Saturday, September 24, 2011

Indianapolis Marion County Public Library Board Selects UW-Madison SLIS Grad as New CEO

Not to mention the 2011 Indianapolis Chapter winner of the Badger of the Year Award.

Nytes will lead library. By 7-0 vote, board picks councilwoman with experience in system to be CEO.  (Indianapolis Star, 9/23/2011).

Excerpt:    After a nationwide search, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Board ultimately found that the person with the best qualifications to lead the beleaguered system was right here at home.

The Library Board voted 7-0 Thursday night to appoint Jackie Nytes, a Democrat on the City-County Council, as its new chief executive. Nytes is also executive director of Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corp. and former chief financial officer and associate director of management services for the library system.
 [Emphasis added.]


"I'm really honored," Nytes said after learning the vote was unanimous. "I'm really excited there is that kind of consensus."

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard issued a news release Thursday night praising the appointment of Nytes and "her dedication to public service and commitment to improving our community."


Jackie is a native of Green Bay.

50th Anniversary Promotion Deficit


Massachusetts Library Rescinds 105-Year-Old Ban of "Eve's Diary"


Mass. library undoes century-old Twain book ban. (Worcester Telegram, 9/24/2011)

Excerpt: A Massachusetts library has put the Mark Twain work "Eve's Diary" back on the shelf more than a century after it was banned.

The Charlton Public Library's trustees this week unanimously voted to return the book to circulation, reversing the board's 1906 decision to ban the 1905 short story.

Trustee Richard Whitehead said the move was made to coincide with the American Library Association's Banned Books Week.

The book, written from the perspective of the biblical Eve, was banned because trustee Frank Wakefield objected to nude illustrations of Eve
.

The Graying of Door County


Graying of Door County picks up the pace. (Door County Advocate, 9/24/2011)

Excerpt: Door County's seniors now make up 23 percent of the county's roughly 28,000 population, and that number is expected to climb to 33 percent of the county's population by 2020, said Jeff Sachse, labor market analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

In comparison, projections indicate the over-65 population will be about 17.1 percent statewide in 2020, Sachse said.

"That's a gap that will only widen. The county is aging more rapidly than expected. Door County has twice as many older adults compared to the rest of the state. It is the third oldest county, closely behind Iron and Vilas counties," he said.

The trend shifted in 2006, the year baby boomers born in 1946 turned 60, he said. Many of them began converting cottages to year-round homes and filing taxes as permanent Door County. residents.




OK, Team, Better Luck Next Week



Friday, September 23, 2011

The 10th Annual International Children's and Young Adult Literature Celebration

Blame It On Strother Martin


Bachmann Top Liar Among Republican Presidential Candidates


FiveThirtyEight. Nick Silver' Political Calculus. A Look at PolitiFact Grades of Candidates. (The New York Times, 9/23/2011)

Daily Tech Blog Trumpets L. E. Phillips' iPad Lending Program

The Usual Republican Presidential Suspects with their Pants on Fire

Wisconsin Among 20 States with a 20%+ Increase in Poverty

Infographic: Poverty up, incomes down in most states. (Stateline, 9/23/2011)

New York, Brooklyn, and Queens Libraries Announce "New Chapter" Fine-Forgiveness Program for Children


New York City Kids and Teens to Start a “New Chapter” at Their Local Libraries. (New York Public Library news release, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt: Patrons through the age of 17 will not be charged late penalties when returning overdue books. The program is designed to encourage children and teens to return to their libraries and check out new materials without the fear of having to pay large, longstanding fines. With the new school year underway, giving students access to their public library is more important than ever.

The goal of this program at Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library and Queens Library is to welcome children and teens back to their local libraries. When patrons accrue $15 or more in fines, their library temporarily suspends their borrowing privileges until the fine is paid. Across the city, nearly 100,000 kids and teens will benefit from the New Chapter program.

Iowa City Public Library to Open Computer Access Site


South of Highway 6: A little more connected. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt: If you’ve never been on the wrong side of the digital divide, it can be hard to get a good sense of how wide it really is — and getting wider all the time.

If your technological gripes tend to be along the lines of how much your high-speed internet costs, or how slow your outdated smartphone now seems — if you’re the type to brag/complain to your friends about how you can’t keep from checking from work e-mail on the weekends — this week’s public library announcement might not seem like such a big deal. It is.

A full 37 percent of lower-income households, and nearly half of adult Americans without a high school diploma don’t use the internet, according to a recent survey. Cost is one big barrier to internet use; lack of computer skills a second. For people living in poverty, the library is third only to work and school as the place to go for internet access and to work on critical computer literacy skills.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Iowa City Public Library will open a new remote computer access site at the Iowa City Police Department Substation in Pepperwood Plaza.

You won’t need a library card to use the machines, but you’ll be able to access the library’s online resources.

And check your kids grades on Powerschools, and pay your electric bill, and look for jobs, and post to Facebook — any number of the zillion-and-one things that have migrated to the internet, even though a good number of Americans in poverty still haven’t
.

Dr. Louise Joy Examines Why Adults Read Children's Books


Why do adults read children's books? Blame modern life. (The Independent, 9/23/2011)

Excerpt: Dr Louise Joy, a Cambridge University academic, believes classic children's books, and the work they inspire, attract older readers because they give them things they cannot find in their everyday lives, including direct communication, tasty home-cooked food, and tolerance towards eccentricity. The researcher claims such books represent a "symbolic retreat from the disappointment of reality".

"Books such as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach offer a world where self-consciousness is overthrown and relationships are straightforward," says Dr Joy. "But relationships in the real adult world are often fraught by miscommunication and the impossibility of understanding one another properly."

Dr Joy will unveil her theories in a forthcoming book, Literature's Children, which focuses on Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories, and the works of Tolkien, Carroll and Dahl. She will present her findings next month at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, an arts and humanities festival
.

Espresso On Demand Book Machine

Coffee on the side?


Out of Stock, Still in Luck: Print-on-Demand Expands. (Wall Street Journal, 9/23/2011). Subscription required to access full text.

ExcerptAs bookstores disappear across America, some small operators are pursuing a novel survival strategy: The bookless bookshelf.

Their vision was aided Thursday by HarperCollins Publishers Inc. which said it would make about 5,000 current paperbacks available to bookstores through On Demand Books LLC's Espresso Book Machine. The desk-sized device can custom print a book in just a few minutes. That means even if a physical copy is not in stock, it's still available almost immediately
.

"Wishes in the Wind" @ the Milwaukee Public Library


David Lenz painting installed at Milwaukee Public Library. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt:    Paula Kiely, the director of the Milwaukee Public Library, picked up the phone one day last spring. The woman on the other end of the line identified herself and inquired about hanging a painting by Milwaukee artist David Lenz at the Central Library.

Kiely, who knew of Lenz’ work, did a mental double take. She asked the caller to repeat her name and the name of the organization she represented.

“When it became clear that I was speaking with First Lady Tonette Walker I quickly realized that something important was happening,” Kiely said at an event Thursday to unveil the painting, a realistic portrait of three children titled “Wishes in the Wind.”

Earlier this year, the artwork was taken down by Gov. Scott Walker and his wife at the Executive Residence. Commissioned for a spot above the mantel by the foundation that runs the governor’s Maple Bluff residence, it was replaced with a century-old painting of Old Abe, A Civil War-era bald eagle from Wisconsin.

At the time, Lenz described being “deeply disappointed” by the switch.

The change was part of a reinstallation of art and objects in the Executive Residence to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office, presumably in response to Lenz’ criticism.

At the recommendation of the Walker administration and in cooperation the Executive Residence Foundation, the painting is now on loan to the library, where it hangs high above a new bookcase and beside the Betty Brinn Children’s Reading Room
.

Fond du Lac Faces a $1.7 Million Budget Deficit


Major cuts on horizon for city. (Fond du Lac Reporter, 9/23/2011)

Excerpt:   City Manager Tom Herre said restrictive levy limits and scheduled increases in debt service payments over the next several years would mean there would be less of the property tax levy to fund general fund operating expenses.

Herre said the city cannot continue providing current levels of services while repaying the debt principal and interest for capital items for the next five years (and previous years) while meeting the levy limit requirements.

"Additional revenue from new user fees or significant expense or service reductions will be required in 2012 and the next several years in order to meet these known financial conditions," Herre said
.

Other Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
McFarland wrestles with 2012 budget..  (9/22/2011)
Beloit to make deep cuts to police, fire departments.  (9/22/2011)
Wisconsin Rapids 2012 budget process underway.  (9/22/2011)
Oshkosh 2012 budget deficit projected to balloon to as much as $2.3 million.  (9/20/2011)
Facing $2.5 million shortfall, La Crosse considers a variety of fees.  (9/14/2011)
100 show up at Dodgeville budget hearing.  (9/12/2011)
Zero percent increase for Prairie du Sac department budgets.  (9/7/2011)
City of Ashland looks at projected shortfall of $329,000 in 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Dodgeville city council to hold listening session on 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Shawano budget deficit at $504,800.  (8/25/2011)
City of Ripon facing $110,000 budget deficit for 2012.  (8/25/2011)
Long list of cuts on table for Racine city services.  (8/25/2011)
Dodge County Administrator:  "Governor Walker does not speak for Dodge County".  (8/25/2011)
Longevity bonuses in Portage might become a thing of the past.  (8/24/2011)
Declining property values pose a challenge to Columbus budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Whitewater council looks at 0% tax levy increase.  (8/24/2011)
Janesville residents asked to make tough choices in online budget scorecard.  (8/24/2011)
Village of Darien officials ask for input on 2012 budget.  (8/24/2011)
City of Marshfield has some wiggle room in its 2012 budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Soglin on 2012 Madison budget:  "Every service we rely on is vulnerable".  (8/23/2011)
With a ballooning budget deficit, Marathon County considers a tax increase.  (8/23/2011)
Sheboygan's Strategic Fiscal Planning Committee to determine what city will look like.  (8/19/2011)
Brown County Exec looks at same tax levy, impact on services to be determined.  (8/18/2011)
City of Shawano wrestles with $128,000 deficit.  (8/16/2011)
Possible double whammy for Shawano City-County Library.  (8/15/2011)
Portage County Executive looks to "create a bridge to a new design, a way of functioning on less".. (8/15/2011)
Antigo cuts fire, police positions.  (8/15/2011)
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

2011 Man Booker Prize Short List


The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year.


Availability in South Central Library System LINKcat libraries

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why He's NOT the Democrats' Next Recall Candidate


1994 General Election:  Wisconsin's 13th Senate District
Fitzgerald Wins with 68% of Vote


1998 General Election: Wisconsin's 13th Senate District
Fitzgerald Wins with 67% of Vote


2002 General Election: Wisconsin's 13th Senate District
Fitzgerald Wins with 69% of Vote


2006 General Election: Wisconsin's 13th Senate District
Fitzgerald Unopposed in Re-election


2010 General Election: Wisconsin's 13th Senate District
Fitzgerald Wins with 68% of Vote

The Mitt Romney Pandering Phony Watch (Part 1)

RFID to Check Out Library Books, QR Codes to Check Out Library Staff



Want More Information? Just Scan Me. (The New York Times, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt:   Weeks earlier, a model walked a runway in Barcelona with a QR code emblazoned on the bodice of her Frans Baviera gown; meanwhile, a company called Skanz began selling silicone bracelets embellished with QR codes [link to above screenshot] that enable anyone with a smartphone to scan your wrist and instantly access a Web page with your contact information, social media links, even favorite photos and videos.

In other words: you’ve become a human hyperlink.

When Skanz doled out bracelets to attendees of Consumer Electronics Week this summer, “nobody exchanged business cards,” said Tammy Lewis, chief marketing officer of the Tarrytown, N.Y., based QR Media Group, which owns Skanz. “Instead they were scanning each other to exchange their personal information.


For further reading:
QR Codes, Barcodes, and RFID:  What's the Difference?

McFarland Village Board Wrestles with 2012 Budget Deficit of $90,000


Village board mulls budget fixes.  (McFarland Thistle, 9/21/2011)

ExcerptWith plans to already push the tax levy as far as allowed under law, the McFarland Village Board faces a $90,000 budget hole as it looks to sew together a 2012 budget.

At the board’s Sept. 12 meeting, Village Administrator Don Peterson looked for some direction from the board to finish out a draft budget.

Ultimately, the board directed Peterson to craft the budget with the deficit. The board will then look for ways to eliminate the hole before seeking public approval of the plan.

Peterson asked for ideas, including either revenue increases, service cuts or a combination of the two, to close the gap. He had hoped to identify any potential service cuts before the board’s planned Sept. 29 meeting.

Peterson said when the board began to map out of the budget earlier in the summer they had scheduled that meeting for public reaction to the budget, but by not putting out options at this point that wouldn’t be possible.

Trustee Brian Utter thought it was difficult to make those decisions without any data in front of him. However, President Mike Harried said the board could use the current budget to help find savings. Peterson said the village has been operating on a cost-to-continue basis for the past few years, so the 2012 budget won’t be significantly different than recent years.

At some point the board needs to just get past philosophical differences, Trustee Erik Thoresen said.

“We need this much money, where is it coming from?” he asked, noting the board can either raise fees or make cuts.

Trustee Aaron Babcock wondered if department heads had considered what they could live without.

“Let’s go there. We keep talking about raising this and raising that,” he said
.

Other Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
Beloit to make deep cuts to police, fire departments.  (9/22/2011)
Wisconsin Rapids 2012 budget process underway.  (9/22/2011)
Oshkosh 2012 budget deficit projected to balloon to as much as $2.3 million.  (9/20/2011)
Facing $2.5 million shortfall, La Crosse considers a variety of fees.  (9/14/2011)
100 show up at Dodgeville budget hearing.  (9/12/2011)
Zero percent increase for Prairie du Sac department budgets.  (9/7/2011)
City of Ashland looks at projected shortfall of $329,000 in 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Dodgeville city council to hold listening session on 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Shawano budget deficit at $504,800.  (8/25/2011)
City of Ripon facing $110,000 budget deficit for 2012.  (8/25/2011)
Long list of cuts on table for Racine city services.  (8/25/2011)
Dodge County Administrator:  "Governor Walker does not speak for Dodge County".  (8/25/2011)
Longevity bonuses in Portage might become a thing of the past.  (8/24/2011)
Declining property values pose a challenge to Columbus budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Whitewater council looks at 0% tax levy increase.  (8/24/2011)
Janesville residents asked to make tough choices in online budget scorecard.  (8/24/2011)
Village of Darien officials ask for input on 2012 budget.  (8/24/2011)
City of Marshfield has some wiggle room in its 2012 budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Soglin on 2012 Madison budget:  "Every service we rely on is vulnerable".  (8/23/2011)
With a ballooning budget deficit, Marathon County considers a tax increase.  (8/23/2011)
Sheboygan's Strategic Fiscal Planning Committee to determine what city will look like.  (8/19/2011)
Brown County Exec looks at same tax levy, impact on services to be determined.  (8/18/2011)
City of Shawano wrestles with $128,000 deficit.  (8/16/2011)
Possible double whammy for Shawano City-County Library.  (8/15/2011)
Portage County Executive looks to "create a bridge to a new design, a way of functioning on less".. (8/15/2011)
Antigo cuts fire, police positions.  (8/15/2011)
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

Beloit to make deep cuts to police, fire departments


Beloit Daily News, 9/21/2011.

Excerpt:    Beloit's police and fire departments will both need to eliminate positions heading into 2012 to accommodate the city's shrinking annual operating budget, said City Manger Larry Arft.

Specifically, there will be about six fewer police officers and six fewer firefighters next year, he said. In all, the equivalent of 20.5 public safety jobs, a mix of full- and part-time workers, will be dropped.

The city's expenditures on police and fire are sizable. In fact, the dollars allocated toward public safety services comprised 62 percent of the general fund in 2011's citywide budget. Police received $11.3 million, while the Fire Department got $7.3 million.

Because of mandates enacted by Gov. Scott Walker, Beloit cannot raise its tax levies. This restraint, coupled with the area's slump in property values, limits the city's ability to create revenues, Arft and various members of the Beloit City Council have said.

The city's total adopted operating budget was $93.3 million in 2011, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Moving into 2012, this figure will undoubtedly decrease, Arft has said.

As a result, departments across the municipal government will need to cut. Arft said the city attempted to adopt a "strategy to spread these cuts across" departments evenly. In past months, he has worked with department heads to come up with realistic budgets for 2012. Details of most of the cuts have not been made public, but information on the police and fire reductions has gotten out
.

Other Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
Wisconsin Rapids 2012 budget process underway.  (9/22/2011)
Oshkosh 2012 budget deficit projected to balloon to as much as $2.3 million.  (9/20/2011)
Facing $2.5 million shortfall, La Crosse considers a variety of fees.  (9/14/2011)
100 show up at Dodgeville budget hearing.  (9/12/2011)
Zero percent increase for Prairie du Sac department budgets.  (9/7/2011)
City of Ashland looks at projected shortfall of $329,000 in 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Dodgeville city council to hold listening session on 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Shawano budget deficit at $504,800.  (8/25/2011)
City of Ripon facing $110,000 budget deficit for 2012.  (8/25/2011)
Long list of cuts on table for Racine city services.  (8/25/2011)
Dodge County Administrator:  "Governor Walker does not speak for Dodge County".  (8/25/2011)
Longevity bonuses in Portage might become a thing of the past.  (8/24/2011)
Declining property values pose a challenge to Columbus budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Whitewater council looks at 0% tax levy increase.  (8/24/2011)
Janesville residents asked to make tough choices in online budget scorecard.  (8/24/2011)
Village of Darien officials ask for input on 2012 budget.  (8/24/2011)
City of Marshfield has some wiggle room in its 2012 budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Soglin on 2012 Madison budget:  "Every service we rely on is vulnerable".  (8/23/2011)
With a ballooning budget deficit, Marathon County considers a tax increase.  (8/23/2011)
Sheboygan's Strategic Fiscal Planning Committee to determine what city will look like.  (8/19/2011)
Brown County Exec looks at same tax levy, impact on services to be determined.  (8/18/2011)
City of Shawano wrestles with $128,000 deficit.  (8/16/2011)
Possible double whammy for Shawano City-County Library.  (8/15/2011)
Portage County Executive looks to "create a bridge to a new design, a way of functioning on less".. (8/15/2011)
Antigo cuts fire, police positions.  (8/15/2011)
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

Milwaukee Ranks 8th Among Poorest Large Cities in U.S.

Poverty rate among children:  46%

Poverty numbers spike in Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 9/22/2011)

And it's likely to get worse.


Bridge for Sale



ExcerptThe announcement came on the same day the company was in contract talks with the United Steelworkers union Local 322, which represents employees at the plant. A union spokeswoman said the business representative for C&D couldn't be reached because he was in contract talks.

A company spokeswoman said the labor negotiations and the evaluation of the Milwaukee plant "are not related
."

USA Today: Recession changes the American way of life

Link to 9/22/2011 article.

Marrying later  (article subheadings listed in bold):

Median age of 1st marriage

Fewer babies:
200,000 fewer births to women (age 20 to 34) from 2008 to 2010.
1,000,000 more women of childbearing age from 2008 to 2010.

Breaking up is harder to do:
7% drop in divorces (65,000 fewer) from 2008 to 2010.

Crowded living: 
Single households have remained flat at 26% since 2006.

Households that share their homes.....

Nobody's home:

Driving solo:
Share of households....

Ebooks and 'Textual Stability'


Is the Internet Turning Books into Perpetual Works-in-Progress?   (The New Republic, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt: Of course, it wasn’t always this simple for a book to stay relevant when unexpected events upended its premise. Norman Angell published The Great Illusion in 1908, arguing that war was unprofitable and therefore unlikely for the foreseeable future; when war broke out in 1914, critics pounced on his thesis and Angell spent the next few years releasing updated print editions of his book in a struggle to clarify that he had not meant that war was impossible.

But today, e-books have made post-publication tinkering newly convenient. Amazon sends e-mails to customers to inform them when an updated text—with assorted typos and factual errors corrected—of a book they’ve purchased is available for download, as it has done with titles ranging from The Lord of the Rings to Stacey Schiff’s Cleopatra. Could the e-book become a mutable thing that evolves with its circumstances, independent of the book it descended from? And is this a sign that our expectation for a book is shifting from finished product to perpetual work-in-progress—or just the logical conclusion of a long tradition of multiple, unstable texts?

“Textual stability,” to borrow historian Robert Darnton’s phrase, has never really existed in the publishing word. Voltaire produced so many addenda and corrected editions of his published books that some frustrated readers refused to buy his complete works until after he died. The widely circulated eighteenth-century edition of Diderot’s Encyclop├ędie featured hundreds of pages that the original version had not included. In the nineteenth century, the French composer Ambroise Thomas wrote a different ending for his opera of Hamlet to appeal to those who found the bloodshed a bit too gory.

Scholars for generations have issued second and third and fourth editions of texts to renovate outdated information. And some authors of fiction have even capitalized on the opportunity presented by new editions to modernize anachronisms. When F. Paul Wilson’s 1984 novel The Tomb was reissued in 2004, Wilson swapped mentions of a “VCR” for “DVD player” and removed a comment about Johnny Carson, who had since retired from The Tonight Show.

At the Heart of its Community: Wisconsin Rapids' McMillan Memorial Library

Timely reminder about this excellent article from 2009.

McMillan Library a community meeting place.  (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, 9/22/2011)

Excerpt:   The McMillan Memorial Library is an agency of the city of Wisconsin Rapids, but it has a Library Board that oversees the operation and how the library spends its money, McCabe said. It also has a contract with Wood County to provide services to rural residents, McCabe said.

The library is the community's living room,
Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Mary Jo Carson said.

"I can't tell you the value it brings to our community," she said. "Many people consider the library the heart of the community, and that's a good explanation of what the library is."
  [Emphasis added.]

The McMillan Memorial Library has a coffeeshop, which means people can get a cup of coffee, then grab a newspaper or go online while they relax. Carson said she walks into the library and there are people sitting around, relaxing and enjoying the things it has to offer. It's a social gathering place, she said
.