Saturday, March 28, 2009

West Bend Debate Continues

Link to March 27 GM Today article, "Porn or not porn, that is the question". (Access to full article requires print subscription.)

Oshkosh Public Introduces Self-Check

Link to March 28 Oshkosh Northwestern (curiously titled) article, "Self-checkout takes over library".

Excerpt: The library implemented a new self-checkout system last month where users go to an electronic kiosk and complete the checkout process themselves. And despite the change, the library has measures in place to protect its collection and ensure users properly checkout their materials before walking out of the building.

Lisa Voss, head of library development, said a hybrid system of old and new security measures are in place and the library staff is taking the steps necessary to make sure materials are not stolen. The switch to a self-checkout system is a result of the library's strategic plan, which aims to personalize other services.

The $7,500 system was installed partly in response to staffing cuts the library has experienced. Since 2006, the equivalent of five full-time positions have been cut from the library, making it harder to continue to provide the services users expect. (RG's emphasis.)

Connecting Military Families and Friends at the Library

Link to March 28 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune article, "Library adds video cameras to keep in touch".

Excerpt: Years ago, when loved ones were at war, options to communicate with them were limited to postal mail. Now, thanks to the technology of computers, it is easier -- and faster -- to get in touch with people thousands of miles away.

McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids just installed two webcams for public use, with a goal of connecting family and friends with loved ones in the military. Local library staff members got the idea from a library in Alabama.

"Since we have two staff members who have children deployed with the 32nd Brigade, we thought this was a great idea," said Andy Barnett, assistant director at McMillan Memorial Library. Andy's son, Jonathan, is one of them -- currently training in Texas for overseas missions.

For information on the Alabama program, "Connecting Families":
Link to December 9 Alabama Governor's office news release "Governor Riley Launches Connecting Families Initiative". Includes link to list of participating libraries.

Link to January 9 Government Technology post, "Governor Riley Pushes Expansion of Broadband into Rural Areas of Alabama".

Link to January 22 Clarke County Democrat article, "Talk to military via library's webcam".

Link to Birmingham Public Library blog.

Link to February 13 Shelby County (Alabama) Reporter, "Computers connect military families".

Friday, March 27, 2009

$35.3 Million to go to Public School Libraries

Link to March 27 news release.

Excerpt: The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands announced today that a record amount of library aid resulting from Common School Fund earnings will be forwarded to the Department of Public Instruction for its annual distribution to Wisconsin’s kindergarten through twelfth grade public school libraries. This year’s distribution will be more than $28 per student.

Earnings from the Common School Fund total a record setting $35.3 million. These funds are derived from the interest earned on loans to school districts and municipalities for infrastructure and public purpose projects utilizing the State Trust Fund Loan Program. The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands administers both the Common School Fund and the State Trust Fund Loan Program.

"Public school libraries benefit greatly from the Board’s prudent investment strategies," said Secretary of State Doug La Follette, who serves as Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. "For some school districts, the library aid provided by the Common School Fund may be the only money available for their library." (RG's emphasis.)

No Republican Sponsors?

Link to Senate Bill 135.

Racism on Display

At this Barnes & Noble store in Coral Gables, Florida.

Take a closer look through a display window here at

A B&N spokesperson said, "they believed it to be the result of a customer prank rather than a deliberate action of any of the company's employees."

Everything You Need to Know About Daylight Saving Time provides the pith.

Now More Than Ever

Link to March 22 Denver Post op-ed article, "Libraries stressed, yet needed more than ever".

Not long ago, on a Sunday afternoon, my son and I pulled into the parking lot of Denver's Schlessman Family Branch Library.

I was surprised by what I saw. The place was like Best Buy during Christmas week. We had to hunt for a parking space and, when we got inside, it was wall-to-wall people.

Wanted: Ghost Writer

Requirement: pithiness.

Link to full position description.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

P. T. Approves

Link to March 26 New York Times article, "Online Age Quiz Is a Window for Drug Makers".

Excerpt: While few people would fill out a detailed questionnaire about their health and hand it over to a drug company looking for suggestions for new medications, that is essentially what RealAge is doing.



Survey Says

Wireless Connectivity Has Drawn Many Users More Deeply into Digital Life

Link to March 25 Pew Internet & American Life Project report.

The 39% of U.S. adults "motivated by mobility".

Digital Collaborators: 8% of adults use information gadgets to collaborate with others and share their creativity with the world.

Ambivalent Networkers: 7% of adults heavily use mobile devices to connect with others and entertain themselves, but they don't always like it when the cell phone rings.

Media Movers: 7% of adults use online access to seek out information nuggets, and these nuggets make their way through these users' social networks via desktop and mobile access.

Roving Nodes: 9% of adults use their mobile devices to connect with others and share information with them.

Mobile Newbies: 8% of adults lack robust access to the internet, but they like their cell phones.

The other 61% are the "stationary media majority."

Desktop Veterans: 13% of adults are dedicated to wireline access to digital information, and like how it opens up the pipeline to information for them.

Drifting Surfers: 14% of adults are light users -- despite having a lot of ICTs -- and say they could do without modern gadgets and services.

Information Encumbered: 10% of adults feel overwhelmed by information and inadequate to troubleshoot modern ICTs.

The Tech Indifferent: 10% of adults are unenthusiastic about the internet and cell phone.

Off the Network: 14% of adults are neither cell phone users nor internet users.

What's Being Read on Wikipedia

Find out here.
Most read in last 30 days. (John's kickin' his bandmates' butts.)
Trending topics. (Wisconsin's own Dick Bong is 2nd on March 24.)

Now following on Twitter.

Joint Finance Public Hearing at West Allis

Link to March 25 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Citizens lobby lawmakers on smoking, early-release measures".

Excerpt: Lira was joined by a score of middle and high school students urging the committee to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places and raise the cigarette tax by 75 cents a pack.

Others filling a banquet hall at the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center at State Fair Park told the committee their views on domestic violence programs, pay for prosecutors and public defenders, voucher schools and a host of other issues. Some bore stickers urging the committee to create regional transit authorities. Convenience store owners wore red shirts that said "I'm not big oil" as a way to ask the committee to kill a proposed tax on gas revenue to pay for roads.

The hearing gave Milwaukee-area residents their first chance to publicly weigh in on the state budget now under consideration. Every two years, lawmakers hold the hearings to gauge public sentiment before they begin voting on how to shape the state's spending plan.

Renovation Plan Put on Table for Madison Central Library

Link to March 26 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Enter library plan No.3: Just renovate and save millions".

Excerpt: The three renovation options presented Wednesday by Milwaukee-based architectural and engineering firm Hammel, Green and Abrahamson carried construction price tags between $10.5 million and $13.9 million, with the most expensive option including about 11,000 square feet of new space as part of a rooftop expansion.

Link to T. Wall and Fiore proposals.

For Those Who Like Book-Buying with an Edge

Memorial Library, UW-Madison (1954)

Link to March 26 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Book hounds hunt for steals at University of Wisconsin-Madison book sale".

At precisely 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Memorial Library, the state’s largest book sale began with a rush of customers as quick as the wind off Lake Mendota. Several dozen patrons — some of whom are book dealers from as far away as Tennessee and had been waiting since 7 a.m. — clawed at more than 15,000 used books.

"It’s like opening the cages to the zoo and letting the animals out," said Beth Kuply of event sponsor Friends of UW-Madison Libraries.

Kuply laughed, but it’s not far from the truth. At the twice-a-year, four-day book sale, the opening-night, $5 preview sale brings out the most aggressive buyers. Still, the sale continues through Saturday, and plenty of quality books will remain for readers looking for a bargain.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two Wisconsin Dailies Cutting Mondays

The Waukesha Freeman and the West Bend (Ozaukee/Washington Counties) Daily News.

Link to March 25 Editor & Publisher post.

Where's Bea Teichmiller When We Need Her?

Link to March 24 Main Street Oshkosh post, "Wireless Common Council Chambers Permits Live-blogging Council Meetings".

Excerpt: The Oshkosh Common Council chambers now have open wireless connections, which not only enables the Mayor to update his Facebook status during meetings, but also allows for live on site online coverage of meetings.


Under the headline, "School Library Bans Magazine", features the magazine cover shown just below. According to the Columbus Ohio NBC affiliate, the November issue of Nintendo Power magazine was yanked from the library of Roxboro Middle School [architectural gem] in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights district. The principal took the move because he considered the cover to be violent and because of material dealing with a game rated for adults.

Here's the actual cover of the November 2008 issue.

I'm not sure what offends me more: The principal's censorship or the website's dishonesty.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joint Finance Public Hearing at Sparta

Link to March 24 La Crosse Tribune article, "Legislative panel hears budget worries in Sparta".

Excerpt: Signs of the recession kept surfacing Monday, pitting special needs against each other, at a budget hearing by the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.Hundreds of people attended the hearing at the American Legion Hall in Sparta, with concerns that included public school funding, university student fees taken to provide financial aid, the issue of smoke-free dining and dwindling technical college resources.

Shari Borreson of Tomah, wife of Inspector Kevin Borreson with the Wisconsin State Patrol, addresses members of the Joint Finance Committee at a public hearing in Sparta Monday regarding her opposition to the closing of the State Patrol Headquarters in Tomah proposed in the current state budget.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Final Volume Nearing Completion

Link to March 22 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Regional dictionary nears Z".

Excerpt: If you don't know a stone toter from a bobbasheely, or aren't sure what a grinder shop sells, the Dictionary of American Regional English is for you.

The collection of regional words and phrases is beloved by linguists and authors and used as a reference in professions as diverse as acting and police work. And now, after five decades of wide-ranging research that sometimes got word-gatherers run out of suspicious small towns, the job is almost finished.

The dictionary team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is nearing completion of the final volume, covering S to Z. A federal grant will help the volume get published next year, joining the first four volumes already in print.

5 Weeks Til Opening Day

No, not the baseball season.

The new Beloit Public Library

Noted in March 23 post at (Janesville).

Construction photos.

Floor plan.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kindle Available to Check Out at Mequon Library

Link to March 23 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "

Excerpt: The Frank L. Weyenberg Public Library of Mequon-Thiensville has opened a new chapter in the continuing digitalization of public libraries in Wisconsin by being the first to offer the option of checking out Amazon's Kindle 2, a wireless reading device that can hold the digital versions of about 1,500 books.

The Kindle 2 weighs about 10 ounces, measures 8 inches by 5.3 inches, is a third of an inch thick and costs about $360. It was donated to the library by an anonymous patron, Library Director Linda Bendix said.

The Weyenberg's Kindle comes loaded with 10 titles, including Jodi Picoult's "Handle with Care," Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" and Stephen King's "UR," which King wrote specifically for the Kindle.