Waukesha County Federated Library System (WCFLS)

Tom Hennen was the Director of this 16-member library system from 1999 until his retirement in 2013.  Waukesha, a county of nearly 500,000 adjacent to Milwaukee County merged with adjacent Jefferson County to become Bridges Library System in 2016. Hennen’s experience with long range planning for the system as well as its member libraries helped lead to his planning bookand the founding of Hennen Library Consulting.  

WCFLS Members: Individual Library Plans

The Act 150 Plans required Hennen to conduct at least 2 planning processes every year with individual libraries.  Individual libraries could opt to participate or not.   Plans were developed for (and revised) for the following 10 of 16 member libraries.  Hennen assisted with several plans for a number of them, for a total of 17 plans.  That turned out to be great practice for Hennen Library Consulting.

  1. Big Bend (Population 1,290)
  2. Brookfield (Population 37,920)
  3. Butler (Population (1,841)
  4. Menomonee Falls (Population 35,626)
  5. Mukwonago (Population 7,456)
  6. Muskego (Population 24,135)
  7. New Berlin(Population 39,584)
  8. Town Hall Library in North Lake (Population
  9. Pewaukee (Population 7,988)
  10. Waukesha (Population 70,718)

Highlighted Plans

  1. Waukesha Public Library Strategic Plan 2009-2011:  The city of Waukesha is the county seat and Waukesha Public Library with a population of over 70,000 is the largest city in the county.  Tom Hennen worked with the board and administrator on 2 long-range plans.
  2. Brookfield PL LRP, WI:  The Library Board and Director worked with Tom Hennen who was then Director of Waukesha County Federated Library System Director to develop its long-range plan. The Brookfield Public Library provides excellent service and offers a wide array of materials, services, and programs in a community that demands high quality.  The challenge was maintaining that level of excellence.  The plan is also featured in Hennen’s Public Library Planner as Appendix 5.
  3. Pewaukee Village and City Long Range Plan.  WI.  From 1999 to 2013, Hennen served as director of the Waukesha County Federated Library System serving 400,000 persons. As director, Hennen dealt with the merger of two municipalities (population 23,000) into one new library in the 16member federation. The project required revision of county ordinances, contractual changes, careful attention to state law, and extensive attention to the tax implications. The county board, local municipalities, and all 15 library boards had to endorse the transition. That they did so amazed nearly everyone. Waukesha County received a NACO (National Association of Counties) Award for the governance options study and implementation. At the opening of the resulting new building in 2005, Hennen was invited to give the keynote address.