A correction and update to my November report;†† Beth Moss has been confirmed by the Dane County Board of Supervisors to fill the seat of a representative of the Madison Public Library Board replacing Maya Cole.
I have continued my travels to meet with members in New Glarus, Sun Prairie, Stevens Point, and Madisonís Pinney Branch.† I attended the Columbia County Library Board meeting in Wyocena.†
The Wisconsin Library Association conference was held November 2 Ė 5 at the Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in the Wisconsin Dells.† In addition to attending programs, SCLS staff members;† Cheryl Becker, Vicki Teal Lovely, Jon Mark† Bolthouse, Stef Morrill, Jean Anderson, Mark Ibach and Shawn Brommer participated as presenters and introduced speakers.† I attended workshops dealing with Wisconsin History, new technology, cooperation, communication, Koha and the BadgerNet fiber grant.
The federal issues stalling the DOA Stimulus grant have not been resolved, and the grant is not yet moving forward.† In order for schools and libraries to apply for e-rate for their telecommunications lines (which we do through the TEACH program), DOA has signed a one-year contract extension for BadgerNet, the state program we use for our telecommunications lines.†† This extension holds fees at the 2010 levels, which are, unfortunately, significantly higher than anticipated.† Along with the stimulus grant, the expectation was the DOA would sign a five-year contract extension, thereby lowering fees.†† While the hope is still there that the five-year contract extension will be signed, nothing will happen in the next few weeks.† Oskar Anderson, the DOA Chief Information Officer has left, and itís unlikely that there will be anyone to make decisions on these contracts prior to the Walker Administration taking office.††
In light of the uncertain state of economic affairs and the large number of freshman representatives elected within the state government, 2011 will be an important year for library advocacy. ††We need to be proactive and send a large number of library supporters to the February 22 Library Legislative Day in Madison.†† We need to build relationships with our legislators in advance of asking for their support in the near future. ††Even the legislators we donít talk to will be positively impacted by seeing a large number of constituents who identify with libraries.† When you go, take a friend, a grandchild or your spouse.† Information about registering to attend is included with your board packet.
Mark Ibach and Shawn Brommer are developing a pilot project with several libraries to engage the parents of young children in grassroots advocacy. They are creating sound bites that can be incorporated into regular story times, newsletters, web pages, and other materials. The goal is to give parents information they can use to talk about the important work libraries do. They also have plans to create a library themed story time, complete with book suggestions, activities, bookmarks and "Speak Up For Your Library" cards.
I have been preparing education topics for the 2011 Board meetings.† I envision these to be approximately 15 -20 minute presentations by various board members, SCLS staff and outside speakers.
My list of topics includes advocacy, Koha, Trustee Essentials Chapters, E-Books and Delivery.† Please let me know of additional topics you are interested in learning or if my proposed list needs to be changed.
The December board meeting will include a potluck to thank our board members for their time and work in support of SCLS.† I want to add an extra thank you for helping me in my new position and making me feel welcomed.
Martha Van Pelt