Saturday, May 25, 2013

17,715,214 YouTube Views? KMart Just Wishes It Had That Much Foot Traffic

What's Covered in his May 24th "E-Update from the Desk of Scott Walker"

1.  Wisconsin walleye initiative announced.

2.  Developing our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

3. Kickoff of the law enforcement torch run.

4.  Devastating tornado in Oklahoma.

5.  Happy Memorial Day.

But nothing about.....

Stamford, Connecticut.

New York City.

West Des Moines.

Downers Grove Public Library Renovation Project

Library renovation moves forward. (Chicago Tribune, 5/24/2013)

Threat to Blow Up Library: "It was only meant to be a joke"

Naples Police arrest 12-year-old girl in library bomb threat. (Naples News, 5/24/2013

Excerpt: The note led to the library’s closure, a school lockdown, detouring of bus routes and the use of numerous fire and police resources, the report said.

A Closer Look at Joint Finance Committee Motion to Study Public Library Systems: Using Technology

As introduced by Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan):  Require the Department of Administration, in consultation with the Department of Public Instruction, to conduct a study of the public library systems to identify potential savings by
  • Consolidating regions 
  • Using technology 
  • Reducing duplications and inefficiencies 
  • Utilizing LEAN practices 
  • Increasing the sharing of services between library systems

Wisconsin public library systems have been involved in the planning and implementation of technology projects for as long as they have been in existence -- since 1973.   Perhaps the most uniformly visible evidence of this continuing growth in the use of technology is shared online public access catalogs.

The following table serves as a brief status report.

360 of Wisconsin's 388 public libraries participate in system-wide shared public access catalogs.

Possible discussion points/areas of review as we move through the System Services/Configuration Discussion Process:
  • The impact on "consolidating regions" (first point in Sen. Leibham's Joint Finance Committee motion) on "using technology"  -- more specifically, on the system-based development of online public access catalogs.  Perhaps library staff and board members in Eastern Shores and Manitowoc-Calumet systems have already initiated this discussion.
  • The 1998 framework for "Building a Statewide Library Network"   (key concept:  not a single structure; decentralized and distributed networks) and 2007 Tech Plan Update.
  • [Please share your suggestions.]

"Building a Statewide Library Network"  [bold added by RG]
Each library must determine its level of participation in the evolving statewide library network. The development of a statewide library network will build on the substantial networking infrastructure already in place.

This infrastructure can be generally divided into conduits and content.

The conduits consist of the
  • networking infrastructure, which includes local area and wide area networks, 
  • the public/private telecommunications networks and 
  • the host of protocols that allow linkages between these networks to facilitate the flow of information. 

The content is the information that is accessed and transported by the network conduits to the end user.

The information may reside in the patron's local library or halfway around the world. The conduits and content come together for the library patron in the form of a graphical workstation with high-speed Internet access.

For examples of the constituent parts of the conduits and content, see Appendix A.

The term "statewide library network" is used only in the conceptual sense. The evolving network will not be a single structure. Such a structure is neither feasible nor desirable in the age of decentralized and distributed networks or at a time when repositories of information are similarly decentralized and distributed.   

Rather, a statewide library network will be an interconnected network of local, regional and statewide networks.

See also Wisconsin Library Technology Strategic Plan Progress Summary and Implementation Plan of the Goals and Objectives (September, 2007)

Related posts:
Proposed Demographic and Organizational Standards for Wisconsin Public Library Systems.  (5/23/2013)
Lean Six Sigma.  (5/22/2013)
Joint Committee on Finance Votes to Approve Study of "Public Library System".  (5/21/2013)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Retiring Guy Answers Your Questions: Parking Meters at the Appleton Public Library:

Lindsay Sorenson: Library parking meter is public nuisance. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 5/17/2013).

Excerpt: I’d like to know if Appleton is the only city that meters the parking lot of its public library. Isn’t a public library funded by the public? Why should it have to fund the library and then pay to park?

As for your liking to know.  

There are 19 public libraries in Dane County, plus 8 branches of the Madison Public Library.  As far as I know, a visit to the Central Library is the only one that requires feeding a parking meter if you drive there.   Unless you don't mind a walking a little bit.  There's some free parking along the periphery of the Isthmus, but it can be a big waste of gas to troll for one.

Anecdotally, I know that the lack of free and convenient parking is one of the primary reasons people avoid using the Central Library.  Of course, right now the it's undergoing a renovation and the temporary location draws much less traffic.

Although I haven't visited the Milwaukee Central Library in years, I suspect that free parking is as hard to find as an 8-track tape.  (This link from the library's webpage seems to confirm this observation)

Photo credit:  Retiring Guy

In answer to your funding question, yes, but then I think you meant it to be rhetorical.

As for the "why", I'm sure APL Director Colleen Rohrvedt could provide you with some background.  I'd guess, however, the department responsible for this decision is the City of Appleton Parking Utility.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Retiring Guy Answers Your Questions: Does Anybody Still Watch the Sunday Morning Talk Shows?

Well, let me put it this way. It looks as though most of us have much better things to do with our time.

Wishful Thinking at WEDC

Related posts: 
What alternative universe do these employers inhabit?  (5/21/2013)
Wisconsin Added 19,000 Jobs in 2012.  (5/18/2013)
Scott Walker all a-tingle over yesterday's news.  (5/18/2013)
From the looks of it, Wisconsin's jobs loss is in free fall.  (5/18/2013)
Spin Cycle: The Walker Administration Diverts Our Attention from the Latest (Disturbing) Jobs Numbers. (5/17/2013)
Bringing up the rear in job growth.  (3/8/2013)
Wisconsin ranks 43rd in job growth during the past year.  (11/23/2013)

Exhibit 4014 in the Decline of TV Journalism

Proposed Demographic and Organizational Standards for Wisconsin Public Library Systems

Preliminary recommendation #6 from SRLAAW Progress Report, a draft dated 4/29/2013.

Replace the existing population standards for public library systems (s. 43.15) with the following demographic and organizationa lstandards:

  • The library system has a minimum population size of 250,000. 
  • The library system has a maximum population size of 2,000,000. 

  • The library system’sterritory includes contiguous counties.
  • The library system has a minimum of three (3) participating counties. 
  • The library system has a maximum of fifteen (15) participating counties. 

Member Libraries
  • The library system has a minimum of fifteen (15) member libraries. 
  • The library system has a maximum of seventy‐five (75) member libraries.

A blank rectangle in the following table indicates that a system does not meet a standard in the preliminary recommendations.

Related posts:
Lean Six Sigma.  (5/22/2013)
Joint Committee on Finance Votes to Approve Study of "Public Library System".  (5/21/2013)

Developing a Unified Vision for Public Library Systems in Wisconsin

At a time when the Wisconsin library community needs to develop a unified vision for public library systems, I find it counterproductive and distracting to read the same divisive and inflammatory comments I heard more than 20 years ago.

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, as they say, no matter how ossified, I would add, but what’s the benefit of trashing Wisconsin’s legacy of municipal public library development? According to the most recent edition of the Institute for Library and Museum Services Public Libraries in the United States Survey (2010), 10.1% of U.S. public libraries are located in communities of less than 1,000 population. An additional 16.1% are in communities in the 1,000-2,499 population range.

How does Wisconsin compare?   5.5% and 19.4%, respectively, which places us slightly below the national average.

In other words, we haven’t done anything unusual or extreme in the area of public library development.

Using Excel’s sort & filter feature, I took a look at the Wisconsin 20 smallest public libraries ranked by municipal population, based on the fact that municipalities provide nearly 60% of public library funding. This cluster, by the way, comprises just over 10% of the public libraries in Wisconsin that “have no business being in business, because they meet no objective standard to be called a public library.”

Sidebar:  (Source:  ALA/APA)

I then compared the results with the state’s 20 largest libraries. To those of us who have worked with and mentored colleagues who provide library services to the residents of Wisconsin’s smallest communities, it will come as no surprise that statistically, i.e, from a quantitative standpoint, these libraries are, for the most part, effectively connecting with their communities. As for the qualitative side of the equation, I know their users have many stories to tell about how much their services are appreciated.  And many of these services, I'd venture to say, are likely to be attributable to the collaborative services model of Wisconsin's public library systems.

So then, should our continuing discussions of public library systems include a lament as to why the Wisconsin library community neglected to “discourage any crossroads ‘wanna be’ town from creating libraries with budgets of $50,000 or less, hardly any collections to speak of, and head librarians who do not possess an MLS or even a college education.”

Anyone care to facilitate this discussion?

I’d rather focus on the following items:
  • System and Resource Library Administrators Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) progress report and preliminary recommendations, a work-in-progress that now needs to be evaluated in light of the Joint Committee on Finance’s recommendation 
  • Department of Administration (DOA) study on public library systems as required by the Joint Committee on Finance, moving from the general (the approval of Sen. Leibham’s motion) to the specific (who, what, when, where, how).   The details here are not likely to emerge until after July 1, 2013. 
  • How to incorporate the current SRLAAW process into the proposed DOA study. 
  • Additional information that needs to be collected, analyzed, and organized based on the specifics of Leibham’s motion to identify savings by
    • consolidating regions 
    • using technology, 
    • reducing duplications and inefficiencies, 
    • utilizing LEAN practices,
    • increasing the sharing of services between library systems. 

As we refine our vision for public library systems in Wisconsin, we need to focus on where we want to go, not how we got here.   And if we can’t find common ground, the Department of Administration will happily show us the way, pushing us in a direction – is that the edge of a cliff up ahead??!! -- where we’d rather not go. 

Are you comfortable going down that path?

I didn't think so.

Rent-A-Center Mouthpiece Reserves the Right to Use the Adjectives of His Choice

From "elitist" to "patronizing".and "condescending".

Opposition mounts against Scott Walker's rent-to-own budget proposal.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 5/22/2013)

Real life stories from Rent-a-Center  : Xavier Dominicis, a spokesman for Rent-A-Center in Plano, Texas, said he found some of the criticisms of the rent-to-own industry and Walker’s proposal patronizing. 

“I think it’s condescending to say that people aren’t smart enough to make decisions on their own,” he said. Read more: 

Dominicis used the example of a single mother’s refrigerator breaking down, and how a rent-to-own company would allow her to have a new one delivered so she could have cold milk for her children that same day with a small initial payment.

You seem to have a dictionary on hand, Xavier   Look up "manageable"

Using Rent-a-Center's math, I calculate that your single mother will end up paying more than $1400 for a $600 refrigerator   That's a mark-up of 133%.

Not manageable. Not smart decision-making.

A graphic that bears repeating.

Related posts:
Someone Who Counts His Pennies Would Be Well Advised to Avoid Rent to Own.  (5/21/2013)
Pigs Fly: Glenn Grothman Expresses Concern for Wisconsin's Most Vulnerable Citizens.  (4/27/2013)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New York Public Library Sends Out a Call to "Stop the Cuts!"

A $47,000,000 cut in Mayor Bloomberg's budget proposal.

Thousand of residents have signed a letter of support.

The Perks of Being a Chief Administrative and Technology Officer

Ex-Detroit library official charged with taking $1.4 million in bribes. (Detroit Free Press, 5/21/2013)

The backscratchers:  :The indictment said that in 2007, [Timothy] Cromer helped [James] Henley set up a business, which Cromer then ensured won an estimated $1.8-million IT services contract with the library. Of that, Henley gave Cromer about $500,000. Henley’s Core Consulting & Professional Services later scored other work for the library, which netted Cromer another $125,000, the indictment charges.

1/31/2013 WXYZ report

Related post:
Person of interest missing after Detroit Public Library commissioners meeting.  (11/27/2012)

Today's Question: "What is Lean Six Sigma from a 50,000-Foot Level So That My Mom Can Understand It?"

Verona Public Library Director (and LDL member) Brian Somers suspects that this is the "LEAN Practices" program to which Sen Leibham's refers. (I called Leibham's office to confirm, but the staff member who deals with budget and finance issues was not in.).

I simply could not watch this video.

There are also seminar-length videos on YouTube if you want the full scoop.

There's also this version of "Lean".  (Not sure if there's any relation to Lean Six Sigma.)

Related post:
Joint Committee on Finance Votes to Approve Study of "Public Library System".  (5/21/2013)

NoRoJo 2016 (Chapter 12)

It's Pavlovian.  A natural disaster strikes,  Tea Party politics calls for aid tied to offsets.

Senators Say Oklahoma Aid Would Need to Be Offset. (Washington Wire, 5/21/2013)

In an expected move, Ron Johnson joins the pack.

The following senators are in agreement with Johnson:
  • Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
  • John Cronyn (R-Texas)
  • Mike Lee (R-Utah)
  • Marco "No-Longer-Tea-Party-Darling" Rubio (R-Florida; sez "preferable", not "essential")

Related posts:
Chapter 1.  (1/2/2013)
Chapter 2.  (1/10/2013)
Chapter 3.  (2/12/2013)
Chapter 4.  (2/13/2013)
Chapter 5   (3/11/2013)
Chapter 6.  (3/25/2013)
Chapter 7.  (4/8/2013)
Chapter 8.  (4/9/2013)
Chapter 9.  (4/12/2013)
Chapter 10. (4/14/2013)
Chapter 11  (5/2/2013)

Selling State Properties? It's in the ALEC Playbook

Legislators back broad Scott Walker authority to sell state property.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/21/2013)

No mentions of course, that this authority is aggressively promoted  by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) or that many Wisconsin Republicans legislators are members of ALEC.

Done in the narrow interests of their pocketbooks, not the best interests of the state.

Looks like another payday is in store.  

Related posts:
More cookie-cutter legislation from ALEC.  (4/7/2013)
The New York Times Provides an overview of school choice without mentioning ALEC's orchestration.  (3/28/2013)
Selling state properties:  It's in the ALEC toolkit.  (2/17/2013)
Performance funding: They love this stuff at the Lumina Foundation and ALEC. (11/19/2012)
Splashy full-page ad for a movie few want to see.  (9/30/2012)
AT&;T, ALEC have their way with South Carolina legislature.  (7/2/2012)
What the Koch Brothers left under Scott Walker's 2010 Christmas tree.  (6/19/2012)“
….really, what ALEC is, is a bipartisan association of state legislators….” (Wisconsin State Senate version, 4/10/2012)“
….really, what ALEC is, is a bipartisan association of state legislators….” (Wisconsin State Assembly version, 4/9/2012))

No Shelter from the Storm

Why No Safe Room to Run To? Cost and Plains Culture. (The New York Times, 5/21/2013)

City of Moore Storm Shelters

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

James G. Russell, Your Pants are on Fire!

The IRS tale–Times letter writers seem to get it (or at least, most of them anyway).  (Before It's News, 5/21/2013)

2012 Presidential Election: Where the Most Likely and Least Likely Youth Voters Live

Joint Committee on Finance Votes to Approve Study of "Public Library System"

And I'm guessing that means we don't get to choose which one.

The Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4, along party lines, to require the Department of Administration, in consultation with the Department of Public Instruction, to conduct a study of the public library systems to identify potential savings by
  • Consolidating regions 
  • Using technology
  • Reducing duplications and inefficiencies
  • Utilizing LEAN practices  (I assume)
  • Increasing the sharing of services between library systems
The rationale as explained by Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan), who introduced the motion.

"I have an individual who is new to the state of Wisconsin and is involved in our library system and they have said that when they came to Wisconsin and experienced the infrastructure we have with the 17 districts and the type of programs that they offer, they believe there's an opportunity for us with increased technology and with how services can be provided in today's world that there is a possibility that we could provide even better service with even fewer districts across the state of Wisconsin. So instead of just eliminating a district or forcing a consolidation, this motion asks DPI and DOA to look at whether some of our 17 districts could be consolidated. And specifically, I'll share in Sheboygan, they are looking at it right now with Manitowoc to consolidate some services because they've got some opportunities with employees and they just again thought this was a good thing to be looking atstatewide, and that's what it will do."

In related developments.....

2013 System Services/Configuration Discussion Process.  This year the SRLAAW is undertaking a multi-part process to examine how public library systems can remain effective in meeting member library needs into the future, including the possibility of reconfiguring systems. This process, while organized by SRLAAW, has involved, and will continue to involve, input from others in the library community. The ultimate goal is to better serve Wisconsin library patrons now and in the future. To meet this goal, a number of mechanisms have been used to gather input from the wider library community.

And What Alternative Universe Do These Employers Inhabit?

Business rankings.  Pick a number, any number.

Related posts: 
Wisconsin Added 19,000 Jobs in 2012.  (5/18/2013)
Scott Walker all a-tingle over yesterday's news.  (5/18/2013)
From the looks of it, Wisconsin's jobs loss is in free fall.  (5/18/2013)
Spin Cycle: The Walker Administration Diverts Our Attention from the Latest (Disturbing) Jobs Numbers. (5/17/2013)
Bringing up the rear in job growth.  (3/8/2013)
Wisconsin ranks 43rd in job growth during the past year.  (11/23/2013)

Guess it was nothing more than Chamber of Commerce boosterism, Grayce

Or, 37 years later, just another excuse to create a population column graph.

From an August 31, 1976 letter:

It's so quiet here -- hardly ever a car goes by our house. The population in this town is rising quickly though. They expect 80,000 in 5-7 years (it's 48,000 now). I am now gazing out our back door at 2 workers putting up a house across from us. They're putting up the skeleton of the roof right now. I'm surprised at how quickly it's being finished.

The population of Bannock County, of which Pocatello is the county seat, didn't reach a population of 80,000 until the 2010 census.

Princess Theater

Poplar Creek Library District's Crawshaw Branch to Undergo Renovation and Expansion

Renovations begin Thursday at Hanover Park library. (Daily Herald, 5/14/2013)

A $1.1 million renovation and expansion for the 3,000-square-foot facility.

The groundbreaking took place on Thursday, May 16.

The First Regular Meeting of the Carol Stream Public Library Board of Trustees

Carol Stream library board gives president power to sell property.  (Daily Herald, 5/15/2013)

Excerpt:   The difference between new and old, new Board President Jim Bailey says, is that the board recommendation passed on a 5-2 vote Wednesday night includes the provision that any final sales contract requires the approval of the board of trustees. 

And, Bailey says, he will keep the entire board apprised of any conversations he has with realtors and attorneys — something he claims former Board President Mike Wade didn't do.

Other Carol Stream Public Library posts/articles:
Voters take their library back from the Tea Party.  (4/17/2013)
Library board race grows increasingly bitter.  (Daily Herald, 4/3/2013)
Board punts on library building project.  (11/20/2012)
Quick turnaround time.  (8/2/2012)
Good luck with that!  (8/1/2012)
Library Director has no doubts her firing was personal. (7/25/2012)
Do-over:  Library board votes again to fire library director officially, legally.  (7/26/2012)
Philosophical realignment of the Carol Stream Public Library Board of Trustees.  (7/19/2012)

Arlene, I Think You Just Made That Up

Letter to the editor: Teach alternatives to Darwin’s theories. (Daily Herald, 5/20/2013)

Here's an example of a YouTube video done wrong.  Very wrong.

Someone Who Counts His Pennies Would Be Well Advised to Avoid Rent to Own

Rent-A-Center official calls Glenn Grothman 'elitist'. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/20/2013)

A quote from the article.

Read your own fine print, Xavier!

* LG 60" Plasma HDTV (model 60PA5500) at $29.99 per week for 104 weeks, Total of All Payments: $3,118.96; GA/PA - Cost of Lease Services: $1,247.58; WV- Retail/Cash Price: $1,339.00, Rent-to-Own Charge: $1,779.96. HP 15.6" Laptop (model 2000-2B16NR) at $22.99 per week for 65 weeks, Total of All Payments: $1,494.35; GA/PA - Cost of Lease Services: $597.74; CA - $22.99 per week for 61 weeks, Total of All Payments: $1,402.39; WV- $22.99 per week for 61 weeks, Total of All Payments: $1,402.39, Retail/Cash Price: $589.00, Rent-to-Own Charge: $813.39. Ashley Sofa and Loveseat (model 1420038/35) at $18.99 per week for 91 weeks, Total of All Payments: $1,728.09; GA/PA - Cost of Lease Services: $743.08; HI - $18.99 per week for 89 weeks, Total of All Payments: $1,690.11; WV- $18.99 per week for 89 weeks, Total of All Payments: $1,690.11, Retail/Cash price: $709.00, Rent-to-Own Charge: $981.11. Vizio 70" LED Smart HDTV (model E701i-A3) at $39.99 per week for 130 weeks, Total of All Payments: $5,198.70; GA/PA- Cost of Lease Services: $2,079.48; WV- Retail/Cash Price: $2,569.00, Rent-to-Own Charge: $2,629.70. Offer good while supplies last and cannot be combined with any other promotion. The "Total of All Payments" does not include applicable sales taxes or optional fees and other charges (such as late charges) that you may incur. Advertised rental rates and terms are for new merchandise. Prices not valid outside U.S. Advertised rates valid 5/23/13-5/25/13.

Although a column graph tells a more compelling story.

I'd say that's a fair assessment.

Related post:
Pigs Fly: Glenn Grothman Expresses Concern for Wisconsin's Most Vulnerable Citizens.  (4/27/2013)

Monday, May 20, 2013

One Day my Robot Will Come

Disruptions: Helper Robots Are Steered, Tentatively, to Care for the Aging. (The New York Times, 5/19/2013)

Where's Scott Walker Today?

Not in Wisconsin.

Walker's week ahead: Connecticut, New York City, Iowa.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/20/2013)

Hilton Stamford Hotel

Tulsa City-County Library Takes a Hit

Tulsa library system budget takes hit from property tax cut. (Tulsa World, 5/18/2013)

Excerpt:  The Tulsa City-County Library has cut more than $800,000 from its proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2013-14 after State Question 766, which passed last year, reduced the amount of property tax revenue entities such as the library system receive. 

The state question exempts intangible personal property, such as trademarks, patents and customer lists, from ad valorem taxation. 

The tax was previously paid by large businesses such as pipelines, railroads and airlines whose business property moves across county lines.

State Question No. 766 was approved by 65% of the voters.

Wells Running Dry in Haskell County Kansas

And  a big stretch of elsewhere.

Wells Dry, Fertile Plains Turn to Dust. (The New York Times, 5/19/2013)


Haskell County is home to one other public library:  the Dudley Township Public Library in Satanta.  (Couldn't get the website to load.)