Eastern Shores Library System Merger Would Be First

Library Administrator's Digest, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Eastern Shores Library System Merger Would Be First


If the Sheboygan-based Eastern Shores Library System merges with another nearby library consortium, it would be the first ever in the state and possibly a harbinger of further consolidation among the state's libraries, officials say.

Directors of the Eastern Shores system, which consists of 14 libraries in Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties [Wl], began exploring the possibility of a merger this past summer after its longtime director, David Weinhold, retired. Doing so would potentially save money by gaining efficiencies and eliminate having to hire a new director.

In September, Weinhold was rehired as a consultant to help look into merger possibilities and to serve as interim director to run the system. "We're doing some information gathering right now to continue the conversation," Weinhold said Wednesday. He retired June 8 after 32 years leading the system. His current contract runs out in January.

If a merger takes place, it would be the first one in the state's history, said John DeBacher, director of public library development for the state Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries and Technology. In fact, it wasn't until 2006 that legislation even allowed for the concept.

"Prior to that, it only allowed for counties to join a system or leave one system for another," he said.

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