Saturday, December 10, 2011

The NEW McAllen Public Library

Seattle Public Library: "Images speak for themselves"

If Only These Debts Were as Easy to Collect as They are to Calculate

Local citizens owe millions in unpaid taxes, fees, fines. (Beloit Daily News, December 10, 2011)

Excerpt: Extensive efforts are continuously made to collect these debts, they said, and efforts have been intensified in recent years. But more aggressive pursuit of local debtors necessitates additional manpower, which adds costs to the city's bottom line, they said.  [Emphasis added.]

For example, cutting off utilities generally proves an effective means of forcing payment. But with thousands of delinquent utility accounts, it's prohibitive for the city's small staff to fully enforce strict policies. Hiring a sufficient number of employees to perform the jobs would be very costly, York said. Still, the city pursues full payment.

"Obviously, if someone owes the city money, it's in our best interest to collect," York said.

At the same time, he said, "it's difficult." Many city residents have adopted a habit of letting utility bills and other charges accumulate until the end of the year. Others, hit hard by the economic recession and chronic unemployment, simply "don't have the money to pay," he said.
Sometimes, a few debtors are arrested. Others have their unpaid bills intercepted from tax returns. And some fall to the wayside as uncollectible.

At the Beloit City Council's most recent meeting, councilors unanimously approved writing-off more than $200,000 in "doubtful accounts." The council report noted, "these write-offs are not expected to have any adverse fiscal impact to the city." Several councilors noted that the cost of hiring lawyers or collection agencies to force payment would be greater than the amount owed.  [Emphasis added.]

Library Book Budget Among Reductions in 2012 Kewaunee Budget

Kewaunee sets municipal levy, mil rate down.  (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 12/9/2011)

Excerpt: The departments responded to a directive to "hold the line and keep expenses as reasonable as possible." Kewaunee cut its general fund budget by $87,372. Among the reductions were city public works projects (some sidewalk work, tree plantings, blacktopping, sealcoating, etc.), cutting of the summer recreation program along with reductions in public library book purchases program along with reductions in public library book purchases, and reductions in part time and temporary police help.

Other Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
City of Beaver Dam 2012 budget.  (11/22/2011)
At this point, Sheboygan budget includes no cuts to Mead Library and Fire Department. (11/21/2011)
City of Milton 2012 budget.  (11/17/2011)
City of Whitewater 2012 budget.  (11/17/2011)
Sheboygan officials look to privatize cleaning services @ 3 city facilities.  (11/15/2011)
Stoughton residents speak up for their library.  (11/14/2011)
In addition to considering a garbage fee, Fond du Lac council restores a part-time library position.  (11/13/2011)
Marathon County's 2012 "No, No, No Budget".  (11/9/2011)
Let the aphorisms fly @ the Beloit City Council meeting.  (11/9/2011)
2012 Marshfield Public Library budget cut by 2.4%.  (11/8/2011)
Part time staff @ Beloit Public Library lose health-care benefits.  (11/7/2011)
Privatizing trash pickup would more than plug Sheboygan's $800,000 budget gap. (11/5/2011)
Portage County approves budget.  (11/4/2011)
Manitowoc's bond rating woes.  (11/4/2011)
Menasha mayor asks library board to cut $45,000 from 2012 budget.  (11/2/2011)
Fond du Lac councilman Ruedinger calls $91,000 cut to library "huge"  (11/1/2011)
Dimming the streetlights in Clintonvlile.  (10/27/2011)
Two Rivers' Lester Public Library looking at a 7% cut in 2012.  (10/26/2011)
Boost in taxes for Neenah residents.  (10/25/2011)
Apparently, Sheboygan alderman David Van Akkeren doesn't love and value libraries. (10/25/2011)
Crabby Appleton trumps League of Women Voters president in coverage of Outagamie County budget hearing.  (10/25/2011)
Black River Falls looks to cut $62,000 from 2012 budget.  (10/24/2011)
Shawano does the garbage fee math.  (10/19/2011)
Wisconsin Rapids:  Proposed McMillan Library 2012 budget cut $63,221.  (10/19/2011)
Racine mayor uses Packers analogy in budget address.  (10/19/2011)
Manitowoc mayor cuts budget 10%.  (10/18/2011)
Mayor proposes 5.1% cut to Fond du Lac Public Library funding.  (10/17/2011)
Racine County executive explains the various tax levies.  (10/16/2011)
Lake Geneva's 2012 budget dilemma.  (10/15/2011)
Rhinelander has a bigger hold to fill due to budget error.  (10/15/2011)
City of Ripon 2012 budget update.  (10/15/2011)
Shawano city administrator:  "Bleeding has stopped for the most part".  (10/14/2011)
Retirements?  Not worry, sez Sheboygan officials.  (10/14/2011)
FEE-fi-fo-fum in Ashland.  (10/14/2011)
Waupaca proposes no retiree access to city's health plan.  (10/13/2011)
Mayville retains wheel tax.  (10/13/2011)
Wheel tax proposed in Janesville.  (10/12/2011)
City of Marshfield 2012 budget update.  (10/12/2011)
City of Oshkosh 2012 budget update.  (10/12/2011)
City of Fond du Lac to eliminate assessor's office.  (10/12/2011)
Sheboygan officials no longer have the "headache" of maintenance of effort.  (10/11/2011)
City of Waukesha considers annual garbage fee.  (10/9/2011)
Brown County proposes cuts to employee benefits.  (10/9/2011)
Library salaries focus of debate at Sussex-Lisbon budget discussion.  (10/8/2011)
City of  Delavan administrator requests all department reduce operating budgets by 8%.  (10/8/2011)
Village of Waterford looks at across-the-board cuts.  (10/8/2011)
Ripon city administrator on 2012 municipal budget.  (10/8/2011)
4% cut to library funding in Appleton mayor's 2012 proposed budget.  (10/8/2011)
McMillan library staff reorganization saves Wisconsin Rapids $45,075. (10/5/2011)
Budget reduction forces cuts in hours, positions @ the La Crosse Public Library. (10/3/2011)
Marathon County cuts employee benefits to balance 2012 budget.  (10/3/2011)
City of Sheboygan 2012 proposed budget.  (10/3/2011)
2012 Brown County Public Library proposed budget.  (10/1/2011)
1.2% of Janesville residents get to wag the dog.  (9/30/2011)
Beloit Public Library proposed 2012 budget.  (9/30/2011)
Shawano City-County Library receives $13,000 cut (3%) in county funding.  (9/28/2011)
City of Rhinelander looking at a $200,000 decrease in revenue for 2012.  (9/27/2011)
Mayor Barrett's proposed 2012 budget increases hours, expands 3 educational initiatives @ the Milwaukee Public Library.  (9/26/2011)
Janesville:  Slight decrease in 2012 Hedberg Public Library budget.  (9/25/2011)
Fond du Lac faces $1.7 million deficit.  (9/23/2011)
McFarland wrestles with 2012 budget..  (9/22/2011)
Beloit to make deep cuts to police, fire departments.  (9/22/2011)
Wisconsin Rapids 2012 budget process underway.  (9/22/2011)
Oshkosh 2012 budget deficit projected to balloon to as much as $2.3 million.  (9/20/2011)
Facing $2.5 million shortfall, La Crosse considers a variety of fees.  (9/14/2011)
100 show up at Dodgeville budget hearing.  (9/12/2011)
Zero percent increase for Prairie du Sac department budgets.  (9/7/2011)
City of Ashland looks at projected shortfall of $329,000 in 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Dodgeville city council to hold listening session on 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Shawano budget deficit at $504,800.  (8/25/2011)
City of Ripon facing $110,000 budget deficit for 2012.  (8/25/2011)
Long list of cuts on table for Racine city services.  (8/25/2011)
Dodge County Administrator:  "Governor Walker does not speak for Dodge County".  (8/25/2011)
Longevity bonuses in Portage might become a thing of the past.  (8/24/2011)
Declining property values pose a challenge to Columbus budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Whitewater council looks at 0% tax levy increase.  (8/24/2011)
Janesville residents asked to make tough choices in online budget scorecard.  (8/24/2011)
Village of Darien officials ask for input on 2012 budget.  (8/24/2011)
City of Marshfield has some wiggle room in its 2012 budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Soglin on 2012 Madison budget:  "Every service we rely on is vulnerable".  (8/23/2011)
With a ballooning budget deficit, Marathon County considers a tax increase.  (8/23/2011)
Sheboygan's Strategic Fiscal Planning Committee to determine what city will look like.  (8/19/2011)
Brown County Exec looks at same tax levy, impact on services to be determined.  (8/18/2011)
City of Shawano wrestles with $128,000 deficit.  (8/16/2011)
Possible double whammy for Shawano City-County Library.  (8/15/2011)
Portage County Executive looks to "create a bridge to a new design, a way of functioning on less".. (8/15/2011)
Antigo cuts fire, police positions.  (8/15/2011)
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011)
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

City of Neenah Settles Age-Discrimination Complaint

Neenah will pay to resolve age-discrimination complaint. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 12/10/2011)

Excerpt:     City Atty. Jim Godlewski said the city disputes the allegation and agreed to make the $5,000 payment to cut its losses.

"The cost to defend would have been three to four times that amount," Godlewski said. "We admit no liability and no wrongdoing, and she agrees not to apply for a position with the city or its affiliates."

Heather Barber, Neenah's deputy director of human resources, told the EEOC that 65 of the 69 applicants met the qualifications for the position and that Leslie was more qualified than Haffeman.

She said Haffeman, a former media specialist with the Neenah Joint School District, was one of six applicants with school library experience but no public library experience. None of the six was interviewed. "Public library experience is desirable and significantly different than school library experience," Barber said

Friday, December 9, 2011

CVS and Self-Service Checkout: Full Steam Ahead

Checking you out. CVS cites speed, savings with self-service terminals, but for some stores, it doesn’t register. (Boston Globe, 12/9/2011)

Excerpt:   The trend toward self-checkout lanes is more than a decade old, led at first by supermarket chains like Stop & Shop, which introduced the machines in 1999 and now has them in 85 percent of its stores.

But some stores have reconsidered. Big Y Foods Inc., which has 60 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, began removing all of its self-service lanes this fall after internal research found that customers preferred a friendly cashier - and after employees complained that the machines were confusing and created more work.

“What we were hearing from our store associates was, ‘We can do this quicker and faster if we do it ourselves,’ ’’ said Big Y spokeswoman Claire D’Amour-Daley

Related posts:
Grocery stores continue to rethink self-service. (9/27/2011)
Albertson's removes self-check lanes in all of its stores.  (7/10/2011)
Technology evolution @ the Marathon County Public Library.  (6/29/2011)
HedbergLibrarian sets Greg Peck straight.  (5/20/2011)

It appears that disaster was averted @ the Manitowoc Public Library

Cherilynn Stewart, Manitowoc Public Library Director, sent out this email to local supporters yesterday evening.

We had a great turnout tonight, several Trustees, Friends and others concerned about us, and other city services; Alderman McMeans moved to add extra public comment so the library supporters and others could speak. I pointed out that since we had agreed to the first cut of 10% we couldn't take anymore without closing for some hours. Then, Jenny and Macala from the Teen Advisory Board spoke about they used the Library. It was perfect. Two others spoke...

The veto was sustained. I'm not sure what our final figure will be, because it was unclear if we were talking about the same starting point. But all indications point in the right direction. The council is actually meeting again tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I'm going to walk the dog, and maybe read for pleasure! and go in late.

Many thanks for your supportive words this week.

Thanks to Jeff Dawson for sharing.

Related post:
Red alert @ the Manitowoc Public Library. (12/7/2011)

Funding for Library Expansion Included in City of Portage 2012 Budget

Portage budget passes 4-3; money for library expansion included. Portage Daily Register, 12/8/2011)

Excerpt: The 2012 budget includes an overall $4.89 million tax levy, which is up about $51,000 over the 2011 budget.

That money will pay for increased labor costs that were previously negotiated.

The amount decreased from the levy was shifted to join unfunded items in the capital expenditures plan.

As part of that plan, the city committed to spend about $1.3 million next year for capital improvements, including funding for the library, a welcome center in Riverside Park and the continuation of the Canal restoration project.

The Council voted 5-2 to commit to funding those projects, with the source of funding to be determined before they commence. Common Council member Rick Dodd and Jeff Garetson voted against an amendment to commit the city to those expenditures

Related posts:
Library moves forward with building expansion fundraising campaign.  (11/26/2011)
Decision delayed on request for library expansion funding.  (11/2/2011)
Council member on Portage Public Library expansion project funding: "We may just not want to it".  (10/28/2011)
Board president makes pitch to council for library expansion funding.  (10/15/2011)
Board to make case for building expansion to council.  (10/13/2011)
Library board to make case to council for building expansion.  (9/15/2011)
Library moves forward with building expansion.  (8/12/2011)
Board approves feasibility study for library expansion.  (7/1/2011)
Board reviews estimates for expansion project.  (6/22/2011)
Library expansion plans continue to develop.  (2/9/2011)
Library expansion to focus on youth services.  (10/15/2010)
Putting together the financial pieces for building expansion.  (5/12/2010)
Library seeks community input for expansion.  (1/13/2010)
Board discussion rental property options.  (11/11/2009)

Reference Question of the Day: What do most of the counties on this list have in common?

Wisconsin's Public Libraries Boost Digital Content

State libraries to beef up digital offerings.  (Appleton Post-Crescent, 12/8/2011)

Excerpt:   The state's public libraries plan to purchase $1 million in new content in 2012 for a Digital Download Center sponsored by the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium. The purchase will dramatically expand the center's offerings — including ebooks, audio books, videos and music — to Wisconsin residents.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On This (Approximate) Date in History: December 7, 1971

Sorry. Meant to get this out yesterday.

40 years of public library systems in Wisconsin

From Administrative Essentials 17:  Membership in the Library System

History of Library Systems in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's library system law, providing funding for coordinated regional library services, officially went into effect in 1971 when Senate Bill 47 was signed into law. The creation of public library systems fostered the establishment of a strong network of resource sharing and mutually beneficial interdependence. 

The actual creation and development of public library systems in Wisconsin was a voluntary and gradual process. No county or public library is required to be a member of a library system; yet, as of this writing, all of Wisconsin's 72 counties and over 380 public libraries are library system members. Wisconsin's seventeen public library systems developed in distinct ways in response to the needs of their member libraries and area residents. 

The systems have continued to evolve as changes in society, resources, and technologies create new demands and opportunities.

The seeds for regional library services had been planted years earlier and several regional services had coordinated cooperative services. In 1956, the American Library Association published Public Library Service: a Guide to Evaluation with Minimum Standards, which introduced the library system concept. That same year the United States Congress enacted the Library Services Act (LSA) to provide federal funding for extending and improving public library service to rural communities. 

The Wisconsin Library Association and the Wisconsin Free Library Commission submitted a plan for LSA funding. Also in 1956, twenty-five public libraries joined together to form the Southwest Association of Public Libraries. In 1959 they obtained LSA funding to establish an ordering and processing center serving five counties, the predecessor to the Southwest Wisconsin Library System. Also that year, a regional library system was established in northwest Wisconsin serving five counties, the precursor of the Northern Waters Library Service.

In 1963, the Free Library Commission, WLA and the Wisconsin Library Trustees Association adopted A Design for Public Library Development in Wisconsin: Standards for Measuring Progress. The following statement from that document helps to convey the vision

"Simply stated, the library system concept means that only by working together, sharing services and materials, can libraries meet the full needs of their users. Each public library, whatever its size, is an important link in a system of libraries joined together either formally or informally."

That document described a shared vision of public library systems that ultimately led to the development and adoption of 1971 Senate Bill 47 through a series of events.
  • In 1965 the Wisconsin Library Commission was folded into DPI and became the Division for Library Services.
  • In 1966 WLA approved a legislative study program calling for legislation to "implement the library system concept and interlibrary cooperation in Wisconsin.
  • In 1968 the Library Development and Legislative Committee (LD&L) of WLA developed a report for the legislature.
  • In 1969 that report was introduced as Senate Bill 363.
  • The Senate Education Committee recommended the bill be revised, and
  • In 1971 Senate Bill 47 was introduced and, after extensive legislative efforts by WLA, was passed by both houses.
The bill included the following declaration:

"Recognizing the importance of making quality library resources and services readily available to all of the citizens of Wisconsin, the legislature, through this act, seeks to modernize library laws for public and school libraries, to promote development and improvement of public libraries through library systems and to provide maximum opportunities for cooperation among all types of libraries in order to encourage the most effective use of the library resources in this state."

Wisconsin public library systems.  Going on 50.

Next year's Library Strategic Planning and Visioning Effort provides us with an opportunity to discuss how we successfully reach that golden number.

The #1 song on this date in history 40 years ago.

Toronto Councillor on Likely Outcome of Proposed Library Budget Cuts: Doors Open but Little Going On Inside

Library chief eyes new fines, more service cuts in bid to preserve branch hours. (Toronto Globe & Mail, 12/8/2011)

Excerpt: Even before the board meets to discuss Ms. Pyper’s new cuts next week, some members are vowing to vote them down.

“The city librarian has put on the table another menu of very objectionable program cuts,” said Councillor Janet Davis. “They make sure that the library doors will be open, but very little will be happening inside.”

Ms. Pyper’s recommendations are made up of $2.8-million in program cuts, a $3-million shave to the collections budget and a $500,000 savings by replacing seven staff with automated sorters in some branches. She is also recommending branches impose $1 fines for holds not picked up. Taken together, the suggestions would terminate 37 jobs.

The program cuts would also eliminate the following:

  • high school and kindergarten outreach activities
  • library publications such as What’s On and What’s More
  • Keep Toronto Reading Festival
  • Adult literacy programs
  • pre-school Ready For Reading program
  • childhood Leading to Reading program
  • bookmobile service
The 3.0-million collections reduction would be followed by another $785,000 cut in 2013, bringing the total budget cut for new materials to 22 per cent.

Related posts:
How did allegedly cosmopolitan Toronto turn into such a laughingstock?  (10/30/2011)
Looking for the elusive gravy @ the Toronto Public Library.  (9/11/2011)
Margaret Atwood 1, RobDoug Ford 0.  (8/26/2011)
Curmudgeonly behavior @ Toronto City Hall.  (8/14/2011)
Speaking up for the Toronto Public Library.  (8/11/2011)
Toronto councillors not lining ujp to support mayor's call to close libraries.  (8/6/2011)
Library rallies its supporters.  (8/6/2011)
Toronto mayor Doug Ford goes hyperbolic. (7/29/2011)
Toronto councilor uses his position to bully Margaret Atwood  .(7/27/2011)

Rick Perry Gets "Strong" Reaction

Like:  3,441
Dislike:  154,337

Rick Perry's Video Viral Fail.  (The Atlantic, 12/8/2011)

Excerpt: Intended for a Western Iowa audience of religious conservatives and evangelicals -- the only people who matter to the GOP candidates for the next month -- the ad ran into an inherent audience problem when posted on YouTube with the like/dislike buttons enabled. The apparently more pro-gay rights audience online quickly seized on the spot to register its dislike of Perry's message.

Perry might be better off doing his manly-man act here.

Blount County Tennessee Fire Protection District: Menu of Service Fees

But in a neighboring county.....

Blount County firefighters will put out a "nonsubscriber" fire but send the homeowner a bill based the rates shown above.

U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey: Median Household Income

Household incomes shrink while number living in poverty increases, census survey shows. (Wisconsin State Journal, 12/8/2011)

Excerpt: In the tony suburb of Maple Bluff on the north shore of Lake Mendota, median household income in 2010 landed at a very comfortable $151,875. Just a few miles east, in a North Side area of Madison near the airport, median income was just $28,542, with about 40 percent of residents living in poverty.

That's according to new census data released Thursday that confirms a trend toward decreased incomes and higher poverty in the last decade but also provides geographic definition to the trends, giving a broad spectrum of demographic information on a nearly neighborhood-by-neighborhood level.

The data show that Madison and Dane County continued to enjoy relative affluence with pockets of poverty interspersed, sometimes in close proximity to high-wealth areas, especially in the city of Madison

Using the interactive feature.

My current census tract (South of University Avenue).  (1986-present)

Middleton census tract north of University Avenue, which includes a significant  number of multi-family dwellings:  duplexes, apartments, condos.

My Oshkosh census tract.  (1978-1986)

The Mitten Wars: Wisconsin vs. Michigan

What's next? Oven mitts?

Seems to me, though, we have bragging rights locked up for the time being.


Not to mention.....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Dodge Dart: For those of you who weren't there the first time around

We'll have to wait and see.

Red Alert @ the Manitowoc Public Library

If you live in Manitowoc and love and value your public library, please attend a meeting at the City Council Chambers on Thursday, December 8, at 5:00 p.m.

If you live in the Manitowoc Public Library's service area, the Manitowoc Mayor and City Council members should also hear your voices of support.  (I'm not sure of the 2011 amount, but I do know that Manitowoc County provided $523,775 in 2010 toward the operation of the library.  In other words, you have a stake here, too.)

If you know anyone who lives in the Manitowoc area, please encourage them to attend this important meeting and show their support for the Manitowoc Public Library.  (Not sure if there will be an opportunity for individual public comment.)

From Cherilynn Stewart, Manitowoc Public Library Director

The new City of Manitowoc budget calls for $250,000 in cuts to the Manitowoc Public Library, nearly $100,000 more than the 10% reduction proposed by Mayor Nickels. Library management has been working on ways to make the initial $166,553 reduction while maintaining service. The additional cuts make that impossible. Please attend the meeting Thursday, December 8, at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers to show your support for the essential services provided by Manitowoc Public Library.

This was proposed and done in less than 5 minutes at the Council meeting on Monday. It was a total surprise to me since Mayor Nickels had just communicated to me on Friday that we were still at our 10% (166K) cut.

Manitowoc City Hall
Council Chambers located on the 1st floor.
900 Quay St.

 (Civil) contact information

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 123, McAllen Public Library)

Related post:
McAllen Texas to replace 60-year-old main library. (6/13/2010)

In Light of This Coup, Just How Sustainable is Funding for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library?

Roberts ousted as chair of Mecklenburg County board.  In unusual shakeup, fellow Democratic commissioner Harold Cogdell, with the GOP's backing, takes leadership reins. (Charlotte Observer, 12/7/2011)

Excerpt:    The vote carries implications far beyond the chairman title. Democrats enjoy a 5-4 majority, but Cogdell has become a swing vote when the board sets spending priorities.

In announcing his candidacy for chairman, he sent commissioners a letter suggesting the county lower its debt and lower the property tax rates - two articles of faith among board Republicans.

On Tuesday, he voted with four GOP members to pick Republican Jim Pendergraph for vice chairman over Roberts.

"My biggest issue with Roberts is she consistently worked to expand the size of government," Republican commissioner Neil Cooksey said before voting for Cogdell.
 [Emphasis added.]

Cogdell declared he is still a Democrat, drawing jeers and mock laughter from the crowd. He then made clear his votes would not be tied to party loyalty.

As you can see from the long list of related posts below, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, 1995 LJ/Gale Library of the Year, has been forced to reduce its service program and cut branch operations recently, issues which the the Future of the Library Task Force was charged to address.

Note the last sentence on the first slide:  The Library is the managing partner, who delivers the services, and the County is the funding partner, who provides funding for these services.

As Board of Commissioners Chair, Jennifer Roberts strongly supported the Library's Sustainability Plan.

In light of Roger Cogdell's election as Chair, has the Library's relationship with Mecklenburg County been weakened?  First off, perhaps, we should ask him if he agrees with Neil  Cooksey's assessment of Jennifer Roberts.

The library is, after all, very dependent upon county funding for its operation.

Is this too big a piece of pie for Cogdell?

Related articles:
What to do with Charlotte Mecklenburg's main library.  (11/13/2011)
Volunteering.  (6/24/2011)
County Manager proposes $3.26 million increase to library budget. (5/29/2011)
County Manager recommends a $2 million increase to CML budget.  (5/18/2011)
Most chilling fact to consider here.  (4/22/2011)
"Save our library" say Matthews residents.  (4/1/2011)
Charlotte Observer survey: Can you find $2 million in this budget to give to Mecklenburg libraries? (3/25/2011)
Task Force presents final report.  (3/22/2011)
Task Force to present report to joint meeting of Mecklenburg County Commission and Library Board.  (3/19/2011)
Task force walks on eggshells.  (3/17/2011)
Charlotte Mecklenburg 'Future of the Library Task Force' report to be aubmitted next week. (3/16/2011)
Recriminations? No. But you can't avoid the facts of the matter. (3/13/2011)
The battle of the branch libraries.  (3/8/2011)
Survey influences Charlotte Mecklenburg's Future of the Library Task Force. (3/5/2011)
$7.50 per household per year to keep 6 branch libraries open? Sounds reasonable to me.  (3/4/2011)
Up to 6 libraries could close under proposal.  (3/2/2011)
Tuesday vote of Future of Library Task Force likely.  (2/27/2011)
Future of the Library Task Force to release recommendations soon.  (2/8/2011)
Banker to lead Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.  (1/22/2011)
And what about the cost of a joint library-county study committee?  (12/22/2010)
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)

Rhode Island's Central Falls Library Rejoins Statewide Network

Adams Memorial Library

Central Falls library to rejoin statewide borrowing system, increase hours. (Providence Journal, 11/30/2011)

Excerpt: Citing increased donations and volunteers' efforts, the city's library announced Tuesday it will expand hours and rejoin the Ocean State Libraries system, a statewide borrowing network.

The Adams Memorial Library closed in July as the city sought to cut costs and avoid a bankruptcy filing. Because of the cuts, the library lost its affiliation with the statewide borrowing network and had to issue its own library cards.

The library reopened in September with reduced hours and with a staff of volunteers

Related posts:
Welcome to your library.  (10/1/2011)
Fundraiser for Adams Memorial Library.  (9/29/2011)
Library in bankrupt Central Falls Rhode Island reopens with an all-volunteer staff. (8/17/2011)
Central Falls may reopen its library in the fall.  (7/6/2011)
Central Falls Rhode Island closes its public library.  (7/6/2011)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure you can bet the bank on that one

Romney to skip Trump debate.  (The Raw Story, 12/6/2011)

Excerpt:  Some Republicans worry the showboating Trump, star of NBC’s “The Apprentice” program, could make the event all about him rather than the candidates.

Donald Trump defines the word.

With apologies to Merriam-Webster and everystockphoto.

Redistricting in Wisconsin: The Basics (with Links to Detailed Information)

Who are my elected representatives?

It's a commonly fielded reference question at public libraries.

And it's likely to become a more frequently asked question as we approach the spring 2012 elections.

Why is that?  

As is done every 10 years, the lines of legislative districts have been redrawn for all of us -- at all 4 levels of representation:  federal, state, county, and local.   Legislation creating these redistricting plans was passed by the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly and signed by the Governor Walker earlier this year.

Federal  2011 Wisconsin Act 44.
For background, see RGD post, "Legislative Redistricting in Wisconsin, Part 1: Introduction and the 8 Congressional Districts".

State:  2011 Wisconsin Act. 43.
For background, perhaps more than you care to digest, see RGD post, "Legislative Redistricting in Wisconsin, Part 2: Introduction (Repeated from Part 1) and the 132 State Districts".

A lawsuit challenging the redistricting was dismissed in federal court on October 21, 2011.

A helpful online resource.  The "Who Are My Legislators?" feature at the Wisconsin State Legislature website now provides links to both the current and previous districts.

Here are the results when I type in my street address, city, and zip code.

After residing in the 26th Senate District and 77th Assembly District since my wife and I moved to Middleton in 1986, we will now be represented by Jon Erpenbach, 27th Senate District, and Sondy Pope-Roberts, 79th Assembly District. (Sondy's representation, however, will be short-lived.)

Note that you'll find links to both the current and previous district maps at each legislator's homepage.

Unfortunately, the boundary changes in Wisconsin's 8 Congressional districts are not yet reflected here.

In addition, be sure to familiarize yourself with the redistricting plans that have been implemented at the county and local levels in your library's service area.  You can conduct these searches on your own, although I have to admit I'm not too happy with the results of the dozen or so sample searches I just made.  You may need to contact the appropriate county and local officials directly.    (I plan to talk to my alderperson about the minimal information -- and no redistricting map -- on the City of Middleton's website.  See page 2.)

[June 27, 2012, update.  Map is found here.]

So as you can see, with voter ID and reconfigured voting districts, there's a lot of new information to share.  Awareness and knowledge on the part of library staff are the keys to being effective in this area.