Saturday, February 6, 2010
The Chula Vista Public Library in California takes a more "programmatic" approach to speed dating. It's book-oriented.
Link to February 5 Sign On San Diego post, "Literary speed dating on the books at library".
Excerpt: Adults 21 and older will have an opportunity to meet novel friends or a new love during the Literary Speed Dating evening. In a classic speed-dating style, participants will have five minutes with each partner to talk about their favorite books. The library, which is normally closed on Fridays, is open only for this special occasion.
Sacremento's Franklin Library.
Excerpt: Book lovers on the go now have an easier way to find out if titles are available at Boulder- and Broomfield-area libraries, which have launched a redesigned Web site especially for mobile phones.
Excerpt: Mayor Ron Corbett on Friday said he has no idea how the nine-member City Council will vote later this month on the site for a new $45-million-plus public library.
For his part, Corbett has publicly said he would like to see the city’s new library built on the block that used to house the Emerald Knights Drum and Bugle Corps — between First and Second Avenues and Seventh and Eighth Streets SE.
On Friday, though, Corbett said he is eager now to hear why the library board gave the Emerald Knights’ site the most backing a month ago, and why on Thursday board members — who stated a 5-3 preference followed by a unanimous formal vote — ranked the Gazette Communications block as its first choice, the Emeralds Knights block as second choice.
The library board will present its recommendation on the library site to the City Council at the council’s Wednesday meeting. Corbett said the council is now scheduled to choose a site two weeks later.
Link to Cedar Rapids Library Board Makes Final Recommendation to Council from CRPL website.
Cedar Rapids Library Board to Recommend Site for New Library. (01/26/2010)
FEMA Reconsiders, Decides Library Provides an Essential Service. (12/24/2009)
Hide and Seek: Downtown Cedar Rapids Satellite Branch Library. (11/30/2009)
Early Days of Cedar Rapids Public Library. (11/20/2009)
Excerpt: Three gubernatorial candidates are visiting the Fox Valley this month, hoping to get a toehold in a region that is key in deciding the fall election.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic frontrunner, on Thursday picked a training center in Kaukauna as the site of his first campaign visit to the area and held it up as a model for economic revival in the state.
Republicans Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, and his chief rival, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, are planning visits to Appleton on Feb. 15.
The names of restaurants, offices and communities they have visited since launching their campaigns roll off their tongues.
All three say job creation will be the top priority of the next administration. The Fox Valley, with embattled manufacturing remaining the largest employment sector, is prime territory for a high-stakes battleground.
Here's why: One of five votes cast in the 2006 Republican primary came from six counties in the Fox Valley — Brown, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Waupaca and Winnebago. And more than one of 10 votes cast in that general election came from the Fox Valley.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Link to Rick Smith's February 4 column in San Angelo Standard-Times article, "Creating Kelton statue took faith, talent, time". (via Twitter)
Excerpt: If all goes as planned, the bronze sculpture of Elmer Kelton will be moved to its permanent home in the new Tom Green County Library building when it opens later this year.
It’s worth the wait.
The recently completed life-size clay version shows the writer standing casually by a ranch fence, his left hand on the post, right hand tucked into his pants pocket.
Look closer. The left hand also holds a small reporter’s notebook. Look even closer. In the notebook are scribbled the words “the time it never rained.”
Send letter, resume, and three professional references to Irene Swan, Chairperson, Director’s Search Committee, electronically by clicking below or by mail to: 39110 90th Place, Genoa City WI 53128-1228. Deadline March 5, 2010.
The library has a $1.2 million budget, a full and part-time staff of 40+, and three locations. For more information, visit our website at www.communitylib.org. The Community Library is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Announcement found here.
Community Library in the news.
Former Director of Community Library: From Demotion to Dismissal. (1/29/2010)
Community Library Board Member Wields Machete to Address $1,000 Deficit. (12/06/2009)
New Community Library Representative to Wilmot School Board. (11/11/2009)
Demoted director to fight for job. (10/30/2009)
Library Board confirms interim director. (10/27/2009)
Community Library Soap Opera Continues. (10/23/2009)
Community Library Update: "What we have here is...failure to communicate. (10/09/2009)
Community Library Board of Trustees: Riding Roughshod? (10/01/2009)
Library Board's "Positive Direction" Takes an Immediate Detour. (9/30/2009)
West county library group under fire. (1/29/2009)
Link to February 4 myCentralJersey.com post,"NJ State Library & Meadowlands Team Up to Reward Readers". (via Twitter)
Excerpt: The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority has partnered with the New Jersey State Library to encourage and inspire readers to “Read Like a Library Champion” and reward them by giving them the opportunity to win tickets to upcoming Meadowlands Sports Complex events by logging in their books at www.njlibrarychampions.org.
Library Champions is a community based public awareness campaign featuring role models from the sports, entertainment and literary fields designed to encourage reading and educate the public about the role New Jersey libraries have in transforming the lives of their customers.
Excerpt: The shortfall occurred when the levy calculated by [County Clerk Donna] Seddon for billing residents did not include tax for funding county goods and services that are not subject to the state levy cap, such as emergency medical services and the libraries, said Brent Miller, administrative coordinator and finance director for the county.
Because property tax bills have been mailed to all taxpayers, Miller said it is not possible to modify the 2010 levy. However, it might mean taxpayers will pay for it in 2011.
"The consequence of this shortfall could result in an increase of over $1 million in the levy for 2011," he said. "It will take a protracted amount of time for Marquette County to recover from this error."
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Link to February 3 The State Journal-Register article, "Last library branch closes today".
Excerpt: The Southeast Branch of Lincoln Library, which has been open to city residents for 27 years, will close today, the victim of city budget cuts.
The West Branch closed, perhaps permanently, on Wednesday.
The closures were announced less than 24 hours after aldermen approved a spending plan for the next fiscal year that doesn’t include funding for the branch libraries.
Ernie Slottag, the city’s spokesman, said the city is closing the branches before the next budget year, which begins March 1, in order to move materials out of the southeast building, 2500 South Grand Ave. E., when the city’s lease will be up. The city owns the West Branch building at 1251 W. Washington St.
The Southeast Branch opened in 1983, but moved in May 1986 to its current location.
Ward 2 Ald. Gail Simpson said she remains hopeful the closures are only temporary.
Related story. Trustee Speaks Up for Springfield's Lincoln Public Library. (08/10/2009)
Happy 6th Birthday, Facebook! (Mashable)
What could it be, this "adult content". (Wisconsin State Journal)
For those who have difficulty buttering their bread. (Hint: paragraph 4)
Link to February 4 New York Times report, "Read Faster: Libraries Cutting Back Hours".
(Municipal funding "chopped".) Lean budget times have hit the New York Public Library in a big way. On Wednesday, the library announced it would reduce hours at two-thirds of its 87 locations in Manhattan and the Bronx and on Staten Island after having its financing from the city chopped by $5.9 million in the mayor’s latest round of budget cuts. Such a drastic move has not occurred since 2001.
(Loss of state aid.) The library was already facing a $900,000 drop in state aid. No employees will lose jobs, but the reduced services means a neighborhood branch will now be open an average 45 hours per week, down from just over 51 hours.
(New hours.) Every library will still be open at least six days a week, but five of the nine that kept Sunday hours will do so no longer. The new hours will kick in on Feb. 16; Sunday hours, or lack thereof, will start Feb. 21.
(More cuts likely.) “The unfortunate reality is that more cuts loom on the horizon, and unless there are substantial changes to city and state financial plans, we will be forced to make extremely difficult choices over the next two years,” the library’s president, Paul LeClerc, said in a statement.
Excerpt: Aiming to wrest more advertising revenue from online video, several companies, led by ad giant Publicis Groupe and including Microsoft, Yahoo, CBS and Hulu, have spent the past year testing online-ad formats to figure out what consumers want.
It turns out they want choice.
Tests found that "ad selector," a format that lets online-video watchers pick one of three companies' ads to watch, outscored other ad formats, including the much-maligned "pre-roll" ads that consumers are often required to see before viewing online video clips.
The new research shows that consumers are likelier to watch and recall an ad that they choose than one that is forced on them. "Having to select an ad makes consumers more engaged," says Beth Uyenco, global research director of Microsoft's advertising and publisher solutions group.
PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM DIRECTOR
Wisconsin’s South Central Library System, based in Madison, is a well-respected, dynamic organization that serves 52 public libraries and a population base of over 800,000 with a budget of over $8 million. Enthusiastic staff of 70 and collegial atmosphere have created a strong organization. Some exciting changes, including a new governance structure, organizational changes, and the decision to migrate to an open-source integrated library system have put the System into position to move boldly into the future to meet the growing needs of the communities it serves. The search is underway for an innovative new leader, since the current Director is retiring in mid-2010.
Candidates must have an MLS degree and at least six years of library management experience, a sense of humor, a passion for service, strong communication skills, and the ability to function as a change agent.
The minimum salary is $100,000 and includes a generous benefit package.
SCLS Director position description.
SCLS organization chart.
System map and links to member libraries.
About SCLS, an overview of its services.
(If Retiring Guy were 15 years younger, he'd be filling out his application right now.)
Excerpt: Each of the nine libraries in Waupaca County is now offering Babygarten, and Waupaca County’s Healthy Beginnings program is building home libraries for the families in its program.
Both are being made possible thanks to a grant from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership supported by the U.S. Oil Open Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and the J.J. Keller Foundation Inc.
The Waupaca Area Public Library Children’s Department worked with the Waupaca County Healthy Beginnings staff to obtain the grant and last year, they were awarded $30,080.
Excerpt: With the 2010 elections looming and unemployment showing no signs of easing, there's one thing politicians of all stripes agree on: Voters want action on the jobs front.
Links to WLA 2010 Library Legislative Day information.
Background Information & Tips
■Building a Common Agenda: Introduction (see below)
■Who We Are
■Job Training & Economic Development
■Information Access & Technology
Draft versions currently available. Final versions to be posted after WLA Library Development & Legislation committee final review on Friday, February 5.
Building a Common Agenda: Introduction
For this year’s Library Legislative Day, the Library Development & Legislation (LD&L) committee decided to take a page from Patricia Cavill’s advocacy playbook. Cavill is a librarian and consultant who has worked extensively with the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, and numerous other organizations in developing advocacy programs.
In her article, “The Importance of Creating a Common Agenda”, Cavill makes two points that LD&L has used to guide and develop its approach to our own program of advocacy.
• People (i.e., legislators) do things for their reasons, not yours.
• People (i.e., legislators) pay attention to the things that they love and value.
And, for better or worse, that’s how political agendas are developed. Legislators support issues for which they have a strong interest.
The challenge for us then is to find the points of alignment with our library agenda and that of our legislators. In his recent State of the State address, Governor Doyle has made it unmistakably clear what Wisconsin’s priorities should be.“
I stand before you tonight at a difficult time in America’s history,” Governor Doyle said. “We have been hit hard by an economic crisis – the depths of which we have not seen since the Great Depression. I have a year left as Governor, and I want to be very clear about what my top priority will be. I will do everything I can to help our businesses create jobs and give our workers the opportunities to get those jobs. Nothing is more important.” (Emphasis added.)
To help members prepare for this year’s Library Legislative Day, LD&L has created a set of communication materials that frame library needs as well as library value in terms legislators are familiar with. (And LD&L member Caroline Oldershaw deserves a special note of thanks for coordinating this project.) This “common issues” approach ties library concerns to three key issues:
• Job Training & Economic Development
• Information Access & Technology
The details of this approach are presented in a series of issue cards. Once you take a careful look at this material, you’ll understand that we haven’t created an entirely new library agenda. We've simply reformatted our issues into a “Common Agenda” arrangement.
Thank you for taking the time to review the materials and prepare for a successful Library Legislative Day.
Excerpt: Over objections from the media and freedom of information advocates, a legislative committee passed a bill Wednesday that would limit the public’s access to online court information.
Both Democrats and Republicans predicted that the bill would face a tough time getting the approval of the full Assembly.
"It’s going to be a hard sell," said Rep. Fred Kessler, the Democratic chairman of the Assembly Committee on State Affairs and Homeland Security, who opted to send it onward after a 3-3 vote.
Excerpt: Right now, the recordings are considered an open record under Wisconsin’s open government laws. Media outlets often obtain them and play them on the air or online in high-profile crimes.
STATUS OF WiSCONSIN ASSEMBLY BILL 612
An Act to create 256.35 (9m) of the statutes; relating to: access to audio recordings of 911 calls.
12-11. A. Introduced by Representatives Vruwink, Sinicki, Zepnick and Bies; cosponsored by Senator Taylor.
12-11. A. Read first time and referred to committee on Personal Privacy
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Link to January 31 Lexington Herald-Leader article, "Finalists for library director to meet public".
Excerpt: The community is invited on Thursday to ask questions of the three finalists for the vacant job of Lexington Public Library executive director.
The library will host a public forum for the finalists at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library's theater at 140 East Main Street. Each candidate will address the public and answer questions, said library spokesman Doug Tattershall.
The library's board of trustees will vote on a new director Feb. 10, Tattershall said.
[Apparently, the reporter Googled the candidates' names.]
Pew Internet & American Life Project: Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults
- Since 2006, blogging has dropped among teens and young adults [from 24% to 17%] while simultaneously rising among older adults [from 7% to 11%]. As the tools and technology embedded in social networking sites change, and use of the sites continues to grow, youth may be exchanging ‘macro-blogging’ for microblogging with status updates.
- Both teen and adult use of social networking sites has risen significantly, yet there are shifts and some drops in the proportion of teens using several social networking site features.
- Teens are not using Twitter in large numbers. While teens are bigger users of almost all other online applications, Twitter is an exception.
- Wireless internet use rates are especially high among young adults, and the laptop has replaced the desktop as the computer of choice among those under thirty.
- Cell phone ownership is nearly ubiquitous among teens and young adults, and much of the growth in teen cell phone ownership has been driven by adoption among the youngest teens.
Link to February 3 paidcontent.org report.
Excerpt: Essentially a Twitter for businesses, Yammer lets co-workers communicate with each other by sending out short messages detailing what they are working on. A basic version is free, while businesses pay between $3 and $5 per user a month for additional features. The company says its service is being used at more than 60,000 organizations worldwide.
(Is Yammer is making inroads into libraries? Not finding any clear evidence.)
Link to February 3 Mashable post, "A New Debate on Blog Comments is Brewing".
Retiring Guy appreciates the occasional comments he receives. Due to the "forwarding" nature of this blog, though, I don't expect to get much feedback, particularly since I offer little in the way of straightforward personal opinion. No red meat, in other words. But as with today's "Coyboy" post, I'm not averse to showing my hand every now and then.
Generally speaking, I tend to be very selective about the comments I read -- on blogs or other websites. Boing Boing readers, for example, are generally even-tempered and articulate. On the other hand, just about everyone who posts a comment to an online newspaper article seems to have severe anger management issues. I've learned to avoid the latter.
Excerpt: The task force was asked to look at the library system and seek ways it and the 14 independent libraries could meet the needs of an increasing number of users while government funding decreases.
"The libraries lost 21 percent of state appropriations," Kauffman said. "County appropriations have stayed fairly level, but they don't accommodate cost of living or utility rate hikes and so on."
Recently, some libraries cut their hours to help offset reduced revenue.
Meanwhile, the task force has met with the state's library secretary, Claire Zales of the Department of Education. She asked them to put together a package that would cover all the county's libraries, allowing them, if needed, to obtain state waivers to, among other things, further cut hours of operation, especially on weekends, and to spend less than the state mandates on new items for their collections.
Excerpt: Extracting payment from online readers has been called everything from the next great folly of print journalism to its salvation, but to get a glimpse of how it really looks, head to Lancaster, Pa.
Specifically, head to the offices of The Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era, one of the first handful of news outlets to acknowledge in interviews that it intends, in the next few months, to start using a software system developed by the entrepreneurs Steven Brill, L. Gordon Crovitz and their partners, which they are calling Press+. (This link includes sample screens for Lancaster Online.)
“We are quite a ways from widespread adoption of paid content, so it’s too soon to tell how successful they’ll be,” said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. But most publishers will not want to develop their own software systems, he said, and assuming Press+ works well, its chances of catching on “look pretty good.”
Library donation drop box out of commission after being struck by school bus. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
Textbook Publishers Embrace iPad Apps for Education. (Mashable)
Be sure to view these photos slowly, one at a time. (boingboing)
In case you missed this the first time around.
Study: Time spent on Web linked to depression. (cnet news)
Maybe it's the weather. After all, the study took place in the UK.
Nice parking job, cap'n.
Link to February 3 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report, "Like Favre, Thompson ponders a comeback".
Excerpt: Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin's popular former Republican governor, is drawing pointed comparisons to Brett Favre these days for leaving the door open to yet another run for public office.
Speculation about a possible Senate candidacy flared again after a poll released Thursday indicated the former Bush cabinet member could beat Sen. Russ Feingold if the election were held now.
Thompson, 68, has flirted with the idea of returning to public office so many times that even fervent supporters wonder whether he could really pull the trigger. Others call him a tease who relishes the buzz he can still create even after nine years out of elected office. Either way, the mere potential of a Thompson run can diminish current candidates, keep other possible contenders away, and lead donors to hold onto their checkbooks until they are sure which way to go.
Excerpt: Fitchburg could be halfway towards its goal of raising $4 million for the city's first library after an anonymous donor gave a $1 million matching gift for the public portion of the Fitchburg library capital campaign, the city announced Tuesday.
The new donation follows an initial pledge of $1 million by Bill Linton, founder of Fitchburg-based Promega Corp., and his wife, Mary.
"For a city this size to be able to accept two gifts of $1 million apiece for a library, I think is quite extraordinary," said Phil Sveum, co-chairman of the campaign committee.
The bulk of the money, $10 million, for the $14 million library is being funded by the city of Fitchburg.
The 38,000-square-foot library, which will be next to City Hall, 5520 Lacy Road, will be constructed using green building practices and will have geothermal heating and underground parking. A groundbreaking event is scheduled for April 12. The library is projected to open in July 2011.
Excerpt: The Rosholt branch of the Portage County Public Library could get an anonymous $50,000 boost -- but only if library expands at its current location.
Theresa Hartvig, the village's clerk/treasurer, said the donor requested the money only be used if the current location at the Village Hall is remodeled and expanded.
Many people want to keep and expand the library at its current location to meet growing needs. Space concerns, coupled with increased use, have village officials looking at either expansion or a new location.
A recent assessment revealed a space between 5,000 and 5,600 square feet would be needed to serve the community's needs.
Rosholt Branch Library Needs More Space. (12/05/2009)
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Link to January 12 Rockford Register-Star report, "Library unveils restructuring plan".
Excerpt: Starting Sunday [January 17], libraries will be on their new schedules, open 225 hours a week as opposed to 312. Being flexible, taking on new responsibilities and juggling multiple duties will be employees’ new world, Hartzog said. One of the library’s main goals in the reorganization is to maintain customer service and programming.
In some cases, it won’t be possible. Most weekday story time programs for children of all ages were from 9:30 a.m. to noon, taking into account lunch and nap times for little ones, Hartzog said. With most libraries now opening at noon, that program is on hold. Evening story time programs will continue and could become more popular, she said. The Main Library may add one.
Excerpt: Warm hearts bested freezing temperatures and a half-foot of snow as two dozen braved the elements Friday to attend the groundbreaking for a $5 million Canonsburg library, slated to open in early 2011.
The proposed two-story building at Jefferson Avenue and Murdock Street has been on the planning board for at least 10 years, after the library board decided a new facility was needed to replace the crowded one in the borough building on East Pike Street.
But it wasn't until Canonsburg chocolate magnates Frank and Athena Sarris [OMG, a peanut butter meltaway pie!] donated $1.5 million for the library's construction that the project picked up steam. Another $1 million earmarked by the state for construction plus an additional $100,000 in state money for land acquisition boosted the momentum to realizing the library board's long-sought goal.
Expansion Planning Update
Link to January 26 Rockford Register-Star report,"Cherry Valley library plans for better days".
Excerpt: On one hand, the economic downturn can be credited for soaring growth in library usage. On the other, it’s the very thing that prevents the district from affording to grow beyond its walls.
Library officials say they will continue to develop a plan for expansion as they wait for a time when the district and taxpayers can afford the cost of growth.
The district wants to double the size of its 13,300-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1989.
“We’re still plotting, slowly but surely. Like anyone else, we’re watching what happens in the economic world,” board President Kristin Olson said. “That’s our biggest hurdle at this point.”
The library staff has had eight planning meetings with David Hagney of Hagney Architects since September and the board of trustees meets with the architect monthly. The library also hosted six meetings with the public to get public input on the expansion. The next step, officials said, is the development of a design for expansion.
About: ANTI-SLAVERY COLLECTION (ca. 17,000 pieces). In the late 1890’s, the family of William Lloyd Garrison, along with others closely involved in the anti-slavery movement, presented the Boston Public Library with a major gathering of correspondence, documents, and other original material relating to abolition. The major groups consist of the papers of William Lloyd Garrison, Maria Weston Chapman, Deborah Weston, Anne Warren Weston, Caroline Weston, Lucia Weston, Lydia Maria Child, Amos Augustus Phelps, John Bishop Estlin, and Samuel May, Jr. Other valuable resources are the account books of the abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator; records of the American, Massachusetts, and New England Anti-Slavery Societies; scrapbooks concerning Anthony Burns and John Brown; and the files of Ziba B. Oakes, a slave broker of Charleston, South Carolina.
Link to February 2 The Unquiet Librarian blogpost, "An Indecent Proposal". (via Twitter)
Excerpt: Today I learned through the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians that your FY 2011 education budget does not include any additional specific funding for school libraries, additional school librarians, or statues mandating certified school librarians for every state. Equally disappointing is the news that the Improving Literacy for School Libraries grant program has been all but put out of reach for school libraries with the FY 2011 budget proposal that will absorb this grant program into a variety of other Department of Education programs.
Excerpt: In her nearly three years at Lincoln University, Amelia Sherwood has only been able to access the campus library for a few months.
The junior education major has done most of her studying in a computer lab since the Langston Hughes Memorial Library closed in 2008 for $17 million in renovations. The building, surrounded completely by a chain-link fence, is not scheduled to reopen until 2011.
"It looks like it's in a jail," Sherwood said of the library. "They've locked up learning."
Officials at Lincoln, a quasi-public university outside Philadelphia, say their hands are tied by state bureaucracy and funding delays. In the meantime, the historically black school has set up a temporary facility in modular trailers, with librarians' offices, study space, computer rooms and a circulation desk; students can request books from the main library and receive them within a day.
Langston Hughes Memorial Library online newsletter.
Retiring Guy values music discovery
Link to FMQB report on Bridge Ratings.
Excerpt: Bridge predicts that by January 2015, 77 million Americans will be regular listeners to Internet radio. By 2015, they also predict that 81 percent will be listening to terrestrial radio online while Internet-only listeners will be up to 72 percent. Bridge also predicts that the two categories will essentially be equal by the end of 2016.
Music discovery plays a much larger part for listeners who spend most of their time with Internet-only radio. The study's data found that Internet-only listeners value music discovery twice as much as the AM/FM simulcast listener. When it comes to listening on mobile devices, fans of Internet-only stations are also much more likely (18 percent) than terrestrial station streamer (8 percent).Another favorite.
Link to February 1 Gallup report. (Thanks to Tony Driessen!)
Excerpt: Rhode Island and Massachusetts -- along with the District of Columbia -- were the most Democratic U.S. states in 2009, based on their residents' stated political affiliations. Wyoming and Utah ranked as the two most Republican states in the nation.
These results are based on aggregated data from Gallup Daily tracking in 2009, including interviews with more than 350,000 adults in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Gallup conducted at least 1,000 interviews in every state except Wyoming (878), North Dakota (968), Delaware (997), and the District of Columbia (632). Gallup interviewed more than 20,000 residents each in California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Nationwide, party support shifted in a slightly more Republican direction in 2009 after a historically strong Democratic year in 2008. Overall, 49% of Americans in 2009 identified as Democrats or said they were independent but leaned to the Democratic Party, while 41% identified as Republicans or were Republican-leaning independents. That 8-point Democratic advantage compares to a 12-point, 52% to 40%, Democratic advantage in 2008.
Palin PAC Spent More on Books Than Candidates. (Hotline on Call)
Coming soon to a library book sale near you.
Ping Me. (Sites & Soundbytes)
Excerpt: Technology has been a great leveler, a blessing in this modern age for those with visual impairments. It has enabled tens of thousands of people to access written material quickly, to hear what they cannot see.
But there is an underside to the use of technology, to all the cassette tapes and digital recordings of everything from romance novels to textbooks to government forms.
It is called Braille illiteracy.
The National Federation of the Blind has been waging a campaign to ensure that those who are visually impaired learn how to read Braille.
According to a report issued last year by the advocacy group, fewer than 10% of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in America are Braille readers. Reasons for the low rate of Braille literacy include a shortage of Braille teachers, schools not offering Braille to students who have low vision and a so-called "spiral of misunderstanding" that the system is slow and difficult to learn.
Link to Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library.
The tallies as of 12/13/2009
Democrat incumbent Steve Kagen.
The Republican challengers.
Reid Ribble, former Kaukauna roofing contractor.
Marc Trager, Howard physician.
Rep. Roger Roth, Wisconsin's 56th Assembly District (Grand Chute)
Former state representative Terri McCormick, Greenville.
Reports not on file with the Federal Election Commission.
Marc Savard, a Door County farmer and county supervisor.
Andy Williams, a Brown County supervisor.
Kerry Thomas of Sayner.
Joe Stern, a former mayor of Niagara.
Excerpt: A recall effort that resulted in the ousting of eight Monroe County supervisors (7 is also confirmed here) last fall may serve as a springboard to the State Assembly for one rural Sparta man.
Dennis Clinard, chairman of the Monroe County Taxpayers Relief Committee (MCTRC), will announce his candidacy for the 92nd District Assembly seat in Black River Falls and Tomah Friday.
Clinard was instrumental in forming the MCTRC, which successfully recalled eight incumbent supervisors who supported a proposed $30 million justice center.
Clinard, who will run on the Republican ticket, is seeking to oust incumbent 92nd District Rep. Mark Radcliffe of Black River Falls.
Radcliffe currently serves on the following Assembly standing committees: Agriculture, Education, Renewable Energy and Rural Affairs, and Aging and Long-Term Care.