Saturday, January 2, 2010

Digital Piracy Hits the E-Book Industry

Link to January 1 article. (via Library Link of the Day).

: When Dan Brown's blockbuster novel "The Lost Symbol" hit stores in September, it may have offered a peek at the future of bookselling.

On, the book sold more digital copies for the Kindle e-reader in its first few days than hardback editions. This was seen as something of a paradigm shift in the publishing industry, but it also may have come at a cost.

Less than 24 hours after its release, pirated digital copies of the novel were found on file-sharing sites such as Rapidshare and BitTorrent. Within days, it had been downloaded for free more than 100,000 times.

Digital piracy, long confined to music and movies, is spreading to books. And as electronic reading devices such as Amazon's Kindle, the Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble's Nook, smartphones and Apple's much-anticipated "tablet" boost demand for e-books, experts say the problem may only get worse.

Milwaukee's Urban Fiction Scene

Link to January 1 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Milwaukeeans contribute to growing genre of African-American fiction".

Excerpt: Urban fiction has been described by some as the print version of gangster rap. It's generally traced back to a 1969 novel called "Pimp" by ex-pimp Iceberg Slim, and to a series of novels written in the 1970s by a heroin addict and sometime convict named Donald Goines.

The genre has taken off in the past 10 years, though, with the growth of self-publishing and the huge popularity of rapper Sister Souljah's 2000 [1999 sic] The Coldest Winter Ever" [sic] and convicted drug dealer Vickie Stringer's 2003 book [2001 sic] , "Let that Be the Reason." Stringer once sold the work out of the trunk of her car on the way to making it a national bestseller.

"Push," the novel that inspired last year's movie "Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," also is considered urban fiction by some commentators.

Some people think of the recent boom as a spin-off from gangster rap music, but Justin Gifford, a University of Nevada-Reno assistant professor who's writing a book on the history of the genre, argues that it's the other way around - rap pioneer Ice-T patterned himself (and his name) after Iceberg Slim.


The Coldest Winter Ever. 32 of 53 copies marked as "Lost".

Push. 37 copies. 236 holds.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Oakland Public Library Reopens Jan 2 After 9-Day Shutdown

Click on header to enlarge.

Link to December 28 Oakland Blog post, "City of Oakland closed all week".

Excerpt: If you had any business to take care of with the City of Oakland this week, you're out of luck.

One of the steps taken to close an $80 million budget deficit this summer was the scheduling of eleven city shutdown days, where services would be suspended and city staff would not work, in order to save the City money. A number of those shutdown days fall during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year's.

Administrative offices will all be closed, so parking tickets, building permits, and other pressing matters with City Hall will have to wait until January 4th. If you were hoping to pick up a book or movie at the Oakland Public Library to entertain you during the holidays, you're out of luck. The system shut down last Thursday, and won't reopen until Saturday, January 2nd.

Fine Forgiveness on a Large Scale

Link to January 1 SFGate article, "Clark County clears $1M in library fines".

Excerpt: Clark County library officials say it's the cost of doing business.

This year, the library district wrote off more than $918,000 in uncollectable fines and fees from the district's books. With more than 13 million items in circulation each year, officials said there is bound to be some loss.

"It's a number that takes your breath away, but you have to put it in context," said executive director Jeanne Goodrich.

Since 2000, the district has used a collection agency to try to cut down on losses. During that time, the collection agency has recovered $4.6 million in items and an additional $3.48 million in fines.

Unique Management Services Inc., of Jeffersonville, Ind., specializes in working with libraries and charges fees based on the amount of people "sent to collections," said Robb Morss, deputy library director and chief operating officer.

"We're doing a bit better than breaking even," Morss said.

Nevada Libraries Promote Digital Collections

Link to January 1 Las Vegas Sun article, "Libraries urging patrons to check out digital collections".

: Henderson Libraries staff said usage of downloadable material has increased by 30 percent since January, but number needs to continue to increase for the system to maintain the service.

“Books on CD are very expensive,” Henderson Libraries Outreach Manager Evelyn Walkowicz said. “This can be a great use of money if we can get a lot of people to use it. It’s a relatively expensive service and we’ll need to see some growth in order to continue to justify that expense.”

Walkowicz said the digital downloads have been welcomed by library patrons as they become aware of the service, but getting the word out and helping people understand how the downloads work has been difficult.

County Considers Cuts for Greensboro Library

Link to December 30 Greensboro (NC) News-Record article.

Excerpt: “We’re a public library designated as a county system,” said Sandy Neerman, director of the Greensboro Public Library. “No one who lives anywhere in Guilford County is charged anything to use the libraries.”

To provide that free, wide-ranging service, the library depends on money from the state, the city of Greensboro and Guilford County. But last year, the county cut its appropriation to the library by $350,000 — a cut so deep that the city of Greensboro had to make up the difference.

With the economy recovering slowly and the county deeply in debt, another such cut could be coming.

“My opinion is the city should be paying for the entire thing,” said Steve Arnold, vice chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. “I think it’s a city function, and we should just let them do it.”

Arnold said he knows there aren’t enough votes on the board to eliminate library funding altogether, but he would like to see a radical decrease in funding.

2009: Record-Breaking Year for New Jersey Libraries

Link to December 30 Independence Press article, "Record year is in the books at local libraries".

Excerpt: Public Libraries are riding a record-setting wave of popularity powered in part by unemployment and the sluggish economy, but also by the proliferation of new media and the welcoming environment of newly renovated facilities.

Summit Free Public Library

New Providence Memorial Library

Berkeley Heights Library

Library of the Chathams

Millburn Free Public Library

Madison Public Library

2009: Record-Breaking Year for Summit (NJ) Free Public Library

Link to December 11 The Alternative Press post, "Summit Free Public Library Sets All-Time Record".

Excerpt: They’ve been watching the numbers pretty closely at the Summit Free Public Library. The library is always a busy place, but this year has been especially lively. Every month, library card holders have borrowed an unprecedented number of books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and other materials. During the summer, it became clear that if the trend continued, total number of items borrowed in 2009 would go over 300,000 – an all-time record for annual circulation.

The record was broken by the end of November: over 300,000 items borrowed during the year to date. "This is exciting news," said Library Director Glenn Devitt, "especially since the year isn’t over yet. We’re all eager to see what the final number will be."

Record-Breaking Year for Chicago Public Library

Link to December 29 post, "Chicago Library Use Posts Record in 2009. But Branch Libraries Will Soon Be Cutting Back Hours".

Excerpt: Chicago Public Library officials said Monday that 9.2 million items were checked out during the first 11 months of 2009. At that pace, total circulation for the year would surpass 2008 -- itself a record-breaking year.

Librarians report people are seeking their help to search for jobs, prepare resumes and submit online job and school applications. The library system has about 3,800 public access computers and free WiFi at all locations for laptop users.

Also in 2009, libraries offered dozens of financial literacy programs for teens and adults in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank and Chicago-area financial institutions.

Despite this trend, neighborhood branch libraries will be losing hours next year. As part of cuts to the city budget, neighborhood public libraries will be cut back to 48 hours a week.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Banished Words

Link to Lake Superior State College List of 2010 Banished Words.

: Word "czars" at Lake Superior State University "unfriended" 15 words and phrases and declared them "shovel-ready" for inclusion on the university's 35th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

"The list this year is a 'teachable moment' conducted free of 'tweets,'" said a Word Banishment spokesman who was "chillaxin'" for the holidays. "'In these economic times', purging our language of 'toxic assets' is a 'stimulus' effort that's 'too big to fail.'"

Former LSSU Public Relations Director Bill Rabe and friends created "word banishment" in 1975 at a New Year's Eve party and released the first list on New Year's Day. Since then, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which includes words and phrases from marketing, media, education, technology and more.

The complete list:







Friend as a verb

Teachable moment

In these economic times...


Toxic assets

Too big to fail



Obama-prefix or roots?

If it hadn't already been included on the list in 2002, I would have included "athleticism", a word that sportscasters remain incapable of removing from their vocabularies. It's instructive to note that this word tends to be used in reference to black athletes.

Banished words archives found here.

3D TV: Coming to Your House Soon?

Link to December 30 Business Week article, "3D TV: Not So Fast". (via USTelecom dailyLead)

Excerpt: But as much as consumers demand 3D in theaters, they may not quickly usher it into their homes. Making a living room theater 3D-capable can cost upwards of $4,000, a hurdle that even the most ardent 3D backers say may slow adoption. "We don't expect to see an explosion of 3D in the home until the 2012 time frame," says Mike Fasulo, chief marketing officer for Sony Electronics, which nevertheless is betting its future on the technology. Sony is among the electronics makers that plan to introduce 3D-friendly TVs and DVD players at the Consumer Electronics Show, due to begin Jan. 7 in Las Vegas. Sony (SNE) expects 3D TVs to account for up to 50% of its total TV shipments in the financial year that ends March 2013, up from zero percent this year.

Ja, that $4,000 is some hurdle!
Link to December 31 Kenosha News article, "Community Library Board offers settlement to demoted director".

[Library Board President Marlene] Goodson said she could not disclose the settlement the board is offering.

Since her demotion, Close has remained on staff at the same pay she received as director.

The board never outlined its reasons for demoting Close, who had led the library district since its formation nearly 26 years ago. The board voted 6-2 in favor of the demotion, with another two board members resigning before the vote rather than take part.

It appears Close was targeted by representatives of Twin Lakes and Randall. Prior to the demotion, the Library Board had received letters from the chairman of the Randall Town Board, and the presidents of the Silver Lake and Twin Lakes village boards demanding that Close be fired, in part because they believe Close favored changing representation on the Library Board to meet guidelines required by state law.

This quote brings a quotation to mind.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Printer Ink: More Precious Than Blood

Posted at on December 23. (via boingboing)

AbeBooks' Weird Book Room

American & British covers

Link (via boingboing, of course)

About: Welcome to AbeBooks' Weird Book Room - heralded by The Times, The Guardian, New York Times, and Canada's Globe and Mail as the finest source of everything that's bizarre, odd and downright weird in books. We now have 101 crazy and strange titles about every oddball aspect of life you could possibly imagine and a few things you couldn't possibly imagine. We invite you to not only revel in our collection of literary oddities but to also send us your suggestions.

There are 19 copies of this book, Lynch's 1st of 3, in LINKcat. One is currently checked out.

Are the Times Really a-Changin'?

Toll Ahead?

Link to December 28 New York Times article, "Adding Fees and Fences on Media Sites".

Over more than a decade, consumers became accustomed to the sweet, steady flow of free news, pictures, videos and music on the Internet. Paying was for suckers and old fogeys. Content, like wild horses, wanted to be free.

Now, however, there are growing signs that this free ride is drawing to a close.

Newspapers, including this one, are weighing whether to ask online readers to pay for at least some of what they offer, as a handful of papers, like The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, already do. Indeed, in the next several weeks, industry executives and analysts expect some publications to take the plunge.

Retiring Guy Can Relate to Tongue-in-Cheek Essay on 60s TV Shows

Link to December 28 New York Times article, "Innocence Undone, Frame by Frame".

Excerpt: Many years ago, in the blissful days of three and only three networks, that boy — i.e., me — would watch the offered television fare and be amazed by the bravery of the actors and the magical qualities of the land in which they lived, a land where things like the rules of gravity seemed to be optional. For decades this innocent awe somehow sustained the boy as he meandered into adulthood and the drabness of real life. “Sure,” he would tell himself, “the car battery is dead and the medical bills are unpaid, but it’s O.K. because somewhere hats can fly off people’s heads straight up, and a girl can shoot bottles out of midair.”

Then these beloved old shows — “F Troop,” “The Munsters” and the rest — started showing up on DVD, making it possible to watch them in super slow motion, even frame by frame. And the boy, now grown, has begun to realize that many of his foundational memories were just tricks of the eye. So hurray that home DVD sales appear to be on their way to another decline in 2009. It’s imperative that these things disappear from the marketplace before any more old television series are digitized. Some shows were never intended for the DVD microscope.

And while we're on the subject of Yvonne de Carlo, if you have 98 minutes to spare, check her out in this film noir classic. (Middleton and Wisconsin Rapids have the only copies in LINKcat.)

Great still.

Selections from "100 Things to Watch in 2010"

Compiled by JWT, a marketing communications company.

Link to December 29 Open Forum post.


11. Electronic Libraries
Digital books are fast becoming available to the public for free: Libraries are starting to lend e-books and downloadable audio books that patrons can access from home; Google is working with authorities on its controversial plan to create the world’s biggest digital library; and the EU’s i2010 initiative includes a digital libraries program.

18. Lifestreaming
Online sharing will accelerate with the emergence of lifestreaming: aggregating one’s social media channels via applications like Posterous and Tumblr, resulting in a centralized stream of text, images, videos and links. This new communication channel bridges old-school blogs and Twitter.

19. Local, Nonprofit Online Newspapers
Watch for more so-called public media organizations that emulate the Voice of San Diego, MinnPost in the Twin Cities, the new Texas Tribune and a well-funded upcoming San Francisco venture, among others. Meanwhile, legislation before the U.S. Congress would help existing newspapers gain nonprofit status.

26. Paying for Online Content
Content providers will attempt to engineer a paradigm shift from free to fee. Five major magazine and newspaper publishers in the U.S. recently launched a venture that would create an iTunes-like digital store for their content. In the U.K., about 70 percent of respondents to an annual survey by the Association of Online Publishers said they plan to start charging for content or already do so.

31. Retail as Third Space
Retail spaces will increasingly serve as a “third space” that’s only partly about shopping. Cash-strapped consumers can enjoy free services and entertainment or just socialize, while retailers attract more potential shoppers. Apple stores are a prime example; now Apple’s Steve Jobs is leading a revamp of Disney stores intended to make them more experiential. In China, IKEA has become a daytrip destination.

34. Slow Communication
A backlash against today’s proliferation of speedy and thoughtless Tweets, status updates and e-mails, and our always-on, skim-and-pass-along communication habits. Watch for more Web-based products and services like, a Twitter-parody site that requires at least 1,400 characters per post, and Email Addict from Google Labs, which forces 15-minute e-mail breaks by freezing the user’s e-mail window.

38. TV/Web Integration
At the same time that TV viewers are migrating in droves to the Web, many new TV sets are adding Web access capabilities. As real-time, interactive TV viewing gains steam, watch for more live chat and Tweeting to accompany broadcasts. Watch also for more futuristic technology, like the remote control IBM is developing that automatically blogs or Tweets what the user is watching.

How Technology is Reshaping the Reading Habit

Link to December 30 NPR story, "How E-Books Will Change Reading and Writing". (via Resource Shelf)

Excerpt: "When printed books first became popular, thanks to Gutenberg's press, you saw this great expansion of eloquence and experimentation," says [writer Nicholas] Carr. "All of which came out of the fact that here was a technology that encouraged people to read deeply, with great concentration and focus. And as we move to the new technology of the screen ... it has a very different effect, an almost opposite effect, and you will see a retreat from the sophistication and eloquence that characterized the printed page."

As digital platforms proliferate, writers are trying to figure out how to use them. Novelist Rick Moody recently wrote a story on the social networking site Twitter. Moody says he got intrigued by the idea of writing in abbreviated form to fit within the 140-character limitations of each Twitter post.

Labor Negotiations Delay Sunday Hours at Racine Public Library

Link to December 30 Racine Journal Times article, "Library will reopen on Sundays - but not right now".

Excerpt: The Downtown library will not reopen the first Sunday in January as originally hoped by library officials.

The Racine Public Library, 75 Seventh St., was scheduled to reopen on Sundays in January as long as labor negotiations were complete. But those negotiations have taken longer than expected so the library's doors will remain closed on Sundays until further notice.

"We're just kind of waiting," said library Board of Trustees President Theron Snell. "I know we are not going to meet the target which was the first Sunday in January."

The target date was missed because of ongoing negotiations among Racine Deputy City Attorney Scott Letteney, the AFSCME Local 67 union and the Racine Professional Employees Association union, said library Director Jessica MacPhail.

She said those bargaining units are negotiating a rotation schedule for Sunday workers. Snell said the groups are also negotiating the amount and manner of paying employees for Sunday work.

Milton Public Library Sees Big Increase in Use

Link to December 30 Janesville Gazette, "Online catalogue, new programs boost library use".

Excerpt: Milton has increased its circulation by 11 percent this year, Director Lisa Brooks wrote in the city’s annual newsletter. It has doubled circulation in the last six years.

Several reasons account for the increase, including the library’s participation in the RockCat program, Brooks said. RockCat in 2007 converged the online catalogues of all seven Rock County libraries, allowing patrons of one library to browse and request items from another library over the Internet.

Brooks became library directory at about the same time, and in RockCat she saw an opportunity to show Milton residents what their library has to offer.

“People have come into Milton to pick up materials that normally might have gone to Hedberg (Public Library in Janesville), and then they see the selection that we have at Milton,” she said.

Also in 2007, the library completed a $42,000 remodeling project that added open space, a sitting area and public computers

The Big Read Kenosha

Link to December 30 Kenosha News article, "Ready, set, read ... ‘The Grapes of Wrath’".

The new year will bring a new reading assignment for all of Kenosha residents: Free copies of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” will be distributed throughout the city starting Monday.

Kenosha was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in the Big Read program in 2010. The program involves distributing copies of a book throughout the city and creating a series of discussions, events and activities around the book in an effort to promote reading in the community.

More information at Kenosha Public Library website.

LA Times Picks Top 10 Social Media Moments in 2009

Link to December 29 Los Angeles Times article. (via AAF SmartBrief)

The countdown:

10. "Word of Web" (As opposed to word of mouth.)

9. Whopper sacrifice. (Delete 10 friends in exchange for a burger.)

8. Google Wave. (Retiring Guy has yet to experience this moment.)

7. Twitter and Facebook under hack attack.

6. Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN. (What the article also refers to as the "top 1 stupidest moments [sic] in social media". So then why is it #6? Stupid is as stupid does.)

5. Susan Boyle launches career. (Retiring Guy has watched a few Lady Gaga videos online -- I actually like "Bad Romance"-- but has so far avoided the Boyle phenomenon.)

4. R.I.P. Michael Jackson.

3. R. I. P. Jeff Goldblum? (One of many bogobits.)

2. Iran "green" protests.

1. Hudson River plane landing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Madison's Sequoya Branch Library: Speaking of the March to a Million

Sequoya Branch Library's 2009 circulation as of November 30th: 930,714.

Sequoya's 30% increase appears to be partially at the expense of two other branches:
  • Alicia Ashman. Down 9%
  • Monroe Street. Down 17%

  • Based on the statistics reported in the 2008 Wisconsin Public Library Data, I'll predict that Sequoya's 2009 circulation will be in the top ten for all library facilities. It already exceeds Madison Central's circ by more than 100,000.

    Quite impressive for a branch library.

    Best Business Books of 2009

    As selected by the readers of Small Business Trends.

    Link to December 28 Open Forum post, "10 Books You Should Read, Say Entrepreneurs and Business Owners".

    To be eligible, books had to be (1) relevant to small business personnel; and (2) newly released during 2009. That excluded older business classics, no matter how good they are! It also excluded books that focus primarily on “big business,” economics or Wall Street/investing – as those topics would not be as much practical help to the entrepreneur faced with starting or operating a small business.

    Listed in alphabetical order.

    Awesomely Simple: Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas Into Action by John Spence.

    BAM: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World by Barry Moltz and Mary Jane Grinstead.

    Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields.

    The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing by Eric Groves.

    Crush It! Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk.

    Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim.

    Immigrant, Inc.: Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs are Driving the New Economy by Richard Herman and Robert Smith.

    The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web by Tamar Weinberg.

    The Sassy Ladies Toolkit for Startup Business by Michelle Girasole, Wendy Hanson, and Miriam Perry.

    Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

    New Technology Disrupts Newspaper Industry!

    Link to December 17 The Economist article, "Network efforts". (via boingboing)

    Excerpt: Change is in the air. A new communications technology threatens a dramatic upheaval in America’s newspaper industry, overturning the status quo and disrupting the business model that has served the industry for years. This “great revolution”, warns one editor, will mean that some publications “must submit to destiny, and go out of existence.” With many American papers declaring bankruptcy in the past few months, their readers and advertisers lured away by cheaper alternatives on the internet, this doom-laden prediction sounds familiar. But it was in fact made in May 1845, when the revolutionary technology of the day was not the internet—but the electric telegraph.

    It was only a year earlier, in May 1844, that Samuel Morse had connected Washington, DC, and Baltimore by wire and sent the first official message, in dots and dashes: “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT”. The second message sent down Morse’s line was of more practical value, however: “HAVE YOU ANY NEWS”. (There was no question-mark in Morse’s original alphabet.) As a network of wires spread across the country, referred to as “the great highway of thought” by one contemporary observer, it was obvious that this new technology was going to have a huge impact on the newspaper industry. But would the telegraph be friend or foe?

    Libraries Loosen Up their Overdue Policies

    No more library fine mug shots?

    Link to December 29 New York Times article, "New and Creative Leniency for Overdue Library Books".

    Excerpt: In the Illinois towns of Joliet and Palos Park, the economic downturn has pushed the public libraries into the grocery business, of sorts. Patrons with overdue books and hefty outstanding fines were recently given a way to clear their records: Donate canned goods or other groceries through the library to local shelters and food pantries.

    Dozens of library patrons in both towns jumped at the opportunity.

    In Colorado, despite a multimillion-dollar deficit, the Denver Public Library has practically done away with fixed-rate fines. Now librarians there are free to negotiate a fee structure that feels fair to them based on individual cases, or to charge nothing at all.

    Since the beginning of the economic downturn, librarians across the country have speculated that fines for overdue items are keeping people from using the library — particularly large families whose children take out (and forget to return) many books at a time. Some libraries learned that the fines, which are often as low as 25 cents an item per day, quickly multiplied for many people and were becoming an added hardship.

    Link to 11/8/2009 Daily Herald article, "Pay Gail Borden library fines with food".

    World Weekly News on Google Books

    Link to December 29 boingboing post.

    Retiring Guy may have to put up the "Do Not Disturb" sign, as I delve into these articles.

    "Church Offers Spiritual Insurance! Your Family Profits if You Go to Hell!"

    "Global Warming Claims Another Victim: Mojave Desert Losing Its Mojo".
    (What? No exclamation point?!!)

    And another chapter in the never-ending space invaders saga.....
    "Flying Saucers Come for Dishes -- Spacemen Abduct Bathing Beauties!"

    "Neighborhood Readers" Program at Sheboygan Elementary School

    Link to December 29 Sheboygan Press article, "Well-Read".

    Excerpt: For nearly 20 years, retirees living in the James Madison Elementary School neighborhood have been spending time once a week with second-graders listening to them read. It's part of an initiative known as Neighborhood Readers.

    "Children need repetition. They need lots of practice to become good readers, and even if they are good readers, they still need lots of practice," said Lynda Larson, a Madison School retired teacher and founder of the Neighborhood Readers program.

    "I become a better piano player by playing those pieces over and over again and I think it's the same with reading. We live in a society where families are busy and don't always have time to listen to children read, and they need that practice."

    The one-on-one support, extra reading time and relationship-building is not only good for the students who continue to learn and thrive, but also for the citizens who give their time every week.

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    10 Tech Predictions for 2010

    Link to December 28 annotated list of predictions by Tim Bajarin.

    *Of most interest to Retiring Guy

    1. The netbook market will peak.
    2. Cloud computing will suffer a setback.
    3. Tablets and mini-tablets will become the next big thing in mobile.
    4. *Mini-tablets become the new e-book platform.
    5. More industry consolidation.
    6. Apple gains more market share.
    7. TV goes 3D. (If it involves buying a new set, fuhgedaboutdit!)
    8. Touch and gestures expand PC user interfaces.
    9. *DVDs will be replaced by streaming movies.
    10. Solid state drives become more widespread as their prices decline.

    Viroqua's McIntosh Memorial Library's Space Needs Task Force

    Link to December 28 Viroqua Broadcaster article, "Library task force keeping its options open".

    Excerpt: A task force established to look into the future space needs of the McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua has not settled on any plans.

    Bill Brooke, president of the library board, recently said that a sketch of the library using part of the old city pool bathhouse in its construction was not sought by the task force.

    “The library is still in the very early stages of considering all possibilities of location and possible partners of a new library here in Viroqua,” Bill Brooke, president of the library board, said. “The library did not request the sketch of the library at the bathhouse on South Rock Avenue. I wanted to make that clear. We continue to have conversations with a variety of possible relationships for a new library here in Viroqua. The library board will continue to patiently scrutinize all options for a new library here in Viroqua.”

    Saukville's Oscar Grady Library Welcomes New Director Jen Gerber

    Photo source: Ozaukee News

    Link to December 23 Ozaukee News article, "New library director touts local roots".

    Excerpt: Jen Gerber, the newly hired director of the Oscar Grady Library in Saukville, comes to the job with a background in publishing and library services.

    Gerber was hired by the Village Board last week, on the unanimous recommendation of the Library Board.
    She was the patron services manager at the F.L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon before accepting the Saukville job.

    That background made her an appealing choice from a field of 16 candidates, but officials said Gerber brought more to the table than just experience in the field.

    “I think her strongest asset was her enthusiasm and her high level of energy,” said Library Board President Joann Weisner.

    Record-breaking Year for Marshfield Public Library

    Link to December 28 Marshfield News Herald article, "Library will reach historic milestone".

    Excerpt: This is a banner year for the Marshfield Public Library -- more than 500,000 items will be borrowed by local residents. About half of the items checked out are CDs or DVDs, said Kathy Baker, assistant director. As the numbers of items borrowed increases, so does the revenue generated by late fees. More than $40,000 in fines is collected each year, said Lori Belongia, library director. "It's a significant amount of money," she said. The fines are factored into the library budget annually.

    Record-Breaking Year for Wisconsin Rapids' McMillan Library

    Link to December 26 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune article, "Library reaches record use numbers".

    Excerpt: The year 2008 was record-breaking for library use. To our surprise and delight, 2009 topped 2008 in almost every service category. Last year, the library loaned a total of 489,554 books and other materials. This year, we passed the 500,000 mark with two weeks remaining in December. Adult programming attendance rose from 3,756 last year to 5,371 in 2009. It is great to see so many people enjoying the library's educational and cultural resources.