Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 BadgerLunch Webinar Schedule Announced

2012 - BadgerLunch Webinar Series
BadgerLink provides access to quality online information resources for Wisconsin residents at http://www.badgerlink.net/.
Want to learn how BadgerLink can help you?
Join BadgerLunch Sessions
Thursdays at Noon
30 - 45 minute sessions
Discover BadgerLink
Find resources that you may not realize are available through BadgerLink!
1.19 Wisconsin Digital Archives: Find Information in Wisconsin’s Collection of Electronic State Documents
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84pkS
1.26 Songbook Database: Easily Locate Sheet Music Available for Interlibrary Loan
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84puX
2.2 BadgerLearn: Explore Wisconsin’s Collaborative Learning Space and Training Portal
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84pEU
2.9 Consumer Reports: Connect to Expert, Independently Conducted Studies that Empower Consumers
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84pZN
2.16 Found In Wisconsin: Uncover Wisconsin's Digital Collections
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84qni
2.23 How to Promote BadgerLink: Learn About Ways to Get the Word out About BadgerLink
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84qpj
3.1 Q&A: Get the Answers to Your BadgerLink Questions
To Join Click: http://ow.ly/84qrZ
Kara Ripley, Reference and BadgerLink Training Librarian, Department of Public Instruction  kara.ripley@dpi.wi.gov

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

World Book Night - April 23, 2012

World Book Night U.S.:  Honorary Chair & Book Picks Unveiled

World Book Night U.S., which also unveiled the WBN 2012 U.S. book picks and opened the registration process for those wishing to become volunteer book givers.

Author and journalist Anna Quindlen has been named the honorary national chairperson for World Book Night U.S., which also unveiled the WBN 2012 U.S. book picks and opened the registration process for those wishing to become volunteer book givers. 

"What’s better than a good book?" Quindlen asked. "A whole box of them, and the opportunity to share them with new readers. The idea behind World Book Night is inspired, and as a writer and a reader I’m thrilled to be part of it."

World Book Night U.S. board chairman Morgan Entrekin said, "We are thrilled and flattered that Anna has agreed to join our cause. Her energy has already been a great asset to the campaign, and we look forward to her being a leading voice among the many for this ambitious effort to promote reading and a love of books across America."

World Book Night U.S. will enlist 50,000 volunteer book lovers to give away a million free books across the U.S. on April 23, 2012, to help promote reading. Volunteers can go to www.us.worldbooknight.org to register through February 1 by providing answers to several questions and picking a book to give out from the World Book Night U.S. 2012 list.

Regarding the book picks, World Book Night U.S. executive director Carl Lennertz said there will be 30, rather than 25: "We decided to expand several categories, notably from three to five YA/middle reader books, due to popular demand from booksellers and librarians, as well as adding a sci-fi novel, an additional mystery, and a surprise classic from an indie press. I am thrilled about this, as it broadens the appeal of the list to our two audiences: the 50,000 book givers and the million new readers we want to reach."

The books were chosen by a panel of independent booksellers, Barnes & Noble buyers and librarians through several rounds of voting. Thirty-five thousand copies of each World Book Night title will be printed as special, not-for-resale paperbacks, totaling over a million copies to be distributed nationwide. Copies of several of the picks will be shipped directly to military bases, and there will be an outreach to prison libraries.

The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2012, in alphabetical by author, are:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Ballantine)
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger (Da Capo)
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Beacon Press)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Tor)
Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Blood Work by Michael Connelly (Grand Central)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (Riverhead); a Spanish-language edition, La breve y maravillosa vida de Óscar Wao (Vintage Espanol), will also be made available.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (Vintage)
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (Grove Atlantic)
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Algonquin)
Q Is for Quarry by Sue Grafton (Berkley)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (Ballantine)
The Stand by Stephen King (Anchor)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Perennial)
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (W.W. Norton)
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (Mariner)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Perennial)
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Atria)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (Picador)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Back Bay)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Broadway)
Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

(Shelf Awareness, December 14, 2011) 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Free Recordings Available From the Library 2.011 World-wide Virtual Conference

Library 2.011 Website - What a Find!

The Library 2.011 World-wide Virtual Conference was held November 2 - 4, 2011. The conference was held online, in multiple time zones over the course of two days, was free to attend, and has been recorded! The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University was the founding conference sponsor.

The recordings of the conference sessions can be found

In addition to the World-wide Virtual Library 2.011 Conference,  the "library 2.011 future of libraries in the digital age" website offers librarians an opportunity to participate in various groups to discuss library related topics.  Here are just a few of the topics:

Using Blog Effectively In Your Organisation
New Breed Programming
Distance/Off-Campus Library Services
New Librarian Experience
Training 2.0
School Libraries
Defining a Mobile Library
and more...

Sign up for a free account today:  http://www.library20.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Grand Opening Children's Learning Center/Story Room

Recently the the Mararthon County Public Library changed the children's space at the Wausau location.  This new children’s Learning Center is debuting this Saturday, Decembe 17, 2011 @ MCPL Wausau.

Join us at 10:30, Saturday, December 17 @ the
Wausau location as we celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Children’s Learning Center/Story Room. Perhaps you too will be transported to the seaside while looking at the wall art by our very own Kitty and Deb.

Stories, cake, fun and learning for all. Don’t miss it!

(Sharyn Heili, MCPL Blog December 12, 2011)

Monday, December 12, 2011

OverDrive Ensuring Access to the Largest eBook Catalog for Libraries

At OverDrive, we always advocate on behalf of readers to have and maintain continued access to the largest eBook catalog from our partner libraries and schools. With evolving eBook and digital business rules, OverDrive must constantly adapt to the distribution rights and restrictions that authors and publishers require for library lending of their intellectual property. It’s our important role – and core to our mission – to advocate on behalf of our partner libraries, while upholding publisher usage requirements.

As a result of OverDrive’s cooperation with hundreds of forward-thinking librarians, we are proud to have the largest available catalog of popular eBook and digital content for library lending, negotiated over years, from nearly one thousand supplying publishers. Yes, we are navigating new terrain and challenges every day, while at the same time adding thousands of new titles from dozens of new suppliers who have joined the public library eBook lending channel – all as a result of this existing marketplace.

OverDrive always seeks to obtain the broadest catalog rights and permissions. We also advocate that the investment our library partners make in their OverDrive digital catalogs (cost of materials, MARC records, promoting audience, and decreasing staff costs) provides the highest return with growing circulation and turnover, while honoring the obligations we have from publishers and authors.

We serve a growing network of libraries, schools, corporations, government agencies and institutions, and every week add new publishers and thousands of new eBook titles. Each publisher or author has the ability, on a title-by-title basis, to set the permissions, copyright protection settings, price, and other rules associated with digital lending of their eBook or other digital content. These permissions are constantly under review by publishers, authors, agents, their associations, and many others that impact how we grow our catalog, which now exceeds more than 500,000 digital titles. Under the permissions set by authors and publishers, 99.9% of US public libraries served by OverDrive have access to the exact same catalog of eBook, audiobook, music, and video titles.

Here are a few of the restrictions and rules that publishers and authors require for access to their materials,which have been communicated to OverDrive’s library partners:
  1. Geographic and Territorial Rights: Publishers make their content available based on the geographic territory for which they have rights, expressed on a title-by-title basis. This is why our Canadian, UK and Australian libraries see different catalogs when they log into Content Reserve/Marketplace.
  2. Library, School, or Special Library Markets: Select suppliers (publishers, film studios, music labels, etc.) have the ability to (and a few do) make their content available only to schools or only to public libraries This may be because the supplier has granted “exclusive” rights to other publishers for these markets, or the publisher may have its own sales force that calls on accounts in these markets.
  3. Different Formats and Different Re-distribution Rights: In some cases, multiple publishers may have the same book available, each providing different formats or different geographic permissions. As a result, we occasionally experience changes to title availability where a publisher or author signs a new distribution agreement that alters these rights.
  4. Connection to Library Service Area: As Steve Potash communicated in writing to every one of our library partners earlier this year, select publishers set restrictions on their catalogs where the library allows access to the library’s digital collection by card holders that have no connection to the library’s service area. We are constantly working with library IT teams to test and validate patrons’ card status, before they can download copyrighted materials. In very few cases, where an institution does not restrict download access to only patrons with connections to their service area (such as residents, students, property or business owners) there may be limits on access to select publishers’ catalogs.
Every day we are engaged in discussions and negotiations with publishers along with upgrading our Content Reserve distribution platform to encourage publishers’ participation in the largest catalog of eBook, audiobook, music and video suppliers available for library lending. Increased and continued publisher participation is enabled by providing authors and publishers the ability to control how, where, and when their titles are made available for your selection. We take our trusted position very seriously, and are investing in our role to provide you with a growing “marketplace” of digital content.

To that end, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your service, please contact your OverDrive Account Specialist directly. We make every effort to get back to you within 24 hours. In this age of Internet gratification, we know news spreads fast and need to ensure what we communicate is accurate, objective, courteous and professional.
(Karen Estrovich, OverDrive Digital Library Blog, December 12th, 2011)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

It’s been quite a few years since I bothered to put out what passes for a Christmas village display at our house. As it was, Wendtville would be a pretty strange place to live, combining as it does the interests of a librarian and an automotive guy.

The first two units were a miniature gas station and a used car dealership, the second building so small that it didn’t even come with a light bulb. As we acquired and parked various vehicles from the same set, my husband wondered whether little ceramic vandals would roam through the dark car lot causing random acts of damage to the inventory.

So I bought a set of battery powered streetlights which were a royal pain to operate and sucked batteries faster than two kids with straws in a seven ounce bottle of soda. We soon found a little police car to keep the vandals in check and only turned the lights on to impress guests.

The larger automotive service station was added a year or two later along with a wrecker truck, two ceramic mechanics and a couple more cars. A gas war immediately broke out between the first gas station and the larger one down the street; pretty soon both registered identically higher prices.

There were also three libraries – the main building and two more branches accumulated as gifts from different sets – as well as a bookmobile. Little ceramic children carried their books past the gas pumps and squatted under the streetlights next to the used cars to read.

That might have defined the village limits except friends gifted us with a bank (to issue loans for the used cars), a city hall (to pay the librarians), a bookstore, a car wash and a fire station. The 1950’s style diner and classic cars parked all round a musical ice skating rink arrived next, thus making it possible for the little people to read, drive around in clean cars, eat and get gas. We placed the fire station next to the diner in case they served four-alarm chili.

Surrounded as we are these days by economic and political complexities, there’s a mighty temptation to attempt casting real life in a similarly ideal mold. Alas, we cannot pick and choose the component parts of our own village as we might assemble one manufactured by Department 56.

The people and opportunities in our community, however widely that is defined, are not so easily or permanently arranged. Nonetheless, what we acknowledge as well as what we ignore around us in real life sometimes amounts to the same sort of artificial village construction.

Other than in times of crisis, a sense of community is most often visible during the holiday season. Gifts are gathered for needy children and donations pour in for various charities. Efforts are made to reach out and pull into the circle those among us whose lives don’t usually connect. At this time of the year we sometimes realize our own actions can have an impact on others in ways that we weren’t otherwise aware.

It’s that sense of community connectivity and interdependence that has always appealed to me when watching the traditional holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Average citizen George Bailey wishes he had never been born and, with the temporary granting of his request, sees the town of Bedford Falls as it would have been without his influence. Each of us has the potential to make that same profound difference every day in a positive or negative sense.

A library, with its collection of diverse opinions and unlimited potential to access the writings of all humankind, represents a community of knowledge. In safety and privacy, library customers can freely choose to construct a personal information village by either selecting only that with which they are most comfortable or by gradually acquiring structures of more divergent thought.

My colleague David Polodna, former director of the Winding Rivers Library System, once ruminated on the way in which a community values its library alongside other municipal services.

“Libraries are as ‘essential’ as police and fire departments,” Polodna wrote in 2003. Even though a library isn’t thought of as an emergency agency, he continued, “Libraries work in proactive ways to inform, educate, and assist people to avoid the traumas in the first place. We offer programs and materials on fire safety, personal and home safety, and child rearing skills and responsibilities. In addition, we offer constructive recreational opportunities that can keep people away from the temptation of other activities that can get them into trouble.” There are many times when librarians provide answers in personal situations that could genuinely qualify as an information emergency.

At this year’s annual budget meeting in the town where I live, our chairman ably fielded a question from a taxpayer who complained he was being forced to support a library he never used. “You pay for the fire department and ambulance though you hope you don’t have to call them to your door. And you may not drive on all the town roads,” the questioner was told. “But the library is a positive thing for our community and nothing is stopping you from taking advantage of all it has to offer and getting more than your money’s worth.”


Hopefully our citizens will remember the public library as one place in our village where they can find free illumination. May the glow of learning continue to shine from library windows throughout the holidays and upcoming year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayna

We are on the threshold of the holidays when the cookbook aisle at most public libraries is a busy place. Most women I know are about to throw themselves into turning out cookies like elves on espresso.

I am, however, a kitchen klutz who did hard time in Remedial Home Economics as a high school senior. Cookbooks given to me by well-meaning friends have actually become mildewed from lack of exercise. I’m the one who habitually brings raw vegetables and dip to the holiday feast. Or Jell-O accompanied by festive soda straws. Or cream liqueurs which, when camouflaged lightly with milk, fortify the real cooks in my family with what we started calling “enhanced calcium.”

Last weekend, while checking the cookbook cupboard for instructions on how to safely microwave a whole squash without attracting the attention of the Town of Newbold Volunteer Fire Department, I ran across a book called I Didn’t Know That: or Why We Say the Things We Say edited by Karlen Evins.

I didn’t know that I owned it and can only assume the slim paperback may have been fraternizing with my cookbooks because “I didn’t know that” is frequently heard in my kitchen. As in “I didn’t know that tin of baking powder was dated September 1975.”

The phrase “I didn’t know that!” is also uttered many times a week in our nation’s public libraries, where equal attention is paid to all questions – whether they concern matters that will have a significant impact on somebody’s life or just something trivial that’s bugging someone.

In her introduction, Evins tells the story of a new bride preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner by of illustrating how knowing what’s behind certain traditions may enable us to take a fresh approach to life’s ongoing challenges.

Evins wrote that as the young woman began to dress the turkey, “she cut off the ends of the bird and placed it in a pan. Her new husband, not certain of the proper cooking procedure, asked his bride, ‘Why do you cut off the ends?’ Her reply: ‘Because my mother always did it.’

“Later that day, the mother of the cook dropped by for lunch, and the newlywed husband thought it an opportune time to learn more about cooking turkey, so he asked his mother-in-law, ‘Why do you cut off the ends of a turkey before you cook it?’

“With as much consideration as the daughter had given the question earlier, the mother-in-law answered, ‘Because MY mother always did.’

“Finally the meal was prepared, the guests were seated and the grandmother of the bride was posed the same question by the now anxious and eager grandson-in-law. ‘Grandma, why do you cut off the ends of a turkey before you cook it?’ he asked.

“With trembling hands, the grandmother replied, ‘Well in my day, the pans were only this big!’”

Karlin Evins concludes, “This story illustrates a point and that is that our reasons for many of the things we do today make little sense logically, though at one time, perhaps they did.”

The homily could easily apply to library policies and procedures devised B.C. (before computers) or otherwise held onto long after the reasons for them have faded into the mists of bibliographic time.

Recent weeks have seen much speculation on how congressional cooks might influence what’s brought to the table in a presidential election year. Not only the federal budget table, but also in the sense of what’s on the actual dinner table of ordinary Americans hungry for a meaningful role in their government and a greater sense of economic well-being.

Speaking personally as a member of our notoriously fact-based profession, much of what passes for info-tainment in the political arena these days – at both the state and national levels and especially on the debate stage – is enough to drive a person to enhanced calcium.

From a librarian’s point of view, trying to set a national course without knowing or understanding our common history and literature is like wasting the ends of a perfectly good turkey. “I didn’t know that” is no excuse. “I don’t need to know that” is even worse.

If new cooks merely end up following traditional recipes that value concentrations of wealth and power but devalue working people, the turkeys will still be dry and tasteless regardless of being surrounded by different distracting garnishes or presented on a blue or a red platter.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WPLC OverDrive Offers Publicity and Support

At the recent WPLC board meeting, it was noted that Christmas is right around the corner. With that, we can probably expect another tidal wave of e-reader gifts and questions from their new owners. The bulked-up buying pool will be in effect by then, too, and more titles will be available, so traffic will be heavy.

To get ready, here are a few ideas for publicity and support.


  • OverDrive has a video with ideas on promoting the collection:
Community Outreach.
Maximize circs … get the word out Learn creative techniques for introducing new users to your OverDrive service. We'll showcase a range of promotional ideas from high circulating libraries that you can implement inside and outside your library.

      View the slides and/or the recording: http://overdrive.com/LearningCenter/viewnow.aspx 
  • Check out the marketing materials on the OverDrive site; most of these can be customizable. I'll distribute any that have been customized for WPLC as I see them, or let me know which you'd like. 
  • More OverDrive videos on the training site: http://overdrive.com/LearningCenter/viewnow.aspx; See both: the e-book explosion, and Patron assistance
  • Keep up with changes to the site by reading the WPLC list; I'll also post FAQs coming through the support email
    (Jane Richard, WILS & WPLC)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Winning BIG Support for Your Rural Library - Webinar

A Small but Powerful Webinar for Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library
Join this webinar for an introduction to the revised edition of the popular Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library, a new toolkit from the American Library Association’s Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. This webinar will introduce you to the tips and strategies presented in the toolkit, share the experiences of a rural librarian who has built support for her library, and introduce you to some of the additional advocacy tools and resources from the American Library Association.

Presenters: Miguel Figueroa, director, ALA Office for Literacy & Outreach Services; Susan Hill Pieper, director, Paulding County Carnegie Library (OH) and editor Rural Library Services Newsletter; and Jennifer Peterson, community manager at WebJunction, board member, Association for Rural & Small Libraries and chair of ALA Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee.

A Small But Powerful Webinar for Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library
December 14, 2011, Monday    1 pm Central time

Register here

If you have questions, or would be interested in attending a follow up webinar with other Wisconsin librarians, please contact Jane Richard:
Jane Richard
Wisconsin Library Services
Wisconsin Public Library Consortium 
728 State St., Room 464
Madison, WI  53706-1494
608/263-5051 //  fax: 608/262-6067

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make Tracks to the Gilman Public Library

“Make Tracks to the Gilman Public Library”
The week of November 21-25 will be very exciting at Gilman’s WTCPL when Denise Korenuk, head librarian, and a team of volunteers, offer a variety of fun and educational activities and fundraisers during hunting season.

The activities will include:
·        Wear Blaze Orange into the library and enter your name for Friday’s Grand Prize drawing.
·        Bring antlers to display for the week and vote for your favorite rack. Only 5₵ per vote.
·        Raffle baskets on display for SILENT AUCTION bidding all week. Drawing on 6pm Friday.
·        Daily drawing entry for a free movie rental at the Gilman Corner Store with every item you check out from the WTCPL.
·        Add your personalized leaf to the “Thankful Tree” every time you stop in.
·        Deer coloring contest (Prizes for different age groups)
·        Each day  children can enjoy a different craft project and activity.
·        Scavenger knowledge hunt going on all week.
·        Check for Story Time each day.
The Gilman Library will host an OPEN HOUSE on Monday, November 21st with holiday treats, coffee and apple cider.  Live music will be provided by Jerry Teclaw  from 5:30 until 7:30pm.
(The Gilman Public Library will be closed on Thanksgiving Day)
(Friends of the Gilman Public Library)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Windows XP at 10 - No Life Support

Businesses That Have Not Begun the Windows 7 Transition May Find Themselves Scrambling
A Microsoft official said the company has no plans to extend Windows XP's looming retirement date in order to give companies whose business systems run on the aging OS more time to migrate to a newer version of Windows--and that could be a problem for those who have yet to begin the transition.

"There's absolutely no chance" that Windows XP's April, 2014 end-of-life date, when Microsoft will end all support, will be extended, said Rich Reynolds, general manager for Windows Commercial marketing, in an interview.

Windows XP officially turned 10 years old on Tuesday. Microsoft introduced the software back in 2001, following development under the code name Whistler. It featured numerous enhancements compared to its most immediate predecessor, Windows 2000. XP introduced a streamlined, task-based user interface that allowed users to more quickly find their go-to applications and files through the Start Menu or lockable Taskbar. That, along with improvements to power management, faster startup, new networking features like Internet Connection Sharing, and a general reputation for stability, made XP Microsoft's most enduring enterprise OS to date. 

The company has had difficulty getting customers to upgrade to newer versions of Windows. Only a handful of enterprises moved to the widely-panned Windows Vista and it's only now, two years after its release, that businesses are starting to adopt Windows 7 in significant numbers. 

About 25% of all currently deployed enterprise systems are now running Windows 7, though 90% of businesses have a plan to migrate the OS, according to Reynolds. Reynolds said he's worried that businesses that have not begun the Windows 7 transition may find themselves scrambling as XP's expiration date draws near. "What we're concerned about is organizations that haven't started yet," he said. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which began upgrading its 187,000 employee desktops to Windows 7 last year, won't have the rollout finished until next year, said Reynolds.

"It takes anywhere from twelve to fourteen months to do the planning and application remediation," he said. Microsoft is offering a number of tools to help business plan and execute the move from Windows XP to Windows 7. 

Reynolds said very few organizations are planning to move directly from XP to Windows 8, which won't arrive until sometime next year and features a new, Metro-style interface borrowed from Windows Phone.
(Paul McDougall - InformationWeek on October 25, 2011)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome Neillsville Public Library to V-Cat

Neillsville Public Library officially joined the Wisconsin Valley Library Service shared automation system, known as V-Cat on October 11, 2011.  The staff worked very hard to prepare for this switchover from their Follett automation system.  Overall, things went smoothly on their first day of using V-Cat (or the SirsiDynix Horizon automation system administered by WVLS)

At one point on Tuesday, staff had patrons anxiously waiting in line to register for their new library cards.  This was an exciting day for staff and the community.

We wish them success with the new system and welcome to V-Cat.
(Inese Christman, WVLS)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

Apple 2e circa 1986

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."   -- Steve Jobs

Last night’s announcement of the untimely passing of Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc, launched me on a search through my old “Bookmark” weekly newspaper column archives for first mention of Apple computer use as a library professional.

The retrospective viewpoint that follows below is mildly hilarious given all that has transpired in the intervening 25 years. The terminology as well as the technology was all new. The floppy disks were huge and actually still “floppy” in our first Apple 2e, the workhorse of the Apple line which was manufactured from 1983 to 1994 and has the distinction of being the longest-lived Apple computer of all time. One of the smartest things I ever did back then was print paper copies of my columns as a backup. All those disks have long since gone the way of the dodo along with all the machines that could read them.

The Bookmark February 11, 1986

The subject today is computers. Thanks to the generosity of a grant obtained by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service, the Rhinelander District Library now has one! I’ve been writing the Bookmark on the computer for the past three weeks.

That might not seem remarkable to you confirmed “hackers” out there, but you have to remember that I worked in a Children’s Department with one functioning electrical outlet until January of last year. Because there was no place to plug in an electric check out machine, we were still using a pencil dater (rubber numbers held by a metal attachment stuck on a pencil) the way librarians did in 1898 when our library opened its doors. A computer was out of the question until our recent building project.

For the next couple of years, our new computer’s main function will be to help our library participate in a “retrospective conversion” project. The first time I heard that term, it made me think of something a person would do to soup up the exhaust system on a street rod. What it means is converting information about a library’s collection from the traditional card catalog format to machine readable cataloging records. It’s called “retrospective” because it refers to going back through a library’s entire collection rather than just beginning to computerize library materials purchased after a certain date.

First, we make sure that the library owns all the books we think it does by taking an inventory to compare the holdings list (or “shelf list”) against what is actually on the shelves and out in circulation. Then, we see how many of our books match entries already in the statewide data bank, adding our own special code to the existing computerized list so other libraries will know we have these titles, too. Finally the titles unique to our collection here in Rhinelander are entered into the computer so that others using the data bank will know where to find them. We store the information on floppy discs and mail them in to the state for central processing.

Being involved in the statewide data bank will make inter-library loans more efficient. Did you know that we already plug into a mighty inter-library loan network through our library system? Persons doing research in Rhinelander are able to borrow materials from other libraries around the state and nation, and even other countries. Our borrowers aren’t limited to the collection purchased with local tax dollars that’s housed within the four walls of the Rhinelander District Library.

You don’t have to worry that you will walk through the library doors someday soon and see a computer sitting where the card catalog used to be. A computerized card catalog may be in this library’s future, but not immediately. Another advantage of having our holdings list stored in machine readable form is that we will not have to go through the time and expense of keyboarding in all the book titles all over again should we decide to automate the checkout procedure or card catalog later on.

Meanwhile, the computer will also be used to make some of the daily tasks performed by the librarians easier and more efficient. We are still getting acquainted with our new “partner” and working to overcome the fear of pressing the wrong button and sending everything we have done to data heaven!

October 6, 2011

Those of you who have been hanging around WVLS as long as I have will recognize the “retrospective conversion” as part of the WISCAT project. Rhinelander’s new computer “partner” had been purchased by WVLS with LSCA (now LSTA) funds, enabling us to join the 300 libraries already contributing their holdings to a database that was then being distributed to participants on microfiche. Two years later WISCAT offered holdings from nearly 700 libraries on four searchable CD-ROM discs. It would be another five years before Rhinelander’s library began working toward implementing a stand-alone automated system leading to eventual V-Cat membership.

Check here if you’re curious about WISCAT history. Under the leadership of recently retired RL&LL Director Sally Drew, the project made a tremendous difference throughout the state, particularly for rural and school libraries. WISCAT continues to provide important linkage for libraries unable to afford higher priced alternatives.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for being our modern Thomas Edison and changing the way we store, share and access knowledge. Librarians are the original search engines; you put some remarkable tools into our hands and gave us the courage to do more than this 1974 library school graduate ever thought possible….back then a "blog" was just a typo begging for whiteout.

Steve Jobs timeline

Steve Jobs quotes

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Things Added to WPLC OverDrive Site

The news we have all been waiting for!
Library eBooks now available for Kindle.

Here is a newsrelease from the Wisconsin Public
Library Consortium (WPLC) that you can use and customize.

Kindle newsrelease, posters, flyers and graphics to customize
Here is the direct link to WPLC's Overdrive Kindle site.
There are 4951 available titles. Your customers will see the badge to the left on the Overdrive opening page so they can go directly to all the titles that work on Kindles.

In continued efforts to improve the user's experience,  OverDrive has added thousands of  free “eBook Samples” to the catalog for immediate access on reading devices and platforms. Patrons can experience stories immediately on their computer or mobile device and decide if they are right for them, ultimately reducing holds and wait lists.

When available, the word “Sample” will appear below a jacket. Curious customers can easily click and enjoy 10 percent of each title before deciding to check it out or not.

The eBook sample will show up in readers’ bookshelf and look just like a regular eBook download. With thousands of popular and bestselling titles to choose from, eBook samples will reinforce the library as the first stop for discovering and enjoying books, both online and off.

To read more see:

(Monday Memo, October 3, 2011 & WPLC List)

Thursday, September 29, 2011



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wausau Room, Marathon Co. Public Library

300 N. First Street, Wausau, WI

9:00 – 9:30 AM Coffee and conversation

9:30 – 11:00 AM WVLS Youth Services Annual Grassroots Meeting

11:00 AM to noon – Ability Awareness Training presented by Shari Brunes, Midstate Independent Living Consultants. Increase your understanding of ability awareness, assistive devices, technology, and local/state resources for library patrons of all ages.

Noon – 1:30 PM: Lunch on your own

1:30 – 3:30 PM Marion Dane Bauer presents “The Power of Story” Bauer is a remarkably prolific author who has received critical acclaim for her ability to step inside the viewpoint of a child, any child or young adult, in a wide variety of circumstances. She has written fiction and nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, young adult novels, writing guides, and much more; she has also contributed stories and articles for periodicals aimed at young people as well as teachers and librarians. Her best-selling novel On My Honor was named a Newbery Honor Book, one of countless awards and citations Bauer has received for her work over the years.

Please RSVP to Kris Adams Wendt 


Young writers and their families are invited to join Marion Dane Bauer at 6:30 PM on October 25 
for a family presentation
“My Story, Your Story: Creating Stories Together.”

John Muir Middle School Auditorium
1400 Stewart Ave, Wausau

A free journal will be distributed to the first 200 young writers attending the event, courtesy of the Marathon County Public Library.

Book sales/signing at afternoon and evening programs provided by Janke Book Store.

Co-sponsored by Wisconsin Valley Library Service, Marathon Co. Public Library and Wausau School District.

Friday, September 23, 2011

ALA Director Keith Fiels At T. B. Scott Free Library October 1, 2011

ALA Director Keith Fiels Highlights Library Volunteer Reception

The public is invited to T.B. Scott Free Library from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 for the annual Volunteer & Library Supporter Appreciation Reception in the library’s Community Room.

Refreshments will be served, compliments of the library’s Endowment Fund.

Library volunteers will be acknowledged at the program, but all library supporters are welcome, including library patrons, taxpayers, library board members, and local government officials.

At 2:30 p.m., American Library Association Executive Director Keith Fiels of Chicago, who has written books on the future of libraries and strategies for library supporters, will give a presentation based on his article “12 Ways Libraries Are Good For The Country.”

Fiels’ talk will explore the many ways in which libraries can make a difference.  From #1, Inform Citizens, to #3, Level The Playing Field, to #10, Offend Everyone, to #12, Preserve The Past, he will make you think about what libraries have meant to America, and what they can be in the future.

T.B. Scott Library volunteers have given about 1,000 hours of their time to the library every year, helping out the Youth Services department, keeping books in order through the Adopt-A-Shelf program, indexing obituaries, maintaining the library’s scrapbook, and helping staff with other projects.

Saturday’s program is also part of the library’s year-long celebration of the centennial of the opening of the historic Carnegie building to the public in August, 1911.

Contact the library at 536.7191 with any questions about Saturday’s program.
(Stacy Stevens, Director - T.B. Scott Free Library)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Free Webinar to Help Job Seekers

Join us for a free webinar!

September 21, 2011 2:00 p.m. EST
"Finding Available Jobs & Internships: Target Your Search!"
With Career Management Expert Heather Huhman

Today's job market is undoubtedly competitive. Learn how to stand out in the sea of competitors, and land jobs and internships with Heather's expert strategies!
The expert tips and tricks Heather covers in this special presentation will help job seekers get hired.
You'll learn:
  • How to create a successful job search plan
  • Where job seekers should really focus their efforts
  • The best way to connect with target companies
  • And much more!
Don’t miss this chance to help your patrons and students work towards their goals!

Please send your questions, comments and feedback on the webinar series to: webinar@learningexpressllc.com.  
*After registering you will receive a confirmation email from gotowebinar@citrixonline.com containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited!

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/661269673

The Job & Career Accelerator™ team at LearningExpress, LLC
The Fast Track to Getting Hired!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

“Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” — Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education

“Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read” has been observed since 1982 as a reminder to Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year's event is September 24 - October 1.

Censorship is a red flag word for librarians and members of the other professions represented by the Banned Books Week co-sponsoring organizations listed below. In a democratic society it is our job to make different types of literature and information covering the widest possible range of viewpoints on different subjects available to the general public.

Reading, thinking, and voting citizens are expected to consider available information and make choices. As Dolly Parton once said, “I don’t need advice. I need information. I’ll make up my own mind.”

Everyone has opinions. No two people think exactly alike nor are required to do so. Under the US Constitution, the viewpoint of a particular person or group cannot be forced on all the other persons in society. No one has the right to say, “Nobody else can read this just because I say so.”

Book banning promotes the thought that different ideas and the people who believe in them are to be feared and eliminated. While a tolerant attitude is difficult to maintain when viewing, reading or hearing something that makes one’s toes curl, the concept is essential to guarding a place for our own ideas.

One of the reasons librarians have long been vigorous protectors of the first amendment right to intellectual freedom is because there is no universal agreement among library borrowers on what is objectionable. Throughout the history of libraries, almost every classic work of literature has been objected to at one time or another, including the Bible.

A library does not function as a controlled information source presenting only sanitized or “safe” ideas. Guided by a thorough book selection policy, librarians purposely seek to challenge readers with choices along a broad spectrum of human thought and experience.

If someone thinks a particular book is absolutely the worst thing printed since Gutenberg cranked up the first press, librarians will defend both his right to hold that opinion and express it. However, if the same person goes on to demand that book be permanently banned from library shelves, then he is treading on the constitutional toes of others who have an equal right to make choices, read and form opinions of their own.

Who knows, but that the next person to check out that same book might think it’s the best thing she ever read? Next Person might also be of the opinion that the ideas held most near and dear to First Person should be erased off the face of the earth and take steps of her own!

When books are challenged, restricted, removed or banned we all lose part of our birthright as American citizens in the resulting atmosphere of suppression. An author may make revisions, less for artistic reasons than to avoid controversy. The editor and publisher may alter text or elect not to publish for economic or marketing reasons. Staff in bookstores and libraries may find published works too controversial and choose not to purchase those materials for fear of reprisal. Unexpressed ideas, unpublished works, and unpurchased books are lost forever.

All of which is why librarians think it is better to add viewpoints to a public collection of books rather than subtract any. There are as many ways of looking at the world as there are grains of sand on a beach. Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone was the same? Wouldn’t it be frightening if everyone was forced to read and think as though they were?

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors. An ALA press release with links to websites of organizations listed above is here.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events, Ideas and Resources, and the new Banned Books Week site. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or bbw@ala.org.