Friday, April 10, 2009

Preview Fundraiser at Beloit Public Library

Retiring Guy's cousin, Mim Warren,
is on the right
(Beloit Daily News staff photo
by Debra Jensen-De Hart)

Link to April 9 Beloit Daily News article, "Patrons able to get library sneak peek".

Excerpt: Construction crews were busy working on just about every aspect of the new site, located in the former J. C. Penney store at the former Beloit Mall, now the Eclipse Center, this past week.

The pace no doubt had been accelerated by the upcoming special event the friends are hosting from 4-7 p.m. April 17 at the new library.

Those who attend The Sneak Peek Preview will get a chance to view the new finished library about a week before the site is opened to the public. Tickets for the event are $20.

Petition Presented to West Bend Library

Link to April 9 GM Today article, "West Bend library petitioned to take books off teen list".

Excerpt: A petition with 443 signatures compiled by town of West Bend residents Ginny and Jim Maziarka and their newly formed West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries (WBCSL) was presented to the West Bend library this week.

The petition asks that books with sexually explicit passages be removed from a teen-oriented list of materials and reassigned to the adult book section.

In a written statement, the Maziarkas describe the petition as "a formal request for policy changes at the West Bend Community Memorial Library, signed by 443 concerned citizens. The petitions request that the library board take a roll call vote to adopt 5 policies to make the library child-safe and family-friendly."

Getting Boys Enthusiastic About Reading

Link to April 10 La Crosse Tribune article, "Reading group aims to get boys excited about books".

Excerpt: Freddy Ragan wasn’t a fan of curling up with a good book.

But an all-boys reading group that meets twice a week at
Emerson Elementary School suddenly has the 11-year-old fifth-grader excited about extra chapters.

“It’s kind of fun. We get to talk about our reading, and joke and stuff,” Ragan said. “It’s a lot easier than school reading, and all the books are for guys.”

Congratulations to Janice Rice

One of the recipients of the UW System Outstanding Women of Color Education Award 2009.

Janice Rice, Senior Librarian,
UW-Madison College Library

Link to Wisconsin State Journal "On Campus" blog.

Link to UW Women's Studies Consortium website with list of all recipients and biographical sketches.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rose Fernandez as a Grassroots Candidate?


Here's another reason -- 2, actually -- why it may not matter if newspapers go the way of the 8-track tape. (My advice: stop the whining, get off your butts, and do some original work.)

Required reading here (Advocating on Madison Public Schools).

"Taking the Bloom off the Rose (Fernandez)", parts 1 and 2.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Luke 10:25-37, Digitized

Link to April 7 New York Times article, "Lost in the Real World, Found via Cyberspace".

Excerpt: Plenty of people like Ms. Surman are acting on the same impulse these days and embracing a new role: digital Samaritan. The Internet may allow bad guys to stalk people or steal their identities. But it also makes it easier to give something back, because of sites and tools that can help people reunite strangers with lost valuables like wallets, cellphones and cameras.

Companies are also moving to exploit the fact that millions of people have published information about themselves on the Web. Traditional lost-and-founds are migrating online, and a batch of start-ups and hobby Web sites have sprouted with the aim of harnessing people’s altruistic impulses to return lost items.

Escaping It All

LINK availability: Wisconsin Rapids only

Link to April 7 New York Times article, "Recession Fuels Readers’ Escapist Urges".

Excerpt: In a recession, what people want is a happy ending.

At a time when booksellers are struggling to lure readers, sales of romance novels are outstripping most other categories of books and giving some buoyancy to an otherwise sluggish market.

Harlequin Enterprises, the queen of the romance world, reported that fourth-quarter earnings were up 32 percent over the same period a year earlier, and Donna Hayes, Harlequin’s chief executive, said that sales in the first quarter of this year remained very strong.

Tempering the Hysteria

Link to April 2 USA Today article, "For teens, a friend online is usually a friend offline, too".

Excerpt: New research about online and offline friends shows that most teens use the Internet to interact with people they already know rather than strangers who might turn out to be predators.

The 2008 study by University of California researchers asked 251 teens about their face-to-face friends and those they communicate with via social networking and instant messaging. The study will be presented at a meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, which begins today in Denver. Results of a similar study of college students were published last year in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

Universal Service Fund and Libraries

Link to April 7 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Doyle plan for libraries criticized".

[WLA issue paper on The Universal Service Fund and Statewide Library Services is found here.]

Three critics of the budget bill proposal to fund statewide library services with a Universal Service Fund allocation in the 2009-2011 biennium are quoted.

Sen. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah), who calls it a "hidden tax" and bemoans the straying from "original intent".

Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon), who is careful to point out that "No one wants to diminish the importance of libraries".

Rep. Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay), who calls it a "bit of a stretch" and appears not to support, on general principle, the use of any specialized funds for other purposes.

Lee Sensenbrenner, a Doyle spokesperson, and Lisa Strand, WLA Executive Director, offer statements of support for this proposal. [In addition, WLA has received direct and indirect statements of support from 10 of the 16 members of the Joint Finance Committee.]

A Penny Per Day

If you look at your monthly landline phone bill, you'll find a service detail listing for STATE USF SURCHARGE. Mine was 83 cents last month. To cover the cost of statewide library services as proposed in the current budget bill (AB-75), the charge on my bill would likely increase to $1.16, or 33 cents.

Or about a penny per day.

It's available at your public library....for free

Just one of a number of such guides.

Link to April 8 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "'Postal positions' ads won't deliver on promises of a job".

Excerpt: John and Pam Katrichis thought they hit the jackpot when they saw an advertisement for "postal positions" offering full benefits and solid pay.

The Milwaukee couple have been searching for work for several months. John was laid off by Milwaukee County in July. Pam lost her job as a retail supervisor in December.

A few weeks ago, Pam called the toll-free number listed on the ad and got a spiel that "right now is a great time to be hired by the U.S. Postal Service."

Except it isn't. And the advertisement was not truly about postal jobs.

A salesperson tried to persuade the couple to pay $129.90 for study materials, claiming the information would help prepare them for the test to become federal postal workers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Confusion on the Menu

Link to April 7 post, "Mixed Answers to 'Is It OK for a Library To Lend a Kindle?'"

Excerpt: As a few more libraries begin lending the Kindle, the ebook reading device from Amazon, the company continues to offer ambiguous messages regarding its policies.

Learning From our Mistakes?

Neal Peirce wonders if we've finally reached a turning point in U.S. criminal justice and drug policy, at

At Random

Link to April 6 cnet news post, "Nine tools that let you randomly browse the Web".

Checkout Assistance

Link to April 6 Beloit Daily News article, "Library patrons stock up on books".

Excerpts: An hour after the Beloit Public Library on Pleasant Street opened for the last time Saturday morning, patrons were bustling in and out, many carrying stacks of books in their arms.

It was the last day of operations at the downtown location as library staff prepared for the move to the new, more spacious location in the Eclipse Center. Because staff need a lot of time to move everything, patrons were asked to check out as many books as they could. As a bonus, books aren't due back until May 4 or later. The library will be closed for three weeks while employees move to the new location.

An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 25 at the new library, 605 Eclipse Boulevard. Regular library services will resume April 27 from 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.


Monday, April 6, 2009

And in this corner.... April 5 post, " E-book idea was lit a long time ago", explains how the battle lines are drawn in ebookland.

Excerpt: Discovery Communications chairman and founder John Hendricks waited 17 years for the moment when Amazon and Sony would battle for dominance in the world of portable electronic book readers.

That's how long ago Hendricks filed for a patent on what he called the Everybook, which now appears to be quite similar to the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader.

Now Discovery has sued Amazon, alleging patent infringement.The lawsuit came after Discovery asked Sony and Amazon to pay royalties and both balked.

As Sony watches from the other side of the ropes.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

When is Easter Sunday This Year?

During the 30 years I worked at a public library reference desk, I could always count on fielding this question numerous times during the first few months of the year. (For those planning ahead, there was this variation: "When is Easter Sunday next year?")

By now, just about everyone knows that Easter falls later this year (April 12), which means that many students are just starting their spring breaks. (And with snow on the ground for many in Wisconsin.)

Never been able to figure out why Easter is so variable? provides a brief and informative summary here.

Key facts.
1. Easter falls on the Sunday following the first full moon occurring after the vernal equinox. (For example, in 2009 the first day of spring is Friday, March 20. A subsequent full moon occurs on Thursday, April 9, which places Easter on Sunday, April 12.)

2. The earliest Easter can fall is March 22, which last took place in 1818 and will occur again in 2285. (Guess I'll have to miss it. At least in this life.)

3. The latest Easter can fall is April 25, which last took place in 1943 and will occur again in 2038, when I'll be 88!

Roll away the stone!

And as long as we're on the subject, Leon Russell should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.