Monthly Archives: November 2011

Are circulation statistics our best indicator of success?

The Practical Librarian has an interesting post where she beefs about whether circulation statistics are the best indication we have of library success.  She offers all of the arguments that most of us have thought through one time or another, but follows up by suggesting that we have actual quantifiable library performance standards instead.  As more of our services fall away from the print medium, this seems really pertinent.  Read her original post here.

Prairie dog circulation

Guerilla library seized

Well, maybe not a guerilla library, but evidently, Occupy Wall Street had a library with some 5,000 items, and it all got swept away to the sanitation department.  Some items were returned, but many were not, and some were returned in very poor condition.  Read the story here.

Occupy Wall Street Library

Occupy Wall Street Library

The downlow on the Nook Tablet

Here’s an interesting article on the new Nook Tablet.  If you want to read the about the pros and cons of it, and how it stacks up against the new Kindle Fire, check it out here.


Don’t get too out of the work mode while the holidays approach, because the Eureka! Leadership Institute application process will open up soon for the class of 2012.  Eureka! will teach you how to make the most out of your profession, and you will make contacts that will serve you well for the rest of your career.  To get on the interest list and be prepared to turn in your applications in February, sign up here.

Inspiration at Eureka!

George and Joan present: Libraries and Economic Recovery

If you haven’t ever participated in a webinar or in-person engagement with George and Joan before, you really should!  They offer smooth, free-thinking presentations on a variety of library related topics.  This Wednesday, there is a free webinar at noon, Pacific time on how to support entrepreneurs in your service community.  George and Joan bounce ideas off each other, are funny, warm, and thought-provoking.  They answer questions thoughtfully, and are ready to be challenged by participants with tough scenarios.

As we all know, even as our budgets go down, libraries are working hard to help their communities recover through job and business support.  Learn new techniques to do so with a couple of the best speakers in our field.  Check out for more information.

George and Joan

George and Joan

Library funding in jeopardy!

November 8, 2011
FROM:           Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
                      Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
 RE:                News From The Capitol
“Spare Public Libraries From the Trigger!”
As CLA members and library supporters are aware, the 2011-12 Budget presented some very tough challenges for three major library programs – the California Library Services Act, the Public Library Foundation, and the state literacy program.  These programs continue to be in jeopardy, and now CLA needs your help again!  
In January, the Governor’s Budget proposed eliminating all state funding for these three programs ($30.4 million), but through heavy lobbying efforts and a strong grass roots showing from the library community, we were able to retain half of that funding ($15.2 million) to keep the three programs operational, by compromising with the legislature and Governor’s office. 
You will recall that, as part of the 2011-12 Budget agreement, the legislature adopted and the Governor signed AB 121, the so-called “Budget Trigger” bill.  This measure states that: 
“No later December 15, 2011, the Director of Finance shall forecast General Fund revenues for the 2011-12 fiscal year and shall determine whether that revenue forecast or the Legislative Analyst’s November 2011 General Fund forecast is higher. The Director of Finance shall notify the Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the determination and the amount of the higher forecast.  If the higher revenue forecast determined pursuant to subdivision (a) projects General Fund revenues for the 2011-12 fiscal year of less than $87,452,500,000, the Director of Finance shall do all of the following on or after January 1, 2011:…..”
What then follows the above language is a list of the items that could be cut, effective January 1, including all remaining state funding for library services (could zero out the $15.2 million), and thus, there would be no more state funding for the CLSA, PLF, or literacy.  The proposed public library cuts are on a list of reductions along with major cuts to UC and CSU, In Home Support Services, and juvenile justice programs, among others.
In a meeting we had last week with the Director of the Department of Finance she asserted that the legislation, AB 121, gives the Department very little flexibility and “wiggle room.”  In subsequently speaking with several key legislative staff members, they acknowledge that for groups (e.g. libraries) to be spared the impacts of the “trigger,” after the first of the year, they would have to be part of a larger, alternative compromise proposal.  If the trigger is pulled, there may be other options, including asking the legislature or the Governor to replace the $15.2 million during next year’s Budget deliberations.  For any of these efforts to work, pressure must be brought to bear by our strong grass roots library supporters.  While we will be working with legislators and Budget staff in the coming weeks and months to try to identify options and solutions, we need your help now.
We are asking CLA members and library supporters to do the following today:
1)    Write the Governor – mail a hard copy letter, or fax it, or email him
a)    cc’ the four legislative leaders on the letter you prepared for the Governor
b)    cc’ your own legislators on these letters
In your letters, please inform the Governor’s office that the cuts will have:
1)     Devastating impacts on local library services (Cite specifics.)
2)     Will dismantle the CLSA – the state’s cooperative loaning program to the point where libraries won’t share resources anymore and non-residents will either not be allowed to use services or will use them at significant cost (e.g. library cards of $75 or more)
3)    20,000 adult literacy learners may have nowhere else to turn for services.
4)    Approximately $15 million in federal funding – money that also funds the Braille and Talking Book library – could be lost. 
While we know that the holidays are busy times for everyone, we urge you to take a moment today to write the Governor (cc’ the leaders) and encourage him to “Spare Public Libraries From The Trigger.”   Please don’t wait until after the first of the year – that will, most assuredly, be too late.
Mail your letter to:
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, Room, 1173
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Or fax your letter to the Governor:  (916) 558-3160, or for instructions on how to email the Governor, please go to and click on the “contact” section.
CC’s to the following
The Honorable Darrell Steinberg                                     
Senate President pro Tempore
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 205                                                    
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Or fax:  (916) 323-2263      
The Honorable Bob Dutton
Senate Minority Leader
California State Senate                                                     
State Capitol, Room 305
Sacramento, CA.  95814                                       
Or fax:  (916) 327-2272
The Honorable John A. Perez                                          
Speaker of the California State Assembly                     
State Capitol, Room 219                                                    
Sacramento, CA.  95814                                                   
Or fax:  (916) 319-2146      
The Honorable Connie Conway
Assembly Republican Leader
State Capitol, Room 3104
Sacramento, CA.  95814   
Or fax:  (916) 319-2134
Thank you for your help!

Get Involved!

If you aren’t part of the popular California State Library initiative, Get Involved, you really should be.  At the upcoming CLA conference, there will be some opportunities to hear directly about how libraries are using volunteers in new ways, and a new interest group for volunteer engagement is launching at the conference too!  If you aren’t going to the conference, but you still want the information, you can get all the background you can use on the site’s overview page.  There are also regional interest groups forming now, and one is in the Bay Area!  There are events being planned for next March, so whether you are new to the concept, or an old hand, if you would like to get your library involved, contact PLP and we will get you plugged in.  Also, if you aren’t using Volunteer Match to find your volunteers, you could be!  Contact Carla Lehn at the State Library, and she will even walk you through it.