Friday, December 9, 2011
Daily Thoughts 12/9/2011
This morning, I am thinking of the cities proposed budget. The key here is that it is proposed and there is still time to negotiate, debate, and advocate. The city has a public hearing on the budget today, Friday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m. in Mount Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers. I will definitely be at the hearing. In the budget there is a $300,000 cut proposed for the library this year. Last year there was a $500,000 cut. The proposed budget is $3.2 million.
It is another late night. Last night, we had the Mount Vernon Writers Network at the library. There is now a website http://www.mvwn.org/ . There are images of three of our members books on the site. We spent some time discussing a logo for the group. We also had a new person come to the meeting, Robert Briggs who wrote http://www.ruinedtime.com/
We also have been working a little more on our website. The logo has been updated and the library is planning a complete site redesign soon. http://www.mountvernonpubliclibrary.org/ This was part of the Technology Committee meeting on Tuesday night.
I have been having a lot of late nights at the library lately. Tonight is another late night. I worked late on Wednesday as well. It has been a challenging, but rewarding week.
This morning, I finished reading Free Ride How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How The Culture Business Can Fight Back. The thing which bothered me about this book is that culture is viewed purely as a business in this book. There is little or nothing about culture as education, or culture in libraries, or culture in government. It is also completely focused on mass culture or mass media and has practically nothing on alternative culture. If you are looking for a business book, this is worth reading. It is not as concerned with the arts.
I also started the book, Back to Work by Bill Clinton which is basically a book on how to restart the economy. He is focusing on how to use both government and business together to help the United States recover from the recession.
This morning, I updated the Twitter and Facebook account. I also watched a bit of a video on Lynda.com called Writing Effective Email. In addition, I looked at a couple of websites in Drupal by other libraries to see how they compared with our website.
I made some calls to local radio stations for Kenneth C. Davis to see if he could be interviewed. Kenneth C. Davis is going to be at the library on January 12, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
I am looking at the website of Leonard Marcus who is an author who was born and educated in Mount Vernon, New York. There is a picture of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer annotated by Leonard Marcus. http://www.leonardmarcus.com/
City Council Meeting
I was at the city council meeting for the budget hearing. The meeting started at 7:00 p.m.. Some people mentioned that having a budget hearing on a Friday night was a bit unusual. Six people spoke for the library including our union president, two of the board of trustees, and several of our regular library patrons. The trustees warned that the cut of $300,000 could shut the library down at the beginning of the year.
Our union president talked about how we needed Saturday hours and more coverage of the building. Patrons wanted to come to the library on the weekends.
People talked about a variety of different issues on the library. There was a nice reminder that libraries improve property values and not having one would lower property values considerably.
I talked about how the trustees were visiting much more often and showing more dedication than before. They often come by and spend time in the library.
I also spoke about how we needed to modernize the library; there was a need for more than just computers, people also needed E-readers, tablet computers, an excellent website, wireless access, and computer training. There is more than just a digital divide there is a device divide and an access divide to modern technology. We needed to have funds to have a modern library.
The meeting ran for a little over an hour. One of our patrons who is also a friend of the library talked about how important it was for culture, it was like her second home.
There was also quite a bit about the importance of the youth bureau.
Other people had various issues with the city budget. There were questions about the accountability of the city and increases in taxes.
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