Money Issues

FCC Decision to Result in Higher Cell Phone Bills

This one comes by way of the Columbus Dispatch. It talks about how the FCC\'s new way of charging phone companies for E-rate is going to mean higher cell phone bills for consumers. The cost is going up, but are the benefits to libraries and the poor also going up? In light of recent \"investigations,\" one can\'t help but wonder. Read More... [may require free log-in]

$3 Million Donation Is 'Lost'

Yahoo News Is Reporting on a $3 million donation that has been "lost."Grocery entrepreneur David Mugar donated $3 Million to Boston University to renovate The Mugar Library, he said he had been told the money was "lost" through poor accounting and could not be identified among university funds.
"BU has been very apologetic about losing my money, but regardless, I want my money back," Mugar said in Wednesday's editions of The Boston Globe.

Director Says, Some Staff will See Pay Increases Next Year

Here\'s more on the situation at the Akron-Summit (OH) Public Library. It seems that the Director has decided that most staff will get a slight pay raise next year. This, of course, comes after he was given a huge bonus by his board of trustees and came under fire in the media. Read More. Related stories are Here and Here.

FCC Inspector Addresses Fraud Allegations in E-Rate Program

This one comes by way of RCR Wireless News. It deals with recent allegations that there is some questionable activity going on with regard to the E-Rate program. Interesting enough, Walker Feaster, FCC Inspector General, \"Until such time as resources and funding are available to provide adequate oversight for the USF [Universal Service Fund] program, we are unable to give the chairman, Congress and the public any level of assurance that the program is protected from fraud waste and abuse.\" Anyone surprised? Read More.

Free science database targeted by publishers

From The Scientist:

Bowing to pressure from commercial publishers and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the US Department of Energy on November 4 closed the PubScience database. Patterned after the National Library of Medicine\'s PubMed, PubScience had provided free access to research publications on the physical sciences, creating unfair competition for commercial databases, publishers argued.

\"The introduction of a free product, even an inferior one, runs significant risk of driving out cost-based products and therefore eliminating competition, resulting in a lack of choice for users,\" according to David LeDuc, public policy director of the SIIA . . .

Complete article.

Queen opens £35m King\'s College London library

Charles Davis writes \"Story at
The Gaurdian says

The Queen will be greeted by striking pickets at King\'s College London when she opens the £35m Maughan Library this afternoon.
The Association of University Teachers accused the college of \"cocking a snook\" at staff by going ahead with the ceremony on the day of a strike over London weighting allowances. The
money used to pay for the building could have been spent on increasing the London allowance for staff at the institution, said the union. \"

More sites targeted for shutdown

Thanks to the Members of SIIA we\'ve already lost PubScience, now They Want More. \"We are looking into a couple of other databases and agencies,\" said David LeDuc, public policy director at the Software and Information Industry Association. Two in particular rile SIIA members: \"One is law-related, the other has to do with agriculture,\" LeDuc said. He declined to identify them further.

Can a Credit Card Support Libraries?

This brief one comes by way of Library Journal...

\"City officials in Huntington Beach, CA, are planning to issue a citywide credit card that they hope will generate $2 million annually. At a time when local budgets are being cut, the beachside community of 200,000 needs the proceeds to help fund libraries, parks, senior citizen projects, and municipal maintenance projects. The credit card will be marketed through official mailings, according to the Christian Science Monitor, and some local merchants will post advertising.\"

Library Faces Cutbacks From State Office

Susan Benning writes: "An article in 11/05/02 Greensboro News-Record section Rockingham County states that NC is threatening to cut all state aid to the county libraries because the county cut funding to the county libraries in a disproportionate share than other departments. The libraries’ $1.9 million budget was cut $61,500 for fiscal year 2002-2003. The NC Department of Cultural Resources Code governs library funding and has a Maintenance of Effort clause that says the state can cut all of funding to a library if the county makes budget cuts. NC threatens to cut $136,945 from the library state aid.

Article entitled “County’s Library Faces Cutbacks From State Office” by Michelle Cater"

Gates: My Plan Isn\'t Working, But I\'m Still Rich

Bill Gates said in a New York Times article that there has been very little progress in his plan to improve poor areas of the United States by donating computers and Microsoft software licenses.

\"I thought digital technology would eventually reverse urbanization, and so far that hasn\'t happened,\" Mr. Gates said, munching on a cheeseburger and fries at the Top Notch Cafe in Colfax, population 2,880. Among the bib overall set at lunch, he was largely unrecognized.

The article says that \"there is scant evidence ... that the wiring of rural America has done anything\", and suggests that Gates computers are being used to find far-away jobs that cause a brain drain in rural America. Bill\'s final word in the article about the library project, which he \"seems ready to check ... off his to-do list\" soon, is this admission: \"I\'d be happy if I could think that the role of the library was sustained and even enhanced in the age of the computer.\" Oh well, he\'s still worth $35 billion; maybe his next project will do some good.

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