I cover the waterfront. Recommended reading, links galore, plentiful screenshots, occasional commentary, line and column graphs, photographs, and color-coordinated PowerPoint slides. Not to mention Update City.
Excerpt: More than six years after Hurricane Wilma ripped through South Florida, rendering the Aventura Northeast Branch Library unusable, locals will get a new library.
Work on the facility, at 2930 Aventura Blvd., is expected to begin in early April and should be completed by the fall of 2013, said Asael Marrero, manager of the Architecture and Engineering Section, part of the county’s Internal Services Department.
After the 2005 hurricane, the library was not destroyed but it was so heavily damaged the Miami-Dade Public Library System decided to demolish the building and start anew, said Victoria Galan, county library spokeswoman.
Residents and city officials have long awaited a new facility.
Like other residents, Serber has used the temporary library the county set up on the second floor of the Government Center, 19200 West Country Club Dr.
That has been a poor substitute for Serber, as well as for 86-year-old Audrey Nesse.
A fifth of American adults -- 17% in a pre-holiday survey, 21% in a post-holiday survey --have read an e-book in the past year and the number of e-book readers grew after a major increase in ownership of e-book reading devices and tablet computers during the holiday gift-giving season.
The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.
30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now.
The prevalence of e-book reading is markedly growing, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers.
E-book reading happens across an array of devices, including smartphones.
The availability of e-content is an issue to some.
The majority of book readers prefer to buy rather than borrow.
54% of print readers
61% of ebooks readers
32% of audiobook listeners
Overall, people read for a variety of reasons.
80% for pleasure
78% to keep up with current events
74% do research on specific topics that interest them
As the article notes, Republicans have spent two years railing against President Obama's health care law.
And what's their alternative.
Beyond some familiar ideas and slogans about “patient-centered health care,” the Republicans concede that they have far to go to come up with a comprehensive policy to fill the gap that could be left by a Supreme Court ruling this summer.
With the emphasis on slogans.
And, Fred, about those wheels beginning to turn.......
Excerpt: The Library Board of Trustees approved the new hours March 19. Library staff members said they wanted to avoid cutting morning hours, when the majority of children’s programming occurs.
It’s unknown if the City Council will restore funding in future years.
“Our collective desire is to restore hours and funding, if it’s possible in future budget cycles,” Mayor Scott Cirksena said.
Cirksena said activity at the Iowa Legislature related to commercial property tax reform is a concern for city leaders throughout the metro. Gov. Terry Branstad and legislative leaders have said reducing commercial property tax rates is a top priority this session.
“Depending on what happens there, we may have to look at the levels of funding for all services that we provide in the city of Clive. There are some concerns,” Cirksensa said.
Before city leaders began budget discussions, Clive faced a deficit of about $600,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. The council voted 4-1 on March 1 to approve the budget, with Councilman Ted Weaver voting against approval. [Budget FY12]
Excerpt:While strategic planning sessions for the Madison Public Library were going on last week, staff at the Summit Free Public Library were preparing to shut down on Sunday, April 1, and every other Sunday for the remainder of the year, because of a lack of funds.
It's a financial crisis facing many local libraries as they struggle to balance increased usage, increased demand for items to be used on new technologies and decreased funding. The strategic planning sessions may eventually provide an insight into how libraries will be able to achieve this balance.
Madison Library Director Nancy Adamczyk said on Monday, "One of the current initiatives by officials at The New Jersey State Library is a request that local libraries undertake a strategic planning process in a timely fashion. Madison, which has developed a strategic plan in the past, undertook the most recent project this winter from a local and a state library perspective.
Excerpt:Back in the day, students stacked books onto numerous shelves that filled large, dusty rooms. Others sat at tables and took notes from huge volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Librarians flipped through card catalogs to find book titles that aided students’ research.
This image of high school libraries is a familiar memory to anyone who attended high school before the age of computers.
Today, students sit at computers, read Kindles, work on netbooks, and browse online databases for the information they need. The high school library is no longer just a room with books on a shelf. It is a multifunctional space meant to unite a community and aid the creative and innovative learning and teaching process.
High school librarians have had to adapt to the changes and master resources an earlier generation of high school students never had. “Technology has changed the lay of the land,’’ said Susan Ballard, president of the American Association of School Librarians. “Libraries have morphed into a hybrid model that pulls resources from the traditional print format and the newer digital format.’’
1. Call the newly elected (i.e., first-time) members of your city council/village board to offer your congratulations. Extend the same courtesy to a newly elected mayor and members of the county board of supervisors who represents the library's service area.
2. Invite them to visit the library.
3. If possible, schedule the visit at a time when the library is busy.
Better yet, attend the council/board meeting at which new officials are sworn in and extend the invitation in person. This is a particularly effective approach at the local level. Admittedly, it can be unwieldy to attempt this type of contact before or after a county board meeting.
Why is this important?
On average, Wisconsin municipalities and counties provide 82% of public library revenue.
Just as important is that it allows you to begin the process of building relationships with newly elected officials.
Finally, be sure to keep everyone -- newly elected and incumbent officials -- in the loop throughout the year. An email distribution list works well. More traditionally, Retiring Guy used to place monthly reports and newsletters into the council members' (paper) in-boxes on the Friday before a (Tuesday) Middleton Common Council meeting. Whatever works. (And whatever options are available.)
(Originally published on April 7, 2010. This version revised and updated.)
Excerpt:Councilman Tom Dunn said he wanted the town to further explore moving more toward contractual services to fund town projects, citing tree and brush removal as one example. He also said he would like the subject of privatizing the Balch Library brought up at some point.
Excerpt: [Former Bucyrus president and CEO Tim]Sullivan traced the shortage to the 1980s, when he said high schools shifted their emphasis almost exclusively to college prep. Students still can graduate from high school and get the extra training they need for a manufacturing job at a two-year technical college, he acknowledged. But too many drop out of high school without exposure to technical coursework or other experiences that could point them toward a manufacturing career.
"We changed the whole system and we lost the pipeline of individuals willing to get involved in skilled jobs," Sullivan said.
At the same time, the nature of modern manufacturing operations — which are much cleaner, more automated, computer-guided and precise than they were decades ago — is driving the need for welders and machine operators with better math, reading and technical skills, like reading blueprints.
It's not somebody standing on an assembly line just bolting together (metal pieces) anymore," Jagdfeld said.
Excerpt: McFarland and Amazon have shared a mutually beneficial relationship for more than a decade. A well-regarded source of books on baseball and chess, McFarland helped Amazon fulfill its mission of offering "Earth's biggest selection." And Amazon — in contrast to traditional bookstores — listed all of McFarland's titles, no matter how arcane. Last year, Amazon generated nearly 70 percent of McFarland's retail sales and 15 percent of its entire business.
"If we made a change for Amazon, we'd have to do it for everyone, and that would jeopardize our business," Roseman said. "We couldn't exist like that." Now, McFarland and others in the book world worry that Amazon will use its pricing pressure to crush publishers. They say Amazon's demands for deeper discounts threaten already-thin profit margins, and some warn about an Amazon monopoly.
Excerpt: Across America, libraries used to reach out to readers by sending bookmobiles into school parking lots, street corners and rural byways. Now, those rolling reading rooms are becoming scarce — too costly and outmoded, some say.
One town in northern New England just lost its bookmobile. The Cobleigh Public Library in Lyndonville, Vt., had managed to keep its van rolling until about a month ago, when it died.
Excerpt:The Land O' Lakes Public Library began in the 1920s when the Women's Club began a lending library with donated books from community members.
"Officially, the town established a library in 1942. Between the 20s and '42, people had access to books, based on what was donated," Geib said.
When spring of '42 came, the library took up the 16-foot by 16-foot room in the basement of the town hall. When the library was open during the day, books and shelving had to be pulled out into the hallway for extra space.
In early 1989, a new library board was appointed. With a growing population, options for additional library space were discussed, including purchasing an existing building in town and renovating it; buying, renovating and moving the Gateway Ski Chalet on Hwy. 45 to town, or build a new building for the library.
"They checked out all the possibilities, logistics and the cost. It wasn't until September '89 that they began to formulate what became the library," Geib said.
From the beginning, the community fully supported the new library building project.
Nagel Lumber Company donated all the timber and wood for a 30-foot by 64-foot building. With the idea of making the construction of the new library a meaningful community effort, the lumber donation was under the condition that the Land O' Lakes community offer as much labor and time as possible.
Excerpt: The top elected officials in the four municipalities that operate the Hudson Area Joint Library on Tuesday morning held their first meeting how satisfy a state requirement on funding the library.
In attendance were Hudson Mayor Alan Burchill, Hudson Town Board Chairman Jeff Johnson, North Hudson Village President George Klein and St. Joseph Town Chairman Dan Gavin. County Board Chairman Daryl Standafer, County Administrator Pat Thompson, Hudson City Council President Lori Bernard, Hudson Alderperson John Hoggatt, Library Board member Roy Sjoberg and library steering committee member Jim O’Connor also sat in on the meeting. City Finance Officer Neil Soltis presented the funding option scenarios and other information to the group. The meeting was in response to the Feb. 28 revelation that the municipal partners haven’t been funding the joint library to the level paid by the residents of other municipalities in the county. The four municipalities were made exempt from the county library tax when they formed the joint library in 2002. But to be exempt from the tax, they had to certify that they were funding the library to at least the county level. The certification was supposed to have taken place annually, but didn’t. In the interim, the partner municipalities’ library support has fallen behind the county library levy. Related post: Getting to know chapter 43 of the Wisconsin state statutes: Part 24, county tax. (3/27/2012)
Statistically, though, ebooks are still a small part of public libraries' overall service program.
As I remember, DVDs were similarly, if not equally, popular and demonstrated exponential growth in circulation during their first few years of availability at the Middleton Public Library. Your library, too, I imagine. (Unfortunately, I couldn't find any numbers prior to 2004 in "The Archives".)
But as the last 2 tables in this post indicate, there is clearly an "exponential" ebook trend developing.
Excerpt: Indeed, it’s a plot line worthy of the best page turner: The public desperately wants access to e-books, which marry all the good things libraries have always offered — expertly curated reading selections, available to all at no cost — to more modern conveniences such as 24/7 virtual checkout from any branch and the end of overdue fines (the books simply disappear from the borrower’s computer or reading device when the loan period is up).
Libraries, sensing a golden opportunity for renewed relevance after years of slashed budgets and Internet encroachment on their turf, want to provide that access.
SIDEBAR: Encroachment? I'd rather make the case for libraries putting out the welcome mat and making the necessary adjustments in their service programs.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Libraries are having to dedicate staff to the “how-to’s” of checking out and downloading e-books. And they have to make case-by-case calls on stretching their already strained budgets to buy the more expensive e-book version of a popular title, along with print, large print and audiobook formats. [Emphasis added.]
Still, the biggest stumbling block, surprisingly, turns out to be book publishers themselves. Libraries have always been their allies in the fight to keep America reading, but now it appears many publishers see them as one more competitor with the potential to put them out of business. Increasingly, they’re refusing to play nice with libraries, charging them much more for e-books than printed copies — or refusing to sell them e-books at all. Can this story have a happy ending?
For all the excitement surrounding e-books, they’re still a small part of what libraries do. Atlanta-Fulton Library users checked out 3,863,558 items in 2011, of which 45,083 were e-books or e-audiobooks. Cobb’s [County Public Library System] 345,112 library card holders currently include 8,634 users of the digital download service.
Excerpt:Ryan Herle knows the feeling, but it's the real cops that nabbed him this week for overdue books. Yes, that happens, at least in Cudahy, where they take their unreturned library materials very seriously.
He insists he returned several books in April 2010 by their due date. The Cudahy Family Library says he didn't. At the moment, Herle is on the hook for a $114 fine, plus $152 in restitution to the library.
"I am not responsible for their errors. Nor will I ever, for any reason, compensate them for their incompetence," Herle said in one of several lengthy emails he sent to me. He's invoking the Constitution and a couple of its amendments, not to mention probable cause, due process, equal protection, you name it.
"Apparently, every crime in Wisconsin has been solved, and all the guilty punished. Otherwise, why would the state deplete resources in short supply to arrest and prosecute a citizen over an overdue book," he said.
Herle, 36, claims he never received the citation sent by the Cudahy Police Department in December, probably because he moved out of Cudahy last June and is now staying with a friend in Greendale. He missed a Cudahy municipal court date in January, causing a warrant to be issued.
Wonder if this is the same Ryan Herle? Here. (Stingl column notes that Herle is 36, would have been born in 1976 Here.