Friday, October 7, 2011

Library Advocacy Top Ten

Tips to Becoming a Better Library Advocate --The Top Ten Advocacy List

Friday, October 29, 2010

Libraries Stretch a Buck

We’re asking you to Speak Up for Your Library because despite being busier than ever, libraries know how to stretch a buck!

In these difficult economic times we’ve heard a lot about the need for “belt tightening” and the elimination of “duplication of service.” Libraries have been belt-tightening and improving efficiency for years. They’ve also created efficiencies through cooperative purchasing arrangements through their regional public library systems, operation of a shared online library catalog, and a delivery system that makes it all work. But now they’re having to consider options like reducing staff and the purchase of materials, as well as scaling back the number of hours and days they are open, all of which results in a reduction of service for residents.

The Indianhead Federated Library System uses state allocated funds to: offset delivery costs for interlibrary loan to libraries; provide a comprehensive continuing education program at no cost to librarians or libraries; give technology support; provide building design consultation and graphic arts services free of charge; and provide many other consultative services at no cost.

Doing more with less is what library systems and their member libraries (including your local public library) are all about, providing the best possible service with the resources available. Continued reductions in funding will only further reduce the service levels local public libraries are able to provide.

To ensure that libraries are able to continue meeting resident needs into the future, lend your voice to the effort and speak up for your library!

To do this week: Visit your library and ask what you can do to “speak up.”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Libraries are Busier Than Ever

We’re asking you to Speak Up for Your Library because libraries are busier than ever and deserve everyone’s support:

Libraries are dynamic information environments that bear little resemblance to what many of us remember as children. Libraries are also busier than ever, contrary to what many people believe.

Total circulation in all Indianhead Federated Library System (IFLS) libraries was over 5.4 million in 2009, up from about 5.3 million in 2008. That’s an increase of nearly 3 percent, and that’s on top of continual growth over the past 10 years. Statewide, more than 65 million items were circulated by Wisconsin’s public libraries in 2009. Wisconsin ranks 8th per capita in circulation nationally – but just 24th in per capita public library collection expenditures!

In 2009 there were over 2.5 million library visits at all IFLS member libraries, compared to just under 2.4 million in 2008. That’s an increase of nearly 8 percent. Library users made over 35.5 million visits to Wisconsin public libraries in 2009 - more people than attended home games for Brewers, Packers, Bucks and Badger sports games, combined!

Though libraries are busier than ever, continuing an upward trend that began more than 10 years ago, staffing and funding levels are relatively flat. Over the past 5 years, public library visits have increased by more than 10 percent and circulation increased by more than 15 percent, yet staffing has increased less than 1 percent! Libraries have done more with less for years, but given recent trends in circulation and library visits it’s not a scenario that can continue.

Libraries are a great investment in our local communities, but the quality of their future is in doubt. You can make a difference if you become involved and speak up for your library!
To do this week: Write a letter to our U.S. Senators (and candidates) and U.S. Representatives (and candidates) and voice your support for library funding at the national level.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Speak up for Libraries

Across the nation, we’re seeing cuts to library budgets at the city, county and state levels. These cuts are resulting in reductions in staff and hours of operation, and branch and library closures:

But more importantly, these cuts are negatively impacting the ability of residents to access the information and resources they need. Libraries have long been leaders in cooperative operational agreements -- sharing collections and delivery services. Long before it was fashionable to trim budget excess and eliminate duplication of services, libraries were leading the way.

We hope Wisconsin communities don’t experience the kinds of drastic cuts that have been reported nationwide, but sitting and hoping is not a course of action we can risk. To avoid drastic library cuts here in Wisconsin, we need you to speak up for your library in particular, and for libraries in general. Over the next few months, we’ll share information that you can use to voice support for libraries. Here’s our first message, and we hope you’ll take a moment to call your state legislators and decision-makers in your community to tell them why you support library service.

Many municipal, county, and state services compete for funding each year, and one of the messages we hear frequently is that “essential community services” need to be funded before everything else.

We believe that the public library is an “essential” service and should be adequately funded. While the circulation of books, DVDs, and audio CDs are still important aspects of modern library service (circulation is up substantially), libraries and librarians are very involved every day helping residents prepare resumes, search for jobs, and submit online job applications.

High-speed Internet access is one of the most popular services offered by today’s public libraries, and it’s vital to be able to use many e-government sites to download forms and instructions, or to enhance one’s education through online courses and tutorials.

State budget funds allocated for library spending amount to about 0.2% of the state budget. About 2% to 3% of statewide municipal spending (all city, village, town and county spending) is allocated for libraries. Figures vary by community, but it’s certain that libraries receive a small portion of local budgets.

It’s vital that we ensure these “essential” services are available for all residents, and we can only do that if people like you become involved and speak up for your library!

To do this week: Find out when candidate forums are being held in your area and make plans to attend.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Library Board Trustee Information

The IFLS website now has a section of library board trustee information. The page contains news for library trustees, resources, and a series of FAQs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

IFLS Planning

Beginning in late November the Indianhead Federated Library System began an extensive planning process to review our major service areas. A Planning Committee has been appointed as well as eight subcommittees: 1) Continuing Education; 2) Consulting; 3) Technology; 4) Interlibrary Loan/Resource Sharing/Databases/Delivery; 5) Youth Services; 6) Special Needs; 7) MORE Future Growth and Development; and 8) MORE Purpose and Philosophy. Each subcommittee will be charged with making recommendations to the Planning Committee about big picture services within those categories. For the latest on the planning process visit

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Job Opening--Public Relations and Communications Coordinator (Half-Time Position) with an emphasis in graphic design

Public Relations and Communications Coordinator (Half-Time Position) with an emphasis in graphic design

The Indianhead Federated Library System (IFLS) is seeking creative and energetic candidates to assist IFLS and member libraries with graphic design, public relations, marketing, and advocacy. We seek a team member who will assist with the development of electronic and print resources in support of our member libraries and System services. The position will provide training and support for advocacy, communication and marketing related activities for IFLS and member libraries. Characteristics desired: self-motivated, creative thinker and problem solver, ability to communicate in non-technical terms, handle multiple projects, and work well as part of a team. Associate degree with 2-3 years experience is required. Bachelor’s Degree and/or library experience is preferred.

IFLS is headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, about 75 miles east of Minneapolis/St. Paul. IFLS staff works with member library staff and local library boards, offering consulting help and a connection to state-supported services and programs. Please submit application by January 11, 2010. This half-time position offers flexible hours and prorated benefits. For a complete job description, go to

Submit resume, cover letter, wage requirements, and references via email only to John Thompson, Library System Director, at Applications sent via traditional mail will not be considered.