- Columbus Public Library selected for ALA community engagement initiative
- Meet the SCLS Consultant Team: Mark Ibach
- Member/Staff News
- Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 43 updated
- Webinar about math resources for public libraries scheduled May 13
- ALA accelerates efforts on copyright and surveillance
- Continuing Education Calendar
Columbus Public Library selected for ALA community engagement initiative
Public libraries interact with and serve local residents in many ways, and Columbus Public Library is embarking on a new project to strengthen its role as a core community leader and change agent.
Columbus Public Library is one of 10 public libraries nationwide that will undergo an intensive 18-month, team-based community engagement training program as part of the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) Public Innovators Cohort. Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), Columbus Public Library will receive nearly $60,000 in training and services as a participant in the project.
“The cohort was selected through a highly-competitive peer-reviewed application process that is part of ALA’s LTC initiative,” said Cindy Fesemyer, director of the Columbus Public Library. “The Libraries Transforming Communities project is a national plan to help librarians strengthen their role as core-community leaders and change-agents.”
Through in-person training, webinars, and coaching—valued at $50,000—five Library staff members, board members and other community partners will learn new community engagement techniques and apply them to challenges in the Columbus area. The library will also receive an $8,000 cash grant to help cover the cost of the new community engagement work.
“Each of us on this grant team relishes the opportunity to help grow a new collaborative spirit in our town, transforming our community by starting with the already trusted public library,” Fesemyer said. “We strive to better reflect the changing needs of a changing Columbus.”
The 10 selected libraries in this American Library Association effort represent the range of American communities in terms of size, location, ethnic and racial diversity and socioeconomic status, and they all face challenges including illiteracy; unemployment; a “digital divide” in access to information technology; an influx of new and immigrant populations; and disparate access to services.
Other members of the LTC Public Innovators Cohort include:
- Red Hook (N.Y.) Public Library (pop: 1,900)
- Knox County (Ind.) Public Library (pop: 33,900)
- Suffolk (Va.) Public Library (pop: 85,000)
- Hartford (Conn.) Public Library (pop: 125,000)
- Springfield (Mass.) City Library (pop: 153,000)
- Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Public Library (pop: 195,000)
- Spokane County (Wash.) Library District (pop: 255,000)
- San Jose (Calif.) Public Library (pop: 980,000)
- Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library (pop: 3.8 million)
“Public libraries have long served as trusted and treasured institutions, and librarians today can leverage that strong position for the betterment of their communities,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “As a longtime champion of library-led community engagement and innovation, ALA is primed to provide the tools and support that will enable librarians to more effectively fulfill this vital role.”
In partnership with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Libraries Transforming Communities addresses a critical need within the library field by developing and distributing new tools, resources and support for librarians to engage with their communities in new ways. Libraries Transforming Communities is made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Libraries Transforming Communities is grounded in The Harwood Institute’s approach of “turning outward,” which emphasizes changing the orientation of institutions and individuals from internal (institutional) to external (community-facing).
About The Harwood Institute
The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, MD, that teaches and coaches people and organizations to solve pressing problems and change how communities work together. The institute is guided by Richard C. Harwood, whose transformational work during the past 25 years has spread to thousands of communities nationally and worldwide, from small towns to large cities.
In light of the decision to eliminate the vacant position of Public Library Administration Consultant at the South Central Library System, we thought it would be good to re-introduce the consultant staff members who will be taking over the duties from that position. This first article is about Mark Ibach, the Consulting Services Coordinator at SCLS.
Mark has been with the South Central Library System since January of 2004. He was hired as the Marketing and Public Relations Consultant, and was also responsible for overseeing advocacy efforts, planning and coordinating the annual System Celebration, and producing various SCLS newsletters like Online Update, Trustee Update, and the SCLS Foundation newsletter. Mark is also a member of the Wisconsin Library Association’s (WLA) Library Development and Legislation (LD&L) committee, and continues to serve on a WLA marketing committee.
For the past two years Mark has also served as the Consulting Services Coordinator, a role in which he directly supervises SCLS consulting staff, helps with budget development, and coordinates the annual library visit project and compiles results.
With the recent decision to eliminate the vacant position of Public Library Administration Consultant, Mark has assumed responsibility for overseeing the DPI Annual Report process, and he is handling the adjacent county reimbursement process on behalf of interested SCLS member libraries. Mark will also be working closely with SCLS Director Martha Van Pelt to answer library questions about Wisconsin library law (Chapter 43).
As part of this staffing change, SCLS Consultants and the SCLS Director will attend county library director meetings and county library board meetings and will share information with other staff. Mark will attend Dane County Library Director meetings, as well as Green County Library Board meetings and Green County Library Director meetings.
Prior to his employment at SCLS, Mark worked about 14.5 years at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). He spent the first six years producing a monthly 24-page tabloid newsletter (Education Forward) that was sent to all Wisconsin public school teachers. As a member of the DPI Public Information Team, Mark was also involved in a variety of other projects in support of public education.
From 1995-98 Mark was responsible for managing the Summer Food Program at DPI, working with schools and non-profit organizations to make nutritious meals available to school-age children during the summer. His job was to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help expand the reach of the program in Wisconsin. He was responsible for evaluating and approving new program sponsors, inspecting and approving new and existing meal sites, coordinating with other DPI staff to conduct summer meal site reviews, and filing year-end reports with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Program.
Mark returned to the DPI Public Information Office in 1998, which through reorganization was then part of the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning (now the Division for Libraries and Technology). In that new role, Mark was responsible for starting a new online weekly newsletter (Education Forum) for teachers, and a new email newsletter for Wisconsin’s public libraries (Channel Weekly). Mark also edited and produced the monthly print Channel Newsletter. He also worked on various information projects for the DPI, and did some desktop video production.
Prior to his work at DPI, Mark spent about seven years at community weekly newspapers in Utah and Wisconsin. He earned a Masters Degree in Mass Communications from Utah State University in 1983.
“My career has always been about service to the community, and that is why I’ve been so excited to work with public libraries in the South Central Library System,” Mark said. “Creating communities in which people want to work, live and raise families should be a priority, and I believe public libraries as institutions are central to this mission.”
Mark is the primary contact for SCLS Consultant Team services, so anytime you are unsure of which consultant to contact about a particular issue, call or email him and he’ll put you in touch with the right person. The SCLS Topical Directory also has been updated to reflect the recent changes in Consultant Team responsibilities.
The May issue of WSLL @ Your Service has been published at http://wilawlibrary.gov/newsletter/1405.html.
Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes has been updated and certified by the Legislative Reference Bureau to include recent changes resulting from the passage of 2013 Wisconsin Act 157. Chapter 43: Libraries covers, among other things, public library establishment and administration; duties of the Department of Public Instruction and the Division for Libraries and Technology related to libraries; public librarian certification; public library system establishment, operation, and funding; county planning and funding for library services; and certification of the payments from the Common School Fund. The significant changes resulting from Act 157 include provisions for payments to and from consolidated county libraries, in s. 43.12.
The full text of Chapter 43 can be found, in PDF format, at http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/43.pdf.
--from Channel Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 29 -- May 1, 2014)
A webinar highlighting free math education opportunities for public libraries, Got Math? Putting the M in your STEM Endeavors, will be presented May 13 from 12 to 1 p.m. Hosted by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Public Library Development Team, the webinar is sponsored by Bedtime Math, a new partner of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and nonprofit organization with a mission to help kids learn to love math so they can become capable adults. The webinar, presented by Diana Pecina, Director of Partnerships for Bedtime Math, and Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Youth and Special Services Consultant for the Department of Public Instruction, will offer information about resources provided for summer library programs and yearlong library programming.
The webinar will be recorded and posted online under “Professional Development” on the DPI Youth Services page.
No registration is required; simply join the Blackboard Collaborate session. (Note: Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for this platform -- Java required)
Blackboard Collaborate session: http://tinyurl.com/pqn7svo
- Accept Java applet to launch Blackboard Collaborate session.
- Enter your name (or library name) in session name window.
- Attendees who need telephone audio (versus VoIP) should use the conference number:
(877) 820-7831 and enter participant passcode: 697156.
- Test your system beforehand
- Blackboard Collaborate overview video
- Blackboard Collaborate online support or phone (877) 382-2293
For more information about Bedtime Math visit http://bedtimemath.org/.
--from Channel Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 28 -- April 24, 2014)
As Congress takes renewed interest in copyright law, cybersecurity measures and surveillance reform, Eisgrau will use his extensive background in copyright and privacy issues to increase the association’s presence in Washington and educate lawmakers on the issues libraries face in championing the information rights and needs of the public. Additionally, Eisgrau will assist the American Library Association in implementing strategic policy initiatives that engage decision makers and establish policy priorities, such as protecting reader privacy and supporting the fair use doctrine.
Eisgrau -- a veteran Washington technology lobbyist, trade group organizer and strategic communications specialist -- began his lobbying career in 1995 as Senator Dianne Feinstein’s first counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. During his tenure as ALA's first full-time intellectual property lobbyist from 1995-99, Eisgrau was an active participant in debate over the first legislation to update copyright law for the digital age and a seminal 1996 UN copyright treaty. He also was instrumental in organizing and representing the Digital Future Coalition, an alliance of over 40 public and private sector companies and organizations.
No stranger to tough fights and controversial issues, Eisgrau also served as Jim and Sarah Brady's top federal lobbyist in the wake of the Columbine tragedy, founded and ran a trade association for peer-to-peer software makers like Grokster before the Supreme Court's decision in that landmark copyright case, and helped design and lead the Electronic Frontier Foundation's fight against immunity for telephone companies' alleged privacy law violations during President George W. Bush’s Administration.
“It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be representing the American Library Association again on two such critical issues at such a pivotal time,” said Eisgrau. “It's great to be ‘back to the future’!”