Saturday, July 11, 2009

Latest Library News from Ohio

According to a July 11 post at Save Ohio Libraries, two-thirds of the proposed $227,000,000 cut in state aid to public libraries will be restored. It appears, though, that details of the budget deal have not yet been officially made public. An item of particular interest, though, is shared by WOSU radio via its website. Gov. Strickland will issue an executive order that allows electronic slot machines at the state's 7 horse racetracks. Slots are expected to generate $933,000,000 in new revenue.

Just think of how much revenue they could generate if Ohio legalized certain drugs.

Link to July 10 Columbus Dispatch article, "Governor, legislators agree on budget terms".
Excerpt: In addition to expanding gambling, the governor and legislative leaders have agreed to move state aid back into the depleted mental-health budget and restore some funding to libraries.

CIty of Janesville's Long-Range Goals

Link to July 10 Janesville Gazette article, "Janesville City Council to adopt five long-term goals".

Excerpt: The goals are to:

-- Approve a budget that conserves reserve funds, limits property tax increases and continues major capital improvements. The council will evaluate strategies for debt and borrowing and developing budget process guidelines.

-- Assist with poverty, homelessness and job loss in the city.

-- Provide quality city services that are efficient, effective and need-responsive
. (The Hedberg Public Library already receives excellent marks here.)

-- Initiate long-term economic/community development strategies for job growth. Do this by supporting the central business district, downtown/riverfront plans, public/private partnerships; continuing revitalization of central city neighborhoods; planning for new redevelopment projects such as the Monterey Hotel and parking structures, including buying property; looking for small/medium investment opportunities.

-- Start a facility maintenance and replacement program to address major capital/facility needs such as Fire Station No. 1, the transit facility, children’s museum, aquatics, Tallman House and the ice skating center.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Survey Says: Appliances Take a Beating

47% of respondents in 2009 now say a microwave is a necessity. (Down from 68% in 2006.)

Link to Pew Research Center report, "Luxury or Necessity? The Public Makes a U-Turn".

Excerpt: No longer do substantial majorities of the public say a microwave oven, a television set or even home air conditioning is a necessity. Instead, nearly half or more now see each of these items as a luxury. Similarly, the proportion that considers a dishwasher or a clothes dryer to be essential has dropped sharply since 2006.

With these facts in mind, collection development librarians are encouraged to evaluate the 643.6 Dewey classification.

With the emphasis on maintenance.

GraphJam on the Power of Oprah

GraphJam link.

LinkCat's Oprah's Book Club (2003-present).

100 New Words Added to Latest Edition of the Collegiate

Link to July 9 Eau Claire Leader Telegram article, "Merriam-Webster issues new words to live by".

Excerpt: John Morse, president and publisher of the Springfield-based dictionary publisher, said many of this year's new words are tied to changes in technology, increasing environmental awareness and aging baby boomers' concerns about their health, and they have become part of the general lexicon.

"These are not new words in the language, by any means," Morse said. "(But) when words like 'neuroprotective' and 'cardioprotective' show up in the Collegiate, it's because we've made the judgment that these are not just words used by specialists. ... These really are words now likely to show up in The New York Times, in The Wall Street Journal."

Among the new entries:

  • flash mob
  • freneny
  • green-collar
  • locavore
  • reggaeton
  • shawarma
  • sock puppet
  • staycation
  • vlog
  • waterboarding
  • webisode

Thursday, July 9, 2009

State Budgets: Drip....drip....drip of bad news

Link to July 9 post, "Plunging revenue causes new problems".

Excerpt: More states could have the same problem as the summer goes on, specialists say. May and June are the last two months of the 2009 fiscal year for most states, so officials will have to cover those new gaps as well as the shortfalls they are already projecting for the 2010 fiscal year that began July 1. Governors can do that through executive orders or legislatures can take action when they next meet. The solution usually is some combination of spending cuts, tax increases or dipping into reserves.

“I think there will be other states that see gaps in fiscal 2010,” said Elizabeth McNichol, a senior fellow who is tracking state budget issues for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank advocates policies benefitting low- and moderate-income people.

Attention Deficit Porn


Link to July 8 New York Times article, "Lights, Camera, Lots of Action. Forget the Script".

Excerpt: “On the Internet, the average attention span is three to five minutes,” said Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment. “We have to cater to that.”

LinkCat Holds Alert: Michael Jackson

[Music CDs unless otherwise noted.]

105 holds on 5 copies.

The Best of Michael Jackson
64 holds and 4 copies.

77 holds on 2 copies.

The Essential Michael Jackson
142 holds on 13 copies.

History Past Present and Future, Book 1.
114 holds on 11 copies.

51 holds on 11 copies.

Jackson Five

70 holds on 3 copies.

Moonwalk (book)
39 holds on 5 copies

Number Ones
132 holds on 12 copies.

Off the Wall
126 holds on 11 copies.

184 holds on 16 copies.

Thriller 25 the world's biggest selling album of all time (CD & DVD)
89 holds on 12 copies.

The Ultimate Collection (Jackson Five)
98 holds on 9 copies.

Video Greatest Hits History
69 holds on 2 copies.

We Are the World
28 holds on 3 copies.

The Wiz
31 holds on 8 copies.

The Wiz
(original soundtrack)
7 holds on 1 copy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Where Are the Children?

Link to July 6 post, "Nielsen: Kids Flock to Web. Their usage rate far outpaces that of general online population".

Excerpt: According to Nielsen, kids 2-11 spent nearly seven hours online per month five years ago vs. 11 hours a month in 2009, with boys spending slightly more time on average than girls. That disparity is perhaps most evident in online video viewing, as boys accounted for 61 percent of video streams among kids on the Web.

11 hours per month? That leaves plenty of time for reading.

Mukwonago Library Board Selects Architectural Firm

Link to July 6 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Firm selected for proposed Mukwonago library expansion".

Excerpt: The expansion is necessary because the library building at 300 Washington Ave. is too small, library officials have said. The building, constructed in 1996, is about 12,200 square feet.

Officials are planning a 24,000-square-foot addition, according to information posted on the
library's Web site.

L. E. Phillips Library Starts Renovation

Link to July 6 Eau Claire Leader Telegram article, "Reconstruction under way at L.E. Phillips library".

Excerpt: The project is a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, and Stoneberg said the library is looking toward a reopening ceremony in November, instead of late December.

The $1.57 million project already has gutted the youth services area and parts of the lower level, but the phase scheduled for July 16 to Aug. 7 will replace ductwork, carpet and ceiling tiles on the main floor. During that time some services will be limited, but Stoneberg said the library is still planning to maintain its regular summer hours.

New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate?

Link to July 6 Wisconsin State Journal article, "New central library would boost Madison's image, economic development, proponents say".

Excerpt: Despite being in a dated, worn building, demands on the central library are up. From 2003 to 2008, circulation rose from 780,600 to 886,300, visits from 424,000 to 459,800, and computer use leaped 216 percent to 135,900 individual uses.

Now, Madison must decide whether to build new facilities like Minneapolis, with a cost of $139 million, Des Moines, $33 million, Austin, Texas, $90 million, and Seattle, $165 million.

“Madison is one of the most literary, creative, engaged communities in the country,” said Sari Feldman, president-elect of the national Public Library Association who got her master’s degree at UW-Madison. “The Madison public library should be the best library in the United States.”

After months of study, a special committee and the Library Board this spring recommended the
proposal by Fiore and Ingrens Development Partners of Milwaukee to demolish the worn, 95,000-square-foot library on the 200 block of West Mifflin Street and build a 105,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Henry Street and West Washington Avenue.

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's blog.

Link to July 7 Capital Times editorial, "Mayor Dave's excellent adventure on the Web".

Excerpt: What the mayor's doing with his blog is important -- especially in cases such as this one. He's providing clarity and insight, and doing so in a frank and focused manner. That doesn't mean that he won't be self-serving. Blogs are self-serving. Nor does it mean that he will always be right. As we all should know by now, the Internet is not fact-checked.

Even when he pokes at us, we like Cieslewicz's blog. It lets us know what the mayor is thinking. It broadens the discourse.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rockford Mayor Says No to Library Pension Contribution

Link to July 6 Rockford Register Star article, "Mayor seeks end to library pension payments".

Excerpt: The library’s property tax, about 32 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, is separate from the city’s. There is no plan to get rid of or redirect the library’s 32 cent levy, Mayor Larry Morrissey assured me Monday. But there’s more to the story. The city pays the yearly pension contributions for library employees. For 2010, the estimate is $683,000. The library has an $8.9 million budget. The $683,000 subsidy is what the mayor plans to eliminate.

Polling for the Sake of Polling

Link to July 4 CQ Politics blog post, "Five Polls, Five Pieces of Gloomy News for Democratic Governors".

And the potential losers are.......

Deval Patricvk (MA)
John Lynch (NH)
Jon Corzine (NJ)
David Patterson (NY)
Ted Strickland (OH)

Bonus round: Jim Doyle (WI)

Excerpt: Of course, there's a caveat in taking these polls too much at face value.

As our colleague Bob Benenson says, "The most important thing to remember is that these approval and candidate matchup polls are being taken at a time when all voters are hearing is 'Governor Struggles With Budget Shortfall' or some variant. There's a hint in the fact that some of these polls show large segments of respondents saying they don't know who the heck the challengers are, but saying that they'll vote for them anyway.

"Awful Library Books" Goes Viral

Even Time features an article on this amusing website.

Maintenance of Effort & the Mead Public Library

Link to July 5 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "If Sheboygan cuts budget, library might have to leave Eastern Shores system".

Excerpt: A consortium of 13 libraries in Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties could lose its flagship library and $200,000 - about one third of its state funding - if Sheboygan's Mead Public Library is forced to pull out of the system because of budget cuts contemplated for 2010.

While the budgeting process for 2010 is barely under way, Mead Library Director Sharon Winkle said, the portents are not encouraging for the library as the city struggles to deal with a projected $2.2 million deficit in 2010.

"Unless we can work something out, it's very likely going to happen," Winkle said. "I'm certainly hoping we can work something out."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You Can Contact Mr. Kristof at his Ivory Tower

In his Sunday New York Times op-ed piece, Nicholas D. Kristof exhorts parents to get their children to read during the summer months so that they won't fall behind when school resumes. Kristof then chooses to help the cause by offering a list of what he considers the best children's books ever.

Little Lord Fauntleroy? (It's ranked #10, in ascending order of difficulty.) I count 9 copies among the 50 LINK libraries. Collection development oversight or egregious reader's advisory? You make the call.

I must say that I'm aghast at his missed opportunity. Every public library in U.S. is currently offering reading incentive programs and other activities for childrens and teens. Children's librarians spend many hours planning and promoting these programs -- and have been offering them as a regular service for decades. At a minimum, I hope that the New York Public Library has already taken Mr. Kristof to task.

Kristof's blog is found here. And be sure to let him know that summer reading programs aren't just for kids anymore.

West Bend Library Serves as Research Center for Cemetery Project

Link to July 4 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Woman does historical research on area cemeteries".

Excerpt: Don't bother knocking on the door of Beverly Hetzel's home on weekday mornings or calling her on her cell phone.

She's probably occupied at the West Bend Public Library, buried in research for up to five hours every day, documenting where people are buried, how they died and how they lived.

Over the last 25 years, Hetzel, 68, has recorded the location of graves and the information contained on their tombstones throughout Washington, Ozaukee, Dodge, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and other counties.

Dozens of those cemeteries are the final resting places of the area's first settlers whose locations are known to only a few people.

2010 Wisconsin State Budget: Devil is in the Details

Link to July 5 Sheboygan Press article, "Local officials bristling at state mandate to fund police/fire at current levels in 2010".

Excerpt: Linda Barth, a spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, said that municipalities would receive some extra money for police and fire through a 75-cent-per-month fee on telephone bills, which is going into a statewide fund dedicated for public protection and safety. The fee is expected to raise $107 million over the next two years.

"We want to make sure that this fee goes specifically for police and fire and isn't used to make up other areas," Barth said.

Some strong strings are attached to that fee money — should a city fall short of maintaining the same amount for police and fire, the Department of Administration would cut shared revenue by whatever amount is cut from those departments.

What's unclear to me at this point is whether the "same amount for police and fire" includes both local and state funds -- in the latter case, the new money from the phone fee.

Then there's the obvious question.

Does this police & fire provision in the state budget help or hinder libraries' maintenance of effort arguments? Or will it be the tipping point for what Sheboygan Police Chief Tim Elrich says is "state government dictating to local governments what they can and can't do"?

It looks as though all of the stops are going to have to be pulled out this fall.

High-speed Catch-22?

Link to July 5 Marshfield News Herald article, "High-speed Internet access slow to reach rural areas".

Excerpt: Expanding high-speed Internet access into more areas of central Wisconsin will require more customers who can afford or want the service, providers say.

While broadband access is common in cities such as Marshfield and Stevens Point, for more rural areas, it can be difficult to find.

The farther away from larger municipalities, the lower the speed of Internet access, said Chris LaRowe, manager of external affairs for the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, which represents about 70 telephone companies in the state.