Opioid epidemic: Librarians are unlikely heroes in overdoses

From CNN

“A crowd hovered over the man lying on the grass as his skin turned purple. Chera Kowalski crouched next to his limp body, a small syringe in her gloved hand.
Squeeze.The antidote filled the man’s nostril.The purple faded. Then it came back. Kowalski’s heart raced.”We only gave him one, and he needs another!” she called to a security guard in McPherson Square Park, a tranquil patch of green in one of this city’s roughest neighborhoods.”He’s dying,” said a bystander, piling on as tension mounted around lunchtime one recent weekday.”Where is the ambulance?” a woman begged.Squeeze.Kowalski dropped the second syringe and put her palm on the man’s sternum.Knead. Knead. Knead.Nothing.She switched to knuckles.Knead. Knead. Knead.Then a sound, like a breath. The heroin and methamphetamine overdose that had gripped the man’s body started to succumb to Kowalski’s double hit of Narcan.With help, the man, named Jay, sat up. Paramedics arrived with oxygen and more meds.Death, held at bay, again.Kowalski headed back across the park, toward the century-old, cream-colored building where she works.”She’s not a paramedic,” the guard, Sterling Davis, said later. “She’s just a teen-adult librarian — and saved six people since April. That’s a lot for a librarian.”Long viewed as guardians of safe spaces for children, library staff members like Kowalski have begun taking on the role of first responder in drug overdoses. In at least three major cities — Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco — library employees now know, or are set to learn, how to use the drug naloxone, usually known by its brand name Narcan, to help reverse overdoses.”


Santa Barbara Public Library System Receives $10,000 Grant for Bilingual Children’s Books

From Edhat

“The Santa Barbara Public Library System is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the California State Library to purchase bilingual books for children. This grant is part of the California Immigrant Alliance Project, funded through the Library Services and Technology Act, a federal program administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. These books will be added to the existing bilingual children’s book collections of all branches of the library system, including the Central, Eastside, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria, Solvang, and Buellton libraries.California is home to more than 10 million immigrants. The latest available data shows that nearly 27% of California’s population is foreign born, about twice the US percentage overall. Public libraries play a key role in welcoming and educating immigrants. The Immigrant Alliance Project was created to support libraries as they create, enhance, and extend services to immigrants and their families.”


Fifteen LA County Libraries Will Serve Free Lunch

From Los Angeles Sentinel

” Los Angeles County Library has expanded its Lunch at the Library program to 15 libraries this summer. Kicking off on June 12, 15 County Libraries will provide a free lunch to youth through 18 years of age from 12noon to 1 pm, with no restrictions on family income, through August 4.“LA County Library is committed to providing access to everyone and is excited to expand the ‘Lunch at the Library’ program to 15 libraries this year. We welcome all youth to visit our libraries for a free, healthy lunch and to enjoy all of the programs and services that the library offers,” said County Library Director Skye Patrick.Lunches will include items such as sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and healthy dairy products.”


San Jose: Raising a toast to Library Director Jill Bourne

From The Mercury News

“The San Jose Library Foundation showed its appreciation for Library Director Jill Bourne with a reception last Friday to celebrate her selection as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year for 2017. And while you might think such a party — especially one held at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library — might be a quiet affair, it was anything but.Elected officials and city staff clowned around at a photo booth, munched on cupcakes bearing Bourne’s image and donned stereotypical “librarian glasses” during the party on the library’s eighth floor. The only “Shhh…” heard was when someone ordered a drink with that name. (The best cocktail name of the night was a Bellini called the 398.2. That’s the Dewey Decimal System number for Fairy Tales.)And while the Library Journal issue with her face on the cover was everywhere, Bourne still managed to deflect the praises sung by Mayor Sam Liccardo and City Manager Norberto Dueñas. “As soon as i learned about this honor — it really is huge in my industry — I was in disbelief,” said Bourne, who was wooed last year by the Boston library but decided to stay in San Jose. “The folks that got us this award were my incredible team. And I wanted to have a reception locally to honor the work of our library staff.”During Bourne’s tenure, the library has restored hours, brought patrons back into the fold through fine forgiveness and established new programs like Citizenship Corners and a free summer lunch program for kids.”


Monterey County Free Libraries selected as Finalist in National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award


“Monterey County Free Libraries (MCFL) is proud to announce that the Arts and Literacy Program at their Andy Ausonio branch in Castroville has been chosen for recognition as a 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) Finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.The Arts Literacy Program, as it is also known, has been in existence for 8 years now. It is a program that has been transforming lives by introducing children to art and artists, and bringing families and the community closer together from its very beginning. It has the support of MCFL (the parent library system), the Friends of the Andy Ausonio Library group, the Haynes Foundation, and the Arts Council of Monterey County. MCFL provides the venue and staff support for the program, and the Friends of the Andy Ausonio Library have been consistently paying for the art supplies since the inception of the program. The program was originally started by library volunteer Virginia Baillie-Suzuki who ran the program for 2 years, and is now run by local artist Su Chesterman. Ms Chesterman is also a long-time library volunteer. Castroville Branch Manager Erik Thurman and the branch staff have worked tirelessly to encourage children to participate and to provide the staff support for the monthly program. The program is free to all participants.”


Horse-Riding Librarians Were the Great Depression’s Bookmobiles

From Smithsonian Magazine

“Their horses splashed through iced-over creeks. Librarians rode up into the Kentucky mountains, their saddlebags stuffed with books, doling out reading material to isolated rural people. The Great Depression had plunged the nation into poverty, and Kentucky—a poor state made even poorer by a paralyzed national economy—was among the hardest hit.The Pack Horse Library initiative, which sent librarians deep into Appalachia, was one of the New Deal’s most unique plans. The project, as implemented by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), distributed reading material to the people who lived in the craggy, 10,000-square-mile portion of eastern Kentucky. The state already trailed its neighbors in electricity and highways. And during the Depression, food, education and economic opportunity were even scarcer for Appalachians.”


Bayliss Library: 100 years young

From ChicoER

“The tiny building is nearly lost among Glenn County’s rice fields and ag operations, but it is a powerhouse of knowledge. It’s also unusual, in that most Carnegie libraries are in towns.Stark white stucco, with architectural gussying-up that makes it like no other in the ag fields, this building — or rather what’s inside — has changed lives.Set at the corner of Bayliss Blue Gum Road — also known as County Road 39 — and County Road W in Glenn is the Bayliss Carnegie Library, which turns 100 this month.”


Facebook’s Oculus to bring virtual reality to California libraries

From The Mercury News

“Strapping on a virtual reality headset can digitally transport a person under the sea, to the red surface of Mars or even inside the human body.But purchasing a virtual reality headset isn’t cheap, especially for low-income families.Teaming up with the California State Library, Facebook’s Oculus said Wednesday it hopes to bridge the digital divide by donating 100 sets of Rift headsets, touch controllers and computers to 90 libraries throughout California as part of a new pilot program.Participating libraries include those in San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland, Sunnyvale, Campbell and other locations in the Bay Area.“By having access, it takes away the mystery of what it is and inspires,” said Cindy Ball, Oculus’ education program manager. “No matter how many videos or news reports you’ve seen about VR, once you put on that headset for the first time, that’s when you really get it.”Califa Group, a San Mateo nonprofit, is overseeing the program.VARLibraries — a network of libraries sharing best practices for implementing virtual and augmented realities — will run daily operations and deployment of the equipment.”


Grants lifeblood of Tulare County libraries

From Visalia Times-Delta

“Grants help open the world to our communities by assisting our budget-challenged libraries.When librarians and library staff develop amazing life changing ideas, such as new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs or a Family Literacy outreach to preschools and the jails, we turn to grants for funding.The world of grants can be confusing so we’ve outlined how important outside funding like grants are for us and you, as each new grant make it possible for us to provide you with innovative and exciting services.The Tulare County Library and Foundation find grants from numerous sources. Many companies have foundations that offer grant opportunities.”


San Diego librarians undergo ‘Mental Health First Aid’ training

From 10 News San Diego

” The job description of a librarian goes far beyond recommending books and organizing shelves — they’re often the first responders when someone needs help in the library.”I think there’s a misperception of what librarians would be. Everybody has a bun in their hair and a pocket pen protector,” said Joe Miesner, access services librarian at San Diego Central Library.Miesner has been working at San Diego libraries for 26 years. He and his colleagues say they got into the field to help the community.”We’re a great community link where everybody is welcome,” said Miesner.Most of the librarians have been trained in traditional first aid, but they will soon learn how to address the hidden wounds.Staff with the San Diego Public Library are taking part in the Mental Health First Aid course, learning skills to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health issue or substance abuse problem or experiencing a crisis.”


SF library celebrates Pride

From The Bay Area Reporter

“The San Francisco Public Library kicks off Pride Month in a big way with book and author talks, rainbow crafts, exhibits, and its beloved Drag Queen Story Hour.”There is no better place to celebrate Pride than at the public library,” said Tom Fortin, a gay man who is chief of the main library. “The public library has often been the singular place where many in the queer community first found acceptance, whether through literature or programming. The Hormel center exemplifies the best public libraries have to offer and we celebrate being the queerest library ever.”The library’s James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center starts Pride month Thursday (June 1) with RADAR Superstars, the annual birthday bash for superstar and emerging writers.”


4 Glendale Libraries to Serve Free Lunches to Children Through Summer

From NBC Los Angeles

” Several Glendale libraries will serve free lunches to children on weekdays, starting Monday through Aug. 4.After testing the program called “Lunch is on Us” at one Glendale library, it is expanding to three other libraries this year as part of a partnership with the Glendale Unified School District. The program was started by the California Library Association. “School’s out. And the kids have lost their access to lunch that they normally got at no charge because their families qualified,” said Theresa Robinett, senior library supervisor. “So what a better to have these programs than at the libraries.”Children, from toddlers to teens, who eat lunch eight times during the program will get to choose and take home a free book.”


Santa Clara: ​’Reading by Design’ Comes to Los Altos Libraries

From Los Altos Patch

“With the school year almost at an end, it can be easy to slip into the long, lazy days of summer as soon as the first vacation day arrives. But don’t become too complacent, cautions educators and librarians alike. Summer is a great time to keep the educational momentum going, ensuring readiness for the following school year and beyond.By providing fun summer activities that also promote creativity, exploration and knowledge, the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is helping kids, teens and adults stay academically current through a multitude of free programs and events offered throughout the summer.Inspired by the creativity of authors, illustrators, builders, inventors, artists, architects and everyone else who has been instrumental in developing a more interesting, livable and beautiful world, SCCLD’s “Reading by Design” summer reading program encourages participants to explore individual creativity while designing new learning opportunities.”


Sunnyvale gets mobile bike library

From Mercury News

” The Sunnyvale Public Library will soon hit the streets with a new mobile bicycle library complete with the ability to check out books, sign up new members and give away library-related goodies on the go.The library-on-wheels is a bright green electric bike with a yellow book trailer hitched to the back that can haul 25-50 pounds of books and other materials. It’s also a hot spot for free wireless Internet and is equipped with a tablet station where people can sign up for library cards.Librarian Christina Shin says similar mobile bikes are used at other Bay Area libraries like Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Los Gatos. Shin says it could be a tool to boost outreach while also promoting other city aims like healthy and green living.”