Will Technology Take Down Libraries?

Since the introduction of e-books, print book sales have decreased every year, including a nine percent decrease in 2012, according to Nielsen Bookscan.

Concerned over the amount of revenue they could lose from people borrowing e-books from a library instead of buying e-books, some publishers have barred libraries from making their e-books available for rental, a 2011 New York Times article said.

Andersen Library Circulation Director Patty Fragola is not concerned that the introduction of e-books into society will threaten the existence of libraries.

Fragola says that while some publishers are not allowing libraries to use copies of their e-books, most of the hard copies of those books are still available for the library to buy.  Furthermore, Fragola said that, especially in a college library, not all people can afford to buy a Kindle or other e-reader.

This brings forth another reason why libraries still have purpose after the creation of e-books: libraries – especially ones like Andersen Library that are on a college campus – create an academic environment that many people use to study or do research. Reference books that students often use for such purposes are also very expensive on e-book markets, so students will still have a use for the library even if they do use e-books, Fragola said.

Libraries, even with the tactics publishers are employing to save some of their revenue, have been adapting to the ushering in of e-books quite well. According to the American Library Association, 90 percent of libraries have made e-books available to the public since their introduction.

Although the e-book may change what libraries are used for or what books they have available, library patrons seem confident that the library will remain useful.

Justin Henry, a political science major at UW-Whitewater, says the main reason he comes to the library is to study. “I mainly come to the library to do papers or when I need to research something,” Henry said. “The library’s collection of state and federal government documents really helps when I need to research something.”

In my research, I could not find any government documents available on e-book.

Martin Bouska, a general business major at UW-Whitewater, also uses the library more for its environment. “It’s much easier to get homework done in the library where I can sit down and focus,” Bouska said. “If I have any questions about things, usually I can ask a reference librarian to help and they can point me in the right direction, which I can’t do at home.”

Some people suggest that e-books can also be more helpful for the environment because they limit the amount of paper that needs to be used. However, production of e-readers such as Kindles and iPads is also harmful for the environment. According to an article in the New York Times, one e-reader requires the extraction of 33 minerals, 79 gallons of water and 100 kilowatt hours of energy resulting in the release of 66 pounds of carbon dioxide. The average e-reader also needs to be shipped 500 miles.

Although e-books are changing the landscape of book sales and readership across the nation, it does not seem that they will be the downfall of libraries as we know them. “Will e-books change libraries? Probably,” Fragola said. “Will e-books make libraries extinct? I would say definitely not.”

Steve Jobs Gives Commencement Address at Stanford University

After dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Ore., CEO of Apple Computers, Inc. Steve Jobs started dropping in on classes he found interesting. One of those classes was a calligraphy class.

At the time, Jobs did not feel the class had a practical application in his life. However, while developing the first Macintosh computer, Jobs used styles learned in his calligraphy class to develop the typography.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward,” Jobs said in a commencement speech to an audience of graduating students Wednesday at Stanford University. “You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will connect in your future.”

Jobs, 50, told the newly graduated students a few life lessons that he had learned the hard way. One of the largest themes in his speech was being able to see brightness in adversity.

Jobs described the brightness he eventually saw in his firing from Apple Computers in 1985. John Sculley took over as CEO of Apple Computers, and Jobs was out of work.

“At 30, I was out, and very publicly out,” Jobs said. “What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.” Although faced with adversity, Jobs realized he loved what he did.

“I’d been rejected, but I was still in love,” Jobs said. After being fired, Jobs developed NeXT Computers and Pixar Animation before returning to Apple.

Jobs described to the students that choosing a career in something that they loved to do was the key to success in life, because it was his love of his work that kept him going after his firing from Apple. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work,” Jobs said. “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.”

Jobs also recounted a tale of his near death in 2004. Jobs had pancreatic cancer, and the doctors told him that the cancer was most likely incurable.

However, in a miraculous stroke of luck, the doctors found that Jobs’ type of cancer was a rare form of pancreatic cancer that could be fixed with surgery. Jobs told the students that the encounter with death was important for him.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

In signing off, Jobs told of an old magazine he liked to read as a child. The magazine was packed with information, and Jobs described it as being “kind of like Google before Google existed.”

With their last issue, the magazine told its readers “stay hungry, stay foolish.” Jobs had the same message for the graduates. “I always wished that for myself,” Jobs said. “Now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

Global Cafe Series Accentuates Travel Study Opportunities

Scarlett Ballestros, 21, came all the way from Nuevo Leòn, Mexico, to Whitewater in an exchange program. She majored in economics at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, and keeps the same major at UW-Whitewater.

Zach Hill, a UW-Whitewater student, studied at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakatashi, Japan, a town of about 400,000 people. Despite its size, Hill said the residents of Japan called Hirakatashi a countryside town because of its relative size compared to other cities in Japan.

These students and others presented their stories from studying abroad at the Global Café Series Thursday, Feb. 28 in Andersen Library in an attempt to educate other students about the study abroad opportunities at Whitewater. *

The Global Café Series is a series of presentations open to Whitewater students designed to educate students about the study abroad program that Whitewater offers. During the series, different students who have participated in the program give presentations describing their time abroad and highlighting the positive aspects of their trips.

Global Experiences Coordinator Dan Colleran believes the series is a good way to inform the students at Whitewater about the opportunities that are right under their nose. The presentations allow students to see where they may want to go, and see how students who have traveled from other countries to Whitewater have experienced their studies abroad, Colleran said.

Along with highlighting the parts of their studies that involved education, the presenters also told the audience of their adventurous trips they were able to take during their time abroad.

Hill told about his travels from Hirakatashi to cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Hill also said he was able to climb Mt. Fuji, a nearly 12,000 foot mountain. It took seven hours to climb the mountain and seven hours to descend, and Hill displayed beautiful pictures from the peak of the mountain.

Ballesteros joked about how dissimilar Whitewater is to her hometown in Mexico. When asked what parts of Whitewater remind her most of home, Ballesteros responded with a laugh and said “nothing.” The food is different, the climate is different and the college experience is different, Ballesteros said.

The Global Café Series is held periodically throughout the semester. The next one will be held at 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 13, at Andersen Library.

Students interested in studying abroad can visit the Global Pathways sessions Monday through Thursday every week in Hyland Hall, Room 1227.

Petykiewicz’s Proposed Budget Includes Tax Raise

Kittatinny Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz proposed a new budget for 2013 Friday, which included a raise in property taxes and cuts to the police department.

Petykiewicz’s proposal included a 0.3 mill raise in the city’s tax rate. This is intended to cover the nearly $100,000 dollar loss in assessed property value following the closing of Blast Furnace Unit 1 at Susquehanna Steel Corporation.

However, the proposed increase in property taxes will still leave a nearly $100,000 deficit in the cities tax levy. The budget also states that the estimated tax collection on the residential properties in Kittatinny is uncertain because job losses at Susquehanna Steel may cause residents to be unable to pay their taxes or have to relocate.

The budget also proposed a change in police services in Kittatinny. Two Kittatinny police officers will be relieved of their duties.

To replace these officers, the 4 a.m. to noon shift for the police force will be contracted by the Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies. This may increase response times for emergency calls in Kitatinny.

Petykiewicz’s proposed budget also contains a change to garbage collection. Instead of garbage collection remaining on the city tax levy, it would instead be added to residents water bills.

This change in garbage collection will relieve a little over $185,000 from the budget. However, it will place a greater financial burden on the taxpayers of Kittatinny.

The price for parking meters is also increased in this proposal. The price for the parking meters along Main Street will increase from 10 cents per hour to 25 cents per hour.

Prices for parking permits in the city-owned lots in the downtown area will also rise. The price will increase $10 from $65 per year to $75 per year.

The budget included some new equipment for the city of Kittatiny. The police department will replace their oldest vehicle, a 2003 Ford Fairlane Police Special, with a new police car.

The budget also included a new riding mower for the Kittatiny Parks Department and a combination dump truck/snow plow for the Kittatiny Streets Department.

State law requires a balanced budget to be submitted and signed into law by the mayor by December 1, 2013.

From Overweight to Triathlete

After swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles, Jennifer Wimmer finally approached the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin. After running the full gamut of emotions throughout the day, Wimmer finished and heard the voice of Mike Reilly, announcer of Ironman events across the country, say “Jenny Wimmer, you are an Ironman!”

At 348 pounds four years prior, Wimmer never imagined hearing anything like that.

In 2006 while on vacation, Wimmer purchased a pair of shorts that she thought were the largest she had seen. When she put them on, she could not pull them all the way up.

After seeing a picture of herself from the same vacation, she decided it was time for a change. She tried every fad diet on the market, including the grapefruit diet and the Atkins diet.

Finally, she settled on a low calorie diet that consisted of six to seven 100 calorie shakes per day. She consulted with a doctor once a week for the first three months, and every two weeks for the following months.

Along with the diet, she began walking on the treadmill for exercise. After seeing coverage of the Crazylegs Classic in Madison, she started to think about running in similar events.

Wimmer joined a local triathlon club and made friends in the group. She knew Ironman was what she wanted to do someday after watching some of these friends compete in Ironman Wisconsin.

After losing 185 pounds on her diet, she decided the time was right. She signed up for Ironman Wisconsin in 2010 and began her training.

She began cycling with her cyclist friends and used her previous experience in swimming from her childhood to start her training.

The most difficult part of training according to Wimmer was developing the mental toughness to be able to train in all conditions. The training is very methodical and deviating from the plan can ruin your training.

Wimmer said that finishing the Ironman was one of the best feelings of her life, and she plans to do it again. She has already completed a second Ironman, and will compete in her third this year.

Wimmer said losing the weight made her a much happier person and improved her life. “It made me a braver person,” said Wimmer. “I approach life with a lot more adventure and excitement, finding ways to say ‘Why can’t I try that?’.”