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Marathon County Public Library

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Library System Task Force

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Mission / Purpose Statement: The Task Force is created to collect, review, analyze, and oversee the collection of data and information to consider the most viable library system for the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL). Included in this review process will be the consideration of options for MCPL for its Integrated Library System (ILS), which may not necessarily require a change in system membership.

Membership: The Marathon County Library Board Chair shall chair the Task Force. Additional members shall include two other Trustees as well as a representative from the WI Department of Public Instruction and a current or former WI library system director. The MCPL Library Director, with the assistance of library staff, shall provide support to the Task Force as needed. The Task Force may also utilize the services of a facilitator or other resources as deemed appropriate by the Task Force.

Duties and Responsibilities: The Task Force members shall conduct their work at monthly meetings where data will be collected in order to prepare a comprehensive list of pros and cons regarding whether the Marathon County Public Library should move to the South Central Library System or remain with the Wisconsin Valley Library Service. The Task Force shall also assess the pros and cons and shall formulate a final recommendation to the Library Board regarding the ultimate question.

Methodology: The following activities will be conducted by the Task Force in order to provide a concise, informative, realistic recommendation to the Board:

  • Interview current library staff to determine what services are needed to enhance the library.
  • Determine which library system can best provide these services to MCPL.
  • Complete a Strength / Weakness / Opportunity / Threat (SWOT) analysis for each system.
  • Provide a list of pros and cons of each system to the Board of Trustees.

Reporting Relationships: The Task Force reports to the Library Board and shall provide a monthly update on progress. The Library Board Chair shall be responsible for keeping the Trustees updated on the progress of the task force. 

Timeline: The Task Force shall begin meeting in January 2020. It is anticipated that the Task Force will make its final recommendation to the Library Board in the latter half of 2020.


  • January 27 – Employee Attraction and Retention: When looking at library systems, does system membership impact MCPL’s ability to attract and retain exceptional employees?
  • February 17 – Technology: What are the capacities of each system for identifying, promoting and supporting existing and emerging technologies to ensure that MCPL is positioned to be an industry leader in Wisconsin?
  • March 16 – Financial: Cost / Benefit
  • April 20 (Did not meet as planned due to COVID-19 [coronavirus] concerns.)
  • May 18 – System Membership Costs
  • June 15 – Innovation, Organization Excellence
  • July 20 – System Governance
  • August 17 – Service to Customers (Internal) / SWOT Analysis / Summary
  • September 21 – Statements/Letters from MCPL Library Staff
  • October 19 – SWOT Analysis
  • November 16 – Pros and Cons of each System
  • December 21 – Final Decision


Note: Since the work of the Task Force ended in 2020, future updates regarding a potential library system change will be posted to the Library Board webpage; also, please note related FAQs.