Monday, August 25, 2008

Janesville library director will host five school librarians from Russia

Bryan McCormick, director at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, will host five school librarians from the Chuvashia region of Russia on September 28 to October 5 through Open World, which brings emerging leaders to the U.S. to learn more about the country, its democratic institutions and free-market economy. After spending three days in Washington, D.C., the librarians will come to Janesville to tour school libraries and businesses in the area, visit the State Capitol and take in cultural activities. There will be a public open house for the visitors at Hedberg Public Library Monday, September 29.

A federal program, Open World was set up in 1999 as a Russian-U.S. exchange pilot program administered by the Library of Congress. Since then, Congress has expanded Open World to operate in all countries. McCormick first got involved with Open World in 2003 when he was in Fairmont, MN. In 2004, he hosted a group of librarians, including a woman who became his wife in 2006! On July 30, 2008, Bryan won an award as an Outstanding Wisconsin Host.

Friday, August 22, 2008

E-government services: what's best library response?

A blog posting by Retiring Guy (aka Paul Nelson) shares information about a Florida Study on e-government and libraries and notes that challenges facing Wisconsin libraries are similar to those detailed in the study. The study, summarized in a posting, recommends more staff training, direct support for libraries as providers of e-government services and resources from local, state, and national governments, and collaboration between libraries and government agencies on the design and implementation of e-government services.

Here in Wisconsin, the Department of Revenue is working with public libraries and systems to significantly reduce filing of paper tax forms by encouraging online filings at public access computers. Paul mentions that the Department of Workforce Development may be open to working with libraries on a redesigned jobs website and job assistance resources.

Read the full posting at Retiring Guy's Digest.

Madison's tight budget forces it to look at library cuts

While news reports are that Mayor Dave Cieselewicz doesn't want to close the Monroe Street Branch of the Madison Public Library, that's one of the options as he faces tough budget decisions. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, all departments were asked to submit both a baseline budget and one trimming that by five percent. The Library Board voted to include the closure as a way of reducing their baseline request. Read more about neighborhood reaction and budget issues facing the city of Madison.

WI Public Library Consortium wins Digital Pioneer Award

The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium was recognized for innovation and excellence in leading technologies for authentication for member libraries at Digipalooza '08. Digipalooza is a national library user conference sponsored by library vendors with a focus this year on online community building and advancing download technology. Read the complete story, which includes a list of all 13 winners of "Digies" and conference sponsors.

Milwaukee Public Library faces budget challenge

Milwaukee's city budget director, Mark Nicolini, says final decisions have not been made, but libraries will lose funding in 2009. A report by Milwaukee Public Radio says that some concerned citizens are collecting signatures to petition to save neighborhood branches. City officials say national economic woes are affecting Milwaukee and requiring cuts of four to five percent, and there are not many positive alternatives.

Read the transcript of the full report by WUWM-FM.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rhinelander library's circulation increases 3 percent

Continuing a string of articles around the state about booming business at libraries, the Rhinelander Daily News reported that Rhinelander District Library circulation is up 3 percent from last year. The article also describes how support from the Bump Art Collection fund, the Northern Arts Council, and Rhinelander Library Foundation, among others, has allowed the library to feature author visits and develop special collections. The library was the 2005 WLA Library of the Year.