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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Larry Oathout | October 2022

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

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

What has been your favorite or most impactful function or event of WLA?
Library Legislative Day each spring. Besides seeing colleagues, it's fun to meet with the legislators and talk about libraries. Most of them are just regular people.

How has being a member of WLA impacted you or your career?
To me, state associations are much more important than the national organizations. They can have more direct effect on what Wisconsin libraries do on a daily basis. So it's nice to meet people involved with WLA that are experiencing much the same thing I am.

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.
My former director Marcia Au in Evansville, Indiana. I learned a lot of from her, but she had this superpower ability to get to the point of any problem and she would always ask the extra question about an issue that no one else had thought about.

Do you have any advice for new WLA members?
Stay focused. It's too easy to get distracted these days.

CHECK OUT PAST MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS