Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

Richard (Dick) J. Sorensen, 2019 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in Hall of Fame
Richard SorensenRichard (Dick) J. Sorensen was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells on October 10, 2019.
 
Sorensen was the school library media consultant/supervisor at the
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) from 1972 until his retirement in 2001. He
was a member of the Instructional Media and Technology Team, Division for Libraries,
Technology, and Community Learning. In his capacity as consultant for almost three decades,
Sorensen provided leadership for many aspects of librarianship, including the certification of
library media specialists, the role of school libraries in library networks, funding for school
libraries, facilities planning, the collaborative role of library media specialists in instruction, and
school/public library relationships.
 
Particularly noteworthy was Sorensen’s leadership in the certification of school library
media specialists. The separate school library and audiovisual fields evolved/overlapped during
the 1970s and 1980s, creating a particularly difficult and challenging period for the profession in
terms of roles and appropriate licenses. Sorensen provided leadership for the taskforce that was
appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The instructional media certification
requirements resulting from this work continue to form a foundation for library/media licensing.
Sorensen was recognized in 1981 when he was awarded the Wisconsin Library Association’s
Special Service Award for “exceptional service to the library profession.”
 
Sorensen served as the DPI liaison to the Wisconsin Library Association’s School
Library Division for decades. In this capacity, he attended division board meetings, sharing
insights relating to the status and needs of the school library media professional. He was a
presenter at numerous library and education conferences in the state, including the Wisconsin
Library Association, the Wisconsin Educational Media Association, and the Governor’s
Wisconsin Educational Technology Conference. Sorensen also provided many workshops for
schools, school districts, and Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs).
Sorensen’s school library media influence could be seen at the national level as well. He
served as a member of the National Commision Task Force on the Role of the School Library
Media Program in Library Networks. He authored “The Place of School Libraries/Media Centers
in Library Networks,” published in Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory. Sorensen served
as a member of the Board of Directors, American Association for School Librarians and was one
of its regional directors. He also chaired the American Library Association’s Interdivisional
Committee on the Role of School Library Media Programs in Networking.
 
Sorensen was an active contributor to the professional literature of librarianship. He
regularly published in DPI publications, Wisconsin Library Bulletin (former journal of the library
division) and Channel (newsletter of the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community
Learning). He wrote articles for state library media and technology newsletters and journals in
Wisconsin and elsewhere. Sorensen provided special DPI publications over the years such as
 
the status of school library media programs, designing schools to accommodate technology,
and he contributed to guidelines on combined school and public libraries for decision-making.
Sorensen spent many years traveling Wisconsin, visiting school libraries all over the
state. He was a familiar, welcome face in northern Wisconsin, where he regularly traveled,
visiting K-12 districts where library media programs were often headed by a single library media
specialist. He impacted school library programs throughout the state, often working with just one
librarian at a time. Alice Sturzl, school/public librarian in Laona, Wisconsin recalls: “I was in awe
of the fact that this DPI consultant was interested in what was happening here in the North
Woods, in addition to being willing to work with us to make sure that we had the access that
other parts of the state had.” Sturzl, former WLA president and WLA multi-award winner, also
credits Sorensen with being instrumental in her WLA leadership development.
Sorensen contributed to higher education certification programs throughout the state,
interpreting certification requirements and providing lectures in school library media
administration courses.
 
Sorensen was born in 1935 in Madison, WI. He was an English teacher at Verona High
School from 1960 - 69. He was librarian at the high school from 1969 - 72 until he joined the
Department of Public Instruction. Sorensen received his master’s degree in librarianship from
the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1970.
Sorensen was always a highly committed, caring professional who was well known for
his knowledge, dedication, and quiet diplomacy. In 2000, Sorensen was selected for the Award
of Excellence by the Wisconsin Educational Media Association for “lifetime accomplishments
and significant contributions to the media profession.”

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, November 22, 2019

Categories

Popular Tags

National Bookmobile Day Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin State Law Library Public libraries 28 buil Uncategorized Superior Carnegie Libraries 23 Hall of Fame 2015 caly film Exhibits anniversaries Wisconsin Library Bulletin Special libraries Sarah Janice Kee Hall of Fame 2011 Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library 11 Academic Libraries Anniversaries Black River Falls Public Library Hall of Fame 2009 Dianne McAfee Hopkins Orrilla Blackshear books-by-mail Jane K. Billings Milwaukee Public Library Nancy Marshall Hall of Fame 2015 Wisconsin Free Library Commission Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries campaign Hall of Fame 2015 Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries trav Council on Library and Network Development Cornelia Marving Pierce Gilbert H. Doane campaign Jerome P. Daniels Wilbur Lyle Eberhart S. Janice Kee Hall of Fame 2013 WHCLIS membership libraries Sandra Friedman Dolnick White House Conference on Library and Information Services UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Dick Sorensen WWI Library War Service caly film Hall of Fame 2015 Cam Hall of Fame 2010 Helen Adams Increase A. Lapham Nolan I. Neds 14 archives McMillan Memorial Library Library people Postcards Bookmobiles Capitol Fire 1904 Campaign T. B. Scott Free Public Library 24 Library People Robert Bocher Portage Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Campaign 27 library exhibit Beaver Dam Public Library Library Buidlings caly film presentations I Love Libraries Inform Wisconsin Marketing-Publicity Public library systems American Library Association Library War Service Ruth Ann Montgomery Meter mail slogans 22 Pewaukee Public Library Richard E. Krug bed and breakfast Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends 21 Hall of Fame 2012 State Law Library Madison Public Library James Duane Doty Wayne A. Wiegand Wisconsin Library Association Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Library people WLA 125 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Bob Bochfer Beloit Public Library Larry T. Nix Gertrude Thurow Clarence Brown Lester Middleton Public Library Ice Storm hall of Library Buildings Brown Deer Public Library Gerald A. Somers Elroy Public Library WLA 125 Hall of Fame 2012 Events John Miller Chancellor William J. Wilson Zona Gale School of Library and Information Studies Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries WLA 125 Hall of Fame 2018 cam library legislation Buttons Suring Area Public Library Richard J. Sorensen Hall of Fame 2015 Woman's Congress National Library Week School libraries Charles Bunge Brown County Library James Huff Stout Carnegie libraries Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Katharine MacDonald Jones WAAL ca Edward Asahel Birge Ruby Roeder Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Events & Meetings Frank Avery Hutchins Campaign Evansville Wisconsin Dick Sorensen campa Library History DeForest Area Public Library Lutie Eugenia Stearns Library Artifacts Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services library memorabilia Clinton Public Library Lutie Stearns Centennial Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Tower Hill Wisconsin Postcards bookworm Historical Register Dorothea M. Krause Public libraries campaign Milwaukee Art Museum Manitowoc Public Library Parcel post People Hall of Fame 2019 Library celebrations Library e Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Cooperative Children's Book Center CCBC Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Black River Falls World War I Hall of Fame 2014 John J. Jax Soughton Public Library American Library Association Oshkosh Public Library Hall fo Fame 2012 Eratus Swift Wilcox Lowell W. Wilson Hall Hall of Fame 2008 Delia Ovitz Events & Meetings Hall of Fame 2017 WLA 125 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Appleton Public Library Eager Free Public Library Hall of Fame 2016 UW-Milwaukee Libraries Amer Louise S. Robbins library education Klaus Linderfelt background Lucy E. Smith Morris COLAND Wisconsin Historical Society Postcards Rusk County Community Library Anniversaries Library Trustees Hall of Fame 2012 Library Systems Digital Collections Hartford Public Library Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians traveling libraries Publications Irene W. Newman state historical society Pinback buttons Peter G. Hamon Carl Spitzweg Matthew S. Dudgeon 20 Hall of Fame 2018 UW-Madison school of library and information studies Academic Librarians Bernard Schwab Wisconsin Free Library Commission Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee Ripon Public Library J. D. Witter Postcards Brown Deer Public Library 10

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo