Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 16, 2008 - 9:28am
It's a balmy 5 degrees Fahrenheit today in Chicago (well below zero with the wind chill), so naturally I am thinking about warmer places...Southern California, for instance. Of course, as nice as the weather is in the Golden State, a major budget crisis is threatening to freeze out public services and facilities and creating a major headache for California Libraries.
Last week, I made a brief mention of the budget problems facing the San Diego Public Library. New director Deborah Barrow inherited a major financial challenge upon taking office. This piece from the San Diego Union Tribune discusses how Barrow had to divert $1.7 million from a library improvement fund to keep seven branch libraries operating.
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Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 12, 2008 - 9:48am
One of our readers, a librarian at a parochial school in Topeka, Kansas, writes:
We are losing teachers and staff. It is affecting how much we have to spend....technology is up at the top, considered a luxury. We are sticking with what we have and not updating unless someone gives or donates specific funds for tech.
No library is safe from the reach of this crisis. While a privately funded school in the heartland struggles to update their technology, the San Diego Public Library was forced to divert $1.7 million from a library improvement fund in order to keep a number of their branches open.
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 11, 2008 - 2:08pm
Last evening's NBC Nightly News included this report on library usage in tough times:
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Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 10, 2008 - 9:20am
This article from Monday's Wall Street Journal previews the future of movie-watching. As cool as a lot of this stuff sounds, I can't help but think that if these predictions are true, all the time and money libraries are spending to build up their DVD collections could be for naught.
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 9, 2008 - 9:35am
Web 2.0 expert and Library Technology Reports author Sarah Houghton-Jan posted this presentation at her blog Librarian in Black. "Web 2.0 Services for Smaller, Underfunded Libraries" can help librarians use social networking and other web tools to benefit patrons at little or no cost to the library.
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 8, 2008 - 10:45am
Yesterday's New York Times featured this piece, which discussed how newspaper journalists have become avid users of Twitter:
CNN says it wants newspaper feedback as it creates a news wire service to compete with The Associated Press and other services. At a meeting last week, one newspaper staff member offered his advice — and shared the framework of CNN’s plans — in real time on the social messaging Web site Twitter.
CNN, a division of Time Warner, invited several dozen newspaper editors to Atlanta last week for a summit about its forthcoming news wire. Gatherings of journalists aren’t usually off-the-record affairs, but CNN probably didn’t expect each segment of the summit to be shared with the Web. Then again, the increasingly popular Twitter, which allows users to share short messages with others, sometimes acts as a wire service as well. (CNN declined to comment.)
Hat tip to Steven at Library Stuff, who referenced this article yesterday.
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Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 5, 2008 - 10:23am
We want to know how this crisis is affecting your technology needs. Have you been unable to purchase up-to-date equipment? Are you unable to afford the bandwidth that you need? Have you found a way to stretch your budget that you think others should know about? We want to be your voice. If you have anything you'd like to share, no matter how big or small, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to share your stories with the world. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on December 3, 2008 - 9:19am
Our very own Michael Stephens has some additional information about the fantastic sculpture I wrote about last Wednesday. Check out his post at Tame the Web.