Newsletter -- From the Ground Up

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For service to public libraries
Pat Townsend receives 2015 Cornerstone Award

Pat Townsend, an Adams County library trustee and former nursing professional, was honored on Nov. 19, 2015, by the South Central Library System (SCLS) Foundation as the recipient of the 2015 Cornerstone Award.

This was the seventh year the award has been presented, and it honors recipients who have made significant contributions to the improvement of library service in their own communities, throughout the South Central Library System, and statewide.

"Pat was an excellent choice because of her selfless service since 1979," said SCLS Foundation Board President Cindy Fesemyer.

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. The 2015 fundraising award reception was held at 205 Vino in Portage.

When accepting the award, Pat said that libraries have always been a part of her life, so when she moved to Adams County in 1979 it was a natural fit to become involved with the library.

She was instrumental in the creation of the library's Friends of the Library group, which sponsored the first "Chocolate Affair" fundraiser that continues today. The Friends 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.
Pat was very involved in the planning and construction of the current library, and she 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 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 nearly $80,000 for the Foundation in the past seven years.


Libraries receive special Foundation awards

Libraries come in all shapes and sizes, and each serves its community in unique ways. North Freedom Public Library, Mount Horeb Public Library, and Columbus Public Library are the 2015 recipients of the "Super Awesome Library Award" the "Program Wizard Award," and the "Giddy Up Partner Award" respectively.

North Freedom Public Library
The "Super Awesome Library Award" is "For the library that was overall awesome in 2015. Maybe they handled a tough situation with grace. Or took a new approach. Or are just plain super awesome every day."

"North Freedom Public Library is a wonderful haven for both young and old, male or female," said Marja Lawrecki, the nominator and self-described "proud member" of the North Freedom Public Library.

"However, the most wonderful thing about this library—besides its wonderful, helpful librarians—is that they provide reading glasses to the customers who have difficulty reading, or using the computer."

North Freedom also has a collection of special cake pans, in all shapes and sizes, that it loans out to customers. There is a teddy bear, SpongeBob SquarePants, a Minion, a dump truck—nearly 70 in all.

Mount Horeb Public Library
Each October, Mount Horeb Public Library encourages the community to come together surrounding the joy of a good book through a series of programs that take place under the over arching theme, "The Big Read." This year the library took a slightly different approach when it chose "Go Set a Watchman" by Harper Lee. Set in the mid 1900s, this novel explores the characters' personal and political struggles during the turbulent era that shaped America.

For this program and others, the Mount Horeb Public Library has been selected to receive "Program Wizard Award," which is "For a super creative, innovative and fun library program created by library staff. In the library or out. For babies or seniors or anyone in between. A one-off or a regular series. If Dumbledore thinks it’s worthy of Wizard status, nominate it!"

Reference and Adult Programming Librarian Melissa Roelli planned and coordinated all events associated with the "Big Read," and many other programs that took place this fall. "We are so lucky to have her on staff," said Jessica Williams, director. The Big Read featured films, events, music and book discussions.

"Throughout the month, our library featured incredible programs that gave our community a better understanding of the time period the characters in the book navigated, known as the Civil Rights era," Roelli said. "Seeing participants asking questions, sharing stories, and having 'ah-ha' moments during the events was heartwarming. The discussions they had with each other following each program was even better. We know these programs truly reached people. It is an honor for us as a library to be able to provide these enrichment opportunities to our community."

Columbus Public Library
Partnering with community organizations and agencies is common practice for public libraries, and Columbus Public Library received the 2015 "Giddy Up Partner Award" for its efforts.

The award recognizes strong community partnerships that add value to the library and the community as a whole. In 2014, Columbus Public Library, Columbus Area Senior Center, Columbus Recreation, Columbus Community Learning Center and the Columbus Community Hospital teamed up to create the Columbus Community Calendar, a one-stop, online resource for happenings in and around Columbus.

"The calendar was an instant success, with more and more people turning to it for information each month and over a dozen organizations now listing their events on a regular basis," said Katy Kraemer, Columbus Schools Community Liaison. "Together, these five groups are setting a great example of how to increase the quality-of-living in Columbus simply by working together."


Talk of the Town continues

Thanks to funding of $4,800 from the SCLS Foundation, the South Central Library System is continuing as a News Partner in CW57's Talk of the Town program (recent edition).

Each month SCLS and its member libraries create a 5-minute interview that runs about 5 times during the week after recording. In addition, SCLS has multiple 30-second commercials that run about 40 times per month.

The interviews and commercials are on general topics related to public libraries, and promote the work of all libraries in the system.


Planned giving brochure available

In an effort to encourage more estate planning with an eye toward the SCLS Foundation, a Planned Giving brochure has been created that is available for use by libraries that are members of the SCLS Foundation. You can download a pdf of the brochure at


Libraries can use PayPal donation option

To encourage donations to library foundation accounts, Foundation member libraries can use the PayPal logo on their web sites and have people specify the recipient of the donation. You can learn more about this at