California Governor Jerry Brown plans to cut all state funding for the public libraries while in Los Angeles the city funding has also been cut. In New York City budget cuts were limited thanks to a Keep the library open campaign that rallied people in support. A few messages from the New York clip: Don't be afraid to raise your voice (please join me), 'I would be lost without the library" (Barbara Walters), 'Library is what makes a community a community" (Nora Ephron). But at the end of 2010 they are back in trouble (look also at the comment at the end).
Geek the library is an e-campaign created by the Gates Foundation to raise the awareness about the problems facing public libraries. It does not help us much except in encouraging "us" to get involved in supporting our public libraries. How is the present KRL leadership willing to have "us" involved? As for now they look extremely distant.
The KRL Board of Trustees held a study session on December 10 about "reimagining" KRL after the defeat of the levy. The minutes are so succinct it is quite difficult to understand what was suggested. Some emphasis seems to be on "going more digital" but if I recall well what people wanted most is longer hours and KRL is choosing to go in the exact opposite direction. Still no public meeting announced to discuss with the whole community, not only a few board members and staff what KRL's future could/should be.
While commenting about the decision to close the library on sundays, KRL President Gail Mathison is quoted as saying; 'it sort of evens the playing field", sort of putting all libraries on the same reduced service. But what Gail Mathison (who represents South Kitsap) does not seem to take into consideration is that only two places Bainbridge and Poulsbo supported the levy. This decision intends to align all libraries to the least level of service. Obviously (and unfortunately) a majority of the people in South Kitsap, Central Kitsap and North Kitsap did not care enough about the libraries to support the levy: therefore they probably should not care to see their libraries closed on sundays. That's not the case for Bainbridge and our community that already owns the building and raises substantial amounts of extra money (via Friends of the Library and probably KRL) could very probably raise the extra funding necessary to keep the library open on sundays. As we write the KRl leadership does not see open to this solution but why should Bainbridge that was ready and willing to increase the levy support the consequences of the vote in the other districts?
Another remark is that considering the number of people who voted YES, KRL could raise enough money in each district to keep the level of service by convincing them to voluntarily give.
In 1989, Carol Perkins-de la Plassade lives happily in Paris with her French banker husband and their two daughters 12 and 9. Only one thing really upsets her: the cigarette smoke everywhere. Fed up, she joins a local Non-Smoker's Rights group and quickly gets deeply involved in tobacco control advocacy. She finds herself at the center of the many plots and lawsuits that dominated this period.
Bonjour Bainbridge is a collection of 128 vignettes that I self-published in a book format in January 2011, via Blurb. For now I have only printed 3 copies that I circulated within the family as I still want to review its content (200 pages).
I wanted to test "BookSmart", the simplest free book publishing software provided by Blurb: it was very easy to use for someone (like me) who is not very tech-savvy and I think the final result looks fine.
The Cost? $8 per copy plus $7 for shipping, for a total cost of$31 (less than $11 per copy).
I am still working on finding the many typos and refining the text: that part is very time consuming. This is definitely a cheap and effective way to self-publish a book.
Jeff Brody, Director of Community Relations for KRL emails me that there are about 110,000 active KRL card holders not about 200.000 as I extrapolated from the number Peter Raffa had told me (191,286).
I certainly want to use the most relevant number. If there are 110,000 card holders, the 1800 donators would represent less than 2%.
I had not realized the Kitsap Sun had advised to to vote NO on the levy. Reading their opinion (mostly there was too much planned for new buildings) and the comments is interesting and raises some questions about what should be funded or not.
In the context of the defeat of the levy to increase funding for KRL I wrote a letter that was published in the Bainbridge Review and ther Kitsap Sun advocating a KUOW like strategy. I had made the same suggestion in november 2007, when the first levy attempt was defeated: I had not been listened to. Is there a better chance this time?
The precinct canvass report gives a much more detailed view of who supported/or not the library levy. It would be interesting to have the data in visual/google map like format. I some areas there is a strong support for the public library, in others less so: that could lead to increased differences as some communities appear more willing to invest than others. in fact only Bainbridge and Poulsbo (by a small margin) voted in favor of the levy. It is also interesting to look again at the result of the May 2007 ballot where the levy was defeated while the participation was much lower (42,67%) but the percentages similar: 45,55% for the Yes and 54,45% for the No.
AAA Washington hits the million-member mark: in their Journey magazine Erik Lucas explains how the organization slowly built its membership. That reminds me of the challenge ahead for Kitsap Regional Library: how can KRL turn its almost 200K car holders into voluntarily pledging members? As for now, the KRL Foundation has about 1800 contributing donors (1% of the cardholders) that gave about $120K in 2010. I do not include one legacy (of $120K) and one 25K grant from the Walmart Foundation. The challenge -as I see it- is to get most of the cardmembers (not 1%) to pledge and donate at least $10 per year for a fundraising goal of $2 million. If you are interested by this challenge and helping to make it happen, let me know: I think it is up to us/you, the "average" card-holders to take the initiative and the responsibility to try to make it happen. Thank you in advance.
While looking at the compensation of executives in Health Insurance "Not-for-Profit" corporations or Hospitals I have wondered about the governance of those organizations. It looked like the Board of Directors was omnipotent (most of the time). But how were the members of the Board chosen? It seems that in most cases the board members simply chose themselves: this is the system of the self-perpetuating board where all the power is concentrated within board members that are only accountable to themselves.
The Islander publishes an article about the fate of Bainbridge Island TV. A few years ago, I had a few meetings with BITV people about developing a local radio station (as Vashon Island does with Voice of Vashon). They did not want it and went exclusively for TV. I think it was a big strategic mistake as radio would reach much more people for a reduced investment. The present crisis should be an opportunity to revive a local radio project and to operate TV production with volunteers at a much lower cost.
Another provocative article (this time from Canada) about the consequences of the huge gap increase in wealth between the ultra-rich and the rest of the population. Most interesting the end of it where people in the US choose a more swedish like model but still vote against more equalitarian taxes.