Wisconsin Library Association Announces 2018 Legislator of the Year and Library Champions Awards

Posted by Brigitte Rupp Vacha on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 in Events and Promotions

Members of the Wisconsin Legislature were honored by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) at its annual Library Legislative Day gathering on February 20.

Representative Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) was named 2018 WLA Legislator of the Year for her work to secure additional funding for regional technology resources and enhanced public library services in the areas of broadband access, workforce development, and lifelong learning. Felzkowski represents the 35th Assembly district.

Three Library Legislative Champions were honored for demonstrating significant support for Wisconsin libraries throughout the 2017-2019 budget process, as well as promoting the Public Library Data and Technology Training Bill now awaiting Governor Walker’s signature. They are 31st Assembly District Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), 34th Assembly District Representative Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) and 24th District Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point). Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction Kurt Kiefer from the Division for Libraries and Technology was similarly recognized.

Special Recognition Awards were presented to legislative aides Elisabeth Portz (Representative Felzkowski), Matt Wimmer (Senator Testin) and Danielle Zimmerman (Representative Loudenbeck).

This year’s invited Library Legislative Day speakers were Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.
WLA members visit the capitol each February to share their success stories of the previous year with legislators, as well as celebrate the association’s anniversary. WLA’s organizational meeting was held in the State Capitol on February 11, 1891.

“Library Legislative Day at the State Capitol offers a wonderful opportunity to thank legislators for carrying on a strong tradition of legislative support for Wisconsin libraries,” said WLA Executive Director Plumer Lovelace. “Our Legislator of the Year and Library Champions have been instrumental during the past year in creating new opportunities for libraries to transform their communities.”

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