Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pizzas Delivered by the Dozens, Messages by the Thousands

Delivering Moral Support in a Steady Stream of Pizzas. (The New York Times, 2/26/2011)

Had to chuckle over this observation.

Even as the governor and legislators go about their business inside the Capitol, its rotunda has turned into a pro-labor carnival, with folk singing, a children’s play area and more than 100 sleeping bags lining the balconies along the third and fourth floors. Taped to the walls were dozens of signs, including, “United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.
”  [Emphasis added.]

Dozens?  How about 1000s of signs, banners, posters, and messages.

Delaware's Georgetown Public Library Reopens After Recovery from Water Damag

Georgetown-area residents revel in reopening. (Salisbury Maryland Daily Times, 2/10/2011)

Excerpt: Following more than a decade of fundraising efforts to replace the undersized old building, a 29,000-square-foot library was finally built and opened for the first time on Aug. 9, only to close seven weeks later due to flooding from a defective pipe.

Related articles:
Water-damaged library to remain closed through January.  (12/6/2010)
Water-damaged Delaware library closed for repairs.  (11//27/2010)
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)

Bookstores (and Libraries) Learn a New Recipe for Success

Bookstore operators worry about their industry's future.  (Harrisburg Patriot-News, 2/26/2011)

Excerpt:    With its five floors of rare, used and out-of-print books, Midtown Scholar has the feel of a college library. The shop’s stained-glass fixtures, large earth-tone mural of Pennsylvania’s history and what looks like a reproduction of the Liberty Bell that hangs from the vaulted ceiling makes the venue almost like a little gallery on Third Street. Bistro tables mingle with the stacks of books, and patrons work on laptops while they sip coffee and nosh on pastries. Soft jazz plays in the background.

By design, Pappenfuse tried to create more of a community center, where people are encouraged to come together and discuss everything from good books to the city’s future.

“In order for a bookstore to be successful, it has to be more than simply books,” he said.

His customers agree.

Desperate Times Require Desperate Measures

Running off with a floor safe.  Dudes must have some 'muscle' in the community.

Safe with overdue fines stolen from Rutland library. (Burlington Free Press, 2/20/2011)

Excerpt: Police say library employees reported the theft Thursday morning, with somebody gaining entry through a side window sometime in the overnight hours.

Wisconsin State Assembly Vote on the Budget Repair Bill (4 Republicans Vote No)

Republicans voting against the bill.
Dean Kaufert (Neenah)
Lee Nerison (Westby)
Richard Spanbauer (Oshkosh)
Travis Tranel (Cuba City)

Please thank them for doing so and encourage them to reach out to their Republican colleagues.

From the Appleton Post-CrescentState Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, said he supports having workers pay a share of their benefits costs but thinks Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate most public worker bargaining powers went too far.

Black and White @ the Worcester Public Library (but not at the same time)

White power group postpones Worcester library meet. (Worcester Telegram and Gazette, 2/23/2011)

Excerpt: Black Culture Movie Night and North East White Power were both scheduled to use library facilities on Wednesday night.

Russell James, a representative of the white power group, tells The Telegram & Gazette he postponed his group's monthly meeting at the request of the head librarian. He says his group, which has been meeting at the library since November, would not have caused any trouble had the two events gone on simultaneously.

Parlee Jones-Thompson, who organized the Black Culture Movie Night, said she was relieved to hear the white power group had rescheduled. She did not know if any protests had been planned

Funding Picture Gets Progressively Worse for Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Funding pinch unbalances books. Greater library usage contends with declining state, county support. (Buffalo News, 2/25/2011)

Excerpt: If you thought the library system took a hit this year, brace yourself.

The next chapter in the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library system's steady decline can involve branch closings, layoffs and a steep drop in acquisitions unless it can stave off a nearly $7 million deficit next year, staff and trustees warn.

A similar shortfall in 2005 resulted in the closing of 15 branches, job losses and a freeze on acquisitions. But the system was larger and better able to absorb the retrenchment then than it is today.

This time, supporters say, the viability of the 37-branch system is at risk.

"I think definitely the lack of funding coming from the county is helping to dismantle the system," said Jack Connors, vice chairman of the board of trustees. "I don't know if they are intentionally trying to destroy it; I don't think they fully understand what the consequences are.

Related articles:
Unhappy times continue.  (1/21/2011)
Library officials ask for final decision on budget. (12/22/2010)
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)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kalamazoo Public Introduces Library App

Let's celebrate in a big band way.

Blissing Out on Twitter in Grand Rapids Michigan

 And I didn't have to log in for this screenshot.

If it's on the Internet, does that make it quotable? (CNET News, 2/25/2011)

Excerpt:  But here's somewhere to start: If something is public, it's quotable. If you don't want to be quoted, don't say it on the Internet. If you have a public Twitter account and say something, then, yes, it's public. Should Twitter users expect to be contacted and asked for permission to have their tweets reprinted? Don't count on it.

Column: Twitter debate about journalist's story points out murkiness of new media. (Grand Rapids Press, 2/22/2011)

Los Angeles to Vote on March 8 Library Funding Ballot Question

L.A.'s Measure L would boost library funding. (Los Angeles Times, 2/25/2011)

Excerpt: If the story of the Los Angeles Public Library system were a book on a library shelf, it would have a tattered cover.

Ravaged by budget cuts and layoffs, the system dropped to a five-day-a-week schedule last year, with doors closed on Sundays and Mondays at all of the city's 73 libraries. Ongoing budget woes mean the plot could worsen in coming years, perhaps leading to some library closures.

A measure on the March 8 ballot gives voters a chance to increase the amount of money dedicated to the library each year

Related articles:
L.A. weekly takes mayor to task.  (9/19/2010)
Hours Reduced at library for 3rd time in 7 months. (7/20/2010)
Don't let the library get washed away.  (7/19/2010)
The Middleton Public Library is open more hours than the Los Angeles Central Library.  (7/16/2010)
Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners does Mayor's bidding.  (6/12/2010)
Another elective body thinks libraries are dispensable.  (5/5/2010)
Cutting library hours:  Charlotte Mecklenburg this week, LA next week, who's next?  (4/6/2010)
More news under the same headline.  (3/24/2010)

Midway Design Presentation for Madison Central Library

(It's a bit slow to load.)

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

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let's Put Glenn Beck in Perspective

Average number of viewers of his Fox News weekday broadcast in January 2011.  1,800,000.  And continuing to fall, apparently.

Population of the United States.  310,883,735.  And growing.

You can do the math yourself.

Let's Not Forget About the Net Neutrality Battle

The FCC, Net Neutrality and the Future Enrons of the Internet. (Truthdig, 2/24/2011)

Excerpt:    Philosophically, Walden and the ISPs pushing for deregulation are following in the footsteps of Enron, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, JPMorgan and the rest of the modern financial services industry.

Enron, the disgraced and defunct energy trading firm, lobbied for the deregulation of the U.S. energy market, and argued that the company should be allowed to enter into private agreements to sell energy and create complex derivatives based on speculative investment positions.

Similarly, Wall Street firms demanded and were granted unlimited freedom to create unregulated private contracts which evolved into “toxic assets,” including collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps, which nearly destroyed the global economy in 2008.

Now, the ISPs are demanding the right to enter into private agreements with anyone who connects to the Internet, from any location in the world, on any pipeline. These private agreements would not only apply to the direct customers of the ISPs, but would include any parties identified by the ISPs as special users. The agreements could also allow ISPs to slow or block data traffic that the providers deemed to be burdensome or unacceptable

Related articles:
Google-Verizon proposal pumps up the net neutrality debate.  (8/12/2010)
Are net neutrality opponents makin' stuff up?  (4/26/2010)

Is net neutrality dead?  (4/7/2010)
Net Neutrality:  The Opposition Gathers Force.  (10/19/2009)
Shining a Light on Anti-Neutrality Research.  (10/15/2009)
Net Neutrality:  The Goliaths are not amused.  (9/22/2009)

Scott Walker Gets No Love

Scott Walker, Serial Liar

February 24, 2011

February 22, 2011

February 21, 2011

February 18, 2011

February 11, 2011

January 27, 2011

January 5, 2011

Faculty and Staff of UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies Oppose Abolition of Collective Bargaining Rights

Twitter Use (and Projections)

Fewer Than 20 Million US Adults Used Twitter At Least Monthly in 2010. (eMarketer, 2/24/2011)

Excerpt: Although Twitter’s growth rates continue to rise, relatively few online Americans use the microblogging service. According to new estimates by eMarketer, 16.4 million US adults, or 9% of the adult internet population, used Twitter at least monthly in 2010. Growth will surpass 26% this year as Twitter reaches 11% of internet users and 16.5% of US adult social network users. By 2013, nearly 28 million Americans will be tweeting.

Related articles:
Update on Library of Congress Twitter archive.  (1/25/2011)
The evolution of Twitter usage.  (1/5/2011)
Pew Research asks, "Who tweets?"  (12/9/2010)
Twitter:  Survey says.... (5/15/2010)
Lance Ulanoff on Twitter:  "It's about information, not socialization".  (5/4/2010)
Billions of 'in-the-moment' pieces of history.  (5/2/2010)
Library of Congress acquires Twitter archive.  (4/14/2010)
TV + Twitter = Mystery Science Theater 3000.  (3/15/2010)
Business website profiles 6 Twitter types.  (12/14/2009)

Something to Do When Folks Don't Have Access to the Their Local Public Library

Yeah, I know, the 'headline' puts a cynical spin on the program.  Sorry.  But then I just finished reading this article.

Zoo Atlanta library program spreads statewide. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/23/2011)

But there's a slight catch.  Keep reading.

Excerpt:   Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Public Library Service have formed a partnership that will allow library card holders statewide free access to the zoo.

The launch of the program was announced Wednesday on the steps of the state capitol.

Marcus Margerum, vice president of marketing and sales at Zoo Atlanta, explained at the announcement that anyone with a valid Georgia public library card can check out a Zoo Atlanta Family Pass DVD and upon its return, receive a receipt for free zoo admission for two adults and two children, an $80 value.

One DVD is available for checkout in each participating library for up to seven days. There will be no holds or waiting lists and families can take advantage of the program one time per year, per card and per household.

Will lost or damaged DVDs be replaced?

In Zoo Atlanta's defense, management can't cut off a key source of revenue and expect to keep up its operations.

Libraries Losing Ground as Revenues Decline, Use Increases

Grandma Nelson's library
Forest Park Branch Library (note hours of operation)
Springfield (Mass.) City Library

In the 1930s, Andy's and Eddie's grandma would walk to this library with her 3 sisters on Saturdays.

Local libraries feeling the pain of smaller budgets, branch cuts. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/23/2011)

Excerpt: It’s not your grandmother’s public library — yet. But with decreasing state and county revenues that fund our local library systems, budget cuts resulting in fewer hours, fewer community branches, fewer books and an absence of the online resources we have come to expect will reduce today’s technology-rich public library to that of our grandmothers’ time.

The DeKalb County Public Library now finds itself in this crisis. Recent openings of renovated branches have sent a mixed signal. But many may not understand that these were funded through a bond referendum passed by DeKalb voters several years ago and designated only for the purpose of “brick and mortar” buildings

Eddie, Grandma, and Andy (Thanksgiving 2007)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Troy (Michigan) Public Library to Close on May 1

Excerpt: An effort by a Troy City Councilman to allocate $1.7 million in unspent appropriations for the city’s library failed to even make it onto the agenda at Monday’s Council meeting, meaning the library will close April 30.


Troy is not the first metro Detroit community to close its public library. Highland Park shuttered the McGregor Public Library in 2002.

But Troy, unlike Highland Park, is an affluent upper middle-class suburb. It’s not the kind of place where one expects budget shortfalls will close a library.

Related articles:
Troy Michigan (population: 80,000) still on track to close its library.  (2/8/2011)
Voters wave bye-bye to their library.  (11/3/2010)
Giving voters more choices than they need.  (8/13/2010)
Library threatened with closure, part 2.  (5/19/2010)
Library threatened with closure, part 1.  (4/25/2010)

Not that I'm drawing any conclusions.  It just occurred to me to google "tea party" and "Troy Michigan".

Michigan Governor Proposes 40% Cut in State Aid to Libraries

Link to Michigan Library Association.

Wisconsin Club for Growth Touts Its 3,000 Facebook Friends

We got your number. Any many, many more!

And what are they about?

The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom.

Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation.

Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state.  (OK, folks, let's prove them seriously wrong on this bit of braggadocio.)

24,081 have signed petition

Madison Police Officer (and former Republican) Speaks Out

Well, WLA, at least we know what the threshold was to get Walker's attention

Just under 1 mil.

Record $37.4 Million Spent In Governor’s Race. (Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 2/8/2011)

Excerpt:  Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business organization, which claims it spent $950,000 to back Walker. Among Walker’s first acts as governor was to call a special session of the legislature to push numerous legislative proposals that appear on the business group’s legislative agenda. The business group is a perennial heavyweight in state politics, policymaking and elections and usually supports Republican candidates for statewide office and the legislature. It was one of the first organizations in to engage in secret fundraising and spending on phony issue ads in the 1996 elections.
Hmm, it is just me, or does the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries slogan sound a little subversive now?  That would certainly be the case if the red line emphasized 'Better'!

This is what democracy looks like!

The Philadelphia Athletics Melt into Obscurity

Demographics may doom the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/22/2011)

Excerpt: Not long ago, the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society had to cancel its annual fund-raising breakfasts, because most of the players who used to attend had died.

More recently, the passing of 1953 all-star Gus Zernial left the number of surviving ex-A's at either 36 or 37. No one was certain, because Max Silberman, the member tasked with keeping the count, died two years ago.

Like the last vestiges of a deep and memorable snow, those who played and rooted for Connie Mack's A's are gradually melting away. Soon, members of the historical society fear, the franchise which departed for Kansas City in 1954 after 53 years in Philadelphia and five world championships will be an increasingly obscure local memory, like Horn & Hardart's, Woodside Park, or Frank's Black Cherry Wishniak.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dewey or Not Dewey?

Who's killing the Dewey decimal system? Some suburban libraries begin turning away from the longtime classification system. (Chicago Tribune, 2/18/2011)

Excerpt: A handful of pioneering suburban libraries are transitioning from the librarian-loved but misunderstood Dewey to the type of organization system used by booksellers. The new layout groups books by subject rather than number, uses signs to highlight contemporary, popular categories, and displays books by their covers.

Critics say the new system is a nightmare for anyone trying to find a specific book that doesn't fit into an obvious category. Supporters counter that the system does what libraries should be doing: encourage people to read more books

Iowa Department of Workforce Development Considers Shifting Workload to the State's Public Libraries

Workforce Development weighs closing 39 offices. (Des Moines Register, 2/18/2011)

Excerpt: "We believe we can provide higher quality services more effectively," said Wahlert, who proposes shifting computers, software and other technology from the Workforce Development   offices to public libraries, where many jobless people search for jobs and write resumes.

Critics blasted the idea, saying it would hurt services to more than 100,000 unemployed Iowans. The state's unemployment rate has been at 6 percent or above for 19 months.

Sen. Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, and Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, D-Cedar Rapids, called the plan disastrous.

"The governor is pulling out the rug on Iowans by reducing their access to key services by closing 39 Workforce Development offices, mostly in rural areas," Dotzler said.

"Instead of increasing access to employment services for workers and businesses, the governor's plan puts up more barriers for Iowans looking for a job and businesses trying to hire new workers," he said.

Dotzler added that public libraries have always been available to workers and the agency's proposal adds no new access
. [Emphasis added.]

The proposal, of course, provides no additional resources for Iowa's 540 public libraries, which already, as State Librarian Mary Wegner points out, struggle with having enough hours, books, computers and staffing to meet the needs of people using the library.

Chicago's Mayoral Candidates Speak Up for Libraries

Arts and the City:  Mayoral Candidates Weigh In.  (Chicago Tribune, 2/17/2011)

Carol Moseley Braun

Gery Chico

Miguel del Valle

Rahm Emanuel

Chicago voters, will action speak as loud as words?