Library Legislative Day Attracts Nearly 200

Posted by Lisa Strand on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
Library Legislative Day 2011Despite having been rescheduled on a day of rainy, cold weather, nearly 200 individuals attended Library Legislative Day on March 22 in Madison. Held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association (WEMTA) Conference, the event started with a legislative briefing at Monona Terrace. Prior to appointments with legislators, the group gathered on Olin Terrace and walked to the Capitol building and into the Rotunda. Ron McCabe, WLA President-elect, gave brief remarks before library supporters ventured off to meetings with legislators.

WLA thanks all library supporters who turned out for this important event.

Here is the text of Ron's remarks:
We stand here today as proud representatives of the greatest tradition of our great state, the tradition of quality education for all.  In our democracy, everyone is allowed and encouraged to take part in the political, social, and economic life of their community, their state, and their nation.  Public education is the most powerful means we have to encourage and enable that participation--and libraries play a vital role in this effort to create a more perfect union.

Education often begins in the classroom, but it doesn’t end there.  Libraries provide opportunities for lifelong learning that extend beyond the classroom and beyond graduation.  Our school, technical college, university, and community libraries offer ways to share costly educational resources that we need, but cannot afford to purchase as individuals.  Wisconsin’s extensive and highly efficient networks of library cooperation expand local sharing by providing access to libraries throughout the state.

We are here today representing the millions of Wisconsinites whose lives are enriched by library services.  Years ago a youth services librarian told me the story of a little boy who had attended one of her a programs.  When they mixed two primary colors of paint together and made a new color, the boy exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!”

For those of us who are a bit older, that “miracle” doesn’t seem so miraculous.  But we are all looking for that next discovery, that next miracle in our lives.  And those of us who work in libraries see these miracles happen every day and know that these miracles are what education is all about.  We work hard to make sure that they keep happening because we know that Wisconsin cannot go forward without them.  We ask legislators of both parties to support us in this great work.
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