Pamela Westby Appointed as New Board President of the Wisconsin Library Association

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Madison, Wis. (January 6, 2016) – The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) is proud to announce Pamela Westby’s appointment as Chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors.

Pamela is the Director of the Middleton Public Library in Middleton, Wisconsin and a member of the South Central Library System (SCLS). Middleton Public Library is an award winning library, including 2007 WLA’s Library of the Year and 2014 SCLS Foundation Board’s library award for innovative and creative community engagement. Middleton leads its peer group (comparable area public libraries) with an annual circulation of over 723,000 books and media, annual attendance at library sponsored classes and events of more than 30,000 people, monthly public computer usage of more than 10,000 hours and nearly 1,000 daily visitors.

“There are many important issues impacting Wisconsin libraries and I’m honored to continue WLA’s 125 year legacy supporting libraries and the communities they serve,” said Pamela. “I’m looking forward to connecting with members throughout the state to learn more about the issues that are most important to them.”

Pamela has held many leadership positions in the library industry, serving on WLA’s Finance, Leadership Development, and Library Development and Legislative Committees, WLA and WAPL Annual Conference Committees, SCLS Administrative Council, the Dane County Library Action Team and was named Demco’s Librarians Who Make a Difference in 2002.

“Pamela’s considerable experience as a Library Director, Continuing Education Instructor with the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and WLA Board member makes her a perfect choice to lead our association in 2016,” said WLA Executive Director Plumer Lovelace. “I look forward to working with her to help provide support to Wisconsin libraries.”

WLA represents over 1500 members employed by public, academic and special libraries. WLA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and stability of libraries throughout the state. WLA engages, inspires and advocates for library workers and supporters to improve and promote library services for the people of Wisconsin For more information, go to



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Wisconsin Summer Reading Brief 2012

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Download the flyer (PDF) for expanded information to distribute in your community.

"About two-thirds of the ninth-grade academic achievement gap between disadvantaged youngsters and their more advantaged peers can be explained by what happens over the summer during the elementary school years.”

-Alexander, K.L. (2009). Summer Can Set Kids on the Right—or Wrong—Course (Research in Brief). Retrieved from National Summer Learning Association

Research Shows: The ABCs of Improved Reading

  • Access to a variety of books is important but doesn’t make a strong impact on its own.
  • Books improve skills when they match readers’ ability levels and interests. A librarian or teacher can help.
  • Comprehension is aided if reading is guided by an adult.

(2009, November 24). How to make summer reading effective. Retrieved July 16, 2010, from National Summer Learning Association:

Wisconsin’s public libraries provide free voluntary summer reading programs

  • Library activities link stories to real-world experiences, and special performances to engage and motivate readers.

  • Librarians help children and teens select reading materials that match their reading ability and, most importantly, their personal interests. 

  • Many libraries now offer adult reading programs, which have a benefit of modeling reading to children and increase family literacy.

  • In many communities, librarians partner with local organizations that support disadvantaged families to bring summer reading to the young people who may not get to the library or other enrichment programs when school is not in session. 

Wisconsin Summer Reading Participation in 2009 and 2010


More Quotable Research

“If children have the opportunity to listen to, discuss, and read books on topics that they select, they will develop extensive background information which can serve as a platform from which to engage in their own independent reading.”
McGill‐Franzen, A. & Allington R. (2003, May/June). Bridging the summer reading gap. Instructor, 112, 17-20.

“Low-income families are less likely to read books; go to the library, museum or theater; take music lessons; or do organized sports activities.  Yet these experiences make a difference, with a visit to the library being the most discriminating factor of all.”
Alexander, K. (April 2009). Hopkins Study—public libraries determinative in school success. ODE, 72.

“People who say they read more read better, therefore the primary purpose of the program is to encourage students to read more.” 
Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research, 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Prepared by Rhonda Puntney Gould for the Wisconsin Library Association

Volunteer Orientation

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Friday, January 13
9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
DeForest Public Library

Registration Form

This event is scheduled as a leadership requirement for all WLA committee chairs and unit chairs and chairs-elect, along with members of the WLA Board of Directors. (Other members may attend as our limited space allows. Please contact the WLA office for details.)

The session, led by President Jean Anderson, includes:

  • overview of the things you’ll need to know during your leadership year
  • a chance to discuss what makes a leader
  • dialogue about WLA challenges and opportunities in the coming year
  • a chance to get to know your leadership peers
  • details about WLA conference program planning for 2017 (afternoon)
    • Either you or someone else from your unit must attend to learn about conference programming details. If someone else from your unit will be in charge of programs and can attend, you need not attend the afternoon session. Please let us know who is attending this portion of the program.

A detailed agenda for the day will be emailed to each leader prior to the Leadership Conference.

We will provide a continental breakfast as well as lunch; please indicate on the registration form if you have any dietary restrictions. There is also an option for just attending the conference program planning session. Hotel accommodations are provided for those with lengthy travel distances (normally more than 2-3 hours).

If you have any questions, please call us at 608.245.3640.

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