From San Francisco Chronicle
” Californians — and Americans in general — love their libraries. Stacks of studies say so, but the proof is really in the 160 million in-person visits and 32 million online visits California libraries receive every year. In fact, communities like their libraries so much they don’t think libraries are part of government.But taxpayer dollars keep library doors open to provide anyone who wants it the opportunity to improve their lives — by learning to read, by accessing public services, by getting help with a resume, by connecting to the Internet and online databases, by finding material for the visually impaired.Maybe by even checking out a book or two.Around $180 million of America’s investment in its 123,000 libraries comes from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, set for elimination under the president’s budget framework released on March 10. Of that total, roughly $16 million is California’s share.
The independent institute may have been inadvertently swept up in the Trump administration’s stated desire to zero out federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and public broadcasting.Not to diminish the intrinsic value of the arts, but the role libraries play in communities, states and the nation is far broader and more basic.Libraries are an essential part of the nation’s education system.The best investment of a taxpayer dollar is helping someone read better.”
From American Libraries Magazine
” On March 16, President Trump submitted his budget outline—the so-called skinny budget—to Congress, which proposes wholesale changes to federal funding priorities, including deep cuts to many programs. Alarmingly to librarians across the nation, those proposals include eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and more than $210 million in funding cuts for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs.LSTA provides funding to each state library organization, which then determines the best use in its state for these funds. Some state libraries have used LSTA funds to develop statewide lending libraries, shared databases, and similar tools. Others have provided funding for specific programs. For example, California used LSTA funds to assist veterans in their transitions to civilian lives; North Carolina helped small businesses in a rural community to develop an online presence for their companies; Alabama funded a program to assist families with disabled children; and Illinois helped a small library replace part of its collection damaged in a flood.”
From Golden Gate Xpress
” The Sutro Library at SF State is currently collecting handmade signs, handbills, clothing and other memorabilia from the Jan. 21 San Francisco Women’s March to preserve the historic day for future generations.The Sutro Library, located on the the fifth floor of the J. Paul Leonard Library, is a California public research institution under the California State Library system and is open to the public.Mattie Taormina, the director of the Sutro Library, is in charge of collecting and cataloguing the items donated by people from all over California who participated in the Women’s March. Donated items like protest signs and handmade pussycat hats will be preserved as historic memorabilia.As a participant in the march and the head of a state library, Taormina felt it was her duty to preserve this aspect of California history.
From The Mercury News
” Visitors to the Sunnyvale Public Library can now purchase beverages from a cart that has a purpose beyond just refreshment.Kartma Street Cafe held its grand opening and ribbon cutting at the library on March 22. The cart bills itself as “the street cafe that’s ending homelessness.”A creation of Downtown Streets Team, all of the baristas and operators are individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Organizers say those staffing it are receiving the chance to “earn a living wage.” All Kartma baristas go through training before going on to serve the public.The cafe, which got its start in San Jose, is now a permanent fixture outside the library courtyard. It serves coffee, hot chocolate and tea. Java is from Chromatic Coffee in San Jose. The cart is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.”
From SF Gate
” The long gray Potrero Hill warehouse that houses the donation center of the nonprofit Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is usually filled with old books, stacks and stacks of dog-eared tomes, thousands of pounds worth.But thanks to a generous donor, the building was recently filled with brand-new books — more than 10,000 of them, to be given away to public school teachers such as Liana Koehler, who know exactly what to do with them.Koehler, 32, a fourth-grade teacher at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in Chinatown, said that for her students, reading is vital because many are English language learners and school is an important environment for practicing their language skills.“My school has a lot of newcomer students and students who are learning English as a second language. School is where they’re practicing their English, so it’s great to have books that support that,” she said as she perused the thousands of titles stacked on tables.Teachers from elementary schools across San Francisco lined up down the block one day last week for the giveaway, an opportunity to secure new books for students who have little access to printed material at home.”
From The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Self-checkout computer kiosks are being installed across the city of San Diego’s 36-branch library system this year to eliminate long lines, free workers up for other tasks and make inventory more efficient and accurate.Installation of the kiosks, which began in late December and will conclude in July, is requiring two-week closures of some branches on a rolling basis.The kiosks include a feature allowing library patrons to get a list of other recommended books or videos based on what they’ve previously checked out.The new technology could allow the library system to shrink its staff or allow branches to stay open more hours with the same personnel.But Sheila Burnett, deputy director of the city’s library system, said so far employees are being redeployed to other tasks.”
From San Diego Union Tribune
” Rancho Bernardo Library’s new youth services librarian said she wants to make the library a more educational and fun place to visit.Laura Anthony — who began earlier this month — said she wants to increase teen programming, is starting an all-ages chess club that will meet on Tuesday nights, wants to have sensory-friendly events for kids on the autism spectrum through a partnership with RB-based Kids Therapy Associates, and plans to have more “fun” science programs.The Lifescanner insect identification kit available for children to check out through April 8. (-Elizabeth Marie Himchak)The latter includes a new city-wide library program called “The Catalog of Life @ the Library.” It is a month-long project that runs through April 8 and geared to 9- to 12-year-olds. Kids may check out a Lifescanner kit, collect up to four bugs then return the kit and bugs to the library. Each bug is to be placed in an individual liquid-filled vial. Anthony will forward the samples to project officials for study.”