Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Long Line Forms for this Library Book Sale

Post-Journal photo by Kristen Johnson

Link to June 13 Jamestown Post-Journal article, "Books at a bargain".

Excerpt: They came by the hundreds.

They came from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties and from as far away as Alaska.

They came dragging rolling suitcases behind them, cavernous bags slung over their shoulders and crumpled lists in hand, hoping to find that one item that'd make the entire trip worthwhile.

They came specifically for the James Prendergast Library's 30th annual book sale.

Just before 11 a.m. Friday morning, a crowd that was several hundred people strong waited patiently in a line that stretched from the main door of the James Prendergast Library to the sidewalk, down Cherry Street to the corner, down Sixth Street to Washington Street, and along the Washington Street sidewalk.

Downtown Branch Library Opens in Cedar Rapids

Link to June 12 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Cedar Rapids library opens new downtown branch".

Excerpt: The library's new downtown branch opened Friday in the Armstrong Centre in downtown Cedar Rapids. The branch will house around 5,000 items, including books, periodicals, DVDs, audio books on CD and three internet stations.

Be Creative @ the Neillsville Public Library

Link to June 13 Marshfield News Herald article, "Library encourages summer reading".

Excerpt: "Be Creative @ Your Library" this summer at the Neillsville Public Library and explore the worlds of music, dance, art, books and more. The 2009 Summer Reading Program is open for readers ages 5 to 12 with programs, prize drawings, story hours and craft activities. Pre-readers are invited to join the program with a parent or other helper who will read to them. All children will keep a record of the books they choose to read.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Survey Says

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Link to Pew Research Center for the People & the Press report, "Younger People Less Knowledgeable".

Excerpt: As in the past, [RG emphasis] younger Americans (ages 18 to 34) are not as knowledge [sic!!!] about the news as are older Americans. On a current event knowledge survey, young adults averaged 5.9 correct answers out of 12 news-based questions, fewer than the averages for Americans ages 35 to 49 (7.8) and above age 50 (8.4).

Raise your hand if you always embarrassed yourself on current events pop quizzes in high school.

OK, Well the Rockies Did Sweep the Brewers This Week

Link to Library Research Service post, "Colorado Libraries Return on Investment".

5 to 1, compared to Wisconsin's 4 to 1. (See page 7)

Will Cedar Rapids Voters Pony Up?

Link to June 12 Cedar Rapids article, "Library board wants levy increase on November ballot".

Excerpt: The library levy is now 4 cents per $1,000 in property valuation, but the Cedar Rapids Public Library board voted 8-1 on Thursday to move toward placing a 23 cent tax increase on the ballot in November. The board is considering a tax with a 10-year sunset.

Federal Emergency Management Agency funding will help pay to restore what the library lost in the flood and to build a new library, but a new tax increase would go for library operating costs, particularly when a new library is completed in 2011, Board President Susan Corrigan said.

“We’ve got to get this certainty upfront before we get a new building,” Corrigan said. “Even pre-flood, we had the challenge of having enough dollars to adequately operate our library.”

Today Show Touts Libraries

to "Libraries Lend a Hand in Recession". (Video begins after a brief commercial, of course.)

Self Publishing Panel Discussion at Sheboygan Reads

Link to June 11 Sheboygan Press article, "'Sheboygan Reads' program will feature panel discussion on self-publishing".

Excerpt: "Sheboygan Reads" is presented by Mead Public Library with funding from the Mead Public Library Foundation, and is co-sponsored by The Sheboygan Press.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Looking for Health Information Online

Link to Pew Internet & American Life Project report, "The Social Life of Health Information".

Pew calls them "e-patients", people who look for health information online. And their numbers are growing. For librarians, it's one of those bear/Pope observations.

Excerpt: When asked, "Now thinking about all the sources you turn to when you need information or assistance in dealing with health or medical issues, please tell me if you use any of the following sources..."
  • 86% of all adults ask a health professional, such as a doctor.
  • 68% of all adults ask a friend or family member.
  • 57% of all adults use the internet.
  • 54% use books or other printed reference material.
  • 33% contact their insurance provider.
  • 5% use another source not mentioned in the list.
The 54% figure indicates that book collection development in the subject areas of health and medicine is still a top priority for public libraries. Books in the 610s at the Middleton always generated the largest circulation total of any Dewey cluster. Wouldn't be surprised if they still did.

No More 'Vibe' at Randolph High School

Link to June 11 Beaver Dam Daily Citizen article, "'Vibe' cancelled at RHS".

Excerpt: School board member Jana Roberts said that what bothers her about the magazine was the use of offensive language.

"Kids can not get away with using those words in school," Roberts said. "There has to be something a little cleaner."

Funny she didn't say anything about the magazine's visual content.

Public Information Session on Expanded Whitewater Library

Link to June 11 Daily Online post, "Young Library expansion info session set".

Excerpt: [Library Director Stacey] L
unsford explained the background for the library's expansion proposal.

"The building we have now was built in 1991, so it was being planned in the late 1980s," she said. "At that time, we did not have personal computers for public use in libraries, and we did not have all the audio-visual choices that we do now. I remember there were videocassettes and music cassettes, and a few libraries may have had early compact disc collections. But now, we have DVDs, a lot more audio-books, both cassettes and CDs, plus there is some new media as far as audio books are concerned.

"It seems to be exploding exponentially," Lunsford continued, referring to library materials. "It is hard to keep up with all of it, and nobody had planned any room for those collections or for public computer usage."

Motley Brown Not Reason Enough

Link to June 10 Capital Times article, "Madison must decide if rebuilding Central Library is too expensive".

Excerpt: It was nearly five years ago that Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz removed a $25 million renovation of Central Library from the 2005 capital budget, citing financial constraints and more pressing needs for branch libraries across the city. The project would have given the aging 1960s building at 201 W. Mifflin St. a major expansion -- adding 47,000 square feet with a third story and underground renovation -- as well as a makeover, putting in more windows for natural lighting and gray slate to cover its motley brown exterior.

Now, as the capital budget planning process for 2010 begins, Madison Public Library Board members are cautiously planning for an even bigger project: a $43 million rebuild that would move Madison's main library to a prominent location on the corner of West Washington Avenue and Henry Street, and erect an upscale hotel in its current location across from the Overture Center. And the economic times are far worse than they were five years ago.

I'll Bet the Texas Board of Education Likes This Idea

Link to June 10 New York Times article, "China Faces Criticism Over New Software Censor".

Excerpt: China is facing a storm of protest at home and abroad over new regulations requiring all personal computers sold in the country to include software that can filter out pornography and other “vulgar” content from the Internet.

Industry executives, free-speech advocates and many computer users have reacted angrily to the new mandate, which gives manufacturers until July 1 to preinstall the software on millions of new machines.

I guess the Chinese market is just too big to say "screw you". And that's assuming there's some overlap between industry executives and free-speech advocates.

Municipal Budget Update: Sheboygan

Link to June 11 Sheboygan Press article, "City faces $2.8M budget shortfall".

Excerpt: Terry Hanson, city finance director, said the city faces a projected budget of $38.2 million in 2010, up from $35.4 million this year. The budget includes projected pay increases of $910,000, and six-figure increases in the state retirement fund, garbage tipping fees, operating costs and health insurance.

In addition, City Assessor David Lutzke said Sheboygan will likely see a $2 million decrease in total assessed valuation.

"It may be the first time in the history of Sheboygan the number has been negative," Lutzke said.

Ryan, in a separate interview following the meeting, reiterated his desire to have a pay freeze for all employees for two years and his pledge not to raise property taxes. He said he expects the economy to turn around in the next two years.

Vesper Librarian Moving to Germany

Lester Public Library of Vesper

Link to June 11 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune article, "Vesper library director leaving post Friday".

Excerpt: Friday will be Vesper library director JoAnn Ogreenc's last day at the library. JoAnn has been the director since July 17, 2006. Stop at the library to say goodbye and thank JoAnn for her service to our library. While working as the director, JoAnn organized the library collection and coordinated installation of the automation system. This new system will be very beneficial to the future of our library in Vesper.

Thank you, JoAnn, for your service to our library and best wishes with your new job in Germany.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pennsylvania Libraries Dodge a Bullet

Legislators likely to reload.

Link to Oil City Derrick article, "Libraries escape budget cuts -- for now".

Excerpt: Public libraries and a host of other venues from parks to museums escaped a financial scalping earlier in the week with the defeat of Senate Bill 850 in the Pennsylvania House.

The measure, drawn up by the GOP-controlled state Senate, was equivalent to a 2009-2010 state budget proposal. Voting almost exclusively along party lines, the Democrat-controlled House tossed out the bill.

However, the state's financial woes are far from over and subsequent House and Senate bills to fund a new state budget are expected to again run rough-shod over a wide range of public projects and facilities.

Not What I Expected to Read

And pleased that my expectations weren't met.

Germantown Community Library

Link to June 8 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "Germantown plans layoffs, furloughs in revenue downturn".

Excerpt: "If the village's financial situation worsens, I may need to increase the number of furlough days," he said. Only police patrol officers and communications officers, EMT firefighters and library personnel are exempt from the furlough.

Conkey's Bookstore to Close

Link to June 10 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Appleton's Conkey's Bookstore to close its doors after 113 years".

Excerpt: After the loss of the FVTC contract, a grassroots effort was launched, which included a page on the social networking Web site Facebook. The Support Conkey's Bookstore Facebook site had 1,147 members as of Tuesday.

Zimmerman was grateful for the support.

"It was a nice gesture, but it didn't equate into dollars," he said. "That didn't mean people weren't buying things from us, but with the (College Avenue) bridge out and the downturn in the economy, it was just too much for a struggling independent to deal with."

Marathon County Summer Library Program

Link to June 10 Wausau Daily Herald column by Diane Peterson, "Free library programs explore creativity".

Excerpt: During our summer library program at the Marathon County Public Library, we will be exploring creativity from many angles with programs and reading clubs for all ages. It's one of the best summer entertainment values to be found -- all the programs are free!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Blogging Censorship" Interview with West Bend Library Board Member

Kids’ Right to Read’s Jamie Chosak interviews West Bend library board member Mary Reilly-Kliss about the book challenges in West Bend. Full interview found here.

As a former library director, I found the following piece of information shared by Mary to be quite disturbing.

We were also taken aback by some of the comments made by the public, most notably one person who asked for the tarring and feathering of the library director, and the destruction and public burning of books.

Right now I need to check a calendar to see if it's really 2009.

La Crosse Area Libraries Set to Kick Off Summer Reading Programs

Link to June 9 La Crosse Tribune article, "Library summer reading programs set to begin".

“We know that kids who don’t keep up their reading over the summer lose some of their skills,” said Sherri Sinniger, La Crosse Public Libraries youth services program director.

Activities will start Monday at libraries in La Crosse, Onalaska, Holmen, West Salem and the towns of Campbell and Bangor.

The La Crosse Public Library programs ask kids to “Get Creative,” with almost daily offerings at the Main library as well as North and South Community locations.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Dewey Drop Report

Link to June 5 Library Journal post, "Rangeview Library District, CO, First System To Fully Drop Dewey".

Excerpt: The six-branch (plus bookmobile) Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO, will be the first library system in the country to fully drop the Dewey Decimal Classification in favor of a system adapted from that used in the book industry. While Dewey has been dropped in some smaller branches, Rangeview’s biggest building will have 85,000 items.

Rangeview’s WordThink system, like that in the Perry branch of Maricopa County Library District, outside Phoenix, draws on BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer Reading Program at Appleton Public Library

Link to June 7 Appleton Post-Crescent article.

Excerpt: When Appleton mom Amy Stephenson was growing up, her community library's summer reading program was the highlight of her summer.

This season Stephenson, 34, is enlisting the Appleton Public Library's support in sharing her love of books with her children, ages 8, 6, 3, and 7 months. She's planning to register her three oldest daughters, Lizzie, Anna and Daisy, for the library's children's summer reading program Monday.

It's About Time

Financial literacy should be a graduation requirement.

Link to June 7 Stevens Point Journal article, "Schools put focus on financial literacy".

Excerpt: Michaela Rodencal credits her parents and high school teachers for teaching her about responsibly using credit and managing finances.

The 18-year-old senior, who took a personal finance course at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School, appreciates the daily instruction she received about the inherent problems with falling too far into debt.

"I think it's extremely important to make anyone financially literate," Rodencal said. "I know I get offers for credit cards like, once a week, and I wouldn't know (the dangers) if it wasn't for my parents or school."

Central Wisconsin Bookstores Holding Their Own

We all know that libraries are experiencing big increases in use, but it's heartening to read that some bookstores are also doing well in this reduced economy.

to June 7 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Books gain fans as affordable pastime".

Excerpt: In a down economy, one thing is looking up -- the sale of books.

Central Wisconsin businesses report sales remain steady because of the cheap cost of reading compared with other forms of entertainment.

"When you can buy a paperback for $6.99, it's an inexpensive pastime," said Lisa Kronstedt, manager of the Wisconsin Rapids Book World. "If you can't take a vacation because it's too expensive, you can buy a book and read it."

Professor Makes Blanket Assertions

As does everyone who writes about generational cohorts.

Link to June 6 Oshkosh Northwestern article, "Professor lays blame on technology for stupefying teens in new book".

Excerpt: That is Mark Bauerlein’s contention in “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30),” recently released in paperback (Tarcher/Penguin, 236 pp., $24.95).

Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University in Atlanta, says Generation Y, ages 16-29, has been shaped by exposure to computer technology since elementary school.

The cost, he says, outweighs the convenience. Kids are writing more than ever online or in text messages, but it’s not the kind of narrative skill needed as adults, he says. “Those forms groove bad habits, so when it comes time to produce an academic paper ... or when they enter the workplace, their capacity breaks down.”

The article adds an alternative point of view.

But Gary Small, director of the Center of Aging at the University of California-Los Angeles and co-author of “iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind,” says teens are just as smart as they ever were.

They’re just smart in different ways, Small says. In some ways technology is hindering education, but in some ways it’s advancing it, he says. “It teaches our brain a different way of processing things.” link to "The Greater Debate".