Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sterling North's Edgerton Book & Film Festival

Chicago-Area Library News Update

From the Daily Herald.

Cook Memorial now aiming for January opening.  (10/8/2010)

Closed now for more than a year because of a $7 million construction project, the main Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville likely will remain shuttered until early January, officials said Friday.

Prior estimates had called for a November opening, but a summertime construction strike and basement-level flooding prompted the schedule change for the Cook Park site, said Stephen Kershner, Cook Memorial's new executive director.

Lombard library to double number of computers for adults.  (10/8/2010)

Library officials set aside about $12,000 in their 2011-12 budget to buy 12 desktop computers and connect them to the Internet, Director Bob Harris said.

“They will be very appreciated. Our Internet terminals are almost always full, Linda Schehl, the library's head of adult services, said. “In this economy, I think our usage has gone up on so many fronts it's needed.

The library averages 4,300 Internet use sessions a month, or 145 a day, said Julie Adamski, the library's systems support specialist. She estimates adult Internet use makes up 75 percent of those sessions

I've forwarded this article to the Library History Buff.

'Momania' Blogger on Picture Books

Link to Theresa Walsh Giarrusso's October 8 "Momania" blogpost in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Let your kids look at picture books! Stop pushing chapter books so early!"

Excerpt: This trend really aggravates me because there are stages to learning to read and write and one of the stages is looking at the pictures and children interpreting them for themselves!

Kids love to study the drawings for details. They like to figure out what is going on. Observe the action. Create their own story about what they are seeing.

Pictures help them figure out order of action. They help develop a narrative. They help them learn to include details in their own stories.

Some of our favorite books have little to no words.

Tomie dePaola’s “Pancakes for Breakfast” is a family favorite about an old woman who has to gather the milk, eggs and churn butter just to make her pancakes. The kids love telling the story of what all the woman has to do and how she is feeling and how her pets feel when they eat all her batter.

“Eloise Takes a Bawth” is another book the kids will still study for hours. They follow the trails of water leaking through the Plaza hotels floors from Eloise’s tub. They study Eloise’s toys in the bathtub. They thoroughly examine all the guests’ costumes at the big Venetian ball at the end of the story

Related article:
Picture books increasingly bypassed for chapter books.  (10/8/2010)

One Way to Get Your Name in the News

Link to October 9 Philadelphia Daily News article, "College Republicans campaign to take Paul Robeson's name off library at Rutgers-Camden".

Excerpt: "Although he was a very intelligent and gifted man, Paul Robeson made a very unfortunate choice. He was a personal admirer of Josef Stalin," Opczynski, of Palmyra, told the Daily News. "My problem is Rutgers placing this man, Mr. Robeson, on a pedestal considering his unsavory, almost disgraceful past."

Supporters of Robeson, including former students who championed naming the library for him in 1991 and a large contingent of history professors at the school, quickly fired back, claiming it's better to ask why Robeson felt alienated by his own country and turned to socialism, than to condemn his decades-old decisions.

"I thought the Cold War was over, so why people are trying to resurrect ghosts from the Cold War is a mystery to me," said Wayne Glasker, associate professor of history and director of African-American studies at Rutgers-Camden. "I would think people would be a little more concerned about terrorism or the economy, not whether Paul Robeson was a communist or not."

Robeson graduated from the Rutgers main campus in New Brunswick with honors, but according to the Paul Robeson Foundation, the school played a part in minimizing his accomplishments during the Cold War. He's since been inducted into their Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Buildings on all three campuses now bear his name.

"There are no plans for Rutgers-Camden to rename the Paul Robeson Library," spokesman Mike Sepanic said.

2011 Budget Outlook Remains Bleak for Camden New Jersey

Link to October 8 Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Camden's worst-case budget scenario calls for 350-plus layoffs".

Excerpt:   Camden will lay off more than 150 police officers, 77 firefighters, and about 150 other employees unless the mayor can wrest concessions in union contracts in the coming days, according to union officials and employees.

The cuts, described as the worst-case scenario, would amount to more than a third of the city's unionized workforce.

Mayor Dana L. Redd would not provide details of her estimates of the number of layoffs because negotiations with the bargaining units continue.

But she met with firefighters, police officers, and city employees Thursday in separate closed-door meetings to directly explain the harsh budget scenario: After years of bailouts from Trenton to close budget holes, Camden might not get all of the $54 million in state aid it needs to remain solvent.

And even if all that money comes through, the city still could not afford to pay all its employees

Related articles:
Fairview branch library is closed for good.  (9/8/2010)
Library board postpones decision on closing branch.  (9/2/2010)
"An oasis in the desert".  (8/15/2010)
Camden New Jersey squeeze play?  (8/11/2010)
Camden mayor plays an odd game of library advocacy.  (8/9/2010)
The library dumpster solution.  (8/6/2010)
Mayor proposes 70% cut in library funding.  (7/19/2010)

Sheboygan's Mead Public Library Facing 11% Cut in 2011 Budget

Link to October 8 Sheboygan Press article, "Library faces cuts. Mayor proposes $300K trim in Mead budget".

Excerpt: For the second year in a row, the Mead Public Library is facing major budget cuts that could reduce services and staff, as well as knock it out of the library system that allows it to share materials and services with other libraries in the region.

Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan last week proposed cutting $300,000, or 11 percent, from the $2,635,988 the Mead Public Library got last year.

That includes cutting three library jobs. It's part of Ryan's overall proposed budget that calls for cutting up to 24 city positions — including five police officers and six firefighters — to help close a $1.7 million budget shortfall without raising taxes.

Last year, Ryan proposed cutting $228,000 from the library and using those dollars to fill four open police officer positions.

Some at the time characterized that as a "cops vs. books" budget choice.

Not this year.

"Every department is being asked to cut back. The library has certainly not been singled out," Library Director Sharon Winkle said.

"With the continuing deficits we're facing, it's across the board," Ryan said

Related articles:
Mayor offers his 2011 budget.  (10/5/2010)
Officials face $1,500,000 budget deficit in 2011.  (6/10/2010)
Council approves Mayor's new appointments to library board.  (4/28/2010)
Mayor questioned about library board appointments.  (4/26/2010)
Sheboygan Press Editorial Board supports library funding deal.  (11/27/2009)
Library likely to maintain its Maintenance of Effort funding.  (11/24/2009)
Update on library's Maintenance of Effort.  (11/20/2009)
Maintenance of Effort and the Mead Public Library.  (7/6/2009)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Picture Books Increasingly Bypassed for Chapter Books

I fondly remember spending  many hours reading this picture book to my two sons.

Link to October 8 New York Times article, "Pictures Books No Longer a Staple for Children".

Excerpt: The shop has plenty of company. The picture book, a mainstay of children’s literature with its lavish illustrations, cheerful colors and large print wrapped in a glossy jacket, has been fading. It is not going away — perennials like the Sendaks and Seusses still sell well — but publishers have scaled back the number of titles they have released in the last several years, and booksellers across the country say sales have been suffering.

The economic downturn is certainly a major factor, but many in the industry see an additional reason for the slump. Parents have begun pressing their kindergartners and first graders to leave the picture book behind and move on to more text-heavy chapter books. Publishers cite pressures from parents who are mindful of increasingly rigorous standardized testing in schools

The article focuses on retailers and publishers; it does not include a library perspective.  I'm interested in knowing if youth librarians have seen a decline in the circulation of pictures books.

Library's Teen Area Draws Attention

Link to October 7 Indianapolis Star article, "Some find Plainfield library's Area T disquieting. Perception that Plainfield library unsafe due to teens' rowdy behavior concerns director, board".

Excerpt:   Excitement abounded when the Plainfield-Guilford Township Library opened its new Area T in April.

But in the five months since the teen space debuted, the library's teen coordinator has departed, and perception about the merits of the space has shifted a bit among some library patrons because of teens' rowdy behavior in the library, including at least one fight in which police were called.

Library officials believe it's much ado about nothing -- chalking it up to teens being teens -- but some in the community see it a little differently.

A regular library user, Kayleigh Keeton, recalled an evening a few weeks ago in which she heard a lot of yelling, screaming and laughing, as she entered the library. As she got closer to the commotion, she realized it was coming from a group of teens. She heard a lot of profanity, then watched in amazement as they began playing tag in the middle of the library, nearly knocking down an elderly woman.

As a lifelong user of the Plainfield library, she reported the incident to staff to make sure the library continues to be a wonderful community amenity, she said

How Raleigh's Richard B. Harrison Library Got Its Start

Link to October 2 Raleigh News Observer article, "Shaw library welcomes a 'treasure'."

Excerpt: In the 1930s, Mollie Huston Lee walked the streets of Raleigh carrying a basket full of books, slowly gathering the collection that would become Wake County's first library for blacks.

In time, that collection grew to 8,000 volumes that detail the social, political, religious, literary and scientific experiences of black Americans, and would form the heart of the Richard B. Harrison library.

On Friday, the library parted with much of that printed history, giving more than 2,000 books to Shaw University. The university's James Cheek Library is positioning itself as a repository for African-American materials, and Shaw officials applauded the chance for a new generation to thumb through the past.

"It just adds a treasure to the collection," said Musette McKelvey, Shaw's interim library director. "We have a lot of first editions and a lot of signed copies. ... Please visit us very often."

Lee, who once worked as a Shaw librarian, opened the Harrison library in 1935. In 1948, the library moved into a larger space in a house on South Blount Street and attracted visits from poet Langston Hughes and author Zora Neale Hurston

Sussex-Lisbon Library Negotiations to Continue after Information-Gathering Process

Town of Lisbon (Waukesha County) in green

Link to October 5 Sussex Sun article, "Pauline Haass library budget approved. Negotiations on operating agreement delayed".

Excerpt: While elected officials in the Village of Sussex and Town of Lisbon have reached agreement on the 2011 budget for the Pauline Haass Library, negotiations between the two communities over a long-term operating agreement for the library may be delayed and possibly steered in a new direction.

Sussex Village President Tony Lapcinski has asked village staff to research the use of village services, such as park and recreation programs and police and fire services by Sussex and Lisbon residents.

Lapcinski told a meeting of the library, village and town boards last week that he did not want to schedule negotiations about the operating agreement between the village and town boards until Village Administrator Jeremy Smith could complete the research.

Incorporating information on related to the use of other municipal services into the negotiations about the library agreement appears to contradict earlier statements by the village president.

Last month, Lapcinski said the library agreement, which expires in 2014, should be negotiated separately from other issues being discussed by town and village officials

Related articles: 
And the beat goes on.  (10/4/2010)
Differences of opinion of library funding continue.  (9/18/2010)
Leaders of Village of Sussex, Town of Lisbon clash over funding for library. (8/26/2010)
Will annexation resolution interfere with negotiations over joint library agreement?  (8/4/2010)
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)

New Private Sector Hiring Can't Keep Pace with Local Government Job Cuts

Link to U.S. Dept. of Labor Databases, Tables & Calculators

Link to October 8 AP story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Economy sheds 95K jobs in September due to government layoffs; unemployment remains 9.6 pct."

Excerpt: A wave of government layoffs in September outpaced weak hiring in the private sector, pushing down the nation's payrolls by a net total of 95,000 jobs.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent last month. The jobless rate has now topped 9.5 percent for 14 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1930s.

The private sector added 64,000 jobs, the weakest showing since June.

Local governments cut 76,000 jobs last month, most of them in education. That's the largest cut by local governments in 28 years. And, 77,000 temporary census jobs ended in September
.  [Emphasis added.]

And in related developments.....

Student numbers continue to rise at area colleges.  (La Crosse Tribune, 10/8/2010)

Amid slow economy, more Wisconsin students heed the calls of military recruiters. (WisconsinWatch, 8/5/2010)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yeah, well, I suppose there are better ways to spend an hour or two

Link to Maureen Downey's October 6 'Get Schooled' column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "We’ve gone from everyone ignoring schools to everyone offering an opinion, even uninformed ones".

Excerpt:   In my 25 years as a reporter, I have seen two extremes in education coverage. When I landed my first job, nobody wanted the schools beat. It was worse than covering zoning and library boards.

In my 22 years as Director of the Middleton Public Library, library board meetings were rarely attended by a local reporter.  But when I served as Interim Director at the Portage Public Library last fall, a reporter attended all three.  (And accurately summarized the proceedings of the meeting in his news article.)

National League of Cities Research Brief on America's Cities

Link to 8-page report.

Link to AP article in October 7 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Housing slump hammers local government tax revenue".

Excerpt: City tax revenues dropped this year by the most in 25 years, hit hard by falling home prices that could crimp local budgets for years to come.

Property tax revenue in U.S. cities fell 1.8 percent in fiscal year 2010, according to a report released Wednesday by the National League of Cities. It's the first drop in the 25 years that the survey has been conducted.

Depressed home values are just beginning to affect property tax receipts and the impact could linger for at least two more years, the report said. The declines are only now being felt because real estate assessments lag changes in market values.

City governments are already facing tough choices between spending cuts and possible tax increases. Many are laying off workers and cutting services to make up for lost revenue. Strapped city budgets could increase already high unemployment and further restrain economic growth

Connecticut Correction Commissioner, and Occasional Book Critic, Initiates Library Policy Review

"Disgusting!"  Leo Arnone.

Link to AP story in the October 6 Charlotte Observer, "Conn. prisons to amend library policy".

Excerpt:   The state Department of Correction is revising its library policy in the wake of an Associated Press investigation that found inmates had unrestricted access to works depicting graphic violence, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, said he met with Correction Commissioner Leo Arnone for an hour Friday after learning that books such as Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," a literary classic about a 1959 killing in Kansas, were among the department's library holdings.

"When I mentioned 'In Cold Blood' to him, he said it was a disgusting book," Kissel said. "I think he's aware of my concerns and he shares them."

Kissel, whose district includes six state prisons housing more than 8,000 inmates, had called for the removal of all books containing violent content from prison library shelves. He said Arnone has agreed to craft a detailed library policy after reviewing how the issue is handled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The senator said he was told the department wants to address safety concerns while also guarding against potential lawsuits from prisoners

Related article.
State senator concerned over prisoners' access to certain books.  (10/3/2010)

New Jersey's Montville Public Library Parking Lot Gets a Workout

Link to October 7 Newark Star-Ledger article, "Montville library becoming de facto drop-off site for high school".

Excerpt:   Since the beginning of the school year, the Montville Public Library has served as an unofficial pick-up and drop-off point for students of Montville High School.

Parents have increasingly been using the lot to avoid the long line of cars headed into the high school next door. And township officials say more parents are driving their kids to school because Montville has cut courtesy busing throughout the district.

The use of the lot was the subject of debate between members of the township committee and the board of education during a joint meeting Tuesday night

Belmont, Massachusetts: Branch Library to Reopen with Use of Volunteers, Private Funds

The facility will be open for 15 hours per week.

Link to October 7 Boston Globe article, "Volunteers gain OK to reopen library with private funds".

Excerpt: After a year of relentless fund-raising and activism, Belmont residents hoping for a chance to reopen the doors of the Benton Branch Library had their wish granted this week.

The Board of Selectmen voted, 2 to 1, to allow the Benton Library Reuse Committee and the Friends of the Benton Library to draw up a two-year license to run the library using private donations.

“We’re delighted the selectmen had faith in us,’’ said Richard Cheek, chairman of the reuse committee, who presented the plan at Monday’s meeting. “This could not have come together without the hard work and generosity of a tremendous number of volunteers, and now all their work has paid off.’’

Similar arrangements had proven successful in Newton, where the Waban and Auburndale branch libraries* are run with volunteers and donations, noted Cheek and Elizabeth Gibson, a member of the Friends of the Benton Library

*No listings for Waban and Auburndale at Newton Free Library's website.

The Waban Library Center, open 24.5 hours per week, has its own website.

As does the Auburndale Community Library.

DeForest Village Administrator Proposes 'No-Nonsense' Budget for 2011

Link to October 6 DeForest eNews article, "Proposed budget has 2 percent increase".

Excerpt:    DeForest Administrator Steve Fahlgren said the proposed 2 percent increase translates to about $32 for a $250,000 home. The tax rate is $6.59 per $1,000 of equalized value, an increase of 13 cents from last year's rate of $6.46 per $1,000.

Last year's budget had a 0 percent increase over the year prior.

"Based on the outcome of the public hearing and action by the board, (the budget) could change," Fahlgren noted.

The public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the DeForest Public Safety Building courtroom.

At this point, Fahlgren said the village doesn't expect any service level cuts and there are no increases in full-time equivalent employees.

The biggest capital outlay expense in the proposed budget is for a ton-and-a-half truck for the Public Works Department. Funds will be borrowed for street reconstruction and utility-type projects.

"It's kind of a no-nonsense budget," Fahlgren said.

Compared to other municipalities, Fahlgren said DeForest was "not as challenged" while creating a budget for the upcoming year because of lingering effects from an omission at the state level in 2008.

Wisconsin Historical Society Archives: The Basement Tapes

Link to video

Link to October 7 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Secret Places: Wisconsin Historical Society’s treasure trove".

Excerpt:    Deep in a basement on the UW-Madison campus lies the story of our entire state:

The cheesehead hat signed last year by President Barack Obama on his visit to Wright Middle School in Madison.

The 1 millionth aluminum wheel cover cast at the Reynolds Metal Co. in Beloit in 1996 and signed by the employees.

A wild rice threshing machine used on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation.

They’re among the 98,000 historical objects and thousands more archaeological artifacts found in the storage of the Wisconsin Historical Society

Appleton Post-Crescent Supports Wisconsin's Consolidated Court Automation Program

Link to October 7 Appleton Post-Crescent editorial, "Limiting online court records isn't openness".

Excerpt: Wisconsin's popular Consolidated Court Automation Programs, known as CCAP, provides an invaluable service.

It makes government more accessible because anyone can search the website for information, instead of going through what can be an intimidating or inconvenient process of asking courthouse workers for assistance.

We think all court records should be available on the website, and that includes information about cases that were dismissed or where the defendant was acquitted.

The best way we can get a complete picture of what's happening with the taxpayer-funded court system is to see all the records in one plac

Related article:
Wisconsin Assembly panel passes bill limiting records access.  (2/4/2010)
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 663:  CCAP.  (1/27/2010)

Appleton Mayor Presents 2011 Budget

Link to October 7 Apleton Post-Crescent article, "Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna's budget proposal closes $3 million deficit".

Excerpt: Mayor Tim Hanna presented a budget plan Wednesday he says makes key operations more efficient and keeps the city in a safe spot.

The proposed $146.2 million budget closes a $3 million deficit the city was carrying heading into 2011.

"I can't think of any surprises in here," Hanna told the Common Council. "You've heard a lot of what we've talked about. Those changes are in here."

City leaders have scheduled a full-day to review and debate of the budget Oct. 30 and may continue discussion on Nov. 1. A public hearing follows on Nov. 3, and the Common Council adopts the budget on Nov. 10.

Hanna's 714-page plan calls for significant changes. It guts the parks and recreation department, creates staffing pools in the public works department for greater flexibility and centralizes customer service at City Hall.

City of Appleton 2011 budget preview.  (8/26/2010)

Latest budget documents not yet available online.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Letter Writer Has Ax to Grind with American Library Association

Arlene is having none of it.

Link to October 5 letter to the Daily Herald, "Library association has too much power".

The annual Banned Book Week, which ended Saturday, is an outright farce and an insult to the taxpaying public. The American Library Association uses this deceptive and disgraceful propaganda to set up parents for ridicule, knowing full well what the Supreme Court has ruled about legally keeping inappropriate material from children.

The last book "banned" in the U.S. was "Fanny Hill" in 1963. Since then, the ALA-inspired mechanism, "Materials Reconsideration Policies," directs libraries to utilize their own book challenge format, then turns around to ridicule anyone who avails himself of such policies, labeling them "censors," "threats to free speech" or "people who feel they can decide for others what they can read." But, the reality is that the ALA is the one who does the "censoring" through it's own materials selection policy guidelines

The ALA is not a governmental agency but a private association of professional librarians who have incrementally usurped the ownership and power over our taxpayer-funded libraries. They have radically fought any attempt to legally challenge books for legitimate reasons, even against U.S. Supreme Court rulings. An example: United States v. American Library Association. "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."  (A case that dealt with the Children's Internet Protection Act, not collection development.)

The ALA cannot be trusted. Its propagandistic efforts are designed to fool local communities and media into leaving children exposed to inappropriate material it would be constitutionally legal to prevent. Are you comfortable with allowing the ALA alone to decide what others especially young children could read?

All of a sudden, "Think for yourself and let others do the same" has a ring of irony to it. -Are Children Safe in Public Libraries?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Jersey's Princeton Public Library Turns 100 in Style

Link to October 5 Times of Trenton article, "Book it: Library turns 100".

Excerpt: A multimillion dollar endowment. A beautiful three-story, state-of-the-art building. A place that many in town have come to think of as Princeton's living room.

Those are just some of the achievements the community will celebrate when the Princeton Public Library marks its 100th birthday this weekend with a variety of activities.

As of yesterday, $9.85 million had been raised toward the goal of having a $10 million endowment in time for the library's centennial celebration Sunday, a day library officials hope to be an auspicious one considering that the date is 10-10-10.

Library Executive Director Leslie Burger and her staff have been working nonstop over the last several weeks to prepare for the occasion and meet the library's centennial fundraising goal.

In the race to the finish over the past month, Burger has solicited more than a dozen $25,000 gifts for the endowment, and about two weeks ago, she raised $130,000 in just one day

WLA and LWM: An 'Uncommon' Agenda

I took some small, brief comfort today in the fact that Curt Witynski, Assistant Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, didn't include a reference to maintenance of effort as it applies to public library system membership in his testimony to the Special Committee on Local Government Consolidation.  (Summary reproduced below.)

Not that I felt the issue was now off the table.  Far from it.  By focusing on the maintenance of effort requirement for emergency services spending (#4 below), he kept the spotlight off the library community for the time being.  (Curiously, none of the committee members had any questions for Curt.  Maybe everyone was eager to break for lunch.)

After the committee adjourned its morning session, I talked with Curt about the omission.  He offered the reply I was anticipating.  The members of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities wish to repeal any maintenance of effort requirements in the state statutes.

"Everything's being thrown into the same pot," he noted.

Apparently, the emergency services spending MOE strengthened the group's resolve to fight these 'mandates'.  (The League, by the way, also considers the requirement for Grade 1 certification of public library directors to be a mandate.)

Bottom line:  Expect legislation to repeal maintenance of effort requirements to be introduced in the next legislative session.  After the November 2 elections, we'll need to determine who in the State Senate and Assembly are on WLA's side..

The Wisconsin Library Association's position on MOE is found here.  Curt is familiar with and understands the reasons for our position.  He served as a member of the 2002 Wisconsin Public Library Legislation and Funding Task Force.

The Howling (over ebook prices)

Link to October 5 New York Times article, "2 E-Books Cost More Than Amazon Hardcovers".

Excerpt: Readers of e-books may not be able to turn paper pages, lend their copies to friends or file them away on living room bookshelves. But they do have the comfort of knowing that they paid less for them than for hardcovers.

Unless they bought “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett, which was published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, last week. On, the price for the e-book was $19.99; the hardcover edition was $19.39.

Or “Don’t Blink,” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, whose publisher, Little, Brown & Company, charged $14.99 for the e-book. Amazon priced the hardcover at $14.

Customers, unaccustomed to seeing a digital edition more expensive than the hardcover, howled at the price discrepancy, and promptly voiced their outrage with negative comments and one-star reviews on Amazon

Related articles:
Ebooks scaling/approaching/sitting atop the 'peak of inflated expectations'.  (9/23/2010)
Book industry wrestlesl with print v. pixels.  (9/2/2010)
Coming soon to a screen near you:  Ads in ebooks.  (8/20/2010)
Ebooks now comprise 8.5% of book sales. (8/12/2010)
Genre paperback publishers drops print.  (8/6/2010)
Ebooks and libraries.  (5/4/2010)
Ebooks eliminate a free form of adversiting:  the book jacket.  (3/31/2010)
Ebooks: another round of false promises?  (3/19/2010)
The skinny on ebooks.  (3/8/2010)
Hardcover vs. ebook:  Breaking down the costs.  (3/1/2010)

IMDB and CDDB: 'Two Early Online Standouts'

Link to October 4 New York Times article, "Obsessions with Minutiae Thrive as Databases".

Excerpt: Managing a database doesn’t exactly sound like a path to fame and fortune — more like a path to a role in a company’s technology department. But the market has been kind to the visionaries who began to collect information online in the 1990s.

Before Internet experts spoke of crowd sourcing, or of the crowd’s wisdom, these database creators thought to harness an enthusiastic worldwide public to pursue seemingly impossible quests, like developing a catalog of all movies or of all recorded music. And over time, as those quests seemed more achievable, big entertainment companies came calling, recognizing the value of having access to the minutiae of their business.

That, in a nutshell, is the story behind two early online standouts, IMDB, the Internet Movie Database, and CDDB, a database of CDs now known as Gracenote, each with big corporate parents

Wisconsin Job Opening: Marathon County Public Library Director

The Board of Trustees of the Marathon County Public Library is seeking a leader to direct the operations of the Marathon County Public Library System. The selected individual will provide leadership and oversight of the continued development and implementation of Library programs and services.

Marathon County is the gateway to Wisconsin’s north woods recreational areas and home to diverse people, businesses and industries. Granite Peak Ski Resort, Lake Wausau, bike trails, parks, museums, and summer concerts are but a few of the many recreational and cultural activities that make Marathon County a preferred place to live and work.

The Marathon County Public Library consists of nine locations throughout Marathon County, WI, including our Wausau Headquarters, plus eight branch locations. Marathon County has a population of 133,000 and the Library has a $3.6 million budget, 53 FTE employees, and a circulation of over one million. This position requires a Master’s degree in Library Science or Library Information Science from an ALA-accredited program and five years’ professional library management experience or equivalent combinations of education and/or experience. Salary Range: $71,678 - $91,707 with comprehensive benefits package. Submit Marathon County application materials no later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, October, 29, 2010 to: Employee Resources, 500 Forest Street, Wausau, WI 54403-5568 715-261-1451 Application materials can be found at: and

Enrollment Trends at Fox Valley Technical College

Link to October 5 Oshkosh Northwestern article, "More high school grads choosing technical college".

Excerpt: New enrollment trend data shows one in five high school students now enroll directly into Fox Valley Technical College after graduation, said communications director Chris Jossart.

FVTC officials said they were surprised by the trend. The technical college, which spans a five-county region, has built a reputation for attracting large numbers of non-traditional students over the age of 25 who are seeking new careers or skills as the job market shifts.

The number of 18 year olds enrolling at FVTC has grown 75 percent in the past five years, said Melissa Kohn, director of the Oshkosh Riverside campus. Overall enrollment has increased 28 percent during that same time frame

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk to Step Down in April 2011

Link to October 5 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Falk sends shock wave through Dane County with decision to step down".

Excerpt: Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk's surprise announcement Monday that she would step down in April, midway through her four-year term, left politicians and pundits relatively speechless.

While Falk was telling the media Monday she was "open to the world" after 14 years in the county's top job, likely candidates to replace her were chewing over their options.

Notice how Brian Schimming dis-tinguishes himself in the State Journal article.

Falk on her decision to step down.

Madison Mayor Proposes 'Status Quo' Budget

Link to October 5 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Mayor's operating budget seeks to maintain 'status quo' for city services".

Excerpt: The budget would raise city property taxes by $93.45, or 4.8 percent, to $2,030.30 on the average $241,217 home, according to the mayor's budget message provided to the State Journal.

The proposed budget would make no cuts in police, firefighters or snow plowing, avoids Metro Transit service cuts or fare increases, and maintains all lifeguards at beaches, winter skating rinks and library hours, he said.

But the budget will require laying off three people accounting for two full-time positions, he said

Link to 2011 operating budget guidelines memo

The Ripple Effects of the Recession in Wisconsin

Watch the full episode. See more Here and Now.
Link to October 5 Wausau Daily Herald, "Merrill-area poverty 'getting worse'".

Excerpt:   In Lincoln County, many families like the Charbarneaus have fallen into poverty or near-poverty circumstances as a result of the economic recession, according to community organizers.

"And it's getting worse," said Art Lersch, community resource development educator for the UW-Extension office in Lincoln County.

The ripple effects caused by the recession that began in December 2007 have been more like waves crashing through the Merrill area. In August 2010, Wisconsin's unemployment rate climbed to 7.9 percent, according to Labor Statistics data, but in Lincoln County, unemployment hit 9.8 percent.

At Merrill Area Public Schools, the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches jumped 13 percent between the 2004-05 and 2008-09 school years, according to school data. John Sample, director of special education and pupil services for the school system, said he has watched the numbers climb along with unemployment figures.

The situation is getting so dire, community leaders called for a special meeting in late September intended to address local poverty issues. The group expects to work across groups and agencies to bring resources to needy residents. More than 60 participants attended the UW-Extension event including health care providers, community leaders, educators and business representatives. Each participant was assigned the role of an adult or child living in poverty for the simulation to better understand the issue

Sheboygan Mayor Offers His 2011 Budget

Link to October 5 Sheboygan Press article, "'11 budget proposes cutting 24 positions".

Excerpt: A total of 24 employees — including seven police officers, six firefighters, six Department of Public Works employees, two in general government and three Mead Public Library staffers — would lose their jobs under Mayor Bob Ryan's 2011 budget submitted to the Common Council on Monday night.

It's the second year in a row extensive layoffs have been proposed by Ryan to avoid increasing the city property tax levy, which last year was $20,843,745. The 2009 levy was $20,950,018.

Ryan's budget was put together under guidelines from the council calling for no increase in the levy from 2010, a zero-based budgeting process by department heads and no fund equity applied, as was done last year when $600,000 in reserves was used to balance the budget.

Under Ryan's budget, total spending would drop slightly more than 3 percent to $54,683,650 while expected revenues would drop $961,687, or 2.74 percent, from 2010. The drop in revenue includes a $474,500 decrease in interest on investments, a casualty of the sour economy, city Finance Director James Amodeo wrote in his executive summary presented to the Common Council on Monday


Funding for the Mead Public Library would drop $207,419, or more than 20 percent, from 2010's $1.042 million. That would not meet the so-called "maintenance of effort" required by the state, Ryan acknowledged, likely forcing the Mead Library out of the Eastern Shores Library System, a consortium of libraries in Sheboygan and Ozaukee County that allows them to share materials. Mead is the largest ESLS library, by far.

According to 2009 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data, Mead Public Library municipal appropriation was $2,629,075.   I'm trying to figure out where $1,042,000 came from.

Link to Mead Public Library 2011 Budget Reduction scenario.

Link to Local per capita tax support & staffing comparison.

Related articles:
Officials face $1,500,000 budget deficit in 2011.  (6/10/2010)
Council approves Mayor's new appointments to library board.  (4/28/2010)
Mayor questioned about library board appointments.  (4/26/2010)
Sheboygan Press Editorial Board supports library funding deal.  (11/27/2009)
Library likely to maintain its Maintenance of Effort funding.  (11/24/2009)
Update on library's Maintenance of Effort.  (11/20/2009)
Maintenance of Effort and the Mead Public Library.  (7/6/2009)

Catching Up with the Evanston Public Library

Link to September 21 Evanston Review editorial, "Library board should reverse zero-tax stance".

Excerpt: Evanston Public Library Friends group members are rightfully disgusted by last week's action of the Evanston Public Library Board to adopt a zero-tax-increase guideline.

Friends group members expressed their anger by leaving the downtown library's community room as the board finished its 5-3 vote Sept. 15 in support of the proposal by member Diane Allen-Jacobi.

The zero tax increase, except for salary and benefit adjustments, makes no sense in light of the board's recent decision to take control of the library system budget by switching to a Library Fund model.

Link to September 23 Evanston Review article, "Evanston library board eyes ways to keep branches open in 2011.

Excerpt: The Evanston Public Library Board is examining ways to cut enough discretionary spending from the next budget to keep the branch libraries open through December 2011, when the board will assume control over its property tax levy.

Library administrators Wednesday presented the board with an outline that would keep overall spending within a guideline adopted by the board Sept. 15. Cognizant of the city of Evanston's dire fiscal circumstances, the Library Board adopted a budget guideline that would limit any increase in the tax levy to “increases in personnel costs related to salaries and benefits, including those provided for under union agreements.” Personnel costs alone will require an increase of about 9 percent in the library budget.

The 5-3 vote to limit budget increases to those linked to rising personnel costs prompted a walkout Sept. 15 by some Evanston Public Library Friends, who believed the move would negate months of fund raising and outreach that allowed them to raise about $200,000 to keep neighborhood services in Evanston

Push for library district in Evanston. (1/23/2010)
Evanston branches on chopping block. (1/22/2010)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Advertising Age's "Magazine A-List 2010"

Link to list.

1.  People Style Watch.
Available at 2 of 49 LINKcat locations.

2.  The Atlantic.
Available at 28 of 49 LINKcat locations.

3.  All You
Available at 9 of 49 LINKcat locations.

4.  Cooking Light.
Available at 39 of 49 LINKcat locations.

5.  Food Network Magazine.
Available at 7 of 49 LINKcat locations.

6.  Parenting.
Available at 31 of 49 LINKcat locations.

7. Harper's Bazaar.
Available at 17 of 49 LINKcat locations.

8.  Elle Decor.
Available at 5 of 49 LINKcat locations.

9.  Vice.
Not available in LINKcat.  

10.  Wired.
Available at 22 of 49 LINKcat locations.

10/5/2010 Agenda: Special Committee on Local Service Consolidation

Link to Legislative Council website.

And the Beat Goes On: Town of Lisbon/Village of Sussex Intermunicipal Library Agreement

Link to September 28 Sussex Sun article, "Sussex-Lisbon deadlocked on library?"

Excerpt: The intermunicipal agreement creating the library that is funded by the two communities is scheduled to expire in 2014. Library officials have asked the two communities to reach a new agreement as soon as possible so the Library Board and staff can begin planning beyond 2014.

Since the two communities' assessed valuations are similar, so are their shares of library funding.

The proposed 2011 budget calls for Sussex to contribute $560,190, about a $9,200 increase above 2010, and for Lisbon to pay $529,618, a reduction of about $1,000 compared to the 2010 budget.

But Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said the formula is unfair because Village of Sussex residents use the library more than town residents, based on circulation data.

According to the data, Sussex residents check out 49 percent of the approximately 329,000 circulated books and materials, compared to Lisbon residents 29 percent. The remainder is checked out by residents of other communities.

Library Director Kathy Klager has pointed out that circulation is only one barometer of library use. For example, there are about 11,000 children, teenagers and adults who participate in library programs, but, so far, there is no data tracking their hometown communities

Related articles: 
Differences of opinion of library funding continue.  (9/18/2010)
Leaders of Village of Sussex, Town of Lisbon clash over funding for library. (8/26/2010)
Will annexation resolution interfere with negotiations over joint library agreement?  (8/4/2010)
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)

Hudson Area Joint Library Board Presidents Makes the Case for More Funding

Hudson celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, October 2.

Link to September 29 Hudson Star-Observer article.

Excerpt:   Library Board President Roy Sjoberg is disappointed that the city of Hudson rejected a request for a $17,566 increase in city funding for the Hudson Area Library in 2011. He’s hoping the council might change its mind.

“We are operating below the basic levels when compared to other libraries,” Sjoberg said. “I have so much pride in this community. We have a beautiful building — I want to see us offer services at least equal to a basic level.

“The city was good to us in acquiring the building, but it’s sort of like getting the gift of a jet plane, but not enough fuel to make it operate. We have a $2.5 million building, but the doors are locked until 11 a.m. In some ways it’s a waste of tax dollars.”

Sjoberg’s statistics show Hudson’s library is open 48.5 hours each week. For libraries the size of Hudson, Sjoberg said basic Wisconsin standards indicate the library should be open close to 59 hours. Anything less than 59 hours puts Hudson’s library in the lower 30 percent — in other words, 70 percent of libraries the size of Hudson offer more services and more hours

It should be noted here that a previous effort to compare the Hudson Area Joint Library with  its peers  did not sit well with local officials.  (See 8/12/2009 below.)

Related articles:
New library should open in June.  (3/29/2010)
Library, police remodeling plans approved.  (2/18/2010)
Rep. Kind News Release: Hudson Library Receives Grant. (1/29/2010)
Hudson City Council has concerns about library floor plan. (1/28/2010)
Hudson Board Approves Plan for New Library. (1/14/2010)
Hudson Area Joint Library Board Approves Lease Agreement. (12/16/2009)
Hudson City Council Purchases Building for Shared Library/Police Facility. (12/10/2009)
Interview with Hudson Mayor Dean Knudson. (11/12/2009)
Hudson City Council Plans to Buy Building for Possible Police/Library Facility. (10/22/2009)
Library assessment report ruffles municipal feathers.  (8/12/2009)
Bursting at the Seams. (3/31/2009)