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IFLS Library System: Inspiring and Facilitating Library Success

The News: May 2021

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Public Libraries are Opening: It’s a Local Decision

As COVID-19 numbers go down, libraries are deciding to expand their in-person services. Librarians and their boards make decisions based on the situation on the ground in their own community. Library websites are the best place to check for up-to-date information about hours, programs and services.
Another COVID-related change: work-search requirements for unemployment benefits, which were waived during the pandemic, will be reinstated this Sunday, 5/23/21. Our libraries are likely see an uptick in demand for job seeking resources.
Through a statewide initiative IFLS libraries are partnering with Wisconsin Job Centers to make sure that job seekers get the support that they need. You can read more here.
Find a Vaccination Location Near You

Trustee Tip: 

No matter how big your library is, a thoughtful and solid strategic plan is essential. Your board can play an active and useful role working with your library director to develop or refine your plan.

As a library trustee, you take on the role of community leader. By collecting data about your community and its needs and considering your libraries unique assets you can build a plan that has impact and relevance in your community.
Does that sound like a big endeavor? It is, and there are lots of resources available to you as you work through the planning process. IFLS Director John Thompson is always happy to consult with you about your role as a trustee and your library’s particular needs and goals.
Here are two other trusted resources:

Take the Trustee Challenge!

Answer this question correctly and we’ll list you as a Fantastic Trustee next month! The question is: Who should be involved in creating a strategic plan? (Hint: check out the linked resources.) Be sure to tell me your name and library if you want to be listed.
Take the Trustee Challenge!
“The library as a town hall, community center, and collaborative space can be an antidote to some of the isolation that the digital world creates. This is part of the expanded message that trustees must articulate to the community.” Read the whole article, Building a Better Board of Trustees.

Neighborhood News

Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in our communities.
  • Spring Valley is the latest library in our system to go fine-free. Eliminating overdue fines removes a barrier to access to the library for many community members, like our older neighbors that might have a fixed income or limited transportation. More announcements are coming! Watch this space.
  • Thomas St Angelo Public Library of Cumberland gave away a white pine tree with every checkout in recognition of Arbor Day and the spirit of habitat renewal.
  • Monica LaVold, long-time Youth Services librarian in River Falls, is heading upstream to take over as Director in New Richmond.
  • The Hudson Observer spotlighted Shelley Tougas is the new director at Hudson Area Public Library.
  • Jolene Sterk is the new Director of Menomonie Public Library.
  • Amery and Glenwood City libraries are designing new spaces.
  • While their building is under construction, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire is now open at its temporary location, 2725 Mall Drive.
  • The Friends of Ellsworth Public Library announced that a generous local donor made a commitment to the new Ellsworth Public Library building project in the amount of $250,000! The pledge will be spread across the next 5 years, $50,000 annually. 
Share Your Library News!

Did You Know? You can share lists on the MORE online catalog!

There’s a great help section in the catalog. You can access that when you’re logged in by clicking the blue ?Help link in the header.  The following links explain how to add lists of related titles that you can share with others or keep for your own use.
Your local librarian is happy to help you if you run into any snags. 
Go to the MORE online catalog


Information and Resources on the IFLS website
For Trustees

Staff Spotlight: Kris Schwartz, IT Director 

Good IT requires a unique combination of attention to detail, understanding of complicated systems, and remarkable customer service. Kris has all that, which makes him a valuable member of the IFLS team. Just the highlights of his work:

  • Kris has played a leadership role in the innovative LEAN WI technology services partnership. An offshoot of the Libraries Win collaboration between IFLS and the Wisconsin Valley Library Service, this partnership allows us to offer better and more cost effective tech services for our libraries.
  • Kris’ vigilant oversight keeps the IFLS computer system protected from malware and ransomware.  
  • He’s also in charge of ordering technology for many of our libraries, getting it installed correctly on-site and making sure shared technology is updated and working.
We couldn’t do our work without him!
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