State Legislative Agenda

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To comment on WLA's position on state library issues or get more involved, please contact the LD&L Chair or a member of the committee.

Legislative Policy Statements

The Wisconsin Library Association affirms that:

  • Wisconsin residents value and use libraries for education, business, cultural, and recreational purposes.
  • Libraries contribute to the quality of life for Wisconsin residents through lifelong learning opportunities.
  • Libraries support children and families with early literacy and reading readiness programs.
  • Libraries play a key role in independent learning, in classrooms, and home-based education.
  • Library information resources and a statewide knowledge network contribute to the state’s economic growth, business planning, workforce development and job seekers.
  • Libraries deliver high value at low cost through regional and statewide resource sharing.
  • Librarians provide Wisconsin residents with the essential information services they need to succeed at school, at work and in their personal lives.

The Wisconsin Library Association supports state legislative policy that:

  • Ensures all Wisconsin residents have the broadest possible access to information resources and materials.
  • Preserves the fundamental principle of publicly-funded free and open access to library materials and services first established by Wisconsin law in 1872.
  • Ensures privacy in the use of library materials and services.
  • Supports the development of print collections, community engagement, learning tools and digital resources for libraries of all types.
  • Broadens the availability of communications technology for educational and information resources.
  • Promotes regional and statewide sharing of library and information resources.
  • Provides robust affordable broadband networks for all Wisconsin residents to access technology.
  • Supports strong statewide leadership for library development and cooperation.
  • Supports sustainable funding of public libraries and public library systems by local governments, counties and the state.
  • Provides incentives for library system collaboration and supports policies that encourage reorganizing and consolidating to improve service and increase efficiency and effectiveness.

The Wisconsin Library Association opposes state legislative policy that:

  • Restricts access by Wisconsin residents to information resources and materials.
  • Affects local and state taxing options in ways that could have an adverse effect on libraries.
  • Intrudes on the privacy of library users.
  • Interferes with the right of local public library boards to independently determine local library policy, staffing and services based on community standards and needs.

The Wisconsin Library Association supports the following legislative priorities:

Legislative positions that enhance all Wisconsin libraries:

  • Endorsement of publicly-funded free and open access to library materials for all Wisconsin citizens
  • Use of the Universal Service Fund for BadgerLink online resources and other statewide library services.
  • Sufficient, coordinated and affordable broadband and Internet access
  • Enhanced support for collaborative delivery of library materials, shared on-line catalogs and electronic databases and other services offered to all Wisconsin Residents through regional public library systems.
  • Support of traditional service levels for statewide resource contracts: Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, and inter-loan from the Milwaukee Public Library and the University of Wisconsin collections
  • Sustained support for the Wisconsin State Law Library and the Milwaukee County and Dane County Legal Resource Libraries.
  • Access to government publications and documents

Legislative positions that enhance Wisconsin public libraries:

  • Request for modest increase to public library systems aids in the next biennium
  • Funding that provides citizen access to electronically published materials on a wide range of subjects from home, work or school
  • Increase allowable revenue limits and transportation aid for local governments to enable sustained and stable support for all Wisconsin public libraries regardless of size or location

Legislative positions that enhance Wisconsin publicly supported academic libraries:

  • Robust funding for the UW and Technical College System libraries to enable them to support research, teaching and learning on their campuses
  • Full funding for the Wisconsin Historical Society Library
  • Additional funding for shared electronic library collections that support research and advanced study across the UW System

Legislative positions that enhance Wisconsin school and institutional libraries:

  • Appropriate use of the Common School Fund for strong school library programs under the guidance of certified school library media professionals
  • Updated recommendations for school library media center resources and physical design
  • Employment of school library media specialist and appropriate support staff in every school
  • Employment of instructional technology professional and appropriate support staff in every school
  • Extend the protective status provided to correctional institution officers and sergeants to civilian staff (librarians, teachers, social and health care workers)


Approved by WLA LD&L Committee, December 1, 2016; WLA Board of Directors, December 2, 2016.