Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Revisioning Wisconsin Public Library Systems

...the beat goes on

Wisconsin’s library systems have provided services to public libraries in Wisconsin for over 40 years, and over the past 14 years various studies have made recommendations about library systems and their services. A few changes resulted in 2005 Act 420 and Act 226. At the urging of the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND), the Division for Libraries and Technology will take this information further to maximize the public investment in library systems and public libraries.  

To oversee the multi-year project, the Division for Libraries and Technology, in conjunction with COLAND and the Lean Study Steering Group, will select and work with a project Steering Group.
Bee comic and text: I can BEE COOPERATIVE by showing I am willing to do what is asked or required of me

The Steering Group will include:

  • One member of the LEAN Study Group (John Thompson, Director, Indianhead Federated Library System)
  • One member of the COLAND Work Group
  • One resource library director (based on SRLAAW recommendations)
  • One system director (based on SRLAAW recommendations)
  • Milwaukee Public Library Director or designee
  • 4 at-large public library representatives (based on WAPL and WISL recommendations, and one selected from self-nominations) to represent public libraries as follows:
    • One representing libraries in communities of over 25,000 (not a resource library)
    • One representing libraries in communities of 6,000 to 25,000
    • One representing libraries in communities between 3,000-5,999
    • One representing libraries in communities under 3,000
The Steering Group will be formed based upon library size as well as geographic distribution. In addition, members of the LEAN study committee and the COLAND work group on strategic visioning for library systems will provide guidance and support for the Steering Committee.

The Steering Group will:
  • Provide Strategic Vision, oversight and general leadership for the process.
  • Working with DPI, select a project manager to lead the service model development and implementation process.
  • Establish process to select and appoint implementation for work group members.
  • Provide feedback and guidance to the project manager in the development of the work groups and timelines.
  • Provide oversight to ensure transparency and appropriate communication to the library community, decision makers and stakeholders.
  • Work with DPI to assess, based on information gathered and progress of service work groups, budget and legislative requests for the 2017-2019 biennial budget.
Characteristics of the ideal candidate for the Steering Committee:
  • Able to attend in-person in different locations as well as virtual meetings
  • Communicate effectively with members of the library community
  • Willingness to think globally about library services
  • Ability to make a 2-3 year commitment to the process with the support of your library board/director
    • Board/Director approval of time commitment
    • Ability to absorb some travel and meeting expenses (Many meetings will be virtual but some will be in-person; limited funds will be available for travel expenses)
Future opportunities for participation for individuals not selected for the Steering Group (and others in the library community) could involve participation on a work group or reviewing work group recommendations. In addition, work group representation will include subject experts along with individuals selected based on size and region.  
Future work groups will include:
Continuing Education; ConsultingResource Library Services;Technology; Electronic Resources; and areas related to Resource Sharing (These will be separate groups but their discussions will impact the other groups): Interlibrary Loan; ILS/Discovery; and Delivery
In addition, work groups will consider recommendations for changes to Chapter 43 in order to accomplish necessary improvements, as well as changes to System Governance and Administration.
Each constituent group above is being asked for 2 or 3 nominees for the Steering Committee, and the final selection will be made in order to balance size, geography and interests from all Wisconsin public libraries. Additional information about the Committee selection will be provided here, discussed at the WAPL Conference, posted to the COLAND website and various list-serves.  The recommendations can be submitted to John Thompson at Your help, interest, and future participation are appreciated. 
Written by:
John DeBacher, Public Library Development Team, with assistance from COLAND chair Nita Burke and IFLS director John Thompson