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.”


Santa Clara Co. Library District Ranked Among Tops In Nation

From Los Gatos Patch

” The Santa Clara County Library District was rated among the top public libraries in the U.S., awarded a four-star rating from the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service.The national rating system recognizes top performing public libraries within the nation. In 2016, 7,349 U.S. public libraries qualified to be rated with only 260 libraries receiving the distinguished Star Library one-, two-, three-, four- or five-star rating. Thirteen California libraries were awarded the prestigious Star Rating in 2016.”


Los Angeles: New Program to Give Library Cards and Online Tutoring to Every Marina Del Rey Students

From Marina Del Rey Patch

” Students at Virginia Road Elementary School received library cards this week to begin a Los Angeles Public Library effort to provide the cards to every Los Angeles Unified School District student over the next three years.Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King and Board of Education President Steve Zimmer joined city Librarian John Szabo to distribute cards to the students, beginning the Student Success partnership between the district and the library.Library officials said the Student Success program will provide library cards to students, allowing them to check up as many as three books at a time — with no fees charged if the students fail to return the books on time. Once the books are returned, they will be able to check out additional titles.”


State Library creates Greg Schmidt collection

From Capitol Weekly

” The California State Library is setting up a special collection in honor of Gregory Schmidt, the long-time ranking Senate staffer who died of cancer at the age of 69.State Librarian Greg Lucas said in an email that the Greg Schmidt Collection on Political Leadership will include “any number of books, articles, movies, podcasts, lectures and case studies besides those in Greg’s personal library that inform today’s political leaders.”After his death, many of Schmidt’s books came to the State Library and formed the basis of the collection, Lucas noted.”


Fake News Prompts Oakland Libraries to Offer Free New York Times Subscriptions

From NBC Bay Area

” With fake news grabbing international headlines, the librarians in Oakland, Calif. want to put a kibosh on the lies.So they recently negotiated a deal with the New York Times to offer library patrons at 18 of its libraries free, unlimited access to the paper of record, according to Main Library Supervisor Mana Tominaga.”


San Jose : Grand opening of mobile lab this Saturday

From San Francisco Bay Area News

” A 39-foot mobile lab will soon be traveling through San Jose to give people the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering, the arts and math, San Jose library officials announced.A grand opening was scheduled for Saturday for the Maker[Space]Ship, which is equipped with state-of-the-art maker technology such as a 3D printer, laser cutter, telescopes, video cameras and microscopes.The lab, which is inside a custom-designed bus, was in the works for over two years and it’s free for everyone, according to library officials.”


Carlsbad: Library gets a read on new electronics

From San Diego Union Tribune

” Carlsbad’s main city library is plugging into the future with a new innovation laboratory that gives patrons access to a whole range of high-tech materials and devices, including a 3-D printer.The Exploration HUB technology center opened at the Dove Lane library last month. Along with the printer, there’s a digital image scanner, a high-tech paper, vinyl and fabric cutter, and kits to explore coding for computer-controlled devices.“It’s different in here,” said Technology Librarian Andrea Hilliard, because there’s no need to whisper. “We speak in regular voices.”The library is offering ongoing classes on how to use the devices and patrons are encouraged to ask questions, try out the new gadgets and generally enjoy themselves with technology, officials said. The center is one of many ways the library is expanding its services in the digital age.”


Supes name interim Kern County library director

From The Daily Independent

” The Board of Supervisors on Dec. 13 appointed Assistant Library Director Andie Apple as Kern County Interim Director of Libraries, effective on December 23, 2016. Apple will replace Nancy Kerr, who is resigning this month to take a librarian position in Bellingham, Washington.Apple has more than 19 years of library experience, serving as Assistant Library Director since 2011. She has developed and coordinated several countywide events and projects including the One Book Project, the Summer Reading Challenge, the Summer Lunch Program, and the Thank-a-Vet Art Card Project. Apple has also been integral in developing annual Library budgets and has supplemented County library funds by securing grants to develop literacy and digital literacy in Spanish speakers, veterans, job seekers, children, and early learners.”


‘Makerspaces’ For Science Instruction Also Proving Helpful For English Learners

From The Huffington Post

” Educators are finding that the new “makerspace” movement – a strategy to teach K-12 students science, math and technology through hands-on activities – is providing the added benefit of helping English learners become more proficient in the language.In makerspaces, students gather a few times a week in a separate classroom, library or museum for a group project using such technologies and materials as 3D printing, robotics, microprocessors, textiles, wood and wires to construct robots and other electronic gadgets. The teaching technique has been around since the early 2000s, and educators have applauded the idea for helping teach science, especially at a time when California and other states are phasing in the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize practical application of science over rote learning.”


Los Angeles :New partnership aims to provide every LAUSD student with library card

From Fox LA

” Fifth-grade students at Virginia Road Elementary School were given free library cards Wednesday to mark the beginning of a Los Angeles Public Library effort to provide the cards to every Los Angeles Unified School District student over the next three years.Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King and Board of Education President Steve Zimmer joined city Librarian John Szabo to distribute “Student Success” library cards to the students, beginning the Student Success partnership between the district and the library.About 58,000 of the cards have already been mailed to kindergarten students throughout the district and to all students at Virginia Road Elementary, Audubon Middle and Dorsey High schools. The program will eventually distribute about 655,000 cards to LAUSD students.”


San Mateo County : County library system launches mobile Exploratorium-like initiative |

From The Almanac

” A history on the use of perspective in art, available at the website of Dartmouth College, says that it wasn’t until around 1400 that artists understood and began to realistically portray, in drawings and paintings, a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface such as a canvas.But artists from the Middle Ages and earlier were working at a disadvantage: they did not have access to the San Mateo County Libraries’ Lookmobile, a 3,000-square-foot trailer scheduled to make visits to member libraries, including in Atherton and Portola Valley.A kind of Exploratorium on wheels, the walls of the Lookmobile have “perspective windows,” transparent acrylic surfaces that allow kids to observe three-dimensional scenes outside and use dry-erase pens to trace on the windows the dimensions of the real-time objects they see on the other side.”


San Diego County: County Library Launches ‘Kindergarten Gear-Up’ program

From Lemon Grove Patch

” Statistics that say almost 40 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds in San Diego County are not enrolled in preschool. So when the California State Library offered a one-year-long grant, the San Diego County Library developed the Kindergarten Gear-Up program as a logical extension of what it’s already doing to help children prepare for school.The free program is geared toward children between the ages of 4 and 5, but younger siblings can come along, too.Youth Services Librarian Jodi dela Pena and other library staff members lead the ten-class course at the Lemon Grove and Alpine County Libraries. While dela Pena’s worked closely with kindergarten teachers over the years on ways the library can prepare kids for school, this program’s classes are structured in a strategic building block way. One activity teaches stepping stones for the next activity.”


Long Beach : El Dorado Neighborhood Library Debuts New Sunday Hours This Weekend

From Long Beach Post

” Visiting a Long Beach library on a Sunday just became easier. The El Dorado Neighborhood Library will add new hours starting this Sunday, December 4, the city announced today.The library will be open from 12:00PM to 4:00PM, making it the fourth to feature Sunday hours, along with the Bay Shore, Burnett and Michelle Obama neighborhood libraries.
“The El Dorado Neighborhood Library is truly a cherished community asset, valued by all neighbors,” said Councilmember Stacy Mungo in a statement. “The newest addition of Sunday hours is important for our youth, families and seniors.”The Main Library at the Long Beach Civic Center also extended their hours from 7:00PM to 8:00PM on Thursday nights as a part of the Long Beach City Council’s fiscal year budget to approve new library hours, according to the release.”


Woodland Library hosts free coding classes

From Daily Democrat

“The Woodland Public Library has wrapped up its fourth series of free “Kids’ Coding Classes” to help children learn increasingly important skills.According to Children’s Librarian Abigail Craig, a pizza party and open house was held last week to allow children to showcase their work for their families. All of the guests were invited to try coding
themselves, taking turns playing with Dash, a Wonderworks robot that can be programmed on a tablet with an app similar to Scratch.Currently, the Woodland Library is working on getting a group of these robots and some tablets to expand the classes through a recent grant with the Association for Library Services to Children.”


Michael F. Dillon & Associates lobbying firm will close doors after 43 years

From Sacramento Business Journal

” Michael F. Dillon and Associates, a father-daughter lobbying firm that has operated a Sacramento office since 1973, will close its doors at the end of the year, as Dillon and his daughter Christina DiCaro will become salaried lobbyists with KP Public Affairs. Dillon, who recently celebrated his 50th year as a California lobbyist, said the lease on his office at 925 L St. ends at the end of December, and he decided to move his clients to KP to ease the daily toil of operating a small business.”


Lafayette: How Libraries Are Boldly Innovating to Meet the Needs of Changing Communities

From Truth-Out

” More than a decade ago, the city of Lafayette in the greater San Francisco Bay Area did some soul-searching about the fate of its library. With a population of just a little more than 25,000, the city had outgrown the tiny 1960s building within a decade. The library’s structure was falling apart, which was especially problematic in earthquake country. As the conversation about building a new library ramped up, Steve King, a longtime resident and small business economy researcher, wasn’t so sure a brick-and-mortar library was even needed — not with the Internet seemingly taking its place. The way he saw it, you could find much of the same information online as you could at the library — anytime, without even leaving the house. ”


Little library built for former gang members earns scout Eagle honors

From The Coast News Group

” Sixteen-year-old Carlsbad resident, Dylan Langer, readily admits he was in culture shock when he and his dad stepped off the Amtrak at L.A.’s Union Station, and took a short walk through a gritty neighborhood. Langer was there to pitch an idea to tattooed former gang members, some just out of prison, at the nearby Homeboy Industries.Langer, a junior at Carmel Valley’s Cathedral Catholic High School, was looking for an organization to serve for his Boy Scout Eagle project…Langer returned a few months later to place his hand-built library at the education center at Homeboy Industries, to an appreciative group. But he had an additional library that he built with some surplus funds and materials.”


Larkspur Library launches ‘Food for Fines’ program

From MarinIJ

” For the first time, the Larkspur Library is offering a “Food for Fines” program, in which library users who donate nonperishable foods during operating hours through Dec. 31 are relieved of some or all of their overdue library fees.To help support the Larkspur Library, the 10-branch Marin County Free Library is waiving fines for its patrons if they instead donate food to the Larkspur Library, which is housed within City Hall at 400 Magnolia Ave.The food — which doesn’t have to be the same value as the fines — will be donated to the SF-Marin Food Bank.”


Tulare County: Local libraries to lend more than books

From Porterville Recorder

” Tulare County Library and Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) are collaborating to provide more than books to check out at the library. Patrons of County Branch Libraries can now check out electronic blood pressure kits to assist in keeping their high blood pressure under control. “Our Lifetime of Wellness Program supports the American Heart Association’s Million Hearts initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017,” Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County public health officer said. “We launched the program because self-monitoring blood pressure at home can be helpful in controlling hypertension — regular results can be shared with your primary care physician to better manage high blood pressure.” High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, raises your risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.”