Saturday, February 27, 2010

Smithsonian Magazine: Joyce Carol Oates Goes Home Again

And remembers, as a 7 year old on a visit with her grandmother, the library leaving her "dazed, dazzled".

Link to

Excerpt: As in a vivid and hallucinatory dream, I am being taken by my grandmother Blanche Woodside—my hand in hers—to the Lockport Public Library on East Avenue, Lockport. I am an eager child of 7 or 8 and this is in the mid-1940s. The library is a beautiful building like no other I’ve seen close up, an anomaly in this city block beside the dull red brick of the YMCA to one side and a dentist’s office to the other; across the street is Lockport High School, another older, dull-brick building. The library—which, at my young age, I could not have known was a WPA-sponsored project that transformed the city of Lockport—has something of the look of a Greek temple; not only is its architecture distinctive, with elegantly ascending steps, a portico and four columns, a facade with six large, rounded, latticed windows and, on top, a kind of spire, but the building is set back from the street behind a wrought-iron fence with a gate, amid a very green jewel-like lawn.

The library for grown-ups is upstairs, beyond a dauntingly wide and high-ceilinged doorway; the library for children is more accessible, downstairs and to the right. Inside this cheery, brightly lit space there is an inexpressible smell of floor polish, library paste, books—that particular library smell that conflates, in my memory, with the classroom smell of floor polish, chalk dust, books so deeply imprinted in my memory. For even as a young child I was a lover of books and of the spaces in which, as indeed in a sacred temple, books might safely reside.

What is most striking in the children’s library are the shelves and shelves of books—bookcases lining the walls—books with brightly colored spines—astonishing to a little girl whose family lives in a farmhouse in the country where books are almost wholly unknown. That these books are available for children—for a child like me—all these books!—leaves me dazed, dazzled.

Just Out of Curiosity: Comparing a Target Check-out Display of Magazines with LINKcat Holdings

Retiring Guy in observation mode.

Titles listed from most to least number of library holdings.

People Weekly

49 locations. (Out of 49 locations.)
28 holds on current bibliographic record.

Martha Stewart Living
45 locations.
8 holds on current bibliographic record.

O: the Oprah Magazine
41 locations.
7 holds on current bibliographic record.

Sports Illustrated
40 locations. (Retiring Guy admits he's a bit, though not completely, surprised here.)
3 holds on current bibliographic record.

In Style.
22 locations.
9 holds on current bibliographic record.

21 locations.
4 holds on current bibliographic record.

21 locations.
2 holds on current bibliographic record.

Vanity Fair
20 locations.
3 holds on current bibliographic record.

Everyday with Rachael Ray
16 locations.
5 holds on current bibliographic record.

12 copies.
0 holds on current bibliographic record.

Us Weekly
8 locations.
12 holds on current bibliographic record.

Shop Smart
6 locations.
9 holds on current bibliographic record.

Marie Claire
5 locations.
5 holds on current bibliographic record.

In Touch
2 locations.
1 holds on current bibliographic record.

2 location.
0 holds on current bibliographic record.

Women's Health
1 location.
0 holds on current bibliographic record.

No locations.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Manitowoc-Calument Library System Hires New Director

Link to February 26 Herald-Times-Reporter article.

Rebecca Petersen has been named the new director of the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System, according to a news release from acting director Jeff Dawson.

Petersen, who recently served as school library media specialist for the Valders Area School District, will assume her position in mid-March.

"After five months of searching, the MCLS Board of Trustees is happy to welcome Becky as our director," Cheryl Kjelstrup, president of the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System Board of Trustees, said in the news release. "We feel that she will bring experience, intelligence, energy, and enthusiasm to the position."

Petersen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master of Library Science from UW-Madison. She began her library career at the University of Wisconsin's Polk Library and worked at the University of Wisconsin's Children's Cooperative Book Center.
Congratulations and best wishes to Rebecca!

HTR's "Day in the Life" Series Features Two Rivers' Lester Public Library

Lester Public Library, Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Link to Herald-Times-Reporter February 26 sneak preview.

Excerpt: As part of the Herald Times Reporter's Day In The Life series, features writer Suzanne Weiss and photojournalist Sue Pischke recently spent a day with the employees and patrons at the Lester Public Library in Two Rivers. See the complete story in Sunday's Herald Times Reporter and the photo gallery online the same day. The story will be posted in its entirety online on Monday [March 1].

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Biblioburro Serves Rural Colombia

Link to February 25 article, "Teaching kids to read from the back of a burro".

Excerpt: To the unaccustomed eye, a man toting 120 books while riding a stubborn donkey would seem nothing short of a circus spectacle. But for hundreds of children in the rural villages of Colombia, Luis Soriano is far from a clown. He is a man with a mission to save rural children from illiteracy.

"There was a time when many people thought that I was going crazy," said Soriano, a native of La Gloria, Colombia. "They'd yell, 'Carnival season is over.' ... Now I've overcome that."

Soriano, 38, is a primary school teacher who spends his free time operating a "biblioburro," a mobile library on donkeys that offers reading education for hundreds of children living in what he describes as "abandoned regions" in the Colombian state of Magdalena.

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The Newspaper Business: "It is never, ever going to love you back."

Today's required reading. (via Columbia Journalism Review)

Link to February 22 Ruby-Eyed Fox blogpost, "'Did it ever occur to you that even the most deathless love could wear out?'"

Excerpt: My husband is a passionate man, and he’s poured his heart into the newspaper business. I’ve held him when he returned from reporting on a drug-fueled bank robbery that left five victims dead in 40 seconds; after he returned from the rubble of Murrah building when it was bombed in Oklahoma City; after he laid off people who, like him, only wanted to keep working at the thing loved. Whatever the business asked of him, he did. But that long-ago editor’s words were true. His love has been unrequited.

A few months ago, I realized he’d had enough. He was finally ready to break off the relationship.

He’d spent the last few years trying to lead newspapers where they must go to survive in this new age. It wasn’t going well. Recent leadership changes where he worked put him in a role of a well paid blogger. But sitting on the sideline, commenting on a business slowly circling the drain was not his idea of meaningful work.

Reading the newspaper: Brookgreen Gardens in P...Image via Wikipedia

And then there's this vignette, a wonderfully evocative reminiscence.

As a four-year-old, I would stretch out with the paper, picking out the words I could identify, longing for the day when I knew enough of them to understand the whole story. When I did, I loved reading even more than I dreamed. Poring over printed words became my daily ritual. I didn’t even mind when the ink rubbed off on my hands.

Take the time to read and enjoy the entire essay.
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Open Your World at Omaha Public Library

Link to Logo Lounge

Candidate Brett Davis Hopes to Expand Responsibilities of Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor

Link to February 25 La Crosse Tribune article, "GOP lieutenant governor candidate wants office to be ‘taxpayer watchdog'."

Excerpt: State Rep. Brett Davis, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, wants to turn that office into "the leading taxpayer watchdog in Wisconsin."

At a news conference Wednesday in La Crosse, Davis described several examples of what he said could be opportunities for cuts.


Davis has said he would propose $40 million in state budget cuts during his first year in office.

OK, here's what the Wisconsin State Statutes have to say about the Lieutenant Governor's office.

14.31 Office of lieutenant governor; creation. There is created an office of the lieutenant governor under the direction and supervision of the lieutenant governor.

14.32 Service as acting governor.
(2) When acting as governor because of a vacancy in the office of governor created by the happening of any contingency specified in s. 17.03, the lieutenant governor shall receive the annual salary and all other rights, privileges and emoluments of the office of governor. The annual salary paid in such instance shall be in lieu of all other compensation provided for the lieutenant governor.

14.33 Employees. The lieutenant governor may employ within the limits of the appropriations under s. 20.540 such staff as he or she deems necessary outside the classified service for such period and upon such terms as the lieutenant governor determines.

14.34 Additional executive duties. As the second ranking executive officer of the state, the lieutenant governor shall have such additional duties as are assigned by the governor in writing. [Emphasis added.] These may include:

1. Serving as the governor's representative on any statutory commission, board or committee on which the governor is entitled to membership.

2. Serving as the governor's representative on any nonstatutory committee created by the governor under s. 14.019.

3. Coordinating state services and programs under s. 14.03 and such other statutory responsibility of the governor for this purpose,. (Nature, areas, and extent designated in writing by the governor.)

4. Serving as the governor's representative on any intergovernmental body created for the purpose of maintaining relationships with the federal government, state government, regional agencies or local government.

That's pretty much it, folks.

Fire away if elected, Brett, but first I think you'll need to get a note from the Governor.

February 25 Preview at La Crosse Public Library: Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories

To be broadcast on WPT in late May, the documentary Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories features dozens of veterans from all regions of Wisconsin who reflect on their memories of the Vietnam War and their experiences during and after the war.

Laughability Factor Lurks in Background

Sometimes you get the service you pay for.

Link to February 25 Sheboygan Press letter to editor, "City's goal in contract cleaning is better services at lower cost".

It will, however, be laughable -- the kind that keeps you from crying -- if the City of Sheboygan insists that the lowest bidder automatically gets the job: no questions asked, no references checked.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Miscellany

Wausau, WisconsinImage via Wikipedia

What do you think of Wausau? (Survey. You don't have to be a resident.)

Frosted Flakes cerealImage via Wikipedia

Worth a look.

Olympic Ads or Ad Olympics? (It's the latter, folks, and it only serves to encourage channel surfing.)

Breakfast Slogans of Champions. How cereal ads reveal the times.
Rememeber Puffa Puffa Rice? Retiring Guy doesn't. How about when Frosted Flakes included an extra adjective? Sugar. This he remembers.

The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. (Pew Research Center)

Retiring Guy is so glad he read every word of analysis just before and after the election.
(Full disclosure: Retiring Guy is being sarcastic.)

Good luck on that "no cell phone" policy.

Size no longer matters.
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This Book is Overdue. Chapter 3, "On the Ground" (Annotated)

Library Migration: Westchester Library System example.

In the beginning....when libraries migrated from paper.

to 1984 report.

Link to November 13, 2006, SirsiDynix news release, "Westchester Library System Chooses SirsiDynix Unicorn".

Summary: SirsiDynix announced the Westchester Library System in Tarrytown, N.Y., recently chose the SirsiDynix Unicorn Library Management System. WLS services 38 member libraries in Westchester County and a large county population of almost 950,000. WLS will install Oracle, Unicode, Director's Station and SVA telephone notification, in addition to a large EnvisionWare print and PC component.

Link to Westchester Library System trustee meeting minutes, April 24, 2007.

New York public library goverance (click on table to enlarge)

Link to June 12, 2009, post, "Volunteer spirit makes library book sale a success".

Wayne Hay, IT Manager at Westchester Library System

It's a keyword world now.

Keyword Searching in InfoLinks, the Online Catalog (University of Arkansas Libraries.

Hay's touchstone.


DOK Library Concept Center on Flickr.
New York Public Library catalog

The New Yorker Interviews Marilyn Johnson

Link to "The Exchange: Marilyn Johnson on Librarians".

Excerpt: “Someday I will stop being surprised at all the things librarians read; they’ll read anything,” writes Marilyn Johnson in "This Book is Overdue" (Harper), her newly published exploration of libraries in the digital age. Anecdotally, it appears that many librarians are now reading Johnson’s engaging book. In it, she writes about the many ways technology is changing librarianship and the ways librarians are changing technology. She offers a survey of library blogs, attends library conventions, writes about anarchist librarians, and considers how venerable institutions such as the New York Public Library are adapting to the world of Google. Johnson kindly agreed to answer a few questions by e-mail from her home in New York.

Related posts:

This Book is Overdue. Chapter 1, "The Frontier". (2/10/2010)

This Book is Overdue. Chapter 2, "Information Sickness. (2/11/2010)

Close the Libraries? John Gage Gets the Joke

Link to February 22 Ukiah Daily Journal column by Tommy Wayne Kramer, who apparently makes a living from pushing people's buttons.

Do you think TWK might be tipping his satirical hand with this closing acknowledgment?

Tommy Wayne Kramer and Tom Hine would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Barbara (Village Book Store) Ann (Mendocino Book Company) and Dave (Mulligan Books) for their generous financial contributions to the research and development of this column.

Local references linked. The library schedule is strictly for the benefit of the people who work there and those who use it as a daycare option between stops at Plowshares and Ford Street.

And here's what "Uniquely Ukiah" has to say about the community.

Set within the green and golden depths of California’s Mendocino County, and just two hours north of San Francisco, the City of Ukiah is one of the most unique communities in America.

Ukiah is where rolling vineyards, pear orchards, and giant redwoods converge—where ranching and timber families live alongside ex-hippies, internationally renowned musicians, artists and winemakers.

Buyers of Digital Downloads Decreased by 1,000,000 in 2009

Link to February 24 cnet news post.

Excerpt: The music industry saw 1 million fewer buyers of digital downloads in 2009 than the prior year, according to NPD Group.

Russ Crupnick, an NPD senior industry analyst, told a gathering of music and technology executives at the Digital Music East conference here not to panic.

Those who stopped purchasing music online were mostly older consumers who came online for the first time in 2007 and 2008, tried out downloading music, then lost interest, Crupnick said. The good news, he said, is that consumers still have a huge appetite for songs, as the amount of money customers are spending on downloads has risen from an average of $33 a year to $50 a year.

An average of $50 a year?

You don't want to know what Retiring Guy spent, on average, during his peak vinyl-buying years. And he doesn't care to remember. But it was a very well-used collection.
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Newspaper Web Sites: Survey Says...

...Still Top Source for Local Info But Competition is Closing In.

Link to February 24 Editor & Publisher article.

Excerpt: More people go to newspapers Web sites for complete local information than any other source, according to a new survey from the Newspaper Association of America and comScore. Of the more than 3,000 adults surveyed, 57% chose newspaper Web sites as the top source for local information.

Link to Site Matters: The Value of Local Newspaper Websites.

Clergy Take Up Blogging

Link to February 24 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Thou Shalt Blog: Madison-area religious leaders go high-tech".

Excerpt: Several years ago, the Rev. Rick Heilman, a priest in the Madison Catholic Diocese, started jotting down occasional reflections and e-mailing them to a handful of friends.

When the list of people who wanted to read his e-mails grew to more than 200, he created the blog
"Mary's Anawim." [Most recent post, 2/23/2010.] The Hebrew word refers to "the poor ones" who remain faithful to God in difficult times.

Now, three years later, he posts almost daily and has acquired a following with his ardent defense of Catholicism and Madison Bishop Robert Morlino.

If the Vatican is handing out gold stars, Heilman likely will get one. In January, Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to embrace new communication tools, including blogging, saying digital technology can "open up broad new vistas" for dialogue and evangelism

Other blogs noted in article:

"Dancing Rev: Thoughts and Reflections" by Tisha Brown, pastor of Community of Hope United Church of Christ in Madison. (Most recent post, 2/3/2010)

"United Methodeviations", by Rev. Dan Dick, 51, of Sun Prairie, director of connectional ministries for the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church. (Most recent post, 2/23/2010)

"Fresh Read" by Rev. David Carlson, 53, pastor of Bethany Evangelical Free Church in Madison.
(Most recent post, 2/23/2010)

"The Irreverent Rev" by Rev. Amanda Stein, 38, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison . (Most recent post, 11/9/2009)

"Scriptura et Ecclesia" by Rev. Brian Dulli of Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary Parish in Sun Prairie. (Most recent post, 2/22/2010)

"Fr. Jonathan's Blog" by the Rev. Jonathan Grieser of Grace Episcopal Church in Madison. (Most recent post, 2/23/2010)

"Pastor's Blog Entries" by the Rev. Jeff Vanden Heuvel of Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison. (Most recent post, 3/18/2010)

Fond du Lac School District: Update on Remaining Book Challenges

Link to February 24 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Parent may challenge more books".

Excerpt: The Fond du Lac School District is waiting for a parent to decide if she will challenge more books on the shelves at Theisen Middle School.

Superintendent of Schools Jim Sebert said he spoke with Ann Wentworth on Monday and, at the time, she was "unsure of her direction regarding the additional reconsideration requests."
When contacted Tuesday, Wentworth said she had no comment.

During a public hearing last week, a district reconsideration committee turned down Wentworth's request to have Sonya Sones' book, "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies," removed from the library at Theisen Middle School.

Related articles:

Sonya Sones Letter to Fond du Lac School Superintendent. (2/23/2010)

Stimulus funds to speed up Internet at public libraries

Link to February 24 Stevens Point Journal article.

Excerpt: Public school students and library users in Iola, Plainfield and Hancock will get faster Internet connections thanks to federal stimulus money designated to upgrade to fiber-optic broadband connections.

Hancock Public Library, Plainfield Public Library, Tri-County Area School District, Iola-Scandinavia School District and Iola Village Library are five of 467 school districts and libraries slated to receive money from the the $28.7 million grant.

The grant will be used to upgrade large sections of the BadgerNet Converged Network, which provides video and data services to more than 1,900 public places such as schools, libraries, universities, technical colleges, state agencies and local governments.

Rural school districts and most libraries served by the network receive broadband through a copper cable, which quickly can become overloaded and result in slower connection speeds. The federal grant, along with a 20 percent match from the state, will pay to change the copper sections to fiber-optic cable.

Related articles:

Green Bay Press-Gazette Editorial Board Supports Use of Federal Stimulus Funds for Broadband. (2/22/2010)

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Rural broadband service coming to libraries, schools - but not homes. (2/20/2010)

Rhinelander Daily News: Schools, libraries to benefit from broadband funds. (2/20/2010)

Wausau Daily Herald: Rural libraries to gain high-speed Internet access. (2/20/2010)

Green Bay Press-Gazette: Rural school districts, targeted for $22.9 million in broadband upgrades. (2/19/2010)

The Drumbeat Continues: Valders School Board Approves Cuts

Link to February 24 Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter article.

Excerpt: School Board members Monday night approved the layoffs of a librarian and two classroom teachers for 2010-11, according to Superintendent Deb Hunt.

However, they also voted not to accept Hunt's recommendation to reduce a full-time reading position at the elementary school to half time, she said

I suspect Rebecca Petersen (listed as librarian at the high school) and Becky Petersen (middle school librarian) are the same person. By Retiring Guy's calculations, that leaves 1 librarian for the district's 3 facilities.

Link to budget PowerPoint slides.

Move the Decimal Point 7 Places to the Right

Link to February 24 New York Times article, "Superman's Debut Comic Book Sells in NYC for $1M".

According to Wikipedia, the first issue of Action Comics had a press run of 200,000. The New York Times article notes than less than 100 copies are believed to still exist.

Which means, perhaps, 199,900 moms threw out the others in the trash.

Retiring Guy remembers a visit to Springfield, Massachusetts (Mom's hometown) in the mid-1950s. My older cousin offered me a stack of his comics books, for keeps -- and it's likely that this visit served as my introduction to the format -- but Mom would have none of it. She politely interjected her refusal, though there was a hint of steel in her voice, enough for me to realize, even at the age of 6, that there was room for bargaining. I suspect, though, there wasn't an Action Comic among these castoffs.

It bears repeating, People: "Just because a new medium arrives doesn't mean an old medium dies out"

Link to February 24 New York Times article, "Water-Color Effect: Internet Can Be TV's Friend".

Excerpt: Remember when the Internet was supposed to kill off television?

That hasn’t been the case lately, judging by the record television ratings for big-ticket events. The Vancouver Olympics are shaping up to be the most-watched foreign Winter Games since 1994. This year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched program in United States history, beating out the final episode of “M*A*S*H” in 1983. Awards shows like the Grammys are attracting their biggest audiences in years.

Many television executives are crediting the Internet, in part, for the revival.

Blogs and social Web sites like Facebook and Twitter enable an online water-cooler conversation, encouraging people to split their time between the computer screen and the big-screen TV

According to the Nielsen Company, 1 in 7 viewers of the Super Bowl and the opening ceremony of the Olympics were on the Web at the same time.

In so many words: how technology reshapes the reading habit.
American Demographics, March, 1997 by Rebecca Piirto Heath.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Todd Gilman on Teaching Online Courses

Link to February 22 Chronicle of Higher Education article, "Combating Myths About Distance Education".

Excerpt: I'll be the first to admit that online delivery of undergraduate or graduate course work is not always a wonderful teaching and learning experience for everyone. But then, neither is face-to-face delivery. The method of delivery itself is not ipso facto a blessing or a curse. That's because any classroom, whether it's the face-to-face, online-only, or hybrid variety, is only as good as the people in it. If both teachers and students are prepared, responsive, and engaged, things run remarkably well. But if the instructor is teaching at too low or too high a level, or if the students are underprepared for the work—or, heaven forbid, if both are the case—problems will arise whether the course is face-to-face or online.

And I will be the first to admit that I approached my first online teaching assignment with much trepidation. (LIS 712, The Public Library, fall 2009 semester.) I learned, first and foremost, that there's a great deal of difference between preparing for a classroom lecture and a recorded lecture. I also learned that online discussions (everyone is required to participate!) are more effective that classroom discussions. And I learned that Todd Gilman is absolutely right when he says, If both teachers and students are prepared, responsive, and engaged, things run remarkably well. It proved to be a rewarding semester. In fact, I have since incorporated a number of the lessons I learned last fall into the syllabus for the face-to-face class I'm teaching this semester.

And it certainly helps that I have access to Learn@UW, the course management software that UW provides.

Bibliotherapy in Action

An article like the one linked below reminds Retiring Guy how fortunate we are in Wisconsin to have the resources of the Cooperative Children's Book Center.

About the CCBC: The CCBC supports teaching, learning and research related to children’s and young adult literature and provides informational and educational services based on its collections to students and faculty on the UW-Madison campus and librarians, teachers, child care providers, researchers and other adults through the state of Wisconsin.

Link to February 17 School Library Journal article, "Reading Fiction Can Help Combat Obesity, Study Say".

Excerpt: Reading may be fundamental—but it’s also beneficial to a child’s health, according to a new study set for release in Pediatrics magazine next month.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center tracked 81 clinically obese girls, ages 9 to 13, and found that 35 percent of the children managed to reduce their body mass index (BMI) when given a book to read about an overweight girl who helps herself to get healthier.

“Age-appropriate fiction, particularly if it addresses health-oriented behaviors, shows potential for augmenting weight loss in girls who participate in a weight-management program,” say the authors of the report "A 'Novel' Intervention: A Pilot Study of Children’s Literature and Healthy Lifestyle."

Mississippi Editorial Strongly Supports Library Service

Pacman for Libraries!

Link to February 23 editorial at (Thanks, Rhonda!)

Excerpt: Mississippi’s budget cuts – whose adverse impact on K-12 schools, community colleges and universities is reported almost daily – also strikes at a less noticed but popular and heavily used state-funded source of information and knowledge: public libraries.

Gov. Haley Barbour’s budget cuts so far have sliced $600,000 off the statewide appropriation for the network of libraries serving every region – and people of all ages.

That $600,000 cut, while small compared to the millions cut from other agencies, is arguably more quickly damaging to libraries’ ability to serve users because operating budgets have little room for adjustment.

State budget impacts in library systems’ budgets vary – based on the amount funded by counties’ tax sources.

In Northeast Mississippi the percentage of total budgets provided by the state ranges from 35 percent in the Northeast system (Alcorn, Tippah, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties) to 14 percent in the Lee-Itawamba system.

Jon Stewart Explains Glenn Beck's Version of Progressivism

At a minimum, you should watch from 1:55 to 3:00.

(Thanks, Lisa, who was alerted to this video clip by her New York Library Association counterpart. Retiring Guy needs to start watching The Daily Show again.)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rage Within the Machine - Progressivism
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Strap on your gun: Hope these folks steered clear of libraries

Link to February 22 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Signs warn Capitol visitors of gun concerns".

Mary Ellen Close is dog park’s benefactor

Link to February 22 West of the I post.

Excerpt: Mary Ellen Close, the former longtime director of the Community Library, is making the donation, said Jonathon Rudie, general manager, Kenosha County Division of Parks. In exchange, the park will be named in honor of Warren Close, Mary Ellen’s father.

The naming still needs approval from three County Board committees and then the County Board itself, Rudie said.

Close’s donation represents half the money needed to be raised by the public to match $25,000 in landfill fees the county is putting toward the project.

Seeing this phrase a lot: School budget cuts

Link to February 23 Manitowoc Herald-Times-Reporter article, "Two Rivers school budget cuts presented to board".

Excerpt: Other savings would be realized through retirements, including the instructional media center director at Clarke. That person would not be replaced. Instead, the IMC director and aide at the high school would cover both schools, Fredrikson said.

Sonya Sones Letter to Fond du Lac School Superintendent

Link to Fond du Lac Reporter.

Excerpt: I agree with Ms. Wentworth that my book is too mature for 11-year olds. That's why I asked Simon and Schuster to label the book as appropriate for ages 12 and up. But just because I didn't want my own daughter to read it until she was 12, that didn't give me the right to prevent all the other children at my daughter's school from reading it.

As the 2010 United States Ambassador of Children's Books Katherine Patterson once said, "All of us can think of a book that we hope none of our children, or any other children, have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf—that work I abhor—then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we will have no books left on the shelf for any of us."

Related articles:

Calling All Sleuths: The Kaukauna Area School District Mystery

Link to February 23 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Kaukauna Area School District recommends $2 million in budget cuts".

Excerpt: Compounding financial difficulties is the district's possible loss of a large number of students to neighboring school districts. A total of 276 students living in the district applied to leave during open enrollment. Last year, 120 student residents left.

Schafer noted there was no particular pattern in who wants to leave. The applicants came from every grade level. He anticipates the loss could cost the district $1 million.

Add to that a $1.46 million hike in salary and benefits, provided the district and Kaukauna Education Association settle a contract with a 3.6 percent increase, and $300,000 in textbooks and other curriculum materials.

Board member Jim Meyers urged administrators to get to the bottom of why parents are opting for other districts.

"It'll never stop if we don't know what's causing it," he said. [Emphasis added.]

He said teachers should be particularly concerned.

He called on administrators to collaborate with them and find out what is on the minds of parents.

"If I were a teacher, I'd be calling parents and asking them, what can I do different as a teacher?"

According to its website, Kaukauna Area School District employs 4 library media specialists.

Lynn Kobussen (Kaukauna High School, Dr. H. B. Tanner Elementary School)

Mr. Dressler (River View Middle School)

Sherri Wolf (Electa Quinney Elementary School)

Mary Vander Loop (Park Elementary School, Victor Haen Elementary School)