Saturday, January 24, 2009
The new system, called Flagged Revisions, would mark a significant change in the anything-goes, anyone-can-edit-at-any-time ethos of Wikipedia, which in eight years of existence has become one of the top 10 sites on the Web and the de facto information source for the Internet-using public.
Link to PW THE BEAT blog post, "Recession Watch: MAD Goes Quarterly".
Excerpt: The venerable humor magazine today announced that starting with issue #500 in April, it will move to a quarterly publication schedule from its current monthly. The magazine’s version for younger readers, MAD Kids will cease publication with the issue on sale February 17th, while the final issue of MAD Classics will go on sale March 17th. Both of the spinoff magazines launched in 2005. Circulation numbers for the magazines were not readily available.
Handling the news with style typical of MAD, Editor John Ficarra said, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we’ve decided to just publish those.”
By that, however, he said he meant that funding for kindergarten through 12th grade would remain flat and not receive the annual increases public schools have received as part of the state's commitment to pay two-thirds of their cost.
"Not getting cut is the new increase in this budget," Doyle said in a speech at the State Education Convention in the Milwaukee Hilton Hotel. (Retiring Guy's emphasis)
Excerpt: The loan of library materials to the public increased by 17.4 percent for a total of 489,554 items. We counted 92,555 computer work sessions at library computers. Public use of the library broke records here in almost every area of library service.
Banner year indeed! Congratulations to Ron and his great staff at McMillan.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Summary: The downward economy is putting more stress on libraries. Popular movies and books now have wait-lists, the unemployed are in line for computers to work on resumes and some librarians are even acting as unofficial job counselors. Madeleine Brand talks with Linda Yoder, director of the Nappanee Public Library in Indiana.
When authoritarian forces seize control of a government, they typically move first against the public’s access to information, under the theory that a confused populace can be more easily manipulated. They take aim at the radio stations, TV and newspapers.
In the case of George W. Bush in 2001, he also took aim at historical records, giving himself and his family indefinite control over documents covering the 12 years of his father’s terms as President and Vice President.
It was, therefore, significant that one of Barack Obama’s first acts as President was to revoke the Bush Family’s power over that history and to replace it with an easier set of regulations for accessing the records.
Link to January 23 Appleton Post Crescent article.
Excerpt: Three of best-selling Wisconsin author and humorist Michael Perry's works will be featured in the 2009 Fox Cities Reads.
The public libraries of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kaukauna, Kimberly and Little Chute and the library of the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley kicked off the third annual community read Thursday at the Copper Leaf Hotel.
Conkey's Book Store could be facing its final chapter.
With the loss of a major business contract, the 112-year-old downtown bookstore at 226 E. College Ave. is forced to rethink its future.
"We don't know at this time. We are trying to readjust to the change," said owner John Zimmerman.
On Tuesday night, Fox Valley Technical College's board of trustees voted to give its campus bookstore contract to Barnes & Noble.
Conkey's had that contract for the last 20 years, but was bested by a lower proposal in the bid process.
Barnes & Noble's contract starts July 1.
I always make a point to visit Conkey's and buy something when I'm in Appleton.
This news story almost makes me want to cut my Borders reward card into little pieces, which probably makes me part of the problem that independent bookstore owners face. I'm a sucker for a coupon-induced bargain.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Excerpt: Libraries throughout the Milwaukee area are seeing more individuals like the Bonuses in these hardscrabble days of job and home losses.
Computer stations have become job-hunting sites as employers have shifted to accepting job applications online only.
Borrowing of compact discs, DVDs and books is booming at Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine public libraries.
Excerpt: The Portage County Public Library may house more than 100,000 books, but to some, its circulation librarian is an institution in her own right.
Linda Kappell, 62, of Stevens Point started at the library Jan. 20, 1969, and never left. But after 40 years of service, Friday will be her last day.
"I told her she's too young to retire," daily library patron Lorraine Olski, 79, of Stevens Point said. "When ... I don't see her for a week or two, I say, 'Where have you been? It's been so long. I missed you.' She's a perfect librarian and helpful and everybody's going to miss her."
Kappell came to Stevens Point for college in 1964, where she studied library science and quickly joined the library family.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Excerpt: A federal law intended to restrict children's access to Internet pornography died quietly Wednesday at the Supreme Court, more than 10 years after Congress overwhelmingly approved it.
The Child Online Protection Act would have barred Web sites from making harmful content available to minors over the Internet. The law had been embroiled in challenges to its constitutionality since it passed in 1998 and never took effect.
And that's not all, of course.
Here's the key quote:
State agencies and programs should consider themselves lucky, if his budget proposal recommends the same amount of spending as they got this year. "Getting held even is the new 'increase' in this budget," he said.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Link to January 20 Huffington Post.
Wallechinsky: In 1964, my father, Irving Wallace, wrote a novel, The Man, about the first black president. For this, my father received both accolades and death threats. On the final page of The Man one of the characters, addressing his friend the president, Douglass Dilman, speaks words that I find still relevant 45 years later:
"The country's learned to live with you, Doug, so now, at last, it can live with itself. It has a better conscience today. It feels right....That's a huge step, the greatest this country's made since the Emancipation Proclamation. Mr. Lincoln had long legs. But now, for the first time, we've found countless men with legs as long, and they've made the next step, the giant one. As a result, the country is closer to becoming one nation than it ever has been before--and by the time it becomes one nation, it may be ready, and qualified, to help make our world one world....None of us will ever be the same again--not you--not me--not anyone, anywhere. Thank God."Only 2 copies of The Man remain in LINKcat, none of which is checked out. Wallace, probably best known for The Chapman Report, saw his star start to fade, and book sales plummet, in the 1980s, if not earlier. One of my best friends in college, though, was a big fan of The Man.
Monday, January 19, 2009
“Parting the Waters,” Taylor Branch
“Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Team of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin
“The Golden Notebook,” Doris Lessing
Lincoln’s collected writings
“Moby-Dick,” Herman Melville
“Song of Solomon,” Toni Morrison
Works of Reinhold Niebuhr
“Gilead,” Marilynne Robinson
Excerpt: Libraries in Neenah and Appleton are showing free weekly movies during the winter months. The Neenah Public Library, which also throws in free popcorn, offers movies on Tuesdays while the Appleton Public Library fires up its version of the big screen on Saturday afternoons.
"Libraries have always shown films; it's just the format with DVDs — and we have the nice projector — the setup is perfect for doing this," said Gretchen Raab, assistant director of the Neenah Public Library. "It gives families a reason to come to the library beyond just checking out books. And, of course, it's free. Not everybody can afford movies and popcorn."
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Link to January 17 New York Times article, "Can the Go-To Site Get You to Stay?"
According to Neilsen's rankings, CNN.com was the #1 current events and global news website in 2008, with a monthly average of 1,700,000,000 views.
Runner-up: MSNBC with 1,200,000,000 views.
In one corner, we have the health care industry lobbyists, promoting $20 billion for electronic medical records technology in an $825 billion (and counting) economic stimulus bill.
Link to January 17 Cedar Rapids Gazette article.
On December 4, 2008, the building and facilities committee of the Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL) Board of Trustees held a strategic planning session regarding re-establishing a main library facility. For purposes of the strategic planning session, guiding principles were established, and were defined as those qualities/attributes/conditions that the CRPL would desire of a main facility.
When Tina Kollmansberger moved to Weston five years ago, the first place she checked for local information was Facebook.
"I wanted to get more involved, and I didn't know many people," she said. "Facebook was an ideal way to find out what was going on and (to) meet people."
At that point, the village didn't have a presence on the social networking site. But Kollmansberger, 31, -- who serves on the village's finance committee -- is one of many reasons Weston started its own Facebook group in December. Already, the group has more than 40 members.