San Francisco: Homeless people have found safety in a library – but locals want them gone

From The Guardian

” The architect presented the landscaping plans for the library at a meeting in December. “It’s really going to be a defensive type of landscape,” she said to community members gathered at the library in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.She enumerated the features that would make the outside of the library a harder place to spend time: railings on walls to prevent sitting, undulating rock formations to prevent encampments, benches with armrests to prevent people from lying down.A local resident, addressing the room, said tough measures were crucial, complaining that the library is the “destination of choice for the transients that are causing so much trouble in our neighborhood”.Of all the places associated in the popular imagination with homelessness – park benches, skid rows, the undersides of freeways – libraries are probably low on the list. Yet the Castro branch, like others across California and elsewhere in the western US, is treated by many homeless people as a sanctuary from streets that can be cold, wet and dangerous.”

Oceanside Library opens Veterans Resource Center

From The Coast News Group

“The Civic Center Library recently opened a Veterans Resource Center stocked with books and resource materials for military and their families. The resource center is designed as a one-stop shop for military to find information, resources and services.Two full shelves on the library’s second floor display books, resource guides and information pamphlets geared towards veterans. Books that focus on veterans’ interests range from transitioning from the military, to benefits, employment and finance, health and family.Materials were purchased through a California State Library and California Department of Veterans Affairs, CalVet grant, and have been available for check out since January.Volunteers started to operate the center this month, on Wednesday afternoons.A dedicated laptop and printer are available for veterans and their families to register with CalVet, and get information on benefits and services.”

New San Diego library program aims to engage kids with science, computers

From San Diego Union Tribune

” A new program aimed at encouraging children ages 9 to 12 to get interested in computers, math and science launches next week at all 36 branches of the San Diego library system.Called “Spring into STEAM,” the program will offer workshops in March, April and May. It begins March 2.“We know that science education is so important now, and technology is changing so fast,” said Misty Jones, library director. “We see this as a way to get kids involved, to expose them to new ideas and help them explore the world around them.”STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math, and there will be workshops in each area. This year’s theme is “Bug Out!” so the science workshop will feature an entomologist explaining the survival strategies of insects. The engineering workshop will focus on bees as builders. For math, the kids will explore spatial geometry by making 3-D paper insects.”

San Luis Obispo: Library debuts own ‘Genius Bar’

From The Poly Post

” The University Library debuted its version of a “Genius Bar” on Feb. 14 as part of the library’s new service designed to assist students in reaching academic success, as well as traversing the entirety of the university’s various services and entities available to them.The library’s reference bookshelves have been replaced by staff for what is now the new Knowledge Center Service.Nicole Barcarse is a first-year aerospace engineering student and staffed as a Knowledge consultant who described the new service as an overall aid for students.
“They just took everything and mashed it together,” stated Barcarse.The new Knowledge Center Service combines all the services the library has to offer as well as other services on campus into one convenient location for students. This means students no longer have to be confused about which desk in the library to go to.”

Goleta Starts Process to Take Over City’s Library from Santa Barbara Management

From Noozhawk

“Goleta took its first step Tuesday to transfer its branch library from the Santa Barbara system to city control.City Hall has been eager to refashion the Goleta Valley Branch Public Library into a municipal library. The City Council approved an ordinance establishing a municipal library and creating a library board of trustees, but the move doesn’t commit the city to moving forward with the transfer process.Like other public libraries in the county, most of which are also administered by the Santa Barbara library system, Goleta’s is facing significant funding issues. City officials estimated that with current spending and revenues, operating reserves would be fully depleted in the next two years.”

Dodd named Benicia’s new director of library and cultural services

From Times Herald

” David Dodd was named director of library and cultural services for the city of Benicia, replacing Diane Smikahl, who retired at the end of last year, Fire Chief/Acting City Manager, Jim Lydon, announced Wednesday.After earning a bachelor’s degree from University of California at Davis, Dodd began his career a Jails Library Assistant in the Alameda County Library. He went on to graduate from UC Berkeley with a master’s degree in Library and Information Services, and worked as a librarian for Benicia, from 1990 to 1994.Dodd went on to work in libraries in Colorado, Marin County, San Francisco, San Rafael, and Sonoma County.”

Long Beach: Our childhood library celebrates 60 years

From Press Telegram

” Los Altos still had that new-town smell 60 years ago when developer Lloyd Whaley’s crew were hammering the last box of nails into some 11,000 homes built in a flurry of sawdust.It was a new town full of new people, virtually all young couples with at least two youngsters and one or two more on the way, snapping up well-built three-bedroom, two-bath homes at $9,000 to $14,000 a copy.Whaley promised the community would have everything it needed, and he delivered – a mammoth shopping center (see ya, downtown), bundled clumps of churches, extensive parks and our favorite fixture, a new library.The Los Altos Branch is celebrating its 60th anniversary on Tuesday, and it’s hard to believe that it’s that old. We began visiting it with our sister at least once a week in 1959, when our family moved into one of the new Los Altos houses on Vuelta Grande that year.”