Saturday, August 25, 2012

God sez, "I don't need to listen to this bull**** right now."

Pomona Public Library Adjusts to a New Normal

Pomona Public Library, now open 20 hours a week.

One chapter closes, another begins at library.  (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 8/16/2012)

Excerpt: The library was set to close for a year or longer after Pomona's shaky finances took a $1.5 million hit due to an adverse court ruling, but after an outcry, $400,000 was taken from the street repair budget to keep the doors open until mid-2013. 

Efforts are under way to raise money to restore service and hours, including a parcel tax on the November ballot.

Related posts:
Library parcel tax on November 6 ballot.  (8/9/2012)
You'll see less.  (8/5/2012)
What a way to celebrate 100 years of service.  (7/23/2012)
Keeping up with the Pomona Public Library.  (7/8/2012)
The Pomona Public Library gets a reprieve from the city council. 6/27/2012)
Best blog name ever (?) and more on the Pomona Public Library.  (6/22/2012)
David Allen is now a card-carrying Pomona Public Library supporter.  6/22/2012)
Vote to close Pomona library postponed to June 25.  (6/22/2012)
Pomona library bears brunt of layoffs.  (6/14/2012)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Still Any Libraries Stubbornly Holding Out on These Titles?

Racy novel sweeps pop culture consciousness. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, 8/12/2012)

Fifty Shades of Grey.

Fifty Shades Darker.

Fifty Shades Freed.

31,000,000 copies sold in 4 months.

Trilogy has outsold all the Harry Potter books in the UK.

As part of the Iowa City Public Library's annual Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival (last year's schedule), a panel will discuss the phenomenon at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, 2012.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein Explains Why Conservative Books Sell Better than Liberal Books

LINK to 8/23/2012 Wonkblog post.

You'll have to read his post to learn how he prioritizes the list.

Amazon's top 10 "red" and "blue" books as found in LINKcat.

How do your "red" and "blue" titles stack up?

Two Teachable Moments on Breastfeeding in Public in One Summer -- C'mon People!

Breastfeeding mom asked to leave public library computer room. (WBTV, Charlotte, 8/17/2012)

The other incident happened at the Minneapolis Central Library in June.

Wisconsin is among 45 states that  have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.

The Senate version of this bill was co-sponsored by Democrats Fred Risser, Jon Erpenbach, Jim Sullivan, Bob Wirch, and John Lehman; Republicans Alberta Darling, Rob Cowles, and Dale Schultz.

Wisconsin is among 28 states that exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.

Know the law!

Catching Up with the News @ the Poynette Area Public Library


Petition puts boards at odds.  (Poynette Press, 8/7/2012)

Excerpt 1:    After airing some frustration at library board members and fellow trustees, board members approved 3-2, with Diana Kaschinske abstaining and Henry DeBoer absent, a resolution to include on Poynette's general election ballot the referendum, "Should the Village Board of Poynette consider the library expansion into the historic Jamieson (Little Blessings) building as the first and best library expansion option?

Frustration expressed by the seemingly screeching -- at least that's how it sounds to me when I read this article -- Diana Kaschinske, village board members.  

[Directed at fellow board members Dave Hutchinson.]    

Excerpt 2:   I don't care about that.  We are here every Monday night ... why was it never brought to us as a communication, as a meeting? does it have to come in from the backside? Is that cool? Is that what you want? They have money for this?  Answer me this, you seem to know so much else."

Diana is calmly provided with a memory refresher.

Excerpt 3:  Poynette Area Public Library Director Kris Daugherty said the petition, which was discussed in front of trustees at a July Committee of the Whole meeting, did not come from library board members or library staff.

Time for a library "time out" on library expansion.  (Poynette Press, 8/16/2012)

It's not really an exercise in false equivalencies, but Assistant Editor Scott De Laruelle's column doesn't go very deep.  Probably because he wants to keep his job.

Guess we'll have to read the Portage Daily Register to keep up with the the village board's occasional dysfunctions.

Letter from Library Board President Bob Garske.  Just to clear the air.  (Poynette Press, 8/17/2012)

Excerpt:    More than 70 citizens attended and expressed their concerns at an August 2011 village board meeting. A news release appeared in the Poynette Press on Feb. 21, 2012, stating that the library board was "going on record as favoring the expansion of the library into the Jamieson building, though stating the preference "does not preclude our willingness to consider options that may be proposed by the Poynette Village Board.'" 

That the petition came as a surprise to the village board seems quite strange since there were numerous meetings between library board and village board members where the Jamieson/Little Blessings building option was discussed going back to 2010. These include the village board/library liaison committee meetings, the library board meetings and the downtown redevelopment committee meetings.

Related posts:
Space crunch.  (3/8/2012)
Keeping the lines of communication open. 12/15/2011)
Poynette library board president takes village board to task for poor communication. (11/26/2011)
The library as Poynette's anchor store.  (11/10/2011)
Poynette redevelopment project includes space for library.  (9/29/2011)

Doug Moe on Michael Perry

Writer launched by rural roots.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 8/22/2012)

Excerpt:    Mrs. Moe and I were among them. I insisted, in part because I wanted to see in the flesh the writer I tracked down by phone a dozen years ago, before he was famous. 

Back then, I kept encountering the byline "Michael Perry" in all manner of publications, big and small, but mostly small. His range appeared limitless. Perry wrote about country music and snowmobilers, rodeo and lumberjacks, and he did it all from a little village north of Eau Claire called New Auburn

When I reached Perry, it was early January 2000, the first days of the new millennium.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Millennials Lead the Fewer Bookstores?

Generation Read: Millennials Buy More Books Than Everybody Else. (Good, 8/16/2012)

From the 2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors.
  • Millennials (age range 13 to 30) buy 30% of books.
  • Baby Boomers (age range 48 to 66) buy 24% of books.
Excerpt:  According to the data, 43 percent of millennials buy books through online vendors and they're leading the way in the adoption of digital texts. Unless this generation develops a sudden nostalgia for perusing the stacks, we'll likely see more bookstores closing.

Pew Research on "The Lost Decade of the Middle Class"

Link to summary.

Excerpt:   In 2011, the middle-income tier included 51% of all adults, down from 61% in 1971. This has been accompanied by a dispersion of the population into the economic tiers both above and below, with slightly more moving into the upper tier. But only the upper tier has increased its share of the nation's total household income.

 % of U.S. Total Household Income, 1970

% of U.S. Household Income, 2011

Link to full report.

Under 5? No Card for You @ the Rockford Public Library

Rockford Public Library card abuse forces change in age policy.  (Rockford Register-Star, 8/15/2012)

Excerpt:   It goes like this: Mom and dad have library cards. They rack up hundreds of dollars in fines on the cards, and the cards are blocked so they can no longer use them. But rather than stop checking out books and movies and not return them, the parents apply for a children’s card and use that card until it, too, is maxed out on fees and blocked. And so on and so forth until there are no family members left to obtain a new card.

As the World of Joint Library Agreements Turns

Pauline Haass Library contract in works. (Sussex Sun, 8/14/2012)

Excerpt: The proposed new agreement is expected to include a new formula that determines how much each community pays for library operation and outlines a plan for dissolving the agreement in the event one of the communities wants to withdraw from the agreement.

Related articles: 
The beat goes on.  (7/2/2012)
Joint library negotiations continue.  (5/13/2012)
Jane Stadler on Paying Taxes: " is something that you do because you're part of the community.  (11/26/2011)
Lisbon town chair not likely to get his way on Pauline Haass Library funding. (11/22/2011)
Lisbon Town chair advocates paying for library services on the cheap.  (11/22/2011)
The challenges of shared governance and funding.  (9/28/2011)
Consensus building for new joint library agreement.  (7/22/2011)
Sussex, Lisbon:  Local politics and library negotiations.  (5/28/2011)
Negotiation to continue after information-gathering process.  (10/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (10/4/2010)
Differences of opinion of library funding continue.  (9/18/2010)
Leaders of Village of Sussex, Town of Lisbon clash over funding for library. (8/26/2010)
Will annexation resolution interfere with negotiations over joint library agreement?  (8/4/2010)
Proposal to change library funding formula gets cool reception.  (6/7/2010)
Town of Lisbon Chairman proposes new funding formula for library.  (5/31/2010)

Greater St. Croix Valley Equalized Property Values Show Double-Digit Decline Since 2008

Equalized values spiraling down in St. Croix County, region. Hudson Star-Observer, 8/20/2012.

Excerpt: Equalized values are used to apportion, or assign, the amount of taxes a municipality pays to local taxing jurisdictions (school district, technical college, county, municipality, and special district) for providing services.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue provides this 9-page overview of Wisconsin Equalized Values.

Related post:
Wisconsin Department of Revenue: Statement of changes in equalized property values - preliminary 2012 report. (8/7/2012)

Budget Sideshow in Sheboygan

City of Sheboygan battle continues.  (Sheboygan Press, 8/21/2012)

Excerpt: Savings range from spending $1 less for computer maintenance in the Development and Planning office to cutting $1,250 for custodial services at City Hall to spending $8,000 less for construction materials in the Street Department.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Best Buy Death Watch

OK, so maybe I'm being a little harsh.

Best Buy shares sink as it cuts outlook, suspends share buybacks. (San Jose Mercury News, 8/21/2012)

Evidence along the trail.

On the other hand, Best Buy had sales of $10,550,000,000.   10+ Billion.  A 3% decrease.  That's not exactly falling off a cliff, as I see it.

Apparently, it all about Wall Street expectations.

Keli Carender, Tea Party Empire Builder

Find your state coordinator here.

About Keli

Winner of a 2010 Sammies Award

Unlikely Activist Who Got to the Tea Party Early.  (The New York Times, 2/27/2010)

Excerpt“There is no way we will out-fund-raise the liberals,” she said. “The only weapon we have is energy and time.”

Hope those of you reading this weren't drinking a beverage just now.

I suspect that Keli has learned something about super pacs since 2010.

During the Times interview, Carender noted that her biggest goal was the defeat of Senator Patty Murray. (In the November 2010 election.)

New York Times Allows Sharon Barnes to Speak for All Missouri Republicans

G.O.P Trying to Oust Akin from Race for Rape Remarks.  (The New York Times, 8/20/2012)

Excerpt:  While Republicans at the national level were in a hurry to shove him aside, Republican opinion had not hardened against Mr. Akin in Missouri, in part because of the salience of the abortion issue. “The congressman is totally, firmly, solidly pro-life,” Sharon Barnes, a member of the state Republican central committee, said, adding that Mr. Akin believed “that abortion is never an option.” 

Ms. Barnes echoed Mr. Akin’s statement that very few rapes resulted in pregnancy, adding that...

Let's get out of the garbage business, sez Sheboygan alder John Belanger

The study Belanger cites.

Sheboygan garbage fee debate changes direction. (Sheboygan Press, 8/20/2012)

He also does the math.

$1,655,802  savings in 2013
-  $869,000  in garbage fees the city currently collects
   $786,802  surplus

Savings in future years

2014:  $390,760 surplus vs. $429,879 shortfall,

2015:  $12,799 surplus vs. $1,718,647 shortfall.

Related posts:
Sheboygan city attorney explains how a fee becomes a tax.  (11/29/2011)
Privatizing trash pickup would more than plug Sheboygan's $800,000 budget gap.  (11/5/2011)

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Hedberg Public Library is Ready for Its Close-Up

Breaking Down Governor Walker's Budget Instructions to State Agency Heads


Page 1, paragraph 1
Bashing unnamed past administrations.
  • Delayed payments
  • Raided segregated funds
  • Used federal stimulus for ongoing operational expenses

Page 1, paragraph 2
Tooting his own horn.

Page 1, paragraph 3
Some polishing up and there just might be a campaign song here.  "The new days of fiscal responsibility are here, and our broader economic recovery is gaining speed."

Page 1, paragraph 4
Building blocks
Questions and answers Act 10 and Act 32

Page 1, paragraph 5
Cost pressures remain in some area
  • Medicaid
  • Corrections
  • K-12
  • Higher education
"....I plan to guide Wisconsin into increasingly stronger fiscal climates...."

Page 1, paragraph 6
Improved business rankings (2012)
  • CNBC's "Top States for Business:  Wisconsin at #17, though still behind Minnesota (11). Iowa (12), Indiana (14).
  • Chief Executive magazine:  
    • Wisconsin at #20, up from #24 in 2011 and #41 in 2010.  (RG:  In this survey, one would be forgiven to think that perception is everything.)
    • "This year, 650 business leaders responded to our annual survey, up from 550 in 2011."  (RG:  Doesn't sound very scientific to me.)
Economic initiatives
  • Continuing role for Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • "...venture capital initiatives to push for and provoke much needed entrepreneurial development."  (RG:  I would substitute "encourage" for "provoke".)

Page 2, paragraph 1
Skilled and modern workforce (RG:  weak on specifics)
  • "...implementing programs to train our friends and neighbors".
  • "With innovative and strategic worker training....."

Page 2, paragraph 2
Transforming Wisconsin's education system
  • Merit-based staffing (teacher evaluation model)
  • Continuing focus on 3rd grade reading scores
  • Improved overall education outcomes.  

Page 2, paragraph 3
Integration of private sector and educational institutions
  • Better balance of employment-based education and liberal arts
  • Increase online learning opportunities

Page 2, paragraph 4
Infrastructure investments
  • Transportation
    • Fund "common sense" projects (RG wonders, speaking in code?)
    • End raids on transportation fund to maintain roads and bridges
  • Telecommunications  (RG:  The word is used once, and then it seems as though the subject slipped from his mind by the time he reached the end of the paragraph.)
  • Energy
    • Diversify supply
    • Balance of cost and sound science
    • "...ever aware of environmental impact".
    • Lift state's nuclear moratorium

Page 3, paragraph 1
Key phrases
  • good stewards
  • will not raise taxes
  • seeking a smaller and more efficient government

Page 3, paragraph 2
Specific instructions
  • General purpose revenue (GPR)
  • Segregated revenue (SEG).  "Same zero-growth targets"
Focus of agency requests
  • Enhancing state's economy
  • Advancing goals set forth in these budget instructions

Page 3, paragraph 3
Budget requests due September 17, 2012.

Page 3, paragraph 4.
Thank you.

Advertisements on Toilet Paper: Not an idea to be "poo-pooed", sez Bryan Silverman, finalist in College Entrepreneur of 2012 Contest

Entrepreneur brothers sell ads on toilet paper. (Port Chester Journal News, 8/18/2012)

Excerpt:   Bryan Silverman, 18, a Duke University sophomore, is one of five finalists in Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2012 competition. His entry is Star Toilet Paper, a company he co-founded with his brother Jordan, 22, in 2010. The concept came to Jordan Silverman while he was in the bathroom reading his phone. 

“At first, I poo-pooed it,” Bryan Silverman said of his brother’s idea in a video posted on Entrepreneur Magazine’s website. But after more consideration, Silverman recognized a key selling point to potential advertisers. 

“Because of the fact that we’re in the bathroom, we’ve reached a really captive audience,” Silverman said on Tuesday.
LINK to the 5 College finalists

This library anticipates its first TP shipment in October.

Hat tip to Mark Arend.

Too Much to Process in One News Story: "Real Romney", "slick packaging", "eye candy"

G.O.P. Packaging Seeks to Reveal a Warm Romney. (The New York Times, 8/20/2012)


Excerpt: They hail from the Broadway stage, the control rooms of NBC and the design studios that created sleek sets for Oprah Winfrey and Jon Stewart. 

Their craft is slick packaging and eye candy that audiences consume by the millions. 

Their latest project? Selling the Mitt Romney story in prime time.

Related article:
Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?  (HuffPost, 8/19/2012)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Appleton Public Library Hires Godfrey's Associates to Gather Data and Public Input on Future of Library

Library hires consultant for modernization plan. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 8/18/2012)

Partial client list.

Appleton Public Library and Friends of the Appleton Public Library request for proposals.

Companies Use E-scores to Pitch Woo to the Right Customers

Secret E-Scores Chart Consumers’ Buying Power. (The New York Times, 8/18/2012)

Excerpt [bullet points added]:  It’s true that credit scores, based on personal credit reports, have been around for decades. And direct marketing companies have long ranked consumers by their socioeconomic status. But e-scores go further. They can take into account facts like 
  • occupation, 
  • salary and 
  • home value to 
  • spending on luxury goods or pet food, 
and do it all with algorithms that their creators say accurately predict spending.

As Gordy Meyer explains in the article, escores help businesses answer three questions about potential customers:
  • Are the legitimate?
  • Are they worth pursuing?
  • Are they worth spending money on?