Section 1: Name

Wisconsin Project for Automated Library Systems (WISPALS).

Section 2: Purpose

The WISPALS Library Consortium (“Consortium”) provides member libraries shared access to a library automation system, information resources, electronic databases and other services and technology at reduced costs. It promotes the exchange of knowledge, skills and best practices for libraries. The Consortium also serves as a liaison between local, state and national library organizations and vendors.

Section 3: Membership

Application for membership is open to any Wisconsin academic library or its parent institution. Acceptance as members requires a simple majority of voting members of the WISPALS Executive Committee and the Consortium Board.  No combinations/consolidations of academic libraries or parent institutions will be permitted to join as a single member of the Consortium.


Membership status shall be conferred upon academic institutions designated as municipalities in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes which share equally (1) all initial and ongoing costs associated with Consortium operations including purchase, operation, and maintenance of a shared library automation system and (2) liability and expenses for defense of actions brought against the Consortium. Each member institution shall be entitled to representation on the Consortium Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and have one vote on each Governance body. Institutions seeking full membership after August 1, 1997, must be approved by both Governance bodies.

Duration of Membership

In accordance with the WISPALS Operating Agreement, Members are committed to an initial five-year contract. After the initial five years, membership will be automatically renewed on an annual basis for a one-year period unless notice of termination is received by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors one fiscal year prior to the date of termination. Any institution terminating membership will be liable for financial costs incurred during the period of its membership including costs for removal of its records from the database.

Members who fail to abide by the terms of the Operating Agreement or fail to pay assessments can be suspended from activity on the system or be subject to membership termination upon a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 4: Governance

WISPALS is governed by the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.

Board of Directors

A Board of Directors consisting of the president or chief officer or his/her designee from each Member institution will act on all matters relating to the Consortium as requested by the Executive Committee. Each Member shall have one vote. The Board will also serve in an advisory role when required. The Board will receive annual reports and act on recommendations of the Executive Committee when necessary.

The Consortium Board will elect one of its members as Chair for a term to be defined by the Board.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the library directors of each Member institution or a designee. Each Member library director/designee shall have one vote. The Executive Committee will oversee the ongoing operations of the Consortium, prepare the budget, create and review the strategic plan, provide direction to and act on recommendations of Consortium contractors, evaluate performance provided by contractors, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.

The officers of the Executive Committee shall include a Chair of the Committee elected annually.  The Chair must be a library director/designee of a Member institution.

Duties of the Chair:

  1. Moderate the meetings of the Executive Committee. The Chair will appoint another member to be Chair if he/she is unable to moderate a meeting.
  2. Provide direction to the Consortium contractors for scheduling meetings and setting agendas.
  3. The Chair will have full voting rights on all matters of business
  4. Along with the WISPALS contractors, represent the Consortium to other agencies, groups, or organizations.
  5. The Chair will serve on the Performance Evaluation Committee.


The Executive Committee meets monthly via conference call except for the month in which it meets face-to-face for a full day annual meeting. The location of this meeting rotates between member libraries alphabetically by the first letter of the college’s name. A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of voting members. Meeting minutes shall be compiled and distributed by the Consortium contractors.

Section 5: Users Councils/Committees

The Executive Committee may create Users Councils or Committees consisting of library staff members from Member institutions. These groups may be organized based on library functions or interests. The groups may make recommendations to the Executive Committee, plan workshops, or share information on topics of mutual interest. Each User Council or Committee may elect a chair for a one-year term.

Performance Evaluation Committee:

The Consortium Performance Evaluation Committee solicits feedback from Member institutions regarding the services provided by Consortium contractors.  The Committee shares this information with the contractors and creates performance improvement plans as needed. The Executive Committee Chair is automatically appointed to the Performance Evaluation Committee. The remainder of the Committee is comprised of other Executive Committee Members who volunteer their service.

Section 6: Consortium Contractors

The Executive Committee may authorize the contracting of qualified specialists to fulfill various functions.

Such contracted services may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Consortium Management
  2. Integrated Library System Support (ILS)
  3. Cooperative Purchasing
  4. Fiscal Agency

Section 7: Consortium Administration

Administration of the Consortium and retention of WISPALS records shall be the responsibility of Gateway Technical College, unless otherwise changed by the Consortium Board.

Section 8: Budget Development and Fiscal Operation

A budget for the operation of the Consortium shall be submitted by the Executive Committee to the Consortium Board for review by January 1 of each year, to take effect on July 1. The budget shall include all costs for Consortium operation with the understanding that all costs shall be borne equally by each Member.

Section 9: Confidential Information

In the course of business, due to shared technologies and integrated operations, each Member may be provided with access to Confidential Information from other Member libraries.  All Members agree to use the same degree of care to protect this information as they would use to safeguard their own information of like nature, including any information that would constitute Education Records as defined by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations (34 CFR Part 99). Directory information is defined by each Member college’s FERPA policy.

Section 10: Amendments to Organization

Changes to the Consortium’s Organization can be made upon simple majority of both the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.