Special Events

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Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965


Tuesday, October 17 

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

WiLS 2017 Fall Classic WiLS 4th Annual Fall Classic: Librarians Take the Lanes
Kalahari Upper Deck Lounge & Lanes

WiLS 2017 Fall Classic Hit the lanes in WiLS' 4th Annual Fall Classic for bowling and socializing with your colleagues and library vendors at WLA 2017! Feel free to bring a group or let WiLS match you up with some teammates. Don't love bowling? That’s okay! We'll have plenty of other games and food so a good time can be had by all. Bowling, shoes, food, and sodas are provided thanks to our generous sponsors – and there will be prizes!

Wednesday, October 18

5:45 - 8:15 p.m.

File:Baraboo Public Library.jpg

Baraboo Public Library Tour and Open House
230 4th Avenue
Baraboo, WI 53913
transportation provided via Kalahari Shuttle


6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Driftless Glen Distillery Tour
300 Water Street
Baraboo, WI 53913
transportation provided via Kalahari Shuttle

8:00 - 11:00 p.m.

WLAFLogo-2WLA Foundation Fundraiser: Return of Team Trivia
Kalahari Convention Center

What do you call an evening of trivia, award-winners, great food and drink, and even better company? We call it the WLA Foundation’s Annual Fundraiser! Get your team together and return this year by joining us during the WLA Conference at the Kalahari on Wednesday, October 18 from 8-11 PM and put your knowledge to the test! We know librarians are filled with answers to all kinds of trivial questions!

Think two brains are better than one – why not 8 brains? We welcome teams of up to 8 to form ahead or form at the event. The cost is only $25 a player if registered in advance, or $30 at the door. Come out and support Wisconsin libraries and let the games begin!!

Thursday, October 19

10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

Duck Tours of the Dells
pick up at main Convention Center doors

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

AboutTour of the Crane Foundation and Library
E11376 Shady Lane Road
Baraboo, WI 53913
transportation provided via Kalahari Shuttle

1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Fall Hike and Citizen Science at Mirror Lake State Park
E10320 Fern Dell Road
Baraboo WI, 53913
transportation provided via Kalahari Shuttle

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Awards & Honors Reception
Kalahari Convention Center

This is your opportunity to personally thank and interact with our award winners.

Sponsored by 

EBSCO Publishing logo-2 2

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Kilbourn Public Library | Lake Delton, WIKilbourn Public Library Open House
620 Elm Street
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
transportation on own


Friday, October 20

9:45 - 11:30 a.m.

explore buildingTour of the H.H. Bennett Studio
215 Broadway
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
transportation via Kalahari Shuttle

Conference Partners

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Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965



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



♦ South Central Library System

♦ WLA Foundation

♦ Worzalla Publishing



♦ Architectural Design Consultants, Inc.


♦ Engberg Anderson

♦ The Information School at UW-Madison

♦ Ingram Content Group

♦ UW-Milwaukee SOIS

♦ Wisconsin Historical Society Press












Keynote Speakers

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1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

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 gathered $380,000 in total funding. Hello Ruby was the most funded book on Kickstarter's children's book category. 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 worked on "edutech" 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, organized 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 platforms to introduce kids to programming.

Linda believes that code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABCs of programming is imminent. She believes our world is increasingly run by software and we need more diversity in the people who are building it. The best way to introduce programming to children is through compelling storytelling. Having never really outgrown fairytales, she sees the web as a maze of stories and wants to hear more diverse voices in that world.


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Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965



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

amyclimerAmy 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/$75 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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Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965


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 wla@wisconsinlibraries.org.

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 Co-Chairs
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