Saturday, August 22, 2009

City of Marshfield Online Survey Omits Library

Link to August 22 Marshfield News Herald article, "City seeks input as 2010 budget planning begins".

Excerpt: To gauge where tax dollars should be spent, the Mayor's office has issued a survey for residents on the city's Web site,, where questions vary from rating the satisfaction with the different city services to listing what should be the city's top priority.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sussex Library offers interactive language immersion software program

Link to August 19 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Grant pays for laptops, software patrons can use".

Excerpt: At the Pauline Haass Public Library in Sussex, however, thanks to a $10,000 technology grant from the library foundation, patrons now have access to an interactive language immersion software program on laptops that might be the next best thing to having a tutor at their side.

Library Director Kathy Klager said the reaction to the new Rosetta Stone language tool has been overwhelmingly positive since it was installed in June.

Patrons can check out laptops loaded with the software and, in the privacy of library study rooms where quiet is not a requirement, use a microphone and mouse clicks to advance through practical lessons in French, Spanish, German or Mandarin Chinese. The laptops can't be removed from the library.

The lessons are entirely in the language being studied and rely on photographs, repetition, verbal cues, voice recognition, role-playing, review and a go-at-your-own-speed approach. The user gets feedback on accent, inflection and pronunciation, as well as vocabulary and grammar.

Village of Marathon City Hopes to Build New Library

Link to August 20 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Marathon eyes new library."

Excerpt: The library will cost about $500,000, said Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer David Joswiak. If bids come in higher than $500,000, the village will have to put the matter to a referendum, based on Marathon law, he said.

That would mean the second referendum in Marathon since May, when voters approved a $1.3 million fire station on Market Street.

Residents won't be on the hook for the entire bill. The Marathon County Public Library system pays for half of any new construction or remodeling of a library, said Phyllis Christensen, library director.

The current library, in the village's municipal center, is about 1,000 square feet and Christensen said it is too small to keep up with rising demand for books, DVDs, magazines and other items.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Ancient" Format Holding Its Own (For Now)

Link to August 18 All Things Digital Media Memo post, "Not Dead Yet! The CD Still Rules Music (But iTunes Is Closing the Gap).

Excerpt: Ready to toss dirt on the old, unloved CD? You’re going to have to wait a while. Compact discs are increasingly hard to find (at least in physical stores), but someone out there keeps buying them: The ancient format still makes up the majority of music sales in the U.S.

And what does that make vinyl? Or Retiring Guy, for that matter!