Friday, May 15, 2009
Excerpt: Building a new branch library has been the Racine Public Library Board’s primary goal since 2004. The board considered the old Kmart on Ohio Street and Westgate Square where ShopKo is located, but neither worked out.
But as the Madison Library Board and City Council prepare to consider the recommendation, the big question remains whether the city can afford it.
From the May 15 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.
The Lester Public Library of Rome is pleased to announce the awarding of a grant of $5,000 from the Mead Witter Foundation.The Library Grant Program was designed to provide help in areas where budgets have been tight. Each library receiving the grant completed an application and written plan for how the grant was to be used. This grant will enable the library to purchase several additional public use computers, a printer and several chairs for use at the public computers. The library has been fortunate to receive the grant once before.
• The Romemakers HCE will sponsor a brat fry June 6 at Pritzl's Trading Post in Rome. All proceeds will be donated to the Library Building Fund.
• The third annual Fun Walk sponsored by the Friends of the Library will be at 9 a.m. June 27 at the Alpine Business Park. Registration forms are available at the library and can be downloaded from our Web site at www.romepubliclibrary.org.• June movie schedule: 7 p.m. June 4, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (PG-13); 6 p.m. June 17, "Hotel for Dogs"; 7 p.m. June 25, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Excerpt: In fact, the whole decade was pretty much a heyday for great directors who liked to try their hand at horse operas. Fritz Lang’s best Westerns (The Return of Frank James and Western Union) were made in the ‘40s, but he also left his signature on 1952’s Rancho Notorious, a twisted thriller about a man who goes undercover in a den of thieves to exact revenge.
Excerpt: Brandon history buffs are seeking donations to support a restoration project for the interior of the Brandon Public Library, the village's only state and national historic building.
As the Public Works Department and private contractors work to repair foundation and framework damage to the historic building, the interior is suffering cracks, holes and blemishes that will need attention once the emergency work is finished, according to a release from the library.
Proposed restoration would include a bright historic paint theme, refinishing original hardwood floors, and installing new carpeting as well as vintage woodwork throughout the building.
Sheboygan Reads" is presented by Mead Public Library with funding from the Mead Public Library Foundation and is co-sponsored by The Sheboygan Press.
"Sheboygan Reads" supports literacy by encouraging members of the community to read and talk about the same book. In this way, Sheboygan residents become part of a summer communitywide book club.
The first "Sheboygan Reads" program, in 2005, featured "The Breakdown Lane" by Jacquelyn Mitchard. The second, in 2007, featured two books by Michael Perry, "Population 485" and "Truck."
"Mead Public Library is very pleased to offer the work of Betsy Michael for the 2009 'Sheboygan Reads' program," said library director Sharon Winkle. "We think her expression of her experiences will be familiar and, yet, informative to her fellow Sheboygan-area residents. We appreciate the generosity of The Sheboygan Press as it participates for the third time as co-sponsor of 'Sheboygan Reads.' We celebrate with the Mead Public Library Foundation its 20th anniversary and its continuing financial sponsorship of 'Sheboygan Reads.'"
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Excerpt: It's finally happening. The foundation upon which the Web is built—oodles and oodles of free content and services—is about to crumble. It hasn't happened yet, but the signs that it soon will are all there:
• A glut of free content from largely undifferentiated sources
• Premier providers struggling to maintain a steady flow of new content without the benefit of revenue
• A beyond-hard economy beating back every idea, initiative, and dollar that might help float said content on the free Web
• An uncooperative public that remains unwilling to pay for virtually anything online
Excerpt: The new photovoltaic system, which employs bifacial panels, can capture direct sunlight and light reflected by the building's white roof. It is expected to produce 14 kilowatts of power, approximately the amount used by the library's geothermal heating and cooling system. The result will be a building that is heating and cooling neutral, an impressive feat in Northern Wisconsin.
Excerpt: “Many downtown merchants have been happy to have a combination of a cafe and book store coming downtown and also I think the late night hours will help brighten Main Street,” said Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Randy Roeseler. “A lot of businesses by nature on Main Street are closed at night and this business will help give a little more vitality to the downtown.”
Excerpt: The Manitowoc Public School Board narrowly approved $1.027 million in budget cuts for the 2009-10 school year, eliminating the library aide positions and reducing Excel advocates, education support personnel, during its meeting Tuesday night. Those two cuts will save the district $176,060.
Twenty-one full- and part-time paraprofessional positions will be affected by the cuts, said Andrea Holschbach, director of human resources said.
The seven-member board voted 4-3 on accepting the cuts. Michael Herrity, Judy Carey, Tim Newberg and Lee Braunel voted in favor of the cuts, while Crystal Myer, James Protsman and Robert Jome voted against the decision.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Link to May 12 boingboing post.
Excerpt: Your average U.S. consumer paid about $25 per month on video purchases and rentals, with 63 percent on DVD purchases, 7 percent on Blu-ray Disc purchases, 18 percent on rentals, 9 percent on video on demand, and only 3 percent on digital downloads.
Link to May 12 New York Times article, "Print Books Are Target of Pirates on the Web".
Excerpts: Ursula K. Le Guin, the science fiction writer, was perusing the Web site Scribd last month when she came across digital copies of some books that seemed quite familiar to her. No wonder. She wrote them, including a free-for-the-taking copy of one of her most enduring novels, “The Left Hand of Darkness.”
Neither Ms. Le Guin nor her publisher had authorized the electronic editions. To Ms. Le Guin, it was a rude introduction to the quietly proliferating problem of digital piracy in the literary world. “I thought, who do these people think they are?” Ms. Le Guin said. “Why do they think they can violate my copyright and get away with it?”
“It’s a game of Whac-a-Mole,” said Russell Davis, an author and president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a trade association that helps authors pursue digital pirates. “You knock one down and five more spring up.”
Excerpt: Puppet shows, flamenco dancers, story times, theater groups and a kids' rock band.
They are just a few of the programs area libraries have planned as special events in the coming months to keep children and adults alike entertained.
Library programs have exploded in popularity in recent years.
Area librarians suspect part of the reason for the growth is the downturn in the economy.
"They're free and something the whole family can come to," Carla Powers said of library programs. Powers is the director of Rice Lake Public Library.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Excerpt: Like prospectors sifting for gold, book dealers using electronic scanners comb through local library book sales for volumes to resell for profit on the Internet.
Worried that average library patrons looking for a hidden treasure or a cheap copy of a favorite novel are losing out to the high tech bargain hunters, volunteer groups that run many of the used book sales have begun debating whether to ban or limit the electronic devices.The Friends group at the St. Louis Park library did banish scanners after losing patience with buyers who collected piles of books, scanned them and left castoffs in heaps around the room. Minnetonka also decided to bar scanners until noon during its one-day sales to give its readers first shot at books.
At the same time, there's a trend for some Friends groups to make an effort to identify potentially valuable books , put them aside, and (a) sell them online or (b) create a "Special Value" section of individually priced items.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
A team of researchers financed by the National Science Foundation has created just such a device — a hand-held electronic field guide that identifies tree species based on the shape of their leaves, said Peter N. Belhumeur, a professor of computer science at Columbia and a member of the team.
Excerpt: Sixty-eight public libraries in central and northern Wisconsin will receive more than $382,000 from the Mead Witter Foundation as the result of a recent grant program.
Budgets have been tight and community services may be stressed. Preselected libraries were contacted in December. The selected libraries may use the funds from their one-time special grant for reference materials; circulating print materials; library furnishings for public use; computer equipment for public use; or special event programming and exhibits at the library. Each library submitted a written plan and budget outlining how and where the grant would be used.