Friday, January 29, 2010

Neon Signs

Arlington Public Library has a great idea - a neon "OPEN" sign in the front window. In a time when hours have been cut and it is difficult to remember when libraries are open, a neon sign lets your users know just be driving by if the library is open. It is a great customer service function.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have You Heard about the Vook??


A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.

You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.

Vooks are available in two formats: As a web-based application you can read on your computer and a mobile application for reading on the go. With the web-based application you don't have to download programs or install software. Just open your favorite browser and start reading and watching in an exciting new way. You can also download and install the mobile applications through the Apple iTunes store and sync them with your Apple mobile device.

Check out the Vook blog........

Friday, January 22, 2010

I love bookstores...........

I like the smell of new books, opening one that hasn't been opened yet by anyone else...aaaaaaaahhhhh......I love bookstores. I just read an article about the last book store in Laredo, TX closing.

"Laredo, Texas (CNN) -- The bookstore was Zhuara Rivera's magical "Neverland." It offered a fairy tale world for 14-year-old Rivera to get lost in stories and words.

But the books are gone. On January 16, Barnes & Noble, which owns B. Dalton, closed the store inside Laredo's Mall del Norte.

That leaves Laredo, Texas, population of 250,000, one of the largest cities in the United States without a bookstore.

The closest bookstore is now 150 miles away, in San Antonio, Texas.

"I was very shocked and I think it's very sad," Zhuara said. "I love reading. I adore reading."

Zhuara and dozens of volunteers launched a grass-roots organization called "Laredo Reads." They've started a petition drive collecting signatures to show corporate book dealers that Laredo can support a bookstore.

Laredo does have two public libraries with a catalog of more than 200,00 books. But library officials say they can't keep up with the demand for the most popular titles.

Maria Soliz, manager of the Laredo Public Library, says she hopes to expand the library's collection and expects to see an increase in library card applications.

"We do have a lot of the same customers, but there are different customers," Soliz told CNN. "They might come to the library, read the book and decide they want to buy it."

Soliz and others fear the loss of the city's bookstore will slow down efforts to improve Laredo's literacy rate. A 2003 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 48 percent of the residents of Webb County, Texas -- home to Laredo -- lacked basic literacy skills."

My thoughts -
I believe that libraries and bookstores do often complement one another and both share the love of reading. I wonder about a bookstore/public library combo - browse the books, "rent" the books or buy the books....user's choice.........of course, all will be downloadable soon anyway.....

Friend of a Friend's Group - LSW

Friend of a Friend's Group - LSW: "Friend of a Friend's Group
From LSW
Jump to: navigation, search
== Welcome to the Friend of a Friend's Group wiki. ==
This wiki is to help people from start (forming a friend's group) to finish (advocacy and fundraising). It is based on the collected knowledge and experience of library professionals and their supporters. No library exists without the support of the community it serves, but sometimes it needs a little help from time to time to carry out its mission."

Friend's groups need to come together now more than ever before....take time to check out this new wiki.........

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Permanent Shift?: Library Budgets 2010 - 1/15/2010 - Library Journal

Permanent Shift?: Library Budgets 2010 - 1/15/2010 - Library Journal: "As many libraries are hit by gloomy times, they’re challenged to offer less and work differently
By Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 1/15/2010
It’s no surprise that libraries in LJ’s annual budget survey reported an overall downward trend, with the expected decline in total budgets some 2.6% and the change in materials budgets 3.5% (see Table 1, p. 45). Per capita funding is nudging down after years of steady if sometimes modest increases, with a projected decline of 1.6% in FY10.
After all, the country has not emerged from a major economic downturn, and libraries—especially those lacking a dedicated funding stream—are particularly vulnerable to budget cutbacks and declining property values.
While it may be politically tougher to close buildings than drain services, some library boards and local governing authorities, their backs to the wall, have begun to shut down facilities. In several high-profile cases, however, such as in Omaha and Pittsburgh, branches were saved through fundraising and emergency government funds. And some libraries, notably those in economically healthy areas, are still sailing ahead.
But the general mood is one of caution and concern. Only 16% of those reporting say they are “very positive, upbeat” about their financial future, while 23% are “very negative, depressed.” Notably, 35% of the largest libraries report the latter. More than 40% of libraries have frozen salaries and reduced staff. Libraries serving one million or more population have lost, on average, 50 employees."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lake Dallas in the news

Lake Dallas sizes up library plan

City discusses expanding facility as other Lake Cities look at options

07:39 AM CST on Monday, January 18, 2010
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
LAKE DALLAS — City leaders are putting together a proposal they hope will keep all the Lake Cities in the fold as they expand the Lake Cities Library.

Lake Dallas City Council members agreed during a workshop Thursday to draw up plans for expanding the site where the library currently sits.

City Manager Earl Berner estimated it would cost about $1 million to expand the current building, fix the parking and upgrade the exterior and landscaping. The city of Lake Dallas owns the building and leases it to the library.

“There are still a number of balls up in the air on the subject,” Berner told the council, alluding to talks in Hickory Creek about building a new library there and discussion in Corinth about contracting with Denton for library services.

The Lake Cities Library’s small size — about a quarter of what the state library association recommends for the population being served — was a hot topic during budget discussions last year. Hickory Creek officials were emboldened after the library board tentatively agreed that moving to a leased space in Cornelius Town Center could begin to address the problem.

They appointed a task force to study fundraising options for the move and a possible bond election for a new building.

But, of the amount of money needed to fund the move, only Hickory Creek allocated its full share. All three other member cities — Corinth, Lake Dallas and Shady Shores — allocated the share that would fully fund the library where it currently sits in Lake Dallas.

Berner said he’s checked with the other cities and found there has been little movement since budget talks last fall. Officials in Hickory Creek and Corinth told him they continued to gather information, Berner said. Shady Shores officials said they preferred a partnership in Lake Dallas.

If Hickory Creek and Corinth leave the library to pursue their own options, the city could still make improvements to the site but would probably scale back the plans, Berner said.

Council member Karl Hammond was concerned about Corinth’s possible exit from the longtime partnership. Should Corinth opt for a contract with Denton Public Library instead of the Lake Cities Library, many Corinth residents would come to the Lake Cities anyway, “and we’d be paying for them to use it for free,” Hammond said.

Hammond, who is on the library board, thought some users, particularly those residents who walk and bike to the library, would be among those least able to pay a nonresident membership fee. Several council members agreed that could be a problem.

Council member B.W. Brooks encouraged the city staff to include space for a community center as they draw up proposals.

After the meeting, Berner pointed to the new library and community center in Aubrey as a good example of what the city could pursue.

In his experience, people want their public buildings to be a point of pride, he said, but they aren’t always ready to pay for them.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kindle and Litigation

Blindness Organizations and Arizona State University Resolve Litigation Over Kindle

Phoenix, Arizona (January 11, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind
(NFB), the American Council of the Blind (ACB), and Arizona State
University (ASU), today announced a settlement agreement resolving
litigation filed by NFB and ACB against the Arizona Board of Regents
(ABOR) and ASU. The lawsuit arose from the university's participation in
a pilot program using the Kindle DX, a dedicated device for reading electronic books, or e-books, developed by, Inc. The NFB and ACB alleged that the Kindle DX was inaccessible to blind students and thus violated federal law. ABOR and ASU denied and continue to deny any violations of the law.

The settlement agreement among the parties was reached in light of several
factors, including: (1) ASU's commitment to providing access to all
programs and facilities for students with disabilities, including students
who are blind or have low vision; (2) the fact that the pilot program will
end in the Spring of 2010; (3) Amazon and others are making improvements
to and progress in the accessibility of e-book readers; and (4) the
university's agreement that should ASU deploy e-book readers in future
classes over the next two years, it will strive to use devices that are
accessible to the blind.

The United States Department of Justice is also a party to the agreement,
which does not involve the payment of any damages or attorney's fees or costs.

Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The
National Federation of the Blind is pleased with this settlement, which we
believe will help to ensure that new technologies create new opportunities
for blind students rather than new barriers."

Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind, expressed
support by commenting: "I believe this settlement between Arizona State
University and the two major national consumer-advocacy organizations of
blind and visually impaired persons will encourage the industry to develop
fully accessible e-book readers in the near future."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jailbreaking Your Iphone and the Lost Millions......

Apple App Store Has Lost $450 Million To Piracy
Posted: January 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

Print Email Subscribe Free Newsletter Follow us on Twitter 24/7 Wall St Real Time 500 Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the companies that sell software for the iPhone and iPod touch at the App Store have lost over $450 million to piracy since the store opened in July 2008 according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. There have been over 3 billion applications downloaded since the App program began. Bernstein analyst, Toni Sacconaghi, estimated that between 13% and 21% of those downloads are from paid applications. According to this analysis, the average price of an application purchased at the App Store is $3. Sacconaghi estimated that Apple’s revenue from the App Store is between $60 million and $110 million per quarter. That amount has certainly increased since this research report was published because of the rapid growth of the number of applications.
However, behind all this success lies an insidious force that has plagued the music, software, and movie industry for decades. Developers of iPhone applications have reported alarming piracy rates for their software, and the ease with which users may obtain pirated versions of paid applications for free is only increasing. The total number of applications available at the store, including those which are free and those which require payment, is in excess of 100,000.

Anyone who is familiar with the iPhone is likely to know that these phones can be “jailbroken” or, to use the more common term “unlocked”. Jailbreaking an iPhone modifies the OEM Apple iPhone OS. This allows the user to circumvent the limitations put on the phone by Apple. Apart from the ability to modify the OS itself to allow for customizing of icons, backgrounds, functionality and processes, a jailbroken iPhone permits the installation of applications from sources other than the iTunes store. It is even possible to use an unlocked phone for access to carrier services other than AT&T (NYSE:T) and the Apple-assigned retailers outside the US. The great majority of iPhones sold in China are unlocked and Apple partner, China Unicom (NYSE:CHU), have only begun to sell locked phones in the last three months

Most iPhone users have not jailbroken their phones. This is likely a result of the perception that this process is incredibly technical for many non-tech savvy owners. Others may fear that Apple might retaliate. No rabid Apple fanatic would risk being placed on a DO NOT SELL list! However, the technical barriers to jailbreaking an iPhone or iPod touch are rapidly decreasing. The original process required at least some programming ability. The most recent jailbreak software makes the process accessible to even most Luddites, so the number of jailbroken iPhones will only increase.

It is difficult to get precise figures for the number of iPhones and iPod touches that have been jailbroken. Jay Freeman, operator of Cydia, a renegade app store that can be found on almost any jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch device is probably the best source for this estimate. Freeman told Wired Magazine in August 2009 that he has received over 4 million unique visitors to his store. This represents about 10% of iPhones and iTouches that existed at that time. The jailbreaking process has only become easier since August, and if that figure is still about 10% of all Apple devices that can access the App Store, that would mean that the total number of jailbroken devices today is approximately 7.5 million assuming that total worldwide sales of the iPhone and iPod touch are now 75 million. It is important to note that not all people who jailbreak their iPhones are pirates. Pinch Media, a company that specializes in mobile software analytics, has found that only 40% of jailbroken devices use pirated software.

While it is difficult to get a firm grasp on exact piracy rates, some developers have put features in their software that prompts it to “phone home” when the phone has been cracked. Developer testimonials put the figure much higher than many analyst would expect. Developers Neptune Interactive Inc and Smells Like Donkey Inc have reported piracy rates has high as 90% for their game $1.99 Tap-Fu, and claim that it was available in a pirated version within 40 minutes of its release on the App Store. Web Scout Inc. reports a 75% piracy rate for its $0.99 iCombat game. The developer of the $4.99 art program, Layers, reports a piracy rate of 75%, and Fish Labs reports 95% for its $7 Rally Master Pro 3D. Piracy rates almost certainly increase with the cost of an application. TomTom’s US & Canada GPS product for the iPhone, which retails for $79.99, ranks second in handheld application downloads on, a file-sharing torrent. The top 100 downloads listed at is littered with expensive TomTom and Garmin GPS products. A conservative estimate of the average piracy rate is that for every paid application developed and sold at the App Store 3 more are pirated.

There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers.

Apple, which takes 30% of the revenue generated by downloads at the App Store has lost about $140 million from piracy. If Apple’s revenue was between $500 million and $700 million from the App Store since its launch, that is a significant loss. Despite this fact, Apple has been mute on the subject and done nothing to prevent acts of piracy, which is not unlike the stance it has taken on illegal music downloads to iPods. Even though piracy has caused a big financial loss for Apple, the income from the App Store is dwarfed by sales of iPhones and iPod touches. As big a problem as $150 million is for Apple, the $310 million cost of piracy to developers really makes it their problem. Apple intends to ignore the piracy of applications and will focus on the tens of billions of dollars that it makes on its hardware.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

National Library Week 2010

CHICAGO – To promote National Library Week 2010, a free customizable public service announcement (PSA) featuring award-winning author Neil Gaiman is now available.

Gaiman, the 2009 Newberry Medal winner for "The Graveyard Book," will appear in both a print and a radio public service announcement (PSA). Gaiman’s love of libraries and librarians is no secret, as his many fans and Twitter followers know.

The PSA can be downloaded for free at The PSA reminds library users of all the resources the library offer and how libraries are of key importance in tough economic times. To have the PSA customized with their library’s logo, librarians are asked to send a print quality logo file, their library name and URL to: The PSA will be sent to the library in 1-2 weeks.

Other materials are currently available in both English and Spanish, focusing on the 2010 National Library Week theme “Communities thrive @ your library.” They include a proclamation, sample press release and letter-to-the-editor, as well as scripts for use in radio public service announcements (PSAs).Libraries can download materials at

Libraries planning to participate in “Communities thrive @ your library”-themed programming are encouraged to share their stories with the Campaign for America’s Libraries, by sending an e-mail to:
ALA Graphics products supporting the “Communities thrive” theme are also available. In addition to the 2010 National Library Week poster and bookmark, libraries can also purchase mini poster and, new this year, a downloadable transit sign. National Library Week-themed Web files along with all Graphics products can be purchased through the ALA Store at

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries (, ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations that advocate the importance of the library in American society.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Learning Express Consortium

The Libraries for Literacy program of the North Texas Library Partners is now accepting applications for grants to assist membership in the NTLP Learning Express Consortium. This consortium is made up of NTLP member libraries and gives residents of the participating communities access to the LearningExpress Library™ online learning platform. We will subsidize up to $1,000 of the membership cost and have a total of $10,000 to work with.

The LearningExpress Library™ online learning platform has helped millions of library patrons and students prepare for a wide range of career-oriented licensing and certification exams in health care, education, civil service, homeland security, and much more, as well as improve job skills such as creating a great resume, honing interviewing techniques, and improving business communications. The platform also has interactive tutorials to help users improve basic skills in reading, writing, and math, as well as prepare for high-stakes tests such as the GED, ACT, and SAT. The innovative platform includes self-paced interactive study, instant scoring, and diagnostic feedback, and can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.

Libraries of all types are eligible, including public, school, academic, and special. The library must be located in Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Denton, Erath, Foard, Hardeman, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, or Young county. All libraries are encouraged to apply, although preference will be given to those who are not already members.

The application package is available for viewing and online submission at the Libraries for Literacy website ( For more information, contact Paul Waak at 817-377-4440 or Applications are due February 1, 2010, at 11:59 pm CST. Decisions will be announced March 1, 2010.

Cleaning House - Digitization

As we all begin 2010 - many of us start cleaning house - which for library world may mean digitization of old newspapers. I recently spoke with Devhra Bennett Jones a Digital Archivist at the Abilene Library Consortium about digitization of newspapers.

As you begin this process remember that it takes time and money to get this process done. However, you can begin the steps towards making this a reality.

If it may be some time before you are able to begin the actual digitization of the newspapers, store them in Uline boxes that fit newspapers. If nothing else, be sure and line cardboard boxes with acid free tissue paper for short storage.

When the process is begun for digitization, the vendor will microfilm the collection first so that you have a preservation copy. Most vendors bill per image and there are 2 pages per image. The first and last page of the newspaper will be billed each as an image. You will need to get the newspapers in descending order with the most recent on the bottom of the pile. You will also want to compile an inventory of issues so you have an estimate of how many images you need digitized.

If you already have the newspaper on microfilm, be sure to inspect it for quality - is it too dark, too light, scratched in the text? Scracthes on the edges is usually okay.

Be sure and get specifics with the vendor you select, are they using Optimal Character Recognition (OCR)? What are their criteria for how to box the papers? What steps can do yourself in order to get the collection ready that will decrease the costs of the project?