Here’s WAPL!

Please mark your calendars for the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) Annual Conference on May 11-13, 2022 at The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

The goal of the 2022 WAPL conference is to empower attendees to explore the INFINITE POSSIBILITIES for their libraries, communities, and beyond!

Stay tuned for future conference announcements via email; by following #WAPL2022, the WAPL 2022 Annual Conference Event, and the Wisconsin Library Association on Facebook; and by visiting the WAPL Annual Conference website.

New Spring Series Just Added

Wisconsin Valley Library Service, Northern Waters Library Service, Southwest Wisconsin Library System and the IFLS Library System are excited to announce a Spring Webinar Series. Each webinar will be worth 1 contact hour for public library certification, and they will be recorded for later viewing. Registration is now open for all three webinars.  These are all on the IFLS Calendar, too!

Enhancing Your Workplace Culture Tuesday, April 19; 12 pm Register

Work should be a place that is invigorating, not draining. Culture is the underlying foundation that creates an atmosphere where ideas, teamwork, and personal and professional growth can flourish – and you can be a key to effecting incremental change to “right the ship.”  A healthy culture makes for happier employees, and is reflected in the service extended to citizens. This webinar will cover assessing existing workplace culture, establishing goals for change, obtaining buy-in from co-workers, implementation strategies, and more.

Brenda Viola is a communications consultant currently residing in Sarasota, Florida. A former news anchor and reporter, previous clients include the American Library Association (ALA), American Public Works Association (APWA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), National Recreation and  Parks Association (NRPA), and International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).  Her messages are powerful because they have been developed in the trenches, working side by side with dedicated librarians, clerks, public works, parks and recreation and other local government professionals. She is a member of the National Speakers Association  (NSA) and is involved with Rotary International and Toastmasters. 

Where Does the Money Come From? Public Library Funding in Wisconsin, Thursday, April 28; 1 p.m. Register

IFLS Director John Thompson will talk us through how public libraries are funded in Wisconsin, making clear the muddy waters of Act 150, county reimbursement, municipal funding, and other sources. Participants will come away with a better understanding of how libraries are funded, as well as some ideas about how this knowledge can help inform advocacy for maintaining or improving budgets. This webinar is designed for library directors and staff, as well as library board members and Friends.

John Thompson has served as the IFLS System Director since January 2007. The IFLS Library System, headquartered in Eau Claire, has 53 member libraries in 10 counties. John regularly provides training and consulting for library boards and staff on library administration topics. His prior work experience includes serving as the Library Director in Prairie du Sac for 16 years.  John is the 2021 WLA/DEMCO Wisconsin Librarian of the Year.

Public Libraries and Fake News: How to Educate and Inform in the Age of Disinformation, Thursday, May 5; 10 a.m.  Register

In this presentation, Sam Molzahn and Barbara Alvarez will share ideas about how public libraries can educate their communities about information literacy in a time where fake news seems to dominate. Sam and Barbara will discuss historical and contemporary concepts of disinformation, misinformation, and fake news, and provide ideas about how you can ensure access to credible resources and develop courses, resources, and partnerships to dismantle disinformation.

Barbara Alvarez is an Information Specialist and Instructor of Information Science. She has an MLIS from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. Barbara is the author of “Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian” with ALA Editions and has written articles about disinformation and fake news for Public Libraries Magazine. Stay in touch at
Sam Molzahn is the adult reference and technology librarian at the Franklin Public Library (WI) and earned his MLIS from UW-Milwaukee in 2017. He has taught classes on fake news and media literacy for five years and is passionate about creating informed citizens of all ages. Feel free to contact Sam at

John’s Show On The Road

These are the last 2 of a 3-part series, free to all Wisconsin Library staff.

We have a dream: Library space alternatives, March 14, 10am  REGISTER We know we need more space… now what? This session will outline the pro’s and con’s of some possible solutions including additions and remodeling, converting an existing building, and building a new library/municipal building.

Paying for the dream: Municipal funding & fundraising tips, March 21, 10am REGISTER  How will we pay for a new library space? Should we start raising money now? Every community and their library building project is different. John Thompson (Director, IFLS Library System) will share information on funding sources and tips, as well as ideas to help you get started with fundraising.

Coming Up in IFLS-land

  • Sun Mar 13, Daylight Savings Time
  • Fri Mar 18, MORE Directors Council meeting, followed by Explore MORE Passport Program Orientation, idea-sharing and Q&A
  • Fri Apr 1, MORE Executive Committee Meeting
  • Mon Apr 4, Launch: Explore MORE Passport Program
  • Tue Apr 5, Bringing the Library to Your Community

Keep Your Eye on this $7M

On March 3, the American Library Association announced that its Libraries Transforming Communities initiative will be distributing $7 million in grants to support accessibility efforts at small and rural libraries. Beginning in November, ALA will accept applications for grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000, to be distributed over the next three years. Right now they’ve got a call out for advisors. Details are on the Libraries Transforming Communities website.

Happy Weekend, y’all!