Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dewey Decimal jewelry

From BoingBoing:

Some bookish jewelry and accessories from Etsy make good use of Dewey Decimal classifications, such as thependantemporium's I still believe in 398.2 (fairy tales) pendants.

Then there's writtennerd's earrings made with Dewey numbers culled from real old hand-typed card catalogs (necklaces, too)!

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Origins of the Work-for-Hire Doctrine

For anyone really serious about exploring the roots of work-for-hire and its implications, and its rule-of-law prior to the 1975-76 Copyright Act (and all that followed), check out Catherine L. Fisk's excellent "Authors at Work: The Origins of the Work-for-Hire Doctrine" (October 2001).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Publishing: It’s Not About the Money

From First Second Books:

Over the winter holiday break, I watched the beginning of Murder, She Wrote, which I had never seen before. I was bemused to find that the protagonist writing a book and getting it published (having never met, talked to, or corresponded with her editor, publicist, or publisher at all prior to the book’s publication date) and in a matter of a few short days after publication getting on the New York Times Best-Seller List, afterwards getting on all the morning tv and radio shows. She was in fact so popular that her publisher brought her to New York City to stay there in a hotel indefinitely just in case (as far as I could tell) any future media requests came up. Realism was brought in only inasmuch as Fictional!Writer Jessica Fletcher does not hit #1 on the New York Times Best-Seller List — just #2.

So in the interest of fairness, aboveboardness, and honesty, I feel that I should let you know — aspiring writers and artists, this is not your life.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Low Reading Scores Show Majority of U.S. Children Not Prepared for Future Success

In a new KIDS COUNT® data snapshot, the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that 80 percent of lower-income fourth graders and 66 percent of all kids are not reading proficiently - a key predictor of a student’s future educational and economic success. If this trend continues, the country will not have enough skilled workers for an increasingly competitive global economy by the end of this decade.

Early Reading Proficiency in the United States finds that two-thirds of all children are not meeting an important benchmark: reading at grade level at the start of fourth grade. Of even greater concern is that the gap between students from higher- and lower-income families is growing wider, with 17 percent improvement seen among the former group compared to only a 6 percent improvement among their lower-income peers.

More HERE.

See also: Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Paintings

A really great artist can create wonderful things almost anywhere – on walls, grounds, lips, eyelids, or on book pages. Look at these paintings from Mike Stilkey, I bet everyone would think of one same word “wow”. But wait, and imagine what will happen when these books fall apart onto the ground…

More HERE.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Voters to Choose Two Albany Public Library Trustees on May 20

Four candidates will be on the May 20 ballot for two seats on the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees. Andrew Bechard of Forest Avenue, Jose Lopez of View Avenue, Alison Calacone of Ramsey Place, and Anthony Gooding of Clinton Avenue all submitted valid nominating petitions to the City School District of Albany to obtain positions on the ballot.

The candidates are seeking to fill two trustee positions that both carry five-year terms. Holly McKenna has chosen not to run for re-election, while Andrew Bechard is running to keep his seat.

The public is invited to a candidate forum at the Main Library’s large auditorium on Monday, May 5, at 6 p.m. The trustee candidates have been invited to speak to the public. Library leaders will also present the 2015 library budget, which is a flat spending plan that carries no tax levy increase.

The library trustee vote is held in conjunction with the school district’s budget vote. More information about trustee candidates will be available on the library’s website. Details about voting locations will be available on the school district’s website at www.albanyschools.org.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It pays to read your bills

True, bills aren't the most thrilling read. They are hardly funny, there are no vampires or romantic triangles, and you probably won't be pleased if there's any suspense involved.

When bills arrive, it can be hard enough to look at the amount due, never mind wading through the line items. But if you don’t check them, you could end up paying for things you never bought. It can be easy to fix — if you spot it. Make it a habit to read your bills as soon as you get them. Do you recognize every charge?

Unexpected charges could be the result of a store accidentally charging your card several times, or a thief stealing your information. Unfortunately, thieves don’t need your physical credit card to use it. They just need your card number and expiration date.

What if you have automatic scheduled payments? It’s important to check those statements for accuracy and timeliness, too. Given the recent data breaches, reviewing your statements line by line is a smart idea.

More from NCPW.gov.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Saturday, April 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Between 10AM and 2PM on April 26, bring your unwanted prescription drugs to a collection site near you.

Properly disposing of medicines is important to human health and the environment. If you dispose of drugs on your own, check out these tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (PDF).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Check the Status of Your Federal Tax Refund

If you're awaiting a refund from the IRS, check the status of your refund.

Your refund status should be available 24 hours after your electronically filed tax return has been received, or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return.

You must enter the exact whole dollar amount shown on your tax return. Providing the exact whole dollar amount is essential to receiving the correct response.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ALA annual report on the state of America’s libraries

This week, the American Library Association released their annual report on the state of America’s libraries, which includes a round-up of the “Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books” in 2013—in other words, books that people have most often attempted to ban in schools and public libraries.

SlimeKids: School LIbrary MEdia Kids

SlimeKids is a website for elementary/middle school-age kids; it's a free site.

"SlimeKids features an extensive collection of book trailers organized by year and by grade level as well as numerous language arts-related games in such categories as word, literacy, spelling, typing, vocabulary and grammar. Additionally, the website showcases an array of exceptional literacy-related resources such as author and book review websites as well as superb learning tools including reference works and search engines."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Info about the Exit 23 (Albany County, NY) Casino proposal and process

(Stolen from Albany Common Council member Leah Golby's e-mail):

Haven't heard that there's a casino proposal? Here's the All Over Albany report of the Common Council briefing held last month.

At the April 7 Common Council Meeting, some members of the public expressed concern about casinos in general, and a casino being sited in Albany specifically, while others expressed support for the proposed casino.

Here's the process in terms of Council consideration and information about public meetings:
•The developer must submit their application by June 30. Here is the RFA.
•One component of the casino application is support from the host community. A resolution was introduced April 7 so that the Council can begin consideration of support for the proposal. The Common Council constituted a "Committee of the Whole" (a committee on which every Council Member sits) so that the resolution would be sent to that committee for consideration.
•The Council has set a goal of May 5 for voting on the Resolution.
•At this point the following meetings are scheduled or under consideration:
1.April 16 - 6:30 p.m. public forum with the developer at Giffen Elementary School - 274 South Pearl Street

Anyone with Internet Access Can See Interesting Views of Albany


Albany Public Library has a rich and varied collection of historic Albany photos that is now available to view online through New York Heritage Digital Collections -- a free online portal designed for researchers and history buffs. The site -- nyheritage.org -- is now showcasing two small APL collections: "Views of Albany" and "Urban Renewal in Albany."

Views of Albany showcases a selection of black and white photographs that are mostly from the early 20th century. This collection shows the homes, churches, businesses, weather events, transportation, streets, and people of Albany's past.

Urban Renewal in Albany is an album of photographs and captions that was handmade in 1976 by Florence L. Powell, a historical research assistant for the city of Albany. Powell's album is composed of before-and-after pictures of the Clinton Square area during the urban renewal era. The scrapbook documents the demolition of buildings, the reshaping of streets, and the construction of Interstate 787 and the Leo W. O'Brien Office Building.

The library will continue to add photos to the New York Heritage online collection. These images are just a sample of APL's full Pruyn Collection of Albany History, which is housed in the Albany History Room at the Main Library and includes documents about urban renewal, the South Mall construction, city and state government, and African American history. The Pruyn Collection is comprised of thousands of books, photographs, city directories, newspapers, documents, census records, city council minutes, maps, and more. For more information, please call 427-4303.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alzheimer’s Association's Green-Field Library

The Alzheimer's Association Green-Field Library is excited to celebrate National Library Week. Located at the national headquarters in Chicago, it is one of the largest library and resource centers devoted to increasing the knowledge about Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

There's no shortage of information on Alzheimer's disease, but where to start? What articles offer practical answers? Which resources can you trust?

The expert library staff has assembled a collection of the most useful, informative and up-to-date books, journals, research studies, videos, databases, social media resources and more. And it's free!

Get started online now at alz.org/library or call 800.272.3900 to learn more.

Monday, April 14, 2014


For the second year in a row, the library's Board of Trustees has approved a flat budget that results in no tax levy increase.

"The library trustees are committed to maintaining current spending levels for the coming year in order to give taxpayers a little relief from their tax burden," said APL Executive Director Carol Nersinger. "The administration has worked hard to make the most out of our current budget so we can continue operating seven wonderful neighborhood libraries for the people of Albany."

The 2015 library operations budget is $6,434,764 -- the same amount as the 2013 and 2014 spending plans. Because the budget does not raise the tax levy, the library is not required to put it out for a public vote. Approval by the library's trustees, which was unanimously given at its March meeting, is all that is required for the flat spending plan to become official.

The library does have two trustee seats that are up for election on May 20. Potential candidates must submit petitions to the City School District of Albany by 5 pm on Monday, April 21.


Lots of Free Fun for Kids & Teens April 14-18

APL has more than a dozen special activities planned for kids and teens April 14 through April 18 to stave off spring break boredom. Here are just a few of the free activities planned at APL. For more details, please call the host library. For a full listing, visit the library's online calendar.

APRIL 14 (Monday)
• Tang Museum Visits at 2:30 pm -- Pine Hills Branch (482-7911)

APRIL 15 (Tuesday)
• Celtic Metal Working Workshop at 2:30 pm -- Pine Hills Branch (482-7911)
• LEGOs and Percy Jackson "The Lightning Thief" Movie at 3 pm -- Delaware Branch (463-0254)
• Gadgets, Gizmos & Goo at 3:30 pm -- Howe Branch (472-9485)

APRIL 16 (Wednesday)
• "Frozen" Movie Matinee at 2:30 pm -- Pine Hills Branch (482-7911)
• Discovering the Past with Our American Girls Dolls at 3 pm -- Delaware Branch (463-0254)

APRIL 17 (Thursday)
• Preschool Story Time at 10:30 am -- North Albany Branch (463-1581)
• Perler Bead Creations at 1 pm -- Main Library (427-4310)

APRIL 18 (Friday)
• Earth Day Art at 2 pm -- Bach Branch (482-2154)
• Dyken Traveling Pond with Plants and Animals at 2:30 pm -- Pine Hills Branch (482-7911)
• RAPoetry Contest at 4 pm -- North Albany Branch (463-1581)

April is Financial Literacy Month

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has information to help you make the most of your money no matter who you are – student, young adult, parent, service member on active duty, veteran or grandparent.

“If you want to learn about everyday financial issues, like saving and shopping, credit and debt, buying a home or car, or looking for a job or paying for school, the FTC has information for you,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Financial Literacy Month is an ideal time to learn – or teach others – the importance of consumers’ rights, and how to file a complaint if something goes wrong.”

Complaints matter at the FTC. If a business doesn't deliver on its promises, if someone cheats you out of your money, or if you've spotted a scam, tell the FTC. Consumer complaints help drive agency investigations. The FTC’s aggressive law enforcement efforts stop fraudulent and deceptive business practices, and its consumer education campaigns empower people to make well-informed buying decisions and recognize frauds and scams.

All of the FTC's materials are in the public domain. They can be posted, reprinted, or adapted to educate people about their consumer rights.

Visit MoneyMatters for articles, videos and blog posts about financial topics that you can share in your community.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spending on Reading Material

From the New Strategist.

The average household spent $109 on reading material in 2012, slightly more than the $105 spent in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. What contributed to this boost in spending on reading material after the steep 46 percent decline between 2000 and 2010? Digital book readers, according to a Demo Memo Blog analysis of unpublished detailed spending data from the federal government's Consumer Expenditure Survey.

During an average quarter of 2012, nearly 2 percent of households bought a digital book reader. While that doesn't sound like much, it was a higher rate of purchasing than for personal digital audio players (such as iPods) and nearly as high a rate as for online gaming services. The result was a boost in spending on the overall reading category despite ongoing declines in spending on books, newspapers, and magazines.

The introduction of digital book readers explains why average household spending on reading material grew especially strongly among householders under age 55 during the 2010-to-2012 time period...

Percent change in average household spending on reading material, 2010-12 (in 2012 dollars)
Under age 25: 7.2%
Aged 25 to 34: 12.1%
Aged 35 to 44: 10.4%
Aged 45 to 54: 7.8%
Aged 55 to 64: 0.3%
Aged 65-plus: -4.4%

With more Americans owning digital book readers, perhaps spending on books will begin to grow in the years ahead.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Capital Region Homebuyer Fair

If you or someone you know is thinking about buying a house, make sure they attend the annual Homebuyer Fair on Saturday, April 26 from 10 to 2 pm at the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave. It’s a great place to get all the info. you’ll need and start the process.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Albany: Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Drop-off Days; Free Paper Shredding

Spring Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Drop-off Days have been announced. Thursdays, 4 to 7pm, Rapp Road Landfill. Everyone must pre-register at 434-2489 or www.albanyrecycles.com April 17, May 1, May 15, & June 5. No hazardous waste should be placed curbside.

Free City Paper Shredding for residents on Thursday, April 24 from 4 to 7 pm in Washington Park. additionally books will be coollectd to be recycled; they will not be shredded. For more info, contact DGS at 518 434-2489.

WhiteHouse.gov Petition to support funding libraries and museums

Hello everyone! Please take a moment to read what's below:

WhiteHouse.gov Petition
We petition the Obama administration to release a statement that funding libraries and museums is a core federal responsibility.
Let your voice be hear! Add your name to the petition - click here.

From: New York's Libraries Information Network On Behalf Of Jeremy Johannesen
Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2014
Subject: [NYLINE] U.S. House Budget Proposal Dismisses Role of IMLS

U.S. House Budget Proposal Dismisses Role of IMLS

In a new budget released today from Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the House Budget Committee Chairman denounces the critical role that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) plays in supporting civic engagement, literacy and lifelong learning in more than 123,000 libraries nationwide. Rep. Ryan recommends that the federal government not have a role in libraries and that Congress shift the federal agency’s responsibilities to the private sector in his 2015 fiscal year budget resolution.

Today, American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling released the following statement in response to Rep. Ryan’s budget (pdf):
“We were shocked to learn that Representative Paul Ryan recommended eliminating IMLS, the agency that promotes library services for the American public. We are disappointed by the House Budget Committee’s outright dismissal of IMLS, the agency that administers the primary source of federal funding to libraries. Libraries depend on the support they receive from IMLS to help patrons learn new skills, find job opportunities and access reading materials that they otherwise could not afford. More than $180 million has been appropriated to the Institute for Museum and Library Services through September 2014 to help libraries make information and services available to the citizens they serve.

In Rep. Ryan’s own state of Wisconsin, more than 65 percent of libraries report that they are the only free access point to Internet in their communities. Just a few blocks from Rep. Ryan’s Wisconsin office, more than 716,000 visitors used the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin to access library computers and research databases, check out books and receive job training in 2013. The Institute of Museum and Library Services administered more than $2.8 million in the 2014 fiscal year to help Wisconsin libraries prepare young students for school and provide lifelong learning opportunities for all Wisconsin residents. For example, the state reported that more than 215,000 children participated in summer reading programs at Wisconsin public libraries.

IMLS provides invaluable professional development opportunities to librarians across the country. As the director of school library programs for the New York City Department of Education, I witnessed the ways in which the IMLS-supported programs helped young students learn and discover new information. In recent years, IMLS provided professional training for New York City school librarians, who used their training they received to change the lives of children with limited access to books and technology.

Furthermore, the Institute has been a vital component in facilitating collaboration between federal agencies that relate to library services, such as the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Communication Commission and the Government Printing Office, among others. For example, the Institute has been instrumental in working with the U.S. Department of Labor so that libraries can be considered additional One-Stop partners for job-seekers.

Library funding support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services wields large returns in the form of literate and civically engaged communities. We hope that Congress will support the important role that the Institute for Museum and Library Services plays in supporting educated communities by rejecting the House Budget resolution.”

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

NYSERDA's Home Performance Energy Star program

Make your home more comfortable, safe, affordable and energy efficient through NYSERDA's Home Performance Energy Star program. There are incentives and financing to help you complete your project. A free energy assessment is the first step. To learn more, visit www.greencapitalregion.org or call the AHP Homeownership Center Energy Advisor Kathleen Langton at 434-1730.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Rockefeller Institute Severe Weather Forum

With just a week to go before the Rockefeller Institute's half-day program, Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather in Upstate New York, event organizers have announced that, due to overwhelming demand, the program has been moved to the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom. The event is scheduled for Monday, April 14th from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

This program is designed to showcase the research of the University at Albany's Atmospheric Sciences Department on prospects for upstate severe weather and to provide a forum for the emergency response community to discuss what they need to do to prepare for anticipated meteorological events.

Featured presenters include Congressman Paul Tonko and Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Other panelists include meteorologists from the University at Albany, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and emergency responders from throughout New York State.

Facing the Storm was developed by the Nelson A.Rockefeller Institute of Government, the University at Albany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and the New York State Emergency Management Association, in cooperation with the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The event is free and open to the public but, due to demand, reservations are required. Campus parking is, additionally, provided. To register, contact Michele Charbonneau at michele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu or (518) 443-5258. The deadline for registration is April 10th.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Ryan’s Proposed 2015 Budget Would Eliminate IMLS Grants to Libraries

From Library Journal:

On April 1, House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his budget proposal for the fiscal year 2015... Among librarians... the most controversial cost-saving measure proposed in the Ryan budget might be its elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) entirely, cutting millions in grants to libraries around the country.

The ink was hardly dry on Ryan’s proposal before the American Library Association (ALA) released a statement slamming the notion of cutting the federal government out of the library funding picture, pointing out that as part of its work the libraries, the IMLS partners with a variety of other government agencies, and noting that “…the Institute has been a vital component in facilitating collaboration between federal agencies that relate to library services, such as the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Communication Commission and the Government Printing Office, among others.”

ALA president Barbara Stripling described herself as “shocked and extremely dismayed” by the proposal, which, if it were enacted, could severely hinder the ability of libraries around the country to provide technology resources to patrons by eliminating the grants administered by IMLS under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). “The impact of that funding has been profound in providing access to technology in libraries that absolutely would not have been able to provide that access otherwise,” Stripling told LJ, pointing out that such technology is often used to access government services by patrons who don’t have Internet access in their homes.