Fall 2011

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Volume 28, No. 3, Fall 2011
Co-Editors: Jeff Brunner, UW-Oshkosh and Julia Waggoner, Northland College

In this issue:

Thoughts from the WAAL Chair People & Places in the News
The Question of Time Calendar of Meetings & Events
WAAL Announces 2012 Officers Education & Enrichment Opportunities
Library Legislative Day


Thoughts from the WAAL Chair

--Lisa Viezbicke, Beloit College

L. Viezbicke, WAAL Chair

Solidly into the fall season and semester, the bustle of welcoming new faculty and students and working through the flurries of start-of-term orientation sessions is something of a memory.  The lively pace, at least at Beloit, has turned toward securing the best citations, articles, and inter-library loan materials to complete research papers and capstone projects.

This year’s WLA conference included three successful WAAL-sponsored programs, including the Best of WAAL award-winning program, “IT Interested? Encouraging IT Experimentation in the Library. Attendees at the spring conference voted to share this program with the larger WLA community; Tom Durkin (UW-Madison Social Science Reference Library), Ian Benton (UW-Madison College Library), and Jim Jonas (UW-Madison MERIT Library) obliged with an encore performance of their standing room-only session.

Attending the conference and completing conference evaluations is but one way to make your voice heard. If you are looking for more, consider contributing your voice and ideas to the organization.  Board elections are complete for the coming year, but there are still plenty of opportunities to lead or serve as members on WAAL committees.  Contact the WLA office wla@scls.lib.wi.us to indicate your interest.  Spread the word, too, encourage peers – new and old – to join WAAL and add their voices, share their experiences, meet, greet, and learn from and enrich our Wisconsin academic library community.  

Speaking of meeting and greeting, mark your calendars now for April 17-20, 2012 to treat yourself to an engaging conference (and perhaps a spa treatment) at the Grand Geneva Resort in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Stay warm and healthy this winter; the spring thaw is right around the corner.

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The Question of Time

--Ane Carriveau, UW-Fox Valley, WAAL Vice-Chair

We are all being asked to do more with less: less staff, fewer resources, and, ultimately, less time.  So how does serving your professional organizations factor into this all-consuming time crunch?  Here are two comments I frequently hear (because I'm on many committees): "How do you find the time?" and "I don’t have any time."

Now the answer to comment two is easy for me. If you tell me the maximum amount of time you might be able to give, I can find a spot for you to match the time commitment.  Or you can tell me where your interest lies and when you’d have the time available to give.  The organization always needs volunteers, whether it’s for a committee, staffing the registration desk, introducing or presenting a program at a conference, editing the newsletter or the website.  Virtually everything WAAL and WLA do is because of volunteers.  How much time does it all take?  Individually, not a lot.  Over the course of a year, probably a week for the most time- intensive tasks, though many require a commitment of 10 hours or less.

So back to that first comment: How do I find the time?  Personally, I only give my time to things I believe in.  I believe passionately in WAAL.  Without this organization, I don’t think I would be where I am professionally this early in my career.  Volunteer opportunities within WAAL and WLA gave me the chance to “cut my leadership teeth”, in small ways at first that eventually have grown over time.  So I make the time and “bill” it as the time it takes to keep me engaged and motivated to continue to learn and develop.  For example, I wrote this while at my sons’ karate practice.

So I challenge each of you to think about what you are passionate about, and then take it to the next level and think about how much time you could give to the organization.  Maybe it is an hour a month, a day a quarter, or whatever amount of time you think you can commit.  Then contact me (ane.carriveau@uwc.edu ), and I’ll find the opportunity for you to leave your mark on our organization.

WAAL is currently looking for volunteers for the following committees: Nominations, Communications (Chair and WAAL Webmaster), Professional Development, and Information Literacy. 

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WAAL Announces 2012 Officers

Congratulations to our next group of officers, and many thanks to all who served as candidates!

Vice Chair/Chair Elect: Kathy Myers, Carthage College
ACRL Liaison: Sheila Stoeckel, UW-Madison
Secretary: Josh Hickman, Beloit College

If you are interested in running for office next year, we welcome your interest. Contact Ellen Engseth, Nominations Committee Chair, at engsethe@uwm.edu.

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Library Legislative Day

Library Legislative Day is Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Legislators need to hear from you about important library issues.

Major issues in 2012 include gaining support for:

  •  A bill extending the deadline for changes to the UW System's research functions and WiscNet.
  •  Protection of the Common School Fund for school library use.
  •  A bill to enable public library districts.
  •  A bill to improve options for recovering overdue library materials.

Participate in Library Legislative Day to learn what is important to public officials and, in the process, position yourself as a resource on library issues. Appointments will be made for you and others from your legislative district. Background materials and briefing provided in advance give you talking points on the issues. Professional lobbyists will provide tips on having an effective meeting.

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People & Places in the News

Matt Blessing named Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Library-Archives Division

M. Blessing, photo

The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the appointment of Matt Blessing, head of special collections and archives at Marquette University in Milwaukee, as the director of the Society's Library-Archives Division. Blessing, who formerly worked as an archivist at the Society from 1991 to 1999, will begin his new duties on Jan. 17.

Blessing has worked as an archivist for Marquette since 1999, overseeing some of the university's most widely used collections, including the original manuscripts of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" as well as manuscript collections documenting Catholic social justice movements such as Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker Movement. Part of his role has been to digitize significant amounts of material in the university's archival collections for Internet access, something that is also a priority at the Society.

The Society's archives maintains many collections of national scope, including mass communications history; U.S. labor history; social and political collections; and the Draper Manuscripts, which document critical stages in the Westward Movement between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. The archives also include extensive visual and sound records, including more than a million historical photographs, posters, oral history recordings and motion picture films.

The Society's library serves as the North American history library for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds nearly 4 million printed and microform items on history, genealogy and related topics. It also maintains a massive newspaper collection dating to Colonial days and is an official documents depository for the governments of Wisconsin, the United States and Canada.

"The Society's research collections are extraordinary, not only for Wisconsin history, but also across many aspects of American history," said Blessing. "People recognize and value the leadership that the Historical Society continues to provide in preserving and presenting history. I'm excited to join an organization committed to doing such important work."

Blessing will oversee a professional staff of 45 positions. His appointment follows a yearlong national search.

UW-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies

Save the date!

April 14, 2012


UW-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies Annual Ted Samore Lecture featuring:
Cindy Romaine, Special Libraries Association President


The UW-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies invites you to attend our Annual Ted Samore Lecture featuring Cindy Romaine. Cindy has worked in the information and research field for the last 28 years in a variety of public, academic, and special environments. She worked for 16 years at Nike, Inc. as the director of the Design Library and as Corporate Archivist. She is currently the principal of Romainiacs Intelligence Research, an information consultancy that provides in-depth research solutions to corporate clients.

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Calendar of Meetings & Events

Library Legislative Day February 14, 2012, Best Western/Inn on the Park, Madison
WAAL Annual Conference April 17-20 2012, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva

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Education & Enrichment Opportunities

CCBC Calendar & Events SOIS Podcasts
e-Learning from ACRL SOIS Professional Development Institute
SLIS Continuing Education & Online Short Courses Wisconsin State Law Library Classes and Tours

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The WAAL Newsletter welcomes articles of interest to academic librarians. Please consider sharing summaries of research or research in progress, announcements/results of meetings or conferences, and news of staff changes and/or accomplishments. 

Deadline for the next issue:

WAAL Communications Committee:
Peter Gilbert (Chair), Jeff Brunner and Julia Waggoner, (Newsletter Co-Editors), Karen Dunn (Technical Support)

© 2011 Wisconsin Library Association. ISSN 0743-3468
Portions may be quoted or copied if credit is given. Contact the WLA Executive Director when quoting or reproducing extensively. WLA Phone: (608) 245-3640; Fax: (608) 245-3646

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Send questions or comments regarding these newsletter pages to Karen Dunn