Friday, March 20, 2009

New Reference Service at Appleton Public

Link to March 20 Appleton Post Crescent article, "Appleton library offers text-reference service".

Excerpt: To those who need their answers fast and delivered wherever they happen to be, the Appleton Public Library has a suggestion:

That's the moniker for the library's new text- reference service, which caters to people who, like President Obama, use their thumbs to communicate through typed missives employing a minimum of vowels. The library launched the new service this week for handheld device users.

Cedar Rapids Public Library Update

Link to March 20 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Fresh hope for library in downtown Cedar Rapids".

Excerpt: Cedar Rapids is likely to build a new public library downtown after a hard-won federal decision this week.

And for the library's board of directors, said president Susan Corrigan, that means realization of a key hope: relocation from the perilous site next to the Cedar River on First Street SE.

"We want to be where we don't have that concern about being flooded again," she said Thursday.

The library board had estimated that it would cost $17 million to repair the library in place and up to $24 million to build new at a different spot. If a new library were built from the ground up, Corrigan said, new features could be included to cut future operating and maintenance costs.

Hold Off On That Trip to the Dumpster

And check out this boingboing post first.

Sticky Fingers

Link to 2/1/2009 Library Journal article, "Let's Fix Virtual Reference".

Based on the observations of the students in my UW-Madison SLIS Reference and Information Services class, some fixin' is in order.

Frequent comments
1. Long waits
2. Long periods of silence/no word contact
3. Not understanding/unfamiliarity with topic
4. Too-quick referrals (related to 3)
5. Ending the interview prematurely

and especially,
6. Helping more than one person simulataneously.

Library (Peripherally) in the News

New Haven (CT) Free Public Library

From the March 20 New York Times, "Connecticut Senator Draws Voters' Ire Over Wall St. Pay".

"Why would he do it?" he [Clarence Randolph, a 50-year-old dump trump driver from New Haven] said as he was about to enter the New Haven Free Public Library to search online for jobs.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Playboy: Cover to Cover

A.V. Club notes that "Every issue of Playboy now archived for free online".

Call me weird, but I found the ads as interesting as the editorial content. (And, no, I didn't read any of the articles.)

Commenters are Underwhelmed

Link to March 19 cnet news post, "Google deal brings classic books to Sony Reader".

500,000!! (Few, if any, of which I'll ever care to read.)

How true, dgray2. "A half-million classic books" do not exist. It would be more accurate to report "A half-million books that are no longer protected by copyright." Age alone does not make a book a classic.

School Board Revises Policy Regarding Use of Videos in the Classroom

Link to March 17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Board changes policy on classroom videos; Permission slip will warn of content".

But not everyone is happy, of course. And at its core, it's a MPAA ratings issue.

Our family has a 16-year history with the Middleton-Cross Plains School District. To me, content is not the issue regarding movies. Based on what Andy and Eddie have told me, data which is then filtered through my own set of biases, I suspect that teachers use videos as time fillers, showing movies that oftentimes have only a tenuous relationship with the curriculum. But maybe that' s just the fuddy-duddy in me.

L. E. Phillips Moves to Expand Youth Services Area

Link to March 18 Eau Claire Leader Telegram article, "Library to seek bids for Youth Services project".

During renovations, plans call for the youth services area to be moved to a temporary enclosure in the parking lot under the library. The temporary enclosure could be used until December.

The temporary move would eliminate parking in the lower level, but other spots will be opened nearby, Stoneberg said.

Expanding the youth services area by 1,700 square feet will require renovating other parts of the library, including moving the circulation desk.

Fort Atkinson Moves Ahead on Library Project

Link to March 18 Daily Union Online article, "Fort hires architect for library".

Excerpt: After seven years of planning, the Dwight Foster Public Library received council permission Sept. 16 to move forward with a proposed $5.5 million remodeling and expansion project.

The council's approval authorized library staff to begin fundraising efforts to raise 55 percent, or $3 million, of the total pricetag for remodeling the existing 21,000 square feet of space and adding 12,000 square feet of new space.

The Library in 1916

Link to Library Director Connie Meyer's blog.

In Minnesota, Small (Rural) Communities Take Big Hits in State Aid

Link to Duluth/Superior Northland's NewsCenter.

Excerpt: "Here in International Falls, residents are each being asked to give up 142 dollars in snowplowing, police, library services, whereas residents in Chanhassen are only being asked to give up 14 dollars."

International Falls is located in north-central Minnesota on the Canadian border. Chanhassen is a Twin Cities suburb, located west-northwest of Eden Prairie.

Tony Evers Campaigns in Rhinelander

Link to March 18 Rhinelander Daily News article, "Evers makes case for state superintendent".

Excerpt: On Tuesday, Dr. Tony Evers traveled to Rhinelander to talk about the state’s most pressing education issues and to ask voters for their support in April’s state superintendent election. Evers’ visit to Rhinelander was an attempt to shore up support in rural districts in the northern part of the state and to communicate his platform prior to his televised debate with Rose Fernandez on Friday.

Evers identified his campaign’s priorities, citing the need to re-work the state’s funding policy, to eliminate barriers between high schools and technical colleges, and to negotiate successfully with teachers’ unions as the primary issues facing the state.

Vesper Library Gets the Word Out

Link to March 19 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, "Vesper library, community offer many things to do".

Includes news of a job opening. The Library Board of the Lester Public Library of Vesper needs to fill its part-time Library Director position.

Library Joins "Passport Day in the USA" Celebration

Link to March 18 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Marathon County library to hold passport event".

Excerpt: To help people prepare for this requirement, the Marathon County Public Library is participating in a national Passport Event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28, to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications. The library is joining the Department of State in celebrating “Passport Day in the USA,” a national passport acceptance and outreach event.

The Marathon County Public Library is a U.S. Passport Acceptance facility that applications daily during regular hours.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Civics Lesson

Link to March 18 New York Times article, "As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up".

Excerpt: [Jury Duty 101.] Jurors are not supposed to seek information outside of the courtroom. They are required to reach a verdict based on only the facts the judge has decided are admissible, and they are not supposed to see evidence that has been excluded as prejudicial. But now, using their cellphones, they can look up the name of a defendant on the Web or examine an intersection using Google Maps, violating the legal system’s complex rules of evidence. They can also tell their friends what is happening in the jury room, though they are supposed to keep their opinions and deliberations secret.'

Nekoosa Library Update

Link to column by Darla Allen, Director, Charles and JoAnn Lester Library in Nekossa, in March 18 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

College Avenue Celebration: Conkey's Continues

Link to March 18 Appleton Post Crescent article, "Appleton's Conkey's Book Store cuts costs after contract loss to remain open".

Excerpt: Rocked by the loss of more than half of its business in one fell swoop, Conkey's Book Store faced an uncertain future two months ago.

But a combination of community support and internal cost cuts means the 112-year-old downtown store at 226 E. College Ave. will stay open

Let's hope this support continues for many more years.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We're Listening to Great Big Radio

Or one of its many, something-for-everyone web counterparts.

Check it out here.

Link to March 17 Media Memo post, "Not News: CD Buyers Disappearing Daily. Might Be News: Music Buyers Disappearing, Too".

Excerpt: Common sense tells you that the CD is a vanishing artifact. So would a trip to the music section of your local Best Buy, Target or Wal-Mart – or an actual music store, if you could find one.

But just in case you weren’t convinced, here’s some new data from NPD Group:
CD sales dropped by 19 percent last year.
The number of U.S. CD buyers dropped by 17 million last year.
The number of music buyers dropped by 13 million last year.
(RG's emphasis.)

"Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide"

Link to March 16 PCMAG.COM post, "9 Reasons E-Mail is Dead".

Not so fast?

"Media is not a zero sum game," says Paul Saffo, a director of the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, California. "Just because a new medium arrives doesn't mean an old medium dies out. We still have writing in an age of word processing, we still have reading in an age of video. That will continue, but the nature of reading will change as it has changed all along." (Quote originally read here.)

Another Avenue to the Paperless Society?

As someone who used to subscribe to newspapers based on this article, for example, I can't help but feel a sense of loss, even though I have no personal connection to the P-I.

Link to March 17 New York Times article, "Seattle Paper Shifts Entirely to the Web".

Excerpt: Other newspapers have closed and many more are threatened. But the transition to an all-digital product for The P-I will be especially closely watched in an industry that is fast losing revenue and is casting around for a new economic model.

For one thing, the closing may end up putting greater pressure on the surviving and financially struggling Seattle Times, because of the end of a joint operating agreement between the two papers. It may even bring closer the day when Seattle has no local paper at all.
(RG's emphasis.)

See also "In Seattle, the World Still Turns, a Beacon in Memory of a Lost Newspaper".

Anything Like Fixing a Hole in the Ocean?

Link to March 14 post, "Who Protects the Internet?"

Excerpt: For the past five years, John Rennie has braved the towering waves of the North Atlantic Ocean to keep your e-mail coming to you. As chief submersible engineer aboard the Wave Sentinel, part of the fleet operated by U.K.-based undersea installation and maintenance firm Global Marine Systems, Rennie--a congenial, 6'4", 57-year-old Scotsman--patrols the seas, dispatching a remotely operated submarine deep below the surface to repair undersea cables. The cables, thick as fire hoses and packed with fiber optics, run everywhere along the seafloor, ferrying phone and Web traffic from continent to continent at the speed of light.

The cables regularly fail. On any given day, somewhere in the world there is the nautical equivalent of a hit and run when a cable is torn by fishing nets or sliced by dragging anchors. If the mishap occurs in the Irish Sea, the North Sea or the North Atlantic, Rennie comes in to splice the break together.

Nicolet College/Rhinelander District Library Collaboration

Link to March 16 Rhinelander Daily News article, "Libraries collaborate on health care forum".

Excerpt: This is the first joint venture between Nicolet College’s library and the Rhinelander District Library to bring an event of this type to the Northwoods. The goal is to raise awareness about the uninsured and create a forum for community dialogue about this issue.

Preservation of Public Records

Link to Sunshine Week weblog.

Link to March 17 Green Bay Post Gazette article, "Living history: Storing records has always been a primary goal".

Excerpt: The Green Bay Press-Gazette looked at the record-keeping practices of area municipalities as part of Sunshine Week, a nationwide effort by media organizations to draw attention to the public's right to know.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Survey Says

Ad spending and audiences continue to migrate to cable and online.

Link to Pew Research Center Report, "State of the News Media 2009".

Portage Public Library Looking for New Director

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to Hans Jensen, who is retiring as Director of the Portage Public Library. Official date: May 1, 2009. (Doesn't seem that long ago when the two of us were active in the Junior Members Roundtable of the Wisconsin Library Association.)

What this means, of course, is that a great job opportunity has opened up.

Historic community.

Great colleagues.

"Reinventing Rural"/Fond du Lac Reads

Link to March 16 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Exhibit celebrates Fond du Lac artists' roots".

Excerpt: When artist Nancy Donohue had her revelation, she rolled up her dungarees and set to work.

As one of 14 local artists asked to contribute to an eclectic exhibit titled “Reinventing Rural,” her thoughts turned to an old black-and-white photograph tucked away in a box.

The childhood image of her family — posed in and around her dad’s old pickup truck in Tule Lake, Calif. — became the impetus for her rural rememberings, which are on display through April 24 at Langdon Divers Community Gallery at the Fond du Lac Public Library.

The Reporter's editorial board give praise where it is due, "Cheers Library program has FdL reading". And that's largely due to the efforts of the Fond du Lac Public Library staff, which has done a considerable amount of work promoting a wide variety of March activities connected to Fond du Lac Reads.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inspired by....

Cover of a currently challenged book
Lord & Taylor ad for Ellen Tracy Trench (3/15/09)

It's almost like one of those puzzlers from a newspaper's comics section -- figuring out what's missing in one of the 2 panels.

Nutty Idea of the Day

Courtesy of this dude, who must have an officeful of Chuck Norris pin-ups.

Details found at this Texas Freedom Network blogpost.

Focus on Mark Pocan

Link to March 15 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Pocan's status rising at Capitol".

Mark, an Assembly Democrat who represents Madison, is a co-chair of the powerful Joint Committee on Finance and a strong advocate for libraries.

Excerpt: “He is one of those classic liberals who understands how a conservative thinks,” said Rep. Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, the former Assembly speaker. “That makes it harder for us to defeat him in campaigns, but it helps when we’re trying to get some policy done.”

Internship Program at UW-Sheboygan University Library

Link to March 15 Sheboygan Press article.

From the Fall 2007 Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians (WAAL) newsletter:

UW-Sheboygan Library & Acuity Technology Center
The new University Library opened in May, and an Open House and dedication ceremony for the Library and the Acuity Technology Center was held on September 20, 2007. In addition to the library, the Acuity Technology Center includes new computer classrooms, distance education classrooms, and modern conference facilities and IT staff work areas. Funding for construction of the 28,300 square-foot building was provided by Sheboygan County and a generous donation from Sheboygan-based Acuity Insurance.

The 19,000 square-foot library includes plentiful space and varied seating options for users in a comfortable, attractive and technology-equipped setting, a 36-workstation BI classroom and computer lab, small-group study rooms with complete multimedia technology, improved staff offices and public service areas, and expanded and more accessible shelving for collections. Wireless network access is available
throughout the building, with laptops available for checkout in the library.

Survey Says

Wisconsin ranks in bottom half of of online records availability.

Link to March 14 Sunshine Week post, " Sunshine Week 2009 SurveyOf State Government Information Online".

Excerpt: Most Americans can easily find videos of water skiing squirrels on the Internet but they’ll have less luck finding out whether their children's school buses and classrooms are safe, or if neighborhood gas stations are overcharging.

The Sunshine Week 2009 Survey of State Government Information online found that while more and more government records are being posted online, some of the most important information is being left offline. And in some cases governments are charging taxpayers to access records that they already paid for, such as death certificates.

The Wisconsin State Law Library provides links to the state's public records.