Conference Partners

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We gratefully acknowledge the following for their support of the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference. 



♦ South Central Library System

♦ Worzalla Publishing




♦ The Information School at UW-Madison

♦ UW-Milwaukee SOIS

♦ Wisconsin Historical Society Press













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Come to the Kalahari early and enjoy one of these fabulous pre-conferences! 


1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Deliberate Creativity Workshop: How to Innovate on Demand
Kalahari Convention Center

Registration fee: $25 WLA members/$50 non-members
Maximum 75 registrants

Amy Climer, Climer Consulting, Asheville, NC
We spend time teaching our team how to communicate better, manage projects and use social media all while expecting them to be creative and innovative. Yet, we rarely teach them how to be creative. Highly creative people use strategies to help them be more innovative and implement change. In this workshop you will learn and practice the Creative Problem Solving process, a research-based strategy that has been used in organizations around the world. During the workshop, you will work on a real challenge from your organization and leave with dozens of new ideas. Most importantly, you will leave with tools and techniques to repeat with your own staff to bring out their creativity.

Sponsored by WLA and UW-Milwaukee SOIS

Representation, Authenticity and Being Real: Diversity in Youth Services
Kalahari Convention Center

Registration fee: $40 WLA members/$45 non-members
Maximum 50 registrants

Anna Haase Krueger and Tami Lee, Youth Services Librarians, Ramsey County Public Libraries, St. Paul, MN
#WeNeedDiverseBooks...and then some. This power-packed YSS + DPI preconference will take a deep dive into collection development (purchasing, weeding, displaying, promoting, and MORE) and library programming (themes, language, selections, marketing, and MORE). Anna and Tami will share examples and help attendees identify ways to actively make a difference. Preconference participants will also experience hands-on book examination through new lenses of learning. Leave this preconference with a renewed commitment to visibly serving everyone in your local, and global, community. A robust snack is included in the preconference fee.

Sponsored by WLA YSS and DPI

The Committee

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The committee is hard at work to create a great conference for you!  

If you have any questions, please contact them directly or send an email to

Conference Committee Chair
Joshua Cowles
Fond du Lac Public Library

Conference Committee Co-Chair 
Jennifer Haas Thiele
Marinette County Consolidated Library Service

Book Signing Chair/Major Speakers
Jill Fuller
Bridges Library System 

Booklet Chair
Desiree Bongers
Ripon Public Library 

Exhibits Co-Chairs
Shannon Schultz
Department of Public Instruction 

Cindy Fesemyer
Columbus Public Library 

Exhibits Vendor Liaisons
Matthew Kopyar
Quality Books

Eric Shotwell
Ingram Content Group 

Local Arrangements Co-Chairs
Jenna Assmus
Rio Community Library

Kristine Millard
Lodi Woman's Club Public Library 

Zoe Nissen
UW-Madison SLIS 

Partnership Chair
Karen Jander 
UW-Milwaukee Libraries 

Program Co-Chairs
Steev Baker
Sun Prairie Public Library  

Melody Clark

Bekky Vrabel
UW-Green Bay Library 

Publicity Chair
Jamie Matczak
Nicolet Federated Library System 

Angela Meyers
Bridges Library System 

Registration Co-Chairs
Beth Kucera

Amy Waldman
Milwaukee Public Library 

Technology Co-Chairs
Wyatt Ditzler
Beloit Public Library 

Kris Houtler
Reedsburg Public Library 

WLA Conference Liaison
Brigitte Rupp Vacha 

Keynote Speakers

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Wednesday, October 18

gracelimpicGrace Lim 

At the age of 5, Grace Lim left the tiny island of Taiwan for the United States, where she quickly learned the language of her adopted country. With more than 20 years of journalism experience, Lim has covered stories ranging from hard-news crime to celebrity profiles, working for the Austin American-Statesman and the Miami Herald. During one nutty year working as a staff reporter for The Star (yes, the supermarket tabloid), she traveled to 30 states, tagged Liz Taylor to Acapulco and secured the worldwide exclusive story from Charles Manson’s biological son. Despite that year, formerly known as the Grace Gone Wild journalistically period, she was accepted to Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where, much to the chagrin of the really serious students, she graduated with honors. Prior to moving to Oshkosh, she was a staff correspondent for the Miami bureau of People magazine and is proud to say she refrained from selling Justin Timberlake’s phone number on eBay. These days she is paying penance for any journalistic transgressions she may have committed in her youth. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where her students produce the Humans of Oshkosh Storytelling Project, and speaks to numerous organizations including TEDx Oshkosh about the power of storytelling. 


Thursday, October 19

lindaliukaspicLinda Liukas

Linda is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. Her book series Hello Ruby introduces the whimsical world of technology for kids and has been translated to over 20 languages.  

Hello Ruby made its debut on Kickstarter and quickly smashed its $10,000 funding goal after just 3.5 hours and gathering 380 000 dollars in total funding. Hello Ruby was the most funded book on Kickstarter's children's book category. Her TED talk has gathered over 1.5 million views. The book series has grown to cover three books: on programming, on computers and on the Internet.  

Linda is a central figure in the world of programming and has worked on edutech already before it was called that. Linda is the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon teaching the basics of programming for young women all over the world. The workshops, organised by volunteers in over 270 cities, have in a few years taught more than 10 000 women the foundations of programming.

She previously worked at Codecademy, a programming education company in New York with over 5 million users all over the world, but left to work on the children's book which she believes is one of the best platform to introduce kids to programming.

For Exhibitors

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 Exhibitor, Sponsor and Advertising 
Opportunities Now Available! 

For your convenience, below are the individual links to all documents needed to fully participate in this year's conference. Please forward completed contracts to

Exhibitor Contract
Kalahari Exhibit Hall Floor Plan {sold booths will be highlighted in yellow}
Exhibit Categories
Hotel Information
Sponsorship Opportunities
Booklet Advertising

Indy Author and Program Garden

On behalf of WLA and the 2017 Conference Committee, we are pleased to welcome all of our exhibitors to the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells.

Valley Expo & Displays is the official general service provider for our conference; their Service Kit will be available within a few weeks. Please note that the exhibit hall is carpeted. Wireless internet as also available at no charge.

Set-up, show and tear down hours are as follows:

Exhibitor Move In: Tuesday, October 17, 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 18, 7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Show Hours: Wednesday, October 18, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 19, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 pm.

Exhibitor Move Out: Thursday, October 19, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Dear WLA Partners,

Please join us for an outstanding WLA conference at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, October 17-20, 2017.

Recharge! That's our message for the 2017 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference. We’ll be focusing on helping library professionals find that first, second, third or fourth wind that will really help them supercharge their library and its role in the community.

This year we’re reenergizing the Exhibit Hall, too! We’ve listened to your suggestions over the years and are trying a bunch of new ideas to pull people into the Exhibit Hall more frequently throughout the day.

We’re locating an area of interest in each row of vendors, as well. So our “gold booths” that came at a premium in order to be closer to the action are no more. Now ALL of our booths are gold booths. Take a look at the map and decide if you want to be close to:

  • the Career Center & Information Station
  • the food and snack station
  • the Indy Author and Programming Garden
  • the Silent Auction
  • or near the tables that will feature activities throughout the two days

The individual links above provide the various contracts to enable you to fully participate in this year's conference. Booth space will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The floor plan will be updated as contracts are received in the WLA office and spaces sold will be highlighted in yellow; an updated floor plan will be posted on the exhibitor web page as changes are made.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with your company to produce a great conference in 2017! Please contact the WLA office at 608.245.3640 or email any member of the Exhibits Team if you have any questions about these opportunities. We look forward to seeing you at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells!

Thank you,

Brigitte Rupp Vacha
WLA Conference Liaison
Wisconsin Library Association 

Shannon Schultz
2017 Exhibits Co-chair
Department of Public Instruction

Cindy Fesemyer
2017 Exhibits Co-chair
Columbus Public Library   

Vendor Representatives
Matthew Kopyar

Eric Shotwell