Saturday, February 20, 2010

San Francisco Public Library Hires Social Worker to Deal with Homeless

Link to February 20 Los Angeles Times article, "Libraries dealing with homeless try new approaches; San Francisco hires a social worker".

Excerpt: Every day, when the main library opens, John Banks is waiting to get inside. He finds a spot and stays until closing time. Then his wheelchair takes him back to the bus terminal where he spends his nights.

Like many homeless public library patrons, all Banks wants is a clean, safe place to sit in peace. He doesn't want to talk to anyone. He doesn't want anyone to talk to him. But the day he decides he wants help, he knows what to do: ask for the social worker.

The main branch of the San Francisco Public Library, where hundreds of homeless people spend every day, is the first in the country to keep a full-time social worker on hand, according to the American Library Association.

Related articles:

Library adds social worker to assist homeless
. (, 1/11/2010)

America Gone Wrong: A Slashed Safety Net Turns Libraries into Homeless Shelters. (, 4/2/2007)

Don't Book 'Em: A new library program tries to gently ease the homeless problem out the door
. (, 12/26/2006)

Pew Research: The Future of the Internet IV

Link to overview page.

An online survey of 895 technology stakeholders’ and critics’ expectations of social, political and economic change by 2020, fielded by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center.

% of respondents in agreement with the following statements (with links to "some of the best answers"):

76%. "Google won't make us stupid."

65%. "Reading, writing, and the rendering of knowledge will be improved."

80%. "Innovation will continue to catch us by surprise."

61%. The Internet will remain as its founders envisioned.

41%. "Anonymous activity is sharply curtailed."
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We Cannot Tell a Lie (for the most part)

John McRae
"Father, I Can Not Tell a Lie; I Cut the Tree"
1867 engraving after a painting by G.G. White

Link to PsyBlog post, "Can You Trust a Facebook Profile?" (via Techdirt)

Excerpt: After comparing the actual personalities with the idealised and observed, the researchers found that, on average, people were much more likely to display their real personality on the social networking sites rather than their idealised selves.

Overall people were remarkably honest in representing themselves. People were honest—we don't read those words often enough

The study is based on a small, narrow sample -- 235 U.S. and German students. To Retiring Guy's mind, that's a lotta extrapolatin' -- but what does he know?

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Rural broadband service coming to libraries, schools - but not homes

Link to February18 article.

Excerpt: High-speed Internet access could be coming to rural Wisconsin schools and libraries soon, but it could be years before the service is available to businesses and homes in some areas - if it's ever available.

Gov. Jim Doyle said Thursday that Wisconsin will receive nearly $23 million in federal stimulus money to provide high-speed, or broadband, Internet access to 467 sites in 380 communities.

More than 200 miles of fiber-optic cable will be installed to bring the service to 385 libraries and 82 schools.

The cable could improve police, fire department and hospital communications in rural areas.

Having the cable in every county will make it easier to expand broadband, said Thad Nation, executive director of Wired Wisconsin, a non-profit group focused on telecommunications issues.

Some rural schools and libraries could receive high-speed Internet access in 12 months as a result of the stimulus money. The work will be done by contractors hired by state government.

But don't expect broadband in all rural homes and businesses anytime soon.

The state's Internet service providers were shunned in the first round of stimulus grants aimed at bringing broadband to rural communities.

(Ja, and maybe it has something to do with their spotty record.)

Related articles:

Rhinelander Daily News: Schools, libraries to benefit from broadband funds. (2/20/2010)

Wausau Daily Herald: Rural libraries to gain high-speed Internet access. (2/20/2010)

Green Bay Press-Gazette: Rural school districts, targeted for $22.9 million in broadband upgrades. (2/19/2010)

Rhinelander Daily News: Schools, libraries to benefit from broadband funds

Link to February 19 article.

Excerpt: Among the local recipients are Rhinelander High School and the Rhinelander District Library, the Crandon Public Library, Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, the Minocqua Public Library, the Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes and Three Lakes High School.

“High-speed Internet access is critical to the success of our state’s entrepreneurs, businesses, students and families,” Governor Doyle said. “This project will create jobs to lay and install fiber cable, for telecommunications contractors and technicians, and in fields like construction, manufacturing, masonry and electrical wiring. Through the Recovery Act, the Obama Administration is making major investments in Wisconsin’s broadband infrastructure to help our schools and libraries access high-speed Internet.”

The announcement comes only a few weeks after a coalition of Northwoods-based government, business and tribal entities learned it would not be receiving a $20.5 million grant for broadband expansion in the Northwoods. The coalition, spearheaded by the Forest County Potawatomi-owned business One Prospect Technologies, sought $20.5 million to provide broadband access to a six-county area in northern Wisconsin.

Brad Kowieski of One Prospect said Thursday’s announcement is great for those schools and libraries currently lacking high-speed Internet access, but it doesn’t necessarily address the need for broadband in the Northwoods.

“It’s great for the libraries and schools that don’t have broadband, but for the majority of the Northwoods it doesn’t address the need for broadband to the end user,” Kowieski said.

Related articles:

Wausau Daily Herald: Rural libraries to gain high-speed Internet access. (2/20/2010)

Green Bay Press-Gazette: Rural school districts, libraries targeted for $22.9 million in broadband upgrades. (2/19/2010)

Wausau Daily Herald: Rural libraries to gain high-speed Internet access

Link to February 20 Wausau Daily Herald article.

Excerpt: Gov. Jim Doyle announced the initiative, involving mostly federal stimulus money, Thursday as part of his economic plan for improving the state's infrastructure.

Sharon Luebbe, supervisor for the Hatley branch of the Marathon County Public Library, said adding broadband access at her library will improve reliability and speed up the three computers available to the public and possibly allow more computers to be added.

"Occasionally, they lock up because of high usage," she said. "There are times people are waiting to get on."

Still, the library's computers are faster than the home computers of many residents who have only dial-up service, Luebbe said. Broadband will make the machines even more useful to patrons.

Garrett Erickson, computer manager for Marathon County Public Library, said the new service planned for the Hatley branch should at least double the speed. For example, digital books will be downloaded much faster, he said.

Ann Harris, director of Frances L. Simek Memorial Library in Medford, said broadband access at her library definitely will improve the reliability of 19 computers available to the public.

As in Hatley, Medford's system at times becomes so overloaded that machines freeze, Harris said. The new service will allow users easier access and faster service for video sites such as YouTube.

Friday, February 19, 2010

U.S. Migration: The Biggest Winners

Where taxpayers moved from in the 50 states, from 2007 to 2008, according to an Associated Press analysis of Internal Revenue Service data.

Link to February 6 Star-Tribune article, "Influx of new residents as recession started worsened its effects, AP review of IRS data shows".

What a diff'rence 36,500 days make. 876,000 little hours.

Detroit population history, 1900-2000.

Home folks think I'm big in Detroit city,
From the letters that I write they think I'm fine,
But by day I make the cars,
by night I make the bars,

U.S. Migration: The Biggest Losers

Where taxpayers moved to in the 50 states, from 2007 to 2008, according to an Associated Press analysis of Internal Revenue Service data.

With 8 of the 13 states showing a large outmigration to Florida, you have to think there's a helluva lot of former Floridians now living in Georgia and North Carolina.

The rest of the states losing households include:
Alaska (849)
Indiana (1,344)
Kansas (473)
Maine (712)
Nebraska (1,667)
New Hampshire (1,147)
North Dakota (90)
Vermont (1,356)

Link to February 6 Star-Tribune article, "Influx of new residents as recession started worsened its effects, AP review of IRS data shows".

Glenn Beck's Readers Advisory Service

Link to February 18 Publishers Weekly article, "Glenn Beck Helps Turn Anarchist Book into Bestseller".

Excerpt: The old saw that there is no such thing as bad publicity could be behind the success of The Coming Insurrection, published under the pen name the Invisible Committee, which rejects the official Left and aligns itself with the younger, wilder forms of resistance that have emerged in Europe against immigration control and the "war on terror." Published by Semiotext(e), a small California press, best known for works of French cultural theory by Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault, the book has spent much of the week on Amazon's top 10 bestsellers list, alongside better known titles like Game Change and The Help. (#4 when I just checked.)

Amazon screenshot 1 (Click to enlarge)

Amazon screenshot 2: As you might guess, the customer reviews are all over the place.

LINKcat status

Magazine Ad Revenue Remains Print-Driven

Link to February 19 Media Daily News post, "Digital Remains Fraction of Mag Ad Revenues".

Excerpt: Online contributed a relatively small part of total magazine advertising revenues in 2009, despite an economic downturn that decimated print ad revenues.

Thus, 2009 saw little change from previous years, with the print-dominated magazine publishing business -- like their cousins in the newspaper industry -- for the most part failing to build substantial online ad revenues despite big increases in online traffic.

Caveat: any assessment of the magazine industry is partly conjecture, because two of the largest magazine publishers -- Conde Nast and Hearst -- are privately held, and don't make revenue figures available to the public.

Tom Barrett: Slow Out of the Social Network Gate but Quickly Gaining Momentum

In order to make informed comparisons among the candidates for Wisconsin Governor, I just became a Facebook fan of Scott Walker and Mark Neumann. For research purposes only, of course.

Related articles/posts.

Tom Barrett for Governor Website: Out with the Old and In with the New. (2/18/2010)

Mark Neumann: "Are You Reaching Out for Someone?" (2/17/2010)

Fox Valley key battleground in Wisconsin governor race. (2/6/2010)

Social networking: Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates on Facebook. (1/24/2010)

Web sites play big role in Wisconsin candidates' campaigns for Governor. (1/24/2010)

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidates Tweet. (1/14/2010)

Minocqua Public Library Building Project Update

Link to February 5 Lakeland Times article, "Construction manager for library project possible".

Excerpt: No formal vote was taken, but it appears town of Minocqua officials are leaning toward hiring a construction manager, rather than a general contractor, to oversee the planned expansion and remodeling of the town's library.

Tuesday night the town board held a joint meeting with the library ad hoc building committee and heard a presentation from representatives of Miron Construction on the differences between hiring a general contractor or a construction manager to oversee the library building project.

A larger percentage of building projects have usually been completed with a general contractor receiving the overall construction bid and then contracting with other companies to complete various parts of the project, but an increasing number of projects are being completed with a construction manager in charge instead of the general contractor, according to Michael Murphy, vice president of northern operations for Miron Construction.

Related articles:

More on Minocqua Referendum. (11/5/2009)

Two for Two: Minocqua Library Referendum Passes. (11/4/2009)

Computers in Libraries: Keeping up with Demand. (10/17/2009)

Beloit College Mindset List: The Book

Link to February 19 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Popular Beloit Mindset List to be expanded as book".

Excerpt: The creators of the popular Beloit College Mindset List are expanding the concept into a book tracing how different generations view the world.

The annual Mindset List is the brainchild of Beloit College officials Ron Nief and Tom McBride. Every August they release a list of items reminding professors that the incoming class sees the world differently than they do.

For example, this year's freshmen wouldn't understand the reference, "Here's Johnny," or share their parents' visceral reaction to Watergate

Here are some other library-related examples. (Retiring Guy finds the List to be a great teaching tool.)

Anyone else remember this late 1970s/early 1980s workshop staple?

Challenged Book to Remain on Shelves in Fond du Lac Schools

Link to February 19 Oshkosh Northwestern article, "Parent loses fight to get books banned at Fond du Lac middle school".

Excerpt: Fond du Lac Public Library Director Ken Hall, who serves on the reconsideration committee, said to prejudge a book and remove it from a library takes away the rights of others.

"I found it to be a sweet book, something I felt a reluctant reader would read," he said. "I could never vote to say we must protect all families from this."

About 36 people attended the reconsideration meeting held at Fond du Lac High School. Of the 36, 10 people signed up to speak.

Ann Wentworth plans to proceed with her 6 other challenges.

Related articles:

Ann Brashares, Meet Ann Wentworth. (2/18/2010)

Green Bay Press-Gazette: Rural school districts, libraries targeted for $22.9 million in broadband upgrades

Link to February 19 Green Bay Press-Gazette article.

Excerpt: The access will go to 76 school districts, eight colleges and technical schools and 384 libraries or library systems throughout Wisconsin.

According to U.S. Census data, in 2007, half of Wisconsin did not have access to high-speed Internet in their houses, Hightower said. Providing the service to rural schools and libraries will "fix the glaring inequality," he said.

Doyle said the state has been investing heavily in Internet upgrade since 2007. More recent census data puts Wisconsin ninth in the country for overall high-speed access and 10th for high-speed access in households. [Link to Governor's Office news release.]

The federal money will mean an additional 200 miles of fiber optic cable in the state, which will help extend the service to hard-to-reach areas, Doyle said. Access will be available in more than 90 percent of libraries and 80 percent of schools in the state, he said.

Most of Brown County's libraries have high speed Internet service, but the new initiative will help extend it to the smaller, rural branches in places such as Pulaski and Wrightstown, library director Lynn Stainbrook said. Other communities to benefit include Sturgeon Bay, Shawano, Oconto Falls, Kewaunee, Two Rivers and Peshtigo.

Positions Open at Vesper (WI) Public Library

Link to February 18 Wisconsin Rapid Tribune article.

Lester Public Library of Vesper part-time library director. Responsible for all management tasks related to the operation of a busy rural library. The ideal candidate will have experience in a library setting using an automated system; knowledge of preparing and implementing a budget; ability to supervise a small staff; enjoy developing new programs for residents of all ages and be dependable and flexible. Compensation depends on experience and certifications. Candidates should submit cover letter, resume (including education) and certifications to: Lester Public Library Vesper, Directors Position, 6550 Virginia St., Vesper WI 54489.

Temporary part-time library assistant. Tasks include checking out books and materials for patrons, making copies for patrons, assisting patrons in selecting materials, helping with computers, checking books and materials in and reshelving them, keeping daily statistics, general cleaning, shoveling and salting the sidewalks when necessary and other items when needed. Call the library at (715) 569-4669.

Library hours are: noon to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, Saturday; closed Sunday.

Other library facts and statistics from the 2008 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data:

Service area population: 99

Books and serial volumes owned: 11,786

Audiovisual materials: 500

Periodical subscriptions: 34

Public-access Internet computers:

Circulation: 8,759

Library visits: 4,500

Program attendance: 1,789

Total revenue: $34,752

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday/Thursday Miscellany

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The Public Library: "It's part of our life."

Link to February 18 Reno Gazette-Journal article, "Washoe budget cuts could close 3 libraries". (via Twitter) Syst

The current budget of $8.1 million for the Washoe County Library is 39% less than the $13 million in 2008-2009. Considered by county officials as "non-essential" services, libraries and parks have been cut disproportionately.

Excerpt: Several library patrons said the county should find a way to keep libraries open, rating them just below police and fire as what they consider important to them.

"I think it's terrible," said Joe Sewell, a Cold Springs resident who was outside the Sierra View library. He said his family visits that and the North Valleys branch often. His grandchildren are home-schooled.

He said the county should give workers options of furloughs, reduced workweeks or pay cuts as the state has done to keep everyone on the job.

Terry Fletcher of Stead said her grandchildren enjoy story hour, music and other cultural programs at the North Valleys branch and visit every Tuesday night.

"It's part of our life," she said.

What a Cool New Tool: FillAnyPDF

Link to February 18 Swiss Army Librarian post, "Web Tool for Filling in PDF Forms".

Test drive.

Tom Barrett for Governor Website: Out with the Old and In with the New

Much better, thank you!

Loyal, Older Listeners Vault Sade's New Album to #1 on SoundScan

Link to February 18 New York Times article, "Sade's Comeback Succeeds with Quiet Application of Old-School Approach."

First of all, has it really been 25 years since the release of Diamond Life, Sade's first album?

Yes, almost to the day. It made its debut on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart on February 23, 1985. (Retiring Guy was still 3 months and 5 days away from his engagement to JoAnna back then. And, you might be wondering, did Sade's let's-turn-the-lights-down-low music have anything to do with this turn of events. That, of course, would be none of your business.)

From the NYT article:

Soldier of Love sold a "remarkable" 502,000 copies in its first week.

Not exactly Garboesque but.....

To promote her new album, Sade said little but sang much. She performed on “Today,” “The View” and “Late Show With David Letterman” but gave very few interviews. That reticence — which goes against every rule in the current pop-marketing playbook — may have worked to her advantage on the radio, said Doc Wynter, vice president of urban programming for Clear Channel Radio.

“The audience was really thirsting to hear more of her music,” he said. “I was particularly surprised when a number of our mainstream stations that play hip-hop and R&B gravitated to the song as well. The beat is timeless, and she’s just got that X factor that makes people curious.”

LINKcat status:

Soldier of Love (February 2010). 87 holds on 4 copies. (Folks, I think it's still OK to buy CDs.)

Diamond Life (February 1985). 10 holds on 2 copies.

Promise (December 1985). 15 holds on 1 copy. (Yes, folks, Retiring Guy just set off a red alert.)

Stronger Than Pride (June 1988). 8 holds in 1 copy.

Love Deluxe (June 1992). 3 holds on 2 copies.

(Retiring Guy's copy of Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums covers the years 1995 to 1992.)

Hudson, Wisconsin: Library, police remodeling plans approved

Future home of Hudson Area Joint Library

Link to February 18 Hudson Star-Observer article. (You may need to create a free account to access full text.)

Excerpt: The council approved the plans for the Hudson Police Department prepared by Frisbie Architects of River Falls and authorized advertising for a contractor to do the work.

It also approved plans for remodeling the first- and second-floor space that will be occupied by the Hudson Area Joint Library. Those plans were drafted by the library’s architectural firm, the BKV Group.

The library will be the city’s tenant in the building. It also is advertising for a contractor to do the remodeling.

The library board approved the remodeling plans in a meeting shortly before the special City Council meeting Thursday night.

Related articles:

Rep. Kind News Release: Hudson Library Receives Grant. (1/29/2010)

Hudson City Council has concerns about library floor plan. (1/28/2010)

Hudson Board Approves Plan for New Library. (1/14/2010)

Hudson Area Joint Library Board Approves Lease Agreement. (12/16/2009)

Hudson City Council Purchases Building for Shared Library/Police Facility. (12/10/2009)

Interview with Hudson Mayor Dean Knudson. (11/12/2009)

Hudson City Council Plans to Buy Building for Possible Police/Library Facility. (10/22/2009)

Bursting at the Seams. (3/31/2009)

Ann Brashares, Meet Ann Wentworth

She wants to ban your books.

Ann Brashares website

Link to February 18 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Parent adds 6 books to ban wish list".

A ban "wish list"? Some headline writer has a droll sense of humor.

Excerpt: The Fond du Lac School District offers a book screening process available through Alexandria library software. The feature allows parents/guardians to place restrictions on materials that their child can check out from school libraries. To utilize the feature, parents need to contact the library media specialist at their child's school.

When a student checks out a book, library automation system alerts the media specialist or secretary if a parent/guardian has requested a restriction of materials.

So what's the problem here, Ann W.? Next thing you know, you'll be objecting to the author's last name.

Palin Endorses Sean Duffy in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District Republican Primary Race

Link to February 18 Wausau Daily Herald article.

Excerpt: The 37-year-old Duffy has been the Ashland County district attorney since 2002, a professional lumberjack [oh, now Retiring Guy gets it] and a cast member on the 1997 MTV reality show "The Real World Boston." Mielke is an organic farmer and conservative activist who challenged Obey in 2008.

And, as Rachel Maddow might note, he's sorta/kinda got that Scott Brown look.

Duffy for Congress website

Give him credit. It's slick as all get-out.

Duffy's workin' the web

In high testosterone fashion: successful district attorney, champion lumberjack, positive reformer, father of 5. (Cosmo model?)

Apparently, Palin made her choice in true prom-queen fashion. Poor Dan. Even if he shaved his beard, I don't think Sarah would give him a second look.

Mielke for Congress website

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Woman's Day: "How the Public Library Can Save You Money"

Link to Woman's Day article posted February 1, 2010.

4 women describe their experiences.

Excerpt: The library has always been a place to save money. Where else can you get books, CDs and DVDs without buying them? And these days libraries offer even more—a host of activities and services that cost you nothing. As part of our annual Woman’s Day/ American Library Association essay contest, we introduce you to four winners who found big savings— and even changed their lives—at their local library.

VALA video: Meet Abbey the Digital Native

According to the (Queensland) Courier-Mail, this video apparently made its first appearance at the 15th annual VALA (Victorian Association of Library Automation) in Australia. (Conference website say 15th biennial, so who knows.)

Credit at end of video. With special thanks to the Melbourne Library Services and the staff of the East Melbourne Library.

Link to VALA conference website.

About the conference. The theme for VALA2010 is CONNECTIONS CONTENT CONVERSATIONS. This theme focuses on the processes, applications and technologies used to connect content, as well as collaborative and social networking services, with our patrons and fellow professionals. In attending VALA2010, you will be treated to presentations on the use of open source solutions, services delivered on portable devices, the strategic use of social networking to build online communities, eBooks, discovery layers, digitisation, repositories, and much, much more.

Making the Rounds. A Brief History of Media Technology Scares

Link to February 15 Slate post by Vaughan Bell, " Don't Touch That Dial!A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook." (via Technology Liberation Front)

A respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both "confusing and harmful" to the mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented risks of living in an "always on" digital environment. It's worth noting that Gessner, for his part, never once used e-mail and was completely ignorant about computers. That's not because he was a technophobe but because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press.

Worries about information overload are as old as information itself, with each generation reimagining the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain.

Not exactly what Retiring Guy was looking for, but its mockumentary style will do nicely.

Social Gamers: Survey Says...

...tbe average social gamer is a 43-year-old woman.

Link to February 17 news release at Pop Cap, "New Survey Reveals Social Gaming Phenomenon in U.S. and U.K." (via Mashable)

Excerpt: PopCap Games, maker of some of the world's most popular video games, today unveiled the results of a survey targeting "social gamers": Consumers in the U.S. and UK who play games on social networking platforms such as Facebook® and MySpace®. More than 24% of respondents said they play social games regularly, indicating a total social gamer population of approximately 100 million in America and the United Kingdom alone.

U.S. Department of Commerce Report: 63.5% of U.S. Households Have Broadband Connections

Link to February 16 Network World article, "U.S. broadband adoption sees significant spike".

Excerpt: This is a big leap from 2007, when just over half of U.S. households reported having broadband connections. Additionally, broadband connections now account for roughly 92% of all U.S. household Internet connections, whereas they accounted for 82% of all U.S. household Internet connections in 2008.

But while overall broadband adoption has increased over the past two years, the report also found that critical gaps remain, particularly with regard to income, age and race
. [Emphasis added.]

Baraboo Public Library Building Project Update

Link to February 17 Baraboo News Republic article, "Library draws plans to expand, seeks money".

Excerpt: Architects are proceeding to draw plans for the proposed expansion of the Baraboo Public Library, after confirmation that the library could purchase a strip of adjacent property belonging to First United Methodist Church, and the library is ready to raise funds for the project.

The latest version of the expansion plan will cost approximately $1 million less than originally thought, representatives of OPN Architects said Tuesday night in a meeting of the board of trustees and the library building committee, for a total of $7.8 million in construction, design, and other costs.

The original estimate of $8.8 million had been for a slightly larger building. At about 34,000 square feet, though, the expansion would still double the library’s current size, extending east across property currently occupied by optometrist Thomas Ritzenthaler, and into a strip about 30 feet wide owned by the church

Related articles:
2009 City of Baraboo Surplus Designated for Library Sinking Fund. (10/30/2009)
Baraboo Council Supports Funds for Library Expansion. (10/16/2009)
Update on Baraboo Library Expansion Plans. (5/29/2009)
Baraboo Planning for Remodeled & Expanded Library. (5/1/2009)
Planning for Expansion in Baraboo. (3/6/2009)

Fort Atkinson Library Building Project Update

Foster Growth: Expansion and Renovation Project

Link to February 17 Daily Online article, "Fort advances bonds for library".

Excerpt: Built in 1916, the downtown library has undergone two additions: in 1931 and 1983. In the latter, architects at the time drew up a long-range plan that said the facility would outgrow the added space in 20 years.

Twenty-seven years later, the library is in need of more room to store its computers, CDs, videotapes, DVDs and other materials and equipment it did not own in the early 1980s.

Among other problems, available seating in the library is about half of what the state recommends, and some aisles and areas do not meet accessibility requirements set in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Uihlein Wilson Architect's proposal adds 10,000 square feet of space and updates infrastructure and the building in general.

During construction, the library materials and staff will be relocated temporarily to the lower level of the former Digi-Star building, located at the corner of Janesville and West Rockwell avenues. Uihlein Wilson anticipates commencing with the relocation on March 8. Construction is expected to begin on the library revamp in March, with completion in January 2011.

Link to bid results.

Related articles:

Mark Neumann: "Are you reaching out for someone?"

(Hope Retiring Guy didn't ruin a good song for you.)

Link to February 17 Racine Journal-Times article, "Neumann: ‘We are overspending ... destroying the future of our country'".

Full quote: "We are overspending. We're destroying the future of our country. We're losing jobs again in droves," Neumann told the editorial board. "When you ask about the Tea Party, I'm one of those people except that I'm probably the next step up because I got so frustrated I actually put my business aside and ran for office."

Related articles/posts:

Fox Valley key battleground in Wisconsin governor race. (2/6/2010)

Social networking: Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates on Facebook. (1/24/2010)

Web sites play big role in Wisconsin candidates' campaigns for Governor. (1/24/2010)

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidates Tweet. (1/14/2010)

Headline of the Day

Do not proofread at your own peril.

Lancaster, California: Constitutionally-Protected Babblings of City Officials Lead to Uproar

Link to February 17 Green Bay Press-Gazette column, "Let court of public opinion deal with insensitive comments".

An even-handed observation by Charles C. Haynes, author of the column: In my view, the remarks of both Marquez and Parris were civically irresponsible. As elected representatives of all the citizens of Lancaster, their duty is to lead and unite — not divide and conquer. But if their religiously loaded comments were over the line, some of the reaction may be over the top.

As, perhaps appropriately, the battle plays out on Facebook.

Remove Councilwoman Sherry Marquez
from Office Facebook Page

Supporters of Sherry Marquez Facebook page