Saturday, October 10, 2009
Link to October 6 New York Times article, "Adding Health Advice to Online Medical Records".
Excerpt: Health technology experts say Keas is at the forefront of the effort to combine advanced Web and database technologies so it can personalize health education. The promise, they say, is a big step forward for online health tools, and could help accelerate their adoption — much as the spreadsheet program helped kick-start the personal computer industry back in the early 1980s. “This is the next generation of applications for online health care,” said Dr. David C. Kibbe, a health technology expert and senior adviser to the American Academy of Family Physicians, who is also a member of the Keas advisory board.
Some screenshots that lead me to discover that I'm chubby!
Excerpt: A bill under consideration in the committee would remove Oehlhof's court record and more than four million others from the court database. Under the proposal, pending cases would be blocked from public viewing, as would cases that were dismissed, resulted in a not-guilty verdict, or were settled out of court. Only court and law enforcement officials, attorneys and accredited media would have access to the entire database. The bill would also levy a $10 annual fee on users, and create an account to track who uses the system and what they use it for. The author of the bill, state Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, says the tracking system would provide a way for the courts to determine whether anyone is using the system to illegally discriminate against job applicants and prospective tenants. But others say it smacks of big-brotherism, an attempt to monitor those who are monitoring the government.
"Lacking guidance, my reading (in books borrowed from the local public library) was undiscriminating and, as I now realize, I was unable to distinguish the charlatan from the serious scholar." (Ronald H. Coase)
"… by the time I was six I was inscribed in the children’s library /- - -/ and without that library I don’t think I would ever have been a writer." (Nadine Gordimer)
"Sterling Library, then said to be the largest in the world with open stacks, became a favorite haunt where I spent many winter weekend afternoons with a good book and an apple or a candy bar." (John B. Fenn)
"While physics was taught at the Kloster only in the later grades, in the public library I read books with titles such as "Umsturz im Weltbild der Physik" and learned about the Balmer series and Bohr's energy levels of the hydrogen atom." (Hans G. Dehmelt)
"My first salvation was reading. I visited the local public library regularly and began reading the great adventure stories of Jules Verne, Alexander Dumas and Walter Scott." (Roy J. Glauber)
"I was an early reader, reading even before kindergarten, and since we did not have books in my home, my older brother, Alexander, was responsible for our trip every week to the Public Library to exchange books already read for new ones to be read." (Rosalyn Yalow)
"Although I was unaware of it at the time, my parents must have made special arrangements for their children to use the library since we lived far outside the region it was supposed to serve. The librarians would also overlook the normal five-book limit and allow me to check out a large pile of books each week that I would then eagerly devour. That experience has left me with a profound appreciation for the value of public libraries." (Carl E. Wieman)
"On other days, I would read in a most beautifully appointed place, the Reading Room of the Central New York Public Library on 42nd Street. One passes the pair of sculpted lions, ascends a flight of stairs into a huge high-ceilinged room of impressive silence where I read incessantly without direction but with a newfound fascination that made up for years of illiteracy." (Richard Axel)
"I grew up surrounded by family and friends, church and school, and physical and mental activity. I clearly remember the value my parents placed on reading and education. My parents read to us and encouraged us to read. As soon as I could read for myself, walking across town to the library became a regular activity." (William D. Phillips)
Increase of 324,000 since 2000 (6%).
Growth is primarily taking place in four areas of the state
1. Fox Valley, the Brown-Outagamie-Winnebago stretch of counties.
2. "Western Wisconsin", which I assume means St. Croix County.
3. Dane County. (The pace has definitely slowed down considerably, but new homes are still being built here.)
4. Southeastern Wisconsin. (Waukesha, Washington, and Kenosha counties from what I can gather).
Excerpt: Financial literacy is an important part of preparing our students for a successful future. As we kick off Money Smart Week, Oct. 10 to 17, the Department of Public Instruction has released a new publication, "Planning Curriculum in Personal Financial
Today's young people face financial choices that have expanded well beyond what their parents or grandparents dealt with as teens and young adults. An estimated 80 percent of Wisconsin students work while they are in high school, and nearly one-third have personal checking accounts
From college savings plans
Link to October 10 Marshfield News Herald article, "Celebrate Wisconsin history at Colby Public Library".
The many activities include a trivia contest, book discussion, and open house.
Excerpt: The patrons of the Colby Public Library are a very generous group. Last year, at about this time, I published a wish list for the library. One year later, nearly everything on that list has been donated.
So, it is time to present another list of items the library could use. Many of the materials on this list would make excellent memorials in honor of a loved one, great business or family donations to the library, or just because you care.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Jon Stewart interviews William Kamkwamba, author of The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind.
Excerpt: Lawmakers also extended the life of controversial section 215, known as the "library records provision" that allows government agencies to access individual's library history.
Excerpt: In a slap to Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, City Council members want a public referendum on a proposed $37 million central library and to block $16 million in public assistance for redevelopment of the Edgewater Hotel.
Cieslewicz, facing a test of his political clout, said he'll continue to fight for both projects, saying its a good time to invest in the future.
The library and tax incremental financing (TIF) money for the Edgewater are the most controversial pieces of the mayor's proposed $185.8 million capital budget for 2010.
Take a look at the online edition this weekly for yourself.
Excerpt: Oshkosh's proposed 2010 budget (not yet linked) does not increase operating costs or include raises for city workers and absorbs rising health insurance costs by using funds from the city's insurance reserve account, according to figures released Thursday.
Nonetheless, the budget increases total spending to $65.6 million in 2010 from $64.5 million in 2009, a 1.65 percent increase, to make up for fewer state and federal aid dollars that created a $1.2 million shortfall. To plug the gap, the budget calls for the tax rate to rise from $8.27 to $8.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a 1.94 percent increase.
Excerpt: Randall Supervisor Bob Gehring used citizens comments at Thursday’s Town Board meeting to blast a letter written by town Chairman Bob Stoll regarding the demotion of Community Library director Mary Ellen Close.
Gehring said the letter wrongly characterized him — and the rest of the board — as favoring Close’s removal. In fact, he said he did not know anything about the letter, had difficulty getting a copy and did not favor its assertions.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Link to October 7 Buffalo News article, "Group will seek way to showcase rare books".
Excerpt: For added effect, Buffalo & Erie County Library Director Bridget Quinn-Carey cradled, in white-gloved hands, the library's copy of the first folio of William Shakespeare's plays … one of just 228 still in existence.
The library's extensive holdings and those of the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and the Buffalo Museum of Science, among others, have long been a point of pride for Buffalonians and a magnet for scholars from around the globe.
Many of these priceless collections were assembled privately 100 years ago, when this city had more millionaires per capita than any other in America.
The challenge for the Rare Books Commission, headed by Victor Rice, will be to make sure the rest of the world now finds out about these jewels and beats a path to Buffalo's cultural doorstep.
Romanian-born German author Herta Mueller won the 2009 Nobel Prize in literature. Mueller is 56 and the first German to win the literature Nobel since Gunter Grass in 1999. According to the New York Times, she has had four of her books translated into English. Northwestern University Press has published two of those titles, a paperback edition of The Land of Green Plums--a hardcover of that title from Metropolitan Books is currently out of print--and a hardcover of Traveling on One Leg.
Madison Public Library owns 1 copy each of 5 books by Herta Muller (as spelled in LINKcat). The Land of Green Plums has 11 holds.
Excerpt: Just in time for holiday shopping and a wave of upcoming competition, Amazon lowered the price of its Kindle e-book reader yesterday to the still unreasonable price of $259 from its previous $299. A new international wireless edition is available for $20 more. Too bad it won’t matter. Amazon missed its chance to be the iPhone of the e-reader world. It helped legitimize a new technology category without sealing the deal with consumers or publishers.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos crows that “the Kindle is the most wished for, the most gifted and the No. 1 best-selling product across the millions of items we sell on Amazon.” Curiously, the company has never been forthcoming about the actual number of Kindles sold. The company likes to talk around the topic by hinting at the high percentage of e-books it sells into the platform. And that is an interesting point to pursue. If Amazon is succeeding in selling so many books to users via this platform, then why is the base cost of the device still too high?
Excerpt: The vacancies occurred because library representative Lois Sokolski recently resigned over the demotion of library director Mary Ellen Close. Meanwhile, Trustee Marlene Engstrom has not been able to make recent meetings, and is stepping done from the library board because of demands in her business and personal life.
Consequently, Silver Lake was in danger of not being represented at meetings of the library board, which has five member municipalities — Twin Lakes, Paddock Lake, Sale, Randall and Silver Lake.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Excerpt: While libraries all over the region have had to cut budgets, hours and staff, the Jones Library, thanks to the kindness of strangers and donations from library lovers, will reopen on Friday afternoons.
An anonymous donor late this summer offered a $3,000 donation if the library could raise an equal amount of money. Another anonymous donor offered $1,000 more, said Patricia G. Holland, president of the Jones Library Board of Trustees.
With more than $5,000 raised at a barbecue this past weekend at the Sunderland Road bar, the Harp, the Jones collected enough money to open every Friday afternoon from now until the end of the year.
Other libraries are not so fortunate.
The Westfield Athenaeum will be closed on some Mondays through the end of the year. In Springfield, each branch library is open 18 hours a week, compared to 24 a year ago. The hours at the Central Library were cut from 57 to 45 hours a week.
Excerpt: Residents and politicians alike decried the announced cuts yesterday by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which will close five branches, move others and trim hours in the face of a spiraling deficit.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl called for an independent audit of the library budget by the Regional Assets District board "so that we know how the money is being spent. A lot of people don't know what's happening at the library.
"The library was the only place where RAD didn't make any cuts," he said, referring to the district's preliminary budget that provides the library with the same $17.6 million it received this year.
"We have nothing to hide," said Barbara Mistick, library director and president. "RAD requires an audit from everybody and we've complied with every requirement."
Although library officials have threatened dire measures for months, residents and city leaders were stunned by the news.
Excerpt: "Courage" is the theme of the Wisconsin Book Festival on Oct. 7-11, and Madisonians, as well as all Americans, are utilizing courage to face the demands of a declining economy and the horror of war. This year's festival has a specific focus on food, community and land.
Link to October 7 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Q&A: Mayor Tim Hanna talks about future for Appleton Public Library".
Excerpt: For a project of this magnitude, there's a lot of planning and discussion that needs to go into this if we want it to be the best it can be, and not just for the city, because this library serves a much wider are than the city of Appleton. So there's a lot of work to do. In my mind, we need to keep this process and the conversation going. In fact, in an economy like this, now's the time to do the planning.
Mayor Hanna provides his comments
1. On including the site selection money in the budget
2. On whether the site selection money means a project is any more likely to happen
3. On if the city eventually is going to need a bigger library or a new library
4. On if he has an idea of what the public-private funding split would be
5. On which has to come first, the public funding or the private funding
6. On whether the library should remain downtown
7. On if the decision could eventually go to a referendum.
EIA projects average household expenditures for space-heating fuels to be $960 this winter (October 1 to March 31), a decrease of $84, or 8 percent, from last winter. This forecast principally reflects lower fuel prices, although expected slightly milder weather than last winter will also contribute to lower fuel use in many areas. The largest expenditure decreases are in households using natural gas and propane, projected at 12 and 14 percent, respectively. Projected electricity and heating oil expenditures decline by 2 percent (see EIA Short Term and Winter Fuels Outlook slideshow).
History of Assembly Bill 340.
The Apartment Association of Southeastern WI, Inc. has taken a particularly strong stand against the bill.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I have to admit....this type of memorial is news to me. I'm not aware of any Wisconsin libraries that specifically offer this option.
Doing a quick-and-dirty Google search, I learned the following: The Lake Oswego Public Library is one of just a few libraries in the country that has established a pet memorial collection as a lasting way of remembering ...
Wichita Falls and Dallas public libraries are also among the top results.
Excerpt: Forgive us if we're pushing the season a bit, but since retailers invoke Christmas at this early date, we will, too.
That's because we've come across the perfect Scrooge, an Ebenezer who can match the fictional Dickens character down to the last humbug.
He's Constantine "Connie" Xinos, an Oak Brook attorney. Xinos, who recently ripped into an 11-year-old who spoke at a village meeting, floated the idea of closing or privatizing the public library because the village needs to "stop indulging people in their hobbies."
Excerpt: It's too early to know whether Appleton should build a new library — or even if it can afford to build a new library.
That decision will be made at the end of a long process, one that will be made up of a lot of smaller decisions.
The Appleton Common Council faces one of those smaller decisions as it prepares to consider Mayor Tim Hanna's budget proposal.
The proposal, which will be released Wednesday, contains $75,000 to analyze a potential site for a new library, most likely in downtown Appleton.
It'll be money well spent and the Council would be wise to keep it in the budget.
Excerpt: Regardless of who is winning the nature-versus-nurture debate, parents will always take pride in the similarities they share with their offspring.
Whether it's a physical characteristic, like hair color or height, or an aspect of their personality, such as sense of humor or industriousness, mutual traits tighten the bond between two generations. Shared interests, in particular, increase compatibility and turn moments together into true quality time.
For example, my wife and I both have musical aptitude. On a very primal level, I'm extremely gratified that my nearly 4-year-old daughter can whistle, memorize lyrics in record time and stay on key while singing just about any tune. Likewise, it's wonderful that my son can't resist dancing to almost any melody — especially the "SpongeBob SquarePants" theme song.
But of all of the things I have in common with my kids, I'm most pleased with their interest in books.
Excerpt: McMillan Library was recognized as a model for public libraries seeking to provide a community center atmosphere as well as traditional library services.
South Central Library System Director Phyllis Davis said, "After McMillan's new library building was opened in 1970, the board of trustees and library directors Ray Hernandez and Bill Wilson developed the community center tradition using the facility's 265-seat fine arts center, all purpose room, display areas and the library's endowment fund. The board of trustees and director Ron McCabe have continued to develop the social dimension of library service at McMillan during the past two decades. Ron McCabe's book 'Civic Librarianship: Renewing the Social Mission of the Public Library' and Assistant Director Andy Barnett's book 'Libraries, Community, and Technology' were published nationally and contributed to the literature on strengthening communities through public library service."
Link to October 6 Herald-Times-Reporter article.
Excerpt: Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said Monday he's glad two-term Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle isn't seeking a third term.
"An open race for governor is better because of instead of building an indictment against the incumbent, you throw out your own ideas," said Walker, who is seeking the Republican nomination to become the state's chief executive.
Walker said his campaign, which began in April and he hopes will end in victory in November 2010, will focus on jobs and the economy.
Walker believes the fastest, most effective way to create new jobs is to cut taxes and implement regulatory and fiscal policies encouraging job growth and economic investment.
He said history has proven that when taxes are cut, consumers and investors spend more money.
Excerpt: Elizabeth Witek, a library board trustee, was frustrated by what she saw as a bid by city leaders to scale back library expansion proposals submitted by two private consulting firms.
Witek said she is concerned a reluctance to fully address the library's space shortages and outdated design features will force the city to deal with the costs for another major library investment soon after the next is complete.
The studies by private consultants each determined the library's needs, she said. "They didn't pull these numbers out of the air."
Yet, city finance director Lisa Remiker noted the consultants' recommendations must be viewed in the context of the city's ability to pay for them. Remiker noted $10 million in borrowing will cost city taxpayers about $900,000 per year for 20 years at current lending rates, $18 million in all. She also noted the potential use of the existing library will be a major consideration if a new one were built.
And who is this Terry Nichols guy? (How can you not get this right, Ed?)
Excerpt: Gourmet magazine, which has celebrated cooking and travel in its lavish pages since 1941, will cease publication with the November issue, its owner, Condé Nast, announced on Monday.
Gourmet was to food what Vogue is to fashion, a magazine with a rich history and a perch high in the publishing firmament. Under the stewardship of Ruth Reichl, one of the star editors at Condé Nast, Gourmet poured money into sumptuous photography, test kitchens and exotic travel pieces, resulting in a beautifully produced magazine that lived, and sold, the high life.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Link to October 5 Wisconsin State Journal guest post by Sue Bauman, Joe Sensenbrenner, and Joel Skornicka,
Excerpt: The experience of other cities that have recently built new central libraries clearly indicates that a new, exciting, state-of-the-art Central Library will result in significant increases in circulation and visits.
Des Moines, Iowa (which has a population similar to Madison's) constructed a new library in 2005. Both circulation and visits more than doubled and remain at that level nearly three years later. The same phenomena occurred in St. Cloud, Minnesota (which built a library in July 2008) and in Salt Lake City, Utah (which built a library in 2003).
Additionally, providing access to information and enhanced public spaces for programs and meetings is part of the character of Madison. All of this will make a new Central Library an additional Downtown destination.
The need to do something about Central Library has become increasingly urgent.
Noticeably absent: Paul Soglin. And I see no category for "libraries" at his Waxing America blog.
Link to October 5 Folio post, "Condé Nast Shutters Four Magazines".
Excerpt: The first wave of big changes have hit Condé Nast following its restructuring evaluation by consultants McKinsey & Company.
Effective today, Condé Nast’ is shuttering four magazines: Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride. Brides magazine will increase its frequency to monthly to “solidify its position” in the bridal magazine category.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Excerpt: The book industry has not received cheery news for a while. Publishers and authors alike have relied upon sales of general-interest hardcover books as the foundation of the business. The Association of American Publishers estimated that these hardcover sales in the United States declined 13 percent in 2008, versus the previous year. This year, these sales were down 15.5 percent through July, versus the same period of 2008. Total e-book sales, though up considerably this year, remained small, at $81.5 million, or 1.6 percent of total book sales through July.
“We are seeing lots of online piracy activities across all kinds of books — pretty much every category is turning up,” said Ed McCoyd, an executive director at the association. “What happens when 20 to 30 percent of book readers use digital as the primary mode of reading books? Piracy’s a big concern.”
Excerpt: In its first year, the new St. Cloud Public Library has become a gathering place in the community and has welcomed back people who haven’t been to the library in years.
On Sunday it will be a year since the library celebrated its grand opening with much fanfare. The $36 million project created a new centerpiece in the community, with its copper facade and large windows opening into a light and inviting interior.
The growth in the number of people coming to the library is staggering. The number of items checked out between September 2008 and August this year is 84 percent higher than the number checked out from September 2007 to August 2008.
Excerpt: Mayor Tim Hanna has included a request from the Appleton Library Board in his 2010 budget — which will be released Wednesday — that makes available $75,000 to pay for the site selection process by the library board. The board, under state law,
Nonetheless, Hanna said he expects the site, if construction is OK'd, would be chosen jointly by the library board, the facilities committee and the Common Council.
"It's important to keep this process and conversation moving forward," Hanna said.
"There is a long way to go. My goal in 2010 is to make a decision whether or not a new library should be built or if an addition is built on to the existing library."Library Director Terry Dawson said the $75,000 budgeted for site selection could be used to pay for internal planning or to hire a consultant to help choose a site.