Monday, July 28, 2008

Library "whirlwind of information and convenience"

Marathon County Public Library's traffic has grown 3.5 percent during the past year, according to a report on WSAW Channel 7. Touting wireless Internet, self-check, and a new drive-through window, director Phyllis Christenson also notes that rising fuel costs prompt many people to find resources and fun close to home. The Wausau Daily Herald also published a July 25 article about technology's impact on library service.

News Flash: Libraries are busy places!

The libraries of Fond du Lac, North Fond du Lac and Horicon are praised as hip and happening places to be in yet another news report about how popular library services are these days. It's not your father's library, claims the Fond du Lac Reporter.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Waukesha County system proposes new funding formula

Waukesha County proposes to disburse funding to county libraries based in part on each library's service to residents outside its municipal borders. The change would mean an increase in funding for some libraries, while others with less service to out-of-towners would likely see a decrease in funding. Reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel July 15 and July 18 describe the plan, which seems to have received mostly cautious, if mixed, reactions from Waukesha County libraries.

Fox Lake library accessibility ordered; new building project advances

According to the Daily Reporter, the Fox Lake Public Library will be required to make accessibility upgrades to its existing library, even while it plans to launch a fund raising campaign and unveil renderings for a new library in mid-August. Though needed accessibility modifications could have cost up to $80,000, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights will require spending only about $25,000 to address the most serious violations.

Monday, July 21, 2008

RFID in Wisconsin libraries

Despite its high cost, several Wisconsin libraries are moving to RFID as a way of cutting staff time needed for materials handling, either leading to reduced staff or enabling existing staff to serve patrons directly. A July 19 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article describes the experience of New Berlin, West Allis, and Greenfield, among others, who have RFID or are exploring their options.

Friday, July 18, 2008

National Center for Education Statistics reports on academic libraries

The NCES has released "Academic Libraries: 2006 First Look," a statistical profile of the libraries serving postsecondary, two- and four-year degree-granting institutions throughout the U.S. The report includes information on services, collections, staff, revenue, and expenditures. The full report, including supplemental tables, is available at:
The public-use data file is available at:
For information about obtaining a restricted-use data license to use the 2006 ALS restricted-use data: .
For more information about this survey, please go to the Library Statistics Program home page at
The DLTCL Electronic Newsletter
Volume 10, Number 38 - July 17, 2008
Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Appleton takes another step toward new library

The Appleton Public Library board voted 6-0 to endorse a consultant's recommendation to build a 138,000-square-foot library in the downtown area, according to a July 15 article in the Appleton Post-Crescent. Terry Dawson, library director, and other officials noted that other options provided in the report have not been ruled out.

OCLC study: connection between perception of libraries and support for funding

OCLC was awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore attitudes and perceptions about library funding and to evaluate the potential of a large-scale marketing and advocacy campaign to increase public library funding in the U.S. The findings of this research are now available in the OCLC report, From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America. Though this study was based on data from the United States, there are findings in the report that could be applicable to any library seeking to understand the connections between public perceptions and library support.

Among the findings from the report:
--Library funding support is only marginally related to library visitation
--Perceptions of librarians are an important predictor of library funding support
--Voters who see the library as a 'transformational' force as opposed to an 'informational' source are more likely to increase taxes in its support
--The report suggests that targeting marketing messages to the right segments of the voting public is key to driving increased support for U.S. public libraries.

Internet increases public use of libraries

An article in the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that library use has increased since the advent of the Internet, contrary to fears that it would bring the library's demise. Brown County Library Director Lynn Stainbrook says that her library has seen a steady increase in demand since 1993. "Libraries are being used more now than the pre-Internet days," Stainbrook said. "Libraries help to conquer the digital divide — between those who have computers and those who don't. All indications are that libraries are going to thrive in the digital age."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Beloit Public Library project launched

Beloit Public Library and community officials held a ground breaking ceremony Wednesday, July 10 for a new 55,000-square foot library to be constructed in a former JC Penney's building. According to the Beloit Daily News, the new library is expected to open in spring 2009.

Racine Public Library faces financial bind

Two related articles in the Racine Journal Times describe financial challenges facing Racine Public Library. According to Jessica MacPhail, library director, quoted in the July 5 Journal Times article, "We've cut staff. We've cut materials. We've cut hours. There's nothing left to cut." Read more about it in the July 5 and the July 6 issues of the Journal Times.

Highsmith Acquired by Lab Safety

According to MarketWatch, part of the Wall Street Journal's Digital Network, Highsmith, Inc. of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, has been acquired by Lab Safety, Inc., a direct marketing subsidiary of W.W. Grainger, Inc. Highsmith is a distributor of supplies, furniture and equipment to all types of libraries in the U.S. and abroad.

Larry Loizzo, President of Lab Safety Supply, said his company plans to build upon the strong Highsmith brand as part of their specialty catalog group.

For many years, Highsmith has supported ALA and state library association initiatives, including programs of the WLA and WLA Foundation. Highsmith sponsors the WLA/Highsmith Award at WLA's annual Awards & Honors banquet, providing $1,000 to a library who has developed an innovative service. In 2007, Highsmith became a Leadership Partner of the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries, a program of the WLA Foundation, and provided cash and in-kind contributions totalling more than $12,000.