Friday, January 2, 2015

COLAND works to promote all libraries in Wisconsin

Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin
Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin
Created by the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1979, the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) advises the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure that all state citizens have access to library and information services.

The 19-member council, appointed by the governor, functions as a forum through which librarians and members of the public identify, study, and collect public testimony on issues affecting Wisconsin libraries and other information services.

Council findings are communicated as advisory recommendations to the State Superintendent, Governor, and Legislature.

Key responsibilities of COLAND:
  • promoting free access to knowledge, information, and diversity of ideas by all Wisconsin residents;
  • facilitating the most effective use of library resources through interlibrary cooperation among all types of libraries;
  • promoting cooperation and resource sharing among public libraries, school libraries, other types of libraries, and related agencies; and
  • planning, coordinating, evaluating, and setting statewide priorities for the development of networks to enable library cooperation and resource sharing within Wisconsin.
COLAND holds open meetings six times per year and conducts hearings on library policies and publications. Members offer advice as part of the Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) biennial budget request and provide testimony on state and federal legislation. Council members also provide advice to DPI on publications, policies, and products.

Library shelf with books
Library shelf photo courtesy of Pixabay
COLAND works closely with the DPI Division for Libraries and Technology. Membership includes nine professional members who represent public, school, academic, special, and private libraries as well as library educators. The remaining ten council positions are held by public members with a demonstrated interest in libraries or other types of information services. COLAND members are appointed to serve three year terms, ending on July 1 of each year.

Organizations interested in nominating individuals to serve on COLAND, as well as individuals interested in self-nominating to serve on COLAND, should contact the Governor’s office at (608) 266-1212 or complete the application form found on the Governor’s appointments site.

Members of the library community and the general public are welcome to attend council meetings and to address the group or a committee on specific questions under consideration. To ensure that adequate time will be available, requests should be submitted to the council chairperson or appropriate committee head three weeks before a meeting.

The next meeting of COLAND will be held Friday, January 9, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 401 Teacher Education, 225 N. Mills Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.

For more information about the council and its work, or for a schedule of meetings, see the COLAND website ( or contact the Division for Libraries and Technology at  (608) 266-2205.