Saturday, December 24, 2011

Likely Destination on the Evening of January 1st

The Earl Park Public Library's Collection Development Angel

Woman keeps library alive with book donations. (WDAM, 12/20/2011)

Excerpt: Librarian Connie Sparenberg says book donations from people like Delp keep the library thriving. The town has less than 350 people, and the library depends on taxes for funding.

"If it wasn't for Marian, I really don't know how we would continue to expand our collection," Sparenberg said.

Of the estimated 25,000 books at Earl Park, at least 25 to 30 percent were donated by Delp.

"All of our books on CD have come from Marian, 95 percent of our DVDs have come from Marian," Sparenberg said

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thinking About Songs with "Paris" in the Title

A Minor Downside to A Christmas Day Departure

A little tinsel tree takes the place of a real one.

Paris Weather Forecast Through January 1

I've been monitoring Paris weather since the beginning of the month. As a result, I've received repeated reminders to pack umbrellas. Fortunately, our first five days in Paris are expected to be dry. Yeah, I know, emphasis on 'expected'.

Packed and Ready to Go

Now the excitement is truly building. Butterflies have lodged themselves in my stomach. 55 hours until our flight to Paris leaves O'Hare.

New Youth Services Directors @ the Waunakee Public Library

Betsy Bermant: She's the library's new youth director. (Waunakee Tribune, 12/21/2011)

ExcerptIf you happened to catch one of Waunakee Public Library's story times this month, then you already know the library has an enthusiastic new Youth Services Director. Betsy Bermant is a Madison resident who worked at the St. Francis Public Library in the Milwaukee area before coming to Waunakee.

70 Years of Service @ the Poynette Area Public Library

Library Lynx: After 70 years, growth continues. (Poynette Press, 12/21/2011)

Excerpt: The initial start-up contribution of $5 was enclosed in a letter to the Women's Club stating, "For the purpose of starting a library." It was donated, in 1939, by a former Poynette Presbyterian pastor by the name of Rev. C. L. Richards. We owe a debt of gratitude to the generosity and vision of this gentleman.

Through the efforts of the Women's Club, the library opened in October 1941. Its home at that time was the annex of the North-West Telephone Company building which was on the corner of Main and Seward streets. The initial collection had 850 books; many of them donated, and had 252 registered borrowers. The hours of operation were 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays

Town of Dunn Keeps Up the Pressure for High-Speed Internet Access

Town of Dunn population: 4,931.

Dunn Internet: For Buddha or for worse.   (McFarland Thistle, 12/22/2011)

Excerpt: The lack of high-speed Internet access in Dunn township was enough to frustrate a Buddhist monk – and it did.

George Churinoff, an American-born monk and member of the Deer Park Buddhist community, was bewildered by the lack of high-speed access in Dunn and surrounding towns.

“Here we are, just miles from Madison – a metro area – and yet residents in the area were relegated to dial-up Internet,” Churinoff said. “It was very frustrating to be so close to an urban area and have high-speed all around us, on all sides, then there’s this blackout spot

Related post:
Town of Dunn pressures providers to offer high-speed Internet access. (10/27/2011)

OK, what did DeForest do now?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Protestors Occupy Lincoln Branch of the Detroit Public Library

Police arrest protesters at sit-in at Detroit library branch. (Detroit News, 12/22/2011)

Excerpt:   Police led at least two protestors away in handcuffs Thursday night from a sit-in protest designed to stop four branch closures of the Detroit Public Library.

Protestors began gathering outside the Lincoln branch on East Seven Milejust after 4:30 p.m. The branch, along with Mark Twain, Monteith and Richard, is set to permanently close Thursday because of budget cuts.

By nearly 6 p.m., about 30 people were outside Lincoln chanting, while another 11 were inside. Five squad cars stood guard nearby the protest organized by the group By Any Means Necessary

Related articles:
Library to close 4 branches.  (11/28/2011)
Efforts continue to save Detroit's Chase branch library. (9/10/2011)
Speaking up for the Chase branch.  (9/6/2011)
6 branches being considered for closure. (8/24/2011)
Library commissioners reorder 10% pay cuts for top 3 library administrators.  (7/8/2011)
Ernie Hallwall memorabilia.  (6/9/2011)
Library commission aism high.  (5/25/2011)
Library u-turn:  no branch closures, no layoffs.  (5/21/2011)
The next thing you know..... (5/20/2011)
My boss has a 2010 Buick LaCrosse....   (5/19/2011)
Detroit Public Library revised its math.  (5/17/2011)
Detroit Public Library does the math....incorrectly.  (5/14/2011)
Residents speak up against branch closings.  (5/8/2011)
The library takes a page from the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.  (5/7/2011)
The news just keeps getting worse. (5/6/2011)
The Detroit Public Library needs some good news (and this isn't it).  (5/5/2011)
Rainy day fund keeps fewer branches from closing.  (4/29/2011)
Proposal to close 18 of 23 Detroit branches sparks anger. (4/22/2011)
Few expenses spared in South Wing remodeling of library.  (4/22/2011)
Downward spiral.  (4/16/2011)
Library reduces staff by 20%. (3/4/2011)
Budget woes. (2/5/2011)

Providence Public Library. Providence Community Library. The Best Part of Breaking Up is That All Library Locations Remain Open.

Providence city, library officials reach agreement on community library buildings. (Providence Journal, 12/22/2011)

Excerpt:   City officials will pay $5 million through 2031 to transfer ownership of the neighborhood libraries to the city. The libraries would then be operated by the Providence Community Library.

Under the 20-year lease-purchase agreement mediated by retired Superior Court Judge Mark Pfeiffer, the city will initially pay $250,000 to the Providence Public Library, which owns the buildings and until 2009 had run the library system. Starting in 2014, the city will make 18 annual payments of $264,000 to complete the purchase

Related posts:
The next  round.  (7/20/2011)
Unsure about status of branches.  (5/28/2011)
It's complicated.  (5/16/2011)
New administrative structure, same old building maintenance issues. (10/16/2010)

The Aurora Public Library Looks to Its Future

Aurora looks to future of libraries.  (Daily Herald, 12/19/2011)

Excerpt:   Audience members who participated in the roundtables listed a number of things they would like to see in the new Aurora Public Library. Among them were:

• an imagination/creative lab;

• genius bar;

• programs that reach out to all age groups;

• interconnection with school and university libraries;

• movable walls;

• physical data storage;

• soundproof performance room;

• community garden;

• roaming librarians (in the library and throughout the community);

• and SMART Boards all over.

One group said its members’ goal for a future Aurora Public Library is that it be the “guardian of the community memory.”

Santa @ at the Library

More being checked out than checking out.

For future, near-term reference, Santa.

Bleary-Eyed Headline

City of Madison to Rebid Central Library Project

Related articles:
Madison Community Foundation awards $500,000 grant for new Madison Central Library.   (12/16/2011)
Retiring Guy takes a last look at the 1960s-era Madison Central Library.  (11/13/2011)
Madison Central Library prepares for move to temporary facility. (11/9/2011)
Madison Public Library misses cut on $4.5 million tax credit.  (9/14/2011)
Board to consider Plan B financing.  (9/1/2011)
Central library to relocate in November.  (7/27/2011)
Central library reconstruction project to proceed.  (4/29/2011)
Negotiations continue.  (4/27/2011)
Central library not a major issue with candidate or mayor Soglin. (4/19/2011)
Soglin wants to make sure ducks are in a row for Central Library Project.  (4/16/2011)
Latest design review.  (4/8/2011)
Midway Design presentation for Madison Central Library.  (2/25/2011)
Final design for renovated central library unveiled.  (12/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

KOMO-TV's Chief Weathercaster Films a Promo @ the Seattle Public Library

Steve's Facebook page.

Former Administrative Assistant Alleged to Have Stolen $800,000 from Saugus Library

Donations to library feared lost. Former worker charged in $800,000 theft. (Boston Globe, 12/18/2011)

: Duffy, 65, is alleged to have diverted fees for overdue books and videos, and charitable donations, including more than $450,000 from the GE Foundation, into an account she controlled at Eastern Bank. She used the money to pay the mortgage on her Saugus home, dental bills, car repairs, jewelry, hotel stays, and other personal expenses, according to the indictment.

The alleged theft stunned Saugus, a town often in fiscal trouble. In 2007, the library was closed temporarily after residents rejected a trash fee to generate more revenue. After town funding slipped below state standards, the library lost its certification, as well as the chance to apply for state matching funds in 2008. Certification was restored a year later, after money was trimmed from other town departments for funding

And what will they have to say about this?

For a good time, go to -- repeatedly

Pranksters have fun with ''. (CNET News, 12/21/2011)

Excerpt: Visitors to, who probably are looking for information on Gingrich's campaign to become the Republican nominee for president, are instead being automatically redirected to other sites.

Here are my first 4 results.

Telco Point/WiscNet Counterpoint

In light of this 12/19/2011 memo to Wisconsin State Senators and Assembly Representatives.....

...and the Wisconsin Library Association's efforts as part of a broad coalition to promote a bill to delay WiscNet changes... should review these talking points developed in response to a 6/7/2011 Access Wisconsin news release.

Access Wisconsin statement:  The UW created WiscNet despite a statutory prohibition and staffs it with $1.4 million per year in UW-Madison employees. 
Counterpoint:  WiscNet was created by the UW in 1990.  Any possible statutory prohibitions did not pass the legislature until fifteen years later (July 2005).  The $1.4 million is funding that WiscNet pays to the UW for technical support.  It is NOT a UW subsidy to WiscNet.  (Sidebar:  WiscNet has been providing Internet access and related services long before most telephone companies even heard of the Internet.)   

Access Wisconsin statement:  Nothing in the Jt. Finance action prevents the UW from meeting its own telecommunication needs.
Counterpoint:  Point #25 in the Jt. Finance Committee action clearly prevents the UW from being a member or partner with any other entity that provides telecommunications services or information services.  Taken at face value, this prevents the UW from even having basic Internet access or  access to advanced research networks, like Internet2.   

Access Wisconsin statement:   Taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize a government agency such as UW-Extension to duplicate and compete with our services.
Counterpoint:  Access Wisconsin members and other telecommunication carriers in the state already get a subsidy of over $90 million annually in taxpayer money from the federal Universal Service program. Evidently a taxpayer subsidy to the private sector is OK, but a subsidy to the public sector is not OK? 

Access Wisconsin statement:  On the UW grant, to add insult to injury, the UW planned to hire an out-of-state firm to lay the fiber optic cables.
Counterpoint:  The UW reached out to numerous Wisconsin phone companies, including Access Wisconsin members, seeking their partnership on the grant.  None agreed to participate.  

Access Wisconsin statement:  The UW grant would harm the BadgerNet network, which already offers reliable, affordable broadband services.
Counterpoint:  While being very reliable, BadgerNet is NOT affordable to many community institutions.  For example, a 100Mbps service is $6,000 a month and a 1,000Mbps service is $49,500 a month.  These costs will likely drop with renewal of the BadgerNet contract but this has not happened yet and even when it does, the costs will likely still be too high.  The UW grant clearly shows a return on investment of 3.5 – 4.5 years.  After that an institution will be able to get 1,000Mbps service for about $10,000 annually vs. $594,000 annually, the current BadgerNet rate.
We want to make clear that BadgerNet is a beneficial network for many of our schools and libraries but it is only “affordable” because it is heavily subsidized ($16.8 million annually) by state funds (which is also an indirect subsidy to the telecommunication carriers.)  This subsidy is limited and as schools and libraries need more affordable bandwidth not supported by the subsidy, they must look for other options besides BadgerNet.  Also, this subsidy is not available to municipal governments, hospitals, etc.

Access Wisconsin statement:  UW’s grant claims to serve rural areas but it will also serve more urban areas like Wausau.
Counterpoint:   As stated above, BadgerNet is NOT affordable to many community institutions, be they in rural areas or urban areas.

Access Wisconsin statement:  At a time of limited pubic resources, these types of wasteful spending (i.e., UW grant) are unacceptable.
Counterpoint:  What is wasteful is requiring public institutions to spend huge amounts of public tax dollars on high-cost BadgerNet circuits.  

Access Wisconsin statement:  We understand the need for affordable broadband service and are investing every day to ensure this.
Counterpoint:  The carriers have been making this “investment” statement for years but they fully supported a decision in February by the current administration to return $23 million in federal funding to invest in the  buildout their networks as part of BadgerNet.  Our community institutions need affordable broadband NOW.  How many more years are we supposed to wait? 
 [Not attributed]

Ken Hess on "The 12 Sites of Social Security"

With screenshots courtesy of Retiring Guy.

In honor of receiving my first Social Security check at the end of the month, I share with you this 12-stop tour.

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, 12/20/2011.

1.  The home page.
For Baby Boomers only.

2. Replacing your Social Security card.

3. Online application for retirement benefits.

4. Apply for disability benefits

5.  Estimates of future benefits.

6. Online application for Medicare.

7. Extra Help with prescription drug costs.

8. Publications library.

9. Popular baby names.

I love this feature.

10. Social Security office locations.  (Screenshot is after I entered my zip code.)

11. Get Social Security forms online.

12. Services for people currently receiving benefits.

From the Appleton Post-Crescent: Donald Driver Reads to Kids

Other books in the series

Looking at the Bright Side: Idea for a Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Collection Development Alert: Forgotten Bookmarks

LINKcat:  2 copies, 32 holds.

Yeah, we're so much more sophisticated now

Nielsen's Tops of 2011 Advertising. (Nielsen Wire, 12/20/2011)

Top 10 Primetime Programs 
with Product Placement Activity

Disagreement Over Reciprocal Borrowing Payments in Milwaukee County

Library deal falters over redistributed costs.   (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/19/2011)

Excerpt: At issue are two agreements that govern the financial relationship among the 15 libraries that make up the countywide system. Those libraries have agreed to let residents of any community in the county borrow books and other materials from any library in the county, not just their own library.

Some communities, such as Milwaukee, are net borrowers, meaning their residents use other libraries more than their own, while others are net lenders that serve other communities' residents more than their own. Milwaukee also serves as the system's "resource library," allowing other libraries countywide to leverage the vast array of reference materials at the Central Library downtown.

The libraries used to pay each other for those services. But in recent years, the federated system has taken over the payments, by dividing part of its state aid among the member libraries, said Jim Gingery, executive director of the countywide system

Chris Bohjalian on our Totemic Connection to Books

Author Chris Bohjalian (Midwives, Before You Know Kindness) writes occasional columns for the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press.

Idyll Banter: Perhaps pulp is not fiction just yet, by Chris Bohjalian. (Burlington Free Press, 12/13/2011)

You'll want to read the entire essay, of course, but I was particularly struck by these two thoughts.

And, finally, there is this: We still have a totemic connection to books. To pulp. To dust jackets. When we see a cover or hold in our hands a book we once cherished, we do not merely recall a detail of the plot or a snippet of dialogue: We remember where we were -- and, yes, who we were -- when we first savored that particular story. William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist" catapults me instantly back to the Hialeah-Miami Lakes Public Library and I am once again 14 years old. Annie Proulx's "The Shipping News" is a snowstorm in March 1993 and the wondrous news that my wife is going to have a baby.

In my own case....

...a period of my life when I prepared the boys, both still in preschool, this snack on a regular basis.

The truth is, I understand as well as anyone that the digital genie is out of the bottle. I respect digital reading devices, just as I respect my smart phone. I simply believe that paper books make wonderful gifts and am mighty glad there are still bookstores around. So, big props and happy holidays to those booksellers who are still fighting the good fight on behalf of pulp -- and can help me find the perfect gifts for family and friends.

As a gift, particularly 19 years after its initial publication, Gone South would be a decidedly curious selection, but I share it with you here because it holds the title of "Paul's favorite book".  It's a an off-the-beaten-path, surprisingly touching, and beautifully observed quest novel, one that deeply affected me in an unexpected way.   (Perhaps I should note here that the only time I experienced nightmares in my life was while reading McCammon's They Thirst.)