The News: October 2021

John Thompson: Librarian of the Year

We are delighted to tell you that John Thompson is the Wisconsin Library Association-DEMCO Librarian of the Year! It’s wonderful to see this recognition of John’s 14 years of excellent work as Executive Director of IFLS (John is pictured here with Kay Walsh, Somerset Public Library’s Board President, at Somerset’s recent Open House celebration.)

Read the whole story!
John Thompson and Kay Walsh at Somerset Maker Space

Two Ways to Celebrate

Join us for the Awards and Honors Dessert Reception at the WLA Annual Conference in Green Bay, WI.

We’ll host a local reception later this month, and we’ll send you an invitation as soon as we have all the details to share!

Serving Our Communities

Libraries pictures from left to right: L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Somerset Public Library, Cameron Public Library and Geraldine E. Anderson Village Library of Dresser.

We know that our libraries quickly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with creative and safe solutions to continue to provide services and items for checkout to our community members.

It seems that we’re still battling a misperception that our libraries have been closed over the last year and a half. It’s been a confusing time for people.

Because each of our IFLS-member libraries is unique it’s not always helpful for IFLS to make sweeping statements. I can say that:

  • 90% or more of our libraries have offered contact-free pickup for at least the last year. The majority of our libraries have offered that service since April 2020.

  • With MORE and BadgerLink 100% of our libraries have been able to offer online information and services. Two-thirds of our libraries currently offer virtual programming.

  • Library buildings have been open throughout the pandemic, whenever it is safe for staff and community members.

  • Every single one of our libraries responded thoughtfully and appropriately to the needs of their communities during the current crisis.

It’s especially important to effectively tell your library’s story right now. If you ran into a friend and they mentioned they thought the library was closed, would you know what to say?

Trustee Tip: Being a Good Marketing Partner

As a trustee and community leader you are in a unique position to amplify your library’s marketing message and contribute to marketing and advocacy initiatives. But how?

Start by making sure that your library staff has the time, tools and resources to develop their marketing plan and strategy. Coordinate with your library director to identify how you can support and amplify your library’s key messages. Here are some suggestions to get your started.

  • Add one marketing task a month to your board calendar and rotate responsibility for them. Start with small achievable tasks and build from there.

  • Craft an “elevator pitch,” practice it and use it. Here are tips to create a successful one.

  • Work with your library director to create a presentation for your church group or local service organization, like Rotary or Lion’s club. Share your passion!

  • Coordinate with your library staff to volunteer to work at a table at a local event.

  • Instead of just clicking “like,” comment and share on social media.

Dive Deeper

The scope of this e-letter doesn’t allow me to go into a lot of detail. If you want to really ramp up your marketing and advocacy skills there are some really excellent resources available to you at no charge. And we’ll let you know about any future training opportunities right in this newsletter!

  • Wisconsin Trustee Training Week has some great recorded archive sessions, if you want to improve your trustee skill set. Past years’ sessions are a gold mine.

  • I ran across this recent webinar, Proactive Advocacy and Communication, on WebJunction. I really like the presenter’s straightforward approach. Scroll to the bottom of the webinar info page for an excellent list of additional resources, or browse WebJunction’s offerings.

Go to the Proactive Advocacy and Communication webinar

In the Neighborhood

Submit Your Library’s Neighborhood News!

Your editor is Rebecca Kilde, IFLS PR and Communications Coordinator. Contact Rebecca at

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