Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Calgary Public Library: Muse, Equalizer, Dream Maker, Educator, Partner, Social Network

Calgary Public Library

The Lego Version of the Charlevoix Public Library

Teen creates Lego model of Charlevoix Public Library. (Petosky News, 1/16/2013)

Excerpt: Paul is 16 years old and is home-schooled. He also takes online classes through Stanford University and Patrick Henry College. For many years, Paul dabbled in clay miniatures, and eventually stumbled across the global community of Lego artists. Adults and teens alike have taken the toy building block beyond their limits as a toy and into the realm of "medium." 

For the library project, most of the scaling was done by hand and by eye. Vermeesch calculated a simple percentage from actual to the scale size then blew up the library's blueprints to that scale. That allowed him to build right on top of the correctly-sized blueprints. Paul's abilities and love of the medium has created a desire to start a business to help support his hobby. He is creating a website, launching Jan. 17, to market his new business Miniature Modeling creating all types of Lego models for customers.

Where's my sushi computer? I ask 21 years later

The Electronic PiƱata by Paul Saffo.

From the 1993 Ten-Year Forecast, Institute for the Future (c. October 1992)

Photo credit:  Wikipedia

“Digital paper” and “sushi” computers will become business realities after this decade is over. An entirely new form of electronic exotica is waiting in the wings—devices that resemble paper but behave like computers. Imagine a sheet of paper that behaves like a pen-based PC, and you begin to come close to this extravagant vision. One Japanese researcher nicknames these “sushi computers” in the belief that they will be as flexible as a piece of nori, and easily rolled into a scroll. Implicit in this vision is the assumption that these new devices will take many forms. Some will even approach the cost of paper itself. The result may be a business world of disposable computers with sizes and costs comparable to Post-It pads.

Whoa, mama!!

Hmm....not what you were expecting?

Preparing for Wisconsin Library Legislative Day 2013

Getting to know/becoming reacquainted with your state elected officials.

First of all, if you aren’t sure who represents you in the State Senate and Assembly, go to the website “Who Are My Legislators?”  Enter your home street address, city and zip code in the boxes provided.

(Remember that redistricting went into effect since the 2012 Library Legislative Day. Some of you, like me, are now represented by different legislators. After 26 years of being in Sen. Fred Risser’s district, I now reside in Jon Erpenbach’s. And on the Assembly side, last year I visited Brett Hulsey. This year I’ll visit Dianne Hesselbein.)

If you know the name of your state senator, go to the Wisconsin State Senate webpage . The column on the left, “Legislation Information”, provides links to each of the Senator’s standardized webpage, which contains the following information:
  • Madison office/telephone/fax/email 
  • Voting address
  • District telephone number 
  • District map 
  • Biography 
    • Where born 
    • Schools attended (high school, college) 
    • Organizations in which the senator is a member 
    • Awards 
    • When first elected, re-elected o Leadership positions • 
  • 2013-14 committee assignments 
  • Bills sponsored 

The middle column on the Wisconsin State Senate webpage provides links to of the Senator’s personal legislative web pages. No standardized format here; legislators provide their own content. (You’ll note that 4 of the 33 State Senators do not have a personal web page.)

Looking at Jon Erpenbach web pages, for example, I am able to learn what he loves and values as a legislator.
  • Personal privacy 
  • Consumer protection (author of “Do Not Call” law) 
  • Health insurance reform 
  • Proactive educational reforms 
  • Regulation of third party spending in elections

No, he doesn’t use the word “library”, but I’ve known Jon for many years and consider him to be a solid library supporter.

If you know Assembly Representative, go to this Wisconsin State Representatives page.  As with the Senate, the column on the left, “Legislation Information”, provides links to each of the Assembly Representative’s standardized webpage The middle column on the Wisconsin State Representatives webpage provides links to of the Representative’s personal legislative web pages.  Again, no standardized format here. (You’ll note here that 37 of the 99 State Senators do not have a personal web page. Unfortunately, most of the 14 freshman reps are included in this group, and the biographical information found at their standardized websites is very limited.)

Another option then is to look at a legislator’s campaign website for biographical information and summaries of the issues that are important to them. This series of “Who’s Running for State Office in 2012” blogposts (see related posts list) will get you started in the right direction. You’ll need to know the numbers of the districts your legislators represent. (And I can’t vouch for the fact that all of the sites are still up and running.)

Looking at Dianne Hesselbein’s “Issues and Experience” webpage, for example, I’m a bit surprised she doesn’t give herself a pat on the back for the strong leadership she exhibited as a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors in support of the Dane County Library Service.

As you work your way through this exercise, you might want to use the blank grid for finding a common agenda with legislators to organize your note-taking.

So between now and February 5th, please take the time to get to know your State Senator and Representative.

The WLA Library Development & Legislation Committee conducted a final review of the Library Legislative Day issue papers at tomorrow’s meeting. We’ll send them out early next week so that you have time to review them before you meet with your legislators on February 5th.

Thank you for advocating for Wisconsin’s libraries.

Iowa City Public Library Board Votes to Ban Sleeping @ the Library

Sleeping banned at I.C. library.  (Iowa City Press-Citizen, 1/24/2013)

Iowa City Public Library use
  • FY2011 circulation:  1,570,865
  • FY2011 circulation:  1,576,755
  • FY2011 visits:              768,033
  • FY2012 visits:              764,911

Related post:
While you were sleeping.  (1/14/2013)

South Pekin Public Library to Close, Residents Will Have Full Access to Pekin Public LIbrary

South Pekin Public Library (no website as far as I can tell)
Photo credit:  Pekin Daily Times

Library to close after deal finalized with Pekin library.   (Pekin Daily Times, 1/25/2013.)

The "little old library" located in a "disheveled building" will close on February 1, when the agreement with the Pekin Public Library goes into effect

The local police department had recently moved out of its half of the building.

"Village official have said they would like to raze the old eyesore."

Sidebar:  South Pekin (IL) population:  1,146 in 2010, down from 1,162 in 2000.

Apparently, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has better things to do with his staff time than to provide online access to Illinois public library statistics.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Determined Women in Wisconsin's Public Library History (Part 1)

"Brahmins, Bequests, and Determined Women:  The Beginnings to 1918".  

That's the title of chapter 2 of Introduction to Public Librarianship, the textbook I use for the UW-Madison SLIS class that I'm currently teaching.

As I shared with you earlier this week, Middleton had it own group of women determined to establish a library in the community -- the Middleton Progressive Women's Club.  

As I revised the PowerPoint slides for my "Tinted Fog" version of the history of  public libraries in the United States  -- the phrase set off by quotation marks is a reference to John Updike and a veiled confession that I am indeed no expert on the topic -- I wondered how commonly this type of library developed occurred.

Well, as the evidence shows here, it's certainly not uncommon.

I still have more emails to read, but this post is already long enough.  Thanks to everyone who shared information/links/observations about your library's history.  It will help to give a decidedly Wisconsin flavor to next Wednesday's class.

Hope you enjoy these little history lessons.

Libraries covered in this post
  • Brillion Public Library
  • Cambria's Jane Morgan Memorial Library
  • Fort Atkinson's Dwight Foster Public Library
  • Hudson Area Library
  • Kewaskum Public Library
  • Manawa's Sturm Memorial Library
  • Marshall Community Library
  • Milton Public Library
  • Port Washington's W J. Niederkorn Library
  • Sauk City Public Library
  • Seymour's Muehl Public Library
  • Spooner Memorial Library
  • Theresa Public Library
  • Verona Public Library
  • West Allis Public Library

Library Information and History, from "Of Places, Of People, Of Eras:  Cambria, 1844-1976".    
In 1895 the Cambria News advocated the opening of a reading room for the young people of the community. A few years later, Mr. Streeter, the editor, started one in his office. About fifty books were donated at the time and some were obtained from the traveling library in Portage. Within a few weeks it became so popular that he couldn't care for it along with his other work, so the books were moved to Mrs. Morgan's store and Miss Myfanwy became the first librarian at the rate of $8.00 a month in 1904.

Photo credit:  Retiring Guy (9/12/2011)

From "One Hundred Years of Progress: 1890 - 1990".

Meanwhile, in Fort Atkinson, two local women's clubs were endeavoring to establish a free public library for their city. One was the Tuesday Club, founded in 1881 by sixteen members. It is the second oldest women's club in Wisconsin. It was a women's study club that met weekly, at which time a member would present a topic for discussion such as a book review, or a paper on Italy, France, England or some such country. 

As there was no library in Fort Atkinson, books for study were procured from the State Historical Library in Madison. Finding what a necessity a library was, after some years of this inconvenience, they were determined to have one in Fort Atkinson. They began discussing the possibility of establishing a library with city leaders--many of whom probably were their husbands. 

On October 12, 1883, fourteen ladies met in the vestry of the Methodist Church in Fort Atkinson and organized a local chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. They held monthly meetings and endeavored to do their part to improve the quality of life in Fort Atkinson. 

The subject of the possibility of establishing a local public library and reading room was first discussed at their meeting on November 4, 1889, but on March 10, 1890, at the home of Mrs. J. D. Clapp, the twenty-one ladies present actually pledged to raise $100 in 1890 to help fund a new library. 

At the W.C.T.U. meeting on December 7, 1891, Mrs. W. H. Rogers, president of the society, acted as chairman and appointed a committee composed of herself, Mrs. U. P. Stair and Mrs. Hilton, to petition the city council to ask the voters to appropriate $500 for a free public library.

The Jefferson House, Hudson
Photo credit:  Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory
(Thanks for the tip, Linda.)

From the PowerPoint presentation by Linda Donaldson and Mary Davis.  
Prior to the formation of the Carnegie library in Hudson, citizens did have access to a small collection of materials that included books, newspapers, and magazines. History notes that in 1865, the Ladies Library Association was formed in Hudson. This group could be considered the first Hudsonites to start forming a library for Hudson community. The location of the library was in Mrs. Amos Jefferson’s house.

Shared by Director Steev Baker
The Kewaskum Women's Club donated books and served as volunteer library workers in a space donated by the Village. This was in 1912. A year later, the Village of Kewaskum took over the running of the library, but for many years librarians (not having to be certified at that time) were chosen from among Women's Club members.

From "A Brief History of the Sturm Memorial Library.    
According to the centennial publication, Manawa 1874-1974, the library in Manawa was started by a gentleman by the name of Roger C. Bigford in 1910. The library was housed in the Odd Fellows Hall and the books in its collection were donated by Mr. Bigford and others. Not long after that, the library was put under the direction of the Manawa Woman's Study Club whose members organized, cataloged, arranged and circulated the collection for several years.

An additional tidbit from "Pioneers of Little Wolf".  
Mrs. E. T. Avery, among others gave much time, and finally became the first paid librarian in 1923. The Library Board voted to pay her $100 a year.

From "Marshall's Library History." 
1956 proved to be a successful year for the Public Library. After two previous attempts to open a library, a group of women were able to establish an inventory of 500 books, of which local citizens donated over half of them. The women were able to arrange for space in the Methodist Church fellowship hall to begin their service. The library remained in the church basement for several years before moving into the school. Only after a brief stay, the library moved to the town hall, but once again returned to the school. The Friends of the Library Group formed and hosted talent shows, community auctions, and other fundraising events to support the library as it bounced between locations.

From Wikipedia.   On November 12, 1904, The Woman's Village Improvement Club [of Milton], organized by Mrs. J.G. Carr, set out to raise funding for Whitford Memorial Hall. They ultimately raised over $900, and when the hall was completed around 1907, the library was relocated to the new building.

The Ladies Club of Milton Junction was organized on September 24, 1904, for the purpose of systematic study. Soon known as the Fortnightly Club, they held their first literary meeting on October 21, 1904 at 3:30 p.m. Two years after its creation, on May 18, 1906, the club voted to pursue the project of organizing a public library. In October of that year, they purchased $10 worth of books to be used for the following year's literary discussions. But most importantly, the books were bought with the hope that they might serve as a nucleus for a public library. In early November, the ladies voted to sponsor a lecture course to raise funds for more books.

On April 18, 1967, Milton and Milton Junction merged.

From the library's "History" webpage.  
The Phelps Public Library was started by the Phelps Women's Club in 1934 during the depression years. It was first located in the Phelps State Bank Building. When those quarters became inadequate, it was moved to a small building adjacent to the theater. Later, it functioned at the town hall and at the school. Mrs. Jean Kopf worked faithfully on the library project. In 1949 the Phelps Woman's Club purchased the Phelps Fire Warden's house from the D.N.R. for the library's new home. It was modernized and shelving was built . It was in use for twenty years.

Port Washington, W J Niederkorn Library

From the "Library History" webpage.
Due to the Port Washington Woman’s Club’s (PWWC) determination in 1898 to inspire the community through reading we are fortunate to celebrate 114 years of library service (1899-2013) in Port Washington. The concept of a public reading room became the stimulant for the first library in the back of the Courtland Drug Store at the SW location of Franklin and Main. The first librarian was Edgar Smith, a druggist. The library was a joint effort between the City of Port Washington and the PWWC.

Library Director Ben Miller provided this history of the library excerpt by Miss Clara Merkel, a former Sauk City librarian.

At their meeting June 11, 1921, the Sauk City Women's Club had as their speaker Miss Merill, of Madison, to talk on ways and means of obtaining a library for Sauk City. She advised the club to take the initiative and begin in a small way and as the interest in the work grew there would also be a way of financing it. As a beginning, she offered several hundred books from the library commission free of charge. The club at this meeting decided to start a library and the president, Miss Josephine Merk, appointed a committee of seven to consider ways and means of earning money.

Ben also notes:  The tradition here is that once a librarian (now director) steps down, they pick up the writing of the library history up until their retirement. So far it's worked out quite well for us!

Cool idea for those of us who love reading library histories.

From the library's Wikipedia article:  
In 1901, Mrs. John Stewart, Mrs. Elmer Dean, Mrs. S. G. McCord, and Miss Lotta Griffith collected books and applied to the City Council and the Wisconsin State Library Board to create Seymour's first public library. On December 21 of 1901, the library's first books were checked out in the living room of Mrs. Barton Moss on Main Street. The Fred Rex store is said to have served as the town's first library, until the two rooms above the Seymour State Bank became the library's location. The library was staffed by volunteers until the city hired Miss Cora Lampson as Seymour's first official librarian. She served until June 11, 1911. In its first three months, the Seymour public library's collection grew to 476 volumes. They had 284 borrowers, and by June 10, 1902, they had a circulation of 2,676. Within a few years, the library outgrew its location, and moved to a room upstairs in the City Hall.

From "History of the Spooner Library".  
Spooner’s first public library was opened in 1915 financed by local fund-raising events and under the leadership of a local women’s group, the Spooner Study Club.

From the library's "History" webpage.  
The Theresa Public Library had its humble beginnings in 1962 as a summer library started by Jack and Ruth Burns. They arranged to use a room rent free in the Russ Bandlow building which is now the laundromat. There was no heat in the room, therefore it was only open in the summertime. Jack and Ruth’s two daughters, Jackie and Peggy ran the library for a couple of summers. Laura and Carolyn Smith continued the library in 1964. Suzanne Erdmann and Marlene Adelmeyer also were involved in the early years of the library.

Verona Public Library
Photo credit:  Restring Guy

From "HIstory of the Verona Public Library".    
Under the leadership of Mrs. Alice Kunstam, the first library in Verona was started in 1947 in one room in the old bank building on the corner of Verona Ave. and Main Street. It was rented for $15.00 a month which included heat and utilities. The American Legion Auxiliary paid the rent.
West Allis Public Library

Shared by Library Director Michael Koszalka.
The roots of the library began in 1898 when a group of twenty-five women started a Political Science Club “for the purpose of self-culture and the betterment of the community.” That group grew and eventually morphed into The West Allis Women’s Club” which continues to exist today. Through this group of women the first library card was issued in 1899 and by 1907 the first West Allis Public Library Board of Trustees was appointed by the mayor. That same year the library received its first budget – an appropriation of $500! In 1915 West Allis built and dedicated a new library funded through the Carnegie Foundation. We still retain the unique connection to the current Women’s Club – when a club member passes away a $25.00 donation is bestowed upon the library in memory of the deceased member.

Column Graphs That I Added to my LIS 712 "Tinted Fog" Time Line of U.S. Public Library History

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who is the Greatest American Writer? My vote is in

To me, "The Complete Stories" comprises the Bible of American fiction.

And in second place.

I've read the Rabbit tetralogy -- the quintet if I add "Rabbit Remembered" -- 3 times, and listened to the audio versions twice.

Checking the results so far, I see I'm in a distinct(ive) minority.

In the News: Wisconsin Transportation Finance & Policy Commission

The Commission's recommendations (page 12 of report)

Focus group report (80 pages)
(primarily transcript of comments)

The reaction?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spokane, Vote "Yes" on Library Levy

"Lacking Definition" Leads to Decrease in the Official Number of Public Libraries in the 2010 IMLS Report

From 9,225 in 2009 to 8,951 in 2010.

"Lacking definition", as I call it, is explained on page 46 of the 2010 report (Note 3: Survey Universe).

These libraries are included in the data files because they qualify as public libraries under state law. However, beginning with the FY 2010 report, the 290 non-FSCS libraries are excluded from the tables, for a total of 8,951 public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Institute of Museum and Library Services defines the 3 administrative entities of public library administrative structure as follows.

What are non-FSCS libraries, you might ask?

Public libraries that don't measure up to this 5-point definition developed by the Federal-State Cooperative System.

Sidebar:  The numbers 9225 and 8951 represent one of 3 administrative entities that are used in the IMLS reports.

The number of stationary outlets (central libraries and branches) also declined from 16,698 in 2009 to 16,417 in 2010.

The following state-by-state overview gives you indication of where public libraries lacking definition are located.  (Sorry, my subtraction doesn't match the IMLS when I compare tables 1 and 3 in the 2009 and 2010 reports.)

This table makes it clear where libraries lacking definition are most prominent.

Pew Internet & American Life Project: Library Services in the Digital Age

What I spent my time digesting the past hour.  (The entire report is a feast, too much to take in at one sitting.)

The 3 general  library activities a Pew Research report (published January 22, 2013) found to be most frequently designated as "very important", in a national survey of American 16 years of age and older.
  • 80%.  Borrowing books
  • 80%.  Reference librarians
  • 77%.  Free access to computers and the Internet

Wider uses of technology  (% very likely to use)

  • 34%.  GPS-navigation apps to help patrons locate material inside library buildings
  • 33%.  “Redbox”-style lending machines or kiosks located throughout the community where people can check out books, movies or music without having to go to the library itself:.  (A contrarian view)
  • 29%.  “Amazon”-style customized book/audio/video recommendation schemes that are based on patrons’ prior library behavior\.

Fayetteville.  Sound familiar?

Lots more to look at in this report, particularly Part 4, What People Want From Their Libraries.

Another opportunity to share a favorite quote.

In the same way that libraries have continued, and will continue, to evolve.