Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ALA encourages you to participate in Presidential debates

ALA President Jim Rettig reminds ALA members to submit questions to the Commission on Presidential debates via a new Web site, This site will become available in the days leading up to the first Presidential debate on September 26. The more questions submitted, the more likely a library question will be asked. This is an opportunity for the library voice to become an important part of the 2008 Presidential election.

On Tuesday, October 7, one of the three 2008 Presidential debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. This debate will be a town hall format moderated by Tom Brokaw. The moderator will call on members of the audience as well as select questions submitted online. You can make a difference!

Milwaukee's proposed budget includes library cuts

Calling it the "toughest budget we have ever faced," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett presented a budget this morning with $20 million in spending cuts and the elimination of 180 full-time positions, according to a report in Among other cuts, the budget would require closing two libraries, cutting two fire companies and 56 police officers. Barrett also presented an alternative, "preferred" budget that included a 4.8 percent increase in fees and property taxes for the average homeowner. With the fee increase, there would still be $13 million in cuts, but no library closures, though hours would be reduced. His preferred budget also would freeze cost of living adjustments for managers, eliminate 100 positions, trim $1.5 million from the library system and reduce some public works services. While there are many cuts, his preferred budget also includes a $5.4 million increase for street maintenance, $1 million for the Villard Street library improvement project, $325,000 for a youth jobs program and $2 million for an automated materials processing and checkout system for the Central Library.

Business of Childen's Publishing program at Carthage College Oct. 17-18

The Center for Children’s Literature at Carthage College in Kenosha will present an inside look at “The Business of Children’s Publishing,” October 17th and 18th, Hedberg Library, 9am to 2pm. This year’s program features: Publisher Dinah Stevenson, Marketing Manager Jason Wells, Agent George Nicholson, Editor Susan Pearson, Art Director Marijka Kostiw.

For more information, contact John Warren Stewig, Director, Center for Children's Literature, Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, WI 53140, (262)-552-5480.

First Lady invites libraries to participate in statewide book club

Read On Wisconsin, the brainchild of First Lady Jessica Doyle, is a statewide book club for students and book-lovers across the state. Mrs. Doyle invites libraries to get involved in Read On by encouraging children to read the recommended books, then discuss and blog about them. This year’s top picks are recommended by students and educators across the state. Online tools and a book list for each age group are available at

ALA launches Web site upgrade

ALA reports that it has launched its new, more user-centered Web site. The upgrade is the result of a two-year, member-driven redesign process. For more information, click Visibility @ your library provides librarians and library supporters with news and information about important communications issues from ALA’s Public Information Office and the Campaign for America’s Libraries.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

UW-Madison libraries adapt to changing student habits

Libraries at UW-Madison have added space for student seating, better views - and at College Library, even a coffee shop - in order to meet changing student research and study habits, according to news reports. Articles in the Wisconsin State Journal and Chicago Tribune discuss trends in campus libraries, which UW-Libraries director Ken Frazier says also result from the availability of information in digital form.

Lab Safety moves Highsmith operations to Janesville

The Capital Times reports on September 5 that Lab Safety Supply of Janesville, which acquired Highsmith in July, will close the Fort Atkinson plant this fall and eliminate 86 jobs, moving the remainder of approximately 200 positions to Janesville. Highsmith, founded in 1956, distributes supplies, furniture and equipment to all types of libraries and schools. Lab Safety officials say they intend to build upon Highsmith's solid brand position. The company has also been a generous sponsor of ALA and WLA programs and activities, including the WLA Foundation's Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries.