Friday, October 28, 2011

ALA Needs to Know the State of School Libraries to Help Sway Congress

On October 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee completed their mark-up (vote on) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA was passed by the committee but a key amendment supporting school libraries was withdrawn due to lack of support.

Now we ask for your help in gathering support for school libraries by sharing stories with the Washington Office about outrageously out of date school library materials and the consequences of under-funded school library programs. These stories will help influence members of the Senate if a school libraries amendment is re-introduced to ESEA on the Senate floor (which will likely happen).

These are the types of stories we are looking for:

  • Out of date school library materials, books or otherwise, (i.e. books referring to the USSR in the present tense)
  • Stories about under-staffed school libraries, or school libraries with no staff
  • Specific consequences from the lack of funding for a school library program
Twenty years ago, we asked for stories like these and they were powerful enough to gain us a strong library advocate in Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). Now, Sen. Reed wants to know the state of school libraries to help sway his colleagues much like he was 20 years ago. Time is running out to get school libraries into ESEA; your stories can make a difference.

Please email your stories to the ALA Washington Office by writing Ted Wegner ( and Jeff Kratz (

Ted Wegner
Grassroots Coordinator
American Library Association
Washington Office-Office of Government Relations
1615 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20009-2520
Phone: 202-628-8410
Fax: 202-628-8419

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Curtain is Rising on the 2011 WLA Conference, November 1 – 4, in Milwaukee

Question: The Wisconsin Library Association and Carnegie Hall.  What Do They Share in 2011?
Both the WLA and Carnegie Hall have set the standards by which others are measured; both bring people of all ages and backgrounds together; both represent professionalism at the highest level; both are steeped in tradition; both can claim an Andrew Carnegie connection; and both celebrate their 120th Anniversary in 2011!

Make Beautiful Music Together
Join your peers at the 2011 WLA Conference in celebrating WLA’s 120th Anniversary.  Begin your celebration by attending any of the excellent pre-conference sessions.  Sessions include Leading Through Communication; Lightning Fast Succession Planning; or Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like.  Then continue your celebration Tuesday evening with your friends and colleagues at the opening night Vendor Reception at the Hilton, featuring hors d’ oeuvres and a cash bar.

Carnegie Hall…Frontier Airlines Center & Exhibition Hall…Both Strike a Chord
Don’t get me wrong, both are beautiful halls.  But let’s be real here…Can Yo-Yo Ma give you a great deal on RFID technology?  Has Placido Domingo ever offered you advice on an architectural upgrade to your library?  And don’t even get me started on Itzhack Perlman…
The reality is, with over 70 vendors taking part in this year’s WLA Conference Exhibits, you can open your ears to the tune of great savings, exclusively for conference attendees!  You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the latest products and services your library users need.  And while you’re in the exhibition area, you can bid on Silent Auction items, also located in the exhibit hall.  You’ll also be happy to note that the breaks in the exhibit hall do not conflict with the many excellent programs!

Conduct Some Business…Create Some Harmony
After a day of orchestrating your schedule to take in top tier programming and business meetings, relax and unwind with old friends at the alumni receptions hosted by UW-Milwaukee SOIS at the Pabst Mansion or the UW Madison SLIS at the Hilton. And if you’re into “tweeting” may we direct you to the Tweet-up and
Meet-up at the Miller Time Pub?

Say Bravo to the WLAF’s SPiNGALACTIC Extravaganza
Attend an exciting and fun-filled evening of entertainment at SPiN Milwaukee in the trendy yet Historic Third Ward for the WLAF Fundraiser: SPiNGALACTIC!  Enjoy friends and friendly competition at this unique 16,500 square foot table tennis social club, which sports 12 top quality table tennis courts.  Your $35 ticket covers table tennis, one drink, light snacks and a $20 charitable contribution to WLAF to benefit the campaign for Wisconsin Libraries.  Cash bar available and shuttle service provided.

If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it!
We know we’ve got a good thing going here.  With the experience and expertise of 120 years to draw from, the WLA has learned how to put together a conference that meets and exceeds all expectations.   It’s our forte!  We promise you great sessions, great exhibits, dynamic tours and a wonderful opportunity to connect with peers from other Wisconsin libraries. We’ve got excellent keynote speakers that will make you think; you’ll create, laugh and learn; and the host of receptions, parties, tours and awards we offer will help you gain new energy and insights.  BTW, our host hotel, the Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel, is recognized as the city’s finest hotel…why shouldn’t it host the state’s finest library professionals?
For those of you already registered, I know I’m just singing to the choir, but for any who’ve had any reservations about attending; take note… whether a fan of Carnegie Hall or a Carnegie Library, the curtain goes up on the 2011 WLA Conference next week for the performance of the year!  I hope to see you in Milwaukee.  (Tux optional)
--Michael Kenney, Maestro
2011 WLA Conference Publicity Chair

Friday, October 21, 2011

SB 95 Passes Senate

The State Senate passed SB-95 today (see previous blog post about this issue) without amending it to delete the provision that removes the 25 percent limit on computer purchases with Common School Fund dollars. The vote was 17-16 along straight party lines. Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered an amendment to remove the Common School Fund part of the bill, and she said that she had been contacted by library media specialists asking for the amendment.

Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who authored the bill, spoke against the amendment saying that school districts need flexibility with the funds and seemed to believe that digital resources could not be purchased with Common School Fund money. The amendment failed on a voice vote.

SB-95 will now be sent to the Assembly.  There already is an Assembly companion bill, AB-130, in the Committee on Education. That committee failed to pass the bill when it voted in early June. Given the subject matter, SB-95 should go to the same committee, and there could be another vote. Or, either bill could be pulled from the committee through a parliamentary maneuver during a floor session. SB-95 could conceivably be referred to a different committee for further action. At any rate, both the Senate and Assembly must pass the exact same bill before it goes to the governor, and SB-95 has not been through the Assembly.

Stay tuned for more information on this important matter.
--Michael Blumenfeld, Lobbyist, Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Amy Lutzke to Discuss Wisconsin Authors on WPR Friday, October 21

Set your alarm extra early this Friday, October 21 to hear Amy Lutzke, co-chair of the WLA/READ Literary Awards Committee and librarian at Fort Atkinson Public Library, on Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin Show  from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. Cardin will interview Lutzke about Wisconsin's fabulous authors and their works. Join the conversation, coinciding with the the Wisconsin Book Festival, which continues through the weekend.

Letters about Literature Contest for Young Readers

JEFFERSON – A book is more than just a collection of words. A book can have a direct and concrete impact on a life. For children and youth, a book can help them transcend difficult situations — like bullying, peer pressure or prejudice, or help them cope with loss and disappointment.
Letters about Literature (LAL) is a writing contest for young readers in grades 4 – 12, sponsored by the Library of Congress and Wisconsin Center for the Book. Students write a letter to an author of a fiction or nonfiction book, a short story, poem, essay or speech describing how the work changed the students’ view of the world or themselves. Entries are judged at both the state and national levels and prizes are awarded for the best letter at various grade levels. 
LAL awards thousands of dollars each year through state and national prizes, as well as LAL library grants. Last year, 70,000 young people from around the United States entered including more than 750 from Wisconsin.
Details for the program can be found on the Web site: The site also outlines lesson plans for teachers who want to incorporate the contest into their curriculum.
The postmark deadline for submissions is January 6, 2012.
Contact Mary Lou Santovec, Coordinator, 948 S. Main St., Jefferson WI 53549; or 920-674-5280 for more information.

Yet Another Measure Threatens the Common School Fund

Senate Bill 95, a school reform bill, threatens the Common School Fund by eliminating the current 25 percent limit on the amount of CSF money that may be used to purchase school library computers and related software.

The full Senate is scheduled to vote on this bill at 11:00 a.m. today, Thursday, October 20.

Please contact your senator right away and request an amendment to SB-95 that would remove the provisions in the bill that relate to the Common School Fund.  Thank you for your help!
Points to raise:

  • The common school fund is the major source of school library resources, both print and electronic. These resources are critical to a quality education for our students to prepare them for work and college.
  • It is important to uphold the constitutional intent of the Common School Fund for its intended purposes. School libraries in Wisconsin continue to be a cornerstone of a strong educational system.
  • Direct them to the updated Common School Fund recommendations and clarify what the funds can be spent on. This recently updated list takes into account the need for the purchase of learning resources in various formats. For example, Kindles are actually allowable outside of the 25 percent cap.
  • Cite the research that libraries staffed with qualified library professionals with strong collections of materials raise student achievement. Qualified library professionals are able to determine the appropriate resources for their library within the revised CSF standards.
BY PHONE: Call the legislative hotline toll-free at 1-800-362-WISC (9472) (266-9960 in the Madison area) to leave a message for your senator.  This hotline can also tell you who your State Senator is.

BY E-MAIL or PHONE:  Visit and click on "Who Represents Me?"  After entering your address, your representative and senator will appear along with a phone number or link to email them.  If you send e-mail, include your name and mailing address in the body of the message, or your concerns may not be recorded.

Generally, senators' e-mail addresses use the following format:  (example:
--Allison Kaplan and Kathy Sanders, Legislative Committee Co-chairs, Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

OSRT Honors Ruth Sias with the Frances de Usabel Outreach Services Award

The Outreach Services Roundtable has chosen Ruth Sias as the 2011 recipient of the Frances de Usabel award.

Ruth Sias is the Children's Librarian at the Goodman South Madison branch of the Madison Public Library. She was chosen for exemplary work with children and families in local hospitals. Ruth was nominated for the award by Dipesh Navsaria, the director of the University of Wisconsin Pediatric Early Literacy Projects.

According to Dr. Navsaria, Sias was instrumental in developing an outreach program to promote reading and literacy to children and families at local clinics. In addition to providing direct services, she trained volunteers to engage children and parents in stories using effective modeling and reading techniques. After working closely with hospital and university professionals to make this program successful, she initiated plans to expand the program to reach more families in her service area and beyond. Furthermore, she has shared her experiences as a conference presenter, teaching other librarians about this innovative collaboration.

Sias will accept her award at the WLA Awards & Honors Banquet on Thursday, November 3 in Milwaukee.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Paul Nelson to Receive WLA President’s Award

Paul Nelson, adjunct assistant professor at UW-Madison SLIS and retired director of Middleton Public Library, will receive the WLA President’s Award at the WLA Conference Awards & Honors banquet on November 3, 2011, at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
Nelson, who has been in WLA’s legislative leadership for many years and was WLA President in 1998, will end his most recent term as the legislative committee chair at the end of 2011. His leadership was especially important this year as libraries faced some of the biggest challenges in memory, including budget cuts to library programs and institutions, threats to WiscNet and the elimination of maintenance of effort funding requirements for public libraries. 
Nelson’s efforts to keep people informed and motivated to advocate for libraries extends beyond official legislative alerts and communications.  His “Retiring Guy’s Digest” blog provides his personal, behind-the-scenes commentary about library and political activities in Wisconsin. There he often uses humor and a well-honed sense of irony to inspire, enlighten or even spark outrage. It has become a “must-read” blog for library supporters – or anyone - who loves politics and analysis of current issues.
The WLA Board and President Rhonda Puntney thank Paul Nelson for his exemplary legislative leadership during 2011.
The WLA President’s Award is given at the discretion of the WLA President and the Board of Directors.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Common School Fund Threatened: Contact Legislators!

Legislation related to nursing home regulation, introduced as companion bills AB-302 and SB-212, will reduce funding available to the school libraries, if passed. The Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association (WEMTA) says the legislation could cost the Common School Fund (CSF) at least $1.5 million per year because it diverts fines and forfeitures on nursing homes from the CSF. 

The Assembly Committee on Aging and Long Term Care will vote on AB-302 on Thursday, October 20, at 9:00 a.m. in room 400 Northeast of the State Capitol. The Senate Committee will meet that same date and time in room 330 Southwest.
If the bills are approved by committee, they go straight to the full Assembly and Senate.It is very important to reach out to legislators in both the Assembly and Senate, and if you are represented by someone on the committees who vote on October 20, your call is essential.
Assembly Committee members are as follows: Representatives Dan Knodl (R-Germantown, District 24), Warren Petryk (R-Elva, District 93), Karl Van Roy (R-Green Bay, District 90), Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls, District 68), Peggy Krusick (D-Milwaukee, District 7) and Elizabeth Coggs (D-Milwaukee, District 10).
Senate Commitee members are: Senators  Pam Galloway (R-Wausau, District 29) Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin, District 28), Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa, District 5), Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee, District 3), Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse, District 13)
Key points to address with legislators:
• Nursing home regulation reform is a worthy goal, but such reform should not penalize school libraries and the school children who count on them. 
• Any proceeds from fines or forfeitures should go into the Common School Fund. Though unintended, this bill costs the CSF $1.5 million per year.
• We respectfully request that AB-302 and SB-212 be amended to require that all fine and forfeiture proceeds collected thereto be deposited into the Common School Fund.
You can email your legislators directly from the WLA Legislative Alert center, or get their telephone numbers there. Type in your home address, and it will tell you who represents you and direct your message appropriately.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Penworthy Announces WLA Attendee Sponsorship Award

The Penworthy Company is pleased to announce Julia Davis of Kiel Public Library in Kiel, WI as the winner of our 19th annual WLA Attendee Sponsorship Award. Every year, we award a Wisconsin librarian with a $400 sponsorship award to attend WLA’s annual conference, which holds programs to refresh library services, boost professional skills, and help librarians make connections. Congratulations Julia!

WLA thanks The Penworthy Company for their wonderful support of WLA through this sponsorship and decades of exhibiting at the WLA Conference.

The Penworthy Company makes buying children’s books the pleasure it ought to be® with an exceptional selection, sturdy Penworthy Prebound Books and a level of personal service you can trust. Based in Milwaukee, WI for 29 years, we’re proud to support the librarians in our home state.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Case for Attending the 2011 WLA Conference: The Facts…Just the Facts

‘Dragnet' theme music 

This is the city. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ll work here November 1 – 4. I’ll carry a (name) badge.

The story I’m about to impart is true. Only some names have been changed to protect the innocent.

My name is Kenney.  It was Wednesday, October 12th. It was sunny. I was working the day watch out of PR when a call came in from the chief.

“We need to inform everyone about the outstanding line-up of speakers and events taking place at this year’s 2011 WLA Conference, and we’ve got to do it now, because time is of the essence,” said Chief Bellin.

“I’m on it, Chief,” I replied.  And here is my report:

The Pre-Conference Line-up  

Three sessions: Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like; Leading Through Communication; Lightning Fast Succession Planning

(Vendor Reception on opening night!)

Keynote Address by the Internationally Sought After Stephen Abram

Hear Abram’s dynamic presentation entitled FrankenLibraries or Librarytopia:  Our Choice.

Exhibit A:  The Frontier Airlines Center Exhibit Hall

Over 70 exhibitors in one convenient location.   It will also be the scene of the Silent Auction, where there are sure to be some great steals!

Over 80 Educational Sessions
Training sessions covering the latest information and trends in the field of librarianship.

Tours, Connections, Mug Shots

Krug Rare Books Room of the historic Milwaukee County Public Library Central Branch; the Milwaukee County Zoo Library and the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Also the WLAF Fundraiser: SPiNGALACTIC! At SPiN Milwaukee for an evening in support of the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries and the WLA Foundation.

Be sure to attend alumni receptions hosted by UW-Milwaukee SOIS at the Pabst Mansion or the UW Madison SLIS at the Hilton.  Also partake in a frosty mug at the Tweet-up and Meet-up at the Miller Time Pub.

WLA Awards & Honors Banquet. The annual celebration in recognition of those professionals who symbolize the best in librarianship and support of libraries.

The facilities

Check-in at The Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel at affordable WLA conference rates! Click here to make your room reservations.

The fax…just the fax?

Heck no!  Just click here to sign-up today. (Or visit

Connect.  Find solutions. Celebrate successes.  Refresh your perspective. Break out with new ideas.  Enjoy world class speakers. Think, create, laugh and learn…and return home the better for it!

So that’s my report.  Not to over-simplify it, but in this officer’s opinion, to not attend would be “Dumb, duh dumb, dumb!”

Over & out,
--Michael Kenney, 2011 WLA Conference Publicity Chair

Library as Incubator Project Launched by SLIS Students

The co-founders of the Library as Incubator Project have launched the project’s virtual “hub,”  Three UW-Madison SLIS students are the project managers: Laura Damon-Moore, Erinn Batykefer, and Christina Endres. 

The Library as Incubator Project seeks to learn how artists (writers, visual artists and performing artists) use libraries in the research, creation and promotion of their artistic work. The presenters are in the process of creating a web resource that highlights artists and projects that have been "incubated," in part, by library collections, spaces and/or staff. It will also serve as a resource for librarians who want to better serve artists patrons through programming, collections, and partnerships.
Damon-Moore, Batykefer and Endres are presenting a WLA Conference program about their project  November 4 in Milwaukee at Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 10:30 a.m.
Learn more about the Library as Incubator Project at the conference, or subscribe online via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feed on the website to get updates and announcements.
Facebook: Library as Incubator Project
Twitter: IArtLibraries

Monday, October 10, 2011

Foundation Silent Auction Seeks Donated Items

On behalf of the WLA Foundation, I want to remind all conference attendees about the Silent Auction at the WLA conference in Milwaukee.  Once again this year we will have both an on-site and an online silent auction.  Last year’s auctions raised more than $4,000 for the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries and with your help we should be able to surpass that amount this year!

We need your help in two ways:  first, by donating items for the auction and, second, by bidding on the items either online or in person at the conference.

Donated items that have created bidding excitement at past auctions include (but are not limited to –creativity is appreciated!):
Fine arts, including jewelry, paintings, sculpture, pottery
Products or services that a library or librarians would find useful (story hour, consulting)
Entertainment packages (theater or sporting event tickets, golf packages)
Hotel packages (e.g., weekend getaways with one or more meals included)
Theme baskets (a great and economical gift donation for library staff to create collectively!)
Trips inside or outside Wisconsin
Collectibles, antiques and memorabilia

Keep the following guidelines in mind as you consider donating items for the auction:
Please donate items that are $50 or higher in value
Items are tax-deductible as charitable contributions at their actual value
WLAF owns the items once contributed

In addition to the satisfaction of raising money to support the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries and adding to the fun of Silent Auction bidders, those who donate auction items will benefit by:
Having your name listed on the bid sheet and on the receipt provided to the winning bidder.
Name recognition on the conference Web site auction information
Receiving recognition on the WLA website

So, don’t forget to donate those “unused” or handmade treasures you have on hand to the Silent Auction held during the conference.  Visit the WLA Conference Silent Auction site for more information and access to the Auction Contribution forms:

See you in Milwaukee!
--Joe Rice, 2011 Silent Auction Chair

WLA and SRLAAW Support Public Library District Enabling Legislation

With much yet to be done, WLA and the System and Resource AdministratorsAssociation of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) have been working the introduction of on enabling legislation to authorize districts as an option for public library governance and funding in Wisconsin.
There are currently four options for public library organization and governance under state law; public library districts would be an alternative choice. In very basic terms, a public library district is defined as an independent taxing authority that is authorized by state law to establish and operate a public library.  According to statistics collected by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, nearly 15% of U.S. public libraries are organized as districts.
As are the four current methods of public library governance, the formation of a public library district is a matter of local choice.
The WLA Board and SRLAAW has endorsed these recommendations and encouraged the public library community to review them carefully in order to gain a clear understanding of what is being proposed. 
Paul Nelson, chair of WLA’s legislative committee, and Doug Baker, SRLAAW district committee chair, will present information about districts at the WLA Conference program “What’s New Under the Dome,” Thursday, November 3, 4:15 to 5:00 p.m. in Room 201A of the Frontier Airlines Center, Milwaukee. (Other legislative issues will be also be discussed, and Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent, DPI, and Julie Schneider, Federal Legislative Advocate, will also present.)
Representatives of the district committee will attend the board meetings of the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) and the Wisconsin Small Libraries Section (WISL) at the WLA Conference to discuss the proposal.

WLA Election Results

The WLA Nominations & Elections Committee has tabulated the results of the 2011 WLA elections.  On behalf of the WLA Board of Directors and the Nominations & Elections Committee, I would like to congratulate all candidates for their willingness to present themselves in service to the membership.   The winners of contested elections are indicated with asterisks. Uncontested elections merely list the name of the candidate who will take office.
Again, thank you to all those individuals who were willing to step forward in service to the profession.  Your colleagues are grateful for your leadership.
WLA Vice-President/President-Elect
*Paula Ganyard 301
Julie Schneider 294
WLA ALA Councilor
*Marge Loch-Wouters 423
Lynn Stainbrook 183
WLA Foundation Board of Directors
*Cheryl Becker 364
Nikki Busch 236
Association of Wisconsin Special Librarians (AWSL) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Megan Wiseman
AWSL Secretary
Amy O’Shea
Government Information Round Table (GIRT) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Eileen Snyder
GIRT Secretary
Karen Probst
GIRT Planning Committee
Nyama Marsh
Library User Education Round Table (LUERT) Secretary
Cynthia Huebschen
LUERT Member-At-Large
Karen Eckburg 12
*Joseph Hardenbrook 22
Shannon Schultz 17
New Members Round Table (NMRT) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Katharine Clark
Outreach Services Round Table (OSRT) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Cassie Payne
Readers Section (READ) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Brett Rohlwing
Reference & Adult Services Section (RASS) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Melissa Kazmer
Resource Sharing Round Table (RSRT) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Christine Barth
Support Staff Section (SSS) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Kelly Kroes 12
Katie Skull 1
*Jennifer Williams 20
SSS Secretary
Jodi Bennett
SSS Public Library Director-at-large
Chris Raulusonis
Technical Services Section (TSS) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Inese Christman 20
*Cheryl Nessman 44
TSS Secretary
Leah Ujda
Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians (WAAL) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Kathy Myers
WAAL Secretary
*Joshua Hickman 100
Emily Rogers 63
Sheila Stoeckel
Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians (WAPL) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Linda Vincent
WAPL Director
Katharine Clark 114
*Denise Anton Wright 201
Wisconsin Genealogy & Local History Round Table (WIGLHR) Secretary
Anne Kasuboski
Wisconsin Library Trustees & Friends (WLTF) Chair
Carol Chapman
WLTF Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Carole Edland
WLTF Liaison to the WLA Board
Alice Sturzl
Wisconsin Small Libraries Section (WISL) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Lee Schauer
WISL Secretary
Edie Phillips
WISL 1st Year Director
Laura Rose
Youth Services Section (YSS) Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Sue Abrahamson
YSS Secretary
Jennifer McNaughton
YSS Director-at-Large
*Ellen Jepson 56
*Anna Haase Krueger 69

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Meet the Interns! Susie Seefelt Lesieutre and Laura Damon-Moore

The WLAF has hired two graduate students from UW-Madison SLIS as public relations interns for the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries. We are excited to have individuals of their caliber working for WLAF. Read all about them in their profiles below:

Name:  Susie Seefelt Lesieutre
Professional Status:  1st year SLIS student at UW Madison (going part time). Worked as an ESL instructor for many years after obtaining a Master’s in TESOL. Completed further graduate work in publishing and communications and then worked for several years as an editor, both in-house and freelance, focusing on independent and academic press publications.

I decided to pursue the MLS because I felt that the program would build nicely on my previous professions of teaching ESL and editing. And I love being around books and reference materials (but see “aha” moment below).
The biggest “aha” experience of my SLIS education so far is that “digital” defines the profession to a much greater degree than I had expected. I was amazed to learn that academic libraries now often share large database collections that are packaged and sold by vendors, and that as a result of this libraries are having to cancel print journal subscriptions by the thousands and are placing books and other printed matter in remote shelving. Although I am sad to think of things getting canceled and tucked away out of sight, I also think this is a fascinating time to be in librarianship: I may no longer be helping users find books, but I will still be helping them find what they need by navigating new and innovative ways of storing and retrieving information. And I appreciate even more the set of mid-1950s Encylopaedia Britannica I own, which my husband, the eBook Reader fan, threatens every now and then to place in his own version of remote shelving—boxes in the basement.
Professionally, in 3-5 years, I hope to be finished with my degree and working in a library on the UW campus, possibly in a reference or library curation position.
Something interesting about me (not related to libraries): My husband and I adopted our daughter from Guatemala when she was an infant. She’s now 7-years-old and is in the second grade. We have been to Guatemala once since picking her up, to visit with the birth family—an amazing, poignant trip.
Favorite thing to do when I’m not working/going to school: traveling with my family.
What I hope to contribute during my internship: By drawing on my background in language and communication studies, I hope to effectively compose monthly emails for the WLA that will contain recommendations for librarians across the state on how to build advocacy activities into their monthly calendar of events.

Name: Laura Damon-Moore
Professional Status: Graduate Student and Office Assistant to the UW–Madison General Library System
I decided to pursue the MLS because I thrive on conversations and learning about new people, new ideas, new technologies, you name it. I enjoy being an educator outside of a traditional classroom. I am a firm believer in interdisciplinary/cross-curricular education and I think that libraries can serve as a fabulous bridge between disciplines and schools of thought.
The biggest “aha” experience of my SLIS education so far: My fieldwork at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville. It realized for me a love for working with young adults and teens of which I was not previously aware.
Professionally, in 3-5 years, I hope to be working! Many options and ideas: teen/youth services, undergraduate services, library communications, instruction and programming, etc.
Something interesting about me (not related to libraries): I was a theatre major in college! This is coming in handy when teaching library workshops! I also worked in the energetic world of student affairs for two years before library school, which has informed a lot of how I approach library work today. Oh, and my hometown library is Cole Library – a joint-use academic and public library in the tiny town of Mount Vernon, Iowa. That has had quite an impact on my view of libraries, too!
Favorite thing to do when I’m not working/going to school: Read (right now? George R. R. Martin). Do yoga. Take walks by the Madison lakes. Enjoy my first year of married life with Jim!
What I hope to contribute during my internship: An interesting look at Wisconsin libraries for a general public audience. I really want to make library users and non-users aware of the awesome things going on in our state's libraries.

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, 2012

Wisconsin Teen Wins Step Up to the Plate @ your library Grand Prize

CHICAGO – The American Library Association reports that twelve-year-old Kelsey Willems, Green Bay, will soon be on her way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., thanks to the resources at her school library and some quality family time with her father.

In the grand prize drawing for the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program, Baseball Hall of Fame Library Director Jim Gates pulled Willems’ entry from the 1,000 eligible entries baseball fans nationwide sent in over the spring and summer.  For her win, Willems and her father will head to the Hall of Fame at the end of the month to attend its World Series Gala event and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the library and archives.

Developed by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Hall of Fame, Step Up to the Plate officially wrapped up its sixth season with the national drawing. The program teamed up two American classics - baseball and libraries - to promote libraries and librarians as essential information resources. People of all ages were encouraged to use the print and electronic resources available at their library to answer a series of trivia questions developed by the Hall of Fame’s library staff.

Willems’ language arts teacher and her school librarian introduced the Step Up to the Plate program to students.  Students were encouraged to practice researching skills at home by completing the answers and submitting them for the grand-prize drawing.

Willems’ had an additional resource at home in her father, Robert, a lifelong Milwaukee Brewers fan. Father and daughter worked to answer the questions together and used the skills she had learned at her school library to verify the answers online.

“It’s a good year to be a both a Brewers and library fan,” said Willems’ mother. “Kelsey and her sister always use their school library, and as a family we visit the public library once a month.”

Step Up to the Plate @ your library is part of the Campaign for America’s Libraries ( <> ), ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a Partner in the Campaign for America’s Libraries, is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of the game and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.

Other Campaign Partners are Carnegie Corporation of New York, Disney Book Group, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Lifetime Networks and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine

For more information, visit <> . Megan McFarlane
Campaign Coordinator
The Campaign for America's Libraries

Jeff Dawson, Two Rivers Library Director, Presents at Gates Foundation Event

The Lester Public Library's use of photography and social media were on stage at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Libraries initiative Peer Learning meeting in Seattle on September 20. According to Jeff Dawson, director of the library,  the project has "transcended technology to create an emotional bond between the library and the community it serves."

To read more about the library's project and the Global Libraries initiative, see Jeff's October 5 article in the Herald Times Reporter.