Monday, December 20, 2010

DEMCO Aquires Highsmith

MADISON, Wisconsin (December 20, 2010) - DEMCO, Inc., a leading library supplier, has acquired the assets of Highsmith, an award-winning educational products and library supplier, from W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving business and institutions.

The acquisition of Highsmith®, which includes the Upstart® and Edupress® brands, broadens the DEMCO® product line, creating a richer offering of products and services to better serve the needs of librarians and K-12 educators nationwide.

DEMCO President Mike Grasee said, “DEMCO and Highsmith have a shared commitment to serving the library community: school, public, and academic. For more than 100 years, DEMCO has provided quality solutions for libraries. Together, we will continue that tradition into the future.”

In the library supplies market, Highsmith has deep roots in primary and secondary schools. The addition of Highsmith helps DEMCO grow its products and services to become an indispensable resource for libraries and schools across the country.

Grasee said, “In addition to the library products business, we are also excited about the addition of the Edupress and Upstart brands. They complement the DEMCO offering with unique products that include games, books and learning materials that support literacy and make learning fun. Combining all of these highly-respected brands under one roof gives DEMCO a greater reach into the school market.”

The Highsmith business will operate from the DEMCO facilities in Madison and Deforest, Wis. DEMCO currently employs 245 coworkers and anticipates hiring an additional 60-75 people to support the acquisition of the Highsmith business; the vast majority of whom will come from Highsmith.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Madison Mayor Shares Value of Library, Central Remodel Plans

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz blogs his ideas about why libraries are valuable and changing institutions, as he applauds the plans for revamping the Central Library. He says the plans are "less about where to put stacks of books than they are about making the library a vibrant and flexible place to discover and share ideas." He's also touting the current plan as cheaper than previous proposals, which included a complete rebuild on a new site and a mixed use development.

Another report: Daily Cardinal

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chris Wagner One of 10 Carnegie/NYT I Love My Librarian Award Winners

(NEW YORK – Dec. 7, 2010) Today, branch librarian Christina “Chris” Wagner of the Goodman South Madison (Wis.) Branch Library was named one of 10 librarians recognized for service to her community as a winner of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

Wagner works to provide low-income adults with educational resources. For the past eight years, the library has hosted the University of Wisconsin Odyssey Project, an award-winning free college humanities course for adults near the poverty level. 

Wagner has been a WLA member for nearly 20 years. In 2006, she and Carolyn Forde, received the WLA/Highsmight Award for creating th South Madison Game Night at the Madison Public Library's South Madison Branch. 

More than 2,000 library supporters nationwide nominated a librarian.  The nine additional award recipients are:

Paul Clark
Clay County Library System
Fleming Island, Fla.

Ellen M. Dolan
Shrewsbury Public Library
Shrewsbury, Mass.

Jeff Dowdy
Bainbridge College Library
Bainbridge, Ga.

Laura Farwell Blake
Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.

Melissa McCollum
County of Los Angeles Public Library, Lawndale Library
Lawndale, Calif.

Kelley I. McDaniel
Helen King Middle School
Portland, Maine

Patricia J. Updike
Webb Street School
Gastonia, N.C.

Doug Valentine
McKillop Elementary School
Melissa, Texas

Stefanie Wittenbach
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Each of the 10 award winners receives a $5,000 cash award and will be honored at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times, on Dec. 9.

More information about the award recipients is available at  Nominations were open to librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. 

 “Libraries are among those cherished institutions that are most representative of our open society,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “We must, therefore, acknowledge that libraries—and hence, librarians—are indispensable to the strength and vitality of our nation and our democracy.  Libraries have and always will contain our nation’s heritage, the heritage of humanity, the record of its triumphs and failures, the record of mankind’s intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements. And more, they are the diaries of the human race and the true instruments of civilization that provide tools for learning, understanding and progress.  We celebrate them as our link to the past, our partner in navigating the present, and our guide to the future.”

“We are delighted to once again join Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Library Association in honoring librarians from across the country,” said Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company. “The New York Times is proud of its commitment to education and is thrilled to pay tribute to these ten men and women who play such a vital role in the intellectual health of their communities and in our society as a whole.  We are truly grateful to them.”

“We are thrilled to honor the 10 winners of this award for their excellence and as a tribute to the significant impact that libraries and librarians have on the lives of people in their communities every day,” said Roberta Stevens, president of the American Library Association (ALA). 

The ALA administered the award through the Campaign for America’s Libraries, its public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

The award, which began as The New York Times Librarian Awards in 2000, is now a collaborative program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times and the American Library Association. 

The selection committee is comprised of Dr. Camila A. Alire, past president, American Library Association; Cassandra G. Barnett, past president, American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association; Dr. Rookaya Bawa, program officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York; Audra L. Caplan, president, Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association; Lori A. Goetsch, past president, Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association; and Diane McNulty, executive director, Corporate Communications, The New York Times Company.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to “to do real and permanent good in this world.”   For almost 100 years, the Corporation has carried out Mr. Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy by building on his two major concerns: international peace and advancing education and knowledge. 

The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2009 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, and more than 50 Web sites, including, and The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members.  Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

Contact: Megan Humphrey
American Library Association

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wisconsin's new Poet Laureate

Wisconsin's new Poet Laureate is Bruce Dethlefsen, retired director of Montello Public Library. The Poet Laureate is recommended by the Poet Laureate Commission and appointed by the Governor to a two-year term.

"Bruce Dethlefsen is a dedicated and talented poet," Governor Doyle said. "He has exceptional credentials and a devotion to poetry and representing our great state. I am confident he will be an outstanding Poet Laureate."

Dethlefsen intends to use his position as the State Poet Laureate to promote the writing and sharing of poetry throughout Wisconsin. He plans to encourage and support local cultural and creative talent by organizing local poetry readings in public libraries, schools and coffee houses throughout the State. "I look forward to being an ambassador for the wonderful poets and poetry of Wisconsin," Dethlefsen announced.

The Marquette County Tribune has a nice piece about Bruce, his poetry, and his plans.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

SOIS and SLIS Team Up for WI Distinguished Lecture Series

Dr. Birger Hjørland, internationally renowned expert in knowledge organization was the keynote speaker at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies (SOIS) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS)’ co-sponsored event on Friday, November 19, 2010.

The presentation will be the first in the Wisconsin Distinguished Lecture Series in Library and Information Science, a joint effort between SOIS and SLIS. The two library and information science programs will alternate sites every year with the first lecture being held this year at UWM’s Golda Meir Library. In 2011, the lecture will move to Madison.

This year’s presenter, Birger Hjørland is a professor in knowledge organization at the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology and Journal of Documentation. He is chair of the International Society for Knowledge Organization's Scientific Advisory Council and consulting editor of Knowledge Organization.  

His presentation will address the current state of library classification, including threats and challenges to the Dewey decimal classification (DDC) system and the Library of Congress. Hjørland feels that in order for these systems to survive, librarians will need to band together.

“Many researchers, managers and users believe that classification systems are not worth the effort, rather search engines can be improved without the heavy costs of providing metadata” he said. “This presentation will argue that classification is necessary at both the practical and the theoretical level, and it should not be seen in isolation from other challenges facing libraries.”

SOIS Interim Dean Hope A. Olson is very excited for Hjørland’s presentation and for the burgeoning partnership with the school’s sister institution in Madison. “We’re very happy to be working with SLIS on this prestigious lecture series,” she said. “Bringing in important names like Birger will only be an added benefit for students and alumni associated with both schools.”

The program is from 5 – 6:30 PM in the 4th Floor Conference Center at UWM’s Golda Meir Library. All events in the series are open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please visit