January 2024 Theresa Hoge

We are proud to highlight our members who commit their time and resources to helping Wisconsin libraries and librarians thrive through their work with the Wisconsin Library Association. Each month, we will be sharing their stories and hope you will be inspired to learn more about our programs or get involved!

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Theresa Hoge | January 2024

For which library, institution, or organization are you currently employed? If you are retired, what was your former organization?
Whitefish Bay Public Library

How many year(s) have you been a member of Wisconsin Library Association?
5 years

What has been your favorite or most impactful function or event of WLA?
From 2008 - 2013 I worked part time at the Whitefish Bay Public Library and had no exposure to WLA. When I returned in 2018 as Head of Circulation, I attended WAPL and the SSCS Conference within my first year. I learned so much about the network of libraries and support organizations across Wisconsin. I realized my position was not going to exist in a vacuum.

How has being a member of WLA impacted you or your career?
Attending WAPL, SSCS, and WLA conferences has broadened my understanding of many aspects of librarianship beyond my community library and MCFLS, from collections to funding to hiring of staff. Attending these conferences has provided a number of contacts and also ideas to make my new position my own. Additionally, these conference sessions inspire me to promote new opportunities to serve our patrons.

Do you have a library role model (in Wisconsin or elsewhere) that has provided you with inspiration or guidance? Please share a little bit about it. 
I have been so lucky to participate on multiple consortia level committees over the last 5 years which has allowed me to meet some fantastic individuals. Karli Pederson, Associate Library Director within Milwaukee Public Library System, is a strong leader and very knowledgeable. She inspired me to really investigate and understand the software and technology we use to run our library operations and support patron access. By making this a priority, I have been able to impart that knowledge to the rest of the staff at Whitefish Bay Public Library. Technology is such a necessary part of our lives and the library, and our patrons expect us to know so much more now than we ever did before.

Do you have any advice for new WLA members?
Go to conferences! There are so many great things going on across the State, and we are lucky that so many library staff want to share their successes with others.