Contact: Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
Jonathan B. Barry, Executive Secretary
(608) 266-8369

WISCONSIN DELLS – On March 26, Doug La Follette, Secretary of State and Board of Commissioners of Public Lands Commissioner, received a Special Service Award from the Wisconsin Education & Media Technology Association (WEMTA) at their annual conference at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

Mr. La Follette was presented the award for his commitment and dedication to Wisconsin’s public school libraries. He has served on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) for 40 years. As a long-serving member of the BCPL, Mr. La Follette has witnessed nearly $800 million in Common School Fund distributions to Wisconsin’s public school libraries. This year Wisconsin’s 422 school districts will share $35.7 million.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this service award,” said Mr. La Follette. “For many school districts, the library aid provided by the Common School Fund earnings is the only money available to them to purchase library materials for their students.”

Established in 1848 by Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution, BCPL was created to manage assets of the Common School Fund. This permanent endowment was initially funded from the sale of Federal lands granted to Wisconsin on becoming a state, and the Constitution specifically dedicated this fund for the benefit of public education.

“Mr. La Follette was nominated for this award by WEMTA’s presidents, both current and past,” said Kim Bannigan, past-president of WEMTA. “The award is given to individuals who make a special or unusual contribution to the organization. His hard work, dedication, and outstanding contributions have made him a worthy recipient of this award. Mr. La Follette’s support of public school libraries is greatly appreciated.”

WEMTA is an independent professional association serving school library media and instructional technology professionals. It is committed to providing leadership and professional growth opportunities to promote quality learning and information access to meet the needs of our educational community.

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