Saturday, December 25, 2010

County of Los Angeles Public Library Looks at 10 Years of Big Deficits

Link to December 6 Los Angeles Times article, "L. A. County libraries in a bind".

Excerpt: Los Angeles County's library system — one of the largest public libraries in the nation — is in financial distress and cannot sustain its level of services over the next decade, according to county library officials.

A proposed solution — increasing property taxes — seems to be getting a tough reception. The Library Commission's recommendation last week prompted no action by the Board of Supervisors.

Library officials have declined to be specific about what will be eliminated if a new tax isn't passed. But the size of the deficit — about $22 million a year over the next decade — may mean even deeper cuts into hours of operation and services that include homework help, children's story time and gang prevention efforts. The current budget is $160 million.

"It would have a significant impact on service delivery," the Library Commission concluded. The county library system serves 3.7 million people, including the residents of 51 of the 88 cities in L.A. County and most unincorporated communities. With 7.5 million volumes, the county library system boasts the third largest public library collection nationwide, behind only Boston's and New York's, according to the American Library Assn

Related article:
Los Angeles County Exec's Budget Proposal Includes a $4.8 Million Cut to Library Funding. (4/20/2010)

Jumping out of the Gate with Their Post-Christmas Gift Opening Ebook Promotions

From December 23 New York Times article, "Christmas Gifts May Help E-Books Take Root".

January could be the biggest month ever for e-book sales, as possibly hundreds of thousands of people are expected to download books on the e-readers that they receive as Christmas gifts.

Anchorage Saves 0.1% of its Budget with Branch Library Closure

Link to December 16 Anchorage Daily News op-ed piece, "Closing library was choice, not necessity".

Excerpt: Keeping the Samson-Dimond Library open next year would have cost about $560,000. The owner of the building had offered free rent; the city would have needed only to staff the space and keep the books there.

Mayor Sullivan and six members of the Assembly turned down that offer. Those voting to close the only library between 36th Avenue and Girdwood included Chris Birch and Jennifer Johnston, who represent the area.

In an emergency like the one Fink faced, making such a decision may show the toughness you need to get through hard times. But today, when closing a library saves one-tenth of a percent of a $435 million budget, you have to wonder why anyone would do it.

No one's tax bill will go down because of this decision. The amount of money is too small to be seen in the mill rate. Taxes jump up and down much more due to routine end-of-year accounting adjustments on the nearly $1 billion spent annually by our local government and school district.

But the library served 40,000 residents. It was a critical information source for hundreds of people a day. Our libraries are the community's most used facilities. They provide recreation and a place away from home for families with kids, and they provide a critical lifeline and source of economic equality for people trying to work their way up. And usage is rising, fast.

I don't know why Mayor Sullivan has chosen the libraries for his harshest cuts

Libraries Continue to Evolve

A scene from The Desk Set.

The 'spruce budworm' question is used as an intro to the article.

Link to December 23 San Jose Mercury News article, "Less shush as digital rush sweeps Conn. libraries".  (Originally published in the 12/13/2010 Waterbury Republican American under the headline "Not your father's library".  Only the first 4 paragraphs are available for free at the RA website.)

Excerpt: Computers have transformed American libraries. And while research librarians have, for the most part, kept their jobs, they have had to learn a whole new set of skills to meet the needs of patrons who can easily find the answer to the budworm question on a computer smaller than an ice cream sandwich.

According to Emmett McSweeney, director of Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury, computers not only have changed the way people do research, they also have changed how people behave in a library. Since they often don't need to pore over tons of books, the need for silence in a library has been eliminated.

"Disposal of indexes and the card catalog has freed up space for people to interact with machines on a personal level," he said. "Instead of people calling up and asking when Babe Ruth died, you can go on the Internet and ask those questions yourself."

Yet, McSweeney said he "wouldn't want everybody believing everything they read on the Internet," so his research librarians are trained in guiding people to reliable Web sites.

"It used to be you had a large reference collection. We don't use a lot of books anymore," Laura McLaughlin, director of Kent Memorial Library in Kent, said. "We do know the good Web sites that provide more up-to-date information than a book that by the time it's published is out of date."
Librarians throughout the region noted that also out of date is the image of the library as a quiet place of contemplation and research, stocked with musty editions of "War and Peace" and scratchy recordings of symphonies

The Jimmy Stewart Museum Needs Some Wings

Link to December 24 Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Jimmy Stewart Museum faces financial challenges. Attendance is declining as those familiar with the late actor's work age".

Excerpt: After seeing the Jimmy Stewart statue, the solid-oak front door that once graced the actor's home, his military memorabilia, priceless film posters and costumes, and even a red leather booth from a favorite Beverly Hills haunt, the Wisconsin couple signed the gues
t book at the Indiana, Pa., museum.

"This fulfills a bucket list dream . . . Thank you so much!"

The Jimmy Stewart Museum, a modest but meaningful salute to a wonderful life that started nearby, could use more patrons with bucket lists or soft spots for Shenandoah or Vertigo or The Philadelphia Story.

No one's murmuring prayers, as in the opening of Stewart's holiday classic, but the museum is in need of a few angels with open or deep pockets.

A boost in attendance and publicity related to a recent appearance by Patrick Wayne, who accepted the museum's Harvey Award on his behalf and that of his late father, John Wayne, obviously won't last.

"Until we have an endowment, it's touch and go," says Timothy Harley, executive director of the museum.

Museums aren't forever, as some recent shutdowns proved.

The Liberace Museum, dedicated to the flamboyant entertainer, closed in October in Las Vegas after 31 years. A museum celebrating Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, last located in Branson, Mo., shut its doors in December.

The Jimmy Stewart Museum's problems include a drop in attendance from 6,500 in 2009 to nearly 5,000 this year through mid-November; a cut from $5,500 to $1,400 (and soon, nothing) from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; an inability to squeeze into increasingly narrow foundation guidelines; and the sad reality that some fans are aging out of bus tours that keep museums humming

The opening credits of my favorite Jimmy Stewart film.

With the best soundtrack ever.

PA Library for the Blind Study Hits a Philly Buzzsaw

Link to December 25 Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Study recommends downsizing Philly Library for the Blind".

Excerpt: After more than a century in Philadelphia, the nation's oldest library for the blind is facing the potential loss of most of its materials and services to its Pittsburgh counterpart.

A state-commissioned study has recommended that the Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped be significantly downsized - at a savings of about $600,000 a year for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which funds it.

Although the principal heir would be the Carnegie Library for the Blind, the study also suggests moving Philadelphia's Braille collection - at 95,000 titles one of the country's largest - to Iowa.

The commonwealth's two libraries "are duplicating efforts, incurring unnecessary costs, and increasing the complexity" of usage for their patrons, the draft report said. It also described the library's four-story building at 919 Walnut St. as a "difficult environment in which to work" and warned of lease costs rising 7 percent annually in the next decade.

Predictably, with an estimated one-third of the state's 393,000 visually impaired residents living in the five Southeastern Pennsylvania counties, the study has run into a wall of outrag

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's 11 P.M. in Hiawatha, Iowa; Do You Know What Windows Your J-D Kids are Breaking?

Link to December 24 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Vandals break Hiawatha Public Library window".

Excerpt: Struttmann said the vandalism happened sometime between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 4:30 p.m. Thursday, when the library at 150 W. Willman St. was closed for Christmas. She discovered the damage when she went to the library to remove books and materials left in its drop-off box.

“As we were leaving I noticed there was a big draft,” she said.

A single pane, four feet by two-and-a-half feet, was shattered on the building’s north wall. Because there was nothing inside the window except broken glass, police think the window was broken by a bat or similar object, rather than a thrown object, Struttmann said.

The window is boarded up pending the arrival of a replacement pane. Struttmann said the glass is specific to libraries, designed to filter direct sunlight to prevent damage to paper.

A replacement window will cost about $300, Struttmann said.

Struttmann said the library was last hit by vandals New Year’s Eve 2007, windows on its south side were broken

Professor Zimmerman Expresses Skepticism about a Brave New '2.0 World'

Link to December 23 Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed piece, "Is your computer making you stupid?"

Excerpt: Now, if you're really clever, you'll hit me with some good old-fashioned American techno-futurism. "See, Professor Zimmerman, you're from that '1.0 World,' where people actually digested full articles and books, and wrote linear texts like your boring op-ed pieces. But we're entering a Brave New '2.0 World,' my friend." In the soon-to-be-eclipsed age of books, students had to passively absorb whatever the text said. But now they interact, inquire, collaborate, innovate.

Please. Every time a new technology develops, there's an American telling us it's going to transform education. In 1922, Thomas Edison predicted that the motion-picture technology he invented would "revolutionize our educational system." In the 1930s, similar claims were made of radio. Ditto for television in the '50s and '60s, and now computers.

But education hasn't changed. And it won't. I teach college students, and the things I ask them to do - analyze, synthesize, critique - are exactly what I learned at their age. And computers don't make it any easier. To the contrary, they get in the way

Ralph Illick Will Be Missed at the Pauline Haass Public Library

From here.... here.

Link to December 21 Sussex Sun article, "Librarian Illick leaving Pauline Haass".

Excerpt: "You cannot leave, we won't let you," a Pauline Haass Library patron said emphatically to Reference Librarian Ralph Illick when she learned that he would become director of the Marathon County library system next month.

Illick, with his passion for research and propensity for helping people, has been for the past eight years a fixture at the reference desk located near the center of the library.

Recently, another library patron was observed walking up to Illick's desk with a list of about a half a dozen books about horses. She asked Illick if he could help her find the books. Within minutes, he had not only found the books on her list, but added six other books that he recommended.

"His work ethic is beyond what is expected or required of the position. When you go to him and ask for help finding a book. He does more than just point you in the right direction. He gets up and walks with you to where the book is located," noted former Lisbon Town Chairman Mike Reed.

It was Reed who urged his local newspaper to write a story about Illick so his contribution to the community and the library would be better understood. The Pauline Haass Public Library is owned by the Town of Lisbon and Village of Sussex.

"It is not just the public that will miss Ralph," added Library Director Kathy Klager.

"He has a unique personality, and the staff will miss his consistent upbeat attitude, his amazing talent to mimic celebrities and politicians. On the first day he is gone, off to Wausau, our halls will be echoing with a quiet that was always filled with his humming," she added

Related articles:
New director at Marathon County Public Library, begins his duties on January 10.  (12/3/2010)
Ralph Illick selected as library director.  (11/24/2010)

The Latest Chapter in the Mead Public Library Maintenance of Effort Saga

Link to December 24 Sheboygan Press article, "City won't amend budget for library aid".

Excerpt:     Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan said Thursday that the city won't be amending its budget to provide the $162,345 necessary so Mead Public Library can remain a member of the Eastern Shores Library System in 2011, but he doesn't expect the library to get kicked out of the system next year, either.

The library has officially been notified by Eastern Shores Library System officials that unless the city meets the "maintenance of effort" funding level of $2,638,833 for 2011 by Jan. 1, it will not be in compliance with the system's membership requirements.

The budget passed in November by the Common Council for the library was $2,476,488, $162,345 short of the amount needed for maintenance of effort, a state statute that requires a public library to show proof that its average funding levels are adequate over a three-year period, so it can belong to a library region and have access to shared services with other libraries in the system.

Ryan said the action by Eastern Shores "did not come unexpectedly," but added that libraries in other cities haven't been removed from their library systems for failing to meet maintenance of effort.

"As far as I'm concerned the budget is passed," Ryan said. "I do not believe that Eastern Shores will take any action in the calendar year 2011. We have to look for where we go on our 2012 budget, which is what we're already working on.

Related articles:
Mayor miffed at recent outpouring of support for library?  (11/30/2010)
Council approves 2011 budget.  (11/25/2010)
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)

Staffing Changes in the Works at the Manitowoc Public Library

Link to December 24 Herald-Times-Reporter article, "Library staffing changes likely come with layoffs".

Excerpt: A reorganization of the Manitowoc Public Library's staffing likely will result in several layoffs of part-time personnel without college degrees during the first week of January.

New hires with appropriate academic backgrounds and skills will be hired to better serve patrons' needs, said David Gratz, president of the library's board of trustees.

"The present reorganization includes adding part-time positions to increase services to youth and to add technology training for the staff and for the public," Gratz said after Monday's trustees meeting endorsed a reorganization of the library's employment structure.

Gratz said a part-time librarian specializing in children's literature and services will also be hired, helping to address a shortage of professional librarians raised as a concern by Library Director Cherilyn Stewart.

Members of Local 731 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, have not endorsed the changes

Christmas 2010 the Tipping Point for Ebooks?

Link to December 24 New York Times article, "Christmas Gifts May Help E-Books Take Root".

Excerpt: E-books now make up 9 to 10 percent of trade-book sales, a rate that grew hugely this year, after accounting for less than half that percentage by the end of last year. Publishers are predicting that digital sales will be 50 percent higher or even double in 2011 what they were in 2010.

January could be the biggest month ever for e-book sales, as possibly hundreds of thousands of people are expected to download books on the e-readers that they receive as Christmas gifts.

The anticipation of that jump in sales, and a feeling that the recession may have loosened its grip, has dissipated some of the death-of-print malaise that has lingered in the book publishing industry for years — and helped soften the blow of a significant drop in hardcover sales this year


But even with widespread access to e-books, publishers have not yet figured out how to sell them more effectively to consumers. Debut fiction and so-called midlist titles — books that are not large commercial successes — are particularly tough sells in digital form, said Peter Hildick-Smith, president of the Codex Group, a book market research company.


And there remain urgent concerns about the health of the brick-and-mortar retail environment. Many independent booksellers around the country are still struggling in the face of Amazon, big-box retail rivals and e-books. Borders, the chain bookseller, has suffered from declining sales and a dismal earnings report in early December sent alarm through the industry.

“My No. 1 concern is the survival of the physical bookstore,” said Carolyn Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster. “We need that physical environment, because it’s still the place of discovery. People need to see books that they didn’t know they wanted.

Related article:
Ebooks now 9% of all books sold. (10/16/2010)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dane County: A Half-Century of Growth in Public Library Use (Part 1)

Page 13 of a county-by-county overview.

Dane County 
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009

City of Madison/Other Dane County:
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009

Per Capita Circulation, 1960-2009:
Wisconsin, Dane County, 
Madison, Non-Madison Dane County

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The BPL Compass: Principles for Excellence (Boston Public Library)

Excerpt from December 22 Boston Public Library blogpost, "

After a lengthy and robust public engagement process, the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees unanimously approved a set of eight strategic principles to guide the future of the institution. These principles, dubbed the BPL Compass will inform work plans, service plans, fundraising initiatives, and other decision-making moving forward.

Buffalo and Erie County Library Officials Ask for Final Decision on Budget

Link to December 22 Buffalo News article, "Library officials ask for decision on funding".

Excerpt: Library officials this morning made a public plea to the Erie County Legislature to decide soon if and when libraries will receive restored funds.

Legislature Democrats continue to examine County Executive Chris Collins' deal with fellow Republicans to restore $3 million of the $4 million cut Collins once intended for the libraries. The Democrats want to restore the entire $4 million.

The library system is still designated to receive $18 million in county funds.

If the library does not receive the additional funding by the end of the year, officials said the system will likely be forced to move ahead with austerity plans to reduce the hours of operation at member libraries and branches.

"If we don't get the money, the plans for the library system are devastating," said Sharon A. Thomas, chairwoman of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System board of trustees. "People will lose jobs. We'll be in bad shape.

Related articles:
Additional funding for library but not for arts groups.  (12/12/2010)
Legislators restore County Executive's $4,000,000 cut to library - for now.  (12/2/2010)
"No more worthwhile program of service".  (11/14/2010
A bibliopocalypse @ the library.  (11/6/2010)
WBEN online poll offers 3 general options for public library future. (10/31/2010)
Reimagining the library.  (10/27/2010)
Budget cuts = reduced hours.  (10/21/2010)
Deep cuts (again) in the works.  (9/17/2010)
Editorial puts in 'a word about libraries'.  (8/30/2010)
Library could lose 25% of funding.  (8/19/2009)

Library Catnip

All over the USofA.

Audrey Ashworth: "She made the library the hub of middle school life".

Link to December 22 obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Audrey Ashworth / Head librarian at Shady Side Academy Middle School".

Excerpt: If a student came into the Shady Side Academy Middle School library, plopped down on a big floor cushion and declared, "I hate to read," librarian Audrey Ashworth took that as a challenge.

"She really helped to make sure this was a community of readers," said her colleague, Martha Banwell, an English teacher. "It didn't matter whether the kids came in as readers or not."

Her magic in getting students to read was getting to know the students. By knowing their own interests, she was able to recommend books that appealed to them.

"She knew every kid. She knew every faculty member," said Ms. Banwell. "She worked hard to stay up-to-date with what was happening in young adult literature and had an extensive grounding in the classics."

Shady Side Academy president Thomas Cangiano said, "She made the library the hub of middle school life."

Her ties to the students were so strong that even after she learned she had the cancer that resulted in her death 19 days after diagnosis, she returned to the school to meet with her sixth-grade advisees.

Mrs. Ashworth died Dec. 14 in her Fox Chapel home at the age of 58

Even trailer trash need libraries

Link to Diana Nelson Jones 10/27/2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blogpost.

Excerpt: The satire is "not about literacy it's about ignorance," he said. "I make fun of everything and everyone. When I realized I had fans, I went to the library to set up an e-mail account so I could hear from them." (The e-mail will be shown on the screen during his show starting in November.) "People have pasted me on YouTube," including a group of teen-agers who have videotaped themselves watching the show and commenting on it.

Without the Beechview branch -- one of five the library board proposes closing -- he won't have easy access to his fan base.

Some California Bay Area Cities Closing Up Shop for the Holidays

Link to December 22 San Jose Mercury News article.

Excerpt: Check out your library books and pay your water bills now, because cities across San Mateo County will be closing their facilities for up to 10 days starting this week in an effort to save money.

In San Mateo, only emergency facilities such as police and fire departments will remain open from Friday through Jan. 2. It will be the first time in memory that City Hall, the main library, the two library branches, the senior center and other recreation centers will all be closed during that span.

Belmont, San Carlos and Daly City will also close city facilities from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2. All cities say they will restore business as usual on the morning of Jan. 3.

Even though Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Saturdays this year, all cities in the county say they will observe the holidays and close facilities on the Fridays beforehand, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

In some cases, facilities will close early or all day on the Thursdays before the holidays, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30.

The cities also say they will have their public works crews on standby in case strong rains or wind cause emergencies.

In most cities, the employees who typically staff the buildings will have to take unpaid time off, although in some cases they can take paid vacation days. Several cities have implemented mandatory furlough days as part of employee concessions, and a good chunk of the unpaid time off will come next wee

And What About the Cost of a Joint Library-County Study Committee?

Link to December 22 Charlotte Observer article, "Moderate savings in merging library, county. Report shows combining internal departments would save about $300,000 a year."

Excerpt: Public sentiment that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system could save big money by consolidating many operations with county government hasn't held up under scrutiny of a joint library-county study.

A report presented Tuesday shows about $290,160 a year could be saved by merging departments such as human resources, public information and information technology.

The report, which was presented to the Future of the Library Task Force, described the cost savings as "moderate," but added that combining or outsourcing could create a capacity for future growth in services at lower costs.

"I was surprised how little would be saved," admitted Charles Brown, director of the library system. "Going into this, everyone thought there might be significant cost savings. That turned out not to be the case."

Related articles:
The future does not look bright.  (12/9/2010)
Library boosts fines, fees.  (11/23/2010)
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)

U.S. Census Bureau Announces 2010 Census Population Counts

Link to U.S. Census Bureau interactive map

Link to U.S. Census Bureau December 21 news release.

U.S. population as of 4/1/2010:
308,745,538, a 9.6% increase.

U.S. population as of 4/1/2000.

Population increase by region.
South:  14,318,924.
West:  8,747,621.
Midwest:  2,524,225.
Northeast.  1,722,862.

States with biggest gains (numerically, percentage)
Texas.  25,145,561, an increase of 4,293,741.
Nevada.  2,700,551, an increase of 35.1%.

Wisconsin's population:  5,686,986, up 6.0%.

Wisconsin retains its 8 seats on the U.S. House of Representatives.

Very cool maps.  If you're like me, you may have to adjust your schedule today.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crawford County: A Half-Century of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 12 of a county-by-county overview.

Crawford County:
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009

Crawford County, 1960-2009

Crawford County public libraries:

Crawford County is located in the Southwest Wisconsin Library System.

Job Opening (Head of Circulation) at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville Wisconsin

From the ALA joblist:

Wisconsin Libraries Mean Business* When It Comes to Ebook Content

*Credit given to Brian Simons, Verona Public Library Director, for the opening words of the headline.

As reported today by Stef Morrill, Associate Director of the South Central Library System, the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium holiday e-book challenge raised $27,000.

Thanks to the library systems and public libraries that stepped up!

New Fairdale Branch of Louisville Free Public Library to Open Next Summer

From here....

Link to December 15 Louisville Courier-Journal article, "Fairdale gets look at library plans".

Excerpt: Construction of the 7,000-square-foot library is expected to begin soon on the site of a former police substation that was demolished recently.

Detailed renderings of the new building were recently completed and posted inside the current library to give patrons a glimpse of the future branch.

Taylor, who's 18 and plans to attend Jefferson Community and Technical College after he graduates in May, said the renderings “look great.”

The library is a really big hangout spot in Fairdale,” he said, adding that there aren't many local places where teens can gather without buying something.

Library officials say the new branch at 10620 W. Manslick Road will feature a room for teens to congregate next to a general community meeting room
. here.

8 Year Old Boy Shows How Much He Loves and Values the Jersey City Free Public Library

Link to December 21 Jersey Journal article, "8-year-old Jersey City boy is doing all he can to save his local library".

Excerpt: The English language has found a new hero in Jersey City: 8-year-old Paul Valleau.

Paul, who is an avid reader, philanthropist and aspiring writer, is saving the Jersey City Free Public Library one used book at a time.

After hearing about the library's budget crisis, the home-schooled student knew he had to help.

"He thought of selling the books and donating the money he makes," explained Paul's mother, Aleta Valleau.

Paul began selling used books outside a Jersey Avenue consignment store every Saturday. As more people heard about Paul's cause, they began donating books. So far, Paul has raised $81.35 for the library.

"This is an amazing little boy," said Jersey City library director Priscilla Gardner. "The Jersey City library is so pleased and thankful he thinks of us."

Valleau said, "he has been reading since he was 3 years old . and visits the library two or three times a week. It plays a very important role in his life," she said. "It's fun for him, but he also feels good about it because he's doing something.

Related articles:
Three Jersey City branches get 6-month reprieve.  (10/14/2010)
Small branch with a big heart must close.  (9/29/2010)
Library cuts hours of operation.  (9/9/2010)
Jersey City residents plead for their library.  (8/26/2010)
More bad news from New Jersey.  (8/9/2010)

Headline News

Rep. Tom Nelson, D-Kaukauna, joins crowded race for Outagamie County executive. (Appleton Post-Crescent)    Among the 5 announced candidates: Jack Voight, 65, former Republican state treasurer.

Soglin will challenge Cieslewicz for mayor in spring election. (Wisconsin State Journal)   Soglin ran unsuccessfully in 1971, was then elected as Mayor of Madison in 1973 at the age of 27.  He blogs here.

Republican state lawmaker looks to repeal Indian mascot law. (Wisconsin State Journal)    Republicans get to work on their 'jobs' agenda.

Former county exec Barry ready to return to office. (Capital Times) Jonathan Barry served as Dane County Executive from 1981 to 1987. The former Dem sez he's not a Scott-Walker Repub.

OK, time to pause and ponder what the message to voters will be in the spring 2011 elections.  (Particularly in Madison!)

Area's average commute is a swift 22 minutes. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).  Expect the anti-train folks to flaunt this line: Compared with other parts of the country, the Milwaukee metropolitan area is a virtual commuter's paradise.

Kimberly misplaces its place in history.  (Oshkosh Northwestern)  Based on the evidence, maybe they should just put up a display in the library.

Highsmith: The Demco Story

Link to December 21 Janesville Gazette article, "Grainger sells off Highsmith".

Excerpt: Employees of library services provider Highsmith learned Monday that their work commute will soon take them to the Madison area instead of Janesville.

That’s because Chicago-based Grainger announced the sale of its Janesville-based Highsmith brand to DEMCO, a leading library supplier with facilities in Madison and Deforest.

Grainger acquired Fort Atkinson-based Highsmith in 2008 and moved the operation to Janesville.

Ralph Howard, vice president and general manager of Grainger Specialty Brands in Janesville, said Highsmith has about 50 employees. Most of them still live in Fort Atkinson, he said.

Grainger and DEMCO officials said Highsmith employees in Janesville will have the opportunity to follow the business to the Madison area. Those who don’t will have other opportunities with Grainger Specialty Brands in Janesville, Howard said.

From Daily Markets. W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Milford Connecticut Hospital, Public Library Create Community Health Information Center

Link to December 20 News-Times article, "Partnership between New Milford Hospital and public library give residents new health tool".

Excerpt: With a home computer and a library card, local residents can now access a one-stop health-care website that can give them the latest information on how to prevent, treat or manage any imaginable disease.

They can even see video clips on surgical techniques, or listen to live debates on alternative medicine.

New Milford Hospital and the New Milford Public Library are collaborating on a new venture aimed at empowering people to improve their own health care by offering them on-site and online resources that include mainstream medical practices as well as integrative, alternative practices and natural health remedies.

To that end, the two groups have created the Community Health Information Center that has not only a physical headquarters in a corner of the library's lower-level research center designated with a specially designed logo, but an online component exclusively linked to the library's website: Ebsco Consumer Health Complete

Columbia County: A Half-Century of Growth in Public Library Use

Part 11 of a county-by-county overview.

Columbia County:
Population and Circulation, 1960-2009

Columbia County, 1960-2009

Columbia County public libraries:

Portage Public Library
The above two screenshots from

According to the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, Wisconsin Dells (originally listed as Kilbourn) received its Carnegie grant in 1912. The building has been relocated to park across from new library and houses offices.

The Wyocena Public Library opened in 2004.

Columbia County is located in the South Central Library System.