SF library may spend $3.6M to replace barcodes with microchips

From San Francisco Examiner

” The San Francisco Public Library plans to spend millions of dollars on installing radio frequency tags in all of its books and other check-out materials, replacing the old bar code system — despite objections from civil liberty groups concerned about privacy.The technological upgrade may be one of the final efforts from City Librarian Luis Herrera — he recently announced his retirement effective next month — and one he had failed to achieve more than a decade ago after funding for a similar proposal was rejected by the Board of Supervisors.The San Francisco Examiner previously reported in December 2016 that Herrera had revived the plan.Now, the revived effort is advancing toward approval. The library’s proposed budget includes $3.6 million over the next two fiscal years to install and operate the radio frequency identification system, or RFID.The San Francisco Public Library Commission will hold a hearing Thursday on the budget proposal. The cost includes adding RFID tags to the library’s entire collection and upgrading the checkout machines and security gates.”



Why prison libraries matter for inmates, jailers and book donors

From Desert News

” It’s 9.15 a.m. when a dark green, 1993 Toyota truck that’s logged 160,000 miles pulls into Tooele County jail parking lot. A tall, thin woman in khaki cargo pants and a black T-shirt gets out to unload boxes of donated books and cart them into the men’s jail library.Once the fiction and nonfiction have been mingled with the existing stock, she admires the 1,300 titles.“I’m into pretty. Pretty books are happy books,” says Toby Lafferty, who then bids the books farewell that October morning. “Bye guys, see you next time.” She often sends “good energy to the books. They’re going into places that are quite dark.”Men and women in 35 prisons and jails in 13 states nationwide depend on Lafferty and her Millcreek-based nonprofit, Books Inside, for a monthly supply of books to expand often decrepit libraries. Last year, Books Inside mailed 23,000 books to incarceration facilities. In Utah alone, she supplies seven jails and created libraries from nothing in the Tooele County and Kane County jails.”


Humboldt County: VR at the McKinleyville library

From Times-Standard

“The McKinleyville branch of the Humboldt County Library held a free event Saturday to allow the community to try the virtual reality gaming system Oculus Rift and will hold similar free events twice a month in the future.“It’s a joint program of the California State Library and Califa to bring this new technology to communities that might otherwise not have it or be able to afford it,” Joanne Asbury, head of the McKinleyville Branch Library, said.Asbury said the library is one of 100 public libraries across California to apply for the grant to get the game system. The manufacturer retails the device for $399.“Today I think will be our fourth one that we’ve done now,” Asbury said.She said the event usually draws around 10 people interested in giving virtual reality a try.“It is so much fun,” Asbury said. “ … We’ve had kids as young as 10 and as old as 65.”The Oculus Rift is a set of goggles with ear phones that allow the wearer to be fully immersed in a virtual world. It also includes a controller for each hand that lets the user interact with “objects” within virtual reality.”


Out of the Branches, into the Woods

From American Libraries

” At public library branches in seven states, staffers are sending patrons to the trails instead of the stacks.Libraries from the East Coast to Hawaii are buying hiking backpacks, stuffing them with field guides and park passes, and making them available for checkout. The intent, officials in several libraries agree, is to give families a new reason to get off the couch and into the world.“It’s really becoming more and more popular by the day,” says Chris Henning, marketing communications manager for Denver Public Library (DPL). “When the state came to us and said ‘Hey, we’re doing this program,’ [we thought] what a great opportunity.”State library systems in Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Montana, Virginia, and Wyoming are using federal grants to provide would-be explorers with hiking kits. The ideas are homegrown and backpacks’ contents vary in each state, but most include guides to plant life, animal tracks, and wilderness first aid; binoculars for adults or children; maps and compasses; bug magnification boxes; and other supplies. Most also include free passes to state parks, giving families an opportunity to discover or return to natural sites without admission fees or equipment costs.”


Santa Clarita: Council unanimously votes to take back library operations

From The Signal Santa Clarita Valley

“Santa Clarita decided to take back full control of its library system Tuesday evening.The Santa Clarita City Council voted unanimously to end a contract with Library Systems and Services, LLC, and independently operate and staff the Santa Clarita Public Library system.“There is not one of us who has not had numerous occasions to visit our libraries, talk with our senior library representatives and to make certain we will continue to function in a responsible manner,” said City Councilman Bob Kellar, who made the motion to approve the city’s decision with Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean seconding the motion. “I personally am absolutely delighted that our city staff, as they do in so many departments and aspects in the management of our city, has taken constant review in looking for ways to improve services for the citizens of the city of Santa Clarita…This is huge, ladies and gentlemen.”LSSI Chief Operating Officer Todd Frager said his company was disappointed the city decided not to renew the contract, but was ultimately supportive of the city.”


Placerville library looking good at 40

From Mountain Democrat

“When some people hear the word library, intimidating shelves of leather-bound books come to mind, as well as dimly lit, Roman-columned buildings, hushed tones and prim librarians. There can be a by-gone-era associated with the image of a library.Anyone who enters the doors of the El Dorado County Public Library in Placerville will have that dusty image blown away.Those living in El Dorado County are fortunate to have had forward thinking residents working hard to maintain a local library since 1906. Until 1948 the first Placerville library was located in the back rooms of Confidence Hall (or City Hall) downtown.When the demand for books grew, the Friends of the Library volunteers raised enough funds to purchase a home being sold by A.S. Fox on the northeast corner of Sacramento and Pacific streets. The library moved into the Fox home in 1948 and remained there for 20 years until the U.S. Postal Service determined that the lot where the Fox house stood was a perfect location for its new Placerville Post Office.”


Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal Provides $9.5 Million for Public Libraries

From Sierra SunTimes

” Governor Brown has released his budget proposal for this year. The proposal provides more than $9.5 million for California’s public libraries, an increase from last year’s budget. It would invest $5 million to help libraries deliver services faster by connecting to the same high-speed broadband network as the University of California, the state university system, community colleges, and public schools.Local library literacy programs would also receive a $2.5 million funding increase aimed at expanding services to the families of adult learners. With this $2.5 million, Governor Brown has more than doubled spending on library literacy programs since 2015.The budget proposal also earmarks $1.5 million to encourage new ways of delivering books to Californians including use of online sellers, like Amazon, and digitally linking the catalogs of multiple libraries to offer Californians easy at-home access to far more information than what sits on the shelves of their community library.”