Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting to Know Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes: Libraries (Part 1)

As announced in the November 17, 2011, issue of Channel Weekly, the DLTCL will facilitate a discussion around libraries and the future by convening a task force in early 2012. The focus of the group is to review statutory requirements for library systems [see sections 43.17 through 43.27] with an eye toward making them contemporary with the issues facing libraries and their patrons. The task force will develop recommendations by early fall. The group will be representative of the entire community and will appoint persons based on roles, location, and library type and size.

Perhaps now is a good time to familiarize ourselves with the current scope of Chapter 43.  What all is contained in these 11 densely printed pages?

Mrs. Coe, my 12th-grade English teacher -- and one of two of my most impactful high-school influences -- animatedly led her classes through line-by-line exegeses of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare's Macbeth.  I'm not anticipating to dive as deeply into this exercise, though, as I have started to do in this first post, I plan to reproduce the entire chapter section by section, adding bold highlights and links to background information.  You are welcome to editorialize via comments but none will appear from me in this series of posts.

So let's get started.

43.001 Legislative findings and declaration of policy.

(1) The legislature recognizes:
(a) The importance of free access to knowledge, information and diversity of ideas by all residents of this state;
(b) The critical role played by public, school, special and academic libraries in providing that access;
(c) The major educational, cultural and economic asset that is represented in the collective knowledge and information resources of the state’s libraries;
(d) The importance of public libraries to the democratic process; and
(e) That the most effective use of library resources in this state can occur only through interlibrary cooperation among all types of libraries and the effective use of technology.

(2) The legislature declares that it is the policy of this state to provide laws for the development and improvement of public libraries, school libraries and interlibrary cooperation among all types of libraries.

History and Background: 
1985 Wisconsin Act 177.   (Changes in the law as shown by undescored and stricken text.)
76 Op. Att'y Gen. 203, 203 (1987) - Footnote   (The original Assembly bill contained the language, "The legislature declares that making high quality, publicly funded library resources, services and information readily available to all residents is a matter of statewide concern.")

1997 Wisconsin Act 150.  (With notes, underscored, and stricken text.)
Public Library Development: Summary of S.B. 269 - Act 150  (As provided by the DPI DLTCL Public Library Development Team.)

Note:  "Legislative findings" is a standard element of legislation.  (See "Preamble/Findings/Whereas Clauses" at this link.  Still looking for an example closer to home, but this one will do for now.)

  Related posts:
Part 1:  Legislative findings and declaration of policy.
Part 2:  Definitions.
Part 3:  General duties of the State Superintendent.
Part 4:  General duties of the Division.
Part 5:  Council on Library and Network Development.
Part 6:  Certificates and standards..
Part 7: County library planning committees.
Part 8:  County payment for library service.
Part 9:  Division review
Part 10.  Standards for public library systems.
Part 11.  Resource libraries.
Part 12:  Public library systems; general provisions.
Part 13.  Withdrawal, abolition, and expulsion.
Part 14.  Federated public library systems.
Part 15.  Consolidated public library systems.
Part 16.  State aid.
Part 17.  Public library records.
Part 18.  Municipal libraries.
Part 19.  Joint libraries.
Part 20.  Municipal library board composition.
Part 21.  Consolidated county libraries and county library services.
Part 24.  County library tax.

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