University of Wisconsin–Madison

WI Libraries Transforming Communities

The iSchool at UW-Madison is pleased to announce that the Lead the Way conference registration fees are covered for cohort members of Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities (described below). This is an opportunity for Wisconsin librarians and community members to take part in a groundbreaking new project, and attend this inaugural conference at no extra charge.

If you are a Wisconsin librarian or community member who is interested in attending the conference and you also intend to apply to be part of the Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities cohort, we recommend that you register for the conference before the finalized cohort selection is made. If you are selected for the cohort, the iSchool will refund your registration fee. If you are not selected for the cohort, you will have a guaranteed conference registration. We anticipate that the Lead the Way conference will have high attendance and may fill.

Questions? Contact Anna Palmer,


The Public Library Development arm of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction is proud to partner with the American Library Association for a new state-level community engagement training, Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities

Thriving Libraries, a team of consultants trained in community engagement and leadership development techniques, is providing the expertise for this 18-month hands on, cohort-based training. Up to 20 two-person Teams–consisting of one library staff member and one community member–will be trained in this inaugural effort.

The community engagement training will result in:

  • Public libraries inspired to participate in communities in order to meet community needs on a local level.  
  • Thorough understanding of community needs and future aspirations from diverse stakeholders.
  • Strong understanding of current community-based planning strategies in the library field and related fields.
  • Development and evolution of program and service offerings that serve community aspirations and needs.
  • Deeper relationships with communities that are typically underserved, underrepresented and underrecognized.

The Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities training relies on raising up library leaders in coaching positions, as well.  Up to 10 individual Coaches will be trained as part of this state-wide effort. Envisioned as an 18-month masterclass in authentic leadership, resilience, and self-care, Coaches will be assigned two participant Teams to cheerlead and shepherd through their library community engagement projects.

An informational webinar will be offered on Tuesday, December 17 at 11:00 AM. It will include an overview of the training, expected time commitments, learning goals, and the requirements for the competitive application process for both Teams and Coaches.

To join the webinar with your computer, download the Microsoft Teams app ahead of time or use Microsoft Edge as your browser for a web-based experience.

Click Join Microsoft Teams Meeting to join the webinar.

OR call 608-620-9781 (Madison-Toll). 

When prompted, enter this Conference ID: 188 090 510#

Application materials for both TEAMS and COACHES will go live on the DPI website by the close of business on Friday, December 13.