Libraries need a little more love; lower the level for voters to approve tax increases

From The Sacramento Bee

“Californians love their libraries so much they don’t think libraries are part of government.It’s a love so deep Californians are willing to pay higher taxes to improve their libraries. In Northern California, five ballot measures were approved in November that will invest tens of millions of dollars in local public libraries.Library-specific tax increases, as opposed to a general local tax increase, don’t win unless two-thirds of voters say “yes,” which means to win there has to be a whole lotta bipartisan love goin’ on.”

Stockton-San Joaquin County: Children read to rescue animals at sanctuary’s library event

From Record Net

” To a small child learning how to read, picking up a book and pronouncing words to an adult can be quite intimidating.But two guinea pigs named Estella and Pip don’t mind being read to. Especially if there is spinach, carrots and dried cranberries to munch on.Dozens of children got the chance to read to and touch rescued farm animals at the Weston Ranch Library on Thursday afternoon, brought in by Christine Morrissey from the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary.Morrissey said Thursday’s Rescue Readers Club “reading to the animals” event was the first the sanctuary has done, and hopes for more similar events to be done every month at libraries across San Joaquin County.”Our organization has been around for a long time – about 10 years – but the Stockton community doesn’t know much about us,” she said.Located in French Camp, the nonprofit organization provides life-long care for 200 abused and neglected farm animal.”

Santa Clarita Public Library Launches Dial-A-Story Program

From SCV News

” The Santa Clarita Public Library is bringing story-time home to families and children: residents can now listen to stories by dialing the library’s main phone line at (661) 259-0750 and dialing extension 4. Families calling in can listen to pre-recorded stories read by favorite, local children librarians, a branch manager and even a bilingual storyteller.The books featured on the Dial-A-Story line are specially selected by Santa Clarita Public Library staff to ensure a wide variety of stories are available for children of all ages; from babies and toddlers, to those in elementary school.The idea sprouted from the library’s popular Storytimes programs which are offered at the library’s branches in Canyon Country, Valencia and Newhall.”

UC Riverside Receives Grant from Council on Library and Information Resources

From UCR Today

” The University of California, Riverside, has been awarded a $376,191 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant, “Digitizing Special Collections and Archives,” by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support the project “The Sherman Indian Museum Digital Collection: Increasing Access to American Indian Off-Reservation Boarding School Archives.” “It’s going to benefit people all over to be able to access these materials, and it will also to protect them so we won’t be using originals as research access,” said Cliff Trafzer, who holds the Rupert Costo Endowed Chair in American Indian Studies at UCR.The project is in collaboration with the Sherman Indian Museum. The museum is part of what is now called the Sherman Indian High School in Riverside. In 1902, the federal government through the Office of Indian Affairs (Office of Indian Education) established Sherman Institute, an off-reservation American Indian boarding school aimed at assimilating Native American children by eradicating their culture and training them to become laborers and domestics. In 1970, Sherman Institute became Sherman Indian High School, an off-reservation federal Indian boarding school devoted to honoring native cultures while preparing American Indian teens for college and careers.”

Yolo County: Grant-writing workshop set at Davis library

From Davis Enterprise

” Community agencies and grant writers are welcome to attend a free workshop on census data grant-writing on Monday, Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The workshop will take place at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis.Participants will learn how to access the most current data from the United States Census Bureau’s products via the newly enhanced American FactFinder and how to successfully capture community profiles relevant to specific grants and program developments.”

San Marino : Helping Hands for Hand-Held Devices at Crowell Library

From Pasadena Now

” Electronically savvy and patient volunteers from the National Charity League will be available on Saturday February 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Crowell Public Library’s Barth Community Room to help frustrated people figure out how to use their hand-held devices. Many people have iPods, Androids, tablets, iPhones, and other gadgets, but can’t figure out all of the features. The young volunteers are familiar with many of the concepts behind these devices, so even if they haven’t used a particular gadget, they may be able to help a person figure out what to do.”

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.”