Wednesday, April 25, 2012


WVLS Update – April 2012

Speak Out for Libraries!

National Library Legislative Day may be over, but there is still time to participate virtually!  Running from April 23-27, Virtual Library Legislative Day provides an opportunity for those unable to make it to Washington D.C, to contact members of Congress remotely, either by telephone or email.

To take action, visit the ALA website to find talking points, a link to contact information for members of Congress, and bookmarks and posters to print, email or post to library websites.

As Congress continues to make cuts to libraries across the nation, this is an especially important time to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.  Please, take a few minutes to participate in this event and make a difference for libraries.

Staff News

Long-time WVLS staffer KATHY LEITZA has announced she will be retiring at the end of June.  Kathy worked for the Marathon County Public Library from 1985-1988, and then transferred over to WVLS when the delivery/courier service position became available.  For almost 24 years, Kathy has been responsible for the courier/mail operation and for most of the tasks involved in the deposit collection service, and her strong work ethic and dedicated service will surely be missed. 

An updated job description will be shared with the WVLS Board of Trustees in May and an employment opportunity posted shortly thereafter.

Also, WVLS might secure another intern!  Recently we learned that a UW-Madison School of Libraries and Information Studies student is interested in pursuing an internship with us.  Over the next few weeks we will be in contact with the School and the student to learn more about this opportunity and determine if a placement is likely.  If the placement should occur, the student will complete a 120-hour practicum in the area of database and ILS management sometime between June and August.

Projects

The 2012 System Survey

About a month ago, the 2012 System Survey was shared with area library staff and trustees.  To have input into the future direction of WVLS, please complete the online survey  by Friday, May 18th.  (If a paper copy of the survey is preferred, please contact the WVLS office.)

2011 Statistics/System Benefits Report

The 2011 Statistics are completed and WVLS is now working on the 2011 System Benefits Report for each county.  Our goal is to distribute the completed reports to public library directors, library board presidents, county library board chairs, area legislators and DLTCL staff by the end of May.

Upcoming Events
  •  April 23-27 - Virtual Library Legislative Day - click on the VLLD link at the National Library Legislative Day website.
  • May 3 - WPLC webinar - "Digital Media Buying Pool" - contact ichristman@wvls.org for more information.
  • May 4 - Special Needs Consultants annual meeting - DeForest.
  • May 8 - Recall Primary Election.
  • May 8-9 - WiscNet Future Technologies Conference - Madison.
  • May 9 - SRLAAW meeting - Stevens Point.
  • May 10-11 - Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) Conference - Stevens Point.
  • May 15 - WVLS workshop - "Get in the Game! Advocacy as a Contact Sport" - Minocqua Public Library - for details and to register, contact Kris at kawendt@wvls.org
  • May 17 - WVLS Listening/Sharing session - Abbotsford Public Library.
  • May 18 - Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) meeting - Whitewater.
  • May 19 - WVLS Board of Trustees meeting - Marathon County Public Library.

That's all the news for now!  Anything new and exciting at your library?  If so, let us know!


Monday, April 23, 2012

READING BETWEEN THE LINES


“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
-- Daniel Patrick Moynihan


In the weeks and months to come, residents of the Badger State will be targeted by unprecedented advertising expenditures from political parties, individual campaigns, and the shadow political action groups that support them without the need for donor disclosure.

Much of the barrage will be negative and loosely based on what political comedian Stephen Colbert would call “truthiness.” This is because negative advertising works. The average voter’s perception of reality conforms to preconceived beliefs; they are predisposed to absorb confirming information while ignoring that which doesn’t conform.

In other words, we will believe what we want to whether it’s true or not, so long as it matches our views. Yet very few of us will take the time to research and validate what we see or hear.

In the parallel reality of partisan politics, truth often becomes a relative and disputable term. While your average toothpaste manufacturer is constrained by the Federal Trade Commission rules and penalties from telling lies about their product or the competition, similar standards do not apply to political candidates under the free speech protection of the First Amendment. Many campaigns decide that confronting falsehood and distortion only reinforces misinformation through repetition.

Librarians are notoriously fact-based. So, too, are the opposition researchers who travel the country conducting the investigatory groundwork upon which political advertising is based. This may come as a surprise to anyone who has visualized the oppo-squad crawling on their bellies through the back alleys and dark byways of twilight truth.

In a new book called We’reWith Nobody; Two insiders reveal the dark side of American politics, former journalists turned full time opposition researchers Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian draw the curtain back on their work as truth seekers. In their view, “documenting that truth is more critical than ever, when today’s news is prone to distortion, willful ignorance and lies; when untruths go viral in the blogosphere overnight and even conventional media sources give airtime and print space to erroneous claims and rumors…’Truth’ is a word that should never be qualified. It’s like pregnancy; it’s yes or no.”

Huffman and Rejebian could have shared the soul of a librarian in a previous life. “Considering how blithely the truth is often regarded today,” Huffman relates, he and his partner, “sometimes feel like the relics of a simpler era, gathering our old-timey facts while everyone else obsesses over imaginary death panels….Our primary aim, aside from earning a living, is to help guide the political debate through the real, documented world, where talking points are derived from actual facts rather than from voices emanating from a planet far, far away.”

For his part, Rejebian admits the pair “are, admittedly, attracted to lies; we savor revealing them for what they are.” But he quickly adds, “it’s distressing to see how political lies have adapted to public scrutiny, much the way shape-shifting infections in industrial hog farms respond to tanker truckloads of antibiotics being dumped into the coursing veins of millions of host swine. The purveyors have become increasingly effective despite increasing access to the facts, in part because of the successful use of dazzle camouflage – whereby complicated imagery is superimposed on the truth to fool the eye….”


An example of dazzle camouflage.
Dazzle camouflage by the way, refers to a paint scheme used extensively on naval ships during the first and second World War consisting of a complex pattern of geometric shapes in contrasting colors that interrupt and intersect each other. Dazzle made it difficult for an observer to estimate the size, type, speed and direction of the ship and disrupted visual rangefinders used for naval artillery. It's purpose was confusion rather than concealment. More information on the combination of pop art and military technology may be found here.


Fight back with facts!

Luckily, librarians who are seeking truth for their library patrons as well as for themselves during Wisconsin’s prolonged “silly season” have an ally in Wisconsin Public Television. The Wisconsin Voter Project has links to an outstanding array of resources, including Fact Check 101 a toolkit developed in conjunction with a series of free interactive workshops being conducted in public libraries throughout the state.

The Fact Check 101 workshop handout gives voters the tools to be their own political truth seekers as they cut through the Razzle Dazzle.

Looking for more fact checking links?

FactCheck.org (Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania) A nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. Monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

FactCheckED.org An educational resource for high school teachers and students. It’s designed to help students learn to cut through the fog of misinformation and deception that surrounds the many messages they’re bombarded with every day.

PolitiFact: Sorting out the truth in politics A project of the St. Petersburg Times whose reporters and editors fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups and rate them on a Truth-O-Meter.

TruthOrFiction.com Get the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails.

Urban Legends: Politics (Snopes.com) Analyzes factual claims and attributions of many of the widely circulated stories.

Politics: Soapbox (Snopes.com) Many political opinion pieces circulate with no identifying authorship or publication information, or with credits mistakenly attributing them to the wrong sources. This tool attempts to set the record straight on those counts for some of the more widely-circulated pieces.

Urban Legends: Politics / Law / Government (About.com) Urban legends, rumors and Internet hoaxes pertaining to government, politics and politicians.


Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.

To read the whole article go to:  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/8930/

(Atlantic Magazine May 2012 - Stephen Marche)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Personal Branding: The Ultimate Key to a Winning Resume

The E. U. Demmer Library Invites you to...


Personal Branding:  The Ultimate Key to a Winning Resume

Presented by Susan Guarneri, Career Assessment Goddess 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012
6:30 p.m. at the Demmer Library located at 6961 W. School St. in Three Lakes

Does your resume compel employers to want to interview you? OR Does it get lost in the “black hole” of online resume applications? 

Personal branding could be the missing key to make your resume your best marketing tool.

Susan Guarneri, certified Master Personal Branding Strategist and Master Resume Writer, will discuss why personal branding is essential and demonstrate how personal branding can be used to improve your resume. 

Susan is co-author of the book, Job Search Bloopers:  Every Mistake You Can Make on the Road to Career Suicide and How to Avoid Them.

For information about this program, please call the Demmer Library at 715-546-3391.

Best Practices for the Customer-Focused Library

"Best Practices for the Customer-Focused Library" by the Metropolitan Library System has some good things to think about.

This Customer Focused Library grant was designed to study library services and service attitudes from a retail perspective. Best practices from retail were applied to library space utilization, service philosophy, and service visibility. The consultants hired for this project evaluated the ways in which our libraries serve their customers, with the goal being the development of a customer-focused service model for member libraries.
Four libraries in the Chicago area were studied for two days each, utilizing a combination of observation, interviews and video.

Here is the link to this interesting study: 
http://www.mls.lib.il.us/consulting/pdf/CFLBestPractices.pdf
Here is the link to the library system that had this study done:  www.mls.lib.il.us

(Indianhead Libary System - Facebook post, April 18, 2012)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Update Webinar on Wisconsin's Digital Media Buying Pool on May 3, 2012

Please join me, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, and Sara Gold for a 90 minute webinar about Wisconsin’s digital media buying pool at 10:00 am on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

We’ll briefly discuss why and how the buying pool was created, why we believe it makes sense for Wisconsin’s public libraries,  what we’ve learned in the few months since it started, and how materials are selected for the collection.  Once our brief (15-30 minute) presentation is complete, there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

About the panel:

Jim Trojanowski is Director of Northern Waters Library Service and Chair of the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC), which created and maintains the digital media buying pool.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe is Director of Oshkosh Public Library and Winnefox Library System.  He served as a member of the WPLC committee that developed the concept of the buying pool.

Sara Gold is Cooperative Purchasing and Licensing Program Librarian at WiLS.  She is consultant to the WPLC Selection Committee, which is responsible for purchasing content for the buying pool.

To connect to the webinar:  
1. Web:    Click on https://www4.gotomeeting.com/join/400351039 any time after 9:30am on May 3rd. 
- When you join the meeting you'll be prompted to download a small application to your computer.
- Enter this meeting ID 400-351-039 if asked. 

2. Audio:  Use a microphone and headphones/speakers.
- Or call in using a telephone/speakerphone:    Dial  267-507-0008 
 Access code 400-351-039 
  Audio PIN: shown after joining the meeting

Joy Schwarz will be logged in to the meeting space by 9:30am that day if anyone wants to check their computer's speakers and/or microphone audio levels.  

Jim Trojanowski, Director
Northern Waters Library Service
3200 E Lakeshore Dr
Ashland WI 54806
Ph 715-682-2365 x11
Fax 715-685-2704


Monday, April 16, 2012

Microsoft Windows XP and MS Office 2003 Are On Their Last Legs

 Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Microsoft says enterprises still running the decade-old OS should move to Windows 7 and not wait for Windows 8.
Microsoft is warning business customers that all support for Windows XP, still the most widely deployed PC operating system in corporate America more than a decade after it debuted, ends in two years. While that might seem like a ways off, the company said IT departments need to start upgrade planning now.

Microsoft also warned that support for Office 2003 also ends in two years--on April 8, 2014, to be exact. Additionally, mainstream support for Windows Vista ends Tuesday. That means the few Vista users that are out there will be charged on a per-incident basis for support going forward.

"If you still have some PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003, now would be a good time to start migrating them to Windows 7 and Office 2010," said Stella Chernyak, a marketing director in Microsoft's Windows group, in a blog post.

"Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases in their time, but the technology environment has shifted. Technology continues to evolve and so do people's needs and expectations."

Despite the fact that it hit the market back in 2001, Windows XP remains the most popular desktop operating system in use today. Including both consumer and business environments, XP's share of the desktop market stands at just under 47%, compared to about 37.5% for Windows 7 and 7.7% for Vista, according to the most recent data from Net Applications.

The question facing IT departments still running Windows XP is whether to upgrade to Windows 7 immediately, or wait until Windows 8 debuts later this year. Chernyak said it makes more sense for enterprises to move to Windows 7 before Windows 8.
 
"We don't recommend waiting," she said. "Not only is it important for companies to complete deployment before support runs out, but they should also be aware that by upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010 today they can gain substantial results today while laying the foundation for future versions of these products."

Most enterprises will likely heed that advice. Businesses tend not to upgrade to new versions of Windows at least until Microsoft has released the first service pack. That generally occurs about a year after launch. The conservative approach helps assure businesses that their Windows environment is stable and mature in terms of application and driver support, and that security exploits have been patched.

Application compatibility shouldn't be an issue for businesses that adopt Windows 7 and later move to Windows 8--to a point, at least. Microsoft has said that the Intel-compatible version of Windows 8 for desktops and laptops will be fully backwards compatible with Windows 7.

The tablet version of Windows 8 that's designed to run on ARM chips, however, will not support Windows 7 apps.
Microsoft offers a number of tools, including the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Desktop Optimization Pack, to help organizations manage the migration off of XP.

(InformationWeek, Paul McDougall, April 10, 2012)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Up Coming Continuing Education Opportunities

2012 Directors Retreat April 19, 2012 9:00 – 3:30 p.m. Greenwood Hills Country Club

YALSA's Online Course Catalog
http://www.ala.org/yalsa/onlinelearning/info

YALSA offers a variety of online classes on a rotating basis. Interested in one of these courses right now? All YALSA courses are available for licensing or they can be presented face-to-face to your organization at any time.

Winding Rivers Library System Continuing Education Schedule

April 26, 9:00am-12pm: Project COMPASS: Serving the Unemployed in Your Community, presented by Bridget Christenson, Director, Hatch Public Library, Mauston, and Jamie Matczak, Continuing Education Coordinator, Nicolet Federated Library System, Green Bay

May 24, 9:00am – 3:15pm: Customer Focused Libraries; and Communication Styles and Difficult Conversations, presented by Gretel Stock Kupperman, Director, Viterbo University Todd Wehr Memorial Library, La Crosse (at La Crosse Public Library)

Booklist Webinars http://www.booklistonline.com/GeneralInfo.aspx?id=73 

Infopeople
http://infopeople.org/training

Healing Reads: Bibliotherapy for the 21st Century (Webinar) Apr 17, 2012
Leveraging Technology to Support Early Literacy (Webinar) Apr 24, 2012 
Teen Literature Update 2012 (Webinar) Apr 26, 2012 

Indianhead Federated Library System Continuing Education Go-to-Meeting 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Programs and Publicity for Teens (Space is limited) https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/567295814

Shannon Barniskis from the Lomira Community Library will wow us with terrific program ideas for teens, and share some tips for spreading the word about your services and programs for teens, too.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

WAPL Conference (Stevens Point) May 9 – 12, 2012

WVLS Library Advocacy Workshop May 15, 2012 Minocqua Public Library
Please contact me if you have any questions or need further information about the opportunities.

Juanita Thomas, Outreach Coordinator 300 N 1st St Wausau, WI 54403 jathomas@wvls.org

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reading Between the Lines


It’s National Library Week! 

Ten years ago, Wisconsin librarians were celebrating saving Wisconsin’s (then) 130-year-old requirement that public libraries make their services available to the general public at no cost.  The budget repair bill that nixed Governor McCallum's proposed elimination of the free public library requirement also reduced across-the-board budget cuts to state library aids from 5% to 2.5%. 

Former Senator Roger Breske, who represented the the 12th District from 1990 to 2008, was a key supporter in that fight and many others on behalf of library services.  His sudden death last Monday at age 73 was a loss to the library community. We could always count on him.  Roger appreciated the value of education and lifelong learning and left a legacy of gregarious personal service to his constituents.  His no-pretense, zero-posturing approach to his job and easy laugh will be missed.   

It was fitting that the first 2012 meeting of the Wisconsin Valley Library Service Library Advisory Committee would be held this week Tuesday.  The LAC is made up of public, school, academic and special librarians.  Its focus is to foster cooperation and communication among all WVLS libraries by suggesting and promoting multi-type activities to WVLS staff and trustees.  WVLS is the only Wisconsin public library system that has approached its mission from a multi-type perspective from the start.  

National Library Week is a good time to answer the question, “Why does a community need to support different types of libraries?” 

Public school libraries purchase materials to support the curriculum of their particular district. They are on the spot whenever teachers and students need them, providing equal access to all information resources. 

This is especially important in rural districts where so many girls and boys must depend upon adults for transportation to the public library. 

Students living in a technical college district or UW-System campus community have a similar need for on-site libraries supporting their coursework. Some academic libraries such as the Richard J. Brown Library at Nicolet Area Technical College grant borrowing rights to community residents instead of restricting access to students.

Corporate and hospital libraries contain collections of information on particular subject areas. The employees, clients or patients who use these libraries need ready access to technical periodicals, reference materials and other sources that are often too specialized or expensive to be included in libraries serving the general public. 

Special libraries such as the one maintained by the Marathon County Historical Society organize and carefully preserve artifacts from the past in a way that most public libraries cannot provide for archival storage and space.

A public library’s overall mission is more generic. It serves the recreational reading and information needs of all persons in the community, regardless of their age, educational background or interest focus.

All types of libraries work together to serve a community. For example, school and public libraries both teach children that learning is a lifetime process and reading is fun. Both formal and informal adult education is accomplished through use of college and public libraries. Special libraries are added to the mix through referral and inter-library loan.

Sometimes potential library customers simply pick the library with the easiest access. Many years ago my friend Shirley, a library media assistant at Pelican Elementary School just outside of Rhinelander, was surprised to see a rather large chicken come strolling into her media center one afternoon.

Stretching a wing in the direction of the shelves, the chicken asked, “Buk?”

Shirley had considerable experience translating reference questions from kidspeak to English.  She deduced that the bird wanted a book and assisted her with selection. The chicken left with one volume under her wing, only to return a short time later asking for two more (“Buk! Buk!”).

After the third such visit and request (“Buk! Buk! Buk!”) Shirley was consumed by curiosity.  She followed the chicken out of the school, across the road and into the weeds. There sat a fat green frog with the three books from the first two chicken deliveries spread out around him.

As the chicken offered the most recently borrowed books one by one, the frog examined each in turn, shook his head and announced sadly he had already “Read it! Read! Read it!”

In a classic display of inter-library loan cooperation, Shirley explained to the chicken and frog that the Rhinelander District Library had a much larger collection than Pelican School and sent them downtown. The public librarians, in turn, referred the pair to the Nicolet College Library. Once on campus, the frog decided to earn an Associate of Science Degree with natural resources emphasis and the chicken survived a course in culinary arts.

(Are you laughing, Roger?)

Happy Library Week! 

New Look for the WPLC OverDrive Website & New Form for Library Staff to Request OverDrive Support

Exciting news! The Wisconsin Digital Library website is getting a new look on April 16! The main page will have a much cleaner appearance and the search choices along the left side will be simpler.

There will also be a brand-new login process: the patron starts typing in their library name and the form continually autofills until the library is listed. It's not left-anchored: all letters are fair game. The library is clearly linked with its system, and systems are still listed, but are no longer needed for the log in.

Be sure to take a look on Monday:
dbooks.wplc.info, and send your comments.
 

New OverDrive Support Request Form for Library Staff  
OverDrive now offers a Support Request Form that empowers library staff to contact OverDrive's Support Services team directly. We strongly encourage staff at WVLS member libraries to use this form.
What's in it for you?
          Advice and troubleshooting tips directly from OverDrive staff
          Quick turnaround to assist patrons
          Complete and accurate information
How does the support form work?
The form for obtaining technical support is part of Content Reserve, a staff-only website provided by OverDrive. Support requests are submitted by logging in to the Content Reserve website and filling out the form. (To Login to Content Reserve, use your OverDrive Statistics Report login)
OverDrive assigns a case number to each request and responds to library staff via email. Detailed information about using the support form (pdf).
What kind of requests can you make via the support form?
          Move holds and checkouts from an old barcode to a new barcode
          Adjust the hold list for a patron who missed their hold due to technology issues
          Provide steps to resolve a specific error message
          Answer "how to" and device/format compatibility questions
          And more!
How can you use responses you receive via the support form? 

          Copy suggested steps into an email to the patron who needs assistance
          Use the suggested steps as your "script" for phoning the patron
What about the WPLC Support Request Form?
The WPLC Support Request Form is still available for patrons and librarians. If WPLC Support doesn't know the answer to the question, they also use OverDrive's support form to get help. Bypassing the WPLC form and using OverDrive's support form yourself may eliminate that extra step.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

E-Books Spur Reading Among Americans

E-books Spur Reading Among Americans, Survey Shows - CNN.com
 
Americans who own e-readers tend to read more often than those who read only printed works, a Pew survey found.
Americans who own e-readers tend to read more often than those who read only printed works, a Pew survey found.

E-books aren't just becoming increasingly popular. They also appear to be promoting reading habits among American adults. So says new research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which states that about one-fifth of U.S. adults have read an e-book in the past year.

And if you expand that to include Americans over 16 who have used an e-reader device or app to read news articles or magazine-style features, the figure jumps to 43%.

E-book users tend to read more often than people who read only print material, Pew found. In particular, they read more books. A typical e-book user read 24 books in the past year, compared with the 15 books reported by typical non-e-book users.

Also, a third of people who read e-content say they now spend more time reading than they did before e-books. This is especially true for people who own tablets and e-book readers.
 
This might be good for the economy. According to Pew, e-book users are "also more likely than others to have bought their most recent book, rather than borrowed it, and they are more likely than others to say they prefer to purchase books in general."
 
E-readers and tablets (including Amazon's Kindle Fire e-reader, which is a modified Android tablet) were a popular holiday gift item last year. Currently 28% of Americans age 18 and older own at least one tablet or an e-book reader. And that's not even counting the people who read books on a smartphone or iPod Touch app.

Then again, Pew also noted that e-book users often start searching for books online -- which isn't great news for people who run brick-and-mortar bookstores.

For now, print reading material still rules the consumer market, however. Pew found that nearly three-fourths of U.S. adults read a printed book in 2011, and 11% listened to an audiobook. Print books are especially popular when people read to children.

Print books are also the most popular choice when people want to borrow or lend a book. That's not surprising -- recently author Dave Taylor explained step-by-step how to borrow a Kindle book from a public library. It's not too difficult, but is still considerably more complicated than walking into the library and pulling a book off the shelf.

The survey also found that just slightly more people prefer e-books over print for reading in bed.

On the flip side, Pew noted that nearly 20% of U.S. adults said they had not read a single book in the past year. In general, people who don't own electronic reading devices are more likely not to read much at all.

In addition, nearly 20% of Americans 16 and older said they had "physical or health conditions that made reading difficult or challenging." Most of these people are older (25% of those over age 50), unemployed or low-income. But an interesting aspect of e-book and audiobook technology is its potential to improve the accessibility of written content.

Most e-reading devices allow the reader to adjust the font, font size, contrast, column width, and other factors to compensate for impaired vision. Plus, they often include text-to-speech technology that can read books or articles aloud -- maybe not with thrilling delivery, but still a useful option. This can also be helpful to people with limited literacy.

The cost of e-reading devices keeps dropping, and it's likely that in the next year or two companies like Amazon may be giving away basic e-readers for free (on the principle that you can make more money selling "blades" than "razors").

As the price of e-readers approaches zero, it opens up more opportunities for people who have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide to access the same wealth of information, entertainment and education as people with normal vision and average-or-better income.

Since the invention of writing, the written word has always disrupted the balance of power in societies. While e-books might have started out as a high-tech novelty for early adopters, they may ultimately prove to be a great equalizer across boundaries of ability, resources and education.
(The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of Amy Gahran.  Editor's note: Amy Gahran writes about mobile tech for CNN.com. She is a San Francisco Bay Area writer and media consultant whose blog, Contentious.com, explores how people communicate in the online age.

Monday, April 2, 2012

TWO BILLS AFFECTING LIBRARIES SIGNED INTO LAW

On March 26, 2012, Governor Walker signed 2011 Senate Bill 348 as Wisconsin Act 158, which includes a number of items suggested as remedial legislation by the Department of Public Instruction. Several changes amend Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes and may be of interest to libraries. The bill officially changes the name of the Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning to the Division for Libraries and Technology, and changes the name of the Reference and Loan Library to the Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning Service. The bill also corrects a discrepancy in library system membership eligibility for “same services” provision. Details of the senate bill can be found at http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/proposals/SB348. 

On March 28, 2012, the Governor signed 2011 Assembly Bill 224 as Wisconsin Act 163. The bill extends 2006 legislation that allowed public library boards to transfer gifts and donations to eligible not-for-profit organizations under certain circumstances, to include community foundations. Details of the assembly bill can be found at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/proposals/ab224.
(Channel Weekly; March 29, 2012)

Time to Register for 2012 WAPL Conference in Stevens Point

Happy Monday!  It is time to register for the 2012 WAPL Conference in Stevens Point.  Here is a sample of some of the exciting sessions that will be presented over the course of the conference.   

Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author Karen Rose
The WLA READ Section is proud to present RITA Award-Winning Author Karen Rose! She will be making an appearance via Skype to talk about her popular novels and genre and the importance of public libraries in promoting her work. If you are a fan of romantic suspense novels, or just want to learn more about this exciting genre, please come!

Notable Books Marathon 2012
The Notable Books Marathon 2012 features librarians from all over Wisconsin talking about their favorite book genres. This year, we have a wide variety of genres to cover, including Romance, Political Thrillers, Humor, Scandinavian Mysteries, and Zombie Fiction. It should be an exciting and fun discussion for all who attend!

Tough Talks in Tough Times: What Librarians Need to Know to Communicate Change, Motivate Employees & Stay Sane
Funding cuts. Branches closing. Service reductions. Employee layoffs. These are issues that weigh heavily on the minds of librarians. They cause you to lose sleep, age more quickly, and feel helpless. This isn’t what you signed up for when you chose your career in library science. But these are issues you face, especially in this economy. Tough Talks in Tough Times addresses the most challenging part of your job: communicating bad news about change, motivating employees, and keeping your sanity. In this session, you will learn a 5 step process (the CHECK├é® system) to handle difficult discussions with integrity and respect. It’s a system that works at the library as well as
in your personal life

Information about specific sessions can be found here: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/wapl/conferences/2012/program.htm
Registration information can be found here: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/wapl/conferences/2012/registration.htm
Tim Powers
Publicity Chair
WAPL Conference 2012