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Thomas J. Hennen Jr. -Resume


6014 Spring Street
Racine, WI 53406
262-886-1625 Home
262-896-8081 Office
e-mail: thennen@haplr-index.com
Web site:  http://www.haplr-index.com

Biographical Data

Birthdate: 20 March 1948
Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Citizenship: United States

Statement of Professional Vision

Over one hundred years ago, Wisconsin’s first state Librarian, Frank Avery Hutchens had a glorious vision, a vision he shared with Melville Dewey. Hutchens wanted to see a day when one could go to any community in the state and ask not whether there is a library but where it might be located.  In Wisconsin we enjoy the fruits of that vision today. Every Wisconsin resident can point to at least one library as his or her own.  Today our vision should be a day when all Wisconsin residents (or those of any state) can point to all libraries in the state as their own.  With the Internet, not only will they be pointing, but pointing and clicking. Today we need to "Balance the Books and the Bytes."  We need to expand Hutchens' vision so that traditional library services AND electronic services are open to everyone.


1966–1975, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

  •  Master of Library Science, 1975

  •  Graduated in top quarter of class. Named to Beta Phi Mu, Library Science Honor Society

  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, 1972

  • Worked full time while attending, paid own expenses, graduated debt-free.

1962-66, Marquette University High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • High School Graduate, 1966.
    Attended competitive college prep school on partial work-study scholarship. 
    Worked part-time to pay tuition. Graduated in top quarter of class.

Honors and Awards & Professional Activity

  • National Association of Counties Achievement Awards.  A total of nine awards for Waukesha County Library System in seven years. 

  • Chair of Wisconsin Library Association Library Development & Legislation Committee, 2004.  Member since 2001. 

  • Served on the 2002 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Library Legislative Task Force.  

  • Authored the HAPLR Index.  It is featured in the January and September 1999 issues of American Libraries magazine, as well as the October 2000 and 2002 issues. It has received newspaper, magazine and television coverage all over the country. The article was so well received and frequently requested that it alone was posted on the American Libraries Online web site at: http://www.ala.org/alonline/archive/hennen.pdf 

  • Appointed in 2000 by State Superintendent of Public Instruction to chair the Library Services and Technology Act Advisory Committee.

  • Dr. Alan Bundy, the 2001 president of the Australian Library and Information Association called for the creation of an Australasian index similar to the HAPLR Index in his address, “How Far They Have Come - How Far They Must Go: Australian Public Libraries at Century's End,” at the National Public Library Conference, Perth 14-17 November 1999. At: http://www.library.unisa.edu.au/papers/howfar.htm

  • John Berry, III in his April 15, 1999 Library Journal Editorial entitled "On the Uses of Recognition," citing the author’s HAPLR Index, says that whenever any library is honored, every library benefits. http://www.ljdigital.com/articles/views/editorial/19990415_4450.asp

  • Elected President of the System and Resource Library Administrators’ Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) for an unprecedented four terms, 1992 to 1996.  Worked on numerous SRLAAW committees, including the one that revised state aid formula proposal for 2000-01 in a manner that will increase the stability of the formula as well as the per capita distribution element.

  • Invited to provide keynote testimony to the Wisconsin Legislature’s Legislative Council Study Committee on Libraries in 1996.   Frequently provide testimony on other bills as well.

  • 1988 OCLC Invitational Conference on the Future of the Public Library in the 21st Century. -- One of 50 national library leaders selected.

  • Article on "Attacking the Myths of Small Libraries," selected by peer jury for annual publication in Best of Library Literature: 1986.

  •  April 15, 1986 Library Journal news article on page 20 by Editor Karl Nyren. -- Cited as one of three national leaders in rural library service development.

  • 1980 Library Public Relations Council Award received at American Library Association Annual conference for innovative services to library users.

  •   1977. Elected to Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society.

  Work Experience

  1999-present: Administrator, Waukesha County Federated Library System.

  • Waukesha County Federated Library System is a single county federated library system serving 345,000 residents through 16 independent libraries in Waukesha County.  The total system-wide operating budgets for 2005 are over $15 million (US$).
  • Within first year, brought substantial peace to what was nearly open warfare among the system’s 16 independent libraries.  The libraries voted unanimously to recommend to the Board a revised plan for funding and services.  Prior to that there had been threats to dissolve the system and the state library agency had been called in to conduct a performance audit demanded by the local library boards.  
  • In 2001, a blue ribbon task force made Waukesha County only the second county in the state to adopt required public library standards for its 16 libraries.  
  • National Association of Counties Achievement Awards. NACO provides Achievement Awards in 23 categories nationally.  The library system received a total of 9 awards between 2002 and 2009. 

1983–1999: Administrator, Lakeshores Library System, Racine, WI

  • Lakeshores Library System is a two county federated library system serving 243,000 residents through 15 independent libraries in Racine and Walworth counties. The total system-wide operating budgets for 1999 were over $7 million (US$).
  • Retained a “lean and kind” philosophy. Lakeshores maintained a minimal staff and office overhead so it can distribute the maximum amount of funds to libraries.
  • Organized new system, overcoming severe animosities between some of the library participants.
  • Increased county funding fourfold to make counties better partners with city and village libraries.
  • Maintained intersystem agreements for resident circulation across borders with all systems in the state since 1988.

1975–1982 - Director, Watonwan County Library, St. James, MN

  • Managed consolidated county library system with headquarters and four branches. The total system-wide operating budgets were under $0.5 million (US$).
  • Achieved the highest per capita circulation in the state, increased funding substantially, but retained low cost per circulation and high staff output.
  • Rural service to farmers program was nationally recognized


  1. "Hennen's American Public Library Ratings 2008"  in American Libraries.  October 2008. 

  2. "Hennen's American Public Library Ratings 2006"  in American Libraries.  November 2006. 

  3. "Building Bridges through Consensus," in American Libraries August 2006.  pg. 34-35

  4. Libraries Together  In January 2006 Hennen Library Consulting finished working with a team headed by Jennifer Wilding of KC Consensus on forms of library governance in the Quad Cities area of Iowa. 

  5. "HAPLR Ratings 2005," in American Libraries, October 2005, pg 42-48. 

  6. "Is There a Library Consolidation in Your Future?" in American Libraries, October 2005, pg 49-51.

  7. "Best (and Worst) Averages in the Library Majors," in American Libraries, October 2005, pg 52-53. 

  8. "Stand Up for Libraries," in American Libraries, June/July 2005, pg 46- 48. 

  9. "Library Impact Fees," in Public Libraries, May/June 2005, pg. 169- 175. 

  10. "The Normative Data Project: Just What We Need?" in American Libraries, Apr2005, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p81, 1/2p

  11. Hennen's Public Library Planner: A Manual and Interactive CD-ROM Neal-Schuman Publisher
    ISBN: 1-55570-487-5 . 2004 . 8 1/2 x 11 . 300 pp. 

  12. "HAPLR Ratings 2004," in American Libraries.  October 2004, pg. 54-59.

  13. "The Challenge of Wider Library Units," in Library Journal.  September 15, 2004.  Pg. 36-38.   Available on the web at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA452290?display=FeaturesNews&industry=Features&industryid=1987&verticalid=151

  14. "Restore Our Destiny: Full not Plural Funding," in American Libraries, August 2004. Pages 43-45. 

  15. "Great American Public Libraries: HAPLR Ratings 2003,"   American Libraries.  October 2003.  Available on the world wide web at: http://www.ala.org/Content/ContentGroups/American_Libraries1/ALOnline_Home_Page_Content/hennen2003.pdf 

  16. “Performing Triage on Library Budgets in the Red,” in American Libraries.  March 2003, pg. 36. 

  17. "Great American Public Libraries: The 2002 HAPLR Ratings," in American Libraries.  October 2002.  Available on the world wide web at: http://www.ala.org/alonline/news/special.html

  18. "Are Wider Library Units Wiser?" in American Libraries.  June/July 2002, pg. 65+  

  19. "Do You Know the Real Value of Your Library?" in  Library Journal, 6/15/2001, Vol. 126 Issue 11, p48, 3p

  20. “Great American Public Libraries: HAPLR Ratings 2000.” In American Libraries, October 2000.  Pages 50 to 54.   Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.ala.org/alonline/archive/hennen2.pdf

  21. "Catalog as Community: A Metadata Meditation" by Thomas J. Hennen Jr. in Library Computing  (Formerly Library Software Review)  March/June 2000; v 18, n 1/2.

  22. Webliographic Essay Adjunct toWhy We Should Establish a National System of Standards,” in American Libraries, March 2000.  Page 43+

  23. “Why We Should Establish a National System of Standards,” in American Libraries, March 2000.  Page 43+

  24. “Celebrating the Best Ranked HAPLR Index Libraries in Ohio. “  December 9, 1999. Available on the World Wide Web at: 

  25. “Great American Public Libraries: Round Two.” In American Libraries, September 1999.  Pages 64 to 68.   Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.ala.org/alonline/archive/hennen2.pdf

  26. “Index Rates Wisconsin Libraries Highly,” in Communique, a publication of the Wisconsin Library Association.  Spring 1999.  Page 5. 

  27.  Building Benchmarks to Craft a Better Library Future,” in APLIS (Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services)  June 1999, pages 52 to 59.  Available on the World Wide Web at:  

  28.  “Go Ahead, Name Them: America’s Best Public Libraries,” in American Libraries, January 1999.  Pages 72 to 76.  Available on the World Wide Web at:   http://www.ala.org/alonline/archive/hennen.pdf

  29. Hennen’s American Public Library Rating Index (HAPLR).  Available since January 1999 on the World Wide Web at: http://www.haplr-index.com   

  30.  “Invited Introductory Testimony to the Wisconsin Legislative Study Committee on Libraries” - October 3, 1996.  Available on the World Wide Web at:   http://www.haplr-index.com/LEGCOU96 FINAL.htm

  31. "OCLC Invitational Conference on the Future of the Public Library: Public Librarians Take Cool View of Future," in American Libraries magazine. Volume 19, Number 5, May 1988.  Pages 390-392.

  32. "Attacking the Myths of Small Libraries,” in American Libraries magazine. Volume 17, Number 11, December 1986.  Pages 830-834.

  33. "Rural Libraries, “ in American Libraries magazine Volume 17, Number 5. May 1986. Page 323. 

  34. Bylined Book Review Column: Quarterly column in American Library Association's Booklist magazine from 1980 to 1986.

  35. "Seeds of Power,"  Self published pamphlet, 1980, 1981. 1985.  Sold to over 3,000 libraries in 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces.

  36. "The Effect of Publisher's Book Promotions on Interlibrary Loan," in Research & Reality: Library Services to Rural Populations. Published by the American Library Association, 1982. Pages 48- 57.

  37. "Library Services to Farmers." American Library Trustee's Association Publication Number 3.  Published in 1981 by the American Library Association. 6 page pamphlet.

  38. "Catalog Stores, Smoky the Bear, Stone Soup and Libraries," the main paper in Occasional Papers of the Minnesota Library Association 1981. Pages 1-6.

  39. "Popular Farm Magazines," in Serials Review.  Volume 7, Number 3. July/September 1981. Pages 12-14.

  40. "Publicity for Rural Areas," in Library P.R. News.  Volume 13, Number 6. November/ December 1980.

  41. "Using the Minnesota Statutes, Code of Agency Rules, and  State Register, " in Minnesota Libraries magazine. Spring 1980. Pages 48-56.

  42. "Serving the Last Minority," in Library Journal Special Report Number 6. 1978. Pages 46 to 50.

  43. "Let There Be Peace in Children's Literature," in Language Arts. Volume 54, Number 1. January 1977.

Conference Presentations

  1. Is there a Consolidation in Your Library’s Future? Rhode Island Library Association, June 6, 2008. Salve Regina University, Newport, RI

  2. An Explanation of HAPLR Ratings.  Cuyahoga County Library System and area libraries.  June, 2008. 

  3. Library Governance Options.  Wisconsin Library Association 2006

  4. HAPLR Rating System and Ohio Libraries.  Ohio Library Council, October 6, 2005. 
  5. Wisconsin Library Association, Fall, 2003, 2004, 2005.  Legislative Updates.
  6. HAPLR Library Rating System, Tennessee Perspective.  Tennessee Library Association Conference  March 26-28, 2002 Nashville Convention Center Nashville, TN
  7. The Great GASB 34 Auditing Challenge Tennessee Library Association Conference  March 26-28, 2002 Nashville Convention Center Nashville, TN
  8. Presentation on HAPLR Ratings to the Long Island Library Conference, May 2001. http://haplr-index.com/SpecialReporNassauSuffolk_NY.pdf
  9. The Best Libraries in America? An Explanation of the HAPLR Index, at the Public Library Association Annual Conference April, 2000 in Charlottee, NC USA.   Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.haplr-index.com/PLACharlotteSpeech2000
  10. Presentation on HAPLR Ratings to North Suburban Library System (Illinois, USA).  February 15, 2000.  Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.haplr-index.com/NorthernIllionisLS_IL_files/frame.htm
  11. Online Library Computing Consortium (OCLC) Awards Luncheon in Columbus, Ohio, USA.  Tribute to the five libraries in Ohio that finished number one in their respective population categories in the HAPLR Index.  Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.haplr-index.com/OCLCPortalDec1999.htm
  12. Explaining the HAPLR Index.  Wisconsin Library Asdsociation Annual Conference.  October 1999. 
  13. Getting Library Help from Local, County, and State LegislatorsWisconsin Library Association Annual Conference.  Wednesday, October 28, 1999.  Available on the World Wide Web at:  http://www.haplr-index.com/WLALegProgOct1998.htm
  14. To Count or not to Count: Measuring Library Use in a Wired Age.  Wisconsin Library Association Presentation.  October 30, 1998. Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.haplr-index.com/WLACirculStatsOct1998.htm
  15. Invited Introductory Testimony to the Wisconsin Legislative Council Study Committee on Libraries - October 3, 1996.  The committee wrote the biggest revision to Wisconsin Library Law in 25 years.   Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.haplr-index.com/LEGCOU96 FINAL.htm
  16. Public Library Association Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO, USA.  1986. Main speaker for program titled "Positively Main Street; library services to retail businesses."
  17. American Library Association Annual Conference,  Philadelphia, PA, USA.  1982.  Panel member for program tited  "Library Services to Rural  Populations."
  18. American Library Association Annual Conference, New York, NY, USA.  1980.   Speaker for program titled "Publicizing Rural Library Services."
  19. "Sowing the Seeds of Power" workshops. 1979-87.  Conducted a total of 22 sessions of this continuing education workshop for library associations and systems in twelve U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
  20. University of Wisconsin Extension Lecturer 1981-83. Conducted two "Focus on the Small Library" courses for a total of 16 hours.

262-886-1625 (voice)
262-880-7055 (mobile)

Postal address
6014 Spring Street
Racine, Wisconsin 53406  USA

Web site: http://www.haplr-index.com
Electronic mail:  thennen@haplr-index.com

Thomas J. Hennen Jr.                 October 2008



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