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Public Library System Redesign (PLSR)

Public Library System Redesign Project

Public Library System Redesign Logo


The Council on Library And Network Development (COLAND) created a Strategic Vision for Library Systems in the 21st Century report in 2014, as well as a recommended "roadmap" for the DPI to follow toward that vision. This report was informed by two prior efforts. In 2013, the System and Resource Library Administrators Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) created the Creating More Effective Public Library Systems report. Recommendations in this report led to DPI establishing the Lean System Workgroup in 2014 which developed a Final Recommendations report.

COLAND worked in conjunction with the Lean System Workgroup to create the roadmap. The roadmap guided the Wisconsin Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) project, which was a multi-year process to consider new models for how services are provided by public library systems to their member libraries. A main goal of the project was to ensure all Wisconsin public libraries have the capacity to provide equitable access to excellent library services regardless of the race, ethnicity, income, gender, or employment status of the people they serve, or their location within the state.

The Final Report of the PLSR Steering Committee was delivered to the State Superintendent's Office on March 8, 2019, summarizing three-and-a-half years of work by the Steering Committee, Workgroups, and sub-committees. DPI staff within the Division for Libraries and Technology have been charged with implementing the recommendations of the Steering Committee and COLAND is actively monitoring the progress of the implementation process. The work of DPI staff will be guided by the information, data, and feedback gathered from the library community.

PLSR Workgroup Reports

Current Implementation Priorities

An initial implementation strategy was released to the library community in Fall of 2019 that was prioritized by support expressed during public listening sessions conducted in the Spring of 2019. In June 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on libraries and library systems, DPI staff worked in partnership with the sixteen Public Library System Directors to reprioritize implementation activities.

The PLSR Steering Committee Recommendations (details for each recommendation can be found in the committee’s final report):

Develop Standards, Best Practices, and Accountability Structures icon  Develop Standards, Best Practices, and Accountability Structures for
  Public Library Systems

Enhance Collaboration icon  Enhance Collaboration by Creating Incentives and Removing Barriers

Reduce Number of Systems icon  Reduce the Number of Public Library Systems

Analyze Funding icon  Analyze the Current Funding Formula

Delivery icon  Initiate Delivery Service Pilot Projects

Discovery Layer icon  Create an Effective, Well Managed, State-Scale Discovery Layer

Professional Learning icon  Implement a Learning Management System for Professional Development


View this PLSR Implementation Roadmap to see information about each recommendation’s activities and timeline.


Recent Updates

December 15, 2021 - Professional Learning - An Update on PLSR Recommendation 7

In the coming year, the PLSR Recommendation 7 implementation efforts will focus on developing: 1) A shared professional learning calendar 2) An online library directory, and 3) An online platform for public library director certification. View a short video version of this update here (6:36) or view the blog post here.

November 13, 2020 - PLSR Implementation Update to COLAND

August 26, 2020 - Wisconsin Trustee Training Week PLSR Implementation Update

Please feel free to reach out with questions or comments related to PLSR-related activities by emailing