Robert (Bob) Bocher dedicated his career to the use of technology to improve library service to the public, emerging as a state and national leader in this field. He worked for decades to improve resource sharing throughout the state and saw the proliferation of library system and multi-system shared integrated library systems which helped make Wisconsin number one nationally in public library resource sharing per capita.
Bocher championed the development of library systems’ wide area networks through his tireless work with BadgerNet, WiscNet, TEACH and the federal e-rate programs to help bring fast and affordable advanced telecommunications to Wisconsin schools and libraries, including those in small and rural communities. Through this work, Bocher became both a state and national e-rate expert.
During his career with Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and continuing on into retirement, Bocher lent his expertise to libraries nationally through his work with many information technology committees and as an ALA Fellow. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) which administers the federal E-rate program and the Universal Service Fund (USF).
Locally and statewide he was always available to answer questions and provide consultation with both library system and public library information technology projects. He always provided assistance with never ending patience and a smile. Bob Bocher actually gave a true and sincere meaning to the old cynical, bureaucratic line, “I’m from the State and I’m here to help.”