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Our consulting services are tailored to our members’ needs and budgets and help turn ideas into action.

Are you stuck on a project and need outside help? Would you like to undertake a planning process, but don’t know where to start? WiLS can help!

We take the time to understand your specific needs and goals and develop processes and plans to meet those needs. We help from the beginning of projects (process development) to the end (evaluation) and everything in-between. If we don’t have the expertise in house, we’ll find it in the community and get you what you need to keep moving forward. At the same time, we’ll do our best to teach you the techniques that we’re using so you can continue down the road on your own after we’re done.

For more information about WiLS Consulting Services, contact Bruce Smith at or 608-620-5421, or read more about WiLS planning support and services here.

Examples of WiLS’ Consulting Services

Jefferson Public Library Strategic Plan

WiLS worked with Jefferson Public Library to create a planning process within their budget that helped them identify their future service directions in the face of changing use of the library and the need for a new building or renovation.

“We recognized that strategic planning was essential to our organization’s future.  We were discouraged by the potentially high cost when researching providers of this service.  After talking with Stef and Bruce at WiLS, it was apparent that the “fit” was there at a price we could embrace!  The library board, director, and staff are well-pleased with the process and the deliverables.  The plan is a living document and not something we will store on a shelf and never use!”

Leann Schwandt Lehner, Director, Jefferson Public Library

Columbus Public Library Community Engagement and Strategic Plan

Columbus Public Library was one of 10 libraries selected to be a part of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities cohort.  As part of this initiative funded by the Gates Foundation, the grant team from Columbus included Bruce Smith from WiLS.  Bruce and the Columbus library director worked together to integrate the Harwood Institute’s Turning Outward community engagement process with a parallel strategic planning process.  The combination of the community engagement grant work and strategic planning has the library positioned to play a vital role in the future growth of the community.

“WiLS was a fantastic partner in our strategic planning process, giving us knowledgeable and trusted professionals to help lead the charge. Together we set the planning agendas and timelines and WiLS helped us stay on track. Bruce brings to the table a lot of qualitative and quantitative analysis tools, making it easy to personalize the data collection efforts and create a plan specific to the Columbus Public Library community.”

Cindy Fesemeyer, Director, Columbus Public Library

Kenosha Public Library AMH Project

When Kenosha Public Library started thinking about some help with automated materials handling (AMH), they thought of WiLS.  WiLS found an expert in the community who provided input into workflows and location of AMH and helped think through other building design and operational challenges.

“When we’re looking for professional advice from the outside, we turn to WiLS for referral. They consistently provide us with the perfect match to our needs at a price we can afford. Whether it’s organizational development, LEAN initiatives, or strategic planning, call WiLS first.”

Barbara Brattin, Director, Kenosha Public Library and Kenosha County Library System

Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System (MWFLS) Merger Exploration

In 2015, WiLS designed a process that emphasizes participation and communication among all members and stakeholders for the MWFLS Board and member libraries to investigate merging with another system. WiLS provided facilitation and survey services, liaisoned with potential merger partners, and developed communications.

System Planning Cohort Survey and Visualization Development

When approached by multiple systems for strategic planning services (), WiLS recognized the opportunity to work with the systems in a cohort and developed a standardized survey instrument and visualizations that could be applied to all systems in the state.  The library systems involved were able to learn from one another and to develop stronger plans as a result.  The standardized instrument has provided a picture of satisfaction with and importance of system services  for 16 of the 17 systems in the state

ILS Consortia in Wisconsin: A Snapshot of the Landscape 2014

DPI contracted with WiLS to do a study of the ILS consortia in Wisconsin.  WiLS surveyed the ILS administrators and then carefully analyzed the data and followed up as needed to ensure that accurate comparisons could be made from the data collected, culminating in a report that thoroughly documents the ILS environment in the state, including the services provided and money spent by systems.

Wisconsin Public Library System Redesign Project

Hired by the State Superintendent appointed Steering Committee, WiLS has managed the multi-year, community-led Public Library System Redesign process since its beginning in 2015. The project is an effort to analyze how collaborative public library services are provided in the state and to develop service models that will improve equity and services throughout Wisconsin. WiLS has worked with the Steering Committee, the Department of Public Instruction, nine workgroups, and many other library community members to develop service models by facilitating meetings, gathering data and information, developing timelines and project documentation, and leading communication efforts.

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Library Current Practices Assessment

WiLS worked with the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Library to evaluate their current practices and provide recommendations of improvements to modernize library services that would meet the needs of current and future students and faculty based on best practices and industry standards.