Saturday, November 8, 2008

Update on City of Milwaukee Budget

Milwaukee City Hall

Link to November 7 JSOnline article, "Council's budget avoids worst service cuts, biggest tax increases".

Excerpt: Milwaukee aldermen managed Friday to avoid deeply cutting the ranks of firefighters, police officers and libraries without raising the solid waste fee or the property tax levy as much as Mayor Tom Barrett said would be necessary to stave off those cuts.

Gail's Bon Mots

Gail Collins is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times -- and required reading on Thursdays and Saturdays, the days when her column is published. Collins joined the Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and in 2001 became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page.

Among today's zingers in "A Political Manners Manual":

On Sen. Lindsey Graham's not keeping his promise to drown himself if Obama won North Carolina: First of all, you cannot be angry with Republicans for supporting the Republican presidential candidate. It’s like getting angry at squirrels for climbing trees.

On Joe Lieberman keeping his committee chairmanship: Still, there is a fine line between good sportsmanship and being played for a sucker. I am thinking of McCain’s other BFF, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who not only endorsed the Republican ticket and spoke at the Republican convention but also said, in the course of the campaign, that unlike McCain, Obama did not always put his country first. Since Lieberman is part of the Senate Democratic caucus, all this is not normal like squirrels climbing trees. It’s more like squirrels breaking into your house and setting fire to the sofa.

On anonymous McCain aides post-election dumping on Sarah Palin. (Unfortunately, she doesn't continue the squirrel metaphor): But the worst part is that if these people get any meaner, we’re going to wind up feeling sorry for her. This is not something we are looking forward to, Republicans, and we will resent you for it.

Another 1 Bites the Dust

Oprah Winfrey's O at Home has been shuttered. This won't have nearly the impact on library periodical collections as U.S. News & World Report. In LINK (South Central Library System automation consortium), only the Waunakee Public Library subscribes to O at Home. 35 LINK libraries will be able to free up a little shelf space due to U.S. News' print demise.

OK, let's do a little prognostication here.

Let's say -- to keep the math easy -- that you have 100 magazines in your library collection at this time -- and you don't plan/can't afford to add any new ones. How many titles will you still be receiving next year at this time? Take a guess. Before you do, though, you might want to read a recent article from Advertising Age, "Will Print Survive the Next Five Years?"

The print business was horrified enough last week when The Christian Science Monitor revealed plans to fold its 100-year-old daily print edition in favor of the web and a weekly print product. But by the end of one of the worst weeks in the history of newspapers and magazines, the Monitor was starting to look like one of the few places publishing could turn for even a dim ray of hope.

Friday, November 7, 2008

MSN City Guides Picks "America's 10 Coolest Public Libraries"


Seattle's is mentioned first, so it must be the coolest of all.

And here's the Kansas City (MO) Public Library's very cool parking ramp.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

From Weekly to Monthly to Digital in Record Time

The Cover of an Issue Published
Less Than 1 Month After I Was Born

On Tuesday, November 4, the New York Times announced that U.S. News & World Report, a newsweekly magazine that always found itself in the shadow of Time and Newsweek (probably because is shied away from fluff), would become a monthly magazine.

No, wait!

Yesterday, the Washington Post announced that "U.S. News & World Report is getting out of the newsmagazine business and going all digital." (I think at least one adjective -- "traditional" would work nicely -- is missing from this announcement.)

What says U. S. News?

I didn't find any mention of the print edition on its homepage. But I was intrigued by this headline: "Ga. man cleaning with blowtorch sets house on fire."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama and Libraries

Link to 11/4/2008 School Library Journal post.

Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington office, says she’s confident that Obama will recognize the “importance of what we do” because he has a track record of supporting libraries in the past. Take, for instance, his address to ALA in June 2005.

“The library has always been a window to a larger world—a place where we've always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward,” he told the audience.

Cottage Grove rejects library; Fitchburg unsure

Sadly for Cottage Grove residents,
tomorrow is another day.

Link to November 6 Wisconsin State Journal article.

The Cottage Grove proposal was for an 18,000-square-foot library that would cost just over $7 million. It was to be built on fives acres of land purchased by the Cottage Grove Community Library Board. (Website includes PowerPoint presentation promoting the library project.)

55% of Fitchburg voters supported a proposal to allow the City of borrow $10,000,000 for a 37,000 square foot library facility, to be located at the corner of Lacy Road and Research Park Drive. In a separate referendum question, only 48% of voters apporved a $965,000 in the city's annual levy for the library's annual operating costs.

Carolyn Chute Re-emerges

The author of the hallucinogenic "The Beans of Egypt Maine" has a new book coming out. I'll probably take a pass, as all I recall from reading "Beans" is a series of bizarre, sometimes disturbing imagery.

Link to November 3 New York Times article, "A Writer in a Living Novel".

Ms. Chute has been working on “The School on Heart’s Content Road” since the early ’90s. It’s part of what she calls a “5-o-gy,” a projected series of five interlocked novels about a communal Maine settlement led by a polygamous visionary named Gordon St. Onge, sometimes known as the Prophet. The story is told from multiple points of view, each introduced with a little pictorial icon, that include those of God, Mammon, the C.I.A. and television, which periodically babbles advice like: “These flavorful burgers, these potato-flavored salt strips, these fizzy syrupy brown-flavored drinks in tall cups are waiting just for YOU. Go to it! NOW!”