The Library Connection
Volume 23 Number 8 October 2003
Children who attended a recent preschool story time at the Sheboygan Falls
Memorial Library not only received their very own autographed copy of
"Monster Goes to School," but they also had the opportunity to meet
and talk with the author.
Library Director Scott Gehrig applied for and received a literacy grant from
Wal-Mart. Children's Librarian Lynn Mihm then contacted Virginia Mueller, a
Sheboygan County author of a series of books on little monsters. Mrs. Mueller
read to the children and then talked to them about how a book is written and
published. She showed them the first draft, which is written in pencil and
another draft that included the pencil drawings. Following the program, she
spent time at a reception with the parents of the children and the library
This is one of several programs that the library will be able to provide using
the funds from the Wal-Mart grant.
A report on the Weeding and Collection Management workshop
Based on a recent experience of discarding some nonfiction videos, Kelly
Krieg-Sigman, Director of the LaCrosse Public Library, illustrated the
principles and pitfalls of managing the library's collection through weeding.
She spoke to more than 30 public, school, and academic librarians at Manitowoc
Public Library in a presentation sponsored by Eastern Shores Library System and
Manitowoc Calumet Library System.
by David Weinhold
To make the best use of the library's space, the Library interfiled its
nonfiction video collection with the print nonfiction collection. As part of the
project, the staff weeded the nonfiction video collection and discarded some
titles that did not meet the library's criteria for retention. Kelly shared a
letter she received from a very concerned customer who lamented not only the
interfiling of the collection, but also the discarding of two videos that he
believed were important to the collection. In her response, Kelly listed the
criteria by which the titles were judged, and the process by which the titles
were discarded. This episode illustrates the dilemma that librarians often face
when weeding the collection - "if we throw it out, someone may want
it" and "if we throw it out, someone may complain." Kelly
reminded us that no public library has kept every printed book since printed
books came into being; that no public library has the luxury of space to retain
all the books it purchases; nor is the public library obligated to keep every
book it purchases. Librarians have been discarding books for centuries, so why
should the task of throwing out the book be so problematic. Kelly postulates
that librarians allow their emotions to greatly influence their decisions about
weeding.To demonstrate our almost knee jerk emotional reaction to the discarding
dilemma, she noted that we collectively gasped when she dropped a book into the
wastebasket. In an exercise to counteract this emotional response, Kelly had us
rip pages out of a book she found on the discard shelf of the library. Some of
us were very hesitant, some could not, and others ripped pages with gusto.
Using the acronym W.E.E.D., she illustrated the four steps (some
emotional, some analytical) that we go through as we discard books.
W. Whining about why this great book was never checked out, was destroyed
by a dog, was dunked in a vat of coffee, etc.
E. Enraged that I spent a lot of money on this book that was never
checked out, was destroyed by a
dog, was dunked in a vat of coffee, etc.
E. Evaluate calmly that the book had an unattractive cover, was probably
poorly bound so the dog did it a favor, the coffee kept the reader awake because
the book was a "snoozer," etc.
D. Dispassionately Discard the book because it has served its purpose and
you need room for other books.
By using analytical criteria during the weeding process, we can counteract the
emotional response to discarding books. Kelly illustrated this by using the
analogy of our clothes closet. In our closet we have clothes that are in
fashion, that are practical, that are basic, that reflect changing tastes, that
are worn out, that are gifts, and that have sentimental value. In our library
collections, we have books that are in fashion - best sellers. We have books
that are practical - our non-fiction titles. We have books that are basic -
current reference titles, standard literary works. But we also have books that
are outdated - new research has taken their place. We have books that are worn
out - it has been checked out 50 times in the last 12 months. We have gift books
- they are from the mayor's wife and are written in French. We have books that
have sentimental value - the complete works of Dickens, but in plain
unattractive covers. As we apply the analytical criteria, Kelly reminds us that
we balance this with our professional judgement about retaining or discarding
Many of the same principles also hold true for collection development. Using the
W.E.E.D. acronym, there are four steps we go through when we select
W. Weep about not having enough money to buy what we want for a subject
E. Enervated that we will never have a collection that meets our
E. Energized to take the first step in developing the subject area based
on the customer's needs.
D. Decide to purchase the needed books for the collection.
Similar to the weeding process, we need to use analytical criteria when
purchasing books. Kelly posed these questions:
Does this book pertain to the library's mission?
Do people really want what the library buys?
If you believe people should read it, how does the library create a market for
Is it reasonable to expect that people will want to read this?
If the library buys this, can the library use it in the future, can you add to
its collection, and can you afford to keep this?
In the library's toolkit for collection development, Kelly recommends the
A materials selection policy, which includes a statement about gifts and
donations and what the library will do with the gift if it is not needed or
A collection development manual which describes in detail how we buy, what we
buy, what review sources are used, what criteria is used, etc. Board support for
the materials selection policy and collection development manual. Data from a
library automation system to help evaluate collection use.
A marketing plan for maximizing the use of the collection. Confidence in your
During the question and answer period, Kelly addressed some specific examples
about collection management.
How do you explain to a customer why the library discarded a book? In her
response to the concerned customer about the discarded nonfiction videos, she
emphasized the need to explain in non-jargon terms the library's decisions about
managing the collection. She explained how library materials were used, how
library materials wear out, how library materials become outdated, how
information becomes obsolete, and how libraries can not afford to keep
everything for ever.
Should a library keep the last copy of a title? Kelly said you may if the
title is unique to your mission. If there is another library that has a mission
to keep a last copy, you may offer the book to it. Check WISCAT to see if your
copy is the last copy, But the library is not obligated to keep it if all other
libraries have also discarded it.
How about "recycling" discards? Offer discards to other
libraries. If the information is not obsolete, perhaps it fits another library's
mission better than yours. The Bookmobile did that recently with its discards -
a number of libraries chose books for their collections. Use e-bay to sell
discards - there are collectors who may want what you have.
How about the "classics?" Classics can be part of the
collection but should pertain to the library's mission. Perhaps the school has a
course in Elizabethan literature - your library may want to support that course
with additional titles in the collection. Many publishers are reissuing the
classics in more attractive book covers and in handier formats to attract new
What do you do with picture books? Picture books are used and used and
used and used until they are all used up. When it is all used up, you buy new
pictures books. The library should replace the picture books which have lasting
value, e.g. Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle.
Over the next three months, more than 270 titles from Microsoft Press will be
made available on netLibrary. These titles range from self-paced tutorials for
first-time computer users to advanced technical references and programming
guides for computer professionals.
Available titles include the At a Glance and Running series of
desktop references, tutorials to help prepare users for Microsoft Certified
Systems Engineer exams, Step by Step tutorials for beginning and
intermediate users, programmers guides for developers, and the Inside Out series,
which provides advanced users with in-depth information on Microsoft products.
netLibrary's eBooks provide users with access to library resources anywhere,
anytime. Patrons can conduct full-text searches across hundreds of books or
within a specific book to speed research and reference projects. Books may be
viewed online from a library, office, school, or home. Before "checking
out" a book, a patron must register as a netLibrary user at a local public
More exciting news from netLibrary: The latest list of titles added to
netLibrary also includes13 titles in Spanish.
"Fun, easy, convenient," "I love this," "Great
service." Those were the comments from patrons who were able to request
their own interlibrary loan items. Five libraries around the state recently
worked with Reference and Loan to test the patron-initiated interlibrary loan
function on WISCAT for four weeks during August. Patrons and staff from
libraries in Eau Claire, Bloomer, Elroy, Waupaca, and New London participated in
the test. All requests were mediated, meaning that they came to the library
staff for review. When approved by a staff member, the request went out just as
if it had been requested by a library Before the test started, staff at the
libraries were trained using WisLine Web. Reference and Loan created training
documentation and customizable patron handouts. Staff members were asked to
train their customers, to log their names when they were trained, and to log
each request, noting the reason why a particular request was not authorized.
To have the function available to them, customers had to either request the
items at the library or access WISCAT from the participating library's website.
The results were very interesting. 43 patrons were trained by the test
libraries, but another 41 patrons also created requests without training. Of the
394 requests created by patrons, 344 were authorized by library staff. The
remaining 50 requests were unauthorized and stopped. The reasons for stopping
these requests included: Item owned locally, Duplicate records created, or
"Wrong" record selected.
How were libraries affected by this? Staff anticipated workflow changes and that
did occur. At some libraries, the work load shifted from the reference staff
(who had been creating the requests) to the ILL staff (who now had to view the
request and determine if it should continue on). There was also additional
patron education and training that needed to be done.
Evaluation forms completed by staff at the end of the test reported that they
were happy with the results and felt the library provided better service to
their patrons. All five libraries wanted to continue to offer it.
Reference and Loan is planning to conduct a larger pilot test during the first
six months of 2004. They would like to have up to 10% of requesting libraries
participate. The plan for this test includes having some "unmediated"
requests. As with the first test, evaluations will be done at the end of the
The Internal Revenue Service released the optional standard mileage rates to use
for 2004 in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for
business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes.
Beginning January 1, 2004, the standard mileage rates for the use of a vehicle
37.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven, up from 36 cents a mile in
14 cents a mile when computing deductible medical or moving expenses, up from 12
cents a mile in 2003; and
14 cents a mile when giving services to a charitable organization
The standard mileage rates for business, medical and moving purposes are based
on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.
The primary reason for the mileage rate increases is the rise in fuel prices
during the study period, which ended on June 30. An independent contractor,
Runzheimer International, conducted the study on behalf of the IRS. The
charitable standard mileage rate is set by law.
Matha Suhfras, Director
The Plymouth Public Library has had some very successful adult summer reading
programs the past several years. The percentage of adults and young adults (high
school age) completing the programs has risen steadily from our first year
(1999) of 7% to this past summer of 20%. We elected to separate the adults from
the young adults during the year of 2001, but the young adult program was not
very successful. Only 7 participated and only 1 completed the reading. It seems
to be more successful when they are combined with the adults.
Our program operates this way. We try to follow the theme being used for
juveniles. A brochure is made up with the theme and the reading requirements.
The brochure gives the rules for the program and serves as the reading record.
We run the program for seven weeks and seven books are to be read in order to
complete the program. Depending upon the theme, books can be selected from six
topics and the seventh title is one of the reader's choice. We provide
suggestions in case the reader is having difficulty finding or choosing a title
to read, and we will give personal help when asked. For example, when the theme
in 2001 was about reading road trips, selections included reading a fiction book
that was set in a state the reader had not been to, a book about a road trip in
America, and a mystery set in the south. In 2002 the theme was about joining the
winner's circle and selections included books that had won awards (Hugo,
Pulitzer, etc.) as well as authors who had won awards. This year, selections
that went along with laughing it up at the library included a biography of a
famous comedian, a fiction book by a humorous author, and a book with the word
laughter, laughing, or humor as part of the title. We try to include both
fiction and non-fiction in the selections.
Incentives for reading are given. A small gift is given after three titles are
read (library note paper, pens, bookmarks, etc.). After five titles are read,
another gift is given (water bottles, posters, note cards, mugs, etc.). After
all seven titles have been read, another gift is given (writer's journal, gift
certificate at the local bookstore, etc.). The value of the gifts increases with
the number of books read. We have varied the gifts throughout the years so that
it is not the same thing every year. Some gifts are purchased from ALA Graphics,
others at local businesses. We also try to make sure gifts can be used for
either gender and the selection includes items young adults may enjoy. We have
had men, women, and high schoolers involved in the adult summer reading program.
We consider this programming a success for the summer in our library. This year,
due to staff changes, we were a little late in having the reading brochures
available. We had a number of people ask where they were because they had
participated before and were anxious to do so again. Judging from the fact that
our circulation in July was higher than in at least the past three years for
that month, and the high percentage of participants completing the program, this
will be something we will continue to do for years to come, due to its success.
Sample brochures from previous years are available if you wish to have copies.
Contact Martha Suhfras, Director at 920-892-4416.
Nancy Van Voorhis, Director, Elkhart Lake Public Library
I recently picked up a copy of American Girl magazine and found that the
magazine is "Celebrating 10 years of fun!" It seems like only
yesterday that the library I was working in had an American Girls party to
celebrate the release of the magazine.
American Girl magazine, product line and web site has expanded over the last 10
years. Interesting information I found on the web site included that over
650,000 people subscribe to the magazine, making it one of the top ten
children's magazines in the nation. It is designed to promote self-esteem,
creativity and celebrate achievements. It is advertisement free. There wasn't
even an advertisement for the new series of books Hopscotch Hill School released
The magazine accepts articles written by kids. It offers plenty of kid tested
recipes and games. It features a Heart to Heart section where kids are
interviewed about issues important to girls, ages 6-12. This was great for me
for collection development planning of non-fiction books for this age group.
The web site www.americangirl.com includes suggestions of
"Past Times Projects" and ideas for American Girl themes. These can be
very useful for planning a historic theme for the 2004 Summer Reading Program
"Discover New Trails. The site also has suggested reading lists (featuring
American Girl Books) and book suggestion for parenting sections of the library.
The Pleasant Company, creators of American Girl, has generated millions of
dollars for programs that support education, literacy, environmental awareness,
multicultural appreciation, and fine arts. Some of the groups that the company
supports include the Madison Children's Museum, United Way, and Kids in
Distressed Situations (Kids). The Company's private foundation has provided
funds to help build the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and established Pleasant
Company Onstage. It provides libraries with free materials for fund raising and
summer reading programs.
While American Girls books have always impressed me, I was surprised at all the
helpful programming and collection development materials I found spending a few
minutes reading the magazine and looking at the web pages. Opening the American
Girls catalog I found numerous new books that help girls deal with the issues
they face everyday. I also found Licorice, a furry black cat who looks
remarkable like my own cat, Sophie. Mine, of course, doesn't have the rhinestone
Newly posted to the Library Media and PR Website:
Information about the book "Beyond the Bake Sale: The Ultimate School
Fund-Raising Book" which gives loads of ideas and step-by-step instructions
to help raise thousands of dollars for your school or library.
How to earn five free posters from ALA ($75 value) when you send photos of kids
and adults with ALA Graphics posters in use in your library or classroom.
Grant guidelines from Target that average $1,000 to $3,000. The grants currently
focus on arts, family violence prevention, and reading.
Twelve pages of colored horse racing art work "@ your library" designs
that you can download to use on a t-shirt.
A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right
to bring up children without surrounding them with books.... Children learn to
read being in the presence of books.
Horace Mann (1796-1859)
In commemoration of Theodor Seuss Geisel's 100th birthday on March 2, 2004,
Random House Children's Books will kick off the Seussentennial Imagination 100
Days of Events Tour in January 2004.
The events and activities comprising Seussentennial will celebrate all aspects
of Geisels life, from his celebrated books, like Green Eggs and Ham and How The
Grinch Stole Christmas!, to his much lesser known work in advertising and his
award-winning film work.
Theodor Geisel was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and three Academy
Awards. He was the author and illustrator of 44 childrens books, some of which
have been made into audiocassettes, animated television specials, and videos for
children of all ages. Even after his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss continues to be
the best-selling author of children's books in the world.
On October 27, Geisel's widow introduced the 37¢ postage stamp. The stamp
features a color photograph of the author surrounded by illustrations of six
characters from his books. The stamp will become available nationwide on March
The Seussville site offers many programming ideas but also check out the
National Educational Association website, http://www.nea.org/readacross/ This
site also has many activity ideas. At this site check out the "Cat-alog"
area where you can purchase the Seussian paraphernalia, including the all-time
best seller, the famous Cat in the Hat hat and costume.
Compiled by the subscribers of the Fiction -L mailing list.
Patrons say the darndest things. These are all titles patrons have asked for.
Waterford Chocolate (Like Water For Chocolate)
Salad at a Bad Restaurant (Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers)
Too Short to Live by Mickey Rooney (Life Is Too Short)
Lez Miserableballs (Les Miserables)
Falcon and the Wand of God by Morrison (Falconer and the Eye of God by
Youth in Asia (The real request was for Euthanasia)
Striving on Chous (Thriving on Chaos)
Lesee Moon by William Prarie (PrairyErth, by William Least Heat Moon)
I Left My Heart at Broken Arm (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee)
Knock Me Down by Yates (Knock `Em Dead by Martin Yate)
Tequila Mockingbird (To Kill A Mockingbird)
Taco Bell Canon (Pachelbel's Canon)
Women who Dance with Wolves (Women Who Run with the Wolves + Dances with
Women Who Run with the Elves (A variation on the above, natch.)
Reading is a right! Free to Read, this year's theme for the 84th observance of
The Children's Book Council's Children's Book Week, encourages children, and the
adults who care for them, to exercise your right by spending some time with a
book each day. Children's Book Week 2003 is November 17-23.
Since 1919, educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated
Children's Book Week during the week before Thanksgiving. Book Week events are
held in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homesany place where
there are children and books. Check your local library or favorite bookstore for
events highlighting children's books and don't forget to visit the CBC Web site
for ways to celebrate Children's Book Week.
FindArticles.com is a vast archive of published articles that you can search for
free. Constantly updated, it contains articles dating back to 1998 from more
than 300 magazines and journals. Each of the hundreds of thousands of articles
in FindArticles can be read in its entirety and printed at no cost.You can view
publications by subject or see an alphabetical listing of all magazines that are
included. FindArticles also provides a direct link to the magazine's website,
when one is available.
A revised and updated edition of the publication "Introduction to Legal
Materials: A Manual for Non-Law Librarians" is available. The publication
was compiled by the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin.
The publication is available in .pdf format at: http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/llaw/paliguide/index.htm
You can download the entire book or each of the sections separately. Chapters
include: The Judicial System, The Legislative System, How to Read Legal
Citations, and Legal Reference and Legal Advice. Bound copies are available for
$10 from the UW Law Library.
Channel Weekly - October 16, 2003
An online master's degree in library science focusing on the needs of rural and
small libraries has been launched by Clarion University of Pennsylvania. The
launching of the new program coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding
of Clarion's Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship. Students admitted to
the web-based master's degree will take two courses per semester (including
summers) to complete the M.S.L.S. degree in two calendar years. Dr. Andrea
Miller, chair of the Department of Library Science, noted that while the
department offers two courses which focus exclusively on rural library issues,
most of the other 10 courses which comprise the degree will be oriented to a
The first two courses in the all-Web M.S.L.S. will be offered beginning January
2004. These courses will be LS500: Information Sources and Services, and LS504:
Introduction to the Information Professions. Clarion's M.S.L.S. degree has been
continuously accredited by the ALA since 1973/74.
Miller noted that in the spring of 2005 the department will launch a second
all-Web M.S.L.S. degree option exclusively for school library media
certification students. Like the degree option for rural and small libraries,
the school library media coursework will be guided and informed by another of
the department's research entities, the Institute for the Study and Development
of School Library Information Centers http://jupiter.clarion.edu/~amiller/instituteweb.html
For additional information, call the department's toll-free number
(866.272.5612) or visit its Website at www.clarion.edu/libsci
There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public
Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth
receives the slightest consideration.