Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rusk County: A Half Century of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 54 of a county-by-county overview.

Rusk County:
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009

Rusk County, 1960-2009

Rusk County public libraries
Bruce Area Library

Hawkins Area Library

Rusk County Community Library, Ladysmith

Rusk County is a member of the Indianhead Federated Library System.

State Senator Fred Risser on Governor Walker's Budget Adjustment Bill

Walker is acting not as governor, but as dictator. (Capital Times editorial. 2/12/2011)

Excerpt:      But Risser [contact information*] did not mince words with regard to Walker’s assault on state employees.

“State employees have the right to negotiate in good faith with the state. Without a willingness to even discuss what concessions need to be made with state employees, the governor comes across more like a dictator and less like a leader,” Risser said. “The governor’s budget adjustment bill attempts to wipe away over 50 years of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. This decree will affect every hard-working public employee in the state -- every librarian, teacher, street department worker and public safety worker. These are our friends and neighbors; they are the people who make our communities function.”

I just called Senator Risser's office to leave a voice-mail message thanking him for his strong statement of support for Wisconsin's public employees.  Ended up listening to the following recording:  "Mailbox for Fred Risser's office is full."

Amazon in Spat with Texas over Taxes

Amazon Pulling Out of Texas Over Sales Tax. (Bookselling This Week, 2/11/2011)

Excerpt: Despite the dramatic act of brinkmanship, officials in Texas appear resolute. “We regret losing any business in the state of Texas,” said Allen Spelce, spokesman for the comptroller’s office. “But our position hasn’t changed: If you have a physical business presence in the state of Texas, you owe sales tax,” as reported by the Dallas Morning News. Texas loses an estimated $600 million a year in uncollected sales taxes for online sales, according to the comptroller’s office.

“Rather than obey the law and collect sales tax – as do all other Texas-based retailers – has instead chosen to shutter a distribution center in the state and put its Texas employees out of work,” said Teicher. “Amazon has once again taken a drastic step to maintain the inequitable strategic advantage it gains by not charging sales tax. The company’s charges of an ‘unfavorable regulatory climate’ are really nothing more than spin, smokescreen, and pique. The truth is that officials in Texas have taken a strong stand in favor of equitable and evenhanded enforcement of existing laws, and retailers in Texas applaud them for it.”

The Bookseller Launches 'Fight for Libraries' Campaign

Paging the American Booksellers Association.

The UK Model

Will Ebook Readers Be Wooed by Barbara Cartland?

Barbara Cartland is latest author to be wooed by digital. (The Bookseller, 2/11/2011)

But it there still a market out there for Barbara?

Out of the 124 titles listed in LINKcat (47 library locations), most records have just 1 or 2 copies attached to them.  From a sampling I discovered that the status of most of the books is "In Library".  And the few Madison Central titles I spotted are in STORAGE, ASK FOR HELP.

Back in the day when I was Head of Extension Services at the Oshkosh Public Library, we couldn't keep enough of her books on the shelves of the main library, South Side branch, and city and county bookmobiles -- as well as in the deposit collections to nursing homes and senior centers.

'Do Not Track Me Online Act' Introduced in U.S. House

'Do Not Track' Internet privacy bill introduced in House.  (Chicago Tribune, 2/12/2011)

Excerpt: A privacy bill introduced in Congress on Friday raised the possibility that Internet users will be able to prevent advertisers from tracking what they do online.

Similar to the 2003 Do Not Call Registry that prevents telemarketers from calling consumers who don't want to be contacted, the "Do Not Track" bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission to force online advertisers to respect the wishes of users who do not want to be tracked for marketing purposes.

Enfield Public Library's Showing of 'Sicko' Attracts 50

'Sicko' Draws More Than 50 Viewers To Enfield Library. (Hartford Courant, 2/12/2011)

Excerpt: Aside from sound glitches, Friday's screening of "Sicko" — filmmaker Michael Moore's documentary critical of the U.S. health care system — went smoothly, and attracted more than 50 viewers to the Enfield Public Library, including a 9/11 first-responder whose story is featured in the film.

John Graham, a since-retired emergency medical technician from New Jersey, said he found out through the Internet about the controversy surrounding the town's cancellation of a showing of "Sicko" at the library last month.

Graham suffered from lung problems and post-traumatic stress disorder after working at ground zero following the 2001 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. Like two other 9/11 first-responders in the film, he couldn't afford his treatment.

[Sample Our Free Breaking News Alert And 3 P.M. News Newsletters]

"I heard about the trials and tribulations" in Enfield after the decision to cancel the earlier showing of "Sicko," said Graham, an advocate for universal health care. "I wanted to make sure that the movie was shown."

He thanked the library for showing the movie and for "taking the heat."

Since the decision to cancel the first showing of "Sicko," the library has addressed complaints by adding movies to its Friday Films series that offer different points of view on health care, education, religion and the environment.

Library director Henry Dutcher said Friday that the film screenings are selected without an agenda and that the library staff doesn't attempt to moderate or foster debates on the films.
[RG emphasis]

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Newark Mayor Faces a Somber Audience at Library Board Meeting

Why such gloom in the room during library meeting?   (Newark Star-Ledger, 2/11/2011)

Excerpt:   Mayor Cory Booker came, as promised, to the Newark Public Library board meeting Wednesday. The audience included some library employees, but was mostly community people who had come to protest a proposed $2.5 million library budget cut.

The mayor delivered what sounded like good news: no new library cuts. He is working with the city council to make that happen. Yesterday, council members told me there is solid support for no more cuts in library funding.

Newark is the premier library of New Jersey and should be treated as such, Booker said at the board meeting, calling for new private fundraising. He said the first event would be next month.
I expected applause, if not a hallelujah or two. The room -- perhaps 60 or 70 people -- had just heard board vice president Timothy J. Crist say that if the cut comes, the Branch Brook, Clinton and Roseville branches would close, Saturday and evening hours would be gone, and the system would shut down for the month of August. A summer closing should mean less of an impact on schoolkids, rather than 30 furlough days during the school year. Libraries give kids something that competes with the streets, so a city that had to lay off cops has a chance of getting ahead of its crime problem.

Yet the response to the mayor saying all of that might be avoided was somber, if not a little hostile. People demanded to ask questions. The mayor said he had only 10 minutes. There was a 5-minute debate on whether 10 minutes was enough

Related articles:
Public libraries and the long overdue end of the quiet era.  (9/2/2010)
24-hour vigil (video).  (9/1/2010)
Library adjusts to budget cuts.  (7/5/2010)

A Discovery with a Link to 'Moby Dick'

In Pacific discovery, traces of Nantucket and ‘Moby-Dick'. (Boston Globe, 2/11/2011)

Excerpt: Remains of an 1800s Nantucket whaling ship with a poignant tie to the book “Moby-Dick’’ have been discovered on a remote reef almost 600 miles northwest of Honolulu.

The Two Brothers is the first wrecked Nantucket whaler to be discovered, and the chance find illuminates an era when close to 150 whaling ships from this tiny island set out across the world’s oceans in search of the lucrative oil extracted from blubber and left behind the near-extinction of many whale species.

While marine archeologists are ecstatic at the information they hope to glean from the coral-encrusted cooking pots and blubber hooks, the artifacts also complete the tale of a famously cursed captain: George Pollard Jr., who had commanded the Essex, the whaler from Nantucket that was sunk by an enraged sperm whale and inspired Herman Melville to write his classic novel

Then there's this version.

Definitely worth a visit.

The Impact of Ebooks on Libraries

The Hype Cycle
(Remember when the Internet went mainstream?)

On Wisconsin Library Association/Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association Library Legislative Day, it's probably a good idea to have a ready response for your legislators if a 'peak of inflated expectations' comment on ebooks and libraries and/or the Internet and libraries is offered.

Letter: Electronic books could impact library.   (Marshfield News Herald, 2/10/2011)

Excerpt: It is interesting to read how our Marshfield Library is in need of more room.

This concerns me.

The book industry is changing, and we as a community need to look at that trend before a decision is made to expand.

Let's look at some facts.

Amazon, only one of the companies that sell a digital device and e-Books, announced that the company is outselling e-Books to print best sellers by a two-to-one margin.

The Association of American Publishers stated e-Book sales have increased by 193 percent over the previous year and continue to surge.

The Library Overdrive e-Book provides owners of computers and e-Readers the ability to borrow books in the same way they can with physical books

Yes, let's look at some of the facts.  First of all, there's more than one way to read a book.

The Help in a regular print edition:  Still 158 holds on 279 LINKcat copies two years after its publication.

The Help in a large-print edition:  176 holds on 22 LINKcat copies.

The Help in a audio version:  120 holds on 37 LINKcat copies.

The Help as a digital download:  109 holds on 10 'copies' available through the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium.

Safe to say.....

Secondly, as with every public library, it's clear that Marshfield is much more than the sum of its materials collection.

Thirdly, libraries have become centers of community life.
Excerpt:    Is there a place in your community
  • where residents of all ages and incomes visit and enjoy spending their time?
  • where people go to hear interesting speakers discuss new ideas, books, travel, and a broad range of topics?
  • where comprehensive databases are available free of charge? ·
  • where you can get help when applying for a job?
  • where you can stop by and take home a book, CD, or DVD at virtually no cost?
That's also a place
  • that's "owned" by everyone in the community?
  • and can be counted on, day after day, to draw people downtown or to main street?
In a growing number of cities and towns, there's one place that answers all these questions: the public library.

EPI Briefing Paper: Are Wisconsin Public Employees Over-Compensated?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gail Borden Public Library District Board Discusses Transparency

Library aims to be open book. (Chicago Tribune, 2/9/2011)

Excerpt: Trying to be more transparent, the Gail Borden Public Library District has decided to post a list of approved bills and the minutes of some closed meetings online.

The moves came after discussion of the potential impact of this exposure and some goading by a board candidate, Mohammad Iqbal. He presented trustees Tuesday with a petition asking that their e-mail addresses and board bylaws be posted online. He also suggested holding one meeting per year in the Rakow Branch.

“The board at this point is not very accessible to the public,” he said.

Library board President Rick McCarthy said while the district operates in accordance with the law, it can make getting information a little easier for residents.

“We do try to be as transparent as we can and there are times when we’ve fallen short of probably at least perceived transparency,” he said.

McCarthy proposed that a list of bills to be paid be posted on the library Web site. Trustee Herb Gross expressed concern that the board would start micromanaging the district’s finances.

“Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see my job as as approving every single expenditure of the library,” he said

Maybe it's time for a library board refresher course.

Don't take your statutory board duties lightly, Herb.

In other library trustee news.....
Crossing t's and dotting i's aren't enough for this library board member. (1/15/2011)
The strange saga of Randy Hopp, library trustee.  (5/23/2010)

Raise your hands, library colleagues, if this has happened to you

Oak Park crime: Teen swipes DVDs from library. (Chicago Tribune, 2/10/2011)

Excerpt: Five DVDs valued at $128 were stolen from Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Feb. 7. Security cameras witnessed a 16- to 17-year-old male holding the cases and returning them to the shelves. The cases were left behind.

Indiana State Senate Moves More Quickly Than House on Library Bill

Help for library gets OK. (Indianapolis Star, 2/10/2011)

Excerpt: A state Senate committee Wednesday advanced a bill that could lead to more money for the Indianapolis library system, but a hearing on a similar measure was delayed in the House.

Both bills would grant the City-County Council more authority to decide whether to give the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library a cut of county income taxes, and how much. The library has been struggling with property tax caps that are eating into its largest revenue source.

The Senate Local Government Committee voted 6-1 to advance Senate Bill 526, which also would alter the selection of the seven-member library board. The Indianapolis mayor would get four appointments, and the council would get three.

In the House, the Ways and Means Committee bumped a vote on whether to advance House Bill 1539, which focuses only on library funding, to Friday morning

Related articles:
No rest for IMCPL library loyalists.  (2/9/2011)
'Library loyalists' provide a remedial lesson in funding priorities.  (2/8/2011)
Legislative effort to provide more funding for IMCPL continues.  (2/4/2011)
Show of support by IMCPL advocates.  (1/25/2011)
Library angel.  (1/17/2011)
Indianapolis Star editorial: "Give library a fair share of tax"  (1/13/2011)
Sustainability in the form of a share of county income taxes.  (1/12/2011)
Township deals comes undone.  (1/8/2011)
Vote to restore library hours and rehire staff: Thanking God again in Wayne Township, Indiana.  (12/16/2010)
Wayne Township's $200,000 for IMCPL:  "Thank God it's a nice purpose".  (12/8/2010)
Temporary fix (not yet approved ) to keep 4 IMCPL branches open.  (11/19/2010)
ICMPL to lay off 37 employees.  (11/12/2010)
Cuts in library hours, materials budget.  (9/15/2010)
Library announces 26% cut in hours.  (9/14/2010)
Indianapolis resident recommends book to local officials.  (9/6/2010)
Library board votes to include 'shortfall appeal' option.  (9/1/2010)
Library board to consider 'shortfall appeal'.  (8/30/2010)
In close vote, library board cuts hours, staff.  (8/20/2010)
Library grapples with its sustainable future.  (8/16/2010)
Library projects a $7.3 million deficit by 2014.  (7/29/2010)
Library board sez no branch closings in 2011.  (7/15/2010)
Library supporters question Pacers deal. (7/15/2010)
High performance government team report.  (7/11/2010)
Library board delays decision on libraries.  (6/5/2010)
Another big turnout for libraries.  (5/13/2010)
Mayor vows to keep library branches open.  (5/12/2010)
Residents speak up for their libraries.  (5/11/2010)
The neighborhood library as refuge.  (5/2/2010)
Indianapolis Star editorial board keeps library funding issue front and center.  (4/25/2010)
Efficiency experts look for ways to keep branch libraries open.  (4/23/2010)
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)

Rock County: 50 Years of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 53 of a county-by-county overview.

Rock County:
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009

Rock County, 1960-2009

Rock County public libraries

Milton Public Library

Rock County comprises the Arrowhead Library System.

The Downside of Opting Out of a Shared Public-Access Library Catalog

Finkelstein Memorial Library's decision limits cardholders. (, 2/9/2011)

Excerpt: By opting out, Finkelstein Memorial Library users have lost easy electronic access to the resources of 46 libraries. Finkelstein Memorial cardholders are still welcome to physically walk in and borrow materials on the other libraries' shelves. Ease of placing holds electronically and real time check-ins are benefits for paying dues to be a member of ANSER. The director and trustees of Finkelstein Library made the decision to leave ANSER in spite of inconveniences for their cardholders.

During the migration process, which took more than a year, ANSER members shared with Finkelstein Memorial Library's team the challenges they would face as an independent system, but supported their decision and worked with them to make it as seamless as possible. The two systems are completely different and even with a weekly transfer of new cardholder data, "technological barriers" make the two systems incompatible.

Nothing is being done to "punish" Finkelstein Memorial Library cardholders for their administration's decision to withdraw from the ANSER network. Finkelstein Memorial Library is no longer entitled to receive ANSER membership benefits