Saturday, July 30, 2011

Library Statistics

The latest update of the Public Libraries Survey (PLS) data is now available on the IMLS web site. This survey has a CENSUS URL, not so incidentally.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Document Thieves Nabbed in Baltimore

Pair tried to steal historical documents worth millions, police say

Presidential historian and collector held without bond

FAQs About Catalogers

Frequently Asked Questions About Library Catalogers. Some of these are even true.

Online seminars

Someone asked me about finding an online seminar about a particular topic, and I found a couple that I had used before.

But then I came across www.finervista.com; "Find best online seminars and webcasts by industry experts." A useful site for a variety of topics.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toronto councillor disses Margaret Atwood re library closures

Toronto councillor Doug Ford (brother of Toronto’s thuggish mayor Rob Ford) has attacked beloved Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood, "saying he wouldn’t recognize her if she walked down the street, and that she should keep her opinions about planned Toronto library closures to herself. The councillor said that if Atwood wanted to comment on policy, 'she should get herself elected to office or pipe down.' Doug Ford previously promised to privatise or shut down “everything that isn’t nailed down” in the city."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Books and Other Fetish Objects

Opinion By JAMES GLEICK
Published: July 16, 2011 in the New York Times

"I GOT a real thrill in December 1999 in the Reading Room of the Morgan Library in New York when the librarian, Sylvie Merian, brought me, after I had completed an application with a letter of reference and a photo ID, the first, oldest notebook of Isaac Newton. First I was required to study a microfilm version. There followed a certain amount of appropriate pomp. The notebook was lifted from a blue cloth drop-spine box and laid on a special padded stand. I was struck by how impossibly tiny it was 58 leaves bound in vellum, just 2 3/4 inches wide, half the size I would have guessed from the enlarged microfilm images."

Read the rest HERE.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Are sales of e-books subject to sales tax?

According to the NYS Tax Department, apparently not [PDF].

"...e-books are not tangible and do not include any prewritten computer software. Accordingly, they do not constitute tangible personal property. As to whether the e-books constitute taxable information services, TSB-M-11(5)S provides that the Tax Department's current position is that electronic publications that meet the memorandum’s definition of an e-book do not constitute information services."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great video from C-SPAN about the Library of Congress

C-SPAN's original feature documentary, The Library of Congress, is a behind-the-scenes look at the national repository, providing the history of the institution, a tour of its iconic Jefferson Building, and glimpses of some of the library's rare book, photo, and map collections. The film also featured some of the presidential papers housed at the Library of Congress, ranging from George Washington through Calvin Coolidge. Viewers learned how the library uses technology to preserve its holdings and expand public access to them, as well as how technology is helping to uncover new information about some of the items in its collections.

1 hour, 31 minutes

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Library Budget Passes!

From the Times Union:

Fears of deep cuts to library services overcame taxpayer anger Tuesday as voters blessed the Albany Public Library's $8.8 million 2012 budget, two months after they sunk a previous plan amid outrage over a proposed 25 percent library tax increase.

As of late Tuesday, the unofficial tally had the budget passing by 337 votes -- 2,811 to 2,474.

While the turnout was smaller than the roughly 7,000 people who flooded the polls in May, when the first proposed budget failed by 139 votes, the 5,285 voters who hit the polls represented a remarkable number for a sweltering Tuesday in July when the library budget was the only item on the ballot.

Read more HERE.

It is my understanding that the recently-enacted tax cap will apply to future library budgets, which mades passage of this budget so critical. If it had not passed, the current tax levy would have remained with future increase subject to the tax cap, unless 60% of voters vote to override to the tax cap.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Manufacturer's discounts received using store loyalty cards re: sales tax

From NYS sales tax guidance

This memorandum describes the procedures that sellers should follow to properly disclose to customers that certain discounts received through store loyalty cards are manufacturer's discounts.

Many businesses use store loyalty cards to offer their customers incentives to shop frequently at their stores. These incentives often include discounts that are activated by scanning the customer's loyalty card at the cash register.

When these loyalty card discounts are given and the discounted item is subject to sales tax, the amount subject to sales tax generally depends on whether the discount reflects a manufacturer's discount or a store discount. If the store is reimbursed for the amount of the discount by the manufacturer, distributor or other third party, it is a manufacturer's discount. If the store receives no reimbursement from a third party for the amount of the discount given, it is a store discount.

Generally, when a customer purchases an item subject to sales tax and receives a manufacturer's discount, the amount subject to sales tax is the full price of the item before subtracting the discount. For store discounts, however, the amount subject to sales tax is the price of the item after the discount is applied...

In the case of a manufacturer's discount, the store must adequately disclose to the customer, at or before the time of purchase, that the discount the customer is receiving is a manufacturer's discount. This is to ensure that the customer is aware that the full purchase price is subject to sales tax. If the seller fails to adequately disclose this information to the customer...the seller must collect sales tax from the customer on the reduced price of the item. However, in this case, when the seller files its sales tax return it must still remit sales tax on the full price of the item before the discount. That is, the seller itself will be required to pay the sales tax on the amount of the manufacturer's discount.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Delaware Ave Street Fair

Saturday July 9th
9 am - 5 pm

One mile of music, food, art & garage sales.

Bring the whole family for a day of fun throughout the Delaware Avenue neighborhood.

Hosted by the Delaware Ave Merchants Association

E-Reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months

From the Pew Internet & American Life Project

The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011. Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.

Tablet computers have not seen the same level of growth among U.S. adults in recent months. In May 2011, 8% of adults report owning a tablet computer such as an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Xoom. This is roughly the same percentage of adults who reported owning this kind of device in January 2011 (7%), and represents just a 3 percentage-point increase in ownership since November 2010. Overall, the highest rates of tablet ownership are among Hispanic adults and those with household incomes of at least $75,000 annually.