Saturday, November 27, 2010

Water-damaged Delaware Library Closed for Repairs Through End of January

Link to November 26 (Salisbury, MD) Daily Times article, "Georgetown library will remain shut into new year".

ExcerptThe Georgetown Public Library will remain closed through the end of January, with repairs to the water-damaged facility estimated to cost $250,000, officials said.

On Sept. 26, a defective pipe fitting damaged books, carpet, furniture, and drywall on the building's first floor. The flood occurred less than two months after the Aug. 9 grand opening.

"The nature of this disaster is taking longer than we'd hoped," said Paul Enterline, president of the library's board of directors. "Basically, it's kind of like a whole new building project.

Related articles:
Main floor of 2-month-old Delaware library to remain closed 8 weeks for repairs.  (11/8/2010)
Library's recent history with water.  (9/28/2010)

Appleton Public Library: Assistant Director Applications Due December 12

Appleton Public Library, an award‑winning library with a reputation as a leader and innovator in library services and technology, a member of a strong public library system, is seeking a creative, experienced professional to help take us to the next generation of library service.  The library is beginning the second and final year of an RFID/AMHS conversion project, developing a new website, and has a pending proposal for building expansion or relocation.  This position coordinates library operations, services, technology and human resources.  The hiring range for this position is $67,912 - $81,515, plus an excellent fringe benefit package.  This position requires considerable experience in professional library work, including at least five years of supervisory management experience, a masters degree in Library Science from an ALA accredited library school, or any equivalent combination of experience and training.   If you are interested in applying for this position, please complete an on-line application at no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 12, 2010.   Resumes without an application will not be considered.

City of Appleton
Human Resources Department/6th Floor
100 N. Appleton Street
Appleton, WI 54911

Phone: 920-832-6458

Equal Opportunity Employer

Shannon Stiller Completes a Successful First Year at Portage Public Library Director

Link to November 26 Portage Daily Register article, "Stiller wraps up Year 1 at library".

Excerpt:  Shannon Stiller's one-year anniversary as Portage Public Library director was Nov. 9.

"I still absolutely love being here in a community that cares so much," she said.

Stiller, who grew up in Omro and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, had a first career in clinical laboratory science. In the hope of finding more people-centered work, she went back to school and graduated from Syracuse University with a master's of science degree in library and information science in 2003 and began a career in libraries.

Before coming to Portage, she worked for two years as librarian at Ripon Public Library. She succeeded Jess Bruckner, who resigned after less than two months. Bruckner succeeded Hans Jensen, who retired last year after nearly 26 years as director. Board president Richard Davis asked board member Charles Poches, who is superintendent of Portage Community Schools, to help with Stiller's annual evaluation.

Stiller said after the board's November meeting that she was proudest of helping Portage's proposed library expansion build momentum and of making changes in the layout of the building, including setting up a lounge space, something she said patrons have praised

Related article:
Shannon Stiller is new Portage Public Library director.  (10/13/2009)

Remembering the Passenger Pigeon

American Heritage, April 1961

Link to November 27 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Art keeps passenger pigeon's memory alive. Businessman offers Gromme poster to Wisconsin libraries, schools".

Excerpt:   Passenger pigeons have been extinct for nearly a century, but Bud Gussel wants to keep their memory alive.

Gussel is a Wisconsin Dells businessman, a local history buff and devotee of a bird once so plentiful it darkened the skies.

He's mailed out posters of a pair of passenger pigeons - a male and female perched above the Wisconsin River - to more than 600 schools and libraries in Wisconsin since 2008.

But he has a loftier goal. His mission is to donate the print by famed wildlife artist Owen Gromme to every school and library in the state. There are more than 2,200 public schools alone in Wisconsin.

"There is only one way you can get them," he said. "All you have to do is ask."

Gussel, owner of Holiday Wholesale Inc., doesn't want the public to forget the passenger pigeon, which once traveled the state by the tens of millions and was ultimately trapped and shot to extinction.

"I want people to remember that protection of species is important, because without it, we could lose something forever," he said

New Edition of Aldo Leopold Biography

Link to November 27 Baraboo News Republic article, "Book tells Leopold's life story".

Excerpt:  Aldo Leopold was in search of land he could use as a camp for future bow hunting trips with family, friends and students when he first laid eyes on an abandoned farm near the Wisconsin River in 1935.

A farmhouse on the property northeast of Baraboo had burned to the ground, and the only structure remaining was a chicken coop with a year's worth of manure piled against one wall.

"When we carry it out and put it under your garden, you'll be glad it was there," the University of Wisconsin-Madison professor told his wife, Estella Leopold.

The Leopolds transformed the shack - now a national landmark - into a home away from home, where they spent summer days restoring the farmed-out land and living without material things.

The purchase and restoration of that property is one of many tales included in "Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work," the first book to follow one of the world's most significant conservationists from childhood to death

Friday, November 26, 2010

Aging Brown County Public Library Needs to Address Code Violations

Link to November 26 Green Bay Press-Gazette article, "Brown County Library fights for funds to renovate".

Excerpt: The message has been that the 40-year-old building, the library system's flagship, is falling apart. She hand delivered a list of the code violations and other problems to supervisors prior to their budget meeting but failed to get support.

The Library Board wants a major renovation of the building.

"I do not believe that anyone's at risk of being injured," Stainbrook said. "But the building itself is imminent to having a system failure. No other building in the county has as many visitors in a year and that includes Lambeau Field.
"  [Emphasis added.]

Way to go, Lynn!

"Media is not a zero-sum game" (Part 2)

Libraries still check out DVDs and videos in an age of Netflix.  (Though $7.99 a month for unlimited downloads of movies and television shows is an extremely attractive offer.)

Link to November 25 New York Times article, "Netflix's Move Onto the Web Stirs Rivalries".

Excerpt:  In a matter of months, the movie delivery company Netflix has gone from being the fastest-growing first-class mail customer of the United States Postal Service to the biggest source of streaming Web traffic in North America during peak evening hours.

That transformation — from a mail-order business to a technology company — is revolutionizing the way millions of people watch television, but it’s also proving to be a big headache for TV providers and movie studios, which increasingly see Netflix as a competitive threat, even as they sell Netflix their content

Mentioned in this article.

"Media is not a zero-sum game"

Yeah Yeah Yeah

Link to November 25 New York Times  article, "The Lessons of 10 Years of Talking Tech".

Lession #1 is my favorite:  

Things don’t replace things; they just splinter. I can’t tell you how exhausting it is to keep hearing pundits say that some product is the “iPhone killer” or the “Kindle killer.” Listen, dudes: the history of consumer tech is branching, not replacing.

TV was supposed to kill radio. The DVD was supposed to kill the Cineplex. Instant coffee was supposed to replace fresh-brewed.

But here’s the thing: it never happens. You want to know what the future holds? O.K., here you go: there will be both iPhones and Android phones. There will be both satellite radio and AM/FM. There will be both printed books and e-books. Things don’t replace things; they just add on.

Other lessons learned by David Pogue:
2.  Sooner or later, everything goes on demand.
3.  Some people's gadgets determine their self-esteem.
4.  Everybody reads with a lens.
5.  It's not that hard to determine the winners from the losers.
6.  Some concepts' time may never come.
7.  Forget about forever.  Nothing last a year.  (Examples shared throughout this post.)
8.  Nobody can keep up.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Evanston Public Library Branches: To Be or Not To Be

The debate continues.

Link to November 19 Chicago Tribune article, "Library Board broaches closing branches".

Excerpt: Considering the city has reduced the library’s portion of the budget over the past decade the board has evaluated several funding alternatives including the creation of Special Service Areas (like those established to collect property tax revenue around certain city parks), conversion to an independent Library District or the use of a Library Fund to control budget decisions.

Branch libraries have been a divisive issue among aldermen. Concerned citizens have lobbied the City Council to keep the branches open while others have argued for letting the main library serve the community’s needs.

Last month the council shot down the idea of a voter referendum on library closures. For over an hour Wednesday, the council debated the issue, voting against a measure to fully fund the branches while establishing SSAs next year. The council ended up leaving the decision to the Library Board.

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

Wilmette Master Plan Has Negative Consequences for Library Parking, Drop Boxes, and Deliveries

Link to November 23 Chicago Tribune article, "Library objects to proposed Wilmette downtown master plan".

Excerpt: “It appears that our parking lot has been turned into a park and we’re not sure what’s happening to our alley,” said Cinda Axley, president of the library board, during a recent Plan Commission meeting. “Access for our patrons is foremost on our minds.”

The library hosts about 1,000 patrons per day, and “many of them are elderly or parents with strollers or young children,” Axley said. Drop-boxes for patrons and adequate alley space for deliveries would also be in jeopardy under the plan’s design, she said.

The current parking lot includes 51 parking spaces of the library’s and an additional 38 leased from the village. During busy hours or events, some patrons must park on the street or in a church lot across the street, she said.

In the proposed plan, parking would be limited to 55 diagonal spaces inside a U-shaped one-way street that would serve the library, Post Office and retail stores on the property bounded by Central Avenue, Wilmette Avenue and Green Bay Road. A 425-space parking garage would also support those uses, as well as Metra commuters.

In a letter to the village, Wilmette Public Library Executive Director Ellen Clark said the garage “does not meet our optimal capacity of 130 spaces.

Talgo Wonders, In Essence, Why 'Wisconsin Open for Business' Doesn't Apply to Them

As Talgo puts the Milwaukee area business community on notice, in the continuing political theater production of Ideology Trumps Economic Development.

Link to November 25 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Talgo seeks business input on rail plan. Train firm asks M7, Chamber of Commerce to speak up on high-speed trains".

Excerpt:   In the e-mail obtained by the Journal Sentinel, Friend wrote to Sheehy and Paetsch: "I believe your organizations can play a very factual role in speaking on behalf of the vendors in" Wisconsin.

She added "the project has implications for growth not just for Talgo as the rail car manufacturer, but for economic development in Milwaukee and job creation for vendors" in the state.

In an interview, Friend said that the MMAC "was very supportive in attracting us" to a manufacturing plant at the former Tower Automotive property on Milwaukee's north side.

Patrick Curley, chief of staff for Mayor Tom Barrett, said Talgo deserves answers to its inquiries.

"If the M7 and MMAC, who expended effort and resources to recruit Talgo to Milwaukee, remain silent, what's the message to other businesses looking to come to Milwaukee and the region at the behest of the M7 and MMAC?" Curley said in an e-mail. "What's the message to the City, who invested a lot of money in site improvements and the Talgo facility and has been an active partner and participant in the M7 efforts to date?"

Next year, employment at Talgo is projected to reach 125 in Milwaukee. The firm is contracted to build two trains for the existing Hiawatha line, which links Milwaukee to Chicago, plus two trains for Oregon.

Friend said a range of additional local vendors will be needed for such things as cleaning and catering, as well as producing electrical components and mechanical parts.

Earlier this month, the firm acknowledged it would consider moving the operation out of Wisconsin if Walker killed the high-speed train. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn sent a letter to Talgo and invited the firm to move to his state

Sheboygan Council Approves 2011 Budget

Link to November 25 Sheboygan Press article, "Council goes overtime to pass budget".

Excerpt:   On its second try, the council voted, 10-4, to approve the $34.7 million general fund budget, which includes a city property tax levy of $21.2 million, an increase of $340,500.

Aldermen deadlocked, 7-7, on their first attempt to pass the budget, and Mayor Bob Ryan called for a 10-minute recess to give the council a chance to rethink their vote. Following the break, three aldermen, Jim Bohren, Eric Rindfleisch and Julie Kath, switched their votes from no to yes, and the budget was approved.

Nine votes among the 16-member council were needed to approve the budget and two aldermen, Jeremy Dekker and Cory Bouck were absent


Under the budget, the $140,500 in tax levy provided to Mead Public Library will allow it to stay in the Eastern Shores Library System and provide patrons with its online catalog and interlibrary loan and delivery service. There would be five furlough days in 2011.

Related articles:
Council votes to make up nearly half of Mayor's cuts to library budget.  (11/23/2010)
Sheboygan residents keep speaking up for their library.  (11/23/2010)
Alderman plans to introduce amendment to address library budget shortfall.  (11/22/2010)
Sheboygan continues to speak up for its library.  (11/21/2010)
Residents speak up for their library.  (11/16/2010)
Library facing 11% cut in 2011 budget.  (10/9/2010)
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)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flipping over a Collaboration Between Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Public LIbrary

Link to November 23 Houston Chronicle article, "Houston's FLIP a fun way to learn. 'Preschool in a box' is how one happy mother describes the tool".

Excerpt: Lisa Salazar home-schools two of her four children and admits that sometimes she's at a loss to make their lessons interesting. That is until now.

Recently, she discovered a new teaching tool that she and her children love, the Family Literacy Involvement Program or FLIP.

"It's like preschool in a box," Salazar said.

Salazar said she learned about the program through an e-mail she received during the summer and signed up to be a test family. The Children's Museum of Houston, in association with Houston public libraries, launched the program after success with kits that were available at the museum.

The program consists of award-winning children's books along with associated activities that are put together into kits. There are about 200 kits, and the subjects range from math and science to culture lessons and self-esteem development.

"The topics vary from animals to global cuisine," said Heidi Daniel, library youth services programming administrator.

Since FLIP became available at 35 libraries in Houston, the program kits have been a big hit.
"They are so popular," said Cheryl McCallum, the museum's director of education. "We can't even keep them on the shelves."

Bessemer, Alabama: This Paycheck's on the Library

Link to November 22 Birmingham News article, "Bessemer library money used to make city payroll late in former Mayor Ed May's term".

Excerpt:      Three-quarters of a million dollars in property tax proceeds earmarked for the Bessemer Public Library were transferred into the city of Bessemer's general fund to cover payroll in the last two months of former Mayor Ed May's term, new Mayor Kenneth Gulley said.

An examination of the library fund conducted early this month uncovered a $300,000 transfer to the general fund on Sept. 20 and a $450,000 transfer on Oct. 14, Gulley said.

"Both times, this was done to cover payroll ex­penses," Gulley said.

The two transfers de pleted the fund by about half, Gulley said, taking the balance from $1.5 million to $764,987.

City Council President Jesse Matthews said the previous council was not aware of the transfers from the library fund to the general fund and that the council did not approve the moves.

Gulley earlier this month alerted the City Council that the city was $750,000 short of being able to make payroll for November. The council authorized him to transfer money from the city's emergency 911 and municipal court funds to cover the shortfall

Help me out here, someone. This paragraph from the above-cited article doesn't make a bit o' sense to me.

Two weeks ago, Bessemer Public Library officials told City Council members they had just recently realized the existence of the library fund, and they asked for the city to increase their monthly allocation from $47,000 to $77,000.  (Which factors out from $564,000 to $924,000 on an annual basis.  And there was $1,500,000 in the library fund?  I need an accounting seminar, please.)

Bessemer Public Library
Local Income 1998-2003
                                 1998    1999    2000     2001     2002     2003

And then there's this paragraph from the "About Us" page.

In April 2000, the residents of the City of Bessemer passed an ad valor tax referendum to fund the building of a new library. In order to renovate and expand the library building, the library underwent a $4.5 million expansion from 15,600 to 43,200 square feet. Bessemer Public Library moved to a temporary site at 701 9th Avenue North in August 2001. It was only in August 2008 that the library was able to return to its new state of the art, three-tier facility.

7 years to complete a building project?

I have a headache.

Teachers union chief pushes for libraries in Philadelphia schools

Link to November 24 Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Excerpt: Nearly half of all city public schools have no libraries, a fact that has long galled Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan.

Tuesday, at a news conference at University City High School, Jordan called for the district to ensure that each of the district's 258 schools was equipped with a library.

"There's nothing more important in educating your children than developing them into great readers," Jordan said in an interview. "Librarians work with teachers and help support curriculum across disciplines.

Ralph Illick Selected As Marathon County Public Library Director

Link to November 24 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Board chooses Marathon County Public Library Director".

Excerpt:    The library's Board of Trustees on Monday offered the job to Edward "Ralph" Illick Jr. of Sussex, and Illick verbally accepted, Board President Tim Gierl said Tuesday.

Illick has served as head of adult services at the Pauline Haass Public Library in the village of Sussex, Waukesha County, for the past five years. He holds a master's degree in information science from Florida State University

Congratulations to Ralph!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reporter Finds a Ton of History about the Duluth Public Library at the Duluth Public Library

Link to November 21 Duluth News Tribune article, "Duluth Public Library almost as old as city".

Excerpt: The other day, I stopped by the reference desk at the library.

“I’m looking for information on the history of the Duluth Public Library,” I said.

Chris Aho, a librarian, promptly led me to a filing cabinet and retrieved nine folders. I was shown to a table in a quiet area, given the files, and invited to sit down.

“I’ll be right back,” she said.

Soon she returned, wheeling a cart groaning under the weight of 38 folios, 10 oversized binders, a thick manila envelope and a handful of dog-eared bound volumes. I gulped.

As I began to look through the materials, I marveled; I did not have to prove American citizenship, I did not have to be a Duluth resident and I did not have to pay anything to access this information.

In only five minutes, the magic of the public library had revealed itself to me: This is a place for everybody, with equal access for everyone

Philip K. Dick and his 'very dark shadow'

The author's only novel to win the Hugo Award

Link to November 23 New York Times article, "Philip K. Dick's Masterpiece Years".

Excerpt:    She had gone that day in 1958 to introduce herself to Dick, her neighbor, who had moved to west Marin with his second wife, Kleo. Less than a year later, he and his wife split. And Anne Rubenstein, as she was then called, a skinny blond widow, and Dick, a struggling writer, were married. Five years later, they too divorced. In the meantime they had a daughter, and Ms. Dick ran a jewelry business; Dick grew a beard and wrote some of the novels that would eventually get him hailed as a West Coast Calvino or Borges. (The Library of America began issuing his novels in 2007.) Ms. Dick, now 83, would spend the ensuing years seeking the man behind the disguise.

That inquiry is the subject of “The Search for Philip K. Dick,” a biography dressed like a memoir, which was published this month by the San Francisco press Tachyon.

“I think he’s what you might call a psychomorph,” Ms. Dick said recently, sitting in the boxy, modernist home she once shared with him. “He was quite different with each person. He had this enormous gift of empathy, and he used it to woo and please and control. I’m not saying he wasn’t a very nice person too; he was. He just had a very dark shadow

No copies in LINKcat.

“The Search for Philip K. Dick” — which begins with the couple’s meeting, continues through Dick’s death, and then drops back to cover his birth and early life — was published obscurely in the 1990s and self-published earlier this year. The Tachyon publication, a more thoroughly edited and fact-checked version, provides an invaluable record of Dick’s Marin County years.

While there were stretches of Dick’s life in which he had roommates, a series of girlfriends or a tight group of male friends, the Point Reyes years were his most domestic.

David Gill, who wrote the book’s introduction and runs an obsessive blog*, calls this “Dick’s family man period.

*Which the New York Times, apparently, can't mention by name.

(There! I've said it again.)

Smartphones as the 'Third Channel of Commerce'

Link to November 23 San Jose Mercury News article, "Smartphone apps are changing the way we shop".

Excerpt: For a growing number of shoppers this holiday season, the difference between offline and online will be no line at all.

With an avalanche of new smartphone apps just in time for Black Friday, these handheld shopping tools are redefining the art of consumption, blurring the distinction between the in-store experience and the virtual world of information now available in the palm of your hand. Advances in location-based technology, bar-code scanning, price-comparison apps and social-networking tools have turned the mobile device into a sweaty-palmed third channel of commerce, empowering consumers while challenging retailers to rethink the way they do business.

"The future of online is offline," said Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO of Shopkick, a popular shopping app. "These apps are encouraging people to interact in brand new ways with products and with the store itself, fundamentally changing the shopping experience."

Referenced in the article, with accompanying breathless quotes.  (Click for perspective.)

The future of online is offline," said Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO of Shopkick, a popular shopping app. "These apps are encouraging people to interact in brand new ways with products and with the store itself, fundamentally changing the shopping experience."

"We think mobile purchasing has arrived and it's evolving quickly," Rathi said. "People who walk into your store now are no longer comparing you to the next brick-and-mortar site but to everything else offline and on. Shoppers are shopping and comparing prices on a global level."

"We call it a virtual end-cap," said CEO Mark DiPaola of CheckPoints, referring to the shelves at the end of an aisle. His app earns you rewards simply for scanning bar codes on certain items. "Even though the product may be way in the back, we feature it in your phone and make it feel like it's right up front when you walk in to the store. At the same time, we're making money by driving tens of thousands of users to these products, breeding new customers for the manufacturer."

Anne Zybowski, an analyst at Kantar Retail, says that a few years ago "retailers spent a ton of time trying to make their online stores look and act like their physical stores. Now they've sort of reversed course, and the challenge is how to take that online shopping experience that's so personalized, socially connected and heavily layered with data, and essentially bring it into a physical environment."

Greensboro City Council's Anti-Porn Crusade

Link to November 14 Greensboro [North Carolina] News and Record letter to the editor, "City’s crusade against porn bogs down library services".

Excerpt: The crusade to eradicate pornography from the Greensboro Public Library has had immediate and direct effects on the services provided to the public, particularly my ability to utilize Internet resources in an attempt to secure employment.

I would like to thank the City Council for bogging down an already beleaguered organization with an edict to eliminate filth from PC screens in the library. They have overwhelmed the IT department with data reports and surveys of website hits. All the while, I witness out-of-order signs on computers, staff that is constantly harassed about legitimate websites not loading and sporadic Wi-Fi availability. Since the mission of studying viewing habits of library users was launched, technology at our libraries has suffered.

Related articles.

Charlotte Mecklenberg Library Boosts Fines, Fees

The homepage remains quiet on the subject.

Link to library news release in the November 22 Charlotte Observer.

Complete List of Fines, Fees and Service Changes
-- The daily fine for most overdue items, including books, CDs and playaways, will change from 20 cents a day to 25 cents a day. Overdue fines for DVDs will remain $1 per day.
-- The maximum allowable amount an individual can carry on their account and still check out books or use library computers will change from $10 to $5.
-- The number of items an individual can have on hold at any one time will change from 20 to 10.
-- The number of Interlibrary Loan requests an individual can make at any one time will change from 10 to 5.
-- The fee for a replacement library card will change from $2 to $3.
-- The per page charge for black and white printing from library computers will change from 10 cents to 20 cents per page. Color printing will change from $1 per page to 50 cents per page.
-- Black and white photocopies will change from 15 cents to 20 cents per page.
-- The library will now charge a fee for proctoring exams of $30 per test plus any incidental fees.
Meeting Room Fee Changes
-- Non-profit organizations will be charged one-half of the rate charged to for-profit organizations (The new for-profit charges are in line with charges from peer library systems and remain less than the market rate for meeting room space.)
-- Library and government agencies will still be able to meet free.
-- Groups who wish to reserve meeting room space for 2011 should contact the library for comprehensive information on meeting room fees and policies.

Related articles:
CML libraries and parks:  Survey says...  (10/26/2010)
Future of the library task force.  (10/21/2010)
Volunteers to the rescue.  (10/17/2010)
Charlotte Observer to Harry Jones:  Check your ego at the door.  (9/21/2010)
County manager regrets hitting the 'send' key. (9/18/2010)
Library steering committee veers into off-road territory.  (9/15/2010)
Bank of America and Carolina Panthers kick off library fundraising campaign. (9/14/2010)
Another branch extends hours thanks to volunteer support.  (9/12/2010)
Volunteers step up.  (9/10/2010)
2 branch libraries to open one more day per week.  (9/5/2010)
Library urban legend in the making?  (9/4/2010)
Library launches pilot program to expand hours with volunteers.  (8/31/2010)
Group to study county library 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)

Twin Lakes to Stay in Community Library

Link to November 23 West of the I article.

Excerpt: A move to have Twin Lakes withdraw from the multi-municipality Community Library to start its own village library was tabled Monday.

That move came after the board put forward a proposed amendment to the agreement that governs the library. That provision would have expenses and revenues tracked on a per branch basis, including a proper proration of joint revenues and expenses.

While the agreement would have to be approved by the governing boards of each municipality, some officials present at the meeting form other municipalities said they approved of the amendment. Those included Randall Chairman Bob Stoll and Library Board President Ken Mangold, a Randall resident

Community Library in the news:
More library disagreements.  (11/13/2010)
Stakeholders agree to postpone to disagree.  (10/22/2010)
DWD Equal Rights Division:  No discrimination on Community Library case.  (10/18/2010)
Need for more space at Twin Lakes/Randall Branch of Community Library.  (8/23/2010)
More disagreements at Community Library.  (5/25/2010)
Maggie Rivals Dewey for Attention.  (5/24/2010)
Board Member Raises Objections to Library Cat.  (5/9/2010)
New Director Hired.  (4/20/2010)
A Library Board Appointment Not According to Hoyle.  (4/13/2010)
Former Library Director Sues for Wages after Firing.  (3/16/2010)
Position Announcement:  Library Executive Director, Community Library, Salem, Wisconsin.  (2/5/2010)
Former Director of Community Library: From Demotion to Dismissal. (1/29/2010)
 Community Library Board Member Wields Machete to Address $1,000 Deficit. (12/06/2009)
New Community Library Representative to Wilmot School Board
. (11/11/2009)
Demoted director to fight for job
. (10/30/2009)
Library Board confirms interim director. (10/27/2009)
Community Library Soap Opera Continues
. (10/23/2009)
Community Library Update: "What we have here is...failure to communicate. (10/09/2009)
Community Library Board of Trustees: Riding Roughshod? (10/01/2009)
Library Board's "Positive Direction" Takes an Immediate Detour. (9/30/2009)
West county library group under fire. (1/29/2009)

Member of Governor-Elect Walker's Transition Team Floats Idea of Increased Sales Tax

Time to address the sales tax exemption issue?  (Don't count on it.)

Wisconsin Department of Revenue
See section XI:  What is exempt? (pages 42-66)

Link to November 23 Capital Times 'Biz Beat' column by Mike Ivey, "Shift to higher sales tax eyed".

Excerpt:   A key member of Gov.-elect Scott Walker's transition team is floating an increase in Wisconsin's sales tax as a way to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Former state budget director Rick Chandler says hiking the sales tax from 5 percent to 7 or 7.5 percent would allow the state to reduce income and property taxes, which rank among the highest in the nation.

"The idea here is to shift the burden to taxes that are less hated," Chandler told a Monday breakfast gathering hosted by the conservative-leaning Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

Chandler -- who emphasized he was speaking for himself and not Walker -- noted that Wisconsin has made some progress on the tax front over the past two decades.

Wisconsin has gone from the third-highest-taxed state in 1986 to 13th today, according to U.S. Census figures. That ranking is based on state and local tax burden measured against per capita income.  
[Emphasis added.]

Find sales tax exemption information for other states.

Sheboygan Council Votes to Make Up Nearly Half of Mayor's Cuts to Library Budget

Hats off to everyone who spoke up for the Mead Public Library.

Link to November 23 Sheboygan Press article, "Council to adopt budget Wednesday night".

Excerpt: The council took two actions during the three-hour marathon meeting.

By an 11-2 vote, it endorsed a general fund budget plan that would retain virtually all of its employees and balance the books through a series of moves that include holding several positions vacant, accepting $134,000 in concessions from the union representing the Public Works Department, using $125,000 from its motor vehicle fund and $100,000 in contingency money. The plan also includes $200,000 in new levy money.

Then, late Monday, aldermen voted, 9-4, to endorse a 6-cent increase in the tax rate to provide $140,500 for Mead Public Library to make up nearly half of the $300,000 in library cuts that Ryan originally planned. The vote came long after a public hearing on the budget, which drew about 30 speakers, many of whom favored fully funding the library.

Even with the $140,500, the library would still not meet its state mandated maintenance of effort funding for 2011, but would be able to remain in the Eastern Shores Library System and offer full services. Under the scenario, the library would continue with having five unpaid furlough days for its employees, closing on those days.

Ald. Don Hammond proposed the 6-cent rate increase for the library, which would keep its budget around $3.1 million, after a motion by Ald. Jim Bohren to raise the tax rate by 12 cents to generate enough money to restore all the cuts failed on a 7-6 vote

Related articles:
Sheboygan residents keep speaking up for their library.  (11/23/2010)
Alderman plans to introduce amendment to address library budget shortfall.  (11/22/2010)
Sheboygan continues to speak up for its library.  (11/21/2010)
Residents speak up for their library.  (11/16/2010)
Library facing 11% cut in 2011 budget.  (10/9/2010)
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)

Sheboygan Residents Keep Speaking Up for Their Library

Link to November 23 Sheboygan Press letter to the editor, "Restore cut in Mead Public Library".

Excerpt: The Nov. 15 meeting was flooded with public input and given petitions from almost 1,500 citizens to restore library funding. Their response: a revised budget that restored funding to other parts of city government but kept the library budget cuts in place.

Libraries are not luxuries. Our citizens rely on them to run their businesses, stay informed, and entertain themselves and, for some, a place to go without spending money. For those who cannot buy books, rent DVDs or go online to read or do research from their own homes, libraries are critical lifelines in troubled times

Link to November 23 Sheboygan Press letter to the editor, "1,400 sign petitions to keep library fully funded".

Excerpt: There are many good things in Sheboygan. One that really stands out is Mead Public Library.

Recently, I had the opportunity to see the Mead in a new light — not just what it provides me, but what it provides the 120 people an hour walking through its doors.

It's the place where 37,000 reference questions were asked last year; where 358,267 visits were recorded; where 902,000 items were checked out; and where countless historical adventures, trips to the moon and mysterious journeys took place. Nearly everyone who walked through the doors wanted to sign the petition to provide maintenance of effort to Mead and save it from budget cuts — people who use Mead to find jobs, learn a language or skill, connect with the past or read with their kids.

On Monday, I had the honor of presenting the names of 1,400 Sheboygan residents to the mayor and Common Council

Related articles:
Alderman plans to introduce amendment to address library budget shortfall.  (11/22/2010)
Sheboygan continues to speak up for its library.  (11/21/2010)
Residents speak up for their library.  (11/16/2010)
Library facing 11% cut in 2011 budget.  (10/9/2010)
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)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eddie and I Were Shocked! Shocked! at the Appearance of Grade School 'Test Prep' Books

I prayed that I wouldn't find any of these titles in LINKcat.  (And this pic is just a sample of what Barnes & Noble has in stock.)

Answered!  (Or maybe I was just too revolted to conduct a thorough search.)

Can we please not go any farther down this dark path?

I need an otherworldly musical interlude.

'Notes to Myself': Perhaps We Should Have Taken the Author at his Word

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,976 in Books
#91 on list of top inspirational books

Link to November 22 New York Times obituary, "Hugh Prather, Popular Self-Help Author, Dies at 72".

Excerpt:   Before long the book had become a phenomenon — a “Chicken Soup for the ’70s Soul” — and The New York Times was calling Mr. Prather “an American Khalil Gibran.” Now published by Bantam Dell, “Notes to Myself” remains in print.

Among its observations are these:

¶“Another day to listen and love and walk and glory. I am here for another day. I think of those who aren’t.”

¶“My prayer is: I will be what I will be, I will do what I will do.”

¶“When I get to where I can enjoy just lying on the rug picking up lint balls, I will no longer be too ambitious.”

I have to admit that I missed the Prather bandwagon.  (Lucky me.)

Plus these other titles at 49 LINKcat library locations:

Meet Paul Farrow, Freshman Republican Legislator from Wisconsin's 98th Assembly District

30th in a series.  (And the final one in the Assembly group of freshman legislators.)

Curiously, Paul Farrow makes no reference to his mother, Margaret Farrow, former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor and State Senator.

Public libraries in the 98th Assembly District, all of which is located in the Waukesha County Library System.
Waukesha County:  Brookfield, Pewaukee.

Meet Warren Petryk, Freshman Republican Legislator from Wisconsin's 93rd Assembly District

29th in a series.

Petryk defeated the Democratic incumbent Jeff Smith by 71 votes, out of a total of 22,067 cast.

Public libraries in the 93rd Assembly District, all of which is located in the Indianhead Federated Library System.
Eau Claire County:  Altoona, Eau Claire (L. E. Phillips)