Showing posts with label Rockford Public Library. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockford Public Library. Show all posts

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Community Partners: Rockford Public Library, Rock Valley College




Rock Valley considers move to downtown Rockford Public Library.  (Rockford Register-Star, 11/28/2012)

Excerpt: The RVC Learning and Opportunity Center offers remedial classes that serve as a bridge to college-level coursework and a smattering of courses for nontraditional students as well as financial aid, guidance counseling and other student services.

Sounds like a great fit to me.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rockford Public Library 2012 Community Survey


Rockford library survey supports keeping branches, same hours. (Rockford Register-Star, 8/30/2012)

Community survey conducted by Perspectives Consulting Group of Paw Paw, Michigan.
  • 420 Rockford residents contacted
  • All over 18 
  • 50/50 split between library users/nonusers
Cost:  $23,000.

Some findings:
  • Hours/Days of operations
    • Two-thirds of library users said current hours and days of operation met their needs. 
    • No consensus among one-third of library users whose needs weren't met, e.g.,
      • Sunday hours
      • Monday hours
      • Morning hours 
    • Non-users did not indicate that hours was an issue.
  • Library materials
    • Majority of library users emphasize print materials over electronic 
    • Funding priorities ("very important" or "important" response)
      • Materials that can be checked out:  9 of 10 respondents
      • Electronic materials:  5 of 10 respondents
  • Branch consolidation (Lewis Lemon, Montague, Rockton Center)
    • Split decision (one-third support, one-third oppose, one-third unsure)
  • Programs, facilities, and staff receive overwhelmingly positive support
  • General use
    • 62.6% of survey respondents used Rockford Public Library at some time in their lives
    • 49.0% used library during past year
  • Reasons given for no library use (page 12-13 of report)
    • Busy/no time
    • Doesn't read
    • Get books/information elsewhere
    • Location
    • No need/not interested (category with most responses)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

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.

Monday, May 7, 2012

To Make His Case, Dan Linssen Chooses 2 Examples, 1 Disastrous and the Other Curious


Dan Linssen column: Brown County residents should pause, analyze future of library. (Green Bay Press Gazette, 5/7/2012)

Excerpt:   Across the country, public library systems like Rockford, Ill. or Jamestown, N.Y. are diving into exploration of what a library should be for the 21st century. For years, university libraries* have been actively preparing to serve the needs of tomorrow. Many characterize the library of tomorrow as "moving out of the building and into the community" [see SIDEBAR below] or becoming "virtual libraries" or the "dramatic reduction in print books."

*But not leaving the building behind.     Cornell University Library surveyed students to ask what word comes to mind most when they think of a library. The results created a wordle visualization,with “place” being (ironically) centered as the word used most often. The idea that the library is a physical building that people go to has not been lost in the digital age, and there is still this desire to have ones’ library be an escape of sorts.

And if you have any doubts, visit Exhibit A, College Library, on the UW-Madison campus during the next two weeks.

The disastrous example.


Dan, maybe you should be writing for the Rockford Register-Star.  (Here's the link to the document that Director Frank Novak and the members of the Rockford Public Library board were not inclined to share.)

And it's not as if Brown County Central Library project hasn't already been well-studied.


SIDEBARGoogling "moving out of the building and into the community".

As for the curious example, the Prendergast Library in Jamestown, New York, the board of trustees and staff seem to have enough on their hands with the recent hiring of a new director.

Such as.....

Blanching at the thought of weeding.  Your library has not implemented any plan to cull, or "weed out" the (non-circulating) nonfiction collection. Since Jan. 1, 2012, only 18 books have been removed from the 300-399 section of nonfiction books. Prendergast Library owns 16,504 items in the 300-399 section of nonfiction books. That is a discard rate of 0.1 percent.

Staff morale.   One of the most difficult issues facing your Prendergast Library is the perception that a climate of fear and intimidation now permeates the staff of the Prendergast Library (and System).

Everyone on the board of trustees has received anonymous, as well as signed, letters and emails. We are working diligently to assess the situation and carefully sort the legitimate causes for concern from the rumors that are circulating. Ms. Mielke has a different management style than that of her predecessor and we recognize that leadership transitions are difficult for all parties

Above quotes from Change is Inevitable at Library, by Tom Rankin, library board member, from the 4/22/2012 Jamestown Post-Journal.

Linssen's previous 'pining.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Latest News About the Rockford Public Library


                       about the clandestine removal of books

Rockford Public Library's book removal policy questioned. (Rockford Register Star, 4/21/2012)

Excerpt: Rachel León, a member of the Save Our Library effort, says it’s not the weeding she’s concerned about but rather the way it’s being done. 

She said she’s heard from several staff members that Rockford Public Library Director Frank Novak is taking books directly from the shelves to the Dumpster and not submitting the titles to any review committee or even to the Friends of the Library bookstore where old books are sold to the public to raise funds to support the library. 

“Yes, libraries weed books. We understand that,” León said. “My concern is that any books that are being removed, that it’s done properly.”
,
Members of Save Our Library plan to rally against excessive weeding of the library’s collection from 10 a.m. to noon today at the Main Branch, 215 N. Wyman St. They also plan to attend the Library Board meeting Monday night.



Rumors addressed at Rockford Public Library meeting. (Rockford Register-Star, 4/23/2012)

Excerpt: “There is a group that is so focused on certain issues,” board President Paul Logli said after the meeting. “They have spread some misinformation to the public. To indicate there is excessive or inappropriate weeding going on is clearly false. The weeding that is going on is the same weeding that has been going on for decades.”

On average, 3,000 to 4,000 books a month are weeded, and about the same quantity is added. Empty top and bottom bookshelves are not evidence of purging, but is a conscientious effort on the part of library staff to make the books more accessible to people in wheelchairs
.
Related articles:
Rockford Public Library board prez stands by his man. (4/28/2012) 31-1.  (3/24/2012)
Catching up on the news.  (2/8/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting. (1/28/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rockford Public Library Board Prez Stands By His Man


Rockford Public Library director defended after no-confidence vote. (Rockford Register-Star, 3/26/2012)

Excerpt:   Last week’s 31-1 no-confidence vote in the Rockford Public Library’s director by its union didn’t go unchallenged at Monday’s Library Board meeting. 

After several staff members and supporters spoke about their concerns over Executive Director Frank Novak and the future of the library, the board’s president and past president addressed the crowd of about 80 people, saying they stand by Novak and think he’s doing a good job.

Related articles:
31-1.  (3/24/2012)
Catching up on the news.  (2/8/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting. (1/28/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

31-1


Union members vote no confidence in Rockford library director. (Rockford Register-Star, 3/23/2012)

Excerpt:    Union members of the Rockford Public Library delivered a 31-1 vote Friday of no confidence in Director Frank Novak. 

The members gathered behind union President Karla Janssen as she read from a prepared statement inside the downtown South First Street Carpenters Local Union hall: 

“Frank Novak’s lack of concern for the community that employs him and his blatant disrespect of services the library staff provides has created an unnecessary threat to the quality library services our city deserves. For these reasons, we have taken a vote of no confidence in Mr. Novak.” 

Janssen spoke critically of proposed plans to close library locations, eliminate Sunday hours and devote a significant portion of the library’s budget toward digital collections, which, she said. currently make up 3 percent of the total circulation.  

Related articles:
Catching up on the news.  (2/8/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting. (1/28/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rockford Public Library Struggles to Reinstate Sunday Hours


Rockford Public Library officials: Cost a ‘barrier’ to Sunday hours. (Rockford Register Star, 2/27/2012)

Excerpt: Opening a library branch on Sundays would cost anywhere from $168,000 a year for four hours at the East Branch to $463,000 annually for eight hours at the East State Street and Mill Road location, Logli read from his notes. Eight hours on Sundays at the East Branch and the Montague Branch on the city’s west side would cost about $527,000 a year.

Logli and library Executive Director Frank Novak said they didn’t even run the numbers on opening the library’s Main Branch downtown because they already know that the building’s mechanicals and layout make it cost-prohibitive.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Catching Up on the News @ the Rockford Public Library



  Chuck Sweeny: Rockford's Library Board needs an open-book process. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt:   Libraries are not immune from this technology shift, and the Rockford Public Library is trying to deal with it. The problem is, the board and Executive Director Frank Novak have been doing it behind closed doors. 

Secrecy always invites suspicion — and leaks. Novak’s preliminary reports made their way out of the inner sanctum, and irate residents joined together to protest Novak’s suggestion to eventually buy 95 percent of the library’s collection online, along with some e-readers for the e-readerless to check out. He also suggested closing most library branches.   

A better way to go is for the Library Board to follow the example of the city of Rockford, which every year has a series of Saturday morning meetings to plan the next year’s budget. Everything gets hashed out in the open on the second floor of City Hall. Residents and union members show up. Department heads are grilled by aldermen. Reporters file stories.


And then this back and forth.

Ted Biondo:  Rockford Public Library is thinking of its patrons.  (Rockford Register-Star, 1/23/2012)

Excerpt:   Members of “Save our Library” and the Rockford branch of the NAACP need to look for ways to expand the horizons of individuals in their groups to obtain eReaders and increase access of their members to wireless internet, not hinder everyone else who have already taken the necessary steps to achieve success in a future filled with technology. 

Do the members of these respective groups still view only three channels on their tube television sets, or listen to Arthur Godfrey on their radios, or little Orphan Annie, or music on their phonographs? Of course not - they have flat screen TVs, with surround sound, iPods for music, with the internet and hundreds of apps on their iPhones. Public services should also be required to keep current with technology.


Guest Column: Too much at stake for public to be left out of library talks. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/28/2012)

Excerpt: The media have painted Save Our Library (SOL) as a bunch of Luddites, angry about the surge in e-readers, so perhaps Ted Biondo can’t be blamed for his rather ignorant piece (“Rockford’s Public Library is thinking of its patrons”). 

For the record, SOL is not against e-books, and many people associated with SOL own e-readers. SOL began with concerns that the “P” had been stripped from RPL, as no public input was sought before increasing our e-book collection budget to 42 times the national average of libraries in similar-size communities. This is a significant increase, and SOL continues to assert that the community should have been given a voice before the vote for the current allocation.


Guest Column:  Imagine a cautious approach to technology.  (Rockford Register-Star, 1/28/2012)

Excerpt: Those of us wanting a more open dialogue with the library leadership are not Luddites desiring to return to “horse and buggy” days. Many of us even own e-readers (as well as computers, iPhones and other modern electronic gadgets). 

However, we are aware that advances always bring along problems which, if acknowledged and addressed early in the process, would be less costly to our communities in every sphere.

Related articles:
Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting. (1/28/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rockford Register-Star Editorial Board to Library: More Public Input, Please

Editorial:  Future of Rockford Public Library needs public input. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/28/2012)

Excerpt  [with emphasis added along the way]: 

The recent debate about how much money the Rockford Public Library should spend on its digital collection is a small piece in the broader question of what we want our library to look like.

Not only what should it look like and offer, but how does the library make itself relevant to the almost two-thirds of the population that doesn’t have an active library card.

The library’s move toward spending more on digital resources is inevitable. Most companies, including newspapers, have been slow to adapt to new technology and the Internet.

The Register Star, for example, started dabbling with online content in the mid-1990s. Today, 16 percent of our readers access us only online and 45 percent of our print subscribers also read us via the Web. The mission of any taxpayer-supported entity should be to serve as many people as possible.

A Harris survey in 2008, which was drawn to our attention by the American Library Association, showed that 68 percent of Americans had a library card. In the Midwest, the number was 72 percent.

The number of active cardholders in the Rockford Public Library system is 55,154 out of a potential of more than 150,000, or about 36 percent. Rockford’s historic low educational levels probably factor into that number.


Related article:
Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting.  (1/28/2012)
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Save Our Rockford Library Members Pack Board Meeting

Rockford Public Library patrons press for more say on proposals. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/24/2012)

Excerpt:   One thing is clear after a Rockford Public Library Board meeting Monday: Changes in how the library spends its money, the closing of library branches and the weeding of its print collection will not happen without a fight. 

It’s not just a fight between library leaders and its staff. 

More than 100 people attended the meeting to listen and show their support for Save Our Library, a group of Rockford residents who learned about dramatic changes in library business that Executive Director Frank Novak suggested in a set of documents he shared with board members last year. 

In recent weeks, Save Our Library members have spread word of their concerns and urged other library users to join them. They confronted library leaders during a news conference Jan. 13. They’ve flooded board members with emails. A 12-year-old boy collected more than 300 signatures on paper and online petitions.  

Related article:
Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) Calls for More Public Input in Library's Strategic Planning


Rockford Public Library's digital strategy defended. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/14/2012)

Excerpt: SOL members said they became especially concerned when reading about plans to close library branches, acquire the Sullivan Center, require fewer staff and weed out the library’s print collection so it can be more easily housed.  One proposal notes that the library could strive for a 90/10 ratio of digital-to-print. 

“The money spent on staff, branches and books would be funneled into the collection budget” to be spent on digital materials, said Rachel Leon, a member of SOL. “Most libraries are careful to tread into uncertain and unregulated waters of eBook lending. Publishers continue to pull their titles away from library eBook lending. ... The board is gambling with our tax dollars in uncharted territory.” 

Frank Novak, executive director of the library, said those concerns stemmed from memos and reports from him to the library’s board that were never voted on and were not made public until Friday’s news conference.“

Those are things that I’ve looked at for the long term,” he said, “what could happen in the long run.

Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) blog.

Related article:
Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rockford Public Library Will Boost Spending on Digital and Audio Books in 2012


Rockford Public Library to boost spending on electronic media. (Rockford Register-Star, 10/9/2011)

ExcerptThe library is responding by setting aside 34 percent of next year’s $1.1 million collection budget — or about $400,000 — on electronic digital and audio books. In 2011, the library planned to dedicate only 6.6 percent of its collection budget to those resources.

The public’s demand for easier access to books, music, games and other resources through its tax-supported library system is guiding those decisions, explained Emily Hartzog, the library’s community relations officer
.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Supportive Editorial for Rockford Public Library Needs a Fact Checker



Our View: Rockford Public Library adapts, deserves support. (Rockford Register-Star, 8/28/2011)

Excerpt:     More than half of the material the Rockford Public Library circulates is digital — 58 percent for digital, 42 percent for print. The library is checking out seven times as many e-books as in January 2007.

OK, wait a minute.

Here's what the Register-Star reported on July 8th of this year.

Electronic material circulation has surged since the library began offering e-books four years ago, going from 759 in 2007 to 7,544 through June this year.

So you're telling me that the Rockford Public Library circulated 5,462 print items through the end of June?  Out of a collection of 494,261 volumes? Something is seriously wrong in "The Forest City"..

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rockford Public Library Circulates 0.05 Ebooks per Capita in 1st Half of 2011

It's curious that the RPL Facts & Figures page offers no circulation numbers. And 14,802 cardholders out of a population of 150,115?  Yikes!



Rockford Public Library expanding e-book role as demand rises. (Rockford Register-Star, 7/8/2011)

Excerpt: A stark image of a gravestone flashed on the screen as Frank Novak gave trustees and staff a presentation on the Rockford Public Library’s future last month.

The popularity of Kindle, Nook and other e-readers is growing, the library director said, and the city’s municipal library system will die if it doesn’t move quickly to accommodate patrons’ increasing desire for electronic books.

Electronic material circulation has surged since the library began offering e-books four years ago, going from 759 in 2007 to 7,544 through June this year. Industry giant Amazon.com announced in May that since April 1, it had sold 105 e-books for every 100 hardcover and paperback books.

Novak believes the library must adapt to meet patrons’ growing demand for e-books.

“We have two options,” he said during his presentation. “One is do nothing and perish. ... (The other is) to modify the way we do business. Honestly, if we are not relevant to the community, then the community is not obligated to fund us.”

Other area library leaders are facing the same challenge. The Cherry Valley Public Library District has already surpassed its 2010 e-book circulation this year with 166 checkouts last year compared with 252 this year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rockford Public Library Hours Survey a Toss-Up So Far


Link to November 23 Rockford Register-Star article, "Rockford Public Library leaders seek users' input on hours".

Excerpt:We have to find a time that makes the library accessible to the greatest population,” library spokeswoman Emily Hartzog said. “Our board is interested to know if there is a preference. We are re-evaluating and asking if this still meets your needs.”

The survey, available online through Nov. 30 at rockfordpubliclibrary.org, offers three options for hours of operation at all six branches:

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

“What we are trying to get at is, do people like the hours as kind of a mix or would people like to have a consistent schedule,” Hartzog said. “So far, it has been about 33 percent on all three
.”

Related articles:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Freegal Off to Slow Start at Rockford Public Library

Link to October 15 Rockford Register-Star article, "Music download program off to slow start at Rockford library".

Excerpt:   The Rockford Public Library’s new free music download program was met with limited use during the first day and a half.

By midday Wednesday, card holders had downloaded just 47 songs off Freegal, a new product the library is offering that allows up to three music downloads a week at no charge.

“Like any new service at the library, I would expect that Freegal usage will grow exponentially as our customers try it out, see how easy it is and then tell all their friends and family,” said library spokeswoman Emily Hartzog. “Over time, we’ll be able to identify trends and have a better idea about how our customers are using it.”

The library has an overall limit of 623 songs a week, which resets at the beginning of each week
.

And a service area population of 150,000.

Not enuf Cheap Trick?

Rockford Public Library: Branch Closures Off the Table


Link to October 20 Rockford Register-Star article, "Rockford Public Library plan no longer includes branch closures".

Excerpt Plans to potentially shutter two Rockford Public Library branches are off the table as library officials reconsider how to best stretch limited dollars to serve customers in the coming years.

The city’s library board hopes to soon approve a strategic plan to guide its decisions through 2015. The 22-page plan has been trimmed to nine pages, with many of the key initiatives taken out, since a draft of the plan was introduced last month.

No longer is the library suggesting the closure of the Rock River branch, branch closures or ideas of becoming a library district. Gone are talks of video games and moving to a bar code-based or RFID system.

The draft has been trimmed down from 22 pages to nine pages, the number of detailed goals has gone from 19 to 10 and a target date of 2012 has been replaced with 2015
.

Related articles:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rockford Public Library Considers a Branch Anywhere Future


Link to September 13 Rockford Register-Star article, "Rockford Public Library considers DVD, book machines"

Excerpt: The future of library services in Rockford may come in a box similar to DVD rental machines at groceries and pharmacies.

The technology is called Branch Anywhere. It’s a checkout system that Rockford Public Library leaders say could help them offer library materials at additional sites throughout Rockford, even as several traditional branches are considered for closure, said Emily Hartzog, library spokeswoman, said.

The library’s 2012 strategic plan discusses the possibility of letting the leases run out at the Rockton Centre and Rock River branches.

Branch Anywhere, developed by Indianapolis-based Evanced Solutions, can store up to 10,000 library items — books and DVDs — inside a metal box. Using a robotic arm, the machine would fetch materials through a digital coding system.

“As you start to look at the needs the community has and your ability to provide those needs, you start to look at technology,” Hartzog said. “This is just one way to provide access to library services without the traditional overhead.”