WLA President's Message: Ron McCabe on Moving Libraries Forward!

Posted by Lisa Strand on Thursday, January 12, 2012 in WLA News

I am honored to serve as the 2012 President of the WisconsinLibrary Association.  Providing educationfor everyone is the greatest tradition of our democracy and nowhere has thistradition grown stronger than right here in Wisconsin.  Our libraries play a vital role in educationand our community, the Wisconsin Library Association, has been moving librariesforward for 120 years. 
Through years that included two world wars and a GreatDepression, thousands of passionate and committed librarians, trustees, andcitizen activists made sure that Wisconsin’s libraries would continue to servethe many people who count on them.  Todaymillions of people count on us tomove these great institutions through the next era of intense political,economic, and technological change.  Thisis our moment to make a contribution.
The WLA Strategic Plan,which is available on the WLA website, gives us a starting point for the workwe need to do in 2012.  Much has changed,however, since the plan was drafted.  Political and economic support for libraries has been seriously erodedin the past year.  Technological changeis also profoundly influencing how our libraries serve the public.  These changes have resulted in a challengingnew environment for WLA. 
This year we need to rethink everything we are doing in ourlibraries as well as in WLA.  We need todo everything better at a reduced cost. We need to find ways to increase revenues.  Planning and analysis will need to take placeat all levels—individual libraries of all types; library systems; the Divisionfor Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning; and WLA.  Some of these efforts will be formal; mostwill involve informally sharing ideas.
We need everyone’s help to ensure the success of ourlibraries and WLA.  Each of us hassomething to offer that is important to the future of libraries in our greatstate.  It is time to increase membershipand participation in WLA because acting alone at the local level will notsecure a future for our institutions and the library services our peopleneed.  We will stand together or fallapart under the economic and political pressure we now face.  Now is the time to add your voice, yourideas, and your passion to the great cause of educating Wisconsin’s peoplethrough library services.  At this momentof reexamination, your input and support is more important than ever.
Let’s ask the big questions, share ideas, and have a greatyear!
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