Friday, February 10, 2012

George (Ray) Mitchell, 1934-2012

George ‘Ray' Mitchell, 77: Dedicated life to libraries, reading. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/10/2012)

Excerpt:  Inspired by his mother, a civil rights activist in Atlanta during the turbulent 1960s, George "Ray" Mitchell took a courageous stand in 1971 in the South Georgia library district where he was newly hired. “

"There was a sign that advertised story hours. He put another sign up saying, everyone is welcome at the library,” said Mr. Mitchell’s daughter, Sarah Yates of Savannah. 

Mrs. Yates said she and her siblings were not told the details of what happened next, “but I know at the board level and in the community, he stood them down – my father was very strong. First of all he was 6-foot-4, a tremendous person to be in the presence of. He was not much for words. But they knew he meant it, and no one fought it in the end.

Getting to Know Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes: Part 8 (County Payment for Library Services)

43.12 County payment for library services.   
(Created by 1997 Wisconsin Act 150.)

(1) By March 1 of each year, a county that
  • does not maintain a consolidated public library for the county under s. 43.57 and that 
  • contains residents who are not residents of a municipality that maintains a public library under s. 43.52 or 43.53 

  • shall pay to each public library in the county and to each public library in an adjacent county, other than a county with a population of at least 500,000, an amount that is equal to at least 70% of the amount computed by [the formula]
    • multiplying the number of loans reported under sub. (2) 
    • by the amount that results from dividing the total operational expenditures of the library during the calendar year for which the number of loans are reported, not including capital expenditures or expenditures of federal funds, by the total number of loans of material made by the public library during the calendar year for which the loans are reported. 

    The library board of the public library entitled to a payment under this subsection may direct the county to credit all or a portion of the payment to a county library service or library system for shared services.

    FAQ About the County Library Funding Statutes (Based on Act 150.  Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)
    Wisconsin League of Municipalities FAQ

    (2) By July 1 of each year, each public library lying in whole or in part in a county shall provide a statement to the county clerk of that county and to the county clerk of each adjacent county, other than a county with a population of at least 500,000, that reports.  (Note:  Act 420 amended language shown in green..)

    • the number of loans of material made by that library during the prior calendar year to residents of the county, or adjacent county, who are not residents of a municipality that maintains a public library under s. 43.52 or 43.53 and  (Note:  Act 420 amended language shown in rgreen.)
    • the total number of loans of material made by that library during the previous calendar year. 

    FAQ About County Library Funding to Libraries in Adjacent Counties:  Act 420.  (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)

    A county may enter into an agreement with its participating municipalities or with a public library system to pay no less than the amounts determined under sub. (1) to the public library system for distribution to the public libraries that participate in that system.
    (4) Upon request of a county clerk, a public library shall provide access to all books and records used to determine the amount computed under sub. (2).

    (5m) Nothing in this section prohibits a county from providing funding for capital expenditures.

    (6) The county library board or, if no county library board exists, the county itself, shall either distribute the aid provided by the county to the public libraries, as provided in the plan prepared under s. 43.11, or shall transfer the aid for distribution to the public library system in which it participates.

    (7) This section does not apply to a county having a population of 500,000 or more.

    Sidebar:    As Dane County population nears 500,000, laws could force taxpayers to pay up

    1997 Wisconsin Act 150.  This section of library law is created.
    2005 Wisconsin Act 420.  Section (2) is amended as shown above in bold green letters.

    Related posts:
    Part 1:  Legislative findings and declaration of policy.
    Part 2:  Definitions.
    Part 3:  General duties of the State Superintendent.
    Part 4:  General duties of the Division.
    Part 5:  Council on Library and Network Development.
    Part 6:  Certificates and standards..
    Part 7: County library planning committees.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Add Jobs, Union to Rockford Public Library Mix

    Rockford Public Library faceoff is also about fate of staff. (Rockford Register-Star, 2/8/2012)

    Excerpt:   While a librarian’s people skills remain paramount throughout the industry, digital literacy and technology skills are a close second and becoming more important every day. 

    “The most important quality they look for in any individual looking at becoming a member of the team is their customer service experience or potential,” said Emily Hartzog, the Rockford library’s community relations officer. “Today, they also look for a level of technological experience, comfort and flexibility. Potential staff members need to have computer skills, be familiar with the use of technology, and comfortable and flexible enough to learn new technology. For staff providing reference support, they need to be familiar with the use of databases, mining and qualifying data online, new and emerging technology for communication and information — social media, e-readers, video production, etc.” 

    Despite Novak’s attempts to paint the system’s librarians as trying to hold back progress, it’s not about the jobs, Janssen said.

    Related article:
    Rockford Register-Star Editorial Board to Library: More public input, please (2/3/2012)
    Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting.  (1/28/2012)
    Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
    Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
    Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
    Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

    Amazon Picks the Most Romantic Cities in the U.S. and Canada

    No Wisconsin cities on top 20.  List is limited to cities with 100,000 or more population.  (Erie, Pennsylvania, at #14?)

    Amazopia, 2/8/2012.

    Criteria based on following sales data:
    • Romance novels and relationship books (Kindle Books and print books)
    • Romantic comedy movies (digital movies and DVDs) 
    • Barry White albums (CDs and MP3s)
    • Sexual wellness products  (might have some 'splainin' to do if viewed at service desk)

    Hiring Hourly Workers

    Food fight: Combat rising costs with smarter hourly hiring. (, 2/8/2012)

    For libraries, spending in the form of gifts and donations, or a willingness to volunteer.

    In hiring hourly staff, do these suggestions for fast-food restaurant also work for libraries?

    Attract the right applicants.  (Speak directly to your target audience.)

    Evaluate for fit.
    • Don't hire on experience alone.
    • Use behavioral assessments.

    Sustain for engagement.
    • In libraries, build knowledge of policies, procedures, service expectations.
    • Develop an employee recognition program.
    • Broaden skill base.  (Cross-training.)

    Marathon County Projects $15+ Million Deficit Over 5 Years

    Marathon County could face big deficit in next 5 years. (Wausau Daily Herald, 2/9/2012)

    Excerpt:    Marathon County will have to find more ways to share services with other local governments or eliminate some programs if a five-year budget forecast comes true, officials said. 

    The county projects that it will face a $3.5 million deficit by next year and a more than $15 million shortfall by 2016 if current trends in declining revenues and increasing expenses continue.


    The county also is asking for help from up to 1,100 residents through a survey that will be sent out this week. It asks residents to prioritize services and spending. County officials hope to have surveys back from residents within a month, and the results available by April, board member Joanne Leonard said.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Contraception and the GOP

    Catching Up on the News @ the Rockford Public Library

      Chuck Sweeny: Rockford's Library Board needs an open-book process. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/23/2012)

    Excerpt:   Libraries are not immune from this technology shift, and the Rockford Public Library is trying to deal with it. The problem is, the board and Executive Director Frank Novak have been doing it behind closed doors. 

    Secrecy always invites suspicion — and leaks. Novak’s preliminary reports made their way out of the inner sanctum, and irate residents joined together to protest Novak’s suggestion to eventually buy 95 percent of the library’s collection online, along with some e-readers for the e-readerless to check out. He also suggested closing most library branches.   

    A better way to go is for the Library Board to follow the example of the city of Rockford, which every year has a series of Saturday morning meetings to plan the next year’s budget. Everything gets hashed out in the open on the second floor of City Hall. Residents and union members show up. Department heads are grilled by aldermen. Reporters file stories.

    And then this back and forth.

    Ted Biondo:  Rockford Public Library is thinking of its patrons.  (Rockford Register-Star, 1/23/2012)

    Excerpt:   Members of “Save our Library” and the Rockford branch of the NAACP need to look for ways to expand the horizons of individuals in their groups to obtain eReaders and increase access of their members to wireless internet, not hinder everyone else who have already taken the necessary steps to achieve success in a future filled with technology. 

    Do the members of these respective groups still view only three channels on their tube television sets, or listen to Arthur Godfrey on their radios, or little Orphan Annie, or music on their phonographs? Of course not - they have flat screen TVs, with surround sound, iPods for music, with the internet and hundreds of apps on their iPhones. Public services should also be required to keep current with technology.

    Guest Column: Too much at stake for public to be left out of library talks. (Rockford Register-Star, 1/28/2012)

    Excerpt: The media have painted Save Our Library (SOL) as a bunch of Luddites, angry about the surge in e-readers, so perhaps Ted Biondo can’t be blamed for his rather ignorant piece (“Rockford’s Public Library is thinking of its patrons”). 

    For the record, SOL is not against e-books, and many people associated with SOL own e-readers. SOL began with concerns that the “P” had been stripped from RPL, as no public input was sought before increasing our e-book collection budget to 42 times the national average of libraries in similar-size communities. This is a significant increase, and SOL continues to assert that the community should have been given a voice before the vote for the current allocation.

    Guest Column:  Imagine a cautious approach to technology.  (Rockford Register-Star, 1/28/2012)

    Excerpt: Those of us wanting a more open dialogue with the library leadership are not Luddites desiring to return to “horse and buggy” days. Many of us even own e-readers (as well as computers, iPhones and other modern electronic gadgets). 

    However, we are aware that advances always bring along problems which, if acknowledged and addressed early in the process, would be less costly to our communities in every sphere.

    Related articles:
    Save Our Rockford Library members pack board meeting. (1/28/2012)
    Save Our Rockford Library (SOL) calls for more public input in library's strategic planning. (1/14/2012) 
    Rockford Public Library will boost spending on digital and audio books in 2012. (10/13/2011)
    Supportive editorial for Rockford Public Library needs a fact checker. (9/1/2011)
    Rockford Public Library circulates 0.05 ebooks per capita in 1st half of 2011. (7/13/2011)

    Why Communities Need Libraries

    Of the bricks-and-mortar variety.

    For some of the same reasons, I suspect, Why Amazon Needs Stores. (Retail Prophet Consulting, 2/7/2012).  I don't think it's a leap of logic to expand the theme of Doug Stephens' brief blog post to libraries.

    Here's an excerpt.

    The answer may lie in one very simple truth. When I try to picture the Kindle Fire experience, nothing comes to mind. There is no tangible, sensory or emotional connection to the product at all. Whereas with Apple, I can clearly conjure images of crowded stores with people aged 6-60 lining up to try the new iPhone or iPad, my Kindle Fire recall is a vacuum. And I doubt that I’m alone. 

    In truth, what Amazon needs to sell over and above the Kindle Fire, is the “Kindle Fire Experience” –and that’s where stores play a strategic role.

    Stephens goes on to say that the store is the experience.....emphasizing in bold letters that, increasingly, a  bricks-and-mortar store serves as a distribution channel for brand experiences as opposed to simply products.

    Just like the library experience.  It's not just what people find on the shelves.

    On his highly recommended blog, David Lee King, Digital Branch & Services Manager at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library shares notes from the 2009 American Library Association presentation on "Revitalizing the Library Experience"   (Program presenters:   Joan Frye Williams and George Needham.  )  I used these notes to help me formulate a series of questions for an assignment in the Public Library class I teach for UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, "Walk into a Library for the First Time".

    During my 22 years as Director of the Middleton Public Library, I made this type of observation a part of my routine.  Granted, it wasn't always easy to push aside the library "clutter" inside my head, but I found it to be an invaluable exercise nonetheless.

    Obviously, the idea that Amazon need stores, the premier online retailer as The Week notes here (with a variety of reactions to this latest news) is very much on my mind, particularly as it relates to the continuing relevance of libraries.  As Shannon O’Neill, an archivist and reference librarian at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, says in an October 15, 2011, New York Times op-ed piece:  Libraries are always in a state of transformation: as the means of information production and consumption change, so do libraries.

    And along this continuum of change, the library, I feel, will always be a (physical) place to go to.

    125th Anniversary of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Pew Research on Sources of Campaign News

    Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source. (Pew Research, 2/7/2012)

    1.  Local TV news (48%)
    2.  Network news (45%)
    3.  Local paper (40%)
    4.  Cable news (34%)
    5.  Internet (9%)

    1.  Local TV news (42%)
    2.  Cable news (38%)
    3.  Network news (35%)
    4.  Local paper (31%)
    5.  Internet (13%)

    1.  Local TV news (40%)
    2.  Cable news (38%)
    3.  Network news (32%)
    4.  Local paper (31%)
    5.  Internet (24%)

    1.  Cable news (36%)
    2.  Local TV news (32%)
    3.  Network news (26%)
    4.  Internet (25%, flat growth due largely to lack of interest in the early 2012 campaign among younger Americans, )
    5.  Local paper (20%)

    All Caught Up on the News

    In case anyone is wondering.....yes, I do recycle.

    Amazon, Of All Retailers, Puts Bricks and Mortar into Its Business Plan

    Amazon dips toes into physical world with brick-and-mortar stores. (San Jose Mercury News. 2/7/2012)

    Excerpt: is dipping its toes into the physical world as the largest online retailer offers more products in stores that may benefit from hands-on interaction with shoppers. 

    Analysts said the move may be inspired by the success of Apple, which has hundreds of its own glitzy stores to show off iPhones, iPads and other gadgets and accessories. 

    Quidsi, an online retailer Amazon acquired in 2010, opened its first retail store in Manhasset, New York, last year to sell expensive cosmetics and perfumes under the BeautyBar name. 

    Amazon also plans to open a physical store in its home town of Seattle in coming months to showcase and sell its growing line of gadgets, including the Kindle Fire tablet, industry blog Good E-Reader reported this weekend.

    From Amazopia, the Unofficial Blog.  [Emphasis added.]  Nevertheless, what Christian talks about here goes way beyond a single store in Seattle.


    1. To show off the Kindles.
    2. To sell Kindle accessories.
    3. To sell Amazon basic products.
    4. To sell future Amazon products.  (e.g., Kindle smart phone)
    5.  In-store pickup
    6.  In-store returns.

    and, with emphasis added.....

    7.  Book tours and signings.
    8.  Book sales (from its own publishing company)

    Getting to Know Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes: Part 7 (County Library Planning Committees)

    43.11 County library planning committees.

    (1) CREATION.  [In 1971.  To provide a process to establish voluntary public library systems.]
    • [Who may createAny county board may appoint a county library planning committee under this section.
    • [Consolidated public library; one-county library system] If a county board, in a county where all public library service is administered or coordinated by an existing county library board or where there is a single−county public library system board, determines to appoint a committee under this section, the existing library board may serve as the county library planning committee.
    • [Notification] The county board shall notify the division immediately upon appointment of the committee.


    (a) The committee may
    • prepare a new plan for the organization of a county or multicounty system,
    • revise an existing plan or
    • change the boundaries of a public library system.
    It shall conduct public hearings concerning these plans, revisions and changes to which representatives of all libraries in the county shall be invited.

    (b) The committee’s final report, including
    • a new plan,
    • revisions to an existing plan or
    • changes to the boundaries of a public library system and copies of any written agreements necessary to implement the proposal,
    shall be filed with the county board and submitted to the division. Plans for multicounty systems shall include a method for allocating system board membership among the member counties. 

    (c)  [Services to "non-libraried" county residents.]  The plan of library service for a county, whether for a single county or a multicounty system, shall provide for library services to residents of those municipalities in the county not maintaining a public library under this chapter.
    • The services shall include full access to public libraries participating in the public library system and the plan shall provide for reimbursement for that access.
    • Services may include
      • books−by−mail service,
      • bookmobile service,
      • the establishment of additional libraries or
      • other services deemed appropriate by the committee.
    • Services may be provided by contracting with
      • existing public libraries in the county or in adjacent counties or with
      • the public library system or by
      • creating a county library organization under this chapter.
    The plan of library service for a county may provide for improving public library service countywide and in municipalities that have libraries.

    The plan shall specify the method and level of funding to be provided by the county to implement the services described in the plan, including the reimbursement of public libraries for access by residents of those municipalities in the county not maintaining a public library.

    (d) The plan of library services for a county may include minimum standards of operation for public libraries in the county.
    • The county shall hold a public hearing on any standards proposed under this paragraph.
    • [Method for approving standards.] The standards shall take effect if they are approved by the county and the public library boards of at least 50% of the participating municipalities in the county that contain, according to the most recent estimate prepared under s. 16.96, at least 80% of the population of participating municipalities in the county.

    (e) [Cross-municipal payments] The plan of library services for a county may require that a municipality located in whole or in part within the county that operates a public library compensate another municipality located in whole or in part within the county that operates a public library whenever the latter public library provides library services to residents of the municipality that operates the former public library. The plan’s compensation for each loan may not exceed the actual cost of the loan, as defined by the department by rule.


    1971 Senate Bill 47.   See pages 360-361.  43.11 is created.

    1981 Assembly Bill 66.  (2) (c) repealed.  Deleted language: No compensation may be paid to the members of any committee for then services but they shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing committee duties. The committee also may incur expenses related to the preparation of reports and the utilization of special consultants. Expenses under this paragraph shall be reimbursed from the planning grant under 43.23.

    1985 Wisconsin Act 29,   See page 200.  Section (3) (c) is created.

    1993 Wisconsin Act 184.  See section 81 on page 10.  References to "chairman" changed to "chairperson".

    1997 Wisconsin Act 150.  See section 7 for amendments to law.  See section 8:  creation of (3) (d); repeal of (4).  Deleted language:  DISSOLUTION. The committee shall be dissolved either after 3 years or when its final report has been accepted both by the division and the county board, whichever occurs first.
    Public Library Development: Summary of S.B. 269 - Act 150

    2005 Wisconsin Act 420.  (3) (e) is created.
    Summary of Act 420 (a.k.a SB 272) provided by the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning.

    Related posts:
    Part 1:  Legislative findings and declaration of policy.
    Part 2:  Definitions.
    Part 3:  General duties of the State Superintendent.
    Part 4:  General duties of the Division.
    Part 5:  Council on Library and Network Development.
    Part 6:  Certificates and standards.

    Not anymore!

    Setting an Open Table in Reedsburg, Wisconsin

    Area communities respond to hard times. (Columbus Journal, 2/7/2012)

    Excerpt:    Community meals have grown in popularity during recent, tough economic times. Sue and Mike Johnson of rural Reedsburg organized Reedsburg's Open Table Community meal in 2009. Sue Johnson said, "My husband Mike and I ran an ad to see if others felt that a community meal might help relieve hunger, and also build a deeper spirit of unity in the area." 

    About 12 people showed up in response to their ad. The Open Table Committee formed that night. They decided to put on a meal once a month. They settled on doing the meal during the weekend, when other agencies are often not operating. They hoped that area individuals, businesses, churches and groups would step up to sponsor a meal each month. 

    What a success! The first meal was served in June of 2009. Through the end of 2010 (18 months), Reedsburg's Open Table served 2,926 meals. In 2011, they served 2,248 meals. Meals like this give community members an opportunity to come together to support the needy in their areas.

    Jean Thompson Remembers the Appleton of 1960

    Jean Thompson column: Appleton of 1960 very different place. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 2/6/2012)

    Excerpt:   Adjacent to the Y was the Public Library, a classic design with many stone stairs up to the Children's Department on the second floor and an inescapable feeling that no fresh air had entered in many years.

    That was then; this is now.

    Photos of downtown Appleton.  (8 or so from the early 1960s.)

    Postcard view of downtown Appleton. (1958)

    Postcard aerial view of downtown Appleton.  (Undated, but note the angle parking on College Avenue.)

    Postcard view of downtown Appleton.  (Mid-50s, I assume.  That's a 1955 Chevy heading our way.)

    Retiring Guy loves postcards.

    Well, whaddya know, school librarian gets lead quote in article on "smart technology"

    Wausau schools look at how 'smart' technology will change classrooms. (Wausau Daily Herald, 2/7/2012)

    Excerpt:   Wausau public schools are asking parents and others to help decide how students might use computer tablets, virtual textbooks and other digital gadgets as new tools for learning. 

    As one of its first steps, the Wausau School District will ask a committee of residents and employees to envision new technology in classrooms.  

    Educators say the wave of so-called "smart" technology presents one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for schools today. 

    "I think it's going to rock the foundation of what we're doing now," said Paula Hase, librarian at Wausau East High School

     For her, the revolution already has started. "We are shifting," Hase said, describing how her library is changing with technology. More of her budget is being used to add high-tech options -- online books, for example. "Every day is a shift toward more digital."


    "Kids are logging on for those books at midnight and 1 a.m. You can track the use. It's interesting, but it's crazy, too," Hase said. "(Library hours) are not 8 to 5 anymore."

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    The "World Wide Wait" in Rural Wisconsin

    Getting caught in the Web: High-speed Internet still eludes many. (Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, 2/1/2012)

    Excerpt: Ken Youra calls the Internet "the world-wide wait." All he can get is dial-up service at his home in Columbia County's town of Scott, near Pardeeville. 

    His service is so slow, he can't watch a YouTube video. 

    Downloading a photo takes several minutes. 

    "It takes so much time," Youra said, "it takes the fun out of it."  Youra and about 50 others came to Tuesday's public meeting at the Days Inn near Portage to hear what others might have to say about the lack of high-speed broadband Internet service, particularly in rural areas, in a seven-county region that includes Columbia County.

    Does it pass the button test?

    Would I have worn this button to the Chamber's monthly "Get Moving Middleton" breakfast meeting?

    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Community Columnist, 2/4/2012.

    Excerpt: We need to get kids reading at an early age. We must not tell them that one book holds all the answers because this is a recipe for the creation of mindless followers. They must read a variety of books. Children must be encouraged to read books that look at the world from a variety of perspectives, books that ask more questions than they answer and books that encourage them to think about the world they inhabit. 

    I am not sure why this is so very difficult for people to understand. Another church, another minister, priest, rabbi or other religious leader is not needed. Who decided that the person standing up in front of them on a Sunday or Saturday has the answers? That person doesn't know any more about what happens after we die than some homeless person on the street.

    Coincidentally, on my "Letters from Mom" blog earlier today, I transcribed a letter my mother wrote in February 2000.  She concludes with a quotation from Rabbi Harold Kushner's Who Needs God?

    What is the difference between a person who relies only on himself & a person who has learned to turn to God for help? It's not that one will do bad things while the other will do good things. The self reliant atheist may be a fine upstanding person. The only difference is the atheist is like a bush growing in the desert. If he has only himself to rely on when he exhausts his internal resources, he runs the risk of running dry & withering. But the man & woman who turn to God is like a tree planted by a stream. What they share with the world is replenished from a source beyond themselves, so they never run dry.

    Mom's final thought:  I like that & that's why we go to church to receive that special faith & strength.

    Fond du Lac Reporter Encourages Participation in Library's 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Early Literacy Program

    Editorial: Cheers Parents: Get behind your children's reading efforts. (Fond du Lac Reporter, 2/5/2012)

    Excerpt:    Parents are encouraged to take part in a new program offered through the Fond du Lac Public Library that aims to help them prepare their youngsters to read. 

    The free program — called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten — encourages parents to make the time necessary for reading aloud with their children.

    Reading and learning experts report that reading aloud with children is the single most important activity parents can do to prepare their kids to learn to read.

    With Apologies to Lowell George and Little Feat

    Headline from Appleton Post-Crescent homepage, which is not the same one used when clicking on the story.

    I'll leave you with the opening track from my favorite Little Feat album.

    Wisconsin State Assembly Representative Dan Meyer Not Running for Re-election

    Rep. Dan Meyer will not seek re-election to another term. (Lakeland Times, 2/3/2012)

    Excerpt:     In a press released issued early Friday evening, Meyer said his 12 years of service have been "very rewarding and humbling, but that it's time to move on, I never wanted to be a career politician," Meyer added, "12 years seems like a good term limit to impose on myself."

    No comments yet on Northwest Patriots website.

    Dan probably deserves a page in the history of this movement.

    Do We Have a Plan Here?

    Milwaukee should get busy and write a strategic plan. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 2/4/2012)

    Excerpt:    As we argued in November when the forum's latest report on economic development was published, Milwaukee needs a real strategic plan - one that lays out a compelling vision for growing jobs, establishes policies to do that, strictly measures those policies and then holds city officials accountable for the results.

    Milwaukee doesn't have such a plan. The city's neighborhood plans and its citywide plan aren't enough. The good work conducted in recent years by the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development group isn't enough. The city needs its own strategic road map that dovetails with that of the region.

    Seems to me, as important as it is to Milwaukee's long-term viability, a plan that focuses primarily on "growing jobs", to the exclusion of neighborhoods, housing, community facilities, education, and transportation, for example, is thinking inside the bubble.

    Getting to Know Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes: Libraries (Part 6, Certificates and Standards) )

    43.09 Certificates and standards.

    (1) PUBLIC LIBRARIANS The division shall [emphasis added; see below] issue certificates to public librarians and promulgate, under ch. 227, necessary standards for public librarians. The qualifications for public librarians shall be based on education, professional training and experience. Certificates already granted prior to December 17, 1971, shall remain in effect.

    Public Librarian Certificate Application

    Continuing Education Activity Report

     (2) PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS. The division, by rule, may [emphasis added; see below] promulgate necessary standards for public library systems. If promulgated, such rules shall be consistent with s. 43.15 [Standards for Public Library Systems] and shall be established in accordance with ch. 227, except that the division shall hold a public hearing prior to adoption of any proposed rule. In addition to the notice required under s. 227.17, the division shall endeavor to notify each public library of such public hearings.

    Nolo's Plain English Law Dictionary. 
    Shall.  An imperative, usually indicating that certain actions are mandatory, not permissive.
    May.  An expression of possibility, a permissive choice to act or not.

    1971 Senate Bill 47.  See pages 9 and 10.

    1979 Assembly Bill 20.  See page 4.  Section (3) is repealed.   Language deleted:  COUNCIL ON PUBLIC STANDARDS. The council on standards shall advise the division f standards under subs. (1) and (2).

    1985 Wisconsin Act 177.  See Section 14, page 3.  Section (2) (b) is repealed.  Language deleted:  The division may provisionall approve, based on standards lesser than those set under par. (a) a newly established public library system for not more than 5 years. To be eligible for provisional approval, a system shall have a plan approved by the division which provides for compliance with the standards under par. (a) at the end of the period of provisional approval .

    1997 Wisconsin Act 150.  43.09 amended as follows:
    Related posts:
    Part 1:  Legislative findings and declaration of policy.
    Part 2:  Definitions.
    Part 3:  General duties of the State Superintendent.
    Part 4:  General duties of the Division.
    Part 5:  Council on Library and Network Development.

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Mom-and-Kids Visit to Seattle Branch Takes an Unexpected Turn

    Mother challenges viewing of Internet porn at library; girl saw it. (Seattle Times, 1/31/2012)

    Excerpt:    In recent days, Howe has gone public with her concerns, and, once again, the Seattle Public Library is explaining that it is not in the censorship business. 

    The library does filter for content on computers in the children's section and says all monitors have privacy screens, says Andra Addison, spokeswoman for the library. But the screens still allow for "inadvertent viewing," she says. 

    And, although the state Supreme Court says that libraries have discretion about which Internet content to allow, the Seattle Public Library "believes in the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material." 

    Addison says that the library is considering ways to deal with inadvertent viewing, such as that experienced by Howe and her daughters, by moving the popular DVD section elsewhere, for example.

    Excerpts from letters to the editors.

    (1)  Unless people like you speak up, we cede the public spaces and life of the city to the lowest common denominator. The library administration should “man up” to its responsibilities for providing a safe and acceptable public environment for all citizens.

    (2)   I still feel sick to my stomach and sick at heart after reading Wednesday’s article by Erik Lacitis featuring the experience of the Seattle mom and her 10-year-old daughter who saw images of Internet porn being viewed at the Lakewood branch of the Seattle Public Library.

    (3)   I’m all in favor of free speech, and I admire the Seattle Public Library’s commitment to the First Amendment. But surely we can all agree that there are sensible limits to expression that won’t endanger anyone’s fundamental rights.

    (4)   Bars and strip clubs can’t be built within half a mile of a school or church, but an individual can watch porn publicly in a library?