Saturday, January 23, 2010

Evanston Alders Reject Library District Idea

to January 23 Evanston Now post, "Branch libraries cling to life".

Excerpt: Evanston aldermen today appeared to reject creating a separate library taxing district, but asked the city manager to develop a plan to keep the branch libraries open for one more year.

At the City Council's budget workshop session Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said a new library board would not be likely to reduce the total tax burden on Evanstonians and would be more likely to increase it.

So, she said, it doesn't solve the problem for people like her who are interested in keeping the tax burden down so the city doesn't increase the risk more residents will fall victim to foreclosures.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, whose 3rd Ward includes the South Branch library, said she's opposed to cutting the branches and wants to give library supporters a year to come up with funding solutions for them.

Mount Prospect (IL) Public Library Awarded Grant for "Science-to-Go" Kits

Link to January 22 Daily Herald report, "Mount Prospect library making science fun".

Excerpt: The Mount Prospect Public Library was just awarded an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-Chicago Fund grant to help elementary school students discover how cool science can be and encourage a lifelong passion for science that might inspire kids to pursue a career in engineering.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology and the award will allow the library to purchase a circulating collection of "Science-to-Go" kits for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The kits' main themes will cover a variety of basic engineering topics, including electricity, renewable energy, structures, and straw rockets.

"The goal is to make the science experience more hands on and fun for kids," noted Keary Bramwell, the Youth Collection specialist librarian, who spearheaded the proposal. "These kits are a great way to connect the information available in books and DVDs with the actual equipment to see science in action - creating the aha' moment."

Naperville Library Board May Offer Voluntary Staff Buyouts

Link to January 22 Daily Herald report.

Excerpt: Library board members still are discussing the proposal. They have asked staff to research a tiered approach in which seniority would be a factor in determining severance packages.

In the fiscal year coming to a close, the library reduced its staff by the equivalent of 4.5 employees by reducing two 40-hour positions to 30 hours each and not filling vacancies.

The library has created a balanced budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year that begins May 1 despite chipping in $1 million to help fill the city's budget hole.

In putting together the new budget, library officials used fund balances from prior years, withheld merit salary increases, eliminated premium pay for Sundays, cut the materials budget and reduced Sunday hours by one hour starting May 1.

The voluntary separation program, if library trustees approve it, would help the library as it plans for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, officials said.

FCC Commissioner Says Net Neutrality is in Minorities' Interests

Link to January 23 Multichannel News report.

: Federal Communications Commission commissioner Mignon Clyburn told a minority media conference audience Jan. 22 that network neutrality is not a threat to minority advancement but smart regulation that will help avoid the "damage" done to diversity by radio and TV deregulation.
The FCC's Democratic majority is backing a proposal to expand and codify the FCC's Internet openness principles. Since the Democrats have a 3-2 edge, some version of that proposal is likely to pass.

The minority community has been divided over the issue of network neutrality, with a number of groups cautioning the FCC, and more recently the White House and Congress, that network neutrality rules could widen the digital divide by discouraging the private investment necessary to get broadband to the poorer and minority communities that are currently unserved and underserved.
Clyburn made it clear she sided with those who saw the rules instead as a way to prevent "[ceding] control of the most significant communications advancement in our lifetimes."

"Together we must ensure that people of color--and all Americans -- can 'participate as owners, employees, and suppliers' on-line," she said. "That cannot happen, however, if we passively permit a new set of gatekeepers to erect yet another set of barriers to entry."

"Best Selling" Ebooks

Current top 4 bestsellers in the Kindle Store.

Link to January 23 New York Times article, "With Kindle, the Best Sellers Don't Need to Sell".

Publishers including Harlequin, Random House and Scholastic are offering free versions of digital books to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-retailers, as well as on author Web sites, as a way of allowing readers to try out the work of unfamiliar writers. The hope is that customers who like what they read will go on to obtain another title for money.

Saturday Miscellany

"A to Z of Social Networking in Libraries." (Social Networking in Libraries)
Active, blog, content, direction, ebooks.......

Libraries – power, joy and passion. (The FISH Bits blog)
Thoughts and ideas on creating GREAT school and public LIBRARIES.

The Most Amazing Libraries in the World (PHOTOS, POLL). (The Huffington Post)
Current top 3.
1. Trinity College Library ("The Long Room")
2. Abbey Library of St. Gaul
3. Stockholm Public Library

95% of Email is Spam. (Help Net Security via Slashdot)
European Network and Information Security Agency report. (linked)

Analysis of 32 million breached passwords. (Help Net Security via World of Psychology)
Most commonly used password: 123456.

Push for Library District in Evanston

Link to January 23 Evanston Now article, "Some library backers want a divorce".

Excerpt: The Public Library District Act of 1991 provides several methods by which an existing library can be converted to an independent public library district.

But only two options are available for a library established as Evanston's was under the Illinois Local Library Act.

One way would be for the City Council to approve a resolution adopted by the existing library board.

But, using that approach, the new library district would initially be limited by state statute to imposing a property tax rate of no more than 0.15 percent. At current property values that would yield essentially the same revenue that the library now gets from the city, about $4.5 million a year.

The other option is for advocates of the divorce to gather petition signatures from 10 percent of the city's registered voters. That would force a referendum vote on the issue, and the referendum question could specify any funding level desired by the advocates up to a rate of 0.60 percent -- or four times what Evanston's library spends now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Outsourcing, Volunteers, and LMMC

Link to January 20 The Union article, "Library panel rejects management outsourcing".

Excerpt: A second committee charged with recommending changes for Nevada County's financially-challenged libraries voted against outsourcing management Wednesday. The Library Management Model Committee made up of elected officials from the county's cities and community members recommended two plans to the Board of Supervisors that would cut staff hours, but keep all six libraries open and save the literacy program. The Doris Foley Historical Library would be run by the western county's Friends of the Library in both options as well.

Our Throwaway Society

Taking a page out of the HM Clothing playbook.

Or here's another bad example: Food waste.

Media Consumption Stumble of the Day

Survey says.......Internet radio reaching 32% of households, e-readers are hot.

Four wisdoms confirmed.

1. Newspapers are going nowhere fast.

2. Flat-priced "all-you-can-eat" media work better in recessions.

3. "Life requires a soundtrack".

4. Internet usage continues to eat into media categories, as well as personal time.

Amplification and comments at January 20 CrunchGear blogpost.

And Maybe Well He Should

Rocket eBook (1998)

Library Research Service Fast Facts Study

Link to January 20 report, "Computer Access and Traditional Library Services".

From the LRS Facebook page: We've just posted a new Fast Facts: Computer Access and Traditional Library Service. This Fast Facts examines what happens to public library visits, circulation, reference, and program attendance as the number of public access computers rises. Do the "traditional services" decrease as libraries provide more computer access, or do those services increase as well?

Library Budget Cuts on the Other Side of the World

Dunedin City Library
Photo source: Wikipedia

Link to January 23 Otago (New Zealand) Daily Times article, "Cuts likely to hit libraries".

Excerpt: Proposed cuts to Dunedin's libraries budget would mean customer service levels and staffing would have to be reviewed, Dunedin City Council library services manager Bernie Hawke said yesterday. A council annual plan meeting on Thursday decided, during discussion from which the public and media were excluded, that $300,000 in savings would have to be found from within the libraries budget. Mayor Peter Chin said that could be achieved in part by a possible reduction in the opening hours of the Dunedin City Library in Moray Pl, although the proposal needed further scrutiny by council staff.

The city's libraries last year reported an almost 30% increase in visitors, mirroring a worldwide trend [RG's emphasis] of people choosing cheaper pastimes during the recession, with the total number of visits from July 1, 2008, to the end of February 2009 increasing 213,464, to a total of 938,935 visits.

Evanston Branches on the Chopping Block

Link to January 20 Chicago Tribune article, "Evanston to close branch libraries". (via Twitter)

Excerpt: At age 14, Teddy Keenan already is a veteran of one grass-roots campaign to save Evanston's two branch libraries and is gearing up for his second battle to keep them open.

With the branches once again on the chopping block to cut costs, the Haven Middle School student is ready to spring into action.

"I'm upset that after fighting so hard two years ago we have to do all this again," Keenan said. "This time it sounds like a lot more serious of a threat, and I've been working a lot harder on it."

The City Council is struggling to close a $9.5 million budget deficit and has had to consider some hard choices, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said. The council is expected to vote on the budget in February.

The Ubiquitous Librarian Reflects on Seattle's "Spirit of Angst"

A follow-up on one of today's earlier posts.

Brian Mathews, author of The Ubiquitous Librarian blog, provide some background on his "Inspiration-Seattle-style" American Libraries column. (via Lazyfeed)

Report. The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2009

Photo source: Retiring Guy

Link to January 21 UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies news release, "Financial concerns of first-year college students have wide impact". (via The Kept-Up Academic Librarian)

Excerpt: More first-year college students have concerns about their ability to finance college than at any time since 1971, according to the CIRP Freshman Survey, [4-page research brief or 46-slide PowerPoint summary] UCLA's annual survey of the nation's entering students at four-year colleges and universities. Such concerns are part of an overall picture of the impact of the economic downturn on the experiences of entering college students.

More than half of incoming first-time students in 2009 reported "some" concern about financing college, and more students were turning to loans to pay for college ? 53.3 percent in 2009, up 3.9 percentage points from 2008 and the highest level reported in the last nine years.
In addition, fewer students reported experiences in the workforce as high-school seniors, with 62.8 percent having worked, compared with 69.3 percent in 2007. Students were not unique in having difficulty finding employment: More parents of incoming first-year students were also unemployed in 2009. About half (49.3 percent) of all students were planning to get jobs to pay for college.

Link to demonstration survey.

"Save Illinois Libraries" Email Campaign Shakes Loose Some Funds

Link to January 22 The Southern article, "Libraries demand due funds".

Excerpt: A successful e-mail campaign apparently jogged some overdue funding loose for the state’s regional library systems, but some worry the money is too little, too late.

The Save Illinois Libraries campaign to restore the systems’ funding resulted in thousands of e-mails for Gov. Pat Quinn and state Comptroller Dan Hynes on Wednesday, asking them to make sure the regional library systems received what was appropriated to them in the state budget, said Shawnee Library System Executive Director Joe Harris.

More than 18,600 e-mails were sent by supporters, Harris said, and the systems were notified they would receive a portion of their funding.

For Shawnee, that means about $400,000, about a third of its $1.1 million annual state funding, could be received as early as today.

“The rest of the payments we expect will come slowly or not at all,” Harris said Thursday during a meeting of Shawnee’s board at Benton Public Library.

Seattle Public Library Hornet's Nest Gets Another Shake

Thanks to Tasha Saecker, Director of the Menasha (WI) Public Library. (Required reading at Sites & Soundbytes)

Here's the source of the latest stir. "Inspiration, Seattle-style". (American Libraries)

Which led to this response -- not to mention the numerous comments appended to the AL article. "Another Black Eye for the Seattle Public Library's Administration", a January 15 SLOG post at The Stranger, Seattle's alternative weekly newspaper.

As one of the AL commenters pointed out, The Stranger has taken the Seattle Public Library Administration to task.

"If You Thought This Year's Library Cuts Were Bad..." (October 2, 2009)

"They Care About Your Opinion at Seattle Public Library." (June 25, 2009)

"Not Keeping Quiet: Librarians Speak Out Against Proposed Policies at Seattle Public Library." (June 16, 2009)

As is clearly shown in the Seattle situation, Tasha's point about the power of social networking is not overstated.

Friday Miscellany

YouTube Debuts Movie Rentals. (Mashable)
Very limited. 5 movies from Sundance Movie Festival.

UW-L instructor sees educational benefit in learning poker. (La Crosse Tribune)
Not Casino? Not Hearts? Retiring Guy's college years were wasted. (Oops! Maybe that's the wrong verb to use.)

(Wisconsin) Lawmakers not stopping with ban on ‘texting while driving'. (Racine Journal-Times)
On deck: cell phones (unless hands-free), DVD players.

Pasadena Proposes Eliminating School Libraries
. (School Library Journal)
Proposed "small-picture" savings: $1.4 million.

Dewey the Movie
. (EarlyWord)
In Hollywood, it's a long and winding road between concept and reality.

Edgar nominees 2010
. (EarlyWord)
Note to myself: Check availability in audio.

MTV's Jersey Shore Closes With Series Records
. (Multichannel News)
Perhaps the most maligned TV show in recent history, "Jersey Shore" [no, not that one!] cleans up in the ratings. DVD of season 1 to be released on February 23.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Volusia Co. Officials Block Internet Porn At Libraries

Link to January 21 report at WESH-TV Orlando website. (via Twitter)

Excerpt: The county made the move after a woman complained that someone surfed a graphic Web site in the library while children were nearby.

Officials said they will make exceptions for "
bona fide research."

Link to County Library Advisory Board.

Thursday Miscellany

Time Crunch for Female Scientists: They Do More Housework Than Men. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Guess it doesn't matter what your socioeconomic status is.

More suburban residents living in poverty. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Milwaukee County (not Milwaukee): from 4.8% in 2000 to 6.5% in 2008. City of Milwaukee: from 21.3% in 2000 to 23.4% in 2008.

What Does the Public Know?
(Pew Research)
About enough to earn a D- on a current events quiz, on average.

The Enquirer Makes a Bid for a Pulitzer. (Columbia Journalism Review)
Considering what passes for journalism nowadays, Retiring Guy thinks they deserve a shot.

Air America, Liberal Radio Outpost, Ceases Operations
. (Drudge Retort.)
No surprise here. It's not a demographic that needs to be told how to think.

Hillary Clinton: Internet Freedom Is Crucial. State Department Gives Shout-Out To Global Network Openness. (Multichannel News)
Says U.S. should lead by example.

Facebook’s U.S. Usage Boomed in 2009
. (Resource Shelf)
Unique visitors up 105%.

Hillary Clinton on Internet Freedom: She's Got That Right!

Link to January 21 Technology Liberation Post, "Hillary Clinton’s Historic Speech on Global Internet Freedom".


Clinton’s answer was unequivocal: “Both the American people and nations that censor the Internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote Internet freedom.”

“The Internet can serve as a great equalizer,” she argued. “By providing people with access to knowledge and potential markets, networks can create opportunities where none exist.”

Nielsen to Kaiser: We Beg to Differ

Link to January 21 Multichannel News article, "Nielsen Takes Issue With Kaiser Study".

Excerpt: Nielsen disagrees with the conclusions of a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found live TV viewing by 8- to 18- year-olds had declined by almost a half-hour over the past five years.

"Our data, which are based on observed behavior measured by digital meters, show that TV viewing for this group is actually up, not down as Kaiser found," said Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes.

In unveiling the study to, among others, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Kaiser said that live viewing had decreased from three hours, four minutes in 2004 to two hours, 39 minutes in 2009, a drop of 25 minutes.

Either way, Retiring Guy finds it depressing news.

Waunakee Village Board Says "No Library Without Referendum"

Link to January 20 Waunakee Tribune-News article.

Excerpt: Despite the urging of the Economic Development Commission, the Waunakee Village Board Monday declined to request proposals for a library project without the voters’ consent.

At their meeting last week, the Economic Development Commissioners determined that a mixed-use library project at the Main and N. Madison Street corner would jump-start development in the village’s Tax Incremental Finance District.

But village board members, while praising the work of the commission and a prior ad hoc committee, said they could not support spending taxpayer dollars without first going to a vote.
“There are a lot of things the board has to consider,” said John Laubmeier, village board president. Those include the state of the economy and exceeding the village’s self-imposed borrowing cap, he said.

“The village board has a lot more things to keep in mind beyond what the committee keeps in mind,” Laubmeier said.

Trustee Steve Kraus agreed, noting that the board picked the best people to serve on the ad hoc committee. Kraus added that if the village does go to a referendum for a library, the trustees should be confident that it will pass.

The community has recently supported building a new police station, and the Fire Station and EMS building remodeling projects are under way, Kraus said. Soon, the school district will embark on a building project, he added.

Library Looks for Room to Expand

With a selected look at 2008-2009 LINK circulation figures.

Link to January 19 DeForest Times-Tribune article, "Village likely to pass on sale".

Excerpt: The Poynette Area Library is growing in popularity and programming, but village officials are unlikely to accept an offer to expand next door.

Laura Walters, owner of Little Blessings Gift Shop on 124 N. Main St., recently offered to sell the building to the village for $190,000 for the purpose of expanding the library.

Poynette Administrator Daniel Guild said while he and trustees are not opposed to planning for the future in terms of library expansion, they are “squarely focused” on completing the construction of the fire station first. He praised the work done by Poynette Area Library Director Kris Daugherty and her staff in expanding the library’s reach and programming and said he’s committed to working out a long-range capital improvement plan for the village, which includes the library.

Daugherty, who took over last year, said lack of space has become an issue for the library, which increased its circulation last year more than any other in the South Central Library System.

SCLS LINK libraries with
double-digit circulation increases in 2009.

As far as library locations, though, the new Sequoya branch of the Madison Public Library wins the crown.

Some of Sequoya's growth appears to be the result of shifting use patterns among the branches on Madison's west side.

Library Initiates "ElderLynx" Program

Link to January 19 DeForest Times-Tribune article, "'ElderLynx' connects library, seniors".

Excerpt: What’s better than going to the library? The library going to you.

And that’s exactly what will happen at Pioneer Place starting next month, as library officials unveiled their newest program, “ElderLynx.”

The first four Wednesdays of every month, a library volunteer will bring over a variety of materials for patrons to check out and enjoy at their convenience without ever having to leave their buildings.

The project was part of a brainstorming session at a recent “Friends of the Library” meeting, said
Poynette Area Library Director Kris Daugherty. She got the idea from when she worked as a librarian in Wyocena and took materials to the Columbia County Health Care Center every two weeks for residents to enjoy.

“I know what a great thing it is for libraries to come to people and make checking out things of the library more accessible,” she said.

Daugherty has wanted to do a project like this since she started her job last year, but was looking for just the right person to head up the project. That person was Marie Falk of the Poynette Police Department.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Budget woes close a dozen south Mississippi libraries

Link to January 20 report. (via Twitter)

Excerpt: Budget woes have closed the doors at a dozen of south Mississippi's libraries, at least for now. The Pine Forest Regional Library System, which includes Stone County, is in the middle of a two week shut down. Officials say it's because of state budget cuts.

Libraries are supposed to be quiet, but not silent. On a typical day, librarians say about 100 people patronized the McHenry Library. However, no one can check out a book or log onto the internet because the library is closed.

Library Advocates Write Letters to the Editor

And here's a January 20th example from the Philadelphia Inquirer. ("Unlike some bookstores, libraries are booming.")

Love (and Support) Your Library

The Borders bookstore customer who described "a social gathering place, a cultural institution, an oasis in cold weather" could have used those words in speaking about her local public library ("End of story for customers of Borders in Chestnut Hill").

Major bookstores might be closing, but public libraries are busier than ever. And guess what? Increasingly, they offer comfortable seating, play areas for young children, and freshly brewed coffee. Best of all, the books, DVDs, programs, and Internet access are free.

Unlike businesses that must "meet the company's objectives," which this Borders location failed to do, public libraries aim to increase circulation and program participation without turning a profit.

When it comes to dollars and cents, however, public libraries do count upon the annual allocation of state and local funding. For the current year, Pennsylvania's legislature cut the public library line item by more than 20 percent, and other library cuts triggered the elimination of some services. That's a story deserving of readers' attention.

Save Illinois Libraries: Tweeting Up a Storm of Support

Save Illinois Libraries

Here's the text of a letter being sent to Governor Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes.

We need your help. Illinois regional library systems are on the brink of disappearing. Since July 1, the systems have not received any of their funds authorized by the General Assembly. Without these funds, systems will soon be forced to close their doors.

What will it mean if regional library systems go away? People in Illinois are using libraries in record numbers for help in finding jobs, homework help for kids, and free family entertainment. Without the support of Systems, libraries would be hard pressed to provide these services. Thanks to the Systems, Illinois taxpayers can use their public library cards at almost any Illinois library they choose to visit. Last year, over 9 million items were borrowed from other libraries, up from 7 million the year before. In addition, System vans delivered over 28 million library items between libraries throughout the state -- all without cost to taxpayers.

All of these important services will disappear if the authorized funding is not paid soon by the state of Illinois. In a time of increased need, library service will be decimated, crippling a vital community service.

You have strongly endorsed greater efficiency in Illinois government. Library systems are one of the best examples of economic efficiency in the state, returning as much as $9 for each $1 of investment. Please distribute the funds approved by the General Assembly in the last budget for Illinois regional library systems. Illinois citizens deserve to see their tax dollars being distributed as authorized, and in a cost effective manner for their benefit.

Wednesday Miscellany

Healthy stuff for your mind!

Wisconsin lawmakers ban texting while driving. (Sheboygan Press)
Passed by Assembly 89-6. Senate approved their version in Oct 2009. Need to iron out differences in penalities. (History of bill here.)

Evansville pom pon uniform debate continues. (Janesville Gazette)
More evidence of the end of civil discourse online: Several speakers, including the poms coach, called out people who write anonymous comments on stories posted on and a local blogger, all who have written hurtful words about the poms girls.

What Would Martin Luther King Make of Twitter? (Vanity Fair via Technologizer)
Tongue-in-cheek commentary, or "fun", as Technologizer succinctly notes.

CBS Refuses To Preserve Jack Benny Footage. (Slashdot)
The post notes that BoingBoing and TechDirt have both covered this act of cultural destruction. In other words, if Retiring Guy has read about indefensible decision 3 times, you have to read about it at least once. As far as I can tell, no one has started a "Free Jack Benny" website yet.

The Big Graphic Novels of 2010. (Publishers Weekly)
A selective listing.

Who Says Satellite Radio is Dieing? (Hypebot)
Dieing? Retiring Guy has been a subscriber for more than 2 years. Wouldn't be without it!

A Look at the Former De Pere Public Library Building

Source: Venture Theater

Link to January 20 Green Bay Post-Gazette article, "De Pere Public Library borrows from Tudor architecture".

Excerpt: A major economic stimulus package for the United States during the 1930s produced lasting buildings such as the one at the corner of Main Avenue and Fourth Street.

The De Pere Public Library was built to look something like a large stone cottage in a variation of the Tudor revival style. Often the style is seen with ornamental half-timber work, but the old library is more austere.

The building is now home to ComedyCity and Venture Theater. (Though not for long, in the case of Comedy City.)

Tweens and Teens at the Library? Not to Check Out Books, Apparently

Link to January 20 New York Times article, "Children Awake? Then They're Probably Online."

Excerpt: The average young American now spends practically every waking minute — except for the time in school — using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“At night, I can text or watch something on YouTube until I fall asleep,” Francisco Sepulveda, 14, said of his smart phone.

Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones.

And because so many of them are multitasking — say, surfing the Internet while listening to music — they pack on average nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours.

Media use is changing youthful attitudes? Here's a quote that'll get a rise out of librarians.

It’s changed young people’s assumptions about how to get an answer to a question,” Mr. Roberts said. “People can put out a problem, whether it’s ‘Where’s a good bar?’ or ‘What if I’m pregnant?’ and information pours in from all kinds of sources.”

Retiring Guy thinks just about everyone has boarded this boat.
The study found that the heaviest media users are black and Hispanic youths in the 11-to-14 age range.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Canada's (and North America's) Library Renaissance

Link to January 19 Toronto Globe and Mail article, "The new library: 'not just about books anymore'." (via Twitter)

Excerpt: It's not the only reason Toronto's public library system just had its busiest year ever, but it helped: A bar opened last fall in the downtown reference library.

The canteen in the branch's new 16,000-square-foot “salon” serves wine and spirits while opera stars, celebrity chefs and baseball executives deliver talks that compete with the best of the city's cultural event circuit.

Toronto's salon is just one example of the innovations attracting new patrons to the modern library, a place that has gone from silent biblio-temple to wired town square.

“There is a library renaissance going on right across North America,” said Wendy Newman, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information.

Charlottesville, Virginia: Jefferson Madison Regional Library Faces Budget Cuts

Link to January 19 article, "Budget Cuts Threaten Local Libraries' Futures". (via Twitter)

Excerpt: The future of two local libraries is being threatened by budget cuts.

Board members for Jefferson Madison Regional Library said Albemarle County is considering cutting library funding by 5 to 10 percent.

That would require JMRL to make drastic changes, and county residents would feel the impact. Library branches in Scottsville and Crozet will be affected and may close.

At a press conference this afternoon, the library board went over details of how such major cuts would affect library users.

A 5 percent cut would force JMRL to close the Scottsville Library. A 10 percent cut in the library's budget would close both Scottsville and Crozet branches.

Such cuts from the county would also affect how much state aid JMRL receives. State aid pays for all books, audio books and online databases.

Gaming in Libraries: Liz Danforth's List of 5 Mistakes Librarians Make

Link to Liz Danforth's January 18 "Games, Gamers, and Gaming" column in Library Journal. (via Twitter via Game Culture)

The list:

1. We don't play

2. We don't listen.

3. We think plug and play is good enough.

4. We don't experiment.

5. We don't broaden the experience.

I suspect such broad-brush observations will cause some librarians to take offense.

State Budget Blues: Washington State Library May Need to Cut 1/3 of Staff

Link to January 19 The Olympian article, "State Library faces cuts". (via Resource Shelf)

Excerpt: State librarian Jan Walsh said that some cuts must begin taking effect in February to meet the demands of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s supplemental budget plan. Gregoire proposed to cut $2 million over the two-year cycle ending June 2011, reducing library funding to about $11.5 million, state budget writers say.

It means that by the end of June, 31 people or 25.7 full-time equivalent jobs will be cut, Walsh said in an interview Monday at the Office of the Secretary of State, which oversees her Tumwater-based library operation.

“It’s over a third of our staff, if the governor’s budget goes through, which is what makes this so devastating,’’ Walsh said.

Likely cuts include:

• Four public services staffers, including reference desk employees.

• Five technical services staffers, including those who acquire and catalogue materials.

• Five and a half from prison and mental hospital libraries.

• Seven of the 9.5 positions in preservation, which means little or no work to microfilm rare papers and old newspapers that are turned over to the state for its Northwest collections.

• 3.7 positions or half the staff for the Talking Book and Braille Library in Seattle, including the lone children’s librarian.

Online Book Piracy: One Things Leads to Another

First, there was this article posted on Publishers Weekly's website on January 14: "Attributor Study Finds Pervasive Online Book Piracy".

Excerpt: Publishers could be losing out on as much as $3 billion to online book piracy, a new report released today by Attributor estimates. Attributor, whose FairShare Guardian service monitors the Web for illegally posted content, tracked 913 books in 14 subjects in the final quarter of 2009 and estimated that more than 9 million copies of books were illegally downloaded from the 25 sites it tracked. Although Attributor needs to make some projections to arrive at total numbers, the hard figures the survey uncovered are disturbing to any publisher worried about the possible impact of piracy of e-books.

Then Eric Hellman provided this riff on the story in a January 18 Go To Hellman blogpost, "Online book 'lending' costs U.S. Publishers Nearly $1 Trillion", which is being shared all over the place via Twitter today.

Excerpt: Hot on the heels of the story in Publisher's Weekly that "publishers could be losing out on as much $3 billion to online book piracy" comes a sudden realization of a much larger threat to the viability of the book industry. Apparently, over 2 billion books were "loaned" last year by a cabal of organizations found in nearly every American city and town. Using the same advanced projective mathematics used in the study cited by Publishers Weekly, Go To Hellman has computed that publishers could be losing sales opportunities totaling over $100 Billion per year, losses which extend back to at least the year 2000. These lost sales dwarf the online piracy reported yesterday, and indeed, even the global book publishing business itself.

From what we've been able to piece together, the book "lending" takes place in "libraries". On entering one of these dens, patrons may view a dazzling array of books, periodicals, even CDs and DVDs, all available to anyone willing to disclose valuable personal information in exchange for a "card". But there is an ominous silence pervading these ersatz sanctuaries, enforced by the stern demeanor of staff and the glares of other patrons. Although there's no admission charge and it doesn't cost anything to borrow a book, there's always the threat of an onerous overdue bill for the hapless borrower who forgets to continue the cycle of not paying for copyrighted material.

Now for some background.

Here's an article from the July 26, 2009,
New York Times on Attributor: "Start-Up Plans to Make Journalism Pirates Pay Up".

Excerpt: A start-up called Attributor, based in Redwood City, Calif., is proposing an approach that is more carrot than stick. It has developed an automated way for newspapers to share in the advertising revenue from even the tiniest sites that copy their articles. The plan faces many technical and legal hurdles. Attributor wants to take some of the ad money that would have been paid to the pirate site and give it to the copyright owner instead. To do that it needs the cooperation of big advertising networks like those run by Google and Yahoo. So far those companies have reacted coolly to the proposal. Still, Attributor has been able to attract many major publishing companies to what it calls the Fair Syndication Consortium, which is exploring its ideas. These include The New York Times Company, the Washington Post Company, Hearst, Reuters, Media News Group, McClatchy and Condé Nast. The Attributor plan “seems to me to be a way to bring order out of the chaos,” said Chris Ahearn, president of Reuters Media.

New Berlin considers selling ads on Web site

Link to January 18 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article.

Excerpt: With the economic downtown continuing to put a financial squeeze on municipalities, one Waukesha County community may allow advertisements on its Web site as a way to generate new revenue.

If New Berlin does permit such ads, it could become the first municipality in southeast Wisconsin and perhaps the state to allow advertising on a municipal Web site.


The hoped for ads, from local businesses or national chains with stores or restaurants in New Berlin, likely would raise only about $7,000 annually for the city.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tuesday Miscellany

Holiday sales disappoint at Borders Group. (Publishers Weekly)
Down 14.7% overall. Ouch!

Lincoln's presidential museum outdraws the others. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Resource Shelf) Includes list of 2009 Presidential museum attendance.

New Economics of Marriage: The Rise of Wives. (Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends)

'Love Story' Author Erich Segal Dies Aged 72
. (ABC News)
16 copies of Love Story in LINKcat. All of them "In Library".

Mystery writer Robert Parker dead at 77. (Los Angeles Times)
There are 288 "search results", i.e., bibliographic records, for Parker in LINKcat.

Results from the 60-Second Survey: The Future of the Book. (Library Research Service)
63% say books will never disappear.

A Third of Adults Now Post to Sites like Facebook, Twitter Once a Week. (Resource Shelf)

EarlyWord's Buzzkill on Joshua Ferris's "The Unnamed" Confirmed in LINKcat

Click to enlarge.

Link to January 18 EarlyWord post, "Will Ferris Rise or Fall?"

Excerpt: Of the titles going on sale this week, Joshua Ferris’s much-anticipated second novel, The Unnamed, has the most buzz. The tale of how a wealthy New York lawyer and his family cope with his mysterious illness is a # Indie Pick for January. 241 libraries have it, according to WorldCat, with modest holds on modest orders in the libraries we checked.

Here's the LINKcat tally, as of 1-18-2010.

16 of 49 library locations have ordered copies. No duplicates have been ordered for any locations.

43 holds have been placed -- in a service-area population of about 700,000. Unimpressive when you look at the numbers of holds placed on New York Times fiction best sellers.

Search for PowerPoint Slides with SlideFinder

One of 4 useful niche search engines highlighted in a January 18 Resource Shelf post.

Click to enlarge
or to go
and do your own search.

Antigo's White Lake branch library has expanded hours, Web coming

White Lake Branch Library, Antigo

Link to January 12 Antigo Daily Journal article.

Excerpt: The new year is bringing some big changes to the Antigo Public Library’s White Lake branch.

Located in the village hall, the library is now offering expanded hours and, in a few months, will add high-speed, wireless Internet service.

“The White Lake branch has always had too few service hours,” Antigo Public Library Director Cynthia Taylor said. “ We have found a way to increase these hours while still cutting some costs. With the village’s help, this is only the first of many changes to library service in this community.”

The new hours are Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The biggest changes will occur this coming spring when the state will bring high speed bandwidth into the library, allowing for high-speed Internet access.

“Like most of the surrounding area, White Lake’s branch library has had to rely on dial-up service for its Internet,” Taylor said. “With the high speed bandwidth, Internet service in White Lake will be comparable to Antigo’s.”

Wisconsin State Assembly to vote Tuesday on proposal to ban texting while driving

Link to January 18 Wausau Daily Herald article.

Excerpt: The state Assembly on Tuesday plans to vote on a bill that would impose fines on people who send texts or e-mails from behind the wheel.

"Passing this legislation will go a long way in reducing the number of traffic accidents and fatalities and will help make our roads safer," said Rep. Tom Nelson, D-Kaukauna, majority leader of the state Assembly. "We know that distracted driving is the third leading cause of fatal crashes, after alcohol and speeding."

Nineteen states, the District of Columbia and Guam already have bans, according to the National Governors Association.

I wonder if the reporter meant the Governors Highway Safety Association?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monday Miscellany

Report: New York Times to charge online readers. (cnet news)

Top ranked job is – surprise – the unheralded actuary. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Librarian placed at #46 in CareerCast's 2010 Rankings of top 200 jobs.

Major MLK Day f***-up, 2002. (

The Trends That Will Shape 2010
. (

Newbery, Caldecott Winners Announced at ALA. (Publishers Weekly)

Emergency drive seeks books for Cleveland school libraries

Link to January 15 Cleveland Jewish News article. (via Twitter)

Excerpt: Imagine Old Mother Hubbard’s bare cupboards, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what some library shelves look like at Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s libraries.

To give “shelf life” to inner-city school libraries, a group of suburban female activists are aggressively collecting new and used books donated by community members. From The Cat in the Hat to Tom Sawyer to Hamlet, the “Books for Change!” drive is seeking age-appropriate books to be distributed to Cleveland preschool, elementary and high-school libraries. Once the books are gathered, they will be stored in one central location, and Cleveland school librarians can select the books that complement their curriculum and best meet their students’ needs and interests.