Thursday, September 30, 2010

Denton County Libraries Hit Hard

Area libraries take budget hits
11:59 PM CDT on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

Thursday is Georgette Taylor’s last day as program coordinator for the Lake Cities Library.

The library, which serves Corinth, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas and Shady Shores, is one of several in the area that made big cuts after seeing their budgets trimmed for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Director Rebecca Belknap said the Lake Cities Library’s budget took hits from all sides, including a 6 percent decrease in funding from Corinth. The library board had no choice but to make cuts, she said.

Funding from Denton County and Lone Star Libraries — grant funding through the Texas State Libraries — was cut this year. Belknap had originally planned to use a Lone Star Libraries grant to pay for digitizing copies of local newspapers in the library’s collection.

“We have some papers that no one else has,” Belknap said.

With the staff cut, she is rethinking that plan. Libraries statewide are working together to fund digitization, a project that the Lake Cities Library could join. If so, the library could use the Lone Star grant to restore some summer children’s programs.

Such early literacy programs are important because they help children make reading a part of their daily lives, according to Eva Poole, director of the Denton Public Library.

“They learn how to read and how to love reading,” she said.

Entire Article

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reminder about the NOLO matching program

Love Your Library? Help it out with Nolo's Matching Funds Program

Pass this information on to your stakeholders......

Our nation's libraries are in serious financial trouble. State, county, city and school budgets continue to be slashed and libraries have fewer and fewer dollars to work with. Nolo will help you support your favorite library by matching any contribution you make to it.

Here's how it works:

Fill out the nifty matching-funds form.
Send us the completed form and a check (made out to Nolo) and tell us which library you want to receive your gift of Nolo books.
We'll then match the amount of your check (up to $1500) and send the library a credit for Nolo books, along with a catalog and a letter acknowledging you as the donor. Your library will then choose which books they would like to receive.
So send us $10, $100 or (yes!) $1000 (up to $1500), and your library will receive $20, $200, or $2000 (up to $3000) worth of Nolo books, in your name.

Need more information? Call us at (800) 955-4775 or email

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Evaluating Electronic Resources

I recently received a question about my experience with managing electronic resources. After writing it, it occurred to me that other people may have the same question, so I am posting my reply here as well. I have not managed electronic resources in about three years. The technology has changed quite a bit, but my primary concerns have not changed. For that reason, I still have some strong opinions on the subject. Here are the first four things I consider when evaluating a service.

1) Useful reports. This is not a big headliner, but most companies give obfuscated information about how people actually use what you pay for. ePeriodicals prefer to tout the number of searches and omit the number of full-text articles actually retrieved. The book analog is counting the number of times people search the catalog while ignoring the number of books actually checked out. Are they really giving you information that lets you form a valid decision to continue the contract?

2) Useful usage. This is actually a continuation of useful reports, but directed at statistics that appear useful but are actually deceptive. eBooks are particularly bad about this. An eBook may circulate 500% more often than its print counterpart, but only have a 2-day checkout compared to the print book's 21-day checkout. Should the eBook's circulation be discounted by 1050% to make the comparison a direct measure of time spent in the patron's hands? Should "views" be compared to in-house use instead of getting bundled with circulation? Or is the number so vague that it should be ignored the way we ignore title reading in the stacks? Every vendor is different. Knowing how the numbers are derived is important to creating honest comparisons.

3) Broad access. An eAudiobook that can only be listened to with the vendor's player is worth less than an eAudiobook that can be played with any device. If they demand the same price, resist buying and try to get a price that reflects the limitation. This is especially true when the limit creates ADA liability for the library.

4) Concurrent access. Multi-user (aka., Library) editions cost more than single-user (Retail) editions, but also address the liability of patrons copying the content to their player and then using it after returning it. Retail editions usually prohibit sharing the same way software licenses usually prohibit sharing, and the courts have been upholding those prohibitions. Libraries need to do their part in discouraging piracy. Concurrent access lets you convert potential illicit access into a chance for several patrons to concurrently check out a single item for group study, a book club, etc. It's more flexible and less expensive than trying to quickly buy a bunch of copies that will soon be discarded. Just remind them to delete their copies when they finish.

That would be my top four thoughts. I hope this helps. -Paul

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Vanishing Line Between Books and Internet

O'Reilly Insights
The Vanishing Line Between Books And Internet
Hugh McGuire, 09.15.10, 06:00 AM EDT
The inevitability of truly connected books and why publishers need APIs.

A few months ago I posted a tweet that said: "The distinction between 'the internet' & 'books' is totally totally arbitrary, and will disappear in 5 years. Start adjusting now."

The tweet got some negative reaction. But I'm certain this shift will happen, and should happen. (I won't take bets on the timeline, though.) It should happen because a book properly hooked into the Internet is a far more valuable collection of information than a book not properly hooked into the Internet. Once something is "properly hooked into the Internet," that something is part of the Internet.

Yahoo! BuzzIt will happen because: What is a book, after all, but a collection of data (text + images), with a defined structure (chapters, headings, captions), meta data (title, author, ISBN), prettied up with some presentation design? In other words, what is a book, but a website that happens to be written on paper and not connected to the Web?

E-books to date have mostly been approached as digital versions of print books to be read on a variety of digital devices, with a few bells and whistles--like video. While the false battle between e-books and print books will continue--you can read one on the beach, with no batteries; you can read another at night with no bedside lamp--these battles only scratch the surface of what the move to digital books really means. They continue to ignore the real, though as-yet unknown, value that comes with books being truly digital; not the phony, unconnected digital of our current understanding of "e-books."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Interview on KERA about libraries and the declining economy - in case you missed it!

The KERA interview program Think (The TV version of the show) interviewed Corinne Hill from the Dallas Public Library and Cathy Ziegler from the Plano Public Library about economic problems affecting libraries.

The link is the TSLAC Library Developments blog, which posted a video of the interview.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Grant Opportunity for Technology Access and Training

Support for Technology Skills Training Programs
Microsoft Elevate America Community Initiative

The Microsoft Elevate America Community Initiative partners with nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. that provide technology access and training in their local communities to help people find employment. Through the current request for proposals, Microsoft will award cash grants of $100,000 to $250,000, software, and technology training curriculum to eligible U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, including workforce agencies, community colleges, labor organizations, etc.

Eligible organizations should provide technology skills training, job placement, and strong employer connections. The focus is on organizations in underserved communities, with emphasis on organizations that address the needs of women and young workers (ages 18-25). The application deadline is October 8, 2010. Application guidelines are available on the Microsoft Elevate America website under "Information for Organizations."

Wikipedia for Credit - Inside Higher Ed

Wikipedia is here to stay................we need to learn to use the tool effectively - not just ban it.
Wikipedia for Credit - Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

IFLA World Report on Libraries

The World Report series is a biennial report series that reports on the state of the world in terms of freedom of access to information, freedom of expresion and related issues. The reports are available online at:
and can be downloaded free of charge.