Saturday, February 28, 2009

CNN: Hard economic times a boon for libraries

Link to February 28 article.

Excerpt: Rebecca Hodges, who's been unemployed for a year, sat down at a computer in a public library in New York.

Spurred by free services, people are heading to libraries, such as this one in Chicago, Illiinois, in record numbers.

Hodges is not an avid reader, but said going to the library is a way to look up job openings and use the Internet for free.

"It helps me research the different companies and how the different industries work, and what's all involved with different industries in terms of what jobs there are," she said.

In times of recession, people take advantage of free services, and going to the library is among the most popular.

"I think people are just realizing how much information there is and they didn't think about going to their local libraries before," Hodges said.

Career Connection Center

Link to Wausau Daily Herald article, "Marathon County Public Library aims to assist jobless".

Excerpt: Library staff members are working on creating a "career connection center" that will include computers with specialized software reserved for job searching and resume development at its Wausau site, reference librarian Mike O'Connor said. The library also will provide more relevant books, CDs and DVDs.

"It can't be business as usual," O'Connor said. "We just felt ... we have to respond in some way."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Library Delayed Again

Link to not much more than a headline (Feb 26) at the Ozaukee-Washington Daily News.

The economy is the culprit.

Link to library's website.

Commentary by Director Jessica MacPhail

Link to February 25 Racine Journal Times, "Second library location a perfect place to put stimulus money".

The Racine Public Library serves a population of 139,000 in a geographic area similar to the Racine Unified School District, extending to the Interstate from Kenosha County to Milwaukee County. Library services are provided from one facility, along with the Mobile Library and Rotary West Readers van. Residents who live closer to Highway 31 have requested a second, more convenient location for years, like Kenosha’s four branch libraries. This has been a top priority of the Library Board for the past two Strategic Plans. The center of population for the library’s service area has been moving westward for years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today's Required Reading

Courtesy of

Mark Pocan (D-Madison)

Juggler (with an assist from the Kenosha Public Library)

Lifetime library fan

Link to An Open Letter to the Media.

More Job-Finding Advice from Mashable

Link to "Top 10 Social Sites for Finding a Job".

Heads the list.

How to Save Print

Link to

Collection Development Suggestion

Courtesy of the A. V. Club.

More on David Lean here.

(Current LINKcat holdings: 1 videocassette)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ah Yes, All A-Twitter

Eye roll of the day, courtesy of John Amato at Crooks and Liars, "The world of politics is all a-Twitter".

Have you noticed how smitten the media and politicians are with "Twitter?" It's kinda comical to me. They completely missed the boat on blogs so now they are overcompensating by making sure you know how hip they are by jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. I love technology, so I'm all for that, but it looks kinda silly watching the talking heads gushing over it. Q) What did you twitter today? A) I twittered so much.

The Politico has a new article up called "The 10 most influential D.C. Twitterers" that is a classic of the genre.

Library audit anti-climatic

Link to February 24 Kenosha News article.

The long-awaited Community Library audit came Monday without surprises or huge red flags — only a few suggestions for how to improve its accounting practices.

Much controversy surrounded the need to audit library finances for 2004-08 and the length of time it took to complete it. The financial reports conducted for those years were not official audits. Those who requested the audit said it was needed to ensure accountability of public funds.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Book Provides Excuse to Share Video

The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal by Julie Greene

Through Panama Canal In 75 Seconds - video powered by Metacafe

Here's an Idea Worth Borrowing

Check out the Library Value Calculator at the Denver Public Library's website.

(Spotted at LISNews.)

Go Big Read!

Link to February 22 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Go Big Read will highlight one book for those on campus and off".

Excerpt: Modeling it after a program she started at Cornell University, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin is launching a common book project in Madison called Go Big Read.

Starting in fall 2009, Martin and others will choose one book for the campus community and beyond to read.

Martin described the program as a way "to build intellectual community among all students, staff and faculty" and "to generate exchange between members of the campus and the larger Madison and alumni communities."

It will not be required reading, but UW-Madison libraries director Ken Frazier said some faculty have agreed to use the book in high-enrollment freshman courses.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's Jethro Tull Time Again

Featuring "Living in the Past".
Link to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Board finalizes policy on teacher-student communication".

Excerpt: More restrictive policy defeated.

Thompson and Gehl both supported a broader, more restrictive version of the policy, which would have banned [Elmbrook School] district staff from using text messaging, instant messaging and social networking altogether, even personally while off the clock. (Retiring Guy's emphasis.)


Library gives teens their own space

Link to February 22 Racine Journal Times.

Becky Spika, a library program coordinator, started working at the library about five years ago and noticed there weren’t many activities for teens at the library.

“We saw these (teens) around and we didn’t know how to bring them together,” Spika said.

To solve that she decided to create Teen Space last year and, with the help of a Lakeshores Library System grant, the library now has a Play Station 2 and a Wii system, which includes Guitar Hero. The library also just received Guitar Hero World Tour, which allows participants to play the drums to the beat provided by the video game. The teens tried it out for the first time Saturday.

Besides hanging out and playing games teens, the teens also help plan community service activities, make crafts and help with teen library programming, Spika said.

Viroqua Bookstore Challenges the Odds

Link to February 21 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Bibliophiles open bookstore in Viroqua despite downturn in economy, bookselling industry".

The floods that overwhelmed southern Wisconsin last summer deposited nine inches of water in the nondescript warehouse in Viola where Allegra Wakest and Eddy Nix built an online-only business selling used books.

The muck destroyed more than 3,000 books, but there was a bright spot. Volunteers — most of them strangers — helped move about 60,000 books to dry land. Many of the volunteers were stunned to learn that such a vast book collection existed so close by.

"Everyone said, 'We didn't even know this was here. We wish you would open a bookstore,'" Wakest said.

Now she and Nix have done just that, embarking on a venture that seems at odds with the reality around them.