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From The Ground Up -Spring 2023

Congratulations South Central Library System

By Theresa Walske, President

SCLS Foundation Board



Have you heard the big news? The South Central Library System is moving into a new location.

In the 1700s Alexander Hamilton knew it was important “to be in the room where it happened.” More than 200 years later, the pandemic reminded us what was lost when we could not be in the same room. There is good in having a welcoming designated space and equipment to meet. This allows us to build relationships, share ideas, create, and learn.

Thank you for your past donations to the SCLS Foundation. Because of your financial support, the Foundation is proud to have sponsored the AV equipment and furniture for the meeting room and Professional Collection. Together we are all supporting continued innovation and excellence in our library system.

Our work is not done. Keeping pace with our rapidly changing world requires additional funding not provided by the public sector. Please join me in donating to the SCLS Foundation to support future endeavors to support our library system. You may donate by check or online from the Foundation website.

Congratulations to the South Central Library System, your new home is beautiful! The Foundation is honored to be a part of it.



South Central Library System Groundbreaking

By Martha Van Pelt

SCLS Director & SCLS Foundation Secretary



The South Central Library System held a groundbreaking ceremony on April 25 at its newly purchased site located at 1650 Pankratz Street. This is the first building SCLS has owned in its 48 years of history.

Speakers included Gary Poulson, SCLS Board of Trustees President; Theresa Walske, SCLS Foundation President; Darrell Williams, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Libraries and Technology and Sarah Godlewski, Secretary of State.

The building and new addition is the result of discussions and planning since 2018 to strengthen the services of the system to its 65 member libraries through economies of scale and efficiency within its operations. The new site will combine both the SCLS administration and delivery operations under one roof.

While some staff will work remotely, a physical site is required for administrative and technology staff working on site, meeting space for member libraries meetings and room for delivery services with its 20 vehicles and sorting facilities. The SCLS Foundation donated money to outfit the new meeting room with state of the art audiovisual equipment, new tables and chairs. They also purchased new furniture for the expanded professional collection space used by member librarians.

The project is funded by a loan from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.


Building Community

By Theresa Walske, President

SCLS Foundation Board


The Deerfield Public Library led the inaugural Deerfield READS, a community read this spring. Leah Fritsche, director, and Rachael Page, assistant director, researched, obtained funding, and secured copies of the following books to be inclusive of all reading levels:

  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  • Stella Diaz Never Gives Up by Angela Dominquez
  • Octopus Escapes Again! By Laurie Ellen Angus

The event concluded with a community author talk with author Shelby Van Pelt.

This Community Read let the Deerfield Community shine!  The event was held at the Deerfield High School.  Dinner was supplied by the Friends of the Library.  The cost of the author appearance was funded by the Lions Club. 

I read Remarkably Bright Creatures.  As my friend and I read the book we emailed to share our thoughts.  I became so invested in the characters of the book, at one point I had to put it down. I was frustrated with one characters choices.  I had to open the book again because I needed to know how it would end.  I attended the wonderful dinner at the high school and met several new community members as well as catching up with neighbors and old friends.

Author Shelby Van Pelt pointed out in her talk that there is good in a community coming together around a book to build relationships and friendships. I can confirm this happened in Deerfield.

As Marcellus the octopus states in Remarkably Bright Creatures  “Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures.”  Our Deerfield Library is definitely a remarkable and bright gift to our community.  Thank you for all your efforts and coordination.  It was such a fun event. Thank you to the community of Deerfield by participating as a community reader or providing the food, the location, or the funding for the author talk.  An individual sitting at my table summed it up, “I can’t wait until next year to do this again!” 



Foundation Fund Performance

As of April 14, 2023, the fund balance was $5,387,670.97, of which $240,460.87 was held on behalf of the Foundation. 

The gross return since inception on Dec. 1, 2012, is 5.78% and the one-year return was -7.69%.

For more information about investing with the Foundation, please contact Martha Van Pelt, SCLS Director, at (608) 246-7975 or mvanpelt [at]


Foundation Contributors

These people have donated to the SCLS Foundation since January 2, 2023 through April 1, 2023. The category in which each is listed represents their total Foundation contribution to date.

•    Legacy -- $10,000 +

  • Phyllis Davis      
  • Peter & Ann Hamon
  • First Business Bank

•    Benefactor – $9,999 - $5,000

•    Steward – $4,999 - $1,000

  • Lauren Blough
  • Theresa Walske

•    Advocate – $999 - $500

  • Carol Froistad

•    Patron – $499 - $250

  • Charles Bunge

•    Friend – $249 - $100

  • Elizabeth Amundson
  • Donald Baker & Barbara Smith
  • Jane Bannerman
  • Susan Barthel
  • Cheryl Becker & Jim Bredeson
  • Sandra Bertics
  • Carol Fritsche
  • Ian Gaylor & Nancy McClements
  • Paul Grogan & Natasha Lewis
  • Mary Jo Harris
  • Mark & Joan Rakow
  • Barb Sanford
  • Ronald & Debra Sharpee
  • Molly Warren
  • Marc & Leslie Weinberger

•    Supporter – $99 - $50

  • Margaret Blanchard
  • Debbie Cardinal & Walter Burt
  • Mary & Greg Davidson
  • Debbie Lehnherr
  • David Null
  • W.C. & Helen Read
  • Barbara Rex
  • Jacob & Jill Sonntag
  • Jennifer & Randall Way

•    Sponsor – $49 - $1

  • Connie Burmeister
  • Nancy Hilmanowski
  • Richard Kilmer
  • David & Susan Kuck
  • Joel & Carol Sawyer