Covid-19’s Impact on Libraries Goes Beyond Books

From Wired

“FOR JENNIFER PEARSON, the choice was difficult but clear: Shut down the library, or people could die.“My library was filled with older people,” Pearson says. “I just wanted to go out and scream, ‘Go home. What are you doing here?’ I knew that if we didn’t make that move to close the building, they would never stop coming. We were, at that point, doing more harm than good.”Pearson is the director of the Marshall County Memorial Library in Tennessee, which shut down last Wednesday. She’s also president of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. The ARSL, along with larger organizations like the American Library Association, has issued a statement recommending that public libraries close their doors amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”


10 (Free) Ways to Use the L.A. Public Library While Actual Libraries Are Closed

From Los Angeles Magazine

“On March 14, the city made the difficult decision to shutter the L.A. Public Library’s 73 locations through at least March 31.Even though Angelenos can’t physically enter their local branches, the library has an array of e-media available to library card holders, from free movie streaming services to online subscriptions to major newspapers. Don’t have a card? No problem. You can register for an e-Card on on their website.From audiobooks to digital photography exhibits, here are ten free ways to stay entertained and informed while you self-isolate.”

San Diego County Libraries Move To Digital To Help Stop COVID-19

From Patch San Diego

” Due to the quickly moving nature of the County’s response to the novel coronavirus and to protect the public, County libraries will not be able to provide curbside pickup of books and library materials. However, library patrons can still digitially access all the Library’s e-books and e-magazines around the clock — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — by downloading the Libby app for e-books or Flipster (under e-books and e-magazines) for e-magazines like Sports Illustrated, People, Time.Residents who do not have a library card, can sign up for an Instant Digital Card and use their mobile phone number as their library card!”

Updates to the Goleta Library System During Stay at Home Order

From The Independent

“With the new stay at home order for California, the Goleta, Solvang and Buellton Libraries have had to modify what they can offer patrons. Book returns can be made at the book drops through Sunday, March 22. After that date they will be locked. The due date for all checked out items has been extended to May 4, and there will be no overdue fees for any items during this period. Library staff are working hard to put together resources for children and adults to do at home. This includes activities for children such as virtual story times conducted by library staff, easy craft projects, and educational sites. For adults there will be virtual travel and tour sites, access to Broadway Musicals from your sofa, and research links. The page will debut on the library website ( next week.”

Updates to the Goleta Library System During Stay at Home Order

All Humboldt County Libraries Closed Through End of March

From Lost Coast Outpost

“Humboldt County Library press release: Due to public health concerns presented by COVID-19, all Humboldt County Library locations and Bookmobile will be closed to the public from Tuesday, March 17th through Tuesday, March 31st, 2020. This decision is based on information from the California Department of Public Health and is designed to protect the health of our community and staff. Library volunteers will be contacted and asked not to report until further notice.”

San Diego County, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra boost census outreach at libraries

From San Diego Union Tribune

“The same day Californians began receiving invitations in the mail to participate in the 2020 census, some top state and local leaders unveiled census kiosks and urged San Diego County residents to participate in the once-a-decade event.California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, County Supervisor Greg Cox and community advocates showed how the kiosks work at the Bonita-Sunnyside Branch Library on Thursday.Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau counts and gathers information on people, including how many live in households, their gender, age, race and ethnicity. That data is then used to determine how many seats each state gets in the 435-member House of Representatives and how billions of federal dollars are divvied up among states.”

Libraries scramble to reflect places they serve

From News & Record

“Jennifer Songster roved the crowded aisles of the small mom-and-pop shop, riffling through books in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. Outside, the streets of Phnom Penh bustled. The air was thick and humid. Beads of sweat trickled down her face.She hadn’t flown for 20 hours to marvel at Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, or stroll the white-sand beaches of Sihanoukville. Instead, she spent eight sweltering days in the Cambodian capital on a five-figure shopping trip.Songster works at the Mark Twain Branch of the Long Beach Public Library, home to one of the largest public library collections of Khmer (pronounced Ka-mai) books in the United States. She and fellow librarian Christina Nhek had traveled more than 8,000 miles on a mission that faces libraries across the country: to serve the readers of rapidly changing cities.”

Kern County firefighters collecting books to restock Porterville Library

From Your Central Valley

” Bakersfield Fire Department and Kern County Fire are teaming up to collect books to donate to the Porterville Public Library – three weeks after the deadly blaze there.The Porterville Library fire on Feb. 18 claimed the lives of Firefighter Patrick Jones and Fire Captain Ray Figueroa.As the Porterville community continues to honor those fallen firefighters, Bakersfield Fire Department and Kern County Fire are working together to help tell a new story: one with hope, strength, and a new step towards healing.”

Kern County firefighters collecting books to restock Porterville Library

Coronavirus fears close N.B., OC library systems for rest of March; Coast colleges call off classes this week

From Los Angeles Times

“Beginning Monday, all public libraries in Newport Beach and the OC Public Libraries system will close for the rest of March in an attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the agencies said.OC Public Libraries made its announcement Sunday night; Newport Beach on Monday morning.Newport also said its community centers will be closed for the same period.”

Sacramento library chief seeks to close all 28 branches to help slow coronavirus spread

From The Sacramento Bee

“Sacramento’s library director plans to recommend the closure of all 28 library branches in the system temporarily to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.Library chief Rivkah Sass said Monday she plans to ask the library board for permission to shut down the branches as soon as Wednesday to help mitigate community spread of the virus.Sass already shut down the Martin Luther King Jr. branch Saturday after learning that the spouse of a staff member who worked there had tested positive for coronavirus.”

Yolo County Library branches temporarily closing

From Daily Democrat

“All Yolo County Library branches, including the Woodland Public Library and Square One, will be closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through April 5, county officials announced Monday. Woodland’s Library Services Director Greta Galindo said the local location will close at 7 p.m. Monday.”

Yolo County Library branches temporarily closing due to coronavirus

LA Public Libraries Close Over Coronavirus Fears

From Patch Los Angeles

“The 73 public libraries in Los Angeles will be closed through March 31 in response to the coronavirus, following a directive from Mayor Eric Garcetti barring gatherings in city facilities of 50 people or more, officials announced.During the closure, due dates for borrowed books and other materials will be automatically extended, no late fees will be assessed and items can be returned when libraries reopen, city librarian John Szabo said Friday.”

San Mateo County Libraries Close Due To Coronavirus

From Patch Redwood City

“The San Mateo County Library is closing all locations starting Monday and lasting through March 31 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.All four branches of the Daly City Public Library are also closing until further notice.The county system said most outreach and mobile services will also be suspended, but that users do not need to worry about overdue material fines, which were eliminated last year.”

Contra Costa: All County Library Programs Canceled Through March

From Patch Lamorinda

“The Contra Costa County Library announced Thursday that it will cancel all programs and events through the end of the month to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.All 26 of the county’s libraries will remain open for their regularly scheduled hours, but regularly scheduled meetings and events like storytime and book club meetings will be canceled. Use of meeting rooms in county-owned buildings will also be prohibited. ”

Woodland Library more involved in the community and with teens

From Daily Democrat

“Circulation is climbing at Woodland’s Public Library and not just in printed books, but digital volumes as well.That was one aspect of the Library’s Annual Report recently made to the City Council by Library Services Director Greta Galindo and the newest board member, Noel Rodriguez.In her 2019 report, Galindo noted a total circulation of 269,733 items, 9,781 items in its digital collection, offered 1,023 classes, and had 49,781 website visitors and 193,745 actual in-person visits.Add to that, were the 9,254 public computer sessions and the 79,200 wireless internet sessions.Councilman Tom Stallard called what is happening at the library “extraordinary. Considering what was happening a few years ago, the dynamism is just amazing. … But I noticed that most of those involved are mostly ladies. I wish some of the guys would get involved.”“Thanks, Greta for having a great library,” said Mayor Rich Lansburgh. “The library is a jewel of the city. I hope that you continue to be the jewel of the city.”All council members also spoke of the success of Square One, the so-called “Maker Space,” where people can learn trades or make items using lasers, 3D printers and other equipment. Square One is now open 25 hours a week, according to the report.”

Woodland Library more involved in the community and with teens

Manteca: 3-in-1 LIBRARY APPROACH?

From Manteca/Ripon Bulletin

“Manteca’s next library could share the ground floor with council chambers in a multiple-story building that would house city hall functions as well as the Manteca Police Department.Or it could be found in the current footprint of the existing library by reconfiguring existing walls and encompassing the courtyard in the building’s footprint while constructing two satellite branches — one south of the 120 Bypass and one east of Highway 99.Neither idea is more than talk right now but the current council made it clear Tuesday library facilities are a top priority.The library facilities — along with a new city hall, a new police station, a second senior center, a community center, a water division office at the wastewater treatment plant, and a public works corporation yard for streets, parks and facilities — were identified by the council as projects they want included in a nexus study needed to update the existing government facilities fee.One facility wish that was part of the basis for the current fee — a performing arts center — was jettisoned.”

San Diego County: Bookmobile provides unconventional access to county library

From The Californian

“There are 54,173 free ebooks available through the San Diego County Library Libby application, as well as 17,670 audiobooks that library patrons can check out through one of two applications available for download on a personal electronic device.Digital Bookmobile representative Marissa Gillett, who was on hand with the traveling bookmobile exhibit parked outside the La Mesa branch library on Feb. 27 pointed out that those numbers equate to unique titles; duplicates of the same book are not counted multiple times.Seated outside the colorfully-painted bookmobile, Gillett worked with La Mesa branch librarian Denise Smith to answer questions from library patrons on ways to access ebooks through the county library system. Once a patron installs either the Overdrive or Libby app onto their device, they are free to browse available titles then check them out online and read or listen to those books on their device through either application.”

Bookmobile provides unconventional access to county library

Sacramento Public Library CEO Rivkah Sass

From Sacramento Town Magazine

“Since taking the helm of the Sacramento Public Library system in 2009, Rivkah Sass—who was named Librarian of the Year by the “Library Journal” in 2006 while serving as the executive director of the Omaha Public Library—has shepherded the 28-branch organization through the past decade with the introduction of services like digital access to more than 200,000 e-books and the ability to check out everything from an electric guitar to a GoPro camera. We spoke to the Manteca native about what’s new at the SPL, ways to keep the library relevant in 2020, and bringing big names—from best-selling author Neil Gaiman to rapper 50 Cent—to town.”

Libraries Could Preserve Ebooks Forever, But Greedy Publishers Won’t Let Them

From Gizmodo

“There are currently 342 potential borrowers waiting for 197 digital copies of Ronan Farrow’s investigative thriller Catch and Kill at the Los Angeles Public Library.
“It’ll take months for that ebook to become available,” I mutter to myself as I do my usual dance: searching the LAPL’s ebook shelves for titles on my reading list. I place a hold anyway. Then I search for a book that’s no longer the topic of watercooler conversations: Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends. Only four borrowers in line for 93 copies. This book was major back in 2017, with dozens of digital copies to prove it, but I’m reaping the benefits of being three years late. I’ll be able to download this book to my Kindle in less than a week, I bet.But why can only one person borrow one copy of an ebook at a time? Why are the waits so damn interminable? Well, it might not surprise you at all to learn that ebook lending is controversial in certain circles: circles of people who like to make money selling ebooks. Publishers impose rules on libraries that limit how many people can check out an ebook, and for how long a library can even offer that ebook on its shelves, because free, easily available ebooks could potentially damage their bottom lines. Libraries are handcuffed by two-year ebook licenses that cost way more than you and I pay to own an ebook outright forever.”

The Edible Book Festival is an international phenomenon. Meet the person helping the UC Berkeley Library bring it to life.

From Berkeley Library News

“On a quiet amble into Morrison Library, you might spot her: Jennifer Osgood, bookworm and artist extraordinaire, bustling about the library, arranging the books on its tables into a perfect puzzle. She makes a mosaic of book covers, leaving just enough space for the titles to breathe.“People ask me, ‘What do you mean, books need space to breathe?’” Osgood says. “And I’m like, ‘Everything needs space to breathe.’”Osgood is the technical processing lead for the Library’s Arts & Humanities Division, handling the day-to-day tasks of maintaining the division’s physical book collection. A dedicated crafter — of cards, poems, miniature houses, and most everything else — Osgood helps the creative side of the Library flourish. She helps run the Graphic Arts Loan Collection, a unique art-lending program for the UC Berkeley community, and designs posters and buttons for various Library events.These days, she’s busy planning the Library’s fourth-annual Edible Book Festival — a fun-filled feast for the imagination and the gut. Celebrated around the world, the festival asks guests to answer the question: How do you transform a beloved text into an edible delight?On March 16, Morrison Library will transform for the event, which is open to the public. We recently sat down for a chat with Osgood to learn more about the festival and the golden thread between books and art.”

San Jose: Giving Underserved Youths a Chance to Succeed Through Better Access to High-Quality Education

From Next City

“The disparities in access to education have led to dismal outcomes. Students who drop out of high school or college are disproportionately low-income, particularly students of color; black and Hispanic students are 12 and 9 percent less likely than their white peers to graduate from high school in four years. These inequalities have far-reaching consequences, not just for individual kids, but for society as a whole. They hamper social mobility, exacerbate income inequality, and stifle economic growth.More and more, alongside school districts, cities are creating their own programs to ensure that all kids, especially those in underserved communities, have access to a high-quality education and of the many benefits that education guarantees them in the future. In California, San Jose and Oakland are among the cities leading this charge, taking a highly targeted approach that focuses on the students who are consistently being left behind. By developing programs to lower the barriers that students face, these cities are helping reduce disparities in access to educational opportunities.”

Paso Robles City Library offers book kits to encourage education on common mental health illnesses

From New Times

” One focus of the California State Library—the central reference and research library for state government and the Legislature—is mental health education.Karen Christiansen, adult services librarian for the Paso Robles City Library, told New Times that in order to provide educational materials on a variety of common mental health topics, the California State Library’s Mental Health initiative staff curated Mental Health and Wellness Book Kits. Then, the State Library provided public libraries with the opportunity to apply for a grant to receive the kits, and the Paso Robles City Library was selected as a grant recipient. Through the grant funding, the Paso Robles library is now offering eight book kits to the public.”

Digital Bookmobile makes Poway stop during national tour

From San Diego Union Tribune

“The Poway Library played host to the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile Tuesday, where patrons learned how to download e-books and audiobooks onto their smart devices.The bookmobile is a nationally touring interactive experience that goes to library branches using its Libby app service, said Marissa Gillett, digital book specialist.“It’s our way of saying thank you to libraries who participate (in using Libby),” Gillett said.Using the Libby app, which can be downloaded for free onto a smartphone or tablet, library patrons can use their library account to digitally check out and download thousands of e-books and digital audiobooks.”

Lompoc: Central Coast librarians act as quasi social workers to community’s most vulnerable


“Public libraries are a place to pick a good book or surf the web but, for people in crisis, the library can be a safe shelter.In libraries across the country, librarians increasingly find themselves serving as social workers for vulnerable populations who have nowhere else to go.The Lompoc Library sees over 200 visitors daily, ranging from studious teens to homeless people.”If people are experiencing some homeless issues, it is a safe place, it’s off the street,” Lompoc Library Dir. Sarah Bleyl said.Amid California’s financial crisis, which leaves housing and childcare increasingly unaffordable, local libraries become a haven.”