Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 29, Washington Memorial Library)

Technology upgrades, renovation unveiled at Washington Memorial. (, 5/13/2011)

Excerpt:   Bibb County’s government put about $470,000 into the project while the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation put $500,000 into it. Guests can sit at new tables with their own power outlets, using their own computer or a laptop they check out from librarians. Another room has 40 desktop computers, where computer classes for community members will begin next month.

“Of all the needs you have in a community, you need information,” library director Thomas Jones said

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 28, Towson Branch Library)

Patrons, staff give high marks for Towson Library renovation. (Towson Times, 5/11/2011)

Excerpt:   People keep telling Towson Library branch manager Jennifer Haire that they are glad the recently completed $220,000 renovation project has made the busy library bigger.

She gently has to correct them.

"It just looks bigger because of the new lower shelving," she said. "It gives the library a much more expansive feel


More than one of the Friends of the Towson Library members have commented on how new, low-hanging, florescent light fixtures have made browsing easier and have given the space a "bright, very inviting look."

The centerpiece -- or more accurately, centerpieces -- of the project are the two 100-square-foot, glass-enclosed rooms that have been created for group study, tutoring or small business conferences.

Located near the magazine area on the main floor of the library, each has a table and six chairs and offers a degree of privacy that's missing from the unenclosed group study area on the mezzanine level

Onondaga County Public Library Advocacy Alert

Newspaper Knows Who to Ask for Book Recommendations: The Local Public Library

Local librarians recommend books about Navy SEALs, the warriors who got Osama bin Laden. (Syracuse Post-Standard, 5/8/2011)

Excerpt:   We asked the library staff from the main downtown branch of the Onondaga County Public Library to scour their databases for books and movies about Navy SEALs.

Here is a list of their selections, all of which are available through the Onondaga County Public Library. Please note that titles are limited and are not available at every branch. However, items may be requested with an OCPL card at any branch.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 27, Noble Neighborhood Library)

Noble Neighborhood Library in Cleveland Heights almost ready to open after $1 million renovation. (Cleveland Heights Sun Press, 5/13/2011)

Excerpt:   One goal of the renovation was to retain original woodwork and decorative elements of the historical building while creating expanded, separate areas for adults, children and teens. There is also a new public entrance from the parking lot in the back of the building and more open spaces inside.

The library hired Cleveland architecture firm Studio Techne to design the renovation, with the hopes of retaining some historical aspects of the original Walker & Weeks building, which was constructed in 1937.

“We worked . . . to make sure we retained the beauty and integrity of the original building while converting it into a more user-friendly, technology-enhanced space,” Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin said.

And though it is retaining many historical aspects of the original design, this is not your mother’s library

New York Public Library Celebrates Its Centennial

Detroit Public Library Does the Math....Incorrectly

Detroit Library admits plan to close branches based on flawed math. (Detroit News, 5/12/2011)

Excerpt: The Detroit Public Library is preparing to shutter as many as 10 branches and lay off one-third of its workers because of financial projections city officials say were a misunderstanding.

City finance staffers say they told library counterparts in March that 20 percent of the city's property taxes go uncollected.

Library staffers took that to mean property tax revenues would decline 20 percent a year until 2015 and prepared plans for branch closures, which were expected to be considered today but those talks were postponed.

"We want to make sure the numbers we put out there are the most accurate," library spokesman A.J. Funchess said this morning.

But Mayor Dave Bing's staff says the library's math is all wrong.


The mix-up could be the latest embarrassment for library officials who've been criticized in recent weeks for spending $2.3 million to revamp the Main Library's South Wing — including chairs and trash cans that cost $1,100 apiece — while readying layoffs and branch closures.

Related articles:
Residents speak up against branch closings.  (5/8/2011)
The library takes a page from the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.  (5/7/2011)
The news just keeps getting worse. (5/6/2011)
The Detroit Public Library needs some good news (and this isn't it).  (5/5/2011)
Rainy day fund keeps fewer branches from closing.  (4/29/2011)
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)

"Torn in Two", Civil War Exhibit @ the Boston Public Library

A great struggle recalled.  (Boston Globe, 5/12/2011)

Excerpt:    The collection, which opens to the public today, seeks to illuminate the war through an array of maps, political cartoons, newspaper front pages and other materials from the time and underlines the critical importance of geography in the war and how the public followed it. While newspapers rarely printed maps before the war, more than 2,000 maps appeared in daily newspapers in the North during the war, spurred by advances in printing technologies.

Three years in the making, the exhibit is divided into three sections. The first examines the tensions between the Northern and Southern states in the years before the war, the second documents the conflict itself, and the third focuses on how the war was remembered and how the war-torn country commemorated the battles and honored the dead.

“We want people to get a sense of the whole story,’’ said Ronald Grim, curator of the library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, which organized the exhibit. “During the Civil War, maps became a major way of illustrating the battles.’’

The exhibit will run through the end of the year before heading to New Yor

Friday, May 13, 2011

Putting Their Mouths Where Their Money Is

Loss of train funding lamented. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/12/2011)

Excerpt 1:   Speaking at the Italian Community Center as a member of a Public Policy Forum panel on the impact of Walker's policies on Milwaukee's economic competitiveness, Grunau characterized spurning the federal money and the chance to be part of an improved and wider rail system as a lost opportunity that the state could come to regret.

Grunau, president of the Grucon Group, noted that Michigan just was awarded about $200 million in federal funding for a high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago.

"That was accepted by the Republican governor in Michigan, recently elected, who sees the benefit of modern transit," Grunau said.

Federal transportation officials pulled the $810 million grant here after Walker wouldn't use it for the Milwaukee-to-Madison connection. Walker questioned the economic viability of the Milwaukee-Madison line and did not want to obligate the state to spend tax money to operate the trains.

Grunau said he thinks Walker has done a "good job" of reining in the costs of doing business in Wisconsin.

"I give him 'A' in that area, but I give him a 'Z' in style points," Grunau said. "I think he is over-pushing everything, and the resultant Republican agenda in this six months is going to undo years and generations of progressive things that have happened in our state.

[Click on table to enlarge.]

Excerpt 2: But Rich Meeusen, chief executive of Badger Meter Inc. in Milwaukee, said Walker already has improved the perception of Wisconsin as a place to do business.

[Click on table to enlarge.]

He pointed to a recent survey of the country's CEOs in Chief Executive magazine on their perceptions of states' business climates. It showed Wisconsin has jumped 17 places in the rankings, going from 41st to 24th

The survey was conducted in the first weeks of Scott Walker's administration.  Sounds like a wishful-thinking Manny Perez scenario.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 26, Cairo Public Library)

67 bids on library work.  (The Daily Mail, 5/11/2011) 

ExcerptOfficials attempted to maximize the number of contracts, they say, to encourage local bidders, but only four Greene County firms ended up bidding on the work, including Linda Holding Corp. and Maple Ridge Enterprises, both of Round Top, B&G Contractors, Inc. of Oak Hill and Capital District Electric.

Many of the bidders are from the Capital Region or just north or south of Greene County.

The town board has voted to hire Freemann Project Management Services, based in Cairo, as the project’s resident inspector. The job carries the responsibility for day-to-day oversight of construction efforts and maintaining the project schedule.

The contract with the firm covers a 44-week period, but could be extended if needed. The firm was recommended to the town by the library board from among eight applicants. It has overseen work on several school projects, as well as the Shenendehowa Public Library in Clifton Park, N.Y., according to its website.

Last year, town voters, by a margin of just 35 votes, approved a bond to fund the construction of a new 7,000-square-foot library on a small piece of land behind the town hall. The bond resolution passed 283-248.

The town has been awarded a $3.07 million loan and $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to library officials, the annual cost of repaying the loan will cost about $50 per $100,000 of property assessment, which is the town average.

The loan and grant was included in the 2009 federal stimulus package

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 25, Kanawha County Public Library)

Library project would create 400 construction jobs, study says. (Charleston Gazette, 5/10/2011)

Excerpt:   A proposed $47 million project to build a new Kanawha County Public Library and update branches in several local communities will create more than 400 construction jobs and have an economic impact of about $18 million on the county, a study conducted by Marshall University concludes.

Library officials want to build a new main library in Charleston, build a new branch in Marmet and renovate branches in St. Albans, Dunbar, Cross Lanes and Sissonville.

The biggest part of the project is to build a new main library branch on the corner of Leon Sullivan Way and Lee Street across from the Clay Center on about 213,000 square feet of land now occupied by a bank and the former site of General Seafood. 
{?  In West Virginia?}

The cost of the new main branch alone is estimated at about $27 million, plus another $10 million for land acquisition.

Library officials asked the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University to conduct a study to estimate the new library's impact on the county

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 24, West Hollywood Library)

Developer Gives $1 Million for WeHo Library. (Park Labrea News/Beverly Press, 5/11/2011)

Excerpt:   The Mani’s transformational gift, which was announced at a reception last week at Soho House, will create the Mani Family Floor at the new library. At the reception, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, 3rd District, announced a $250,000 pledge from the County of Los Angeles. The county’s Public Library system will operate the new library facility.

“Libraries are free to anyone, that’s what makes them so important, but they aren’t free to operate,” Yaroslavsky said. “Every day we see the value that libraries bring, and we’re proud to work in partnership with the City of West Hollywood to make this new library and park expansion a flagship destination among county libraries.”

The West Hollywood Library and park expansion project will result in a greatly improved park, with an open-air court linking the library, the park and San Vicente Boulevard.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 23, Warren-Newport Library)

Gurnee’s Warren-Newport library closed five days next week. (Daily Herald, 5/10/2011)

Excerpt:   Bero said the $8 million renovation and 4,500-square-foot expansion still is on target to be mostly finished in September. Officials said computer access and seating will be limited through August.

Larger restrooms, more meeting space, additional study rooms and a dedicated area for teenagers are among the project’s highlights. Warren-Newport spans about 51,000 square feet off O’Plaine Road and was last expanded in 1997.

The Mother of All Overdue Library Book Stories

215-year-old book returned to library. (AP article in the San Jose Mercury News, 5/12/2011)

Excerpt:   A 215-year-old book that was part of the first lending library in Camden, Maine, has been returned.

Oliver Goldsmith's "History of England, Vol. 1" was returned recently by a Southern California man who found it among volumes collected by his grandfather, a former Portland police officer known to browse the city's book markets. The book's first printing was in 1790; the Camden copy is thought to date to 1796.

The original library, thde Federal Society Library of "Cambden," was founded in 1796 and disbanded by 1826. It's unclear how the book made its way to Portland, where it ended up with the grandfather of Chuck Regan of Thousand Oaks.

From the Camden (Maine) Public Library website:

History.    The first library established in Camden was known as the Federal Society’s Library, and was started in 1796 with a collection of 200 books. At that time, Camden was a very small town consisting of 15 houses centered around the harbor. The Federal Society’s Library operated for 34 years until the books were sold at auction.

So what is the procedure for returning a book to a library that doesn't exist anymore?

Related articles:
Another long overdue library book story, another serving of catnip to the media.  (12/9/2010)
Library book returned 99 years later.  (12/16/2009)
54 years overdue, but $1,750 fine forgiven.  (12/14/2009)

Wausau Considers Naming Rights as a Way to Generate New Revenue

The likeliest candidates?

Wausau considers selling property naming rights. (, 5/11/2011)

Excerpt: The city is entertaining the idea of naming rights as it considers new ways to raise revenue. The City Council's Finance Committee is exploring the concept, either through naming rights or a sponsorship.

Finance director Maryanne Groat says the city already receives about $30,000 annually for advertising on MetroRide buses and elsewhere.

The Wausau Daily Herald reports committee member Bill Nagle says the city has an obligation to generate revenue and provide property tax relief by any means necessary -- "as long as it's not unethical or immoral

Too bad the library is a county operation.
I like the sound of the  
Fiskars Public Library 
A Cut Above the Rest!
If Marathon County ran with this idea, we could have the Ditto branches.

"Vermont libraries can take you anywhere"

Idyll Banter: Libraries put their cards on the table. (Burlington Free Press, 4/10/2011)

Excerpt: Beginning today -- which also happens to be the start of National Library Week -- the Vermont Library Association is hoping to quash that sort of typecasting and convey to Vermonters what a modern library is really like. Fiske, president of the VLA, is among the masterminds behind a multimedia campaign to convince us that libraries are not the blacksmith shops of the 21st century. Three 15-second public service announcements will air on television this week, along with three matching print ads, all of which share the theme, "Vermont libraries can take you anywhere." The TV ad was produced by RETN, with 21-year-old University of Vermont senior and aspiring filmmaker Stephan Ruiz in charge of the project and directing the videos.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 22, Patchogue-Medford Library

Children Department Renovation Complete. (Patchogue Patch, 5/10/2011)

ExcerptDuring preliminary design meetings, the library staff suggested a theme of “learning taking flight.” The theme is referenced in the design of the corridor, where both the floor pattern and three-­dimensional ceiling emulate trails behind a jet in flight. The geometry of the computer section within the children’s space suggests the shape of a gull’s wings. Centrally located within the stack area is a “nest,” a circular space with comfortable seating intended for parents and children to interact while reading together.

Children's librarian, Elaine Perez, commented on how much the department has grown over the years.

"We have hundreds of programs each year. Some are just for the children or just for the parents or for the entire family. We have a fantastic bilingual and spanish collection now and we do bilingual storytime. There has been a lot of community support. Everyone is working hand-in-hand and now we can serve our community better," Perez said

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Closing Flint's 3 Branches Saves $150,000 Per Year

 Cody Branch
Flint Public Library considering closing three branches. (Flint News, 5/10/2011)

Excerpt:  The budget the Flint Public Library's board is considering for next year includes closing all three of its branch libraries.

The move comes as the library struggles to build a budget on $3.8 million in expected revenues. That's down from $4.1 million the current fiscal year and just less than $5.3 million last year.

The Cody Library, North Flint Library and West Flint Library would be closed under the proposed budget, which the board is expected to discuss tonight before sending it to the public budget hearing June 9, said library director Kay Schwartz.

Public access computers at North Flint.

"They're really the size of a school library ... they're one room," Schwartz said of the branches.

By closing the branches, the library would save about $150,000 per year, the director added.

The branches were changed from being open four days per week to two in recent years, a move that saved $150,000

 West Flint

Related articles:
Library not likely to send a thank-you note to GM.  (12/3/2010)
Citizens for Flint Public Library launch 'Keep Our Library' campaign.  (6/13/2010)

Population of Flint Michigan 1910-2010
                                     1910  1920  1930  1940   1950  1960    1970   1980  1990   2000   2010

Explore Yale Digital Commons

Yale announces free online access to museum, library collections. (Boston Globe, 5/11/2011)

Excerpt:  Yale University officials announced yesterday that the school intends to be the first in the Ivy League to offer free online access to digital images of millions of objects housed in its museums, archives, and libraries.

No license will be required for transmission of the images, and no limitations will be imposed on their use, which will allow scholars, artists and others around the world to use Yale collections for study, publication, teaching, and inspiration, Yale officials said.

It will take many years for the university to digitize all its objects. The school has harvested 1.5 million records from its catalogs and digitized 250,000 of them, available through a newly developed collective catalog. Yale expects the number of records to grow much larger as it continues to harvest its catalogs

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

School Library Research Summarized: "Quality school library programs impact student achievement"

Study: Library funding ups student scores. (UPI News, 5/9/2011)

Excerpt:  U.S. researchers say a study of 22 U.S. states and a Canadian province shows when funding support for school libraries rises, reading and testing scores go up.

Researchers at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania say the study contradicts an article of faith among critics of public schools that there is no correlation between spending and learning outcomes, a university release reported last week.

"Quality school library programs impact student achievement," said Debra E. Kachel, a professor in the School Library and Information Technologies Department at Mansfield. "The research shows clearly that schools that support their library programs give their students a better chance to succeed."

Madison Public Library Foundation Receives Bequest of $3,472,000

Madison Public Library Foundation Receives Bequest from Estate of Madison Journalist Helen Matheson Rupp. (City of Madison news release, 5/10/2011)

Excerpt: The late Helen Matheson Rupp has left a bequest of $3,472,000 to the Madison Public Library Foundation.

"The gift was a wonderful surprise," said Jenni Collins, Executive Director of the Madison Public Library Foundation. "It is the largest gift in the Foundation's fifteen-year history."

Helen Matheson Rupp, who died last year at age 88, was the first woman executive at the Wisconsin State Journal, where she worked from 1942 to her retirement in 1977. She first worked as a reporter and feature writer, later becoming Sunday editor in 1949 and assistant manager in 1957. Upon her retirement in 1977, she was awarded the YWCA-Madison's Women of Distinction Award for community service, professional achievement, integrity, leadership, and dedication to the lives of others.

After retirement, Matheson Rupp wrote on a freelance basis, traveled extensively and remained active in many professional and community organizations, many of them related to reading, history and civic engagement.

"I wish I would have had a chance to know Helen Rupp," commented Jenni Collins, "from talking to those who knew her she sounds like a dynamic, smart, and inspiring lady."

According to those close to Rupp, libraries were instrumental in her work and personal life. In making her decision to make this sizable bequest to Madison Public Library Foundation, she determined she wanted to leave a gift that had a lasting impact on the entire Madison Public Library system

Penguin CEO on the Distinction Between the Book Reader and the Book Owner

Penguin CEO Adjusts to E-Books but Sees Room for the Old. (Wall Street Journal, 5/9/2011)

Excerpt from interview with John Makinson, chief executive of Pearson PLC's book publishing arm, Penguin Group.

WSJ: Will there come a time when physical books are no longer published?

Mr. Makinson: No, I really don't think so. There is a growing distinction between the book reader and the book owner. The book reader just wants the experience of reading the book, and that person is a natural digital consumer: Instead of a disposable mass market book, they buy a digital book. The book owner wants to give, share and shelve books. They love the experience. As we add value to the physical product, particularly the trade paperback and hardcover, the consumer will pay a little more for the better experience. I looked the other day into the sales of public-domain classics in 2009, when all those books were available for free. What I found was that our sales had risen by 30% that year. The reason is that we were starting to sell hardcover editions—more expensive editions—that people were prepared to pay for. There will always be a market for physical books, just as I think there will always be bookstores

Related articles:
Demand for ebooks grows exponentially in Wisconsin.  (5/2/2011)
Struggling to find an ebook common agenda between libraries and publishers.  (4/5/2011)
Ebooks and libraries:  "The challenges just keep piling up".  (3/28/2011)
Publishers Weekly tracks ebook sales.  (3/18/2011)
Word is getting out:  Ebooks @ your library.  (3/18/2011)
Ebooks continue to gain market share.  (3/17/2011)
Publishers look to bottom line in formulating ebook policies for libraries. (3/15/2011)
News stories on HarperCollins ebook decision go mainstream.  (3/5/2011)
9 years of book sales:  trade and ebook.  (2/17/2011)
Will ebook readers be wooed by Barbara Cartland?  (2/12/2011)
The impact of ebooks on libraries.  (2/11/2011)
OverDrive news release: Library eBook circs up 200% in '10. (1/10/2011)
Mashable: 5 ebook trends that will change the future of publishing. (12/29/2010)
Christmas 2010 the tipping point for ebooks?  (12/24/2010)
Ereader as brown paper bag.  (12/9/2010)
The ebook reader compatibility surprise.  (12/3/2010)
Ereader ownership:  Survey says....  (11/30/2010)
David Carnoy asks, "Does the Kindle pay for itself?" (11/29/2010)
Need to repair that ebook reader?  (11/19/2010)
Who uses an ereader:  Survey says....  (9/22/2010)
Book industry wrestles with print vs. pixels.  (9/2/2010)
Coming soon to a screen near you:  Ads in ebooks.  (8/20/2010)
Ebooks now comprise 8/5% of book sales. (8/12/2010)
Genre paperback publishers drops print.  (8/6/2010)
Ebooks and libraries.  (5/4/2010)
Ebooks eliminate a free form of adversiting:  the book jacket.  (3/31/2010)
Ebooks: another round of false promises?  (3/19/2010)
The skinny on ebooks.  (3/8/2010)
Hardcover vs. ebook:  Breaking down the costs.  (3/1/2010)

Pew Research: Accepters, Skeptics, and Rejecters on Changes in Family Structure

Daily Number:  31%-32%-37% - Judging Family Trends. (Pew Research Center, 5/10/2011)

Excerpt:   The American family has seen sweeping changes over the past half century. How these changes are viewed splits the public into three roughly equal groups: Accepters, Rejecters and Skeptics.

Accepters (31%). More likely to be represented in this group.
  • Women
  • Hispanics
  • East Coast residents
  • Adult who seldom or never attend religious services

Skeptics (37%).  More likely to be represented in this group.
  • Young people
  • Democrats and political independents
  • Minorities

Rejecters (32%).  More likely to be represented in this group.
  • Whites
  • Older adults
  • Religiously observant
  • Married adults
  • [Oh, you mean, like John Ensign, Larry Craig, David Vitter, and Ted Haggard]

Which Probably Leaves Less Time for Reading

Kids Study: More Media Use at a Younger Age. (Click Z, 5/10/2011)

  They're crawling to the TV set and toddling to the laptop. A new study of kids' media use finds that even the preschool set is logging on.

For its 2011 LMX Family study, Ipsos OTX MediaCT surveyed 2,080 American parents and their kids aged six to 12, as well as 715 parents of preschoolers aged 0 to five about the children's attitudes to media and their usage.

They found that most children are media consumers by the time they're a year old. And, by the time they've barely stopped toddling, they're interacting with video on their own.

More than half of the parents of preschoolers said their kids would be allowed to play games on mobile phones or consoles, watch online video and listen to music on multiple devices when they were five years old. By age six, they'll be allowed to go online on their own.

Traditionalists will be pleased to see that kids aged five and younger enjoyed playing with toys and playing outside as much as they did watching TV or video. For six- to 12-year-olds, more than one quarter of the time they were awake was screen time. Moreover, their media time rose substantially in the past year, from 4.9 hours to 5.3 hours each day, thanks mostly to video games

Working to Keep the Troy Public Library Open

Troy revisits library tax plan. (Detroit News, (5/10/2011)

Excerpt:    In what appears to be the beginning of the next go-round to save the Troy library, the City Council called Monday for a draft of ballot language for a dedicated millage.

The council expects to hold a public hearing and vote on the issue during its meeting May 16. "The sooner we get this done one way or another, the quicker this community can heal," said Councilwoman Robin Beltramini.

The draft language is for 0.7 mills for a five-year period. Mayor Louise Schilling said she proposed the figure as a compromise between the library's funding in 2009-10 and its lower current funding level.

Sharon MacDonell said she hopes the council decides to raise the millage rate before voting to put it on the ballot. The 0.7 mill figure is too low, she said.

Earlier Monday, about 35 library supporters walked from the library to the municipal complex, where they hoped to convince the council to put a levy on the ballot to fund the facility.

"If they can fund it through the summer we can garner enough support for a millage," said Jennifer Hilzinger an organizer. During the march, the group chanted slogans and carried signs that read, "Invest in the Best — Troy" and "Come on Peeps. We Need Books.

Related articles:
Will there be a library after June 30th?  (4/20/2011)
Keep the Troy Public Library open:  Council members told to 'figure it out'.  (4/19/2011)
May Day!  May Day!  Two Michigan libraries set to close on May 1.  (4/17/2011)
Library to close on May 1.  (2/23/2011)
Troy Michigan (population: 80,000) still on track to close its library.  (2/8/2011)
Voters wave bye-bye to their library.  (11/3/2010)
Giving voters more choices than they need.  (8/13/2010)
Library threatened with closure, part 2.  (5/19/2010)
Library threatened with closure, part 1.  (4/25/2010)

40th Anniversary of Miami-Dade County Public Library's Permanent Art Collection

Library system’s art collection a little-known asset. (Miami Herald, 5/7/2011)

Excerpt:  In 1963, long before there was a thriving international art scene in South Florida, Margarita Cano — an exiled librarian and museum guide from Havana whose resume included cataloging items at the island’s eclectic Napoleonic Museum, owned by a sugar magnate — found work at the old Miami library in Bayfront Park.

“It was a wonderful library, but there was not one thing on the walls,” remembers Cano, 79. “I thought, why not bring art?”

She began to tap players in South Florida’s fledgling art world with an enthusiastic pitch about libraries being perfect places to showcase art. She also staged low-cost exhibitions, made small purchases of limited prints to display permanently, and soon, enthusiastic library patrons, artists and collectors began to donate more works.

She gave space and visibility to newly-arrived Cuban refugees and to emerging African American artists who might not otherwise have been able to exhibit their work. When the shows’ runs ended, the grateful artists — homegrown talents such as Overtown’s Purvis Young and budding national stars such as Carlos Alfonzo, who fled Cuba on the Mariel boatlift of 1980 — donated significant works to the library system.

Forty-some years later, the Miami-Dade Public Library System houses a distinguished Permanent Art Collection that tells the story of the region’s art history and chronicles South Florida’s social anxieties and milestones — from language wars and racial and ethnic divides to celebrations of history and heritage. Only a handful of public libraries around the nation can claim such a legacy

Georgia's Gwinnett County Public Libraries Continue to Struggle

Gwinnett libraries to reduce hours later this year. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/9/2011)

Excerpt:   Gwinnett County public libraries could close at least one day per week later this year as the system struggles to balance its budget.

In recent months the library has reduced staff and trimmed other spending to postpone service cuts. But library officials say they can’t avoid reducing hours much longer.

“We’re struggling to keep the libraries open as long as we can under these difficult budget conditions,” said Phillip Saxton, Gwinnett library board vice chairman at a budget workshop on Monday.

Gwinnett and other metro Atlanta library systems have reduced services as cash-strapped local governments cut spending. Cobb County has twice cut library hours in recent months. DeKalb County closed its Briarcliff branch in October and delayed opening its Stonecrest library.

Gwinnett closed its libraries on Sundays and Mondays for a time in 2009. The library board later restored seven-day service but reduced weekly operating hours from 71 to 53. Gwinnett officials say another reduction in hours is coming

Related articles:
Metro Atlanta public libraries continue to tighten their belts.  (1/26/2011)
Gwinnett County Library budget cut by 15%. (1/8/2011)
Library's 2011 Budget cut by 15%.  (12/2/2010)

Tote Bag Solicitation? Buyer Beware

Following up on a WISPUBLIB query.

Chamber of commerce warns against dealing with firm. (Owosso Argus-Press, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt:   The company is called “Totes To Go” also doing business as Universal Adcom based out of Arlington, Texas, according to a Chamber press release.

“According to a phone conversation with the advertising manager, ‘This is a new project that they are trying. Advertisements will be sold to local businesses with prices ranging from $499 for two ads on the front and $399 for the remaining eight ads on the back of the bag. Five hundred tote bags will then be given to the Chamber for distribution. Each advertiser gets one bag as a sample,’ ” Chamber representatives said.

When Chamber staff figured the math, it calculates a cost of $8.38 per bag. The bags are printed in Arlington,Texas. Furthermore, the company Universal Adcom has a Better Business Bureau rating of “F,” due to: Number of complaints filed against business; number of complaints filed against business that were unresolved; number of serious complaints filed against business; length of time business has taken to resolve complaint(s); and government action(s) against business.

Mike Faber on Silver Lake Branch Library: Use it or lose it

Silver Lake library board member urges local branch use. (West of the I, 5/7/2011)

Excerpt: Mike Faber, one of Silver Lake’s Community Library Board members, on Wednesday night urged village residents to use the branch in Silver Lake.

Use of all three branches — in Salem, Silver Lake and Twin Lakes – is being reviewed currently, Faber said. If the Silver Lake branch does not show enough use, it might be closed, he said in spontaneous comments at the end of the regular Village Board meeting.

“In the future we may lose (the local branch) if there’s not enough usage,” Faber said. “We don’t want to lose it.

Community Library in the news:
Twin Lakes committee asks for opinion it won't be bound by.  (4/15/2011)
Twin Lakes village board should also consider a review of 43.52 (1m).  (3/20/2011)
Municipalities discuss contract changes.  (1/20/2011)
Twin Lakes to stay in Community Library.  (11/23/2010)
More library disagreements.  (11/13/2010)
Stakeholders agree to postpone to disagree.  (10/22/2010)
DWD Equal Rights Division:  No discrimination on Community Library case.  (10/18/2010)
Need for more space at Twin Lakes/Randall Branch of Community Library.  (8/23/2010)
More disagreements at Community Library.  (5/25/2010)
Maggie Rivals Dewey for Attention.  (5/24/2010)
Board Member Raises Objections to Library Cat.  (5/9/2010)
New Director Hired.  (4/20/2010)
A Library Board Appointment Not According to Hoyle.  (4/13/2010)
Former Library Director Sues for Wages after Firing.  (3/16/2010)
Position Announcement:  Library Executive Director, Community Library, Salem, Wisconsin.  (2/5/2010)
Former Director of Community Library: From Demotion to Dismissal. (1/29/2010)
 Community Library Board Member Wields Machete to Address $1,000 Deficit. (12/06/2009)
New Community Library Representative to Wilmot School Board
. (11/11/2009)
Demoted director to fight for job
. (10/30/2009)
Library Board confirms interim director. (10/27/2009)
Community Library Soap Opera Continues
. (10/23/2009)
Community Library Update: "What we have here is...failure to communicate. (10/09/2009)
Community Library Board of Trustees: Riding Roughshod? (10/01/2009)
Library Board's "Positive Direction" Takes an Immediate Detour. (9/30/2009)
West county library group under fire. (1/29/2009)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bob Dylan's Song Lyrics a Popular Source of Legal Citations

Judges hand down the law with help from Bob Dylan. (Los Angeles Times, 5/9/2011)

Excerpt: No musician's lyrics are more often cited than Dylan's in court opinions and briefs, say legal experts who have chronicled the artist's influence on today's legal community. From U.S. Supreme Court rulings to law school courses, Dylan's words are used to convey messages about the law and courts gone astray.

His signature protest songs, "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'," gave voice and vocabulary to the antiwar and civil rights marches. His most powerful ballads, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" and "Hurricane," have become models for legal storytelling and using music to make a point.

Dylan's music and values have imprinted themselves on the justice system because his songs were the score playing during the formative years of the judges and lawyers now populating the nation's courthouses, colleges and blue-chip law firms, says Michael Perlin, a New York Law School professor who has used Dylan lyrics as titles for at least 50 published law journal article

The top 10 musicians/groups cited based on research done by Alex Long, University of Texas Tennessee law professor.
  1. Bob Dylan (186)
  2. The Beatles (74)
  3. Bruce Springsteen (69)
  4. Paul Simon (59)
  5. Woody Guthrie (43)
  6. The Rolling Stones (39)
  7. The Grateful Dead (32)
  8. Simon & Garfunkel (30)
  9. Joni Mitchell (28)
  10. R.E.M. (27)

From Gavel Grab, 6/30/2008.

New Administrative Rule Forces Change in North Carolina Regional Library System Organization

Regional Library system might split. Gaston-Lincoln could turn into independent systems based on new state rules and regulations. (Charlotte Observer, 5/8/2011)

Excerpt:    Currently, there are 14 regional systems in North Carolina, and Moose said each is a slightly different operation. Since the early 2000s, she said, the state rules commission has been looking at governance issues in the systems. The process has been long and complicated, but rules and regulations have been rewritten.

The bottom line is that Lincoln and Gaston might be required to split into independent systems and hire their own finance directors.

Moose said she doesn't know how much that would cost, but "it won't be cheap."

People in library circles were looking forward to what they expected would be "a constructive update of administrative codes," said Moose.

Instead, they found themselves "casualties of the process."

The systems have until Nov. 1 to present their plans which will be in place by July, 2012

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rockford Public School Libraries: "You're really looking at a warehouse right now"

Rockford school staff warns cuts will turn libraries into ‘warehouses'. (Rockford Register-Star, 5/7/2011)

Excerpt:  The hundreds of layoffs in the Rockford School District have left district officials scrambling to offer services to students and still balance the budget.

The School Board approved the dismissal of all nontenured staff members March 8; the vote eliminated hundreds of teachers, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists and language pathologists. The board voted March 29 to lay off an additional 29 tenured staff members. Total cut: more than 570.

Among the most vocal have been the district’s certified teacher-librarians, none of whom will be returning as librarians next year. Without them, school libraries will be closed much of the time, Auburn High School librarian Lori Drummond-Cherniwchan said.

“You’re really looking at a (book) warehouse right now,” she said.

The 14 certified teacher-librarians already feel like they’re working with bare-bones support, and they say services to students will drop significantly without those certified staff.

“We want our libraries open,” said Laura Meehan, the librarian at Washington Academy. “They’re of no value if they’re not open.”

A plan being drafted by district officials would staff one library paraprofessional at each of the district’s four high schools and six middle schools and 12.5 paraprofessional positions for the district’s elementary schools. This year, the district staffs 42 library paraprofessional positions.

But Illinois School Code doesn’t allow paraprofessionals, who are only required to have a high school education, to teach or supervise a class, so teachers could no longer send classes to the library

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 21 :Burnhaven Library)

Burnhaven Library's back in business. (Star-Tribune, 5/8/2011)

Excerpt: With a revamped layout, larger computer lab and streamlined checkout and drop-off services, the Burnhaven Library reopens Monday after eight months of remodeling.

When patrons walk through the front doors of the "new" Burnhaven Library, reopening Monday after eight months of remodeling, they will find themselves in a larger lobby looking at an entirely new layout.

"It's logical," said library manager Nancy Wisser. "The public will find out how easy it is to find things. It will be an easy, pleasant experience."

Some of the new features include a new license center -- offering everything from vehicle registration to birth certificates and fishing licenses -- plus a greatly expanded computer lab and a teen area. The library also will have a drive-up return window and an updated system for checking out and returning books.

The $1.9 million renovation to the metro area's third-largest library was its first in 15 years and the second since the library was built in 1974.

No temporary library was set up in its place during construction, so Burnhaven users had to travel to other nearby libraries, such as Apple Valley's and Eagan's

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 20: Hayner Library)

 Jennie Hayner

Hayner Library to reopen restored main hall this month. (The Telegram, 5/8/2011)

  Vaulted oak ceilings with dog-toothed beams soar over the newly restored main hall in the original Hayner Library Building, first opened for public use in 1891.

On May 21, the 120th anniversary of the opening of the original library at 401 Belle St. in Downtown Alton, the library once again will become accessible to patrons - but this time with state-of-the-art computers positioned on tables for research purposes and display cases lining the walls.

"It's an absolutely stunning facility. We have moved the Illinois Room collection and the genealogy department over here," said Bernadette Duvernoy, assistant director of public relations and marketing. "We're combining the library function with a museum."

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. that Saturday.

Designer Mike Lefferson accentuated original architectural features by adding Mission-style furnishings and stained glass lighting, creating a comfortable, inviting ambiance akin to a parlor. The total cost of renovations came to $970,000

Detroit Resident Speak Up Against Branch Closings

Detroit residents speak out on library branch closures. (Detroit News, 5/7/2011)

Excerpt: The library faces an $11 million shortfall and falling property tax revenues, which have dropped 32 percent since 2008 from $42 million to nearly $29 million. Revenues are expected to continue to decline every year by 20 percent through 2014 to almost $15 million, based on figures presented at the forum by Jo Anne Mondowney, the library's executive director. The library is considering closing at least 10 of its 23 branches, but no announcements were made at the forum.

During Mondowney's brief presentation, she shared 2010 census data, telling the audience that Detroit's population has declined from about 951,000 residents to 713,000, a 25 percent drop, and the number of households has fallen from 410,000 to 349,000, down 15 percent. She concluded with a slide that asked, "How do we serve you with less?"

Related articles:
The library takes a page from the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.  (5/7/2011)
The news just keeps getting worse. (5/6/2011)
The Detroit Public Library needs some good news (and this isn't it).  (5/5/2011)
Rainy day fund keeps fewer branches from closing.  (4/29/2011)
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)