on… (See 025.4 DEW)

4.  Hey, anything to get out of the library…uh, I mean, anything you can do to increase your knowledge and skill sets when it comes to the latest trends in library science and serving your beloved patrons!

3.  E-books, schmee-books…you want to learn about the next hot trend in publishing.

2.  Milwaukee is home to Harley-Davidson, developer of the Harley WLA motorcycle…really!  

(You’re a librarian…look it up.)

1.  Outstanding speakers and break-out sessions; brilliant insights into the latest trends  in the industry; beautiful host hotel and convention center; Milwaukee is A Great Place on A Great Lake; excellent food and entertainment options; fabulous opportunities to meet with friends and peers; all this and more at an affordable rate!  Be sure to visit to look at the exciting schedule of sessions and events. 

Come celebrate WLA’s 120th Anniversary in Milwaukee this fall, and learn more about “Libraries – A Renewable Resource” at your 2011 WLA Conference. And be sure to check out our Pre-Conference offerings on November 1st – “Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like” or “Leading Through Communication” or “Lightning Fast Succession Planning”– followed by a fun vendor reception from 4:00 – 6:00.

Milwaukee this November… “Be there or be square!”*               *Milwaukee icon, “The Fonz”

Michael Kenney
2011 WLA Conference Publicity Chair

2011 Best Practices for Government Libraries Offers Relevant Tips for All

E-Initiatives and e-Efforts: Expanding Our Horizons, 2011 Best Practices for Government Libraries published by LexisNexis, has something to offer all library & information professionals. Compiled by Marie Cadell, Senior Information Professional Consultant at LexisNexis, the 279-page document offers 84 articles on topics in 6 categories:
  • Embracing New Avenues of Communication
  • Adapting to New and Evolving Technologies
  • Altering Our Places and Spaces
  • Tackling Changing Expectations, Resources, and Job Descriptions
  • Preserving What We Have and Preparing for the Future
  • Expanding Horizons
Some articles include "Getting the Most from Social Media from the Least Investment of Time and Energy," "Kindle Lending Programs in Libraries," "Public Records Resources Online," and "Setting Yourself Up for Success."

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Nominations Due August 15

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee is accepting nominations for individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2011. Nominations must be submitted by August 15, 2011. Procedures and a nomination form are located HERE. Both the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame are programs of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation

Induction into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is granted to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the statewide improvement of library service in Wisconsin over a sustained period of time.  Individuals who have worked in and/or advocated for Wisconsin libraries will be considered.  Both living and deceased individuals will be considered. Final selection of inductees into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame will be made by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee. Nominations should be submitted to Larry T. Nix (Chair of the WLHC Steering Committee) as email attachments at by August 15.  For additional information please feel free to contact Larry T. Nix
--Larry Nix, Chair, WLHC Steering Committee

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Milwaukee Public Library's Green Roof Wins Mayor's Design Award

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Public Library’s green roof, high atop Central Library in downtown Milwaukee, has won another award – a Mayor Tom Barrett Design Award. The green roof was recognized in an awards ceremony on May 25, 2011 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

The Mayor’s annual design awards recognize design excellence throughout the City of Milwaukee. A project is selected for its contribution to the character of its surroundings, adding value to its neighborhood, and contributing to the urban fabric. MPL’s green roof was entered in the Spaces and Places category.

Library Director Paula A. Kiely accepted the award on behalf of MPL and the team that worked on the green roof design, construction, and ongoing updates and maintenance. The architect for the project is HGA Architects, and the contractor is F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co.

The Mayor’s Design Award is the latest public recognition for Central’s green roof. Earlier, MPL received awards from the Public Policy Forum and The Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee. For more information on MPL’s green roof, go to

Friday, July 01, 2011

WiscNet Issues Message on Governor's Partial Veto: Moving Forward

WiscNet sends the following message about the Governor's partial veto of the compromise on WiscNet and the UW's broadband grant that was reached in the legislature:

Over the past 22 years WiscNet has grown and evolved in response to our members’ needs. We (both the members and the folks that report to work here every day) have come to expect great, innovative advancements from our cooperative on a regular basis. The 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 that was signed into law by Governor Walker on Sunday will not change this. While it does present new challenges (and opportunities) we are committed to moving forward.

The law, though not ideal, does not prevent us from operating and despite some inaccurate reports; WiscNet will be around well into the future. As we naviage this new terrain, we will continue to focus on promoting changes that are necessary to make research, education and public service stronger for Wisconsin. We are working closely with the UW System to articulate the magnitude of the legislation on the community's behalf. We are continuing conversations with legislators and we are beginning conversations with many of the telcos. The good news is the meetings are happening two to three times a day. The bad news is the meetings are happening two to three times a day.

Your resilience and commitment to WiscNet and Wisconsin is what made a difference over the past month. As our plans firm up over the next few months the success of our organization will, once again, require your support. In the meantime, we will keep you up-to-date on our findings, interpretations and strategies and we will continue to work with great effort on the community's behalf to preserve the need to advance research, education and public service in Wisconsin. Stay tuned!