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Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND)

Created by the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1979, the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) advises the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (DPI) to ensure that all state citizens have access to library and information services.

The 19-member council, appointed by the governor, functions as a forum through which librarians and members of the public identify, study, and collect public testimony on issues affecting Wisconsin libraries and other information services. Members serve three-year terms.

Organizations interested in nominating individuals to serve on COLAND, as well as individuals interested in self-nominating to serve on COLAND, should contact the Governor’s office at (608) 266-1212 or complete the application form found on the Governor’s appointments site. There is also more information regarding boards and commissions here, and the webpage to fill out the application itself can be found here.

Council findings are communicated as advisory recommendations to the state superintendent, governor, and Legislature.

Other COLAND Activities


Ensuring Access

Key responsibilities:

  • Promoting free access to knowledge, information, and diversity of ideas by all Wisconsin residents;
  • Facilitating the most effective use of library resources through interlibrary cooperation among all types of libraries;
  • Promoting cooperation and resource sharing among public libraries, school libraries, other types of libraries, and related agencies; and
  • Planning, coordinating, evaluating, and setting statewide priorities for the development of networks to enable library cooperation and resource sharing within Wisconsin.

COLAND holds open meetings six times per year and conducts hearings on library policies and publications. Members offer advice as part of the DPI biennial budget request and provide testimony on state and federal legislation. Council members also provide advice to DPI on publications, policies, and products, such as

Representation on COLAND

COLAND works closely with the DPI Division for Libraries and Technology. Membership includes nine professional members who represent public, school, academic, special, and private libraries as well as library educators. The remaining ten council positions are held by public members with a demonstrated interest in libraries or other types of information services. COLAND members serve three year terms, ending on July 1 of each year, and are appointed by the Governor.

Members of the library community and the general public are welcome to attend council meetings and to address the group or a committee on specific questions under consideration. To ensure that adequate time will be available, requests should be submitted to the council chairperson or appropriate committee head three weeks before a meeting.

Wisconsin's Libraries

Wisconsin has a wealth of library and information resources, which include:

  • 381 public libraries providing 467 facilities and bookmobile services that serve 5.82 million state residents, 2.99 million of which currently hold active library cards.
  • 15 regional public library systems coordinating services among those libraries, providing leadership and training, and promoting resource sharing and technology.
  • Approximately 2,000 public school library media centers serving about 830,000 students.
  • Hundreds of academic and special libraries serving students, professionals, businesses, and others.
  • Library services at 19 adult institutions, one juvenile facility, 14 male correctional centers, three female correctional centers, and four facilities operated by the Division of Care and Treatment Services, Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

COLAND is committed to making these resources accessible to the state's residents through library cooperation and resource sharing.

For more information about the council and its work, or for a schedule of meetings, contact the Division for Libraries and Technology at (608) 266-2205.

For questions about this information, contact Allyson Hanz (608) 264-6702