Process Overview


February – June 2022 NWLS and WVLS begin to work together to explore the possibility of applying for LSTA money for merger exploration support.
July 2022 LSTA Grant is awarded to the systems to begin merger exploration.
September 2022 WiLS hired to facilitate the merger feasibility process and system leadership meets with WiLS to begin work.
October 2022 The NICE Team meets for the first time.
November 2022 – March 2023 The NICE Team develops process foundations (communication plan, project principles, and goals) and performs information gathering (historical review, survey of stakeholders, focus groups, and interviews).
April 2023 Data and information presented to the NICE Team for review and analysis.
June 2023 The feasibility report is completed. It shows that a joint ILS is feasible and recommends continuing the NICE project.
July 2023  A second LSTA Grant is awarded to continue the exploration process.
September 2023 Phase II of the NICE Project begins.
September 2023 – May 2024  Seven targeted workgroups met to develop recommendations for a shared ILS.
May 2023 NWLS and WVLS are awarded a non-competitive LSTA grant for ILS implementation, conditional upon an ILS merger.
June 2024 ILS Merger Report, with workgroup recommendations, is completed and shared with stakeholders.
By early September 2024 NWLN and V-Cat review the NICE Team Report and vote on the ILS merger.
September 2024 WVLS and NWLS Trustees review the NICE Team Report and vote on the ILS merger.

Draft Implementation Timeline

The following timeline is tentative based on limited available information at the time of this report. When an agreement with an ILS vendor is reached, the timeline will become more precise.

Q4 2024-

Q1 2025

ILS Advisory Group formed for decision-making and database clean-up commences

Q2 2025

Back-end configuration and implementation begins

Q3 2025

Testing and staff training occurs

Q4 2025

Go-live for staff and patrons

Meet the NICE Exploration Team

  • Alexander Johnson, Marathon County Public, Library Support Services Manager
  • Gina Rae, NWLS Database and Support Specialist
  • Jackee Johnson, NWLS ILS Administrator
  • Katie Zimmermann, WVLS ILS Administrator
  • Molly Lank-Jones, Hayward Library Director
  • Peggy O’Connell, Minocqua Library Director
  • Rachel Metzler, WVLS Database and Support Specialist
  • Sue Heskin, Superior Library Director
  • Tammie Blomberg, Rib Lake Library Director
  • Teresa Schmidt, Mercer Library Director
  • Sara Klemann, Eagle River Library Director
  • Kelly Wiisanen, Superior Public Library, Youth and Family Resources Manager
  • Laurie Ollhoff, Merrill Library Director
  • Katelyn Sabelko, Marathon County Public Library, Library Services Manager