Monday, September 12, 2016

WiLS Invites You to Attend a Regional Community Meeting This Fall

Guest Post by Andrea Coffin, Community Liaison/Service Specialist, WiLS
“How should libraries go about this work of aligning with community needs? First, by developing relationships with local government and community leaders. Libraries need to be less autonomous and adopt more collaborative approaches to engaging with and building partnerships across the community.”
-from The Aspen Institute, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries
Strategic partnerships are key to effective library service, but identifying and approaching potential partners can be daunting. WiLS’ 2016 Regional Community Meetings, held in various locations across Wisconsin during the fall, are free half-day opportunities to learn about and use community asset mapping, a powerful tool to help you engage and connect with the people you serve by revealing the assets and potential collaborators in your community, be it your school or university, neighborhood, business, or city. You’ll also be able to develop practical approaches to reaching out to the potential partners you’ve identified, connect with your colleagues in the area, and learn more about WiLS’ projects and services.

Image of illustrated houses and buildings in a neighborhood.
Image provided by WiLS
Staff from all types of libraries and cultural organizations are encouraged to participate in WiLS’ Regional Community Meetings. In addition to cultivating valuable professional connections, the meetings provide skills and tools that are applicable to community organizations of any type: K12, public, academic, and special libraries, as well as museums, historical societies, and other educational organizations. WILS Regional Community Meetings are better with a variety of perspectives.

The dates and locations of this year’s meetings are:
  • Tuesday, September 27, 1-4 p.m. at UW-La Crosse
  • Wednesday, September 28, 1-4 p.m. – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (Rice Lake)
  • Thursday, September 29, 1-4 p.m. – Tomahawk School District
  • Tuesday, October 4, 1-4 p.m. – Appleton Public Library
  • Wednesday, October 5, 1-4 p.m. – Verona Public Library
  • Thursday, October 6, 1-4 p.m. – UW-Waukesha
  • Friday, October 7, 1-4 p.m. – Schreiner Memorial Library (Lancaster)

WiLS is a non-profit membership organization of over 500 libraries and cultural organizations in Wisconsin in beyond.  WiLS works to save its members time and money through four core service areas: cooperative purchasing and projects, consulting, consortium management, and events and education.  You do not need to be a member to participate in WiLS’ events, but general membership is free and comes with great benefits so please consider becoming a member if you aren’t already.

If you have any questions about WiLS’ Regional Community Meetings or any questions about becoming a WiLS member, contact Andrea Coffin at  We hope to see you at a Regional Community Meeting this fall!

Guest Post by Andrea Coffin, Community Liaison/Service Specialist, WiLS