Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shmoop trial and feedback requested

Many of you saw Shmoop at CLA/CSLA in November - they offer test-prep courses for SAT/ACT/ and AP courses, as well as study guides. They have been popular with many schools, and public libraries are also now considering them. I know it's hard for anyone to think about anything new right now, but if you think that you would like to be part of a group order for Shmoop, please let me know so I can start working on a contract with them.

I have posted trial information on the trials page on our website at -->Members --> Internal Documents (at this point you will need to log in to the Califa site - if you need your login information, let me know).

Basically, you're not giving me any commitments at this point - I'm just trying to gauge if there is enough interest in moving forward with them to do a contract and put together some type of group order. Thanks for any feedback you can offer.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Save Your California Public Library Funding from Cuts!

Governor Brown’s proposed budget cuts of $30.4 million will have a devastating effect on your access to resources and programs at your local library. 

·         Cuts that threaten your access to much needed books, dvd’s, and other materials you receive from other libraries in California through inter-library loan.

·         Crucial literacy programs in 800 public libraries across the state that provide skills to support good citizenship, employment opportunities and families who value education.

·         Eliminates some libraries’ only support to fund library materials

·         Cuts will mean an additional loss of $16 million in current matching federal funds

Don’t wait until its too late, contact the Governor, your Senator and Assemblyperson now! Let them know how important libraries and its services are to you and your family.

TAKE ACTION - see our posts below on what to do...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sample Letter

Here's a link to a sample letter and the addresses to send it to.  Remember that letters count more than emails - anyone can come up with lots of email addresses and shoot things off quickly, but letters carry more weight because it takes a little longer, and you can't make up tons of fake addresses.  So call or write.

Thanks to David Dodd for posting this

Here's a sample letter for those of you wanting to support California libraries:

January 24, 2011

The Honorable Carol Liu
Chair, Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5061

Dear Senator Liu,

I am writing to urge the Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance to reject Governor Brown’s recommendation of cuts to State funding for public libraries. The sweeping nature of these cuts, though understandable in the current budgetary climate, actually makes little sense, either as a money-saving effort, or as something that should or could be shifted to local communities.

The California Library Services Act allows local library jurisdictions to cooperate in a meaningful way throughout California, in offering library services to State residents who live outside their local jurisdictions. For a minimal amount of funding, anyone who lives in California is currently able to borrow materials from any public library in the State, with few exceptions. Such a service would not be a good candidate for local funding, and it goes a long way to providing equity of access to information for all California residents.

Another major reason to maintain current funding levels for California’s public libraries is that we receive a significant amount of federal funding, as a match to our own State funding, and it’s estimated that we would lose approximately $16 million in Federal funds if our own funding is eliminated.

Finally, I would urge you to reject the cuts to State support for Literacy services. While we do a good deal of local fundraising and provide from our budgets to the degree we can, a cut of this magnitude will have far-reaching implications for those in our State least able to advocate for themselves—namely, those adults without reading and writing skills.

Please send a clear message back to the Governor, that his proposed savings of $30 million is something we just can’t afford if we value a well-informed citizenry, as any democracy does.


[your name here]

Note: If these two key subcommittees listed below don’t sense that the library community is completely opposed in strong numbers to the Governor’s plan, they will not recommend that any of the funding be restored. This will severely impact our ability to get any money restored going forward. Your action now to object to these cuts by phone, fax, or mail, is absolutely essential to our success. Please ask your staff, patrons, Friends and Trustees groups and others to participate in this effort.
First to hear the impacts of the cuts on public libraries will be the Senate Budget Subcommittee, who will hear the issue on Tuesday, February 1 at 1:30 p.m. in room 3191 at the State Capitol. Please take a moment today to write a letter to these individuals – even if they are not your Senators. It is important for them to see the broad impact statewide of these proposed cuts.

Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance

The Honorable Carol Liu
Chair, Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 324-7543

The Honorable Bob Huff
Member, Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 324-0922

The Honorable Roderick Wright
Member, Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4025
Fax: (916) 445-3712

The Assembly will hear the issue of the proposed cuts on Monday, February 7 at 9 a.m. in room 444 at the State Capitol. Please take a moment today to write or call these members of the subcommittee, even if they are not your Assemblymembers.

Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance

The Honorable Susan Bonilla
Chair, Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 2188
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 319-2011
Fax: (916) 319-2111

The Honorable Bill Berryhill
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 3141
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 319-2026
Fax: (916) 319-2126

The Honorable Julia Brownley
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 2163
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 319-2041
Fax: (916) 2141

The Honorable Brian Nestande
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 4139
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 319-2064
Fax: (916) 319-2164

The Honorable Sandre Swanson
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 6012
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 319-2016
Fax: (916) 319-2116

What to do about the budget


As you're already aware, Governor Brown has proposed the COMPLETE elimination of all funding in the 2011-12 budget for:
*California Library Services Act (which funds regional systems and Transaction Based Reimbursement (TBR))
*California Library Literacy Services
*Public Library Foundation

These three line items total $30.4 million in the current year budget, and they support absolutely vital statewide efforts for resource sharing, regional coordination, and crucial local programs.

What you can do now:

1. Read the 1/21 posting from the CLA lobbyists here.
2. "Like" the Save California Public Library and Literacy Funding Facebook page at to keep up with what's happening and spread the word to your friends.
3. Start writing letters, as suggested in #1. This is not the time to assume that someone else will take care of it. The Subcommittee members need to hear from a huge number of Californians if they are to recommend ANY FUNDING AT ALL for these three critical programs. The full list of Subcommittee members can be found on the link in #1 above.

We don't have much time. The Senate budget subcommittee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 1. The Assembly budget subcommittee hearing is scheduled for Monday, February 7. Subcommittee members need to hear from you and from your users!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Morningstar Webinars

For those of you interested in the Morningstar financial products, they have webinars the first Thursday of each month at 9am our time.

First Thursday each month at 11 am Central Time.
Click here to attend
Audio at 800-549-9585
Use conference code 2534439

Friday, January 14, 2011

Geek the Library

Have you heard about Geek the Library? This community awareness campaign is available for any U.S. public library and is a fun way to get your community talking about your library and public library funding. Geek the Library is bold, unexpected and helps community members make a personal connection with the library. Campaign materials, training and ongoing guidance is provided by OCLC. Interested public libraries are welcome to register for a free webinar on January 25. To register visit or visit for more information.

Vendor Negotiations and Discounts

We understand that our member libraries are dealing with unprecedented economic struggles right now, and want to do everything they can to make every penny count. Over the next few weeks, Califa will be contacting all of our vendors to explain the dire situation in California and negotiate bigger discounts. We understand that some libraries are thinking of negotiating on their own, outside of Califa. While we certainly applaud any further discounts that libraries can secure, the strength of a cooperative is in all members working together for the common good, so if you are able to negotiate a better price on your own, we ask that you keep Califa informed and request from the vendor that the price you are able to negotiate be extended for all Califa members.

To facilitate communication amongst members, we have started a "secret" group on Facebook where we can post updates and current quotes from vendors. The only people who can see the posts will be the invited group members. If you would like to join the group, please email me back (and include the email you use for facebook if you have a common name) and I will add you. Califa will post our own ongoing negotiations there, and hope that we can get feedback from members if you are talking to vendors individually.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Credo Reference Webinars

Check out our calendar for several upcoming webinars introducing Credo Reference. They have a great product with lots of new services for public libraries, and there's a Califa discount.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Edgy Librarian Registration

If you haven't registered for The Edgy Librarian yet, you still have plenty of time - it's not until January 27, a full-day web conference including a keynote by Sarah Houghton-Jan, sessions on eBooks, SMS reference, and lots of great information and networking.  Learn more, and register by going to