Saturday, November 7, 2009

Casper Star-Tribune Online Poll: Do you use your public library?

Posted June 30, 2009, and still available via archives. (Stumbled upon on my own.)

Yeah, I know, this is a "fun" poll, not meant to be taken seriously, but the library users make up well more than 50% of the respondents. And the curmudgeons who think "nobody should ever use public libraries" are a miniscule 0.2%.

Jessamine County Public Library Graphic Novel Controversy

Jessamine (KY) County Public Library

Link to November 4 Jessamine Journal article, "JCPL board gives thumbs-up to public comments Nov. 18". (You may need to register for a free account to access article.)

Excerpt: In a special-called meeting of the Jessamine County Public Library Board of Trustees Wednesday morning, the group voted to allow public comments during its regular meeting on Nov. 18. More than 50 members of the public attended the board’s October meeting in apparent protest of controversial illustrated novels in the library, but they were not allowed to address the board, in accordance with its long-standing policy that public comments must go through the executive director.


[Library Board President Billie Goodwill] said she met with JCPL Executive Director Ron Critchfield and the library’s senior staff about the matter and determined that the library already has guidelines in place for parents to monitor their children’s use of the library but that the primary concern is education — that parents might not know what kind of material their children have access to in the library.

to October 28 Jessamine Journal article, "'Lewd' novel leads to hushed protest".

Excerpt: The posted agenda made no mention of the matter, and a long-standing policy of the board prevented Boisvert, Cook and any of the members of the public from speaking at the meeting. Ellen Miller, the lawyer retained by the library, explained the guidelines at the beginning of the meeting.

“The policy of the board of directors at the library has always been that public comments are to come through our executive director,” Miller said. “He is available to take your comments. This board does not have a policy where it hears open comments.”

Miller said although Kentucky’s Open Meetings Act ensures the public the opportunity to attend meetings, a 1995 opinion of the attorney general clarified that the act does not grant the public the right to address the members of the public agency during the meeting.

Stop to Smell the Your Library

Link to November 6 Surrounded by Geniuses blogpost by Alan Gregerman, "Finding Magic in a Library". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: No, the sad truth is that we all seem way too busy to pause long enough to visit a library and read, relax, explore, and learn. To discover today's genius and the genius of every generation before us. To walk in without a destination in mind, only to be captivated by a book, or a magazine, or a film that we never anticipated or planned to find--but one with the power to transport us to a different world filled with new ideas, inspiration, and possibilities. Libraries are places filled with magic, and as we race to forget that essential fact we lose a unique and wonderful opportunity to unlock our individual and collective curiosity and genius. Curiosity and genius that could help us to be more remarkable at work, in our civic lives, or at anything worth doing. (The emphasis is Gregerman's.)

Five Republicans Set to Challenge Steve Kagen in Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District

Link to November 7 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Marc Trager the fifth Republican candidate seeking to oppose U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen".

"Served as a major in the Air Force" is the only information about Trager, age not given, the article provides. (According to treehugger blog, Trager is a Howard physician.)

The other 4 candidates include:
Reid Ribble, 53, Kaukauna roofing contractor.
Marc Savard, 47, an organic farmer and Door County Board member
Andy Williams, 41, a lawyer and Brown County Board member
Kerry Thomas, 44, of Sayner in Vilas County. (Not his first try.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rethinking the Academic Library

Link to November 6 Inside Higher Ed post, "Bookless Libraries?" (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: When does a library cease to be a library?

What started as a debate over whether brick-and-mortar libraries would survive much further into the 21st century turned into an existential discussion on the definition of libraries, as a gathering of technologists here at the 2009 Educause Conference pondered the evolution of one of higher education’s oldest institutions.

“Let’s face it: the library, as a place, is dead,” said Suzanne E. Thorin, dean of libraries at Syracuse University. “Kaput. Finito. And we need to move on to a new concept of what the academic library is.”

Link to November 6 The Digital Professor blogpost comment to the above article, "Are libraries dead? No, they're changing".

Excerpt: It’s not so much that libraries as a place is dead, but their purpose is changing. Do we really need to house print copies of so many books and journals anymore? Probably not. Libraries should convert their spaces into meeting places for research and study. As Inside Higher Education article points out, academics from a number of disciplines are not only going online for the library needs, but are creating new “online environments [that] are, in effect, libraries themselves;

Dewey: Soon to be a Major Motion Picture

Link to November 6 ParentDish blogpost, "Dewey The Library Cat Gets a Movie Deal, Meryl Streep Signs on to Play Librarian". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: Dewey died in 2006, and his obituary appeared in some 250 American newspapers, including The New York Times. In cat fashion, he's gotten additional lives thanks to Myron. "Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library" was her first children's book and there are several more about the literary kitty expected soon.

Named Dewey by the folks at the library in honor of the Dewey Decimal System for cataloging books in the library, Readmore Books was tacked on to encourage kids to read. Library staff had already been calling him Dewe when a naming contest was held to get more patrons involved -- Dewey won by a landslide.

ParentDish spoke to [author Vicki] Myron about how pets help a single mom bond with a teenager and how to find a cat that will be nice to 300 strangers a day.

Publishers Weekly Promotes Inaugural National Bookstore Day

More information found here.

Friday Humor Courtesy of GraphJam

More fun stuff here.

Will Digiboo Convince Hollywood to Shift Gears?

Link to November 5 article in The Hollywood Reporter, "Industry slowly embracing new media".

Excerpt: Take Digiboo, a business startup by home entertainment veteran Richard Cohen. Digiboo would place digital touch-screen kiosks in airports and other heavily trafficked public spaces where consumers can plug in a flash drive and instantly download movies and other content.

Discussions are under way with studios and retailers ahead of a proposed market-by-market rollout nationwide. The concept's premise is simple: Downloading movies would be more popular if the downloads didn't take so long.

Digiboo gets around that problem by storing films onsite, so the transmission is almost instantaneous.

"Digiboo's technology has taken portability and convenience to another level entirely," Cohen says. "We think this is exactly what the consumer wants and exactly what's been missing from other models."

Today's Required Reading: Harlan Coben Provides Flesh-and-Blood Portrait of NJ Gov-Elect Chris Christie

Full disclosure: Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors. (And if you've never read any of the titles from his Myron Bolitar series, you're in for a treat.)

Retiring Guy is currently
listening to the audio version.

Link to November 5 New York Times op-ed piece by Harlan Coben, "Chris Christie Confidential".

Excerpt: Growing up in Livingston, N.J., Chris and I both attended Heritage Junior High and Livingston High School. Chris was always quick with a smile, loved to do impressions of the teachers, had an easy laugh. When we were in seventh grade, our homeroom team won the intramural basketball championship. Chris wasn’t the best player on that team, but he was the glue. He would seek out each player’s strength and talk it up (to a terrible athlete: “Harry, you are an amazing defensive player!”). If he hadn’t gone into politics, he’d have made an excellent coach.

Chris and I had parallel New Jersey upbringings. We were both born in Newark in 1962. Our fathers were both conservatives, our mothers skewed more liberal. But while Chris favored Dad’s political viewpoint, I ended up a mama’s boy. From a fairly young age, we began to disagree on a host of issues, though we never fought about it. I credit him for this — he’s always been more tolerant than me.

'Giving Tree' at Waupaca Area Public Library

Link to October 23 Waupaca County Post article.

Excerpt: A classic children’s book has inspired a community exhibit at the Waupaca Area Public Library.

“A Community of Giving” is on exhibit now through Nov. 21 at the library. Twenty-one local nonprofit groups have made displays of their efforts to meet the needs of the community. Each display is designed around the theme of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

“That’s why all the displays have references to leaves and trees and branches and trunks,” according to Director Peg Burington.

The Giving Tree tells the story of a boy’s relationship to a tree that always meets his needs. The tree provides a place for a swing, fruit to eat, shade from the heat and branches to build a home.

Viroqua's Long Look at a New Library Facility

Link to November 5 Vernon County Broadcaster article, "Viroqua's library future still being pondered".

Excerpt: A new library building has been looked into numerous times over the past 16 years. The first official Building Program Statement was conducted in November of 1993. Eleven years later, in September 2004, Larry T. Nix, consulting librarian, conducted a “Viroqua Public Library Space Needs Study.” In October 2005, Hammel and Wilson Library Consultants of Milton, Wis., compiled “A Building Program Statement for the McIntosh Memorial Library.”

“The square footage is constant, but the location is still on the table,” said Gary Krause, a member of the task force.

Erickson said the study by Nix shows the library is in need of a new building between approximately 17,000 and 24,000 square feet, “looking 20 to 30 years out.” The existing library, built in 1905, is 7,063 square feet.

Madison Council Begins Review of Mayor's Budget on Tuesday

Link to November 5 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Library, Edgewater Hotel proposals face continued hurdles".

Excerpt: Cieslewicz wants the city to use $37 million in borrowing, $6 million federal tax credits and $10 million in private fundraising over three years to pursue the Fiore Cos.' proposal for a six-story library at Henry Street and West Washington Avenue that would be part of a larger redevelopment.

But Schumacher said the city shouldn't move forward until tax credits are secure and at least $4 million is privately pledged.

The library "could be delayed by a year, possibly, probably," Schumacher said. But the amendment protects taxpayers and motivates private donors to step up sooner rather than later, he said.

Cieslewicz said the amendment could force the city to miss attractive construction prices and federal bonds that bring low interest rates. "At a minimum, it hobbles the project," he said. "It probably kills it."

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Find out more about Imagination Library here.

Link to November 3 Superior Telegram article, "Reading captures imaginations". (Requires free log-in,)

Excerpt: Paige loves books, Olson said, but the family can’t afford to buy many. This summer, they signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, offered through the Superior/Douglas County United Way. Since then, they’ve receive a brand new age-appropriate book in the mail every month.

“I like the quality of the books,” said Olson, who lives in Superior.

The hardcover titles are colorful, engaging and easy to share, she said.

“The books are adorable,” said Kathi Madsen, executive director of the United Way of Superior-Douglas County. Some families can’t afford new books, she said. Others may not have the gas money to go to the public library. The Imagination Library provides them books with no strings attached.

St. Croix County Eyes 100% Library Reimbursement

Link to November 6 Hudson Star-Observer article, "County budget proposals include tax hikes, borrowing". (I had to log in -- no cost -- to access article.)


Library tax

The committee is also suggesting increasing the library tax levy, charged to rural areas that don’t have their own libraries, by about 26 percent.

State law requires that the county library levy cover at least 70 percent of the expense of rural patrons using municipal libraries. This year St. Croix’s tax covered 71 percent. The Finance Committee recommendation would raise that to 85 percent in 2010.

The intent would be to increase the levy another 15 percent in 2011.

Wisconsin Rapids Businessman Announces Run for Governor

Link to November 6 Wisconsin Rapids Journal.

Excerpt: He will vie for the Republican nomination for the post currently held by Democrat Jim Doyle, who will not seek re-election.

"My decision to run for Wisconsin governor is based on a deep desire to give back to my community as well as my state," Paterick said, in a written statement released Thursday afternoon.

"Wisconsin needs a leader who can bring people together to solve the state's problems," he said. "Someone who is fresh to the process and understands business and wants to work with others to build consensus."

From 1985 to 1989, Paterick served as an alderman representing what was then Ward 13 on the Wisconsin Rapids Common Council, a tenure that included stints as the youngest chairman of the Finance Committee and secretary of the Public Works Committee. In 1986, he unsuccessfully ran for city clerk against Vern Borth.

Final 2008 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data Now Available

Link to Wisconsin Public Library Statistics: 1996-2008 webpage.

"Duck Chairs" at the Byron (IL) Public Library District

They looked like something else
at first glance.

From Sarah Flanagan's PowerPoint presentation, “Walk Into a Library for the First Time: Honing Your Observational Skills”, an assignment for LIS 712 The Public Library, UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies.

Byron Public Library District website.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Glenn Beck, Readers' Advisor

Link to November 4 New York Times article, "For Thrillers, Glenn Beck Is Becoming New Oprah".

Excerpt: Virtually every novelist in America fantasizes about being picked to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. But now an increasing number of writers have discovered a new champion: Glenn Beck, the outspoken media darling of populist conservatism.

On his radio show and cable television programs, first on CNN Headline News and now on the Fox News Channel, Mr. Beck has enthusiastically endorsed dozens of novelists, a majority of them writing in the thriller genre.

Books mentioned in this article.

The Doomsday Key by James Rollins.
35 copies in LINKcat. 8 holds.

Pursuit of Honor by Vince Flynn.
28 copies i nLINKcat. 239 holds.

Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross..
17 copies in LINKcat. 3 holds.

Brooklyn Central Library: An Art Deco Masterpiece

From Brooklynology,
a blog of the Brooklyn Public Library

Link to November 5 Book Patrol blogpost, "The Great Art-Deco Designed Brooklyn Central Library in Vintage Photos". (via Lazyfeed)

Ohio Voters Give Libraries a Boost

Link to Columbus Dispatch post, "Voters support libraries, children and disabled". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: Tax issues for libraries also did well with voters approving 81 percent of a record-high 37 tax requests for local libraries.

Why We All Need Libraries

Link to November 5 49 Writers blogpost, "Writers need libraries -- and so do we all: a guest post by Nancy Lord". (via Lazyfeed)

Excerpt: I have so many fond memories from my childhood of the big old granite and marble Manchester NH public library and the “bookmobile” that brought its treasures right to my neighborhood. I didn’t know then that I would become a writer, but my library was without question the place that opened my mind to every sort of adventure and possibility.I loved to read, I learned about language and storytelling from reading, and it’s natural that I eventually wanted to emulate what seemed so essential and beautiful to me.

Overdrive "Best Sellers"

See all lists at OverDrive's "Most Downloaded Books from the Library". (via the Resource Shelf)

Frankfort Public Library District: Interactive Library Map

I love this feature.

Thanks to Amy Ingalls, a student in my LIS 725 class, who chose the Frankfort (Illinois) Public Library District as the site for her "Walk into a Library for the First Time" assignment.

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

Screenshot 3

More on Minocqua Library Referendum

Link to November 4 Rhinelander Daily News article, "Minocqua voters favor expansion of public library".

Excerpt: Information the library made available to voters prior to Tuesday’s referendum noted an increase in usage since the facility first opened at its present location more than 25 years ago, such as patrons checking out 148,673 items last year, compared to 60,528 in 1983.

The Minocqua Public Library has also reported an increase in the number of people who come to the facility for the additional services that have become available, such as computer and Internet use.

Minocqua Librarian Mary Taylor said expanding the facility to 16,500 square feet was proposed to meet the library’s space needs for at least the next 20 years. Given the current economic conditions, she called the option placed before town voters “the most financially responsible.”

Community Library Update

Link to November 5 West of the I post, "Engstrom back on library board, joined by Faber".

Excerpt: Silver Lake village Trustee Merlene Engstrom has had a change of heart regarding the Community Library Board. She will continue to be one of the village’s two representatives on the board.

She will be joined by former village President Mike Faber, village President Roger Johnson announced at Wednesday’s Village Board meeting.

Last month, Engstom announced she wanted to leave the library board, due to demands in her business and personal life. Trustee Sue Gerber agreed to assume Engstrom’s position

MOE: Libraries Have It. Why Not Us?

Haven't heard this argument used yet, but.....

Link to November 5 Sheboygan Press guest editorial, "Permission needed to operate more efficiently".

Excerpt: The politics of the new law, however, are perfectly clear. The police officers' union and the firefighters' union lobbied hard to persuade Gov. Doyle and legislative leaders to include "maintenance of effort for emergency services" in the 2009-11 state budget. The union goal is to prevent city councils and village boards from reducing the number of police officers and firefighters on the municipal payroll.

Actually, there are many programs that enforce maintenance of effort requirements in order for an entity to be eligible to receive outside funding.

Manitowoc Council Whiffs on an Easy Pitch to Hit

Portion of heading of City of Manitowoc homepage.

Link to November 5 Herald-Times-Reporter article, "Manitowoc officials review Nickels' 2010 budget proposal".

Excerpt: Formal discussions began this week as city officials continue to review and scrutinize Mayor Justin Nickels' 2010 budget proposal.

The city's Finance Committee has met twice to discuss the budget since Nickels introduced it during an Oct. 19 City Council meeting, and so far, only one item has been nixed: a $14,500 line to buy new laptops for City Council members.

The laptops were part of a larger plan to reduce paper costs by providing council members with digital documents instead of the hundreds of pages of paper they receive now.

Who's not doing his job here? A cost-benefit analysis should easily sell this proposal. But maybe some members of the council are fearful of being accused of playing solitaire during meetings.

Libraries for Real Life: What's Your Story?

Link to November 5 Stevens Point article, "Library collects life stories".

Excerpt: Portage County Public Library has been improving community for life for many years, and in the process has had significant impact on the lives of individual residents. Many of these are inspirational stories that deserve to be told, and a new project is under way to do just that.

PCPL, in partnership with the
South Central Library System, is involved in a project called "Libraries ... For Real Life!" to collect and share the stories of library users in the seven counties served by SCLS (Adams, Columbus, Dane, Green, Portage, Sauk and Wood counties).

The project title reinforces the reality that today's public libraries are vibrant, dynamic community resources that meet the information, education and recreational needs of residents of all ages.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pew Research Center on Social Isolation and New Technology

Link to November 4 Pew Internet & American Life Report.

Excerpt: This Pew Internet Personal Networks and Community survey finds that Americans are not as isolated as has been previously reported. People's use of the mobile phone and the internet is associated with larger and more diverse discussion networks. And, when we examine people's full personal network -- their strong and weak ties -- internet use in general, and use of social networking services such as Facebook in particular, are associated with more diverse social networks.

Lori, the Comic Book Goddess, Reflects on the Jessamine County Library incident

1 of 4 Chicagoland locations.

Link to Lori Gentile's October 23 blogpost, "Library Craziness!"

About Lori: My name is Lori and I've been reading comics since the age of 5 and I've been the manager of Amazing Fantasy Books and Comics Frankfort location since it opened, in 1991.

Excerpt: I have to say, I'm a little torn over this. I don't think the library employees deserved to be fired for this. I understand and applaud the library's policy, BUT maybe the employees were just trying to cover their own asses. I know I've done this at the shop several times. Not that long ago, a 14 year old came in to buy League volume 1. His mom was with him, I told her she might want to look at the book first to make sure it would be appropriate for him.

Two for Two: Minocqua Library Referendum Passes

Link to November 3 post at WJFW-TV website, "Minocqua Library Referendum Election Results".

Excerpt: Voters in the town of Minocqua say yes Tuesday night to a major renovation and expansion project at the local library.

The question on the ballot read "Do you authorize the Minocqua Town Board to renovate and construct an addition to the Minocqua Public Library at a cost not to exceed $1.6 million?

Yes: 491
No: 188
100% precincts reporting

Minocqua Public Library Director Mary Taylor says the money would allow for an 11,700 square foot expansion and renovation.

Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng at UW-Madison This Evening

Link to news release. (The event, sponsored by the university's Center for the Humanities, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Room L160 of the Chazen Museum of Art, 800 University Ave. It is free and open to the public.)

Marathon Library Referendum Passes by a Huge Margin

Link to November 4 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Marathon voters OK new library".

Excerpt: Voters in Marathon on Tuesday approved building a $550,000 public library by an overwhelming margin of 86 percent to 14 percent.

Only 56 voters opposed the new library, compared with 333 who voted in favor of the project. There are 1,034 registered voters in the village.

Village residents will pay for half of the library to be built next spring near the corner of Fourth and Washington streets on land donated by the Marathon Area Swim Association. The Marathon County Library System will fund the other half.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rockford Public Library's Projected $1.7 Million Deficit

Link to Rockford Register-Star article, "Some library decisions, but not on layoffs".

Excerpt: Reduce library branch hours? Check.

Increase fines and fees? Check.

Present an alternative to laying off 30 Rockford Public Library employees to help balance the budget? That’s still a work in progress.
A month after the Rockford Public Library Board and union officials vowed to work together to find an amenable solution to a projected $1.7 million budget shortfall, both sides said at tonight’s board meeting that talks have been productive and are ongoing.

Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese

Details on how to particpate are found here.

Office Gossip: "Don't we have some work to do here?"

Link to November 2 New York Times article, "Office Gossip Strategies".

Excerpt: In a report published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, [t]he lead author, Timothy Hallett, a sociologist at Indiana University, spent two years studying the institutional politics at an elementary school in a Midwestern city. During that time, Dr. Hallett videotaped formal meetings among a group of teachers (one representative of the teachers from each grade level) who convened regularly to discuss problems and policies.

The author, John Tierney, defines the two schools of thought:
1. Gossip is a useful tool for enforcing social rules and maintaining group solidarity.
2. Gossip is a hostile endeavor by individuals selfishly trying to advance their own interests.

Add this terminology to your vocabulary:
1. Praise the predecessor.
2. Pre-emptive positive evaluation.

Classic soul twin spin!

Great music. Caveman lyrics.

"TV is a frequent companion to our lives"

Notes Patricia McDonough, a senior vice president at Nielsen, with a "for better or worse" qualifier, in this New York Times article, "Children Watch More TV Than Ever".

Residency Requirement for Department Heads Now the Rule in Manitowoc

Link to Herald-Times-Reporter article, "Council overrides Nickles' veto".

Excerpt: Overriding a mayoral veto by the minimum required votes, the City Council on Monday night imposed a controversial residency requirement on future hires for the city's 14 department head positions.

Under the terms of the new ordinance, department heads in city hall will be required to live within the boundaries of Manitowoc, a mandate proponents say will instill a sense of loyalty and community involvement in the employees who essentially run the city.

Wisconsin Assembly: Tim Lakin Announces for Townsend's Seat

Link to November 3 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Council head will run for 52nd Assembly".

Excerpt: "I intend to follow in John Townsend's footsteps," Lakin said, "representing the 52nd District by fighting for a conservative philosophy with smaller government. My experience on the city council dealing with the impact of the state's budget and taxes on local government will serve the district well."

Lakin, president of Fond du Lac's city council, is running as a Republican.

Film Showings at Libraries Making a Comeback

Link to November 3 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune article, "Library presents films, discussion."

The Macmillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids is showing a series of classic American Western films on Tuesday afternoons during November. If it wasn't such a long drive from Middleton, Retiring Guy would be there.

In a variation of another popular program, some libraries now offer "book-to-film" discussions.

From the Middleton Public Library November-December 2007 newsletter.

Those of us who worked in libraries during the first half of the 1980s recall how the emergence of videotapes and VCRs put a huge dent in our film programs. The Oshkosh Public Library used to host "Monday Night at the Movies" series in the spring and fall. Average attendance per film: 40.

Here are a couple of publicity bookmarks.

From Retiring Guy's Archives: The Oshkosh Years

Monday, November 2, 2009

City of Superior Council Goes Live on the Web

Link to October 29 Superior Telegram article, "Council offers public Web access".

Excerpt: “We saw a pretty incredible demonstration about what other communities are doing with live web streaming,” said Mayor Dave Ross.

For people without cable TV, the only way to watch a council meeting was to head to Government Center or pick up a copy of the video at the library after the meeting is over.

Now, anyone with access to an Internet-enabled computer will have access to council meetings over the Web without the expense of cable.

“We’re going to go live with this new technology at the Nov. 3 council meeting, said Parks and Recreation Administrator Mary Morgan.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Questions About Madison Central Library Project

Link to October 31 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Will central library plan be good for Madison taxpayers?"

Excerpt: If all goes as planned, Madison can get a $37 million, state-of-the-art central library and city taxpayers will pay only $16 million of the cost over 15 years.

That's because the financing plan relies on city borrowing plus the sale of the existing library site, federal tax credits, $10 million in private donations, and increased room and property taxes from a second phase of development.

But in a worst case scenario, taxpayers would bear more of the cost and the library initially may not be opened or furnished in a way that meets expectations.