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.”