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SCLS History

Why do we have library systems?

The cooperative library systems in Wisconsin were first established in the early 1970's as a way to help equalize public libraries services throughout Wisconsin.

The concept of statewide service was expanded further in the 1985 when a requirement was added that all public libraries in a public library system shall honor the valid borrowers' cards of 'a public library in an adjacent public library system, except for the Milwaukee County federated library system."

History of South Central Library System (SCLS)

SCLS received provisional certification from the Wisconsin Division for Library Services to begin operations 1/1/1975 with 28 members in Dane & Sauk counties.    

  • State aid of $336,642      
  • 2 FTE; system administrator and secretary

In 1976 a bookmobile was purchased and began serving Sauk County in 1977. 

Green County libraries joined in 1978 and the bookmobile service was expanded to Green County.  Regular intra-system van delivery services were implemented in 1978.

Columbia County libraries joined in 1980 (40 members total in SCLS)

  • State aid of $432,576
  • 16 employees (including 4 librarians); 8 FTE, 8 part-time

Adams, Wood, Portage Counties libraries joined in 1996.

Village of Randolph joined on Jan. 1, 2016 (54 members)

SCLS Directors

  • Quentin DeStreel -- 1975 - 3/1977
  • Roger Pearson -- 8/1977 - 4/1981
  • Peter Hamon -- 7/1981 - 12/2005
  • Phyllis Davis -- 4/1/2006 - 6/4/2010
  • Martha Van Pelt -- 9/1/2010 - present
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