Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 64, Saratoga Springs Public Library)

Saratoga Springs Public Library wraps up renovation project. (Post-Star, 6/22/2011)

Excerpt:   The library has installed six kiosks, split between the main circulation area, the children's section and the reference section. The Friends of the Saratoga Public Library, a nonprofit that raises money on the library's behalf, contributed $50,000 toward the purchase of the kiosks.

The machines are part of a larger overhaul of the 19-year-old library that began last year and has come to fruition in recent months.

Furniture, carpeting and other fixtures that officials said had grown tired were replaced, while the library's security and inventory systems were updated. All of the library's 200,000 items were re-tagged and inventoried as part of the switch to the new system.

The circulation and information desks were also altered to be more inviting. The desks are now around 3 feet high, which allows children and people in wheelchairs to approach them more easily.
"This is much more comfortable and accessible compared to what we called the ‘Great Wall of Circulation,'" Pulver said, as library patrons used the machines for the first time Wednesday morning.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 63, North Columbus Public Library)

North Columbus Public Library to reopen July 5 after $400,000 renovation. (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 6/24/2011)

Excerpt:   The North Columbus Public Library isn’t any bigger but inside it appears that way.

“We’ve really opened it up,” said Christopher Warren, the manager of the South Columbus Public Library.

Warren, who also serves as director of library design for the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, is overseeing the $400,000 renovation of the branch on Armour Road that began May 1.

“We will be open for business on July 5 just as we said we would,” he said. “We’re on time and under budget."

The funding for the renovation comes from the library system’s reserves. River City Construction is doing the work

Ain't Misbehavin' (If I Want Another Interim Gig)

Excerpt:   If you're in the midst of a job search like millions of other Americans, you might want to make sure you've got your internet presence under digital lock and key. A new company called Social Intelligence, just approved for operation by the Federal Trade Commission last week, is billing itself as an ultra-modern resource for companies looking to keep out drunks and other riffraff. Using deep search tools that make Google look like AltaVista, Social Intelligence will provide potential employers with an ultra-modern background check, one that scours the internet for a person's blog posts, pictures, and uploads to social media sites. If the employer doesn't like Social Intelligence's file on you, you don't get the job. Not only that, but Social Intelligence then keeps your collected information in an archive for seven years.

Oh, now it's Doug LaFollette's fault

It's the Same All Over: School Districts Eliminate Librarians

In Lean Times, Schools Squeeze Out Librarians. (The New York Times, 6/24/2011)

Excerpt:    Budget belt-tightening threatens to send school librarians the way of the card catalog.

The schools superintendent in Lancaster, Pa., said he had to eliminate 15 of the district’s 20 librarians to save full-day kindergarten classes.

In the Salem-Keizer school district in Oregon, all 48 elementary and middle school librarians would lose their jobs under a budget proposal that faces a vote next week.

In Illinois’s School District 90, which spans several rural and suburban communities in the southern part of the state, parent volunteers have been running the libraries in the district’s seven schools since September, in what the schools superintendent, Todd Koehl, described as “a last-ditch effort” to avoid closing their doors.

And in New York City, half of the secondary schools appear to be in violation of a state regulation requiring them to have a librarian on staff, with the city currently employing 365 licensed librarians.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rest Assured They'll Be More Fights in This Battle

Community Internet vs. AT&T in Wisconsin. (Save the Internet, 6/21/2011)

Excerpt:  WiscNet and allies again rallied and pulled WiscNet back from the hangman's noose. But the legislature couldn't let AT&T go home empty-handed, so they gave WiscNet two years to convince the legislature to let it live. And while today's stimulus funds were saved, UW cannot accept future grants to improve Internet access without approval from Madison. The bill now sits on Governor Walker’s desk awaiting signature.

This fight in Wisconsin was just one of many in state houses across the nation this year. The Time Warner Cable anti-municipal broadband bill in North Carolina was the most prominent example, but South Carolina and Arkansas also had incumbents pushing to limit public broadband — the only real threat of competition those networks face. Positive legislation in Tennessee, Washington, and New Hampshire was killed by powerful incumbents including Comcast, AT&T, and others. These companies are increasingly bold about limiting community networks that put community needs first

It's Called Vetting (Larry Martin Would Have Never Made This Mistake)

Walker moves location of budget signing.  The CEO of Badger Sheet Metal Works was convicted of felony tax evasion in the 1990's.  And here I thought this would be a badge of honor!

Gubernatorial Office Practice 101

Merriam-Webster online.

And, at a minimum, it should be part of the position description of the Governor's External Relations Director, if not his entire staff.

(Thanks to Rick Krumweide for the heads-up on this story.  I've been busy with errands and yard work today.)

Volunteering @ the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Public libraries need volunteers. (Charlotte Observer, 6/22/2011)

Excerpt:   Currently, 9 percent of total staffing hours are volunteer hours.

"We had a good volunteer base to start with, and we've basically amped up those efforts," said library spokeswoman Cordelia Anderson.

In the last fiscal year, volunteerism has more than doubled - from 25,000 hours a year to more than 55,000 hours, Wall said. "People who love libraries have risen to the occasion."

The Future of the Library Task Force was created last fall at the urging of Mecklenburg County officials, who wanted ideas on how to make the library system more sustainable in the face of steep budget cuts. In March, they presented their report.

The task force said the current level of volunteerism is unsustainable, so the group recommended Charlotte Mecklenburg Library work to maintain enough volunteers for 5 percent or more of total staffing hours, Anderson said

Related articles:
County Manager proposes $3.26 million increase to library budget. (5/29/2011)
County Manager recommends a $2 million increase to CML budget.  (5/18/2011)
Most chilling fact to consider here.  (4/22/2011)
"Save our library" say Matthews residents.  (4/1/2011)
Charlotte Observer survey: Can you find $2 million in this budget to give to Mecklenburg libraries? (3/25/2011)
Task Force presents final report.  (3/22/2011)
Task Force to present report to joint meeting of Mecklenburg County Commission and Library Board.  (3/19/2011)
Task force walks on eggshells.  (3/17/2011)
Charlotte Mecklenburg 'Future of the Library Task Force' report to be aubmitted next week. (3/16/2011)
Recriminations? No. But you can't avoid the facts of the matter. (3/13/2011)
The battle of the branch libraries.  (3/8/2011)
Survey influences Charlotte Mecklenburg's Future of the Library Task Force. (3/5/2011)
$7.50 per household per year to keep 6 branch libraries open? Sounds reasonable to me.  (3/4/2011)
Up to 6 libraries could close under proposal.  (3/2/2011)
Tuesday vote of Future of Library Task Force likely.  (2/27/2011)
Future of the Library Task Force to release recommendations soon.  (2/8/2011)
Banker to lead Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.  (1/22/2011)
And what about the cost of a joint library-county study committee?  (12/22/2010)
The future does not look bright.  (12/9/2010)
Library boosts fines, fees.  (11/23/2010)
CML libraries and parks:  Survey says...  (10/26/2010)
Future of the library task force.  (10/21/2010)
Volunteers to the rescue.  (10/17/2010)
Charlotte Observer to Harry Jones:  Check your ego at the door.  (9/21/2010)
County manager regrets hitting the 'send' key. (9/18/2010)
Library steering committee veers into off-road territory.  (9/15/2010)
Bank of America and Carolina Panthers kick off library fundraising campaign. (9/14/2010)
Another branch extends hours thanks to volunteer support.  (9/12/2010)
Volunteers step up.  (9/10/2010)
2 branch libraries to open one more day per week.  (9/5/2010)
Library urban legend in the making?  (9/4/2010)
Library launches pilot program to expand hours with volunteers.  (8/31/2010)
Group to study county library merger.  (7/28/2010)
Book stores help out the library.  (7/21/2010)
Libraries hope to expand hours with volunteers at 4 branches.  (7/20/2010)
Another change in hours.  (7/18/2010)
Matthews branch library sends out plea for volunteers.  (7/13/2010)
Most county commissioners cool to sales tax hike.  (7/9/2010)
New hours in effect.  (7/6/2010)
Charlotte Observer editorial board laments the passing of the Novello Festival of the Book.  (6/28/2010)
Shuttered branch could  become Friends' used book store.  (6/25/2010)
A reduced future.  (6/23/2010)
Interlocal cooperation pact.  (6/22/2010)
Three branches close.  (6/19/2010)
Town of Mint Hill perspective.  (6/18/2010)
Five towns tentatively OK $730,000 for libraries.  (6/18/2010)
Carmel, two other branches to close.  (6/16/2010)
Now that the ax has fallen.  (6/16/2010)
Commissioners to vote on budget today.  (6/15/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries:  It's complicated.  (6/9/2010)
Mayor wins straw vote at emotional council meeting.  (6/7/2010)
Editorial:  Should city 'stay in its lane' on libraries.  (6/4/2010)
County commissioners restore some cuts to libraries.  (6/4/2010)
Straw votes begin on Mecklinburg County budget.  (6/3/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries continue to look for one-time financial help.  (5/31/2010)
High school junior speaks out eloquently for libraries.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor Foxx on the art of governing.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor supports financial help for library.  (5/27/2010)
County budget:  Oh, yeah, this is fair.  (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction.  (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches.  (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt.  (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget.  (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today.  (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open.  (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution.  (4/30/2010Library Board chair speaks out.  (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts.  (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit.  (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task.  (4/10/2010)
Libraries now open fewer hours.  (4/6/2010)
"Save Our Libraries Sunday".  (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines.  (3/27/2010)
Library announces new hours for branches.  (3/26/2010)
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system.  (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote.  (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Lester Public Library of Rome (Wisconsin) Needs More Room

God's Home column: Once upon a time, there was a library in Rome. (WIsconsin Rapids Tribune, 6/23/2011)

Excerpt: Reading and writing are essential skills that every student must master, if success in life is to follow. And these are the skills that our own Rome library has been promoting for the past 10 years. (Has it really been that long?) Indeed, the citizens of Rome, and of Hancock, Leola, Saratoga and Big Flats have increased the Rome library's card count to 3,300.

The trouble is, the library only legally can hold 30 visitors at any one time. Ouch! Is it crowded in here or is it me?

Is it any wonder that the Rome Library Board is conducting a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of a fundraising campaign to expand the library's current 2,500 square feet by 6,000 square feet or more?

Related post:
Ebooks, Netflix, and library building projects, part 61. (6/20/2011)

Happy Birthday to Lawrence Block

3 most popular of 244 results of author search.

Happy Birthday to Ambrose Bierce

1 of 77 results of a LINKcat author search

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 62, Shelby Branch, IMCPL)

Shelby Branch Curtails Services for Renovation Beginning July 11. (Indianapolis Star, 6/23/2011)

  Renovations to the 6,400-square-foot Shelby Branch, funded by a $393,000 philanthropic grant, will include enlarged reading areas, remodeled children’s area, new restrooms, and a new computer lab consisting of 21 public computers. It will be the first major renovation to the branch since it opened in 1965.

The renovation project is scheduled for completion in November 2011

Pew Research Asks, Who Uses Twitter?

Twitter Update 2011. 13% of online adults use Twitter. (Pew Research, 6/1/2011)

You are cordially invited to the signing of Wisconsin 2011-13 Biennial Budget

Rather somber-looking invitation. Somebody die?

Recommended Reading from ALA Office for Information Technology Policy

Or otherwise be the deer in the headlights?
From the SummaryThe new media and technologies are enabling a steady flow of genre- and usage-changing innovations, and institutions drawing on these disruptive changes are competing with the library in its most fundamental roles. Libraries also are challenged by the financial constraints facing the agencies that support them, as well as shifts in the nature and needs of library users.

What Caught My Eye in the Governor's Budget Bill Signing News Release

Google maps view

Google street view

Republican State Legislators Forward Their Budget Veto Requests to the Governor

If there's any talk about WiscNet, it's under the radar.  But then most of the offending language was already removed.  As noted in the Journal-Sentinel article, however, even with the prohibition of the so-called Frankenstein veto, Walker can still wield "considerable power". 

In addition, Republican lawmakers have shown no inclination to request that the maintenance of effort requirement for public library system membership be restored.  Leadership, Robin Vos  (Joint Committee on Finance co-chair) in particular, was never on board with this issue.  In so many words, his response to constituents was a consistent "not gonna happen".

Walker fields at least 15 GOP requests for budget vetoes. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 6/22/2011)

ExcerptWalker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the GOP governor was pleased with the overall budget but intends to make "a number of minor changes." On Wednesday afternoon, Werwie said Walker had received 15 to 20 veto requests on a number of issues from GOP lawmakers, from the craft brewer provision to another to ensure that a property tax exemption remains in place for a private student housing facility in Madison.

"Governor Walker has listened to the legislators' requests. He intends to make decisions related to vetoes and sign the overall budget before June 30," Werwie said in an email.

In budget bills, Walker's partial veto powers allow him to strike out whole provisions or crucial parts of individual sentences, such as the word "not." In 2008, voters approved a constitutional change that prohibited governors from combining parts of different sentences to create a new sentence, but that still left governors such as Walker with considerable power

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paul Valleau is Now 9 and Still Raising Big Bucks for the Jersey City Free Public Library

Jersey City 9-year-old donates over $1,000 to help fund library reading program. (The Jersey Journal, 6/22/2011)

Excerpt: Paul raised the money selling used books on Newark Avenue and can be found outside the library every Saturday afternoon.

"If kids want to read, they always have the library here for them," said Paul, who has contributed a total of $1,902.84 to the library. "Last year, I read 115 books in the summer reading program. You can't buy them all.

Related article:

Publib Thread on Electronic Cigarettes

Which, so far, is not eating into precious work time nearly as much as a currently unraveling discussion of concealed carry.

"Smoke Free" Cigarette Debate. (Embedding disaled by request.)

It's got a beat, and you can dance to it.

A visual how-to-do-it.

Note the visible exhalation.

Wisconsin Council on Children & Families: The Budget's Real-Life Effects on Workers in the Public Sector

Wired Wisconsin's Legislative Directory: Email, Webpage, Facebook, Twitter

21 of 99 Assembly reps have a Facebook page.
14 of 99 Assemblyl reps have a Twitter account.

14 of 33 Senators have a Facebook page.
7 of 33 Senators have a Twitter account.

On the Internet, Everybody Knows You're You

Upending Anonymity, These Days the Web Unmasks Everyone. (The New York Times, 6/20/2011)

Excerpt:   The collective intelligence of the Internet’s two billion users, and the digital fingerprints that so many users leave on Web sites, combine to make it more and more likely that every embarrassing video, every intimate photo, and every indelicate e-mail is attributed to its source, whether that source wants it to be or not. This intelligence makes the public sphere more public than ever before and sometimes forces personal lives into public view.

Site Work Boosts Costs of New Prairie du Sac Library

Ruth Culver library costs on the rise.  (Sauk Prairie Eagle, 6/8/2011)

Excerpt:   The Ruth Culver Community Library is now expected to cost as much as 9 percent more than originally anticipated.

Prairie du Sac Village Administrator Alan Wildman said the new public library in Prairie du Sac, which is expected to open in the old Culver Franchising System building on Water Street next year, originally was expected to cost about $2.3 million.

But Wildman said bids on the site work - which includes building a new retaining wall and relocating the river access off Water Street - came in about $160,000 more than expected.

Even before the bids for the site work came back last week, Wildman said the project was expected to cost 3 percent more than what was budgeted in December due to unforeseen costs in rehabilitating the building for a library.

"It's a sound building but to convert it into a library use takes a little bit more," Wildman said.

Culver Franchising donated the building to the village for use as a library, and Wildman said there are costs associated with increasing the weight the floors can handle to 150 pounds per square foot as required by law

Related articles:
Library project to get underway this year.  (1/19/2011)
$500,000 gift boosts Prairie du Sac's Library fundraising effort.  (10/26/2010)
Building committee votes to extend fundraising effort for new Prairie du Sac library.  (8/23/2010)
The Ruth Culver Memorial Library.  (6/4/2009)
Culver's donates facility for new Prairie du Sac Library.  (5/22/2009)

Portage Public Library Board Reviews Estimates for Expansion Project

Early library project costs come in; expansion put between $1.8 million and $2.4 million. (Portage Daily Register, 6/15/2011)

Excerpt Estimates for the proposed Portage Public Library expansion project are between $1.8 million and $2.4 million, according to project architect Michael Bahr of Plunkett Rayisch Architects.

Those "very early numbers," however, are subject to a lot of change, based on the discussion from members of the Portage Library Board on Tuesday.

Several board members suggested Tuesday that parts of the project, which likely would be supported by a combination of public money, grants and private fundraising, could be pared down to bring the project closer to between $1 million and 1.5 million.

A near 6,000 square-foot expansion of the 253 West Edgewater St. building would entail improvements to stormwater issues at the main entrance, interior renovations to create a young adult area, the addition of a children's area and other interior renovations related to staffing the library

Related articles:
Library expansion plans continue to develop.  (2/9/2011)
Library expansion to focus on youth services.  (10/15/2010)
Putting together the financial pieces for building expansion.  (5/12/2010)
Library seeks community input for expansion.  (1/13/2010)
Board discussion rental property options.  (11/11/2009)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Few Comments and Reactions to AP story: Budget cuts force libraries to re-examine roles

Seattle Times, 6/21/2011.

A century after the nation's library building boom, public libraries are under siege: plunging tax revenues are forcing closures and staff cutbacks, while e-readers and the Internet can make a library seem quaint as a place to find a book or do research.

Let's not forget that communities have invested capital funds in their libraries throughout the past 100 years -- and continue to do so.

Yet amid severe cutbacks, libraries are finding novel ways to generate money and are rebranding themselves as crucial employment resources for people without computers and as community gathering places that cannot be easily replaced.

"If there's any silver lining in the downturn for libraries, it's that it has really forced us to look at new ways of doing business," said Audra Caplan, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. "We can't depend solely on tax dollars anymore."

Wisconsin public libraries would do well to reverse the 2007-2009  "All other" trend.

Library directors are responding to the dwindling support from local governments by charging for premium services, selling passport photos and joining with DVD retailers to offer commercial movie-rental boxes in exchange for a cut of the sales.

The Menasha Public Library realizes about $1,500 in revenue annually from charging for fax service.  It would required a lotta nicklin 'n' dimin' to replace even 10% of a $1,438,000 budget.

In the most extreme examples, some communities have decided to privatize library operations.

"Libraries are everything - opportunities to come read, better yourself, find out what's going on. But these days, it seems no one really cares about all that," said Charles Holt of Denver, a 50-year-old out-of-work cook who walks daily to a library to pass the time and search for a new job

You don't say?


Or let's just cut to the chase.
And try this quote on for size.

Apps 81, Net 74

The Internet Dethroned! We Now Waste More Time on Mobile Apps than the Web. (Good, 6/21/2011)

TV is still in 1st place, tho.

Political Bipartisanship: All We Need is Beer

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tony Evers' Guest Editorial: Summer reading and enrichment activities can bridge learning loss

Prediction: Tablets Overtake E-Readers by End of Year

As for Trina, she doesn't care one way or the other.

Tablet Shipments Set to Outpace E-Reader Shipments by 2012. (In-Stat, 6/20/2011)

Excerpt:   The growing success of tablets is leaving many to question the viability of the e-reader market’s sustainability. E-readers still offer the truest reading experience and appeal most to avid readers, but a broader market of consumers are demanding multimedia functionality, like web browsing, video and gaming, in their next mobile device. Tablets, like the Apple iPad, are optimized to deliver this kind of multifunction experience, and therefore, represent a stronger opportunity for suppliers and manufacturers alike. As a result, In-Stat ( is forecasting that tablet shipments will outpace e-reader shipments by the end of this year.

All this data can be yours for $2,995.

Maybe Trina will cough up a golden hairball.

Survey Says: Reports of the Death of Cord-Cutting Premature

Netflix, younger audience keeps cord-cutting debate hot. (Fierce Online Video, 6/15/2011)

ExcerptYour dyed-in-the-wool, has-always-been-there audience is slowly dying. Literally. And, in its place, is an audience of younger Americans who are as comfortable getting their entertainment online, a day, or even a month, after it airs, as they are watching it now on a traditional TV channel.

A recent study from The Diffusion Group reports that two times as many Netflix Streamers--those who stream Netflix content to connected devices--are inclined to downgrade pay-TV services as they were a year ago.

The March survey asked a random sample of adult broadband users that subscribe to a pay-TV service if, in the next six months, they would "move from a higher service tier to a lower one, or cancel a premium service of some kind."

Thirty-two percent, to some degree, said they would, doubling the findings of a year ago.


Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 61: Lester Library of Rome)

Rome eyes library expansion. (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, 6/19/2011)

Excerpt: Besides Rome residents, people from Big Flats, Leola, Hancock and Saratoga utilize the library, Osgood said. It's 17 miles north to the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids and 17 miles south of the library in the city of Adams, Osgood said. Many people find the Rome library's central location a more convenient trip.

According to fire codes, the building can hold 30 people, Ponshock said. During the summer months, the facility consistently reaches its maximum capacity. The library has 3,300 cardholders, and an average of 50 children attend the summer reading programs each week.

According to the South Central Library System, the Rome Library should have 12,000 square feet to properly serve the community, Osgood said. The Library Board of Trustees thought that was too much, so it decided to cut the proposed size in half and consider a 6,000-square-foot addition. The current library is 2,500 square feet.

The proposed expansion would include a program room and conference room that can be blocked off from the rest of the library for community functions outside of library hours, Ponshock said. The program room would hold 65 to 80 people, more than twice as many as the entire current library