Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mecklenburg County Manager Takes Library Board to Task

Link to April 10 Charlotte Observer "Paper Trail" blogpost, "Jones blasts library board at Ballantyne meeting".

Excerpt:   The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library board should never have proposed closing half its branches last month, County Manager Harry Jones said today at a community meeting.

Instead, Jones said, the board should have been able to foresee from the start that a better solution would be the one it eventually passed, which keeps all libraries open for reduced hours with some layoffs to cope with a $2 million county budget cut

Related articles:
Libraries now open fewer hours.  (4/6/2010)
"Save Our Libraries Sunday".  (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines.  (3/27/2010)
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)

Boston Public Library Board Votes to Close Four Branches

The four branches targeted for closing:

Link to April 10 Boston Globe article, "Trustees vote 'yes' on library closings".

Excerpt:   The mood oscillated from anger to resignation yesterday as nearly two dozen speakers stood before the trustees of the Boston Public Library and implored them not to close a single branch in the face of budget cuts.

Trustees acknowledged the pleas but ultimately rejected them, voting to shutter four neighborhood branches to help eliminate a $3.3 million shortfall. The alternative would have affected more people, trustees said, by slashing hours so severely that most neighborhoods would have a library open just two or three days a week.

The plan, accepted hours later by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, would cut up to 25 positions by closing the Faneuil branch in Brighton’s Oak Square, Lower Mills in Dorchester, Orient Heights in East Boston, and Washington Village in South Boston’s Old Colony Housing Development. It would also slash 69 of the 305 jobs at the main library in Copley Square, leaving fewer support staff members and librarians to help the public

Related articles:
Recommendation to close 4 branches (among other cuts).  (4/8/2010)
More than 100 gather to fight possible branch library closings.  (4/4/2010)
The Skinny on Boston's branch libraries.  (4/1/2010)
Library measures data published.  (3/31/2010)
Don't close the book on us. (3/29/2010)
Citywide Friends of BPL to Hold Demonstration.  (3/28/2010)
BPL Budget News Available at Website.  (3/25/2010)
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)

Marshfield Public Library Embarks on Strategic Planning Process

Link to April 10 Marshfield News-Herald article, "Library seeks input for future".

Excerpt:   As librarian Lori Belongia scans the facility looking where more shelves can be placed for another collection of materials, her gaze goes up.

"That's it. We can go up," she says. But the human body can stretch just so far and ladders are a safety hazard.

Marshfield Public Library, 211 E. Second St., is too small for the amount of materials it houses and the amount of people using it, Belongia says.

How the city's library should remodel or renovate is the focus of the 21st Century Library Summit, at 7 p.m. Monday in the lower level of the library.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Considers Branch Closings

Central Library (Photo source:  Wikipedia)

Link to April 8 IndyStar article, "Library cuts may close Glendale, 5 other branches".  (via Resource Shelf)

Excerpt:  The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library could close as many as six branches this year.

Closing those branches and laying off workers would turn a budget deficit into a slight surplus, according to a report presented on Thursday to a committee of the library board.

A proposal released today by the board's finance committee calls for closing the
Glendale, Brightwood, Flanner House, Fountain Square, Spades Park [one of two remaining Carnegie libraries in the system] and West Indianapolis [first total self-check branch: 2004] branches to eliminate a budget deficit. The library has 22 branches plus the Downtown's Central Library, which opened in a new building in December 2007, and 700 employees.

Cedar Rapids: For sale, old library, needs work

Link to April 7 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Council opposes demolishing old Cedar Rapids library".

Excerpt:  Members of the City Council said they opposed demolishing the flood-damaged former downtown library, and instead, said they preferred to try to sell the building quickly.

At the same time, Greg Eyerly, the city’s flood-recovery director, said the city will need to act almost immediately to set up a temporary climate control system in the building or it will fast turn into a Petri dish for mold with the season’s high humidity.

Hearing that, the council told Eyerly to prepare to set up a temporary system, which is estimated to cost $225,000, to protect the building’s interior as the city works to sell the 85,000-square-foot building

Related articles:
Site Selection Raises Ethics Concerns.  (2/9/2010)
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)

Doug Robarchek on "Falling in love at the library"

Photo source:  Main Street Rag

Link to April 8 Charlotte Observer article.

Among Doug Robarchek's many awards, he was named Best Columnist by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists three times.

Excerpt: I don’t know where my mother was that summer day – looking for a job or already working, I can’t remember. I was exploring. I walked down the block and around the corner from Jay’s house, and there I saw what seemed to me to be a big, important building. It was just a red brick small-town public library, but I was impressed.

The words “PUBLIC LIBRARY” were carved in stone right over the door, and I guess I knew that a library was a place where they kept books, but I really didn’t know how it worked. I don’t even know what gave me the idea – or the courage – to go in. Anyway, I slipped in the door and there were, I thought, what must have been most of the books in the world.

I had never had a book of my own and I had certainly never seen so many of them.

My parents were intelligent people, but we never had money and we moved a lot, and they just never had accumulated a lot of baggage like books. So there were none in our house. None without pictures in them, anyway. I practically learned to read on comic books.

But I stepped into the library in York and my life was never the same again. That was my first step on the road to a life of words. I would go on to make my living with words, at newspapers all over America, for 44 years until I retired from the Observer in 2005. I also went on to compulsively collect books, and today I have thousands of them

L. A. Mayor Pulls a Rabbit Out of His Hat

Link to April 9 Los Angeles Times article, "Villaraigosa backs off on proposed furlough plan".

Excerpt:  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has backed away from his call to shut down some city departments two days a week, using positive news about the city's budget crisis to downplay a threat that had become increasingly difficult to sustain.

"To all of our surprise, we've gotten an increase in revenues of $30 million more from property tax than we expected," Villaraigosa said Thursday, two days after announcing the move might be necessary as soon as Monday to prevent the city from running out of money.

With the unexpected revenue and the City Council's budget-balancing moves, "We might not be out of cash after all," the mayor said

Manhood crisis over?

Related articles:
Manhood Crisis Erupts.  (4/7/2010)
Cutting Library Hours.  (4/6/2010)
More News Under the Same Headline.  (3/24/2010)
Save America's Libraries (The Los Angeles Story).  (03/23/2010)

State Superintendent's 2010 National Library Week Message

Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Strong libraries have something of value for everyone in Wisconsin. Beyond books, newspapers and magazines, today’s libraries are a community hub for classes, training opportunities, and so much more.
From adults upgrading their employment skills or searching for a job, to students cramming for an exam or writing a research paper, to young people enjoying story time or checking out their first chapter book, libraries are vital resources for any age. And demand for library services continues to grow. Wisconsin residents checked out 63 million items last year from public libraries and made more than 33 million library visits. Internet-based library services through BadgerLink, the state’s on-line library, are seeing growth as well.

In recognition of the importance of libraries and the services they provide their communities, the American Library Association and libraries across the nation are sponsoring National Library Week, April 11 to 17. Libraries form the heart of every community, which is reflected in this year’s National Library Week theme, “Communities thrive @ your library.”

But libraries are more than buildings. Trained library professionals in our school, academic and public libraries help patrons find resources: in the library, on line, or in the community. They search the world for answers. And, librarians recognize community needs. Recently, as communities struggled with the difficult economy, library staff partnered with job centers and technical colleges to increase programming to teach job skills, help prepare resumes, and facilitate employment searches. Clearly, investments in our libraries provide positive returns for our communities.

Libraries in Wisconsin are great resources. No matter your interest or need, libraries and library staff members are there to help. In honor of National Library Week, April 11 to 17, I encourage everyone to visit their local library and find out how “Communities thrive @ your library.”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elmira 1, Niagara Falls 0

Link to April 7 Buffalo News article, "Falls libraries renew director search as Shaw rejects job".

Excerpt:   In a surprise move, the director of the Lewiston Public Library has turned down an offer to take over the Niagara Falls Public Libraries, sending the Falls Library Board back to Square One in its search for a new executive director.

The Library Board expected to ratify a contract with Ronald W. Shaw at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, but its members learned instead that Shaw had turned down their job offer. They immediately began a new international search for an executive director at an annual salary of about $70,000.

Interim Director Daniel R. Killian told the board that Shaw had decided to accept an appointment as director of the Chemung County Library District, headquartered in Elmira. Killian said Shaw was the only local candidate am
ong the 12 people who had applied for the Niagara Falls directorship in a recently completed search.

1,000,000 people who think libraries are important. (Should be a piece of cake, right?)

After 2 1/2 Years, Toronto's Thorncliffe Branch Reopens

From the library's website:
This must be an old picture?

Link to April 8 CBC News article, "New chapter for Toronto's Thorncliffe library".

Excerpt:  Toronto Public Library's Thorncliffe Branch will open April 13 after two and a half years of renovations.

Located in one of the city's most densely populated neighbourhoods, the Thorncliffe Park Drive near Overlea Boulevard branch features longer hours, complete barrier-free access to the building and KidsStop, an interactive early literacy centre for pre-school children and their parents.

The 10,000 square foot library also boasts 11,000 new books and other material, 21 computers and free Wi-Fi internet access

Seattle Public Library at a Crossroads

Link to April 6 The Stranger article by Paul Constant, "Inside the Box:  Corporate Euphemisms, Angry Librarians, Accusations of Bullying: The Tense Battle for Seattle Public Library's Future".

Excerpt:   Seattle Public Library is at a crossroads. About a year and a half after the completion of the Libraries for All initiative that saw the SPL system expand to 26 branches across the city, and a few months after budget cuts brought more than half of those branches down to an anemic, five-day-a-week schedule, the system suffers from a complex layering of crises. The Library Board of Trustees is attempting to reimagine the library for a future it considers to be more about information than physical books while balancing the system's $50 million annual budget. City Librarian Susan Hildreth is spearheading a rebranding program that includes surveys, focus groups, and an added advisory board. Meanwhile, many librarians feel unrepresented by management, and some fear retribution for speaking their minds against new policies and restructuring.

Related articles:
Seattle Public Library asks for input.  (2/28/2010)
15 branches reduce hours.  (2/1/2010)
The Ubiquitous Librarian reflects on Seattle's "spirit of angst".  (1/22/2010) 
Library hornet's nest gets another shake.  (1/22/2010)
Advocating for the Seattle Public Library.  (10/28/2009)
More budget woes in Seattle.  (10/28/2009)
Fee increases.  (10/17/2009)

Boston Public Library: Recommendation to Close 4 Branches (among other cuts)

Link to April 8 Boston Globe article, "Close 4 branches, library chief says".

Excerpt:  Boston Public Library president Amy E. Ryan recommended yesterday that four neighborhood branches be closed as part of an effort to eliminate a $3.3 million budget shortfall, targeting small outposts in disparate corners of the city.

Ryan’s proposal would also impose significant cuts at the main library in Copley Square and in administrative offices, slashing up to 94 jobs across a system that currently has 480 positions.

The option — which still needs approvals by library trustees, the mayor, and the City Council — was one of three Ryan presented to the Board of Trustees yesterday, and it represented the middle ground. Another scenario would close seven branches and expand hours elsewhere, while the third would close no branches but severely reduce hours across the system

Related articles:
More than 100 gather to fight possible branch library closings.  (4/4/2010)
The Skinny on Boston's branch libraries.  (4/1/2010)
Library measures data published.  (3/31/2010)
Don't close the book on us. (3/29/2010)
Citywide Friends of BPL to Hold Demonstration.  (3/28/2010)
BPL Budget News Available at Website.  (3/25/2010)
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)

Wall Street Journal: Online ads show signs of pick-up

Link to April 8 Wall Street Journal article.

Excerpt:  U.S. online-ad spending reached $6.3 billion during the fourth quarter of 2009—the largest quarter on record for Internet advertising, according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group of media and technology companies. Spending during the fourth quarter increased 2.6% from the same period in 2008.

Display ads (graphical ads that border Web sites):  +4% to $8 billion. in 2009.
Online video:  +38% to $1 billion.

The bad news:
Classifieds:  -29% to $2.3 billion.
Lead generation:  -14% to $1.5 billion.
Email ads:  - 28% to $282 million.

Necedah Library Project Postponed

The current Necedah Public Library facility

Link to April 8 Juneau County Star-Times article.

Excerpt:   With eight of the 32 subsections for the proposed Necedah library building not receiving a bid, the completion date could be delayed by a month, according to village Administrator Roger Herried.

"Originally we were looking at the September [of 2010]," he said. "We're now looking at the end of October."

Herried said eight smaller sections of the building projects, such as chain link fencing around the dumpster area, did not garner any interest from contractors.

Rather than accepting bids for only part of the total project, the Village Board will restructure to combine subsections where appropriate before putting the library building out to bid again.

"The board decided to rebid the whole project," said Herried. "How do you really approve a project without a total cost?"

Related article: 
Library plans progressing in Necedah.  (2/8/2010)

Wisconsin spring elections: Incumbents win, incumbents lose

Source:  Metapedia
Link to April 7 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Incumbents bum rushed".

Excerpt:    Political scientists Lilly Goren and Joe Foy saw threads of a grim, maybe angry national mood in Tuesday's local elections in which voters tossed so many mayors and other incumbents out on their ears.

"I think right now there's an anti-incumbency mood in the entire country, so I don't think Wisconsin is different," said Goren, associate professor of politics at Carroll University and a frequent contributor to public radio discussions. "It's tied to the economy."

Foy, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha County, dittoed that


Three-term Oconomowoc Mayor Maury Sullivan - one of four Milwaukee-area mayors to be voted out Tuesday -says politics is more art than science and says all politics is local.

"I do think that there's a backdrop of anti-incumbency, anti-government," said Sullivan, who lost his office to political newcomer James Daley. "It stems from a lot of things, including recession, unemployment, federal government, state government. I don't attribute my loss to that."

Rather, he said, the relevant issues in Oconomowoc tended to be more local, citing Pabst Farms and downtown development and their ramifications, among others.

Brookfield Ald. Steve Ponto, who unseated two-term Mayor Jeff Speaker, doubts that anti-incumbency played any role in Speaker's loss.

"I was hardly a radical choice," he said. With 12 years on the City Council, "I've had more elective time in office than the mayor

A sampling of other election results:

Or the headline could have read:  Six incumbents win county board seats.

Poynette Area Public Library Hopes to Expand on Recent Successes

Link to April 6 Poynette Press article, "Library officials look to future".

Excerpt:  As the old phrase goes – strike while the iron’s hot. These days, the Poynette Area Public Library is hot, and library officials are looking to expand on their recent successes.

“People are excited,” said Poynette Area Library Director Kris Daugherty. “The buzz is very positive about the library.”

More than a dozen people met last week for a long-range planning session and enjoyed a “lively discussion” about the library’s 2010-15 strategic plan. The group previously met in October to start putting the plan together.

“We had incorporated many of the ideas from our earlier meeting and put it together in a working document,” she said. “Our board will meet and incorporate those new ideas into the document, and we will have it published and sent off.”

Every five years, the library board conducts a strategic plan, and with circulation up last year more than any other library in the South Central system, officials are looking at how to manage a growing entity

Related article:
Library looks for room to expand.  (1/21/2010)

Point/Counterpoint: Wisconsin Election Law

Link to April 8 Capital Times article, "League of Women Voters’ Andrea Kaminski: The truth about Wisconsin election reform".  (SB-640)

Excerpt:    It’s remarkable how easily information can be distorted in the information age. Before you believe something you hear or read, it’s worth it to check the facts.

A case in point is Sen. Glenn Grothman’s response to a new election reform bill before the Legislature. The bill promises to modernize our state voter registration system, bring Wisconsin into compliance with federal law in serving military and overseas voters, prohibit voter intimidation, and improve the absentee voting process.

To set the record straight, here is the truth about a few of the senator’s objections to the bill:

Related article:
Proposed bill amends Wisconsin's election laws.  (4/2/2010)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Association of American Publishers: Estimated Book Publishing Industry Net Sales 2002-2009


Finally!  A solid number for e-book sales.  Huge % growth since 2002 but still just 1.3% of total book sales.  But, as they say, it bears watching.

Appleton Public Library Reference Supervisor (Take Retiring Guy's word for it; this is a great place to work!)

Wisconsin public library directors: Your post-election day to-do list

1.  Call the newly elected members of your city council/village board and your county board to offer your congratulations.  Extend the same courtesy to a newly elected mayor, village president, etc.

2.  Invite them to visit the library.

3.  If possible, schedule the visit at a time when the library is busy.

(Better yet, attend the council/board meeting at which new officials are sworn in and extend the invitation in person. This is a particularly effective approach at the local level.  Admittedly, it can be unwieldy to attempt this type of contact before or after a county board meeting.)

Why is this important?

On average, your municipality and county provide 81% of your library's revenue.

And then be sure to keep everyone in the loop throughout the year.  An email distribution list works well.  More traditionally, Retiring Guy used to place monthly reports and newsletters into the council members' (paper) in-boxes on the day before a council meeting.  Whatever works. (And whatever options are available.)

Manhood Crisis Erupts in L.A.

Link to April 7 Los Angeles Times article, "L. A. mayor calls for temporary shutdowns of some agencies".

Excerpt:    The political feud between Villaraigosa and the council -- and the threat to shut down services and stop paying employees -- flabbergasted some officials. Councilman Paul Koretz called the mayor's threat "bizarre" and warned that Villaraigosa and the council were engaging in "a crazier and crazier game of chicken."

"It's absolutely a manhood contest. That's what it's been from the very beginning," said Koretz, who represents much of the Westside.

The mayor directed acting City Administrative Officer Ray Ciranna to prepare to shut down parks, libraries and other general fund services starting Monday. Public safety, trash collection and revenue-generating agencies would be exempt

Related articles:
Cutting Library Hours.  (4/6/2010)
More News Under the Same Headline.  (3/24/2010)
Save America's Libraries (The Los Angeles Story).  (03/23/2010)

CNET News: Is Net Neutrality Dead? (FAQ)

Marguerite Reardon answers our questions in her April 6 "Signal Strength" column.

1.  What is Net Neutrality?

2.  So what did the court actually say in its ruling?

3.  The FCC is currently working on drafting Net neutrality regulation. How will the court ruling affect those efforts?

4.  Will the FCC appeal the court's decision?

5.  But won't the new official regulation be meaningless, because the FCC has no authority to regulate the Net? Will Congress have to pass legislation to make the FCC's role clearer?

6.  What would reclassifying broadband services mean?

7.  How likely is it that broadband will be reclassified a Title II telecommunications service?

8.  Is it likely that Congress will take action to pass a Net neutrality law or some law reclassifying Internet traffic?

9.  What are Internet service providers, such as AT&T and Comcast, expected to do? They got what they wanted, so will they be monkeying with everyone's traffic?

10.  The FCC has just come out with its comprehensive 10-year National Broadband Plan, which is a blueprint for getting affordable broadband access to every American. Will this court ruling affect those plans?

11.  So what does all of this mean for broadband consumers?
Right now, it means very little. Consumers are not likely to see any change in their service as a result of this court ruling. They will be able to access the same services and Web sites they have always been able to access. They will likely continue to see new services being added to the Net. And they will not likely face any degradation in service.

Related articles:
Net Neutrality:  The Opposition Gathers Force.  (10/19/2009)
Shining a Light on Anti-Neutrality Research.  (10/15/2009)
Net Neutrality:  The Goliaths are not amused.  (9/22/2009)

Today's letter writers most in need of a library reference desk

Muslim mosque should be a concern to all.  (Sheboygan Press)

Effects of presidential election being felt now.  (Green Bay Press Gazette)

Government hand outs [sic] discourage American pursuit of happiness.  (Oshkosh Northwestern)

We're losing freedom as price of health care.  (Appleton Post-Crescent)
Obamacare is now law, and I'm not a happy churl.  (As in sense 4a or 4b?)

Chumley, I don't think churls are supposed to be happy.

Do You Know the Way to the Monona Public Library?

The author of The Front Porch Times blog certainly does!

Link to April 3 post, "10 reasons why I love the Monona library".

[Thanks to John DeBacher.]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cutting Library Hours: Charlotte Mecklenburg this week, LA next week; who's next?

Related article:
Villaraigosa calls for shutting down some city departments amid budget crisis. (Los Angeles Times, 4/6/2010)

Excerpt:   Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called Tuesday for all city agencies -- except for police, other public safety and revenue-generating departments -- to close for two days a week starting April 12 because of the city's continuing budget crisis.

It appears that the reduced service hours announced in the LAPL's March 25th news release don't cut deep enough.

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidates and Libraries: Building a Common Agenda

Here are the raw materials.

Issues?  Click on "Creating Jobs".

Keith Richard, Librarian

Retiring Guy has longstanding issues with Keith's care of AV materials.

Link to April 4 (London) Sunday Times article, "It's only books 'n' shelves but I like it".  (via Twitter)

Excerpt:  SHHH! Keith Richards, the grizzled veteran of rock’n’roll excess, has confessed to a secret longing: to be a librarian. After decades spent partying in a haze of alcohol and drugs, Richards will tell in his forthcoming autobiography that he has been quietly nurturing his inner bookworm.

He has even considered “professional training” to manage thousands of books at his homes in Sussex and Connecticut, according to publishing sources familiar with the outline of Richards’s autobiography, which is due out this autumn. He has received a reported advance of $7.3m (£4.8m) for it.

The guitarist started to arrange the volumes, including rare histories of early American rock music and the second world war, by the librarian’s standard Dewey Decimal classification system but gave up on that as “too much hassle.” He has opted instead for keeping favoured volumes close to hand and the rest languishing on dusty shelves

Cataloging, obviously, is not his forte.

Former Community Library Director Alleges Slander

Link to April 5 Kenosha News article.

Excerpt:   The former director of the Community Library District has filed a lawsuit against a library board member, alleging slander and libel, along with a complaint with the state contending she was a victim of discrimination.

Mary Ellen Close filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development March 29, contending that age and sex discrimination were a factor in her demotion and later termination by the Community Library Board. Close, director of the library for 26 years, is 61.

Close also filed suit against Ken Mangold, a member of the library board and a town of Randall supervisor, saying that he harmed her reputation in the community and caused her to lose her job through slanderous false statements.

Community Library in the news.
Former Library Director Sues for Wages after Firing.  (3/16/2010)
Position Announcement:  Library Executive Director, Community Library, Salem, Wisconsin.  (2/5/2010)
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)

Madison Public Library Board Endorses Renovation Plan

Link to April 6 Wisconsin State Journal article.

Excerpt:    Concerned delays could be costly and even threaten prospects for a state-of-the-art central library, the Madison Public Library Board on Monday unanimously endorsed a proposal to renovate and expand the existing facility.

The move adds momentum to Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's push to quickly renovate the 45-year-old library rather than reopen stalled talks with the Fiore Cos. and partners to build a new $37 million library on another site followed by a $50 million private project on the current library property.

The City Council is expected to make a final decision in the coming weeks

Related articles:
Some Council Members Not Ready to Move Forward on Mayor's Renovation Plan.  (3/30/2010)
Council President Pro Tem to Introduce Resolution Approving Madison Central Library Renovation Project.  (3/28/2010)
'Dissatisfaction' with Collapsed Madison Central Library Project. (3/25/2010)
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)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries Now Open Fewer Hours

43 hours per week at regional branches.
41 hours per week at community branches.

"New library hours start today".  Charlotte Observer, April 5, 2010.

Related articles:
"Save Our Libraries Sunday".  (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines.  (3/27/2010)
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) "Arbiters in the Age of Misinformation"

Link to April 5 New York Times article, "Debunkers of Fiction Sift the Net".

Excerpt:  It is one of the paradoxes of the Internet.

After the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Snopes dissected a letter purporting to explain why he was unfit for acclaim. It was the site's most searched subject soon after.

Along with the freest access to knowledge the world has ever seen comes a staggering amount of untruth, from imagined threats on health care to too-easy-to-be-true ways to earn money by forwarding an e-mail message to 10 friends. “A cesspool,” Google’s chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, once called it.

David and Barbara Mikkelson are among those trying to clean the cesspool. The unassuming California couple run Snopes, one of the most popular fact-checking destinations on the Web.

For well over a decade they have acted as arbiters in the Age of Misinformation by answering the central question posed by every chain letter — is this true? — complete with links to further research.

The popularity of Snopes — it attracts seven million to eight million unique visitors in an average month — puts the couple in a unique position to evaluate digital society’s attitudes toward accuracy.

After 14 years, they seem to have concluded that people are rather cavalier about the facts

Groundbreaking at the Dwight Foster Public Library, Fort Atkinson Wisconsin

The original configuration.
Artwork by James S. Baird (1947)

A gathering of local officials, library board members, Friends of the Library, and others join Library Director Connie Meyer on this joyful day.

Library Board President Helen Rose concludes her remarks and acknowledgements.

"A special group", as Connie describes them, stands with shovels ready in front of the area where the new main entrance will be located.

The south facade of the library as it looks now.
Link to rendering of north view of exterior.

Link to rendering of south view of exterior.

Excavation is already taking place at the site of the 12,000-square-foot addition.

Connie offered me a tour of the interior, which I gratefully accepted.

....or thereabouts.

Old use:  storage space.  New use:  community room.

Related articles:
Library now open in temporary quarters. (3/30/2010)
Moving Fort Atkinson Library a pain in many ways.  (3/23/2010)
Dwight Foster Library Lucks Out on Moving Day. (3/20/2010)