SF Public Library revives plan to install microchips in books

From The San Francisco Examiner

” More than a decade ago, the San Francisco Public Library unsuccessfully attempted to deploy radio frequency identification tags in books.Now, head librarian Luis Herrera is trying once again.Herrera disclosed the renewed effort for RFID during last week’s Library Commission hearing and promised to return with more details in the coming weeks.
[advertisement]That means funding for RFID — tiny microchips that exchange data with readers by emitting radio signals — could be included in the library’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year.The initial cost estimate puts the installation of the new technology at some $7.5 million, spread out over several years. The cost may be a difficult sell at a time when The City is now facing budget deficits, and Mayor Ed Lee has asked city departments to propose 3 percent cuts for the fiscal year beginning July 1.While the RFID technology proposal was supported by the library back in 2004, the Board of Supervisors rejected it during the annual budget process. At the time, both the American Civil Liberties Union Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation opposed the proposal.”


Solano County Library offers scholarships for online high school diploma, career program

From The Reporter

” For those who did not earn a high school diploma, the Solano County Library, in association with the California State Library, offers a career online high school program, a chance to earn a diploma and career certificates.If interested in knowing more about this pilot program, the first step is to visit http://www.solanolibrary.com/cohs.Once there, you will be asked to take a “self-assessment,” which can be completed in several minutes. It will ask you to select your library and for some personal information (name, address, telephone number).The self-assessment also includes a short essay question, which will help an “enrollment team” understand why you want to pursue a high school diploma and help make the case why your application should be accepted by the library. The essay, at no more than 150 words, should be well-written and free of grammar and spelling errors.If selected, you will have a chance to do several things: 1) Take a two-week prerequisite course, and, upon completion, be enrolled in the program; 2) Take classes online, with the flexibility to access coursework at any time; 3) Be supported by qualified teachers and an academic coach; 4) Earn an accredited high school diploma while preparing for a career in one of eight, high-demand, high-growth fields.”


Salinas: Digital NEST to launch at Cesar Chavez Library

From The Californian

” Jacob Martinez hopes to bring a bit of Silicon Valley to Salinas, and he’s doing that by launching his already successful Digital NEST program in Salinas.Digital NEST, a tech workspace that trains and mentors young people aged 14 to 24 in technology, is launching a pilot program as early as March 2017, according to Martinez, executive director and founder of Digital NEST.It will be housed at the Cesar Chavez Library in east Salinas, a community that is known for a higher number of underprivileged households and crime.The program is being funded by agricultural companies, private donors, the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. The City of Salinas also invested $50,000 as part of the initial launch.”


Central Coast adult literacy programs connect tutors and learners


” In San Luis Obispo County, an estimated 30,000 adults have limited literacy skills in English. In Santa Barbara County, about 18 percent of adults lack basic English literacy skills, that’s 50,000 people. And in Monterey County, according to Panetta Institute for Public Policy, 28 percent of adults – or eighty to ninety thousand people – are unable to read or understand written English.Trying to decrease those numbers are several programs around the Central Coast, offered by public libraries or non-profits. They are all part of the California State Library Literacy Service, which partially funds the programs.In Santa Barbara County, there is the public library system’s Adult Literacy Program and the Central Coast Literacy Council, which serves Santa Maria, Solvang, Lompoc, Los Alamos and Orcutt. The Monterey County Free Libraries’ Adult Literacy Program offers one-on-one tutoring or conversation groups. And in San Luis Obispo, Literacy for Life teaches 400 to 600 adults each year their English ABCs, said executive director Bernadette Bernadi.”


Livermore : Little Free Library Offers Books for All and More

From The Independent

“A new house was built recently on Jacquiline Way in Livermore. Although no one will ever live in it, it promises to benefit the neighborhood for many years to come.Three Girl Scout Cadettes constructed a book house, or Little Free Library (LFL), from which anyone can take a book or leave a book.”Over the past year and a half, we have been working on our Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn,” explained Leanne Darby, who leads multi-level Girl Scout Troop 30310. “For the project we chose to build a Little Free Library and dedicate it to the Livermore community. It will be filled with all genres of books for all ages, while also including materials on bullying and self-esteem for children and teens.”The Cadettes’ book house is one of seven LFLs registered in Livermore. The LFL movement began in 2009 with the goal of promoting literacy and the love of reading, encouraging a sense of community through shared experiences, and building 2,510 Little Free Libraries – equaling the number of full-sized libraries Andrew Carnegie built a century ago. Today, there are 50,000 Little Free Libraries around the world.”


Kern County Libraries Face Uncertain 2017

From Valley Public Radio

” Most counties and cities in California have seen their budgets recover from depths of the Great Recession. That’s not the case in Kern County though, which relies heavily on taxes from oil. That tension has put a popular public asset in the middle of a years-long fight over its future. In the end, 2017 could be a year a big change for the Kern County’s public libraries.The list of issues facing libraries in Kern County is lengthy.They, like every other department in the county, are in the process of yet another round of budget cuts. Six months ago, a tax specifically to support them failed to reach the required two-thirds majority it needed. People are also asking whether county supervisors could revisit a previously shelved plan to privatize the system. And their current director, Nancy Kerr is leaving.”


How an Art Library Is Changing Lives in L.A.

From Artsy

” In 2004, Dan McCleary’s mother passed away. “My parents were avid book readers and collectors of art books,” the artist told me. “So instead of buying flowers, I told everyone to buy me books.”That was the early genesis for a library of art books that grew to become the core of Art Division, an L.A. nonprofit space that provides free art education to underserved young adults in the city’s MacArthur Park neighborhood. As word spread that McCleary was collecting books, more donations came in from friends and fellow artists. “Chris Burden heard about it, got in touch with me and said his mother had just passed away, and did I want her books?” McCleary recalls. “He had amazing art books from his mother’s library. That was one of the big donations right at the beginning.” Today, Art Division boasts an impressive collection of over 8,000 books. And it’s still growing.”