Long-delayed Main Library in Riverside, California gains steam

From Architects Newspaper

” Riverside, California’s long-delayed Main Library redevelopment plan is showing signs of life, as a new design proposal by Los Angeles–based architects Johnson Favaro has come to light and begun a public vetting process.The proposal calls for a three-story, 35,000-square-foot library to be located at the site of the city’s former Greyhound bus terminal.Renderings for the $40 million project depict a proud structure raised on a set of piers that frame a generous covered outdoor breezeway at the base of the building. The building’s lower levels are occupied by a local history archive as well as support functions designed to serve the site’s open spaces.Much of the library’s interior volume will be contained within a double-height space located above the breezeway. The structure’s main facade is punctuated by a large oculus that overlooks the street and offers views into the library. The building will also feature a south-facing terrace on the second floor that will be oriented toward nearby mountain views.”


Pasadena: Library Attack Highlights Homeless Security Issues in Public Places

From Pasadena Now

“Public libraries across the country are increasingly facing security issues involving the mentally ill homeless who take daily refuge amidst the quiet, air-conditioned book stacks.A knife attack on two security guards working at the City of Pasadena’s Central Library last Friday has illuminated the issue locally.In Friday’s incident, a library patron reportedly refused to leave the library in the 300 block of East Walnut Street, at closing time, and attacked one of the guards with a bladed weapon. The attack points to the difficulties in managing and protecting public spaces while keeping them safe and accessible to all, said Pasadena Police Lt. Mark Goodman.“The public library is used by homeless individuals throughout the day. Goodman said. “They go in there to use the computer, charge their cell phones, use the restroom, and get out of the heat. It’s a public place so it’s open to the public, not unlike our city parks, so all of our branch libraries attract homeless individuals here and there.“Everyone here is welcome, and as long as everyone follows the rules, then everyone can continue to be welcomed here,” said Pasadena Library Director Michelle Perera. “We want to make sure that our security team and our library staff are always keeping an eye on the library and making sure that kids have a good time here, and that they are learning and everyone who wants to use the library feels that this is a safe and welcoming place for them.”Goodman explained that he was unable to state officially that the problem is mounting, but said, “I think we are starting to feel the full weight of legislation recently passed, such as Prop 47 and Prop 109, (so) many people who are homeless and who are mentally ill would have, prior to the passage of those two bills, perhaps been in jail or another facility more appropriate for evaluation of mental illness.”


FROM WEST SEATTLE TO UGANDA: Success for Alina Guyon’s Libraries for All

From West Seattle Blog

“The Ugandan library that started as an ambitious idea in West Seattle is now open for business.The 200-square-foot library, stocked with nearly 5,000 donated books, opened July 24 in the Hope of Children and Women Victims of Violence compound in Ndejje Central Zone south of Kampala, where English is commonly spoken. Run by a small staff backed by refugees and volunteers, the non-profit supports people traumatized by violence and extreme poverty with education, health care, and social entrepreneurship. Most are refugee children from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, and other African countries.(Alina Guyon oversaw the loading of 8,000 pounds of books and other donated media, the prefabricated building, supplies, and furnishings into a container headed for Uganda) Alina Guyon, going into her junior year at Holy Names Academy, spearheaded “Libraries for All,” from writing the business plan to stocking the shelves. Long interested in the plight of refugees, she chose the project for the impact it would have and as a way to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.The All the Sky Foundation got the ball rolling by offering Alina a $25,000 grant toward expenses. She put out a call in December for book donations, with VAIN Hair Salon as the principal drop-off point for West Seattle residents. Fauntleroy Church UCC and Hope Lutheran School donated by the boxful. Alki Lumber and Home Depot came through with building supplies and Better Built Barns in Salem, Oregon, signed on to prefabricate the building. Gifts from family members and friends rounded out the budget.”


Self-checkout kiosks installed in all San Diego libraries

From The San Diego Union-Tribune

” San Diego has completed installation of self-checkout computer kiosks across the city’s 36-branch library system, and officials say users are embracing the new technology.The city has been adding a credit card feature to allow payment of overdue fines directly at the machines.The goal of the $1.6 million project is to eliminate long lines, free workers up for other tasks and make inventory more efficient and accurate.Library officials said usage rates at the branches have averaged more than 80 percent. Patrons reluctant to use the new technology can still check out their items in the traditional way with a library worker.“Our main objective is to enhance our customer service,” said Misty Jones, head of the city’s library system. “The self-check machines are simple to use and allow our staff to focus more time on helping patrons with library materials or developing new, innovative programs to serve our diverse communities.”While no positions have been eliminated, the new technology could eventually allow the library system to shrink its staff. The kiosks could also allow branches to stay open more hours with the same personnel.”


Homeless occupy Butte County Public Library in Chico


“The public library is free for everyone to use, but there are mixed reactions from the public when it comes to homeless people staying in libraries.”People can become homeless very quickly,” said Michael Hayes, a frequent library goer. “Most Americans are one to two paychecks away from not being able to take care of themselves and I’m really happy that Chico has the opportunity for people to come and stay here.”Other people have different reactions on the matter.”The purpose has been lost. It’s a kick it spot where people clean up and use the bathroom for a shower,” said Brook Morin, a library goer.Brenda Martinez said that she had her bike stolen from a homeless person at the library, and their presence has made her hesitant to go back to the library.”They are not here to read a book,” said Martinez, “They are here seeking shelter.”County Librarian, Melanie Lightbody, said that anyone is free to stay in the library, as long as they follow the code of conduct, such as not blocking the exits, not damaging property, not using substances in the library such as alcohol or drugs, as well as not using the restrooms to bathe and wash clothes.Security guards have been hired to enforce the code of conduct to anyone who does not follow it. One of the enforcements they do is to make sure that people are not sleeping outside of the library when the library is closed, because there have been reports of concerned citizens who return their books at night.”


Bedbugs invade Burbank library and the city is using bug-sniffing dogs to find the pests

From LA Times

” Patrons may be checking out more than just a book the next time they visit the Buena Vista Branch Library in Burbank.Elizabeth Goldman, the city’s library services director, told council members that bedbugs have been found in the city’s newest library on North Buena Vista Street.There were a few sites around the library — primarily in the main reading area, known as the “Castle” in the children’s library, and in staff offices — where the little insects were found, Goldman said in a phone interview Wednesday.She said that workers from the Burbank Public Works Department have been at the library since May trying to eradicate the tiny bugs from the library, but they continue to come back.“They’ve tried various techniques, various kinds of sprays and deep cleans, but they’re just really hard to get rid of because they could be hiding in books, the carpet or in the [seat] cushions,” Goldman said. “That branch is extremely busy, so there’s always warm, welcoming hosts for the bugs sitting in all the chairs.”Finding bedbugs in a library is not an uncommon problem. Goldman said she has been talking with officials from the Los Angeles city and county libraries who also have had to deal with bedbugs at their branches.”


San Jose: Leland High students get girls into gadgets

From The Mercury News

” The founders of a nonprofit whose declared mission is to teach computer programming to the next generation of girls are still students themselves.And last week, the Leland High School students who formed Code One Programming taught a crash course in robotics at the Rose Garden Branch Library for 18 girls ranging from 8 to 13 years old.The girls spent five days building and constructing robots using an EV3 Lego robotics kit under the guidance of the older students.The student-run collaboration started in December with the help of a few friends from Quixilver Leland Robotics Team and Leland Women in STEM. It aims to teach computer science for free to local students of all ages, according to co-founders Thenu Senthil and Sang Xi Kim, both seniors at Leland. Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.“What makes our group different is what we teach and how we teach it,” Senthil told the Resident.Code One has taught more than a dozen workshops throughout San Jose this year using its own original curriculum. Topics covered include visual programming, JavaScript, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.”