Favorite Books of 2012

Favorite Books for 2012 – Library Inspired Selections

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On November 15, 2012 David Faulkner david.faulkner@austintexas.gov via listserv.oclc.org announced on Publib :

What is the best book you read this year? The book could have been published any year as what matters is that you read it in 2012.

Let me know either through Publib or via my email david.faulkner@austintexas.gov and I’ll compile the results and make them available early in the new year – you are free to nominate as many books as you want..

All genres and forms of books are open so nominate your favorite:

  • graphic novel
  • children’s book
  • romance novel
  • audiobook, etc.

This will be the 10th year I’ve compiled this list so if you’d like to see previous lists you can find them all on Best of Publib ~

David
Austin (TX) Public Library

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Publib Favorite Books 2011

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By David Faulkner -

As a member of PubLib, an electronic discussion list for public libraries, I asked fellow members to name the book they most enjoyed reading that year. Here is the list for 2011 :

 

Title Author Votes
22 Britannia Road Hodgkinson, Amanda 1
Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination Ackroyd, Peter 1
Alchemist, The Coelho, Paulo 1
All Clear Willis, Connie 1
All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel Yaccarino, Dan 1
American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot Ferguson, Craig 1
Angel Town Saintcrow, Lilith 1
Art of Fielding, The Harbach, Chad 1
Art of Racing in the Rain, The Stein, Garth 2
Ashes Bick, Ilsa J. 1
Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, The Benjamin, Melanie 1
Barbarian Nurseries, The Tobar, Hector 1
Becoming Marie-Antoinette Grey, Juliet 1
Before I Go To Sleep Watson, S. J. 1
Black Lamb & Grey Falcon West, Rebecca 1
Blackout Willis, Connie 1
Book of Days (Book 5 of the JP Kinkaid Chronicles) Grabien, Deborah 1
Bossypants Fey, Tina 2
Boy in the Suitcase, The Kaaberbol, Lene and Agnete Friis 1
Buddha in the Attic, The Otsuka, Julie 1
Clara and Mr. Tiffany Vreeland, Susan 1
Commencement Sullivan, J. Courtney 1
Dark Tower, The series King, Stephen 1
Detective Kubu Mystery series Stanley, Michael 1
Devotion of Suspect X, The Higashino, Keigo 1
Discovery of Witches, A Harkness, Deborah 2
Distant Hours, The Morton, Kate 1
Elizabeth I George, Margaret 1
Elizabeth I trilogy Irwin, Margaret 1
Everybody Sees the Ants King, A.S. 1
Fabulous New Orleans Saxon, Lyle 1
Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury, Ray 1
Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship Ryan, Tom 1
Forgotten Garden, The Morton, Kate 1
Girl Who Fell From the Sky, The Durrow, Heidi W 1
Graveyard Book, The Gaiman, Neil 1
Her Fearful Symmetry Niffenegger, Audrey 1
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer McBride, Lish 1
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization Woods, Jr., Thomas E. 1
Hunger Games, The Collins, Suzanne 1
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto Pollan, Michael 1
Information, The: A History, a Theory, a Flood Gleick, James 1
Island, The Hilderbrand, Elin 1
Joy for Beginners Bauermeister, Erica 1
Just Kids Smith, Patti 1
King’s Daughter, The Dickason, Christie 1
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 Winchester, Simon 1
Language of Flowers, The Diffenbaugh, Vanessa 1
Left Neglected Genova, Lisa 1
Leftovers, The Perrotta, Tom 1
Makers Doctorow, Cory 1
Middlemarch Eliot, George 1
Miss Silver Mystery series Wentworth, Patricia 1
Monster Calls, A Ness, Patrick 1
Night Circus, The Morgenstern, Erin 4
Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, The Tea, Michelle 1
Pirate King: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Russell and Holmes, Book 11) King, Laurie R. 1
Please Look After Mom Shin, Kyung-Sook 1
Ready Player One Cline, Ernest 2
Reamde Stephenson, Neal 1
Redwall Jacques, Brian 1
Reveille in Washington: 1860-1865 Leech, Margaret 1
Richard the Lionheart Gillingham, John 1
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend Orlean, Susan 1
Rules of Civility Towles, Amor 1
Secret Kept, A Rosnay, Tatiana de 1
Song of Ice and Fire, A series Martin, George R.R. 1
Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, The Bailey, Elisabeth Tova 1
Steve Jobs Isaacson, Walter 1
Tess of the D’Urbervilles Hardy, Thomas 1
Tigerlily’s Orchids Rendell, Ruth 1
Unfamiliar Fishes Vowell, Sarah 1
Untold Story Ali, Monica 1
Weird Sisters, The Brown, Eleanor 1
What is Left the Daughter Norman, Howard 1
When She Woke Jordan, Hillary 1
Zero Day Baldacci, David 1
Zero History Gibson, William 1

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Publib Topics – A Graphic Retrospective – November 2011

Beware Graphic Content Ahead!

 
This graphic image  or word cloud was created using Wordle. It is derived from the subjects and authors of postings in PubLib for November 2011. The size of the graphics is directly related to the number of un-weighted unique occurrences each month of the individual words represented. Most automated graphic processes that generate these types of word clouds use additional weight for H1 – H6 tags through feeds. These graphics are not processed with H1 – H6 tags. The titles and authors were copied to Notepad and stripped of all HTML before being run through the Wordle Java platform. The process is case-sensitive so Library is not the same thing as library.
 
The most prominent word without employing filters would have been PublibPublib and Fwd were deleted from the plaintext files before processing. In addition, the Wordle program automatically disregards articles, conjunctions, and prepositions.
 
 
Publib Topics November 2011

Publib Topics November 2011

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halloPublib Topics – A Graphic Retrospective – October 2011

Beware Graphic Content Ahead!

 
This graphic image  or word cloud was created using Wordle. It is derived from the subjects and authors of postings in PubLib for October 2011. The size of the graphics is directly related to the number of un-weighted unique occurrences each month of the individual words represented. Most automated graphic processes that generate these types of word clouds use additional weight for H1 – H6 tags through feeds. These graphics are not processed with H1 – H6 tags. The titles and authors were copied to Notepad and stripped of all HTML before being run through the Wordle Java platform. The process is case-sensitive so Library is not the same thing as library.
 
The most prominent word without employing filters would have been Publib.  Publib and Fwd were deleted from the plaintext files before processing. In addition, the Wordle program automatically disregards articles, conjunctions, and prepositions.
 
Some of the more viral discussions included: Public Library Halloween Celebrations,   Ethical Question  regarding employee time at conferences,  Self-Published Titles Study Room Polices , Maximum Fines ,  and Unwelcome Patrons in Children’s Area .
Publib Topics October 2011

Publib Topics October 2011

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Best of PubLib 03.28.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Provocative video suitable for all audiences coming soon

This edition of  Best of Publib covers  March 15th through March 28th 2010. This PubLib review and analysis includes questions about naming library rooms, thought-provoking discussions about new media archives , library materials security,  and our new poll on R-rated movie access. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

Take our Poll!

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Best of PubLib 02.28.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Best of PubLib TVComing Soon!

weekly updateThis edition of Best of Publib covers the week of February 22nd through February 28th 2010. This week included questions about advertising and accountability, use and implementation of ebook readers,  and our new poll on charging library fees to support other government departments. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

Take our poll! 

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Best of PubLib ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall Review

Best of PubLib at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibit Hall Review

This week,  Best of Publib covered the ALA Exhibit Hall at the Boston Convention Center.   The HD video below includes hundreds of vendor displays.  We hope it will help you imagine the experience if you were not able to attend, or help refresh and reinforce what you learned.  

 
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Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

The Boston Convention Center was an excellent venue for ALA. The train brought us to South Station - just a few minutes away from the hotels and convention amenities.   There are many local publishers and library suppliers within a short distance, so start-ups and unique product suppliers could present affordably.  And, Boston rocks!  The Freedom Trail, Duck Tours , along with world-class museums and libraries are within short distances of the convention center.  

The organizational effort by ALA and attention to detail by the library vendors was outstanding. It was easy to lose track of time on the exhibit hall floor amidst the panorama and noise.  It took on a casino / carnival atmosphere with prizes to win and vendors pitching their games. High above, you could use the Food Court sign as a directional beacon.  

Of all the hundreds of vendors represented, we chose to review five.  

The first is : I-Concepts which defines itself as Innovative Concepts for Nonprofit Organizations.  We could imagine many libraries outside of Boston benefiting from this service, along with fostering a general appreciation of local history archives.  If you are looking for a way to both encourage collection use and raise funds - i-concepts may be the answer. The Amelia Earhart print was fascinating.  

LibraryThing.com/forLibraries

The second  is : LibraryThing. Tim Spalding along with his gregarious black-shirted  horde truly represented the best of Open Source, Library 2.0 and viral marketing. They were eager to engage and highly entertaining.  

The third vendor is : LE@D-Lifelong Education @ Desktop from the University of North Texas   This group was absolutely charming and demonstrated infectious enthusiasm for their services. They dressed in some of the most colorful attire at the exhibit.  Le@D  provides highly affording library training. According to Director - Kevin Haney (in the middle with the green shirt) – costs are as low as $15 for a course! Enthusiastic library training -  Deep in the heart of Texas!  

New York Times

The fourth vendor is: The New York Times offering 50% off Home Delivery Service
 Marketing was conducted by On the Avenue Marketing Group with this excellent salesperson hawking half-price subscriptions. She may have been the hardest working individual in the exhibit hall. Yet, it was somehow troubling that this was the limit of representation of the New York Times publishing empire.  

III

The fifth vendor is: III – Innovative Interfaces Incorporated. III is one of the heavy hitters in the Library industry. Many libraries are dependent on their products and they have  a loyal base. I worked on two transitions to III – the first at Brown University from CLSI and the second at CLAN libraries from Horizon. I have used III for over twenty years and find it offers outstanding service. However, what I observed in the exhibit hall was troubling.  

The III booth was very well-appointed and designed with several interactive product displays. It supported a large group of associates to answer questions. Yet, few were actually engaged in discussions with anyone but their co-workers. A librarian approached two of the representatives to thank III for providing a pass to the exhibit hall. One of the representatives took a look at the librarian’s badge and said something to the effect of :

 “Well ______ must have been giving away those passes all along the east coast, we had another librarian from ____ stop by earlier “.

Then the rep rattled off a few names of people they considered important from that same institution and basically dismissed the librarian. There was no sales pitch. No offer to demo. Merely, a dismissal. 

Library Service, especially in the public library sector, ideally levels the playing field. Service is equal. In contrast, some vendor representatives have obviously been instructed to find out the station of the exhibit hall attendee, determine if they were of the buyer / influencer class and dismiss the others. Yet, the nature of libraries and librarians as technology consumers requires generating interest throughout an organization and getting everyone to buy in. If you have six vendor representatives at an exhibit and you don’t have a crowd around your people, then you should generate interest by engaging everyone.  All of the library vendors were start-ups at one point.   

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The exhibit hall may be the most effective way to get hands on experience with some of the newest and most exciting products in the library world.  The meager twenty-five dollar entrance fee – or having an inside vendor representative hook you up for free makes the experience well worth the visit.  

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This Week in Best of PubLib 12.22.2009

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Our special holiday edition of  This week in Best of Publib covers  December 14th through December 22rd. This Best of PubLib report includes questions about collection development,  excellent library quotes, reference librarian development,  and the impact of intergenerational conflict. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:

  • Topic   »    social software user policy question - Penny Ramirez in Crystal Lake, IL is looking for library policy examples –  How does your library facilitate or inhibit social networking?
  • Topic   »    ADA compliant software -  Renee J. Ponzio   in Eau Claire, WI wants to know if you have found language software that meets ADA criteria – Do the accessibility tools that are standard with Mac and PC systems make language software compliant?
  • Topic   »    weird animal sounds storytime -  Linda Myer   in Marysville OH compiled a list of children’s books recommended by PubLib readers that  help children discover animal sounds – Who hoots?  – sounds like a job for librarians!
  • Topic   »    Dewey-less libraries - Kevin O’Kelly   in Somerville, MA is looking for alternative methods of finding library materials. Is there a better system than OCLC’s Dewey? What is the ultimate example of sign systems and call numbers?
  • Topic   »    Broadband Stimulus - Andrea Taylor   in Fullerton, CA  is looking at the impact of  stimulus funds on high-bandwidth connectivity - Will broadband stimulus affect and enhance your services?
  • Topic   »   Western Fiction for a bookclub discussion - Terry Sterling   in Fresno, CA got excited enough abut the recent collection development topic on Westerns to envision a bookclub discussion - What do you recommend?
  • Topic   »    Middle School Book Club Selection -   in Lebanon, OR is looking for selections appropriate for Middle School students – On that topic is Lost really just an adult Lord of the Flies ?
  • Topic   »    Library Quote –  Michael R. Meise -    in Roanoke, VA  is looking for the perfect quote for a library bag – many excellent suggestions were offered.
  • Topic   »    Retirement!!  George Hazelton   in McDonough, GA has announced his upcoming retirement – Congratulations !  Huzzah  !
  • Topic   »    Tutorial on Ancestry.com -  Sana Moulder    in Fayetteville NC is teaching a course on Ancestry and is looking for tips – How far back can you trace your lineage?
  • Topic   »    Computer Access Passes…  Ron Block in Jacksonville, FL wants to know how you ration computer services to non-residents – Is your access universal?
  • Topic   »    teen areas -  Cindy Hayes    in High Ridge, MO  is concerned about adults in the teen areas – Do teens and adults mix? Should adults be restricted from convenient access to teen oriented collections? When is being a child at heart or in mind a bad thing? Should libraries foster intergenerational relationships

Take our poll!

 

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This Week in Best of PubLib 11.23.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the weeks of November 8th through November 22nd. This week includes questions about collection development, thought provoking discussions about library photography,  archiving the Grateful Dead, library materials security and damage,  and generational conflicts. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    The end of CD HotList – Rick Anderson in Utah announces the ending of the CD HotList - will he create a new directory?
  • Topic   »    What is the Source of a Nativity story from Joseph’s point of view from Toby Greenwalkt in Skokie, IL – Answer The Handmaid and the Carpenter by E. Berg
  • Topic   »    When customers are ill – Alison Moss in Lafayette, IN is looking for policies – Diedre Conkling references LibraryLaw
  • Topic   »    Fun Games for little ones - Pam Karr in Redlands, CA wants your suggestions – Louis Alcorn recommends Tumblebooks
  • Topic   »    100th anniversary suggestions – Rita Squires in Dalles, OR wants to know how others celebrate
  • Topic   »    Generational conflict and retiring librarians – Hillary Theyer in Torrance, CA wants resources
  • Topic   »    Posting/identifying photos – Roger Carswell  in Iola, KS wants to know policies for posting photos – what is the law?
  • Topic   »    Legit site? – Cynthia Dieden wants to know some credentials – Trustee Fred Beisser evaluates
  • Topic   »    Children’s registrations/multiple cards – Andrew Poplawski in Dartmouth, N.S.  is looking at policies
  • Topic   »    Archiving the Grateful Dead - Judy Anderson spots a hot dead head library job 
  • Topic   »    Teachers selling lesson plans – Sharon Foster wants to know if librarians are next.
  • Topic   »    Locking book drops  - Helen Rigdon wants to know if you are locking them for the holidays – are your materials secure?
  • Topic   »    What would you tell a student? – Christie Brandau is teaching a MLIS course and wants your nuggets of  library wisdom – Grace DeCandido offers her suggestions
  • Topic   »    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Lorie J. O’Donnell in Rome, NY is having a book discussion and wants to know what you would ask.
  • Topic   »    Good resources for magazine/journal indexes – Andrea Lhotka in Sedona notes the lack of database support for indexing old magazines – what resources are out there – WorldCat ?
  • Topic   »    Patron requests limits – Lynne Mildestein in Bend, OR wants to know if you are limiting active holds – can there be too many holds?
  • Topic   »    A/V in bookdrop - Mary Soucie in Illinois want to know policies – How do you limit damage?
  • Topic   »    ESL Website – Amber Sroka is putting together an ESL website and would like to see other examples

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Sacred Cattle

Best of PubLib Featured Article featured article

The PubLib listserve members pored over this question from Andrea Taylor – the Division Manager for Tech. Services at the Fullerton Public Library in California.

 We have been asked to come up with a list of things to cut in each
department and have been told that nothing is a sacred cow.  Has anyone
had to do this?  Specifically, I am asking about what in my Technical
Services dept. could be considered (TS = Sys. Admin., Acquisitions,
Cataloguing, Processing, Mending, etc…).

There were many answers and divergent points of consideration. Librarian Andrea Taylor compiled these results:

Cost Cutting Suggestions

Technical Services

1.      No mending

2.      No binding

3.      No direct orders or out of print orders (used books)

4.      Do not replace missing/damaged/lost items unless requested by patron

5.      Outsource cataloging

6.      No donations unless Best Seller (on hold)

7.      Limit the number of times someone check’s another’s work (i.e. eliminate circ’s final check on new books)

8.      Why do we stamp the edges of books? Stamp inside?  i.e. …can we eliminate redundancy? We have streamlined our labeling, so that we are only doing the bare minimum of processing – barcode, spine labels and a property stamp is about it.

9.      Forgo spine labels on DVDs

10.  Move paperback cataloguing to TS as it can be done faster and attached to appropriate hardback records if available.

11.  Paperbacks – Put mass market pbs in generic paperback records with no processing other than a bar code and property stamp.  Occasionally patrons would like to know the name of the item that is overdue, and it would be nice to look up paperback titles but it’s not that big a deal and does save staff & processing time and database space.  Use generic records for board books and fotonovelas.

12.  Reuse children’s cataloguing slips.

13.  Putting all juvenile holiday books into regular circulation.

14.  No plastic covers on juvenile & adult magazines

15.  Limit all printing to only what is necessary.

16.  Eliminate double securing of DVDs

17.  Do you really need to property stamp all over your new materials?  If your barcode has your name on it, that’s almost enough.  Maybe one stamp with your name and address would save you one or two books over a decade.  Is that amount of return worth the cost of labor over and over again? 

18.   We are considering whether or not to continue to place magnetic strips in every item – we are still trying to figure this one out, but if things get tough enough we may drop the mag strips all together.

19.  We are not replacing jewel cases or repackaging CDs and DVDs to save some on case costs. 

20.  Order supplies once per year to cut down on shipping charges.

21.  Stop counting books (i.e. we count # mends, #new processed etc…)

22.  Get rid of children’s kit’s bags and go to CD’s inside cover – a lot cheaper and easier for circ to deal with.

23.  Make us of project plan for everything so that cost of every new procedure is detailed

24.  We have had vendor processing for years and have really streamlined the whole acquisitions process this year which has freed up staff to go fill vacancies in branches

25.  We place barcode on outside of material in exactly the same place EVEN IF IT COVERS SOMETHING UP.  This means that people don’t need to stop and think about label placement.  And, Circulation loves it!

26.  When we print the spine labels, the location prints on the 2nd label so we know where the item belongs.

27.  No special stickers (ex: Mystery, Science Fiction, etc.)

28.  Centralized selection

29.  No “special classification” requests.  (ex: “My branch wants this a “Easy Book” not a “Non-Fiction” book. 

30.  Stopped assigning LC call numbers to CDs.  We now just use Horizon Collection Codes for the genre and performer/composer name for call number (the same format as the call numbers for fiction.)

31.  We have established automatic cancellation dates with our major vendors.  This means that we just cancel orders in Horizon but we don’t need to send out cancellation notices.

32.  We cancelled all travel book and exam book standing orders.  Baker & Taylor now sends us carts with the newly available titles each month and we just firm order what we want.  This saves all the time managing the standing orders and it also helps the acquisitions budget because we may not want to purchase something like Fodor’s Belize every year

Collection Management 

33.  Limit amount of materials purchased from Sales Rep and Stores

34.  Use standing orders/profiles for fiction

35.  Purchase WorldBook only every two years since now online and little reference

36.  Because we have online encyclopedias we only buy hardcover encyclopedias every other year

37.  There are certain self-weeding collections:  math, witchcraft, true crime, tarot cards, test study guides, etc.  I think these and other high-theft collections should be bought in paperback and not bound or laminated.  These should be bought about once a year, and when they’re gone, they’re gone until next year.

38.  We took a very long, hard look at the user stats for our electronic databases in spring and dropped two databases this year; again no negative comments have comments have made their way to me, but, the user stats were very low so not very many people were impacted.

Reference

39.  Have reference librarian work at circ desk to field ready reference while ref desk is closed.

40.  Allow circulation to answer simple reference questions

 41.  We buy very little reference in hardcopy (almanacs, dictionaries, atlases) relying on our electronic offerings

 Circulation

42.  Move Holds from behind the desk to self-pickup!!

43.  Send only 1 notice before bill

44.  Recently, because of the budget restraints, we’ve had to go to a 4:1 ratio of holds to holdings – not very appealing but there’s just no money.  No patron complaints have come to me from the branches or through our website comments feature.  Note: FPL’s ratio is 5:1 already.

45.  This isn’t a high impact savings measure at all, but it does save libraries from having to buy   bookmarks for patrons (if they even did it in the first place), it’s environmentally friendly, and   patrons love the outcome and think they are getting something elegant for nothing. I take old   catalogs that we get, the ones with thicker covers, and cut them into bookmarks. 

 46. We added a new feature to email notification of holds.  Now, if our patrons choose to   be     notified by email, they will also receive an email three days before the resources are due,   with a link to renewing them.  This has decreased our mailing costs. 

Children’s

47.  Eliminate storytimes with less than 10-15 attendees

48.  We are slowly phasing out the “Request” ability to Floppy (paperback) children’s picture books and the  hardback picture books for babies. The new replacement copies that we receive are identified as  Floppy and     cannot be requested. Our floppies are part of the browsing collection and are displayed face-out which made it   difficult for staff to locate them if they were requested.  Below I’ve provided you with a picture of how the floppy  picture books are displayed throughout the San Jose Public Library System. The hardback picture books for babies   are placed in square bins for parents to go through.

General

49.  We have also changed our hours so the library is closed on two consecutive days, where we used   to be closed on Friday and Sunday.  This has helped our utility costs, as we power down   completely when we leave for the weekend.  We  have furloughs, which were received very well,   as we chose days when we were not busy right before holidays.  And we changed our working   hours to nine hours on four days, and eight hours on the fifth day, and three day weekends every other weekend.  The staff likes this also.  

 50.  In general, we remove any barriers to self-service and are in the process of evaluating all positions  so that we staff for function.  For example, when a Library Clerk position becomes vacant, in most   cases this position is being reclassified to a Page position due to the need to turn the collection  around faster.  We have used self-check machines for a decade and in 2006 installed automated  materials handling, so as much as 70%-90% of circulation is done through self-service today.  The   bottleneck is in shelving the 11 million items that circulate annually.

51. We are simply going through out budget line item by line item to look for opportunities to cut. We’ll also be   looking at the material budget and hours. (3% additional cut needed for this year).

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