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LAWDS Launches

Thursday, February 14, 2019

If you work in a Wisconsin public library, you will soon be invited to activities offered through the Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) project. LAWDS will bring together public library staff with the staff of regional Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) and Wisconsin Job Centers, to facilitate more seamless support of job-seeking patrons, business owners and entrepreneurs. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Starting this May, public library staff will be invited to “Meet and Greet” sessions led by members of WDBs. The focus will be on sharing and learning about the skills and resources WDBs can offer to public libraries and the communities they serve. The spring sessions are the first of four training opportunities public library staff will be offered. Any member of the library community who is unable to participate in LAWDS training sessions live or online will be able to access archived recordings or slide decks on the concepts and resources discussed.

At their February 11th meeting, members of the System and Resource Library Administrator’s Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) agreed to work with WDBs to help organize the initial meetings.
SRLAAW is one of eight organizations that form the LAWDS Project Advisory Council (PAC). The PAC will provide input on the training sessions and resources, to ensure they correspond to the activities and objectives contained in the project narrative as approved by IMLS. SRLAAW is represented by Mark Jochem, South Central Library Association’s Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning specialist.

The other PAC members are:
WLA, represented by Kristen Anderson (Director, Winding Rivers Library System)
Wisconsin Workforce Development Association (WWDA), represented by Jon Menz, CEO, Workforce Development Board of West Central Wisconsin
DWD, represented by Theodore Anderson (Milwaukee WDB), Miranda Lezcano (North Central WDB)
DPI, represented by Martha Berninger and John deBacher
UW-System, represented by Ann Palmer
Wisconsin Technical College System, represented by Scott DuBenske
Great Lakes Educational and Training Association, represented by Barb Chaffee. CEO, Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. and Jan Norlander-Jensen, Workforce Investment Administrator, City of Lincoln, NE

The PAC advises the four organizations that collaborated to design and submit the project application: WLA, DPI, DWD and WWDA. The first meeting of the PAC will be held April 24 at Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning.
On May 2, at 10:00, members of the PAC will be presenting, “Lawdsy, Lawdsy - come learn about Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS)” at the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries 2019 conference.

Please look for more information about the initial spring training sessions, coming soon. If you would like more information on the LAWDS project, please contact Martha Berninger, Director, DPI’s Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning team, at, or Kristen Anderson, or Mark Jochem, mjochem


For questions about this information, contact Martha Berninger (608) 224-6161