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SB 375 Approved in Senate Committee, 6-1

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Monday, January 23, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Today, the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education Committee, voted 6 – 1 to recommend SB 375 for passage.  With Senators Harsdorf, Moulton, Schultz, Hansen and Shilling voting in favor  and Sen. Kedzie opposed, this indicates strong support for the bill.Next, the bill will be discussed in the Senate Organization committee and then scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate. Please take the time to thank the Senate committee members for their support.  Thanks to all who have already contacted their Senators and Assembly members about SB 375 and AB 473. (See prior blog post about WLA testimony at the Senate hearing held last week.)...
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Libraries Support Read to Lead Task Force Recommendations

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Monday, January 23, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The following editorial, distributed to newspapers statewide, is by Rhonda Puntney, youth services and special needs consultant at the Lakeshores Library System and WLA's immediate past president.The Wisconsin Read to Lead Task Force recently released important recommendations to improve literacy in Wisconsin by ensuring that each child can read by the end of 3rd grade. I applaud the attention to children’s literacy; after all, in my career as a youth services librarian and consultant to libraries, I have been connecting children with books and getting them excited about reading for many years.  As the immediate past president of the Wisconsin Library Association, I want to remind teachers and parents alike about important role that all school and public libraries and librarians play in developing literacy skills.As a youth services consultant for a public library system in southeastern Wisconsin, part of my job responsibilities including coordinating summer library programming for our fifteen...

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
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
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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...