I went to “A Model for a New World” with Molly Rogers and Lyn Hopper and they talked about re-inventing libraries, how to provide great service to our patrons, shrinking budgets with greater demands for services, and how to do more with less.
One of the things that made an impact on me was the way they had an open discussion among all the libraries. We learned more about what we are all going through and how each of us deals with different budget issues and morale.
We learned how to decipher the core values at our library and what our timeless purpose is. The workbook they provided gave me a lot of insight into things that need to be changed in our library. All in all it was a great class.
I loved all the programming ideas I received. I learned how to do Google Docs for the library. There were in-depth ideas for story time that I never would have thought of and very useful websites that I can go to for additional ideas.
The Teen programming offered a lot of insights on how we can better our teen program with lock ins, remembering what they like to read, encouraging their talents, feeding them, collaborations, care for them, and tons of forms of media that I can use in the future to promote programs at the library.
The keynote speakers were all amazing, such as: Julie Hildebrand, Susan Hildreth, Margaret Maron, and Dr. Ron Carlee. Just from listening to them talk we are now inspired to look into applying for the Best Small Library in America Grant.
The vendors were great. I met a lot of representatives from companies that I would have never met on my own. I signed up for the Geek the Library Campaign which I love and have already received a bag from them to get started.
My favorite thing about the conference was meeting all of the other librarians from all over the United States. I really enjoyed getting to know them, talking to them about our favorite books, shopping with them, eating with them, seeing what does and does not work at their libraries, sharing book lists to better our circulation, and emailing ideas back and forth.
Thank you so much to the Utah State Library for making this once in a lifetime experience possible. I will never forget what I learned and the new friends that I have made. I hope to bring the great things I learned back to the Garland Public Library.
Director: Garland Public Library
The award for the most entertaining government publication of the Year has to go to Senator Tom Coburn’s Wastebook 2010. It’s a guide to the 100 most wasteful federal spending projects of the year. Coburn, known as a champion of fiscal responsibility in his opposition to earmarks and unchecked government spending, identifies $11.5 billion worth of wasteful spending. The reports gives each target a humorous and engaging title such as “Carrousel Museum Takes Taxpayers for a Spin” and “Federal Study Investigates Cow Burps.”
Unnecessary office printing costs taxpayers $930 million in waste each year.
The Department of Defense (DOD) spends $1.4 billion on office printing, 34% of which, according to the 2009 Lexmark Government Printing Report, is unnecessary. The average federal employee costs their agency an average of $500 each year in office printing. This doesn’t even factor in the negative environmental impacts of the 6.5 billion pages of paper consumed annually.
The printing of government publications by the Government Printing Office also takes a big hit. In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, Sen. Coburn questioned the purpose of printing the federal budget, asking, “How many people actually read the printed budget of the President, the printed one? One, maybe two?”
While many state and local governments and federal agencies are now printing their publications digitally, Congress itself still hasn’t figured it out. The Congressional Record has been online for fifteen years yet it is still printed in paper at an annual cost of $25.25 million. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl says that about the only thing that the 4,551 daily copies are used for these days, “is filling up recycling bins on Capitol Hill.” Coburn shakes his said saying, “It’s all online.” Why are we still printing it? His answer: “Because we’re inept.”
Okay, blame it on librarians. Both the Congressional Record and the Budget of the United States Government are on the Government Printing Office’s Essential Titles List which mandates the need for certain publications be sent to depository libraries in paper or other tangible formats. The American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) supports their continued printing and paper distribution because they are “core documents of our democracy” and because the Library of Congress only recognizes paper or microfiche as archival formats.
GPO is also dinged for its pricing of a comic book about a Superhero Mouse that teaches children “why printing is important.” Anticipating high demand, GPO printed 5,500 copies but priced them to sell at $5.70 less than the cost to produce. GPO calls the loss a marketing expense. Coburn says that taxpayers, “who footed the bill for the project — might have another name for it.”
An agency video publication, “Snapshot of America” produced by the U.S. Census Bureau cost taypayers $2.5 million to run as an advertisement during last year’s Super Bowl. It tanked. Media critics gave it the lowest score as the worst of all the Super Bowl commercials. This was only one of many publishing projects in a $133 million campaign to educate Americans about participating in the census enumeration. To Coburn’s chagrin, “none of these strategies appears to have produced an increase in census returns.”
The Wastebook cites at No. 4 in the report a $615,000 prestigious National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the University of California Santa Cruz. This grant, one of 51 awarded by IMLS, is to develop a groovy, innovative, “socially constructed” archiving system to digitize photographs, flyers, T-shirts, and concert tickets belonging to the Grateful Dead. The report notes the net worth of the Jerry Garcia estate and Phil Lesh at roughly $40 and $35 million respectively and wonders why taxpayer funding for libraries is footing the bill to archive the band’s memorabilia?
My personal favorites of waste are the “Study of Why Political Candidates Make Vague Statements” (cost $216,884), “Study of Why Americans Voted in the Election” (cost $2.3 million), and the “Office for Retired Speakers of the House of Representatives” (cost $440,955).
Following Dr. Coburn’s prescriptions (he is an obstetrician), governments can save real money.
Let me give an example. Before we went digital, Georgia Loutensock at the Utah Office of Education sent 19 copies of every School Accreditation Report to the State Library for distribution to depository libraries. Now that she sends only digital copies to the Digital Library, her agency has cut their annual printing costs by between $1,000 and $1,200 or by 80%. Multiply that savings by the average 10,000 publications that we receive yearly, and the digital library is saving agencies of state government over $10 million each year in printing costs!
I’m hoping that the Wastebook will become an annual New Year’s tradition. It provides a wake-up call reminding the country of our need to trim the “wasteline.”
So, how much did Coburn’s report cost to print?
“Zero,” his spokesman John Hart tells Reuters. “We didn’t make a single printed copy. There’s something called the Internet.” Doh!
The Senator could have spent a few bucks, though, to hire a proofreader. It’s missing eight pages of its table of contents.
By Joanne Gialelis, Library Assistant II, Utah State Law Library
The Utah State Library Division’s UPLIFT Professional Excellence Grant provided me with an excellent opportunity. With this grant award, I was able to pay for a Collection Management course and apply the credits towards my graduate degree program at SJSU’s School of Library and Information Science. This course showed me how collections are built and changed over time. There was much discussion of the obstacles and challenges faced when trying to build and maintain a strong, relevant collection. These obstacles include censorship challenges, copyright issues and the increasing annual costs of books, videos, and periodicals.
I had the opportunity to learn about item selection tools that relate to my work in a public law library. I also learned about materials selection in subjects I don’t see in my day to day work, including entrepreneurship, home ownership, and stock investment books. The most challenging assignment was putting together an Opening Day Collection using a predetermined budget. This forced me to choose a few titles among so many available while trying to keep a variety of viewpoints.
The most valuable lesson taken from this course was that networking will be an important part of managing a library collection. Whether being active in a library association, talking to cultural or business leaders, or keeping in touch with teachers or faculty, librarians don’t work in isolation to provide the best collections and services. I learned a lot from my classmates (including two fellow Utah students) how different types of libraries face challenges such as budget crises and shared with other libraries. The class was a valuable experience that will have lasting impact on my emerging professional career.
Emily Sheketoff of ALA tells how libraries can benefit and what to do. Remember when she came to Utah for ULA/MPLA in 2008? She said recently:
Specific provisions libraries can benefit from in the stimulus include $13 billion for Title I, $650 million for Enhancing Education Through Technology, $7.2 billion for Broadband, $53.6 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, an additional $120 million for the Senior Community Service Employment Program, an additional $130 million for the Rural Community Facilities Program, and $4.24 billion and $1.33 billion for Military Libraries to try to access. ALA has posted information on how these provisions can benefit libraries.
Here are ways that Utah libraries can use the money.
Broadband. This is the biggest fund for libraries. There is $7.2 billion set aside nationally: $4.5 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and $2.5 billion for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which includes $200 million set aside for community computing centers, including public libraries and community colleges.
Enhancing Education Through Technology. The school librarian could use this money for computers in the library, databases, etc. The goal is to help all students become technologically literate by the end of the eighth grade.
Title 1: Title I schools (usually lower income) have extra money coming in to close the achievement gap. The funding is flexible and, for the most part, the control rests in the hands of local and state superintendents–and spending some of it on school libraries would be a wise investment, ALA asserts.” (Maya Prabhu of ALA). Utah Title 1 school librarians should contact their local school officials and get the ball rolling.
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. Governor Huntsman will decide how to spend this and school libraries should be the ones to benefit if we band together. The ARRA directs governors to use 81.8 percent of the state’s allocation to support elementary, secondary and higher education. This funding is flexible so school librarians should make their case and get into this pot of money.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) works with eligible seniors to gain job training and employment. It does not specifically apply to work in libraries, although library work would definitely be a legitimate application of the program. Utah has an ongoing SCSEP program and received additional funding under the stimulus bill. Libraries could recruit seniors to work for them under this program. SCSEP pays their wages, not the library. Sweet! Free (to you) yet paid for (by others) employees. A real win-win. See http://www.doleta.gov/seniors/
Rural Community Facilities Program. The Community Programs is a division of the Housing and Community Facilities Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture. Community Programs includes the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program, and the Community Facilities Grant Program. These programs help develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include schools, libraries, childcare, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. In Utah see http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ut/. Go to the listing for your area and contact the person there.
Military Libraries. I don’t know much about this but if you do, please reply.