Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rhinelander Volunteer: "It's for the sake of genealogy"

Link to May 8 Rhinelander Daily News article, "Local woman shares passion for genealogy".

Excerpt: Genealogy is one thing, but how do you keep track of the leg of Chaz Quade? Sue Swanson is interested in both genealogy and the leg, but one story at a time.

“I’ve been working on genealogy for the past 30 years,” said Swanson. “I had approached former Rhinelander Library Director Kris Adams Wendt and asked her about ideas for projects to put on the Internet. I started doing city directories. 1904 was the first one. I did those for a while. Then I transcribed ‘The History of Oneida, Vilas and Lincoln Counties.’ One half of those books are biographies. I transcribed them and put them on the web.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

School Library Journal Reports on West Bend Challenge

Link to May 7 School Library Journal online post, "Wisconsin Library Challenge Heats Up".

Excerpt: The library board that’s supposed to determine the fate of a major book challenge at Wisconsin’s West Bend Community Memorial Public Library is having a hard time doing its job. That’s because the city’s Common Council just got rid of four board members for taking too long to resolve the issue—and who were likely to vote against moving sexually explicit YA books to the adult section.

Headline News: West Bend Community Library

From the Ozaukee-Washington Daily News website.

Library usage continues to increase
Controversy over young adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library hasn’t slowed usage of the facility and may be even spurring interest.

[Access to full article requires print subscription]

Fort Atkinson Library to Unveil Redesigned Website

Link to May 7 Daily Union online article, "Library launches its new website Monday".

The new site will contain all the information and features of the past and lots more information on books and audio books for children, teens and adults.

"The new site contains a regularly updated supply of information about new books" stated Amy Lutzke, Adult Services Librarian, "including a Book of the Day featured on our home page. Our site should be a destination for anyone who loves to read or listen to books."

In addition, the site contains links to useful homework and research sites including TheStreet. com financial institution rating system, the BadgerLink magazine and newspaper databases and HeritageQuest genealogical information.

The site also is the portal to accessing the library catalog and an individual's library account.

Dwight Foster Public Library

Waupun Public Library Getting a New Look

Link to May 8 Beaver Dam Daily Citizen article, "Waupun library getting update".

Excerpt: Ask for "All Quiet on the Western Front" but don't ask for all quiet in the library. That's because the Waupun Public Library is in the midst of a $1.4 million addition and remodeling project and jackhammers are breaking bricks, concrete and the silence.

"Lots of the noise happens when the new part gets connected to the old part," said head librarian Bret Jaeger. "And there is a lot of vibration."

Donna Maxwell, Interlibrary Loan Librarian has learned to put up with the noise and vibration.

"We just try to work without noticing it. People ask, 'How can you stand it all day?' but sometimes the noise doesn't go on all day. When it does, we just ignore it."

Jane Ameel on Library Book Selection

Waukesha Public Library

Link to May 8 GM Today ariticle, "Local libraries explain book selection process." [Access to full story required print subscription.]

When selecting books for the Waukesha Public Library’s collection, Director Jane Ameel said staff does not choose a book based on whether or not it might be controversial.

"We try to make the best choice of the best materials available," she said.

In fact, Ameel said the number of people objecting to books or materials in the Waukesha Public Library’s collection has decreased during the past 10 years. She credits that reduction to society becoming more tolerant or the staff being able to address the person’s objections.

"We seem to have a community that accepts diversity and is fine with what’s here," Ameel said.

Milwaukee's Poet Laureate

Link to May 8 GM Today article, "Word Up".

When Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library chose Susan Firer as Milwaukee’s poet laureate for 2008-09, library director Paula Kiely said, "I know you will be a great ambassador for the library and for poetry."

The Whitefish Bay resident is the fifth poet to hold the honorary position. The laureate project aims to reaffirm the role of poets in society. The assistant English professor at UW-Milwaukee and award-winning author of five published books of poetry embarked with passion on trips to Nebraska, Kansas, Utah, Chicago and Madison for readings, workshops and panel discussions with other poet laureates.

Lester Public Library of Rome Fundraiser

Link to May 8 Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune article, " Taste of the Vine supports library".

Excerpt: On April 18, another successful Taste of the Vine event took place at Lake Arrowhead. The purpose of this event was to raise money to expand the community library, and all of the event profits go to the expansion fund.

This year's event was staged around a golf theme. The guests were treated to a variety of high-end wines featuring the Greg Norman and Arnold Palmer lines. Cory Lesperance of Edison liquor, a wine expert, was on hand to answer questions and chat with the guests. A special treat was the sampling of John Daily's new drink served by Rome resident Greg Boening in his dashing tuxedo. Due to previous request this year Brian Hause of C & H Inc. presented a variety of Lienenkugel specialty ales to sample.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Read-In at West Bend Community Memorial Library

[From Facebook invitation]

Come join us in supporting the library, the library board members who were forced from the board, and banned books in general. On May 29th at 3 o'clock we will be meeting on the corner of Oak and 5th Ave, (Badger Middle School) and will be leaving at 3 sharp to walk peacefully down 5th Ave to Poplar where we will enter to library. Once in the library we will check out books on the so-called "banned books" list. We will then precede to sit in the library and read said books. At 6 o'clock the library closes, at which time you are encouraged to check out the book you have been reading (if you haven't finished it already. Afterwards plans are loosely set but the hope is to walk or bike or drive to Regner Park to participate in a pot-luck style dinner and book conversation concluding around 8:30. Tell all your friends and bring your favorite book.

Survey Says

Tweens are bookworms… and proud of it!

Link to May 5 post, "Checking The Pulse: Tweens And Books".

Excerpt: If this doesn't give you the warm fuzzies, nothing will: 90% of the tweens who responded "enjoy reading." Most report reading around 1 to 5 books per month for fun, but an ambitious 27% report they read 6 or more. Also, in comments tweens were more than happy to identify themselves as "bookworms" and shout out the running total of books they've read so far this year.

Menomonie Public Library Closed 3 Weeks for Improvements

Link to May 6 Eau Claire Leader Telegram article, "Menomonie library closing for three weeks, getting new carpeting".

A moving company will move the shelves and books and will have a truck on site for storage in case there isn't enough space to keep the books and shelves in the building.

The plan is to move half the library books and shelves, lay the carpet there, and then move the other half.

Another part of the project will restore the lobby floor, which is made of concrete and rock but has blackened over time. The floor will be ground and polished to bring back the original shine, Stark said.

The interior of the library will be restructured to provide more space in the children's area and create a separate space for teens.

Selection Made for UW-Madison's "Go Big Read"

Link to May 6 Wisconsin State Journal article, "'In Defense of Food' chosen for University of Wisconsin-Madison's Go Big Read".

Excerpt: Copies of Michael Pollan’s book "In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto" will likely be found across the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus this fall.

The book was chosen for the university’s first common reading program, Go Big Read. Chancellor Biddy Martin created the program to engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members in a shared reading experience.

A committee chose the book from nearly 400 nominated titles.

"In Defense of Food," published in 2008, examines the modern American food landscape, finding that eating is no simple task thanks to conflicting claims made by food producers, marketers and nutrition experts.

Pollan will visit campus Sept. 24-26 for a series of events related to the culture and politics of food. The book will likely be integrated into several courses on campus.

County and City Revenue Shortfalls

Link to May 6 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Dane County, Madison struggle with revenue shortfall".

Excerpt: Dane County is considering layoffs as it faces up to a $6 million budget shortfall this year if sales tax and other revenues continue to fall short of predictions.

The city of Madison is also projecting revenues could come in about $3.5 million short this year, and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, who is still gathering numbers, can’t promise layoffs will be avoided.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jim Doyle on Wednesday told Cieslewicz and other mayors that cities should expect cuts in aid next year. Madison could see a 5 percent, or about a $435,000, cut in state shared revenue and possible reductions in other aid programs, Cieslewicz said.

"I am very concerned," the mayor said.

Dane County may also see $3.5 million in state aid cut, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

West Bend Library: Headlline News

Library unsure about holding next public meeting

The West Bend Library Board is struggling to pick a time, place and format to hold a public meeting to discuss the book controversy currently hanging over the West Bend Community Memorial Library. (5/6/2009)

[From the home page of the Qzaukee-Washington Daily News. Access to full text requires print subscription.]

Portage County Public Library: Blood Pressure Screening, Book Discussion

But not at the same time.

Link to May 6 Stevens Point Journal column, "Library, chiropractic center team up".

Excerpt: This will be a wonderful service provided by the Allied Health Chiropractic Centers because knowing and maintaining proper blood pressure can be vital to your overall good health. In addition to getting the blood pressure check, participants will learn about the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise, and the impact these two have on regulating blood pressure.

Please take advantage of these free screenings. You'll be glad you did. Incidentally, the library has excellent materials on exercise, nutrition, and diet to check out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cedar Rapids Public Library Update

Link to May 5 Library Journal online post, "Cedar Rapids Public Library Gets $5M From State for New Building".

Excerpt: The Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL), IA, will get $5 million for a new facility from Iowa Gov, Chet Culver’s $830 million IJOBS program, aimed to promote growth and, among other things, rebuild communities hurt by flooding last summer.

Culver calls it "FEMA-plus," intended to be used in conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to rebuild a new library. “As with many kind donations and offers of support, it can't be used for an interim facility,” said CRPL interim director Tamara Glise, who has tried without success to get FEMA to help fund interim service.

American Libraries Report on West Bend Saga

Link to May 4 American Libraries post, "Dismissal of Wisconsin Board Members Draws National Censure".

Excerpt: The American Library Association has joined publishing and free-speech groups in condemning the West Bend, Wisconsin, common council for not reappointing four library board members after they failed to act on a citizens group’s call to restrict the availability of sexually explicit books. At its April 21 meeting, the council voted 5–3 to reject Mayor Kristine Deiss’s recommendation to reappoint the four library board members whose terms were concluding: Mary Reilly-Kliss, Tom Fitz, James Pouros, and Alderman Nick Dobberstein.

Do I Really Need This?

Guess I'll find out as I experiment with it.

Link to May 4 Mashable post, "Blippr and Glue Make "Twitter for Reviews" More Sticky".

Excerpt: What’s blippr? It’s a “Twitter for reviews” site that lets you review websites, movies, books, games and more in 160 characters or less and get recommendations for other stuff you might like. It also lets you post those reviews to Twitter, FriendFeed and other social media sites.

Google Book Search: Not One Big Happy Family

Link to May 4 cnet news post, "Library groups gripe about Google Book Search".

Excerpt: Three groups representing hundreds of libraries lodged a long series of concerns about a proposed settlement of lawsuits over Google Book Search on Monday--but refrained from objecting overall.

Specifically, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries expressed some affinity for Google's mission of sharing books with the public, but raised concerns in a legal filing that the settlement would concentrate power in Google's hands and poses pricing and privacy concerns.

What Happens When Your Ideology Gets in the Way of Clear Thinking

Link to April 29 ABA Journal online article, "Fordham Law Class Collects Personal Info About Scalia; Supreme Ct. Justice Is Steamed".

Excerpt: Last year, when law professor Joel Reidenberg wanted to show his Fordham University class how readily private information is available on the Internet, he assigned a group project. It was collecting personal information from the Web about himself.

This year, after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made public comments that seemingly may have questioned the need for more protection of private information, Reidenberg assigned the same project. Except this time Scalia was the subject, the prof explains to the ABA Journal in a telephone interview.

His class turned in a 15-page dossier that included not only Scalia's home address, home phone number and home value, but his food and movie preferences, his wife's personal e-mail address and photos of his grandchildren, reports Above the Law.

And, as Scalia himself made clear in a statement to Above the Law, he isn't happy about the invasion of his privacy:

(And it's just the type of pissy response you'd expect to hear from our most insufferable Supreme Court justice.)

"Professor Reidenberg's exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any," the justice says, among other comments.

Bravo, Professor Reidenberg!

Milwaukee Public Library Offers Assistance During School Closings

Link to May 5 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Swine flu-related days off creating headaches for schools".

Excerpt: "When have we suggested that kids watch more TV except now?" Hanley said with a laugh, emphasizing that he was talking about programs such as those on the History Channel.

He said MPS is working with the Milwaukee Public Library to encourage kids to check out books, educational games and other materials.

Paula Kiely, director of the library system, said, "Parents and children can stop by at any time, and our librarians will be glad to help find anything they need."

Related story at WUWM, "Swine Flu: MPS and Libraries Reaching Out to Students at Home".

West Bend Controversy: Headline News

From the Ozaukee-Washington Daily News website (May 5)

Library action not on city agenda Monday
Monday’s West Bend Common Council agenda was cleared of any reference to the ongoing controversy over the Library Board appointments, mainly to give all eight aldermen a chance to fight over the same ground on May 18.

RG note: The agenda posted on the City of West Bend website this morning doesn't reflect this "clearance".

Monday, May 4, 2009

West Bend: The Next Installment

Link to May 2 West Bend Daily News article, "Christian rights group joins library fray".

Excerpt: The Milwaukee branch of the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) has filed a legal claim that says a book that is available in the West Bend Community Memorial Library is offensive.

Robert C. Braun of West Allis, Joseph Kogelmann of Milwaukee, Robert Brough of West Bend and the Rev. Cleveland Eden of Milwaukee, representing the Milwaukeebased group, filed the claim with the city of West Bend clerk's office.

Named in the claim are the city of West Bend, Mayor Kristine Deiss, the West Bend Library Board and Library Director Michael Tyree. The group is seeking $30,000 per plaintiff, Deiss’ resignation and a racist book be removed and publicly burned or destroyed as a deterrent to repeating the offensive conduct, the claim states.

Pursuant to section 893.80 of the Wisconsin state statutes, the claim says the Library is engaged in having books on display that the plaintiffs consider to be obscene or racial in content and promote violence. The plaintiffs question why a taxpayer funded library makes literature available that has damaged the plaintiffs, the claim states.

The book in question is “Baby Be-Bop,” by Francesca Lia Block, and should be removed from the Library, which is in the vicinity of a school, the claim states. It describes the book as being “explicitly vulgar, racial (sic) and anti-Christian.”

The plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, say their mental and emotional well-being were damaged by the book at the Library, the claim states.

Even Boots &Sabers thinks this action is over the top.

Excerpt: The group is seeking $30,000 per plaintiff, Deiss’ resignation and a racist book be removed and publicly burned or destroyed as a deterrent to repeating the offensive conduct, the claim states.

Except we might hear about this latest development on Countdown with Keith Olbermann or The Rachel Maddow Show tonight.

Reaching Reluctant Readers

Link to May 4 Oshkosh Northwestern article, "Graphica books gain popularity in Oshkosh schools".

Excerpt: The genre today is breaking free of its long-held stereotype of being violent and a lower-quality literature, Kubasta said. In his classroom are growing stacks of books including the new popular series "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and long-standing classics such as "The Magic School Bus" and "Amelia's Notebook."

Sally Gilson, a media specialist at Merrill Middle School, has been building a collection of nearly 400 graphic novels and graphica books over the past few years ranging from Marvell superheroes to graphic biographies of presidents and mythology books.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Odd Wisconsin

(Also the topic of a fascinating exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.)

Link to May 2 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Book provides peek into Nohl's world".

Excerpt: Untold numbers of people have turned onto Beach Drive for a look at the woodland Easter Island that Nohl's yard had become, teeming with the concrete figures she made. If the light was right, they could also see that she had built her art into the exterior of the house itself.

The ruder visitors came to scoff, mock and sometimes vandalize the "witch's house." But many cruisers were simply curious about this art environment in a placid lakeshore suburb.

More information about this UW Press book.

Excerpt: Outsider artist, sophisticated naïf, and witch are all labels that have described Mary Nohl (1914–2001), creator of a magical and mysterious site on the shore of Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here she constructed huge concrete heads, stone-encrusted creatures, and imposing driftwood figures to fill the yard surrounding a modest cottage where she spent most of her life.