Saturday, October 31, 2009

School Librarians by Many Other Names

Link to October 31 RayPalin.info blogpost, "I'm a librarian -- or maybe not". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: If you teach for a living, you’re called a teacher. If you go to work at a firehouse, you’re likely called a fire fighter. But if you work in a public or private school library, you are probably not a librarian.

Library Collection Development Issues















Link
to October 31 "Library Rage" blogpost at Pundit & Pundette. (via Lazyfeed)

Crime Writings and Other Stories
8 copies in LINkcat.
2 copies checked out.
22 other titles available.

Chunky Girls
0 copies in LINKcat
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #555,054 in Books.
No customer reviews.

I wonder if Pundette is a fan of Ginny.

Changes at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Anger Community


Link to October 28 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, "Survey of library branches facing ax finds plenty of activity".

Excerpt: Building many libraries to serve city neighborhoods was always part of Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic plan. Eight years before the main library that bears his name opened in Oakland, he offered $1 million to the City of Pittsburgh for a system that included branches.
Now that system is threatened by declining government revenue and rising costs. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh plans to close four of its 19 branches by February, three of them in neighborhoods where the first ones opened by 1900 -- Lawrenceville, Hazelwood and the West End.

Top This Library View

Mount Washington Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


The view from the Mount Washington Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh's Libraries Pull Up to the Pump

Link to October 30 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, "City may bail out libraries with fuel fund glut".

Excerpt: A proposal to pay for libraries in part with Pittsburgh's excess gasoline money fueled a burst of pronouncements yesterday on keeping city and suburban facilities open, but also drew criticism for being premature.

Nearly a month after the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees voted to close the Beechview, Hazelwood, Lawrenceville and West End branches, and merge the Carrick and Knoxville branches, City Council President Doug Shields proposed pledging $600,000 from the city's flush fuel fund now, and the same amount from its healthy savings account next year, to keep the libraries open.

The city's fuel fund is the amount of money the city budgets to fill the gas tanks of its fleet of vehicles. Mr. Shields said the fund is expected to finish the year with a $1.6 million surplus because the city anticipated that gas prices would be higher than they were.

William Gheen: Big Nut of the Day

Link to October 27 Mother Jones post, "Is Obama Plotting to Shut Down the Internet?"

Excerpt: The world is full of a lot of conservative anti-Obama craziness these days—Glenn Beck, the Birther movement, etc. But anti-immigration activist William Gheen might take the prize as this week's most paranoid Obama critic. On Tuesday, Gheen circulated an email claiming that the Obama administration may intend to use the swine flu epidemic as an excuse to shut down the web and thus silence his critics. Gheen’s source for his claim? A small Reuters story about a recent GAO report suggesting the Department of Homeland Security doesn't have a backup plan should millions of bored Americans, home with swine flu, overload the Internet with too many games of XBlaster.

Level 4 Sharing in Paris Hits a Slippery Patch

Link to October 30 New York Times article, "French Ideal of Bicycle-Sharing Meets Reality".

Excerpt:
Residents here can rent a sturdy bicycle from hundreds of public stations and pedal to their destinations, an inexpensive, healthy and low-carbon alternative to hopping in a car or bus.

But this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the specially designed bikes, which cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped.


With 80 percent of the initial 20,600 bicycles stolen or damaged, the program’s organizers have had to hire several hundred people just to fix them. And along with the dent in the city-subsidized budget has been a blow to the Parisian psyche.

Shareable: A Website That Tells Stories of Sharing

One of many new things I've learned about reading boingboing.

Libraries certainly have a common agenda
with Shareable's mission.



Link to September 18 Shareable post, "Four Degrees of Sharing".

1. First degree. Cooperation + minimal planning.
Example: Borrowing and lending goods.

2. Second degree. Cooperation + more extensive planning.
Example: Neighborhood tool lending "library".

3. Third degree. Cooperation + extensive planning + infrastructure.
Example: Community-wide tool lending libraries.

4. Fourth degree. Cooperations + extensive planning + infrastructure + community-wide restructuring and mobilization.
Example. Expansion of public library systems to include lending of tools, equipment, and other goods.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Minocqua Residents to Vote Tuesday on Library Referendum

Link to October 30 Lakeland Times article. (Thanks to Kris Adams Wendt.)

Excerpt: (Minocqua Town Chairman) Handrick said he thinks that despite the perception that libaries are an antiquity, they have actually evolved to become an integral part of economic development.

"Libraries are key to attracting people who want to move their jobs here," he said. "Professionals don't want to move to a town that doesn't have a library."

Taylor said the community has grown to the point that the library is too small to adequately serve them.

"We could do a lot more with a bigger space to help people," she said.

Since the library's original construction in 1983, wireless Internet access, audio visual materials and a variety of programs such as book groups and a partnership with Nicolet College have all been added.

"We have really seen our role expand, especially during the recession. We're part of the recovery ... we can provide people with the tools to do a new resume, to apply for jobs online and through our databases," Taylor said.

Will E-book Readers Ever Know When We Skip over the Boring Parts?

Link to October 30 techdirt.com post, "Smart TVs Know When You Look Away".

I suppose that's one of the reasons they're called smart!

The Baby Einstein Brouhaha

Link to October 29 School Library Journal post, "Librarians: Forget Baby Einstein, Try Reading".

OK, let's not get too smug here. (I know, popular materials, patron demand, and all that. They're important elements of collection development.)

(Click on screenshot to enlarge image.)

Excerpt: Librarians and media specialists are secretly saying "I told you so" about the Walt Disney Company’s decision to issue a full refund on the Baby Einstein videos that parents have bought by the millions over the last five years.

While stopping short of admitting that the 30-minute videos, which often feature classical music or introductory sign language lessons, didn’t turn babies into geniuses, the extensive refund offer from Baby Einstein does acknowledge a growing dissatisfaction and skepticism among researchers, educators, and certainly parents, that the DVDs are unlikely to speed up developmental pathways among infants.

Deep Book Discounts: No Bulk Orders, Please

Sorry, Charley!

Link
to October 30 Publishers Weekly post, "Wal-Mart, Amazon Limiting Discounted Purchases".

Wal-Mart. 2 per customer.
Amazon. 3.
Target. 5.

2009 City of Baraboo Budget Surplus Designated for Library Sinking Fund

Link to October 30 Baraboo News Republic article, "Baraboo City Council closes in on 2010 budget".

Excerpt: During discussion Oct. 13, council members asked the city staff to look for ways to assist the library expansion and fund Concerts on the Square. At the meeting, Baraboo Public Library proponents urged support for the plan to as much as double the 100-year-old library building.

Baraboo resident Merri Lindgren said when she, her husband and their children moved to Baraboo 10 years ago they were attracted to the library.

"I actually work at UW-Madison, but because of the system and services the public library is able to provide in Baraboo, I can spend some of my time working from home," she said. "Please think strongly about supporting an expansion of the library."

Library supporters heard good news when City Administrator Edward Geick said the 2009 budget is expected to have a surplus of about $100,000. Council members had earlier agreed that surplus should be put into a "sinking fund" for future library expansion.

City Clerk Cheryl Giese said the mayor has also recommended they allocate $75,000 to match future donations library supporters obtain.

"If they are successful in raising at least $75,000, the city would match that and they would get up to S175,000 from the city," she said.

Bloviator Shoots First, Asks Questions Later

Yeah, I know. Big surprise. (He, too, is a hefty guy.)

Link to October 30
GM Today article, "Talk show host suspended over Lawton comments".

Excerpt: Conservative Green Bay radio talk show host Jerry Bader was suspended Thursday for two weeks over salacious comments he made speculating on why Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton suddenly dropped out of the governor's race.

Oh dear, he lost confidence in his sources. But only after drooling over them for a few days.

Community Library Update

Link to October 30 Kenosha News article, "Demoted director to fight for job".

Excerpt: The demoted director of the Community Library District will wage a legal fight for her job.

An attorney representing Mary Ellen Close sent notice to Marlene Goodson, president of the Community Library Board, announcing Goodson’s intent to fight her demotion. In the letter, dated Oct. 13, attorney Nicholas Infusino alleges that Close had been “arbitrarily and capriciously” harassed by some members of the library board, and had been targeted, at least in part, because of her age and gender.

Home Town Rome Players Raise $1,000+ for Library Expansion


Link to October 30 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune article.

The Players sponsored a mystery dinner, "Death in them thar Hills," at Lake Arrowhead on Oct. 15.

Lakeshore Technical College Heeds the Call for High-Tech Workers

Link to October 30 Sheboygan Press editorial.

Excerpt: The opening of the school's Center for Manufacturing Excellence will help students interested in careers in manufacturing get the needed training in technology.

Contrary to some recent headlines, manufacturing is not dead in Wisconsin. Sure, this once-thriving segment of the state's economy has taken a severe hit over the last several years. But there are still dozens of companies, big and small, who need highly trained people to work in manufacturing in the years to come.

This industry is now dominated by computers and robotics and requires people to be fully literate in the technology needed to both develop the machines of the future and the people who will operate them.

Link to LTC Library Services website.

Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) To Run for 3rd Term in WI State Senate


Link to October 30 Sheboygan Press article.

Excerpt: Leibham, a Republican , pledged to fight against what he called an “anti-job” mindset advanced by the Democratic governor and legislature in recent years. His 9th District seat is up for re-election in November 2010.

“Families are struggling and businesses are closing because of increased burdens from their government. This must change,” Leibham said in a statement. “I will aggressively work to advance an agenda that supports job creation and works to remove Wisconsin from the list of the highest taxed states.”

The challenge for the Wisconsin Library Association.

High School Yearbooks: An Essential Part of a Library's Local History Collection


A fact not mentioned in the article.

Although yearbooks are rarely displayed on open shelves -- Two Rivers about 8 or 9 years being the only exception in my experience -- public libraries still provide the best access to these volumes.

Link to October 30 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Old yearbooks are a window into Fondy's rich history".

Excerpt: The first high school in the city of Fond du Lac was opened in January 1859 by Edwin C. Johnson and Miss. M.S. Merrill in what was known as the Sewell store on Main Street.

The students perpetrated many a gibe over the fact that the nearest streets and the teachers had the same names. The school enrolled nearly 100 students, and was free to all residents of the city who could pass an exam in geography, arithmetic and grammar.

Flash forward to today. Fond du Lac is home to a $39 million state-of-the-art high school, opened in Sept. 2001 and boasted to be the largest in the state. Over 2,000 students are enrolled.
Principal Jon Wiltzius said sesquicentennial festivities will culminate with an all-class reunion to be scheduled in spring 2010.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recession Fuels College Enrollment Surge

Fueled on Something Else

Link
to October 29 Pew Research post, "College Enrollment Hits All-Time High, Fueled by Community College Surge".

Excerpt: The share of 18- to 24-year-olds attending college in the United States hit an all-time high in October 2008, driven by a recession-era surge in enrollments at community colleges, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Just under 11.5 million students, or 39.6% of all young adults ages 18 to 24, were enrolled in either a two- or four-year college in October 2008 (the most recent date for which comprehensive nationwide data are available). Both figures -- the absolute number as well as the share -- are at their highest level ever.

Mistaking Familiarity for Favorability?

It's similar to all those "most admired people" polls, nothing more than popularity contests, which might as well ask the question, "Name some famous people you've heard about recently."

Link to October 29 GM Today article, "Poll: Those not in governor's race most popular".

One-on-one Job Help Sessions Popular at Madison Public

Link to October 28 Wisconsin State Journal news item, "Madison Public Library adds second day for job help workshops".

Volunteer counselors are available to help with writing cover letters and resumes, searching for jobs online, and other job-search skills.

Low Turnout at Fond du Lac Budget Hearing

Link to City of Fond du Lac website


Link to October 29 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Just 4 show for budget hearing by city council.

Excerpt: Just four people turned out to speak at a public hearing Wednesday night on the proposed 2010 Fond du Lac city budget.

The proposed budget would result in an estimated equalized value property tax rate of $7.402 per thousand of valuation. This is comparable to the 2008 rate of $7.381 and represents an increase of $0.278 per thousand — 3.9 percent higher than 2009.

It is estimated that the amount of city property taxes paid by the owner of an average-valued residential property will increase by about $34 compared to the previous year (from $890.50 in city taxes for 2009 to an estimated $925.25 for 2010).

Maintenance of Effort: There at the Creation

From the November-December 2001 issue of Channel

According to Mike Cross, Director, Public Library Development Team in the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning, the maintenance of effort requirement for system membership for both municipalities and counties has been in the statutes since the beginning of Wisconsin library systems, i.e., since 1971.
John DeBacher, Public Library Administration Consultant, dug up the original 1971 law.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adolf Hitler, Bibliophile

Not the fate of Der Fuhrer's 16,000-volume library

Link to A Blog About History post, " Hitler's Secret Library". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: He ranked Don Quixote, along with Robinson Crusoe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Gulliver’s Travels, among the great works of world literature. “Each of them is a grandiose idea unto itself,” he said. In Robinson Crusoe he perceived “the development of the entire history of mankind”. Don Quixote captured “ingeniously” the end of an era. He was especially impressed by Gustave DorĂ©’s depictions of Cervantes’s delusion-plagued hero.

Brand-Name Authors Serve as Loss Leaders

Link to October 26 Publishers Weekly post, "Who's Footing the Bill for Price Wars?"

Here are the numbers for Under the Dome, Stephen King's latest door stopper. (At 1,088 pages, it'll do the trick.)

$35 list price
$8.98 Walmart price
$8.52 loss based on highest publishers' discount.

Lots of bleating going on in consumerland. (So where are they being led to?)

Ebooks and Print Books: We Are Fam-a-lee

Link to October 29 More Book Reviews post, "How E-books Have Impacted Traditional Publishing".

Excerpt:
Regardless of the benefits of e-books, it’s unlikely that paper books are in any danger of being replaced for good. Although the industry will surely continue to shift in the face of electronic advancements, printed publications have the advantage of familiarity: readers are accustomed to paging through them, marking their place, sharing and swapping titles with friends and family, and shelving them when the tale is done. Another benefit of traditional books is their collectability. Coffee table books will continue to grace homes in the years to come, and e-books can’t provide the visual satisfaction that comes with stepping back and surveying a bookcase full of titles you’ve enjoyed.

Advocating for the Seattle Public Library

Link to October 25 Writer's Daily Grind blogpost, "My plea to the Seattle City Council, to keep libraries open.

Excerpt: This is utterly unsupportable. As I’ve noted earlier, I’m a writer who frequently uses the library system for research and other purposes. I have a friend, also a writer, who, like many people at the moment, is looking for a job, and has not yet found one. She is one of the fortunate ¬¬– she has a computer at home. But I met one job-seeker downtown, who was not so fortunate. He was looking for a job, and the only other place he could go was WorkFirst. I know from experience, as he did, that there are far fewer computers in the WorkFirst branches, than there are in any branch library, or the central library, but there was nothing any of us could do about this. The WorkFirst offices often have less adequate or comprehensive job-search facilities than the Seattle Library system. In this economy, with so many out of work, and therefore unable to contribute to the budget through their taxes, it is a terrible thing to shorten hours and services, even on restricted budgets. For the sake of those job seekers, for the long-term sake of our budget, and the cultural future of this city, please do not cut the library’s budget any more than it already has been.

More Budget Woes in Seattle


Link to October 26 Lit Life column in the Seattle Times, "Library cuts go too deep". (via Lazyfeed, eventually)

Excerpt: Since 2000, library usage in the city has soared; from 4.5 million in-person and virtual visitors to 13.2 million in 2008, according to the library.

Nevertheless, responding to Mayor Greg Nickels' directive to city departments to cut budgets in response to a $72 million revenue shortfall, the library is proposing a 23 percent reduction in library hours.

Under the proposal, 21 out of 27 branches in the city would be closed Fridays (when all branches are now open) and Sundays (right now, 16 out of 27 branches are open).

A Free-Lance Editor Specializes in Censorship


Link to October 27 The Political Carnival blogpost, "50-100 library books censored by curse-cleansing vandal". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: Maury County Library director Elizabeth Potts said dozens of books have been discovered with blue ink marks where profanities used to be, including what she referred to as an "f-word" in the "9/11 Commission Report," The Daily Herald, Columbia, Tenn., reported Tuesday.

Portage Public Library: Interim Guy Shows Off his Post-It Notes

Link to October 27 Portage Daily Register article, "How will library grow? Board continues to talk about expansion".

Excerpt: The idea to expand the Portage Public Library has been floating around for years. With talks progressing, the library board now needs to nail down funding.

Potential sources discussed at a special meeting Tuesday of the Portage Public Library Board of Trustees included the library itself, the Bidwell Foundation and, hopefully, the city of Portage.

New Madison Central Library's First Change Order: Rooftop Garden


Link to October 28 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Grass-roots group wants community garden atop proposed library".

Excerpt: Imagine checking out a book on growing a rutabaga at a new Downtown library, hopping an elevator to the rooftop and then planting one.

A grass-roots group is pushing for perhaps the world's first rooftop community garden atop a metropolitan central library.

"The Downtown area of Madison is lacking community gardens," said Kevin Schiesser, a spokesperson for the fledgling Downtown Community Gardens Group. A garden atop a new central library "could be a real thriving scene."

The developer behind a proposed $37 million six-story, glass and stone library says a "green roof" is desirable, but that a community garden may be impractical and too costly, perhaps adding $3 million to the project cost.

Manitowoc City Council Approves, Mayor Vetoes Residency Requirement for Department Heads

See all of the City of Manitowoc's
beautifully designed logo.

Link to October 28 Herald-Times-Reporter editorial, "Require no residency".

Excerpt: While municipalities and other government entities should retain the option of imposing residency requirements, it is not the right move in this particular situation.

Five of the 14 current department leaders live outside the city. We have not learned of a single instance where residency status has created a problem or conflict.

Alderman Eric Sitkiewitz says living in the city will lead to greater community involvement. Possibly, but we'd rather see excellence on the job trump a willingness to join social clubs or other organizations. Those who truly desire civic involvement will find an avenue, regardless of where they reside.

Advocates of the residency requirement also argue that employees should pay taxes to the communities in which they work. Perhaps, but skilled department heads can help to generate tax revenue through creativity on the job. Again, that requires an unlimited pool of the best job candidates.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Des Plaines Mayor Offers Veiled Threat to Library Board

Des Plaines Public Library

Link to October 27 Daily Herald article, "Des Plaines to library board: cut deeper".

Excerpt: Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan said the library board needs to follow the city's lead and cut more staff.

Library Board President Noreen Lake said laying off employees is not an option.

"Because of the economy we are trying to be sympathetic, and yet, we still want to provide the best service to our residents," Lake said. "It's unfortunate that the city has to do what it has to do. We only have 45 full-time employees. Right now, the library board doesn't see the need to fire somebody. It's not like we are asking for an increase in the budget for next year."

Moylan said while the city has no power over the library's budget, the appointed board members can be replaced if they don't do their job right. (RG's emphasis)

"We'll keep all options open," he said.

Reading Cereal Boxes Takes on New Meaning

Link to October 27 American Library Association news release, "ALA partners with Safeway Inc. to launch cereal box initiative".

Excerpt: Libraries are everywhere, rooted in nearly every school, campus and community, but they are are about to take front and center in a new place: the breakfast table.

The American Library Association (ALA) is working with Safeway Inc., on a roll-out of the first two of five Safeway-brand cereal boxes with back-panel content about libraries and librarians. The boxes will launch this October and will be available at Safeway’s 1,500 stores across the nation.

” We are proud to partner with the American Library Association and collaborate in the creation of educational panels for our line of Safeway Brand cereal. This is a way we can support the efforts of the ALA and bring education and enjoyment to our consumers,” said Mike Minasi, Safeway president, marketing.

“We want to thank Safeway for presenting us with a unique opportunity,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “The cereal boxes will bring information about some of the exciting ways to enjoy libraries – and about the value of libraries -- straight into people’s homes.”

The first boxes to feature the library-related content are Toasted Oats and Honey Nut Toasted Oats. There will be a staggered launch for the rest of the panels.

Closest locations to Retiring Guy. (Safeway must own Dominick's.)

2 Overdue Books + 1 Missed Court Date = Arrest

Link to October 24 Eau Claire Leader-Telegram article, "Overdue items leads to woman's arrest."

Excerpt
: Edwards said she wasn't overly concerned about the notices until she got the summons to appear in municipal court. She dropped off the book on July 8, the same day as her court appearance, but did not attend the court hearing.

Julson recalls going to the police department that day and telling police the books were back, but Wellumson does not remember that.

"When she did not appear in court and we hadn't heard anything from her (Edwards), it eventually goes to warrant, which it did in this case," Wellumson said. "The municipal court is usually very flexible in meeting people's needs. We don't want people to go to jail."

Wellumson, who stressed the arrest warrant was for failure to appear in court and not about the books, had no explanation about the length of time between the return of the books in July and the warrant being issued on Oct. 14, saying the citation was being enforced, and simply returning the missing items did not address the issue.

Cell Phones and Hip Bones

With the operative word being "may".

Link to October 27 textually.org post, "Cell Phone May Reduce Bone Density in Hips".

Link to October 27, 2009, WebMD Health News article, "Cell Phones on Hip May Weaken Bone. Study Suggests Link Between Bone Weakness and Wearing a Cell Phone on the Hip".

Excerpt
: Using an X-ray technique used in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with osteoporosis, researchers from Turkey's Suleyman Demireli University measured pelvic bone density in 150 men who regularly carried their cell phones attached to their belts.

The men carried their phones for an average of 15 hours each day; they had used cell phones for an average of six years.

The researchers found that bone mineral density was slightly less on the side of the pelvis where the mobile phones were carried than on the side that was not in contact with the phones.

The difference was not statistically significant and fell far short of approaching bone density reductions seen in people with osteoporosis
.


BONUS ROUND (August 26, 2012)

For those of you for whom the operating word is "meh", these all-leather cell phone pouches from Australia -- have Velcro closures and slip upright on any belt -- are certainly an eye-catching accessory.

Acting "in Loco Parentis" at the Library Checkout Desk-

Link to October 21 post at WTVQ website, "Librarians Won't Give Child 'Porn' Book". (Found at Library Link of the Day.)

Excerpt: Two Nicholasville librarians are fired for not allowing a kid check out a book. The women say the book contains pornographic material inappropriate for children.

The two women say they were fired last month when they wouldn't let a young girl check out a book from The League of Extraordinary Gentleman series. Now, both women say they're less concerned with their jobs and more concerned with keeping material like this out of children's hands.

"Residents in Jessamine County do not realize that these books that are so graphic are available in the library let alone to their children," former Jessamine County librarian, Beth Bovaire, said.


So far, all of the news reports refer to Beth Bovaire and Sharon Cook as "librarians", but I'm wondering how loosely this term is being used. Perhaps they were clerks at the circulation desk. Digital Spy UK's website refers to them as "library attendants".

Twitter: The Style Guide

Link to October 27 cjr.com post, "Tweet 101".

Excerpt: I recently came across this Twitter update from the LA Times’s Steve Lopez, that I think embodies perfectly the elements of a good tweet as the New York Times summed up when the book was first announced back in February. It is simple, honest, employs humor and does not go overboard (In the book, Sagolla points to “bathroom tweets” as an example of this.)

I now have a medical marijuana card. The doctor who approved me was a gynecologist. On my way to a dispensary. Stay tuned.

Now that’s a tweet. It’s not too much information. It’s not too little information. It’s intriguing, and I’m hooked.

2010 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race

Link to October 27 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Lawton's exit increases pressure on Barrett".

Excerpt: Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton's surprise decision Monday not to run for governor leaves Democrats with no major announced candidate for the state's highest office and shines the spotlight even more brightly on the biggest of the unannounced candidates, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Barrett said Monday at a Milwaukee news conference on solar power at the downtown public library that he would make an announcement on his plans soon. He declined to be specific but said the city budget and the Common Council's deliberations on the budget next week were his highest priorities for now.

Even though Barrett has declined to say whether he is a candidate, the mayor has been attracting more attention than Lawton in the first wide-open race for governor in 28 years.


Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for Wisconsin Governor is on Facebook.

Community Library Update

Link to October 26 Kenosha News article, "Library Board confirms interim director.

Excerpt: The Community Library Board on Monday confirmed its appointment of LeeAnn Briese as interim director of the district.

Briese was appointed to the post last month after the demotion of longtime director Mary Ellen Close. With confirmation of that appointment Monday, the board set the salary and fringe benefits package for Briese — previously technical services director — at the same level as the previous director.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Internet Services and Lost Productivity: Drumming Up Business

Link to October 26 Techdirt post, "No, Twitter Use Is Not Costing Companies Billions".

Excerpt: Not this again. It happens with every new internet fad. Some company trying to sell something (filters, consulting, training, etc.) comes out with some study claiming that the new popular internet thingy is "costing x billions of dollars" because workers are using it for some amount of time per day. All of them work on the same basic principle. Figure out how much time people spend using the service, and multiply it by how much people make per hour, and then voila. Of course, this assumes (incorrectly) that every minute not working is "lost productivity." Of course, if that were true then coffee breaks, lunch breaks, sleep and many other things would also be "lost productivity." , we all know that's ridiculous and that the truth is those things make people more productive by giving them a break here and there to recharge.

Twittering staff cost UK business £1.83bn. (Commissioned by IT services firm Morse.)

Other examples:
Facebook surfers cost their bosses billions. (Internet security company SurfControl looked at the phenomenon....)

Social Networking Sites Costs UK plc £6.5 Billion In Lost Productivity
. (...according to a poll conducted by Information security consultancy.)

Price Tag for Lost Productivity: $544 Billion. (...according to a new survey by Salary.com and America Online.)

Social Networks Blamed For $2.25B In Lost Productivity
. (Morse, again.)

Online gambling costs GB businesses over £306 million per year in lost productivity
. (Morse, yet again.)

Computer Games at Work Drain Productivity.(Survey by the mysterious SBT Corp., a Sausalito, CA, accounting firm,)

World Series Leading to Loss Of Productivity At Work For Fans. (Fans are "spending 10 percent of their time at work talking about the game or sending game-related e-mails". The article is from 2004. Study conducted by Alex Kerin, a workplace researcher at Circadian, a company that provides workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock.)

It's just amazing to me that anything gets done anymore.

Ebook Cheat Sheet Follow-up

Link to October 26 Technologizer post, "E-Readers or Swiss Army Knives?"

Excerpt: Quick follow-up to our E-Reader Cheat Sheet: One of the most interesting questions about e-readers isn’t “Which one is best?” but “Is the whole category toast?” And one of the things that makes the question interesting is that there are savvy folks who think that e-readers will give way to general-purpose devices, and savvy folks who think we’ll continue to need book-centric gadgets.

Newspaper Circ, Part 2: It's Not All Bad News

Link to October 26 Editor & Publisher post, "The Top Ten Biggest Circ GAINERS in New FAS-FAX".

We got ourselves a winner!

And as long as you're here, you might as well read this story. Smart Mama: Story time is priceless.

Newspaper Circulation Continues Its Dive

Link to October 26 Editor & Publisher post, "Newspapers Across the Country Show Steep Declines in Circulation, in New FAS-FAX".

Excerpt: Circulation at many of the country's largest newspapers continued a steep slide as the Audit Bureau of Circulations Monday morning released the latest figures for the six months ending September 2009 -- proving yet again that the industry can't shake the dramatic declines that have taken hold over the past several years.

On a comparable basis, ABC reported that for the 379 newspapers filing with the organization, average daily circulation plunged 10.6% to 30,395,652 -- one of the most severe drops in overall circulation. Sunday circulation for 562 reporting newspapers was down 7.4% to 40,012,253.

2010 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race: Lawton Bows Out

MAJOR ALERT



Link to October 26 channel3000.com post, "Lawton says she won't run for Governor".

Link to Barbara Lawton for Governor website.

I'd say the pressure is increasingly on Tom Barrett to make a decision, particularly since the Dems don't have a candidate right now.

There's been speculation about Kevin Conroy.