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Recent News

Delaware Governor Signs Stronger CIPA Into Law

By SLJ Staff Jun 25, 2010 12:18PM

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a lot stronger in Delaware. Governor Jack Markell has signed into law a revision of CIPA, which extends the law’s reach to wireless access in the public library.

The changes we’ve made to the Children’s Internet Protection Act make it clear for the first time that even if it’s on a personal laptop, public library network policies on acceptable use still apply,” said Markell in his weekly message to the public.

Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000, CIPA is one of a number of bills that the United States Congress proposed to limit children’s exposure to pornography and explicit content online–and it requires that schools and public libraries use Internet filters in order to receive federal funding.

Markell explained that technology has changed how we interact with information at the library. “While there is a new world of information that’s available to kids, not allof that world is appropriate for their age,” he said, explaining the reason why he felt the need to keep CIPA current with advances in technology “Internet access at the library is no longer limited to the desk top computers. Wireless access in most public libraries means people are bringing their laptops, Netbooks, smartphones, and other technologies with them. But some are some are abusing that privilege, using that public wireless access for inappropriate content or activity.”

The law also clarifies how important parents and guardians are to children’s proper Internet use in the library. House Bill 340, sponsored by Representative John Atkins and Senator Robert Venables, reaffirms that in order for a child to obtain a library card, a parent or guardian must accompany them and tell the library whether that child should have full Internet access with acceptable use policies, no Internet access outside the library catalog, or partial Internet access, which would be defined by each parent and each library.

“When a child types in his or her library card number the library computer he or she is using will give them the access their parents determines what’s best for them,” Markell said. “While broadband and wireless access replace older technologies, one thing that hasn’t changed is that we continue to have a duty to ensure responsible use of technology in our libraries.”

A recent study by the Institute of Museum and Library Services reports that over the past year, 45 percent of the 169 million visitors to public libraries connected to the Internet using a library computer or wireless network during their visit. Many of these people have Internet access at home, but choose to use library networks for a variety of reasons, the report adds.

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Interlibrary loans to continue for now

June 8, 2010

By ALEX MCLEESE Contributor

For the next three months at least, the Niles Public Library will have access to a delivery service that circulates books requested via interlibrary loan between the locations in the 49-member North Suburban Library System.

But the future looks bleak as the state government is behind in payments and has made no assurances of funding going forward.

The North Suburban Library System locations have each contributed a portion of the payment for continued delivery service, with the Niles branch paying $12,000. Now the libraries are looking to other states for models and scheduling meetings with possible vendors for delivery. Niles patrons use interlibrary loan heavily, and the library branch both sends and receives about 5,000 books each month.

“We would like to maintain unity with all the other libraries,” said Niles District Library Director Linda Weiss. “It’s handy to be able to share collections. Not every library can own everything.”

But the absence of state funding has placed extreme stress on regional library networks across the state, including the North Suburban Library System.

“The North Suburban Library System has basically shut down,” said Illinois State Library Manager of Communications Pat McGuckin, adding that about 20 jobs were eliminated.

The funding is not likely to appear soon. McGuckin said vouchers for the libraries — about $24 million — are sitting along with $4.5 billion in other funding in the Controller’s Office, without money to pay them. He said the first payments are not likely to be made until December.

To reduce strain on its delivery service the Niles District Library has changed its policy regarding holds. In the past someone placing a hold using the Niles branch would have access to the first copy available in any of about two-dozen locations. Now, Weiss said, the Niles branch plans to buy more copies and limit holds placed at its location to its own collection.

For the next three months Weiss said she will be monitoring the results of the change, hoping to see a reduction in required deliveries.

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Readers are losers in Illinois’ budget crunch

The well-regarded North Suburban Library System, which links local libraries into a large group, pretty much shut down at the end of May because the state didn’t make its payments. Now, another of Illinois’ multi-library systems has reached its last chapter.

The Metropolitan Library System, which links libraries in Chicago and suburban Cook, DuPage and Will counties, is suspending many services effective June 30. Plans call for ending consulting and continuing education and maintaining only a skeleton staff for back office operations.

The full article can be found here.

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Walnut Creek Library comes in under budget

The new Walnut Creek Library set to open July 17 will do so $1.6 million under budget.

The news that the cost of the library project, at 1644 N. Broadway, now stands at $39 million was announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to a round of applause.

In total, the price has dropped $6.1 million after construction bids were lower than expected in 2008 and the council slashed $500,000 from the budget last year. This means city leaders will not have to borrow money from certain funding sources, such as parking meter revenue, to fund a $1.6 million “internal loan” planned as part of the original financing for the library and the 150-parking space surface lot and underground garage.

Walnut Creek aimed for the “basic” level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification — an official stamp of green approval by the U.S. Green Building Council. Instead, the city was able to achieve LEED “silver” status, a level higher than basic, without spending extra money.

“We spent $6.1 million less for effectively a better building and better project,” said Councilwoman Cindy Silva on Tuesday.

The full article by can be found at Mercurynews.com.

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