Kevin Starr, renowned keeper of California history, dies

From SFGate

” Kevin Starr, the former state librarian whose encyclopedic, eloquent writings about California made him the premier chronicler of the Golden State’s history, died Saturday night of a heart attack in San Francisco. He was 76 years old.A San Francisco native and most recently a professor at the University of Southern California, Dr. Starr was perhaps best known for his mammoth series of history books, “Americans and the California Dream.”The anthology covered California from statehood until the early 2000s and received critical acclaim not only for its vivid writing and exhaustive research, but also for Dr. Starr’s illuminating handling of lesser-known aspects of California’s past.”

Overdue Book Returned To SF Library 100 Years Late

From SFist

The San Francisco Public Library’s Fine Forgiveness Period is waiving late fees right now on all overdue items returned before February 14, 2017. But nothing you’ll return will be as overdue as a 1906 volume returned to the Library’s Park Branch on Friday afternoon. Webb Johnson of Fairfield, California returned an outrageously overdue copy of a book (ironically titled Forty Minutes Late) that his great-grandmother had checked out perhaps as long ago as 1917, and was now more than 36,000 days overdue.Do not blame Ms. Phoebe Marsh Dickinson Webb for failing to return this book she checked out from the library in 1917. She died two weeks before the book was due.”

Marin library system offers online diploma, certificate program

From The MarinIJ

” High school diplomas are now available through the Marin County Free Library through a new program called Career Online High School.“We are really excited to offer this opportunity,” said Sara Jones, director of the Marin County Free Library. “People learn in many different ways and this gives another opportunity for an individual to gain important education and a diploma.”Ten Marin residents, ages 19 and older, can take an 18-month course that allows them to earn a credentialed high school diploma and a career certificate.Participants will engage in roughly 10 hours of coursework a week. Any earned high school credits can be transferred over.”

Oakland tool library cater to DIYers

From The East Bay Times

” Tucked in the back of the Temescal Branch Library, down a short flight of stairs to the basement, is a do-it-yourselfer’s dream: tools everywhere, labeled and hung neatly on the walls and in bins and drawers, and any of them can be borrowed for free.Oakland’s Tool Lending Library has grown from an inventory of 325 tools when it opened in 2000 to more than 5,000 it now has available to loan out. Every nook and cranny of the small four-room library is stuffed with tools. Even more garden tools are housed in a storage shed.Last Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of patrons came through the door, picking up tools and asking for advice.”

Sonoma County: Health Literacy

From The Bohemian

” Want to kick off the new year on a healthy note, but don’t know where to start? Check out your local library.The Sonoma County Library is currently hosting an ongoing series, “Healthy Living at Your Library,” at all 12 locations through May. Aimed at educating people on healthful eating and cooking as well as physical fitness, the free classes range from cardio-focused kickboxing workouts to meditation and yoga to cooking demonstrations.Headed by library division manager Jaime Anderson, the series is part of the library’s plan to create a much broader program that touches on more aspects of life. “Most people think of libraries as places to read books, and we have a literacy program where we teach people to read,” Anderson says. “But this idea of a comprehensive services program goes beyond that.”The healthy living series was designed around the 2016 Sonoma County Community Health Needs Assessment, which found that healthful eating and physical fitness are top priorities for county residents.”

Yolo County Library materials to be more widely available

From The California Aggie

“Good news is in the air for Yolo County residents who have limited access to the Yolo County Library. Through the new Books by Mail program, books, DVDs, magazines and other library materials can be delivered right to residents’ front doors, free of charge.Involvement in the program requires a short application process available online or over the phone. Once the process is completed, residents select the materials they wish to receive in the mail. They can even opt for the library staff to choose a custom selection of materials based on personal interests. The library ships their chosen materials in reusable canvas bags with prepaid postage.Books by Mail came about when staff at the Yolo County Library noticed how difficult it was for some residents to commute to their local libraries due to problems such as lack of transportation or limitations of illness. The library’s staff drew inspiration from the San Francisco Public Library’s Books by Mail service and worked to bring the program to Yolo County.”

Camarillo : Pages turn as popular library marks 10 years in city

From The Camarillo Corn

” A pirate ship sprouts from the floor of Camarillo Public Library’s Discovery Zone, where moms and toddlers peruse picture books on a spongy mat that simulates the motion of ocean waves.Just around the corner in a separate study area for older kids, natural light streams in through tall windows. On each side of the room, blue plaster pillars created by tile muralist Joe Beserra leap up like waves toward the vaulted ceiling.“I just love this part of the library,” Library Director Jo Rolfe said, pointing out the room’s calming atmosphere. “Even the acoustics are different in here.” Over the past decade, the Camarillo Public Library has become a popular destination for locals and out-of-towners alike. At left, Camarillo Library Director Jo Rolfe talks about the future of the library and plans for its 10-year-anniversary celebration in April. TURNING 10—Over the past decade, the Camarillo Public Library has become a popular destination for locals and out-of-towners alike. At left, Camarillo Library Director Jo Rolfe talks about the future of the library and plans for its 10-year-anniversary celebration in April. When Glendale-based Charles Walton Associates was designing the $27-million library in 2001, architects incorporated ideas that came directly from Camarillo residents.”