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! 

Fill out the Lead with WLA form and be connected with other change agents, leaders, and committees that can use what you have to offer.

Tiffany Thornton | April 2021

Headshot Tiffany	ThorntonFor which library, institution, or organization are you currently employed? If you are retired, what was your former organization?
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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

What has been your favorite or most impactful function or event of WLA?
The WAAL Annual Conference is a standout event for me each year! It is great to hear about the fantastic work and initiatives from my Colleagues across the state and how they tackle solutions to shared obstacles. I always come back invigorated with new ideas and resources learned that I might scale and replicate in my library.


How has being a member of WLA impacted you or your career?
Being a WLA member has allowed me to travel the state, present and share my work and endeavors to a friendly audience, and engage with a diverse group of my peers. Of most impact is the strong sense of community in the group. I’ve connected with Librarians with similar roles, and we share our experiences and knowledge as a collective. These connections have been significant, and it is rewarding to know I may serve as a resource for those in my network of colleagues.

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 am fortunate to have had many role models and generous mentors throughout my career. My colleagues provide me with daily inspiration, and I feel empowered to reach out to them with the knowledge I will obtain great advice. Molly Mathias’ encouragement as my Supervisor to develop engaging programming and her ongoing advocacy for student success have aided my librarianship style. As an incoming Residency Librarian, Theresa Beaulieu served as another important mentor. Her enthusiasm for Children’s Literature and guidance with K-12 Outreach programming solidified my interest in the area and modeled the type of initiatives I am excited to develop now. I greatly appreciate the significant support system developed along the way, many of which are through my WLA connections and participation.

Do you have any advice for new WLA members?
My advice would be to find volunteer opportunities of interest and get involved right away. I began volunteering for WLA as a Graduate Student, and it was instrumental in networking and making connections. Try also to seek out avenues to share your work and current projects. Whether it is a Poster Session or Presentation, you will gain experience presenting in a friendly and welcoming space. Lastly, take time to enjoy the process and actively celebrate your successes and the small wins or lessons learned throughout your Library journey.