WVLS staff who attended the WAPL Conference in Pewaukee on May 2-4 will highlight conference recaps.

Session Title and Description:
Show Me the Money!
The funding of public libraries in Wisconsin is generally derived from various sources. This program will feature a slideshow that was developed to educate the Wisconsin Counties Association. It provides a broad overview that can help you understand the patchwork structure based on Wisconsin Acts 150 and 420 (aka known as county funding legislation). This slideshow could be modified for local use.

What two things are you taking away from this session that you heard or do you think are most important?  

  • Practicing proactive relationship building with local/county elected decision makers, initiating conversations about the priority importance of library funding and discussing common misconceptions about library funding formulas (Act 150, Act 420) is an investment that pays off.  Investing time in proactive energy avoids the necessity of spending energy reacting “NOOOOOOOOO!” to funding decisions based on a lack of information, understanding and relationships.
  • The slide presentation developed by LD&L Committee members for the Wisconsin Counties Association is a messaging tool that can be adapted for local presentations about library funding to local and county elected decision makers, as well as library trustees.

Were there any key websites or resources shared that people should check out? 

What was the audience reaction to this session? What kinds of feedback was given? 

  • Library advocates are, themselves, confused about funding formulas and the best way to message reasons for cross county library payments.
  • Frustration with misconceptions about cross county library payments has resulted in both librarians and elected decision makers attempting to influence citizen library use patterns.
  • Prevailing conversation at the local level is too often about suggesting ways to lower or prevent Act 420 payments, rather than the ways Wisconsin residents benefit from open access to library services regardless of where they live or proactive marketing of local library services.


-Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt