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Ceremony scheduled Nov. 19 in Portage
Pat Townsend to receive 2015 ‘Cornerstone Award’

After a busy professional life in nursing, Pat Townsend retired to Adams County in 1979 and began her involvement with public libraries. On Nov. 19, 2015, she will be recognized for her countless efforts as the recipient of the South Central Library System (SCLS) Foundation Cornerstone Award. You can make a contribution to honor Pat at, or you can send a check to the SCLS Foundation, 4610 S. Biltmore Lane, Suite 101, Madison, WI 53718.

Pat Townsend“This year marks the seventh award to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the improvement of library service in their own communities, throughout the South Central Library System, and statewide,” said Cindy Fesemyer, foundation board president and director of the Columbus Public Library. “Pat is an excellent choice because of her selfless service since 1979.”

The award is given to an individual or individuals who have had a significant and long-term impact on enhancing public libraries in South Central Wisconsin and represent the values and mission of the SCLS Foundation. This year’s fundraising award reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. at 205 Vino, 205 De Witt Street in Portage. (

“Libraries have always been a part of my life, so naturally I became a patron when I moved to Adams County in 1979,” Pat said. “One of the first things I did was help develop a “Friends of the Library” group that sponsored the first ‘Chocolate Affair’ fundraiser.” That fundraiser continues today, and Pat said the Adams County Public Library Friends also promotes classic film shows, children’s programming, and many other events as needed. The group has also sponsored art shows of local artists and other local presentations of music and art.

After years of involvement, Pat said she was asked to serve on the community committee assigned to plan a new community center that would include a new library, senior center and space for UW-Extension. “It was so exciting because the new library would more than double the space of the previous building,” Pat said.

Pat continues to serve on the Adams County Library Board, a position she said she hopes to fill for many more years to come. She has also served as a member of the South Central Library System Board of Trustees, and continues to participate when needed.

According to Fesemyer, the seventh annual Cornerstone Award Reception continues a fundraising tradition that has raised more than $70,000 for the foundation in six years.

Again this year, the SCLS Foundation will present three awards to recognize the amazing work public libraries do every day while serving their communities. You can make nominations for the award by visiting The awards are:

“The annual Cornerstone Award fundraising reception is an excellent opportunity to shine the spotlight on someone who has given so much of herself to public libraries,” Fesemyer said. “It’s also a great way to raise money for the Foundation, which in turn makes funds available for projects that benefit all member public libraries.” This year the Foundation made $5,000 available to purchase ebook titles for Wisconsin’s Digital Library (OverDrive collection), thereby reducing library costs, and $3,900 for the purchase of 10 Lego Mindstorms robot kits.

The corporate sponsor for the 2015 Cornerstone Award Reception is the Gordon Flesch Company.


Foundation Board updates disbursement policy

In 2012 the SCLS Foundation passed the $100,000 milestone, which at that time was the benchmark for doing an annual disbursement for the benefit of all member libraries. Having made disbursements to support the purchase of e-content through the statewide OverDrive collection, and also to purchase Lego Mindstorms robots, the Foundation Board realized that future disbursements would be sporadic because of the policy requirements to use the annual profit and loss statement to calculate disbursement amounts.

In order to ensure more frequent and consistent disbursements, the Foundation Board modified the Disbursement Policy to distribute half of the annually collected Foundation donations each year, with the other half invested as usual in the SCLS portion of the Foundation. The 50 percent disbursement amount will be calculated after Foundation promotion expenses (Cornerstone and other) are paid.

The change takes affect immediately and will be used in 2015 to determine the disbursement to be used to benefit member libraries.

The Foundation Board also updated the Wealth Management Investment Policy, and both policies can be found at