Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekend Sidelight: "A date with your family can be a truly special occasion."

Family Nutrition: The Truth About Family Meals.   According to research, eating together as a family on a regular basis has some surprising effects. When sharing a meal together family bonds become stronger, children are better adjusted, family members eat more nutritional meals, they are less likely to be overweight, and they are less likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs.

How Americans Eat Today.  (CBS News, 1/12/2010)

"These are things they don't teach you in library school."

Thefts force Trenton library to ration toilet paper.  (The Times of Trenton, 2/23/2013)

Among the problems faced by library staff at the Trenton Free Public Library.
  • Whole rolls of toilet paper flushed down the toilet.
  • Theft of toilet paper and paper towels.
  • Soap dispensers forcibly removed from walls.

As a result, staff members now provide individualized-sized portions of toilet paper for people who need to use the library's rest rooms.  A hand sanitation station is located near the front entrance.

OK, how do I phrase this delicately?  

There are times when people know that they'll be doing a significantly above-average levels of paperwork.  Will the staff take these IBS situations into account?  Will the individual feel comfortable enough to ask?

As Library Director Kimberly Matthews laments, "These are not things they teach you in library school." 

Tony Evers and Don Pridemore: What's to Like?

Plenty, in Tony Evers' case.

Tony has served the students, parents and citizens of Wisconsin for over 34 years as a
  • teacher
  • principal
  • superintendent
  • regional administrator
  • Deputy State Superintendent
  • State Superintendent 

On a national level, Tony has been a
  • Curriculum auditor in Texas, California, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio
  • Member of the Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Previously served as the national president of the Deputy State Superintendent Leadership Commission

Nothing, in Don Pridemore's case.
  • In making his announcement to run, he said Walker would have a friend in the State Superintendent's office if he's elected.
  • Answered no questions on education policy, including the hot topic of vouchers.
  • Summed up his philosophy as follows:  "I have a common sense, conservative approach.".  (Apparently, he's not an original thinker.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Construction of Addition to Portage Public Library Scheduled to Begin March 18th

Kids invited to break ground for Portage library expansion. (Portage Daily Register, 2/21/2013)

Groundbreaking will take place on Saturday, March 16, at 10:30 a.m., for the 6,500-square-foot, $1.5 million  project, which is expected to be completed within four months. Most of the expanded space will be designated for children's services.

Related posts:
Fundraising campaign looks to raise $1.05 million.  (2/29/2012)
Library boosts fundraising goal. (1/23/2012)
Two Portage businessmen to lead Portage fundraising effort. (113/2012)
Funding for library expansion included in City of Portage 2012 budget. (12/9/2012)
Library moves forward with building expansion fundraising campaign.  (11/26/2011)
Decision delayed on request for library expansion funding.  (11/2/2011)
Council member on Portage Public Library expansion project funding: "We may just not want to do it".  (10/28/2011)
Board president makes pitch to council for library expansion funding.  (10/15/2011)
Board to make case for building expansion to council.  (10/13/2011)
Library board to make case to council for building expansion.  (9/15/2011)
Library moves forward with building expansion.  (8/12/2011)
Board approves feasibility study for library expansion.  (7/1/2011)
Board reviews estimates for expansion project.  (6/22/2011)
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)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Wisconsin State Budget Process: Where We Are Today

Get to know the members of the Joint Committee on Finance a statutory, 16-member standing committee of the Wisconsin Legislature. The Committee's primary responsibility is to serve as the principal legislative committee charged with the review of all state appropriations and revenues.

The committee name is typically prefaced with the adjective "powerful".  [Also here, here.]. 

Senate members
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chair
Luther Olsen (R-Ripon)
Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls)
Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan)
Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin)
Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend)
Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse)
Robert Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie)

Assembly members
John Nygren (R-Marinette), co-chair
Pat Strachota (R-West Bend)
Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield)
Dean Knudsen (R-Hudson)
Daniel LeMahieu (R-Cascade)
John Klenke (R-Green Bay)
Cory Mason (D-Racine)
Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee)

Joint Committee on Finance, mapped.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Library Items in Governor Scott Walker's 2013-15 Budget (Department of Public Instruction)

For those of you who attended the Wisconsin Library Association's Library Legislative Day, you'll recall that I predicted -- OK, hoped for -- flat funding across the board.

Here's the good news -- Department of Administration Governor's Budget Recommendations.

The Governor's Increased Expenditure Recommendation #1:
Newsline for the Blind (page 152)
The Governor's Increased Expenditure Recommendations #2:
BadgerLink (page 154)

The Governor's Increased Expenditure Recommendations #3:
Library Service Contracts (page 159)

The Governor's Increased Expenditure Not Approved

In other words, the additional aid needed to meet statutory requirement of 13.0% was not approved.  Funding for public library systems remains flat in the 2013-15 biennium.  (So I'm batting .250.  No MVP in this arena.)

If it were truly bad news, the dollar amounts in the "Items Not Approved" table above would equal what's highlighted below.

Thank yous are in order.  (And I understand that there may be much else in the budget that you don't like.  Just focus on libraries.  It could have been much worse, folks.  In the meantime, though, we need to remain vigilant since there could be efforts to make it so, i.e, much worse, between now and June 30th.)

Next step:  Deciding on the viability of moving forward to restore the 10% cut to public library system funding.  Can we secure 9 votes on the Joint Committee on Finance?

LINK to Governor's recommendations for all individual state agencies.

The Wisconsin State Budget Process:  Where We Are Today

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Champions "Limitless Library" Program

Dean seeks ideas on connecting families to library, (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/20/2013)

Limitless Libraries is a program that connects libraries in the city's public schools to the resources of the city library to provide students and teachers with greater access to materials and resources.

More on Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.  Though his path to re-election is clear  Karl Dean faces major issues in second term.  (The City Paper, 7/17/2011)

An admirable idea, I suppose, but the cynic in me just can't help but wonder.

With school districts nationwide cutting the number of school media specialists, many of whom are already responsible for supervising multiple libraries, ["In Lean Times, Schools Squeeze Out Librarians", The New York Times, 6/24/2011], not to mention reduced funding for materials and other resources, is this just a way to shift the burden of providing school library services to the public library?  (Perhaps some of my colleagues will ask me to add "continue to" before "shift".)

If school libraries are so important, shouldn't they receive sufficient funding from the school district in order to to achieve their mission?

Yeah, I know, rhetorical question.

And these two stories, in tandem, don't improve my outlook any.

"Schools gear for fight over TN voucher bill" (American Federation for Children, 10/24/2011)

Excerpt:  Vouchers in general also face opposition from the Tennessee School Boards Association, which represents school boards of all sizes, and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. 

“Mayor Dean has not seen the language of the bill,” Bonna Johnson, a spokeswoman for Dean, said in a statement Friday. “However, any proposal that would remove significant amounts of public dollars from our school system would be detrimental to our school district and our schoolchildren.”

Dean's support of charter school decision-maker triggers backlash. (Nashville Tennessean, 2/17/2013)

Excerpt:   In backing controversial legislation to give the state new authority to approve charter schools in Nashville, Mayor Karl Dean strengthened his credentials as the city’s foremost charter champion.

Related reading:  American Legislative Exchange Council

San Francisco's New Bay View Branch Library Opens on Saturday, February 23rd

Grand opening of Bayview branch library.  (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/20/2013)

The former branch, perhaps not so affectionately dubbed "the bunker", was built in 1969 and demolished in 2011.

As for the change in surroundings, Linda Brooks-Burton, SFPL Southeast District Manager, puts it this way.  "It's the air quality in here, the light, the openness - and the fact that we can see outside."

Link to fact sheet and other information.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harlem Shake, Library Style

Unlike Some Things We Can Name, Libraries Are Stronger Than Ever

Suburban libraries go digital, add services.  Libraries seeing resurgence of activity in suburbs.  (Daily Herald, 2/17/2013)

Excerpt: When the digital age dawned, many predicted that libraries, those hushed repositories for dusty printed books, would soon be about as relevant as 8-track tapes. 

But library administrators say that, in fact, use of libraries has never been more robust. They say libraries have changed with the times, transforming themselves into vital community centers that provide access not just to books, but also new technology and recreational programs.

Photo credit:  Ela Area Public Library

Related post:

Hurricane Sandy and the Library Damage Done (Jersey Shore Edition)

5 Jersey Shore libraries wait for next chapter after Hurricane Sandy. (Newark Star-Ledger, 2/19/2013)

Sea Bright Library suffered major structural damage and mold contamination.

Monmouth Beach Library, inundated by 30 inches of water, lost its entire collection.

The Oceanport Branch of the Monmouth County Library

Bay Head Reading Center of the Ocean County Library lost 1500 items due to more than 2 feet of water in the building.

Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library lost 5500 items.

Spared!  The Keensburg Waterfront Public Library

50 Years Ago Today: "The Feminine Mystique" is Published

New York Times book review, April 7, 1963.

Book-jacket summation:  .....highly readable, provocative book.

The final paragraph's more critical assessment.     Sweeping generalities, in which this book necessarily abounds, may hold a certain amount of truth but often obscure the deeper issues. It is superficial to blame the "culture" and its handmaidens, the women's magazines, as she does. What is to stop a woman who is interested in national and international affairs from reading magazines that deal with those subjects? To paraphrase a famous line, "The fault, dear Mrs. Friedan, is not in our culture, but in ourselves."

New York Times film and literary critic Janet Maslin confesses that she just read the book.

On Reading a Treatise 50 Years Late.  (Subhead in the print edition.)

Friedan had, and still has, her detractors.

Criticisms of a Classic Abound.

The book debuted on the New York Times nonfiction best seller list on April 28, 1963,  It spent just three weeks here.

The #1 song at the time of the book's publication.

What to Do in an "Active Shooter" Situation

A regional disaster preparedness video from the City of Houston Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

When an active shooter is in your vicinity

If evacuation is not possible....

As a last resort, and if your life is in danger...... the narrator of the video emphasizes.

When law enforcement arrives.

In a February 17, 2013, article, USA Today focuses on the last of these three.  They are meant to be considered in tandem.

Authorities' new advice to schools: Confront shooter.
Study of 84 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2012
  • 25, or 30% of the cases, the shooter ended the attack before the police arrived
    • 21 cases where shooter committed suicide
    • 4 cases where the shooter fled
  • 16, or 19% of the cases,  victims stopped the attacks before the police arrived
    • 13 cases attacker was subdued
    •   3 cases attacker was shot
The article provides no specifics about the other 51% of the cases.

Active Shooter in the Library by Amy Kautzman.  Library Leadership & Management, 2/1/2011.
  • What is an active shooter?
  • No surprises
  • Follow your gut
  • Write behavioral policies
  • Best practices/Survivors' mindset
  • Prevention/Change the ending of the story
  • Training plan/response plan
  • Collaboration/Partnerships
  • Surviving an active shooter event  (run, hide, but  no mention of fight)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wisconsin People, Be Sure to Vote on Tuesday, February 19th

It's an important one!

Danielle Steel, It's Like You Never Left

ATTENTION All Green Bay Area Library Folks -- and All Other Interested Parties

Mark your calendar:  Thursday, February 28th

The Wisconsin Library Association helped to raise $18,000 at the February 4th Inn on the Park reception in Madison -- $5,000 at the door on the evening of the event.

Contribute now at Act Blue.

ATTENTION La Crosse Area Library Folks -- and All Other Interested Parties

Mark your calendars: Tuesday, February 26

The Wisconsin Library Association helped to raise $18,000 at the February 4th Inn on the Park reception in Madison -- $5,000 at the door on the evening of the event.

Contribute now at Act Blue.

Special Needs Vouchers: The Governor Continues to Do His Masters' Bidding

Wisconsin Education Reform Only ALEC Could Love. (The Center for Media and Democracy PR Watch, 3/1/2012)

ALEC Exposed: Starving Public Schools. (Common Dreams, 7/14/2011)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Short Stories Make a Comeback

Good Fit for Today’s Little Screens: Short Stories. (The New York Times, 2/15/2013)

In essence, Karl Rove sez, "Republicans are toast".

Woodward Scolds Rove for Fixing Elections with Soviet-Style 'Politburo'. (Crooks and Liars, 2/17/2013)

Well, lookee here, Christine, at one time, posts a higher favorability rating.

The Library as a "House of Ideas"

"Our very best" was a two-part lecture  presented at the Rancho Mirage Public Library by Penny Rivin on the topic of "Islam: What It Is and What It Isn't".

News of this program brought the wackos out of the woodwork.  The library received numerous angry phone calls from across the U.S. -- as Bryant describes them -- from nasty corner[s] of thinking where ignorance trumps facts, where a word, “Islam,” sets off a prairie fire that creates a twisted version of reality.

Unfortunately, I suspect some folks out there are updating their phone lists.

If This Book is Returned 50 Years from Now, It Will Be Even Bigger News!!

One of the pricier books not returned to the library

Library thefts cost Austin more than $1 million in five years. (Austin American-Statesman, 2/16/2013)

Each month Austin Public Library patrons check out 500,000 books, movies, music CD, magazines, and other materials at 21 locations.

Not surprisingly, a very small percentage are not returned.

How many exactly?

Well, an American-Statesman/KVUE review determined that $1,100,000 in library inventory has not been returned during the past 5 years.

OK, so using the average dollar amount provided by the Library Value Calculator, let's be conservative and give each item checked out of all of Austin's library locations a value of $10.

The library's monthly value to Austin residents:  $5,000,000.

The library's annual value to Austin residents:  $60,000,000.

The library's value to Austin residents over a 5-year period:  $300,000,000.

Uh, Tony, Andy, this story was done a year and a half ago by one of your colleagues at the Houston Chronicle.

Here's why I thought its perspective was hazy, at best.

Oh, by the way, some of your readers are not impressed either.

Really, $1 million over 5 years, and it merits a story chastising our library? That's an amazingly low inventory loss, especially when you consider the plight of so many of our downtown visitors. Target would reward that kind of loss prevention in its stores, the discount store leader in stopping shoplifting.

Buy hey, in 50 years, when the Don Martin book is returned to the library with a $100 bill tucked into it, your grandkids will be all over the story.

"It's nuts" at Hanover New Hampshire's Howe Library

For Future Reference: Far From Faltering in Digital Age, Libraries Thrive as Community Hubs.  (Valley News, 2/17/2013)

Article subheadings
  • The draw of technology  (In the Upper Valley, public computers and free Wi-Fi draw steady traffic)
  • Life after Google:  Different look, same purpose  (The stereotypical image of a library as a “building full of books” is no longer valid.)
  • E-reading growing.  (Libraries have become the go-to place for help with everything from e-readers to basic computer skills to troubleshooting wireless connections.)
  • 'Reclaiming space for people.  ('As more books were being published, libraries gradually took all the space they possibly could to fit books and other materials in, Grace said. “Now, we are kind of going the other way. We are reclaiming some of that space for people.”)
  • No more shushing.  (No longer silent repositories for books, even the soundscape of libraries has changed. With all that community gathering going on, the iron-clad prohibition on talking has eased. Conversations are commonplace.)
  • What's next.  (There’s no doubt that today’s libraries are working hard to adapt to the new information landscape. But, librarians say, that’s nothing new. “We expect things to change, so it’s not a surprise when they do,” [Mike] Grace, [Director of Fiske Free Library in Claremont] said. “We’re expecting it, and we try to be ready for it.”)