Friday, September 17, 2010

The Skinny on the Library Initiatives in the Wisconsin DPI Budget

Thanks to Wisconsin Library Association Executive Director Lisa Strand for providing the following DPI budget initiatives for libraries summary on WLA's Legislation & Advocacy webpages. (Link to full budget request.)

Bottom line:  No surprises here.  (Depending upon the level and intensity of our library advocacy -- and certain other factors, of course -- the surprises might occur later in the budget process.)

1.  Public Library System Aids.  The State Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to funding for public libraries at the 13% index level.  The current (2010) index level is 8.2%.

Wisconsin State Statutes 43.24

2.  BadgerLink.  This request represents an increase in funding ($386,000 over the base in the first year of the biennium and $400,300 in 2012-13) which addresses two goals
  • A pilot project with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association to provide access to Wisconsin newspapers, not consistently maintained by other vendors. 
  • The addition of Learning Express Library to BadgerLink, which would make this useful resource available to all state residents.

3.  Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library.
WiLS -- Wisconsin Library Services.
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC).
Milwaukee Public Library

4.  Newsline for the Blind.  (Link to National Federation of the Blind for a broader overview.)

And last but certainly not least.

From the DPI website: The Common School Fund provides annual library aid support to all Wisconsin public school districts. The Fund is invested in state bonds, the State Investment Fund and in loans to municipalities and school districts through the State Trust Fund Loan Program. In April of each year, the Board [of Commissioners of Public Lands] forwards the available earnings of the Fund to DPI which then re-distributes the earnings as library aid to all K-12 public school districts in the state. The allocation which each school district receives is based upon the number of children aged 4 through 20 living in the district. The aid is sent to school districts by May 1 of each year. Each district must spend their total Library Aid allocation for appropriate library materials by June 30 of that same year. These materials include books, newspapers, periodicals, other media resources, and to a limited extent, computers.

Read the full text of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau's 'Constitutional Highlights' report on the Common School Fund.

(And as a result of this post, I have finished a portion of next Wednesday's LIS 712 lesson plan!)

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