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Plans and Reports



System Director’s Report:

May 2008

I want to thank members of the SCLS Board for your sympathy and understanding on the loss of my mother this month. At a time like this it is reassuring to know that our SCLS staff can handle anything that comes up. I am also very thankful for their support and kindness during this difficult time.

Enclosed with your agenda are two documents we think will be of interest to you in your roles as trustees and library advocates. The economic study done by NorthStar Economics Inc. of Madison documents a conservative return on investment of over four dollars for every tax dollar invested in public libraries in Wisconsin. That is three quarters of a billion dollars annually – quite an impressive number – and it does not include the value of services like story hours that are impossible to quantify.

The “Best Practices Review: Public Library Services” report by the Legislative Audit Bureau was based on surveys and interviews with the directors of individual libraries and all 17 public library systems. It highlights some “best practices” related to collaboration among systems, using volunteers, securing adequate technology support, and periodically assessing patron needs. The full report ( contains some explanations of public library systems that could be helpful to trustees.

We will be welcoming more new SCLS Board members at our June meeting: Thomas Kriegl and Judy Ashford from Sauk County and Jerry Morre from Portage County. We are pleased to report that Hugh O’Donnell has been re-appointed to the Board from Wood County. We anticipate that appointments for Ann Ostrom and Carol Chapman will be approved by the Dane County Board in time for our June meeting. This will give us a full Board for the first time in many months!

Brian Simon, formerly director of Delavan's Aram Public Library, has accepted the position of director at Verona Public Library. Jaime Vache will move from assistant director to director at Stoughton, where there was a May 14 open house to celebrate the newly remodeled children’s space. North Freedom Public Library had an open house on May 31 to show their new building and Rock Springs Public Library will welcome the community to their renovated space on June 7.

Inspired by all this change, SCLS has a new look, too. Our new logo is a more lively and colorful version of our previous logo. We hope you like it, and I will see you on the 9th.