Money Issues

Detroit library director put on paid leave

Detroit library director put on paid leave

The Detroit Public Library ousted its executive director Tuesday, amid fears of worsening finances and whiplash from a year of scandals over lavish spending and bungled budgets.

Board members placed Jo Anne Mondowney on paid administrative leave until her $135,000 contract expires Aug. 24. The final straw for some commissioners was fears she hadn't kept the board "up to date" on a system "facing a financial catastrophe," said commission chairman Jonathan Kinloch.

WV State paid $22K each for Internet routers in small libraries

State paid $22K each for Internet routers
The state of West Virginia is using $24 million in federal economic stimulus money to put high-powered Internet computer routers in small libraries, elementary schools and health clinics, even though the pricey equipment is designed to serve major research universities, medical centers and large corporations, a Gazette-Mail investigation has found.

The state purchased 1,064 routers two years ago, after receiving a $126 million federal stimulus grant to expand high-speed Internet across West Virginia.

Major Cuts in Canadian Library And Archives

From CBC News: The federal government is eliminating a series of libraries and archives throughout different departments as part of the latest budget cuts.

Library and Archives Canada alone has received or will still receive more than 500 surplus notices and the department announced 20 per cent of its workforce would be let go.

The cuts to the government's archival collections stretch beyond just one department, though. Libraries at the transport, immigration and public works departments will be eliminated.

That is a scary prospect, according to researchers, genealogists and academics that often rely on such libraries and history to develop their work.

"Professionals and scientists who work in those departments need access to those specialized libraries to develop policy," said James Turk, president of the Canadian Association of University Professors.

"As well, other Canadians rely on those specialized libraries and there aren't other libraries that have those people and can make up for that."

$1 million donation will transform Orlando Library into digital playground

$1 million donation will transform Orlando Library into digital playground
A $1 million donation in the memory of Orlando civic leader Dorothy Lumley Melrose will transform the Orlando Public Library into one of the most avant-garde in the nation, officials said before the Monday evening announcement.

"My mother did a lot of things in this community, but she had the greatest passion and talked the most about the library," said Kendrick Melrose, 72, a former Boone High School graduate who left Orlando to earn his fortune as CEO of Toro, makers of turf and landscape maintenance equipment.

Public v. Private; The Discussion Continues

From The Atlantic Cities:

"press two for costumer service"

I'll admit, to me, the idea of a privatized public library has a certain dystopian ring to it, the ultimate public space corrupted for a profit. That image was not much aided by my first (and second and third) call to Library System and Services Inc., the only library privatization company in the United States. LSSI now runs at least 15 library systems in California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. This means it is, effectively, the fifth largest library system in the country.

Time and again, I ran through an automated response system without finding a real person. A week's worth of emails went unanswered. And then, there's the message at one of LSSI's libraries, which directs you press two for "costumer service."

Is this the future of the reference desk, I wondered? Not exactly the library system of my childhood, where each call about books on hold was answered by the same librarian I had known since I started attending kid's corner book readings.

But then, there's the example of Santa Clarita, California. ...More.

A Tree Grows (Through the Roof of the Library) in Camden

From Philly.com a report on South Korean journalists visit to the city of Camden NJ, where the abandoned library "has a tree growing through its roof". Camden is the second most dangerous city in the US, and the foreign journalists were shocked by the poverty and crime.

Maybe if Governor Christie put some effort into helping that city restore its library and its community the situation would improve for the youth of Camden NJ.

Why Are We Boycotting Elsevier?

Why Are We Boycotting Elsevier?

Walking away isn't always easy. It means we won't be able to submit our work to many journals, some of them with strong reputations. We may have to turn down review requests from friends who serve as editors. We may have to explain to tenure and promotion committees that our choices were made to further knowledge, and furthering knowledge is at least as important as building our reputations. This is why we should congratulate all those who are willing to put their tenure on the line to do the right thing.

Time For Science To Overcome Fears And Kill Subscription Journals

You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals
"Thus, people joining in the new boycott have no excuses not to follow through. There are plenty of viable OA options and it is simply unacceptable for any scientist who decries Elsevier’s actions and believes that the subscription based model is no longer serving science to send a single additional paper to journals that do not provide full OA to every paper they publish. So, come on people! If we do this now, paywalls will crumble, and we all be better off. So, come on! Let’s do it!"

Elsevier Filters Recommendation Engine to Show Elsevier Titles Only

As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature). The Elsevier ScienceDirect site embeds this service in their own custom application, but librarians noticed the results it was displaying were only for Elsevier titles. Here is the Ex Libris explanation:

bX itself is entirely publisher and platform neutral and sends and displays all relevant articles regardless of journal, publisher or platform. But those who build their own applications – like Elsevier did - can manipulate the data by filtering before displaying it. For the app on Science Direct Elsevier indeed filters the bX articles by those available from Science Direct.

Is it any wonder this company gets a bad rap?

Toronto Library Foundation gets $1.5-million gift from private donors

Toronto Library Foundation gets $1.5-million gift from private donors
Marilyn and Charles Baillie have contributed $1.5-million to the Toronto Public Library Foundation’s fundraising campaign, putting it over its $10-million goal.

The campaign, dubbed re:vitalize, was launched in May of 2009 in support of a $34-million renovation to the Toronto Reference Library. Part of the renovations will include a Special Collections Centre, which was supported by the gift. In recognition, the centre will bear their names.

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