Money Issues

Voters Close Book on Libraries

Shelley Terry, writing in The Star Beacon, reported that Ashtabula County District Library and Henderson Memorial Public Library both lost their levy campaigns. It is expected that the Ashtabula County District Library, which has a service district covering most but not all of Ashtabula County, will respond with further cuts. Henderson Memorial Public Library, which has a service district including the Township of Jefferson and Village of Jefferson in Ashtabula County, will not be hiring a children's librarian due to the loss.

If your library had an issue on the ballot Tuesday, how did it fare?

The Desk Setup: A Look At Librarian Computers

The Desk Setup

Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)

Smith Professors Legacy Includes Donations to Libraries

NORTHAMPTON MA- A late Smith College professor has bequeathed $1 million each to Look Memorial Park and Forbes Library, the biggest donation either has ever received.

Dilman Doland, who taught psychology at Smith for 30 years, died on Sept. 8 of last year at the age of 88, leaving an estate in excess of $10 million. Doland, who had no children of his own, willed much of that to his surviving brothers and their children, but set a generous amount aside for some of his favorite institutions, including Smith.

Kathleen Doland worked as a reference librarian at Forbes from 1956-1962 and her husband remembered the library in his will, bequeathing it $1 million as well. Director Janet Moulding said Doland had already established a reference room in her wife’s memory some years ago. By the terms of the will, the gift must be put into a trust and its interest used only for the reference department. Moulding said the library’s trustees have appointed a committee to perform a needs assessment and determine how much interest they can expect to realize on an annual basis.

Doland received the Trustees’ Award in 1999, Moulding said and was a frequent patron, often stopping by her office to say hello. Moulding said she was astounded by the gift.

Whitefish Wants Its Own Library, Thank You Very Much

Armed with donation pledges, the Whitefish (MT) library is officially severing its ties with the Flathead County Library System.

On Oct. 18, the Whitefish City Council voted to notify the Flathead County Library Board of Trustees that it intends to terminate its interlocal agreement and establish a separate tax-supported city library. Termination will be effective July 1, 2011.

The decision came on the heels of a final opinion from the state attorney general’s office stating that Whitefish can legally create an independent library and collect a mill levy to fund it. The city will levy 5.95 mills, replacing the county levy for library services.

In addition, Whitefish resident Jake Heckathorn has offered $100,000 to help establish a separate library and indicated that he knows of another person willing to donate $100,000. The Whitefish Library Association has also pledged to contribute funds.

The split comes after more than a year of publicized disagreements between Flathead County library officials and advocates of an autonomous Whitefish library.

Have a ballot issue coming up in two weeks?

A Levy Campaign Sign

Does your library have a levy coming to a vote on November 2nd? Let us know in the comments so that we might spread word.

Don't Cut Seattle Libraries!

...says Jason Sundberg in an op-ed in the Seattle Times.

"MY family lives in New Holly, a mixed-income Seattle Housing Authority Neighborhood in Southeast Seattle. Despite lower income levels than many affluent parts of the city, in one important way, it is the richest neighborhood in Seattle because of its diversity.

Mayor Mike McGinn, however, has proposed budget cuts that would slash all on-site librarian services at the New Holly library and seven other library locations, carving the very heart out of southeast Seattle and other parts of the city. Seattle's status as most educated city in the United States is intrinsic to our identity, but we cannot hope to retain that badge of honor if we remove from our midst the most democratic and foundational resource for adults and children to educate themselves.

The Seattle City Council must reject cutting librarian services at these vital libraries and preserve this invaluable resource as ongoing equity for neighborhoods in dire need of support.

My family carpools with a Somali family to a local preschool. Faduma, the mom, works at home and her husband drives a taxi 70 hours each week. They moved to New Holly because the city designed our neighborhood for success — and Faduma's family is succeeding! One of their school-aged children transferred to a Seattle Public Spectrum school with programming for gifted children. -- Read More

Fix the Branches City Says to Providence Public Library

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The city of Providence has filed a lawsuit against the Providence Public Library charging the nonprofit with not complying with the lease agreement and not making needed repairs.

The suit filed this week lists more than a dozen problems at the branches, including leaky roofs, poor drainage, electric problems and faulty ventilation.

Seven of the nine libraries are still owned by the Providence Public Library, the nonprofit that operated the entire city library system until July 2009, when the city transferred its $3.5 million library allocation to the Providence Community Library.

The PPL, which operates the downtown Central Library, agreed to lease its branch buildings to the city for $1 a year.

The legal action comes as PCL has been putting more pressure on PPL to resolve the dispute over the buildings.

Des Plaines IL Could Lose Library

Facing a $600,000 shortfall, the Des Plaines Illinois library could close in early December if it doesn’t get the money needed to tide it over until the end of the year.

The library board has asked the city council for up to a $1.5 million loan, which has yet to be voted on. The library is waiting for nearly $3 million from Cook County tax receipts.

"They have to come in front of the city council and justify why they want this loan . . . [and] justify to the city council that they are making the necessary cuts so they won't have to come to us for loans in the future," Mayor Marty Moylan said.

He said the library needs to return to its core mission of making "basic reading material available." Moylan said he has heard comments in the community that the library shouldn't, for example, be in the business of loaning out CDs and movies for free.

Dumb mayor.

Chicago Sun Times reports.

Grant Opportunity for School Libraries

Are you in a school library in CA, NV or NY? Read on...

GlobeNewswire via COMTEX -- City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada and New York.

Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting Reading Is the Way Up. Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. The Nevada counties are Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.

Approximately 100 grants totaling up to $75,000 may be awarded. Grants will provide up to $500 for the recipients to create, augment or expand literacy projects that are judged to be creative and engaging, and that may help improve student achievement. Awards can be used for books, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer software or hardware, or in other ways so long as the recipient shows that the project for which funds are sought will support literacy. -- Read More

"Best Friends Group in NJ" At the Library of the Chathams

CHATHAM, NJ — There is a group of hardworking individuals behind the scenes at the Chatham library – and they aren’t bookworms. The Friends of the Library raise money for books and programs which the library could not provide with the money received from Chatham Borough and Township.

The Library of the Chathams would not be the same place without the Friends of the Library. I sincerely believe we have the best Friends group in the entire state of New Jersey,” said Diane O’Brien, Director of the Library.

As state aid for libraries continues to shrink supplementary funds generated through groups such as Friends has become ever more critical. The Friends recently allocated funds for a cybercafé to be placed in the basement of the library. According to Friends Chairwoman Candice Booker, there is an increasing demand to meet the needs of those patrons looking for a job.

Get your friends *ON THE JOB*. At a time like this, friends of the library can be a tremendous help. For more info on Friends and how your library could start a friends group contact ALTAFF.

OK, New Jersey-ites, who wants to challenge the Chathams friends in a competition for 'best friends group in NJ'?

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