Friday, November 16, 2007


The Fourth Quarter meeting of Wisconsin Library Trustees and Advocates (WLTA) was held at the Portage Public Library on Saturday, November 10th. Thirteen board members and two guests were in attendance. The following are highlights from that meeting:

  • A letter from the out-going Chairperson was read. She outlined what we have accomplished during the past year, as well as the role she intends to fill in the future.
  • Activities at the past week's COLAND meeting were reported
  • Discussion was held regarding the 2008 VISION Summit being planned by COLAND and the DPI. This meeting will discuss the "Library of the Future" and attempt to provide direction for Wisconsin libraries during the next 10 to 20 years. The last time a meeting of this type was held was in 1996. That session focused extensively on new technology for libraries. BADGERLINK was one of the outcomes of that session.
  • A report from our Advocacy Advisor was discussed. She indicates that since the budget has now been passed with many favorable features for libraries, we need to focus our activities on local issues. Many local budgets are still in limbo as a result of the procrastination of the State Legislature. Advocacy issue reports are provided to us by the Director of the Rhinelander District Library.
  • A one page summary of the "By-Laws" section of the DPI Trustee Manual was distributed. The importance of having up-to-date policies & procedures was stressed. Making sure that this was the case is a role of library trustees. These summaries are provided by the recently retired Director of Wisconsin Valley Library Service.
  • The trial "marriage" between ALTA (American Library Trustees Association) and FOLUSA (Friends of Libraries USA) was discussed. Also, information on a Friends of Libraries manual was shared.
  • The Conventions Chairperson reported on our participation in the recent WLA convention in Green Bay. Most of our sessions had standing-room-only attendance. Programs for the Spring WAPL convention in Stevens Point were discussed. Included was a program on Process-Flow analysis as part of a library quality improvement program. Similarity to automotive industry programs was noted.
  • The WLA Executive Director touched on several subjects including the use of OPAL as a means of conducting meetings. Electronic meetings will be becoming an ever increasingly attractive option as transportation costs continue to soar.
  • The DPI liason gave an extensive verbal report on activities in his area. These included follow-up action on the Greener Pastures - Rural Library Sustainability Project. No-cost education courses through Web-Junction were highlighted.
  • Our web-master has done extensive work on the process of changing our By-Laws to the Policies and Procedures format. The changes were discussed and further revisions suggested. The current format may be seen on our division web-site. Approval of the final format will be voted on at the February meeting.
  • The game-plan for our promotion program for Library Legislative Day was approved. We will work through the seventeen Library System Directors, encouraging formation of teams of non-professionals to attend. The coordinators of the Day and the WLA Executive Director will help in promotion of our program.
  • The date for the 2008 Friends Conference to be held at SWLS (Southwest Library System) will be set shortly. It appears that the theme of this conference will be "How To Start A Friends Group".
  • Board members were encouraged to visit our "Wiki" as this will be a growing method of communication in the future. Use of our "list-serv" will also be used for communication with the members of our Division.
  • The board had been considering how to display the new assimilation of Friends of Wisconsin Libraries into our group for over a year. We decided to make a formal name change. Our new name will be WISCONSIN LIBRARY TRUSTEES & FRIENDS -- WLTF. Actions will be taken at several levels to change our identify within the Wisconsin library community.
  • Two volunteers were obtained to satisfy the remaining committee appointments needed by the WLA Chair-Elect.
  • Discussion was held regarding establishing more extensive committee assignments within our board in 2008. These assignments will help define the ideal size of our board. We will also work toward establishing a Trustee and a Friend liason within each of the 17 Library Systems in 2008. This will also help communication avenues.
  • Portage and Saturday were approved as location and day of 2008 meetings. Meeting dates of 2/16, 5/17, 8/16, & 11/15 were agreed to.

This was a very good session, with a large number of issues being addressed. The Executive Committee of WLTF will be meeting electronically every month to ensure continued action on all our activities. We will work toward distribution of more informative materials before the meeting dates so board members come prepared to discuss the issues.

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