The Library Connection
The Monthly Newsletter of the Eastern
Shores Library System
Volume 27 Number 12 December 2007
Click here for the Winter 2008 Bookmobile Schedule
At the present time the Horizon Replacement Team is seriously investigating four automation systems. Two are from commercial vendors and two are open source products. Our current system is from a commercial vendor. Many public sector information technology users are considering open source software applications. Open source products are usually designed and developed in a public or collaborative effort. Many of us are currently using two open source products, Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail and Mozilla Firefox as a web browser.
Why consider open-source products? Cost is one factor as the licensing is free. However, if you want upgrades or changes to the code you may need to hire programmers. Open-source products have stable programming with useful functions without the unwanted frills. The user can determine the functions needed or wanted vs. getting a package deal of unusable functions. The user is no longer dependent on vender timing and type of upgrades. The source code is always available.
To understand more about open source software go to:5 common mistakes in using open-source software by Federal Computer Week staff
Great Free Files: 20 Fantastic Open Source Downloads by Preston Gralla, PC World http://www.pcworld.ca/news/column/f91440850a01040801f4a74167665396/pg0.htm
and http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html which explains categories of software.
Beginning in 2008, public libraries in ESLS will be receiving reimbursement for serving non-libraried residents living in adjacent counties. Ozaukee County and Sheboygan County have been making payments to all member libraries for serving their county’s non-libraried residents.
A recently enacted state law, requires adjacent counties to pay at least 70% of the cost for the library service that their non-libraried residents receive at public libraries in either Sheboygan or Ozaukee County. The law requires that by July 1, each public library which seeks reimbursement, submit information to the County Clerk in the adjacent county about the amount of use by that county’s non-libraried residents and the cost of that use. The County Clerks will forward that information to the appropriate county officials so that the amount can be included in the county library tax levy. Based on those requests, the adjacent counties will make those payments in the next calendar year. For example, the library will send the request in 2007 for reimbursement in 2008.
ESLS member libraries will receive reimbursements from Waukesha, Washington, Fond du lac, Calumet, Manitowoc Counties. ESLS coordinated the requests for reimbursement for all of the counties except Washington County. ESLS gathered the information about the use by the adjacent counties non-libraried residents, the cost of that service, and then calculated the reimbursement at the 70% level. ESLS sent the information to the adjacent county’s County Clerk and to the county’s respective Library System office. For Washington County, ESLS gathered the information and sent it to the ESLS member libraries, who sent the request to the Washington County Clerk.
In 2008, the ESLS member libraries expect to receive the following amounts from adjacent counties for serving non-libraried residents.
From Washington and Waukesha Counties:
From Washington, Fond du lac, Calumet, and Manitowoc Counties
Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties will be making payments to libraries in these same adjacent counties for the service those libraries provided to the respective counties’ non-libraried residents. In Ozaukee County, this additional payment had a negligible effect on the County’s appropriation for county library service.
In 2008, Ozaukee County will be making the following payment:
In Sheboygan County, these additional payments increased the appropriation for county library service by three per cent.
In 2008, Sheboygan County will be making the following payments:
Children's Librarians Corner
Karin Menzer, Youth Services Manager, Mead Public Library, Sheboygan
Many of the libraries in ESLS are hoping that the multi-system LSTA gaming grant that Bob Hafeman of MCLS wrote to help fund gaming programs in our libraries is funded. We should have official word soon. Gaming in libraries has become a hot topic in recent years and many libraries have been using these programs with positive results for several years.
In July I was able to attend the ALA Tech Source Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium in Chicago. I was very pleased and impressed with the event. All of the speakers and sessions I attended were interesting and I learned so much about the value of gaming and why gaming programs provide libraries with a golden opportunity to connect with and serve a growing population.
Several speakers addressed the educational value of gaming, including Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT and James Paul Gee, a former UW-Madison professor, who is now Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University. Gee’s most recent book is What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated. This book and others reveal that children are learning core social skills and cultural competencies through games. They are learning new ways to manage information, solve problems, evaluate risks and multitask. Furthermore, the games do not have to be “educational” games for these skills to develop. Many video games require very sophisticated reading and analyzing skills so playing them is still a literacy enhancing activity.
Another speaker at the conference, Eli Neiburger, presented two sessions. Neiburger’s recent book Gamers … in the Library?! The Why, What, and How of Videogame Tournaments for All Ages is a great practical how-to manual for librarians ready to start videogaming tournaments at their libraries. It also presents very good reasons why video tournaments belong in libraries. Neiburger, a self-confessed gaming geek, is the Technology Manager at the Ann Arbor District Library. He has been organizing successful videogame tournaments there for years.
Neiburger’s talk “The Payoff, Up Close and Personal” addressed the benefits gaming programs provide to libraries. The Ann Arbor District Library holds as many as 50 videogaming tournament programs a year. The most prominent payoff is reaching a new audience, getting them excited about the library and keeping them coming back for more.
Most librarians will acknowledge that it is hard to attract teens to library programs or even get them in the door to discover what we have to offer them. Gaming tournaments are an opportunity to demonstrate that we value teen interests and can be relevant to their lives. One of the primary reasons teens like tournaments is that it provides socialization opportunities. Most teens can play videogames at home or with friends, but tournaments provide the opportunity to compete against new players, demonstrate their skills and even win prizes. The social aspect of tournament play is very important.
In his second session, “Tournament Games for Any Occasion: Choosing the Right Games for your audience,” Neiburger explained the many factors to consider when selecting a game for a tournament, including audience appeal, appropriateness, logistics, name recognition, hipness, and repeatability. Among the best games for tournaments are racing games like Mario Kart or rhythm and music games like DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), and Guitar Hero.
In addition to the keynote speakers the ALA Tech Source Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium had about 30 sessions running over the 3-day period. There is a web site where you can find video, mp3 files and more from many of the symposium speakers and sessions at http://gaming.techsource.ala.org/index.php/Main_Page .
Other good resource sites pertaining to gaming in libraries include: http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2007/a-quick-guide-to-gaming-in-libraries , or http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Gaming , http://libgaming.blogspot.com and www.theshiftedlibrarian.com .
Kim Dalheimer, Reference Services Liaison, Mead Public Library
The 2008 presidential election is significantly different from all of its predecessors. For much of our nation’s history, most U. S. presidential campaigns began in the same year as the election, with the nominees starting to campaign around Labor Day. For the 2008 campaign, some candidates declared their intentions to run almost two years before the election. Furthermore, both Democratic and Republican nominees should be known by the middle of February, a drastic departure from all previous campaigns. Such a long period of familiarity with the nominees before the election occurs may give rise to boredom on the part of the electorate, but the Internet is giving more people an opportunity to be involved in the political process, and the candidates the option to be successfully creative in using the Internet to strengthen their campaigns.
Not only are tech-savvy candidates offering Web sites, blogs, “create your own campaign” blog tools, and “be my friend” with links to YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr, but potential voters are using the Internet to find information about candidate voting records, position statements, and other germane information by using Web search engines and online versions of traditional media. For example, mainline media sites offer superlative opportunities for the public to monitor the presidential campaign and its candidates. The Internet has energized the political debate, and has been a positive force in allowing potential voters to become better acquainted with all of the candidates. The YouTube Democratic and Republican candidate debates held this last July and November are proof of the reality of the increasing importance of the Internet to candidates’ hopes and aspirations.
It is clear that the 2008 presidential campaign is placing a great emphasis on the Internet. Web sites, mainstream media sites, video, podcasts, online debates, and social networking sites are all available for potential voters to learn as much as they can about the people aspiring to be their next president: their ideas, the challenges they see and the solutions they offer. The technology tools are there to help each voter make the best informed choice to elect the person most capable to lead our country through the next four challenging years.
Following are some sites to help the reader navigate through some of the political information on the Internet.
CNN Politics and CNN Election Center 2008 http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/
CQ Politics.com http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5
MSNBC Politics: politics powered by NBC News and National Journal http://nationaljournal.com/campaigns/
Politico.com: election 2008 http://www.politico.com/politics08/
USA Today Politics: campaign 2008 http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/default.htm
Washington Post Politics: election 2008 http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008-presidential-candidates/?nid=roll_08campaign
Teagan Goddard’s Political Wire http://www.politicalwire.com/
Sponsored by the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association and the WLA, Library Legislative Day presents an opportunity for library supporters to speak out on areas of interest to the library community. On Tuesday, January 22 contact your state legislators either in person at Madison or e-mail, call or write your representatives.
For information on Madison activities go to: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/legis/day/index.htm; for legislative issues: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/legis/issues.htm ; and for information on your local legislators go to: ESLS 2007-2008 Legislator Roster.
* Upcoming workshops at ESLS on OverDrive:
Digital Library 101 on Tuesday, January 8 at 2:00 and Troubleshooting on Thursday, January 17 at 9:00. The training will be conducted using the ReadyTalk service. This uses online web sharing and telephone conferencing. For more information go to the Workshop Schedule 2008.
*The IRS has issued the 2008 optional standard mileage rates.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car
(including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
* The DLTCL will be offering a State Park pass in collaboration with the DNR this year. The state parks are using a new theme, "Get Active! Get Outdoors!" as part of a national program for state parks called "No Child Left Inside." The theme for the 2008 SLP is "Catch the Reading Bug. " These will be car passes, one per child valid June through Labor Day.
* Tumblebooks has updated the collection to the new manual with audio feature. As they build new books and new features, they are using the latest Flash technology. It is advised to download the latest version of flash from www.adobe.com. There is no charge and the download only takes seconds.
* New terms for old dogs. Marc Prensky, an internationally acclaimed leader, speaker, writer, consultant, and game designer in the critical areas of education and learning has been credited with two terms. "What should we call these "new" students of today? Some refer to them as the N-[for Net]-gen or D-[for digital]-gen. But the most useful designation I have found for them is Digital Natives. Our students today are all "native speakers" of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet...compared to them, (the rest of us are)Digital Immigrants." For more information go to: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
*From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 16, 2007, Annysa Johnson email@example.com
Delivery of certain types of media may be curtailed to various
locations in 2008 by the Milwaukee County Federated Library System due to
budget constraints. Starting January 2 Milwaukee Public will also reduce
the number of requests per library card from 40 to 20. According to Milwaukee
Public Library Director Paula Kiely, requests for holds have more than
doubled since 2002. In 2007, more than 500,000 items were requested.
The new policy is expected to cut requests by thirty percent. See the
article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for more
* From WSLL @ Your Service December 2007, An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library
Feb. 17, 2009 is the conversion date to digital feeds. After that date, broadcasting will no longer be done using analog signals. For questions regarding the conversion go the FCC’s Digital Television website http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/.
If you have cable or satellite your viewing should not be affected. To continue using an older television set incapable of receiving DTV a converter has been developed. Converters are expected to cost approximately $60.00. To offset this cost, the federal government is offering a coupon program for consumers, starting in January 2008. It is hoped that the $40.00 coupons will help consumers make the switch from analog to digital. To learn about the coupon program see the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Website: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon/index.html.
Tune in @ Your Library has been chosen by teens as the Teen Tech Week theme for March 2 - 8, 2008. This theme encourages teens to take advantage of music and media resources at the library. Librarians are encouraged to improve music and media collections. Education on copyright laws are also encouraged. For more information go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/teentechweek/ttw08/ttw.cfm.