Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trenton Public Library Board President Laments Closing of 4 Branches

And asks for the community's help

Link to August 6 guest column, "Trenton's public libraries needs the public's help".

Excerpt: It was during the 2008 budget crisis that the Friends of the Trenton Public Library was reactivated as an advocacy and fundraising organization dedicated to supporting the Trenton Public Library in its mission to serve Trenton's residents. We are still here working to make sure the library can continue its proud history and tradition of service into the future. But we need help. We are counting on current and former city residents whom the library has served over the years to contribute whatever and however they can. Cities, especially, need strong and dynamic libraries to provide the myriad services a diverse population requires, and an active Friends group is critical to maintaining a library's health and success.

We urge all supporters of the Trenton Public Library to visit the Friends' website in the coming weeks and months ( to find out how to make a donation or to volunteer their time and talent. We will be posting volunteer opportunities, including programs, projects and fundraisers in which supporters can become involved.

Charlotte's Billy Graham Library

Link to August 7 Charlotte Observer article, "

Excerpt: More than 400,000 people have walked through Charlotte's Billy Graham Library since it opened in 2007.

And I'm betting attendance will spike this month and next as the library offers its latest exhibit spotlighting a key figure in Billy Graham's inner circle.

" Cliff Barrows Tribute: A Singing Faith," which you can visit in the library lobby through the end of September, offers a closer look at the longtime musical and choir director of all those Graham crusades around the country and the world.

Barrows, now 87, also hosts Graham's "Hour of Decision" radio program, which debuted in 1950. His old microphone from the show is among the items on display

Friday, August 6, 2010

Genre Paperback Publisher Drops Print

Link to August 6 Publishers Weekly report, "Dorchester Drops Mass Market Publishing for E-Book/POD Model".

As far as Retiring Guy can tell from searching LINKcat, Dorchester wasn't exactly burning up the library marketplace.

The 49 LINK member libraries.

Cedar Rapids Circulation Plummets at Temporary Location

Link to August 6 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Despite positive library trends, post-flood circulation down 42 percent".

Excerpt:   There is some good trend news at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, but the latest statistics serve as a reminder, too, of why library lovers in Cedar Rapids are eager for the new $45.5-million library project to get built and opened in 2012.

Leon Green, the library’s computer information services manager, told the library board this week that library use was 23 percent higher this June than last June and 30 percent higher for the fiscal year that ended June 30 compared to the post-flood year that ended last June 30.

Even so, circulation at the library, which is operating out of temporary quarters at Westdale Mall with a small storefront presence in the downtown, is 42 percent lower than the year before the June 2008 flood destroyed the city’s main library, Green said

Related articles:
Library staff looking at the best design ideas. (5/6/2010)
For sale, old library, needs work.  (4/9/2010)
Site Selection Raises Ethics Concerns.  (2/9/2010)
Cedar Rapids Library Board to Recommend Site for New Library. (01/26/2010)
FEMA Reconsiders, Decides Library Provides an Essential Service. (12/24/2009)
Hide and Seek: Downtown Cedar Rapids Satellite Branch Library. (11/30/2009)
Early Days of Cedar Rapids Public Library. (11/20/2009)

Camden, New Jersey. The Library Dumpster Solution

Still need to round up 2 more

Link to August 6 Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Camden preparing to close its library system".

Excerpt: Camden is preparing to permanently shut its library system by the end of the year, potentially leaving residents of the impoverished city among the few in the United States unable to borrow a library book free.

At an emotional but sparsely attended meeting of the library board Thursday, its president, Martin McKernan, said the city's three libraries cannot stay open past Dec. 31 because of severe budget cuts by Mayor Dana L. Redd.

"It's extraordinary, it's appalling," McKernan said.

All materials in the libraries would be donated, auctioned, stored, or destroyed. That includes 187,000 books, historical documents, artifacts, and electronic equipment. Keeping materials in the shuttered buildings is a fire hazard, officials said, and would make them vulnerable to vandalism and vermin.

Redd is facing a $28 million projected deficit stemming from reductions in state aid and a long-standing lack of taxable property. She is planning deep cuts in all departments, and she told McKernan last month that she would slash funding to the 105-year-old library system by about two-thirds.

"They don't want to see our children grasp a future, but go down the toilet," said Jean Kehner, who described herself as a Camden resident for 76 years


Even closing the libraries would be a pricey proposition. The libraries contain historically valuable materials, including phone books dating to the 1880s and newspapers on microfilm from the 1870s. If the library board chooses to save the microfilm, it would cost as much as $11,000 a year. And if the library cannot find a donor for all of its books, it is considering renting seven Dumpsters for $6,230.

Is this the beginning of a trend we'll see in America's poorest cities?

Link to Camden's Sacred Heart Church website.   [Camden] grew to a population of 120,000 but in the last 50 years it has declined to its present level, which is about 66 percent of what it was. Of all the Camdens, it is the poorest today and very likely, it is now the poorest city in the United States. This is an astonishing reality, because Camden in its heyday, was a little industrial giant, manufacturing everything from battleships to toilet seats. Brand names like Campbell Soup and the records and victrolas of the Victor Talking Machine Company made the name Camden famous the world over.

Milwaukee's Freedom School Emphasizes Love of Reading

Link to August 6 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Freedom Schools instill love for reading, respect for others".

It's the last week of Wisconsin's only Freedom School, but the morning group exercise of singing, clapping, stomping, hugging and chanting is the same as it's been every day for the past several weeks at All Peoples Church, 2600 N. 2nd St. It's also the same way Freedom School has begun this summer at 145 other sites around the country.

Administered nationally by the Children's Defense Fund nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, D.C., Freedom Schools aim to teach kids from first grade through high school to fall in love with reading. The six-week summer program is rooted in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, so reading is seen more broadly as a way to empower low-income and minority youth, to instill them with the education, confidence and tolerance necessary to succeed and help others.

Fond du Lac Public Library Adds Self-Check Stations

Link to August 6 Fond du Lac Reporter article, "Selfchecks at Public Library faster, easier".

Excerpt: The library installed the new machines — four next to the main service desk and one in the Children's Department — as part of a $70,000 technology upgrade that includes improvements to the on-site Internet computer system, printing for wireless users and improved filtering.

"We've focused on making the library as efficient and user-friendly as it can be," said Library Director Ken Hall. "The self-checks are part of an overall plan to continually improve our ability to serve the community and let our customers take charge of how they use their library materials and library resources

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Classic Reference Title

Remember this one?

It's 1993 publication date (3rd edition) makes it seriously outdated, of course.

Although never making my Top 40 Ready Reference list, the book always deserved a mention whenever I conducted a reference workshop that included collection development.  Former Parker Pen Executive Roger Axtell packed a lot of useful information into 196 pages.

Anyway, it popped into my mind while reading this Huffington Post, Restaurant Tipping Around The World: 25 Countries' Gratuity Protocol.

Advertising Revenue Continues to Decline for Newspapers

Link to August 5 Wall Street Journal article, "Ad Market Rebounds for Many Media Firms".

Excerpt: Ad experts say a major rebound isn't likely to occur at newspapers. ZenithOptimedia says that newspapers have been losing share every year since 1987, when they accounted for 40.6% of global ad expenditures. By 2009 that share had fallen to 23%, and the ad prognosticator expects the medium to continue to decline.

Magazine publishers are showing more substantial signs of recovery as the industry eked out its first gain in ad pages—up 0.8% in the second quarter—since 2007, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Much of the rebound was attributable to a surge in spending from auto makers

The Public Library: A Vital Resource Center for Job Seekers

Hedberg Public Library

Link to August 1 San Francisco Chronicle article, "Libraries branch out into job-hunting centers".

Excerpt: Public libraries around the Bay Area and the country have emerged as vital resource centers for the growing hordes of job hunters. With free Internet access, tons of information online and in print, knowledgeable staffs and convenient locations, public libraries are attracting unemployed folks like never before.

Libraries have risen to the challenge, holding classes on resume writing and job interviewing, subscribing to specialized job databases, offering online prep courses for civil service and other exams, amassing materials on starting businesses, creating Web sites on career development and even offering free career counseling. Recently, the nation's libraries agreed to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Labor to more effectively help job seekers
.  [Link to 6/30/2010 news release, "Department of Labor Provides Guidance to Workforce Agencies on Partnering with Libraries".]

*"Janesville residents struggle to adjust to loss of GM plant", by Rachel Hahn.  (WisBusiness, 7/29/2010)

Excerpt:  When Janesville was founded by hardworking farmers and entrepreneurs, it was a thriving town. Its location by a river and proximity to the major cities of Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee fueled growth as the city grew from a agricultural community to a manufacturing community, first building tractors and other industrial goods then making cars as the General Motors plant opened in 1919.

The General Motors Assembly Plant became the main business in Janesville employing over 60 percent of the workforce in 1925. The GM plant remained a staple in Janesville’s economy throughout the “golden age of the autoworker” providing the city of Janesville with employment and economic prosperity. However, this stability for the plant and many of Janesville’s families, including my own, did not last.

Seed of an Idea Takes Root at Richmond (California) Public Library

Link to August 4 San Francisco Chronicle article, "Seed-saver library sprouts in Richmond".

Excerpt: Hard times can incubate good ideas, and one of those is seed saving in home gardens. Nationally, Native Seeds/SEARCH and Seed Savers Exchange, and locally, Bay Area Seed Interchange Library (BASIL) at the Berkeley Ecology Center have been doing this for some years.

The latest cultivar of the idea is the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library in the main Richmond Public Library - such a logical pairing that it's surprising it seems to be the first anywhere.

An offshoot of Richmond Rivets, an organization building community resilience to climate change and fossil fuel shortages, Richmond Grows is part of a network of homegrown programs like Urban Tilth, which promotes food gardening in schools and on the Richmond Greenway (the repurposed former Southern Pacific right of way) and the Five Percent Local Coalition, pushing local food production. Richmond and Kennedy high schools operate urban farms; many elementary schools have their own gardens. Last year's urban homestead tour included 20 sites

Related article.
Richmond now has its own seed-lending library.  (Richmond Confidential, 7/20/2010)

Miami-Dade Public Library: Thanks but no thanks

Miami Herald Action Line

Sheboygan City Council: My Way or the Highway

Link to August 5 Sheboygan Press article, "Mayor:  'Splintered council' hurting city".

Excerpt: The City of Sheboygan is hemorrhaging department heads and operationally dysfunctional because its Common Council is unnerved by change, sidetracked by individual agendas and addicted to micromanaging, according to the mayor and recently departed department heads.

Mayor Bob Ryan leveled his criticism Wednesday to echo statements by outgoing City Assessor David Lutzke, who said council mismanagement was the key factor in his decision to join the parade of department heads exiting City Hall. Five have now left in the last year and a total of nine over the last four years. [Emphasis added.]

"When you have a splintered council the way we have, where everyone has their own agenda — and … their agenda has nothing to do with allowing the professionals who were hired to run this city run this city — it's very frustrating," Ryan said.

The Sheboygan City Council in happier days.  They now serve as an antidote to the adage, the more the merrier.

Additional excerpt:  A former department head speaking on condition of anonymity said a council distracted by details in recent years has failed to address key changes in the makeup of the city, including a declining tax base, shifting demographics and declining income levels.

"They're not dealing with the big issues, they're dealing with the day-to-day, kind of like wanting to be the management but not wanting to be the policy directors," the former department head said. "My view is they're supposed to kind of paint the picture of, this is what we want the community to be like, and department heads get you there."

Rappin' Rob Retires

Link to July 31 Eau Claire Leader-Telegram article, "Kids’ lit expert Reid retires renowned act".

Excerpt: Reid came up with the idea for Rappin' Rob while taking a graduate class at the University of Minnesota. Once he became children's librarian in Eau Claire, he started making presentations at schools and libraries to inspire children to read.

"That was my whole purpose, to make reading cool," Reid says.

Demand for Reid's performances skyrocketed after a Rappin' Rob performance in the late 1980s at a library conference in Chicago. In fact, Reid credits that performance and the Rappin' Rob character for the national acclaim he has garnered as a children's literature expert (Reid has published 13 books and more than 70 articles in children's literature publications).

"If it wasn't for Rappin' Rob, I wouldn't have had these opportunities," says Reid, now a children's literature teacher at UW-Eau Claire

One Possible Message: Don't Settle for Less

Link to August 4 Capital Times announcement, "Public input wanted on Central Library design".

Excerpt: Public input is encouraged during a series of four scheduled public meetings to look at the design plans for the new library, which will cost between $27 million and $31 million.

The meetings all willl be at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., beginning at 7 p.m. They will be on Aug. 5, Sept. 9, Oct. 14 and Nov. 4.

"I'm hopeful we'll see high participation in these public meetings so we can hear from the entire community about what they'd like to see in the Central Library," Tripp Widder, president of the Library Board and Foundation, said in a news release. "This is the community's opportunity to weigh in and talk directly with our designers."

Related articles:
Possible temporary location has asbestos problem.  (6/18/2010)
Architectural firm selected for Madison Central project.  (5/26/2010)
State Journal editorial board sez Madison City Council made right decision on Central Library. (5/10/2010)
Council vote on library goes under the radar.  (5/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)
Mayor Responds to Critics on Library Issue.  (4/13/2010)
Board Endorses Renovation Plan.  (4/6/2010)
Some Council Members Not Ready to Move Forward on Mayor's Renovation Plan.  (3/30/2010)
Council President Pro Tem to Introduce Resolution Approving Madison Central Library Renovation Project.  (3/28/2010)
'Dissatisfaction' with Collapsed Madison Central Library Project. (3/25/2010)
Fiore Departure Seen as Beneficial to Madison Central Project.  (3/23/2010)
Matter of Principle" Dooms New Central Madison Library.  (3/20/2010)
Madison Central: The Dream Dies, It's Now Time to Renovate. (3/19/2010)
Dispute over Construction Costs Threatens to Derail New Central Madison Library. (3/17/2010)
Madison Public Library Project Faces Delay in 2011. (3/9/2010)
Construction, Cost Concerns May Delay Madison Central Library Project. (1/25/2010)
New Madison Central Library Wins Council Approval. (11/11/2009)Capital Times Endorses New Madison Central Library. (11/10/2009)
Madison Council Begins Review of Mayor's Budget on Tuesday. (11/6/2009)
More Questions About Madison Central Library Project. (11/1/2009)
New Madison Public Library's First Change Order: Rooftop Garden.

Call for Referendum on New Madison Central Library Not Attracting Support. (10/21/2009)
Madison Board of Estimates Rejects Library Referendum. (10/13/2009)
Some Madison City Council Members Want Referendum on New Central Library. (10/9/2009)
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial on New Madison Central Library. (9/13/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Let the Positioning Begin. (9/1/2009)
New Madison Central Library on Mayor Dave's Front Burner. (8/30/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate? (7/7/2009)
Motley Brown Not Reason Enough. (6/11/2009)
Fiore Plan Receives Unanimous Support. (6/5/2009)
Fiore Plan Gets Nod from Committee. (5/15/2009)
Public Forum Focuses on Central Library Options. (4/24/2009)
Developer Sweetens the Deal. (4/21/2009)
Visualizing a Remodeled Madison Central Library. (4/4/2009)
Renovation Plan Put on Table for Madison Central Library. (3/26/2009)
Residents Critique Proposals to Rebuild Downtown Library. (1/9/2009)
Competing Developers Defend Their Central Library Plans. (1/8/2009)
Comparison of Downtown Madison Library Proposals. (12/17/2008)
Two Proposals for New Madison Central Library. (12/3/2008)
Best Headline of the Week. (9/6/2008)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wheaton Council Gets Its Way, Drops Threat to Legislate

Friday hours resume Sept. 10

Link to August 4 Daily Herald article, "Wheaton ends dispute with library".

Excerpt: City council members have ended a dispute with Wheaton Public Library officials by abandoning a proposal to mandate library hours.

The library board had been in hot water with council members over a plan to close the facility on Fridays. But then last month, the library board reversed its decision.

So the city council on Monday chose not to vote on a proposed law that would have required the library to be open six days a week during the summer and all seven days during the school year.

Councilman Phil Suess said the measure is unnecessary because library board members have agreed to reopen the facility from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays starting Sept. 10

Related articles:
Council still quibbling over library hours ordinance.  (7/21/2010)
Mayor, council bully library board to restore Friday hours.  (7/17/2010)
Wheaton mayor, council members continue their hissy fit.  (7/5/2010)
Apparently, Scalzo's colleagues didn't take his advice.  (6/30/2010)
'Take a deep breath' advises Wheaton council member.  (6/20/2010)
No Friday hours at library irks council members.  (6/10/2010)
Bad news/good news.  (5/21/2010)
More budget cuts could lead to no Friday hours.  (3/20/2010)

Private, Non-Profit Library In St. Paul Looks to Extend Its Reach

Link to July 28 Pioneer Press article, "On a quest to be useful".

Excerpt: The James J. Hill Reference Library in downtown St. Paul is a distinct, beautiful and under-appreciated edifice. It is a private, non-profit library that abuts the much-appreciated main branch of the St. Paul Public Library.

The James J. Hill library "houses a world-class collection of resources and is considered the most comprehensive publicly accessible practical business library in America," its promotional materials assert. Its mission "is to provide access to and assistance in finding the practical business information clients need to succeed."

Its directors' mission, at the moment, is to find ways to extend the library's usefulness, its reach and the legacy of its namesake, the St. Paul railroad magnate.

As board chairman Greg Heinemann wrote on these pages yesterday, "We are considering proposals to share space, host events, inspire and support budding entrepreneurs and bring people to downtown St. Paul. We are even examining how we can invest a portion of the Library's reserve funds with select partners to further its original purpose and benefit its users."

As Seen in Wisconsin: Lincoln High School, Manitowoc

In my estimation, one of  the most architecturally beautiful high schools you'll find anywhere.
Photo by Retiring Guy

Designed by Jens Jensen.  Constructed in 1923.
Photo by Retiring Guy

The Jens Jensen Legacy Project is celebrating the man's life and work on the occasion of his 150th birthday.

The architectural drawings of Jens Jensen, including those for Lincoln High School, are housed in the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan

As noted at the above website, Jensen was particularly noted for his work as a landscape architect. Jens Jensen was one of America's most visionary prairie school landscape architects. Jensen's art was based on an intense knowledge of midwestern plantlife and ecosystems. Characteristics of his work include utilization of horizontal lines in landforms and stonework, the natural branching habits of plants, and the restoration and conservation of native plant materials. He completed projects for Parks and preserves, schools, residential areas, estates, hospitals, office complexes, and government centers.

Shawn Clark: Information Technology Assistant at Muskogee Public Library...and Budding Filmmaker

Photo source:  Downtown Muskogee, Inc.

Link to August 1 Muskogee Phoenix article, "Muskogee man can’t be stereotyped".

Excerpt: Shawn Clark enthusiastically weaves in and out of the stereotype for computer nerds. An assistant in the public library’s technology department, he grew up around computers and befriended other technology-oriented people as he got older.

Watching him at his desk, he moves confidently from one computer to another, grabbing phone calls from people who need his help.

Other than being outgoing, there is one other facet of his talents that sets him apart; he is also a budding filmmaker.

In high school, he got a taste of filmmaking in a technology education class

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Survey Says.....

28% of respondents name John Roberts.
Source:  Pew Research

Link to August 3 Pew Research for the People & the Press report, "The Invisible Court".

Excerpt:   The public often has little to go on when making judgments about the court and its ideology. The Supreme Court's workings are largely hidden from the public's view; its proceedings are not televised and sitting justices seldom give interviews. President Obama cast a rare spotlight on the court in his State of the Union address when he condemned the court's decision allowing corporate spending in elections; Roberts later took the unusual step of publicly criticizing the president's broadside.

Such high-profile incidents involving court decisions are few and far between. As a result, the little that the public learns about the court often comes from the confirmation of new justices. The increasing perception of the court as liberal may partly stem from the fact that the court's most recent nominees -- Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor -- were selected by a Democratic president.

[Thurgood Marshall, July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993]

Mecklenburg County Sales Tax Vote Off the Table

Link to August 4 Charlotte Observer article, "No sales tax vote this fall in Mecklenburg".

Excerpt:   Mecklenburg County voters won’t be asked this fall to consider a quarter-cent increase to the local sales tax.

County Commissioner George Dunlap wanted his colleagues to discuss putting a tax referendum on the November ballot, saying it could be a way to raise additional money for libraries, schools or other county services. The tax could raise an estimated $28 million a year.

But commissioners didn’t vote or even debate, the topic late Tuesday because no board member seconded Dunlap’s motion calling for the referendum. That means the tax is off the table for this year because it is highly unlikely any commissioner will bring it up again

Related articles:
Group to study county merger.  (7/28/2010)
Book stores help out the library.  (7/21/2010)
Libraries hope to expand hours with volunteers at 4 branches.  (7/20/2010)
Another change in hours.  (7/18/2010)
Matthews branch library sends out plea for volunteers.  (7/13/2010)
Most county commissioners cool to sales tax hike.  (7/9/2010)
New hours in effect.  (7/6/2010)
Charlotte Observer editorial board laments the passing of the Novello Festival of the Book.  (6/28/2010)
Shuttered branch could  become Friends' used book store.  (6/25/2010)
A reduced future.  (6/23/2010)
Interlocal cooperation pact.  (6/22/2010)
Three branches close.  (6/19/2010)
Town of Mint Hill perspective.  (6/18/2010)
Five towns tentatively OK $730,000 for libraries.  (6/18/2010)
Carmel, two other branches to close.  (6/16/2010)
Now that the ax has fallen.  (6/16/2010)
Commissioners to vote on budget today.  (6/15/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries:  It's complicated.  (6/9/2010)
Mayor wins straw vote at emotional council meeting.  (6/7/2010)
Editorial:  Should city 'stay in its lane' on libraries.  (6/4/2010)
County commissioners restore some cuts to libraries.  (6/4/2010)
Straw votes begin on Mecklinburg County budget.  (6/3/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries continue to look for one-time financial help.  (5/31/2010)
High school junior speaks out eloquently for libraries.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor Foxx on the art of governing.  (5/30/2010)
Mayor supports financial help for library.  (5/27/2010)
County budget:  Oh, yeah, this is fair.  (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction.  (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches.  (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt.  (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget.  (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today.  (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open.  (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution.  (4/30/2010Library Board chair speaks out.  (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts.  (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit.  (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task.  (4/10/2010)
Libraries now open fewer hours.  (4/6/2010)
"Save Our Libraries Sunday".  (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines.  (3/27/2010)
Library announces new hours for branches.  (3/26/2010)
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system.  (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote.  (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open.  (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives.  (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)

Will Annexation Resolution Interfere with Negotiations Over Joint Library Agreement?

Link to August 3 Sussex Sun article, "Library next issue for Lisbon-Sussex.  Annexation resolution raises tensions between village, town".

Excerpt: The President of the Pauline Haass Library Board is optimistic that growing tensions between elected officials in the Town of Lisbon and the Village of Sussex over an annexation resolution adopted last week by the village board will not interfere with negotiations over a new joint library agreement expected to begin later this month.

Emil Glodoski said elected officials in both communities "take great pride in the fact that the library serves both communities and they take pride in fact that they had been able to work together on the library which they see as 'the crown jewel' of the two communities."

"There has been a history of differences between the boards in the two communities but when it comes to the library they have somehow always been able to work together," he concluded

Related article: 
Proposal to change library funding formula gets cool reception.  (6/7/2010)
Town of Lisbon Chairman proposes new funding formula for library.  (5/31/2010)

Learn to Sail @ Your Library

The Neenah Public Library recommends the following book:

Link to August 3 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Boat remains submerged in Fox River after sinking in Neenah".

Excerpt:    NEENAH.  A small sailboat that went over a dam on its maiden voyage Sunday will remain submerged in the Fox River for a while.

Police and fire officials said the water is too high and too fast to attempt to salvage the boat, which is submerged but visible near Neenah Paper


Flunker said they swam to shore near the public library. He said they had just bought the boat that afternoon, and winds and inexperience sailing caused them to strike the bridge.

Top 15 Employers in Kenosha County, 2010 v. 2003

Link to August 1 Kenosha News article, "Employment shift seen in county".

Excerpt:   What a difference a few years make. It’s true of Kenosha County, anyway.

In seven years, from 2003 to 2010, employment here has undergone a radical shift, from a dependence on manufacturing such things as cars and tools to packaging, handling and distributing all kinds of goods.

“It’s really reflective of the changing nature of the country’s economy as a whole,” said Jerry Franke, president of Wispark. Logistics and distribution define the current employment picture, he said.

Todd Battle, president of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, agrees that what is happening in Kenosha is happening everywhere.

“The loss of manufacturing jobs isn’t a local phenomenon or shocker. Manufacturing employment in the state and across the country has been on a downward trend for the better part of this decade.”

With the dramatic decline of Chrysler and Snap-on — old-line manufacturers that shed thousands of jobs in just a few years — it’s hard to believe that the economic shift hasn’t hit harder here than it has nationwide

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Dollar Bandit Hits Clinton Library

Link to August 3 article, "Suspect breaks into the Clinton Library and gets away with one - dollar".

Arkansas' Pope County Library Provides a Link to the Past

Link to August 3 Russellville Courier article.

Excerpt:   Where do we come from? This is one question we all ask at some point in our lives. The Pope County Library is making this question easier to answer at their genealogy department.

Department head Charity Park and Kristen Ulsperger encourage local residents to trace their family roots using the library. Its genealogy service has thousands of records that pertain to citizen’s needs regarding local, family and ethnic history.

Many are able to trace their family history through birth and marriage certificates that date back as far as the 1830’s. All paper files, including family files, biographies and other subjects are being digitized at the library for even greater convenience. For historical events, The Courier newspaper has archived editions from 1875. Many of these records are on Microfiche and can be printed off or e-mailed to a researcher’s e-mail account.

The library gains much of their information from private donations, especially family histories and photographs. Scanner parties and other workshops are being considered for the genealogy team so local residents can share and donate copies of their old photographs and family documents

Talkin' About My and Your and Their Generations

Silent Generation.  Baby Boomers.  Gen-Xers.  Millenials.  It's easy to generalize and overlook the differences among generational cohorts.

Link to August 3 New York Times article, "A Snapshot of a Generation May Come Out Blurry".

Excerpt:    In short: Generation Y’s collective personality, if such a thing exists, is not likely to be much different from other generations’. Still, small differences may matter, and there is some agreement in findings from psychologists on both sides of this debate. In his own research, Dr. Terracciano has found a slight decrease in trust over the generations and a slight increase in a something called “ascendancy,” or “competence” — a self-professed confidence in getting things done.

This is a gem.
Silent Generation.  Baby Boomers.  Gen-Xers.  Millenials.  It's easy to generalize and overlook the differences among generational cohorts.

Link to August 3 New York Times article, "A Snapshot of a Generation May Come Out Blurry".

Excerpt:    In short: Generation Y’s collective personality, if such a thing exists, is not likely to be much different from other generations’. Still, small differences may matter, and there is some agreement in findings from psychologists on both sides of this debate. In his own research, Dr. Terracciano has found a slight decrease in trust over the generations and a slight increase in a something called “ascendancy,” or “competence” — a self-professed confidence in getting things done.

Devil or Angel: What's Your Research Style?

Description accompanying video:  2010 saw the premiere of The University Libraries Video Contest. Put on through the University of Alabama Libraries, each team had to promote library resources and services while encouraging students to create collaborative teams from the student perspective. Teams were given a set of requirements including time limits, required locations and a product free of copyright material.

Nine teams entered and a panel of judges selected four videos as finalists. The finalist's videos were uploaded for public vote. More than 1800 votes later, we had a winner.

Here is the 1st place Finalist.

Team Members-
Josh Sahib, Communication and Information Sciences, Master of Library and Information Studies
Jana Motes, Communication and Information Sciences, Telecommunication and Film
Sydney Prather, New College, Cultural Understanding through Visual and Textual Media.

And here's a song from a simpler era when students cribbed sections from World Book or Encyclopedia Britannica.  (I recall a 5th grade classmate who wrote book reports by copying the summaries from the backs of Scholastic books.  I never understood why Mrs. Johnson didn't see through this ruse.  But maybe she did, and discreetly took care of the matter.)

No Seat for You!

Or as Terry Dawson astutely asked on Facebook, "Cultural growing pains?"

Link to August 2 New York Times article (Bits blog), "No E-books Allowed in This Establishment".

Excerpt: A few weeks ago I decided to mosey over to a local Manhattan coffee shop for an afternoon cappuccino.

After placing my order I sat down at a table and pulled out my Amazon Kindle.

I barely made it a sentence into the e-book I was reading before an employee of the coffee shop came by, stood over me and said, “Excuse me sir, but we don’t allow computers in the coffee shop.”

I looked up at him with an incredulous look and replied, “This isn’t a computer, it’s an e-book reader.

He then told me that the “device” in my hand had a screen and required batteries, so it was obviously “some variation of a computer.” The coffee shop, I was told, did not allow the use of computers.

(The lead) comment (at the time I read this article): Maybe the issue is not use of computers but overstaying your welcome. I use an iPad and prefer eReaders to paper books, but many times recently I have entered a coffee shop because I simply wanted a drink and a place to sit and drink it - a short respite from my errands. Instead, every seat is filled with people using the place as an office. Nowhere for me to sit, so I leave - looking for another place where I can just sit for 15 minutes and drink a cup of something.

Maybe I don't go to the wrong places, but I've never encountered this situation in the Madison area.

Earmarks: Rehabilitated, or Never a Dirty Word with Voters in the First Place?

Link to August 2 Pew Research Center for the People & The Press report, "Earmarks Could Help Candidates in Midterms; Palin and Tea Party Connections Could Hurt".

Excerpt:   In the congressional elections this fall, candidates with a record of bringing government projects and money to their districts may have an edge. A majority of Americans (53%) say they are more likely to vote for a candidate with a record of delivering earmarks for their districts; just 12% say they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. A third of the public (33%) says this would make no difference in their vote either way.

Far fewer say support from Barack Obama, Sarah Palin or affiliation with the Tea Party movement would make them more likely to vote for a candidate in this year's congressional elections

If we believe the results of this survey, how do we reconcile them with this report?  (A question I'm not going to answer 'on the record'.)

Link to July 26 Politico report, "Senate hopefuls imperil earmarks".

Excerpt: A new crop of Senate candidates is threatening one of the last bastions of unapologetic earmark protection: old-bull senators and lobbyists.

More than 15 Senate candidates — ranging from tea party conservatives to liberal Democratic hopefuls — have promised to either forgo pet projects or ban the practice altogether, putting them in direct conflict with senior senators who view earmarking as both a constitutional right and a senatorial privilege. Add these candidates to the growing cadre of junior lawmakers who have sworn off earmarks already, and 2010 may mark the beginning of a cultural change that prompts Congress to curtail its appetite for pet projects — if the candidates keep their campaign promises.

Stopping the Summer Slide: It's a Matter of Access

Link to August 3 New York Times article, "Summer Must-Read for Kids?  Any Book."

Excerpt: The researchers wanted to study whether providing books to young children during the summer would affect school performance over the years. At the start of the study, 852 randomly selected first- and second-graders attended a school book fair in the spring, where they were allowed to browse from 600 book titles.

A variety of books were offered, ranging from those about celebrities like Britney Spears and “The Rock” to stories of fictional characters like the spunky troublemaker Junie B. Jones. Children could also select from culturally relevant books featuring African-American characters, as well as from books in Spanish.

The children chose 12 books. The researchers also selected at random a control group of 478 children who weren’t given reading books. Those children were offered free activity and puzzle books.

The book fairs and activity book giveaways continued for three summers until the study participants reached the fourth and fifth grades. Then the researchers compared reading test scores for the two groups

The June 2010 issue of Reading Today notes that stopping the summer slide is a matter of access.

There are many reasons for this disparity in summer reading, but the main one is probably access to books. Research by Susan Neuman and others indicates just how pervasive the access issue is. Typically, middle–class kids have many more books in the home than low–SES children. They also have better access to bookstores and libraries. In fact, Neuman's research found that overall access to reading materials in one large urban city was roughly 10 times greater in higher income neighborhoods than in lower income neighborhoods.  [Emphasis added.]

Why does that matter? Not surprisingly, research supports the common–sense notion that access to books affects rates of reading. "When kids don't have easy access to books, they don't read very much," Allington says.

Cutting library hours and closing library branches certainly isn't helping the situation.  And eliminating school librarian positions only compounds the problem.

Wisconsin Assistant State Superintendent Rick Grobschmidt to Retire

Link to full news release.

How Popular was Mitch Miller in his Heyday?

Here's his track record on Billboard's Top 200 Albums from 1958 to 1961.

14 albums in a little more than 4 years, all but 2 reaching the top ten.   Total chart time:  1,274 weeks.  By comparison, Elvis's best-charting album, G. I. Blues (debut 10/31/1960) spent 111 weeks on the Top 200, 10 weeks at #1.  (Of course, Elvis kicked Mitch's butt on the Hot 100 singles chart -- reaching #1 18 times compared to Mitch's uno.)

Link to New York Times obituary.

7 Phoenix Metro Mayors Decry Inequity of County Library Funding

Link to July 26 Arizona Republic letter to the editor, "We've cut library budgets, county should do same."

Excerpt:   We were deeply disappointed with the recent Arizona Republic editorial regarding the county library tax ("County system no cash cow for cities," June 16). We do not believe it is "simplistic and mistakenly shortsighted" to ensure our residents receive an equitable portion of property-tax dollars they contribute into the Maricopa County library system.

As mayors representing more than 3 million residents, we understand library services are critical to our communities. During recent budget hearings, revenue shortfalls forced most of our municipalities to make drastic cuts in city library services. Many residents came forward to emphasize the importance of libraries to their families, especially during these historically difficult economic times.

Our residents are shocked to learn that the "library tax" on their property-tax bills is not funding the libraries in their communities, but instead is paying for services elsewhere.

We all agree that unincorporated areas and small communities should have access to a quality library system. We never have proposed ending the financial subsidy our residents' tax dollars generate for these areas.

Our concerns are the blatant inequity and lack of fairness with the current distribution of funds

Related article:
Maricopa County Library District Tax.  (6/14/2010)

Tempe Public Library: From 70.5 to 56 Hours Per Week

From a July 9th Arizona Republic article:
Library spokeswoman Adrian Richwine said she expects the changes to be permanent, although administrators will continue to monitor peak usage hours to see whether the schedule needs to be tweaked.

Regardless of the results of any future studies, however, residents should expect the library to be open 56 hours a week for the foreseeable future, she said.

"It would be nice to go back someday to 70.5 (weekly hours)," Richwine said. "(But) at this point in time . . . it looks like they are permanent."

Atlantic City Free Public Library Schedules 10 Furlough Days for Remainder of 2010

From 8/2  Monday is first of 10 furlough days ordered by Mayor Lorenzo Langford to help balance the budget. The furlough does not include the police and fire departments.

Fond du Lac Public Library Upgrades Filtering Software

Link to August 3 Fond du Lac Reporter article.

Excerpt: In an effort to protect and prevent patrons from viewing pornography online, the Fond du Lac Public Library spent $25,000 this year to upgrade its Internet filtering software.

Library Director Ken Hall said the library periodically updates the software that restricts access to websites that may contain objectionable material, but also relies on staff and patrons to monitor computer use.

The only illegal pornography is child pornography. If staff members observe library users viewing child pornography, they will be reported to the police, Hall said.

That is what apparently occurred when in December 2008, two patrons reported Chad Voeller, 27, of Fond du Lac, for viewing child pornography on the library's online computer terminals. Voeller's library privileges were revoked for this and prior incidents, according to documents filed in a stalking/burglary case pending against Voeller.

Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Richard Nuss ruled the statements about Voeller's alleged child pornography viewing weren't admissible in the case, but that ruling has since been overturned on appeal. Nuss also seemed dismayed the library would be used to view online pornography

Monday, August 2, 2010

How's Your Endurance?

The audio version clocks in at 62 hours, 56 minutes.
I barely made it through the print version 40 years ago, though I recall skimming through the 100-page (or whatever) rant at top speed.

Digital Natives: 'Common Knowledge' in Purple Text

Source:  Photoexpress

Link to August 2 New York Times article, "Lines on Plagiarism Blur for Students in Digital Age".

Excerpt:   At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied and pasted from a Web site’s frequently asked questions page about homelessness — and did not think he needed to credit a source in his assignment because the page did not include author information.

At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.  [OMGoyveyachdulieber!]

And at the University of Maryland, a student reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression said he thought its entries — unsigned and collectively written — did not need to be credited since they counted, essentially, as common knowledge.

Seems to Retiring Guy that the students deserve some company on this dishonor roll.  What are teachers teaching?  What guidelines are they providing?  Does the trend have anything to do with this?  Maybe his sons can provide some insights.

Related article:
Enduring myth receives puncture wound.  (8/1/2010)

The Library's Image Problem with Local Officials

Link to August 2010 Governing article, "Libraries Lose More Than Time".  (Thanks to Cheryl and Michael for the heads-up via Facebook.)

Excerpt: Heading into the second decade of the 21st century, the urban library has become America's knowledge center. "The problem is that many leaders think of libraries as they existed in the 1960s and '70s," says Susan Benton, CEO of the Urban Libraries Council. One idea the council would like local officials to consider is the notion of the urban library as a magnet for economic development. The concept is not new, but has taken on importance as some question the direct cost of running libraries. When the Seattle Public Library opened a striking new building in 2004, the number of daily visitors doubled, attracting thousands of people to the city's downtown.  [Emphasis added.]

Here's another opportunity to draw attention to one of the best recent article to be written about libraries.

Libraries at the Heart of Our Communities.

There's been a dramatic change in the mission of libraries across the country. No longer just static repositories of books and reference materials, libraries are increasingly serving as the hub of their communities, providing a broad range of services and activities. They are also becoming important "economic engines" of downtowns and neighborhood districts.

And here's one way to start working on that image problem.  (The advice isn't specific to Wisconsin libraries.)

Google v. Bing: What's Your Main Search Tool?

Link to August 2 New York Times article, "Bing and Google in a Race for Search Features".   (Print headline:  "A Race for Smarter Search.  Bing Innovates and Google Plays a Little Catch-Up.")

Excerpt: Edwin Perello discovered that Bing, the Microsoft search engine, could find addresses in his rural Indiana town when Google could not. Laura Michelson, an administrative assistant in San Francisco, was lured by Bing’s flight fare tracker. Paul Callan, a photography buff in Chicago, fell for Bing’s vivid background images.

When Microsoft introduced it last year, Bing made a splash with its vivid background images. In June, Google presented searchers the option of a colorful background rather than the stark, white page.

Like most Americans, they still use Google as their main search tool. But more often, they find themselves navigating to Microsoft’s year-old Bing for certain tasks, and sometimes they stay a while.

“I was a Google user before, but the more I used Bing the more I liked it,” Mr. Callan said. “It’s more like muscle memory takes me to Google.”

Bing still handles a small slice of Web searches in the United States, 12.7 percent in June, compared with Google’s 62.6 percent, as measured by comScore, the Web analytics firm. But Bing’s share has been growing, as has Yahoo’s, while Google’s has been shrinking.

Old habits die hard.  Retiring Guy needs to give Bing a closer look.