Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Study Finds Less Diversity in Newbery Books.



Link to December 30 "Arts, Briefly" article in the New York Times.

Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication abstract: Do You See What I See?: Portrayals of Diversity in Newbery Medal-Winning Children’s Literature • Anthony Nisse, Brigham Young University • Children’s literature plays a significant role in society because it reflects values and attitudes that will be passed to children as they read. One of the most prestigious awards for children’s literature is the John Newbery Medal, which is presented annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children. Newbery books have a large readership, and are consistently among the most requested books in bookstores and libraries.

The Sounds of Silence

Link to December 30 New York Times article, "Still Paging Mr. Salinger".

Excerpt:
Mr. Salinger’s disappearing act has succeeded so well, in fact, that it may be hard for readers who aren’t middle-aged to appreciate what a sensation he once caused. With its very first sentence, his novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” which came out in 1951, introduced a brand-new voice in American writing, and it quickly became a cult book, a rite of passage for the brainy and disaffected. “Nine Stories,” published two years later, made Mr. Salinger a darling of the critics as well, for the way it dismantled the traditional architecture of the short story and replaced it with one in which a story could turn on a tiny shift of mood or tone.

In the 1960s, though, when he was at the peak of his fame, Mr. Salinger went silent. “Franny and Zooey,” a collection of two long stories about the fictional Glass family, came out in 1961; two more long stories about the Glasses, “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” and “Seymour: An Introduction,” appeared together in book form in 1963. The last work of Mr. Salinger’s to appear in print was “Hapworth 16, 1924,” a short story that took up most of the June 19, 1965, issue of The New Yorker. In the ’70s he stopped giving interviews, and in the late ’80s he went all the way to the Supreme Court to block the British critic Ian Hamilton from quoting his letters in a biography.

Franny and Zooey is on Retiring Guy's list of re-reads for 2009.

Where's the Trust?

Where are the fact checkers?!

Is my face red!!

Link to December 31 New York Times article, "As Another Memoir Is Faked, Trust Suffers".

Excerpt:
The story of Herman and Roma Rosenblat, who said they reunited years later on a blind date in New York, turned out to be fabricated, and over the weekend the publisher of his memoir, “Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived,” canceled the February release of the book. This isn’t the first time either a publisher or Ms. Winfrey has been gullible in the face of an exaggerated tale. Now both Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, and Ms. Winfrey are faces on a media dartboard, with Ms. Winfrey dodging criticisms of what the media blog Gawker called her “liar’s club.”

A. V. Club Picks the Best DVDs of 2008

#1 (Great choice!)

Link to December 31 A. V. Club post.


Interview with Tom Nelson, Assembly Majority Leader

Link to December 31 Appleton Post-Crescent Community Conversation feature, "Burning Questions: Kaukauna Democrat Tom Nelson discusses new role as Wisconsin Assembly majority leader".

The 32-year-old, 2-term legislator, Nelson (D-Kaukauna) was re-elected to the 5th Assembly District in November, and the elected by his Democratic Assembly colleagues to the position of Majority Leader on November 13.

Like Retiring Guy, Tom is a PK.

Excerpt:
Who or what was your biggest influence?

I have to go back to an experience that happened when I was 4 or 5 years old. My dad brought our family to the Valley to start the Christ the King Lutheran Church in the Heart of the Valley. He began that ministry by going door-to-door inviting our neighbors in the community to join us at this new church. Just as my dad found that he could serve his community through his ministry, I found I could best serve my community through politics.

I believe that politics is a high calling. This job is extremely important to me. I've worked very hard. I've knocked on over 85,000 doors. And because the Democrats were in a position to take over the Assembly, I was able to run for this leadership post. It offers a seat at the table to make decisions on issues I care passionately about.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rice Lake High School Reading Program

Link to December 30 The Chronotype post, "Read 180 turns students around".

Excerpt:
Read 180 was implemented at High School last year. It is a 90-minute instructional model using whole group instruction, small group/individual instruction, instructional software and independent reading.

The Read 180 software is made up of four components - reading zone, word zone, spelling zone and success zone.

In the reading zone, students watch a video that helps them picture a mental model of what they read. In the word zone students build word recognition and increase fluency. In the spelling zone students practice spelling. And in the success zone students apply comprehension and vocabulary strategies and make a final audio recording to demonstrate mastery of the passage they read.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Game Wars

Link to December 29 cnet news post, "Why the Wii and Xbox are killing Sony's PS3".

Dave Rosenberg expands these 5 reasons.
1. Lack of exclusive games.
2. Minimal modern touches.
3. Out-marketed by competition.
4. (Somewhat) burdenson user experience.
5. The Internet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

As economy dips, Fox Valley libraries have 'banner year'

Link to December 28 Fond du Lac Reporter article.

Excerpt:
"Library use is going up. This is not a surprise to us. We've seen this pattern in the past when the economy has soured," said Jim Rettig, president of the American Library Association. "People have to make decisions and they rediscover the value their library offers."

Rettig said the top reason people use library computers, after K-12 education, is career development and job hunting.

"There are an awful lot of companies now that will not accept a job application unless it's submitted online," he said. "Somebody who is out of work or looking to change jobs might not have access to the Internet.

"In 73 percent of the communities in the U.S., their best, and maybe only hope for free Internet access, is their public library."

Fox Valley library directors and staff said an increasing number of patrons are job seekers.

More Little Pieces

Link to December 27 Editor & Publisher post, "Publisher Cancels New 'Holocaust' Book After Press Reports Doubts -- Oprah Goofed Again ".

Friday, December 26, 2008

Library offers showcase space for artists

Link to December 26 Superior Telegram post.

Excerpt:
For 16 years, a trio of Italian dioramas have greeted guests in the lobby of the Superior Public Library.

This year, the space will get a monthly makeover from local artists. Watch for felt dolls, driftwood sculpture, paintings, photographs, woven fabrics and even floating cups to put in an appearance.


According to The Library History Buff, Superior, Wisconsin has the distinction of being the home of the oldest of 63 Carnegie libraries built in Wisconsin and the home of the last Carnegie library building built in Wisconsin.

If you are not yet familiar with Larry Nix's great website, now is as good a time as any to start!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

End-of-Year Assessment of E-books




Link to December 23 New York Times article, "Turning Page, E-Books Start to Take Hold".

Excerpt:
For a decade, consumers mostly ignored electronic book devices, which were often hard to use and offered few popular items to read. But this year, in part because of the popularity of Amazon.com’s wireless Kindle device, the e-book has started to take hold.

The $359 Kindle, which is slim, white and about the size of a trade paperback, was introduced a year ago. Although Amazon will not disclose sales figures, the Kindle has at least lived up to its name by creating broad interest in electronic books. Now it is out of stock and unavailable until February. Analysts credit Oprah Winfrey, who praised the Kindle on her show in October, and blame Amazon for poor holiday planning.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's a new world...

...that some folks don't understand.


Link to December 23 techdirt post, "Record Labels Learning They Have Little Leverage On YouTube".

Excerpt: As noted by some folks, for many kids these days, YouTube is how they find and listen to music these days. Forcing your songs off YouTube would be like demanding their removal from the radio twenty years ago.


Another Fictional Memoir?

Link to December 23 Publishers Weekly post, "New Republic Piece Questions Veracity of New Penguin Title".

Excerpt: In its issue set for release December 25, The New Republic is calling into question the veracity of Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived, set to be published in hardcover by Berkley in February.

Survey Says

Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source.

Stacking Up, Unread?

Link to December 23 Pew Research Center post.

TV still rules, with 70% of respondents selecting it as their main source of national and international news (down from 74% in Sept. 2007).

The Internet: 40% (up from 24%)

Newspapers: 35% (up from 34%!) This may actually be good news. Newspapers as a source of news have been on an even keel for the past four years in Pew surveys, though you wouldn't know it with all the layoffs and shrinking coverage and reduced delivery zones of late.


Crystal Ball Time II

Link to December 23 pcmag.com post, "2009: What to Expect in Tech".

Monday, December 22, 2008

Please Sign In First

Link to December 22 Editor & Publisher post, "Idaho Lawmaker May Introduce Measure to Make People Use Real Names When Commenting ".

Excerpt:
Dave Neiwert, a former Times-News staffer from the 1980s and now a freelancer and blogger at Crooks and Liars, says "taking away that cover will remove valuable voices and important perspectives from the public dialogue."

You mean like the stuff you find here?

I agree with Mr. Neiwart but not for any high-falutin' reasons. Let people blather to their heart's content. It's the bloviators that provide Konservative Komedy Kavalcade with its best material.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Survey Says

Most Adults Find Internet Access Essential to Daily Life in Today's Economy. Link to December 15 Intel.com news release.

Excerpt: Internet Access Essential in Today's Economic Climate: Ninety-five percent of adults feel that it is very important, important or somewhat important for people to have devices that allow them to access the Internet. A majority (82 percent) agree that Internet-enabled devices help them stay up to date real-time on the state of the economy. Eighty-seven percent say that Internet access has helped them save money.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Preservation Tips

Link to December 20 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

Excerpt:
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries archivist Michael Doylen says he got a "wow" handling a priceless James Joyce text annotated by the author himself.

Hundreds of thousands of readers got the same happy zap from Obama election newspapers. Customers snapped up extra printings of The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other historic election front pages on Nov. 5.

Or a memorable reaction can come simply from your child's handmade holiday card.

But the "wow" may not last long. Toss a paper keepsake into a pile, and in months it can yellow and crumble like papyrus from Tut's tomb. There are, however, some things you can do to keep paper keepsakes safe as you head into the new year.


Most printed paper "contains the seeds of its own destruction," says Doylen. Most paper, he says, is made from wood pulp material with a high degree of acidity. "As the materials are exposed to environmental conditions and light, it activates the chemical process in the paper and it starts to break down."

Doylan's suggestions:
1. Quickly decide what you want to keep.
2. Avoid extremes of heat and cold storage, i.e., basements and attics.
3. Use acid-free paper to separate pages.
4. Roll up t-shirts; use acid-free boxes for larger objects.
5. Keep handling to a minimum. ("Beware of family gatherings.")

For 32 years, I have kept a 1948 copy of a Springfield Massachusetts newspaper tightly wrapped in plastic and placed in a box (not acid-free) with other memorabilia. The last time I checked, it's still in good condition. The newspaper doesn't have any particular sentimental value, except for the fact that Springfield is my mom's hometown and I worked here for 2 1/2 years. The newspaper was purchased at the legendary Johnson's Second-Hand Bookstore.

Oshkosh Public Library makeover nears completion

Link to December 20 Oshkosh Northwestern article.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baghdad's "Book Row" Makes a Comeback

Link to December 17 (online) New York Times article, "Then and Now: A New Chapter for Baghdad Book Market".

Excerpt:
Mutanabi Street has long been the intellectual center of the Iraqi capital. But when a car bomb exploded here in March 2007 killing at 26 people the neighborhood was emptied. Blast walls blocked off the area to traffic and members of Awakening Councils, groups made up largely of former insurgents, opened checkpoints to monitor people entering the neighborhood. Resurrecting this area and breathing life back into the cafes and book stores here has long been a pet project for the Iraqi leadership.

Other links:
The View from Baghdad's Mutanabi Street (NRP, 10/13/2003)

Anguish in the Ruins of Mutanabi Street: In Baghdad's Literary District, Mourning Loved Ones and a Once-Unifying Place. (Washington Post, 3/10/2007)

In Pictures: Bookselling in Baghdad (BBC worldservice.com)

Updating a Classic

The Brown County Central Library was built
in the Brutalist architectural style
popular from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Link to December 19 Green Bay Post Gazette article, "Brown County library's next chapter in works".

Excerpt:
The library, built in 1972 for $3.3 million, is at "a pivotal point," Library Director Lynn Stainbrook said. She wants to try to update its infrastructure and is eager to add amenities that will make it more user-friendly.

"The people of this county have gotten their money's worth from this library," said Stainbrook, who has been on the job since February.

Among the items under consideration:
  • Radio Frequency Identification system that would reduce staff handling hours because it scans books as customers take them out and return them.
  • A drive-up window where library users can pick up and drop off books.
  • A cafĂ© atmosphere with vending machines.
  • The addition of as many as 26,000 books.
  • Better signage to direct users to different parts of the library.
  • A more obvious entrance to the children's section.
  • Better lighting.
  • More comfortable seating areas.

The Brown County Public Library was selected as the Wisconsin Library Association Library of the Year in 1980 and 1993

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Introducing......

Check it out here.

A.V. Club Staff Picks Its Favorites Reads of 2008

This is one of 'em.

Link to December 18 A. V. Club post.

How Many Psychiatrists Does It Take to Define a Disorder?


Link to December 17 New York Times article, "Psychiatrists Revising the Book of Human Troubles".

Excerpt:
The process has become such a contentious social and scientific exercise that for the first time the book’s publisher, the American Psychiatric Association, has required its contributors to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

The debate is particularly intense because the manual is both a medical guidebook and a cultural institution. It helps doctors make a diagnosis and provides insurance companies with diagnostic codes without which the insurers will not reimburse patients’ claims for treatment.

ADDITIONAL LINKS

American Psychiatric Association links.
"DSM-V: the future manual".
"A Research Agenda for DSM-V".

PsychCentral. DSM-V: Transparency or Secrecy?

American Journal of Psychiatry editorial. Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction.

OK, Paul. Enough!

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*

* The revised edition of The Joy of Sex

The Ernestine-approved, tasteful cover of the American edition.

Link to December 17 New York Times article, " Revising ‘Sex’ for the 21st Century".

New topics include Viagra and Internet pornography, though not, I assume, in the same chapter.

4th Candidate Enters State Superintendent Race


Rose Fernandez, a Mukwonago resident and virtual schools advocate, announced her candidacy yesterday for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

LINKS

Press release from wispolitics.com

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel op-ed piece by Fernandez.

Blogpost from Fernandez supporter.

Families for Rose Fernandez website.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top Ten Out-of-Print Books in America

Link to December 17 Market Watch post.

#1

Read the raves at amazon.

Mount Horeb has the only copy in LINKcat, and it has 41 holds on it.

The Year in Film 2008

The A.V. Club Master List.

Comparison of Downtown Madison Library Proposals

Link to December 16 Wisconsin State Journal article by Dean Mosiman, "T. Wall library plan would cost less than Fiore's".

Excerpt: Terrence Wall said he if offering "a library of the future" and that is he ready to move forward. (But perhaps not until after he reconsiders the library's name. This building would be located on the site of the current library -- W. Mifflin and Fairchild. Brief description: 380,000-square-foot, mixed-use building to include retail space, parking, and hotel or office space.)

Excerpt: Fiore executive vice president Bill Kunkler said their proposal will be a symbol for the city. "This is a library as a library should be." (This is the West Washington/Henry Street location, two blocks west of the Capitol. Brief description of proposal: 6-story, 104,900-square-foot, free-standing glass and stone structure.)

My druthers? I have to go with the free-standing (Fiore) design. Why? A red flag was raised when I read the following in a June 5 Cap Times article, "New library has been on city's mind for years." This spring, local developer Terrence Wall proposed tearing down the downtown library in the 200 block of West Mifflin Street and replacing it with a nine-story, $45 million building. That development would house a new and bigger library, several floors of private office space and retail on the ground floor. (My emphasis.)

You have to admit, though, that both are stunning designs.

Sun Prairie: Wisconsin's Boom Town

With all the attendant community pride and reservations.

Link to December 17 Capital Times article, "Sun Prairie, state's fastest-growing city, works hard to step out of Madison's shadow".


No report on how on continuing, fast-paced development has impacted the Sun Prairie Public Library, though the following statement indicates that city services in general are being seriously stretched. Still, with estimates showing Sun Prairie's population could reach 40,000 by 2030, many longtime residents have been saying "enough." Critics claim the growth has brought increased traffic, noise and crime while stretching public resources to the breaking point.

All thing considered, though, a thoughtful, well-written, and very thorough piece of reporting by Mike Ivey.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Survey Says

State ranks 45th on Internet surfing speed.


Link to pcmag.com 12/2 post, "The Fastest ISPs in America—and Where You Live".

(You'll need to register to access the tables.)

Based on my recent experience, Pennsylvania's #3 ranking was not enhanced by the molasses-slow access I experienced in Warren.

In a December 13 Baraboo News Republic article about this ranking, State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) is quoted as saying, "I think those studies are interesting, but I don't even need to look at them. When I get 20 e-mails a day from people unhappy with their service, it tells me in a more qualitative sense what's wrong."

As a result of this constituent concern, Sen. Schultz is promoting a Universal Broadband for a Rural Region (UBER) campaign. If this is an issue of major concern to you, please consider signing up as a supporter. (You don't have to be a constituent of Schultz's to do so.)

Crystal Ball Time

It must be December.

Link to December 12 pcmag.com post, "8 Tech Predictions for 2009".

Link to author's "Tech Predictions for 2008". (10 of 'em.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Is News?

Link to December 15 thehill.com post, "Congress lacks tech savvy."

From a Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) report released Monday.

Many in Congress still view technology as merely providing tools to accomplish the same tasks they have always performed,” said the CMF report. “They view e-mail as postal mail that is sent electronically. They think of PDAs as replacements for paper schedules. They view websites as direct mail pieces that can be seen on a computer.

But this mindset fails to take into account the very significant ways that the Internet has altered the public’s access to information, expanded coalition-building opportunities and created fresh communications habits across the entire electorate.

The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting a more effective Congress.

Survey Says

Women Prefer the Internet over Sex.

Link to December 15 MaximumPC post.

Excerpt:
The survey, which was commissioned by Intel, pinged 2,119 adults in an attempt to show how essential the internet has become, the Wall Street Journal reports. What Intel found is that 46 percent of women would rather put their sex drive on hold for two weeks than to go without internet access for that long. And it's not just older females who feel that way. According to the survey, 49 percent of women aged 18-34 feel the same way, compared to 52 percent of women aged 35-44.

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Offers an Antidote to Fear-Mongering

Link to December 13 Wisconsin State Journal editorial.

Excerpt:
Wisconsin's projected budget deficit is actually a large but manageable $1.25 billion -- not the frightening $5.4 billion that has caused consternation at the Capitol and around the state.

That conclusion offers a useful, attitude-adjusting way for Gov. Jim Doyle, state lawmakers and taxpayers to approach the 2009-2011 budget.

Granted, the $5.4 billion figure Doyle revealed last month is accurate -- but only if you agree that lawmakers should follow through with all the spending increases expected.


If you say, "Stop! Let's freeze spending at current levels," the deficit shrinks to $1.25 billion, according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance analysis found here.

Preserving Vital Records

Link to December 15 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Register of deeds project preserves vital records of Dane County".

Excerpt:
The remnant of that contract was on Kristi Chlebowski's desk Thursday in the register of deeds office in the City-County Building. It is one of 4 million documents the staff and a Michigan imaging company are diligently digitizing in an effort to stem the tide and effect of time on a process of deterioration, neglect and lack of proper storage.

The total "back-scanning," the first in a Wisconsin register of deeds office, may take up to a year and will cost at least $400,000. And that's a savings, predicted Chlebowski, who with little notice is dragging her office and its ephemera collection away from the onion skin paper, microfiche and microfilm dating to the 1830s, into the BlackBerry days of the 21st century.


Links
• Dane County Register of Deeds
• The Dane County Historical Society
• Vital records available at the Wisconsin Historical Society

"The Ultimate Cheapskate" Visits Kenosha Public Library


Link to December 15 Kenosha News article.

Excerpt:
The author of “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches,” Yeager visited Kenosha recently for a book reading and discussion at Southwest Library.

A retired manager of non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, the 50-year-old Yeager’s cheapskate ethos isn’t just about pinching pennies. He believes Americans would be happier, their quality of life would increase, if they’d only spend less.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rat Tries His Hand at Another Children's Book

Read about it here.

Survey Says

Internet leaders, activists, and analysts expect major technology advances by 2020.

Link to December 14 Pew Internet Research post, "Future of the Internet III: How the Experts See It".

Summary of the findings.
  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.

  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.

  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.

  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing "arms race," with the "crackers" who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.

  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.

  • "Next-generation" engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

The Selection and Placement of Stories on this Page are a Reflection of the Editorial Judgment of Google Staff

Link to December 14 MaximumPC post.

Still Looking for an Audience in SCLS

Link to December 14 New York Times article, "The Novel That Predicted Portland".

Excerpt:
Sometimes a book, or an idea, can be obscure and widely influential at the same time. That’s the case with “Ecotopia,” a 1970s cult novel, originally self-published by its author, Ernest Callenbach, that has seeped into the American groundwater without becoming well known.

The novel, now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present: in the flush of a financial crisis, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the United States, and its citizens establish a sustainable economy, a cross between Scandinavian socialism and Northern California back-to-the-landism, with the custom — years before the environmental writer Michael Pollan began his campaign — to eat local.

The rediscovery of this book seems to be slow in coming to Wisconsin. Current status in LINKcat: 3 copies, of which 1 is checked out, 1 is damaged, 1 is "in library", perhaps waiting to be placed in delivery for the 1 hold that's been placed on it.

Too Many Tamales: the Stage Version


Link to December 14 New York Times article, "The Tamale, a Window on Cultures and Custom".

Now in its 12th year!

Libraries Share an "Article of Faith"



"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

Link to December 13 New York Times article, "Bad Times Draw Bigger Crowds to Churches".
(The main headline in the print edition: "An Evangelical Article of Faith".)

Excerpts:
The sudden crush of worshipers packing the small evangelical Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset, N.Y. — a Long Island hamlet of yacht clubs and hedge fund managers — forced the pastor to set up an overflow room with closed-circuit TV and 100 folding chairs, which have been filled for six Sundays straight.

In Seattle, the Mars Hill Church, one of the fastest-growing evangelical churches in the country, grew to 7,000 members this fall, up 1,000 in a year. At the Life Christian Church in West Orange, N.J., prayer requests have doubled — almost all of them aimed at getting or keeping jobs.


Part of the evangelicals’ new excitement is rooted in a communal belief that the big Christian revivals of the 19th century, known as the second and third Great Awakenings, were touched off by economic panics. Historians of religion do not buy it, but the notion “has always lived in the lore of evangelism,” said Tony Carnes, a sociologist who studies religion.

A study last year may lend some credence to the legend. In “Praying for Recession: The Business Cycle and Protestant Religiosity in the United States,” David Beckworth, an assistant professor of economics at Texas State University, looked at long-established trend lines showing the growth of evangelical congregations and the decline of mainline churches and found a more telling detail: During each recession cycle between 1968 and 2004, the rate of growth in evangelical churches jumped by 50 percent. By comparison, mainline Protestant churches continued their decline during recessions, though a bit more slowly.

(Here's a cautionary reaction to the Times article from blogger Bruce Smith.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Libraries an information refuge in tough times

Link to December 13 Wausau Daily Herald article.

Excerpt:
Central Wisconsin's xcpublic libraries are seeing more business than ever this year -- a fact that officials attribute to the tough economic times.

Marathon County Public Library Director Phyllis Christensen said the number of items checked out though October of this year -- about 800,000 -- was up 7 percent from the same time period in 2007.

The T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill, meanwhile, has seen increased use of its computers, said Stacy Stevens, assistant director.

Both officials credited the increases to a combination of the economic recession and improved services.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Survey Says

23% - News To You

Link to Pew Research Center's The Daily Number.

Excerpt:
As the audiences for traditional news sources declines, and online news has surged, many Americans, called Integrators (23%), are mixing old and new sources of media for their news. This sizable minority which gets news from both traditional sources and the internet, is typically a more engaged, sophisticated and a demographically sought-after audience. Net-Newsers (13%) are similar, but principally turn to the web for news, and largely eschew traditional sources. However the largest and oldest (median age: 52) segment of Americans remains Traditionalists (46%),who rarely go online for news. Another 14%, the Disengaged, stand out for their low levels of interest in news and news consumption.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Overview of Wisconsin state agency major request items

Link to Wisconsin State Legislature Legislative Fiscal Bureau report.

Direct link to Department of Public Instruction budget. (Library items found in "Administrative and Other Funding" section, starting on page 150.

Survey Says

"19% - Podcasts Proliferate" the daily number at the Pew Research Center.

Excerpt:
As gadgets with digital audio capability proliferate, the number of internet users downloading podcasts has risen from 12% in August 2006 to 19% today. Still, podcasting has yet to become a fixture in the lives of internet users, as only 17% of those who have download podcasts do so on a typical day. Men are more likely than women to download podcasts, and internet users under 50 years old are significantly more likely to do so than older users. Internet users with a broadband connection and those with six years of internet experience are also significantly more likely to download podcasts.

A.V. Club Readers Choose Their Favorites

Link to December 10 post, "The best music of 2008".

Or, "How to Feel Ignorant in 3 Easy Clicks".

Of course, what would you expect from someone who's lately been wallowing in the music of the 1940s and 1950s? (Courtesy of Sirius/XM.)

Getting from Point A to Point B

Point A.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Mouse Turns 40

Link to December 9 MaximumPC post, "The Mouse Turns 40, Still Best with At Least 2 Buttons".

Excerpt:
It's hard to imagine, but the computer mouse celebrates its 40th birthday today, making the rodent susceptible to premature over the hill jokes. The one-button wooden mouse, which was built by Bill English, was first used by Douglas Engelbart on this day 40 years ago in a demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC). Dr. Engelbart showed how the new input device could be used to clip text files, copy and paste, and how it could come in handy on computer networks.

Beach Reading They're Not

Recently, I've been paging through the demanding 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It's a hefty volume, one that's difficult to balance on your chest while lying in bed. After a few minutes last night, I was experiencing shortness of breath.

As you can see from the titles highlighted in boldface below -- entries from of the year I was born and the year I graduated from high school -- I'm a bit derelict in scheduling quality reading time. (Lately, I've been too busy listening to all of the Myron Bolitar "private-eye" novels.)

In a later post, I'm going to make it much easier for everyone and offer up the 11 books you must read before you die. (I don't think any of us is in the mood for zeros right now anyway.) And since they'll be books I've already read, I won't have to worry about a guilt trip. That will be directed at you.


Books published in 1949 among the 1001.
I've noted the current holdings and activity of LINK libraries.

1984 (George Orwell)
75 copies in LinkCat.

The Man with the Golden Arm (Nelson Algren) Saw the movie.
6 copies linked to 3 records in LinkCat; none is checked out.

Kingdom of this World (Alego Carpentier)
Madison Public Library owns the only copy; not checked out.

The Heat of the Day (Elizabeth Bowen)
8 copies in LinkCat; 1 checked out.

The Case of Comrade Tulayev (Victor Serge)
No copies in LinkCat.

Love in a Cold Climate (Nancy Mitford)
5 copies in LinkCat; 2 are checked out.


Books published in 1968

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Tom Wolfe)
4 in LinkCat, 3 owned by Madison; 2 checked out.

Chocky (John Wyndham)
No copies in LinkCat.

The Quest for Christa T. (Christa Wolf)
Madison owns the only copy, and it's in storage.

A Kestrel for a Knave (Barry Hines)
No copies in LinkCat.

In Watermelon Sugar (Richard Brautigan)
1 copy + 7 anthologies in LinkCat, all but 2 owned by Madison; none is checked out.

The German Lesson (Siegfried Lenz)
3 copies in LinkCat; 2 checked out.

Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid (Malcolm Lowry)
No copies in LinkCat.

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
10 copies linked to 2 records in LinkCat + 3 anthologies; 5 are checked out.

2001: A Space Odyssey (Arthur C. Clarke) Seen the movie multiple times.
32 copies linked to 4 records in LinkCat; 1 checked out.

And the winner is.......Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

In addition to my list of 11, I'll let you know if I find a 1001 Books year in which I have a respectable track record.

Madison's Sequoya Branch Library's Grand Opening

Link to December 8 Capital Times post, "City cuts ribbon on rebuilt Sequoya Library". (Includes pics. I'll be taking some of my own in the near future.)