Huntington Library sets out to decode thousands of Civil War telegrams hidden for a century

From LA Times

” The 15,971 telegrams — hidden in a wooden foot locker for more than a century — scrolled like a Twitter feed through the Civil War. The messages from the Union side, many tapped out in code to elude Confederate forces, carried the urgings and reflections of Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and other prominent players. But most echo with the thoughts and schemes of colonels, infantrymen and lesser-knowns that offer a peek into the bureaucracy and machinery of war.“It’s mind-boggling and unpredictable,” said Olga Tsapina, curator of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens’ trove of 35 leather-bound ledgers and documents relating to telegrams sent between 1862 and 1867. “We don’t really know what is in here. Every single telegram has a story behind it, from the president to the greatest generals and to the privates and telegraph operators. It’s like putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle.”The telegrams were part of papers kept by Thomas T. Eckert, a Lincoln confidant and head of the U.S. military telegraph office at the War Department. The Huntington has started a Decoding the Civil War crowdsourcing campaign that relies on volunteers using cipher charts to unravel secret texts.”

Santa Cruz County Law Library offers open house, free legal help

From Santa Cruz Sentinel

” In the basement of the county government building, there’s a free legal resource that most locals don’t know about: the Santa Cruz County Law Library.The law library, which hosts an open house on Wednesday, also hosts legal workshops on divorce, credit card debt, small claims and responsibility for disabled adults.People regularly drop in for help with issues such as filing a restraining order, transferring property and creating a nonprofit, said Renee Fleming, the law librarian.”

Arcadia: County Approves $2.1 Million to Build New SGV County Library

From Monrovia Patch

“The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday tentatively approved spending $2.1 million to buy a site for a new library in Arcadia.Supervisor Michael Antonovich recommended the purchase of the 22,000- square-foot parcel at 22 W. Live Oak Blvd., which is still subject to a public hearing.”This vital acquisition is a step forward in securing and building a new library facility with the support of the Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte Town Council, the city of Arcadia and our county librarian,” Antonovich said.The existing Arcadia library branch has been located in a 2,891-square- foot leased space at 4153 W. Live Oak Blvd. since 1964. Plans anticipate a library more than double the size, about 1.7 miles away.”

San Mateo County: Law library in crisis over inadequate funding

From The Almanac

” Financial problems stemming from an unreliable funding mechanism are threatening the viability of county law libraries in California, including the 100-year-old San Mateo County Law Library in Redwood City, according to a recent report by the county’s civil grand jury.That library, located at 710 Hamilton St. in downtown Redwood City, is free and open to the public. The library’s collection and its staff are resources for legal professionals and students, but also for those trying to navigate the legal system without a lawyer.Along with cutbacks on subscriptions to legal publications and databases, the library is no longer open on weekends or evenings, a full-time employee was cut to part-time, and four part-time positions were eliminated as was the library’s lecture series and an in-library lawyer assistance program.”

Man stabbed to death during fight in Huntington Beach library parking lot

From ABC 7

” A 37-year-old man died after being stabbed during a fight in the Huntington Beach Central Library parking lot early Friday morning.Authorities said around 12:30 a.m., several people called 911 reporting a person stabbed in the 7100 block of Talbert Avenue. When officers arrived, a man was found bleeding on the ground.Officers rendered aid until paramedics arrived, who rushed the man to a nearby hospital. The man succumbed to his injuries not long after.Detectives at the scene learned a group of people were hanging out in the northeast area of the parking lot when two men got into a fight. During the fight, the victim was stabbed and the suspect fled the scene.”

Vandals Damage UC Berkeley Library

From Berkeley Patch

” Police are asking for help tracking down four suspects caught on video vandalizing and stealing from the University of California at Berkeley library in June. Police on Tuesday released a surveillance video still of the four suspects. They are suspected of stealing and damaging property at the Doe Memorial Library on June 23.”

Oakland library may reduce, waive students’ fines

From East Bay Times

” With school out for summer, it’s the perfect time for Oakland’s youth to hit the library. It offers music, magic shows, arts and crafts activities and more — a whole litany of things for youngsters to check out.And speaking of checking things out, how about all those books, DVDs, CDs and games? In hopes of encouraging youngsters to do just that, the library is developing a pilot program to reduce or eliminate many of the fines and fees they can run up.The Oakland City Council quickly got on board with the plan, unanimously endorsing it following a presentation by Director of Library Services Gerry Garzon on July 26.”