The News: February 2022

Welcome to the newest member of our MORE family!

Durand Community Library

The Durand Community Library is a joint public and school library, which means that the public library and the school library share one space right in the school building. Lori Gilles, Durand Community Library Director, sees a lot of positives in this 26-year-old arrangement.

The big advantage, she says, is its convenience for everyone. “We are open early because of school hours, which helps the people who want to stop on their way to work in the mornings. We’re open late, too, which is beneficial to parents who can pick their kids up on their way home from work. The joint agreement has proven to be the best option for the Durand community.”

Durand has experienced some big staff changes over the last three years; a complete staff turnover at the public library and all but the school librarian at the school library. Lori says that since they all started around the same time they’ve come to feel like they are family now! “There is a harmony between us all,” says Lori, “and we all take ownership and help each other out, the same way a family would.”

When the opportunity came along to take advantage of a 2021 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to join the MORE system, Lori says she knew it would be “time-consuming, labor intensive, frustrating at times, and a long process. But I also knew that in the end, everyone would benefit from it!”

It’s a big job for IFLS staff as well. The IFLS team includes Kathy Setter, Lori Roholt, Bridget Krejci, Maureen Welch and Gail Spindler, but most IFLS staff contributed to this effort at some point. They were central to the success of merging Durand’s public library collection into the shared catalog. They also work closely with and train library staff. “We can never thank them enough!” says Lori Gilles.

Here’s a quick explanation of the process from Kathy Setter. “With a shared catalog, it’s critical that the catalog has the best, most accurate information as users search the MORE catalog. Every item in the Durand Public Library has to be matched individually. After that six- to eight-month process is completed, IFLS staff will continue to provide on-going support to make sure it all continues to work well for staff and patrons, as well as the whole of MORE.”

Kathy points out that the benefits of membership in MORE flow both ways. Durand Public Library’s collection adds over 1,850 items that weren’t available from any other MORE-member library.

We’ll be honest, there were some bumps along the way! The school library decided not to participate in the MORE consortium, but that didn’t change the public library’s commitment to joining MORE. Both libraries are working together so that library users, students and public patrons alike can check out any materials they want.

“I have been asked by so many people, ‘how in the world does this work, and isn’t it confusing for people?’” says Lori, “My answer is always, ‘no way!’”

If you happen to pass through this scenic and historic river town, stop into the public library and say “hello!” You’re sure to find something fun there. As Lori says, “There is always something to do in the library!”

IFLS Librarians Shared Your Love Stories!

IFLS was well-represented at the 2022 Library Legislative Day in Madison, where the governor recognized the importance of libraries to our communities. We knew that, because you told us! We shared your stories with our elected officials. Thank you for supporting your public libraries! (We’re still collecting stories, by the way, so if you feel inspired we’d love to hear from you!)

See What We Shared!

clockwise from top: Barb Krueger (Director, Deer Park Public Library), Monica LaVold (Director, Friday Memorial Library-New Richmond) and Karen Furo-Bonnstetter (Director, Woodville Community Library) meet with Rep. Clint Moses; Monica LaVold with Gov. Evers; Shelley Tougas, Director, Hudson Area Public Library with Gov. Evers; Karen Furo-Bonnstetter with Gov. Evers; IFLS Director John Thompson with Gov. Evers. Not pictured: Paul Bernier, Hudson Area Public Library Trustee.

Trustee Tip: The Numbers Aren’t The Whole Story

This is the time of year that library directors are completing their state-mandated annual reports. Although IFLS Libraries have been open, many of our libraries are still seeing numbers that are low compared to before 2020.

Circulation numbers are one example. Those numbers were way down in 2020, and they were down last year as well.

It’s easy to look at that one statistic as a marker for how well a library is doing, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Our libraries are so much more to our community members, as reflected by their own stories!

Appreciation of friendly and professional staff is a central theme in those Library Love Stories. Do you regularly publicly recognize those successes and amplify those stories?

People also appreciated the innovation programming and service options that our librarians have developed and refined. How do you support your library staff?

As a public library trustee, your voice is powerful. Telling your library’s real story is not only great advocacy, it’s also fun! Read more about Library Advocacy in Trustee Essential #13.

Calling All Friends Groups

Are you an IFLS-library Friends Group member interested in meeting other members of IFLS-library Friends Groups? If there’s enough interest, we’ll figure out a way to make that happen!

Yes, I’m Interested in a Friends Group Meet Up!

At Your Library: Kits!

Many of our libraries check out kits! Some examples include STEM kits at St. Croix Falls, Role Playing Game kits from Cadott, Learning Kits from Ellsworth, Birdwatching and Rock Hound kits from River Falls. Some of these kits don’t travel, so pop into your library and see what they’ve got. Your librarian can help you find more activity kits as well as puzzles, sports equipment and other “Library of Things” items you might never have guessed are available from the library!

In The Neighborhood

  • Linda Heimstead, Balsam Lake Public Library Director, was interviewed by Al Ross on WPR’s Spectrum West. Her interview starts about 23 minutes in.

  • Amery Area Public Library’s Grand Opening was a big hit, the new space is beautiful, and their story time is back!

  • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library put mini-libraries in laundromats around Eau Claire! The program’s goal is to boost access to children's books and to promote kids’ literacy skills. Read more about it and find Laundromat Library locations.

  • And just out from L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, they won first place in two categories in Volume One’s Best of the Chippewa Valley 2022: Best Use of Taxpayer Dollars Last Year and Best Project in Progress Last Year.

  • D.R. Moon Memorial Library in Stanely has gone fine-free and the board also approved waiving all current overdue fines for their patrons, effective February 9th.

  • While winter is still nipping at our heels, it’s a good time to watch the recent Advocacy 101 webinar with Jim Tripp (additional resources are also available!). While you’re at it, put John Thompson’s April 28th webinar, Where Does the Money Come From? Public Library Funding in Wisconsin, on your calendar! Both of these webinars are appropriate for Trustees and Friends Group members as well as library staff.

2022-01-19 Advocacy 101
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