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System Director’s Report:

March 2006

In my first report as the “official” SCLS System Director I want to begin by expressing my thanks and gratitude to the SCLS Board and all who have sent good wishes and congratulations on my appointment. These expressions of confidence and support are a great boost and a reminder of how many wonderful people make up SCLS and Wisconsin library communities.

More than 11,000 attended the largest-ever Public Library Association National Conference in Boston last week and Cheryl Becker and I were among them. There was so much to learn and discuss that it was both exhausting and exhilarating. Library funding and foundations, recruitment, intellectual freedom, the graying of the profession, serving diverse populations, distance education and literacy were just some of the issues addressed. At the same time, Stef Morrill was in Washington DC for the largest-ever Computers in Libraries conference, which she also gave high marks. There is a lot going on in libraries these days and we are doing our best to keep up.

The Automation Staff is continuing to work on equipment swaps at the member libraries and other work required for the switch to the new statewide telecommunications Badgernet Converged Network. In addition, installation of a new SUN server is being planned to replace equipment that will reach end of life at the end of June.

A review of delivery costs was underway even before your request at the last meeting, but now is complete. Bruce Smith and I met earlier this week to review his detailed spreadsheets covering all aspects of our delivery costs. We feel we have a good understanding of what we spend and what we charge for the service and that it is fair to all participants. And to answer Tom Brown, it costs an average of 19 cents to ship an item from one library to another inside the South Central Library System.

Other SCLS staff are busy ramping up for the Summer Library Program, planning our Annual Meeting, organizing workshops, finalizing our 2005 Accomplishments brochure, ordering self-check machines and PCs for member libraries, helping with color and furniture choices for libraries with building projects and just answering the phones. What’s really got my attention right now is the auditor with a puzzled look who just walked into my office.

See you on the 10th!