Friday, February 25, 2011

Teen Tech Week™ Publicity Tools Available

School and public libraries can promote Teen Tech Week™ (March 6-12) with online resources offered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

Since 2007, Teen Tech Week, sponsored by YALSA, has ensured that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks and videogames. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries' nonprint resources for education and recreation and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology.

The promotional effort for this year’s Teen Tech Week, held March 6- 12, is coordinated by ALA’s Public Information Office (PIO) and YALSA. It includes a number of online tools libraries can use to publicize Teen Tech Week activities:

Sample Press Release
Tips for Creating a Press Release
Sample Letters to Editor
Sample Proclamation
Tips on Using the TTW Logo
Downloadable audio PSAs  (featuring Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants)

The 2011 Teen Tech Week theme of “Mix and Mash @ your library” fosters teen creativity and positions the library as a physical and virtual place for safe exploration of the many types of technology available at libraries, including DVDs, music, gaming, video production, online homework help, social networking, tech workshops, audiobooks and more.

For more information on Teen Tech Week, please click here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

Brooke Sperry and her daughter Belanna send a message.

Democracy is messy!

“Democracy is messy….The answer to reforming our system is not to shut people out or diminish the ability of our people or institutions to participate in the process.”
-- Chuck Hagel, former US Senator (R-Nebraska)

Packer fever has given way to passion of a different sort in the Badger state – spectating the ongoing controversy over the governor’s budget adjustment bill being played out in and around the state capitol. Grassroots demonstrations are sprouting up in communities all across Wisconsin.

I happened to be in Madison on Thursday and Friday of last week attending a meeting of the Wisconsin Humanities Council. With the upcoming Library Legislative Day very much in mind, it was a good opportunity to scout the situation at the capitol and gather information to report back to WLA members who planned to make the trip and might be uncertain as to what to expect.

Unfortunately, Library Legislative Day was subsequently postponed to a date when library supporters might have a clearer picture of the budget picture (and better weather).

Protests against Governor Walker’s proposal to scale back union bargaining rights had been gathering momentum since the previous Friday. Between 15,000 and 40,000 people were gathered in and around the capitol during the two days I observed. That’s roughly half the seating capacity of Lambeau Field. The crowd on Saturday probably would have rivaled attendance in Green Bay on any given Sunday.

It is the biggest, loudest pep rally celebrating the First Amendment that you could possibly imagine.

Banners festoon all balcony railings and colorful homemade posters are carefully taped to the marble walls and pillars. Diversity doesn’t begin to describe the faces and voices standing shoulder to shoulder chanting, “This is what democracy looks like!” College students. Grandparents. Firemen and women in full turnout gear accompanied by bagpipes. Construction workers wearing hard hats. Teachers, nurses, DNR wardens, ironworkers, taxi drivers, long distance truckers and, yes, librarians. Moms and dads with children in strollers. Musicians and folksingers.

It was still possible last Friday to successfully maneuver to legislative office doors without any problems by using the staff stairways rather than the big marble ones and sticking to the outer corridor ring to avoid the rotunda where protestors were standing 15 to 20 bodies deep. Depending upon the size of the crowd and whether the senate or assembly is in session, members of the Capitol Police are now closing off certain corridors or sections for security reasons.

Despite the injudicious use by media and politicians of descriptors such as powder keg, riot, mob, and chaos in the streets, the capitol is a safe, albeit very noisy place these days. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has been arrested or taken to jail, although about a dozen people were ticketed for disorderly conduct.

On Saturday morning as I left Madison to drive north, Madison prepared for the biggest day yet. Eventually another 60,000 to 70,000 participants arrived – including for the first time a delegation of a couple thousand supporting Governor Walker.

At the end of the day, City of Madison Police issued a thank you to the demonstrators:

"On behalf of all the law enforcement agencies that helped keep the peace on the Capitol Square Saturday, a very sincere thank you to all of those who showed up to exercise their First Amendment rights. You conducted yourselves with great decorum and civility, and if the eyes of the nation were upon Wisconsin, then you have shown how democracy can flourish even amongst those who passionately disagree. As of 5:00 p.m., no major incidents had been reported. There have been no arrests. However, discourse and discussion was - at times - loud and heated. That was to be expected. As previously indicated, the goal of law enforcement has been to provide a safe environment for democracy to take place. That goal has been realized for yet another day."

In short, the huge crowds have behaved exactly as one might expect Wisconsinites to act. Exhausted, frustrated and determined to be sure, but as good decent citizens. They are pleasant and considerate. Kind.

Union members distributed foil wrapped bratwurst and bottles of water to those waiting to see a live broadcast of “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz across the street from the capitol on Thursday and Friday evenings. Meanwhile, a small pizza place near the Capitol has been responding to phone calls from a dozen countries and thirty-eight states looking to donate free pizza to the protestors. Donors include citizens of China and Egypt.

After a week of continuous demonstrations, the stunning pile of marble that is Wisconsin’s seat of government – usually kept immaculate and well-polished by a conscientious overnight cleaning crew – has acquired a lived in look because it literally has been lived in 24/7. Outside temperatures at the end of last week were mild enough so as to allow the doors to be open for a greater exchange of air, but increased security and more seasonable weather has put an end to that. Friends who attended rallies on Sunday reported that the place had acquired the unmistakable aroma of a pair of dirty gym socks.

Democracy is messy….

That’s why volunteers from among the UW teaching assistants are signing up in shifts to clean the rest rooms and pick up the trash.

Speaking as a public employee who is also a taxpayer and a consumer, I am immensely proud of my state for not shutting its doors or diminishing the ability of our people and institutions to participate in the process.

This is what democracy looks like!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OverDrive's eBook & Audiobook App Optimized for iPad

Today, OverDrive released the "OverDrive Media Console for iPhone/iPad v2.2", which optimizes the experience on the Apple tablet. Whether users are reading an EPUB eBook, listening to an MP3 audiobook, or browsing the OverDrive Media Console library, they’ll now have the full iPad screen utilized for their enjoyment. Additionally, the app for iOS devices—including iPhone and iPod touch—now supports landscape and portrait orientation, and a new calendar icon displays the number of days left until the title expires.

To reflect iPad support, the graphics, help pages on your ‘Virtual Branch’ and the new eBook Devices Cheat Sheet (for you to distribute to staff and customers) have been updated.

The free app is available in the App Store, and can be installed on Apple devices running iOS v4.0 (or newer). Users with OverDrive Media Console already installed will be notified that an update is available.
(From Dan Stasiewski, marketing associate for OverDrive)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One World Many Stories - 2011 SLP Workshop is March 9!

Wisconsin Valley Library Service  

2011 Summer Library Program Workshop

featuring Patti Sinclair

Wednesday, March 9

1:15- 3:45 P.M.

Quality Inn Crescent Room

668 W. Kemp Street (Hwy 8 West), Rhinelander WI

Get motivated and enthused for SUMMER READING 2011!

Explore the SLP manual with the dynamic woman who has been its editor since 2003

Share “best of the best” ideas gathered from colleagues across the US, including…book recommendations, craft demonstrations, programs, games and more!

Network with other youth services librarians! (And yes, there will be door prizes!)

This free workshop follows the 24th annual Children’s Book Fest, co-sponsored by Rhinelander District Library, the School District of Rhinelander and Headwaters Reading Council. Come to the Quality Inn as early as 8:30 AM to browse the Cooperative Children’s Book Center exhibit and listen to CCBC librarians present the Best Books of 2010. (NOTE: Children’s Book Fest registration is $10/person and must be made separately.

PLEASE REGISTER for the WVLS SLP Workshop by Friday, March 4!

To sign up, ask questions or indicate a need for special accommodations, contact Kris Adams Wendt 

ADVOCACY URGENTLY NEEDED: House considering two amendments critical to the future of libraries

This week, the House of Representatives will consider two amendments to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution that are critical to libraries – one that would eliminate all Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and another that would halt all funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens.

E-mail via Capwiz or call your representative at (202) 224-3121 today and tell him or her to oppose Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution!

Amendment #35, submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ), seeks to zero out the Institute of Museum and Library Services, eliminating all federal funding specifically for libraries.

Message to Your Representative:
  • Libraries are essential to every community, and federal funding is critical for ensuring library resources and services remain available to their constituents.
  • LSTA supports all kinds of libraries including school, academic, and public libraries.
  • Public libraries are the primary source of no-fee access to the Internet and are active in assisting the public with online job searches, e-government services, and lifelong learning.
E-mail via Capwiz or call your representative at (202) 224-3121 today and tell him or her to support Conyers’ amendment to the Continuing Resolution!

This amendment, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), would halt all funding for FISA orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens. Currently, this vote is scheduled for this Thursday, February 17.

Message to Your Representative:

  • Vote YES on the Conyers amendment to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution to halt funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders that would seek library and bookstore records of U.S. citizens;
  • The Conyers amendment seeks to protect individual privacy and personal reading records from inappropriate access by law enforcement;
  • Like previous reader privacy bills, this amendment has bipartisan support;
  • Law enforcement access to the reading habits of individuals should be held to a higher legal standard in order to protect civil liberties and the right to read and access information.
In the weeks to come, extending your advocacy efforts to your senators as well as continuing to reach out to your representatives will be vitally important to protecting the future of libraries.

Questions as well as reports and feedback from your calls and e-mails are welcomed. Please contact Kristin Murphy or Lynne Bradley at the ALA Office of Government Relations, Washington Office.

District Dispatch - News for friends of libraries from the ALA Office

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ask? Away Basics - Free Webinars Available

AskAway is an online information service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is staffed by librarians from across Wisconsin, the United States and the United Kingdom. These librarians are online to help you find resources to satisfy your academic, professional, and personal information needs. You can access AskAway from anywhere there is an Internet connection including home, school, work, the library, or wherever there's Wi-Fi access.

Are you a librarian interested in understanding how to use AskAway? Join us for the free webinars (using Live Meeting) starting Feb 24th from 10am-11am and continuing the first Thursday of the month at 10am-11am. No registration is required.

February 24th -
Why AskAway? An Introduction to the AskAway virtual reference service

• What is AskAway?
• What unique value does it offer?
• Who provides the service, who uses it now and who can use it?
• How does it work?
• How is quality ensured?

March 3rd -
AskAway Email service

• What is the AskAway Email service?
• How does it work?
• Who uses it?
• How to publicize it?

April 7th -
AskAway’s Spanish-language Chat service

• How does it work?
• Who staffs the service?
• What resources are available to support the service?
• What agencies/organizations do we partner with?

May 5th -
Chat service basics
• How do I pick up chat questions?
• How do I conduct an online reference interview?
• How do I send links to a patron?
• How do I end a chat?

June 2nd -
Email service basics

• How do I pick up email questions?
• How do I respond to email questions?
• How do I refer email questions to other librarians/agencies?

July 7th -
Marketing the AskAway service
• How should I talk to patrons, staff and board members about AskAway?
• What is my audience?
• How do I post links to AskAway?
• How can I build support?
• How do I reach out to the community?

August 4th -
AskAway statistics for administrators and librarians

• How do I view statistics posted by DPI ?
• How do I download, view and interpret local statistics?• How do I review chat transcripts?
• How do I follow up with other libraries and QuestionPoint Quality Control?

For more information contact Martha Berninger at

Monday, February 14, 2011

State Superintendent Tony Evers writes to Joint Finance Committee Chairs

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers wrote a letter to the co-chairs of the legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Monday, February 14, to express his opposition to some provisions in the proposed Budget Adjustment Bill. 

"We ned to make tough decisions," Evers wrote, "but we must be careful not to abandon fairness and a sense of decency in the name of boldness. Strong measures are needed, but we are better served by reasonable reforms than by radical reactions."

Evers praised public employees who "have been and will continue to do their part to move Wisconsin forward and help balance the budget. Despite furloughs and freezes, public employees have provided vital public services with fewer peope, over longer hours, and for less money." 

He noted the proposed bill will translate into an immediate salary cut of up to ten percent and urged elected officials to move forward without eliminating the long-standing rights of state and local workers.

February 15 Wisconsin State Supreme Court Primary – PLEASE VOTE!

February 15 is Primary Election Day in Wisconsin. There is one statewide race on the ballot; that is for justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Four candidates will be narrowed down to two who will square off in April competing for a 10 year term.

The race is non-partisan, but news reports detailing experience and background of the candidates provides some insights.

The information below came from the League of Women Voters website where you will find additional Q&A on a variety of topics.  Candidate websites are linked to their names.

JoAnne F. Kloppenburg
I’ve been a litigator and prosecutor at Wisconsin’s Department of Justice since 1989, serving under Attorneys General from both parties. My legal experience includes constitutional, appellate, civil litigation, environmental prosecution, administrative and some criminal law. I’ve argued numerous cases in circuit courts, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Wisconsin Court of Appeals. I graduated with honors from UW Law School (1988), Yale (BA 1974), Princeton (MA 1976). I was a law clerk for Chief Judge Barbara Crabb, and interned for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. I’ve taught at the UW Law School since 1990 and volunteered in many legal and community venues.

David T. Prosser, Jr.
My 12 years as a Supreme Court Justice are my most obvious qualification. I have written 132 majority opinions and participated in 900 published decisions. Eighteen former state bar presidents and many judges have endorsed me based on my performance. No other candidate has judicial experience. In addition, I have worked at all levels of government and in all three branches of government: law teacher (UW, IUPUI); staff attorney, Office of Criminal Justice; administrative assistant to Congressman; elected district attorney; 18 years in Wisconsin State Assembly; Assembly Speaker; Tax Appeals Commissioner; Uniform Laws Commissioner. This breadth of experience is unprecedented.

Marla Stephens
I graduated Marquette Law School in 1981. I have represented people in the Wisconsin trial courts, courts of appeal and Supreme Court my entire career. I am the Appellate Division Director for the State Public Defender, the agency responsible for delivering legal services to the indigent in 72 counties. I served ten years as chair of the Wisconsin Judicial Council, which studies and makes recommendations to improve the court system. I held leadership positions with the State Bar of Wisconsin, including as a founding member of the Appellate Practice Section. I have authored articles on substantive and procedural law.

Joel Winnig
I am running to return independence and integrity to the Supreme Court. I have worked as an attorney for working people and small businesses for over thirty three years. I have used my law degree to fight for the rights of working people throughout Wisconsin. I have made the system work for those who had difficulty in achieving access to the justice system. I have been the lawyer for thousands of working families all over Wisconsin. I have handled the broadest variety of cases of any candidate in the race. I am the only candidate with significant private sector experience.

Reading Between the Lines

Governor's budget adjustment bill sparks controversy

Governor Scott Walker unveiled his “budget adjustment bill” last Friday, targeting concessions by public employees and touching off what was already predicted to be a contentious legislative session focused on crafting the 2011-2013 biennial budget while dealing with budget shortfalls.

The legislature was not originally scheduled to be in session this week, but is likely to take up the governor’s proposal on Thursday after it is discussed on Tuesday by members of the Joint Finance Committee at 10 AM and the Joint Retirement Systems Committee at 2 PM. Committee votes will take place on Wednesday, setting the stage for action in both legislative houses on Thursday.

Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Robin Vos (R- Rochester) have invited public participation at the 10 AM meeting on Tuesday, with speakers limited to 2 minutes.

Labor unions representing public employees and other groups opposed to the measure are planning protest rallies on the Capitol Square at noon on Tuesday and Wednesday. Requests to flood legislative offices with calls, emails and letters were circulated statewide over the weekend.

All of which is going to make it more challenging for those attending and supporting Library Legislative Day on February 22 – coincidentally the same day the governor’s 2011-2013 budget proposal will be released – to be heard over the cacophony.

Libraries are neither Republican nor Democratic. Nobody is required to declare their politics at the door and librarians routinely leave their personal political orientation outside. As hard as it may be, we must as public employees also leave our personal reactions to the budget adjustment bill proposal outside as well.

But that doesn’t mean we should stop advocating for our libraries, our communities and the state funding that makes many of our services possible. A variety of helpful tools and briefing papers are found linked to the Wisconsin Library Association’s Legislation and Advocacy page.

Our mission is to identify and direct citizen library supporters through the battlefield under a banner of truce telling the library story in a way that both legislators and their staff members will notice because it is positive, reinforcing, and memorably personalized. The words “thank you” should appear in the subject line of an email or written on the outside of each envelope.

Stay informed! Links to the latest reports, press releases and news articles on all sides of the controversy may be found at the Wheeler Report website.

Not sure which legislators represent your service area?  Enter voting addresses here to find out, as well as access contact information.

Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute briefing paper entitled “Are Wisconsin Public Employees Overcompensated?” makes interesting reading.

Friday, February 11, 2011

ADA Update: Revised Regulations for Disability Accommodations for the Public

ADA Update: Revised Regulations for Disability Accommodations for the Public 
Don't forget to sign up for this important FREE webinar. It will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm, Central Time.  This webinar will last approximately one hour. Webinars are free of charge and registration is ONLY done on the day of the event on the WebEx server. 
No Passwords are required. For Tips and Registration Information, please go to:

For more information and to participate in the February 16 webinar, go to: 

Has your library recently added ebooks, podcasts, or other new electronic resources?   Are you planning a renovation? Just finished one?  Working to redesign your library website?  Is that marmoset really a legally designated service animal?

Some of the newly revised American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations take effect on March 14, 2011, and more are in the works. Libraries face new challenges and requirements for meeting both the spirit and letter of the law.

At the end of this webinar, attendees will understand the new ADA:  
  • accommodation requirements for libraries for users with disabilities
  • federal regulations that redefine "service animals"
  • standards for electronic resources, including websites
  • accessible building design 
  • grievance procedures
An overview of the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Government will also be presented.  This one-hour webinar will be of interest to library staff involved with accessibility issues, involved in building renovation projects, or working with special needs library users.

Our speaker Mary Minow is an attorney, consultant, and a former librarian and library trustee. She edits the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use site ( She teaches digital copyright at San Jose State School of Library Science and at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She is a past President of the California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners. Minow is the first recipient of the California Library Association's Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award , given in 2004.  Minow's blog is at

If you are unable to attend the live event, you can access the archived version the day following the webinar. Check our archive listing at:
(PUBLIB, February 11, 2011)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pew Internet's New Study - Generations and Their Gadgets

Many devices have become popular across generations, with a majority now owning cell  phones, laptops and desktop computers. Younger adults are leading the way in increased mobility, preferring laptops to desktops and using their cell phones for a variety of functions, including internet, email, music, games, and video.

Among the findings:
  • Cell phones are by far the most popular device among American adults, especially for adults under the age of 65. Some 85% of adults own cell phones overall. Taking pictures (done by 76% of cell owners) and text messaging (done by 72% of cell owners) are the two non-voice functions that are widely popular among all cell phone users.
  • Desktop computers are most popular with adults ages 35-65, with 69% of Gen X, 65% of Younger Boomers and 64% of Older Boomers owning these devices.
  • Millennials are the only generation that is more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop: 70% own a laptop, compared with 57% who own a desktop.
  • While almost half of all adults own an mp3 player like an iPod, this device is by far the most popular with Millennials, the youngest generation—74% of adults ages 18-34 own an mp3 player, compared with 56% of the next oldest generation, Gen X (ages 35-46).
  • Game consoles are significantly more popular with adults ages 18-46, with 63% owning these devices.
  • 5% of all adults own an e-book reader; they are least popular with adults age 75 and older, with 2% owning this device.
  • Tablet computers, such as the iPad, are most popular with American adults age 65 and younger. 4% of all adults own this device.
Additionally, about one in 11 (9%) adults do not own any of the devices we asked about, including 43% of adults age 75 and older.

In terms of generations, Millennials are by far the most likely group not only to own most of the devices we asked about, but also to take advantage of a wider range of functions. For instance, while cell phones have become ubiquitous in American households, most cell phone owners only use two of the main non-voice functions on their phones: taking pictures and text messaging. Among Millennials, meanwhile, a majority use their phones also for going online, sending email, playing games, listening to music, and recording videos.

However, Gen X is also very similar to Millennials in ownership of certain devices, such as game consoles. Members of Gen X are also more likely than Millennials to own a desktop computer.

e-Book readers and tablet computers so far have not seen significant differences in ownership between generations, although members of the oldest generation (adults age 75 and older) are less likely than younger generations to own these devices.

These findings are based on a survey of 3,001 American adults (ages 18 and older) conducted between August 9 and September 13, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, and the survey included 1,000 cell phone interviews.

Download this free report PDF
(American Libraries Direct, Febraury 9, 2011)

Six Top Tech Trends on the Horizon for Higher Education

As many of you know, many tech trends that occur in the field of higher education also eventually land in public libraryland.  I thought this article announcing the 2011 Horizon Report would be of interest.

Mobile devices are one year away from transforming education. For the third straight year.

The 2011 Horizon Report, an annual look at technology trends affecting higher education, points to mobile devices as one of six technologies to watch. Of the other five trends, game-based learning and learning analytics—using data to track student progress—are new additions for 2011.

The report, produced by the New Media Consortium and Educause, notes that mobile devices have been listed before, but it says that resistance by many schools continues to slow the full integration of mobile devices into higher education.

Game-based learning is poised to see greater use within the next two to three years, the report says, and will follow one of two tracks. Game-playing itself may be used to develop decision-making and problem-solving abilities, as well as leadership skills, or educational content embedded into games can teach students as they play. The report points to multiplayer role-playing games as offering particular promise for higher education.

Learning analytics, the other new trend, is further down the line, with the report’s panel of 43 experts pegging its adoption as four to five years away. Using the growing amount of data available about students, learning analytics would allow instructors to tailor education more specifically to each student’s needs and make curricular changes on the fly. It also could help instructors gauge how well students are learning. Beyond traditional measures of assessment, such as assignments and tests, educators could look at online social interactions, discussion posts, and how students access information on Web sites to develop a more detailed, and timely, picture of a student’s understanding of course material. Challenges to adoption include incorporating information coming from a variety of sources and in different formats and concerns about privacy and profiling.

Of the trends that have been listed in other years, the use of electronic books is the one most likely to affect higher education in the next year, the report notes. While e-books have steadily grown in popularity among consumers, the report says adoption by the academic community was slowed by issues such as a limited number of available titles, restrictive publishing models, and rights issues. Those are mostly resolved, the report says, but accessibility issues remain.

Augmented reality, the layering of virtual information over actual locations, such as an interactive, mobile-based museum map, is another up-and-coming trend. It is two to three years away from adoption in education. Finally, gesture-based computing, which incorporates human movement, is already useful in training simulations, the report notes, and could allow students to virtually practice surgery or flip through a centuries-old text. It’s already seen commercial applications in popular video game systems such as the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect for Xbox. But the report says it is probably four to five years away from widespread use by colleges.

To complement the report, which is in its ninth year of publication, the New Media Consortium this year designed the Horizon Project Navigator, a social-media site to offer access to the materials experts looked at in preparing the report and share information related to the identified technology trends.
(Ben Wieder, The Chronicle of Higher Education February 10, 2011)

Friends of the Library Fundraising Idea

The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is partnering with Entertainment® Publications, LLC to offer a coupon booklet fundraiser to library Friends groups who are group members of ALTAFF.

Friends of the Library groups can raise funds with their own coupon booklet, customized with their library photo, logo and name on the front cover. There are no upfront costs, and groups will earn up to $10 per coupon booklet sold. Booklets feature 40 coupons specifically selected for each local group. Plus, those who purchase the coupon booklet receive access to the Digital Savings Club website, where they can print hundreds more offers in their area. Following approval, booklets are delivered in three to four weeks.

The back cover of the coupon booklets feature ALTAFF’s national spokesperson, the comedian and author Paula Poundstone, and her quote “If you haven’t been to your library lately, you’re overdue!”

“ALTAFF is excited to partner with Entertainment to offer this fundraising opportunity to ALTAFF group members,” said ALTAFF Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed. “This partnership will give Friends groups a fun and unique way to raise money for their libraries.”

To get started creating a coupon booklet for your next fundraiser, com­plete the form available at www.enter­ or call Entertain­ment at (866) 686-1432.

ALTAFF is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. ALTAFF brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit,  or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or
(American Libraries Direct, February9, 2011)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Self-Service in Libraries: Lessons To Be Learned From the Retail World


NCR, the world leader in self-service technologies has helped more than 150 retailers in over 25 countries achieve cost efficiencies and improved customer service through self check-out. Company experts will share valuable lessons learned from studies done in retail environments covering:
  • Customer Experience: Human Interaction and Reaction
  • Optimized Placement and Configuration
  • Target Utilization
  • Dashboard Metrics to Measure Success
Monica Hachem, Solution Marketing, NCR Corporation. Monica has worked exclusively with self-service technologies for the last 13 year. She will discuss consumer trends and their impact on self-service adoption as well as share experiences in self-service from multiple industries.

Jennie Johnson, Human Factors Engineering, NCR Corporation. An expert in optimizing the consumer experience and operationalizing self-service for several industries, Jennie will focus on Best Practices for a successful self-service implementation.

Shai Robkin, President and CEO, ITG. Co-author of Radio Frequency Identification Handbook for Librarians(Libraries Unlimited, 2007), and an early identifier of the power of RFID technology for libraries.

Can't make it on February 17? No problem!   LJ webcasts are archived for 12 months after the live event. With your webcast registration, enjoy the ability to access this event on-demand as often as you'd like.
(Library Journal, February 9, 2011)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Database Added to BadgerLink - European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750

BadgerLink now has access to EBSCO’s European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750.

This new bibliographic database is a valuable index for libraries, scholars and individuals interested in European works that relate to the Americas. EBSCO Publishing, in cooperation with the John Carter Brown Library, has created this resource from European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed in Europe Relating to the Americas, 1493-1750, the authoritative bibliography that is well-known and respected by scholars worldwide. The database contains more than 32,000 entries and is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. It covers the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples. A wide range of subject areas are covered; from natural disasters to disease outbreaks and slavery. The original bibliography was co-developed by John Alden and Dennis Landis, Curator of European Books at The John Carter Brown Library. The John Carter Brown Library, founded in 1846 is a foremost repository of rare books and materials and is a center for advanced research in history and the humanities.

EBSCO has created a detailed FAQ to answer your questions about this fascinating new, free database, available here.

For any questions or concerns, please contact BadgerLink Technical Support at

Kara Ripley, Reference and Instruction Librarian
Department of Public Instruction

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lac du Flambeau Libraries Awarded ALA 2011 Loleta D. Fyan Grant

Mary Mann and Terry O’Connor, in partnership with the Lac du Flambeau Public Library, have been awarded the 2011 Loleta D. Fyan Grant for a proposal entitled “Revitalizing Libraries in Indian Country: The Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Research Center.” The project team proposed to create a research space located within the Lac du Flambeau Public Library that will provide the most extensive, diverse and up-to-date multimedia sources on local, regional and national Native American culture, both past and present.
 The Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Research Center will provide a space for students, local residents and visitors to learn more about Native culture through the library’s collection of more than 350 books, as well as its Internet resources and video collection. The Center will also serve as a model for other rural Native libraries seeking to maintain relevance and vitality in their communities for generations to come.

“There were a number of worthy proposals this year for the Loleta D. Fyan Grant, making it a tough decision for the jury to reach. The Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe project to establish a research center, fostering an awareness of Native American history and culture on this impoverished Indian Reservation, stood out from the others,” said Larry Grieco, chair of the Fyan Grant jury. “It will in turn be vital to the Tribe’s Historic Preservation efforts and be a lasting source of pride and joy to the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.”

This $5,000 grant, given annually on a competitive basis, is named for Loleta D. Fyan, an ALA past-president (1951-52), who provided funds for the American Library Association (ALA) in her will. The grant supports a project that will develop and/or improve public library services, will effect changes that are innovative and responsive to the future and have potential for broader impact and application beyond a specific local need. Applicants can include, but are not limited to, local, regional or state libraries, associations or organizations, including ALA units, library schools or individuals.

For guidelines and a list of previous winners see:
(American Libraries Direct, February 2, 2011)

Running a Passport Acceptance Facility at Your Library

Processing Patron Passport Applications Enhances Customer Service—and Your Library’s Bottom Line
Expanded travel regulations have increased demand for United States passports. As of June 1, 2009, a valid passport is required for all foreign travel to and from Canada and Mexico. In this time of reduced funding, public libraries can capitalize on the increased demand while providing a valuable e-government service to their customers by becoming official Passport Acceptance Facilities (PAFs) for the U.S. Department of State. PAFs earn the standard execution fee of $25 per passport.

Becoming a PAF has paid off for Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library. Last April, we made passport processing and photo services available seven days a week at seven branches from opening until one hour before closing. We have since collected more than $100,000 in execution fees. This new revenue stream has enabled us to restore Sunday hours throughout our entire library system. Sunday hours were limited to just seven of our 28 branches out of necessity in 2009 following funding reductions at the state and local levels. We now offer passport services in all of our branches.

Public libraries are a natural fit for passport services. For starters, our hours of operation are typically more convenient than post offices. And where else can you get your passport, borrow a travel guide or DVD, book your flight and hotel online, print your boarding pass, and get assistance from research professionals on everything from travel destinations to how to order a birth certificate from Vital Statistics?

Getting started
The first step in becoming a PAF is to contact the National Passport Center (NPC) and let an agent know you are interested in starting the application process. You will be asked to send a letter of interest for each location where you plan to offer service. You will also need to fill out a request-for-designation form indicating your contact information and the locations and hours where you plan to offer service.

You can’t accept a single passport until you receive official approval, so be sure to communicate with the NPC before you set your internal launch date. Keep in mind that it will take about a month from the time you send your letter of interest to when your staff can actually begin the government-required passport training. The training is self-paced and can be done online, but it’s pretty intense—there are 28 training modules. You should plan on giving staff at least five hours to complete them all.

If you plan to offer passport services at multiple locations, assign a point person at each location to be the go-between with the NPC. This will personalize your library and help you establish a relationship with the NPC agents, which will ultimately result in more efficient, prompt service. If you offer passport services on evenings or weekends, make sure you’re ready with a strong complement of staff. These will be your busiest times for passport processing.

Routine passport applications must be mailed via USPS Priority Mail; expedited applications must be sent Express Mail. Priority and Express envelopes are free and can be ordered online at for delivery within just a few days.

Passport photo services
Passport photo services can generate additional revenue and enhance the overall convenience of the passport experience for your customers. If you decide to offer passport photo services, you should seriously consider an all-in-one passport camera and printer system. For example, Sony’s UPX-C300 passport camera system has Bluetooth capability for wireless printing and default settings that make it easy to produce photos that comply with federal requirements. Many of these systems include a tripod; for those that don’t, consider a video tripod with a quick-release plate, such as the Targus TGT-66-TR . Video tripods are easier to set up and put away, but any tripod more than 50 inches tall will do. You’ll also need a 40-by-40–inch matte white projection screen to use a background and a 2-by-2–inch die-cutter to ensure that your photos meet federal size requirements. It’s best to dedicate a space in your library for taking passport photos. Ideally, it should be somewhere out of the way for other customers and staff.

Convenient customer service

Would-be travelers want a convenient passport experience, and that starts with excellent customer service. At CCPL, our busy clerks have embraced passport services as part of their duties and have done an outstanding job serving our customers. We’ve received oodles of positive feedback and with each successful interaction further demonstrated our value to the community. You can too.

ROBERT J. RUA is the assistant marketing director for Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library. Contact him at Ameican Libraries Direct, February 2, 2011)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Computer Prices on the Rise

With the 2011 Gate's Grant round edging onto our radar, I thought it prudent to update quotes and offerings.  Boy was I surprised.  Our standard system build is still a relevant build and one of the better deals available, but pricing seems to be going in the wrong direction. They are now about $150.00 more than when they started.

I decided to investigate.  Was it this particular configuration?  Within the scope of Dell's offerings the answer was no.  When I expended the search to include competitive brands like HP and Lenovo that were close in price last year, the answer was still no. 

Here's why, from what I can tell.  Basic component costs were bottomed out last year.  Labor shortages coupled with increased labor and materials costs in major supplier countries like China are a direct influence.

Tech Spot - Mother Board Prices to Rise in First Half of 2011

The story is similar with memory prices - - and other basic components that are used to make the various parts that make up a computer.  It seems that computer manufacturers and vendors are already anticipating (or experiencing) the rise in component costs and have adjusted current pricing accordingly. 

What does it mean for you?  Whether or not you're library is a Gates' Grant recipient for the 2010-2011 cycle, it means the computers will be a bit more expensive for a similar configuration this year.  You can buy much less PC for fewer dollars, a bit less PC for the same dollars, the same PC for more dollars, or more PC for much more dollars.  For those of you not in the Gates' round, you could wait it out, prices do tend to fluctuate up and down like a sign wave.  There is no guarantee that they'll come down anytime soon though.

My recommendation?  Be aware of the current pricing increases.  Keep an eye out for good deals.  And purchase PCs as needed without worrying too much about the longer term pricing fluctuations.  The title was mostly a hook ... As one of my favorite guides cautions - "Don't Panic"