Conference Program

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Conference Program (PDF)

This conference schedule is provided for your convenience and we attempt to be as accurate as possible. However, please be sure to check the official Program Booklet, available at registration, for the final schedule, speaker list and locations of events. Thank you.

Thursday, May 5th

Friday, May 6th



4:00 - 6:00 pm

• WAPL Board meeting
Journey Room

 8:30 - ? pm

• President's Hospitality Reception
Connection Three




7:30 - 9:00 am

• Breakfast Buffet
Destination Ballroom

7:30 am - 4:00 pm

• Registration

9:00 - 10:00 am Keynote address

E-books and the Future of Library Services
Destination Ballroom

The circulation of popular materials—in print—has been a core public library service for over 150 years.  But the recent emergence of e-books, in all their various forms and formats, will very likely challenge this core service.  Tom Peters, a well known authority on e-books, e-readers, e-reading, and e-publishing, will explore the current environment and discuss the likely impact e-books will have on public library services.

Speaker:  Tom Peters 

Tom Peters has worked in and with libraries and library-related organizations for over 25 years. He has been involved in many collaborative projects, working with librarians from academic, public, special, and governmental libraries. Tom also consults with publishers, vendors, and technology companies on a variety of development and testing projects. His current areas of interest and specialization include portable eReading, librarianship in virtual environments, downloadable digital audio books, and other digital library services.  He was also a co-author of the 2010 E-book feasibility study commissioned by the state librarians.

Sponsored by Division for Libraries, Technology & Community Learning

10:00 - 10:30am

• Break

10:30 - 11:30am - First Session

• Who Gets What and When? Discussion of Possible Revisions to the 2005 Wisconsin Interlibrary Loan Guidelines

Reflection B

Wisconsin Interlibrary Loan Guidelines are due for review and possible revisions – this is your chance to participate in a discussion led by R&LL staff about the policies that govern resource sharing in our state. Textbooks? DVDs? New materials? Learn about the implications of changing the guidelines for these materials and others, and share your opinion.

Speakers: Martha Berninger (RLLL), Charles Clemence (WRLS), Maureen Welch (IFLS)

Sponsored by RSRT

• WLA's Oscars: Why and How to Nominate Our Best & Brightest

Reflection A

Have you ever thought about nominating someone for Librarian of the Year?  And just how is the WI Library of the Year chosen?  What about all those other awards?  Here’s your chance to learn more.  This will be a panel discussion with past WLA Awards & Honors committee members, award winners, and nominators, who will help potential nominators get a better feel for what awards are appropriate for whom and how to fill out the forms. Questions are welcome.

Speakers: Roxane Bartelt (Kenosha PL), Jeff Ellair (UW-Sheboygan Library), Jill Lininger (Racine PL)

Sponsored by the Awards & Honors Committee

•  Wisconsin's Public Library Funding Landscape


A $3-billion structural deficit in the state budget puts all programs on the table, not just public library system aids and maintenance of effort, but also funding to local school districts and shared revenues to municipalities.  At the local and county levels, where public libraries receive the majority of their funding, officials are wrestling with shrinking revenues and declining property values.  How do we position ourselves so as not to get squeezed beyond recognition?  Paul Nelson and Tony Driessen describe how best to sustain ourselves is this era of belt-tightening.  A planned and deliberate program of library advocacy is now more important than ever.

Speakers:   Paul Nelson (Chair, WLA Library Development & Legislation Committee), Tony Driessen (Lobbyist and WLA Legislative Advisor, DeWitt Ross & Stephens Law Firm)

Sponsored by LD&L and WLTF

• Videotaping your Patrons:  Program and Marketing Ideas
Connection 1

Have you heard about some of the cool camera work SCLS librarians are doing?  Hear the behind the scenes story of how the Stoughton Public Library created a thirty-minute film depicting the impact libraries have had on the lives of their residents.  Get the scoop on teen Flip Video programming sponsored by the Madison Public Library.  Take away new ideas to promote and program in your library.  Get in on the action!

Speakers:  Sarah Carlson (Stoughton PL), Jesse Vieau (Madison PL)

Sponsored by MATS

•  Children's Spaces, Family Places: Developing Interactive Early Literacy Environments in Your Library

Reflection D

Gather information and ideas about creating environments rich in learning and discovery that will nurture pre-literacy skills in children. Library and Child Care professionals will demonstrate how public library administrators, staff, and community members can create "play and learn" spots in places both large and small for any size budget.

Speakers:  Marge Loch-Wouters (La Crosse PL, 2010 WLA Librarian of the Year), Lynn Montague (Sun Prairie PL), Kathy Kadar (Child Care Resource and Referral, Menasha)

Sponsored by YSS

11:45 am - 1:15 pm - Luncheon Address


•  Keeping Public Institutions Alive

Destination Ballroom

The vitality of public institutions, including libraries, is under political assault in Wisconsin and nationwide to an unprecedented degree. What is the nature of the attack in Wisconsin? How can defenders of public institutions respond?


Dr. Jack Norman (IWF Research Director), Joe Fahey (IWF Organizer)

The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (IWF) is a Glendale-based nonprofit think tank working to sustain healthy public structures and to establish a state and local tax system that provides adequate revenue for public institutions in a manner that is fair to all taxpayers.


1:30 - 2:30 pm - Second Session

• Local Library Planning

Find out how OWLS assists its member libraries in conducting manageable planning processes and the impact they’ve made.  OWLS Director, Rick Krumwiede, will describe a process that has evolved through ten years of facilitating local library planning, and Waupaca Area Public Library Director, Peg Burington, will share how this kind of planning has benefited her library.

Speakers: Rick Krumwiede (OWLS), Peg Burington (Waupaca Area PL)

Sponsored by WAPL & WLTF                               

•  Wisconsin Poet Laureate Project

Connection 1

Bruce Dethlefsen, retired library director and Wisconsin's current Poet Laureate, is on a mission to help public libraries throughout the state set up self-sustaining poetry readings. Hear all about it and then sit back and enjoy yourself as he reads from his own works.

Speaker: Bruce Dethlefsen (Montello PL)

Sponsored by READ     

•  Librarians as Financial Experts: Challenges in Assisting Patrons with Financial Inquiries

Reflection A

The first half of this 60 minute session will be used to define "Financial Literacy" and detail some best practices happening now in Wisconsin Public Libraries. The second half will be set aside for an open discussion of what personal finance issues librarians are seeing with their patrons and how they handle inquiries.

Speakers: Catherine A Smith (UW Madison-SLIS), Kristin Eschenfelder (UW Madison-SLIS), Cindy Fesemyer (UW Madison-SLIS), Sara Byrnes (UW Madison-SLIS)

Sponsored by SLIS and WAPL

•  System Level Cataloging: We May All Be in the Same Boat, But Are We Paddling in the Same Direction?

Reflection B

A panel of Technical Service librarians will discuss the pros and cons of centralized cataloging in public libraries. Specific topics will include quality control, best practices, and how to get system members on board.  Ask questions and share your own experiences.

Speakers: David Goldfein (La Crosse PL), Cheryl Nessman - host (Manitowoc PL),
Jane Richard - host (WiLS), Alison Ross (ESLS), Michael Sheehan (NWLS)

Sponsored by TSS

•  Outreach at the Library: A Win-Win for Staff and Patrons

Reflection D

Learn how the Second Harvest Foodbank has teamed up with public libraries in southwest Wisconsin to reach out to patrons who are using libraries to find resources to meet their basic needs, such as food.  This interactive session, designed to support partnerships between librarians and social services providers, will cover outreach activities including FoodShare (food stamp) application assistance provided onsite by trained Foodbank staff.

Speakers: Gina Wilson, Laura Wichert, Michelle Kramer (all from Second Harvest Foodbank)

Sponsored by WAPL


2:30 - 2:45 pm

• Break

2:45 - 3:45 pm - Third Session

• Successful Small Businesses Need Information
Reflection A

The best resources (print, electronic, fee, free) for small businesses will be introduced.  Judy and Anna will show you how to build successful library programs for small business owners and/or those interested in starting a business.

Speakers:  Judy Pinger (Milwaukee PL), Anna Walls

Sponsored by WAPL & WLTF

•  Googliciousness Revisited


Remember when Google was just a search engine? Times have changed, and Google has a plethora of services that are helpful for all public libraries. Beth & Stef will introduce various Google services and share tips and tricks for using them. Audience members will be encouraged to share their favorite Googlicious tips, too!

Speakers: Beth Carpenter (Kimberly-Little Chute PL), Stef Morrill (SCLS)

Sponsored by MATS

•  How to Get Your Weeding Off the Ground

Reflection B

You know the benefits of weeding, but it just hasn't taken off in your library. In this session, WiLS librarians, Angela and Jane, offer practical suggestions in planning and launching a manageable weeding process from addressing challenges, to preparing practical checklists of tools (including a weeding policy, reports, deselection criteria, and what to what to do with all those books).

Speakers: Jane Richard (WiLS), Angela Milock (WiLS), Ann Lininger (Racine PL)

Sponsored by TSS, RASS


•  Budgeting in Good Times and Bad

Reflection D

New to library budgets or need some divine inspiration?  Join John Thompson as he presents tips on developing, presenting and managing your library budget.  This program will focus upon budgeting in smaller public libraries and on developing a year-long budget cycle.

Speaker: John Thompson (IFLS)

Sponsored by WISLR

  Story Time Swap

Connection 1

Story time isn't just for preschoolers anymore. This year we'll be focusing on preschool and elementary students, but suggestions for all ages are welcome! Presenters will share their kid-tested ideas and then open the floor to hear yours. Come with programming ideas for all the ages you serve—bring about 50 handouts to "swap" with others and come prepared to take home fun things to try at your library.

Speakers: Svetha Hetzler (Middleton PL), Kelly Allen (Oregon PL), Betsy Bromley (Oconomowoc PL), Shirley Creager (McIntosh Memorial Library)

Sponsored by YSS


4:00 - 5:00 pm

  • Speed Networking

Reflection A

New to conference? New to the profession? Meet some of your colleagues in this fun, fast paced activity. You'll spend five minutes talking to individuals and make some new contacts for the rest of the conference.

Speakers: Katharine Clark - host (Madison PL); Rebecca Buchman - host (Black Creek PL)

Sponsored by NMRT


  • Are You Still Buying That Reference Book?

Reflection B

In an age where almost everything is available electronically, how do you decide whether or not to continue buying reference materials in print format?  Amy and Kathy will discuss making reference purchasing decisions in the digital age.

Speakers: Amy Lutzke (Dwight Foster PL), Kathy Hannah (Menasha PL), Linda Bendix (Frank L. Weyenberg Library of Mequon-Thiensville)

Sponsored by RASS


  • Adventures in Digitization: Digital Collections

Connection 1

Panel members who have worked with public libraries of various sizes will discuss their experience in creating digital collections, including the successful implementation of digitization procedures and how they were able to overcome obstacles.

Speakers:  Rose Fortier (Milwaukee PL), Bradley Shipps (Outagamie Waupaca Library System) and Andy Barnett (McMillan Memorial Library), Emily Pfotenhauer (Memorial Library; University of Wisconsin - Madison), Sharon Schwartz (Oshkosh PL)

Sponsored by MATS


  • IM in a Library: Instant Messaging at Milwaukee Public Library


Milwaukee Public Library introduced IM reference service in January, 2011, using the LibraryH3lp platform. Come listen as Sandra and Kristina share their experience in selecting an IM platform, training staff, scheduling coverage and working with library patrons.

Speaker:  Sandra Byrnes (Milwaukee PL), Kristina Gomez (Milwaukee PL)

Sponsored by WAPL


  • Free Legal Assistance Clinics at Your Library

Reflection D

Every librarian knows that legal reference questions can be tough to answer.  Learn how public libraries in one county partnered with courthouse staff to offer free monthly legal clinics to their patrons.   This panel discussion will include perspectives from librarians and courthouse staff on how this highly successful program got started and how you might be able to duplicate it in your area.

Speakers:   Diane Fremgen (Winnebago County Clerk of Courts), Joe Bongers (Elisha D. Smith PL), Dave Keck (Winnebago County Court Commissioner), Mark Arend (Winnefox)

Sponsored by OSRT & WLTF

5:15 - 6:00 pm - Unit Business Meetings

• READ Section - Reflection A

• Youth Services Section - Reflection B

• Wisconsin Small Libraries (WISL) - Inspiration

• Trustees & Friends (WLTF) - Connection 3

• Outreach Services Roundtable - Connection 1

• New Members Roundtable Social - Harvest Lounge

New to the library profession? New to WLA? Looking meet new friends in the library world? If you answered yes to any of these questions, join us for the NMRT Social! A fun and informal meeting session where you can meet new people, connect with people in similar positions from across the state, and make friends with people you will be seeing at conferences for years to come.  

5:15 - 7:00 pm - Dinner break (on your own)


7:30 - 9:00 pm - One Conference, One Read

• Inspiration

Join Greendale Public Library Director Gary Warren Niebuhr in a discussion of a narrative nonfiction treat, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen.  This book was a Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year and was nominated for the Thurber Prize in 2010 for humor.

Speaker: Gary Warren Niebuhr, Greendale Public Library


Back to Wednesday
Back to Thursday

7:30 - 8:45 am

• Hot Breakfast Buffet

7:30 - 10:00 am

• Registration

9:00 - 10:15 am - Fourth Session

•  Hearing Loops in Meeting Rooms and at Service Desks

Reflection B

As our library patrons age, they are more likely to experience hearing loss. A hearing loop uses induction technology to transmit sound from a public address system's microphone directly and wirelessly to the hearing aid’s built in receiver, while also reducing background noise. An LSTA Grant brought the hearing loop technology to the Waupaca and Appleton Public Libraries; learn how your patrons can benefit from this technology.

Speakers: Peg Burington (Waupaca Area PL), Colleen Rortvedt (Appleton PL)

Sponsored by WAPL

•Hosting a Multicultural Fair
Reflection D

Have you ever wondered how you could host a successful multicultural fair at your library without busting your budget?  Attend this session to learn all the secrets of planning, marketing and hosting a winning multicultural fair on a tight budget.

Speaker: René Bue (Hedberg PL)

Sponsored by OSRT, EMIERT

•  Rooted in Excellence: Growing Library Services Through Excellent Relationships with Your Clients!

Reflection A

High quality customer service can keep library clients connected, faithful, AND the best marketing tool in your community. Two veteran librarians from small communities share why they believe they have seen growth when larger libraries in their areas have not and how you can too. Learn how to personalize customer service and how to turn library users into customer evangelists.

Speakers: Michelle Dennis (Clinton PL), Sarah Strunz (Orfordville PL)

Sponsored by WISLR

•  What If: Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom


From book challenges and self-censorship to privacy issues and internet use, questions can arise when putting the principles of intellectual freedom into practice.  Come together with colleagues to share your questions and concerns. You'll get the perspective of several intellectual freedom advocates, as well as your peers, while attending this session.

Speakers: Megan Schliesman (CCBC), Michael Tyree (UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library)

Sponsored by YSS

•  Notable Genre Book Marathon

Connection 1

Good books! Opinionated librarians! We’ve got ‘em at the Genre Book Marathon. This year we’re featuring Romance, Sports Fiction, good reads for seniors, and great children’s books that adults ought to read.

Speakers: Jane Jorgenson (Madison PL), Lucy Hazlewood (Markesan PL), Linda DeCramer (Ripon PL), Susan Belsky (Oshkosh PL)

Sponsored by READ

10:15 - 10:30am - Break

10:30 - 11:45 am - Fifth Session

•  E-books: The Future Is Here


E-books are very popular with many readers, but the devices pose a number of questions and concerns for libraries. A panel of librarians who have forged into this new frontier will share their

best practices, discoveries, and recommendations on incorporating e-book devices into their collection development strategies.

Speaker: Mary Vernau (Altoona PL), Joshua Klingbeil (WVLS IT Director), Linda Bendix (Frank L. Weyenberg Library of Mequon-Thiensville)

Sponsored by RSRT

•  Improve the Local Funding Outlook through Community Advocacy

Connection 1

Using the Geek the Library public awareness campaign as a platform, Jennifer Pearson, OCLC, will discuss the importance of building community relationships and educating the public about your library’s role as a critical community asset.  'Community advocacy' should be part of everyday operations, and Jennifer will provide concrete suggestions.  Sandy Rusch Walton of the Milwaukee Public Library will speak about MPL's experience as a Geek the Library pilot library

Speakers: Jennifer Pearson (OCLC), Sandy Rusch Walton (Milwaukee PL)

Sponsored by WILS

•  Young at Heart: Great Teen Books Even Grown-Ups Will Love

Reflection B

Some of the best and hottest books available right now may have been written for teens, but that doesn't mean your adult patrons won't love them! Hear librarians booktalk some of the best titles YA literature has to offer. You will leave with a list you'll want to share with patrons - and read yourself! Plus, learn how one library is using teen books in popular adult programs.

Speakers: Sue Abrahamson (Waupaca Area PL), Kristine Millard (Lodi Woman’s Club PL), Julie Harrison

Sponsored by YSS

•  Think Free! The Best Free Digital Tools for Public Libraries

Reflection A

From Jing to Prezi, Gliffy to Gimp, the web is full of fun new tools to make your life easier. This session will identify the best free digital tools for use in public libraries and provide an overview of their basic functions and possible applications. 

Speaker: Kristina Gómez (Milwaukee PL), Meagan Parker (Fond du Lac PL)

Sponsored by WAPL


•  Defending Your Budget with Data from the Annual Reports

Reflection D

Public libraries have always needed to explain why funds are needed for staff, collections, programs and technology.  John DeBacher will show you how to utilize data and report from the public library annual report to support your case

Speaker: John DeBacher (DPI-DLTCL)

Sponsored by DLTCL

12:00 – 1:30 pm Luncheon Address

• A Life in Radio
Jim Fleming, long-time WPR host, shares how public radio programs come together, and how the topics he's covered on To the Best of Our Knowledge and other programs have affected his life and world view.