Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creating Communities: Digitizing Denver's Historic Neighborhoods

Link to December 14 Denver Post column by Tina Griego, "Library searches for Denver's hidden history".

Excerpt: About three years ago, the Denver Public Library's Western history/genealogy section won a grant to begin telling the histories of city neighborhoods online. It started with Auraria, Barnum, Capitol Hill, Five Points, Park Hill, University Park and West Colfax.

The task required archivist Jamie Seemiller, the program administrator, and her staff to sort through tens of thousands of records — photos, handwritten letters, brochures, maps, directories, anything that might illuminate the stories. More than 86,000
records now make up the Creating Communities website at creatingcommunities

The site, beautifully done, recently went live. A few kinks remain, but you can read about these particular neighborhoods and research larger databases of photos, householder directories, maps and tax assessor records from 1860 to 1950

40 Years at the Missoula Public Library

Link to December 15 Missoula Missoulian article, "Missoula Public librarian retires after 40 years".

Excerpt: Vaun Stevens wore a button that said "Ask Me," and in her 40 years at the Missoula Public Library, people have done just that. Over and over again.

"One of the oddest questions I got is, ‘How thick is a rhinoceros hide?' I couldn't track it down," Stevens said.

At least, she couldn't track it down in the materials at the Missoula library. So Stevens, ever the resourceful reference librarian, picked up the telephone and called the San Diego Zoo.

Answer? Some 2 inches thick on average.

On Wednesday, Stevens and friends celebrated her retirement from the library after four decades of service. She spent one year as a children's librarian and the other 39 at the reference desk

Clark County: A Half-Century of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 10 of a county-by-county overview.

Clark County:
Population and Circulation

Clark County, 1960-2009

Clark County libraries:
The library is located on First Street.  (Photo:  Wikipedia)

Granton Public Library

Chippewa County: A Half-Century of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 9 in a county-by-county overview.

Chippewa County:
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009
Source:  Wisconsin Public Library Service Record.

Chippewa County, 1960-2009

Chippewa Falls reported a circulation of 240,669 in 1960, significantly higher than the 105,100 average of the 12 public libraries in its population group of 10,000 to 15,000.  Other cities:  Ashland, Beaver Dam, De Pere (not part of Brown County at this time), Kaukauna, Ladysmith (City/County), Marinette, Marshfield, Menasha, Mequon-Thiensville, Two Rivers, and Watertown.

Chippewa County public libraries:

Chippewa County is located in the Indianhead Federated Library System.

Racine Public Library Developing Archival Collection of Golden Books

and a 1950 cross-promotion with Johnson & Johnson

Link to December 11 Racine Journal-Times article, "Racine Public Library wants your Golden Books".

Excerpt: The Racine Public Library needs help building an archival collection of Golden Books, the children's books with the iconic gold binding that were printed in Racine for the majority of the 20th century.

The library is asking for donations of Golden Books published in Racine to add on to a recently started collection of the books.

"Over the past year we got (Golden Books) donations without seeking them. Now we're actually asking for help," said Darcy Mohr, head of adult and youth services at the library, 75 Seventh St.
Mohr said the library has about 300 Golden Book titles but needs many more for a complete collection because about 1,000 Golden Book titles were published in Racine.

Golden Books were printed in Racine from about the 1920s until the turn of this century by the Western Publishing Co., owned by Edward Wadewitz. Western Publishing faced bankruptcy in the early 2000s and joined Random House in New York City, Mohr said

Richard Spanbauer (R-Oshkosh) on 'Phony Baloneys' and Other Madison Delicacies*

(*As in sense 7.)

Link to December 17 Oshkosh Northwestern article, "First Assembly term an eye-opener".

Excerpt:    Richard Spanbauer's first term representing the 53rd Assembly District opened his eyes to the power of party politics in Madison.

He's not crazy about what he sees.

The division between Democrats and Republicans has never been more delineated. Since being elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a Republican in 2008, the long-time politician who has been involved in town government in Omro and Algoma for the last 35 years got an eyeful of the "arm twisting," as he calls it, that goes on in the state's capital.

"Thirty or 40 years ago Republicans and Democrats worked together better. Now, it's 'You stay on your side and I'll stay on mine,'" Spanbauer said.

Spanbauer was re-elected in November. He ran unopposed.

He laments the status quo and vows to work all the harder in his second term to fight it.

"It hurts the consumer. If we could change that a lot more would get done," he said. "It's lobby city. You see a lot of phony baloneys down there."

He sees plenty of people eschewing good bills because to support them would defy party politics. That is not the way Spanbauer wants to go.

"I can't just vote with the party. I just can't," he said. "I'm going to vote the way I feel.

"I'm not for hire and I'm not trying to be a rebel. I consider myself a simple blue collar guy. I have a better sense of common sense," he said.

Spanbauer was endorsed by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

(How is Spanbauer on library issues?)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Calumet County: A Half-Century of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 8 of a county-by-county overview.  (Calumet County, as you'll note, doesn't fit the established pattern.)

Calumet County:
Population# and Circulation*, 1960-2009
Source:  Wisconsin Public Library Service Record

(#Starting in 1980, the population figures exclude the portion of the City of Appleton that is located in Calumet County.  Approximately 11,200 residents.)
(*Circulation at the 3 public libraries located in the county:  Brillion, Chilton, New Holstein.)

Calumet County, 1960-2009

Calumet County public libraries:
Jeff Dawson's much better photos here!

Jeff Dawson's much better photos here.

Jeff Dawson's much better photos here.

Assistant Director Position Open at Waukesha Public Library

Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project

Link to December 15 Chicago Tribune article, "Collecting Chicago's forgotten black history".

Excerpt: When Jacqueline Goldsby was preparing to write a book on the literary scene in black Chicago, she knew archives likely existed somewhere in the city. Tracking down sources, she discovered collections sitting in institutional storage rooms, still unpacked, and others gathering dust in family basements and attics.

She began knocking on doors around the city, asking various institutions if they needed help preserving archives. One, the Chicago Defender, steered Goldsby to an un-air-conditioned warehouse on Ogden Avenue, where she was stunned by what she found: correspondence between Defender editor John Sengstacke and President Harry S. Truman about desegregating the Army; photographs of Booker T. Washington with his family; about 100 home movies of the Sengstackes that depicted an elite black family during the 1940s.

"I'm getting goose bumps all over again when I think about it," said Goldsby, who launched the project five years ago while on staff at the University of Chicago. She is now an associate professor in the English Department at New York University

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pew Research: "Generations Online in 2010"

Link to Pew Internet & American Life Project report, "Generations Online in 2010".



There are still notable differences by generation in online activities, but the dominance of the Millennial generation that we documented in our first "Generations" report in 2009 has slipped in many activities.

Milliennials, adults ages 18 to 33, remain more likely to access the internet wirelessly with a laptop or mobile phone. In addition, they still clearly surpass their elders online when it comes to:
  • Use of social networking sites
  • Use of instant messaging
  • Using online classifieds
  • Listening to music
  • Playing online games
  • Reading blogs
  • Participating in virtual worlds
However, internet users in Gen X (those ages 34 to 45) and older cohorts are more likely than Millennials to engage in several online activities, including visiting government websites and getting financial information online.

Calling it Quits After 69 Years on the Job

Link to December 14 Chicago Tribune article, "Northern Indiana librarian retiring after 69 years in job she started soon after high school".

Excerpt:     Velma Bright says she'll retire at year's end from her job as director of the Akron Public Library. She started working for the library in 1941 soon after graduating from high school in the small town about 40 miles south of South Bend, then became director in 1950.

Bright tells The Rochester Sentinel that she's glad the library's original 1915 building was doubled in size with a 2004 expansion that added room for computers, reading stations and a meeting room.