Saturday, October 31, 2009

House Re-Introduces SKILLS Act Emphasizing Role of School Librarians

The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, or the SKILLs Act, was re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week with support from both sides of the aisle. This legislation is intended to ensure that all students will have the support and resources they need for a quality education by establishing a goal that all public school libraries employ no less than one highly qualified school library media specialist.

H.R. 3928 was introduced by Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-7) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI-3) and was referred to the House Education and Labor Committee.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

URGENT: Act Now to Reform the Patriot Act!

From ALA District Dispatch:

Call your member in the House of Representatives and urge her/him to reform the USA PATRIOT Act now! Please ask your representative to co-sponsor the USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845), introduced by Rep. Conyers (MI-14) and others on October 20, 2009.

Mr. Conyers and the other cosponsors should be thanked for introducing H.R. 3845.
A mark-up in the House Judiciary Committee is currently scheduled for Wednesday, November 4. Your calls are urgently needed before this mark-up! Call your individual representative’s office or the U.S. Capital switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

BACKGROUND: Three PATRIOT Act provisions are set to expire on December 31, 2009. This is the best chance we have had in the last eight years to get significant reforms to Section 215, often called the “library provision,” and to national security letters (NSLs).
The USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 protects constitutional speech and privacy rights by:

  • Amending the NSL statute to ensure that the government only obtains financial, communication and credit records of people believed to be terrorists or spies;
  • Requiring the government to convince a court that a national security gag order is necessary; and
  • Ensuring that Section 215 does not authorize collection of library and bookstore records if they contain individualized information on the patron.

To find out who your member of Congress is, please go to the Legislative Action Center:

Library grassroots advocacy efforts have helped lead to the introduction of this strong Conyers bill to bring balance back to our civil liberties while allowing law enforcement to fight terrorist threats. We must do everything we can to ensure that the House of Representatives passes H.R. 3845, a bill that can lead to genuine reform of the deeply-flawed USA PATRIOT Act.

This is especially so because the Senate is set to pass a bill with far, far weaker reforms. Also, as expected, there is significant opposition to these reforms, including from the White House, the Department of Justice and the House Intelligence Committee. Many calls from library supporters and others will be needed to overcome this opposition. Call now with the following message:

  • Pass H.R. 3845 to protect reader privacy and other First Amendment activities in libraries and bookstores;
  • Reform Section 215 and national security letters so that a higher legal standard is required to obtain these types of orders;
  • Ensure and maintain the legal right to challenge gag orders and require judicial review and reassessment to continue such gag orders;
  • Continue the required audits and public reports so that Congress and the public can assess the impact of these laws; and
  • Maintain the sunsets so that there can be regular Congressional and public oversight to protect against abuses of law enforcement powers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Register Now to Attend Library Advocacy Day at the ALA Conference

On June 29, 2010, at 11 a.m., library advocates from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will meet at Upper Senate Park on the U.S. Capitol grounds to participate in Library Advocacy Day (LAD).

Register now to attend!

LAD will feature guest speakers, photo ops, and a chance to cheer on libraries! After the rally, participants will meet with their elected officials and their staffs. The states with the most people will be featured front and center, which means they are the ones that will be in the majority of pictures. Make sure your state is the most represented so your group can be in the most pictures!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WLA 2009: "West Bend Librarians and Community Activists Share Censorship Stories"

Presented by Michael Tyree, director, Kristin Pekoll, young adult librarian, Barbara Deters, board president, and Mary Reilly-Kliss, former library board member, all of West Bend Community Memorial Library.

Though I had followed the case closely, I was anxious to hear first hand the entire story of West Bend's experience in addressing multiple changes to young adult and GLBTQ materials during 2009.

Oh, what a story they had to tell! As the board president said, it could be you. And it very well could be. Is your collection development policy in place? Do you have a process and procedure for dealing with reconsideration of materials? What about complaints about your website (which is actually how these challenges started)?

In West Bend's case, the challenge/complaint kept changing, while the complainants were backed, and advised, by national, conservative organizations. The library was tried in the press, and in several blogs. Library board members whose terms were up were not reappointed, something that had never happened before, or happens rarely.

A highlight of the presentation was a video recording of one of the meetings at which citizens on both sides of the issue testified. Little or no commentary was needed.

I'd like to think that we all, if confronted by similar challenges, would handle ourselves with such courage, resolve, and grace.

WLA 2009: "Motivational Magic: Keeping Your Passion in Times"

presented by Marcy Heim, The Artful Asker.

Although her main focus is working with groups to help them with fundraising, this session was about "13 factors for joy and success." The mnemonic is "RELATIONSHIPS."

R = Respect
E = Encouragement
L = Listening
A = Appreciation/Gratitude
T = Trust
I = Intuition
O = Order
N = Nurturing/Understanding
S = Sense of Humor
H = Hope and faith
I = Integrity
P = Passion
S = Sleep and eat (and exercise)

For each of the 13 factors she asked us to come up with one action we will try to do every day.

Why are relationships important? Relationships, more than any other factor, determine the quality of your life. Choose to focus on the people in our lives at work and home--this is what helps you keep your passion.

WLA 2009: "ADA Refreshed: Ensuring Access for Everyone"

Robin A. Jones, Director, DBTAC--Great Lakes ADA Center, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Excellent program, starting with a little review of ADA and its purposes, and legal obligations of entities under the law. Also takes a look at Wisconsin state law, which luckily for us, unlike some other states, apparently, is pretty consistent with ADA.

More citizens than ever are over age 55, and more citizens have disabilities. Jones spent time on educating us on the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 which will expand the definition of "person with a disability." In addition, limitations in the Act's list of major life activities may also constitute a disability.

Jones covered such topics of interest to libraries as: building access, service animals, communication, and virtual accessibility.

For more information see

WLA 2009: "Is Your Community Money Smart?"

Speakers: Lori Burgess, Fond du Lac Public Library, Christine Arkenberg, Milwaukee Public Library, Jeff Dawson, Lester Public Library (Two Rivers), Dave Mancl, Office of Financial Literacy.

This was great--The Office of Financial Literacy in the Department of Financial Institutions will help your library and others you partner with to sponsor workshops, seminars, programs, events, and other activities aimed at improving financial literacy. They'll help with printing, securing speakers, and other things. As Jeff Dawson of Two Rivers said, this is the 3rd year his library has participated in Money Smart week, "without lifting a finger."

Seems to me, given the current economy, these types of programs are a great idea. Partner with local college or tech school to offer programs for freshmen who are managing their money for the first time. Partner with senior centers to offer programs for senior citizens who are living on a fixed income. You get the idea.

Money Smart Week is October 2-9 in 2010. See for more info!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Members Round Table Events in Appleton

On Thursday, October 22, the WLA's
New Members Round Table sponsored two well-attended sessions at the annual WLA Conference in Appleton. The first, titled "Who Gets The Job and Why", had three diverse library managers with significant experience hiring employees discussing the job application process and offering tips for job-seeking librarians to rise to the top of applicant pools. The panelists were Kathy Schneider, Director of
WiLS; Peter Gilbert, University Librarian at Lawrence University's Seely G. Mudd Library; and Tasha Saecker, Director of the
Menasha Public Library. All offered excellent insights into the hiring process, which can be a bit of a mystery to those in the job hunt. There was ample time for a number of questions and the audience certainly had a lot of them. The wide-ranging discussion, I think, was helpful to those attendees with anxieties about the current job market and gave them a better understanding of how to approach future job opportunities.

The second session, "Networking is the Key", included four panelists and was moderated by the WLA's Lisa Strand, who also had much to offer to the discussion. The panelists included Pamela O'Donnell and Sheila Stoeckel, academic librarians at UW-Madison; Walter Burkhalter, Director of the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System; and Rhonda Puntney, Youth Services and Special Needs Consultant for the Lakeshores Library System. All have been heavily involved in the WLA and other organizations related to their specializations. They talked about the beneficial career relationships resulting from their involvement in their respective efforts and the challenges of balancing their work and volunteer obligations. These librarians offered those of us new to the profession something to model and showed us ways even new librarians can make a real difference. Thanks to all of our panelists and watch for future NMRT-sponsored events coming up soon!

Book Cart Drill Team on TV

Fox 11, WLUK, did broadcast a piece on the Book Cart Drill Team!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

WLA 2009: "Library Services for the Homeless Population in Wisconsin"

Library Services for the Homeless Population in Wisconsin: Findings of a Study
Timothy Blomquist, UW-Milwaukee SOIS
  • Sponsored by WLA Outreach Services Section
  • Research for his Masters thesis
  • Conducted survey April-May 2008
  • 388 public libraries - sent survey
  • 260 responses - 67% response rate, 1 invalid
  • 16 questions
  • questionnaire - had definitions
  • He got the impression that people aren't aware of the issues


  • 2.5-3.5 million people homeless annually (in U.S.) - 39% children
  • 700,000-2 million each night
  • 12 million have experienced homelessness at some point (7%+ of population)
  • 600,000 families with 1.35 million children experience homelessness each year
  • Definitions vary - without permanent or adequate shelter
  • Really, it's not just lacking a place to sleep - lacking storage for belongings, pulled away from friends/ family/ school/ support
  • WI ServicePoint Homeless Management Information System
  • Causative factors: Veterans, roommate/family conflict, eviction, low/no income, domestic violence, criminal history, addiction, institutional discharge, physical/mental disabilities, can't find affordable housing, disaster, illness, injury, moved to seek work, in transit, denied/delayed/term public assistance
  • Response from small communities = "we don't have homeless," one said "because we don't have apartments"
  • Every county has support system, based in larger population areas; Homeless Emergency Shelter Provider Regions
  • Small towns often don't have best support systems, but libraries can provide simple resources (handouts etc. pointing to shelter)
  • Emergency Shelter Use - 1/1-10/1/09 - 40.1% African-American
  • no stats from privately funded shelters, such as one of largest in Milwaukee
  • 1.3 million children/teens homeless nation-wide; 17,000 in Wisconsin
  • Almost half are turned away from shelters each night because demand exceeds space
  • Information needs = finances, relationships, childcare, literacy, housing, health, employment, education, transportation, public assistance (Hersberger 2001) - similar needs to general public
  • library classification - many rural 73% - factor in why not services or interested in implementing
  • Lack of funds, no need/homeless

Survey Questions

  • Survey Question: would you attend a conference on public library services for the homeless? 15.2% yes, 41.4% undecided, 43% no
  • 11.4% said they had services for the homeless
  • Others said: existing support outside library, never thought of it, lack of funds/staff, lack of outside support/partner, patrons need an ID, other (7.7% - not problem, fear, all services available to all, no one would use it, no apartments, none have contacted us)
  • stereotypes: smell, looks, argumentative, disruptive, sleep inside/outside, drink alcohol, violent, bring in food
  • teenagers can be disruptive, too, but we still serve them
  • libraries are a public space, people come because quiet, warm/cool, comfortable, safe, things to do, job resources, computers
  • Survey Question: Will be offered in future? yes 1.6%, 47.6% undecided
  • What needed to offer? homeless pop/demonstrated need, funds/staff/resources, evaluate/research/identify, training, partner, unsure 2.8%, other 3.6%, info/requests from social service agencies, more space 1.2%
  • As simple as a card/handout with basic info = few resources to do
  • other = update strategic plan, plan for lost/damaged, ID, if problem would identify, what entail showers/lockers?, hire new director
  • one overly negative response, large urban library - shouldn't be a director - we treat all equally - people with many challenges - special services for the homeless"???"
  • those that do have services = 11
  • Survey Question: have you trained staff to handle? = 3
  • Q: Do homeless share status with staff? A: Can't tell who's homeless [but they usually have to give an address which is in their record...]
  • Survey Question: if can't check out, what else: onsite materials, computer/internet, temp card, other ID, need a shelter contact, restricted access (ex: 3 items)
  • online in the library = 8, in and out library = 1
  • Recommend shelter/other referral rather than ID if need such
  • mailing address could include shelters, church, hotel, social service office, etc.
  • maybe only 4 had specialized programs for homeless actually - housing consultation space/promotion
  • would it work to have a union member database so that you can only have full membership at one library?
  • "we're just trying to stay open" - if can provide game night, can print out a flyer
  • Survey Question: actively promote? = 2 [he meant literature at services desk]
  • homeless kit provided by county agency, fliers, newspaper articles, radio, tv, distro to agencies
  • Survey Question: types of requests: housing, employment, other, education/training, literacy, legal. (other: meal programs, ESL, bus schedule, newspapers, trained staff for ref q's)
  • Survey Question: what would it take to change? someone to take the lead, stengthen communication to serive providers, separate room for esl, limit checkouts to halfway houses/abuse shelters as we do for homeless
  • some have homes but no heat/phone/etc.
  • one library says they limit number and size of bags allowed to bring into library
  • one library in a small community - someone will vouch for temporarily homeless

Existing & possible services

  • Some libraries: collections in shelters, children's services, temp cards, computer access, outreach, listing services, cultural programs
  • provide a handout listing local food, health, housing, welfare, legal aid, winter shelter, g.e.d. prep, locations for showers
  • in homeless shelters: reading rooms, programming, films, parenting workshops, storytime, literacy (parents can be working 2-3 jobs, no time to support learning needs of children)
  • take kids to cultural events, museums etc.
  • provide transportation from shelters
  • phone use for homeless needs
  • "The Homeless Guy" Blog - newsletter - issues, information, advocate
  • Resumes, email, contact other homeless, reaching out, communicating, create community
  • can contact local agencies to know what's available, for referral
  • partners: salvation army, emergency shelter, cots, head start, literacy coalition, health dept, safe and sound, pearls for teen girls, journey house, friends of the community/amigos de la communidad, domestic abuse shelter, food pantries, red cross

In closing

  • libraries are doing good things - just a few were negative
  • transient patrons only there for 1-2 weeks
  • He doesn't think you need a social work background - librarians have breadth of knowledge
  • You do need awareness, understanding, sympathy, non-judgemental attitude
  • Both rural and affluent assume no homeless

WLA 2009: Lynda Barry "Writing the Unthinkable"

[How exciting to even be in the same room as Lynda Barry! I've got celebrity awe...]

Writing the Unthinkable
Lynda Barry, multi-talented artist

  • Recent book "What It Is" won WLA award
  • Born in Wisconsin, again living in Wisconsin
  • nervous
  • sweat will Roschach you into a past life
  • first breakup figured might as well get my wisdom teeth out - it already hurts
  • singing to tune of Coalminers daughter - daughter of meat cutter and janitor from Phillipines
  • German Shepherd look "she doesn't look Filipino" - quarter Norwegian, and that'll suck the color right out of you
  • All she ever wanted to do was move back to the Midwest
  • Lives in "Greater Footville"
  • Yahtzee - 2009 - award from Wisconsin libraries and now speaking to them - coma inducing excitement


  • emily dickinson poems can be sung to many tunes - gershwin - loneliness as a good thing - library can sustain that kind of loneliness, good kind, of wanting something
  • Smelling books is all the antidepressant I need
  • Librarians good at people watching - always look busy like not paying attention, but you know who's in library - which kids are trouble - handing kid a book or laying on a table


  • Went to Evergreen State College 1974 - how I got into college is cuz they needed hippies really bad, and not enough in area - all had to do was glue lentils into shape of a peace sign to get full scholarship
  • "Images" class - marilyn frasca[sp?] - asked a q: what is an image?
  • Anything we call the arts is a container for what she called an image
  • Remember your first phone number? - we all remember it - how about 3 numbers ago? - different areas of brain
  • image is spontaneous, not trying - it just comes up, and it feels alive - emotions attached
  • biological function - kids with blankie - always something in their hands - like librarian with pen or pencil - kid in airport all he had left was the leg of his incredible hunk doll - first artwork - personality into it - is it alive? no, but don't say it's dead - something in between
  • book somebody gave you - they say they thought about you the whole time - favorite part? main character and conflict, then resolution... - finally read it - tickling feeling 20 pages in "this could be a good book" - like falling in love - don't mess this up, man! - can't put it down - that world - slow down when reading the last 40 pages - you lay in bed and hold that book - you want to kiss it - the object is forever changed
  • image is specific - I wanted to know how to get an imaginary friend - realized I could lie - i had an imaginary imaginary friend - I had a friend with a real imaginary friend - name Sprinkles - only talk through moving fan - you can't make that up - friend tried to keep a journal every day - he found it from high school - started reading, all feelings, no details - he was so upset it was lik original footage of battle of waterloo shot by monkey - just bananas, bananas, bananas
  • image is satisfying even if it doesn't make total sense - The Rascals - groovin on a sunday afternoon - that would be ecstasy - you and me and leslie groovin - really you and me endlessly groovin - not as good, can't picture it

Writing & creativity

  • reliable structure - thought you needed a symbol of death to fit story arc - didn't realize that it already existed - don't have a ribcage because it was drawn by doctors
  • if I start drawing, kids will always talk to me - i tell them I'm a cartoonist, they say draw a chicken, and they say you are! in Footville they say you hold on to that dream - when they ask what kind of books I write, i say horror cuz that's the look on their face
  • scribble game with kids - ooh ooh I have a story and you can draw it! - chicken attack by jack - chicken eaten by man, went to portolet, out came chicken, make chicken boss of construction site
  • first book wrote in 10 days in really big handwriting - next one took 10 years - i already knew what story was ging to be, knew story arc, and wrote on a computer
  • "if i was doing this, how would i do it?" - if I was a kid, how would i do it? first make the book with construction paper and staples
  • babysat kid who dictated story to me word by word, wouldn't give me the next word until i'd written it down
  • everybody smoked while doing everything - mom smoked while watching bambi at movie theater - cake decorator perfect writing in frosting - i thought after painting book i could do this - finished story in 9 months
  • when people say i wish i could draw, wish i could dance... - we give up so early - radio: if you want to be a ballerina, have to begin by age 3 - you hear at age 9 and give up - art - we give it to professionals - can only sing happy birthday, only movement left is exercise and you need an outfit so people know what you're doing - drawing = doodling while on hold - i ask people who say they can't draw, sculpture = peeling label off beer bottle while someone tells you their crazy dream from last night - if you want someone to care, say "that you were in" "at the end"
  • brain looks in deep concentration like kid in deep play - not "fun" - it's some other thing - not playing with truck, but truck is playing with you
  • all around world, people know if you have a kid who wasn't ever allowed to play will become a psychokiller - we know first hand - you can't play, but let's watch a kid playing really well with legos (picture, video, live) - does that help? no - same with adults
  • adults don't think they can make something for no reason, just for experience
  • brother would fold paper and draw line, draw 2 stick men with grenades and stare at it in cereal trance - ingredients have never looked so beautiful - after, he'd draw the war in red crayon, and yell out the words "incoming! save yourself!" - the paper didn't mean anything, he didn't keep it
  • element of anxiety in play
  • moms are on cell phones while with kids - playing with food, not sure he knew he was playing until mom said "what are you doing?" - we have internal voice
  • if I was in a bar having a beer - which you can say in wisconsin to anyone! - no one would come up to you and say why are you doing that? you could be cleaning.

Helping people to write

  • story of your life - often sounds like an obituary - i was born in xxxx, my mom was xxx, my dad was xxx, i went to xxx college, and then she died.
  • picture car from childhood - are you inside or outside? - which seat? - which part facing? - day or night? - season? - how old are you? - directly in front of you? - to right? - to left? - behind you? - feet? - above head?
  • you can do that with any noun - haircuts, teeth, dogs, other peoples' mothers - gerunds - squatting
  • local historical society in Footville area - people who want to write their lives but don't knjow how - first person present tense for 8 minutes like happening right now - coming from image - always contain history
  • walk down street and smell something remind you to aunt and uncle's house - flooding - one moment you're there and then not - happens thousands times each day - just need to freeze in that and ask above questions
  • mental health - does life feel like it's something worth living?
  • you as librarians are the guardians of the images - platform of meaningful life, and not being bored
  • state of mind when listening to a joke - neighbors introduced themselves: Donovan and Joni Mitchell - really - joni loves jokes a little naughty like a lot of wisconsin women - oh come here i've got one for you -dog snored so bad she could never get sleep - vet didnt kow what to do - heard something if you tie a ribbon around dog's balls, will stop snoring - dog named chainsaw - did it and he quit snoring - husband out with boys and goes to bed - starts snoring - does same - quits snoring - good night's sleep - husband goes to take a pee - i can't remember what we did last night, but by god we took first and second place
  • to get that joke you had to hold your mind open, not trying to figure out joke - joke is image, image, image, image goes to that - wireless communication - now you're going to go out and tell it - doesn't belong to anyone, belongs to everyone

"What It Is"

  • Reading from "What It Is" - thank you for the award - done without a computer -
  • what is an image - the formless thing that gives things form* "something can only become an illusion..." when you experience disillusionment
  • "there are certain children who are told they are too sensitive..."
  • sculpture the thinker - doesn't he look like he's never going to get another idea ever? - i have the piece of paper i'm working on, and the one next to it to keep my hand working - most important thing someone could have told me growing up
  • doris mitchell school teacher in hillsborough wisconsin - her nephew donovan mitchell - she had kept all students papers in basement of farmhouse - sedimentary layers - i take her wherever i go because she didn't get to travel

Importance of books and the arts

  • phantom limb pain - ramachandran - was ruining guy's life - dr. r had idea - built box with mirror so he could see mirror image of other arm - made fist then opened and relaxed - his pain went away - that's what images are
  • book that saved life relieved phantom limb pain - nothing other than image can open up certain things
  • notion that arts are an option, expendable - where do you put it in bookstore? - let's just take it out of schools - we ignore it at our peril because they're about as hard to come by as opposable thumbs
  • party trick - wisconsin people are good at it - they have one trick - guy who can dance with beer on head - how'd you learn that
  • I can sing without moving my lips - puffs out cheeks and sings inside - you are my sunshine


  • Q: writing on a computer? A: at a certain point does work, but after the fact - took first draft and copy it - i do that with my students - i let it expand if it wanted to - copied again on manual typewriter - no delete button - i knew the story by then - next copied on computer - rule that i couldn't think about swtory unless had brush/pen in hand - our brains and hands shape have a lot to do with each other - difference in brain - writing is drawing - spatial relationships - lines are different - when are using brush, supposed to be exhaling - something about hands, and using fingers, not having delete button - computers are email source, distracting, deals you make with your computer
  • Q: your images are flooding experience for me - i need to go out and buy your book for 14 year old daughter on verge of voice of reason taking over - you and public school teachers are the last possible person who can keep people from becoming just observers - reading is participating. A: if past 11/12, probably will keep. if you met a 4 year old who was terrified to draw a line with a crayon, you'd worry - but not 40 year old? - kids go to a page to find something - adults think they have to make something - remember using your hand as template for drawing a turkey?

Parting words

  • Arts are not an elective, we ignore it at our peril
  • Award and invitation meant so much to me - I've never given a talk at 8:45 in the morning before

WLA 2009: Canoe the Open Content Rapids

Canoe the Open Content Rapids
Dorothea Salo, UW System Digital Content Group


  • Digital storytelling - copyright issues over pulling from files found on Google Images - sets a bad example
  • Scholarship reasons to provide copyright education, provide proper information sources
  • Different from country to country
  • Instructors tend to violate copyright, as well as avoid activities that are probably fine


  • Limited monopoly over original works that are fixed in a tangible medium (includes stuff on Internet)
  • It's in the Constitution - not about making money, about promoting "progress of science and the useful arts"
  • Life of author + 70 years; 95 years corporate entities
  • OK to copy for scholarship, parody/satire, library preservation, classroom use; limited copying for other reasons = "fair use"
  • You can: a) sell in whole/part, b) give it away for free, c) license it for free/payment
  • Faculty generally fall into (b) without realizing it - they think because they wrote an article, they own it
  • Fair use - only way you know for certain is if you're sued and win
  • General guidelines do exist
  • Legislation has become more and more restrictive; results - culturejamming

Public domain

  • Prefer to think of things as "rising" into the public domain, not "falling"
  • Google Books - includes items clearly in the public domain (pre-1923), others clearly under copyright, others are "orphan works" because we don't know who owns copyright (or if they're alive etc.)
  • Hathi Trust will decide whether items Google is vacillating about are actually in the public domain
  • Musopen - building collection of online recordings - raise money for your group to record a piece (long-dead composers, score acquired legally) and upload
  • Flickr Commons - photographs in public domain; allows libraries and other digitizers to share and receive comments
  • Project Gutenberg - one of the first; scanned, transcribed public domain texts
  • Gov docs - work produced by fed employees in course of jobs is in public domain (except classified works); includes images
  • State gov docs = depends on the state

Open access

  • Includes peer-reviewed works, digital collections, working papers, technical reports, conference presentations, crowd-sourced solutions to mathematical problems
  • "Green" open access - "self-archiving" (not really), repositories (Dorothea doesn't like the term)
  • "Gold" open access - originally published open access, no subscription fees, no cost to access
  • "Mandates" - FACULTY granting to their institutions the right to post their research results online (some places aren't considering publications towards tenure unless they're deposited in repository; controversy over whether open access publications are getting a citation edge); FUNDERS especially federal agencies want taxpayer-funded research results to be available freely to the public; LIBRARIES at research institutions]
  • Biggest tool to find OA materials = OAIster (soon to become part of WorldCat); also DOAJ, Google, Google Scholar
  • Open Courses - controversial -
  • Learning materials - OER Commons, MERLOT (long-standing) - points to materials stored elsewhere, ODEPO directory
  • Creative Commons - generate license granting specific rights for your works (attribution, no derivatives, non-commercial use, requirement to release the new work under the same license)
  • Flickr has a Creative Commons search, or Flickr Storm has advanced CC license search
  • Music (ccMixter, Incompetech, Jamendo)

To Do

  • When you accept a work for digitization, educate the creator and ask for their desired status for the items
  • Read all publication agreements, and ask for what you want - Dorothea hasn't heard of any publishers taking back their decision to publish based on copyright addenda
  • Instead of libraries and librarians being the "copyright cop" - promote Creative Commons

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twitter hashtag for 2009 WLA Conference

TwitterIf you’ll be attending the WLA Conference October 20-23, 2009 and plan to use Twitter to "tweet" about it, please use the #wla09 hashtag so others can easily find your updates.

As soon as the conference starts, we’ll be putting a Twitter widget here on the blog to aggregate all the #wla09 tweets.

See you there!

Friday, October 16, 2009

RSRT Newsletter (Sharing)--October 2009 issue

The most recent issue of Sharing, the newsletter of the Resource Sharing Roundtable (RSRT), is now available at We hope you enjoy it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

WLA and Unit Election Results

The WLA Nominations & Elections Committee, co-chaired by Mark Arend and Laurie Magee, announce that the 2010 WLA President-elect is Rhonda Puntney, Youth Service and Special Needs Consultant, Lakeshores Library System; WLA Treasurer is Jan Berg, Director, DeForest Public Library, and WLA Foundation Board member is Jane Pearlmutter, Associate Director, UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies. Congratulations to all newly elected leaders, and a sincere thank you to all candidates who put themselves forward in service to the association. The complete elections results are available at

Thursday, October 08, 2009

"Botany of Desire" Documentary Premier at WLA Conference

Join us on October 20, 7 pm, at the WLA Conference for a special Reel to Real event, a screening of the film adaptation of journalist Michael Pollan's best-selling book, "Botany of Desire." Two of Pollan's desires, sweetness and beauty, are featured in this screening; the entire documentary will air October 28, 7 pm, on Wisconsin Public Television.

The documentary begins in the author's own home garden before the film journeys to the apple orchards of Kazakhstan, the tulip markets of Amsterdam, a medical marijuana hot house and the potato fields of South America. These four famous plants share histories with corresponding human desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control over food production. The developmental relationship between human beings and the plants is what Pollan calls 'the botany of desire'.

This Reel to Real event is supported by program innovation funding from the UW Extension Chancellor's Office and UW Health. For more information about how you can get involved in Reel to Real showings at your library, please contact the WLA office.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

WLA Recruiting New WeLead Class

We are extremely enthusiastic to announce that recruitment has begun for a new class of WeLeaders (Wisconsin Emerging Librarians Exploring and Developing). WeLead was an initiative that began in 2005 as part of the WLA Membership Committee. The program was created to cultivate a group of leaders that would in turn strengthen WLA.

For 2010, we are accepting application for three to five protégés. The WeLead program offers incredible benefits to the participants. The protégés receive a one-year WLA membership, stipends to attend the WLA annual conference for three years, a stipend to attend one additional conference (WAAL, WAPL, WEMA or SSS) during the three-year initiative, an appointment to a WLA committee, special leadership programming opportunities, and they are paired with a current leader within WLA to serve as their mentor.
Many of the previous protégés has become involved within the leadership of WLA, and we are proud of their accomplishments. Both Kelley Hinton and Kyle Neugebauer were on the planning committee for last year’s WAAL conference in Green Lake. Melissa McLimans and Katharine Clark have both participated in WLA leadership positions – in MATS and P2C2, respectively. To learn more about the experiences of the current class, we encourage you to attend their panel, After the Honeymoon: Strategies for Success as a New/Emerging Librarian, at the upcoming WLA conference,

We are also recruiting new mentors to work with our new class of protégés. The WeLead Task Force indebted to the mentors who have partnered with the 2007 class: Claudia Backus, Emily Rogers, Deb Shapiro, and Linda Vincent. These mentors have been checking in with their protégés to ensure that any questions they have are answered and have been helping them to network within WLA. The program would not work without them. If you are interested in sharing your expertise, please consider applying to be a WeLead mentor. The return on your investment is enormous!

We also wish to thank the tireless WeLead task force: Jess Bruckner, Kirsten Houtman, Ann Hunt, Gretchen Revie, Tasha Saecker, and past chair Anna Lewis. WLA is supporting the protégés through generous contributions from WAAL, WAPL, Embury, Ltd., the WLA Foundation, and CSRT. A sincere and hearty thank you to the WeLead contributors!

For more information on the program, as well the application form (for both protégés and mentors), please visit The deadline for applications is January 31, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
-- Pamela O’Donnell, Chair, WeLead Task Force,, 608-263-2014