Saturday, May 23, 2009

Libraries have been doing this for years

In good economic times and bad.

Link to May 22 New York Times article, "States Barter Fish and Bullets to Save Money".

Excerpt: What you have is an economy that is forcing people to share,” said Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., the county executive in Essex County, N.J.

And what librarians have developed over the years is a model for collaboration -- of working together and sharing resources and creating efficiencies. If you haven't yet started to make this point with your group of "influentials", you need to develop a message NOW.

We have lots of success stories to share:

  • Public access computer systems
  • Interlibrary loan: physical delivery of materials
  • Interlibrary loan: document delivery
  • Access to online databases
  • Access to materials in digital formats
  • E-reference services (IM/chat)
  • Long-range planning (e.g., COLAND report on future of Wisconsin libraries)
  • Continuing education
  • Special needs (e.g., regional library for blind & physically handicapped)
  • add your additional examples here
The next time you hear someone talk about the need to share, to deliver services in a more efficient manner, tell them what the library profession has been doing for years.

In addition, you'll want to be sure your county and local elected officials hear this message repeatedly (but not overbearingly) before their next round of budget deliberations. The trickle-down effect of cuts in the state budget is already underway.

There's never been a more important time to advocate for libraries.

Churches Launch, Expand Programs to Help Jobseekers

Link to May 23 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Churches offer help to job hunters".

Excerpt: In March, Wisconsin's unemployment rate hit 9.4%, nearly double the rate a year earlier and the highest in 26 years, according to the Department of Workforce Development.

To stem that tide, faith communities have begun offering employment workshops and seminars, networking and support groups, even one-on-one coaching covering everything from résumé writing to interviewing skills.

"Churches have to meet people where they are, and this is where some of us are right now," said the Rev. Bonnie Stafford, interim associate pastor at Wauwatosa Presbyterian, which launched its networking group in January.

"That's what church is about - networking. We're sharing together as a community our love of God."

Central city congregations have long offered job training and readiness as part of their ministries. But the widespread nature of the latest recession has spread the pain across employment sectors and socioeconomic strata.

Hedberg Friends' "Growing a Reader" Program

Link to Stacy Vogel's May 18 "Cover to Cover" Janesville Gazette blog post, "Sowing the Seeds".

Excerpt: The "Growing a Reader" program is raising money to donate literacy packets to parents of infants at their two-week doctor visits. Each packet will include reading lists, tips for reading to babies, a library card application, and best of all, a coupon for a free book!

Just placed a hold on this book

Link to May 21 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Bicycling author organizes low-key treks".

Excerpt: Russ Lowthian, the author of "Road Biking Wisconsin," a book that outlines bike-friendly tours scattered across the state, will be in Wausau from May 29 through 31. He'll take bicycling groups for rides each day, starting from the parking lot of the Plaza Hotel & Suites in Wausau.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Astronomy: The Next Chapter in the Book of Creationism

From the Discover blog, "Creationist (heh) Astronomy (HAHAHAHAHAhahahaha)"

Culver's Donates Facility for New Prairie du Sac Library

View of children's area in current facility

to May 22 Sauk Prairie Eagle article, "Culver's donates downtown building to PdS for library; village will rename facility after late Ruth Culver".

Excerpt: The Prairie du Sac Public Library not only will get a new home when Culver's Franchising Systems Inc. moves out of its downtown location later this year, it will get a new name.

During a groundbreaking ceremony for the burger franchise's new headquarters in Prairie du Sac's North Ridge Office Park on May 21, Lea Culver announced the company would donate its building at 540 Water St. to the village for its overcrowded library.

The library will be renamed the Ruth Culver Community Library in honor of the franchise's co-founder, who died last year.

The 11,000 square-foot, two-story space is more than twice as big as the Prairie du Sac Public Library's current location on Park Avenue across the street from the Bank of Prairie du Sac.

I think I'll celebrate with a double Culver's Deluxe. And what's Middleton's flavor of the day? (Since it's Friday, it must be Cookie Dough Craving. Guess I'll have to order a Concrete instead.)

Model Railroader Unhappy with Sheboygan Council Action

Link to May 22 Sheboygan Press letter to the editor.

Excerpt: I would recommend that the Common Council vote to suspend all funding of the Mead Public Library from July 1 to Dec. 31, with the result of giving the city $1,250,000 to satisfy the actual budget shortfall through 2010.

That'll fix those wascals!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oneida County Looks to Broadband for Economic Impact

Link to May 20 Rhinelander Daily News article, "County approves broadband plan".

Excerpts: High-speed Internet is coming to the Northwoods.

The Oneida County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to enter into a public-private partnership with a Phelps-based ISP (Internet Service Provider) to build up to eight broadband towers throughout the county.

“This is one of the most significant resolutions you can pass in terms of the overall economic development of the area,” Kumbera told the supervisors.

SonicNet CEO Jeff Collins said the company hopes to get six of the eight towers built during this construction season (now through October).

He estimated the economic impact of the project on the area to be in the neighborhood of $4 million.

Kumbera and Collins said easy access to high-speed Internet will help attract new businesses and new residents to the area. It could also provide an incentive for vacationers to extend their stay and thus spend more money here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Might Want to Get a Second Opinion

Link to May 20 post, "GPS System 'Close to Breakdown'".

Excerpt: US government officials are concerned that the quality of the Global Positioning System (GPS) could begin to deteriorate as early as next year, resulting in regular blackouts and failures – or even dishing out inaccurate directions to millions of people worldwide.

The satellites are overseen by the US Air Force, which has maintained the GPS network since the early 1990s. According to a study by the US government accountability office (GAO), mismanagement and a lack of investment means that some of the crucial GPS satellites could begin to fail as early as next year.

Collection Development Suggestion

From 1973. One of Mitchum's best.

Link to May 20 A.V. Club review.

Library Featured in Article on Historic Buildings

Link to May 20 Marshfield News Herald article, "Tourists, residents see history in structures".

Excerpt: The Neillsville Public Library (Carnegie Library), on Hewett Street, is a historic landmark and was recognized as such by the Neillsville Historic Preservation Commission (1914). An addition was built in 1996.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As if we needed any more evidence of their laziness

Link to May 18 post, "Fake Wikipedia Post Fools Some in Media".

Excerpt: When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.

His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.

The sociology major's made-up quote — which he added to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre hours after the French composer's death March 28 — flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India.

They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia quickly caught the quote's lack of attribution and removed it, but not quickly enough to keep some journalists from cutting and pasting it first.

“Oh ho. Oh hey. Librarians gotta stay.”

Link to Mahy 18 Racine Journal Times article, "Community fights for librarians".

Excerpt: To get into the Racine Unified School District board meeting Monday, attendees had to weave through a crowd of more than 50 ralliers and plug their ears as a bullhorn loudly belted, “Oh ho. Oh hey. Librarians gotta stay.”

These ralliers were armed with signs and ready to raise their voices in hopes that Unified will use federal stimulus money to bring more librarians to the district’s elementary schools.

Currently, three of Unified’s 21 elementary schools have librarians present daily while the other 18 schools have librarians that switch between two schools every other week, said district spokeswoman Stephanie Hayden.

During a week when a librarian is not at an elementary school, the school’s library remains open but children cannot check out materials, Hayden said.

West Bend Library: No Progress on Library Board Appointments

Link to May 19 GM Today article, "Vote on library board stands".

The West Bend Common Council rejected a request to rescind the council’s refusal to endorse Mayor Kristine Deiss’ recommendation to reappoint four library board members who were removed last month.

Alderman Nick Dobber-stein brought the request to the attention of the council during the regular monthly meeting at City Hall on Monday night. The vote was 5-2 with one council member abstaining.

Voting against Dobberstein’s request were aldermen Tony Turner, Steve Hutchins, Allen Carter, Terry Vrana and Michael Schlotfeldt.

Voting in favor were Dobberstein and Roger Kist.

[Full text requires subscription.]

Mead Library Will Maintain Maintenance of Effort

Link to May 19 Sheboygan Press article, "Council OKs plan to cut budgets".

Excerpt: The independently run but city-supported Mead Public Library will have to lower its budget too, though it will be funded at the minimum level mandated by the state for inclusion in the Eastern Shores Library System resource-sharing group.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Talk About a Breach of Patron Privacy

Link to May 8 (Lower Hudson Valley, NY) article, "Pelham library declines to discuss calling school on a teen's book choice".

Excerpt: "It is not our procedure to notify somebody," about the books people order, library Director Patricia Perito said Wednesday, the day after the incident. But, she said, she had to look into it. [RG's big "WHOA!!" emphasis.] Since then, Perito has declined to provide any explanation of the incident or information on the instructions the library has regarding notifying authorities about questionable book choices.

Pelham teens might want to be careful what titles in the Opposing Viewpoints series they check out.

Reference Librarians Try Speed Dating

Link to Indiana Library Federation Reference UnConference 2009

Included on the program:
Lightning talks. These last 5 to 10 minutes with 5 minutes for questions and feedback. These are about finite ideas can be about a cool project you think others will be interested or mini inquiry sessions where you have an idea that would benefit from audience feedback.


Survey says..........more Americans know the current unemployment rate than the current level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

And a poor showing it is.

Link to failing grades at Pew Research for the People & the Press report.

Excerpt: In both cases, when respondents answered incorrectly they were far more likely to be overly negative than overly positive.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Link to May 17 New York Times article, "Even to Save Cash, Don’t Try This Stuff at Home".

Excerpt: When the toilet in Carol Taddei’s master bathroom began to break down a few months ago, she decided it would be cheaper to buy a new one than pay for repairs. Ever frugal in this dismal economy, Ms. Taddei, a retired paralegal, then took her economizing a step further, figuring she could save even more by installing the new toilet herself.

Initially, things looked good with the flushing and the swishing. That is, until the ceiling collapsed in the room below the new (leaky) toilet.

Would a visit to the library have prevented this and other disasters?

Ebook Pricing Irks Consumers

Link to May 17 New York Times article, "Steal This Book (for $9.99)".

Excerpt: Just how much is a good read worth?

David Baldacci, the best-selling thriller author, learned what some of his fans think when “First Family,” his latest novel, went on sale last month. Amazon initially charged a little over $15 for a version for its Kindle reading device, and readers revolted.

Several posted reviews objecting that the electronic edition of the book wasn’t selling for $9.99, the price Amazon has promoted as its target for the majority of e-books in the Kindle store. Hundreds more have joined an informal boycott of digital books priced at more than $9.99.

“I love Baldacci’s writing,” wrote one reader, who decided not to buy. “Sorry Mr. B — price comes down or you lose a lot or readers. I’ll skip your books and move on!”

It was a chilling sentiment for authors and publishers, who have grown used to an average cover price of $26 for a new hardcover. Now, in the evolving Kindle world, $9.99 is becoming the familiar price. But is that justified just because paper has been removed from the equation?

Tough Decisions at Milwaukee Public Library

Link to May 16 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Library Board considers cost-cutting that might shut locations".

Excerpt: The city's 13 public libraries are spaced just two or three miles apart, offering free access to literature, information and computers in nearly every corner of town. They also provide meeting rooms that help them serve as community centers for their neighborhoods.

But all that could change, as Milwaukee Public Library officials grapple with city budget shortfalls and looming multimillion-dollar upgrades to aging buildings.

The city's Library Board is studying whether to replace some existing neighborhood libraries with fewer and larger regional libraries, buttressed by a network of computer centers and tiny "express" libraries in supermarkets or coffee shops.

Library officials say a new approach would let them keep providing much of the same service at lower cost. They also say these would be long-term changes, not a shift for 2010.