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Terry Dawson, WLA Legislative Chair, Testifies in Favor of SB 375

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, January 20, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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SB 375, a bill to delay changes to WiscNet that were inserted into the 2011-13 budget bill in the 11th hour, was the subject of a January 19 hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education. The committee will hold an executive session (vote) on the bill on Monday, January 23.Terry Dawson, Chair of the WLA's Library Development and Legislation Committee, spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of WLA, countering claims by telecommunications groups that there is sufficient broadband and cheap Internet service available to everyone in the state. Terry's main points:WiscNet provides cost-effective, high quality Internet service to its members, including K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and 95 percent of public libraries in the state. According to information on the Department of Administration's website, service from other providers would cost 4-5 times more than WiscNet charges.Schools will likely need to know by February 2013...

Barbara Dimick, Director of Madison Public Library, to Retire

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Monday, January 23, 2012 in Libraries in the News
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After 35 years with the library, including 15 as director, Barb Dimick will retire on February 24. Susan Lee, library business operations manager, will serve as interim director during the nationwide search for a new director. Read more...Congratulations, Barb!...

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

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

Urge Your Legislator to Support SB 375/AB 473 to Delay WiscNet Changes

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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You may recall that during the state budget process, language was adopted altering the relationship the University of Wisconsin has with WiscNet, effective July 1, 2013.  The budget bill also required the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) to complete a financial and performance audit of the UW’s relationship with WiscNet by January 1, 2013. This leaves only six months to respond to audit recommendations before the legislation goes into effect!The new law will directly impact the relationship WiscNet has with its 450 members located throughout the state, affecting service to K-12 schools, higher education, and 95% of the state’s public libraries. During the extensive budget deliberations there was not enough time to adequately discuss this complex issue.  Many questions remain unanswered.Fortunately, Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Representative Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) have introduced SB375/AB 473 amending the effective date of the original legislation to July 1, 2014. A bipartisan group of legislators is...