Author Archives: Sam Shaw

Public Library Survey Tip No. 4

Shaka. Today’s public library survey data collection tip (part 4) takes a look at library collections and databases (or “electronic collections”). For those of you who subscribe to local databases or have vendors other than Nebraska OverDrive, this can be a difficult task. But if you only have Nebraska OverDrive here’s the good news: We pull the data for those holdings and circulations and prefill it on your survey. Recently, the survey has been redesigned so that for eBooks, Audiobooks, and downloadable video you only report current holdings. No more of that eBooks added and deleted business.

On the survey there are sections for reporting eBooks, Audiobooks, downloadable video titles, and databases/electronic collections. If you subscribe to a service or have a vendor other than Nebraska OverDrive, how do you determine where to report that service/vendor and the number of uses? It depends, but the key question here is: Do the items circulate for a set period, or are they permanently retained by the patron? If they circulate for a set period, then you report in two areas: (1) the library collections portion of the survey (under eBooks, Audiobooks, and downloadable video); and (2) the circulation portion of the survey (adult or children’s). Sometimes, vendors offer a package of items that the library does not select, and that are paid for based on their selection by the patron. For these, you report the number of times the item was selected by the patron, both as holdings and circulation. Sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not the circulation was children’s or adult. If in doubt, or it isn’t clear, we suggest reporting it under the adult category.

If items are permanently retained by the patron, count each vendor as one local database and report the number of uses (generally this would be a download or a stream in the case of audio or video). Finally, our survey is set up for databases as a repeating group, so we first ask how many total local databases you subscribe to, then we ask you to name each one and report the number of times it was used. To illustrate, say that you have 3 local databases (Example: Zinio, Freegal, and Mango Languages). You first enter the name of the first database (Zinio), and then enter the number of times it was used, then click on Save, then click Add Group to enter the next database (Freegal) and its number of uses.

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Public Library Survey Tip No. 3

Today we have part 3 in our public library survey data collection series. We will focus on expenditures. First off, for this survey you report what you actually spent in the listed categories. Most of the time, this is different than the amount that was budgeted. As such, your reported expenditures shouldn’t be nice round numbers, and should be at least slightly different than what you reported last year. A common issue that arises is the reporting of expenditures for employee benefits. The employee benefit expenditure includes things such as payments for health insurance and retirement, but also social security and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act). This is a bit confusing because FICA typically includes both Social Security and Medicare. In the category, you need to report all of these payments, and the only way it can be a $0 is if you are paid as an independent contractor. If that’s the case, and rarely but sometimes it is, then enter “librarian is paid as an independent contractor” in the note field on the survey because this will undoubtedly come up on an edit check. A few other items of note about expenditures:

  • For library materials in electronic format, you report expenditures for eBooks, Audiobooks, e-serials (electronic journals), databases, electronic maps, downloadable videos, and pictures in electronic or digital format;
  • Other materials expenditures includes physical items that aren’t books. These typically are DVD’s, CD’s, microfilm, and other things like cake pans, puzzles, games, puppets, toys, and art;
  • Capital expenditures should match or come close to matching what you report in capital revenue. However, keep in mind that sometimes funds are allocated in the previous fiscal year, so the capital revenue was reported on last year’s survey even though the expenditure is reported on the current survey;
  • Capital expenditures are “major one time projects”, and examples include: (a) site acquisitions; (b) new buildings; (c) additions to or renovation of library buildings; (d) furnishings, equipment, and initial book stock for new buildings, building additions, or building renovations; (e) library automation systems (initial purchase of); (f) new vehicles; and (g) other one-time major projects. Examples include new roofs, new carpet, new windows, sidewalks, etc.; and
  • There sometimes is confusion about what to report as computer hardware, accessories, and software and “electronic access”. These are two different categories. For electronic access, you report maintenance or consortium fees association with your integrated library system or costs associated with accessing the internet. For the computer part (hardware, accessories, and software), you report items that are for both staff and public use.

Shaka.

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Public Library Survey Tip No. 2

Part 2 in our public library survey data collection series takes programming a step further, focusing specifically on children’s and young adult programs. Reporting these programs can be a bit tricky, mostly because of difficulty in determining which category to count the program. Taking into consideration the fact that some of these programs may overlap and actually draw persons from both the children’s and young adult age groups, you might need to make a determination of what category to put your program in based on the nature of the program. Specifically, what is the primary intended audience? Children (for purposes of this survey) are defined as persons age 11 and under. Young adults (for purposes of this survey) are defined as persons age 12 to 18. Here is your extended cheat sheet:

  • Story times and summer reading events should be counted as programs;
  • Do NOT count library services that are provided on a one-on-one basis (such as computer assistance or one-on-one homework help);
  • Count programs that the library either sponsors or co-sponsors;
  • Count programs even if they are held off-site (not at the library);
  • If a program is offered in a series, count each program in the series (e.g. if you have a discussion group that meets 6 times, that counts as 6 programs); and
  • IMPORTANT: For children’s program attendance – “Include adults who attend programs intended primarily for children.” And: For young adults – “Please count all patrons that attend the young adult programs regardless of age.”

Shaka.

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Public Library Survey Tip No. 1

Today marks the start of a multi-part weekly series of tips for collecting data for your next public library survey using Bibliostat. Yes, I know, it seems like this survey just ended, and it did, but you should be collecting your data now for input into the next survey when the cycle begins this coming November. Keep in mind that the next survey covers the time period of your library’s fiscal year, which in most cases is either October 1 to September 30 OR July 1 to June 30. A few libraries have fiscal years that run from January 1 to December 31. A quick reminder about terminology: Bibliostat is the vendor that we use to collect the data, but the survey itself is the IMLS public library survey. Today’s post will focus on programs in general. Most of you know what a library program is, but to clarify what you count for a program on this survey, here is the definition:

A program is any planned event which introduces the group attending to any of the broad range of library services or activities or which directly provides information to participants.

Now that is pretty broad, so here is your cheat sheet:

  • Library tours can be counted as programs;
  • Examples of some programs include film showings, lectures, story hours, English and citizenship classes, and book discussion groups;
  • Do NOT count library services that are provided on a one-on-one basis (such as computer assistance or one-on-one homework help);
  • Count programs that the library either sponsors or co-sponsors;
  • Count programs even if they are held off-site (not at the library); and
  • If a program is offered in a series, count each program in the series (e.g. if you have a discussion group that meets 6 times, that counts as 6 programs).

As always, if you have any questions about what to count or not count, feel free to let me know. Next week we will expand on the program counts to include specific children’s and young adult programs. One final note, if you might not have been counting some programs you should have been counting, and now you are, your count will likely increase from what was reported in the prior year’s survey. If this is the case, it might trigger an edit check in Bibliostat. This means that you will need to enter a note in the note field explaining the increase (or decrease). It is perfectly acceptable to put something in that field such as “we did not count programs held off site last year, and this year we did”. Shaka.

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2016 Fiscal Year Data is Now Available

The 2016 public library survey data is now available on the NLC website. This is preliminary data (meaning that it has not yet been certified by IMLS) so keep in mind that it might be subject to change. There is also a data dashboard that summarizes the data. Thanks to all of you who submitted your statistics. Historical data (back to 1999) is also available on our website. The next survey cycle begins in November, but you should be collecting those statistics now. If you are a new library director, check out the Bibliostat guide.

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State Aid Letters Have Been Mailed

The 2017 state aid calculations are now complete. State aid letters have been mailed and payments are in process. In the meantime, you can read (in general) about state aid and how it is distributed. Here is a list of the state aid distributions for 2017 (including this year’s formula). Finally, here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

For those libraries that aren’t accredited, now may be the time to consider the accreditation process, as you would then be eligible for state aid next year. You also need to submit your public library survey online via Bibliostat. The accreditation process starts later this summer, and the next public library survey collection cycle begins in November.

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Friday Reads: Call if You Need Me

My original intention was to write about a big wave surfing book I recently picked up from my local library. This likely would have been more exciting than Raymond Carver. However, as I trekked successfully through 3/4’s of the big wave surf book (for me, this is an accomplishment), it soured. Maybe another day or another surfer. I’ve been looking for something on Kelly Slater, not only the most dominant surfer to date, but arguably the most dominant athlete ever. For those of you who like infographics, ahem, I mean data visualizations, check this one out – it’s among the best.

I picked up Call if You Need Me, a collection of short stories, essays, and book reviews by Raymond Carver, published posthumously, and finished the bulk of it on a rain suffused weekend, reading mostly while simultaneously standing and hopped up because of a neck injury. I skipped the book reviews within Call if you Need Me. Reading Carver is a lot like watching an episode of Mad Men. On the surface things seem quite normal and ordinary, but in reality that is far from the truth. Having read a few of Carver’s other works in the past, this is familiar territory, and the short stories in Call if You Need Me were interesting and easy to read. If anything, I’d say they were a little less miserable (and slightly less humorous) than Carver’s other works. The short stories are flooded with the imperfect, often despair ridden world we live in; a world many of us have experienced firsthand one way or another. There is a prevalence of alcoholism, divorce, and depression, but also humor, hope, and a sense of contentedness that we often lack. I enjoyed reading about the timeline of Carver’s life — writing short stories late at night out of necessity because he had two kids at a young age, being poor, his literary influences, childhood, and the eventual successful sales of his work. If you haven’t read any Carver, I recommend you give him a try. The fact that these are short stories (as most of Carver’s other works are) means that there is little investment on your part.

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The Public Library Survey is due Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

SurveyIt’s crunch time for the annual IMLS public library survey (submitted via Bibliostat). The survey deadline is February 17, 2017. Completion of the survey is required for your library to receive state aid if you are accredited. If you aren’t accredited, you still have an incentive to complete the survey ($200), called Dollar$ for Data.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and thank you in advance for your participation.

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LSTA 5-Year Evaluation Survey

Every five years the Nebraska Library Commission is required to conduct an evaluation of its implementation of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) “Grants to States” program. The LSTA Grants to States Program is a federal program that provides funding to each state based on a population‐driven formula. Decisions regarding how these funds are spent are made at the state level; however, expenditures must be consistent with the purposes and priorities that are established nationally.

As part of our evaluation, if you have not done so already, we are asking those we serve to answer a short survey designed to gather information about the impact that our LSTA‐funded programs and services have had on individuals and libraries in Nebraska. This is your opportunity to give us some feedback about how the Library Commission’s activities have affected your ability to provide quality library service. Please help us by answering the survey by February 10, 2017. Here is the link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BPT6H2Q

Thank you for your involvement in this important evaluation!

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Friday Reads: League of Denial

Let me say up front (gasp!) that I am not a football fan. Not one bit. OK, I admit that at a time in my life long ago I might become moderately interested in seeing a good game (and rooting for the underdogs), but in today’s day and age I have little interest. I read the bulk of League of Denial by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru while hanging out in airports and on airplanes during a recent trip. Before getting into the content of League of Denial, it might be beneficial to describe the authors’ backgrounds, as well as why these brothers have different last names (including the origin of the hyphen). Steve Fainaru is an award winning reporter for the Washington Post (known for his field reporting in Iraq). His brother Mark (he hyphenated his name with that of his wife’s) has a background in sports reporting for the San Francisco Chronicle, worked on the BALCO steroids reporting (subsequently co-authoring Game of Shadows), and is a current investigative reporter for ESPN.

League of Denial details the NFL’s concussion crisis. It describes the first players that were diagnosed (post-mortem) with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease that had previously only been identified in boxers or other persons that suffered repeated blows to the head. League of Denial chronicles a number of former NFL players who suffered from the effects of CTE, from their playing days to their life struggles after retirement. The first former player to be diagnosed with CTE was Pittsburgh Steeler hall of fame center Mike Webster. Webster’s story is interesting because his life is illustrative of the struggle that many former players go through during and after their days in the NFL. It’s a very sad story. League of Denial chronicles Webster’s retirement financial troubles, living out of his truck, addiction to various prescription medications, and the fact that he often couldn’t sleep unless a friend hit him with a Taser, rendering him incapacitated for brief periods of time. To illustrate, this interview, taken from the PBS Frontline documentary (titled League of Denial) shows the depth of his brain injury, as well as the struggle of former NFL safety Gene Atkins.

Then there are the suicides. A number of these former players that committed suicide were diagnosed with CTE afterward. League of Denial describes some of these, including Terry Long (45 years old, drank antifreeze), Dave Duerson (50 years old, shot himself in the chest and left a note indicating that he wanted his brain to be used for research), and Junior Seau (43 years old, another gunshot to the chest). League of Denial has a bit of it all, including intrigue, mystery, and cover-ups. A land where NFL doctors argue with independent ones, former players fight for disability payments, and the NFL (by far the leader in worldwide sports revenues fights to maintain its image (among fans, players, and moms). A lot of parallels exist between the NFL concussion crisis and the tobacco industry, and many of the league insiders have called for a different handling of the crisis by the NFL, which up until recently denied any link between football’s inherent traumas to the head and CTE. Dr. Ann McKee, longtime Packers fan and professor of Neurology & Pathology at Boston University, aptly sums things up by saying:

“Football is an American sport. Everyone loves it. I certainly would never want to ban football. . . . We haven’t banned cigarette smoking. People smoke. People make that choice. But they need to make an informed decision. They need to understand the risks and it needs to be out there if they want to pay attention to what those risks are.”

I would recommend this book, even though Ann is wrong about everyone loving football. It is an easy read and informative, whether you are a fan or not a fan, and the science surrounding the concussion crisis is presented in an interesting way.

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The Public Library Survey is now available on Bibliostat

SurveyThe annual IMLS public library survey (submitted via Bibliostat) is now available. The survey deadline is February 17, 2017. Completion of the survey is required for your library to receive state aid if you are accredited. If you aren’t accredited, you still have an incentive to complete the survey ($200), called Dollar$ for Data.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions throughout the process. You can always start the survey, save your submissions, and then resume at a later date. It doesn’t have to all be done at once. Tip: It’s always a good idea to click on the red “save” button in Bibliostat before clicking “next” to the next screen. Thank you in advance for your participation.

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Friday Reads: Altamont

altamont-coverIt would be a gross understatement to say that Joel Selvin’s Altamont provides a mere description of the events leading up to and during the Altamont music festival (December 6, 1969). The San Francisco music critic provides much deeper coverage, including the overall music culture at the time, the Woodstock festival, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, and the lives of musicians and managers that were involved in these and other music events in the late 1960’s. And the other major player at Altamont, the Hells Angels.

The organizers of the Altamont festival, which was plugged as “Woodstock West”, unfortunately learned very few of the lessons that came from Woodstock. Altamont was largely a project put together by the Rolling Stones and other assorted handlers that included the Grateful Dead, and was in the end a semi-functional disaster. The Rolling Stones hadn’t toured since 1966, partly due to travel restrictions because of drug charges, and were in a financial crisis so to speak. So in November of 1969 the Stones began touring the U.S., playing large sold-out arenas with ticket prices outside of the norm (and also subsequently skipping from town to town without paying their hotel and travel bills). Altamont was supposed to be the answer to media and fan criticism of the Stones’ high ticket prices, but there were a few other factors at play in their decision to engage in a large scale concert. For one, the Stones weren’t at Woodstock, so there was perhaps an effort for something similar to make their mark (think grand scale). Secondly, the concert, although free to those attending, was always about the money. Perhaps not for a band like the Grateful Dead, but definitely for the Stones. For instance, Selvin describes one of the contributors to the chaos of the event being the multiple changes of venue. At one point, the Sears Point Raceway (now Sonoma Raceway) was selected and theoretically would have been a much better choice for the event than Altamont (after the organizers failed to obtain a permit to hold the event at Golden Gate Park). However, the Sears Point owners requested cash up front and film distribution rights, and the Stones weren’t willing to give that up. In the long run, it would have been well worth it.

In addition to the Stones, the lineup for the Altamont concert included Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Grateful Dead (although due to increased violence throughout the day of the event, the Dead decided not to play). With the last minute change in venue, one of the problems with the event was the fact that the stage could not be properly erected (and therefore lacked a natural barrier between the musicians and the mixture of LSD, amphetamines, and cheap wine that laced the crowd). The stage stood less than four feet high (compared with 15 feet at Woodstock). Added to the logistical difficulties were huge amount of traffic, inadequate roads, and the lack of other essentials such as food, water, and facilities (yes, those kinds of facilities). Finally (and perhaps most importantly), due to a distrust of the cops, at the suggestion of Jefferson Airplane, the Stones hired no security for the event other than paying the Hells Angels $500 worth of beer (on a truck with ice) in exchange for the Angels agreement to hang out in front and keep the spectators off the stage. And as we all know, the Hells Angels ain’t no cops (especially when they are spending the entire day and night drinking free ice cold beer). The scene at Altamont reeked of trouble from the start, as Selvin offers this depiction of Santana (the first band of the day) beginning to play:

“Santana drummer Michael Shrieve sensed the fog of evil as soon as he settled behind his kit and looked around. The stage felt claustrophobic and the audience packed up against it as tightly as they could. He saw one particularly menacing Hells Angel called Animal, who was wearing a coyote skin as a headdress—the flattened, dried-out head of the long-dead animal hanging grotesquely over his forehead. Something felt wrong from the start. … The Angels waded into the crowd flailing pool cues another half dozen times during the band’s forth-five-minute set, chasing down a hippie photographer who refused to give up his film, smacking around some freaked-out kid trying to escape by climbing onto the stage.”

All said and done, the casualties at Altamont included four deaths, numerous beatings at the hands of the Angels, and general bad vibes. Selvin paints an intriguing and engaging portrait of the events leading up to and during Altamont, as well as the major players. If you have any interest in the historical events of the late 1960’s, the Rolling Stones, or the rock musicians from San Francisco scene during that time, this is an easy and interesting read.

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Friday Reads: Disrupted

disrupted_coverIn Disrupted, Dan Lyons tells the story of his time working as a writer (mostly blogs) for the tech startup company HubSpot. Prior to working at HubSpot, Lyons had a number of writing gigs and most of them were technology related. His previous work included writing for Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, and writing the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog. When his position at Newsweek was eliminated, he found himself looking for work at the age of 50, while married with two kids to take care of (his wife had medical issues and was not working at the time). He started the search for new employment and eventually landed at HubSpot, a company that provides software for “inbound marketing.” Disrupted tells the story of Lyons searching for and then subsequently obtaining new employment (and the challenges that go with that) as an “older” adult (and with much younger colleagues), but also his general experience working within the unique tech environment. While not geographically Silicon Valley (HubSpot is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts) Lyons provides an apt description of an insider’s view from within a tech startup.

Lyons, albeit somewhat reluctantly, accepted the job at HubSpot for a few different reasons. For one, it was geographically close to home and his family. Secondly, he had a number of friends who reaped large financial benefits from working in tech startups (and had vouched that HubSpot was indeed legit), so there was a motivation of financial self interest. And thirdly, after writing about tech issues and companies for so long he was curious about experiencing the culture from an insider’s perspective. His experiences, as Disrupted details in often humorous and depressing fashion, were overall less than stellar. As he became immersed in the HubSpot culture, the realism of the organization he now was a part of settled in:

“This is the peppy, effervescent, relentlessly positive, incredibly hubristic and overconfident attitude that everyone in the HubSpot marketing department exudes from [the head] on down. These people are super cheery cheerleaders. The whole world of online sales and marketing is filled with people who listen to Tony Robbins audiobooks on their way to work and dream of unleashing the power within themselves, people who love schmaltzy, smarmy motivational-speaker guff about being passionate, following your dreams, and conquering fear.”

Lyons has now moved on from HubSpot, subsequently writing for HBO’s Silicon Valley (a gig he started while still at HubSpot). The thing that Lyons nails is his apt portrayal of the culture, including how these startups often don’t really make money, the lack of diversity (and apparent non-concern about it), sexism and ageism (Mark Zuckerberg once said that “Young people are just smarter”), and more concern with the fact that employees have bean bag chairs, ping pong tables, and unlimited supplies of beer, candy, and hype than actually producing a decent product that the average person understands. Lyons sums this up when mentioning the co-founders of Twitter (incidentally, Twitter hasn’t ever turned a profit), specifically Biz Stone, who has an estimated net worth of $200 million. Since leaving Twitter, Stone started two companies, Jelly and Super. As Lyons notes, no one understands what the companies actually do, including Stone himself:

“I know this is eye-rollingly, hallucinogenically optimistic…but our mission is to build software that fosters empathy.”

If you are interested in an insider’s view of tech startups, Disrupted is an easy and most entertaining read. If you liked HBO’s Silicon Valley, you would also like this book. And for the record, if you want to foster empathetic relationships, begin with your day to day interactions with real life human beings. Start with Hi. You don’t need software for that.

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The Data Dude: 2015 FY Data Now Available

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsShaka. The 2015 public library survey data is now available on the NLC website. This is preliminary data (meaning that it has not yet been certified by IMLS) so keep in mind that it might be subject to change (but most likely it will not). There is also a data dashboard that summarizes the data. Thanks to all of you who submitted your statistics.

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The Data Dude on Public Library Survey Completion

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsShaka. Thanks again to all of you who submitted your public library survey via Bibliostat, and to those unaccredited libraries who submitted the survey on paper, answering the federally required questions. Our data has been submitted to IMLS, and as soon as some cleanup occurs, the full data set will be available on our website. Our response rate jumped a bit this year, up to 89%. For those of you who might be new to the survey, now would be the time to start collecting your statistics for next year’s reporting cycle, which begins mid-November. If you are a new director, take a look at our guide for new directors. If you are one of those unaccredited libraries who responded to the survey on paper, if those statistics are submitted online next cycle, you will be eligible for a Dollar$ for Data grant payment.

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The Data Dude on State Aid

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsShaka. The 2016 state aid calculations are now complete. State aid letters have been mailed and payments are in process. In the meantime, if you want to know more information about state aid (in general) go to that part of the NLC website. Here is a list of the state aid distributions for 2016, and here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

For those libraries that aren’t accredited, now may be the time to consider the accreditation process, as you would then be eligible for state aid next year. You also need to submit your public library survey online with Bibliostat. The accreditation process starts later this summer, and the next public library survey collection cycle begins in November.

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The Data Dude on Dollars for Data

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsSince 2005, the Library Commission has provided funding for the Dollar$ for Data program. In a nutshell, if an unaccredited library submits their annual statistics online using the Bibliostat tool, they are eligible for a $200 grant payment. This year, there are 49 unaccredited libraries who submitted their statistics and will receive the payment. Letters have been mailed to those libraries, but a complete list is also on the NLC website. The purpose of this program is to encourage unaccredited libraries to submit their data and encourage them to take the next step and apply for accreditation. The accreditation process begins in July, and more information can be found here. Shaka.

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The Data Dude – Do Space

Gold Guy Surfing On Business Reports

“Some of the simplest, most innovative things I’ve thought of just happened through conversation,”– Hans Bekale, Classless Agency, Omaha, NE

This week, the Dude almost decided to end his streak of weekly posts (and it will happen sooner or later), but then listened to a recent NET story about Do Space and for some reason started thinking about Marcus Aurelius and the exchange of ideas (no kidding). Now, before we get to the Do Space plug, a little side note. There could, theoretically, be a long dissertation on Marcus Aurelius, collaboration, and the power of patience, but another newfound quote seems to illustrate the Dude’s thoughts on these things a whole lot better:

The most valuable skill of a successful entrepreneur … isn’t ‘vision’ or ‘passion’ or a steadfast insistence on destroying every barrier between yourself and some prize you’re obsessed with. Rather, it’s the ability to adopt an unconventional approach to learning: an improvisational flexibility not merely about which route to take towards some predetermined objective, but also a willingness to change the destination itself. This is a flexibility that might be squelched by rigid focus on any one goal.

–Oliver Burkeman

So if you are planning a collaborative learning space or collaborative library program, check out the NET story. Perhaps this could inspire you or just give you a bit more information about the great work that is occurring at Do Space, both concerning collaboration and technology. Shaka.

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The Data Dude on the Latest NLC Data Illustration

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsThanks to all of you for submitting your annual public library surveys. Our data collection is now closed, and we have upped our response rates to almost 90%. Now begins the process of submitting the data to IMLS. In the meantime, in case you missed it, check out our latest data summary handout, using the most current 2014 data. Special thanks goes out to Tessa Terry here at NLC, for helping the Dude with these illustrations. Shaka.

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The Data Dude on Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

maintenanceState aid time is just around the corner. But first, let’s talk about this little thing called maintenance of effort (a/k/a MOE). Some of you are aware of this, as you recently received letters explaining it. If you didn’t receive a letter, then you don’t have to worry about it. But for future reference, read on. The MOE requirement applies to libraries who will be receiving state aid, which means that they are accredited and they have submitted an annual public library survey via Bibliostat online. The maintenance of effort requirement is that the “local income support for the library is at least equal to the lowest annual income from the three previous years.” In other words, we look at the local funding (as reported on your public library survey) for the three prior years (in this case 2011, 2012, and 2013) and compare that to the current data that we use for state aid calculations (in this case 2014 data). The most recently submitted public library survey covers the 2015 year, and that data will be used in next year’s calculations. If you did not receive a letter in the mail, then your library met the MOE requirements. For those libraries that didn’t meet the MOE requirement, it’s possible that their state aid will be reduced by the percentage proportionate to the decrease in local funding. Now today’s post is also a quick reminder for those that received MOE letters that the deadline to file a waiver is April 15, 2016. Some of you have already filed waivers or otherwise explained reporting errors, and that data has been adjusted. If the city clerk can verify that the library budget was reduced at the same percentage as that of the rest of the city budget, then that is grounds for a waiver. So, if you are filing a waiver, get it in soon – like by the end of the week. State aid letters indicating what your payment will be will be send out toward the end of April. Photo of the jacked up car awaiting maintenance by the William Masters lookalike is courtesy of Nebraska Memories. Shaka.

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