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!