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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Shawn Brommer | March 2023

For which library, institution, or organization are you currently employed? If you are retired, what was your former organization?
South Central Library System, Madison

How many year(s) have you been a member of Wisconsin Library Association?
At least 25+ years - this includes student membership during the years I was in graduate school at UW-Madison.

What has been your favorite or most impactful function or event of WLA?
With my colleagues, Roxane Bartelt, Kristina Gomez, and Leah Langby, I arranged the 2019 WLA Preconference, "So You Want to Talk About Race, " with author Ijeoma Oluo, in WI Dells. The preconference, and planning for it, was not the easiest thing I've ever done, but the experience impacted the way I plan professional development events and prepare my own presentations; I will always be influenced by it. The preconference occurred a few months before the world was hit by the Pandemic and I will always think of it as a watershed moment during the last months of the Before Times.

How has being a member of WLA impacted you or your career?
I have learned how to be my authentic self whilst serving in a professional capacity. I've been fortunate to work with so many inspiring people within the organization, including WLA staff, who have helped me connect to ideas, other professionals, and personal goals.

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.
In the early 1990s I served as a library assistant at the North Branch Library in LaCrosse and my branch manager, Barbara Flottmeier (may her memory be a blessing), supported me in so many ways. She showed interest in my interests, supported my creativity, and was a role model in how to face the world with fierce compassion and authenticity. She also introduced me to WLA and opportunities to connect and be active in the organization.

Do you have any advice for new WLA members?

Reach out to and lift others in the Association. Balance your active times in the organization with periods of rest and reflection. I am only learning lessons now from experiences I had 10+ years ago with WLA because I'm in that time of reflection.