Showing posts from November, 2009

Barriers to support: it's all on the web

Recently, a colleague showed me an editorial in a small local newspaper that demanded the immediate resignation of both the director (my colleague) and her board. The reasons weren't exactly clear; it had something to do with her actually quite astute decision to snap up some property at foreclosure prices for a desperately needed library.

This week, there was a letter to the editor here in Douglas County, protesting the direction of our own library.

Of course, people voicing their objections to public decisions of any kind is a First Amendment right. I quite enjoy it myself.

But my interest is this. OCLC identified in its study ("From Awareness to Funding") a perception that is an "obstacle to support:" the idea that "the web has it all." Generally, OCLC concluded that you can't change people's mind about this one, so don't waste your time. But I think that misperception is quite broad these days, and may need special marketing attention.


CALCON09 - LaRue's View

I just returned from the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) conference 2009. At the end of Saturday, I realized that virtually everything I attended was about a common theme. I thought it might be useful to connect the dots.

What was the theme? It was captured by the title of the preconference I attended: "From Awareness to Funding," based on the OCLC report of the same name. For a long time, libraries have done a lot of things to increase awareness and use. But as that report and recent events have demonstrated, neither of these has resulted in consistent public support for libraries (in Colorado, anyhow) as measured in voter support.

Yet many libraries are working on "awareness" -- such as celebrating their recent Library Journal Index ranking of being 5 or 4 star libraries (including Telluride, Vail, Boulder, and Douglas). There were presentations on branding, both internal and external - which has now taken place at Denver Public Library, Estes Valley, High …

Threat to our communities

Today I sent this out (from my personal email account, of course) to many interested parties.

As promised at the 2009 conference of the Colorado Association of Libraries, I'm posting this to libnet and to the Colorado Public Library Directors lists. It concerns three measures -- two constitutional amendments, and one initiative that if passed would become statute. They are quite likely to make it to the November 2010 ballot.

If they do, and if they are approved by a majority of Colorado voters, the results will be catastrophic not only to public libraries, but to virtually every local government (most definitely including public schools and higher education), as well as the state itself.

Below is my summary of a meeting I attended on November 16 of a group of interested parties, many of whom are from the private sector. Again, if these measures pass, not only government will suffer. It's hard to imagine that any business would choose to live in a state in which the infrastructure…

From Fedora 11 to Ubuntu 9.10

I was beginning to have problems with my aging PC -- an HP Pavilion a520n. If you do a search on this machine, the consensus is clear: upgrade. I bought it in May of 2004. I've been using various versions of Linux on it ever since.

Most recently, I was running Fedora 11, which was actually pretty snazzy. It was gorgeous onscreen, and remarkably responsive. Then, suddenly, I was having all kinds of issues with my wireless connection. The reason had nothing to do with the operating system. As I determined through popping in a bunch of live CDs, the problem was the wireless card. It was dying.

So one of my friends installed a new card for me. It works great. But something about the change disabled all my cool graphics -- the nvidia resolution, the Compiz effects, all refused to function.

With a little diligence, using Google as my troubleshooting manual, I probably could have fixed it. But I admit it: I got bored. I started distro hopping. (I'd made a backup of my files before I tur…

LaRue interviews ... LaRue

One of my more interesting duties is interviewing writers for "Authors @ Douglas County Libraries," produced by the Network Douglas County. They're a creative bunch, and came up with an idea for a promo of the series. Here it is: me, interviewing me.

Aurora library election loss

So Aurora citizens soundly defeated (54 to 46%)the proposal to shift funding of Aurora, Colorado public libraries from the falling sales tax to more stable property taxes. All understood that 4 of 7 libraries would close, and some 40 jobs be eliminated. Said the victorious leader of the opposition, "This is not a referendum on libraries." Rather, it was to save property owners an estimated $5.69 a month.