Friday, June 15, 2012

WLA's Blog Has Moved!

WLA has a new website at and a new blog.

Some features of the site include:
  • New design to improve overall look and usability of site (in case you didn't notice)
  • New sections on careers and marketing
  • Search box to help you find what you need
  • Better organization of favorites, like the WLA Literary Awards winners
  • Improved integration with MyWLA - your online profile and other features from MemberClicks
Because the site is built in Joomla!, an open-source content management system, it will be easier to make changes in the future. We look forward to your feedback to help us improve usability, select new features and build content.

Take our quick MyWLA poll about your first thoughts.

If you have comments about things you like, ideas for improvements, or questions about some aspect of the site, please use the comments feature of this blog article. Or, email Lisa Strand, WLA Executive Director, at

Stay tuned for more improvements and added features in the coming months.

Thanks to the many individuals who helped build this website:
WLA Communications Advisory Committee (Barbara Kelly, Chair; Pete Gilbert, Karen Dunn, Tasha Saecker and Julie Fricke)
WLA Foundation Campaign Action Committee (Peter Gilbert, Chair; Martha Gammons, Mark Ibach, Kris Stabo, Lia Vellardita, Anne Rauh, Valerie Edwards, Pat Eschmann)
Joy Schwarz, Casey Schacher, Cheryl Nessman, unit leaders, and many other members who contributed insights about the usability of the site (an ongoing project)
And especially, thanks to Susan Lewandowski, The SWC Group, for putting it all together.

Friday, May 25, 2012

WeLead Mentorship Program Now Accepting Applications

MADISON, Wis. – The WeLead Task Force is seeking applicants for its revised initiative to identify and mentor four new or emerging librarians.  Established in 2004 by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA), the Task Force’s mission is to foster leadership skills in a select few members of the next generation of library professionals, be they public, academic, school or special librarians.  Chosen participants will receive financial support to attend WLA conferences, be assigned a designated mentor, and be provided professional development opportunities.

Eligible applicants must be students, paraprofessionals and professionals currently in the field of library science and have demonstrated potential to be future library leaders.  To qualify for this program applicants may either 1) never been a member of the Wisconsin Library Association or 2) have been a member for three years or less (not including student memberships).  More information is available at the online application.

Since WeLead began, three classes of protégés have completed the program.  A member of the first class, Jennifer Snoek-Brown, a Reference & Instruction Librarian at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, notes, “I appreciated and enjoyed my WeLead experience during my three years as part of that initial cohort; I appreciate my WeLead experience even more now, looking back.”  She goes on, “WeLead provided me a mentor I am still in contact with today; colleagues who became friends; a path into professional committees and further friendships I could not have anticipated; support for ideas and passions I wanted to explore but didn't know quite how to get started; in short, a beginning.”

There have been changes to the program since that initial class.  The revised WeLead Initiative now requires only a two year, rather than a three year commitment.  As a result, mentors and protégés will have the opportunity to build their relationship while focusing on a WLA committee assignment, which now occurs within the first year of the program.  Potential mentors, who also receive complementary registrations for the WLA conference, are encouraged to apply.

Another former protégé, Katharine Clark (Madison Public Library-Sequoya Branch), concludes, “Being a part of the WeLead program was an outstanding experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to meet librarians from all over the state and become involved with WLA in a more direct way than just paying my membership dues. I continue to be impressed with the supportive people I've met through WLA and look forward to attending conferences and serving on committees in the future.

If, like Katharine, you’re looking for an opportunity to become more involved in a professional organization - to grow as a librarian and a leader - please consider applying for this program.  The application deadline is July 31, 2012.

For more information, please contact Pamela O’Donnell, Chair of the WeLead Task Force for the Wisconsin Library Association by telephone, 608-263-2014, or email:

WLA Foundation Scholarships Available: Apply by June 15

Save yourself some cash; apply for a continuing or library education scholarship by June 15.  The WLA Foundation offers 2 continuing education and 4 library education scholarships each year. If you are working towards your MLS or need extra support to attend an upcoming conference, take advantage of the opportunity to earn one of these scholarships.

In addition, some WLA units offer grants to attend the WLA Conference. Deadlines for these grants vary.

Awards Nominations Due June 1: Recognize Excellence!

Recognize excellence in libraries by submitting a nomination for a WLA award by June 1. Librarians, trustees, friends, community leaders and libraries are all eligible to be nominated for one or more of these awards:
  • Library of the Year
  • DEMCO/WLA Librarian of the Year
  • Citation of Merit
  • Special Service Award
  • Highsmith Award
  • Muriel Fuller Award
  • Trustee of the Year
Check out more information about each award, including nomination forms, and help WLA recognize excellence!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Your WLA Hotel Accommodations Now!

Book Your WLA Hotel Accommodations Now!

The 2012 Wisconsin Library Association Conference, “Libraries: For the Common Good,” is quickly approaching!  Mark your calendars for October 23-26 for a great educational sessions, opportunities to network with your colleagues and a chance to visit with exhibitors.

Hotel lodging will be available at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse, located at 200 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, 54601.

You can reserve online or by calling the hotel.

To reserve online, go to Radisson Book a Hotel at (this is the link for Radisson‚s Book a Hotel/Redeem Gold Points).  The online reservation promotional code is: WILIBR

Under Book a Hotel/Redeem Gold Points, enter your date for Check-in and Check-out plus # of Rooms, Adults, Children
Below is a box labeled Promotional Code: enter WILIBR
Far right of Check-in and Check-Out, click on Find Rate (this provides the standard hotel rate of $129, plus upgrades)

To call in, phone the Radisson Hotel La Crosse at (608) 784-6680 or their national toll-free reservation line at (800) 333-3333.

The deposit policy for individual reservations is one night (plus 13.5% tax) at the time your reservation is made.  Cancellation is 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid penalties.  Parking for overnight guests is complimentary.

Your reservation in the WLA Conference Room Block supports the conference and the Association!

Rhonda Puntney Gould
2012 WLA Conference Publicity Chair

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grand Opening: Prairie du Sac Public Library

Join the Prairie du Sac Public Library in his new location and under its new name:  Ruth Culver Community Library, 540 Water Street. 

The library plans a day long celebration with special activities on Saturday, June 16, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.: 

  • 9:30 a.m. Ribbon Cutting & Dedication
  • 10:00 a.m. Music by Bob and Marita Kelter
  • 11:00 a.m. Little Miss Ann (Musical Children's Performer)
    Sponsored by Tracey and Patrick Taggart, II
  • 12:30 p.m. Music by Matt Brennan and an ensemble of students
  • 12:30 p.m. Meet Scoopie!
  • 1:45 p.m. Music by Wrannock (Mike Mossman & Lisa Hartmann) 
Congratulations to the Prairie du Sac library and community!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bob Bocher, Retiring But Not Entirely (Whew)

As most probably know, Bob Bocher, Library Technology Coordinator at DPI, is retiring in mid-June. While we had an informal party for him (and colleagues Roxane Bartelt and David Weinhold) at the recent WAPL Conference, we are heartened to learn that he'll continue helping libraries through his work as an ALA OITP Fellow. Here's a tribute to Bob in a recent ALA District Dispatch:

There's a comment in the post about Wisconsinites liking beer. Everyone knows we only drink it because Bob likes it.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Don't miss the Lake Superior Libraries Symposium (and Taco Bar)!

Time is running out to join the Lake Superior Libraries Symposium (and enjoy Glorious Taco Bar.)

The 2012 Lake Superior Libraries Symposium would like to extend an invitation to our inaugural conference on June 1st, 2012 at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior, WI.  Join archivists, technologists, librarians, directors, technicians, and students from around Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Just consider all of the experiences, resources, and ideas that are being gathered for this unique conference!   Attendees will:

·     SEE ELI NEIBERGER, 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, offer a keynote address on the future of providing materials and services entitled “Access Schmaccess.”
·     EXPERIENCE FOUR SESSIONS of informational presentations full of dynamic content featuring all aspects of librarianship. Sessions on digitization, leadership, assessment, children’s literature, collaboration, web-design, long term planning, and more.
·     NETWORK THANKS TO ample time devoted to networking and sharing ideas This is an opportunity unlike any other to collaborate, develop relationships, and help create a stronger future for libraries. Imagine this:
o   Minnesotans shaking hands with Wisconsinites!
o   Librarians from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan speaking to you! 
o   Academic librarians and public librarians exchanging pleasantries!
o   Archivists, Catalogers, and Reference Librarians conversing!
·     SHARE WITH COLLEAGUES because our Call for Posters has been extended!  Take a minute to sign up and share your research, organization, or future plans.
·     EAT DELUXE TACO BAR, an amazing amalgamation of beans, tortillas, tacos, spices, lettuce, proteins, and joy!
·     BE FRUGAL AND economical! all of this (and more) for the low, low price of 25 Dollars! A full conference experience for a webinar price! Penny Pinchers Rejoice!

So, what are you waiting for?  Register by phone by calling 715-468-2815, or online at via the WITC Classfinder.  Registration, due to fiduciary and organizational structure, requires personal information; all information is secured and used only by the state Wisconsin to better serve its community.

For more information, visit our site at

Questions, comments, suggestions and condemnations should be directed to

The Lake Superior Libraries Symposium is marketed, staffed and supported by the collaborative efforts of librarians from University of Minnesota-Duluth, WITC, UW-Superior, Superior Public Library, the College of St. Scholastica, Superior Middle School, Northern Waters Library Service, and many others!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Support Staff & Circulation Conference is May 23

Working Together - Blending, Merging, Transforming - is the theme for the May 23 one-day conference sponsored by the Support Staff and Circulation Services Section of WLA in Appleton at the DJ Bordini Business & Industry Center.

For just $45 for members ($60 for non-members), you'll get a full day of programming on current topics in library management - and some just for fun:
  • The Tattooed Librarian (Keynote)
    Amelia Osterud is the Director of Information Services and Circulation Librarian at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, as well as being the author of "The Tattooed Lady: A History." Join Osterud for a discussion about her research, the research process, and the long road to publishing a book that seeks to clear up the mystery and misinformation surrounding tattooed ladies in the historical and scholarly record.
  • All Together Now: Library Advocacy, Front Line Service, and the Wisconsin Library Community
    Ron McCabe, WLA President, will describe how we can work together to demonstrate the vital importance of the services that libraries provide. 
Other topics:
  • Implementing RFID Technology: From Tagging to Automated Materials Handling
  • Understanding and Serving Patrons on the Autism Spectrum
  • Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) Access and Navigation
  • ILS Transition From III Millennium to Koha
  • ResCarta: Create, Collect and Display Local History
  • Chair Yoga
  • Overdrive and eReaders in a Public Library
  • Telling the Library's Story

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Iowa Library Association-ACRL Spring 2012 Conference Invitation

We received the following invitation for those of you interested in the Iowa Library Association - ACRL Spring Conference:

Registration for the ILA-ACRL Spring 2012 Conference is now open, and we wish to extend an invitation to the librarians in neighboring states. We will be meeting on May 25th in Decorah on the beautiful Luther College campus.

You can find the registration information, including a link to the online registration form, at . Be sure to check out the Registration info, schedule and other details link for a sneak peak of the concurrent sessions and information about accommodations in Decorah.

Members of other state library associations may sign up at the "Member" rate for the conference.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dining and Tourism During WAAL 2012

The WAAL Conference, taking place next week at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, not only provides you with excellent professional programming, but a chance to unwind in luxurious accommodations near diverse local dining options and attractions.

For dining opportunities during the WAAL Conference in Lake Geneva try the following link:

Use the sidebar for a breakdown of dining by categories such as ethnic, fine dining, fast food, etc.

To explore activities, attractions, and shopping destinations in the Lake Geneva area visit
--Charles Elftmann, WAAL Conference Co-chair

Friday, March 30, 2012

Governor Walker Signs AB 224; New Options for Library and School Fund Management

Assembly Bill 224 was signed into law by Governor Walker on March 29. The bipartisan bill, authored by State Representatives Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) and Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) gives schools and libraries greater flexibility in the management of gifts and grants to their institutions.

Formerly, the state law had been amended to give public libraries the authority to transfer gifts and grants to a related foundation. This new law, Act 163, would expand the authority to schools and allow both types of institutions to transfer funds to community foundations. There are many benefits of working with a local community foundation, not least of which is their expertise in managing investment funds.

Read the complete news release from the Wisconsin Legislature.

For more on this topic, don't miss the WAPL Conference program, "Making the Most of Donor Dollars" on Thursday, May 10, which will discuss the benefits of using foundations to manage gifts and grants. Speakers are Victor Schultz, M&I Wealth Management of BMO Financial Group, formerly in private practice advising clients on creating trusts and foundations; Paula Kiely, Director, Milwaukee Public Library; Sharon Cook, Trustee, Milwaukee Public Library, and member of the Not-for-Profit Team at M&I Institutional Trust Services.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

UW/Tech College Accessibility Bill Passes

AB 322, a bill to require accessibility of instructional materials for students with disabilities enrolled in the UW System or technical college system was signed into law by Governor Walker as Act 124. The new law allows institutions of higher education to request that publishers provide instructional materials in accessible formats. The law also requires that publishers provide such materials, within defined parameters. WLA registered in support of the bill, which had a broad support from a variety of organizations and legislators.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rural Wisconsin Awards Recognize Three Wisconsin Libraries

The DPI announced on March 8 that State Superintendent Tony Evers has recognized nine projects as “Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin” award winners. The projects were chosen for fostering partnerships and developing the habits of literacy, farm safety, environment stewardship and community service. Libraries were involved in two of the award-winning projects:

Baby Time, Toddler Time, and Rhyme Time are outreach programs of the Weyauwega-Fremont School District’s 4-year-old kindergarten program. The Weyauwega Public Library and Neuschafer Community Library of Fremont host programs to provide academic, developmental, and social enrichment for children 4 years of age and under, while also introducing services to older children and adults to boost literacy.

In Three Lakes, the Story Hour Reading Program has been going strong, based on a partnership of the Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library the school district, since 1963! Weekly story hour times for children are augmented by adult programming offered concurrently. Funding comes from the school district, library and the towns of Three Lakes and Sugar Camp.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bill to Delay WiscNet Changes Dies

Despite contacts from library supporters and others around the state, AB 473/ SB 375 (to delay changes to WiscNet) died without being scheduled for a floor vote in either chamber of the state legislature. Therefore, the provisions of the original legislation that passed as part of the 2011-13 biennial budget bill will take effect on July 1, 2013. The exact ramifications of a separation of WiscNet from the UW are not yet clear. An audit of the program by the Legislative Audit Bureau is underway and is required to be completed by January 1, 2013.

Original Post 2/21/12:
AB 473, a bill to delay until July 1, 2014 the restrictions on participation by the UW System in selling or providing telecommunications services (commonly known as the WiscNet bill), was the subject of a public hearing on February 16 in the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities. Chaired by Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), who is a cosponsor of the bill, the committee heard from several groups in favor of the bill: UW officials, technical colleges, as well as WEMTA and WLA. Opponents of the bill are telecommunications companies, represented at the hearing by Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) and AccessWisconsin.

The committee will hold its executive session (to vote on the bill) on March 1, a schedule that leaves very little time for getting the bill scheduled and passed by both houses of the legislature. At this writing, the companion bill, SB 375, has not been scheduled for a Senate vote. (It was recommended for passage by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education on January 23.)

For background information and talking points on the bill, please see our CapWiz legislative alert and contact your legislators to urge passage.

Wisconsin Candidates for ALA Office Announced

The following Wisconsin librarians will be candidates for American Library Association leadership positions in elections that start today:

  • Rhonda K. Puntney Gould is a candidate for ALA Councilor-At-Large, a position she currently holds. Rhonda is the youth services and special needs consultant at the Lakeshores Library System, Watertown, and a member of the WLA Board of Directors as the immediate past president.
  • Francine D. Eppelsheimer seeks to be the ISS Representative to the AASL Board. She is Middle School Librarian/Library Department Chair PK-12, at the University School of Milwaukee.
  • Megan Schliesman is a candidate for an ALSC Board Vacancy. Megan is a librarian at the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) and currently serves as the WLA IFRT newsletter and web editor. 
  • Allison G. Kaplan seeks a seat on the ALSC 2014 Sibert Committee. Allison is Faculty Associate at UW-Madison SLIS and currently serves on the WLA Board of Directors.
  • K.T. Horning seeks a seat on the ALSC 2015 Wilder Committee. K.T. is director of the CCBC.
  • Linda S. Vincent will run for ASCLA Designated Director, Special Populations Constituency. Linda is the director of the Talking Book and Braille Library in Milwaukee. She is the WAPL Chair-elect and a member of the WeLead Task Force.
  • Kyung-Sun “Sunny” Kim is running for LRRT Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect. She is Associate Professor at UW-Madison SLIS.
Good luck to you all!

Culver's Celebrates National Library Week with Libraries

In celebration of National Library Week,  April 8-14, Culver's and WLA will again join local public libraries and Culver's restaurants in the "You Belong @ your library" drawing campaign for children 11 and under.

This is the 16th year local Culver's restaurants in Wisconsin have sponsored this event, which encourages children to read and celebrate their favorite book characters.

Children can enter the drawing event by picking up drawing sheets from their local library beginning April 1.  Children are encouraged to draw book characters that they would like to meet at the library.  Every child who completes a drawing will receive a "Be Our Guest" coupon for a free single scoop of frozen custard from Culver's and be entered into a random drawing to win an additional prize of a free Team Scoopie Kids meal coupon. Drawings will be displayed at the local library or Culver's Restaurant through the month of April.

All materials were delivered to local libraries the week of March 12 and are also available on the Youth Services Section website.

About National Library Week
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and state library associations and libraries across the country each April.  The Wisconsin Library Association and WLA Foundation, along with the WLA Youth Service Section, strive to support libraries and the people who work in them to improve and promote library service in Wisconsin.

About Culver’s
Culver’s serves fresh food with genuine family values to each and every guest. Culver’s is an expanding franchise system with more than 450 independently owned and operated restaurants in 19 states. The restaurants’ award-winning customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality and cleanliness.  Signature items include the ButterBurger®, made from fresh, never frozen U.S. Beef, and fresh frozen custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. Supporting local communities is a cornerstone of Culver’s giving efforts. For more information on Culver’s, visit, and

All trademarks belong to Culver Franchising System, Inc.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

AB 543 / SB 531 Dies in Senate

Update on 3/19/12:  AB 543/SB 531 died in the Senate during in this legislative session.

AB 531 was recommended for passage by the Senate Committee on Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs (on a party vote of 3-2), but the bill was not scheduled for a vote on the floor of the Senate. The   companion, AB 543, was approved on a 61-33 vote in the Assembly but was not scheduled in the Senate.

Thanks to all who contacted legislators with their concerns about the bill.

Update on 3/14/12: The Assembly passed AB 543 on a vote of 61-33 on March 13. The bill was messaged to the Senate, where it awaits scheduling. If your library will be adversely affected by this measure, contact your State Senator today.

Original Post
WLA remains concerned about the latest attempt to provide municipalities with an alternative method of exemption from the county library tax.  AB 543 is the latest attempt to change the exemption method.

The Legislative Reference Bureau analysis states:
Under current law, a county board may levy a tax for the purpose of providing public library services to county residents. A city, town, village, or school district located in the county is exempt from the county tax if the city, town, village, or school district levies a tax for public library services at a rate that is equal to or greater than the county library tax rate.
This bill provides an exemption from the county library tax if the city, town, village, or school district levies a tax for public library services and spends for a library fund an amount that is not less than the average of the three previous years, the county board approves the exemption, and (for the first year of exemption under this new method) the city, town, village, or school district qualified for the exemption using the current law method described above in each of the three previous years.
WLA has expressed its concerns about the bill in a memo to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means, which held a public hearing on the bill on February 9. An executive session (where a committee vote takes place to determine if the bill is recommended for passage and sent to the whole Assembly) is scheduled February 23.

First, as written, the bill would allow a municipality to establish a new library at a substandard level of funding and request exemption from the county library tax. In other words, a new library would have no funding history to determine an average of the prior three year’s of support, and a municipality could exempt from the county library tax at an extremely low level of funding.

Second, to allow an exemption from the county library tax as long as it is not less than the average of the previous three years provides little protection. As a consequence of approving the last biennial budget bill, the legislature eliminated the “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirement that libraries be funded at no less than the average of the past three years.  Because the MOE requirement could be met through flat funding, and its elimination means library funding can be reduced even more, over time a municipality could fund its library at an amount much lower than the county library levy rate and still qualify for exemption from the county library tax.

WLA agrees that any such exemption should require county board approval for this new type of exemption under the three-year-average method. Still, we feel that additional safeguards are important to address potential problems from occurring with new libraries. For instance, prohibiting new libraries from exempting in the manner allowed by the bill for the first three years of operation would be one solution. This prohibition would obviously not affect existing libraries which feel they would be helped by the provisions of AB 543.

If your library would be affected by this bill, please contact the WLA office at (608) 245-3640.

Edible Book Festival is April 10 at UW-Madison Memorial Library

The 2012 Edible Book Festival takes place 4:30-6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 10 and promises to combine literary and culinary talents in the Madison community. A Cheerios Brideshead Revisited?  A Kindle made out of chocolate?  Vegetarian depictions of The Jungle?  These could possibly be just a few of the entries at the annual University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library event.  An edible book is an entry made of edible materials, with the subject pertaining to books in shape or content.  In the past, participating food artists, families, and groups have worked with cake, goldfish crackers, alphabet soup noodles, Jell-O, licorice, and even Peeps!

The event is free and open to the public in the Memorial Library Commons (728 State Street, Room 460).  Members of the community are encouraged to attend, ogle the edible art, and vote for their favorite entries. A “real” cake will be served so that attendees aren’t tempted to taste the entries. Certificates will be awarded in multiple categories by the official judges:

Orange Schroeder, owner of Orange Tree Imports and Cooking School
Co-authors of the blog "Eating in Madison A to Z," the husband and wife team of JonMichael Rasmus and Nichole Fromm (who is also a librarian)

The deadline for entering the competition is April 2, 2012.  For more detailed information, online application, and photos from past festivals, see the website:

The Edible Book Festival is scheduled in celebration of National Library Week (April 8-14), and is co-sponsored by Memorial Library and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Librarian’s Assembly.  The first festival in Madison was held in conjunction with the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) Centennial Year celebrations. The roots of our event come from The International Edible Book Festival, the creation of Judith A. Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron.  This first festival was held in 2000, and the “Books 2 Eat” website ( was created concurrently, so people around the world could enjoy the wide variety of food artists' creations.

We on the UW-Madison Edible Book Festival Committee hope you will consider covering this unique event.

--Nancy McClements, Book Festival Committee

Thank U.S. Senator Kohl for Signing LSTA Support Letter

ALA asks Wisconsin library supporters to please call U.S. Senator Herb Kohl at (202) 224-5653, and thank him for signing a letter indicating his support for funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in FY13.

LSTA is the primary source of funding for libraries in the federal budget. LSTA funding helps libraries meet community needs as library services continue to expand. LSTA money also helps provide job search and skill building services, digital literacy programs, technological support for growing internet demand, and much more.

Thank Sen. Kohl for demonstrating a strong commitment to libraries and remind him how important his leadership is in ensuring that funding for libraries is maintained, especially as demand increases.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference "Libraries for the Common Good"

Mark your calendars now for the 2012 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference, which will be held October 23-26 at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse and La Crosse Center.

This year’s theme is “Libraries For the Common Good,” which reflects the role Wisconsin’s libraries play in our communities and our daily lives.

The Keynote speaker will be Lewis Feldstein, co-author of Better Together and a leading proponent of community foundations and social capital. Peter Yarrow from the vocal trio of Peter, Paul, and Mary will be the President’s Luncheon speaker and performer. Joyce Sidman, author of Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, a 2011 Newbery Honor Book, is this year’s YSS Luncheon speaker.

The WLA Foundation fundraiser will be a storytelling performance at the Pump House, a regional arts center housed in the historic La Crosse water pumping station.

Hotel lodging will be available at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse, located at 200 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, 54601.

Radisson Book a Hotel (this is the link for Radisson’s Book a Hotel/Redeem Gold Points)

Under Book a Hotel/Redeem Gold Points, enter your date for Check-in and Check-out plus # of Rooms, Adults, Children
Below is a box labeled Promotional Code: enter WILIBR
Far right of Check-in and Check-Out, click on Find Rate (this provides the standard hotel rate of $129, plus upgrades

Radisson Hotel La Crosse (608) 784-6680
National Toll Free Reservations (800) 333-3333

The deadline date for program proposals is Thursday March 22, 2012. If you have a program idea, you can complete the proposal form online. No login is required.

Rhonda K. Puntney Gould
2012 WLA Conference Publicity Chair

WAPL Conference Registration Is Open!

Spring is in the air, it must be time to register for the 2012 WAPL conference! Get ready for exciting programs, educational speakers, professional development and lots of fun with fellow colleagues! Mark your calendars for the 2012 WAPL conference at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center in Stevens Point:

Date: May 9 – May 11

Location: Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center, Stevens Point

Registration and program information for the 2012 WAPL Conference can be found at

Information about the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, Stevens Point can be found at

--Tim Powers, WAPL Conference Publicity Chair

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Geneaologists Concerned about Threat to SSDI Access

A White House Petition to stop fraudulent tax refund claims is supported by genealogists, who are alarmed by the possibility that public access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) could end. WLA members  Mary Rieder, President of the  Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, and Anita Doering, Archivist at the La Crosse Public Library, recently brought this issue to WLA's attention. Here's Mary's discussion of what lack of access to SSDI would mean to genealogists:
Would you believe that the IRS doesn’t automatically check Social Security Numbers on tax returns before issuing a refund check?  Because of this, people have been using the SSNs of deceased people to claim tax refunds.  Two weeks ago a grieving father testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that someone had stolen the SSN of his recently deceased daughter and used it to file for a tax refund.  When the legitimate parents filed their tax return to claim some of the medical expenses they had paid for the child’s care, they were refused because that number had already been issued a refund.  So, in its infinite wisdom, the Committee is considering entirely closing the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) from public use rather than telling the IRS to do their job and check the numbers.  The main problem with this is that many businesses, insurance companies, loan officers, banks, etc., routinely use the SSDI for what it’s supposed to be used for:  stopping the fraudulent use of SSNs.  If the federal government closes off public access to it, more fraud will happen, not less.  No one has presented proof that these SSNs are being stolen from the publicly-accessible SSDI.  They could also be taken from dumpster-diving, unscrupulous staff stealing the numbers in banks or medical facilities, or even someone looking over someone else’s shoulder while they’re filling out a form requiring the number, so closing the SSDI isn’t necessarily going to solve the problem. 
This issue has become a big one with the genealogical community because genealogists also routinely use the SSDI to gather information on death dates and parents’ names.  By looking up a person’s SSN you can request a copy of the SS-5 form the person filled out when they applied for an SSN which often gives further family information such as parents names, address at the time of application, etc.  Forensic genealogists use this information to assist them in locating surviving family members of soldiers whose remains have been recovered (some from as far back as WWII and the Korean War), and helping coroners identify next of kin of unclaimed bodies, so that the family can have some closure on what happened to their loved one.  Megan Smolenyak is one of these forensic genealogists, and she wrote a great blog post about this in December:  after (the company of the “shaky leaf” you’ve been seeing on TV ads – but don’t get me started on how EASY they make genealogy look!) shut down the free version of SSDI which had been on their RootsWeb site, moved everything behind their pay wall at their commercial site, and redacted the SSNs from any record for a person who had died within the last 10 years.
The Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing on the issue on February 2nd, but they restricted who could speak publicly at the hearing, and no one from the genealogical community, or even in favor of keeping this information public, was allowed to testify.  In light of that, the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), a joint committee of the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, and International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, has started a petition on the site asking the White House to require that the IRS start checking SSNs before issuing refund checks as soon as possible to prevent fraud, preferably this tax season.  The petition needs 25,000 signatures by March 8th, however, or it won’t even be looked at.  Only about 3,000 people have signed it as of today, though, so I’m sending this out to ask you to look at it and sign it if you agree.  You’ll have to create an account on the site to sign it, which asks for your name, e-mail address and zip code.  The site will then e-mail you a message, and you have to click a link in that message to activate your account.  You can then go back to the survey and sign it.  It will display your first name, first initial of your last name, your city and state, and the date you signed.  (I’m #50, if you want to scroll down that far! ;-)

For more information (from genealogists’ points of view), please see the RPAC blog at, and a blog post which a genealogist from Illinois, Michael John Neill, who spoke at our WSGS Fall Seminar a couple of years ago, put up recently at

The petition is online at  Please feel free to pass this message on to anyone else you think might be interested (especially you librarian-types! ;-).  Writing to your federal legislators about this issue will also help bring it to their attention.

Thank you.
--Mary Rieder, President, Wisconsin State Genealogical Society

AB 224 Awaits Governor's Signature: Allows Gift Transfers

A bill recently approved by the legislature, AB 224, authorizes school boards and school libraries to transfer an unrestricted gift or grant to certain charitable organizations, such as a school foundation or a community foundation. The bill, introduced by Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) awaits the governor's signature to become law.

WLA also supported an earlier bill that would give public libraries the same authority to transfer gifts and grants to a library-related foundation or friends group. AB 224 would clarify that public libraries may also transfer this type of funding to a community foundation. The money must be used for a library-related purpose - or in the case of a transfer by a school, for a school-related purpose.

The bill would provide more flexibility to schools and libraries in the management and investment of such funds. WLA urges Governor Walker to sign the bill.

Register for National Library Legislative Day

Registration for the 2012 National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) is now open! To get started simply click here. On that page, you will also find information about making a hotel reservation at the official NLLD hotel. This year’s event will be held at the Liaison Hotel in Washington DC on April 23 and 24.

For 38 years, there has been an annual National Library Legislative Day in the nation’s capital. Each year, over 400 library supporters travel to DC where they receive training and briefings to prepare for meetings with their members of Congress. Many continue their advocacy activities when they return back home by building on the relationships they established at NLLD.

There is a funding opportunity available for NLLD. The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) and the ALA Washington Office are calling for nominations for the WHCLIST Award. Each year, the award is granted to a non-librarian participant in National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). The winner receives a stipend of $300 and two free nights at the NLLD hotel. Click here to apply.

WLA's state coordinator, Julie Schneider, arranges the meetings with legislators, communicates with the ALA Washington Office and serves as the contact person for each state delegation. To reach Julie, call (608) 263-5755 or email

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Charlotte Zolotow Award Goes to Patrick McDonnell for "Me...Jane"

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) announces that the 2012 Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a book for young children will be given to Patrick McDonell for his picture book Me ... Jane (Little, Brown, 2011) at an award ceremony and reception on Saturday, March 3, 2012, 1:30 - 3 p.m., at the Pyle Center on the UW-Madison campus.

Mr. McDonnell will be in attendance to receive the award in person.  One or more of the Zolotow Award honor book recipients may also be present.  Books will be available for purchase, and there will be autographing following the formal presentation.

The event is open to the public. PLEASE RSVP to Megan Schliesman if you want to attend.

Go to to read the 2012 Zolotow Award press release and find out more about the award, which is sponsored by the CCBC of
the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Friends of the CCBC, Inc.
-- Megan Schliesman, Librarian, CCBC, 608/262-9503

Monday, January 30, 2012

Work Group to Revise Statewide ILL Guidelines Announced

Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning and the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) Resource Sharing Roundtable are convening a statewide working group to revise statewide interlibrary loan guidelines.  Feedback on the current guidelines was solicited through conference presentations and surveys distributed throughout the state in 2011.

The guidelines, which were last revised in 2005, will be reviewed by the working group.  Suggested updates will be shared and input will be gathered from the statewide library community.   The group will read and review the current Wisconsin and American Library Association guidelines and the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States Explanatory Supplement.  Additions, deletions, and changes to the existing guidelines will be recommended and discussed.  New language will be drafted to bring the Wisconsin guidelines up to date. The revised guidelines will be shared as online/electronic documents.  The working group does not anticipate distributing a formal, printed version of the guidelines.

The group will meet four times beginning Friday, February 3, 2012, and will complete the draft revisions by April 30.  It will be presented at the 2012 Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) conference by team members in May.

The working group includes representatives of the Wisconsin library community from around the state, including:

Linda Bailen – Northern Waters Library Service
Maureen Welch – Indianhead Federated Library System
Chris Hamburg – Two Rivers Public Library
Matt Rosendahl – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Angela Milock – Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS)
Fred Marini – Melrose – Mindoro Area School District
Nell Fleming – Wisconsin School for the Deaf
Amelia Osterud – Carroll University
Brian Hanneman – Milwaukee Public Library
Bob Zabkowicz – Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Martha Berninger – Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

For more information on this project, please contact Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning Director, at or 608-224-6161 or Christine Barth, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator, at or 608-224-6171.
--DPI's Channel Weekly, Vol. 14, No. 17 -- January 26, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The continuing debate in Wisconsin re broadband

The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association is maintaining their pressure on the legislature in opposition to the bill which would extend the WiscNet sunset for a year.

Their press release of two days ago suggests that the UW either doesn't know their own business or is attempting to mislead us all, referring to "misleading statements made by Ray Cross, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension."

As Lisa noted in an earlier blog post, we received a favorable vote in committee as the "Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education Committee voted 6 – 1 to recommend SB 375 for passage. The bill would delay the restrictions on participation by the University of Wisconsin System in selling or providing telecommunications service, including terminating participation in WiscNet."

The WSTA is attempting to sell the idea that the current law would not prohibit the UW from participating in WiscNet -- which might be a meaningful argument if no-one else were participating in WiscNet.

We can accept that the legislature intended that the UW should not subsidize the provision of telecommunications. What seems unclear is if there are ways in which the UW might collaborate or participate without throwing out other participants. The WSTA appears to chastise the UW, stating:

If WiscNet’s role in providing service to the UW is critical in maintaining the UW’s $1 billion research engine, it seems like a pretty simple choice. Even with only two options, it is unclear whether the UW and WiscNet have actually identified a course of action in order to prepare for the July 2013 sunrise provisions."

But from the point of view of UW, as well as schools, libraries and other WiscNet participants, the audit only recently begun by the Legislative Audit Bureau is critical -- not merely pro forma. At the Senate Committee hearing, the WSTA representative conceded that no-one knows what a new WiscNet configuration might look like. So let's not be hasty.

We believe that getting findings and recommendations from the recently begun LAB study will be critical to forming a plan of action -- and with some participants required to make erate decisions within a few days or weeks of the study's conclusion, more time is needed.

The WSTA position might make sense if the University of Wisconsin were completely separate from the rest of the state. But education and business concerns are woven throughout the fabric of our school, library and university community. Allowing enough time via a one year extension of the deadline will give us a much-needed opportunity to make sure questions are addressed in a way that will benefit the entire state, not just WSTA member profits.

I encourage all WLA members to contact their legislators in support of SB 375 and AB 473. The advocacy tools on the WLA website ( make this easy to do. We are fortunate to enjoy bipartisan support for these bills, but opponents are working hard to stop them. We need to work equally hard and not take anything from granted.

Terry Dawson, Chair
WLA Library Development & Legislation Committee

Friday, January 27, 2012

ALA President Urges Signing White House Petition on School Libraries

The following is a letter from ALA President Molly Raphael.
Dear Colleagues,
I hope that by now you have heard about AASL President Carl Harvey’s White House Petition on School Libraries. 25,000 signatures are needed by February 4, 2012, in order for this petition to reach the desk of the President. We are more than halfway there, but time is running out!

In addition to signing the petition, please take these steps to ensure that this petition is a success:
1. Spread the word and see that at least ten of your friends or family members also sign;
2. Work with local educational groups, including the local PTA or PTO, and ask them to mount a signing campaign;
3. Work with other community groups and ask them to get involved.

School libraries are everyone’s issue. Cuts in staffing or elimination of school library programs in a specific community affect all libraries in that community, whether it’s the public library now tasked with serving a school curriculum, or higher education librarians teaching remedial information literacy skills. In order for any of us to succeed, we must be willing to work on these issues together to support our broader library eco-system. Please get involved and help create awareness about the need to ensure that every student has access to an effective school library program.

Please note that the petition is a two-step process. You have to create an account, and then return to the web page to sign. We’ve heard reports that it’s also temperamental: if you have trouble signing, please try working in a different browser, or try in off-peak hours. It might not be easy but please be persistent! Our school library programs, and the children we serve, are so worth it.

Let’s show the world that we can mobilize people to speak out for libraries. Anyone 13 or older can sign the petition. Help us make this an issue that commands attention. Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Molly Raphael
2011 - 2012 ALA President

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Register for WAAL Conference: Quest for Excellence in Lake Geneva

Have you registered for WAAL 2012: Quest for Excellence in Lake Geneva April 18-20?  If not, read on.  You certainly don't want to miss these programs:

Keynotes from Jenica Rogers and Kim Leeder will get us motivated and invigorated.
Luncheon Speakers will take us into another world with "Lots of Dungeons, No Dragons" by Margaret Weis and "Monsters of Wisconsin" by Linda Godfrey.
PLUS: programs and posters presented by innovative librarians from right here in Wisconsin!

Check out the full program for all of the Excellent offerings to fill your conference Quest.

Check out the fabulous accomodations at the Grand Geneva. If you are going to attend a conference, why not do so in the best possible environment?!

Come for an amazing three days of learning, networking and sharing while...
Enjoying a martini in a world class lounge,
Experiencing a massage and spa treatment,
Experiencing a hay-ride with friends at a tranquil resort,
Networking to your heart’s content in luxury with colleagues from around Wisconsin,
Enjoying an elegant room with television, WI-FI, and stunning view, AND,
Soaking in the multiple pools or water park.

But you can't enjoy this wonderfully relaxing learning experience if you don't register!

Register today!

See you in April in Lake Geneva!
--Ane Carriveau, WAAL Chair and Conference Publicity Chair

Monday, January 23, 2012

SB 375 Approved in Senate Committee, 6-1

Today, the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education Committee, voted 6 – 1 to recommend SB 375 for passage.  With Senators Harsdorf, Moulton, Schultz, Hansen and Shilling voting in favor  and Sen. Kedzie opposed, this indicates strong support for the bill.

Next, the bill will be discussed in the Senate Organization committee and then scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate.

Please take the time to thank the Senate committee members for their support.  Thanks to all who have already contacted their Senators and Assembly members about SB 375 and AB 473. (See prior blog post about WLA testimony at the Senate hearing held last week.)

Libraries Support Read to Lead Task Force Recommendations

The following editorial, distributed to newspapers statewide, is by Rhonda Puntney, youth services and special needs consultant at the Lakeshores Library System and WLA's immediate past president.

The Wisconsin Read to Lead Task Force recently released important recommendations to improve literacy in Wisconsin by ensuring that each child can read by the end of 3rd grade. I applaud the attention to children’s literacy; after all, in my career as a youth services librarian and consultant to libraries, I have been connecting children with books and getting them excited about reading for many years.  As the immediate past president of the Wisconsin Library Association, I want to remind teachers and parents alike about important role that all school and public libraries and librarians play in developing literacy skills.

As a youth services consultant for a public library system in southeastern Wisconsin, part of my job responsibilities including coordinating summer library programming for our fifteen member libraries in Racine and Walworth Counties. I work with the libraries to encourage literacy for children and their families.  As any youth services librarian will tell you, a large part of what we do EVERY DAY is encourage children to read.

We begin encouraging reading at birth.  Most public libraries provide storytime programming for babies and toddlers, focusing on early literacy skills and modeling literacy behaviors for parents and caregivers to continue at home.  We then progress to programming for preschoolers, providing safe and nurturing environments and encouraging these children to continue building on their literacy skills.

In fact, Wisconsin has a rich history of providing such programming.  Public librarians in Wisconsin were among the first to provide library programming for school aged children as early as 1898.  And the Racine Public Library has the distinction of providing the first preschool time in the United States on February 10, 1932.  In 2010, programs provided by Wisconsin’s public libraries that were geared toward children had an attendance of over 1.6 million.  Summer library program attendance for children and young adults was nearly 500,000.

A study conducted in 2006 on the benefits of school library media programs commissioned by the Department of Public Instruction showed that student test scores at all grade levels were higher when the school libraries had full-time certified staff who collaborated with planning and teaching with classroom teachers.  And the role of school librarians in promoting literacy and instilling in children a love of reading cannot be dismissed.

I’d like to think the task force recommendations that encourage parental involvement were written with the school and public libraries in mind.  “Support should be given to programs that put books into the hands of low-income children and encourage parents and caregivers to read to children.”  Wisconsin’s librarians are already doing this, and we’ve been doing so for over 110 years.

It’s encouraging that Governor Walker, who chaired the task force, chose to promote the task force recommendations by reading in a school library. I trust that this is truly the beginning of a conversation about how libraries can work more closely with other educators to improve literacy in our state.

Rhonda Puntney Gould is the youth services and special needs consultant at Lakeshores Library System in Waterford.  She is the immediate past president of the Wisconsin Library Association; the 2011-12 President of the Collaborative Program, a grassroots organization that coordinates summer reading programs for all 50 states; and on the board of directors of the Association for Library Service to Children.

Barbara Dimick, Director of Madison Public Library, to Retire

After 35 years with the library, including 15 as director, Barb Dimick will retire on February 24. Susan Lee, library business operations manager, will serve as interim director during the nationwide search for a new director. Read more...

Congratulations, Barb!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Terry Dawson, WLA Legislative Chair, Testifies in Favor of SB 375

SB 375, a bill to delay changes to WiscNet that were inserted into the 2011-13 budget bill in the 11th hour, was the subject of a January 19 hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education. The committee will hold an executive session (vote) on the bill on Monday, January 23.

Terry Dawson, Chair of the WLA's Library Development and Legislation Committee, spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of WLA, countering claims by telecommunications groups that there is sufficient broadband and cheap Internet service available to everyone in the state. Terry's main points:
  • WiscNet provides cost-effective, high quality Internet service to its members, including K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and 95 percent of public libraries in the state. According to information on the Department of Administration's website, service from other providers would cost 4-5 times more than WiscNet charges.
  • Schools will likely need to know by February 2013 who their Internet provider will be and they need assurance that the provider will offer services through June 2014.  Extending the deadline for changes to WiscNet to July 1, 2014, will give schools this assurance.
Dawson also took a moment to correct information contained in a news release about broadband access for  libraries from the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA). His remarks: "The WSTA claims that some supporters of this bill are making “misleading” statements that 90% of Wisconsin’s libraries don’t have broadband access at 4Mbps.  Based on August 2011 data obtained directly from the Department of Administration’s TEACH program, 97% of our libraries have less than 4Mbps.  Some libraries will receive additional TEACH subsidized bandwidth as a result of the recent BadgerNet contract extension but the great majority will likely still be under 4Mbps.  

"Ironically, 25% of our libraries have an additional broadband circuit from a local cable or phone company because the TEACH program does not have the budget to fund all library or school requests for more bandwidth. Although higher speed access may be available, it comes at a substantially higher cost at a time when  our publicly supported schools and libraries are making great efforts to maintain services in an environment of severe budget constraints," Dawson said.

In addition to Dawson, Jon Mark Bolthouse, Technology Projects Manager, South Central Library Association, and Stefanie Morrill, Director, WiLS, testified in favor of the bill. Others testifying in favor included Ray Cross, Chancellor of UW-Extension, and representatives of WiscNet, the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association, Wisconsin Technical College System, and Wisconsin Farmers Union. Sen. Moulton, as author of the bill, also testified in favor. Those testifying in opposition to the bill were representatives and members of WSTA, including several CEOs of local or regional telecommunications companies, and Access Wisconsin. Take a look at the WisconsinEye video of the entire hearing.

Chaired by Sen. Dale Schultz, a champion of improving broadband access in Wisconsin, the committee includes Republican Senators Sheila Harsdorf, Neil Kedzie, Terry Moulton, along with Democratic Senators Dave Hansen, Jessica King and Jennifer Shilling.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

WLA President's Message: Ron McCabe on Moving Libraries Forward!

I am honored to serve as the 2012 President of the Wisconsin Library Association.  Providing education for everyone is the greatest tradition of our democracy and nowhere has this tradition grown stronger than right here in Wisconsin.  Our libraries play a vital role in education and our community, the Wisconsin Library Association, has been moving libraries forward for 120 years. 
Through years that included two world wars and a Great Depression, thousands of passionate and committed librarians, trustees, and citizen activists made sure that Wisconsin’s libraries would continue to serve the many people who count on them.  Today millions of people count on us to move these great institutions through the next era of intense political, economic, and technological change.  This is our moment to make a contribution.
The WLA Strategic Plan, which is available on the WLA website, gives us a starting point for the work we need to do in 2012.  Much has changed, however, since the plan was drafted.   Political and economic support for libraries has been seriously eroded in the past year.  Technological change is also profoundly influencing how our libraries serve the public.  These changes have resulted in a challenging new environment for WLA. 
This year we need to rethink everything we are doing in our libraries as well as in WLA.  We need to do everything better at a reduced cost.  We need to find ways to increase revenues.  Planning and analysis will need to take place at all levels—individual libraries of all types; library systems; the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning; and WLA.  Some of these efforts will be formal; most will involve informally sharing ideas.
We need everyone’s help to ensure the success of our libraries and WLA.  Each of us has something to offer that is important to the future of libraries in our great state.  It is time to increase membership and participation in WLA because acting alone at the local level will not secure a future for our institutions and the library services our people need.  We will stand together or fall apart under the economic and political pressure we now face.  Now is the time to add your voice, your ideas, and your passion to the great cause of educating Wisconsin’s people through library services.  At this moment of reexamination, your input and support is more important than ever.
Let’s ask the big questions, share ideas, and have a great year!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Urge Your Legislator to Support SB 375/AB 473 to Delay WiscNet Changes

You may recall that during the state budget process, language was adopted altering the relationship the University of Wisconsin has with WiscNet, effective July 1, 2013.  The budget bill also required the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) to complete a financial and performance audit of the UW’s relationship with WiscNet by January 1, 2013. This leaves only six months to respond to audit recommendations before the legislation goes into effect!

The new law will directly impact the relationship WiscNet has with its 450 members located throughout the state, affecting service to K-12 schools, higher education, and 95% of the state’s public libraries. During the extensive budget deliberations there was not enough time to adequately discuss this complex issue.  Many questions remain unanswered.

Fortunately, Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Representative Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) have introduced SB375/AB 473 amending the effective date of the original legislation to July 1, 2014. A bipartisan group of legislators is cosponsoring.

Please contact your legislators to urge them to support AB 473. If your legislators have already signed on as co-sponsors, thank them for doing so.  

The modest extension of time this bill will provide is important from two key perspectives.

  • First:  This extension allows the Legislature time to review fully the audit’s findings, recommendations and possible impacts on all WiscNet members.
  • Second:  All 450+ WiscNet members—including the UW—need the extra time this bill provides to understand and possibly implement any audit recommendations that impact their budgets and their relationship with WiscNet. 
It may be important to note that WiscNet is a separate, independent 501(c)(3), not for profit, cooperative, with its own operations and organizational structure.  It is not subsidized by the UW and is completely funded through membership fees and services delivered to its members throughout the state.  Decisions are made by the WiscNet Board of Directors, not the UW.

Thank you for contacting your legislators to urge support of SB375AB 473!