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Washington Cty (OH) Librarian Thanks Voters

They did the right thing.

The Washington County Public Library thanks all who voted for the library system's 1-mill, five-year levy on the Nov. 2 ballot. By voting yes, voters affirmed the importance of their libraries' services to themselves and to their communities.

As a lifelong resident of Washington County, I had faith in the citizens of our county; but I certainly did not take anything for granted during this election since library services were at stake. We recruited some of the county's outstanding citizens to lead our levy effort: Rick Peoples, Dave Combs, and Emerson Shimp. I would like to send special thanks as well to all our supporters, volunteers, library trustees, Friends of the Library groups, staff, and loyal patrons who together assured our levy's success. The library levy was vital to help maintain library operations. Everyone benefits.

Justin J. Mayo, librarian
Washington County Public Library

Troy MI Library Levy Defeated

The future of the Troy Public Library is "as clear as mud," the city's lawyer said Wednesday, after voters defeated four millage proposals designed to create and fund an independent library board.

And in Bloomfield Hills, voters sent a resounding "no" on Tuesday to a six-year, 0.617-mill library levy, with 61% of voters shooting down the measure, 1,342-842. Supporters sought to resume a lending contract with Bloomfield Township's library or strike up a new deal with the library in Birmingham.

The Troy measure is likely to become a topic of Monday's City Council meeting, where Mayor Louise Schilling is expected to bring up the possible censure of Councilman Martin Howrylak over his letter advocating the measures' defeat.

Troy's Proposal 1, the 10-year, 0.9885-millage, failed by 689 votes, 15,590-14,901, with 51% voting against it. The three other millage proposals failed by more than 80% of the vote each.

The library is scheduled to close July 1, after the City Council slashed funding and library hours this year and all funding by June 30.

Read more: Detroit Free Press.

More Election Day Library News From LJ

Election Day brought good news to library supporters around the country as local tax levies to support libraries won strong support in key Ohio communities, and radical propositions in Colorado that would have crippled library services were categorically rejected.

Story here.

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.)

Real Life Superhero supports libraries

Captain Black appears to be from Savannah, Georgia. He's expressing strong appreciation of and sympathy for library staff as we deal with the vagaries of public service. Urban libraries by default, have become de facto social service providers; counseling centers; shelters and regrettably, crime scenes.

Staff find themselves adding “security officer”; “guidance counselor” and sadly, “victim” to their job descriptions.

Pick Up a Book or DVD With Those Groceries

Republican-American LITCHFIELD — Residents of Bantam CT no longer have to visit Oliver Wolcott Library to grab a book, an audio book, or a DVD. Now they can do it at Bantam's Big Value Supermarket.

The library, using two grants totaling $36,500, has installed a vending machine anyone with a library card can use to check out materials. Known as the OWL Box, it's the first machine of its kind in the state, according to Oliver Wolcott Library's director, Anne Marie White. See comment below for information about the Brodart vending machine.

"We wanted to reach out to the people in Bantam and others in that area who can't always get to the center of town," White said. "Providing greater access to our materials is a goal, and we thought Big Value would be an ideal place to do it." From the library in Litchfield to the store in Bantam is about 3.5 miles.

Bookseller Carla Cohen of DC's Poliltics & Prose Has Died

Report of the death of bookselling legend Carla Cohen from the Washington Post and a full obituary here.

View some amazing photos of her long years at the iconic bookshop on Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington's most prominent indie here.

Why Facebook's success is bad for us.

You probably see people using Facebook at your library and wonder why they aren't out looking for jobs. The answer is, unfortunately, that Facebook is their job.

Facebook's success is a symptom of the poor world economy. When people have no money to spend on actual products, they find other ways to spend their time.

And Facebook is current destination for time-wasting. Everyone laughed when Betty White hosted SNL and said that Facebook was a huge waste of time, but nobody made that connection to the economy and said, "Hey, Facebook is really popular because people are out of work." Everyone just laughed at Betty's funny. And no one even wondered at how bad the economy must be that an 88-year-old woman still needs to work to pay for food.

And our free time is what makes Facebook worth any money at all. The company produces nothing. We see ads and that is what generates the most revenue. But the users produce 99.9% the content.

As long as Facebook succeeds, the recession will continue. So long as we are wasting time on it, we are not being paid to work. We give our labors away for free. To make Facebook rich.

I think someone should demand a salary for all this time spent making Facebook look good.

I don't know how many employees Facebook has on its books, officially, but there are 500 million names that need entering. And paid at least $8.50 an hour. And given health insurance. And dental.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

When 103-Year Old Dies, Her Reading Circle Mourns

When Elizabeth Goodyear died late last month, at 103, a handful of friends, all more than two generations younger, sat vigil. They toasted her over dark chocolate, the elixir Ms. Goodyear had savored daily since she was 3 years old, and Champagne, a more recent favorite.

Two years ago, a front-page article in The New York Times featured Ms. Goodyear, a lifelong lover of books, and the small group of people who would stop by her apartment, in Murray Hill, to read to her after she lost her sight. Those readers became a family to Ms. Goodyear, who had outlived her relatives and loved ones.

It all began about seven years ago, after Alison West, a yoga instructor who lives in Ms. Goodyear’s building, posted a sign seeking readers in yoga studios downtown and sent an e-mail that was forwarded again and again.

“Liz has no family at all, and all her old friends have died, but she remains eternally positive and cheerful and loves to have people come by to read to her or talk about life, politics, travel — or anything else,” the message read. “She also loves good chocolate!”

Young women in their 20s, many of them Ms. West’s students, started to visit. Read more in the NYTimes blogs.

On Wisconsin!! Six Out of Ten Wisconsonites Are Library Card Holders

Many people can't afford to spend money on luxury items these days. They're forced to spend their cash on food and rent instead of books, DVDs, and magazines.

And that's why many Wisconsin residents (dare I say cheeseheads?) are turning to their local library for entertainment.

If you never visit your local library, it's time to jump on the bandwagon and catch up with your neighbors. That's because 6 out of every 10 Wisconsin residents are now registered library users. According to the Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin has one of the best-organized library systems in the country. And most people are taking advantage of it.

Many are forgoing expensive bookstores, and instead are hitting up libraries for free access to their favorite stories.

Marathon City's old library was so popular, they had to move to a brand new building to keep up with customer demand.

"The old building we had was very small in footage," says branch supervisor Lavone Runge. "It was not customer friendly. We couldn't increase our materials because we just didn't have the shelving space."

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