A call to California state workers: Read books and win prizes

From The Sacramento Bee

” Summer bookworming: It’s not just for kids fighting the doldrums.California’s Summer Reading Challenge, which is trying to sign up 1 million state residents of all ages, will get a new crop of entrants this year through a program that is encouraging state employees to participate.State Librarian Greg Lucas said Tuesday that librarians in his department at first talked about encouraging their coworkers to sign up, then thought more broadly about reaching out to the entire state workforce.“Halfway through the first sentence, I said, ‘I’m in,’” Lucas said. “This is cool.”Now his office is sending details to departments statewide, he said, and has posted information on its website.Every reader involved in the state program counts toward the 1 million readers challenge, which can be followed on Twitter, #onemillionreaders.”


San Jose council approves reducing library fines, amnesty program

From San Jose Mercury News

“Major changes are coming to city libraries after San Jose leaders Tuesday agreed to reduce fines, forgive penalties and welcome back borrowers who have been blocked from the library after accruing debt for late or lost items.The San Jose Public Library is strapped with a stunning $6.8 million in unpaid fines and fees. The debt began racking up in 2009 when city leaders doubled penalties for late or missing items — much more than neighboring libraries in San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Clara County.Nearly 40 percent of all San Jose library accounts — about 187,000 — owe the library money, and three cardholders owe $10,000 or more. But the youngest patrons are the ones hit hardest, officials say, because nearly half the blocked accounts belong to youth.”


Redwood City Library Offers Free Accredited High School Diplomas

From Redwood City-Woodside PATCH

“The City of Redwood City announced today the receipt of a grant from the California State Library to award scholarships to community members ages 18 years old or older who want the opportunity to earn a free accredited high school diploma through the Redwood City Public Library. Students simultaneously earn a credentialed career certificate through the Career Online High School (COHS) program.”


Martinez: Library program filling minds and stomachs

From Martinez Tribune

” The Martinez Library’s Lunch at the Library program continues next week with Mayor Rob Schroder and Police Chief Manjit Sappal scheduled to serve as special guest readers.The local lunch program is designed to combat hunger and fill the summer nutrition gap among area youth as part of a statewide collaboration between the California Library Association and California Summer Meal Coalition to unite libraries and summer meal providers.”


Sonoma County Public Law Library free, but needs help

From The Press Democrat

“In Santa Rosa there’s a beauty of a free-to-all library that you might never have noticed, though it’s been around for 125 years.It’s the sort of library you may not need until you really do, a library of the sort that many may miss dearly should budgetary troubles cause it to go away.“I think people don’t realize we’re here,” director Kim Tucker said from the handsome, harvest-hued interior of the Sonoma County Public Law Library.Long housed on the second floor of the utilitarian block of concrete that is the Hall of Justice, the law library now resides in former Agricultural Commissioner digs a short distance away on the county complex’s Ventura Avenue.”


At 100, Menlo Park Library pivots to face 21st century

From The Almanac

“This year marks the 100th year of the Menlo Park Library. In its first century, the library has grown from a few books in a school building to two buildings, a $2.7 million annual budget and up to 15 full-time employees, circulating an estimated 423,000 books over the past 12 months.Over the years, the library has continued to evolve as the community and technology have changed.”


Celebrating L.A.’s Central Library’s 90th birthday with — what else? — a new book

From LA Times

” Next month, the Los Angeles Central Library celebrates its 90th anniversary, but at a recent talk, author Stephen Gee noted that some Angelenos don’t even know the landmark’s location.Many have never stepped inside the eight-story building at 5th and Flower streets downtown. Even for those who have, “Los Angeles Central Library: A History of Its Art and Architecture” (Angel City Press) holds some surprises — details of the paintings, sculptures, murals, gardens and décor, captured in pictures by Gee’s co-author, photographer Arnold Schwartzman.”