Annual Library Budget Survey

Source: Publishers Communication Group, 2008

Each year, PCG carries out a telephone survey at academic, corporate, medical, and government libraries. Institutes in North America, Europe and in the Asia Pacific Region are contacted. Librarians with control over and knowledge of library budgets for 2008 participated. During the most recent survey, 416 institutional libraries were included. Academic institutions were split into categories reflecting the size of their institute.
Download the 2008 Report
Download the 2008 Presentation
Download the 2007 Report
Download the 2006 Report
Download the 2005 Report

The Rich and the Rest of Us

Source: John Cavanagh & Chuck Collins, Nation, June 30, 2008

Over the past three decades, market-worshiping politicians and their corporate backers have engineered the most colossal redistribution of wealth in modern world history, a redistribution from the bottom up, from working people to a tiny global elite.

This special issue of The Nation exposes the widespread costs of this rising inequality and offers a blueprint on how to reverse course. We will never achieve social and economic justice for those at the bottom of our economic pyramid until we tackle wealth concentration at the top.

Tools for Narrowing the Great Divide

Source: Working Group on Extreme Inequality, 2008

Interested in conducting a workshop on extreme inequality for your community group, local union, or religious congregation? Looking for materials that can help you give an inequality-related presentation? Or just want to get yourself up to speed on growing great divide between the super-rich and everyone else?

Just browse around this Tools section. Please check back regularly. We’ll be adding new aids for understanding extreme inequality on a regular basis.
See also:
By the Numbers Chartpack

The Rest of Their Lives: Life without Parole for Youth Offenders in the United States in 2008

Source: Human Rights Watch, May 2008

The sentencing of juveniles to life without parole (JLWOP), effectively to die in prison, is examined. This report has sections that cover: new findings in 2008; a nationwide problem; harsh sentencing practices; crimes that can lead to JLWOP; sentencing disparity; life in prison; JLWOP and international human rights — there are 2,484 youth serving LWOP in the world, all in the U.S.; fair sentences for youth; and recommendations.
See also:
The Rest of Their Lives (2005)

The Strains and Drains of Long-Term Care

Source: Richard W. Johnson, Urban Institute, June 9, 2008

From the abstract:
As the nation grows older, it’s time to find a better way to care for those who need help as they age. The financial, emotional, and physical costs of providing long-term care often overwhelm families. Unpaid family members supply most of it, struggling to balance these duties with work and other responsibilities. A year’s stay in a nursing home averaged $78,000 in 2007, and public assistance is not generally available until residents have exhausted almost all of their financial resources. Policymakers should encourage Americans to prepare for their own long-term care needs or create a larger role for government financing.

Savings Needed to Fund Health Insurance and Health Care Expenses in Retirement

Source: Paul Fronstin, Dallas Salisbury, Jack VanDerhei, EBRI Issue Brief, no. 317, May 2008

This Issue Brief examines the uncertainty of health care expenses in retirement by using a Monte Carlo simulation model to estimate the amount of savings needed to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care expenses. This type of simulation is able to account for the uncertainty related to individual mortality and rates of return, and computes the present value of the savings needed to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses in retirement. These observations were used to determine asset targets for having adequate savings to cover retiree health costs 50, 75, and 90 percent of the time.

On The Road To Universal Coverage: Impacts Of Reform In Massachusetts At One Year

Source: Sharon K. Long, Health Affairs, Web Exclusives, Vol. 27 no. 3, June 3, 2008
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In April 2006, Massachusetts passed legislation intended to move the state to near-universal coverage within three years and, in conjunction with that expansion, to improve access to affordable, high-quality health care. In roughly the first year under reform, uninsurance among working-age adults was reduced by almost half among those surveyed, dropping from 13 percent in fall 2006 to 7 percent in fall 2007. At the same time, access to care improved, and the share of adults with high out-of-pocket costs and problems paying medical bills dropped. Despite higher-than-anticipated costs, most residents of the state continued to support reform.

2008 Kids & Family Reading Report

Source: Scholastic, June 2008

A new study released today finds that 75% of kids age 5-17 agree with the statement, “No matter what I can do online, I’ll always want to read books printed on paper,” and 62% of kids surveyed say they prefer to read books printed on paper rather than on a computer or a handheld device. The Kids & Family Reading Report, a national survey of children age 5-17 and their parents, also found that kids who go online to extend the reading experience – by going to book or author websites or connecting with other readers – are more likely to read books for fun every day.
See also:
Press release
2006 report
To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence

Primer on Transportation and Climate Change Issued by AASHTO

Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

From news release:
AASHTO has published an information report titled Primer on Transportation and Climate Change, which serves as an introduction to the issue of climate change and its implications for transportation policy in the U.S. The report:
• Summarizes the current state of scientific knowledge concerning the causes and impacts of climate change;
• Provides an introduction to climate change policy issues;
• Discusses trends in greenhouse gas emissions from road transportation;
• Reviews potential measures to reduce such emissions; and
• Identified issues for further research.

Full Document (PDF; 7.5 MB)