Saturday, March 27, 2010

Citywide Friends of Boston Public Library to Hold March 28 Demonstration

New York's New Battery Park City Park Branch Dazzles

Link to March 27 New York Times article, "A Library That Most Can Only Dream Up".

Excerpt:   The existence of this beautiful 10,000-square-foot library, which opened on March 18, prompts so many questions: How could such state-of-the-art technologies be marshaled in service of the old-fashioned act of book reading? How could such fancy design be affordable in an era of wrenching budget crises? And in choosing where to build the coolest, greenest new branch around, why pick Battery Park City, a neighborhood already so blessed with amenities?

Conversations about this branch date back at least a decade, when local residents started contacting elected officials and library representatives, noting how the area’s population had grown. Good community organizing, a well-connected population and responsive officials were, however, only part of the equation.

Facebook page.
Twitter page.

Petition to Support Funding of Florida's Libraries

As of this post, the petition is 944 signatures from its goal of 1,000.

Related articles:
Florida Senate Panel Makes Partial Restoration of Library Funding.  (3/26/2010)
$500,000 "Placeholder" Keeps Florida Library Funding Alive -- Barely.  (3/17/2010)
Florida's $21.2 Million Aid to Public Libraries on Chopping Block. (3/12/2010)

Gunfire in Library: One Way to Move Up A Retirement Date

Link to March 20 AP story at KTRV-TV website, "Possible gun discharge in library draws attention".  (via Twitter)

Excerpt:    Authorities in Pocatello are trying to find out if a Marshall Public Library official discharged a handgun inside the library.

Pocatello Police Chief J.R. Miller says he believes library Director Mike Doellman accidentally discharged a firearm in the building.

Doellman has a concealed weapons permit. He declined to answer questions from the Idaho State Journal and did not return a call from The Associated Press on Saturday.

Doellman has been on paid leave since Feb. 25, but the library board has declined to say why.

Link to March 25 KIDK report, "Library director retires".

Excerpt:   Police have been investigating Doellman's involvement in the accidental discharge of a firearm within the library.

Doellman does have a concealed weapons permit.

The city attorney's office has said even if Doellman did accidentally fire his weapon, that does not constitute criminal conduct.

Santa Monica Public Library Branch 50th Anniversary & Raquel Welch

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Users Owe Average of 55 Cents in Fines

Link to March 26 WCNC report, "Overdue library fines amount to $176,000".

Excerpt: About 10% of the 320,000 library users owe money.

Most people only owe about five dollars, but when you add it all up, overdue fines amount to $176,000.

“That will make a difference... it will make a difference,” says Dick Pahle, who is in charge of fundraising and development for the library system.
Most people NewsChannel 36 talked to were surprised to hear how much money library users owed.

“I’m shocked,” says Judy Miller.

In fact, the amount of money owed, is almost as much as the community has raised since hearing half the branches might be forced to close.

That amount is now at a quarter-of-a-million dollars.

That fundraising effort will continue this weekend with a major push planned at area churches.

But the library is having trouble collecting money already owed.

Part of the reason the money goes uncollected is patrons can still check out books as long as fines don’t reach $10.

David Singleton with the library system says, “$10 is average nationwide. Some have higher limits than that, were about access as much as possible.”

They're considering changing the $10 limit, but want to make sure everyone who needs the library is able to use it.

Related articles:
Library announces new hours for branches.  (3/26/2010)
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system.  (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote.  (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Portage County Public Library: Branch May Move into Former Firehouse

Link to March 27 Stevens Point Journal, "Rosholt, donor hope to move library into firehouse".

Excerpt:    To help move the project along, an anonymous donor has promised $50,000 for the project. The only stipulation is that the old firehouse be the site.

Constructed in the 1950s, the 4,400-square-foot building has been used mostly for storage since the Rosholt Fire District built a new fire station 10 years ago. The space that could be used for the new library is about 3,100 square feet, said Kate Zdroik, head of the Rosholt Development Group, which is aimed at spurring economic activity in the 500-person hamlet.

Under the plan currently on the table, the fire station would continue to be owned by the village. Once the library moves into the fire station, the village will regain entire use of the current library, which already doubles as its meeting room and polling station.

Related article:
Rosholt Branch Library offered anonymous donation...with strings attached.  (2/3/2010)
Editorial supports more space for Rosholt Library.  (12/11/2009)
Rosholt Branch Library needs more space.  (12/5/2009)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library announces new hours for branches

Link to March 26 Charlotte Observer.

Excerpt:   Earlier this week, library trustees agreed to cut hours at the branches – instead closing 12 branches entirely – to help the system deal with a loss of $2 million in county money for the remaining months of this budget year. Trustees also approved layoffs of no more than 84 library employees, sharp reductions in services and programs and salary cuts of as much as 20 percent.

Not all branches will be on the same schedule. Most locations will be open five days per week, while the Main Library and ImaginOn will be open for six. All but one branch – the CheckIt Outlet in uptown – will be open for at least one day during the weekend.

Related articles:
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system.  (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote.  (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Where in the world is Retiring Guy?

U.S. Census Bureau Reaches Out Via Social Networks

Link to March 26 ClickZ article, "Census Bureau Grapples with Social Media".

Excerpt:    This year, the U.S. Census Bureau has a presence on all major social media sites as it attempts to count as many of the 300 million-odd people that live in the U.S. as possible.

It's the first year social media has played such a role in the Census, and it has come with a mixture of successes and failures. Critics say the content on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and a "Director's Blog" are good, but they argue the Census Bureau may have spread itself too thin. These sources say the agency would have been better off focusing on a single content hub.

Social Networks a Lifeline for the Chronically Ill

Link to March 25 New York Times article.

Excerpt:    A former model who is now chronically ill and struggles just to shower says the people she has met online have become her family. A quadriplegic man uses the Web to share tips on which places have the best wheelchair access, and a woman with multiple sclerosis says her regular Friday night online chats are her lifeline.

For many people, social networks are a place for idle chatter about what they made for dinner or sharing cute pictures of their pets. But for people living with chronic diseases or disabilities, they play a more vital role.

Mentioned in the article:
Alliance Health Networks.
Cure Together.
Diabetic Connect.
Health Central.
Ning.  (My Invisible Disabilities Community)
Patients Like Me.

Florida Senate Panel Makes Partial Restoration of Library Funding

Link to March 26 Miami Herald article, "Florida Senate Panel Approves $70 Billion State Budget".

Excerpt:   The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved a nearly $70 billion budget Thursday after fortifying it with $880 million in hoped-for federal stimulus money from Washington.

The money would enable senators to reduce or avoid unpopular cuts to healthcare and education programs, and would restore $15 million of the $21 million cut in state aid to libraries.

The extra federal money could free up about $600 million in state tax money to bolster state programs.

Related articles

$500,000 "Placeholder" Keeps Florida Library Funding Alive -- Barely.  (3/17/2010)

Florida's $21.2 Million Aid to Public Libraries on Chopping Block. (3/12/2010)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where in the world is Retiring Guy?


Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board Applies a Band-Aid to its Bleeding System

Link to March 25 Charlotte Observer article, "All libraries to stay open, with big cuts in service. Library board says public sentiment favors proximity over hours, programs and classes".

Excerpt:    Board member Darrel Williams said it's inevitable that the libraries will have to choose between quantity of branches and quality of service.

"Do we strip the guts out of the system to keep more libraries open?" he asked board members at their Wednesday meeting. "I think we're fooling ourselves if we think there are not going to be any layoffs in the next fiscal year. ... I want to emphasize that this is a Band-Aid."

The board's vote Wednesday came in front of an overflow crowd of about 100 - three times the number on hand for last week's decision to close 12 libraries. Included were patrons, preachers, children with signs in support of their neighborhood branch, and even elected officials such as Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers.

Related articles:
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote.  (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Public Access Computers in Libraries: Survey Says... of Americans use them.
Link to March 25 AP article in Buffalo News.

Excerpt: A third of Americans 14 and older - about 77 million people - use public library computers to look for jobs, connect with friends, do their homework and improve their lives, according to a new study released Thursday.

It confirms what public libraries have been saying as they compete for public dollars to expand their services and high-speed Internet access: library use by the general public is widespread and not just among poor people.

But researchers found that those living below the federal poverty line - families of four with a household income of $22,000 or less - had the highest use of library computers. Among those households, 44 percent reported using public library computers and Internet access during the past year.

Among those aged 14 to 24 in poor households, 61 percent used public library computers and Internet for education purposes, though young people were the biggest library computers among all demographic groups.

Link to U.S Impact Public Library Study, a research initiative examining the impact of free access to computers and the Internet.

Boston Public Library Budget News Available at Website

Click here for the whole picture.

Related articles:
A Small Branch Makes a Big Impact.  (3/24/2010)
Friends of Boston Public Library Host Read-in to Support Tax Increase. (3/14/2010)
Emotions Reach Boiling Point in Boston Public Library Discussion. (3/13/2010)
The Boston Public Library Dilemma, Continued. (3/12/2010)
Boston Speaks Up for Its Libraries. (3/10/2010)
Boston Public Library Branches to be Ranked in Consolidation Plan. (3/9/2010)
Boston Public Library Anticipating Budget Cuts in 2011. (3/2/2010)

President Obama Visit Prairie Lights Bookstore

Link to March 25 Cedar Rapids Gazette article.

Excerpt:   After mentioning an Iowa City bookstore in his health care speech Thursday, President Barack Obama stuck his head in and spent $37 on kids’ books.

Obama said the Prairie Lights bookstore would benefit from his health care overhaul. He said the store has offered coverage to its full-time employees for the past 20 years, but that its premiums shot up by 35 percent last year.

Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board Vote

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Link to March 25 Charlotte Observer article, "Library branches safe, but closings, cuts likely soon".

Excerpt:     Public outrage at plans to close half of Mecklenburg County's public libraries has spared 12 branches from closing and helped preserve about 65 library staffers' jobs - temporarily. Cuts that come when the new county budget year starts in July, though, will likely involve closing libraries and more layoffs.

But it felt like victory of a sort when the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Board unanimously voted Wednesday to change plans. Instead of closing 12 of 24 branches and laying off 148 employees, all branches will remain open but with reduced hours and days. Only 82 to 84 staff will lose jobs. Others take pay cuts. Programs such as story hours, job-seekers' classes and book clubs will be cut significantly.

Last Thursday's decision to close 12 branches - after the library was told to trim $2 million in spending for the rest of the budget year - saddened and outraged hundreds of county residents. A fundraising campaign quickly arose, bringing in more than $200,000 by Wednesday. But the library expects to have to cut as much as $17 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

It's a bit puzzling that the library board and administrators didn't opt last week for the scenario they adopted Wednesday. Why not try to preserve access and jobs whenever possible?

Library Director Charles Brown said they aimed to preserve high-quality service, but at fewer branches.

Related articles:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Newspaper Ad Revenue Continues to Shrink

Which is why we're seeing ad creep on the front page.

Link to March 25 Editor & Publisher article, "2009 Newspaper Ad Revenue Falls to Level Not Seen Since 1985".

Excerpt:   In statistics released without fanfare, NAA said print advertising revenue totaled $24.82 billion -- the first time newspapers generated less than $25 billion in print since 1985.

That represented a 28.6% drop in print ad revenue from 2008 -- the fourth straight year-over-year decline.

Worse, the 2009 drop showed the year-over-year declined are accelerated again. In 2006, NAA recorded the first year-over-year decline of 1.7% from the year before. That grew to 9.4% down in 2007 and 17.7% in 2008.

Not surprisingly, classified was the most troubled ad category in 2009, falling 38.1% to 6.179 billion -- the lowest total in more than a quarter century. In 1983, classified generated just over $6 billion, a total that was a leap of 23% from the recession year before.

In other print categories, national ad revenue plummeted 26.2% and retail 24.2%.

Related articles:
How desperate are newspapers for ad revenue?  (3/5/2010)
The newspaper business:  "It is never, ever going to love you back".  (2/25/2010)

Wisconsin's African-American fourth-graders post worst reading scores in U.S.

Link to March 25 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "

Excerpt:   Phillip Dosmann, principal of Craig and Maryland Avenue Montessori schools in Milwaukee, said MPS' four Montessori schools have found a way to effect change locally, and African-American students scored above not only the district average, but the state average for black students on all subject areas of the state's standardized assessments last school year.

He credited the schools' approach of starting with phonetic-based reading instruction at age 3, infusing reading in every subject area and keeping students with their teachers for three-year cycles.

Parents also play a big role, Dosmann said.

"Parents are helpful in terms of following up with homework and reading with their children and enriching their children's lives through different experiences," he said.

"Dissatisfaction" With Collapsed Madison Central Library Project

Link to March 25 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Mayor puts renovation on ambitious schedule".

Excerpt:   The renovated facility would be larger, the price tag about $6 million less, and the time frame 24 months sooner than for a 105,000-square-foot, six-story, glass and stone library proposed by the Fiore Cos. at the corner of Henry Street and West Washington Avenue, the mayor wrote.

The mayor, who could not be immediately reached for comment, wrote that he intends to introduce a resolution designating a design consultant on April 20 with council approval of that first step on May 5.

“Staff and I believe this is an ambitious but doable schedule,” the mayor wrote, adding that he would later bring a full and detailed plan to the council for approval.

Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, who represents the core Downtown, said that he is offering “lukewarm” support for the renovation and that Downtown stakeholders are voicing “dissatisfaction” with the sudden collapse of talks with Fiore and the mayor’s quick pivot to renovation.

“There’s a lot of dissatisfaction and frustration among the folks I’ve talked to,” Verveer said.

Related articles:
Fiore Departure Seen as Beneficial to Madison Central Project.  (3/23/2010)
Matter of Principle" Dooms New Central Madison Library.  (3/20/2010)
Madison Central: The Dream Dies, It's Now Time to Renovate. (3/19/2010)
Dispute over Construction Costs Threatens to Derail New Central Madison Library. (3/17/2010) Madison Public Library Project Faces Delay in 2011. (3/9/2010)
Construction, Cost Concerns May Delay Madison Central Library Project. (1/25/2010)
New Madison Central Library Wins Council Approval. (11/11/2009)
Capital Times Endorses New Madison Central Library. (11/10/2009)
Madison Council Begins Review of Mayor's Budget on Tuesday. (11/6/2009)
More Questions About Madison Central Library Project. (11/1/2009)
New Madison Public Library's First Change Order: Rooftop Garden. (10/28/2009)
Call for Referendum on New Madison Central Library Not Attracting Support. (10/21/2009)
Madison Board of Estimates Rejects Library Referendum. (10/13/2009)
Some Madison City Council Members Want Referendum on New Central Library. (10/9/2009)
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial on New Madison Central Library. (9/13/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Let the Positioning Begin. (9/1/2009)
New Madison Central Library on Mayor Dave's Front Burner. (8/30/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate? (7/7/2009)
Motley Brown Not Reason Enough. (6/11/2009)
Fiore Plan Receives Unanimous Support. (6/5/2009)
Fiore Plan Gets Nod from Committee. (5/15/2009)
Public Forum Focuses on Central Library Options. (4/24/2009)
Developer Sweetens the Deal. (4/21/2009)
Visualizing a Remodeled Madison Central Library. (4/4/2009)
Renovation Plan Put on Table for Madison Central Library. (3/26/2009)
Residents Critique Proposals to Rebuild Downtown Library. (1/9/2009)
Competing Developers Defend Their Central Library Plans. (1/8/2009)
Comparison of Downtown Madison Library Proposals. (12/17/2008)
Two Proposals for New Madison Central Library. (12/3/2008)
Best Headline of the Week. (9/6/2008)

Poetry Book Remains in North Fond du Lac School Library

Link to March 25 Fond du Lac Reporter article.

Excerpt:    A compromise was reached during a Materials Reconsideration meeting Wednesday night that would allow the poetry book "Paint Me Like I Am" to remain on the shelf provided it has a label designating it as appropriate for high school students. Younger students could also access the book with prior parental permission.

"I am not for banning any books. It's really a matter of labeling certain books so that parents can be aware of what their children are reading," said parent John Larson, who asked the school district to reconsider the book due to mature language.

Larson filed the reconsideration form with the district earlier this month after he discovered his 11-year-old stepdaughter writing down the lines from the poem "Diary of an Abusive Stepfather." Larson said he had no idea that the child had even checked out the book and wondered how she could have obtained a book like that from a school library.

Related article:
Book challenge at North Fond du Lac School Library.  (3/18/2010)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jones Library in Amherst honored by American Library Association for online historical project

Link to March 24 article.

Excerpt:    The Jones Library is one of three libraries being recognized nationally for its cutting-edge technology.

The American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy recently honored the library for Digital Amherst, an online repository of the town’s history created in collaboration with the town’s 250th anniversary celebration last year. It can be found at

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Tevis Kimball, curator of special collections and project manager. “This was a major accomplishment for us.

The two other libraries honored are [Contra] Costa County Library in Pleasant Hill, Calif., and North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh, N.C.

Minnesota Public Libraries Evaluation Report

Link to 4-page summary.
Link to full report (101 pages)

Save America's Libraries (Florida's Gulf Beaches Public Library)

Link to March 24 St. Petersburg Times article, "Towns brace for reduction in funding to Gulf Beaches Public Library)

Excerpt:   The Madeira Beach library's budget is financed through two main sources — contributions from the five towns and a PPLC match.

This fiscal year, the towns will contribute $180,000 toward library operations. The PPLC is contributing about $186,000, Cinnella said.

The PPLC contribution to local libraries is based on a complicated formula that considers county, state and federal revenues, the populations served by each local library, and the amount of money each library raises from the municipalities it serves.

Treasure Island currently contributes the most: $77,419. Other town contributions vary according to population: Madeira Beach, $46,114; Redington Beach, $16,273; North Redington Beach, $15,327; and Redington Shores, $24,865.

The balance of the library's $437,683 total budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year is funded through fines and operational revenues, donations, and $58,000 from library reserves.

Related articles:
$500,000 "Placeholder" Keeps Florida Library Funding Alive -- Barely.  (3/17/2010)
Florida's $21.2 Million Aid to Public Libraries on Chopping Block. (3/12/2010

Los Angeles Public Library: More News Under the Same Headline

Link to March 24 Los Angeles Times article, "L. A. city libraries face shorter hours and Sunday closures".

Excerpt: A wave of early retirements in the Los Angeles library department is likely to lead to Sunday closures at nine of the city's largest libraries and shorter hours at more than 60 branches as early as mid-April.

The plan, which comes up for a vote before the Board of Library Commissioners on Thursday, is just the latest sign of the city's difficult financial position. Because of a citywide hiring freeze, about 8% of the positions in the 1,132-employee department are vacant.

Complicating scheduling problems, 107 library employees signed up for the early retirement program offered to 2,400 city workers that allowed them to retire up to five years early with full benefits. Most of those employees will leave by early April.

"We can barely get by," said Roy Stone, president of the Librarians' Guild AFSCME Local 2626.

Friday morning hours were cut late last year at the city's eight regional libraries, which house some of the largest collections, and the 64 branch libraries to absorb the mandated furloughs of city employees.

With the city facing a budget gap of $485 million and as many as 4,000 job cuts next fiscal year, further reductions in library hours are expected. Twenty librarians, 20 library clerks and 60 messenger clerks are among the first 1,000 jobs targeted for cuts

Related article:
Save America's Libraries (The Los Angeles Story).  (03/23/2010)

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board Votes to Keep All Branches Open

Link to March 24 Charlotte Observer article.

Excerpt:     The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library board voted unanimously Wednesday morning to change plans and keep all its branches open.

It reversed a decision last week, to close 12 of the system's 24 branches and lay off 148 employees by April 3. That decision triggered an outcry from the public and a fund raising effort to make up a $2 million shortfall caused by a county-mandated budget cut.

But the new plan doesn't come without a cost. Hours and days of operation will be cut at all branches, and there will still be 82 to 84 layoffs.

And, library Director Charles Brown and other board members said, the newly adopted proposal is a temporary fix. Another round of major cuts could be coming when county commissioners decide on funding in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Related articles:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)