Saturday, April 30, 2011

Empty Cup at the Finish Line for the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library?


Another hurdle for library to jump. (Indianapolis Star, 4/30/2011)

Excerpt: Limping along as it may be from revenue shortfalls and budget cuts, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library has been clearing political hurdles with Olympian ease.

Whether that means gold at the end of the day is another question.

A bill to give the library system a share of county income taxes has passed the Indiana House and Senate unanimously, and is expected to win the governor's signature. In February, the City-County Council likewise voted as one to ask the General Assembly for permission to add the libraries to the list of recipients.

The outcome reflects bipartisan leadership by state and local officials, as well as fervid, astute grassroots support by the Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition.

Obviously, IMCPL is meeting a need, given its burgeoning patronage -- and showing a need, having sliced deeply into staffing, service hours and book purchases to cope with a $4 million budget gap due to shrunken property tax revenues.

The problem: It's tough all over.

The 1.62 percent county income tax will generate $250 million this year, down from $323 million last year, and local government units share only about $155 million. Whether there will be enough to give the libraries a cut after users such as police and fire departments are served is anything but guaranteed, the mayor's office and council leaders warn
.

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)

Celebrating the Royal Wedding @ the Princeton Public Library


Royal wedding watchers gather at Princeton Public Library in the wee hours. (Mercer County Times, 4/30/2011)

Excerpt:  Before the sun rose yesterday, as the clock here struck 5 a.m. and most people were still home in bed, local Anglophiles gathered at the Princeton Public Library to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

They sported pearls and lace gloves and wide-brimmed hats, tuxedos and three-piece suits and top hats, T-shirts and jeans and sneakers, with several in the crowd waving or wearing the Union Jack for the occasion.

All in all, more than 150 locals turned out to watch the wedding on the library’s big screen. They were rewarded for their efforts with scones, ladyfingers and English biscuits; a generous helping of camaraderie; and all the caffeine they needed to stay awake — in the form of tea, of course
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Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 19: North Columbus Public Library)


North Columbus Public Library to temporarily close for renovations. (WRBL, 4/29/2011)

Excerpt:
  A long-planned renovation to the North Columbus Public Library will close the building to the public on May 1st. The Library plans to re-open on July 5th.The Library, part of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, has served the North Columbus area since opening in 1992. This is the first major renovation to the building that will provide both infrastructure and cosmetic improvements. A primary focus will be the installation of a new data wiring system that will allow the Library to double the number of computers available to customers and makes future growth less costly to achieve."After the renovation is complete, the building will be brighter and more welcoming," says Christopher Warren, the Director of Library Design for the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.

Facebook Page Serves as a Lost and Found for Tornado Victims


Memories Lost to a Whirlwind Alight on Facebook to Be Claimed. (The New York Times, 4/29/2011)

Excerpt:   The tornado that killed Emily Washburn’s grandfather this week also destroyed his Mississippi home, leaving his family with nothing to remember him by — until a picture of him holding the dog he loved surfaced on Facebook, posted by a woman who found it in her office parking lot, 175 miles away in Tennessee.

An image that Patty Bullion, of Lester, Ala., found and posted on a Facebook page she created that serves as a lost and found.

Patty Bullion, whose page has so far reunited dozens of storm survivors with their possessions.

Like hundreds of others finding keepsakes that fell from the sky and posting photographs of them on a Facebook lost and found, the woman included her e-mail address, and Ms. Washburn wrote immediately: “That man is my granddaddy. It would mean a lot to me to have that picture.”

Created by Patty Bullion, 37, of Lester, Ala., a page on the social networking site has so far reunited dozens of storm survivors with their prized — and in some cases, only — possessions: a high school diploma that landed in a Lester front yard was traced to its owner in Tupelo, Miss., for example
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Report on 'America's Rental Housing' from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard Univerity


Table of Contents

Introduction & Summary
Rental Market Conditions
Renter Demographics
Rental Housing Stock
Affordability
Policy Challenges
Appendix Tables

From the introduction and summary.

The troubled homeowner market, along with demographic shifts, has highlighted the vital role that the rental sector plays in providing affordable homes on flexible terms. But while rental housing is the home of choice for a diverse cross-section of Americans, it is also the home of necessity for millions of low-income households.

And the share of US households unable to find affordable rentals has been on the rise for a half-century, with an especially large jump in the last decade as renter income fell even further behind housing and utility cost increases. Even as the need for affordable housing grows—both assisted by the government and supplied in the private market—long-run pressures continue to threaten this essential resource.

Rental markets are now tightening, with vacancy rates falling and rents climbing. With little new supply of multifamily units in the pipeline, rents could rise sharply as demand increases. Regardless, affordability is likely to deteriorate further over the next few years as persistently high unemployment limits renter income gains. Meanwhile, policymakers must find ways to do more with less as they confront the stark realities of federal budget cuts. In this difficult environment, all levels of government will be challenged to support efforts to meet the nation’s fundamental need for affordable, good-quality rental housing
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Library Book Cart Drill Teams


In this quirky contest, librarians have a freewheeling time. (Boston Globe, 4/30/2011)

Excerpt: Book cart drill teams aren’t a phenomenon unique to Massachusetts, and they’re not exactly new, either. Ever since 1983, when one of the earliest book cart drill teams formed in Virginia, teams have been sprouting up at libraries across the country, rehearsing synchronized routines and making occasional appearances at conferences, festivals, and parades.

There’s even an official Book Cart Drill Team World Championship. The American Library Association hosts the event as part of its annual conference. (The registration forms for the latest contest challenged librarians to “strut your stuff’’ and showed a woman leaping over a blue book cart with her legs splayed like a gymnast.)

The annual conference of the Massachusetts Library Association has included a book cart drill team competition for the past four years. Previous performers have included teams like the Andover Cartwheelers, Plymouth Rockettes, Methuen Des Cartes Coquettes, and the ">Arlington Rockin’ Robbins
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Maybe Scrima Should Leave Readers Advisory Duties to Library Staff


Waukesha mayor reimburses city for book assignment. City administrator criticizes Scrima for actions, distractions. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 4/29/2011)

Excerpt:    In order to avoid any suspicion of a conflict of interest, Mayor Jeff Scrima said Friday he had reimbursed the city the $428 paid to a campaign contributor for 30 books - books criticized by staff as covertly religious.

Meanwhile, City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther sent Scrima a memo Friday criticizing him for his actions and distractions.

"While you claim to have an interest in building team work and rapport," she wrote, "your actions are contrary to the goal."

The books, purchased for $428 from Gary Lato, a Scrima financial contributor, were given to department managers for reading and discussion at staff meetings. Last week, Police Chief Russell Jack objected to the book, "Sequencing: Deciphering Your Company's DNA," for its religious undertone in City Hall. The dispute became public, with Scrima challenging Jack to prove that it was religious in nature.

Scrima also called Jack hypocritical because the Police Department allows a volunteer Christian chaplain to use a desk and city electronic mailbox. Jack said the chaplain provides stress-related counseling and death notifications, not religion, in this volunteer capacity.

The "Sequencing" book's author, Michael Metzger, has described "Sequencing" on his DoggieHeadTilt blog in religious terms, saying it has "Christianity latent" with "words drawn from the board room but derived from the Bible."

And while Scrima said there is nothing religious about the book, a full-page picture on page 114 is of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross, Luther noted Friday
.

Related article:
City managers book discussion group.  (4/23/2011)

Continued Turmoil at the Salt Lake City Public Library


Library to boost transparency, but still in turmoil. (Salt Lake City Tribune, 4/22/2011)

Excerpt: Wobbled by months of management controversy — including calls for the director’s resignation and a board member departure — the Salt Lake City Public Library has teed up an ambitious transparency initiative that includes the quick release of draft minutes and perhaps televised board meetings.  [Transparency?  I can't access the Board of Directors page.]

The certain-to-pass measure, unveiled Thursday and slated for a formal vote in one month, is intended to mend the award-winning library’s wounded reputation.

But it did little to quell the still-raging tempest. During the testy three-hour meeting, one employee chastened the board for recently renewing the library boss’ contract, accusing Director Beth Elder of putting a “happy, disingenuous” face on the unrest. A decade-long volunteer scolded the board for not being accessible to the public, then called for the board president’s ouster. A group of residents advocating an alternative location for a new Marmalade branch stormed out, declaring “the fix is in.”

And after, board member Luana Chilelli — in the role less than three months — told The Tribune she is quitting. “I’m very uncomfortable with them,” Chilelli said, riding the elevator down from the fifth floor boardroom. “There’s some real issues that need to be addressed, and they’re dismissive. I’m very disappointed, and I’m very sad.”

Related articles:
Unhappy employees air grievances.  (3/15/2011)
'Boomeranging twist' at Salt Lake City Public Library.  (1/18/2011)
Management shake-up at library.  (1/3/2011)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Detroit Public Library's Rainy Day Fund Keeps Fewer Branches from Closing


Detroit library may close fewer branches. (Detroit News, 4/29/2011)

Excerpt:   The Detroit Public Library may close only 10 neighborhood branches this summer, instead of the up to 18 originally proposed.

But it comes at a cost. The system will have to use more of its savings to limit the closures.

On Thursday, commissioners said they'd rather spend more of the system's $16 million rainy day fund than take the drastic step of closing most of the library's 23 neighborhood branches.

"It is unacceptable," said Russ Bellant, a library commissioner said. "It's just too much at once."

But library administrators at the meeting recommended 15 closures, saying it was necessary to correct the system's financial problems. The library has an $11 million shortfall this year and is anticipating property tax revenue will drop 20 percent a year until at least 2015
.

Related articles:
Proposal to close 18 of 23 Detroit branches sparks anger. (4/22/2011)
Few expenses spared in South Wing remodeling of library.  (4/22/2011)
Downward spiral.  (4/16/2011)
Library reduces staff by 20%. (3/4/2011)
Budget woes. (2/5/2011)

Petition to Make Cream Puffs the Official Dessert of Wisconsin


From The Wheeler Report:


A SWEET STATE SYMBOL, Sen. Mary Lazich is preparing legislation to advance the Mukwonago Clarendon Avenue Fourth Grade Class project to get the cream puff designated the official Wisconsin dessert. It would be the 22nd officially designated state symbol if adopted.

“Cream puffs help support Wisconsin’s $59 billion agricultural industry with over 300,000 jobs,” Lazich said in her co-sponsorship memo. “During the State Fair 1000 gallons of whipping cream, 1500 pounds of whole eggs, and 50 gallons of whole milk are used daily to make cream puffs. Since the 2000 State Fair, cream puff fans consumed 3,614,745 cream puffs.




What would Trivers say?

Heavy Storm Damage to Birmingham's Pratt City Branch

That was then.  This is now.

Pratt City residents tell of their survival in the storm. (Birmingham News, 4/27/2011)

Excerpt: Some trees were snapped like match sticks. Bark was stripped from others. A few women were crying at the corner of Hibernian Street and Dugan Avenue near the Pratt City Library. The library also sustained heavy damage with the roof blown off and windows smashed in.

Memphis' Highland Branch Library Closed Due to Flooding

Knox County Public Library Branch Closed Due to Storm Damage


South Knox Library closed after damage from storm. (WBIR-Knoxville, 4/28/2011)

Excerpt:   A local library also saw damage from Wednesday's storm. Workers at the South Knoxville Branch Libary were cleaning up the building on Thursday afternoon.

The roof starting leaking at the Chapman Highway Libary close to 9:30 p.m.

More than a dozen volunteers and workers helped start cleaning the books and debris.

"Over in the childrens area, we had some damage there and we'll have some in the adult area but we are lucky. We feel that in this point in time that what we're finding so far is a lot less than we had expected," explained Myreta Black with the South KnoxvilleBranch Library
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Madison Central Library Reconstruction Project To Proceed


Deal keeps Central Library reconstruction on schedule. (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/28/2011)

Excerpt: Mayor Paul Soglin and library officials have struck a deal that will let the $29.5 million reconstruction of the Central Library proceed on schedule.

As he took office last week, Soglin appeared to cast the future of the project in doubt, saying he wanted guarantees on $8 million in private fundraising and $4.5 million in federal tax credits before putting it out for bids.

Under the agreement, announced Thursday, the nonprofit Madison Public Library Foundation will accelerate fundraising efforts to meet financing and construction targets.

The foundation, which revealed it has already raised $1.5 million, must raise $2.5 million more by Labor Day. A tentative schedule calls for it to raise another $1.5 million by the end of 2011, $1.5 million more by July 1, 2012, and the final $1.5 million by July 1, 2013, Library Board President Tripp Widder said, noting the total includes fundraising costs.

"I have great confidence in the Madison Public Library Foundation and its ability to meet this goal of $8 million," Soglin said in a statement released by the foundation. "We have a plan now that allows the city to assess the progress of fundraising in concert with key points of the project and adjust course if needed."

Soglin, who met with library officials on Tuesday, declined further comment.


Designing a new central library:  "Everyone has to feel comfortable and safe here".  (11/17/2010)
Interview with principal architect of Central Library project.  (11/5/2010)
Design development juggling acts for a renovated Madison Central Library. (10/15/2010)
Conceptual designs for new Central Library.  (10/25/2010)
One possible message:  Don't settle for less.  (8/5/2010)
Downsizing the Madison Central Library renovation project. (7/17/2010)
Possible temporary location has asbestos problem.  (6/18/2010)
Architectural firm selected for Madison Central project.  (5/26/2010)
State Journal editorial board sez Madison City Council made right decision on Central Library. (5/10/2010)
Council vote on library goes under the radar.  (5/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)
Mayor Responds to Critics on Library Issue.  (4/13/2010)
Board Endorses Renovation Plan.  (4/6/2010)
Keeping the dream of a new Madison Central Library alive. (3/31/2010)
Some Council Members Not Ready to Move Forward on Mayor's Renovation Plan.  (3/30/2010)
Council President Pro Tem to Introduce Resolution Approving Madison Central Library Renovation Project.  (3/28/2010)
'Dissatisfaction' with Collapsed Madison Central Library Project. (3/25/2010)
Fiore Departure Seen as Beneficial to Madison Central Project.  (3/23/2010)
Matter of Principle" Dooms New Central Madison Library.  (3/20/2010)
Madison Central: The Dream Dies, It's Now Time to Renovate. (3/19/2010)
Dispute over Construction Costs Threatens to Derail New Central Madison Library. (3/17/2010)
Madison Public Library Project Faces Delay in 2011. (3/9/2010)
Construction, Cost Concerns May Delay Madison Central Library Project. (1/25/2010)
New Madison Central Library Wins Council Approval. (11/11/2009)Capital Times Endorses New Madison Central Library. (11/10/2009)
Madison Council Begins Review of Mayor's Budget on Tuesday. (11/6/2009)
More Questions About Madison Central Library Project. (11/1/2009)
New Madison Public Library's First Change Order: Rooftop Garden.
(10/28/2009)

Call for Referendum on New Madison Central Library Not Attracting Support. (10/21/2009)
Madison Board of Estimates Rejects Library Referendum. (10/13/2009)
Some Madison City Council Members Want Referendum on New Central Library. (10/9/2009)
Three former mayors support new Madison Central Library. (10/5/2010)
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial on New Madison Central Library. (9/13/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Let the Positioning Begin. (9/1/2009)
New Madison Central Library on Mayor Dave's Front Burner. (8/30/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate? (7/7/2009)
Motley Brown Not Reason Enough. (6/11/2009)
Fiore Plan Receives Unanimous Support. (6/5/2009)
Fiore Plan Gets Nod from Committee. (5/15/2009)
Public Forum Focuses on Central Library Options. (4/24/2009)
Developer Sweetens the Deal. (4/21/2009)
Visualizing a Remodeled Madison Central Library. (4/4/2009)
Renovation Plan Put on Table for Madison Central Library. (3/26/2009)
Residents Critique Proposals to Rebuild Downtown Library. (1/9/2009)
Competing Developers Defend Their Central Library Plans. (1/8/2009)
Comparison of Downtown Madison Library Proposals. (12/17/2008)
Two Proposals for New Madison Central Library. (12/3/2008)
Best Headline of the Week. (9/6/2008)

Biz Beat: No easy answers at UW conference on unemployment. (Capital Times, 4/29/2011)

Excerpt: Now retired and living in Mount Horeb, Hime isn't confident the good factory jobs will ever return. And she takes exception to those who dismiss the current unemployment situation as simply a cyclical turn of the economy.

"People like me have been burned too many times," she says. "Why should they believe anything is going to change?"

Hime's comments Thursday were directed at a panel of national economic researchers on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus during a conference titled "Long-Term Unemployment in Industrial Countries: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses."

Co-hosted by the La Follette School of Public Affairs, the discussion centered on whether the surge in joblessness both in the U.S. and Europe is the result of the recession or a sign of a deeper structural problem.

Although the recession -- defined by economists as a drop in gross domestic product over two consecutive quarters -- has officially ended, the jobs recovery has been tepid at best.


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Governor Walker to Appear at Green Bay Elementary School

From a 4/28/2011 Media Advisory:  Governor Scott Walker will be in Green Bay today to promote the 3rd Grade “Read to Lead” Taskforce. During his visit to Chappell Elementary School the Governor will read a story to children. The reading is open to the press.

Here's what I suggest he read.

John Sayles' Do-It-Yourself Book Tour

A writer's novel tour to plug book. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/28/2011)


Excerpt:   John Sayles, moviemaker and novelist, is about to embark on a do-it-yourself book tour in a rented Prius, in support of his brand-new novel, A Moment in the Sun.

The tour, which brings him to the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m. Monday, befits Sayles, a DIY kind of filmmaker.

With longtime partner Maggie Renzi, Sayles is going to drive across America. From his home in what's apparently the creative capital of the United States at the moment, Brooklyn, he says: "I'm looking forward to it. A reading is like theater, an immediate connection with people. And I love the idea of doing only libraries and independent bookstores. Maggie and I like to take long road trips. We'll have five to eight hours of driving a day, more in Texas."

Sayles, 60, has made a DIY indie career for three decades now, feeding the filmmaking habit by writing scripts for others. He started off writing for low-budget god Roger Corman, and wrote screenplays for deathless outings such as Piranha (Corman-produced) and Alligator. Sayles used savings from those gigs to make his first DIY movie, Return of the Secaucus 7, a 1980 film that spurred a genre of history-conscious, retrospective flicks. A MacArthur grant financed The Brother From Another Planet (1984), one of his best-known movies.

The rest of his career is studded with honored films such as Matewan (1987), Eight Men Out (1988), and Passion Fish (1992). Sayles is still very much at it, having finished his 17th film, Amigo, last year, and doing the script for the Spielberg project Jurassic Park IV.

But A Moment in the Sun's moment is now, a strapping 935 pages, a sprawling U.S.A.-style novel that, something like the John Dos Passos classic, follows a group of characters in parallel tracks as they traverse the America of 1897, taking in the Yukon gold rush, the Spanish-American War in the Philippines, and the advent of movies. Like all Sayles films and novels, it's drenched in a detailed, loving awareness of time and place.

Branch of Defunct Free Library of Camden Now Part of County System


Camden library reopens as a county branch after upgrades. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/27/2011)

ExcerptFollowing two months of extensive upgrades, the former Free Library of Camden branch on Ferry Avenue celebrated its new look Tuesday with a new name.

The facility, incorporated into the Camden County library system this winter, has been christened the Riletta Cream branch in honor of the longtime Camden educator and former county freeholder, authorities said Tuesday.

State and local officials joined Cream in marking the occasion at the one-story, 15,000-square-foot building, where recent best-sellers were on display, the computer lab was filled with people browsing job sites and Facebook, and preschool students were having story time.

It looked just like its suburban counterparts, said Cream, after whom a Camden elementary school has already been named.

"Now it's a library," she said.

The county Library Commission voted in January to absorb Camden's main library and two branches after the city cut their funding more than 57 percent.

The small Fairview branch, which was shut in September, has remained closed, and the large downtown library on Federal Street was shuttered in February. The county took on the Ferry Avenue branch, built in 2005, and revamped it
.

Related articles:
Downtown library closes for good.  (2/10/2011)
Library decides to puts a positive spin on the situation.  (1/16/2011)
Camden County Library System takes over Camden Free Public Library.  (12/30/2011)
Reformatting the library.  (10/16/2010)
2011 budget outlook remains bleak for Camden New Jersey.  (10/9/2010)
Fairview branch library is closed for good.  (9/8/2010)
Library board postpones decision on closing branch.  (9/2/2010)
"An oasis in the desert".  (8/15/2010)
Camden New Jersey squeeze play?  (8/11/2010)
Camden mayor plays an odd game of library advocacy.  (8/9/2010)
The library dumpster solution.  (8/6/2010)
Mayor proposes 70% cut in library funding.  (7/19/2010)

Juliette Hampton Morgan, Librarian and Defender of Free Speech, Human Rights and American Democracy


Montgomery Portraits: Librarian committed life to freedom. (Montgomery Advertiser, 4/11/2011)

ExcerptThe results of her disregard for the consequences and for flaunting the conventional lock-step conformity demanded by the white South were predictable. Her friends deserted her; she received anonymous threatening telephone calls. Montgomery Mayor William Gayle, a member of the local White Citizens' Council, withheld funding for the library in an effort to coerce the library's superintendent and trustees to fire Morgan. Admirably, they refused to fire her, citing her right to freedom of speech. Infuriated, many library patrons -- at that time only whites were allowed to use the city library -- tore up their library cards.

On July 16, 1957, the day after a cross was burned on her lawn in the Garden District, this courageous, highly intelligent, eminently moral, middle-aged woman resigned from the library staff and committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills. Some who had criticized her stance against Jim Crow attended her funeral, apparently remorseful for the tragic result of their behavior. Nevertheless, it was not until 1962 that Montgomery's public library was peacefully integrated.

In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in "Stride Toward Freedom" that it was Morgan who acquainted white Montgomerians with Gandhi's nonviolent movement and helped them understand the significance of the bus boycott.

In 2005, Montgomery's main public library was named in memory of Juliette Hampton Morgan, a Montgomery librarian who devoted her life to the defense of free speech, human rights and American democracy
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From University Library to Academic Commons


No Room for Books. (Inside Higher Ed, 4/27/2011)

Excerpt:  While university libraries have taken on numerous functions over the years, such as serving as places for students to study, meet with others, and interact with technology, one component that has always been central to their mission has been housing books.

But plans at the University of Denver to permanently move four-fifths of the Penrose Library’s holdings to an off-campus storage facility and renovate the building into an “Academic Commons,” with more seating, group space, and technological capacity, could make the university a flashpoint in the debate about whether the traditional function of storing books needs to happen on campus.

“We are not alone in this trend of increasing central campus space for study, services and student learning and decreasing central campus space for legacy collections,” said Nancy Allen, dean and director of Penrose Library, in an e-mail statement.

The proposed change has raised the ire of some arts, humanities, and social science professors who say that, while impressive, technology hasn’t yet replaced a good old-fashioned trip through the stacks. They argue that the administration dropped the changes in their laps without consulting them and that it will harm their main mode of research.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 18: Quincy Public Library)


Library renovation heading into second phase of the project. (Quincy Whig-Herald, 4/27/2011)

ExcerptRenovations of the Quincy Public Library will soon move to the second phase of construction as recently completed areas of the library will soon open.

Nancy Dolan, executive director of the library, said the library will close May 16 through May 30 to transition to the finished areas of the building.

The first phase of the project entailed renovations and expansion of the main floor of the library.

"We've added a new entrance, which will include a new centralized circulation desk," Dolan said. "It will include a small meeting room, two study rooms and a Friends of the Library bookstore."

2010 @ the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library


Excerpt:  The community's ongoing transition to digital reading, as well as to wireless Internet use, is evident when examining usage statistics for the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library system for 2010.
  • Electronic checkouts of materials jumped from 827 in 2008 to 1,295 in 2009 and 3,109 last year. The figure includes an increase of 423 unique patrons checking out electronic material.
  •  As of Dec. 31, the library system had 6,667 electronic items in its collection.
  • Circulation of print materials still drives much of the library's traffic, although it is trending down. The public checked out just shy of 1.6 million printed items in 2007; last year the figure was just above 1.4 million items.
  • Checkouts of nonprinted items such as audio books and DVDs continue to increase. Those items — which do not include electronic materials — were just below the checkouts of books last year.\
  • In-person visits to library facilities were down slightly in 2010 to 1.84 million. Officials believe the ongoing deck repairs at Central Library were one factor, but so was the uptick in electronic use. 
  • Use of walk-up computer use is trending down, but a growing number of patrons are taking advantage of the libraries' wireless capability. They point to the proliferation of smartphones, as well as the netbook computer program for public high schools in Evansville.

Erie County Exec Builds a Surplus by Pulling the Rug from Under the Library


Editorial: A political budget surplus. Collins made some wrong choices in his election-year spending cuts. (Buffalo News, 4/27/2011)

Excerpt:  Where governing and politics collide is in the way Collins produced some of this surplus.

He has endangered the health of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System.

Because of Collins’ choices, the library is considering establishing its own taxing district. Before it can do that, it has to safely overcome a funding chasm of $7 million next year. At this point, no one seems to know how—or if—that can be done.

We don’t think a taxing district is a good idea and, indeed, are surprised that Collins, a conservative, would be pushing for a new tax. Wouldn’t it have been better—again, it’s about choices— to give the library time to deal with reduced funding before pulling the rug from underneath it? Maybe that would have been bad politics, but it would have been better government. Which is more important?
 

Related articles:
Funding picture gets progressively worse.  (2/26/2011)
Unhappy times continue.  (1/21/2011)
Library officials ask for final decision on budget. (12/22/2010)
Additional funding for library but not for arts groups.  (12/12/2010)
Legislators restore County Executive's $4,000,000 cut to library - for now.  (12/2/2010)
"No more worthwhile program of service".  (11/14/2010)
A bibliopocalypse @ the library.  (11/6/2010)
WBEN online poll offers 3 general options for public library future. (10/31/2010)
Reimagining the library.  (10/27/2010)
Budget cuts = reduced hours.  (10/21/2010)
Deep cuts (again) in the works.  (9/17/2010)
Editorial puts in 'a word about libraries'.  (8/30/2010)
Library could lose 25% of funding.  (8/19/2009)

W(h)ither the Public Library?

The 'whither' basics.
What gets Christian's goat.

Public Libraries: No Longer for the Literate, by Christian Schneider, senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.  (National Review, 4/26/2011)

Excerpt: When we consider the proper scope of government, do we really think of free entertainment as a basic public service? Has anybody ever answered a citizen survey listing “ability to rent Superbad for free” among their top-ten government priorities? And wouldn’t the public be better served if people who could afford it went to a video store and paid for their DVDs? Wouldn’t that create jobs and economic activity?

Modern-library apologists would point out that much of written literature is popular entertainment and that it would be impossible to draw a line between what is valuable and what is not. If those people can’t tell the difference between adultery in The Scarlet Letter and a character enjoying hot pastry in a nontraditional way in the movie American Pie, then they have been standing too near the book de-magnitizers for too long.

With local and state governments facing significant budget challenges, it might be time to take a closer look at the non-essential services they are providing. Nobody is facing imminent death because they haven’t seen season one of Who’s the Boss? on DVD. Yet local libraries might be soaking the taxpayers to make watching Alyssa Milano’s pre-teen years a reality for all
.

A selection of other opinion pieces from Christian Schneider..
Mr. Ryan Goes to Washington.  (4/21/2011.  Ryan's 'welcome' return home.  But we know how this tour is turning out.)
Madison vs. the Rest of Wisconsin. (4/7/2011.  Turning a blind eye to Waukesha County.)
The Forgotten Story in Wisconsin.  (3/11/2011.  Walker & the Fitzgerald brothers....hair blowing in the wind.... pecs glistening in the sun....standing firm....)
Wisconsin State Employees Should Have Some Koch and Smile.  (3/1/2011.  The Punster.)
Another Library Conundrum.  (1/26/2007.  I wonder if Christian ever fantasizes about being a stand-up comic.)
Making a Donation to the Library.  (5/30/2006)

El Paso Public Library Director Dionne Mack-Harvin's Goal to Create Libraries That Welcome Everyone


El Paso Public Libraries chief, Dionne Mack-Harvin, works to offer easier access to books. (El Paso Times, 4/25/2011)

Excerpt:  Dionne Mack-Harvin does not have a wonderful library experience story to share.

"It was not a love of books and a love of reading that drew me into the profession," she said.

Mack-Harvin grew up first in South Carolina and later in Harlem, exposed mostly to the Bible and a 1950s set of World Book encyclopedias.

"I never walked into a library until I moved to New York at age 10. When I did, the person at the desk was very rude," she said. "I believed a library was not for us even as I was growing up in the '70s."

Mack-Harvin is completing her fourth month as director of the El Paso Public Library system, the first African-American to serve in that position. She succeeded Carol Brey-Casiano, now with the U.S. State Department.

Mack-Harvin, 38, is responsible for 13 libraries and a bookmobile, 170 employees, and an annual operating budget of about $8.4 million.

A college librarian encouraged Mack-Harvin, who already had credentials in history and African-American studies, to consider library science as a possible option for making a difference in her community.

African-Americans represent less than 1 percent of all public librarians nationwide, according to various national surveys.

"For me, it's been all about how public libraries play a crucial role in society," Mack-Harvin said recently.

Throughout her career, Mack-Harvin has tried to create libraries as places that welcome and accommodate anybody, regardless of their language or background
.

You're right, Mary, it's sound very much like a description of a library


Letter to the editor: Invites former Borders customer to sample public library offerings. (Connecticut Post, 4/26/2011)

Excerpt:  I, too, regret the closing of Borders bookstore (News-Times letters, April 17) but Louis Toppi's description of what is being lost sounds very familiar to me:

"...a place to go when you come home from a stressful day on the job. You go to get a cup of coffee, snack, read a book, even talk to people ... You had learning sections in the building where youngsters learned, book authors coming in for an appearance with the public, signing their book. Even entertainment was introduced ..."

I invite Mr. Toppi to visit one of the amazingly active and vibrant public libraries in Greater Danbury, where he will find all of this and more -- and without having to buy anything for the privilege of spending time there.

I think he will find that there is abundant sunshine in libraries to dispel the "dark cloud" he sees dropping on our region with the closing of Borders.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 17: Avon Free Public Library)


Avon Gets A Little Help With Library Expansion. (Hartford Courant, 4/22/2011)

Excerpt"In our view, these features are all things that will add a richness and a character to the project, and will really enhance the beauty and the utility of the inside of the library," said Mary Suter, chairwoman of the board of trustees.

The other items that the board voted to put back in are window seats throughout the library, cloud ceiling decorations in the toddler room, a stage in the community room and tackboards in the children's room. The items total $24,456, which will be funded by the library's capital campaign.

The library building committee is looking for a moving company to move the contents of the library when the addition is done so that renovations can be made to the existing building, said building committee Chairwoman Diane Hornaday.

The building project is about 10 days behind schedule due to winter weather, "which is next to nothing," Hornaday said.

The capital campaign is about $25,000 short of its $1 million goal, according to Suter
.

Negotiations Continue on Madison Central Library Project


Soglin gives hope of compromise on Central Library. (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/26/2011)

Excerpt: As he took office last week, Mayor Paul Soglin created uncertainty by requiring guarantees on $8 million in private fundraising and $4 million in federal tax credits before going to bid.

But after meeting with library officials and the architect on Tuesday, Soglin said there may be alternatives to move forward.

“We’re looking at some options that meet my requirement that we do not go to bid without sufficient funding and at the same time allow us to go out to bid this fall,” he said after the meeting.

The mayor declined to reveal details, but said that the nonprofit Madison Public Library Foundation, which is leading the fundraising effort, is refining options and that the parties will meet again on Friday.

“I think we made progress in our conversations on Tuesday,” said foundation executive director Jenni Collins, who also declined to share specifics. “We’re optimistic this public-private partnership will continue to be a fruitful one.”

All along, Soglin has said there may be ways to proceed on schedule, such as getting letters of credit on pledges, but that he won’t put the city at risk of having to cover a financing gap
.

Designing a new central library:  "Everyone has to feel comfortable and safe here".  (11/17/2010)
Interview with principal architect of Central Library project.  (11/5/2010)
Design development juggling acts for a renovated Madison Central Library. (10/15/2010)
Conceptual designs for new Central Library.  (10/25/2010)
One possible message:  Don't settle for less.  (8/5/2010)
Downsizing the Madison Central Library renovation project. (7/17/2010)
Possible temporary location has asbestos problem.  (6/18/2010)
Architectural firm selected for Madison Central project.  (5/26/2010)
State Journal editorial board sez Madison City Council made right decision on Central Library. (5/10/2010)
Council vote on library goes under the radar.  (5/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)
Mayor Responds to Critics on Library Issue.  (4/13/2010)
Board Endorses Renovation Plan.  (4/6/2010)
Keeping the dream of a new Madison Central Library alive. (3/31/2010)
Some Council Members Not Ready to Move Forward on Mayor's Renovation Plan.  (3/30/2010)
Council President Pro Tem to Introduce Resolution Approving Madison Central Library Renovation Project.  (3/28/2010)
'Dissatisfaction' with Collapsed Madison Central Library Project. (3/25/2010)
Fiore Departure Seen as Beneficial to Madison Central Project.  (3/23/2010)
Matter of Principle" Dooms New Central Madison Library.  (3/20/2010)
Madison Central: The Dream Dies, It's Now Time to Renovate. (3/19/2010)
Dispute over Construction Costs Threatens to Derail New Central Madison Library. (3/17/2010)
Madison Public Library Project Faces Delay in 2011. (3/9/2010)
Construction, Cost Concerns May Delay Madison Central Library Project. (1/25/2010)
New Madison Central Library Wins Council Approval. (11/11/2009)Capital Times Endorses New Madison Central Library. (11/10/2009)
Madison Council Begins Review of Mayor's Budget on Tuesday. (11/6/2009)
More Questions About Madison Central Library Project. (11/1/2009)
New Madison Public Library's First Change Order: Rooftop Garden.
(10/28/2009)

Call for Referendum on New Madison Central Library Not Attracting Support. (10/21/2009)
Madison Board of Estimates Rejects Library Referendum. (10/13/2009)
Some Madison City Council Members Want Referendum on New Central Library. (10/9/2009)
Three former mayors support new Madison Central Library. (10/5/2010)
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial on New Madison Central Library. (9/13/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Let the Positioning Begin. (9/1/2009)
New Madison Central Library on Mayor Dave's Front Burner. (8/30/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate? (7/7/2009)
Motley Brown Not Reason Enough. (6/11/2009)
Fiore Plan Receives Unanimous Support. (6/5/2009)
Fiore Plan Gets Nod from Committee. (5/15/2009)
Public Forum Focuses on Central Library Options. (4/24/2009)
Developer Sweetens the Deal. (4/21/2009)
Visualizing a Remodeled Madison Central Library. (4/4/2009)
Renovation Plan Put on Table for Madison Central Library. (3/26/2009)
Residents Critique Proposals to Rebuild Downtown Library. (1/9/2009)
Competing Developers Defend Their Central Library Plans. (1/8/2009)
Comparison of Downtown Madison Library Proposals. (12/17/2008)
Two Proposals for New Madison Central Library. (12/3/2008)
Best Headline of the Week. (9/6/2008)

Carole Lieberman Laments the Amazon-Bombing Phenomenon

Dr. Carole Lieberman: Cyberbullies’ Amazon-bombing hurts us all. (Capital Times, 4/27/2011)


Excerpt: As our world spins out of control, more people, demoralized and frightened by a struggling economy, terrorist attacks, and gloomy predictions about 2012, sit behind their computers lashing out against society. Just like real world bullies, cyberbullies are insecure cowards who terrorize their victims in a pathetic attempt to prove they are big and strong. Still, people get hurt. And, just like companies are held liable when someone gets attacked on their premises, company-owned websites should be held liable when people are attacked by cyberbullies on their online “premises.” At some point, free speech becomes libel.

Ever heard of “Amazon-bombing”? If not, you are not alone. It’s the new and virulent cyberbullying that occurs when “gangs” of vengeful marauders target an author by posting a barrage of scathing reviews, despite not having read the book. I had never heard of it until now, when the five-star reviews for my latest book, “Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them and How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets,” were eclipsed by more than 100 one-star vicious reviews overnight, literally. Why? Because my recent quotes about violent video games causing desensitization to violence and increased aggression hit a nerve with the large gaming community, which retaliated by maliciously using this new cyberbullying tool
.


The book is not available in LINKcat.  Amazon provides no book reviews from standard sources, although its bestsellers rank is 8,856, so the author's flogging (2c) her title on TV and online probably helps.  (I wonder if flogging, as in sense 1a, is found in the index of the book.  Or even if the book has an index.) 



It's all Donna Summers' fault.