Saturday, May 2, 2009

West Bend: Headline News

Library flap gains national attention
Board dismissals threaten free speech, council told


May 1, 2009

Several national associations have submitted their displeasure with the recent dismissal of four members of the West Bend Community Memorial Library Board.

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Association of American Publishers and PEN American Center combined to submit a letter to the West Bend Common Council.

Full story requires paid subscription.

Rural Broadband Proposal for Sauk County

Link to May 2 Baraboo News Republic article, "Paving the internet highway".

Excerpt: "I think this would be a huge asset because with the current struggling economy, this gives people an opportunity to be competitive and start up small businesses that have really low overhead, which is really important right now," said Katherine Zowin of Lake Delton, who sits on the Sauk County Board's economic development committee.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Let's Go Crazy

Link to April 30 New York Times article, "Thousands Face a Balancing Act Over Flu Fears".

Excerpt: The truly anxious confess that they are trying to avoid touching elevator buttons, library books and the knobs on bathroom sinks.

As the number of confirmed swine flu cases in this country continued to rise to over 100 on Thursday, precautions over the illness — many of which appeared to be overreactions — were beginning to affect the daily lives of tens of thousands of people, even in states where the flu has yet to be found.

Link to CDC "H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You".

One Bright Piece of Publishing News

Link to April 30 Publishers Weekly online post, "Wisconsin Historical Society Press on Record Pace".

Excerpt: While Minnesota Historical Society Press faces the prospect of laying off one-third of its staff and reducing its book production by 30% in the face of expected state budget cuts, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in Madison is having a record sales year. While Kathy Borkowski, WHSP’s editorial director, acknowledges that she’s not been able to fill two open positions at the press due to a state hiring freeze, the press gross revenues have already topped $1 million and should reach $1.1 million when the fiscal year ends July 1. This year’s sales are more than double last year’s revenues of $484,000, and five times the $210,000 the press grossed in 2004, when Borkowski took the helm.

Milwaukee Alders Voice Concerns Over Branch Library Closures

Link to April 30 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Milwaukee alderman aim to avoid library closures.

Excerpt: Bruce Gay, technical services manager for Milwaukee Public Library, said Thursday night that "there are no budget plans to close any libraries in 2010, but the library is working on a long-range plan to meet the needs of the city with this budget. . . . No libraries have been named as being set to close."

Baraboo: Planning for a Remodeled & Expanded Library

Link to May 1 Baraboo News Republic article, "Library is booking a new, larger look".

Excerpt: Thursday afternoon, staff of OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Dorschner Associates of Madison sat at a table covered with drawings in the library's ground floor program room. They are working with the library's staff and governing board, hashing out ideas for an addition to the 100-year-old Carnegie library so it can meet the growing demand for services.

The interactive design process, called a charrette, is open to members of the public as well, said Bruce Hamous, project architect. It will culminate
at noon Saturday with a public presentation of the proposed design for a renewed Baraboo library.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

We Have a Winner

Link to April 29 Daily Union online article, "Palmyra's Powers Library wins 'Mock on the Rock'".

Excerpt: Many folks in Jefferson, Walworth and Rock counties love to read, but the folks - and there's just one kind of folks, as Scout said - reading the most are in Palmyra.

The Powers Memorial Library in that village has the award to prove it was recognized as the winner of the month-long "Mock on the Rock Big Read 2009" during a special ceremony at the Greenhill Center for the Arts on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus.

The event was part of the Big Read 2009 program, an initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest

Withee Library Comic Book Day

Link to Apirl 30 Marshfield News Herald article, "Withee Library offers free comics".

Excerpt: Because there is not a comic shop located in this rural area, the library was accepted as a distributor of this year's comics. In addition to handing out free comics, the library will be showing anime DVDs, serving refreshments and giving away door prizes. A creativity corner is planned for those who'd like to try their hand at drawing or writing in comic book style.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fort Library Receives Substantial Donation

Link to April 28 Daily Union online article, "Fort Credit Union gives $150,000 to library redo".

The Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson received its first substantial donation Monday afternoon toward efforts to renovate and expand the facility.

Fort Community Credit Union President Ron Vogel handed a $150,000 check to library director Connie Meyer as the community effort to raise $1.5 million toward the $5.5 million project got under way.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Beloit Public Library Opens for Business

Link to April 27 Beloit Daily News article, "New library wows crowd ".

Excerpt: As Beloit Public Library Director Dan Zack prepared for the facility's open house at the Eclipse Center on Saturday, he expected a couple hundred visitors. Barely two hours into the event, he had counted close to 400.

“This is the public's day, and they're having a great day,” he said, standing at the circulation counter. “It's been a long time since I've seen a crowd this size and virtually everyone is smiling.”

Individuals wandered down aisles in the adult section, others flipped through magazines as they sat in the armchairs in the periodical room and families with young kids wandered the separate children's section across from the circulation desk.

“This is really a jewel for the city,” said Joan Nicholas, head of adult services, as she greeted people in the teen section.

Pictures galore available at Retiring Guy's weekend posts.

One Hundred Years of Journalism

Link to April 27 Capital Times article, "Rebel with a cause: The Progressive magazine celebrates 100 years".

Excerpt: On May 1, the Madison-based publication with a nationwide reach will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a two-day conference here at Monona Terrace featuring Robert Redford, Jesse Jackson, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and others, along with regular magazine contributors including Howard Zinn, Jim Hightower and Barbara Ehrenreich.

And while The Progressive hasn't veered from its core issues -- the power of corporations; the concentration of the media; the plight of workers, consumers and small farmers; opposing war and empire building; a commitment to the environment -- the publication under Rothschild has taken on a less didactic tone. It's even added poetry and a fair dose of humor to its regular offerings, something often missing from the usual left-wing rant.

Author Visits Rothschild Elementary School

Link to Wausau Daily Herald article, "Rothschild Elementary School students bring books to life during author Diane Shore visit".

Excerpt: The floor of the Rothschild Elementary School library rumbled as students helped bring a book to life.

The students stomped in unison and yelled until first-grader Jameson Morgan called out "quiet" on cue.

The students were recreating a scene from "Rosa Loves to Read," a book that depicts one reader's frustration with multiple distractions.

The scene was just one of many activities the 350 students at the school completed on Thursday with author Diane Shore, the Marietta, Ga.,-based writer visited Wisconsin schools last week to promote her books and the importance of literacy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

LINK Readers Yawned

Link to April 27 article, "Atlas Shrugged author see resurgence".

Excerpt: It's obviously getting attention from the general public. Rand book sales are "going through the roof," said Yaron Brook, the president of the Ayn Rand Institute. According to Brook, "Atlas Shrugged," her most famous novel, has sold more copies in the first four months of 2009 than it did for all of 2008 -- and in 2008, it sold 200,000 copies. It's been in's top 50 for more than a month.

Not bad for a 1,100-page doorstop of a book that came out in 1957, by an author who died in 1982.

Scattershot thoughts.

Expect to see used bookstores and library book sales flooded with copies before year's end.

I read the book at a time in my life when I always finished whatever book I started.

As of today, LINKcat shows 38 holds on 41 copies. And in spite of what the CNN headlines suggests, I don't see any coattails for The Fountainhead.

Oh, and in case you want to know more about those free-market types........

West Bend: Headline News

‘Do-over’ on Library Board urged
While Tuesday’s 5-3 Common Council vote not to reappoint four members of the West Bend Library Board may seem conclusive, there is a chance it could change.

[Access to full text requires subscription.]

1,000,000+ Without High-Speed Internet Access in Wisconsin

Unless they visit their local public library.

Link to April 26 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Rural residents without high-speed Internet struggle to keep up".

Excerpt: Doug King publishes his keyboard music online and his wife, Marjorie, sells home-made pottery to customers in Iceland, China and New Zealand. But doing business from their rural Dane County house is virtually impossible without high-speed Internet.

"We got to the point where we’re simply unable to do business" using the dial-up Internet their phone company provides, King said. The couple finally signed up for a wireless modem from Verizon, which in the last year has sought to build nine cell towers in rural Dane County to keep up with growing demand.

But wireless service isn’t available everywhere, either, leaving thousands of rural Wisconsin homeowners, entrepreneurs and farmers still clamoring for high-speed Internet service.

Bill Esbeck, president of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, misses the point when he notes that Wisconsin telephones companies provide high-speed Internet access to 81% of the state.

Let's do the math. 5,600,000 Wisconsin residents X .19 without high-speed Internet access = 1,064,000. It may be 1% below the national average but that doesn't make it good.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Erie County Residents Love Their Sunday Hours

Link to April 26 Erie Times-News article, "A tough read: Blasco Library's Sunday hours safe for now, but budget still out of balance".

Excerpt: In a comfy chair with a view of Presque Isle Bay and the U.S. Brig Niagara, 5-year-old Rachel Sanders sits on her dad's lap and turns the pages of "The Magic School Bus."

At a nearby table, student Joe Dombrowski, 26, spreads his books, binders and papers in a quiet space where he has come to get some work done.

Across the way, Deryl Radder, 63, uses one of 25 computers with free Internet to check e-mail and eBay.

Jacob Wilson, 17; Bobby Ploss, 43; Joy Mosley, 35; and Solomon Muvindi, 35, wait for work stations to become free.

Downstairs, Robert Schillace, 74, flips through Prevention magazine, while Dave Messmer, 59, reads an article about the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dorothy Slatzer, 50, looks for volumes about her new interest, feng shui.

Kathleen Ziegenhine, 55, searches for British murder mysteries to watch on DVD as she falls asleep.

It's a Sunday afternoon at Blasco Library, where patrons are relieved that no matter their reason for going there, the facility will still be open every day.

The New Beloit Public Library, Part 5

Administrative and staff services (located on 2nd floor)

Entrance to administrative suite of offices

Director's office

View of lobby from Director's office

Conference room

Tech services workroom

Youth services workroom

Another view of Youth Service workroom

Quiet room for staff

Staff lounge

Adult services workroom

Friends of the Library sorting room

Another view of Friends sorting room

The library has an unspecified amount of unfinished space in which to expand. This was the only "open-door" example.

Library Director Dan Zack interviewed by a local reporter in the new library's cafe area. Congratulations to Dan on guiding this project to a very successful completion.

The New Beloit Public Library, Part 4

Youth services.

The service desk

Side view of service desk.

I suppose this li'l cutie has a name.

Undulating bench seating

I like the turtle design on the chairs.

Plenty of room for the book collection.

Looking toward the service desk & entrance

Open space for seating

Children's program room

Children's program room.
A view from the opposite side.