Grand Jury report: Kern County libraries ‘headed for extinction’

From The Daily Independant

” A Kern County Grand Jury committee didn’t mince words when it released a report on the state of the library system in June.In short, the report states the Kern County Library system is headed for extinction.“An inspection of the Kern County Library (KCL) revealed a frightening truth: The continued ability of KCL to serve the residents of Kern County is in serious jeopardy,” the report states. “Management’s approach of ‘this is how we’ve always done it,’ does not allow for a vision for the future of KCL; past practices have generally led to greater costs and manpower requirements, without commensurate increases in services or utilization.The committee inquired about the 2016-2017 operation and management of the library system prior to releasing its report on June 1. The report notes that KCL isn’t following national trends. The committee cited Wall Street Journal contributor John Christopher Farley’s argument that libraries need to become innovative so they don’t fall victim to the Internet Age.“He believes librarians should help patrons’ access to digital technology. He also contends that librarians should not completely eliminate books,” the report states. “Libraries around the country are facing a decrease in usage and need to change with the times. This includes changing mission statements to include new technology and better use of the libraries’ space.”In traditional Grand Jury format, the report goes through its process, including findings, recommendations, background and facts during its investigation of the 24-library system.”

Local resident is first to earn high school diploma through innovative program offered by OC Public Libraries

From OC Breeze

” Michael Leach is the first Orange County resident to earn his high school diploma through the Career Online High School program at OC Public Libraries. The library partnered with Gale (a part of Cengage Learning), the San Clemente Friends of the Library, and the California State Library in 2016 to offer scholarships to some of the county’s 480,000 adults who lack a high school diploma.Michael credits the flexibility of the program, his scholarship from OC Public Libraries, and his academic counselors at Career Online High School for his success. “Having this diploma has really given me a sense of confidence more than anything, and I really feel that I can now work on getting a college degree,” said Michael. “I can also now, without a twinge of guilt, encourage my kids in their schooling and stress the importance of getting their diploma.”“We are proud to be able to offer the Career Online High School as part of our library programs,” said Rebecca Braun, OC Read Tutor & Learner Coordinator of OC Public Libraries.”

San Jose library moves to stop suicides

From The Mercury News

“About 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, a 36-year-old San Jose man shocked patrons and employees of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. library by climbing over a seventh-floor railing and plunging to his death in the building’s atrium.As the second suicide in 13 months in the downtown library atrium, the grisly death cast a pall over the joint city-university building, which was closed down until the next morning. At the direction of San Jose State President Mary Papazian, and with the assent of city leaders, administrators are taking steps to make the soaring atrium suicide-safe.Essentially, the university and city are glassing in the big inner space from the second floor up to the seventh. The work is expected to raise the modest glass railings on each floor to more than seven feet. With existing glass dividers that come down from the ceiling, it will leave only a small gap for air.”

New design aims to ‘homeless-proof’ San Francisco library


“It’s been a neighborhood fixture in the Castro for decades. The San Francisco public library branch named after Harvey Milk is just a block from Market Street on the edge of 16th Street, sandwiched by homes and business alike.It’s a popular place for families, but that’s not all. The library has also become a haven for homeless people who spend time inside and use the bathrooms during business hours, and camp out at night.While the inside of the library has become a warm and safe escape from the elements, it has also created big issues for the library.“Someone that was cleaning up, volunteering and cleaning us around the library, got poked by a used syringe,” said one patron who spoke to KTVU outside the library after finding drug paraphernalia laying in the bushes just outside.Library spokesperson Rebecca Alcala-Veraflor said they’ve received reports of thefts in the parking lot, noise complaints, and litter. The library has added lighting, signs, and stepped up security.But it’s a proposal presented during a series of community meetings that has drawn the most criticism. At one of those meetings the library presented a Landscape Architecture plan aimed at making the grounds safer. But critics say the designs are actually meant to push away the homeless with the addition of so-called “defensive architecture” elements, such as hard rocks, spiky plants, and metal railings.”

Pasadena Public Library Receives Two Important Learning Grants

From Pasadena Now

” The Pasadena Public Library has received new grants that will significantly support two important learning initiatives of the City: its STEAM 18 Initiative that coincides with a major international space science conference in Pasadena next year, and the launch of the “Pasadena as an Early Learning City 2025” movement this September.Pasadena’s Chief Librarian Michelle Perera, Director of Libraries and Information Services, said the public library has been awarded a $100,000 Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) grant by the California State Library, and another $12,000 grant by First 5 LA, a nonprofit child-advocacy organization that is part of the First 5 California Children and Families Act.In a memorandum to City Manager Steve Mermell Wednesday, Perera said the LSTA grant will be used to fund the STEAM 18 Initiative – the observance of the Year of STEAM in Pasadena – as the City hosts the 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly.”

Local Star-Lord Hosts Free 3D Printing Classes At Long Beach Library

From Gazettes

“Star-Lord is volunteering at the Long Beach Main Public Library and teaching free 3D modeling and printing classes that are currently open to the public.It may not be the real Star-Lord — or even the real Chris Pratt — but the library volunteer is a real star in the Long Beach cosplay community.Robert Gunderson, a local cosplayer and fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, has gained online notoriety for his portrayal as Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Quill (Star-Lord).He can be spotted at Comic-Cons in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area showcasing his custom costume portraying a believable Star-Lord alongside his girlfriend, cosplayer Lily Liqueur, as Gamora.”About five months ago, I started doing classes here once a month,” Gunderson said. “The first class was about how to create very simple molds off of 3D prints.”Now he has added appearances at the Main Library’s Studio and MakerSpace.Gunderson said that he had learned how to create his own 3D prints a couple of months prior, so the entire concept of the class was new to him at the time.Originally, the class idea was intended to help cosplayers create 3D printed models to enhance their costumes, but quickly branched into a “how-to” class for anyone interested, regardless of their interest level in cosplay, Gunderson said.”

Urban Library Council Appoints L.A. County Library Director Skye Patrick to Executive Board

From Los Angeles Sentinel

“I’m deeply honored to be elected to this role and to be part of the Executive Board,” said Skye Patrick who was recently elected to the Executive Board of the Urban Libraries Council.“I look forward to working with this dynamic team of leaders, and supporting ULC’s mission to inspire libraries to evolve and grow.”Patrick began her stint with the Los Angeles County Library in February 2016, when she became the entity’s first African-American Library Director. Before then, she served at the library for Broward County in Florida. She had also been assistant director of the Queens Public Library, where she managed 20 branch locations in that system.“The ULC Executive Board provides thought leadership and guidance during a critical time for libraries and our democracy,” said ULC Board Chair Michael Sherrod. “Skye Patrick comes to the board as a proven public servant ready to lead. She brings new and positive energy to an already strong board.”Since joining L.A. County Library, Patrick has focused on removing barriers and increasing access to information and services for all Los Angeles residents, while simultaneously bringing one of the largest library systems in the United States into the digital age.”

San Diego: UCSD brings prep classes to city libraries for area students

From The San Diego Union-Tribune

” Students throughout the city will be able to take free classes that can help them get into college or land good jobs through a program that is being expanded by the San Diego Public Library and UC San Diego.“Every child in San Diego deserves a chance to go to college and get that great job,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Tuesday morning during a press conference at the Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library. “But sometimes the price tag puts courses that would give their college applications a boost, like robotics class or test prep, out of reach. This program is going to help kids from all over the city, from Skyline Hills to Rancho Penasquitos, as an opportunity to advance their education for free.”Classes, workshops and counseling sessions started in January in a pilot program at the Central and Malcolm X libraries, and so far have 150 middle and high school students have participated. Since the launch, the program has expanded into branch libraries in Mira Mesa, Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa and Tierrasanta.On Tuesday, Faulconer and top university and library officials announced that by the end of the year, the classes will be in branch libraries in City Heights, Linda Vista, Rancho Penasquitos, and Logan Heights, where classes begin Aug. 5.Within the next few years, similar classes and workshops could be offered in all 36 of the city’s branch libraries, said Library Department Director Misty Jones.”

Taiwanese students learn on the job at SF library

From SFBAY.Com

” The San Francisco Public Library welcomed two university students from Taiwan on Wednesday as part of an observational learning agreement between the public library and two universities — the National Taiwan University and Fu Jen Catholic University.Both students will spend four weeks learning about the operations of the San Francisco Public Library and to bring back ideas back to Taiwan on how the county can improve its library operations and resources.Sandy Hsieh, who has a Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Science from the National Taiwan University, said San Francisco offers a number of services for different people including children and the homeless and wants to learn about the many programs the library offers: “In Taiwan, we don’t have so much of these services. I want to learn how they provide them and bring ideas back to Taiwan.” Hsieh told SFBay she wanted to bring back ideas on improving children services in Taiwan libraries.”

Los Angeles: Libraries team up with Dodgers for reading challenge

From Larchmont Chronicle

“Los Angeles Public Library and the Los Angeles Dodgers want people to read more this summer.The library is launching its summer reading challenge, “Reading by Design,” emphasizing expanding imagination, learning, exploration and creativity through reading. Patrons of all ages can sign up at, or by visiting a local branch.Participants are asked to complete at least 10 hours of reading and four activities, such as attending a program scheduled at one of the libraries this summer, or writing a book review.After readers have completed the activities and logged their progress with a librarian or online, they are entered in a grand prize drawing. Prizes include Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, iPad Pros and gift cards.”

Menlo Park: Library’s ‘Peanuts’ fest a success

From Mercury News

” Hundreds of youngsters gathered outside Menlo Park Library this week to launch rockets, try out solar-powered model cars and dig up dinosaur bones.It was all in the name of science, or rather, the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum employed by California schools.The event was put on with help from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, which travels in a 100-mile radius year-round visiting schools, museums and libraries with its “Peanuts Naturally” festival. The festival aims to teach K-6 students about the environment and aligns with Common Core principles through hands-on learning.“It re-emphasizes the curriculum that kids are learning in schools, it’s just in a different environment,” said Sarah Jenkins, Schulz Museum outreach and public programs coordinator, who traveled in her “Peanuts” van from Santa Rosa to put on the event. This was the second year the museum has partnered with the city on the event.John Weaver, the library’s outreach coordinator and resident storyteller, said 325 kids showed up for the two-hour event Tuesday, a “much bigger crowd” than the previous summer. Roughly 15 interactive stations were manned by library and community services employees and members of the library’s teen advisory group. Weaver said two of kids’ favorite activities at the event were launching rockets and playing with live worms.”

Virtual reality offers library patrons a new way to explore the world

From Simi Valley Acorn

” Patrons at local public libraries will always be able to crack open a book and escape into stories of adventure and exotic locations.Soon they’ll also be able to experience far-flung destinations in virtual reality.In the next few weeks, 90 public libraries in California, including several locally, will receive at least one Oculus Rift, virtual reality hardware produced by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc.The hardware fits over the head and in front of the eyes like a helmet with a visor.Each library will also receive an Oculus Ready personal computer and about 20 virtual reality applications that transport users to any place on Earth and into space.Oculus is also providing librarians with training on how to use the VR system, said Deborah Lynch, spokesperson for the California State Library.“This shows that the library today is about more than just books,” said Christine Conwell, head librarian at Moorpark City Library, one of the facilities receiving the virtual reality technology through the state library’s Virtual Reality Library Project.Along with Moorpark, public libraries in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Calabasas will receive the virtual technology, which generates a fully 3-D stereoscopic scene that gives the user the feeling of being there.”

Week 1 of Lunch @ the Library serves over 1,000 free lunches to children in Garden Grove

From Orange County Breeze

” OC Public Libraries launched Lunch @ the Library at the Garden Grove Chapman and Garden Grove Main libraries on Monday, June 26th. In its first week, the Garden Grove Chapman and Garden Grove Main Branches served a combined total of over 1,000 free lunches to children 18 and under in the local community. The event will continue for the remaining of the summer, concluding on on August 4th.OC Public Libraries is joining over 50 other California library sites with the goal of preventing children’s summer hunger and learning loss. A pilot program for Lunch @ the Library was launched in the summer of 2016 at the Garden Grove Chapman Library and served over 2,300 lunches.”

Sonoma: 23 Libraries in One

From SSU News

“Sonoma State University students, faculty and staff can now borrow books and DVDs from any of the 23 California State University campuses thanks to the new unified library management system OneSearch. The University Library also moved to eliminate overdue fines and increase loan times for books to up to one year. OneSearch replaces the popular LINK+ rapid delivery service with CSU+, an integrated, CSU-managed request system. In 2016, after a three-year collaboration with the Chancellor’s Office, all 23 CSU libraries voted to participate in CSU+ making OneSearch the largest public university resource sharing system in the United States. Sonoma State was previously part of LINK+, which included a total of 10 CSU campuses.”