Saturday, January 28, 2012

Save Our Rockford Library Members Pack Board Meeting

Rockford Public Library patrons press for more say on proposals. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/24/2012)

Excerpt:   One thing is clear after a Rockford Public Library Board meeting Monday: Changes in how the library spends its money, the closing of library branches and the weeding of its print collection will not happen without a fight. 

It’s not just a fight between library leaders and its staff. 

More than 100 people attended the meeting to listen and show their support for Save Our Library, a group of Rockford residents who learned about dramatic changes in library business that Executive Director Frank Novak suggested in a set of documents he shared with board members last year. 

In recent weeks, Save Our Library members have spread word of their concerns and urged other library users to join them. They confronted library leaders during a news conference Jan. 13. They’ve flooded board members with emails. A 12-year-old boy collected more than 300 signatures on paper and online petitions.  

Related article:
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Bill Maher asks, "Who the f**k is Saul Alinsky?"

Link to The Raw Story.
Commonly seen on campus, in this edition, when it was first published.

5 people in the South Central Library System service area are curious to know more.

Related reading:
New Rules for New Radicals: The Tea Party Discovers a Taste for…. Saul Alinsky! (Brennan Center for Justice, 5/10/2010)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dr. Al Condeluci: "Working towards a community where each belong"

Building's design supports bringing people with disabilities into the community. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt:    Mr. Rosenblatt said the idea of showcasing the agency's guiding principles in this way emerged from meetings with Mr. Condeluci and his staff, who had noticed that Springboard associate Shannon Ashmore had "wonderfully friendly handwriting." 

"We suggested it might be fun to use that handwriting in the space itself and began to focus on three columns that march through the space. We imagined them like big blackboards." 

Another inspiration was the concept of "architecture parlante" (literally, "speaking architecture"), in which buildings explain their own purpose or identity. The concept, originally associated with 19th-century French architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux, underlies the practice of embedding words or names in building designs. The facades of Carnegie Institute in Oakland and the Boston Public Library are examples. 

"The words embody the idea that buildings are living breathing organisms," explained Mr. Rosenblatt. "If the building speaks, you may also be inspired to think about building community on other levels." 

"The fundamental idea that Al has developed is creating a bridge between people with disabilities and society," Mr. Rosenblatt added. "Enlarging the idea of community, connecting people. This concept permeates the design."

Dear Senator Ellis, Welcome to the 21st Century

Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis, a Neenah Republican, apologizes for referring to Green Bay Preble High School as 'sewer'. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 1/27/2012)

Excerpt: Ellis [first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1970] apologized for his remarks. 

"It was very unfortunate, and I do apologize," he said. "I, for no reason, threw out the name Preble. I meant 'if Preble is going down the sewer,' not that it — or any Green Bay school — is a sewer. Boy, did I miss the mark. I apologize, and I have sent a letter apologizing. It is not a failing school." 

Green Bay School Dist. Supt. Michelle Langenfeld invited Ellis to visit Green Bay schools.

Read story at PolitiScoop.

Perhaps it's time for Sen. Ellis to do a little brushing up.

Notice what's missing here?

The Chicago Public Library: A National Showcase

With This Library System, Government Isn’t All Bad. (The New York Times, 1/27/2012)

Excerpt:   It is now a national showcase. Mr. Daley built 57 new libraries, and the system’s 79 locations served 11 million patrons last year. Book circulation is no longer the main goal, with electronic and other transactions the priority as libraries morph into creative community centers amid the much-chronicled decline in American civic engagement.  [Emphasis added.]


"The tragedy from a public-policy standpoint is that an important and credible idea — that we should be skeptical of what government can accomplish — has been completely distorted into this belief that government is inherently a bad thing, and therefore that less of it must be better,” said Charles Wheelan, a journalist turned senior lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy

“Government is just how we act collectively to do things that would be hard to do alone — like building roads, keeping airplanes from crashing into each other, doing basic research on cancer, fighting terrorists,” said Mr. Wheelan. “These are not inherently bad things.” 

 Polling data show that the venom is directed largely at the federal government.

Getting to Know Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes: Libraries (Part 2)

43.01  Definitions. In this chapter:

(1) "Department" means the department of public instruction.
(2) "Division" means the division for libraries, technology, and community learning in the department.
(3) "Municipality" means a city, village, town, tribal government or tribal association, or a school district that maintained and operated a public library facility prior to December 17, 1971.
(4) "Network" means a formal arrangement between libraries or other informational service organizations whereby materials, information and services are exchanged and made available to potential users.
(5) "Public library system" means a system established as either a federated public library system under s. 43.19 or a consolidated public library system under s. 43.21.
(6) "State superintendent" means the state superintendent of public instruction.

1971 Senate Bill 47.  Published December 17, 1971.
  • SummaryThe provisions of this bill setting forth the method of establishing and supporting public library systems are found in section 15 . Present law relating to municipal libraries is modernized and is retained in ch. 43. Those portions of ch. 43 which do not relate to municipal libraries or public library systems are renumbered to appropriate sections of the statutes.
  • 28 pages of underscored and stricken text.
  • Interesting sidelight:  Prior to this law, Chapter 43 covered "Libraries, Museums, Civic and Community Centers, and Special Uses of Municipal Buildings".

1977 Assembly Bill 1220.   (290 pages of underscored and stricken text.  Miscellaneous changes for "library", as search term, found on pages 61, 62, 141, 157, 268, 275, 276, 278.)

1979 Assembly Bill 20Summary  An act to repeal 15.377 (2) and (3), 43.01 and 43.09 (3) ; to amend 43.001 (4) and 43.24 (3) ; to repeal and recreate 43.03, 43.05, 43.07 and 43.24 (1) ; and to create 15.377 (6), 43.001 (5) and 43.27 of the statutes, relating to...
  • abolishing the council on library development and the council on public library certificates and standards,
  • creating a council on library and network development,
  • assigning duties relating to library services in this state, state aids to public library systems and making an appropriation.

1983 Wisconsin Act 189.  Among the 27 pages of underscored and stricken text:  SECTION 23 [of the bill].  43.001 (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the statutes are renumbered 43.001 (5), (4), (2) and (3) . Anyone remember thre reason(s) why?

1985 Wisconsin Act 177.   8 pages of miscellaneous changes to Chapter 43.  The section describing the services of the Reference and Loan Library [43.05(11)] more than doubled in length.  (See page 2.)

1993 Wisconsin Act 335.  Name change.  From Division of Library Services to Division for Libraries and Community Learning.

1995 Wisconsin Act 27.  Language changes pertaining to the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

1997 Wisconsin Act 27.  Language changes pertaining to the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

2001 Wisconsin Act 48.  Name change.  From Division for Library and Community Learning to Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning.

Related post:
Getting to know chapter 43 (Part 1)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Florida Library Association: 2012 Library Day 2012 Documents

LINK (page 1 of 2)
Wonder how this flyer will resonate with State Senators

“ALEC is excited to have Majority Leader Chip Rogers as a member of ALEC leadership": I'll just bet they are!

Georgia Community Broadband in Legislative Crosshairs.  (Government Technology, 1/25/2012)

Excerpt:  SB 313, the Broadband Investment Equity Act, [sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock],was introduced in the Georgia Senate on Jan. 19. If it becomes law, the bill would enact numerous barriers to providing government-owned broadband services, including the requirements that private providers be solicited first before establishing a community broadband network and that a special election must be held for citizens to approve the project. 

According to a statement released by the Georgia Senate Press Office, the goal of SB 313 is to encourage private investment and level the playing field by making government entities adhere to the same rules that private companies follow when establishing communication networks.

Related reading.
Pssst ... Wanna Buy a Law?. When a company needs a state bill passed, the American Legislative Exchange Council can get it done.  (Bloomberg Businessweek, 12/1/2011)

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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BOOKLESS Fundraiser @ the Madison Public Library

See you there!

Madison Public Library Foundation

See photos @ Flickr.

"Off the Shelf".  Madison Magazine.

Hat tip to Sarah Goebel.

Marshfield City Council Supports New Library But Questions Concept of Community Center

Marshfield City Council questions library's expansion needs. (Marshfield News Herald, 1/25/2012)

Excerpt: The majority of Marshfield City Council members support renovating or building a new public library on its current site, 211 E. Second St. 
But the library steering committee's plan to incorporate a new community center into the proposal drew strong resistance from council members during Tuesday night's council meeting. 

Nearly every member questioned why a community center was planned to be integrated into the city's public library, and why the library needs to almost double its current size.

The move to integrate the library with a community center was developed during meetings with residents to learn what they wanted a new library to offer, said Lori Belongia, library director. 
The proposed plans show a new library linked by an enclosed courtyard to the current library, which would become the senior center. 

"The community input was to have the two buildings together so that in weather like this people don't need to be outside," said Belongia, who added there could be many uses of the community center, such as providing a location for nonprofit groups to share office space. 

Combining the library with a community center "will provide a convenient location to serve multiple needs of residents," Belongia said.

Related articles:
Marshfield library/community center project continues to move forward. (11/12/2011)
Design development for new library/community center.  (9/15/2011)
Better to plan for a new library now than when the roof starts to leak.  (11/12/2010)
Design development in progress.  (11/9/2010)
Community input sought for library improvement plans.  (6/9/2010)

State Rep. Dick Spanbauer Will Not Seek Re-Election

State Rep. Dick Spanbauer cites broken system, 'extremism' on both sides in decision not to seek reelection.  (Oshkosh Northwestern, 1/24/2012)

Excerpt:   State Rep. Dick Spanbauer, R-Town of Algoma, decided not to seek a third term in the Assembly citing his lack of desire to continue serving in a system he said values political points more than the people of the state. 

“They’re more obsessed with politics than the real reason we’re elected: To serve the people,” Spanbauer said. “Madison is different. Politics is different. Today, compromise has gone out the window and I’m coming to that point where I don’t have the patience for it anymore.

As Gene Pitney sings, "Only love can mend it again"

Grief Could Join List of Disorders.  (The New York Times, 1/24/2012)

Excerpt: When does a broken heart become a diagnosis? 

In a bitter skirmish over the definition of depression, a new report contends that a proposed change to the diagnosis would characterize grieving as a disorder and greatly increase the number of people treated for it. 

The criteria for depression are being reviewed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is finishing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M., the first since 1994. The manual is the standard reference for the field, shaping treatment and insurance decisions, and its revisions will affect the lives of millions of people for years to come.

The Questions

The Answer

Madison Public Library Director Barb Dimick's Greatest Hits (The Facilities Version)

Congratulations and high praise are in order!

Barb Dimick recently announced her retirement, effective February 24, 2012, after working for 35 years at the Madison Public Library, 15 of them as Director.

I am particularly impressed with Madison Public Library's accomplishments in the area library facilities planning and implementation during Barb's tenure as Director.  During my 22 years as the Director of the Middleton Public Library, I worked on two major building projects:  construction in 1989-1990 and a remodeling/expansion in 2003-2004.  It was perhaps the only two times in my professional career where my plate was piled so precariously high that a few portions threatened to fall ignominiously to the floor.  Barb, on the other hand, managed this balancing act without interruption for 15 years!  A most admirable achievement.

Barb was hired as Director at a time when the Madison Public Library was in critical need of strong and visionary leadership.  And that's what she has provided.   I learned  much from her while working on many South Central Library System and Dane County Library Service committees and projects.  We also served together on the WLA Library Development & Legislation back when I was still a little wet behind the ears in this area..  And she was always very gracious and accommodating whenever I made unannounced visits to her office,

Congratulations, .Barb, on your most impressive career, of which I've touched on just a small portion.  And best wishes in your retirement.

A pictorial Madison Public Library facilities time line.  (All photos are from the Madison Public Library's website.  Perhaps Pinney and Meadowridge should also be included?)

2000 (new facility)

c. 2000 (relocation, expansion)

Not sure of exact dates 
but I think it fits in here.
(Relocation, expansion)

2008 (new facility)

2010 (new facility)

And soon...........

Although it took some doin'!
City of Madison to Rebid Central Library Project. (12/22/2011)
Madison Community Foundation awards $500,000 grant for new Madison Central Library.   (12/16/2011)
Retiring Guy takes a last look at the 1960s-era Madison Central Library.  (11/13/2011)
Madison Central Library prepares for move to temporary facility. (11/9/2011)
Madison Public Library misses cut on $4.5 million tax credit.  (9/14/2011)
Board to consider Plan B financing.  (9/1/2011)
Central library to relocate in November.  (7/27/2011)
Central library reconstruction project to proceed.  (4/29/2011)
Negotiations continue.  (4/27/2011)
Central library not a major issue with candidate or mayor Soglin. (4/19/2011)
Soglin wants to make sure ducks are in a row for Central Library Project.  (4/16/2011)
Latest design review.  (4/8/2011)
Midway Design presentation for Madison Central Library.  (2/25/2011)
Final design for renovated central library unveiled.  (12/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The New McAllen Texas Public Library

Turkey Breaks Into Deadwood Public Library

No, a real turkey!

Some turkey breaks into Deadwood Library.  (Black Hills Pioneer, 1/24/2012)

ExcerptGet a read on this turkey. On Sunday morning, instead of arriving at church just down the street, a turkey crash landed in the Deadwood Public Library instead. 

“One thing we noticed is that he did not go down the aisle with the cookbooks in it,” said Deadwood Public Library director Jeanette Chaney-Moodie, who watched from her post behind a door, as her husband John and Sgt. Ken Mertens of the Deadwood Police Department corralled the 20-plus pound culprit in 20 minutes flat by placing a blanket over its head.

Oregon State University research confirmed!

Alumn.Us: A Social Network for Public Schools and Community Colleges

Watch Out, Facebook: A New Social Network Targets Alumni. (MindShift, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt: While public schools might not have a strong alumni network, private schools certainly do. Indeed the endowments from alumni at private K-12 schools are substantial, if not mind-boggling. These donations fund “wonderful touches: computers in the classroom, trips, enriched curriculum,” noted a New York Times story on private schools’ alumni funding. wants to be able to develop just this sort of network for the public school system, as well as for the community college level — both of which have failed to ever develop a strong network that keeps alumni interested in what happens at their schools. It’s less about connecting alumni with their fellow graduates (indeed, Facebook does seem to have won that game) than it is connecting alumni back with their schools — in terms of fundraising and in terms of mentorship.

Malfunctioning Sprinkler Results in Minimal Damage @ T. B. Scott Free Library

I have to admit that while Director at Middleton, the thought of something like this happening crossed my mind more than once. As it turned out, it was snow swirling its way into rooftop vents that proved to be the problem.

Broken sprinkler did minimal damage to Merrill library. Wausau Daily Herald, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt:   It’s likely the cold weather caused one sprinkler head to malfunction in the entry atrium of the T.B. Scott Free Library at about 2:45 p.m., said Stacy Stevens, director. That meant that the entryway’s ceiling tiles, carpeting and some furniture made of wood and metal were doused. All told, the entry was flooded with an inch to two inches of water, Stevens said.

UW-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development Report: Race and Male Employment in the Wake of the Great Recession

Employment of black men drops drastically.   (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt: The data highlight a renewed setback to an urban region that for years has helped set national extremes for poverty and unemployment, following a decades-long collapse of the city's manufacturing economy that left a depression in the urban core.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Blue Ribbon Rental, Here's an Idea

From the January 19, 2012, Warren Times-Observer

Pew Research Reports on Big One-Month Jump in Ereader/Tablet Ownership

You are more likely to own an ereader or tablet is you are in the 30-49 age range, a college graduate, and have a household income greater than $75,000.

Curious about the ereader drop from May to August 2011

Tablet and E-Book Reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift-Giving Period. (Pew Research, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt: The findings are striking because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers. However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted. In the tablet world, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices than other tablets. In the e-book reader world, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.

Menomonee Falls Village Manager Shares His Views of 21st Century Local and County Governments

Falls revenue could be tight in future year. Fitzgerald sees consolidation talks picking up. (Sussex Sun, 1/17/2012)

Excerpt:  [Bold highlights added]."The reality is I don't see significant changes in the revenue, so we're always on guard to deal with the expenditure side.   That means, for us, forever finding ways to commit to our basic services with as low a cost as possible.

That means the discussions about partnering with the county and other local communities to provide services will amplify. According to village officials, the current financial climate necessitates such an exploration.

"They almost have to, and in all cases. I think it's not just the county. I think there are things we can do with neighboring communities," Fitzgerald said. "In many ways, that means fundamentally changing some of the things we do, and I don't mean what a citizen sees out on the street, but how we do it. 

"In the 21st century, the local governments, it's really a matter of continually finding ways to do more with less and that generally means finding brand new ways to deliver services. In most cases, the biggest bang for your buck is in consolidation and cooperation."

Portage Public Library Boosts Fundraising Goal

Library expansion fundraisers to aim for $1.05M. (Portage Daily Register, 1/20/2012)

Excerpt:  When library proponents kick off their fundraising campaign for a library expansion project next week, they will include the revised total project cost of $1.75 million as their goal to reach. 

Originally, the project was projected to cost about $1.5 million. It has been increased to include infrastructure updates to the current building - including improvements to the library roof, heating and air conditioning and other needs. 

That means the fundraising campaign will be asking the community for about $1.05 million, instead of $800,000. It will not increase the amount the city has agreed to contribute to the project. 

Late last year the city pledged $400,000 toward the project, and the Bidwell Foundation has agreed to add another $300,000 in grants.

Related posts:
Two Portage businessmen to lead Portage fundraising effort. (113/2012)
Funding for library expansion included in City of Portage 2012 budget. (12/9/2012)
Library moves forward with building expansion fundraising campaign.  (11/26/2011)
Decision delayed on request for library expansion funding.  (11/2/2011)
Council member on Portage Public Library expansion project funding: "We may just not want to it".  (10/28/2011)
Board president makes pitch to council for library expansion funding.  (10/15/2011)
Board to make case for building expansion to council.  (10/13/2011)
Library board to make case to council for building expansion.  (9/15/2011)
Library moves forward with building expansion.  (8/12/2011)
Board approves feasibility study for library expansion.  (7/1/2011)
Board reviews estimates for expansion project.  (6/22/2011)
Library expansion plans continue to develop.  (2/9/2011)
Library expansion to focus on youth services.  (10/15/2010)
Putting together the financial pieces for building expansion.  (5/12/2010)
Library seeks community input for expansion.  (1/13/2010)
Board discussion rental property options.  (11/11/2009)

As you might expect, some folks aren't happy with this news

Taxpayers start subsidizing golf courses. (Janesville Gazette, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt: For the first time since the mid-1980s, Janesville taxpayers are subsidizing the city's two golf courses. In 2011, the subsidy was about $115,000. 

That doesn't include $200,000 that the city borrowed for capital expenses. 

In 2012, taxpayers will contribute about $1.60 for every golfer who tees off at Riverside or Blackhawk, the city's two public courses.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Danah Boyd: "The first anthropologist...from the tribe she's studying"

Cracking Teenagers' Online Codes.  (The New York Times, 1/20/2012)

ExcerptBut as Dr. Boyd sees it, adults are worrying about the wrong things.

Children today, she said, are reacting online largely to social changes that have taken place off line.

Children’s ability to roam has basically been destroyed,” Dr. Boyd said in her office at Microsoft, where a view of the Boston skyline is echoed in the towers of books on her shelves, desk and floor. “Letting your child out to bike around the neighborhood is seen as terrifying now, even though by all measures, life is safer for kids today.”

Children naturally congregate on social media sites for the relatively unsupervised conversations, flirtations, immature humor and social exchanges that are the normal stuff of teenage hanging-out, she said.

“We need to give kids the freedom to explore and experience things online that might actually help them,” she added. “What scares me is that we don’t want to look at the things that make us uncomfortable. So rather than see what teenagers are showing us online about bullying and suicide and the problems they’re dealing with and using that information to help them, we’re making ourselves blind to it."

Knee Deep? I think we need to go higher up the anatomy

Michael Best & Friedrich's involvement covers
  • Collective bargaining
  • Redistricting
  • Mining
  • Recalls
  • Recounts
  • John Doe
  • Ethics charges

"The shadow DOJ": Law firm knee deep in state's many hot-button issues. (Wisconsin State Journal, 1/22/2012)

Excerpt:   Lester Pines, a prominent liberal-leaning attorney with Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, which has handled dozens of political cases, said Michael Best & Friedrich owes at least part of its GOP workload to its specialized skill set.

Founded in 1848, the firm employs more than 220 attorneys and can count among its numbers a former counsel to the governor, two former deputy attorneys general and two former assistant attorneys general.

"There are just not a lot of firms that can do what they do," Pines said.