Winnefox Library System

Annual Plan 2005

Executive Summary


The Winnefox Library System (WLS) is mandated to submit an annual plan of service and budget to the Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning by October 15th of each year.  The following plan provides compliance for this mandate as well as a blueprint for system activities.


WLS provides a full range of support services to member libraries including:


Ø     Reference referral and interlibrary loan

Ø     In-service training for member library staff

Ø     Delivery of materials routed between libraries

Ø     Professional consulting

Ø     A plan of service to users with special needs

Ø     Coordinated planning with other types of libraries

Ø     A library technology and resource sharing plan


In addition, WLS is mandated to keep membership agreements between individual libraries and counties up to date and to monitor compliance with statutory requirements for system membership.  The annual plan must certify compliance with these mandates.


The first section of the Annual Plan consists of a state supplied form on which to supply information regarding the mandates listed above as well as a general description of the needs of the system, demographics, and the planning process. 


The second section of the Plan consists of a list of priorities the system will address in the coming year along with the activities it will carry out in order to further system development.  This section is organized along the same lines as the program budget that is attached at the end of the Plan.  The priorities were identified through regular discussion between system staff and member library directors at each county’s Library Advisory Committee (LAC) meetings, regular meetings of directors concerning the shared automation system, workshops, and other opportunities to discuss concerns.


The major priorities revolve around four areas: technology, training, advocacy, and funding.  Though Winnefox supports library and information technology that is close to the cutting edge, further development of these services is essential for member libraries.  Training is needed not only to keep pace with technology, but in basic areas of library management such as budgeting and financial record keeping.  In the tough economic climate we are experiencing in the state, both the member libraries and the system itself need strong advocates for adequate funding.  In order to maintain current services and continue to facilitate the development of our member libraries, the system is being forced to look at funding in new ways in order to cope with the continued deterioration of funding from the state.


The Winnefox Library System

Annual Plan 2005

List of Priorities and Activities


The Winnefox Library System drafts a plan of service each year to satisfy statutory requirements and to provide a blueprint for system activities for the coming year.  The following is a summary of activities Winnefox will undertake in order to continuously improve services to our members.  It is arranged according to broad programs as outlined by state mandates.


I.  Technology, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Services


Priority:  Explore alternatives in an effort to continue to provide full ILL service despite greatly reduced state support for ILL.


Activity 1:  Maintain cooperative agreements for ILL access with public and private educational institutions in the Winnefox and Fox Valley Library Council (FVLC) areas.


Activity 2:  Investigate the use of OCLC interloan as a less-expensive or more efficient alternative to Wiscat-ILL


Activity 3:  Work with Reference & Loan and WILS staff to provide all possible ILL access to library resources in and outside of Wisconsin.


Activity 4:  Configure Z39.50 server for participation in Wisconsin linked system resource sharing project



            Priority:  Improve the availability of reference services at member libraries.


Reference service has greatly improved at member libraries over the last several years because of access to electronic information through the Internet and via databases and other online resources subscribed to or created by member libraries and Winnefox.  Several activities will be undertaken in 2005 to continue to expand the range of information available to area residents through their local libraries.


Activity 1:  Continue to participate in a consortium providing online reference via interactive chat over the Internet. 


Activity 2:  Survey member libraries and examine database usage statistics to determine if the range of databases currently offered best meets the needs of member libraries and their patrons.


Activity 3:  Explore collaborative application for delivery of 211 services in conjunction with Information & Referral services.


Activity 4:  Continue to educate member library staff on the availability of backup reference assistance from the resource library. 


Priority:  Improve the availability of technology services and support at member libraries.


Activity 1:  Continue to support the participation of new libraries in the WALS computer consortium.  By the end of 2004, 28 of 30 libraries will be connected to the WALS network and 26 libraries will be part of the shared catalog.  In 2005 we expect to bring at least one additional library into the consortium.



Priority:  Develop better communications between system librarians providing reference & adult services.


Activity 1:  Develop an adult services section on the staff extranet.


Activity 2:  Encourage the continued use of a WLS reference & adult services discussion list.


II.  Delivery Service


Priority:  Improve efficiency of delivery service in order to shorten the turn around time from when a patron reserves an item not currently held at their home library to the time when the item may be picked up at that library from another Winnefox member. 


Activity 1:  Implement changes in the delivery schedule necessitated by a rapid increase in volume caused by Fond du Lac PL’s joining the system in addition to the steady increase in volume we have been experiencing in recent years.


Priority:  Increase administrative information available to system and member library staff and trustees by continuing to expand and enhance the “extranet” for the system and member libraries.


                        Activity 1:  Survey member library staff and conduct usability studies the to determine the documents and information needed on the extranet and the most useful way to organize it. 


Activity 2:  Continue to post documents, policies, forms, and procedures manuals for easy access by system and member library staff.


                        Activity 3:  Further develop trustee information resources for easier accessibility by system trustees. 


                        Activity 4:  Assist member libraries in developing their own extranets to improve staff communication.



III.  Continuing Education and Consulting


Priority:  Provide a variety of continuing education opportunities in sufficient quantity so that member library directors may complete all continuing education requirements for certification through Winnefox.


Activity 1:  Offer or co-sponsor at least 10 workshops or training sessions in 2005 at a variety of locations throughout the system.


Activity 2:  Continue to survey member library staff to determine which potential workshop topics would fill the greatest need.


Activity 3:  Consider the needs of staffs at different-sized libraries as well as well as those of different levels of experience when considering workshop topics.


Activity 4:  Continue to keep member librarians informed of continuing education activities offered by other providers.


Activity 5:  Explore increased cooperation with FVLC, neighboring library systems, and other agencies to provide continuing education activities more economically.


Activity 6:  Purchase copies of required and recommended textbooks for the courses required for certification to be loaned to directors taking those courses.



Priority:  Make sure that staff at member libraries have the technical skills necessary to connect the public to electronic information sources.  They must also have the skills necessary to make the most productive use of the Sirsi Unicorn system and the staff extranet.


Activity 1:  Provide small group, hands-on sessions that demonstrate new information resources and computer programs as they become available.


Activity 2:  WLS and WALS staff will provide small group or one-on-one training at member libraries for those who need it most.


Activity 3:  WLS and WALS will continue to explore low cost alternatives for training and provide online follow-up tutorials for some of the training we offer.


Priority:  Continue to develop a relationship between Winnefox staff and member library trustees so that Winnefox may better serve the particular needs of trustees.


Activity 1:  Sponsor at least one workshop for library Trustees.


Activity 2:  Develop an orientation program for new member library trustees. 


Activity 3:  Develop a series of information packets to be sent to member library boards as needed to assist them in dealing with issues such as budgeting, hiring a director, long range planning, etc. 


Activity 4:  Provide on site consulting to member library boards upon request.


Activity 5:  Continue to partner with OWLS to produce the Trustee Tales newsletter.


Priority:  Assist member library directors in developing the leadership skills necessary to guide the development of their local libraries.


Activity 1:  Assist in the development of teamwork at the county level within the local Library Advisory Committees (LACs).


Activity 2:  Encourage member libraries to provide adequate compensation and recruit directors with an aptitude for leadership as vacancies occur.


Activity 3:  Design an orientation program for new library directors using the Library Director’s Handbook, currently under development by DLTCL staff


IV.  Library Services to Special Users


Priority:  Assist local libraries in extending services to non-English speaking families moving into the Winnefox service area.


Activity 1:  Assist local libraries in developing and presenting programs for non-English speaking children and families in order to promote family literacy.


Activity 2:  Provide cultural sensitivity training to member library and system staff through workshops and improving partnerships with other groups serving emigrant groups.


Activity 3:  Assist member libraries in developing materials to promote library services to immigrant populations lacking a cultural background of public libraries.


Priority:  Assist member libraries in making electronic information more readily available to individuals with disabilities.


Activity 1:  Provide training to member library staff in the use of assistive devices/software.


Activity 2:  Use Winnefox Public Information staff to publicize the accessibility of electronic information at member libraries.  Publicity will target users with disabilities.


Activity 3:  Stress ease of usability for those using assistive devices/software for the visually impaired when designing Winnefox and member library web pages.


V.  Administration


Priority:  Develop a strategic planning process for Winnefox based on the needs of member libraries as articulated in library/county level plans. 


Activity 1:  Study and summarize long-range plans of member libraries (if they exist).  Identify areas of possible system support.


Activity 2:  Initiate a pilot county-level planning process in at least one county to both develop a county-wide service plan and individual library service plans.


Activity 3:  Hold a focus group session(s) with library directors from pilot county(ies) to identify present and future needs on which to focus of system support for member libraries. 


Activity 4:  Begin the process to revise each county’s long-range plan. 


Activity 5:  Incorporate goals in the county plans into the Winnefox Library System Long Range Plan and a strategic action plan summary.


Activity 6:  Consider alternatives for funding system services as state funding continues to remain static.


Priority:  Develop a comprehensive Winnefox service manual for member library staff to be made available in print and through the Winnefox extranet. 


Activity 1:  Department staff will create a written description of their services and instructions for making use of them.


Activity 2:  Written service descriptions will be compiled and placed on the staff extranet.


IV.  Collection Development


Priority:  Assist member libraries as they maintain current collections and develop new ones.


Activity 1:  Provide selection support through WCTS by making member libraries aware of new releases and purchasing opportunities.


Activity 2:  Continue to support development of new collections in smaller libraries by offering ‘Collection Enhancement grants’ to WCTS libraries.


Activity 3:  Encourage libraries to purchase their own DVDs and books on CD as system support is phased out.


                        Activity 4:  Support the creation of a member-supported DVD circuit to supplement the library’s collections.


V.  Direct Payment to County Non-Resident Users


Priority:  Obtain full funding for reimbursement formulas for libraries where such funding does not exist.


Activity 1:  Assist member libraries in providing regular reports to county boards informing them of activities and services provided to rural residents. 


Priority 2:  Assist member libraries to build closer relations with county board members.  Educate county boards on the value of libraries to their counties.


Priority:  Begin investigating ways for counties and municipalities to fund shared services that Winnefox can no longer provide due to lack of support from the State.


Activity 1:  Expand services funded through WCTS where appropriate.


VI.               Library Services to Youth


Priority:  Develop better communications between system librarians working with youth.


Activity 1:  Develop a youth services section on the staff extranet.


Activity 2:  Encourage the continued use of a WLS youth librarian discussion list.


Activity 3:  Hold at least one workshop on a youth service topic.


Priority:  Provide support for programs targeting children and families at member libraries.


Activity 1:  Encourage use of WLS marketing resources for children’s programs beyond summer reading.


Activity 2:  Develop contacts, in cooperation with local libraries, of community groups working with children and youth to foster greater collaboration in service provision and marketing.



Priority:  Continue to support Summer Library Reading Program (SLP) activities in member libraries.


Activity 1:  Coordinate all activity relating to children’s summer reading programs including support material, performers, etc. 


Activity 2:  Subsidize member libraries’ purchases of SLP materials.


Activity 3:  Continue to provide SLP performer booking services for member libraries.


Activity4:  Explore co-sponsorship of an end-of-summer group activity for SLP participants from all member libraries.



VII.  Public Information


Priority:  Re-develop a network of system “friends of libraries” (the Library Information NetworK - LINK) willing to assist with educating the public and elected officials regarding the goals and benefits of system services.


Activity 1:  Gain assistance from member libraries in contacting those individuals who are interested in giving voice to their support for libraries and systems.


Activity 2: Develop informational material regarding the needs of libraries and systems to be distributed to library friends in print and/or electronically.


Priority:  Assist member library directors in learning techniques necessary to communicate directly and frequently with county and municipal governments.


Activity1:  Develop and/or update individual aids to be used in presentations to government officials.


Activity 2:  Assist member library directors in becoming public speakers.


Activity 3:  Include government officials in discussions of service priorities within each county.


Priority:  Raise awareness of library issues and the importance of library services in the general public and county and municipal governing bodies.


Activity 1:  Evaluate the effectiveness of Shhhout about Libraries newsletter within the context of the need to communicate about Winnefox and its member libraries.


Activity 1:  Provide member libraries with statistics, surveys, reports, and other information to be used in informing members of the public and governing bodies.


Activity 2:  Assist member libraries in developing educational materials for local and state government officials.



Priority:  Study printing and graphics procedures to be able to continue to offer these services to libraries at no charge in spite of reduced funding. 


Activity 1:  Analyze printing requests to determine if some projects can be printed by less expensive processes.


Activity 2:  Educate library directors and staffs on how to submit printing requests to maximize efficiency.


Activity 3:  Explore the development of templates of commonly used promotional materials that may be directly accessed by member library staff for printing.