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This is the final episode of Tech for Techies. The show will return to the Twilight Zone from where it came (for the time being). Stephen talks about broadcast transmission, be it radio, television or cellphones. Another Federal Government PSA from the Census Bureau, Profile America. My close explains the present situation at Erie Looking Productions.
In connection with what I bring up in the close, I want you to read a recommendation from LinkedIn:
“Stephen is a top notch podcaster and the writer, producer, and presenter of LISTen: The LISNews Podcast. More than that, he secured and conducted some fantastic interviews with people in the library world and in the fields of technology and media journalism. He brings a professional quality library podcast into an arena that sorely needs one. Because of this, he'd be a good source of information and consultation for a library (or any organization) with a desire to branch out into the world of Internet broadcasting.”
That was written by Daniel Messer, alternatively known as the Faceless Historian and Great Western Dragon. Think about what he had to say. While there is an old saw about a kingdom being lost for lack of a horseshoe, should a podcasting effort collapse for a lack of greenbacks? One value, at the least, to what the network does is that it is not beholden to the ALA, OCLC, or any particular vendor.
I want to thank you for listening and that the past shows will remain available on LISNews.12:21 minutes (4.24 MB)
Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Nevada production team, Tech for Techies #16 is delayed until further notice. Efforts are underway to ensure a release on Friday, though.
This week's podcast brings you up to date in covering the Ohio libraries situation.32:06 minutes (8 MB)
"Hell is paved with good intentions" – Attributed to Cicero
To say that this has been a wild week would be quite the understatement. Ohio libraries are presently locked in a struggle to survive. Weeks like this are things that work against the weekly format of LISTen. For now there have been uploads of pre-release audio to the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons license appropriate to "free cultural works". This is quite unusual for the podcast production team in Nevada to do, mind you. According to what I have seen from the statistics given by the Internet Archive, somebody thought it appropriate to download the audio files made available.
There is perhaps a key to the whole story that is being missed. Sometimes it is necessary to step away from the state or local level and look for any pressures from the federal level. With the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the United States federal government has become increasingly involved in the operation of even the most local of governmental functions. Forgetting to include them in any analysis is fairly dangerous due to money being involved.
A key concept when the federal government gives money to states is called "maintenance of effort". With respect to funding for health grants the Public Health Service defines that term as: "A requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies that a recipient must maintain a specified level of financial effort in the health area for which Federal funds will be provided in order to receive Federal grant funds. This requirement is usually given in terms of a previous base-year dollar amount."
One area where this arises in the full text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is Section 14005. In that section, the requirement is made upon any state receiving money from that portion of the act that they must not reduce state funding for K-12 education below its 2006 level for fiscal years 2009 through 2011. The same requirement exists for public institutions of higher education except that capital projects as well as research and development could still be cut. Waivers of the maintenance of effort requirement are possible as Nevada sought one relative to higher education funding. Such waivers are not automatically granted and can be opposed like the opposition raised by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid against his own state. Recent reporting indicates that Nevada's waiver application has yet to be decided.
Keeping this in mind, one can look at the Ohio situation again from a different perspective. In an undated letter issued on June 26th, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland noted that cuts to libraries were unavoidable. What is stated indirectly by Governor Strickland in his letter is that while he supports libraries, there are other programs that have a higher priority for funding. For the areas identified by Dr. Strickland as things that must be protected, there happens to be some amount of correlation with funding areas of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that have maintenance of effort conditions attached.
Libraries were left out of the stimulus package in terms of any real funding except for a broadband build-out program in which libraries are just one stakeholder group among many. Cutting libraries entails no penalty under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 when it comes to maintenance of effort requirements. Slashing funding for education or transportation cuts off federal funding and raises the possibility of being cut off from any future offers of federal dollars.
From that perspective, a truly unfortunate choice is presented to legislators. Triaging potential losses is part of any legislator's thinking when it comes to money bills. This situation in Ohio is likely not a one-off situation but something that we may see develop in other states.
The cruelest part of this for Ohio libraries is that the bursting of the housing bubble cut revenues from property tax levies and this bailout rooted in that bubble's bursting is forcing reductions in other revenue streams.
Hi, hello, and how the heck are you! Welcome back to the annals of history and another trip from one side of the past to the other. Granted we'll be taking a scenic route as we discuss hedonistic Greeks, logical Franciscans, a heretical Pope, an unfortunate construction project, Polish kings, Russian Tsars, and Swiss scientists. We'll talk about the meaning of existence, the secret of life, and then we'll just drop out.
You don't need artificial euphoria when you can just get High On Life.20:52 minutes (8 MB)
I've already seen questions being posed as to whether or not anything in-depth was being done to cover the cuts case in Ohio. Yesterday I was fairly busy recording back-to-back interviews in the matter. We had opportunities to talk to Ohio Library Council's Director of Government and Legal Services Lynda Murray as well as Columbus Metropolitan Library Executive Director Patrick Losinski.
Since it is a long time between now and the next episode of LISTen, I went ahead and posted an edited-down version of the two interviews with linking narration to Public Radio Exchange last night. Public Radio Exchange serves as the middleman between producers like the LISNews Netcast Network and NPR affiliates such as Ohio stations WKSU, WCPN, WOSU, WOUB, and others. The piece can be found here: http://www.prx.org/pieces/37502-ohio-libraries-at-risk
While normally such pieces have a cost attached to them for stations to pick them up, this one is being made available to stations for free instead. All that has to be done is that a station needs to log in, "buy" the free piece, and then slot it into their air schedule. For librarians curious about how to kickstart such, the best person to call at your local NPR affiliate is either the program director or the news director. Locating contact details can begin with NPR's station finder.
Tentatively the next episode of LISTen is going to have expanded coverage of the cuts case in Ohio. There are rallies planned for Wednesday and I am trying to get somebody on the scene to report. I still have an interview request out with a state legislator that I am waiting for a response on. Anybody reading this wanting to check in from a rally can make arrangements tonight with the production team by e-mailing the production team in Las Vegas.
This week's episode ranges widely. First up we take a first look at Greenstone 2.82. After that we hear from the US Department of Agriculture about a new data set format for their Census of Agriculture. After that we have another installment of Apocalypse Radio that turns to discussing computer training on very specific topics.
Linux Outlaws #97
LISNews Netcast Network Summer 2009 Promo Piece
Greenstone 2.82 release announcement
The new directions for compiling Greenstone2 on Ubuntu
GNU Privacy Guard
Warning about the proper usage of TOR
This week we talked about microphone usage and communications interruptions.13:12 minutes (8 MB)
In this special edition we look at the information situation relative to Iran, evaluate resources, and discuss what media outlets have actual reporters on the scene.
Episode of "In Case You Missed It" referenced
RSS feed to use in subscribing to "In Case You Missed It"
Report by Daniel Sieberg of CBS
Tweet by MirHossein Mousavi about needing Twitter as a communication channel
Biz Stone writing about maintenance rescheduling
Tweet by Gregory Pittman referenced
BBC on information suppression in Iran
Report by International Herald Tribune referenced It appears they've already updated the report to something new since the podcast was posted
BBC Global News podcast -- Twice per day round-up of news reports on BBC World Service
Post by Michael Ledeen about a general strike being planned in Iran
Page at The Guardian's website collecting Iran news
This week's episode is longer than our past couple. We feature two interviews this week. The first interview is with independent consultant Karen Coyle. In that chat we discuss the leviathan that is OCLC and breach questions as to OCLC's nature. Following the discussion with Karen Coyle, the next discussion was with Rangeview Library District Director Pam Smith. In this chat the depths of WordThink were further explored and explained.
Although the production team is aware of the situation in Iran, right now reports remain sporadic. The team also got very close to a hard upper limit on time this week. If we have reports of special interest to LIS audiences, we might post specials as required.
Website of Karen Coyle
Blog post by Karen Coyle: OCLC Policy - What is the Question?
Blog post by Rangeview on moving away from Dewey Decimal Classification
Story on death of a tourist in Las Vegas from Swine Flu
CDC Resources on H1N1
Report by Agence France Presse picked up by Australian Broadcasting Corporation news about how foreign media are being blocked from covering the situation in Iran
Reporting by the BBC about the online sources for details out of Iran
Situation report in English by Deutsche Welle relative to Iran
Reuters video on vote rigging charges in Iran