Thursday, May 14, 2009

State Budget Cuts Will Hurt Public Libraries

We need your help!

The Pennsylvania Senate has proposed a state budget for 2009-2010. Their budget cuts the state funding for public libraries by 50%. In Schuylkill County, that kind of cut would be devastating: many local libraries will have to cut their hours, all will have to reduce purchases of new books and other materials, and some libraries may even be forced to close. The funding for the POWER Library would be cut completely, meaning our students will not have access to vital homework tools. Other cuts would reduce our ability to borrow materials from other libraries in the state. All of these at a time when many families need to spend less and are depending on their local public libraries more!

The Governor’s proposed budget for 2009-2010 has smaller cuts, but any cuts right now will hurt Schuylkill County libraries. The House has presented their proposed budget, and it is similar to the Governor’s.

If all this isn’t bad enough, there is more: if the funding for public libraries is drastically cut at the state level as the Senate budget proposes, it will cost Pennsylvania millions of dollars in lost federal funds. It’s like a double whammy.

Please write to your state representative, your state senator, and Governor Rendell using the mailing or web addresses below and tell them about the importance of public libraries in your life. Tell them public libraries are needed by state residents already hurt by the layoffs and financial crises. Most importantly, ask them to support level funding for library services next year.

Your voice is crucial to public libraries right now and can make a difference!

The Honorable Edward Rendell
Governor of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120


29th State Senatorial District --
The Honorable David Argall
Senate Box 203029
168 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3029


123rd State House District --
The Honorable Neal P. Goodman
House of Representatives
G-07 K. Leroy Irvis Office Bldg
PO Box 202123
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2123

125th State House District --
The Honorable Tim Seip
Rm 115-B East Wing
PO Box 202125
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2125


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wind Energy: Clean & Endlessly Renewable? Part One

The first windmill used in the United States for generating electricity was patented in 1888 by George F. Brush in Cleveland, Ohio. There was a boom in small-scale electrical generation using the wind from 1890 until the 1930s, when the Rural Electrification Administration developed large power grids and huge power generators, and put an end to small farm or home-sized power generation.

Today there ae two kinds of wind turbines: vertical axis (shaped like egg beaters) and horizontal axis (shaped like pinwheels). The vertical axis type can handle wind coming from any direction, while the pinwheel model needs to be adjusted for wind variations.

Most of us have seen the huge turbines on hills and think, "Great! Cheap, non-polluting, renewable energy!" But there are a number of problems surrounding the wind energy issue. Some of these include variations in the wind speed and direction, the noise of the turbines, the amount of land needed, and the turbines' affect on bird and bat populations.

Find out more about the history, issues, and ongoing research in wind energy by using some of the books at the Pottsville Free Public Library. Here are some of the most current:

Alternative Energy: Volume 3 (2006) - Ref 333.794 Al794

Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound (2007) - 333.9 W676

Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy (2001) - Ref 621.042 M228

U.S. National Debate Topic, 2008-2009: Alternative Energy (2008) - 333.794 U17

Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business (2004) - 621.45 G44

Check back soon for Part Two and more resources on this topic!