Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sparta (Wisconsin) Free Library Has Opening for Assistant Director/Young Adult Coordinator

Sparta received 1 of 9 Wisconsin Carnegie library grants in 1902.

Full position description found here.

YouTube Library Video of the Day

Full disclosure. Looking for recent articles about the Great Falls (Montana) Public Library.

Retiring Guy wonders why the exteriors weren't shot on a sunny day.

South Carolina Governor Issues 107 Budget Vetoes

Including all state aid and federal stimulus funds for public libraries, a loss of $6,500,000.  (Doesn't he have any hiking on his itinerary?)


Link to June 9 The State article.

Response of South Carolina State Library Director

Warren Bolton on the Importance of Reading

The author's hometown library

Link to June 11 The State op-ed piece by Associate Editor Warren Bolton, "Reading expands children's potential".

Excerpt:   I rarely miss an opportunity, whether in this column or when talking with students at a local school, to stress the importance of reading. 

I can't help it. My mom, a working woman who raised 11 children, promoted reading as a pathway t't success. She brought books home seemingly daily. She made sure we had library cards, and insisted we take regular trips (by city bus for those still not sold on the importance of public transit) to the Richland County Public Library.

By flooding us with books on top of books, Mom set a standard for her children. Not only did we learn to cherish reading, but we were prepared to learn when we entered school.

Reading can be a great equalizer between the child who hails from a family with little means, rarely leaves the house and travels only via the city bus and the child who comes from an affluent family, travels abroad and has wide-ranging cultural experiences. Reading can take a free-lunch student who experts predict will struggle in school and catapult him to a place among the upper percentile of achievers. It expands the mind, builds the vocabulary and shrinks the achievement gap
.

Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners Does Mayor's Bidding


Link to June 11 Los Angeles Times article, "L. A. libraries are cut to 5 days a week".

Excerpt:   Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's appointees at the Los Angeles Public Library voted Thursday to cut the number of library hours by eight per week as part of the city's larger plan to trim expenses by reducing public services.

In a 3-0 vote, the Board of Library Commissioners unanimously cut
one day of service from each of the city's 73 libraries, keeping them open five days a week starting July 6.

Villaraigosa's budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 calls for the reduction of 761 employee positions. Of that total, at least 101 are in the Library Department. The city is scheduled to send layoff notices to those 101 workers next week, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said
.

Let's do a little math here.  The 101 library works is 13% of a total reduction of 761 employee positions.  In the 2009-10 fiscal year, the City of Los Angeles had 35,864 positions.  Retiring Guy doesn't think the Los Angeles Public Library has 4,639 employees.  (It's 1,132.)  Sock it to me indeed.

Related articles:
Another elective body thinks libraries are dispensable.  (5/5/2010)
Cutting library hours:  Charlotte Mecklenburg this week, LA next week, who's next?  (4/6/2010)
More news under the same headline.  (3/24/2010)

Information Wants to be Free...and Expensive

"Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine---too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away." --Stewart Brand in 1984.


Link to The Atlantic, "Closing the Digital Frontier".

Excerpt: After 15 years of fruitless experimentation, media companies are realizing that an advertising-supported model is not the way to succeed on the Web and they are, at last, seeking to get consumers to pay for their content. They are operating on the largely correct assumption that people will be more likely to pay for consumer-friendly apps via the iPad, and a multitude of competing devices due out this year, than they are to subscribe to the same old kludgy Web site they have been using freely for years. As a result, media companies will soon be pushing their best and most timely content through their apps instead of their Web sites.

So far, Retiring Guy has contented himself with free apps.

City to find parking for Wisconsin Dells library

Link to June 12 Wisconsin Dells Events article.

Excerpt: Gisela Hamm, a member of the library board, said the board was trying to avoid people coming in on Elm Street and wanted to encourage people to come in off Cedar Street. The original plan would have been perfect, she said, and the block would still have adequate green space. She said the Cedar Street side would be safer for parents with small children and and would avoid parents and families having to traipse through the entire library to get to the children's section.

Hamm also said the board spent a lot of time planning the building and it put things into the plan that the community asked for. One of those was for more parking and better parking. She said she never thought in her wildest immagination that the commission and council would object to the parking.

"I can't understand why the library board does not see we not going to allow parking in that green space," Alderperson Dan Gavinski said. "It's not going to happen."

Arndt repeated said the design does not depend on Cedar Street side of the library becoming the main entrance and that the children's library entrance has always been an auxiliary entrance.
The parking plan was on the commission's agenda as discussion only and Helland concluded the discussion by saying that his feeling is the commission is fine with going ahead with the site plan for the building except for the parking. The parking is not a critical concern, he said. "We can find parking for you."

Before the discussion ended, Commissioner Mike Freel said in talking with local residents, they are questioning why the library addition is being built. The library is the newest municipal building in the city and some people do not see a need for the expansion, he said. He said the city's fire department and police department were built in the 1920s and the city did not have funds to build new ones
.

Related articles:
Board decides on parking plan.  (5/20/2010)
Dells plan commission to library board: parking plan, please. (5/10/2010)
Library expansion project includes parking lot.  (4/12/2010)
Library board reviews expansion plans.  (1/30/2010)

South Madison library branch to be named in honor of Goodman brothers


Link to June 11 Wisconsin State Journal article.

Excerpt:   The new South Madison Branch Library will be named in honor of celebrated Madison philanthropists Robert and Irwin Goodman after a $250,000 donation to the library's capital campaign by the Goodman Foundation.

The announcement came as representatives of the Goodman Foundation, along with Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and others kicked off the opening of the Goodman Community Pool for the season.

"Together the Goodman brothers lived a life filled with extraordinary community service that continues today through the Goodman Foundation," Cieslewicz said in a statement Friday. "I want to thank the foundation for this incredible gift to the South Madison Branch."

The donation brings the Madison Public Library Foundation's capital campaign to its goal of raising $700,000 for interior construction and design costs, said Terrie Goren, the foundation's executive director
.

Winnefox Library System Attempts to Calculate Scope of Fine Loss


Link to June 12 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Winnefox Library System will try to calculate lost fines from computer glitch that caused thousands of dollars in penalties to be erased from library accounts in Fox Valley".

Excerpt: The Winnefox Library System will attempt to calculate the scope of the May 27 programming error that erased thousands of dollars in fines for late returns at 30 member libraries.

That's a dramatic change from a May 28 e-mail by Karen Boehning, Winnefox's technology coordinator, who told library directors there was no way to tally the lost fines or identify the affected library accounts.

"We have restored a backup to the test server and have been looking at possible reports that might help quantify the problem," Boehning wrote Friday in an e-mail to directors.

The Fond du Lac Public Library estimated that the error wiped out $60,000 in fines from its books.

"This is a major blow to the revenues of all of the libraries involved," Library Director Ken Hall said.

The Neenah and Menasha public libraries experienced a 50 percent to 75 percent drop in fine revenues in the week after the error. The libraries budgeted $35,000 and $20,000, respectively, in fine revenues this year.



Related article:  
Computer glitch erases library fines.  (6/11/2010)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cedar Rapids Gazette Publishes "Roots of Recovery" Series

Perhaps it was unintentional, but Retiring Guy likes the fact that the Library receives such prominent billing in this graphic.

Link to series of articles

Link to June 10 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Downtown’s losses poignant, but recovery has made strong start".

Excerpt: Although life has returned to a downtown stilled by the June 2008 floods, the silence in certain places speaks loudly.

Theatre Cedar Rapids has returned, but the Paramount Theatre — home of the Cedar Rapids Symphony — remains closed. The laughter at Penguin’s comedy club moved to the Clarion Inn, and the muted voice of the Cedar Rapids Public Library is now heard at Westdale Mall.

Some businesses that returned after the flood have already closed, including Blend restaurant, which helped spark a downtown revival before the flood, and a used-car dealer that opened on the former downtown Dairy Queen site.

Cedar Rapids Downtown District President Doug Neumann estimates $1 billion will be spent on downtown recovery and revitalization from June 2008 through June 2013. That doesn’t even include the estimated $900 million cost of the city’s preferred flood-protection plan
.

Pew Research on the Future of Cloud Computing

Link to June 11 overview of Pew Internet & American Life report.

Excerpt: A solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders participating in the fourth Future of the Internet survey expect that by 2020 most people will access software applications online and share and access information through the use of remote server networks, rather than depending primarily on tools and information housed on their individual, personal computers. They say that cloud computing will become more dominant than the desktop in the next decade. In other words, most users will perform most computing and communicating activities through connections to servers operated by outside firms.

Among the most popular cloud services now are social networking sites (the 500 million people using Facebook are being social in the cloud), webmail services like Hotmail and Yahoo mail, microblogging and blogging services such as Twitter and WordPress, video-sharing sites like YouTube, picture-sharing sites such as Flickr, document and applications sites like Google Docs, social-bookmarking sites like Delicious, business sites like eBay, and ranking, rating and commenting sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

This does not mean, however, that most of these experts think the desktop computer will disappear soon. The majority sees a hybrid life in the next decade, as some computing functions move towards the cloud and others remain based on personal computers
.

Brown County Among Fastest Growing Counties in Wisconsin

Estimates for northeast Wisconsin

Link to June 11 Green Bay Press-Gazette article.,"Census estimate shows Brown County growth".

Excerpt: The last population estimates based on Census 2000 shows that Brown County was among the fastest-growing counties in Wisconsin, according to estimates released Thursday.

The estimates put Brown County's population at 247,319, a 20,541 increase over what was counted in Census 2000. Estimates are based on that count and updated with administrative records to estimate population change through births, deaths and migration.

The U.S. Census Bureau does the estimates annually except in years when it conducts the census. The next population estimates will be in 2011 and based on 2010 population counts.

Brown County's 9 percent estimated growth rate since 2000 is the 10th highest in the state. St. Croix County led with 32 percent growth, which gives an estimated population of 86,311.

Brown County's estimated gain of 20,541 people was the third-largest gain in the state, behind increases in Dane and Waukesha counties.

Brown remains the fourth-largest county in the state
.

Computer glitch erases $60,000 in library fines


Link to June 11 Fond du Lac Reporter article.
(Also reported in a slightly different version in the June 11 Appleton Post-Crescent.  No mention of specific dollar amount here.)

Excerpt: The May 27 error involved 30 public libraries in Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Waushara, Green Lake and Marquette counties.

Karen Boehning, technology coordinator for Winnefox, said the fines could not be restored and that there was no way to count them or identify the affected users.

"This event is good fortune for anyone who had fines erased but is a misfortune for the libraries that might have collected those fines," Boehning said in an e-mail to library directors
.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

American Library Association Publication on Shared Library Network

Link to report.

Wisconsin's BadgerNet is one of the five case studies profiled.

Excerpt: Since as early as the 1970s, Wisconsin has been one of the nation’s leaders in creating long-haul video networks to provide distance learning to schools. In 1993, to build on this success, then-Governor Thompson established a Governor’s Blue Ribbon Telecommunications Task Force. The task force was charged to (1) develop a vision fora statewide telecommunications network for educational institutions and government agencies and (2) recommend changes in state statutes and policy to remove barriers to the realization of this vision. In its planning for the statewide infrastructure, the task force also was required to consider and integrate Wisconsin’s existing K-12 video network—consisting of more than 8,000 miles of fiber throughout the state at the time—into the network plans.

Table of contents.

No Friday Hours at Wheaton Public Library Irks Council Members


Link to June 9 Daily Herald article, "Wheaton officials clash over Friday library closures".

Excerpt: City council members are doing more than criticizing Wheaton Public Library officials' decision to close the facility on Fridays.

They are vowing to do everything in their power to force the library board to abandon the cost-cutting move.

"We need to address this - and address this quickly - because our wishes are not being implemented," Councilman Howard Levine said. "This is a situation that cannot stand."

Library officials made no secret they were considering the Friday closures to make up for the loss of $300,000 in property tax revenue the city withheld to deal with its own budgetary problems.

When Wheaton adopted a budget that cut the funding, the library board approved the closure plan, which took effect last Friday.

"It was not a unanimous vote," library board President Colleen McLaughlin said, "so it certainly was a tough decision to make."


Related articles:
Bad news/good news.  (5/21/2010)
More budget cuts could lead to no Friday hours.  (3/20/2010)

City of Sheboygan Officials Face $1,500,000 Budget Deficit in 2011

"It's deja vu all over again!"

Link to June 10 Sheboygan Press article, "Budget cuts may place services in jeopardy".

Excerpt: Sheboygan officials say they may have no choice but to make cuts affecting library programs, snow removal, park maintenance and other popular city services in order to close a projected $1.5-million budget deficit looming in 2011.

Department heads gave aldermen an early look at what may be needed to balance the budget during a Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday night
.

[snip]

Sheboygan officials say they may have no choice but to make cuts affecting library programs, snow removal, park maintenance and other popular city services in order to close a projected $1.5-million budget deficit looming in 2011.

Department heads gave aldermen an early look at what may be needed to balance the budget during a Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday night
.

Related articles:
Editorial board supports library funding deal.  (11/27/2009)
Library likely to maintain its MOE funding.  (11/24/2009)
MOE update.  (11/20/2009)
Mead Library and maintenance of effort funding.  (11/17/2009)
Maintenance of effort:  There at the creation.  (10/29/2009)
Maintenance of effort:  Thank "the powerful Madison library lobby".  (7/29/2009)
Maintenance of effort and the Mead Public Library.  (7/6/2009)
Library will maintain maintenance of effort.  (5/19/2009)

Suzann Holland Selected as Director of Monroe (Wisconsin) Public Library

Welcome (back) to Wisconsin, Suzann!


Link to May 25 Monroe Times article, "Public library will have a new leader".

Excerpt: Suzann Holland was selected as the next Monroe Public Library director by the library's Board of Trustees at its April meeting, Monroe school board and library board member Brian Keith said Monday.

Holland will begin her duties June 23. She will replace Barbara Brewer, who will retire June 30.

Keith announced the board's decision at Monday's Monroe school board meeting. Holland was one of about 25 people who applied for the position and one of five finalists who were interviewed, Keith said
.

Beloit Public Library Raises $1.5 Million in Initial Phase of Campaign



Link to June 4 Beloit Daily News article, "Library sees big campaign bucks".

Excerpt: The Beloit Public Library raised $1.5 million as part of its initial fundraising campaign.

This successful completion of the “Say Hello to the New Beloit Public Library” capital campaign comes approximately one year after the library moved to its current location at 605 Eclipse Blvd.

“The first fundraising call I did was 14 months ago,” said Nancy Forbeck, a fundraising committee member. “That was such a terrible time to be raising money so it really makes the whole success of this something to be thrilled about.”

Forbeck said she and the rest of the fundraising committee are thankful for the tremendous generosity of local businesses, foundations and individuals who made the campaign a success.

They are particularly grateful for the support from the Hendricks Family Foundation ($500,000), the Beloit Foundation ($250,000), the Beloit Public Library Foundation ($250,000), Kerry Ingredients Inc. ($75,000), Regal Beloit Corporation ($50,000), and the Neese Family Foundation ($50,000).

The City of Beloit paid $7.7 million for the construction of the new facility, but the $1.5 million went toward the furniture, fixtures and equipment including 46 new computers.

The public library board is now turning to the Beloit community to finish the campaign
.

Sex Offender Banned from Neenah Public Library


Link to June 10 Appleton Post-Crescent article.

Excerpt:   Officers recommended he be charged with a misdemeanor for lewd and lascivious behavior in public for a Dec. 20 incident at the library, but the charge likely will be downgraded to a municipal citation for disorderly conduct.

Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson said the misdemeanor charge requires proof that the defendant publicly exposed himself, and surveillance video* does not show that.

"He is reaching in (his sweatpants)," Wilkinson said. "He is being obscene in his behavior, but it doesn't meet the definition."

Library Director Stephen Proces banned Pitzen from the library shortly after police arrested him in May. The Library Board will vote to confirm the ban next Wednesday.

Proces said only three people have been banned from the library during his 22 years as director. Each ban involved sexual misconduct
.

*The Wisconsin Library Association's Library Development & Legislation Committee continues to work with the staff at the Division for Library, Technology, and Community Learning's Public Library Development Team on items 2 & 3 addressed in Rick Grobschmidt's linked testimony.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We Will Not Be Shushed 24-Hour Read-In




Marin County Residents Approve Parcel Tax for Libraries

Parcel taxes had to pass by a two-thirds majority.
"I think the one thing that tells me most significantly is that people will vote for a tax if they really see it is going to benefit them and their community," said Measure B co-chair Elihu Welber. 

Link to June 9 San Jose Mercury News article, "Marin library parcel taxes receive strong support".

Excerpt: On Tuesday, it was all about libraries in Marin.

All three parcel taxes touted as saviors for libraries in San Rafael, San Anselmo and 10 locations around the county exceeded the two-thirds majority needed in late returns Tuesday night.

"We won!" said David Dodd, San Rafael library director. "In the context of the other two victories I think it means people recognize the importance of libraries in the county."

"I'm so happy all the measures made it," said Ginny Schultz, chairwoman for Measure A, the tax for the Marin County Free Library. "The number of people that say 'oh yes we love our libraries' - the support in the community has been very encouraging."

As of late Tuesday, Measure A passed with 74 percent, and San Anselmo voters approved Measure B with 74 percent.

Final results for San Rafael's Measure C showed that tax earned 69 percent approval.


Related article:
Marin County's $49 Annual Library Parcel Tax Needs Two-Thirds Majority to Pass.  (6/6/2010)

Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries: It's Complicated

Strings attached to city money.

Some county commissioners talking takeover.


Link to June 9 Charlotte Observer article, "City money helps, but library still at risk".

Excerpt:   The city offer is contingent on several things: a $1.4 million credit from the county on the joint city-county ledger (don't ask); and four of the six Mecklenburg towns must also offer support.

Last week Mecklenburg County commissioners agreed to reduce the libraries' proposed cut by $3.5 million. They also put strings on the money, such as requiring library trustees to consider consolidating some operations with county government. And the county's list suggests "consideration" for "reinventing the public library."

The city's list of requirements includes meeting the county requirements.

All this takes place amid questions, mostly off the record, among elected officials about whether the library is well run. The library system is separately chartered under state law and run by appointed trustees, though it gets more than 90 percent of its money from the county. "This might be good for them," District 6 council member Andy Dulin said Monday, before voting against the library money.

Some county commissioners are talking takeover. Late Monday, commissioner Karen Bentley e-mailed the county attorney asking, "Does the BOCC [board of county commissioners] have the authority to disband the current Library Board? ... What would have to occur in order for the BOCC to bring the library system under temporary County leadership?"


Related articles:
Mayor wins straw vote at emotional council meeting.  (6/7/2010)
Editorial:  Should city 'stay in its lane' on libraries.  (6/4/2010)
County commissioners restore some cuts to libraries.  (6/4/2010)
Straw votes begin on Mecklinburg County budget.  (6/3/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries continue to look for one-time financial help.  (5/31/2010)
High school junior speaks out eloquently for libraries.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor Foxx on the art of governing.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor supports financial help for library.  (5/27/2010)
County budget:  Oh, yeah, this is fair.  (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction.  (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches.  (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt.  (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget.  (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today.  (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open.  (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution.  (4/30/2010)
Library Board chair speaks out.  (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts.  (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit.  (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task.  (4/10/2010)
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)

Community Input Sought for Marshfield Public Library Improvement Plans


Link to June 9 Marshfield News-Herald article.

Excerpt: The plans encompass expanding the library so that it will house the Senior Center and possibly a teen center, said Lori Belongia, library director, prior to the meeting.

"But this is bigger than combining the library and the Senior Center," Belongia said. The steering committee and those on the tour will visit communities that have recently renovated their libraries to learn about the multiple uses integrated into the public facilities, she said.

Some of the new libraries have drive-up window services, house historical societies, veterans centers and literacy councils, while others have coffee shops and teen centers, Belongia said
.

Appleton Post-Crescent Interview with James Bradley

Link to June 9 Appleton Post-Crescent, "'Flags of Our Fathers' author James Bradley begins researching next book".

Excerpt: As James Bradley tells it, he "continued the story" of the famous photo of the Iwo Jima flag-raising in World War II by writing the best-selling book "Flags of Our Fathers." The book, which also was turned into a movie, told of Bradley's father, John Bradley, who grew up in Appleton, and the five other men who raised the flag.

Bradley went on to write two other best-selling war-related books, "Flyboys" and "The Imperial Cruise." Now, Bradley is in Appleton doing research on what may turn out to be another book that would continue the flag-raisers' story further. He's going to the hometowns of the six men to talk to people about values then and now — how they've changed and what impact they've had on America
.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cooperative Activity Worth Borrowing: Library Ride to Read Program



 

Lt. Governor Lawton Announces Appointment of Kris Adams Wendt as Policy Director

Smartphones: Survey Says....

23% of mobile users now have one.
Link to June 4 neilsenwire post.  (via Hypebot)

Biggest market share
35% Blackberry
26% iPhone

Most common data features used in past 30 days.  (21 listed)
1.  Text messaging/SMS
2.  Mobile internet
3.  Email
4.  Picture messaging/MMS
5.  Application downloads
6.  Location-based services/GPS

Look What Happens When You Google "Oil Spill"

Orange border added for highlighting purposes.
"Learn more about how BP is helping."


Link to June 8 TIMESONLINE article, "BP 'manipulating search results' on Google following oil spill".

Excerpt: The company is purchasing terms such as “oil spill”, “Deepwater Horizon” and “Gulf of Mexico”, so that when a user types these words into the search engines, the results prominently feature a “sponsored link” to BP’s official page on its response to the spill.

Critics have described BP’s move as unethical. Maureen Mackey, a writer on the Fiscal Times, an online news site, said: “What it effectively does is that it bumps down other legitimate news and opinion pieces that are addressing the spill... and \[BP are\] paying big money for that.”

The criticism comes as President Obama expressed unease at the amount of money the company was spending to counter the negative attention the company has received following the oil spill
.


And on YouTube, this is what you get with a "BP" or "oil spill" search.  But not "deepwater horizon".
It's a full-court press on the PR front, people.

Nan Graham on Ann Beattie: "She Didn't Die"

Although her books aren't exactly the liveliest titles on LINKcat library shelves.
 The LINKcat tally
(With 49 library locations) 

Link to June 8 New York Times article, "A Reliving of a Time of Fame".

Excerpt:   Now 62, Ms. Beattie continues to write, and her characters, or many of them, have aged along with her: they have mortgages, children, divorces. She has published seven novels and eight collections of stories so far, and her newest book, her first in five years, a novella called “Walks With Men,” comes out from Scribner on Tuesday.

And yet, while not unknown, exactly, Ms. Beattie is hardly a household name anymore. When she is introduced at parties, she said recently, people sometimes ask, “Should I know who you are?” Just recently someone whipped out an iPhone and Googled her name while Ms. Beattie watched
.

Link to Jay McInerney's review of Walk With Men.

Retiring Guy clearly remembers the critical buzz that settled over Beattie for awhile during the mid-1970s.  He read a few of her stories -- don't ask for titles -- and became neither a fan nor detractor.  Favorite author who started writing in the 1970s:  Richard Price.

Fond du Lac School District Reconsideration Committee Votes to Keep Book on Library Shelves

Link to June 8 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "'Sisterhood' book will remain on Theisen library shelves".

Excerpt: A popular young adult book, “Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood,” by Ann Brashares will remain on the library shelf at Theisen Middle School.

In a 7-1 vote Monday night, a reconsideration committee decided the book’s value as a reading source for middle school students trumped parent Ann Wentworth’s objection to content she labeled “age inappropriate” and “sexual.


Related articles:
Reconsideration committee to meet.  (6/2/2010)
Yet another book challenge in Fond du Lac.  (5/20/2010)
Wentworth motors on. (5/3/2010)
Ann Wentworth gets fan mail.  (4/29/2010)
School board upholds decision to keep book on shelves.  (4/13/2010)
School library challenge moves to next step.   (4/5/2010)
Parent appeals decision to keep book.  (2/28/2010)
Fond du Lac School District: Update on Remaining Book Challenges
. (2/24/2010)
Sonya Sones Letter to Fond du Lac School Superintendent. (2/23/2010)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Congratulations to the Columbus Metropolitan Library

Way to go Pat & staff!

Charlotte Mayor Wins Library Straw Vote at Emotional Council Meeting


Link to June 7 Charlotte Observer article, "Susan Burgess bids emotional City Council farewell".

Excerpt: Burgess, visibly weak with terminal cancer, cast her final votes for the city’s $1.65 billion budget – and to give the county’s cash-strapped libraries $1.4 million.

She also urged the council to appoint her son Jason as her replacement. The council is scheduled to fill the seat on Monday.

The library straw vote represented a victory for Mayor Anthony Foxx, who set out four conditions for the grant that include contributions from other Mecklenburg towns. The measure passed with six votes in favor. Burgess, a one-time opponent, joined supporters.

Charlotte’s Mayor Pro Tem, Burgess, 64, has been under hospice care. A post last Friday on the CaringBridge.org Web site said she was confined to bed with no appetite and little energy. Until she actually appeared Monday, even friends weren’t sure she could.

Riding in a wheelchair, she entered the packed government center conference room to a prolonged standing ovation from more than 150 city officials and employees. Many of her friends wore vintage Burgess campaign T-shirts
.

Related articles:
Editorial:  Should city 'stay in its lane' on libraries.  (6/4/2010)
County commissioners restore some cuts to libraries.  (6/4/2010)
Straw votes begin on Mecklinburg County budget.  (6/3/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries continue to look for one-time financial help.  (5/31/2010)
High school junior speaks out eloquently for libraries.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor Foxx on the art of governing.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor supports financial help for library.  (5/27/2010)
County budget:  Oh, yeah, this is fair.  (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction.  (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches.  (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt.  (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget.  (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today.  (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open.  (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution.  (4/30/2010)
Library Board chair speaks out.  (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts.  (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit.  (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task.  (4/10/2010)
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)

Library project gets aid from City of Viroqua


Link to Vernon County Broadcaster article.

Excerpt: The Viroqua City Council directed city administrator Matt Giese to assist the McIntosh Memorial Library Board as needed to provide the Viroqua community with a new library.

The resolution also authorized the library board to continue its investigations in pursuit of a new library building.

"We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this project," library director Trina Erickson said. "I don’t think we’ve rushed anything to date.
"

Related articles:  
New library cost estimate:  $5.7 million.   (5/20/2010)
Library building project update.  (3/15/2010)
Viroqua's McIntosh Memorial Library Space Needs Study Update.  (1/16/2010) 
Viroqua's McIntosh Memorial Library Space Needs Task Force.  (12/28/2009)

Town Chairman's Proposal to Change Library Funding Formula Gets Cool Reaction

Pauline Haass Public Library (Sussex, Wisconsin) 

Link to June 1 Sussex Sun article.

Excerpt:   Town Chairman Matt Gehrke's proposal to change the funding formula for the Pauline Haas Library is getting mixed reviews from some of his fellow Town Board members and is not being embraced by one key Sussex village official.

Meanwhile, Library Director Kathy Klager urged the elected officials to focus first on amending the agreement that created the joint community library and deal with funding formula issues later.

Klager said planning for the future of the library will become "problematic" unless there is a change to a clause in the agreement that enables either community, after 2014 when building bonds are retired, to terminate the agreement with 90 days notice.

"Because of that clause, we cannot plan on even technical and mundane things like buying a new boiler," Klager said, pointing out that there are no assurances the library can survive from one year to the next because of the termination clause
.

Related article: 
Town of Lisbon Chairman proposes new funding formula for library.  (5/31/2010)

XM Brand Scam: C'mon People, a Quick Google Search Should Nip This Nonsense in the Bud

Link to June 6 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Online personal care products company racks up complaints".

Excerpt: One of the internet’s more notorious complaint targets, XM Brands, was cited by the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau on Thursday as an up-and-coming “F-rated” online store, meaning complaints are piling up.

XM Brands, of Florida, an online seller of anti-aging creams, teeth whiteners, colon cleansers, cellulite smoothers and other image-reparation systems, picked up a dozen complaints from Wisconsin consumers in just the past month, said Susan Bach, of the BBB. Nationwide, the company has gathered 623 complaints just to the BBB
.

Double Down Resistance -- Some Just Aren't Interested

Fill-in-the-blank journalism.

Link to June 7 Racine Journal-Times article, "Facebook resistance - some just aren't interested".

Excerpt: There may be more than 400 million current active Facebook users, as the world’s largest social network says, but not everybody is a fan.

On Sunday, May 30, The Journal Times story, “Feedback on Facebook,” focused on people who use it.

Today’s story introduces us to those resisting the Facebook mania:


On deck:  Twitter.

In the hole:  Flickr. 

Juxtapose These 2: "Hooked on Gadgets", "Unlimited Data Plans are Challenged"

Link to June 7 New York Times article, "Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price".

Excerpt:   Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.

These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.

The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cellphone-wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks. And for millions of people like Mr. Campbell, these urges can inflict nicks and cuts on creativity and deep thought, interrupting work and family life.

While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise
.

Link to June 7 New York Times article, "As Unlimited Data Plans Are Challenged, App Developers Worry".

Excerpt:  “What created this lively app world we are in was the iPhone on one hand, and unlimited data plans on the other,” said Noam Bardin, chief executive of Waze, which offers turn-by-turn driving directions. “If people start thinking about how big a file is, or how fast an application is refreshing, that will be a huge inhibitor.”

New features on phones encourage more data use and vice versa. The next version of the iPhone, set to debut on Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, will include a second, front-facing video camera, according to leaked reports. That could conceivably allow developers like Skype to offer face-to-face video calls from phones — a service that is much more data-intensive
.

More data use......as in more hooked on gadgets.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

OCLC Report: How Libraries Stack Up, 2010

Facts and figures to share with your elected officials. They need to pay attention to the fact that the majority of their constituents love and value libraries.

Libraries at the Heart of their Communities.

Norwegian Browser Looks to Make Inroads in U.S.

Gotta love the Mercury News for tech articles!


Link to June 6 San Jose Mercury News article, "Little known Norwegian browser challenges the big boys".

Excerpt:  No. 1 in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. It might not be a slogan to attract an avalanche of American Internet users, but the Norwegian company that makes the fastest Web browser you've never heard of sees a major opportunity in the United States and the rest of the world.

Since the Internet went mainstream in the 1990s, accessing the Web has been an either-or decision, if there were any choice at all — Netscape or Microsoft's Internet Explorer? Or more recently — IE or Firefox? But the popularity of the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox and the rapid rise of Google Chrome have broken that logjam. With Internet Explorer on track to abdicate its long-held position as the browser used by a majority of the world's desktop users, browsers are experiencing their most intense cycle of innovation since Microsoft vanquished Netscape in the 1990s, innovation that is giving users a faster and more powerful window to the Web.



Retiring Guy has major issues with Google Chrome's "hang time" and is willing to give Opera a try.  Just toe-dipping time right now but already like the layout.

Battle for the Future, Part III: Apple's iPhone v. Google's Android

Link to June 5 San Jose Mercury News article, "Apple's iPhone vs. Google's Android: Battle may set computing future".

Excerpt: Windows vs. the Mac OS. Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator. The iPhone vs. Android.

The first two of those battles have defined computing over the past 25 years, shaping how consumers use their PCs and how they surf the Internet. Now many tech observers* are predicting that the third battle will dominate the coming era, determining how consumers use whole classes of new devices from smartphones to tablet computers to Internet-connected televisions.

While many people still cling to their BlackBerrys, and a few to Windows Mobile devices, Google's Android in little more than 20 months has surged to become the strongest rival to Apple's iPhone and its companion iPad, outselling the iPhone in the U.S. for the first time in the first quarter this year
.

*Unnamed, of course, but maybe some of them are found here.

Marin County's $49 Annual Library Parcel Tax Needs Two-Thirds Majority to Pass


Link to June 6 San Jose Mercury News article.

Excerpt: Funding problems brought on by flagging revenue in the poor economy have cut across three library systems in Marin, affecting patrons in San Rafael, San Anselmo and the 10-branch county library system so severely that backers are asking voters to consider a $49 annual parcel tax Tuesday aimed at shoring up library services.

"Most of us want to live in a city with tree-lined streets, parks, a library, good public schools," said Carol Manashil, co-chairwoman of Open Doors, Open Minds: San Rafael Library Services Committee in Support of Measure C. "In this case we have to pay for it. It isn't a lot, but we have to pay for it."

All the taxes - which hold a five-year term in San Anselmo and at the county, and seven years in San Rafael - require a two-thirds majority to pass. No organized opposition has emerged against the three tax measures.

In San Rafael, the library has been forced to cut consistently for years. It has lost its children's librarian and other personnel, used its reserves to maintain the existing schedule and faces further reductions if money does not immediately become available.

San Anselmo, called the poorest public library in Marin, lost one-third of its budget in 2006. Gone is the children's librarian, and many children's services and programs have been eliminated. The budget for new books, movies and computers is greatly reduced, supporters said
.

Point of concern?  Will bored California Democrats stay home on Election Day?

Robin Neifield on Social Media Clutter

Link to June 4 ClickZ post, "Social Media Clutter: Will Consumers Tune Out?

Excerpt: In the bigger-is-better mentality, we lose sight of the fact that the marginal value of more friends might actually be negative. Having more friends creates more noise and more management load and might in some cases actually reduce the value of your network and create a disincentive to participate. Again, everyone's threshold is different. Just as some in the real world run with crowds of dozens, hundreds, or more and others cling to a few close buddies, in the online equivalent legitimate differences certain apply. The right network will vary with the nature of the exchange and therein lies the problem. It is not always easy to maintain both close and extended networks simultaneously. When you need expert advice in a niche area or you want feedback and exchange from those with similar tastes or experience, a small subset of your network might be a better fit then your whole network. However, the tools to allow for that flexibility are still crude. One size definitely does not fit all. And it's becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to manage these varying social media needs.

Marketers now also face their own clutter in social media
.

Confession:  Retiring Guy hides the clutter of game posts on his Facebook account.