Saturday, April 24, 2010

Business is Also Booming at Public Law Libraries

Link to April 19 Star-Tribune article, "The new legal aid:  Do it yourself".

Excerpt:   Edward McComb wandered into the Anoka County law library, his initial step in trying to gain child visitation rights. He was greeted by longtime library director Gene Myers, who knows how to make the burdensome legal task feel like an information-filled walk in the park.

As he printed out a stack of forms, Myers guided the patron to a useful website and tackled question after question. The next visitor was already perched at Myers' desk.

McComb is typical of the growing masses using law libraries during these tough economic times, Myers said. Hiring an attorney isn't an option right now, so he will try to navigate the legal maze himself.

Myers expects more than 12,000 people to drop in this year, compared with 2,000 in 200

Retiring Guy was a bit chagrined that the article made no specific mention of  any "Guidelines for Legal Reference Services", just a casual acknowledgement in the third-to-last paragraph of a lengthy article that "library staff members aren't allowed to dispense legal advice".

40s Fan Fortified Home Library with Fake Family Names

Link to Amanda's page.

Link to April 14 St. Paul Pioneer Press article, "1,400 missing items turned up in St. Paul library worker's home".

Excerpt:   The library turned over to police "numerous 'screen shots' from Cortright's computer terminal" that show her deleting items from the system and marking fines as paid when they hadn't been, the affidavit said.

The library placed Cortright, who has worked for the department since 1998, on paid administrative leave Tuesday, said Sheree Savage, a library spokeswoman. If she is charged, it would become unpaid leave, she said.

Cortright most recently had been assigned to the library's administration office, working on the library's Web site, social media and communications, Savage said. Cortright also had worked at the St. Anthony Park, Merriam Park and Highland Park branches.

This is National Library Week. Cortright's arrest Tuesday fell on National Library Workers Day

About Amanda:  I live in my cute, little bungalow with my wonderful husband. I have a Masters in Library Science and a Bachelors in History. I love all things vintage and even though I was a 80s baby, I feel like I SHOULD have lived in the 40s.

Things might be changing for her.

Minn. Library Employee Arrested for Not Returning Items. (Star-Tribune, 4/16/2010)

Des Plaines Public Library Retains Bookmobile Service

Link to April 23 Daily Herald article, "Des Plaines Library bookmobile will keep on driving at least to 2011".

Excerpt: The library board had been considering whether to discontinue the service during 2010 budget discussions last fall after calls from city officials to scale back library expenses.

"When we went to review and see where we could cut things out, that was one of the ideas that was presented as a cost-saving measure," said Holly Sorensen, assistant library director.

However, cuts were made in other areas, including capping merit-based pay increases at 2.75 percent, to bring the total library budget to $6.6 million, down from $7.2 million in 2009. The bookmobile was spared so that library officials could study the impact of the service further.

This week, the library board voted 8-1 to keep the bookmobile running until 2011. Officials will likely revisit the issue during 2011 budget discussions in September

Houses Demolished to Make Way for (Hoped-For) Library Expansion

View of what voters must agree to fund

Link to April 23 Daily Herald article, "St. Charles library expansion moves forward with demolitions".

Excerpt:   Bryan Wood, the library's assistant director, took photos as Bourbeau's house crumbled to the ground after less than 20 minutes of work by the machine and its giant claw. For Wood and the other library employees who came out to watch. Thursday was about taking the next step toward a vision of a bigger and better library that will serve the needs of a larger population that the current building was meant to accommodate. The expansion, estimated to be in the neighborhood of about $35 million, will expand the library to 112,000 square feet. The site of Bourbeau's old home, and several other homes, will eventually become a parking lot with 280 spaces. But the library needs to ask voters for more money to make the actual expansion occur. When that request will come has yet to be decided. Whether or not voters will agree to fund the project is the last big question delaying the expansion.

"Yeah, we'll just have to see what they want," Wood said

Reaffirming One of the Bright Notes in ALA's 2010 State of America's Libraries Report

"Library construction fared better in 2009 than many expected during the recession, especially given the unreliability of funding for programming, materials, and hours."   Link to executive summary.

And the beat of construction equipment goes on.

Link to April 23 San Jose Mercury News article, "Palo Alto's downtown library closes a chapter, begins renovations".

Excerpt:   The tiny library, built in 1971, is a beloved fixture for many downtown residents, including regulars who come often each week to use the computers, peruse the news and check out a book or two. It is the first of three Palo Alto libraries that will be renovated through a $76 million bond measure passed by voters in 2008.

The exterior of the library on Forest Avenue will stay the same but the interior will see extensive changes. The technical services department at the library will be moving to the Mitchell Park branch, freeing up space for a new multipurpose room for programs and meetings. There will be a new dedicated children's room and a group study room, as well as better lighting, new carpet and paint, and additional computers

Florida Legislators Continue to Debate Over Money for Schools, Libraries

Link to April 24 Miami Herald article.

Excerpt:    Friday's bargaining included a House agreement to spend $11.7 million on libraries next year, about half of what the Senate had proposed. The House decided that programs to attract new corporate jobs to the state were equally important, but the state's top library official said the result would mean a loss of federal matching money.

``It's disappointing,'' said Secretary of State Kurt Browning, whose agency doles out library money. ``At a time when library use has skyrocketed, we're going to cut services.''

No budget is final until the presiding officers, House Speaker Larry Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater, sign the bottom line. Atwater, who's running for the statewide Cabinet post of chief financial officer, said he would look for more library money

Related articles:
Petition to Support Funding of Florida's Libraries.  (3/27/2010)
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

Manhattan As Seen Through the Eyes of Holden Caulfield

Of course, the book's illustration makes you wonder. The sidewalks of New York?

(Only Wisconsin location:  UW-Madison Memorial Library)

Link to April 25 Los Angeles Times article, "Walking in Holden Caulfield's footsteps through Manhattan".

Link to photo gallery.

Excerpt:   Holden Caulfield was a flâneur. That's not generally how we think of him, this archetype of adolescent alienation, this detester of phonies, this poor little lost boy whose voice — by turns knowing, childlike, cynical and bereft — drives J.D. Salinger's iconic 1951 novel, "The Catcher in the Rye." Yet, from the moment, about a quarter of the way through the book, he arrives by train at Manhattan's now-demolished original Pennsylvania Station building, he is our guide on one of the 20th century's great literary walking tours.

Link to January 28, 2010, New York Times article, "Walking in Holden's Footsteps".  (Includes an interactive map.)

Excerpt:    Trace Holden Caulfield's perambulations around Manhattan in "The Catcher in the Rye" to places like the Edmont Hotel, where Holden had an awkward encounter with Sunny the hooker; the lake in Central Park, where he wondered about the ducks in winter; and the clock at the Biltmore, where he waited for his date.

Look for New Entrance to Wisconsin Rapids' McMillan Library in June

Link to Library Director Ron McCabe's column in the April 24 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, "Library constructing new entrance".

Excerpt:   Spring is here, and McMillan Library is buzzing with a new construction project. By June the library will have a new, more visible and more accessible entrance. This new entrance will allow library users to enter the building directly into the commons area from the parking lot, rather than walking down the long exterior corridor to the current entrance. The $70,000 cost of the project is being funded entirely through a generous gift from Charles and JoAnn Lester.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Top 40 Ready Reference Titles: Chase's Calendar of Events

#33 on Retiring Guy's most recent countdown.

Found at 19 LINKcat library locations.
Not bad in an era of shrinking print reference collections.

Here's the inspiration for this post.

And Chase's Calendar of Events provides you with a summary and references.

And here's what rplstf was tweeting about.
Just 1 copy in LINKcat.

And how about that!  The tweet originated from the owning library.

Archie Andrews, Meet Kevin Keller, Your Gay Riverside High School Classmate

Link to April  23 CNN article, "Archie Comics announces new gay character".

Excerpt:  "The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books," said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics co-CEO.

At least one gay conservative is happy.

Retiring Guy hopes to see many of his colleagues at this event

The same venue as Library Legislative Day.

Bloglines Sorely Abuses Adverbs

Time to give up on
(Today they're back, but Retiring Guy hasn't had any feeds since the early afternoon.)

And embrace

I'm great and you suck, Orlando Figes proffers

"...leaves the reader awed, humbled, yet uplifted".
--Orlando Birkbeck

Link to April 23 post, "Poison pen reviews were mine, confesses historian Orlando Figes".

Excerpt:   The story began when historians began to notice a series of reviews on the shopping site which praised Figes's own books and attacked those of his colleagues. Comments posted under the alias "orlando-birkbeck" and "Historian" called Rachel Polonsky's book Molotov's Magic Lantern "hard to follow" and Robert Service's history of communism, Comrades, "awful", while praising Figes's study of Soviet family life, The Whisperers as "a fascinating book ... [that] leaves the reader awed, humbled, yet uplifted"

And leaves the author with.....

Postscript:  LINKcat holdings for Figes.

The Historical Record and Stephen Ambrose's Research Claims

Link to April 23 Chronicle of Higher Education article, "Another Blow to the Reputation of Stephen Ambrose". 

Excerpt:   Now The New Yorker in an article by Richard Rayner raises new questions about the foundation of Ambrose's academic reputation: his work on Eisenhower. The article says that while Ambrose always claimed to have been asked by Eisenhower to write an authorized biography, in fact he himself asked permission to do so. Further, while he said that he had had numerous long and often personal discussions with the general, he really met him just a few times. The story came to light after officials at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum came across unpublished correspondence.

Ambrose died late in 2002. According to rankings on, his books continue to sell well.

2010 National Magazine Award Winners

Magazine of the Year

Link to American Society of Magzine Editors website.

Excerpt:   NEW YORK, NY (April 22, 2010)--The winners of the 2010 National Magazine Awards were announced tonight at the annual awards gala at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Glamour won top honors as Magazine of the Year. New York won four awards, including the award for General Excellence, 250,000 to 500,000 Circulation.

Other multiple-award winners were:

National Geographic, which won three awards, including General Excellence, Over 2 Million Circulation.

The New Yorker, which also won three awards, including the award for Public Interest for Atul Gawande’s “The Cost Conundrum”.

Wired, which won two awards, including the award for Design for the third year in a row.

Known as the Ellies, for the Alexander Calder stabile “Elephant” given to each winner, the gala was attended by nearly 700 magazine editors and publishers. The evening was highlighted by the presentation of the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame Award to Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, by David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker

Internet Transparency: Most Everything You Don't Want to Know about Most Everyone

Link to April 23 New York Times article, "For Web’s New Wave, Sharing Details Is the Point".

Excerpt: Too much information, you say? On the Internet, there seems to be no such thing. A wave of Web start-ups aims to help people indulge their urge to divulge — from sites like Blippy, which Mr. Brooks used to broadcast news of what he bought, to Foursquare, a mobile social network that allows people to announce their precise location to the world, to Skimble, an iPhone application that people use to reveal, say, how many push-ups they are doing and how long they spend in yoga class.

Not that long ago, many were leery of using their real names on the Web, let alone sharing potentially embarrassing personal details about their shopping and lifestyle habits. But these start-ups are exploiting a mood of online openness, despite possible hidden dangers.

Zachary didn't find this book on the shelves of his local public library

Link to April 23 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Police find 628 pot plants in house; 2 men charged."

Excerpt:  During a search of Czerkas' former bedroom in Cross Plains on April 12, police found baggies of suspected marijuana and book title "Grow Great Marijuana."

But he could have requested it via interlibrary loan.

Side note:  Zachary is a 2009 graduate of Middleton High School -- as is Retiring Guy's younger son.  (And that, he assumes, is the only connection.)

Indianapolis Efficiency Experts Look for Ways to Keep Branch Libraries Open

Link to April 23 Indianapolis Star Article, "Cost-cutting might save six city libraries".

Excerpt:   But Mayor Greg Ballard on Thursday said the city's efficiency experts, who focus on ways to generate revenue and reduce government expenses, could help the library find other ways of trimming.

He did not commit to offering the library any financial help , saying the first step is to evaluate the library's situation

Related articles:
More than 1400 sign petition to keep Glendale branch open.  (4/20/2010)
Editorial:  Find resources for library.  (4/19/2010)
What's in store for Indianapolis-area libraries?  (4/17/2010)
Indiana Pacers bailout talks continue.  (4/16/2010)
Postscript.  (4/15/2010)
Look what's at the top of Indianapolis's to-do list.  (4/14/2010)
A Challenge to Indianapolis-Marion County:  Stand Up for Libraries.  (4/13/2010)
Library rally caps?  Get real, sez IndyStar editorial.  (4/12/2010)
Will Indianapolis rally for its libraries?  (4/12/2010)
Library considers branch closings.  (4/9/2010)

Indiana State Agencies Ordered to Keep Chopping

Link to April 23 Indianapolis Star article, "State sharpens budget ax again.  Agencies are asked to continue 10% cuts, trim an additional 5%".

Excerpt:  Chris Ruhl, the state budget director, sent a memo to all state agencies saying revenue for fiscal year 2011 will be less than what the state took in for fiscal year 2006. In the first nine months of the current fiscal year, he said, state revenues are $867 million less than expected and have declined 9.4 percent from last year.

"As a result of these dramatic revenue declines, we are currently forecasting that all reserves will be consumed before the end of the FY 10-11 biennium," Ruhl said in the memo. "We have two options: 1) continue to restrain spending or 2) raise taxes on Hoosiers at a time when they can least afford government impounding more of their income. The choice is clear."

The budget passed in 2009 was 10 percent smaller than the state's previous spending plan. Total cuts in fiscal year 2009 were about $800 million, Ruhl said, adding that the state "is on pace for about the same figure this year

From the June 2, 2009, minutes of the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) legislative committee meeting.

ISL Report/Announcements: Jim Corridan noted that the Indiana State Library’s budget would be cut by 14.5%. However, the 14.5% is misleading; the Indiana State Library previously lost 10%, so only 4.5% more will be cut. The cut will not have a significant impact on the Indiana State Library. The cut will make it harder to establish new programs, however, the current programs will continue to run. Jim also noted that the Connectivity Fund and INSPIRE Funds either need to stay the same, or increase. Also, the Indiana State Library received an additional $200,000 in Federal Funds.

Retiring Guy suspects that the "not have a significant impact" observation will not apply to this next round of budget cuts.

Indiana State Library 2009-11 "as-passed" budget.
[Columns are funding source, FY 2009-10, FY 2010-11]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kathy Garton, 1947-2010

Maybe the Astrodome Could Be a Branch Library

Link to April 6 report, "Houston Public Library to cut service hours".

Excerpt:   “Like a rapidly growing number of public libraries throughout the state and across the country that are facing significant budget reductions due to the downturn in the economy, HPL’s new service hours will better align the library within the city’s current economic environment," said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, director of the Houston Public Library.  [Emphasis added]

Finding points of alignment.
Building a common agenda.

Is this the way it's supposed to work?

Additional excerpt from KHOU report.
The Houston Public Library is working with approximately $2.2 million less in its budget than it anticipated at the start of the 2010 fiscal year. As a direct result, it plans to reduce the service hours patrons can access library services from 70 hours per week to 51 hours per week.

Link to April 12 Houston Chronicle article, "A costly wonder: Dome debt likely to haunt Harris County".

Excerpt: More than a decade after its professional football and baseball teams moved out, the Astrodome carries as much as $32 million in debt — nearly as much as the original cost of construction.

Harris County, which owns the stadium, projects that it will take another generation to complete the $48 million in debt and interest payments to get it off the books.

The debt is so complex and has been refinanced enough times that county financial managers disagree as to how much the county owes. A second estimate put the debt at $19 million.
Either way, local government is on the hook for millions of dollars a year in debt payments and operating costs for a stadium the city has deemed unfit for occupancy.

Debt and interest payments will amount to more than $2.4 million this year, according to a payment schedule for the higher debt estimate. The Astrodome's manager estimates it also will cost $2 million for insurance, maintenance, utilities and securit

More Evidence That College Libraries Are Thriving

Link to April 19 Burlington Free Press article, "College libraries are humming in Vermont".

Excerpt:   This being the Digital Age, and this being the season of term papers, you might suppose that college students simply are Googling away in the comfort of their dorm rooms, and that college librarians have it easy — like Maytag repairmen.

You would be wrong.

Librarians prefer another simile. They consider themselves to be more like tax accountants in April — much sought-after as deadlines loom.

And college libraries? As the semester winds down, they’re crowded. So much for the idea that the Internet is rendering libraries obsolete

Where in the world is Retiring Guy?

In the Spotlight: Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle

Link to April 22 Buffalo News article, "A glimpse of glamour at East Side library".

Excerpt:   Fans of glamorous Hollywood actress Vivica A. Fox barely caught a glimpse of her Wednesday before she slipped inside a trailer stationed in the small parking lot of Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle on Buffalo's East Side.

Fox, who arrived in Buffalo on Wednesday, will be in town for the next couple of days to shoot scenes for "Queen City," a new movie written and directed by Buffalo filmmaker Peter McGennis. In the movie, Fox plays a singer named Lady Midnight. The character is a composite of the great jazz and blues singers, including the late Dodo Greene, who reigned over Little Harlem, the Royal Arms and other clubs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The interior of the Mickiewicz library is being used to stand in for a jazz club from the era

From the Forgotten Buffalo website.
Located in Buffalo, New York's Historic Polonia District, the Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle, located at 612 Fillmore Ave is one of the most important cultural and ethnic landmarks in the city.

Named after Polish Poet and freedom fighter Adam Mickiewicz, the Dramatic Circle was organized and began producing amateur theatricals in 1895. The upstairs library contains over 4,000 volumes and over 400 hand-written scripts for Polish plays. Each year a number of performances are still presented as well as reading of Polish poetry

Cranston Public Library: Budget Cuts May Lead to Branch Closures

Link to April 21 Providence Journal article, "Closing of library branches possible".

Excerpt:    Proposed budget cuts for the year that begins July 1 would force the Cranston Public Library to close branches and eliminate weekend and evening hours, library Director David W. Macksam said..

Already hard-hit by budget cuts last year, the library system — which operates five neighborhood branches and the central library — eliminated a day of service to absorb a $200,000 mid-year cut. Mayor Allan W. Fung has proposed cutting the library’s budget by another $203,946.

New York Public Library's Automated Book Sorter

Link to April 22 New York Times article, "That Mighty Sorting Machine Is Certainly One for the Books".

Excerpt:    A couple of years ago Salvatore Magaddino, who oversees the distribution of materials for the New York Public Library, complained at a meeting that he was having trouble recruiting book sorters, the people responsible for sorting the millions of books sent each year from one branch library to another.

Salvatore Magaddino, who oversees the library system’s distribution of materials. 

“It was a mundane, boring job,” Mr. Magaddino said the other day, standing next to a result of that complaint, a gigantic new automated book sorter housed in a renovated warehouse in Long Island City, Queens. This machine — believed to be the largest of its kind — has eliminated much of the drudgery since it was turned on two months ago. Now, when a library visitor anywhere in the system requests a book located at another branch, the automated sorter does the work of routing it

A Day in the Life of Joe Parisi

Link to April 21 McFarland Thistle article.

Excerpt: Some people wonder what it is that elected officials do. Some think they do nothing, others think they are involved in some kind of conspiracy. Recently, the Thistle endeavored to find out the truth, and followed McFarland State Representative Joe Parisi around all day on Wednesday, April 7.

“Every day is different,” Parisi said. “It’s different every day and different times of the year are different,” depending on when the legislature is in session. But his staff makes sure he’s in the right place at the right time. “My staff is really wonderful,” Parisi said.

The Wisconsin State Historical Society Library Reading Room is Ready for Its Close-Up

Link to April 21 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Awe-inspiring Reading Room restoration debuts at state Historical Society".

Excerpt:  How does one restore a "sense of place" when there is little evidence of what the original looked like?

Architectural detective work, attention to quality, brilliant - meaning both bright and intelligent - solutions and persistence were brought to the task of restoring the Library Reading Room at the Wisconsin Historical Society's campus headquarters.

For the $2.9 million renovation and restoration project, the society received a room demure in tone, expansive in structure and inventive in meeting an odd challenge of in-with-the-really-old, out-with-the-old

More pictures here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

AmeriCorp VISTA Volunteers Create Job Opportunity Center at Fond du Lac Public Library

Link to April 21 post.

Excerpt:   AmeriCorps VISTA members Sara Byrnes and Josh Cowles were instrumental in helping the Fond du Lac Public Library create the Opportunity Center, which provides library services to displaced workers. Byrnes and Cowles have been offering Job Smart U classes for the community. The classes help individuals gain important skills in the job search including resume writing, interviewing, financial literacy, re-entering the work force as older adults, and computer skills. The courses are offered free of charge and taught by volunteers recruited by Byrnes and Cowles.

Set Your Alarm for 6AM Thursday April 22 and Break Out the Bold Coffee Beans

Discussion based on the American Library Association's State of America's Libraries Report 2010.

Library Fines: George Washington Owes a Bundle

But he appears to be making good on his debt.  And quickly!