San Francisco: In a digital age, libraries are more needed than ever [Luis Herrera]

from the San Francisco Chronicle

“We live in a networked world where communication, technology and information all are essential to live a productive life. San Francisco has emerged as the epicenter of this global revolution, creating iconic companies that are rapidly changing the way we live. But San Francisco is also a tale of two cities — one highly literate and educated, the other disconnected from the resources and benefits of technology. This critical divide between the haves and have-nots makes public library systems more relevant than ever.”

CENIC and the City and County of San Francisco collaborate to make San Francisco Public Library the first 10 gigabit library in the U.S.

from Business Wire

“San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), and the City and County of San Francisco announced today that they have collaborated to provide unprecedented direct connection at 10 gigabits per second access speed to CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) and from there to the world.”

Public Library to help San Francisco adults earn online high school diplomas

from the San Francisco Appeal

“The San Francisco Public Library announced Thursday plans to launch an online high school diploma program beginning in August that aims to help some of the 30,000 San Francisco adults who did not graduate from high school earn an accredited high school diploma as well as certificates in high-growth, high-demand career fields, according to a library spokesman.”

At the heart of the Monterey Public Library, a homeless community

from the Monterey Herald

“Minutes before the Monterey Public Library opened its doors on Wednesday, a group of homeless people filled the rear quad area. The atmosphere was tranquil, though just five days previously their refuge was tainted by a deadly altercation. Just after midnight on June 19, three homeless men were involved in a tragic event that left a man dead, a 22-year-old injured and a suspect behind bars.”

Butte County: Library cuts a matter of poor priorities

from the Chico Enterprise Record

” The supervisors voted Tuesday to slice hours at the Chico branch, the most- used of the six branches in the county library system. That means the library will now be closed Mondays and will be open later each morning Tuesdays through Thursdays. The changes start July 5.”

Redlands: Hindi story time a weekly tradition at library

from the Press Enterprise

“A dozen children sit in rapt attention as Meenakshi Tyagi counts for them in Hindi. Then they spring to life, repeating the numbers and the names of the fruits and vegetables she points to in a colorful picture book with Hindi lettering. The children are participating in weekly Hindi Story Time at Redlands’ A.K. Smiley Public Library. For half an hour Monday evenings, Tyagi relates stories, sings rhyming songs and teaches vocabulary words in Hindi to a group that numbers anywhere from six to 15 young members.”

Borrow LADWP ‘Kill-a-Watt’ electricity monitoring devices at Los Angeles libraries

from the LA Daily News

“Los Angeles library patrons interested in lowering their residential electricity bill can now check out a plug-in device to measure whether their appliances or gadgets are excessively sucking up energy. The Los Angeles Public Library has 300 ‘Kill-a-Watt’ brand electricity usage monitors stocked at its 73 library locations and available for home use. They retail for around $25.”

San Diego County buying more library kiosks

from the San Diego Union Times

“Night-owls and bookworms rejoice, the county is expanding its 24/7 library kiosk system. People will be able to check out free books and movies from three new digital kiosks that will be set up across San Diego County. These new machines will provide many of the services that people can already get at a brick-and-mortar libraries but they’re completely automated and never close.”

St. Helena to hire full-time library director

from the Napa Valley Register

“The St. Helena Public Library will get a full-time library director to replace the fired Library Director Jennifer Baker, City Manager Jennifer Phillips announced Wednesday at a special meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees. Phillips apologized for her decision to briefly appoint Rebekah Barr as part-time library manager. Phillips said she’d known about the criminal charges Barr was facing in connection with a DUI crash in Napa, but hadn’t known that the charge to which Barr pleaded no contest on June 9 had been a felony.”

Colusa County: New librarian likes working in home

from the Colusa Sun-Herald

Stacey Zwald-Costello becoming the new Colusa County Library director last week was not just a thrilling happenstance for the 35-year-old wife and mother of a toddler … Zwald-Costello, who was born in Colusa, had a promising career in the history department of the Oakland Museum of California and again at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute when she set her sights on heading a library in a small community.”

San Francisco: At new teen library space, nobody’s hissing ‘shh’

from the San Francisco Chronicle

“The Mix — a new space near the west entrance of the Main Library on Larkin Street — is a teen-exclusive center where youth ages 13 to 18 can draw on a smart screen, record music, create YouTube videos, check out iPads, make objects on a 3D printer and, yes, even read. It’s the library’s antidote to the down-tick in the number of youths using the old teen center and checking out books. Before the Mix was built, the teen center was a lackluster area distinguished from the rest of the library by only a colorful mural and a smattering of tables. But a three-year makeover, directed by a teen advisory board, transformed a forgotten corner of the library lobby into what library managers hope will be an oasis.”

History app explores Napa County history

from the Napa Valley Register

“Napa County’s history has gone high-tech and is at the fingertips of anyone with a smartphone or mobile device. The Napa County Library recently unveiled its Explore Napa website and app. The new program offers information on downtown Napa historical buildings and the county’s mineral springs, as well Little Free Libraries found at various city of Napa locations.”

Kern County: County budget passed

from the Bakersfield Californian

“Kern County supervisors approved a place-holder budget Tuesday morning for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that begins July 1. The spending plan cuts all county departments’ share of the county’s general revenues by 2.4 percent but manages to handle the losses without layoffs … There was little public comment about the plan, which must be updated in July and finalized in August after the county closes the current fiscal year’s books. But David Burdick, of Friends of the Ridgecrest Library, said library service in Kern County has been slowly eroded by budget cuts for year. ‘Library advocates don’t see this service is adequate at all,’ Burdick said. ‘I would like to see you increase the library budget by $2 million for the next fiscal year.’ Supervisors didn’t go for that. But [Supervisor] Gleason thanked Burdick and said the county is doing everything it can to find a way to reverse the unacceptable reduction in library services. ‘We don’t want status quo,’ he said.”

Tehama County moves forward with intent to buy newspaper building for library

from the Chico Enterprise-Record

“Tehama County is planning to purchase the Red Bluff Daily News building for $500,000 and turn it into a county library. The timing is perfect for doing so, as word was just received that Tehama County will get a total of $15.5 million for the expansion of its jail, which would displace the library from its Madison Street facility.”

Mendocino County: grand jury reports

from the Willits News

“When the process works well, grand jury investigations can help a Board of Supervisors focus special attention on problems within county government. But, when it works like it does in Mendocino County, the Board of Supervisors typically circles the wagons and begins lobbing nasty comments the moment the Grand Jury identifies even the faint hint of problems in the county. Last year, this reached absurd proportions with the Grand Jury’s report on county skimming of library funds. The Board seemed to abdicate its responsibility for the county budget, blaming others and saying the Grand Jury failed to provide sufficient evidence of wrong doing … A year later, the issue remains, and the Board of Supervisors can continue ripping off the libraries or they can provide leadership and set the library funding on a proper course. The library sales tax will eventually expire and if this mess continues, voters may not choose to renew it.”

Stockton-San Joaquin: Public libraries through the lens of a camera

from the Manteca Bulletin

“Some people look at a library and just see books. Robert Dawson sees hope. The Stanford University photography instructor is spending a year chronicling the efforts of the library system and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin County ‘to bring literacy and hope to a troubled place.'”

Full-scale Santa Barbara Library renovations to begin Tuesday

from Noozhawk

“The library is supposed to be a quiet place, but the Santa Barbara Central Library downtown will be anything but over the coming weeks. The main branch at 40 E. Anapamu St. will close temporarily Tuesday in preparation for renovations on the main level, with disruptions and clunky construction noises expected thereafter. The library reopens with regular hours Wednesday.”

Santa Monica Library heads to the beach

from the Santa Monica Lookout

“It’s been challenging trying to figure out the logistics behind putting on the Santa Monica Public Library’s first foray into uncharted waters — or in the case, uncharted sand. ‘Yeah, it’s been difficult,’ said reference Librarian Jeff Kaplan, who is helping organize the library’s first-ever library at the beach program. ‘But we’re trying to keep it simple and rustic.’ Beginning Friday, library officials will be taking dozens of books to the sands of Santa Monica Beach. Kaplan said it might be the first time in the state that a public library has brought books to a beach to be checked out.”

Mendocino County grand jury: County overcharging libraries

from the Ukiah Daily Journal

“For the second year in a row, the Mendocino County grand jury has looked into the county’s free library system, this time focusing more on the subject of ‘A-87’ costs. The grand jury described A-87 costs in last year’s report as ‘charges levied on another government body to reimburse the county general fund for indirect costs,’ things like building maintenance or producing paychecks. The grand jury noted that the state has specific rules about how counties can calculate those costs and pass them along. It also notes that’s there’s no law requiring counties to charge these fees and that it’s up to the Board of Supervisors. The report points out that the county is charging the library for A-87 use costs the grand jury believes are not allowed.”

Buellton library closes Saturday for management transfer

from the Lompoc Record

“The Buellton Library will be closed for more than two weeks starting Saturday as the facility transfers to new management, a change which has detractors in both Buellton and Solvang. Buellton Library, once a part of the Lompoc Public Library System, became part of the Santa Barbara Public Library System June 2 following a decision by the County Board of Supervisors.”

St. Helena: Please support our amazing library staff [by Jennifer Baker]

from the St. Helena Star

“Now is the community’s opportunity to step up and prove that the library’s success is not about per capita funding, or number of hours open, or constantly adding more services; it’s about heart. St. Helena is the library’s heart and that cannot be cut. St. Helena will heal. The library will heal. If I may plead for one thing and one thing only: please support the amazing staff of this library. And please don’t allow the current tide of support to wane. Negativity won’t kill the town’s future, but apathy will.”

Brentwood library project stalls, more help needed

from the San Jose Mercury News

“It has been more than three months since a guest commentary appeared in this newspaper on the subject of a new library in Brentwood, and I am sad to report that very little progress has been made in the community’s efforts to get a library built. It might even be said the project has lost ground. Since early March members of the community have spoken to the Brentwood City Council, asking for action. But the city’s annual Capital Improvement Program eliminated $1,800,000 of Library Relocation Project budgeted funding, and at the same time pushed the scheduled activity date for the project out another year, to fiscal year 2018/19.”