Saturday, July 13, 2013

More from the Urbana Free Library

In looking for a YouTube video to accompany this post, I found this bizarre "tribute".


Negotiations to begin with library director. (News Gazette, 7/12/2013)

What-it's-all-about excerpt: Tuesday's board meeting for the second time in less than a month brought out dozens of library patrons concerned about the culling of books in the adult nonfiction section. They have said the method and the speed of the removal of books from the stacks was too extreme. 

According to statistics compiled by Lissak, 9,343 books were removed from the stacks during the weeding process. The weeding encompassed sections that include 29,502 books — about 42 percent of the adult nonfiction collection — meaning the sections that were included before the weeding stopped were reduced by about 32 percent overall. 

The large numbers of books that came off some of the shelves raised red flags for patrons and library employees.

Related posts:
A song to mom to accompany a letter about mom.  (7/10/2013)
Urbana Free Library Board to Library Director Deb Lissak: Go your own way   (7/10/2013)
Urbana Free Library board member speaks out on weeding controversy.  (7/8/2013) 
The Urbana Free Library and a "dissonant rate of discard versus retention"  (7/3/2013)
Urbana Free Library holds special board meeting on June 19th.  (6/24/2013)
University of Illinois GSLIS faculty member advocates for televised library board meetings. / (6/24/2013)
Wondering about the "weeding" "misstep" at the Urbana Free Library.  (6/18/2013)

Windows Boarded Up, Library Remains Unfinished in Lafayette, Georgia



Library reconstruction put on hold.  (WDEF News, 7/11/2013)

Cherokee Regional Library, Lafayette, Georgia


SPLOST, or the Special Local Option Sales Tax, is a 1% sales tax applied to every purchase conducted in a Georgia county where the voters approve it.  After 5 years, SPLOST must be put to the voters again.

Heiskell Urges Walker County Citizens To Approve SPLOST To Provide Road Funds.  (The Chattanoogan, 6/25/2013)

Excerpt.  (No library advocacy here.)


Walker County is located in the northwestern corner of Georgia.


Tin-Foil Hat Pander Alert: As a Former Fond du Lac City Council Member, Jeremy Thiesfeldt Should Know Better

"Paranoia strikes deep.  Into your life it will creep."

This video is about electric smart meters.  All that's missing is a tin-foil hat.



Thiesfeldt introduces 'smart meter' opt-out bill. (Fond du Lac Reporter, 7/11/2013)

Excerpt: Kathy Scharf, water operations manager for the City of Fond du Lac, said the city would not share or sell information about water usage. She said the city has no way of knowing water and air temperature, computer usage or other data that some systems are capable of gleaning. 

The city’s new metering system has been installed at more than 15,000 properties. 

“We have caught a lot of problems when somebody has high (water) usage,” Scharf said, explaining that a staff member reviews a list daily and can see when someone may have inadvertently left a hose running or there are water problems inside a vacant property.

Thiesfeldt says he is responding to the plight of an elderly widow from Baraboo.  Last time I checked Audrey Parker isn't a constituent.
.

Pig Barn Complete with Food Court and Lounging Area



Doug McClure:  "Inside this barn here, you're looking at a thousand pigs roaming from end to end in this barn."

Pig Farmers Face Pressure on the Size of the Sty. (The New York Times,10/5/2012)

Excerpt:    This year, however, Mr. Dittmer and fellow hog farmers are under increasing pressure from corporate pork buyers and animal rights groups to return to the old way of doing things: putting sows in group housing.

Which appears to be what McClure Farms does.

Related post:
Pigs in cages, with a side of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, for your delectation.  (7/11/2013)





Pigs in Cages, with a Side of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, for Your Delectation



Pig virus migrates to U.S., threatens pork prices. (CBS News, 7/10/2013)

Excerpt:  The virus has been confirmed in about 200 hog facilities [265 as of 6/17/2013] in 14 other states including Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Dakota, according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

The article notes that at least two large production facilities have seen outbreaks.

See also
Pig Farmers Face Pressure on the Size of the Sty.  (The New York Times, 10/5/2012)

Excerpt:   Sow 44733 had broken the shoulder of one of her pen mates, rousted another who was huddled in the corner and was chewing on the ear of a third. Enlarge This Image A sow with her piglets. The Dittmers say that none of the 500 piglets that are born at Grandview Farm each day are confined to crates.
\
Other sows in the pen sported abrasions, torn ears and bloody tail stumps — all souvenirs of her attentions. 

It was that kind of behavior that led hog farmers like Tom Dittmer to isolate sows in individual stalls called gestation crates that are barely bigger than the pigs themselves.

Counterpoint:  "Life for Young Pigs:  Cruel Confinement".  (Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary).

The 2nd New York Times article notes two particularly large operations:  18,000 sows at the Hord farm in Ohio; 6,000 sows at the Grandview farm in Iowa.

Neither farm, it should be noted, has had a problem with the virus, at least as far as I know, but they can certainly be classified as "large production facilities".

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wisconsin Department of Revenue: Individual Incomes Taxes Up (Check); General Sales & Use Taxes Up (Check), Corporate Taxes Up (Er....not so much)

That would be year to date.

But take a look at the 14.1% drop in corporate tax collections -- June 2013 compared to June 2012.

The latest numbers show that.......

"It's working.  We're moving Wisconsin['s business community] forward.".


Rest assured, the Wiscomsin Manufacturers & Commerce will still be singing this song.

In the News: Bulletproof Securities



Unlicensed guards pulled temporarily from Gogebic mine site. (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/11/2013)

Excerpt:    Bulletproof president Tom Parrella said Wednesday there was no intent to scare anyone, only to use weapons adequate to handle worst-case scenarios while protecting mine workers in light of online threats from a few extremist protesters, and “bizarre and alarming” behavior of people sneaking through the woods.

Bulletproof Securities describes their Site Security/Static Security services.  (Done up in bullet points)

Site security, also referred to as static security is an essential element to the successful operation and longevity of almost any facility component in society. 


From 
  • charter schools, 
  • office buildings and 
  • mining operations 
to 
  • fuel, 
  • water and 
  • power facilities, 
Bulletproof Securities provides site security teams with 
  • custom operational plans and 
  • state of the art equipment 
to keep your facility and its occupants secure. 

BPS will 
  • perform the necessary security assessments and 
  • design operational plans specifically for your site. 

Depending on the operation, our highly trained and experienced security operators work in 
  • suits, 
  • business casual, 
  • uniformed and/or 
  • tactical uniforms. 

BPS operators have a wide array of personal equipment to choose from dependent on the mission at hand. 

To provide the highest level of security at your facility, our security operators have 
  • many weapon systems (lethal and less-lethal), 
  • optics, 
  • night vision, 
  • thermal vision, 
  • armor, and 
  • lighting options 
to choose from. 

We will also make recommendations on how to improve physical security measures and have the capability to implement new protocols such as 
  • electronic access, 
  • CCTV, 
  • digital recorders, and 
  • barriers. 

Complacency is no longer an option when a breach can result in excessive amounts of lost time, money and additional liability for your firm. BPS site security operators are experienced in securing residential structures and hotel areas for short or long term stays. 

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Follow the Money:  Gogebic Taconite LLC, the company that hired Bulletproof Securities.

Former Democratic senator Jeff Plale lands job in Walker administration.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 1/19/2011)

The South Milwaukee connection. .

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Song to Mom to Accompany a Letter About Mom



A letter from the son of Debra Lissak. (Smile Politely, 6/17/2013)

Excerpt:  Were oversights made in the weeding process this past month? It certainly seems that way. But please. Please, please, please, please, please. Do not overlook the decades of service and hard work Debra Lissak has put toward the Urbana Free Library. Do not begin to think that she ever wanted anything but the best for the community.

Related posts:
Urbana Free Library Board to library director Deb Lissak: Go your own way.  (7/10/2013)
Urbana Free Library board member speaks out on weeding controversy.  (7/8/2013) 
The Urbana Free Library and a "dissonant rate of discard versus retention"  (7/3/2013)
Urbana Free Library holds special board meeting on June 19th.  (6/24/2013)
University of Illinois GSLIS faculty member advocates for televised library board meetings. / (6/24/2013)
Wondering about the "weeding" "misstep" at the Urbana Free Library.  (6/18/2013)

Urbana Free Library Board to Library Director Deb Lissak: Go Your Own Way

Photo credit:  Retiring Guy
Madison Public Library reference collection shelving, 2009

Updated: Urbana library to seek early separation with director. (News-Gazette, 7/9/2013)

Excerpt: Adult services librarian Carol Inskeep said she was one of the staff members "pressed into weeding." She called into question the method that was used: working off spreadsheets of books without actually going into the stacks to look at the books themselves. 

"Weeding vast sections of the collections without looking at the books violates the most basic professional standards and defies common sense," Inskeep said. 

She said she hopes library officials can learn a lesson from the controversy and avoid repeating the "destructive" event.

Related posts:
Urbana Free Library board member speaks out on weeding controversy.  (7/8/2013) 
The Urbana Free Library and a "dissonant rate of discard versus retention"  (7/3/2013)
Urbana Free Library holds special board meeting on June 19th.  (6/24/2013)
University of Illinois GSLIS faculty member advocates for televised library board meetings. / (6/24/2013)
Wondering about the "weeding" "misstep" at the Urbana Free Library.  (6/18/2013)

Suddenly, It's Not a Turn-Down Day for Federal Funds in Walker's Wisconsin

December 9, 2010

February 15, 2011

February 13, 2013

But now the Governor is taking the first steps to request federal aid from FEMA.


Is this an effort to appear more reasonable, more moderate to the residents of these counties who voted for Obama in 2012?  Here are the Obama/Romney percentages in the counties affected by the June storms.


Keep in mind that this isn't an actual request for federal aid.  As the news release explains.....

The assessment is expected to take a couple of days to complete. Information gathered will be provided to Governor Walker to help determine if the state will request a federal disaster declaration. It is the first step to potentially request federal disaster assistance.

But still, cynically, I gotta wonder....



Particularly in light of the lowkey manner in which he signed the so-called "ultrasound" bill, which his base is jubilantly celebrating.

Scott Walker Quietly Signs Bill Requiring Ultrasounds For Wisconsin Abortions.  (TPM, 7/5/2013)

Excerpt:  Walker did not sign the bill in public, instead issuing a press release early in the afternoon including the bill in a list of 17 other measures he signed earlier the day.

“This bill improves a woman’s ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future,” the blurb noting the signing said.

Business Empires Crumble Under the Weight of This Affectation


 Someone somewhere like Ernest Nicastro. Meet Mr. Persnickety.

Three Gaffes to Avoid in Marketing Content and Public Speaking.   (Marketing Profs, 7/9/2013)

Excerpt:   Meaning "strong point, something at which one excels," the word has traditionally been pronounced fort. But over the years it came to be confused with the Italian musical direction (to sing or play loudly), forte, pronounced for-tay. To quote Charles Harrington Elster from his book, The Accidents of Style, "For better or worse, this is now the dominant pronunciation in American speech." The pronunciation used by our elevator companion though, is an affectation to be avoided.

John Ford's forte is westerns.


The New York Daily News Cuts to the Chase at the Opening of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library

But first the headline from Arkansas Online, 7/8/2013


New York Daily News, 7/9/2013

Hillary's new hair styles:  An international obsession going back at least 2 decades.

WiscNet: Where Cooperation, Collaboration, Connection, and Community Are the Primary Benefits


Really?  Even when factoring in the array of services offered by WiscNet.

I'd like to see the evidence, please.

The following information is from the WiscNet homepage.

Current Proposal to Eliminate Wisconsin's Secretary of State and State Treasurer Leaves Board of Commissioners of Public Lands with One Current Officer

Whatever proposal finally works its way through the legislative process -- if it manages to survive this process -- is likely to require multiple questions to be posed to voters.  It's not going to be a simple, straightforward, up-or-down vote.

Legislative Reference Bureau

2 Republicans propose eliminating state treasurer, secretary of state. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/5/2013)

Rep. Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) and Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) are proposing a constitutional amendment to eliminate the two offices, which makes up two-thirds of the membership of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.


Board of public lands serves state well.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/4/2013)

Excerpt:    The three of us have a constitutional duty to carry on that mission. 

It is a responsibility we take very seriously. The Common School Fund continues to have a significant impact on education today because our forefathers had the vision to grow that fund through the addition of fines, fees and forfeitures that accrue to the state, including unclaimed property. School Trust Funds managed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands now total more than $925 million.

Stay tuned.

2014 Municipal Budget Preview: City of Madison


Paul Soglin asks managers to offer flat budgets for 2014. (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/9/2013)

2013 operating budget:  $267,000,000.

Projected budget gap reduced to $2,000,000 from $6,100,000 as a result of a drop in contributions to the Wisconsin Retirement System.

Excerpt: In a message to managers, Soglin asked that overall funding requests not exceed 2013 amounts, except to fully fund enacted commitments such as planned salary increases and certain cost-to-continue items. The mayor also asked managers to prepare alternative budgets with specific proposals to cut spending by 3 percent.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Urbana Free Library Board Member Speaks Out on Weeding Controversy


Guest commentary: UFL Board would benefit from scrutiny. (News-Gazette, 7/7/2013)

Excerpt with bullet points:  Weeding a public library of
  • less-used, 
  • damaged, or 
  • out-of-date books 
is a normal process that takes considerable time and attention.

With the best of intentions, the director implemented a process involving the use of spreadsheets alone and vastly accelerated pace to select books for weeding.
  • It was not well-tested; 
  • it hindered the judgment of professionals by changing proven methods, 
  • introduced potential clerical errors, and 
  • appears to have bypassed some of the criteria specified in the UFL policy, 
resulting in some sections of the nonfiction collection being reduced by 30 percent or even 50 percent or more in two sections.

Related posts:
The Urbana Free Library and a "dissonant rate of discard versus retention"  (7/3/2013)
Urbana Free Library holds special board meeting on June 19th.  (6/24/2013)
University of Illinois GSLIS faculty member advocates for televised library board meetings. / (6/24/2013)
Wondering about the "weeding" "misstep" at the Urbana Free Library.  (6/18/2013)

Green Bay Press-Gazette Editorial Board Agrees with Central Library Ban on Beverage Containers


Editorial: Library beverage restriction unfortunate, but needed. (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 7/6/2013)

Excerpt:  The guideline changes are in response to behavior seen at the central library this past winter. Police calls, mainly for drunken people inside the library and harassment in front of the building, increased so much that community service officers visit the central location twice a day as a preventive measure. Fifty-five people are under no-trespass orders, which are in effect for a year, for violating behavior guidelines at the library. 

The change is addressing a real problem.

Related post:
The Brown County Central Library has a drinking problem.  (6/30/2013)

Facebook Post Got Me to Wondering About Library Proctoring Policies

Charging for this service, in particular.


According to its Reference Services Policy, the Middleton Public Library does not charge for proctoring.  During my last few years there, we probably averaged  2-3 exams per week.  A list of procedures was kept at the reference desk.
What follows are the results of a Google search Wisconsin libraries proctoring policies

The Slinger Community Library has a very thorough Exam Proctoring Policy.  Charges appear to be limited to the following:   Any costs for printing, postage and faxing will be charged at the current rate per page to the test-taker.

The Franklin Public Library's description of its proctoring exams service does not mention a fee.  Neither does the Baraboo Public Library, in a much briefer statement.

The Menasha Public Library include "proctoring exams" on a list of services offered but provides no specifics.

The Monona Public Library does not charge for proctoring services.  Its Proctoring Examinations policy states that .... In an effort to support the goal of lifelong learning and as a public service, the Monona Public Library provides proctoring services during Library hours. Individuals who wish to have an exam proctored must be a registered SCLS library cardholder in good standing.

The Monroe Public Library's webpage on Exam Proctoring makes no mention of a fee.   It's the first time, though, that I've encountered a proctoring process that does not require an appointment be made in advance.

The Oak Creek Public Library and the Racine Public Library charge a fee of $25 per exam.

Watertown Public Library?  Hard to say.  Need someone to proctor your exam? We can help. Any of our reference staff can proctor your exam. If you have questions, just call us. 

The West Bend Community Library charges for faxing and printing exams.

The Verona Public Library does not charge a fee.  This Proctoring Services Application is provided on its webpage.