Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Buzz on PeopleBrowsr

Rafe Needleman's December 5 cnet post
Excerpt: PeopleBrowsr is a new service that can show you all your activity streams from various social sites and nanoblogs, like Twitter and Friendfeed. It also adds additional features to Twitter, such as grouping your contacts. It solves some real problems, but I found it clunky to use.

Tasha Saecker's December 5 Sites and Soundbytes post.
December 2 ReadWriteWeb post.
December 5 PR 2.0 post.
December 3 BetaNews post.

Onalaska library closing for 2 months for construction

Link to December 6 La Crosse Tribune article.

The library will be closed through Feb. 11 for the third and final phase in the construction of a $2.4 million addition. The new space, about 8,800-square-feet, will provide an remodeled and expanded youth section, an adult area with a fireplace, new seating, study rooms and a large meeting room.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cue the "Dragnet" Theme

X 970,000

Link to December 5 post, "State budget gaps balloon to $97 billion".

Still reeling from high gas prices this summer and plummeting retirement savings this fall, Americans will soon be feeling the pinch in other ways — from increased tuition to potentially higher taxes, as states try to close some $97 billion in budget gaps over the next two years.

States will have to find additional spending cuts of $32 billion for current budgets before even beginning to tackle $65 billion in deficits shaping up for the next fiscal year, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported Dec. 4. States have already closed a $40 billion gap since the start of the fiscal year, which was July 1 for all but four states.

"These budget gaps are approaching those seen in the last recession, which were the worst since World War II, and show every sign of growing larger," William T. Pound, NCSL's executive director said in a statement.

Legislatures will either have to raise taxes or cut programs since, unlike the federal government, states must balance their budgets. The poor, in particular, face the prospect of losing government-sponsored health care coverage or reduced-priced lunches at school.

Arizona is expecting a budget gap in 2010 that will exceed 24 percent of its general fund budget. Other states expecting huge budget holes include: New York (20 percent), California (18 percent), Wisconsin (17.2 percent), Minnesota (14.7) and Kansas (14.5 percent), according to the NCSL report.


Link to National Center for Education Statistics Issue Brief, "Expectations and Reports of Homework for Public School Students in the First, Third, and Fifth Grades."

(Summary from International Reading Association website.)
A new Issue Brief from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics offers a look into children's homework experiences as they progress through the elementary grades. The brief uses longitudinal data to examine the amount of time that students' public school teachers expected them to spend on reading/language arts and mathematics homework in first, third, and fifth grades. It also includes reports from parents of public school children of how often children did homework at home in the first, third, and fifth grades. In addition, it examines whether differences exist in expectations and reports of homework by race/ethnicity.

There is an E in Romance

Link to December 2 PW post, "New E-Book Publisher Launches".

Ravenous Romance --"Sensual love stories at sensational prices" -- is an imprint of Literary Partners Group, Inc., a venture steered by 15-year publishing veteran Holly Schmidt (formerly of Quayside Publishing Group, Rodale and other companies), photographer Allan Penn and literary agent Lori Perkins. On December 1, RR began publishing daily novel-length erotic romance books, in both e-book and MP3 format. The company sells short stories for $.99 and full-length e-books for $4.99. All full-length titles are also be available as $12.99 audiobooks. All the books are for sale at Every day, Ravenous Romance releases a new novel-length book and a “Ravenous Rendezvous” short story.

Welcome to Joe Rice

Brown Deer's new library director.

Link to December 3 Brown Deer Now post, "Library director has varied background".

Originally from South Carolina, Joe has previously worked at the Chicago Public Library.

More Evidence of Increased Library Use

The Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries

Link to December 4 Eau Claire Leader Telegram article, "Library uses rises as economy slows".

Library directors in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Menomonie said Thursday they have seen small but noticeable increases in the number of people coming through their doors in recent months and, in general, throughout 2008.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Survey Says

57% - TV Still King of News

Link to Pew Research Center post.
  • Watched news on TV. Peaked in 1994 at 68%.
  • Listened to radio news. From 54% in 1991 to 35% in 2008.
  • Read a newspaper. From 56% in 1991 to 34% in 2008.
  • Got news online. From 24% in 2004 (first year Pew surveyed) to 29% in 2008.

It appears that getting news online isn't making up the difference.

An overview of the state of the American news media in 2008 is found here.

Book Giveaway Expected to Attract a Big Crowd

Link to December 3 Racine Journal Times article.

Thousands of free books will be offered to the community’s children Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the sixth annual Holiday Book Giveaway. The program is put on each year by the Cops ’N Kids Reading Center, Merchant’s Moving and Storage, and local organizations and hundreds of volunteers.

Last year the book giveaway attracted about 1,500 children. This year they are planning on hosting as many as 2,000 kids, said Jim Eastman of Merchant’s, 1215 State St., where the event will be held.

Children will also be able to register for library cards through the Racine Public Library and have books gift wrapped to give as presents to their brothers and sisters.

Update on West Salem Library

Link to December 4 La Crosse Tribune article.

Library Board Sued

Link to December 4 Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter article, "Ousted library director sues board".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Body Double

From the You Thought We Wouldn't Notice website.

Rosamond from Nate the Great

Emily and her website

Two Proposals for New Central Madison Library

The current building, which opened in 1965

Link to December 2 Wisconsin State Journal article.

In response to a city request for proposals, T. Wall Properties and Fiore Cos. have offered plans for a library to replace the dated, 43-year-old facility on the 200 block of West Mifflin Street.

Wall is proposing to demolish the existing library and replace it with a $45 million, nine-story glass and stone structure with ground-floor library entrance and retail space, a three-story library and private offices above it. The library section is priced at $17.3 million.

Fiore is proposing is six-story, free-standing glass and brick library at the corner of Henry Street and West Washington Avenue abutting the existing library and next to its existing Network222 office tower.

After the new library is built, Fiore would demolish the old library and build a 380,000-square-foot mixed-use project on that site with retail space, 425 parking spaces and either a hotel or office space.

Fiore's full project, which would result in an integrated block, would cost up to $80 million with the library part priced at $20.4 million.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Library Technology of the Future (1936)

Canned Libraries Open New Vistas to Readers, from the August 1936 issue of Modern Mechanix.

It was going to be a Teledex Optigraph world, so foolproof a child could operate it.

I Don't Care Who (or What)

I'd rather know why.

Or maybe not.

Editorial Praises Oshkosh Public Library's Vision

Link to December 2 Oshkosh Northwestern editorial, "Library, thank goodness, will not be shushed".

On Dec. 15 through Dec. 19, the Oshkosh Public Library will be closed, allowing staff to start renovating its first floor into something the library's strategic plan envisions as the community's den. The hustle and bustle currently scattered about the library will be concentrated into the first floor. Periodicals and comfy furniture will be brought down. Fiction and nonfiction books will be moved up. The idea is to make Level one the social center and level two the more traditional, quiet retreat.

Great strategy, great for downtown Oshkosh, great for the whole community.

More information here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New York Times Notable Books of 2008

My Favorite Read of 2008

An annotated list of the 100 books is found here.